CNN's Mercurio invoked unfounded Whitewater allegations, referenced "the sleazy side of the Clinton administration"May 11, 2005 7:23 PM EDT ››› NICOLE CASTA
In an ostensibly straight news report on the trial of David Rosen, former finance director for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), for alleged campaign finance violations, CNN political editor John Mercurio opined that the case "reminds people of Whitewater" and the "sleazy side of the Clinton administration that she and the president are both trying to forget."
Rather than revealing a "sleazy side" of the Clinton administration, numerous investigations into Whitewater allegations over the course of many years turned up insufficient evidence to charge the Clintons with anything. Investigations by special prosecutor Robert Fiske, a Republican; by independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, a Republican, who spent more than 4 1/2 years and more than $47 million as independent counsel investigating Whitewater; by former prosecutor Jay Stephens, a Republican; by the House Banking Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA); and by a Senate Whitewater panel, chaired by former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY), all failed to produce any evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the Clintons, as did endless media coverage and speculation, led by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Right-wing billionaire financier Richard Mellon Scaife bankrolled the "Arkansas Project," which successfully promoted allegations through the media regarding Whitewater and the Clintons. The project also provided cash payments to the Clintons's chief accuser in the investigation, David Hale, an admitted liar and convict who bilked the federal government out of millions of dollars.
From the May 10 edition of CNN's Inside Politics:
JUDY WOODRUFF (host): The circumstances [of the Rosen case] are somewhat confusing, but one fact bears repeating: Hillary Clinton has not been implicated in whatever happened, and she's not expected to testify in the case. That said, the Rosen trial has become fodder for some of the senator's political foes.
MERCURIO: This reminds people of Whitewater. It reminds people of the Lincoln bedroom, and it reminds people of sort of this sleazy side of the Clinton administration that she and the president are both trying to forget.