By Frank Salvato
This article is adapted from a popular social media post afforded by Kaye Ellen Rish, with permission.
In the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Committee testimony, it is prudent – especially with a generation of voters having no direct memories of Bill Clinton’s presidency – to recall Mrs. Clinton’s time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Truth be told, when her “public service” is put into context, one has to wonder how anyone could support her for the highest office in the land.
It is of importance to note; before we get into the incredible events and decisions Hillary Clinton was charged with during her husband’s administration, that she once served as a staffer on the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment team that investigated Watergate. Her former boss, Jerry Zeifman, a Democrat who served as counsel and chief of staff for the House Judiciary Committee, said of Mrs. Clinton, “[She]…engaged in a variety of self-serving, unethical practices in violation of House rules.” Additionally, her office space partner at the time, John Labovitz, is quoted as saying to Zeifman that he was dismayed with, “…her erroneous legal opinions and efforts to deny Nixon representation by counsel…” Mrs. Clinton’s termination from this role has been rumored to have centered on this unethical and criminal behavior, but the fact are murky, as with everything Clinton. What we do know is that Zeifman said, “Let me put it this way: I terminated her…and advised her that I would not – could not – recommend her for any further positions.”
When Bill Clinton first became President, he charged Hillary with assuming authority over advancing a healthcare reform initiative. This initiative son became widely referred to as HillaryCare. But even after threats, arm-twisting and intimidation, she couldn’t achieve a vote for the measure, and in a Democrat controlled Congress. This fiasco resulted in a cost to the American taxpayers of approximately $13 million for studies, promotion, and other efforts.
Then President Clinton gave Hillary authority over selecting a female Attorney General. Mrs. Clinton’s first two selections were Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood. Both of Mrs. Clinton’s nominations for the post were forced to withdraw their names from consideration. Baird was entangled in Nannygate, where it was discovered that she and her husband employed illegal immigrants from Peru as house workers and chauffeurs and failing to withhold Social Security taxes for their workers. Wood withdrew her name in the aftermath of Nannygate because she, too, had employed an undocumented worker, although she had withheld the required taxes in doing so.
Next Mrs. Clinton advanced the nomination of Janet Reno. President Bill Clinton would later recall that Reno was the “worst mistake” of his presidency. Some may not recall that Reno made the decision to attack the compound of David Koresh and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas, resulting in dozens of deaths of women and children. So, too, she presided over the forced extraction of Elián González to Cuba.
President Clinton then tasked Hillary to make recommendations for seating a new head for the Civil Rights Commission. Her choice was Lani Guanier, a civil rights activist, Harvard law professor and racial ideologist. When Guanier’s radical racial ideology started to emerge, many of the Clinton’s supporters in the world of politick started to get cold feet about her nomination. Racial politics was not in play as it is under the Obama Administration. And when that opposition grew to include Democrat stalwarts like Edward Kennedy and Joe Biden, Guanier’s name had to be withdrawn from consideration.
Apparently a slow learner, or a husband fearful of his spouse’s reprisals, President Clinton again allowed Hillary to make more recommendations.
At the President’s direction, Hillary chose former law partners Web Hubbell for the post of US Associate Attorney General at the Justice Department, and Vince Foster for the position of Deputy White House Counsel. Her selections went well. Hubbell went to prison for his part in the Whitewater Scandal that, oddly enough, existed all around Hillary Clinton but never “touched” her. Hubbel plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax fraud in connection with his legal billing at the Rose Law Firm. On June 28, 1995, he was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment. Foster, also a partner at the Rose Law Firm, presumably committed suicide due to a bout with severe depression. It was widely known that he was incredibly unhappy with the politics he was required to perform for the Clintons.
Many of today’s younger votes have no knowledge of any of these goings on. They have no memory of how the news media ran interference for the Clintons at every turn and how most of the scandals laid at the feet of Bill Clinton had a genesis in Hillary Clinton. Travelgate was another of these issues but this one was laid at Hillary’s own feet.
