The Juanita Broaddrick Files: Bill Press and His Shameful, Hypocritically Partisan Attempt to Desperately Try to Dismiss Broaddrick’s Allegation of Rape by Bill Clinton
There have been many shameful attempts by Bill Clinton’s defenders to try and dismiss and distort the claims made by Juanita Broaddrick that she was raped by then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton in 1978, but few more so than the very disingenuous op-ed written by Bill Press, who served as chairman of the California Democratic Party from 1993 to 1996 (during Bill Clinton’s administration).
Press’s op-ed is chock full of lies, distortions and embarrassing instances of conspiracy theories, cognitive dissonance and self-delusions.
He hastily wrote his essay the day after NBC News aired an explosive interview with Broaddrick that aired February 24, 1999.
He starts out by trying to prove his “feminist” credentials by claiming “I believed all the rest. I believed Gennifer Flowers, Paula Corbin Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Kathleen Willey.”
Of course this was after Clinton had already politically survived the scandals involving those particular women, so Press had nothing to lose by claiming he believed them all, despite the fact that none of them had nearly the amount of evidence seen in Broaddrick’s case (with the admitted exception of Lewinsky, but only because she retained Clinton’s DNA on her dress).
(This was also before other women such as Leslie Millwee came forward to describe their own instances of sexual assault at the hands of Bill Clinton.)
Press undoubtedly understood that a credible allegation of rape against Clinton would be politically devastating to him and the party, so, like other Clinton apparatchiks, he dutifully set about to try and destroy Broaddrick.
To try and further blunt the shamelessness of his attempt, Press admits “Broaddrick never went to the police, she told NBC-TV’s Lisa Meyers, because she was sure no one would believe her and because she felt guilty for inviting Clinton to her hotel room. No doubt, she’s right about that. Twenty years ago, rape was rarely reported because, too often, women were ashamed and, in fact, were held responsible, especially if the rapist were someone she knew.” He then goes on to do just that — putting the onus on Broaddrick by listing a series of ridiculous questions and lies to desperately try and suggest that she is a liar even though the evidence thoroughly supports her story.
Here are the “questions” Press disingenuously poses to try and throw shade of Broaddrick’s claim, followed by rebuttals backed up by the actual evidence:
* Broaddrick says she can remember every detail of the rape, except the month and day it occurred. If it scarred her for life, wouldn’t she remember the date? Or at least the month?
Press immediately starts off here with one of the most facially ridiculous arguments imaginable: The notion that rape victims remember the exact date of their attack when recounting it twenty years after the fact, as if they all put in on a calendar to mark the occasion like a major holiday.
In fact, the exact opposite is true. Rape victims often do all that they can to try and banish the memory of their trauma from their minds.
Every expert on rape trauma will tell you that a rape victim will often fail to remember the exact date, month or even year of her attack when trying to recount the event years after the fact. (Broaddrick went public with her story in February 1999, more than 20 years after her encounter with Clinton in 1978.)
Press utterly embarrasses himself with tripe such as this.
When Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her decades before, she too could not remember the month of her incident. She only recalled that it was in “the summer of 1982”.
The Ford allegations against Kavanaugh (unlike the Broaddrick case, which was routinely ignored by the bulk of the press) prompted many in the media to point out that not remembering the precise date of an attack is quite common among victims of sexual assault.
Likewise, Broaddrick had always remembered the “approximate time of year” in the Spring of 1978 when her attack occurred, since it coincided with her attendance at a nursing home conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The difference is that, unlike Ford, Broaddrick has independent evidence that fixes the precise date of the assault, since NBC News helped to uncover proof of her attendance at the conference: April 25, 1978.
Does Bill Press doubt Dr. Ford’s story since she too couldn’t remember the month, let alone the precise date of her attack years after the fact? Does he dispute CNN’s analysis here? The partisan hypocrisy and double standards at play here are obvious for all to see.
* Broaddrick says she told her husband, David, what happened. But, at the time, David was not her husband. He was her boyfriend, with whom she was cheating on her first husband. Question: What if Clinton and Broaddrick had consensual sex? If you’re cheating on your husband, and then cheat on your boyfriend, do you tell your boyfriend the truth?
This outrageous passage by Press is a variation on the despicable canard put forth by rape apologists to suggest that, even when independent evidence supports your claim, “promiscuous” women who cheat on their husbands are facially unreliable and can’t be trusted to tell the truth about rape. In Broaddrick’s case, when you look at the timeline and full range of evidence supporting her claim, the utter absurdity of Press’s speculation becomes clear.
Let’s recall the timeline here, as recounted by Broaddrick:
Broaddrick first met Clinton in “late March or early April 1978” (see Broaddrick’s autobiography, “You’d Better Put Some Ice on That: How I Survived Being Raped By Bill Clinton”, pg. 38) when he made a campaign stop at her nursing home while running for Governor. Broaddrick became a stalwart Clinton supporter and helped work on his campaign due to his interest in improving the nursing home industry in Arkansas.
