- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2000

When Kathleen Willey Schwicker (formerly known as Kathleen Willey) related her story of sexual assault by President Clinton on "60 Minutes" in March 1998, she rocked the nation. Sen. Orrin Hatch was moved to say that if Mrs. Schwicker's story were true, "I think this presidency is over." Even more significant was the response of NOW's Patricia Ireland, suddenly shaken out of feminism's silent complicity on the subject of the president's serial abuse of women. "This is not just sexual harassment," Ms. Ireland said on CNN. "If it's true, this is sexual assault … If true, it is a very big problem."

And the White House knew it. What happened next, as detailed in a complaint filed by Mrs. Schwicker last week (posted at www.judicialwatch.org) against Mr. Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Charles F.C. Ruff, Bruce Lindsey, Cheryl Mills, Sidney Blumenthal, James Carville, David E. Kendall, Williams & Connolly, Bruce Shapiro, Salon.com and the FBI, is even more appalling than the original story of sexual strong-arming. Even before Mrs. Schwicker's interview aired on television, the president and first lady, assisted by a coterie of top advisers, appear to have set forth on a secret mission a conspiracy to destroy the good name of Mrs. Schwicker, and, alternately, to pressure her into withholding potential testimony in all the investigations of allegations against the president, ranging from sexual harassment to perjury.

How? By any means necessary. Mrs. Schwicker's lawsuit, filed last week by Larry Klayman and his Judicial Watch legal organization, details the sinister hive of activity the "60 Minutes" interview triggered at the White House a frenzy of consultation between the president, White House counsels Charles F. C. Ruff, Bruce Lindsey, Cheryl Mills, private counsel David E. Kendall, presidential aide Sidney Blumenthal, political adviser James Carville and Hillary Rodham Clinton to devise and implement a strategy to rip to shreds one woman's account of a Bill Clinton groping. (Much of this documentation of Your Tax Dollars at Work and it is not a pretty sight comes from a separate lawsuit Mr. Klayman has filed on behalf of hundreds of Reagan and Bush administration employees whose FBI files were improperly obtained by the White House.) As a result of these machinations, the White House, in violation of the Privacy Act, released personal letters Mrs. Schwicker had written the president following her assault as she continued to seek a government job after her debt-ridden first husband committed suicide. The administration's idea, of course, was to undercut Mrs. Schwicker's story, and, in so doing, cast doubt upon her veracity.

And, given that this is a tale of the Clinton White House, that's not all. In addition to having had to endure the force of an all-out White House attack, with its attendant indignities of dirt-digging and badmouthing, not to mention alarming acts of physical intimidation of mysterious origin, Mrs. Schwicker has been besmirched anew. In July, Salon.com ran an article by Bruce Shapiro titled, "New Bankruptcy Documents Make the Murky Finances of Ken Starr's Key Witness Look Even Shadier" not exactly the stuff of society pages. What's interesting about the article is that information included in it is explicitly sourced to Mrs. Schwicker's nonpublic White House personnel records a major no-no and to confidential FBI reports also a major no-no. Who could have been behind this? Mrs. Schwicker accuses Mr. Clinton himself, along with Sidney Blumenthal, among others, explaining the action as part of a continuing Clinton White House campaign against her to damage her, to punish her, and to silence her as a new grand jury hears evidence against Mr. Clinton at the behest of the Office of the Independent Counsel. Brave Mrs. Schwicker has already proven one thing: this Clinton campaign isn't working.

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