- The Washington Times - Monday, April 2, 2001

For the past six weeks, Mary Jo White, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has been in control of the investigation into the questionable pardons and commutations that Bill Clinton approved on his last day in office. Thats bad news for Mr. Clinton, according to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who reported that Ms. Whites tennis partners have nicknamed her Sid Vicious because of the "ferocity" the federal prosecutor displays on the tennis court.
Unfortunately, Ms. White, who was appointed by none other than President Clinton eight years ago, has been anything but ferocious in her four-year investigation of the political fund-raising and money-laundering scandal that has implicated some of the most powerful leaders of the Democratic Party and the American labor movement. Indeed, while Ms. White may pursue terrorist bombers with admirable tenacity, the results so far of her seemingly endless "investigation" into the Democrats political corruption scandal have been less than spectacular.
Having obtained guilty pleas in September 1997 on multiple felony counts from three senior aides in then-Teamster President Ron Careys corrupt 1996 re-election campaign, Ms. White lingered for nearly three and a half years before getting around to indicting Mr. Carey himself, who became the first heavyweight to be charged in the massive scandal. (In 1999, Ms. White obtained the conviction of Teamster political director William Hamilton; so far, however, neither the three campaign aides nor Hamilton has spent a day in prison.)
Interestingly, Mr. Carey wasnt indicted until the week after George W. Bush became president, raising the inevitable question of what kind of prosecutorial discretion might have been exercised if Al Gore were in the White House. After all, Kenneth Conboy, a former federal judge who was the court-appointed Teamster elections officer, issued a blistering report in November 1997 charging that Mr. Carey "broadly and intentionally violated" the rules of his 1996 re-election campaign for Teamster president. More than three years ago, Mr. Conboy concluded that the explanations offered by Mr. Carey, whom Ms. White finally indicted for perjury and making false statements in an investigation into illegal fund-raising during his re-election bid, were "hard to believe," simply "unbelievable," "completely untenable" and "directly contradicted" by the facts and by Mr. Careys own associates.
Mr. Conboys 1997 investigation also implicated labor boss Gerald McEntee, the AFL-CIOs political enforcer and the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), home to some of the most corrupt local unions in the nation. Mr. McEntee admitted that he raised an improper $20,000 contribution for Mr. Carey from the owners of Kelly Press, AFSCMEs printer. Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, was also implicated in Mr. Careys fund-raising scandal. So was the Fifth Amendment-asserting Richard Trumka, the AFL-CIOs secretary-treasurer whom Mr. Conboy implicated in a money-laundering scheme that funneled $150,000 from the Teamsters general treasury to the AFL-CIO. The union, in turn, forwarded it to the liberal-activist group Citizen Action, from which the Carey campaign eventually received $100,000.
Moreover, during Hamiltons trial, testimony from Richard Sullivan, former finance director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), implicated Terry McAuliffe, current chairman of the DNC and former chief fund-raiser for Mr. Clinton and the DNC, in a money-laundering scheme involving Teamster treasury funds that eventually found their way into Mr. Careys re-election campaign.
Mr. Carey will not go to trial until August, soon after which the statute of limitations for fraud in the DNC-Teamsters scandal will expire so time is rapidly running out. Clearly, she has not pressed the DNC-Teamsters scandal with the same "ferocity" that she reportedly exerts on the tennis court. As a Clinton appointee, Ms. White has reportedly submitted a letter of resignation. It needs to be accepted forthwith.


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