“QUIT EQUATING WATERGATE TO WHITEWATER,” SAYS DNC WATERGATE ‘72 STAFFER
AND CLINTON WHITEWATER GRAND JURY WITNESS BOB WEINER
ON 30TH WATERGATE ANNIVERSARY
“BREAKING INTO OPPOSITION
NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS AND INVOLVING AGENCIES
IN OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE IN COVERUP HARDLY EQUATES
TO PROTECTING PRIVACY OF A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP ,” SAYS WEINER;
TO SAY PARALLEL IS “PERVERSION OF HISTORY”
(Washington, DC) – On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in June 17, Bob Weiner, in the unique position of being the only Democratic National Committee 1972 Watergate headquarters staffer who also was a Clinton Whitewater Grand Jury witness, is urging media and politicians to “Quit equating Watergate to Whitewater.”
“Breaking into the opposition national political headquarters and involving agencies in obstructing justice in a cover-up hardly equates to protecting privacy of a personal relationship,” says Weiner. “To say Watergate and Whitewater are parallel is a perversion of history.”
“On a day when we are reminded of the remarkable investigation of reporters like Woodward and Bernstein, who brought out the Watergate Nixon-era subversions of the Constitution, it is unjust to parallel those to the personal activities of President Clinton. In fact, if there is any real parallel between Watergate and Whitewater, it is the similarity between the break-in and cover-up of Watergate and the privacy invasion against the Clintons and abuse of that privacy for politics by the Republican extremists in Congress – and the American people knew it. The fact that Clinton held a 70% popularity rating compared to prosecutor Ken Starr’s 9%, and Clinton’s popularity rose in the polls as Starr and congressional Republicans became more and more vicious (and lost congressional seats) in exposing Clinton’s private life indicates the accurate record of history. The attempted rehabilitation of Ken Starr as a prosecutor ‘only doing his job’ – when virtually all prosecutors indicate they would have utilized prosecutorial discretion and not prosecuted such a consensual sex case in a non-political setting – is also a distortion of history,” said Weiner.
Weiner took direct aim at comments by CNN’s Larry King on June 10: “When someone as respected as Larry King has a Watergate review show and says that the evidence of the Nixon tapes – which largely caused Nixon’s decision to resign – was ‘like the stain on the dress,’ referring to the Clinton case, it makes me sad because it belittles the severity of Nixon’s actions.”
“Republicans and supporters of the prosecutor tried to draw a legal parallel between Watergate and Whitewater by tying the Clintons to the Whitewater land deal, travel office abuses, and FBI staff files abuses, but they failed, even in the prosecutor’s own judgment. When they were left with hiding the existence of a girlfriend and decided to use that, they dropped the possibility of ultimate depth in any true historical parallel,” Weiner stated.
Weiner was National Youth Voter Registration Director in the Young Democrats’ office of the Democratic National Committee and also Voter Registration Media Director for the DNC Presidential campaign in 1971-72. From 1995-2001 Weiner was Director of Public Affairs for the White House Office of National Drug Policy. In 1972, Weiner was interviewed by the FBI, providing a deposition about Republican break-in activities, and was asked by Watergate Committee Senator Joseph Montoya (DNM) to provide a statement for the Committee. In January 1998, Weiner was subpoenaed and testified before Ken Starr’s Whitewater-Lewinsky Grand Jury about private home phone calls which he and his wife, Patricia Berg, made to friends expressing their opinion about the Linda Tripp tapes. Weiner and Berg called Starr’s investigation of their private lives “Big Brother at its worst” and were interviewed or quoted on “Today”, “Good Morning America”, Montel Williams, even Jay Leno, as well as all three network news programs, and most papers across America.
“We were outraged that the Prosecutor’s violations of privacy invaded our home, as well as the President’s,” Weiner stated. “That violation of privacy is the real historical legacy of Whitewater, and it is the only parallel to Watergate.”
Weiner, who worked in Congress for fifteen years for Ed Koch (D/NY), Claude Pepper (D-FL), Charles Rangel (D-NY), and John Conyers (D-MI) as well as the White House for the last six years, is writing a book, “Watergate to Whitewater: Near the Center of the Storm.” He is now President of Robert Weiner Associates Public Affairs and Issue Strategies.
Source: Robert Weiner Associates 301-283-0821 / 202-329-1700