Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More ammo for the rockfight

More ammunition for the right in the 24/7, ad infinitum, ad nauseam rockfight between left and right. The Barrett report, the culmination of the 11 year, $23 million investigation brought on by Clinton ex-cabinet member Henry Cisneros' lying about hush money paid to his mistress. Paying hush money to a mistress is rather common (see William Jefferson Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sen. Ted Kennedy et al). Lying to the FBI is, however, a federal crime. So is tax fraud and lying to a federal grand jury, but then, hell, everybody does that.

This case, probably another good example of an independent counsel run amok, like Fitzgerald and then Starr before him, started out as an investigation into the lies told by Henry Cisneros to the FBI about money he paid a former mistress to keep her mouth shut. It ballooned into a tax fraud case and then into a Clinton administration corruption case.

Barrett has charged that then-IRS Commissioner Peggy Richardson, a close friend of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), tried to derail the investigation. An IRS whistle blower, John Filan, an IRS criminal investigations chief in Texas, sent a memo to IRS headquarters charging
. . . top Clinton officials, including senior IRS lawyer Barry Finkelstein, of covering up Cisneros' tax fraud case by transferring it to two inexperienced lawyers in Washington.

Filan wrote that the two got orders "to kill the case from Barry Finkelstein at the outset."
Furthermore, it is alleged, with no small amount of supporting evidence, that
Richardson's role was cut from Barrett's report, which went through 26 drafts, because Democratic law firm Williams & Connolly successfully pressured Barrett to remove a section of the report naming her, a source said.

The law firm represents Cisneros, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
Here is what is most interesting to me. The law firm of Williams & Connolly has refused to comment, Finkelstein has refused to comment and
One of Cisneros' then-defense attorneys, Cono Namorato - who is now chief of IRS internal affairs - referred a reporter to Barrett's report.
Er, that's where we started, pal. That's how we got to you. Chief of IRS internal affairs, eh? I wonder how he got that job? And how does even a fat cat law firm manage to pressure a special independent counsel?

Oh yeah. No indictments? 11 years, $23 million and no indictments. Great work if you can get it.

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