Clinton then invited Broaddrick to contact him again if she was ever in Little Rock.
She took him up on his offer on April 25, 1978, when she was in Little Rock to attend a nursing home convention while staying at the Camelot (now Doubletree) Hotel. It was there on that date that Broaddrick claims Clinton raped her.
Nobody has disputed the timeline. So the key point is that Broaddrick had only met Clinton in person for the second time on April 25, 1978 when her rape occurred, after only first meeting him in a public setting less than a month before.
The following facts relating to the timeline are also undisputed:
(1) In the Spring of 1978, Broaddrick’s first marriage to Gary Hickey was falling apart to the point where the two were hardly even speaking to each other and she was having an affair with the man who would later become her second husband — David Broaddrick.
(2) Norma Rogers (now Norma Kelsey) shared Broaddrick’s hotel room with her while accompanying her to the nursing home convention. Kelsey insists that less than an hour after Broaddrick’s rape, she came to the room and saw Broaddrick in a state of distress with a bruised and bleeding lip and torn pantyhose. Broaddrick confessed to her there that she had just been raped by Bill Clinton.
So in order to believe Bill Press’s ridiculous speculation/supposition that Broaddrick is lying about her rape in order to cover up an illicit, consensual affair, this is the fanciful scenario that you would have to believe:
That during the time Broaddrick was both married and having an affair with the man she loved and would later become her second husband, Broaddrick was so taken and seduced by Clinton’s personality in a public setting after meeting him for the first time (while he was the Attorney General of Arkansas who nobody outside of the state had heard of back then), that she would willingly jump into bed with him during only their second meeting.
And furthermore, that “consensual” encounter with a relatively unknown politician just coincidentally resulted in bruises on her face and torn clothes.
And to cover up this “consensual” affair that nobody even knew about to begin with, she spun a fictional tale of rape against the politician that she was actively supporting for Governor of the state, and either lied to her good friend about the rape or conscripted her to join her in the lie by making up a tale about seeing her bruises and torn clothes, all while refusing to go public with this story.
Bill Press would have you believe that the above scenario is more plausible than the simple notion that Bill Clinton is a violent sexual predator, even after the leading feminist figures in America admitted that Clinton was a likely sex addict.
Press’s attempts at rationalizing the evidence is ridiculous on its face.
* Within one year of the alleged rape, Broaddrick attended a fund-raiser for Clinton and accepted appointment by him to a state advisory board. Why did she still want to support a man who raped her?
Press is flat-out lying here by suggesting that Broaddrick still supported Clinton after her rape. Here is the truth:
First, as to the “fund-raiser” she “attended” —
Before her rape, Broaddrick was actively helping with Clinton’s campaign fundraising efforts. As a result, she had responsibility for collecting and distributing donations and funds to the campaign, while working with her many friends who were also strong Clinton supporters.
At the time of her rape on April 25, 1978, Broaddrick, as a co-worker on Clinton’s campaign, had already helped to organize a private fundraiser for Clinton at a friend’s home that was to take place within a few short weeks (not “a year” as Press disingenuously implies). She had been holding on to money that others had sent her for the campaign and thus felt obligated to still distribute it and then quickly leave at the event that she herself helped to organize, not realizing that the Clintons would be there. It was there that the Clinton’s made a surprise appearance, which caused her even more distress — but she did not want to let on to her casual friends that she had recently been raped by Clinton, so she put up appearances just long enough for her to escape.
As recounted in Broaddrick’s biography, here are the details of the incident that Press ridiculously suggests indicated Broaddrick’s continued support for Clinton after her rape — from the time she arrived at the event to the moment she left:
When a victim knows her attacker and shares other friends or acquaintances with the person, it is quite common for the victim to be forced to maintain some interaction with her attacker, lest she be forced to cut off all of her friends and completely change her life, career, etc.
For instance, many of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers still attended Miramax or other industry functions that Weinstein was attending, after the fact of their encounters. To actively avoid him in such scenarios would effectively mean quitting their profession altogether since he was omnipresent as one of the biggest producer in Hollywood at the time.
This is a common reality, and for Press to dismiss this is to buy into the many misconceptions about rape and violent sexual assault.
Within days of her rape, Broaddrick burned all of her Clinton posters, stickers and campaign memorabilia and was never again seen posting such items in her yard. (See “You’d Better Put Some Ice on That: How I Survived Being Raped By Bill Clinton”, pgs. 42–43.)
Though workplace harassment cannot be compared to the trauma of violent rape, a question for Bill Press: Does he doubt the testimony of Anita Hill when she accused Clarence Thomas of harassment (via making ribald jokes and asking her out for dates), despite the fact she willingly drove him to the airport and followed him to a second job after the harassment she alleges? If not, then why does he use that exact same playbook with regards to trying to sow doubt against Broaddrick?
