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Tuesday, December 27, 2005
  Bill Clinton Abused Presidental Power And No-One Cares
Over 10 years ago, independent counsel David Barrett was charged with investigating former Clinton Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros in relation to his lying to the FBI about tax fraud he committed trying to cover up payments to a mistress. Though Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999, Barrett, in the course of his probe, found evidence of wrongdoing within the IRS and Justice Department in relation to the Cisneros fraud.

Reportedly, Clinton team members tried to interfere with Barrett's investigation, which has cost $21 million, including conducting surveillance of his office.

"The informant said a regional IRS official had formulated a new rule enabling him to transfer an investigation of Cisneros to Washington to be buried by the Justice Department. Barrett's investigators found Lee Radek, head of Justice's public integrity office, determined to protect President Bill Clinton."

"When Barrett completed his report the Clintons' lawyers, led by David Kendall, tried to kill off the report either by gutting it with redactions or by getting it buried altogether. Kendall entered some 140 motions pursuant to this goal. The report has been ready for publication since August 2004, but Kendall's nuisance tactics have worked, and now what do we hear from the Clintonistas? They complain that Barrett has cost too much and taken too long. As they are themselves are the reason for much of the cost and delay, advocates of good government should be up in arms. This stratagem has been used too frequently by the Clintonistas to smear an officer of the court."

Tyrrell slams "several crafty Democrats" and "a few dubious Republicans" in Congress for blocking release of the report.

While Barrett is said to want the entire report released with minor redactions – as is typical for independent counsel reports –Democrats, led by Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, have blocked it. Dorgan and fellow Democrats Sens. Richard Durbin and John Kerry tried to include an amendment to kill the report in an Iraq-war appropriations bill, but the move was blocked by Republicans. Later, Dorgan was successful in including an amendment to block 120 pages of the report – those listing Clinton administration transgressions – in another appropriations bill, which was signed into law last month.

"Amazingly key Republicans in these negotiations agreed [to the amendment], Sen. Kit Bond and Rep. Joe Knollenberg. As things stand now, the expurgated report will appear and the public will be none the wiser as to how the IRS and Justice Department can be used to obstruct justice and harass private citizens."
 
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