Morris imputed sinister motive to Clinton for disclosure extension, didn't note extensions also granted to McCain, Romney

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE

In a column that appeared in the May 24 New York Post, after noting that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "obtained an extension of time to file her financial-disclosure statement for the presidential race," Dick Morris falsely claimed that Clinton "offered no reason for the postponement" and baselessly speculated that Clinton sought the extension because "she hopes to conceal" payments made to her husband, former President Bill Clinton, by a company named InfoUSA. Clinton has, in fact, reportedly provided a reason for seeking the extension -- to comply with a disclosure demand by a federal agency -- and Morris did not note that both former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also received deadline extensions for reportedly the same reason.

According to a May 18 Associated Press article, in seeking the extensions, lawyers for Clinton, McCain, and Romney cited a demand by the Office of Government Ethics that they "open up their blind family trusts":

The federal Office of Government Ethics wants former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain to open up their blind family trusts because they were not set up under the agency's standards.

That means that the trusts, created so that elected officials could avoid conflicts of interest between their financial holdings and their official acts, will now be in plain sight for the public -- and the candidates -- to see.

The Office of Government Ethics won't comment publicly about their disclosure requirements. But the candidates' lawyers cited the demand to open the blind trusts as the reason for seeking extensions to file financial disclosures statements. Clinton, Romney and McCain all received a 45-day grace period to submit their paperwork. The reports had been due on Tuesday.

A May 22 New York Times article reported that InfoUSA, "one of the nation's largest compilers of consumer information," is one of "[t]wo companies accused by state and federal regulators of doing business with suspected telemarketing thieves." InfoUSA, Morris wrote, "paid [Bill Clinton] an undisclosed amount each year [since 2002] -- listed only as 'more than $1,000' for 'non-employee compensation' on Sen. Clinton's financial-disclosure forms." Sen. Clinton's "financial-disclosure statement for the presidential race ... will tell us more than her Senate statements -- she's required to list not just the sources of Bill's income but exactly how much they paid him," asserted Morris.

From Morris' May 24 column:

Last week, Hillary Clinton sought and obtained an extension of time to file her financial-disclosure statement for the presidential race. This will tell us more than her Senate statements - she's required to list not just the sources of Bill's income but exactly how much they paid him. While Sen. Clinton offered no reason for the postponement, we can't help suspecting that she hopes to conceal InfoUSA's payments to her husband while the company is under fire.

[...]

This connection between the Clintons and InfoUSA only underscores the necessity of full disclosure of income sources and amounts by all the presidential candidates and the release of their income tax returns -- a step that Sen. Clinton has, thus far, refused to take.

Network/Outlet
New York Post
Person
Dick Morris
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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