Oftentimes, “ the victim may have little choice but to stay in contact if the offender” is someone who is known to her and have other acquaintances in common. This was naturally Broaddrick’s position as someone whose life included working for Clinton’s campaign and handling other people’s money intended as donations for him. Her explanation is self-explanatory and Press is an outright liar by implying that nearly a year had passed before she attended a Clinton function that he suggests was willingly done.
As for Press’s claim that Broaddrick “accepted appointment by [Clinton] to a state advisory board”—
This was directly addressed in Lisa Meyers’ interview with Broaddrick for NBC News (a segment that NBC spent months investigating and vetting Broaddrick’s background before determining that her account was credible enough to air).
Broaddrick did not know that her appointment had been engineered by Clinton at the time. She was merely asked by others (not Clinton), in her capacity as one of the foremost experts in nursing home care in the state, to help out on an advisory board dealing with such issues. Naturally, she agreed.
The relevant passage is as follows:
[Meyers voice-over]: Then in 1979, a year after the alleged assault, Broaddrick was named by Clinton to a non-paying position on a state advisory board.
Myers: “Did you have reservations about accepting any appointment by Governor Clinton?”
Broaddrick: “Yes, but I had more or less said to the association that I would do this before I knew it was a governor appointing job. When I agreed to do it I had no idea it was an appointment.”
[Myers voice-over] Over the years, Broaddrick said she had business dealings with the governor’s office but not Clinton personally. In 1984, she received a letter signed by Clinton after her nursing home was named one of the state’s best facilities. At the bottom, there is a handwritten note that says, “I admire you very much.” A routine political thank you? She interprets it as a thank you for her silence.
Broaddrick was already President of her district’s Nursing Home Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Nursing Home Association by the time of her attack. If she had backed out of the appointment after learning that Clinton was behind it, it would have caused people to question the reasons behind her decision at a time when she was trying to keep news of her rape silent.
Again, such scenarios are common when rape victims know their attacker and are caught up in the similar social and professional circles as them — especially when the attacker holds power over those professional circles. It becomes a stark choice of continuing contact with your attacker or completely upending your entire career and social circles in order to avoid contact.
Does Press bother to ask why Clinton bothered to chose Broaddrick for the appointment in the first place? Was it a way to try and buy off her silence (which she was committed to maintaining at the time, in any event)?
Press continues with his rationalizations:
* Broaddrick claims Clinton kissed her so hard he left her lip visibly black and blue, and she covered up by telling people she’d had an accident. But her first husband, Gary Hickey, says he remembers no such injury when she returned from Little Rock, nor such a story.
Again, Press refuses to acknowledge that Broaddrick wasn’t speaking with her husband at the time of her injury from her rape. She never told him about the rape. Hence it is hardly surprising when he claims to not remember “such injury” when asked about it for the first time more than 10 years after the fact.
However, she was having an affair with David Broaddrick, the man who would later become her second husband, at the time of her attack. She did tell him about the rape after he first noticed the wounds on Broaddrick’s face as well as her distressed demeanor, which compelled her to tell him the truth about how she got them.
Again from Broaddrick’s interview with NBC’s Lisa Myers:
Lisa Myers: “Did you tell your husband when you got home?”
Juanita Broaddrick: “No, my husband never knew.”
[Myers voice-over] Juanita Broaddrick says that at the time of the alleged sexual assault her marriage was on the rocks. She says she never told her husband, Gary Hickey, about the alleged incident and told him the swollen lip was the result of an accident. Hickey tells NBC News he doesn’t recall either the injury or her explanation. At the time, she was having an affair with the man who would become her second husband — David Broaddrick — to whom she’s been married 18 years. She says she saw David and told him what happened soon after she returned home.
Myers: “Did she have any visible injuries?”
David Broaddrick: “Yes. She, uh, her top lip was black.”
Myers: “As best you can remember, what did she tell you?”
David Broaddrick: “Uh, like I said, I don’t remember the words but that she had been raped by Bill Clinton.”
Myers: “Other than her lip, did she have any injuries?”
David Broaddrick: “Just mentally she was in bad shape.”
If you never tell anyone about a rape and were hardly even speaking to them at all at the time of the rape, it is not surprising that the person wouldn’t remember anything about it, or bruising, more than 10 years later. This is simply another desperate ploy by Press to try and defend a violent sexual predator for purely partisan, political reasons.
Press’s outrageous “suppositions” continue —
* One year later, Broaddrick filed divorce papers against Hickey, claiming he struck her on the mouth. Was that the only time?
Even by Press’s despicable standards, this one marks a new low — his insinuation that because Broaddrick was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her first husband, we should therefore doubt the evidence and witnesses concerning her rape at the hands of Bill Clinton.
The facts are these: A few short months after her rape at the hands of Clinton, Broaddrick formally filed for divorce against Gary Hickey, her first husband whom she hadn’t even been speaking with for some time. She, along with her son Kevin, then moved in to a new home with David Broaddrick (again, the man who would become her second husband).
When Gary Hickey discovered that she had moved in with David, he came over in a drunken rage, armed with a rifle, and pounded on their door while David was away.
