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White House killed 'Project X' story?
Posted By Paul Sperry On 03/14/2000 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
WASHINGTON — CNN and ABC News have canceled plans to air interviews
with a veteran White House computer manager who says that first lady
Hillary Clinton’s office was behind a scheme to hide more than a million
e-mail messages from investigators, a source says.
Sheryl Hall, a career federal worker who ran the White House’s
computer and phone systems from 1992 to 1999, taped interviews with both
networks after making the explosive charges in court documents filed
After taping the segments about three weeks ago, “she still hasn’t
been on TV,” said a source close to Hall.
“She was assuming it would have aired by now and, when she got a
follow-up phone call from someone (at one of the networks), she asked
when it would be (aired),” said the source. “They said it (the story)
was being quashed.”
Apparently both interviews are “being suppressed,” said the source,
who wished to remain anonymous. “Why have none of her interviews been
The Hall confidant suspects White House pressure.
Before the last election, the White House leaned on network producers to
cancel a scheduled interview with former White House FBI agent Gary
Aldrich, who charged, among other things, that the White House was
hiring drug users over his and another agents’ vetoes.
Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos reportedly later boasted of having
had the story “killed.” Stephanopoulos now works for ABC News as a
political commentator and occasional correspondent.
Also, CNN news division chief Rick Kaplan is a close friend of the
first lady and plays golf with the president. State Department spokesman Jamie
Rubin, moreover, is married to CNN foreign correspondent Christianne
Attempts to reach the networks for comment were unsuccessful. Calls
to the White House were not returned.
In U.S. District Court affidavits, Hall swears that the White House
obstructed justice by covering up the fact that mainframe computers
missed collecting e-mail messages coming into one White House server
over a 27-month period between 1996 and 1998. By law, such documents
must be archived in a way that can be searched to respond to subpoenas
or Freedom of Information Act requests.
The e-mails were sent to nearly 500 members of the executive office
of the president, including both Clintons and their top aides. Hall, 50,
says that many of the missing e-mails pertained to subpoenas issued in
the Filegate, Chinagate and Monica Lewinsky perjury and obstruction
cases under investigation by federal grand juries and three
Former White House computer contractors have corroborated Hall’s
charges in sworn depositions.
Hall also charges that the first lady’s office knew about the e-mail
snafu, referring to it as “Project X,” yet failed to do anything to fix
the problem to comply with the subpoenas.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth last week ordered the White House
to find the missing e-mails, setting a two-week deadline. He also
ordered records-management officials there to turn over back-up tapes of
computer hard drives used by Clinton aides who have left.
Lamberth is hearing several public-corruption lawsuits brought
against the Clinton administration by Judicial Watch, a public-interest
law firm in Washington. Hall is a Judicial Watch client.
It looks like TV news isn’t the only one backing off Hall’s
compelling story, WorldNetDaily has learned.
Independent Counsel Bob Ray, who took over for Kenneth Starr, has yet
to contact Hall to get her story. Though some of his prosecutors met
with Judicial Watch about two weeks ago, they haven’t followed up.
“Mr. Ray isn’t interested in meeting with Ms. Hall, it looks like,”
said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Ray’s office wouldn’t talk about its plans, saying only that it’s
“aware of the e-mail allegations and is taking appropriate steps with
regard to” them.
Some 5,000 or more e-mails are tied to Lewinsky. If the White House
tried to hide them from Starr, it’s relevant to his obstruction case.
Is the case still open? Ray’s spokeswoman Neille Russell suggested
that it is.
“We sent findings to the House Judiciary Committee, (but) no final
report has gone to the special division on that,” Russell told
WorldNetDaily, referring to 1998′s House impeachment hearings.
Regarding the Filegate probe, Ray is set to file his findings with
the special three-judge panel that oversees his office. Published news
accounts say the final report is expected to conclude that the Clinton
White House’s stockpiling of more than 900 FBI dossiers on former GOP
White House staffers was merely a low-level bureaucratic snafu, and
Fitton is puzzled that Ray’s office wouldn’t hold off on filing the
report until it sifts through the missing White House e-mail, which Hall
claims includes references to Filegate.
“I mean, what’s going on here?” Fitton said in an interview.
Hall says the e-mails also include messages about the 1996
Clinton-Gore fund-raising scandal. Attorney General Janet Reno is in
charge of that probe.
Yet Reno’s task force hasn’t asked Hall about the missing e-mails,
either. Nor has it quizzed the White House computer contractors from
Northrop Grumman who first discovered the gap — and were threatened by
White House officials to keep quiet about it. One said she was told she
would be “jailed” if she told her boss about it.
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