June 16, 2014

AUDIO: Clinton Recounted Case Defending Accused Rapist


The Washington Free Beacon reports on newly discovered audio from the 1980s in which Hillary Clinton talked about the most significant criminal case of her legal career: defending a man accused of raping a 12 year old girl. Clinton – at times laughing – recounts how she pled down the charges against her client, Thomas Alfred Taylor, who she appeared to believe was guilty, based on a legal technicality. According to a sworn affidavit, Clinton planned to question the victim’s credibility should the case go to trial.

From the Beacon

Newly discovered audio recordings of Hillary Clinton from the early 1980s include the former first lady’s frank and detailed assessment of the most significant criminal case of her legal career: defending a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl.

In 1975, the same year she married Bill, Hillary Clinton agreed to serve as the court-appointed attorney for Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41-year-old accused of raping the child after luring her into a car.

The recordings, which date from 1983-1987 and have never before been reported, include Clinton’s suggestion that she knew Taylor was guilty at the time. She says she used a legal technicality to plead her client, who faced 30 years to life in prison, down to a lesser charge. …

The full story of the Taylor defense calls into question Clinton’s narrative of her early years as a devoted women and children’s advocate in Arkansas—a narrative the 2016 presidential frontrunner continues to promote on her current book tour. …

A lengthy yet largely overlooked 2008 Newsday story focused on Clinton’s legal strategy of attacking the credibility of the 12-year-old victim. …

In a July 28, 1975, court affidavit, Clinton wrote that she had been informed the young girl was “emotionally unstable” and had a “tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.”

“I have also been told by an expert in child psychology that children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences and that adolescents in disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to exaggerate behavior,” Clinton said.

Clinton said the child had “in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body” and that the girl “exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.”

This case was covered during the 2008 campaign by Clinton reporter Glenn Thrush, his story with additional background here.