Hickey, in his rage, hit Broaddrick with the butt of his rifle — knocking her to the floor, breaking her nose and causing profuse bleeding. (See, “You’d Better Put Some Ice on That: How I Survived Being Raped By Bill Clinton”, pgs. 47–49.)
Broaddrick’s son Kevin and two other boys were also in the house at the time. Hickey ended up kidnapping Kevin (then 9 years old) from the house, so Kevin (who was told of Clinton’s rape by her mother back in 1991) was a witness to the events of that evening. Broaddrick states that a police report was filed at time time, detailing these events.
Hickey returned Kevin safely to Broaddrick the next day.
Based on this tragic incident, Press outrageously to use it against Broaddrick, suggesting that her abuse at the hands of her first husband negates her credibility with regards to her abuse at the hands of Bill Clinton. In Bill Press’s warped mind, the more abuse women suffer, the less credible they are.
What is even more jaw-dropping is Press’s intimation that Broaddrick not only had motive to cover up abuse at the hands of her first husband whom she was divorcing and already filed a public police report on, but that, in order to effectuate the cover-up, she somehow ended up pinning the blame on a politician whom she was actively working for and supporting. Can Press be any more outrageous and illogical in his tinfoil hat conspiracies?
Press continues yet again —
* Broaddrick also told two girlfriends, who are sisters, what happened, which both confirm. But both admit they hate Clinton because he commuted the death sentence of the man who murdered their father. Can they be trusted?
Bill Press is flat out lying here. Let’s now discuss the proof of his lies:
To begin with, we need to discuss the backstory.
In 1971, Guy Lavern Kuehn was charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Lonnie Ray Trentham. The following year, he was found guilty and sentenced to death via the electric chair.
Trentham was the father of Jean Darden and Norma Kelsay (previously known as Norma Rogers) — two key witnesses in the Broaddrick case.
Kelsay was with Broaddrick at the hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas on the day in question (where they were both attending a nursing convention) and claims to have visited Broaddrick in her hotel room moments after the rape.
Kelsay said she saw Broaddrick there alone, in a state of shock. Kelsey claims she saw that Broaddrick’s lip and mouth were badly swollen, and that her pantyhose had been ripped off.
Kelsay claimed that she helped to ice down Broaddrick’s wounds before driving her back to Van Buren, Arkansas.
Though Darden was not there to see Broaddrick’s fresh wounds and torn clothing, Darden insists that Broaddrick confided in her about the rape back in 1978, shortly after it occurred, as she did with at least three additional people that year (which was more than a decade before Bill Clinton would announce a decision to run for President).
Press claims that neither Kelsay nor Darden are credible, unbiased witnesses because Bill Clinton “commuted the death sentence” of Kuehn.
This is a lie. Bill Press is telling you a flat out lie in order to try and throw shade on the credibility of Broaddrick and her many witnesses.
Bill Clinton did not commute the death sentence of Guy Lavern Kuehn — the Arkansas Supreme Court did (under orders from, and at the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court, which commuted all death sentences of everyone in the country that year).
Need proof? No problem. You can read the Court’s order specifically commuting Khuen’s death sentence to life for yourself here: https://www.leagle.com/decision/1973994489sw2d5051978
And here is the Associated Press coverage of the Court’s decision, declaring that “The Arkansas Supreme Court” was the entity that “ordered a reduction to life in prison” for Kuehn — not (then Arkansas Governor) Bill Clinton.
The Associated Press even reported on the reaction from the death row inmates from Kuehn’s prison after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision was handed down.
Bill Press is lying to you when he claims it was Bill Clinton who did what the Arkansas Supreme Court actually ordered.
What Bill Clinton admittedly did do while Governor of Arkansas was to later make certain inmates serving life sentences without parole potentially eligible for parole many years into their sentence, based on the recommendation of the state’s Parole Board and prison officials as part of a solution for prison overcrowding in the state.
This technically was a “commutation” of their sentences, even though no prisoners were released or offered immediate parole.
As Clinton explained, “the prison parole board asked me to commute 159 sentences and I turned down around 90 of them.” Clinton further said that , the parole board never asked him to release the prisoners but to give them the opportunity to be considered for parole.
Clinton originally ordered Kuehn to be come potentially eligible for parole in December 1980 (one of many others that he issued similar orders to), but without shortening his life sentence (imposed by the courts after they stuck down the death penalty) one iota.
Clinton claimed that there was no opposition to this decision lodged in Kuehn’s file, but that when he later learned of the opposition from Trentham’s family, he changed his mind and “personally called every member of the parole board and asked them to give [the Trentham family] a hearing, which they did, and asked them not to parole this man.”
In other words, far from shortening Keuhn’s sentence, Bill Clinton actually lobbied the Arkansas Parole Board personally to make sure that they would refuse to give Kuehn parole.
The Parole Board obliged Clinton’s request — denying Kuehn parole and ensuring that he would serve out his full life sentence to eventually die in prison.
