Yesterday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by David Kendall, the Clintons’ lawyer, in which he claimed that, although Hillary Clinton was nearly prosecuted in the 1990s, “as a matter of legal and factual analysis” this was “Never. . .a. . .close. . .call. . .at. . .all.” (Obnoxious ellipses in original). Kendall makes this assertion as “one who observed [the 1990s] investigation at every step.”
Kendall observed the investigation as the mouthpiece for the Clintons. His op-ed amounts to the shocking assertion that his client was clearly innocent.
His op-ed is also an exercise in deceit. Let’s start with the fact that Kendall hides the ball as to the conduct for which Clinton nearly was prosecuted. He confines his discussion to the Whitewater venture, “a failed $203,000 Arkansas land deal in which the Clintons were passive investors.”
But Hillary was nearly prosecuted in connection with the theft of documents related to a different deal called Castle Grande. I discussed the facts of that deal here.
In short, Hillary Clinton, Vince Foster, and Webb Hubbell stole billing records from their law firm in order to cover up Hillary’s involvement as an attorney in a crooked deal. At the time her husband, a candidate for the presidency, was railing against the “corruption” and “greed” of the 1980s as manifested by savings and loan scandals. A New York Times reporter was poking around in Little Rock trying to document Hillary’s involvement with corrupt S&Ls.
The involvement was evident from her firm’s billing records. They showed that Clinton billed time for work on Castle Grande, and was the billing partner for this representation. More than that, they showed that she and/or Hubbell performed legal services on every day in which federal prosecutors found that the folks behind the Castle Grande scam committed an act in furtherance of their unlawful conspiracy e.g., backdating documents and making phony loans.
But the embarrassing records disappeared. The electronic version was erased. FBI investigators were unable to reconstruct them. Sound familiar?
Years later, hard copies were found by a White House staffer in the private quarters of the first family, right outside Hillary Clinton’s private office. This occurred two years after the records had been subpoenaed, but not produced. Hillary’s fingerprints were on them.
Therein lies the crime for which Hillary nearly was prosecuted. Naturally, Kendall would rather not discuss it.
Kendall’s op-ed also belittles the “Whitewater” prosecutors, saying that they lost three of the four cases they took to trial. Kendall declines to note that many of those charged by the prosecutors pleaded guilty. Thus, Kendall misleads the Post’s readers when he argues that the prosecutors’ track record renders unpersuasive their assessments of “prosecutorial success.”
Webb Hubbell, a top official in the Clinton Justice Department, was one of those who pleaded guilty. The circumstances surrounding that plea are instructive. Hillary Clinton was slated to be called as a witness at Hubbell’s trial. On June 3, 1999, Kendall met with lawyers from the special counsel’s office to try to persuade them that the charges had nothing to do with Hillary. The prosecutors rejected this absurd claim.
The very next morning, Hubbell’s lawyer informed the special counsel that he would plead guilty.
David Kendall is a brilliant lawyer. If you’re in trouble for stealing, destroying, or mishandling documents, he’s your guy. His team will even delete documents for you “in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.”
But don’t look to Kendall for honest op-ed writing.