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Clinton-era 'Filegate' case tossed out

By Al Kamen
Filegate, one of the many "-gates" that erupted during the Clinton administration, looks to be over after a 14-year run. It began after congressional Republicans found out in 1996 that the Clinton White House had sought the FBI file of Billy Ray Dale, who was fired as head of the White House travel office in the Travelgate affair.

The new information led to allegations that the administration conspired to use the FBI for a political witch hunt. The alleged conspirators included former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum and aides Craig Livingstone and Anthony Marceca. Several people whose personnel files were involved then sued White House officials and the FBI for violating their privacy.

But on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth tossed the case. "After years of litigation, endless depositions, the fictionalized portrayal of this lawsuit and its litigants on television," Lamberth concluded in a 28-page opinion, "this court is left to conclude that with the lawsuit, to quote Gertrude Stein, 'there's no there there.'"

The plaintiffs, he wrote, "after ample opportunity... have not produced any evidence of the far-reaching conspiracy that sought to use intimate details from FBI files for political assassinations that they alleged.

"The only thing that they have demonstrated is that this unfortunate episode -- about which they do have cause to complain -- was exactly what the defendants claimed: nothing more than a bureaucratic snafu."

By Al Kamen  |  March 9, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Gosh, this wild goose chase took 14 years wasted millions of tax-payer money and we don't even get a pony! Will the republicans and their enablers in the media ever apologized to the Clintons and White House Staff who incurred huge attorney fees to defend them selves against these baseless accusations?

Posted by: alinosof | March 9, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

After five or six Bleak House length lawsuits over the Clinton Administration finally dead we might suppose that America has its fill of throwing money at investigators of Democratic administrations, but the Republicans can't actually let anything like well enough alone, so expectEric Maasa to be the initiating circumstance for the Obama Round of meaningless gates. Maybe if the Secratery of Defense has a multispeed security barrier installed at his residence we can have Gates' Gate's Gaits Gate.

Posted by: ceflynline | March 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

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