Accuracy in Media

Hillary Clinton’s book is titled “Living History,” but a quick scan suggests that “Hillary’s Lies” would be more appropriate. For example, Hillary was deeply involved in the abrupt dismissal of the entire staff of the White House travel office in May 1993. She says in her book she was stuck with the consequences of an off-hand comment she had made about mismanagement and waste in the travel office. She says that after an audit found the records “were in shambles” Mack McLarty and the Counsel’s office decided to fire the staff.

Billy Dale, the veteran head of the office, says there was a review, not an audit. He said he was unable to find some of the records Peat Marwick accountants sought because Catherine Cornelius, who was said to be a relative of Bill Clinton’s, had been installed in the office for several weeks and had taken some of the records home. Hillary doesn’t mention that they planned to have her take charge of the operation with the expectation that she would steer the travel business to a firm in which their close friend Harry Thomasson had an interest.

David Watkins, the assistant to the president for management and administration, was slow to execute Hillary’s wishes. In a memo for the record, Watkins said he told Mack McLarty that “Hillary had conveyed in clear terms her desire for swift and clear action to resolve the situation.” The memo says, “We both knew there would be hell to pay if…we failed to take swift and decisive action in conformity with the First Lady’s wishes.” The travel office staff was promptly fired and removed from the White House grounds.

Bill Kennedy, one of Hillary’s Rose Law Firm partners who was on the staff of the White House counsel, asked the FBI to investigate Billy Dale to find evidence of embezzlement. They found none, but Dale and his family suffered immensely thanks to the FBI and the IRS. Neither agency came up with any evidence that Dale had embezzled or had taxable income that he failed to report.

Hillary says the Justice Department found enough evidence to indict and try Dale for embezzlement. Dale, confronted with legal bills that he could not afford, offered to plead guilty and accept a light sentence, but he said that he would not give up all that he had worked for. He said he would go to jail for three months, but he would not admit stealing any money. He was willing to make that plea in court, but he said he would go out on the courthouse steps and tell the press that he said that to save his home for his family.

His lawyer told him that would only get him more jail time. His plea bargain was offered to the Justice Department, but it was rejected and the case went to trial. With the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing and with Dennis Sculimbrene, an FBI agent who had been assigned to the White House testifying for him, it took the jury only twenty minutes to find Billy Dale not guilty. Independent Counsel Robert Ray questioned Hillary about her role in this case. He reported that her testimony was “factually false,” but he declined to prosecute her because, he said, there was insufficient evidence to get any jury to convict her.

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