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CLINTON LEGACY IS FOREVER STAINED BY WHITEWATER

The Whitewater investigation officially ended last week with the following moral: Sometimes, you can get away with it.

Independent Counsel Robert Ray's legal conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to indict Bill and Hillary Clinton was not a declaration of their innocence. Rather, it was a tribute to the Clintons' ability to stonewall investigators, silence potential witnesses and outlast prosecutors - much of it on the taxpayers' dime.

By nature, corruption and fraud cases are difficult to prove, and the Clintons proved adept at all the evasive maneuvers that can be used to hide their trail. . . .

Claims of executive privilege blocked investigators. Evidence was turned over slowly, if it was found at all - remember Hillary's missing billing records, found 18 months after they were subpoenaed. . . .

Still, when history remembers the Clinton presidency, Whitewater will be right there. Perhaps such a stain on his legacy - along with Chinagate, Monica Lewinsky and other unsightly blotches - will serve as a type of justice: As well as Bill and Hillary Clinton dodged Whitewater's unsavory truths, the affair's unanswered questions and lingering suspicions will shadow them forever.

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