Skip to comments.Ray Admits There Was Evidence to Prosecute Clinton
Posted on 03/06/2002 12:16:47 PM PST by Tumbleweed_Connection
WASHINGTON Independent counsel Robert Ray released his final report on Bill Clintons perjury scandal Wednesday and said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Clinton. The independent counsel cut a deal with Clinton in January after deciding not to prosecute.
Ray's report, released with the permission of the three-judge panel that appointed him, recounts much of the facts in the investigation into Clintons Monica Lewinsky scandal.
In a section on the conclusions reached in the investigation, Ray tries to convey what he sees are the larger implications of Clinton's scandals.
"In the search for meaning from this episode in American history," Ray said in his final Lewinsky report, "two observations of former Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski have special resonance: 'From Watergate we have learned what generations before us have known: Our Constitution works.' And as Jaworski said, we have reaffirmed the principle and the spirit of the law that 'no one is above the law.'
"A generation later, let it be said here."
Ray's office issued a statement along with the report.
"In the independent counsel's judgment, there was sufficient evidence to prosecute President Clinton for violating federal criminal laws within this office's jurisdiction," the statement said. "Nonetheless, the independent counsel concluded, consistent with the Principles of Federal Prosecution, that further proceedings against President Clinton for his conduct should not be initiated."
Clintons Sweet Deal
By agreeing in January to publicly admit he gave "misleading and evasive" testimony in the Paula Jones case about his sexual relationship with Lewinsky, a former White House intern, and agreeing to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license, Clinton avoided what might have been years in court, and millions more dollars added to his multimillion-dollar legal expenses.
Clinton also agreed not to seek reimbursement of attorneys' fees, something that only a special three-judge panel could have granted in an independent counsel's probe.
That panel gave Ray permission to release the final Lewinsky report Wednesday.
By agreeing to drop any possible prosecution against the president, Ray avoided what might have been years in court on a case that Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he couldn't win.
In defending Ray's decision not to seek prosecution, his office said Wednesday that judgment was supported by:
"(1) President Clinton's admission of providing false testimony that was knowingly misleading, evasive, and prejudicial to the administration of justice before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas;
"(2) his acknowledgement that his conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Arkansas Supreme Court;
"(3) the five-year suspension of his license to practice law and $25,000 fine imposed on him by the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Arkansas;
"(4) the civil contempt penalty of more than $90,000 imposed on President Clinton by the federal court for violating its orders; "(5) the payment of more than $850,000 in settlement to Paula Jones;
"(6) the express finding by the federal court that President Clinton had engaged in contemptuous conduct; and
"(7) the substantial public condemnation of President Clinton arising from his impeachment."
The office statement complained about its treatment by Clinton and others.
"Over the course of this investigation, this office faced numerous challenges to its professional integrity and the lawful exercise of its authority," the statement said. "These allegations of professional and other misconduct and the claims of a right to withhold evidence ultimately were rejected. These allegations and other tactics had a substantial impact on the prompt completion of this office's work, delaying in some cases for months access to available evidence.
"Responding to these allegations and claims also increased substantially the expense of this investigation" - the taxpayers final tab for the probe of Clintons misconduct will be $70 million, the office said in a footnote - "but it was essential to do so in order for the independent counsel to fulfill the mandates sought by the attorney general and conferred by the Special Division (the three judges panel)."
Be Careful What You Wish For
In 1994, Clinton and then-Attorney General Janet Reno pushed hard for congressional re-enactment of the Independent Counsel Act, over the opposition of Republicans led by then-Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan.
Clinton and Reno said they were convinced an independent counsel would clear him quickly of any impropriety in an Arkansas land deal popularly known as "Whitewater," and do so in a manner that had credibility.
Instead, the independent counsel's probe stretched on for six years on a variety of matters.
In Wednesday's statement, Ray's office said a final report on Clinton's Arkansas business dealings was filed with the three-judge panel, but that remains under seal.
However, Ray issued his preliminary findings in September 2000, saying there was not enough evidence to accuse the president and Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in the Whitewater matter.
Because we now want to teach the important lesson that if you are powerful and well-connected, you are above the law. What a great lesson.
I have trouble seeing how this reaffirms the principle that "no one is above the law".
The guy sounds like he is trying to imitate one of Clinton's Kennedyesque Speeches...............
"NOW LET US GO FORWARD ON THE BRIDGE TO THE 21st CENTURY..."
What is the point on persecuting anyone if certain select people are above the law? If the law doesn't serve everyone, that it's every man for himself. The law is just another club for powerful thugs to beat you up with, it deserves no more special regard than a gun or a switchblade deserves.
Then the independent counsel needs his ass kicked and he should return his salary cause he didn't do his job.
Two years ago we could have told you this, and frankly, most if not all Freepers knew that Ray's "Oh, by the way" statement would come out long after anything could be done to Clinton.
One day soon the Washington politicos will realize too late that the American public's anger will boil over, and Republicans and Democrats alike will pay a dear price for their wanton rape and pillage of Joe Sixpack.
Well said!, sad, but well said.
Billy Klintoon belongs in jail. His wife does, too.
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