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One More Question For Eric Holder
© Jack Cashill
In the contemporary circle-the-wagon school of mainstream journalism, reporters look for some perceived weakness in those who might challenge their anointed candidate and attempt to discredit.
In my own case, while probing the real authorship of Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father, Obama’s media supporters ignored my research into the book and largely steered clear of my research into TWA Flight 800, a sign in itself, and zeroed in instead on my work on former commerce secretary Ron Brown.
One accused me of “insinuating” that Brown had gone to Croatia on his final mission to broker an Enron deal. No, sir, I insinuated no such thing. I said it and proved it.
In fact, Enron execs were frequent flyers on Brown trade missions. On the last one, with impressive clairvoyance, they chose to take their own plane, not the Air Force plane that crashed with Brown on it.
Did I just read this stuff on the Internet? No, I read it in the official 22-volume US Air Force report, the report that no one in the major media had bothered to request, not even the New York Times, which had a reporter on Brown’s doomed plane.
To the degree that Ron Brown had any pressing economic incentive to visit the Balkans it was to advance a deal that would have given Enron rights to build a power station in Croatia.
One major reason Croatian president Franjo Tudjman entertained the Enron offer was to finesse his way out of a war crimes trial.
If the nation is ever to get to the truth behind the Enron deal, let alone Brown’s death, the confirmation of the astonishingly compromised Eric Holder for Attorney General might be the last good opportunity.
I heard from the irrepressible Nolanda Butler Hill as soon as he was nominated. “I'm sure you know how disgusted I am at the Eric Holder appointment,” she told me. “Fact is, I'm sickened, and afraid for this nation.”
As the confidante and business partner of the late Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, Hill knows from personal experience that Holder’s sins go well beyond his seamy role in the Marc Rich pardon scandal.
In the way of background, in May 1995, Clinton’s unpredictable Attorney General Janet Reno called for an independent counsel to assess whether Ron Brown had “accepted things of value” from Hill in exchange for his influence.
Reno’s pursuit of Brown did not shock either of them. He had been the subject of an inquiry for months. Targeting Hill, however, had no precedent, and it unnerved them both.
By statute, the independent counsel law applied only to political and government figures. “It was unlawful,” says Hill of her own targeting, “I was the only such person in history.”
In time, the independent counsel also targeted Brown’s son, Michael, for laundering money to his father through a scam minority set aside deal with a sleazy pair of Asian-American fundraisers. In Hill’s words, Michael “was as guilty as a goose.”
Hill and Brown both understood that she was being targeted in the hopes that she would roll over on Brown. Her condition for not doing so was that Brown share with her his every point of vulnerability.
Nowhere was Brown more vulnerable than in his unwelcome role as chief bagman for the Clintons’ relentless and often illicit fundraising in the run-up to the 1996 election.
Hill learned virtually every unseemly detail--from Brown’s go-between work with the Chicoms and their American vendors to his wholesale distribution of walking around money to Democratic race hustlers. As Brown understood, Hill knew way too much.
Even before his own mysterious death, Brown worried openly about her life and safety. He went so far as to call Hill’s sister, with whom she stayed from time to time, and insist Hill not be allowed to go out jogging alone.
As soon as Brown died, the independent counsel ceased the investigation into his illicit activities. As to Michael, he pled guilty to a single misdemeanor, accepted a small fine, and was out playing golf with the president a month later.
Not surprisingly, however, the Justice Department kept the pressure on the outspoken Hill, still deeply troubled by the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death.
Hill took heart when, in July 1997, President Clinton appointed Holder to replace Jamie Gorelick as Deputy Attorney General. Although ostensibly second in command, the Deputy AG was the real power in Justice, the Clinton equivalent of a Soviet “political officer.”
Hill knew Holder through Brown, who had been instrumental in getting him his previous job as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
She and her attorney wasted no time in contacting Holder at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, which was held that year in San Francisco in early August.
Holder, however, did not get to be Deputy AG by being naïve. “The train is already going down the tracks,” he explained to Hill. “It will take your cooperation to stop it.”
The “train” in question was a D.C. grand jury, which was being maneuvered to indict Hill. “Cooperation” meant Hill would keep her mouth shut about Clinton fundraising.
Hill clarifies, “He [Holder] told me and my attorney that if I told what I knew about election fundraising I would be indicted.”
Holder was as good as his word. On March 13, 1998, ten days before Hill was to testify in a suit brought by Judicial Watch on the subject of Brown’s fundraising, the Clinton Justice Department indicted Hill on trumped up charges of fraud and tax evasion.
The willfully blind lead of the New York Times called the indictment “a vivid example of how an investigation can outlive its target.”
Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch knew better. In a motion to the court, he would write, “The timing of these events is neither accidental nor coincidental. Ms. Hill’s indictment was likely an effort to retaliate against her and deter her from giving any further damaging testimony at the March 23, 1998 hearing.”
At White House bidding, Holder had Hill indicted to shut her up, and he succeeded. Anxious, alone, and broke, facing as many as seventy years in prison if convicted, Hill chose to negotiate a deal.
On June 15, 1999, a day before her fifty-fifth birthday, she reported to a halfway house in Seagoville, Texas, her silence at least temporarily assured.
As James Sanders, my partner on the TWA 800 investigation, can attest, silencing whistleblowers through bogus prosecution was the modus operandi in the Holder era. Sanders and his wife Elizabeth were indicted and convicted on federal conspiracy charges on Holder’s watch.
For eight years, we have had to listen to Democrats caterwaul about corruption in the Justice Department. If they do not question Holder about the Hill prosecution, we will know that they were really just kidding.
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