Open war has broken out between Clinton and the Justice Department and Congress and the FBI over grave issues of national security and the rule of law. It has reached the point where President Clinton has openly attacked the motives and actions of the FBI after four of its agents assigned to the campaign finance task force went before a Senate committee to tell about how their efforts to investigate illegal foreign contributions were thwarted by the Justice Department.
This led President Clinton to tell Investor?s Business Daily newspaper that “The FBI wants you to write about that rather than write about Waco.” The paper described the president as visibly angry and said this was the first time he has criticized the bureau publicly. This is clearly an effort by the White House and the Justice Department to undermine the credibility of the FBI on the Waco and campaign finance probes.
While it is taking place in public, few people know about it because it has been largely ignored by the establishment media. Except for the Washington Times and Fox News, the story has gotten virtually no coverage. The Washington Post finally decided this was a newsworthy story a week after it first broke, but it sheepishly put it on the inside pages of the paper.
Four FBI agents testified before a hearing chaired by Senator Fred Thompson, a Republican from Tennessee, called to look into the Justice Department?s investigation of Charlie Trie. Trie, a long-time Friend of Bill with known ties to the Chinese mafia and government, pleaded guilty in May to violating campaign-finance laws. The Democratic National Committee and Clinton?s legal defense fund had to return more than a million dollars delivered by Trie. He got off with probation and no jail time.
The FBI agents described how Laura Ingersoll, the Justice Department?s public integrity section lawyer heading the investigation, kept them from executing search warrants to stop the destruction of important evidence in the case against Charlie Trie. The evidence included boxes of documents that were removed from Trie?s office and many shredded documents found in a search of his trash. According to the testimony of one of the agents, Daniel Wehr, Ingersoll told them that they should “not pursue any matter related to solicitation of funds for access to the president,” because, she added, “That?s the way the American political process works.”
During the same month, after years of denial, FBI agents revealed for the first time that they had in fact used incendiary devices on the day the Branch Davidian compound burned at Waco. Attorney General Reno, in an unprecedented act, sent U.S. marshals to the FBI to confiscate evidence. In addition, an FBI counter-terrorism official contradicted the White House assertion that the sixteen Puerto Rican terrorists offered clemency by President Clinton are nonviolent criminals and victims of guilt by association. The issue of responsibility for the failure to act in response to warnings of Chinese espionage at Los Alamos is yet another issue over which the FBI and Justice department are openly at war.