Accuracy in Media

    Right after the New York Times advised the voters in New York to elect Hillary Clinton to the Senate, William Safire, the paper’s lone conservative columnist, wrote a searing column about the first lady exposing her as “a habitual prevaricator.” This was inspired by the release of Independent Counsel Robert Ray’s report on the Travelgate scandal. We commented on this last June when Ray submitted the report the judicial panel that appointed him and disclosed its findings.

    Hillary Clinton had said under oath that she played no role in the decision to fire the White House Travel Office staff. Safire in his column posed four basic questions: Was her testimony that she played no role in the firings false? Did she pressure White House aides into starting an FBI investigation of the Travel Office staff? Did this result in the Justice Department bringing criminal charges against people found to be innocent? Did she and her minions impede and increase the cost of the investigation of her involvement?

    Safire said the answer to each of those questions is yes.

    Travelgate involved the firing of seven career White House employees with unblemished reputations. They were all indicted for embezzlement, but not one was convicted. The Justice Department subjected Billy Dale, the head of the office, to a trial even though its case was so weak that it took the jury less than half an hour to find him not guilty. The IRS then audited him, but it found nothing wrong. Thanks to Hillary Clinton, Billy Dale’s family suffered three years of torment and incurred a crushing financial burden.

    Robert Ray’s report says that there is overwhelming evidence that Hillary Clinton played a role in firing Billy Dale and his staff and that her sworn statement to the contrary was false. That means that she committed perjury, a crime for which many people have been sentenced to prison. The House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight report on Travelgate said, “A recurring question arises…whether the First Lady is above the law.” Robert Ray has answered that question. Despite Hillary’s blatant lies, he sought no indictment because he didn’t think he would be able to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that she had committed perjury. He even said she was entitled to a presumption of innocence because she had not been convicted.

    Billy Dale, who was prosecuted even thought there was no evidence that he had committed any crime, has commented, “Everyone, especially Robert Ray, knows Hillary Clinton lied under oath…. (He) would not prosecute her simply because of a fear of what a Washington, D.C. jury might do.”

    Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz could not get a predominantly black jury in Washington to convict Mike Espy, the former secretary of agriculture, of accepting bribes, but having convicted whites of giving Espy bribes, it would have been racist not to try Espy, who is black. There was far more reason to insist that Hillary Clinton stand trial. But instead of making that point, the editors of the New York Times recommend sending her to the United States Senate.

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