7 April 1998

Still, independent counsel Kenneth Starr soldiers bravely on, wrapping himself in the mantle of Sgt. Joe Friday, vowing to get to the "facts" as they pertain to Whitewater, travelgate, filegate and Monica Lewinsky.

The lead editorial in Sunday's New York Times, titled "Fairness for Ken Starr" again reminded us that Starr, for all his public relations mistakes, is the man to be trusted to get to the bottom of the Clinton scandals.
His acolytes in the Washington press corps, like Nina Totenberg of NPR, who regards Starr as her "friend and colleague", can scarcely enumerate his virtues: modest, judicious, fair-minded and devout, a man of spotless integrity and matchless dedication to the rule of law.
But to others, Starr smacks more of Oliver Cromwell than Oliver Wendell Holmes. Not only have his moves had a distinctly political tinge, they may even be in violation of the rule of law.
Let us look at Starr's handling of four witnesses:

L. Jean Lewis
Roger Perry
Larry Patterson
David Hale

Thanks in large part to the assiduous efforts of Starr's pet reporters at the NYT & WaPo, Starr's efforts to protect this odd quartet have escaped critical scrutiny.
Yet persuasive evidence exists, on the public record, that all four have lied under oath for political or other self-serving motives. To expose them would be to expose Starr's clear indifference to the truth.
David Hale

Starr was appointed in response to Hale's charges that Clinton, when governor of Arkansas, "pressured" Hale to make a fraudulent $300k loan to James McDougal's wife, Susan, ostensibly for the benefit of the failing Whitewater land development.
At the bank fraud trial of Jim and Susan McDougal and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker in 1996, the president testified that he'd never had a substantive conversation with David Hale, anywhere, any time.
Jurors unanimously told reporters they hadn't believed a word Hale said against Bill & believed he lied as part of a strategy to protect himself. To understand why they came to that conclusion, it helps to know how Hale got into trouble in the first place.
As the owner-proprietor of a federally sponsored Small Business Investment Corporation, Hale embezzled some $2M+ from the government essentially by making phony loans to non-existent companies set up by him and his accountant, Robert Boyce.
Those loans would then go into default, and the cash would go into Hale's pocket. Altogether, 13 of 57 companies lent money by Hale's Capital Management Services were dummy corporations with the same address as the lending company itself.
Hale and several co-conspirators also ran a number of complex real estate scams in order to generate paper profits that the Small Business Administration matched on a 3-to-1 basis. It was an elaborate confidence game, pure but not so simple.
21 July 1993
FBI agents, tipped off by SBA investigators, raid his office.

In an attempt to extricate himself, he hired the law partner of Clinton's longtime political enemy in Arkansas, Sheffield Nelson, and began to make the claim that Clinton and Jim Guy Tucker made him do it
Faced with a Clinton-appointed US Attorney who insisted he plead guilty to a felony before she'd agree to hear his allegations, Hale said that he'd once had documentary evidence of Clinton's participation in the $300k loan, but FBI agents or federal prosecutors stripped the file
Republicans on the Senate Whitewater committee summon two AUSAs to DC. Fletcher Jackson denied seeing any such docs and doubts they ever existed. Republicans decided against calling him & colleague Brent Bumpers, son of Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-Ark) before the Whitewater committee.
And somehow Starr appears to have persuaded the official Whitewater media to ignore the story, although Hale recently repeated the purloined documents tale to Associated Press reporter Pete Yost.
"The file on the $300k loan was three to four inches thick when the FBI took it," Hale told Yost. "But when my attorney and I asked to see it a month or so later, the USA's office gave us maybe an inch of stuff."
So why no NYT or WaPo headlines reading, "Key Witness Claims FBI, Clinton-appointed Federal Prosecutors Hid Evidence in Whitewater Probe"?
Accompanied by FBI agents under Starr's control, Hale made visits to a Hot Springs, Ark., fishing camp owned by Parker Dozhier. There he met w/ & was debriefed by operatives of billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife's Arkansas Project, affiliated w/ American Spectator magazine.
Dozhier's former girlfriend Caryn Mann, her 17-year old son and two sources at the magazine charge that he made surreptitious cash payments to Hale, Starr's ace witness.
Meanwhile, Starr has stubbornly clung to Hale, portraying him as a born-again, repentant truth teller. Starr not only arranged for a reduction in Hale's prison term but also recommended that he be relieved of the burden of repaying the millions he stole.
L. Jean Lewis

