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Filegate finds way to round file

Posted By Larry Klayman On 03/18/2000 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

In my years as Chairman of Judicial Watch, a public-interest law firm
which fights government corruption, I have come upon many politicians
who profess to have the same interests. In my experience, I have only
found one public servant — in addition to a few judges — who have been
willing to do what is right without weighing what was in it for them.
One of these true American heroes is Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., who Judicial
Watch is representing in his own lawsuit against the Clinton-Gore White
House for using information in government files to smear his reputation
and impede his duties as a House Manager during the recent impeachment
proceedings.

I was going to write an article today explaining why the recent
Filegate Report of Independent Counsel Robert Ray is flawed and lacks
integrity. However, the words of Representative Bob Barr, contained in
a March 17, 2000, letter to Mr. Ray and copied to the three-judge panel
which oversees independent counsel investigations, speak for themselves.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to public servants like Representative
Barr.

The text of his letter, published below, can also be found on
Judicial Watch’s website and
Congressman Barr’s website.


March 17, 2000

The Honorable Robert Ray

Independent Counsel

Office of the Independent Counsel

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20004

Re: Filegate

Dear Mr. Ray:

I am writing to you about a matter which has, since it was uncovered
in June 1996, commonly been referred to as the “Filegate scandal”;
involving the illegal acquisition of over 900 FBI files by the
Clinton-Gore White House, and the misuse of other government files
protected by The Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a et. seq., in order
to gather information to smear political adversaries and critics. As
you may know, I have been subjected to these tactics, in order to
prevent me from carrying out my duties as a U.S. Congressman during the
impeachment proceedings against President William Jefferson Clinton. As
a result, I have brought litigation to redress the harm caused to me and
to the Congress, and to obtain the files which The Clinton-Gore White
House, and its Justice Department, have been keeping on me. I am
therefore a putative plaintiff in the widening Filegate scandal, and an
actual plaintiff in my own lawsuit. See Attachment 1.

I am concerned about recent reports published in the New York
Times
, and elsewhere, that you have met with certain members of
media, such as William Safire, and disclosed to them that your
investigation of this scandal has failed to yield the evidence required
for criminal prosecution, and will therefore be closed. While I do not
believe it proper or correct for the Office of the Independent Counsel
(“OIC”) to be leaking details of its investigation to the media –
particularly before the subject report on Filegate is made available to
the public and Congress — I am even more disturbed by evidence that the
OIC has failed to conduct an adequate investigation. This evidence
comes largely from a civil lawsuit prosecuted by Judicial Watch, Inc.,
on behalf of the class of aggrieved persons, many of whom are
Republicans, and includes but is not limited to, a number of perceived
defects in your investigation.

First, sworn deposition testimony shows that key material witnesses,
such as Linda Tripp, Thomas “Mac” McLarty and Terry Good have neither
been substantively questioned informally nor called before the grand
jury, despite Mr. Starr’s representations in his letter of December l1,
1998, to the House Judiciary Committee.

Linda Tripp, who testified at deposition to Judicial Watch that she
witnessed the misuse of FBI files on Republicans, and overheard
conversations between Associate White House Counsel William Kennedy and
Marsha Scott, a close confidante of Bill and Hillary Clinton, that
confirmed the contents of these files were shared with the Democratic
National Committee at the direction of Mrs. Clinton, was never even
interviewed by your office about Filegate. The same is true for Mr.
McLarty, the President’s closest friend and The White House Chief of
Staff during the period of Filegate. Terry Good, who, as Director of The
White House Office of Records Management, delivered up Privacy Act
protected files on Linda Tripp, Kathleen Willey and Monica Lewinsky to
The White House Counsel’s Office — some of which material was leaked to
the media — and as someone who stored the overflow of Republican FBI
files in his office, should also have been questioned, but was not.
Hillary Clinton — who evidence shows was the mastermind of Filegate –
was questioned informally by Ken Starr for only nine minutes. James
Carville was never questioned at all, by Ken Starr’s own admission.
These are just a few of the many examples of material witnesses who have
not been substantively interviewed or called before the grand jury by
the OIC.

