Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The lurking Barrett report bombshell

Tony Snow: Publish the Barrett report now

By all accounts, the 400-page Barrett report is a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential prospects. At the very least, it would bring to public attention a scandal that would make the Valerie Plame affair vanish into comical insignificance.

But at the moment, it looks like it may never see the light of day, thanks to manouevering by the Democrats.

Using provisions in the independent-counsel statute that permit people named in a report to review the allegations against them and file rebuttals, attorneys close to the Clintons have spent the better part of five years reviewing every jot and tittle of the charges arrayed against their clients and friends.

This careful and continuous monitoring of the report explains why Sens. Byron Dorgan, Dick Durbin and John Kerry took the highly unusual step earlier this year of trying to slip into an Iraq-war spending bill an amendment to suppress every word of the Barrett report.

It didn't work then, thanks to some alert Republicans, but recently the Democrats got their cover-up.

when the House and Senate met to iron out differences in yet another appropriations bill. Democrats inserted language that would prevent public release of the 120 pages of the report listing the Clinton transgressions. They offered what may have looked like a good deal. They promised not to object to letting Barrett continue with any prosecutions already underway.

Republicans negotiators, led by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich, took the bait. They agreed to keep the public in the dark about the important stuff in exchange for a big, fat nothing. Unbeknownst to Bond and Knollenberg, Barrett shut down his grand juries three years ago.

And what is in this report that makes it so explosive and the Democrats to eager to have it hidden from the American people?

Like most independent counsels, Barrett didn't set out on such a mission. He was assigned the duty of looking into whether former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros committed tax fraud in trying to cover up payments to a former mistress.

Yet, as published reports have indicated, he soon discovered that he was onto something much bigger. He found unsettling evidence that Justice Department officials were actively interfering with the probe and even conducting surveillance of Barrett and his office. Worse, there were indications that Team Clinton was using key players at the IRS and Justice to harass, frighten and threaten people who somehow got in the former president's way.

No wonder the Democrats want their cover-up. This report could expose a "culture of corruption" that makes the bogus scandals the Mediacrats have cooked up pale into insignificance.

The Republicans, and the American people, should demand the release of the Barrett report.

Byron York writes about the Barrett report cover-up here.

Previous articles about: Democrats
Democrat reaction to GOP “retreat & defeat” ad.
Retreat and defeat is not an option
More on the Democrat defeatists
The Mediacrats
National humiliation


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