During the 1992 election campaign, Lewis, a low-level investigator for the Resolution Trust Corporation in Kansas City, Mo., filed "criminal referrals" with the FBI & USA in Little Rock w/ Bill & Hillary as potential suspects in the collapse of Madison Guaranty S&L
Sworn depositions from the Senate Whitewater committee prove that the Bush White House was actively involved in attempts to force the Justice Department to take action on those referrals in time to affect the November election.
FBI agents and federal prosecutors who testified before Sen. Alfonse D'Amato's committee said that Lewis had made dramatic pronouncements to them about altering the course of history, prompting them to suspect her motives.
DoJ officials found Lewis' criminal referrals deficient. AG William Barr got nowhere in his attempts to push them through the federal bureaucracy. Little Rock USA Chuck Banks, a Reagan appointee, wrote a letter refusing to be a party to what he viewed as a political smear
In sworn testimony before both House and Senate Whitewater committees, Lewis denied making any pre-election attempts to pressure the FBI and U.S. attorney, claiming she'd had no conversations with anybody about her criminal referrals until December 1992.
FBI agents testified otherwise, and had contemporaneous records to support them. The records show, Lewis had hounded them repeatedly. Within a week of her initial Sept 1992 referral, Lewis left a taunting message for FBI Special Agent Steve Irons at his Little Rock office.
"Have I turned into a local pariah just because I wrote one referral with high-profile names, or do you intend on calling me back before Christmas, Steven?"

A few days later, she showed up in Irons' office to urge him onward.
Lewis had also made a secret, and potentially illegal, tape recording of a meeting with an RTC colleague named April Breslaw, then testified inaccurately as to the import of their conversations.
She blamed the inadvertent recording on a worn-out cassette recorder that had spontaneously activated itself without her intervention.
Confronted with inconsistencies in her testimony by Democratic counsel Richard Ben-Veniste, Lewis appeared to faint and had to be assisted from Senate chambers, never to return (a startling development not reported by either the New York Times or the Washington Post).
Investigators subsequently found evidence that Lewis had, in fact, bought a spanking new tape recorder only days before her meeting with Breslaw. They passed it and a copy of her "accidental" tape recording along to Starr's office for analysis.
Aug 1994
Starr took over as independent counsel. Lewis was also being investigated by the RTC's IG for the above infractions as well as several others, inc. leaks of confidential financial records to the press & using her govt office to sell "Presidential BITCH" T-Shirts & mugs
One of Starr's first actions as independent counsel was to assume control of that investigation. Nothing has been heard from the independent counsel's office regarding L. Jean Lewis since that day.
Roger Perry and Larry Patterson

Arkansas troopers Perry and Patterson were David Brock's key sources for his since-repudiated "Troopergate" story in the American Spectator, which alleged bizarre sexual hanky-panky on the part of then-Gov. Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Both have testified about Clinton's sex life for Starr's Whitewater grand jury, gave sworn depositions for Jones' sexual harassment case & were to be key witnesses on Jones' behalf

Both appear to have filed false affidavits in Starr's investigation of the Vincent Foster suicide
March 1995
Perry & Patterson signed a contract w/ Citizens for Honest Government, the Jerry Falwell-connected org that produced "Clinton Chronicles," an almost insanely scurrilous video since repudiated w/ less than complete frankness by Falwell himself

In exchange for a royalty of $1/video sold (reported to have sold 300k+ copies), Perry and Patterson told the following tale:

20 July 1993
Helen Dickey, a White House aide called the Arkansas governor's mansion & told Perry that Foster had committed suicide in a WH parking lot.
The call came in at 6PM CST, hours before the Secret Service notified Pres Clinton that Foster's body had been discovered across town at Fort Marcy Park.
First reported by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (London Sunday Telegraph) the accusation is the linchpin of the conspiracy theory advanced by Evans-Pritchard, Christopher Ruddy & others that Foster was murdered as part of a Whitewater cover-up & his body transported to Fort Marcy Park
It always seemed odd that the troopers "remembered" this startling fact close to 2yrs after, and had not mentioned it to Brock or any of the other reporters, who took dictation from them about the Clintons' alleged sexual improprieties only months after Foster's death.
In his otherwise detailed report refuting the various conspiracy theories of Foster's death, Starr somehow neglected to mention Perry and Patterson by name.
White House telephone records showed Dickey called the Arkansas governor's mansion a 3 hours later than Perry and Patterson contended, the independent counsel's report makes the following bland observation in a footnote:
"Precise recollections of time, if not tied to a specific event that can be documented as having occurred at an exact time, can, of course, be imprecise or inaccurate." No hint from the independent counsel that troopers Perry and Patterson may have perjured themselves for money.
Several prominent Arkansas Republicans had more extensive business dealings w/ James McDougal than the Clintons. Other local Republicans were engaged in suspect transactions w/ David Hale, who was a municipal traffic judge appointed by GOP Gov. Frank White
Not one of these Republicans have been charged by Starr, nor called to testify before the Whitewater grand jury.

