Motorcycles How Bill Clinton used Vernon Jordan to evade the law

06:25  03 march  2021
06:25  03 march  2021 Source:   msn.com

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The death of civil rights hero Vernon Jordan, who well merits most of the encomia he is receiving elsewhere, also brings to mind an episode that contradicts a longtime liberal myth about the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton wearing a hat © Provided by Washington Examiner

The myth is that prurient, hypocritical Republicans “impeached Bill Clinton for sex.” Poppycock. They impeached him for perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from attempts to cover up an abuse of power. The abuse of power being broadly investigated wasn’t merely Clinton’s sexual activities with intern Monica Lewinsky, but several aspects of misusing state power related to those activities. Vernon Jordan was central to one of those misuses of state power, even if, as he testified, he did not recognize the way his actions contributed to a legal impropriety.

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Part of the investigation by independent counsel Kenneth Starr already involved Clinton’s alleged misuse of state resources, including security personnel, to cover up various wrongdoings, some of them involving legal transgressions and some moral. As those allegations piled up, Attorney General Janet Reno expanded Starr’s mandate to include investigations thereof. And when Paula Corbin Jones, as part of her sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton, alleged the same modus operandi, Reno also made aspects of the Jones allegations part of Starr’s investigation. (For more on the background, please follow this link.)

Anyway, when Clinton’s efforts to hush up Lewinsky took the same approach of mixing veiled threats with various enticements, the parallelism of those efforts to the Jones matter (and others) looked to establish a criminal mens rea, a mindset, that led Reno to make the Lewinsky matter also part of Starr’s job.

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And the greatest of those enticements was secured through the direct action of Vernon Jordan.

It was through Jordan’s intervention that Lewinsky was offered a job with the Revlon company, on whose corporate board Jordan sat — the same company that had given a job to top Clinton associate Webb Hubbell, also at Jordan’s urging, when Hubbell was facing trial related to the Clinton Whitewater scandal. The impression was that Jordan helped Clinton engage in an illegal pattern and practice of providing inducements to people to keep them from implicating Clinton in illegality.

It all involved a mess of complicated interactions and interrelations that, while quite relevant in a legal sense, were of the sort to make the public’s eyes glaze over.

It was easy, therefore, for the Clinton team to make his tawdry sex life a defense rather than a drawback. If the whole case were seen as being about his sex life rather than a racketeering-like abuse of government power, then it made Republicans look almost as bad for wanting Clinton out of office for sex as it made Clinton look bad for having engaged in affairs. Even the perjury and obstruction to cover up sex seemed relatively unimportant, when what was really at issue, and serious, was perjury and obstruction to cover up abuse of power and a long (alleged) pattern of criminal-level sexual harassment.

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As the year 1998 wore on, the “it’s just about sex” story became key to attracting public sympathy for, rather than condemnation of, Clinton.

The truth, though, is that it was about much more than sex. That’s why, when the Senate decided to allow depositions of only three witnesses during the impeachment trial, Jordan was one of those three witnesses. Jordan had nothing to do with Clinton’s sex life, but he appeared to have lots to do with Clinton’s pattern of larger abuses that, on the one occasion, involved giving someone (Lewinsky) reason to not divulge that illicit sex life. Indeed, when Lewinsky tentatively accepted the Revlon job offer, Jordan called Clinton and said, “Mission accomplished.”

Jordan’s wink-and-nod efforts to enable Clinton’s misdeeds were lapses in an otherwise laudatory career. But let it be clear as day: Clinton manifestly deserved to be impeached. Impeached, that is, and convicted.

Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr, Janet Reno, Whitewater, Impeachment, Law

Original Author: Quin Hillyer

Original Location: How Bill Clinton used Vernon Jordan to evade the law

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This is interesting!