Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Barrett Report -- Culture of Corruption

Quick: what's eleven years old and worth 23 million smackeroos? No, it's not Michael Jackson's latest play-date. Try the Barrett Report, the final deliverable of a prolonged investigation into corruption within the Clinton administration.

The New York Daily News reports that the Clinton administration actively covered up a tax fraud case against then-HUD secretary Henry Cisneros. Compounding matters, a Hillary compatriot was reportedly involved:

Cisneros was forced to admit in 1999 that he had made secret payments to a mistress before serving as Clinton's secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Barrett investigated tax fraud charges stemming from those under-the-table payments.

Then-IRS Commissioner Peggy Richardson, a close friend of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), was involved in efforts to quash the probe, a source close to the case alleged.

But 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 Captain notes that Hillary's '06 and '08 election plans may be impacted:

The report, if the Daily News has its facts straight, will prove explosive to the 2006 re-election effort of Hillary Clinton, but even more damaging to her expected run at the Presidency in 2008. For instance, Williams and Connolly not only represents Cisneros in this probe, but also has as clients a couple named Bill and Hillary Clinton. It seems as though burying this report and getting a series of redactions helps a number of their clients out, a kind of anti-conflict of interest in this case...

...Someone has a lot of explaining to do. And while she tries to come up with an explanation, this will remind everyone what a "culture of corruption" really looks like, as this will bring up the ethical morass of the Clinton years all over again. The Democrats may well have to rethink their electoral theme for 2006 -- again.

Remember, folks. It takes a village.

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