Even this technical “commutation” that allowed Kuhen and others to become potentially eligible for parole at a later date was controversial and, in part, resulted in Clinton’s defeat for re-election in 1980.
In his successful bid to reclaim the Governorship in 1982, Clinton rebutted claims that he ever “turned any first degree murders loose”.
The bottom line is this: Based on the recommendation of the Arkansas Parole Board, Clinton made 159 prisoners theoretically eligible for parole who previously hadn’t been. Guy Lavern Kuehn was one of them, but when the Trentham family (which included Broaddrick witnesses Jean Darden and Norma Kelsay) objected, Clinton personally lobbied the Parole Board to reject Kuehn’s application for parole, which they did. Kuehn’s life sentence was never shortened and his original death sentence was thrown out by the federal courts — not Clinton.
Keep in mind that the decision to make the 159 prisoners eligible for parole came in 1980 — a full two years after Broaddrick’s encounter with Clinton that Kelsay say the aftermath of and when Darden was told of the incident.
It is patently ridiculous to suggest that because Kuehn became eligible for parole that was specifically rejected by the parole board after Clinton lobbied them to do so, two members of the Trentham family would conspire to make up a lie about Clinton raping one of their friends two years earlier, convincing at least three others (in addition to Broaddrick herself, after she worked for Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign) to join them in making up this lie, and then all refuse to go public with this lie while watching Clinton campaign for President twice — keeping this conspiratorial lie only to themselves and their very small social circle.
Press doesn’t even bother to try to explain why the many other witnesses besides Darden and Kelsay would make up a lie about being told about the rape in 1978 (well before there would be any incentive to help derail a Presidential campaign that wouldn’t exist for another 12 years).
Does Press claim all of the witnesses are lying here? If so, what are the motivations for the others to lie? (Press doesn’t even posit a theory, however improbable.) If not, then why is the credibility of two witnesses even an issue when there are at least three others who don’t share this mythical “bias” who can validate and confirm the exact same information?
Press is simply grasping at straws here, and he feeds his readers an outright lie to try and salvage his conspiratorial theory.
Yet Press presses on with his desperation in his op-ed:
* In 1997, Broaddrick signed an affidavit and gave a deposition in the Jones case, denying twice under oath that Clinton raped her. “These allegations are untrue and there is no truth to these rumors.” If Clinton did rape her, 20 years later, why would she still not tell the truth?
For the exact same reason Monica Lewinsky refused to tell the truth when she too signed an affidavit in the same case denying any encounter with Bill Clinton — because she wanted to retain her privacy and resented the fact that she was being dragged in to a lawsuit against her will. Because, like Lewinsky, she knew that if she told the truth that she would be viciously attacked from the likes of Clinton’s many defenders (Bill Press included, as he himself has proven) looking to destroy her credibility.
This is a very common reaction among the victims of rape, domestic violence and sexual assault. They will routinely lie under oath in order to avoid being re-victimized and attacked yet again by the legal system. They feel ashamed. They often think that they invited the attack and share responsibility for it, and people like Press are only too eager to reinforce these mistaken feelings.
Press surely knows this. He is just pretending to be dumb here for partisan political purposes.
Does Press suggest that we can’t believe Monica Lewinsky or know if she had an encounter with Bill Clinton since she denied it under oath?? The suggestion is absurd.
How do we know that Lewinsky lied and committed perjury in the Paula Jones case? Because of the nature of the evidence outside of her sworn statement. And so it is with Juanita Broaddrick’s own denials under oath in the form of her affidavit and deposition in the Jones case.
Perjury is proven just like any other offense — with independent evidence.
With Lewinsky, Clinton’s own DNA was found on her dress.
With Broaddrick, you have multiple witnesses, including a witness who saw and treated her bloody bruises and torn clothing. You have independent, documented evidence placing Broaddrick at the scene on the day in question. You have no alibi for Clinton, despite having a public calendar as a public official being followed by the local press. You have the circumstantial evidence of the Pulaski County jail conversation between Clinton and Broaddrick, providing additional proof of their encounter when considered in conjunction with the other evidence.
Furthermore, you have a secret recording made without Broaddrick’s knowledge (and before the story became public) wherein she tells people that if she is dragged into the spotlight against her will by attorneys, she will purposely commit perjury in order to protect her privacy.
Meanwhile, when Clinton was asked about the allegation, he notably refused to directly deny it — suggesting that people talk to his attorney instead.
Press purposely ignores all of this evidence.
If Press thinks that Broaddrick’s denials under oath irreparably damages her credibility despite all of the other evidence supporting her story, then why does he not apply that exact same standard to Lewinsky who did precisely the same?
If Press thinks that statements under oath represent unvarnished “truth” compared to conflicting statements that are not made under oath, does this mean that he fully believes the sworn statement of Judy Stokes, who claimed that her good friend Elizabeth Ward Gracen tearfully confessed to her that Clinton had raped her (“pressured” her into sex) as well?
