- The Washington Times - Friday, February 18, 2000

The Clinton-Gore administration, the same folks who promised us "the most ethical administration in history" (pause for hoots of derision) continues to amass a legacy of lawlessness of uniquely epic proportions. The latest charges of perfidy come this week from a former White House computer manager named Sheryl L. Hall, who told this newspaper's Jerry Seper and Andrew Cain that the White House concealed from investigators as many as 100,000 e-mails pertaining to a range of infamous scandals, from Filegate to Chinagate, that involve both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

At least 4,000 of these hidden e-mails relate to the Monica Lewinsky affair alone. Others contain information about questionable campaign finance activities in operation during the 1996 election cycle. Still more shed light on the selection of corporate executives for overseas trips, or relate to the internal machinations surrounding all those thousands of secret FBI files the White House wrongly obtained on former Reagan and Bush administration officials.

No doubt, these missives must make for compelling reading. But even more important, this trove of computer records happens to have been long sought from the White House under numerous subpoenas by a federal grand jury, by the Senate Judiciary Committee, by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and by the House Government Reform Committee. It would seem that all these subpoenas, separately and together, have meant less to the Clinton White House than a pile of old supermarket circulars. This, of course, is not surprising. Led by a president whose disdain for the judicial system compelled a federal judge to cite him in contempt of court, this administration simply ignored all these many legal summons.

And what about the behavior of the White House, as recounted by Mrs. Hall, after Clinton officials were internally notified by computer contractors that 100,000 e-mails from nearly 500 computers had not been netted in official document sweeps? Mrs. Hall says the White House "threatened, warned them not to discuss it. They were told the documents were classified. In fact," she continued, "a White House official told one of the contractors they had a jail cell with his name on it if they discussed the matter."

Mrs. Hall herself claims to have been demoted for daring to question the propriety of the administration's use of a computer database, the White House Office Database (WHODB), for Democratic National Committee fund-raising purposes, a project she says was overseen by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. In a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch and pending before U.S. District Court in Washington, Mrs. Hall accuses Mrs. Clinton and nine White House political appointees of job harassment and reprisals for her complaints.

As for hiding the e-mails and ignoring the subpoenas, Mrs. Hall further alleges in her suit that these actions were part of a purposeful strategy "a continuing campaign by the White House to delay and impede the many, many, many investigations" into the many, many, many Clinton White House irregularities. Mrs. Hall recounts a particularly telling scrap of dialogue from Michelle Peterson of the White House Counsel's Office, who, she says, told her that the strategy was to "stall because we had just a couple of more years to go."

Until what? Following the report about Mrs. Hall's charges this week, the independent counsel's office and two congressional committees opened investigations to determine whether White House officials obstructed justice and concealed the documents in question. The clock may run out on Bill Clinton's presidency, but there is no statute of limitations on the truth.

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