Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Josh Marshall: Attorney General Bill Barr scrambled in the final weeks before the 1992 presidential election to push a probe into an obscure land deal in Arkansas that included then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton not as targets but as a potential witnesses. This was in the hopes that a late breaking scandal would help then-President Bush stage a dramatic comeback to win reelection. As the Bush-appointed US Attorney in Little Rock put it in testimony to the Office of Independent Counsel: "All of a sudden, we had this FBI pressure that something had to be done by October 16th [1992]."

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In the late summer of 1992 a referral file from the Resolution Trust Corp. came before U.S. Attorney Charles A. Banks and local FBI officials in Little Rock, Ark. It was a potential case of check kiting against Jim McDougal, Susan McDougal and Lisa Aunspaugh. It also mentioned Bill and Hillary Clinton as possible witnesses in the case. And as all the players in the drama realized, that made all the difference in the world.

The 50-odd pages in this section of the report reveal how political appointees at the highest level of the first Bush administration actually intervened in the normal process of the investigation, not to slow it down but to speed it up -- and with the pretty obvious intention of getting the matter before the public prior to Election Day, 1992.

From the start, Banks, a former Republican candidate for Congress whom the first President Bush had recently nominated to the federal bench, had misgivings about the quality of the potential case, and he was suspicious about its timing. But there is no evidence, as even the OIC report concedes, that Banks treated the matter in anything but a proper manner.

At around the same time, though, people at the highest levels of the Bush administration found out about the Whitewater referral and started in motion a series of actions intended to speed up the handling of it. According to the report, on Sept. 17, 1992, Edie Holiday, the secretary to the Cabinet in the Bush White House, contacted then Attorney General William Barr and -- after some awkward back and forth -- asked Barr if he "would be aware of a pending matter in Justice (she may have said it was a criminal referral) about a presidential candidate or a family member of a presidential candidate."

Quite the coincidence, huh? There's a lot of information along with the final report that Robert Ray eventually turned in which I believe is still called the Starr Report. Hopefully someone in a Judiciary committee Senator's staff is aware of this and prepares a relevatory series of questions to ask Barr during confirmation. Though the circumstances are not identically similar, the dynamic of Barr himself as Attorney General and using the DOJ to assist in his boss's political aspirations is fully ripe and very relevant to his immediate future right at this moment.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-15 09:26 PM | Reply

This guy is a fixer for cons.

#2 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2019-01-15 11:20 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Barr is just a Republican "Fixer." He's only brought in when Republican Presidents are in deep doo doo. George H.W. Bush was a crook, so was Reagan. Both were impeachable. But then so were every other Republican Presidents in the last 50 years. That's just how they are, the rule of law is not important unless a Democrat is in the WH. Republicans are dishonest if they deny that because if is a provable fact.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-16 08:07 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

It should be noted too, the crimes they commit are done to enable their elections, from Nixon blowing up the Paris Peace Talks, to Reagan dealing with the Ayatollah in Iran to hold American hostages until after the election and releasing them after Reagan's inauguration for which they were rewarded with parts of American made jets which Congress had passed a law to prevent, to H.W.'s involvement in Iran Contra, then to Trump's dealings with Russians to interfere in our elections. They can't win fair elections so they just cheat, Republicans are, one and all, dishonorable human beings. Every last one of you. You know this stuff goes on and you are, seemingly, ok with it. That makes you just as bad as the people doing it.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2019-01-16 10:06 AM | Reply

Bob Barr was the one who recommended pardoning everyone from Casper Weinberger on down, thus ending the Iran-Contra investigation before Lawrence Walsh could get his hands on Bush's diaries, which GHW Bush had failed to turn over to investigators after months of stalling.

#5 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-01-16 07:09 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Barr's biggest job was covering up and closing Reagan's Iran-Contra scandal.

#6 | Posted by bayviking at 2019-01-17 01:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Drastic moves of a desperate people.

#7 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2019-01-17 01:55 PM | Reply

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