|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Whitewater Investigation Reveals Insufficient EvidenceAired September 20, 2000 - 1:04 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: A real estate venture and a tiny, mismanaged bank, together they spawned the most expensive independent counsel investigation in U.S. history and came close to ousting a president.
Today, after six years, the books are being closed on the Whitewater case, and CNN's Bob Franken joins us now with the bottom line on all of this -- Bob.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bottom line, Lou, is that this Arkansas phase of the Whitewater investigation's massive mandate into Bill and Hillary Clinton and their Whitewater real estate partners created evidence that was quote, insufficient to prove to a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that either of them, meaning the Clintons, committed any criminal offense. That is the bottom line.
After six years, more than six years of investigation into real estate deal that was spawned in 1978 in some backwoods Arkansas land, there have been 12 convictions, but no findings of any sort of culpability on the part of President or Mrs. Clinton.
Now, is this the end of it? no it is not, The investigation, of course, went off in many, many directions, not the least of which was the Monica Lewinsky matter. That matter is still under investigation. The independent counsel Bob Ray, the successor to Ken Starr, is still investigating whether Bill Clinton should be indicted in connection with that case after he leaves office.
But, what about the complaints over the years that so much money was spent and so much time was taken? They were repeated again by Democrats like Senate minority leader Tom Daschle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM DASCLE (D-SD), MINORITY LEADER: I'm just disappointed that after all these years and all the trials and tribulation and the pain and suffering that they have had to go through, is has taken this long to find out that nothing was -- was ever done wrongly. I think it's incredible to me. It's a -- it's a clear illustration -- of the -- of the system out of whack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKEN: Now, once again, let's talk about the terminology used by the independent counsel. He did not say: No crimes were committed. He says it's not his job to exonerate. He said there was insufficient evidence, or the matters were inconclusive. He has not made comment today, but in June Bob Ray spoke about that with CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT RAY, INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: I mean, the question of whether a crime has been committed is one, ultimately, that the prosecutor doesn't make the judgment on. That's for a jury to decide. I decide as a threshold question, whether or not to bring a case to a jury for it to decide whether a crime was committed. And I have to exercise responsibly my authority only to bring a case where I believe that a fair minded jury would convict on that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKEN: Now, in anticipation of worse news, there were criticisms that Ray was timing this to interfere with Mrs. Clinton's quest to become the Senator from New York because, of course, it is less than two months from the election. The initial reaction from the White House and from supporters of the Clintons is that this report good news, Lou, or at least it's not bad news.
WATERS: Bob, what's left to investigate before making the decision on whether or not to indict Clinton on the Monica Lewinsky thing?
FRANKEN: Well, what they are doing, is going over the same matters that were discussed during the impeachment process. You will recall, that as that was going on, there were any number of people who said this is not worth removing the president from office, that they could be investigated later when he was a private citizen. That is what Bob Ray is doing right now.
WATERS: All right, Bob Franken, we'll be hearing more about this throughout the day. Bob Franken, up there in Washington.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.