White House Travel Office Controversy

The White House travel office controversy, sometimes referred to as Travelgate, was the first major ethics controversy of the Clinton administration. It began in May 1993, when seven employees of the White House Travel Office were fired. This action was unusual because although theoretically, its employees served at the pleasure of the President and could be dismissed without cause, in practice, such employees had remained in their posts for many years.

The White House claimed the firings were done because financial improprieties in the Travel Office operation had been revealed by a brief FBI investigation. Critics contended the firings were done to allow friends of the Clintons to take over the travel business and that the involvement of the FBI was unwarranted. Heavy media attention forced the White House to reinstate most of the employees in other jobs and remove the Clinton associates from the travel role.

Further investigations of the firings by the FBI and the Department of Justice, the White House itself, the General Accounting Office, the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, and the Whitewater Independent Counsel all took place over the subsequent years. Travel Office Director Billy Dale was charged with embezzlement but found not guilty at trial in 1995. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton gradually came under scrutiny for allegedly having played a central role in the firings and making false statements about her role in it.

In 1998, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr exonerated President Bill Clinton of any involvement in the matter. In 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray issued his final report on Travelgate, stating that Hillary Clinton had made factually false statements but there was insufficient evidence her statements were either knowingly false or that she understood that her statements led to the firings.

Read more about White House Travel Office Controversy:  The White House Travel Office, Initial White House Actions, Investigations, Prosecution and Acquittal of Billy Dale, A Memo Surfaces Regarding Hillary Clinton, Independent Counsel Findings, Legacy

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White House Travel Office Controversy - Legacy
... But associate White House counsel William Kennedy would also later reflect that some of it was just "pure palpable hatred of the Clintons ...

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