Enron sends California garbage instead of subpoenaed documents

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HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Business

March 20, 2002, 11:16PM

Enron sends California garbage

Reuters News Service

WASHINGTON -- California prosecutors say that when they pried open 940 boxes of documents subpoenaed from bankrupt energy giant Enron Corp., they made a surprising discovery.

"What we found were discarded Kleenexes, old pizza boxes, garbage," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer told reporters.

On March 11, Lockyer said he and a team of lawyers arrived at the offices of Enron's utility subsidiary in Portland, Ore. Lockyer expected to find subpoenaed documents related to Enron's California electricity sales.

A California judge will rule next week on whether Enron should be held in contempt for its action, he said.

From the 940 boxes, "we got one piece of paper, one document, in response to our subpoena," Lockyer said.

Enron has incensed California politicians by ignoring a subpoena and failing to appear last month at a state Senate panel hearing ondocument destruction. Lockyer won a court order in January requiring Enron to preserve all paper and electronic documents subpoenaed by state officials.

-- Cherri (jessam5@home.com), March 23, 2002


How about a gross of Lay's potato chips?

-- (Roland@hatemail.com), March 23, 2002.

O'REILLY: All right. Yeah, anybody can. All right, you concluded in your report that the Clintons benefited from criminal activity. How did they do that?

RAY: There was investment in Whitewater. And they were business partners with the McDougals in Madison Guaranty. And the McDdougals clearly, and others, engaged in illegal activity, fraud, and were found guilty or pleaded guilty in connection with those activities.

The McDougals were found guilty, others pleaded guilty. The result of that criminal conduct was to the benefit of a failing institution. And as a result of that, because the Clintons were business partners with the McDougals, they, in connection with matters that involved a joint activity, obviously benefited from that course of conduct.

O'REILLY: So they benefited by getting money?

RAY: Yes.

O'REILLY: So Hillary Clinton worked for the Madison Guaranty, before it folded. She was paid by that bank. Is that what you mean, they benefited?

RAY: Well, benefited, it means in a financial sense, sure. The question, though, for a prosecutor to decide was the very narrow one. And that is, yes, we were able to uncover and did uncover criminal wrongdoing. Others committed criminal wrongdoing. The question to be decided and the reason an independent counsel was appointed in the first instance -- remember, now, this is the first investigation, the first mandate...

O'REILLY: Right.

RAY: ...that caused -- it created the independent counsel's office.

O'REILLY: Right.

RAY: And the Attorney General Reno...

O'REILLY: But I'm still unclear in the sense that they benefited. The Clintons benefited. That means they got money.

RAY: Yes.

O'REILLY: How much?

RAY: Well, I mean, that's really not the issue.

O'REILLY: It's an issue for me. I want to know how much money they took out of a bank that failed and the taxpayer, you and me and everybody else, lost $300,000, which isn't a lot in the scheme of things. But how much did the Clintons make from the bank that failed?

RAY: Well, the bank that failed cost the taxpayers ultimately the bailout was in excess of $70 million.

O'REILLY: $70 million?

RAY: Now that wasn't to the benefit of the Clintons personally. But the more important point with regard to it for a prosecutor was to make a determination about whether or not the Clintons were aware of the criminal conduct that was ongoing.

O'REILLY: And you say they were aware of it?

RAY: Well, no, what I said was is that unless we were able to show beyond a reasonable doubt, that they knowingly engaged in conduct in an effort to conceal wrongful activity...

O'REILLY: Right.

RAY: That was not sufficient to sustain criminal charges.

O'REILLY: I understand that. But you're saying that $70 million of taxpayer money went down the drain because of this fraudulent Whitewater land deal linked to the Madison Guaranty Bank, which failed, $70 million?

RAY: And in the context of the 1980s, this was not an uncommon occurrence.

O'REILLY: Fine. A lot of savings and loans went down. I want to know how much money the Clintons took out for themselves from this fiasco. Can you tell me? Can you put a dollar sign on it?

RAY: I think it's difficult to do that.


RAY: Because of the complicated nature of the transactions that were involved.

O'REILLY: All right.

RAY: And one of the more difficult aspects of the investigation was trying to unwind all of the various...

O'REILLY: But you believe that they did take money for themselves out of it? You just don't know how much?

RAY: That's correct.

O'REILLY: OK, now, the billing records.

RAY: Yes.

O'REILLY: In the White House, that disappeared for 18 months. OK, and then they all of a sudden popped up. And you had testimony that Hillary Clinton was seen with those billing records. Correct?

RAY: We had testimony. That's correct.

O'REILLY: All right. Now how much did she bill? Did you look at the billing records? How much did she bill in the case?

RAY: I want to be clear with regard to the billing records. We had testimony that a jury, based upon circumstantial evidence, might have been able to include with the billing records. Based upon circumstances...

O'REILLY: OK, but I don't care about that. I mean, you're not taking it to court. So I'm not trying it on here. How much did Hillary Clinton bill?

