In Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Purloined Letter,” the document is found where no one thought to look, “full in the view of every visitor,” right before their eyes. As Janet Reno’s agents burrow bravely through the history of the Pendleton Act to see if White House phone solicitations are illegal, the real Clinton scandal is staring them right in the face. In the latest batch of videos released by the White House is one from a May 21, 1996, lunch. In it, Bill Clinton’s explains what all the money contributed by the heavy hitters and high rollers went to buy:
“Many of you have given very generously, and thank you for that. The fact that we’ve been able to finance this long-running constant television campaign … where we’re able to frame the issues … has been central to the position I now enjoy in the polls.”
Clinton goes on to say that the Democratic National Committee television ads helped him to “sustain an unbroken lead for five and a half months.”
There is the purloined letter, the smoking gun. The president is boasting that the scores of millions of dollars he and Al Gore raised in $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 packets for the party were diverted to pump up his own polls. Thus, “soft money” was illegally used for the purpose of advancing candidates Clinton and Gore.
Ask the right question, and you will get the right answer. The questions Reno should be asking her torpid task force are:
Was there a White House conspiracy hatched by Harold Ickes and Dick Morris, colluded in by Messrs. Clinton and Gore, to evade federal election laws and spending limits by raising $100 million in soft money — and using it to advance their re-election? Was there a “rogue campaign,” run from within the White House, to prostitute the presidency to buy the re-election of Clinton and Gore? Was the presidential election of 1996 won through a White House conspiracy to break the law and break the rules?
The following acts, already proven, need to be seen as pieces of a puzzle, which, fitted together, give a full and rich picture of the Morris-Ickes plot to keep the White House at all cost.
* Illegal phone solicitations by Bill Clinton and Al Gore out of federal offices — with lists provided by Ickes & Co.
* Illegal fund-raisers held right in White House offices.
* Tens of millions of dollars for DNC “party-building” TV ads illegally converted into Clinton-building and Dole-bashing ads — with the president’s personal sign-off on virtually every ad.
* The selling of the president’s schedule at $25,000 per hour in violation of the statutes for bribery (a solicitation of money in exchange for something of value). One Democrat fund-raiser was told to tell businessmen $25,000 was the cover charge to see the president. If it is acceptable to conduct 102 White House coffees, with $25,000 per person as the admission price, on what grounds does Reno investigate Hazel O’Leary, who allegedly asked for $25,000 for her favorite charity for one hour of her time?
* The rental of White House bedrooms including the Lincoln Bedroom for $100,000 a night. Control of who slept there went to Marv Rosen of the DNC. That overnights at the White House or an hour with the president represents the sale of “something of value” under the bribery laws is evident in the fact that Roger Tamraz was willing to pay $300,000 for a single hour with the president.
* An illegal fund-raiser at a Buddhist “temple” featuring Al Gore, where foreign money was laundered in a scheme known to the DNC and Gore aides — after which documents were shredded.
* Millions in illegal foreign money funneled into the DNC by friends and agents of Bill Clinton: John Huang, Paula Kanchanalak, James Riady, Charlie Trie, Johnny Chung, etc., some of whom have taken the Fifth Amendment, most of whom are fugitives. The latest Clinton tapes look like re-runs of “America’s Most Wanted”; even the “disappeared” Indonesian yard man makes a cameo appearance. Is it conceivable these Friends of Bill pumped foreign money into the party for his re-election without his knowledge or against his wishes? Is it conceivable the Asian givers got nothing in return?
The evidence screams for an independent counsel.
Among illegal actions the president and vice president appear not to have been aware of are the illegal contributions swap between the Teamsters and the DNC and DNC transfers of money to state parties to get around federal spending limits. Upon far less grounds of wrongdoing, the Teamsters election was overturned. Yet Reno is unable to see grounds even to seek an independent counsel for the president.
The comedy no longer amuses; time for Janet Clouseau to go.