Last Updated: December 15, 2011
In the early 1990’s, President and Hillary Clinton violated the privacy rights of their perceived political enemies by wrongly accessing and misusing the FBI files of Reagan and Bush I staffer and others. This scandal became known as “Filegate.” In pursuing its Filegate investigation, Judicial Watch learned with the help of whistleblowers Sheryl Hall and Betty Lambuth that the Clinton-Gore White House had hidden over 1.8 million e-mails from courts, Congressional investigators and independent counsels for nearly two years. Plans were also uncovered to destroy the files. To keep the e-mails secret, Clinton-Gore White House officials threatened contractors and staff with their jobs or jail time. Once the failure to produce the e-mails was revealed, the cover-up began; a cover-up that included obstruction and false testimony. Then, on hearing the testimony of the White House whistleblowers, a federal court judge ordered the testimony of former high-level Clinton-Gore White House officials in a court hearing to examine the threats, obstruction and alleged false testimony.Evidence showed that the e-mails are incriminating and covered virtual all of the Clinton-Gore scandals, yet these e-mails were not considered by Independent Counsel Robert Ray who gave the Clinton-Gore White House a clean bill of health. (View ethics complaint.)In January 2001, the e-mail files were placed under custody of the National Archives (NARA) and were restored, costing the American tax-payers over $13 million.In December 2002 the court ordered the files be searched. The NARA is responsible for responding to all special access requests and subpoenas that are made pursuant to the Presidential Records Act (PRA). The PRA generally restricts public access to the Clinton Presidential and Gore Vice Presidential records for five years after the end of the administration and for specific records for an additional seven years.Judicial Watch is representing plaintiffs in a class-action suit filed by the White House employees of Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations whose FBI files were wrongly accessed by the Clinton White House. The FBI and White House are being sued for breach of the Federal Privacy Act while other individuals, including Hillary Clinton, are being sued for invasion of privacy.
James Carville was the former campaign manager and political consultant to President Clinton. He is questioned in this case regarding his knowledge of White House activity that involved the files in question. George Stephanopoulos was a senior political advisor to President Clinton as well as his press secretary and communications director at various times in the administration. He was also questioned about his knowledge of Filegate. Linda Tripp, a White House employee during both the Bush and Clinton administrations, provided Judicial Watch with perhaps its best evidence of all. It is Tripp that reveals a direct connection between Mrs. Clinton and the illegally obtained files.
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