Hillary Clinton Scandals in the White House
A series of brief summaries
Scandal #1: Travelgate
Begins: Wednesday, January 20, 1993 – Bill Clinton’s Inauguration as President of the United States.
Target: White House Travel Charter Business
Hillary’s scapegoat: Billy Dale – White House Travel Director
Years of service in the White House Travel Office – 32
Served under: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush
On Bill Clinton’s first day as President, Billy Dale receives a call from an unnamed woman. This woman informs Dale that a 24 year old woman, Catherine Cornelius (Bill Clinton’s third cousin), will be working in the Travel Office. Soon after, Catherine Cornelius begins working in the Travel Office. She repeatedly attempts to take control over the Travel Office.
Billy Dale receives a call from a man in Ohio who asks how he can attain some of the White House’s travel charter business. This man proposes that he and Dale conspire to make money together. It was discovered that the caller was Darnell Martens. Martens was a partner of Harry Thomason, a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Martens and Thomason’s air charter company, TRM, was used solely by the Clintons during the 1992 presidential campaign. Thomason had discussed multiple times with Hillary Clinton about taking over the White House’s travel business even though TRM did not own any planes. TRM also wanted to be awarded a $500k contract for an aircraft audit.
Catherine Cornelius began reporting information about the Travel Office to Harry Thomason. In turn, Thomason was reporting that information to Hillary Clinton.
In May 1993, Billy Dale, along with six other Travel Office staff members, was fired and locked out of his office. He was accused of embezzling $14,000 (logs accounting for the money were missing). The public was told that Dale and the staff were being fired for criminal misconduct. Hillary Clinton ordered the FBI to conduct a criminal investigation against Dale.
On July 20, 1993, Vince Foster (friend of Hillary Clinton from the Rose Law Firm and Deputy White House Counsel under Bill Clinton) allegedly committed suicide. While Foster was unhappy with politics, it was determined that The White House Travel Office controversy pushed Foster’s clinical depression over the edge. A resignation note was found torn up into 27 pieces in his briefcase. In the note, Foster allegedly wrote “No one in The White House, to my knowledge, violated any law or standard of conduct, including any action in the Travel Office. There was no intent to benefit any individual or specific group.” Many hand writing analysts have determined the note to be a forgery.
Dale’s legal bills for his defense were estimated to become in excess of $700,000. When Dale was told he could not proclaim his innocence, he considered a plea bargain for $69,000 and a short jail sentence. He decided not go against his morals and turned down the plea bargain. As a repercussion, Billy Dale was audited by the IRS for the next 30 months. His children were also subpoenaed by the IRS.
In 1995, Billy Dale’s case went to trial. Several key people in the press testified as character witnesses on behalf of Dale. The jury found Dale not guilt on all accounts. Kenneth Starr exonerated Bill Clinton of involvement. However, Hillary Clinton’s sworn testimony was found to be factually inaccurate. Hillary had made false statements to investigators. A memo by former Presidential aide David Watkins shows Hillary played the central role in the termination of Dale and other Travel Office staff: “Once this made it onto the First Lady’s agenda, Vince Foster became involved, and he and Harry Thomason regularly informed me of her attention to the travel office situation — as well as her insistence that the situation be resolved immediately by replacing the travel office staff… Foster regularly informed me that the First Lady was concerned and desired action — the action desired was the firing of the travel office staff. On Friday, when I was in Memphis, Foster told me that it was important that I speak directly with the First Lady that day.”
Although Hillary Clinton lied to investigators about her role in the firings, no charges were sought against her.
[I cannot relocate the source link; But I did capture an image of the source page at the time which I provide at the top of this page.]