I had been out of state and only checked my answering machine from time to time. When I got back to Reno, I hit the button. There was a message from Sherman Skolnick. Robert Strauss, a well-known Democrat and head of a large law firm, had called him three times. Strauss was threatening to have Sherman arrested the next day, Monday.
"Has Strauss called you?" Sherman wanted to know, when I returned the call. "No," I said. "He hasn't threatened you?" Sherman asked. "No, but if he did, I would tell him to go fuck himself," I replied.
Sherman had reported that Robert Strauss had led a delegation to the White House asking Bill Clinton to resign. I had also reported the same meeting, albeit in deliberately abbreviated form. I rarely paid any attention to Skolnick, because most of his reporting was such a mixture of truth and error, it would take more effort to separate the two than to simply conduct one's own investigation of the facts. But his account of the Strauss meeting was quite accurate.
"Strauss was there, right?" Sherman seemed unsure of his sources. "Or maybe there by teleconference?"
"He was there, Sherman. He broke the ashtray just like you said," I replied. I didn't tell Sherman the rest of the exchange, the part he didn't know. Clinton had told Strauss he could call the guards and have Strauss thrown out of the White House. Strauss lost his temper: "You do, and I'll break your fucking neck before they get here," he told Clinton. Two other people at the meeting stood up: "And we'll help him," they said. (There were all sorts of false reports about the meeting. John Glenn was there, but only electronically. Ted Kennedy was not present.)
I told Sherman that Strauss was just blowing smoke, and even though Strauss was a hot-head, I doubted Strauss would do anything. Strauss had no legal basis for doing so: Sherman's report was accurate. And I had no reason to get involved: Strauss was doing the right thing with respect to Bill Clinton, even if he was angry Skolnick had reported the meeting. Strauss was not the villain in the story. Bill Clinton was.
On Monday, August 5, shortly after the Strauss visit, Chuck Hayes had a meeting with Bill Clinton. Clinton had requested the meeting to discuss the issues Strauss had raised. Clinton and Hayes had known each other for years: Chuck Hayes had been Bill Clinton's CIA controller, after Clinton was recruited into the CIA by Cord Meyer of the London CIA station. Hayes had supervised Clinton's forays into the Soviet Union, and it was Hayes who had gotten Clinton out of not-so- infrequent trouble while Clinton served the agency.
"Before I ever cross you, " Clinton once told Hayes after having had his ass redeemed, "I hope I will put a gun to my head and pull the trigger first."
I talked to Hayes about the Clinton meeting while Hayes was still at the White House. He had explained to Clinton some of the evidence that had been accumulated, reinforcing what Strauss had said, and detailing numerous other projected unpleasant consequences that would accompany any decision to not resign.
The timing of this meeting was early in the game, in what is now a full-scale war over Clinton's resignation. Jim Guy Tucker was singing, specifically about Mena, even while Tucker's lawyer was denying that Tucker was cooperating out of fear that Tucker would be an assassination target. Hayes, in a more practical mode, had assigned two bodyguards to watch over Tucker.
In escalating the pressure on Clinton to resign, it wasn't that Hayes disliked Bill Clinton as a person. It was just that Hayes loved his country more, and wasn't going to tolerate Clinton's participation in the transformation of the U.S. into a narco-republic. It was Hayes who first alerted me to Clinton's serious cocaine habit. In the mid- 80s, in Hayes' assessment, sure, Clinton would use coke at parties, but it wasn't a daily problem. But now, Hayes said, the coke was in control. And what Hayes claimed to me about the seriousness of Clinton's cocaine habit, was confirmed both by a White House source and by personnel at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Clinton was doing "five plus" lines of coke a day. That simply meant that five lines was the minimum usage.
And it was Hayes and an associated group of computer hackers calling themselves the "Fifth Column" that was providing much of the financial and banking evidence that Kenneth Starr needed to nail Bill Clinton to the wall. This included downloading the entire White House "Big Brother" data base (WHODB), complete with its 2045 FBI files. (The Lippo computer was also connected to the Big Brother system. Does this imply the Lippo computer was also downloaded? I would advise Mr. James Riady to choose sides carefully.)
Then Dick Morris resigned and began cooperating with the Special Prosecutor. Clinton was panicked. Dick Morris knew more about Clinton's illegal financial affairs than anyone since Vince Foster (who had conveniently died). Clinton wanted to meet again with Hayes to discuss things. They agreed to a time and place. But then Clinton cancelled at the last minute, and sent a jet to pick up Hayes to take him to the new rendevous location. Hayes refused to board the plane.
They finally met at the Greater Cincinnati airport. Clinton had an entourage that included Leon Panetta and George Stephanopolous. Other witnesses to this meeting include the Air Force Major who tried to intercept Hayes as he approached the Presidential jet, and the member of the Kentucky State Police who acted as Hayes' bodyguard. Hayes and Clinton had a private conversation in a motel room near the airfield. Hayes began by presenting Clinton with a copy of one of my Internet posts and an article from Barron's ("Federal agency attacked as dispenser of corporate welfare," by Jim McTague, September 16, 1996). The latter article gave context to a lot of computer-generated information.
"Clinton's face turned whiter the more he read," according to Hayes. Their actual conversation is confidential. But one incident that happened afterwards is not.
A FEMA group showed up to talk to Hayes. Clinton recognized them. "Did you tell them you were going to be here?" Clinton asked.
"No," Hayes replied.
"Do you talk to them?"
"How serious are they?" Clinton wanted to know.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton had got it into her head that the Clinton's problems could be made to disappear. First of all, Dick Morris--like Vince Foster-- knew too much. She had conversations with an obscure group at the National Security Agency known as I3. She discussed details of a plan to murder Dick Morris. They also planned, provided the Dick Morris hit was successful, the assassination of Chuck Hayes. But word got out about the I3 plans. The men were arrested and interrogated.
Hillary's next action (see "The Dickheads Are Getting Desperate") was to send sixteen FBI and Secret Service personnel down to Kentucky to make inquiries whether there was "some way to get to that son-of-a- bitch," meaning Chuck Hayes.
And, ultimately, they found the ammunition they needed: 1) a local U.S. attorney who was representing the Justice Department in its attempt to quash all evidence with respect to the theft of the PROMIS software; 2) Hayes' ex-wife and one of his sons, who were involved with Hayes in an inheritance dispute; and 3) a lying FBI, eager to deflect attention from Fifth Column evidence of FBI involvement in drug-dealing.
October 30, 1996
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