Frmr Dem state chair & longtime Clinton ally Herby Branscum, a banker, was indicted by Starr on 4 felony counts a jury decided was a teller's error
The Bank of Perry County, which Branscum owns, failed to report to the Treasury the disbursement of $28,500 in cash withdrawals by Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign. The Clinton campaign itself had reported the transaction to the state election commission.
Acquitted in the only jury trial ever lost by an independent counsel, Branscum nevertheless had his life turned inside-out for months and spent a small fortune defending himself.
Starr's team sent FBI agents to interview Branscum's 16yo son at high school, Arkansas law forbids interviewing a minor child outside the presence of his parents or an attorney.
Former Arkansas Republican state Chairman Bob Leslie has admitted accepting an unsolicited $275k loan from Hale's Capital Management Services. Having no need for the money Leslie agreed to sign the cashier's check over to Hale himself, a clearly improper transaction.
At the 1996 Tucker-McDougal trial, Hale admitted that he made a second $20k non-recourse loan to Leslie as a kickback. Hale's fellow municipal traffic judge and business partner, Bill Watt, testified, under Hale's instructions, he diverted $2k of a fraudulent $10k loan to the
campaign fund of Clinton's 1986 gubernatorial opponent, former Gov. White, who had made Hale a judge. Starr apparently saw nothing wrong with this
Starr's office seemed more concerned with a former Clinton aide and University of Arkansas professor named Stephen Smith, who was threatened with felony indictments and ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for making a false statement on a loan application.
In contrast, Hale's accountant, one-time GOP legislative candidate Robert Boyce, has admitted that he knowingly accepted a $300,000 loan for a non-existent corporation for the purpose of helping Hale to embezzle $2 million in SBA funds. No charges have been filed against Boyce.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Fisher Ames

Fisher Ames Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @nimkef

13 Sep
15 Sept 2003

L. Jean Lewis, the Whitewater crank who made big national headlines once upon a time. Amazingly, she has been appointed to an important executive position in the Defense Department.

The Bush admin has rewarded various Clinton pursuers from Starr's staff w/ federal patronage. (Brett Kavanaugh and John Bates, two principal authors of the Starr Report, were among the most fortunate. It was all part of what Bush spinners used to call "changing the tone.")
But Lewis is very special. Anyone who remembers the dramatic performances she gave before the House and Senate committees probing Whitewater will have to wonder how anyone in Washington would dare offer her a responsible position.
Read 14 tweets
12 Sep
21 June 1994

Somewhere safe, Laura Jean Lewis keeps her most valuable, and perhaps most volatile, possession. It is an audio cassette tape, a recording so important, so politically charged, that she is known to have played it for only one person.

The tape is supposedly a recording of a private conversation between Lewis & April Breslaw, a senior govt attorney who denies the convo ever took place, is like everything else about Jean Lewis and her critical role in the Whitewater scandal: It remains shrouded in intrigue.
L. Jean Lewis is emerging as Whitewater's mystery woman. Lewis will tell her story on Capitol Hill, allegations of check kiting and other questionable dealings between Clinton's and their Arkansas business partner, and a possible cover-up within the Clinton Administration.
Read 45 tweets
12 Sep
22 Mar 2002

The Real Whitewater Shocker

The independent counsel's report concedes there was no Clinton scandal, but details another one -- the role the first Bush administration played.

While the aim of the report was clearly to defend the integrity of the investigation that produced it, tucked away toward the end is information that points to an opposite conclusion.
Starr & Ray investigation critics have long held the Whitewater probe was partisan from the start, born in dirty tricks and manipulation that began with the first Bush administration. Now the OIC itself is presenting facts that substantiate those claims.

Read 29 tweets
12 Sep
3 Sept 2005

The Pentagon’s top investigator has resigned amid accusations that he stonewalled inquiries into senior Bush administration officials suspected of wrongdoing.

Defense Department Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz told staffers this week that he intended to resign as of Sept. 9 to take a job with the parent company of Blackwater USA, a defense contractor.
The resignation comes after Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) sent Schmitz several letters this summer informing him that he was the focus of a congressional inquiry into whether he had blocked two criminal investigations in 2004.
Read 22 tweets
11 Sep
Who were the Executives at ExecutiveAction?

Neil C. Livingstone Chairman and CEO

K. Barry Schochet General Counsel

William Suffa Consultant to the Firm

Cynthia Tsai Executive Vice President, Business Development

Gary Stubblefield Executive Vice President, Risk Management

Sun Kim Executive Vice President, East Asia and the Pacific

Derrick Mayes CEO and Director of ExecutiveAction Sports and Entertainment
I've covered Neil Livingstone a fair bit but here's his ExecutiveAction bio

Read 34 tweets
11 Sep
30 March 2005

Attorney and entrepreneur K. Barry Schochet is new to Aspen but no stranger to the controversy surrounding W. Mark Felt, the former No. 2 man at the FBI who went public this week as "Deep Throat," Woodward & Bernstein's Watergate source

At 25, Schochet was hired to be a Dem staff attorney for Select Senate Cmte on Pres. Campaign Activities, assigned to Sen. Herman Tallmadge. Schochet, an alumnus of UNC & Emory Law, admired Sen. Sam Ervin, the Democrat from South Carolina who chaired the Watergate committee.
As a staff attorney, he was in the midst of the investigation of the break-in by burglars linked to the CIA and the White House - and 1972 campaign finance irregularities connected to President Richard M. Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President, CREEP.
Read 38 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!