“[T]he incoming Clinton administration had heard reports of irregularities in the Travel Office and possible kickbacks to an office employee from a charter air company. They looked at a review by KPMG Peat Marwick which discovered that Dale kept an off-book ledger, had $18,000 of unaccounted-for checks, and kept chaotic office records. White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty and the White House Counsels thus decided to fire the Travel Office staff and reorganize it.”
In actuality, Hillary was found to have wanted to award unfettered travel contracts to Clinton family friend and Hollywood producer Harry Thomason – husband of Linda Bloodworth Thomason (also a Hollywood producer) – who had established the TRM travel company. The Clintons had been TRM’s only client, utilizing their service during the presidential campaign; the principles having had ties to the Clintons all the way back to Arkansas. When White House Travel Office staff refused to comply with Hillary’s request, the President (read: Hillary) pressured President Clinton’s Chief of Staff Matt McLarty, into firing the entirety of the Travel Office staff. She then managed to have an FBI investigation launched into the record keeping of that office. Suspiciously, the records were in such disarray that no definitive conclusion arrived. The termination of the Travel Office staff ruined their reputations, cost them their jobs, and caused a thirty-six month investigation. Only one employee, Billy Dale was charged with a crime, and that of mixing personal and White House funds. A jury acquitted him of any crime in less than two hours.
Still not convinced that her actions were always based in political opportunity and the personal enrichment for her friends – or henpecked into appeasement, President Clinton enlisted Hillary to recommend another Clinton Family friend, Craig Livingstone, for the position of Director of White House Security. Livingstone was the central figure in Filegate, where he was discovered to have illegally accessed approximately 900 FBI background reports concerning White House employees from previous Republican administrations, including top presidential advisors, and what has now come to be known as the Clinton enemies list. It is said that in the aftermath of this scandal the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office.
When myriad women started coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual acts perpetrated at the hands of Bill Clinton – both during his time as Governor of Arkansas and as President of the United States, Hillary was tasked to take the leading in responding to the “#$%$ eruption,” coordinating the Clintons official defense to the scandal. Some of her more notable decisions in the matter:
- She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit. After the Starr investigation they settled with Ms. Jones;
- She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor, resulting in over $80 million dollars of taxpayer being spent on the investigation;
- Her resistance to Starr’s investigation led to Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs.
Hillary’s politically-based and disingenuous game plan resulted in President Clinton losing his license to practice law for perjuring himself; for “lying under oath” to a grand jury, and to his subsequent and successful impeachment by the House of Representatives. And just as during her appearances before the House Committee tasked with investigating the assassination of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his security contingent in Benghazi – at least for the most part, Hillary avoided culpability and charges of perjury and obstruction of justice during the Starr investigation by deflecting; by repeating, “I do not recall,” “I have no recollection,” and “I don’t know” a total of 56 times while under oath.
In addition to Mrs. Clintons actions while a resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, after leaving the White House, Hillary was forced to return an estimated $200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork that she had stolen.
Now Mrs. Clinton’s actions advance to the level of criminality in the destruction of government property (emails destroyed while Secretary of State), the illegal mishandling of classified and top secret information (emails disseminated via unsecured and personal email accounts and servers while Secretary of State) and the “pay to play” schemes that Mrs. Clinton hatched for the Clinton Foundation that were facilitated through her position as Secretary of State. Is it any wonder the American people have placed zero trust in this woman; in this family; in this circle of political operatives? We have no idea what shoe will fall next! But, thanks to her sycophantic followers, existing indifferent to political corruption in government, we are presented with the question this election cycle: “What difference does it make?”
The walk-away from all of this is that we – we the American people: Conservative and Liberal; Republican and Democrat – know Mrs. Clinton is dishonest, self-promoting, power-hungry, politically opportune and untrustworthy. The only question that remains is this. Are Progressives that indifferent to honesty and truth; that loathsome of a government that serves the people rather than politicians, that they would continue to support such a dishonest and nefarious person? We will find out in November of 2016.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, The Jewish World Review, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, Townhall.com and are syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is the author of six books examining Islamofascism and Progressivism, including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. Mr. Salvato’s personal writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com.