RAY: She billed a substantial amount based upon at least 14 different entries.

O'REILLY: How much?

RAY: For her time.

O'REILLY: How much?

RAY: Well, I mean, that's not really important.

O'REILLY: Why can't you tell me?

RAY: That's reflected in the final report.

O'REILLY: Well, tell me. I can't read it all the time. Come on, all the people watching, you can't tell us how much money she billed?

RAY: It depends on, again, looking through...

O'REILLY: Give me a ballpark figure.

RAY: Each of the 14 entries to go through and actually look and see, based upon the hourly rate...

O'REILLY: You know the ballpark figure. What did she make? $50,000? $30,000?

RAY: I don't recall what the exact figure was. What we do know is that it was contrary to testimony that she had given previously...

O'REILLY: That she didn't make any money?

RAY: No, that she didn't do any work with regard to that matter.

O'REILLY: Right, well, it's the same thing. If you don't do any work, you don't make any money. So you're not going to tell me how much money she made?

RAY: That was -- I can tell you that it's reflected in the report.

O'REILLY: OK, but I can't read the report and neither can them. I mean, we just...

RAY: I think the more important part, though, with regard to the issue is the question of whether or not work had been or had not been done.

O'REILLY: And it had been done. And she said it hadn't been done.

RAY: Right. And the work that had been done in instances where...

O'REILLY: All right. Is there any other factual...

RAY: ...was used to conceal other activity.

O'REILLY: Is there any other factual -- you say that the First Lady gave factually inaccurate testimony. Is that it? Did she just lie about the billing? Is there any other factually inaccurate testimony that she gave?

RAY: That testimony was of great concern to us.

O'REILLY: Sure. Obviously.

RAY: Because those entries reflected work done on certain legal agreements that were used to conceal unlawful activity. The question was, is even if a lawyer had engaged in such an activity and prepared those documents, were we able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person who did the legal work, knowingly did so in an effort to conceal illegal activities?

O'REILLY: Yeah, you couldn't prove that?

RAY: And we were not able to prove that.

O'REILLY: Yes, because she could say, look, they told me something. And how do I know that they were telling me bogus stuff? But you still won't me how much money she made.

RAY: That's the gist of it.

O'REILLY: I mean, I know what the gist of it is. I don't know why you won't tell me how much money she made. I don't want to be a pain in the neck to you, but come on. We paid your salary for two years. You can't tell me how much money she made off this bank?

RAY: No, the more question is what was...

O'REILLY: You're telling me what's important. I'm telling you what I want to know.

RAY: What was the purpose of the activity that was engaged in.

O'REILLY: The purpose was for Hillary Clinton to make money. That's why she wanted to do it. They wanted to make money, right? Am I wrong on that?

RAY: Well, that's correct. But the issue really was, and -- look, no spin. The issue really was what was accomplished as a result of that work having been done? And what we found was, as a factual matter, that the purpose of that work was to conceal unlawful activity. It was not, however, a circumstance where we could show that that was a knowing purpose.

O'REILLY: Yeah, she did it on purpose. We don't know. But the billing records went missing for 18 months. That was pretty curious, wasn't it?

RAY: It was.

O'REILLY: Yeah, like Alice in Wonderland. Hillary, that's curiouser and curiouser.

RAY: And that took an enormous amount of investigative effort, as the report reflects, to figure out what in fact happened, and how they were discovered.

O'REILLY: Right.

RAY: And who knew it, and where they ended up, and how they got there.

O'REILLY: All right, last chance to tell me how much money she made.

RAY: You'll have to read the report.

O'REILLY: Man, OK. All right. Robert Ray, thank you for being here. You're running against Torricelli. So we hope to see you again during the campaign. All right?

RAY: I'd be pleased to be here.

O'REILLY: All right.

RAY: Thank you very much.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), March 26, 2002.

What does that have to do with Enron?

-- (just@wonder.ing), March 26, 2002.

Even if the Clintons are guilty of all the financial misdeeds they are accused of, the relation of these misdeeds to Enron is the relation of jaywalking to mass murder.

Real capitalists (e.g. people like myself) would like to see the top Enronites and Arthur Andersenites boiled in oil.

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), March 26, 2002.

Not Maria. She thinks any crime is justifiable if it is commited by Repugs.

-- (oh@the.hypocrisy), March 26, 2002.

The final report just came out on the Whitewater investigation. The Clintons were found innocent any wrongdoing.

Why hasn't this news hit the headlines?

-- Cherri (jessam5@home.com), March 28, 2002.

Cherri, you spend way too much time searching the net for left leaning articles. The Ray report has been all over the news.

Peter, I find Cherri's article of no interest; I was just balancing it with another article of no interest that Cherri would never post. Cherri just continues to bash Enron because she thinks they tie to Bush. She has failed in coming up with the smoking gun. She also refuses to believe that there are any smoking guns around Clinton.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), March 28, 2002.

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