(After first denying any encounter with Clinton whatsoever — just as Leiwsnky and Broaddrick had — Gracen later admitted to a sexual encounter but claimed it was consensual. However, her denial of rape was not made under oath. And furthermore, Gracen described Clinton as a forceful lip-biter, just as Broaddrick had also claimed during her rape, helping demonstrate Broaddrick’s verisimilitude.
But if Press genuinely believes that sworn statements under oath should carry more weight than conflicting statements not made under oath, despite the fact that a plethora of evidence supports the unsworn statement, then it stands to reason that we should believe Judy Stokes’ sworn statement that Gracen said Clinton “pressured” her into sex against her will, correct?)
People like Press might argue that its logical to presume that statements under oath are more credible than unsworn statements, even in the face of evidence suggesting otherwise, because the speaker knows that lying under oath can carry concrete criminal penalties, whereas there are no such penalties for lying to the press.
But there is a glaring problem with this theory in Broaddrick’s case: It is an even graver crime to lie to the FBI and federal investigators during a criminal investigation. As any knowledgable lawyer will tell you, as a practical matter, lying to the feds is far more serious than committing perjury in a private, civil case (which is usually not prosecuted or taken seriously since its difficult to prove and is assumed to take place regularly during civil court trials).
Broaddrick first denied any encounter with Clinton under oath during the Paula Jones civil trial, while being questioned by Jones’s attorneys. But later, when questioned by the FBI, she admitted to committing perjury during her testimony and told the Feds that she had in fact been raped by Bill Clinton. Had she lied to the Feds in that confession, she would have been guilty of a federal crime that is far broader in scope and thus prosecuted far more often than civil perjury, and which carries penalties that are at least as serious.
There is a reason why Federal Prosecutor Kenneth Starr offered both Lewinsky and Broaddrick immunity from perjury when he questioned them — because, based on the objective evidence uncovered, he was genuinely convinced that they had in fact committed perjury.
Prosecutors do not give immunity to people for crimes they don’t think they committed. They only do so for those who actually committed such offenses.
Press refuses to acknowledge the reality that Broaddrick wanted to avoid the media throughout her ordeal, telling her close circle of friends about her trauma, and eventually telling her son when she felt she could not hide it from him any longer, but she steadfastly refused to come forward even when Clinton’s political enemies were pleading with her to do so.
She refused to come forward during Clinton’s first campaign for President.
She refused to come forward during Clinton’s re-election campaign for his second term as President.
She refused to come forward while Clinton’s impeachment trial had begun.
She told private investigators who were secretly taping her without her knowledge that she would willingly commit perjury by denying anything had happened if she was forced into another person’s lawsuit against her will.
It was only when confronted by the FBI and federal prosecutors that Broaddrick felt compelled to tell the truth — but even then she needed to be assured that she would be given immunity for her past perjury.
Once she had spoken to the Feds, the media rumors began to swirl, causing her stress at home. It was only then when she felt compelled to come forward with the truth to try quash the rumors and end the media harassment of her and her family. Even then, the few reporters she spoke to had to convince her over the course of several months to open up to them about what had happened. She refused the news outlets that were most prone to be ideologically opposed to Clinton from all sides.
Yet Press would have us believe that Broaddrick and a group of several people around her would make up a fictional story about her being raped by Bill Clinton (the man she actively supported for Arkansas Governor), and then only keep it to themselves, rather than telling it to media during any of the years when it would have politically harmed him.
Then he would have us believe that, after Clinton had safely won his second and final term in office, the only group Broaddrick would tell this lie to is the FBI, even though lying to them would be a federal offense that would potentially land her in jail for up to five years.
Press shows complete and utter ignorance not only of the timeline of Broaddrick’s evidence and posture, but of the common mindset of rape victims who routinely refuse to come forward in order to maintain their privacy and avoid the shame of going public.
His argument here is a disgrace.
Press’s disgrace continues onward in his piece —
* Last year, Broaddrick told independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr that her Jones testimony was false, but that she had been under absolutely no pressure from the president or the White House to file a false affidavit. So, did she lie to the Jones team? Or did she lie to Starr? Or is she now lying to NBC? How do we know?
The answer: She lied to the Jones team, but did not lie to either Starr or NBC.
How do we know? Simple. The same way we know Monica Lewinsky lied to the Jones team but not to Starr or the media. We know because of the evidence.
We know because of the fact that she actively worked on Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign and refused to come forward during either of his Presidential runs that she isn’t making her story up out of partisan, political motivations.
We know because of the timeline of it being only her second personal encounter with Clinton (while being married and carrying on an affair with another man who would become her second husband) as well as the witness who saw her fresh bloody-bruises and torn clothing that this was not a “consensual” encounter with Clinton that somehow got later turned into a false rape story.
We know because of her extreme reluctance to tell her story, even going so far as to admit that she would willingly commit perjury by denying the encounter on the stand, while being secretly recorded without her knowledge.
We know because other examples (from the same case even) clearly prove that women will willingly lie on sworn affidavits by denying shameful or embarrassing sexual encounters in order to protect their own privacy.
