Kathleen Willey: A new woman?

By Bruce Shapiro


Salon Staff
July 15, 2000 1:20AM (UTC)

Read the story

A woman accuses a man of sexually assaulting her, and you follow up with a story about her shady finances. In what way is this different from, say for example, digging for Claudia Kennedy's bounced checks or Anita Hill's bad grades? I'm looking forward to the Salon report on Kathleen Willey's high school sexual experiences. Exclusive: Presidential Accuser a Known User of Cleavage-Revealing Dresses!

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-- Chris Bray

Bruce Shapiro's article shows some stunning investigative talent, yet I can't help but wonder what the point of this exercise is. It appears Willey's former husband left her holding the bag for a financial pickle of his own design. In the aftermath, her friends and attorney wrangled the system in an attempt to bail her out. Am I now to assume that individuals in this predicament are predisposed to falsely accusing others of sexual assault?

By the same token, are not the Clintons' reputations similarly dubious regarding commodities trading, the Whitewater "shell game," Madison Guaranty and their past shenanigans with the SBA?

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That the Clintons pay private investigators to do this kind of work is old news. In the future, let's have them keep paying so Shapiro can be free to give us news and not something that the DNC should be financing.

-- Jonathan M. Conroy

If there's one thing I learned from Salon during the Clinton escapades, it's that a person's personal life is not important. Did Willey do a good job at the White House? That's what is important.

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-- F. Aaron

Bruce Shapiro's scrupulously documented itemization of Willey's finances is well worth reading. However the central point of the end of his article, that Starr's Independent Counsel giving Willey transactional immunity is another indication of the IC's folly, is wholly and completely pointless.

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1) Willey was one of several witnesses against President Clinton.
2) Her allegations of groping were never denied by President Clinton.
3) Willey wasn't even a key witness in the IC investigation of the Lewinsky matter.
4) The Lewinsky matter was ultimately referred to Congress for impeachment because the IC found evidence of perjury and obstruction of justice. Little of that evidence was related to Willey's testimony.

What Shapiro's article does further reinforce to me, as a casual observer of politics, that not since the Harding administration have we had a president such as Clinton who has so closely involved people of such weak moral fiber in his administration. And it also proves to me that when a prosecutor investigates a potential crime, he or she is invariably going to be taking depositions and using as evidence testimony from some very shady people.

So good show Mr. Shapiro, but may I paraphrase Paul Begala when one of the first Clinton scandals erupted and a fact was brought to his attention during a TV interview? "So what?"

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Or, to borrow the refrain that many defenders of Clinton have used: The American people just want to focus on the issues that matter to them like education, crime and healthcare.

-- Ed Clink

Bruce Shapiro's article about Willey and Starr should be front page center in every paper in the country. And the caliber of Salon's overall reporting lends a bit of hope that American journalism hasn't quite yet flushed itself down a toilet.

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-- Jim Lynch


Salon Staff

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