RON BROWN: THEY CAN'T INDICT HIM NOW
July 30, 1992: C. Victor Raiser II, former finance co-chairman of
Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, dies in a plane crash near
July 20, 1993: Vincent Foster, Clinton's counsel for Whitewater,
dies under mysterious circumstances in Washington, D.C.
September 26, 1993: Luther "Jerry" Parks, gunned down while
driving home from a restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas. Parks
had been owner of American Contract Services, supplier of guards
for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and transition
headquarters. Says Parks' son, Gary: "They had my father killed
to save Bill Clinton's political career."
March 1, 1994: Herschel Friday, who had been a member of C.
Victor Raiser's team (see above), dies when his plane crashes in
March 3, 1994: Dr. Ronald Rogers, a dentist critical of Clinton,
enroute to meet with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, a reporter from the
London Sunday Telegraph, dies when his plane crashes in Oklahoma.
April 19, 1995: According to Sherman Skolnick and others, Hillary
Rodham Clinton had been indicted just two days earlier. On April
19, with the indictment apparently about to be made public, the
Murrah building is bombed, apparently by professionals. The
bombing is blamed on Timothy McVeigh by a press obviously eager
to do so.
April 3, 1996: Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, under
investigation and possibly about to be indicted, dies in a plane
crash in the former Yugoslavia.
Brown had had unsavoury connections for years. According to
Newsweek (10/11/93), Nguyen Van Hao, confidant of the prime
minister of Vietnam, "wanted Brown's help in easing the American
ban against trade with his country." Hao's former business
partner, Ly Thanh Binh, claimed that Brown agreed to "work for
lifting the trade ban in exchange for $700,000 to be deposited
offshore, and a secretly paid cut of any development deals Hao
and Binh obtained." Wrote authors Howard Fineman and Bob Cohn in
the Newsweek article, "If Brown is indicted" it could threaten
"the current era of good feelings in the White House."
But Brown apparently wasn't indicted back then. Was he
perhaps warned at that time, "Stay out of trouble from now on --
Were Brown's recent troubles about to threaten "the current
era of good feelings" as the November elections approach? In
February of 1995, twenty-two House Republicans had written to
Bill Clinton demanding that Brown be fired because of his
financial dealings. [AP, 02/03/95] A month later, Representative
William F. Clinger said that an investigation by his staff
"developed a large body of information and documentation that
seems to indicate Secretary Brown may have violated federal law
in several instances." [Washington Times, Nat. Weekly Ed., 3/6-
12/95] Then, in July of 1995, Daniel S. Pearson, a former appeals
court judge, was chosen to investigate Brown by a panel of
federal appellate judges. Notes an article by David Johnston in
the July 7, 1995 New York Times: "The judges, following Ms.
Reno's request [for an independent prosecutor], directed Mr.
Pearson to investigate whether Mr. Brown improperly accepted
nearly $500,000 from a business partner and filed inaccurate
financial disclosure statements." In its January 29, 1996 issue,
The Spotlight turned attention to activities allegedly involving
Brown's son, Michael. Notes The Spotlight: "While fighting to
keep his department from being eliminated, Commerce Secretary Ron
Brown is keeping his eyes on a lawsuit charging his son, Michael,
with peddling his father's influence."
Had Brown & Co. become (as had Vince Foster, according to
Debra von Trapp) "overly entrepreneurial"? One thing is for sure,
there's no shortage of "entrepreneurs" amongst Clinton & Co....
Also investigated during the reign of Mr. Bill: former
Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and Housing Secretary Henry G.
Cisneros. [New York Times, 07/07/95]
The "Brown problem" wasn't going away. According to the
Associated Press [02/08/96], an Oklahoma gas company was the
latest to be "under scrutiny" by prosecutors. Did they spend
$150,000 to assist a Democratic congressional campaign? Was Ron
Brown's son involved in the "fund-raiser"?
*Cui bono*? Who benefits? Brown's death seems to have lifted
a major election-year embarrassment off Bill Clinton's shoulders.