We know because of the many people she secretly confided in back in 1978 (more than a decade before Clinton would even announce a run for President): Norma Rogers Kelsay, David Broaddrick, Susan Lewis, Louise Ma, Jean Darden, Phillip Yoakum, her son Kevin Hickey (many of whom Press doesn’t even try to pretend have motivations for making up such a story together, in some type of grand conspiracy.).
We know because of the circumstantial evidence placing both Broaddrick and Clinton at the scene on the day in question, including the detail of Clinton expressing a desire to change a building that in fact could be seen from the hotel room and that had since been demolished, and the fact that nothing in Clinton’s public calendar that day or any other evidence provides him with an alibi.
We know because of the established pattern of behavior with Bill Clinton that includes Broaddrick’s detail of Clinton harshly biting her lip in order to force her into submission — a fact that was not only confirmed by Norma Kelsay who was a direct eyewitness to the blood-bruises on Broaddirck’s lip (as well as David Broaddrick, who saw also her wounds afterwards), but which closely parallels the story of Elizabeth Ward Gracen, who noted Clinton’s “lip biting” and whose friend Judy Stokes testified that Gracen tearfully told her that Clinton has “pressured” her into sex.
We know because of the established pattern of behavior with Bill Clinton that includes many other victims of sexual harassment and assault that have come forward, including Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Leslie Millwee (most of whom Press himself admits to believing) — a pattern so undeniable that even Clinton’s most stalwart defenders and apologists were sheepishly forced to admit that Clinton was likely a sex addict.
We know because of the fact that during the rare times when Clinton was asked about Broaddrick’s allegations (only twice, in fact, to the great shame of our press), he offered embarrassing evasions rather than any form of direct denial.
We know because the combined force of all of the evidence supporting Broaddrick is far greater and broader than many famous accusers (even with allegations less grave than forceable, violent rape) who are routinely lauded by Press and his political allies who do not doubt their stories.
We know because Kenneth Starr saw fit to grant her immunity from perjury for her testimony in the Paula Jones case, just as he did with Monica Lewinsky for her own perjury in that same case — something neither he, nor any other federal prosecutor, would even think of doing unless they knew that perjury had been committed in the first instance.
We know this because Broaddrick knew that lying to the FBI during a criminal investigation would have gotten her in far more serious legal trouble than lying to private attorneys in a civil case.
We know because all of the theories as to why she would lie about being raped by Bill Clinton are utterly implausible. (Why would a stalwart Clinton supporter who worked on his campaign while only meeting him in person twice, while being married and having an affair with another man who would become her second husband, conspire with friends to lie about Clinton raping her during the same year she was supporting his campaign, and then later all collectively decide to remain silent about their false tale while Clinton ran for President twice and while he faced an impeachment trial — only coming forth with this story after he had won the his last election of his life and beat back his impeachment effort, when the story couldn’t possibly damage him politically? And then, rather than lie to the press, she then decides to lie to the FBI instead, knowing that such a lie could get her up to five years in prison?? None of the motivations to lie about being raped make any sense if you understand the timeline and the evidence.)
We know because Clinton’s defenders have routinely dismissed nearly all of the allegations of Clinton’s sexual harassment, assault and misconduct in the face of overwhelming evidence.
We know because, as every journalist who has investigated her story with any seriousness admits, no evidence has ever undercut any of Broaddrick’s claims, and everyone who speaks to her directly and at length after studying the evidence finds her to be credible.
As George Will aptly put it: “We’re not hopelessly at sea in trying to evaluate a story like this. On the one hand, from the woman’s side, did she make contemporaneous reports to friends? Yes she did. More contemporaneous reports to friends than Anita Hill made in her alleged unpleasantness with Clarence Thomas. Second this, on the man side, is this out of character? Please.”
Any rational person familiar with the evidence knows full well when Broaddrick was lying to protect her privacy (during her testimony to Paula Jones’s lawyers) and when she was telling the truth (to the FBI and NBC).
Even Bill Press knows this since he isn’t stupid. He is simply being a disingenuous, partisan hack in trying to pretend otherwise.
Press refuses to acknowledge that you never assess the credibility of any single piece of evidence in isolation — you assess it within the context of the entirety of the evidence as a whole.
When the entirety of the evidence in Broaddrick’s case is considered, including her many witnesses and evidence placing her at the scene, not only is Broaddrick’s allegation proven to be credible, but all alternative theories are shown to be utterly implausible.
Even after his final “question” about Broaddrick, Press lobs out another whopper and lies to his readers by stating the following nonsense that is designed to appeal to the base, partisan prejudices of Clinton’s supporters:
The truth is, we don’t know. And we’ll never know. But we do know this. We know that Starr’s investigators talked to Broaddrick and listened to her story — and decided not to pursue it. That, in itself, casts huge doubts on Broaddrick’s credibility. If Starr would impeach Clinton for oral sex, he would certainly indict or impeach him for rape, if he could prove it.
