The Clinton Chronicles
The Clinton Chronicles: An Investigation into the Alleged Criminal Activities of Bill Clinton is a 1994 film that accused Bill Clinton of a range of crimes. The claims in the video are controversial, some have been discredited, while others continue to be debated. The philandering claims in the film have since been reported, and in some cases confirmed, by mainstream media.
|The Clinton Chronicles: An Investigation into the Alleged Criminal Activities of Bill Clinton|
|Directed by||Patrick Matrisciana|
|Produced by||Patrick Matrisciana|
While the film was directed by Patrick Matrisciana, who has a production company called Jeremiah Films, the production was credited to Citizens for Honest Government, a project of a Westminster, California organization named Creative Ministries Inc. that has connections to Matrisciana. It was partially funded by Larry Nichols, a long-time Clinton opponent, and distributed with help from the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who also appears in the film. Over 300,000 copies of the film were put into circulation with perhaps half that being sales.
The film was produced shortly after Clinton's election to the presidency and provides background on a number of conspiracy theories that have, and many continue to be, associated with now former president Bill Clinton. Several of these theories date to Clinton's tenure as the governor of Arkansas. Allegations include:
- Being a drug addict
- Having affairs with or harassing numerous women
- Troopergate- using Arkansas State Police officers to facilitate sexual liaisons and intimidate accusers
- Misuse of funds with the Arkansas Development Finance Authority
- Using Bank of Credit and Commerce International to launder money
- Profiting from drug smuggling at the Mena Airport
- Protecting Barry Seal's drug smuggling activities
- Murdering several witnesses to the Mena drug smuggling operation
- Covering up the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two boys found dead on railroad tracks near the airport, Kevin Ives and Don Henry
- Protecting a state medical examiner who was repeatedly accused of misstating the cause of death in several autopsies
- Whitewater controversy
- Covering up the cause of the death of Vince Foster
- Using contacts at the Rose Law Firm to shred documents that would have implicated Clinton in scandals
The video was characterized by The Washington Post as a "bizarre and unsubstantiated documentary." The New York Times reported that it was a poorly documented "hodgepodge of sometimes-crazed charges." The producers were criticized after it came to light that a number of the people in the documentary had been paid to appear. The director admitted the payments but denied he had instructed any paid participants to say anything that was false.
The movie helped perpetuate a conspiracy theory known as the "Clinton Body Count" about a list of associates Clinton was purported to have had killed. The Los Angeles Times reported that Larry Nichols, who appears throughout the film and is the primary source for a number of the murder and mysterious death claims, was fired from his Arkansas state government job and once admitted to an Associated Press reporter to being motivated by spite. The fact checking site TruthOrFiction.com states that "There is no credible evidence that any of the deaths is related or can be attributed to Bill Clinton".
To promote the film, Falwell aired an interview with Matrisciana, who was silhouetted to conceal his identity as he pretended to be a journalist who was afraid for his life. Matrisciana later acknowledged that he was not in any danger, but that the interview was staged for dramatic effect at Falwell's suggestion.
The New York Times interviewed some of the participants in the film after it aired a for followup developments. Gary Parks, who appeared in a segment of the film discussing the suspicious circumstances of the death of his father while investigating Clinton's womanizing, admitted he embellished some details in the film, but still believes his father was killed for political reasons. Linda Ives, the mother of Kevin Ives, stated that her interest for participating was solving the mystery of her son's death, and was concerned her comments were used for political purposes. Bill Duncan, a former IRS agent who investigated the Mena accusations regretted appearing on the film, stating, "I would not have willingly been a part of it had I known where that footage would end up".
Matrisciana produced a followup video focused exclusively on the Mena airport drug smuggling and murder accusations. Two police officers accused in that film of being involved with the murders of Ives and Henry attempted to sue Matrisciana for defamation. They initially prevailed; however, lost the case when it was appealed. The appeal focused primarily on free speech and the ability to criticize public figures. Even though the judges overturned the ruling of defamation, they were critical of the film in their ruling, saying it blurred the lines between fact and fiction.
A number of the incidents mentioned in The Clinton Chronicles continued to be investigated after its release. Paula Jones, who appeared in the film accusing Clinton of harassing her, sued the president for sexual harassment. The president paid Jones $850,000 to settle the case out of court. Special prosecutor Ken Starr was assigned to investigate a number of incidents mentioned in the film. He cleared Clinton of involvement with Vince Foster's death in the Starr Report.
Linda Ives continues to search for justice for her son's death. The film mentioned that her son's death was controversially ruled accidental by an examiner who had a history of questionable rulings. After the film aired, she had her son's body exhumed and a second autopsy performed. She successfully had the original examiner's ruling overruled and the cause of death for Kevin Ives and Don Henry was changed from accidental to homicide. In February 2018, Billy Jack Haynes, a professional wrestler with a history of making controversial claims on camera, claimed to have been hired as a body guard for drug smugglers and a witness to these murders. He advocated for the case to be re-opened; however, the case remains unsolved.
- Murray Waas (1998). "The Falwell connection". Salon.com.
- Lois Romano (1998-03-02). "A Core Collection of Clinton Enemies". The Washington Post.
- Philip Weiss (1997-02-23). "Clinton Crazy". The New York Times.
- Brownstein, Ronald; HALL, JANE (January 26, 1992). "Clinton Accuser to Drop Lawsuit : Politics: Larry Nichols says case alleging infidelity by presidential candidate has 'gone way too far.' Arkansas governor and wife will appear on TV". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 15, 2016 – via LA Times.
- "The People President Clinton Didn't Have to Pardon…Because They're All Dead". TruthOrFiction.com. Mar 17, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Jay Campbell; Kirk Lane, Appellees, v. Citizens for an Honest Government, Inc., D/b/a Integrity Films; Jeremiah Films, Inc.; Pat Matrisciana, Appellants, 255 F.3d 560 (8th Circuit Court of Appeals July 10, 2001).
- "Report: Starr Rules Out Foul Play In Foster Death". All Politics. CNN. February 23, 1997. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- "New Witness? Man Claims to Have Seen "Boys on the Tracks" Murders". KARK TV, Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. February 13, 2018.