Many readers will recall the controversy raised by Bill Clinton’s decision to issue presidential pardons to 140 people – on his final day in office!
While many presidents have used their pardoning powers during their presidency, it was very unusual for Clinton to pardon so many suspected felons on the very last day of his second term.
This move prevented the press and the American people from evaluating his decisions while he was still in office, which would have led to fiery criticism in the press and the court of public opinion.
Clinton pardoned a total of 456 people, with 140 of them issued on January 20, 2001. The list of those pardoned reads like a who’s who of movie villains. Charges that Clinton used his power to dismiss include drug trafficking, cocaine smuggling, tax fraud, tax evasion, mail fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice, bank fraud, Medicaid fraud, embezzlement, grand theft, bomb-making, sedition, and domestic terrorism.
One case in particular stands out because of the severity of the offense. During his final hours in the White House, President Bill Clinton issued a pardon to commute the sentence of Susan Rosenberg. Her commutation was widely criticized by police, and by New York elected officials.
Susan Rosenberg had worked with the domestic terror group known as the Weather Underground, or WUO. The group of radical left-wing militants was formed in 1969 with the stated goal of creating a clandestine revolutionary party in order to overthrow the U.S. government.
Members of this domestic terrorist outfit were known as Weathermen, and in 1970 the group issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States government, under the name “Weather Underground Organization”.
The group was responsible for bombing the United States Capitol, the Pentagon, and U.S. Department of State building. Most of their activities occurred in the 1970s, but splinter groups continued into the 1980s.
Susan Rosenberg belonged to the May 19th Communist Organization, a sister organization to the Weather Underground. In 1983 Rosenberg was charged for her role in the bombings of the U.S. Capitol Building, the U.S. Naval War College, and the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, but the charges were dropped as part of a plea deal by other members of the group.
In 1984, Rosenberg was arrested with an accomplice while unloading 740 pounds of dynamite and weapons from a storage locker in New Jersey. She had also been sought for other crimes including her role as accomplice in a prison escape, and driving the getaway car in a Brinks robbery that killed two police officers and an armored-car guard.
Most charges against Rosenberg were dropped or plead down, but she was sentenced to 58 years in prison on the weapons and explosives charges. She only served 16 years of her sentence before being pardoned by President Bill Clinton.
Why would President Clinton pardon a domestic terrorist who had served less than a third of her sentence? During our search for clues we find a connection to a lawyer and former ambassador by the name of Howard Gutman.
As an attorney, Howard Gutman represented Susan Rosenberg (presumably pro bono) in her attempt to secure early release from prison. Why is this significant?
As it turns out, Howard Gutman has been a long-time supporter of the Democrat party, a friend to the Clintons, and a vocal critic of Republicans. Gutman wielded enough influence in the corridors of power in Washington D.C. that it’s probable he brought the Rosenberg case to President Clinton’s attention, and pushed for the pardon.
Gutman used his connections to raise money for Democrat presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial candidates. Disclosures show that Gutman and his wife, Michelle Loewinger, have contributed at least $86,150 to Democratic candidates, parties and committees since 1989. He personally donated the legal maximum of $2300 to Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign.
He raised money for Al Gore during his 2000 presidential campaign, and served on the legal team representing Gore in his Supreme Court case regarding the election.
And when Barack Obama ran for office, Howard Gutman’s contributions totaled nearly a million dollars, including half a million for the campaign and a quarter million for Obama’s inauguration.
He was handsomely rewarded for his fundraising efforts when Obama handed him the coveted position of U.S. Ambassador to Belgium in 2009.
While Gutman was a popular ambassador by all accounts, his service ended under a black cloud of controversy.
In a 2013 article by U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph, we read this shocking report:
A memo from the Department’s inspector general, which has been seen by The Daily Telegraph, said an investigator found evidence Mr Gutman “routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children”.
The memo said that plans to put Mr Gutman under surveillance to corroborate the allegations were dropped on the orders of Undersecretary of State for Management, Patrick Kennedy.
“The agent reportedly received notification that U/S Kennedy had directed DS [The Bureau of Diplomatic Security] to cease the investigation and have the agent return to Washington,” the memo said.
The Inspector General’s memo also said Mrs. Clinton’s personal bodyguards routinely hired prostitutes while traveling abroad with the former Secretary of State, and that the practice was “endemic”.
The case was widely viewed as a whitewash or cover up, to protect the reputation of Gutman and his powerful Democrat friends including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Clinton loyalist Cheryl Mills. Time Magazine ran a story on the case in October of 2014, reporting that:
A State Department investigation has found that aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contributed to the “appearance of undue influence and favoritism” in three departmental investigations related to alleged sexual conduct by officials in the field.
In the highest-level case, the department’s inspector general found that senior State Department officials declared an allegation that the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium had solicited a prostitute in a public park as a “management issue.” The move effectively halted an investigation by the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
The ambassador, Howard Gutman, was recalled to Washington from Belgium to meet with Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy and Clinton Counselor and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, according to the report.
The news articles covering this miscarriage of justice engaged in whitewashing by avoiding any mention of the pedophilia allegations against Gutman.
Rather than face any criminal charges or disciplinary action, Howard Gutman was allowed to return to Belgium and finish out his ambassadorship.
The more scrutiny that is placed on the Clinton family, the more we are able to see a pattern where donating enough cash will get you off the hook for even the most heinous crimes.
It is also undeniable that connections to suspected or convicted pedophiles crop up over and over again when researching the lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Those who display their loyalty to the Clintons through their fundraising efforts and legal assistance, generally receive an incredible return on their investment.
The question now on the mind of the American voters as they head to the polls on Tuesday is: what other favors does Hillary Clinton owe to shadowy figures around the world, that we have not been told about?
The choice could not be clearer going forward.