As I write in my autobiography, “Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment,” after 17 years of legal practice, where I saw and came to experience the rapid decline of ethics and a respect for the law in the legal profession and in government, I founded Judicial Watch in July 1994, almost 18 years ago to this day.
In the first few years of Judicial Watch, I used my own money to finance its lawsuits and other activities to investigate and prosecute government corruption and abuse, as I had just settled a big private case and had the resources to take time away from my private legal practice to do what was really in my heart, try to play my small part in restoring the nation to greatness.
The first case I brought was against then-President Bill Clinton’s so-called legal defense fund, where he laundered money from Communist China to pay his legal fees in the burgeoning scandal over Whitewater, a scam run by his wife, Hillary, to defraud real estate investors in Arkansas. Later, the Clintons would receive millions of dollars in Chinese cash to wage legal defenses against a myriad of other scandals that engulfed them during their administration – scandals ranging from Filegate, to Travelgate, to Paula Jones and Lewinsky and, yes, Chinagate, which I was instrumental in uncovering during my years at Judicial Watch. In this regard, I am the only lawyer ever to have a court rule that an American president committed a crime. This ruling was made by Judge Royce C. Lamberth in the famous Filegate case, which I had filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.
Along these lines, on the back cover of my book “Whores” are quotes from persons in the media and elsewhere who know me best and have followed my work as a public advocate. Here is what they said:
“Larry Klayman is my hero because he has the integrity – enough to prevent him from blind loyalty to party or ideology. … That’s because he is fearless and relentless in the pursuit of justice. … There were other men like Larry early in American history. Their names were Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Henry.” Joseph Farah, WND.com
“Larry Klayman is a prickly troublemaker uncongenial to party and ideological establishment.” The late Robert Novak, columnist
“… through the challenge of secrecy rules, Larry Klayman has become a force in Washington.” Louis Jacobson, National Journal
“…. Nobody ever accused Larry Klayman of thinking small, but his latest suit may be outsized by even his standards. The former head of of conservative watchdog Judicial Watch who now runs Freedom Watch has filed a $10 trillion class action against Iran at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.” The National Law Journal
“That Time magazine has yet to name Larry Klayman ‘Man of the Year’ is a failure of Time, not Klayman’s. The work he and Judicial Watch did on the Brown (Chinagate) case is stunning.” Jack Cashill, author of “Ron Brown’s Body”
I am not writing this column to “toot my own horn.” That’s not my nature. I don’t even have college or law school diplomas, much less photos of my shaking hands with so-called famous people, on my office walls. As the rich parents of Batman put it to their establishment-born son, Bruce Wayne, in the latest Dark Night film, “It’s not who you are but what you do.” This is how I live my life, and the only one who I feel that I have to revere and answer to is the Lord. I am his servant, and little else matters – in my professional life, in particular.
But I felt that I needed to come forward today and correct the misleading impression that is being put forth in a new book titled “Corruption Chronicles.” In this book, which was just released, Tom Fitton, who I had hired at Judicial Watch and is now its head – my having left in late 2003 to run for the U.S. Senate in Florida – claims credit for the successes I achieved while I was chairman and general counsel. The first 67 pages of “Corruption Chronicles” – whose red, black and white cover is confusingly similar to my prior book, “Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment” – chronicles my achievements at Judicial Watch but appears to attribute them to Fitton himself, who is not a lawyer and never appeared in court to advocate any case.
I have had many differences with Tom Fitton since I left Judicial Watch, but I never could have imaged that he would write me out of Judicial Watch’s history. (Indeed, my name appears nowhere in the book, even in the index.) If for no reason, he should have done so to tell the truth to readers about the organization, which, during my tenure, rose to become the conservative movement’s only and premier nonpartisan ethics and anti-government-corruption advocate. Our moniker was that “no one is above the law,” and I also hold fast to this mission today as the chairman and general counsel of Freedom Watch.
I have learned that “Corruption Chronicles” was principally ghost written, but this does not mean that Fitton has any excuses for having put forth a “Fractured Fairy Tale” – ala the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” show of our youth – of its history, however much he wants trade off of and profit from my past accomplishments.
So for this reason, I wanted to use this column today to set the record straight. The furtherance of truth and honesty in the legal profession and government was the reason I founded Judicial Watch, and this ethical and moral concept should also apply to the baby I conceived of and birthed in July 1994 and of which I remain proud to this day.