This statement is a lie. Bill Press is lying to you, and he damn well knows it.
Even a centrist-liberal, Clinton-sympatehtic news source like Slate knows what the truth is here, and the truth is as follows —
Starr did indeed speak to Broaddrick and listened to her story, but felt he had no power to pursue it because it was beyond the jurisdictional scope of his mandate and the statute of limitations (of six years) had already long since run on Boraddrick’s rape claim. That is why he didn’t bother speaking to any of her many witnesses or investigate any of her supporting evidence.
Once Broaddrick admitted that Clinton did not pressure or threaten her to lie in the Paula Jones case, and that she decided on her own to perjure herself for the sake of keeping her privacy and protecting her family, Starr had nowhere to go with her case.
It is only the extreme, tinfoil hat crowd of Clinton sycophants who falsely believe that Starr had unfettered power to pursue Clinton for any and all crimes under the sun, when in fact, his jurisdiction was limited to Whitewater and obstruction of justice in the Paula Jones matter. Even for the Paula Jones matter, Starr had to obtain the permission from (Clinton’s) Attorney General Janet Reno and a panel of federal judges before he could expand his investigation in to that realm. Originally, Starr had jurisdiction to investigate crimes directly related to Whitewater only.
That is why he needed Reno’s permission even to look into the Paula Jones/Lewinsky matter. He had to ask permission to expand his investigation each time, because that is what the federal law creating his position required him to do. Only deranged partisans believe that Starr’s jurisdiction and power were limitless.
(Press compounds the falsehoods here by repeating the tired, partisan lie that Clinton was impeached for “oral sex”, when in fact he was impeached for obstructing justice in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment case against him.)
Clinton’s rape of Broaddrick in 1978 did not violate any federal laws at the time, and the statute of limitations had long since run out on any state crimes he may have been charged with. It had nothing to do with obstruction of justice in the Paula Jones case since Broaddrick insisted that she wasn’t pressured by anyone else to lie.
Therefore, Starr was powerless to use Broaddrick’s story in his official report and recommended charges.
However, because Starr found Broaddrick to be so convincing, what he did do was to create a secret file concerning her case and gave it to Congress for their eyes only.
This file was so disturbing and convincing for those Congressmen who bothered to read it, that it ended up solidifying the resolve of the House of Representatives to vote in favor of impeachment, even though no Congressman was willing or able to publicly cite Broaddrick as the official reason for their vote.
This undeniable fact of history has been reported in press outlets as diverse as Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and even Newsweek which admitted:
“[It’s] wrong for Clinton supporters to claim the Broaddrick story isn’t “relevant.” It is highly relevant — not just to any assessment of Clinton’s character but to the first impeachment of a president in 130 years. Recall that after the 1998 election, impeachment seemed dead. So House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (who now faces his own allegations of lying under oath in a civil case) needed some Hamburger Helper to win the big vote. That’s where the “Jane Doe №5” story came in. GOP members were encouraged to read her interview with Starr’s investigators in a secret vault. One GOP House member says the sealed Broaddrick material was decisive for “a few” of his colleagues. With the obstruction count carrying in the House on Dec. 19 by only five votes, that may have been enough to change history.”
So tell me — If Ken Starr supposedly found Broaddrick’s claims to be implausible and lacking any credibility or evidence, why would he bother creating a separate file on her for Congress, and why would that file be so convincing to its readers that it became one of the deciding factors in favor of Clinton’s impeachment?
Bill Press’s outrageous op-ed does nothing to undercut Broaddrick’s claim and only goes to prove that there are no depths that he will sink to in trying to slander or attack women who are brave enough to come forward and accuse one his preferred candidates with a very strong compilation of evidence and witnesses.
As if Press’s attacks on Broaddrick’s character aren’t bad enough, consider all of the evidence Broaddrick put forth in support of her claim and then compare it to how Press approaches evidence when it benefits his party’s quest for power. Prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor when you read Press’s brazen, partisan hypocrisy on display here:
When it comes to sexual abuse, Republican senators are just as clueless today as they were in 1991, when Anita Hill raised her claims of repeated sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas.
They didn’t get it then. They don’t get it now.
Rather than examine the substance of what Ford alleges — a serious charge of attempted rape by a drunken teenager, egged on by a male classmate — they focus instead on the timing. Just like they did with Anita Hill in 1991. Same identical questions. Why didn’t she call the police? Why’d she wait so long to come forward?
You’d think they’d have learned something by now. Especially after the recent fall of so many male celebrities — Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Les Moonves — on charges of sexual abuse. In each of those cases, charges were raised by female victims decades after the abuse occurred.
Why’d they wait? Seriously, do we still have to ask that question?
These women knew that if they did speak out, they’d be attacked, ridiculed and smeared, and called a slut and a liar. In other words, they’d be treated just like Anita Hill and bullied just like Christine Blasey Ford.
Bill Press ought to be ashamed of himself.
But like Bill Clinton, he is apparently beyond shame.