Trump's Attack Plan and Why He Wants Clinton as Nominee: Hillary's Ugly 1975 Child Rape Case
There comes a time in a reporter's life when a story makes him or her ill and we would rather not write about it. However, sometimes the story is too important, and this is not an option. All criminal defendants are entitled to a "vigorous defense," in the words of the legal profession. But does a vigorous defense mean lying about a 12-year-old rape victim, and claiming she was enticing older men?
CNN reported on the case in 2014, a 1975 case in Arkansas when Clinton was a young defense lawyer, who was asked by a judge to defend a man who, it turns out, she knew to be guilty. The CNN report runs audio which had been unearthed of Clinton saying that the man took a polygraph test, which he passed, which "forever destroyed [her] faith in polygraphs." Clinton is heard laughing as she chats about the case.
The Daily Beast interviewed the victim, who after the release of the audio stepped forward. The Daily Beast reported in 2014:
The victim's allegation that Clinton smeared her following her rape is based on a May 1975 court affidavit written by Clinton on behalf of Thomas Alfred Taylor, one of the two alleged attackers, whom Clinton agreed to defend after being asked by the prosecutor. Taylor had specifically requested a female attorney. "I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing," Clinton, then named Hillary D. Rodham, wrote in the affidavit. "I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body. Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way."
The Daily Beast further reported:
The victim vigorously denied Clinton's accusations and said there has never been any explanation of what Clinton was referring to in that affidavit. She claims she never accused anyone of attacking her before her rape. "I've never said that about anyone. I don't know why she said that. I have never made false allegations. I know she was lying," she said. "I definitely didn't see older men. I don't know why Hillary put that in there and it makes me plumb mad."
Clinton won her case after she learned that the section of the victim's underwear with bloodstains on them had been lost by investigators, and she flew to New York to have a world class expert agree to testify in her client's behalf. The girl was permanently damaged, and unable to have children afterwards. The accused was found guilty of a much lesser charge and released with essentially "time served" while awaiting trial.
A vigorous defense yes. But does that include outright character assassination of a 12-year-old girl, as the victim maintains?
Now as gutter fighter Donald Trump unveils his new nickname for Clinton, "crooked Hillary," after his cryptic comment that "the Clintons have a lot to hide," we get a glimpse of where he may be going to eviscerate Clinton's 10 point lead in head-to-head matches conducted by the polling media, compared to Sanders' nearly 20 point lead over Trump. "Crooked Hillary" is along the lines of his "Little Marco" Rubio, or "Low Energy Jeb."
Of course politics is not the point here. The deep injustice which may have been done to a child victim is. But no observer can fail to see that Clinton has questions to answer. Thus far her position on the case, expressed in recent years, is that her client was entitled to the best defense possible. When interviewed by a British network on the case in 2014, she said:
"I had a professional duty to represent my client to the best of my ability, which I did."
One word is missing. Especially when it comes to such a grave crime involving such a young child, we should say the best ethical defense possible. If the victim's allegations that Clinton's tactics had no basis in fact, certainly a critical moral compass is missing. Clinton's response to the case is glib, partially true, and incomplete. And there is no doubt that Donald Trump knows it.