Second, it defies imagination how the OIC could rely on the FBI to
investigate its own improper acts in Filegate, rather than using some
other, independent law enforcement or investigatory body. By the
admission of its current Director, Louis Freeh, the FBI engaged in
egregious violations of privacy without justification when it turned
over the subject FBI files to The Clinton-Gore White House. It is
therefore not difficult to figure out that the agency should not have
been charged with investigating itself. This is akin to asking the fox
to investigate his own henhouse massacre. Indeed, past experiences
concerning Waco, Ruby Ridge, Oklahoma City, and the Olympic bombing,
confirm that the agency cannot properly or objectively investigate its
own misconduct.

Indeed, the FBI’s conduct in this matter is also troubling. I am
aware that two agents of the FBI visited the home of former FBI Special
Agent Dennis Sculimbrene; shortly after it was disclosed he had recorded
a conversation with former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum linking
Hillary Clinton to the hiring of Craig Livingstone, the former bar
bouncer who was encharged, along with Anthony Marceca, with reviewing
the subject FBI files. During this visit, former Special Agent
Sculimbrene was harassed and intimidated in an attempt to silence or
discredit him. Incidentally, Mr. Livingstone’s sidekick, Mr. Marceca,
invoked the Fifth Amendment nearly 2,000 times when he testified to
Judicial Watch — hardly the conduct of someone who had engaged in an
“innocent bureaucratic snafu.” For Mr. Marceca’s “efforts,” his
testimony shows that he was rewarded with salary step increases, and
never even criticized by the Clinton-Gore Administration for his
misconduct.

Third, when Judicial Watch deposed William Kennedy, the Associate
White House Counsel who not only supervised Livingstone and Marceca, but
also reviewed the subject FBI files himself (having by the admission of
his former wife, Gail Leslie Kennedy, taken them home and loaded them
onto a computer on the kitchen table), he was asked whether he stored
the files of Republicans in his office. In response, he literally choked
– as revealed by the videotape of his testimony.

Fourth, recent revelations — based on the sworn testimony of two
Clinton-Gore White House whistleblowers — show that The White House has
suppressed over 100,000 and perhaps as many as 1,000,000 e-mails, in
addition to about 500 hard drive cartridges, which contain incriminating
evidence concerning Filegate, Travelgate, Chinagate, Lewinsky and other
Clinton scandals. I understand from Judicial Watch you have refused to
meet personally with these witnesses, much like your predecessor, Ken
Starr, who never met with Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, and other key
persons who had evidence about key aspects of the Clinton-Gore scandals.
Notwithstanding this, how can you meet with William Safire of the New
York Times
, and leak information about the results of the OIC’s
investigations — thereby creating a false impression that you have
thoroughly investigated Filegate and other matters — when your office
has not reviewed crucial evidence and met with key, material witnesses?

Finally, I am aware, from published reports in The Washington
Post
, that Attorney General Janet Reno had offered to drop her
ethics investigation of alleged improprieties in your office, if the OIC
closed its investigations. Ms. Reno’s offer was based on her professed
claim that the Justice Department would no longer have jurisdiction to
pursue an ethics investigation if your investigation(s) were closed.
See Attachment 2. The timing of your revelations to close the
OIC’s investigations is therefore quite troubling.

For all of these reasons — and this simply scratches the surface –
I am deeply concerned that you and your office have failed to duly
execute your duties as Independent Counsel. In addition, as I am
personally involved in the Filegate scandal — it has been reported that
The White House obtained my FBI and other government files (See
Attachment 3) — I demand a full explanation, before deciding what
further action is necessary. I understand that in addition to me,
neither you nor your office have been in contact with other aggrieved
parties, prior to your leaking the results of your apparent findings to
William Safire, and now forwarding your report on Filegate to the
three-judge panel.

As a private, aggrieved citizen, and a member of the House Judiciary
Committee and Government Reform Committee, I will not rest until justice
is done. Clearly, your leaked findings on Filegate and some of the
other Clinton-Gore scandals are suspect.

Thank you for the courtesy of a prompt and full response within five
(5) days.

Sincerely,

Bob Barr

cc:

The Honorable Henry Hyde

The Honorable Dan Burton

Three Judge Panel Overseeing

Independent Counsel Robert Ray

David Schippers, Esq.


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