Clinton administration coverup?

The NYTimes reports today that prosecutor David M. Barrett, the independent counsel in the investigation into possible Clinton-era coverups involving the IRS, has issued a “scathing report accusing Clinton administration officials of thwarting an inquiry into whether Mr. Cisneros [former HUD Secretary] evaded paying income taxes.” Here’s more:

But it was not widely known that Mr. Barrett believed that Mr. Cisneros’s handling of the payments to the former mistress might have violated tax laws or that he suspected Justice Department and I.R.S. officials of criminal obstruction to help Mr. Cisneros avoid scrutiny. The New York Daily News reported on Wednesday that Mr. Barrett would issue a report alleging a Clinton administration cover-up of Mr. Cisneros’s tax problems.

The report included statements, in appendices, from former Justice Department and I.R.S. officials sharply disputing Mr. Barrett’s assertions. In addition, Barry S. Simon, a lawyer for Mr. Cisneros, said in a letter dated Nov. 8, 2005, and included in the report, “Materials that are now being publicly released are simply an effort to ‘try’ the case that” Mr. Barrett’s office could not win in court.

Mr. Barrett’s 746-page report said that the tax and obstruction phase of the inquiry ended without a definitive conclusion, but it declared: “These agencies’ treatment of possible charges against Cisneros was at best questionable and at worst represented serious wrongdoing. There seems to be no question that Cisneros was given special consideration and more limited scrutiny because of who he was – an important political appointee.”

Read the whole thing, and note the usual suspects’ attempt at discrediting the investigation. Surprise surprise.

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