Travelgate Debate

Did Hillary Clinton do anything wrong in the Travelgate matter ? 


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Did Hillary Clinton do anything wrong in the Travelgate matter ?


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On May 19, 1993, the White House abruptly fired seven career employees from the Travel Office  and accused them of mishandling money. The firings led to charges that Clinton administration officials tried to use the FBI to justify the firings in order to install political cronies in the office. President Clinton ultimately apologized for the administration's handling of the affair.


PRO 1.1

Former Travel Office director Billy Dale is indicted on charges of embezzling office
funds. In November 1995, a Washington jury acquits him after deliberating for less than two


Harry Thomason, a Clinton associate, allegedly sought the firings after Travel Office employees rejected his plan to get the White House's charter business for a company he partly owned. Thomason and his wife, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, were Clinton friends from Arkansas



Catherine Cornelius, 25, a distant Clinton cousin, was put in charge of the office. According to press reports, Cornelius had written a memo proposing the White House dismiss the employees and put her in charge of the operation.



Republicans alleged that Hillary Clinton orchestrated the firings to help Harry Thomason. She herself says she expressed concern about allegations of mismanagement in the office but never ordered the firings. She said aides may have misinterpreted her comments.



David Watkins, the White House chief of administration, who actually fired the staff, told a House committee that Hillary Clinton didn't directly order the firings but pressured him to take the action. "Did I feel pressure? Yes, I did," he said.



The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, released in September 1996, claims Clinton knew about the firings two days in advance and accused the White House of an "enormous and elaborate cover-up operation." Hillary Clinton was behind the firings, the report contends, but with the president's knowledge.


CON 6.1

This committee was dominated by Republicans.



In January 1996, After months of stonewalling, the White House released a memo by director of administration David Watkins saying that Vincent Foster "regularly informed me that the First Lady was concerned and desired action -- the action desired was the firing of the Travel Office staff."


Ken Starr investigated Travelgate and prosecuted no one.




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