The Washington Free Beacon released audiotapes that paint an unflattering picture of twenty-seven-year-old Hillary Rodham Clinton. The tapes come from an early 1980’s interview in which Clinton fondly remembers serving as the defense attorney for Thomas Alfred Taylor, a forty-one-year-old accused of raping a twelve-year-old after luring her into a car. Young Hillary, all callousness and self-satisfaction, tells the alleged rapist’s story, including the crucial technicality discovered by his clever lawyer.
In the tape, she suggests that she knew her client was guilty: “He took a lie detector test! I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs [laughter].”
She goes on to discuss the details of the case, explaining that the prosecutors used the man’s bloody underwear as evidence. The crime lab curiously cut a hole in the underwear to test it, returning the item to evidence with the hole cut out. Hillary took the underwear to a forensic expert who told her there was not enough blood on the cut-up underwear to test.
She broke into laughter as she recalled telling the prosecutor, “‘Well, this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice.’”
When the interviewer asked what happened to the alleged rapist, who was facing thirty years to life in prison, Clinton responded, “Oh, he plea bargained. Got him off with time served in the county jail; he’d been in the county jail for about two months.”
This is not the first time that this controversial case has been written about in the press. In 2008, a Newsday article focused on Clinton’s initial strategy of attacking the credibility of the young girl. Before she discovered the underwear technicality, Hillary told the jury that the girl had a “tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.”
The problem here is not the fact that Clinton took on the client, or even that she defended him despite her suspicion that he was guilty. The issue is Hillary’s lack of tact and apparent glee when discussing the case. There is something very unnerving about Clinton’s casual delight.
The tape matches the picture of Hillary that conservatives have attempted to paint for years: cold, calculating, and willing to play dirty. The Hillary in the tape is consistent with the Hillary that reportedly treated her staff terribly and was fired from the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate hearings for lack of integrity. But let’s not expect the media to stray from its portrayal of Hillary as a compassionate champion of women’s rights.