Wednesday, July 21, 2004

TrouserGate - Did the Dems Leak the Story?

As pointed out in several palces (The Corner at NRO, Instapundit, etc.), the reporter who broke the Sandy Berger story, the AP's John Solomon, was a favorite conduit for former Clinton White House Counsel Lanny Davis.  Davis, as he details in his memoir "Truth to Tell" and as recounted in this this Washington Post story from 1999, would leak stories that were potentially damaging to Clinton to select outlets in order to put the best possible spin on them:

Davis coins the marvelously bureaucratic phrase "deep-background private placement" to describe negative stories about the White House that he leaked to put the least damaging version in play. Davis's favorite outlet was the Associated Press, not only because it is "notoriously fact-oriented and fair" but because once a story was on the wire, such newspapers as The Washington Post and New York Times "would not be inclined to give it front-page play."

And who at AP did Davis like?
Thus, Davis called the reporter he deemed most fair, the AP's John Solomon, with documents suggesting that Clinton had made fund-raising calls from the White House residence. The leak occurred on July 3, 1997, so the story would get lost on the Fourth of July holiday.

The leak of the Sandy Berger story seems to follow the exact same pattern:

  • The leak was to the AP's John Solomon.
  • It was made immediately prior to both the release of the 9/11 Commission Report and the start of the Democratic Convention, thereby minimizing media attention.
  • It did indeed fail to make the fron page of either the Washington Post (page 2) or the New York Times (page A18).
How is Davis connected to Berger?  Davis' supervisor in the White House Counsel office was Lanny Breuster who is representing Berger in the investigation.

Very suspicious.