Lewis is a native of Houston, Texas; her father was a major general in the U.S. Army. She has a degree in political science from Sam Houston State College. Lewis joined the Resolution Trust Corporation office in Kansas City, Missouri as a senior criminial investigator in 1991. Among other assignments she was investigating the failure of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, a Little Rock savings and loan company owned by James McDougal, who had been the Clintons' partner in Whitewater, a failed land development project in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas. When the connection between the Clintons and McDougal became a news story, she refocused on the Madison Guaranty case. On September 2, 1992, just prior to the 1992 presidential election, she submitted a criminal referral to the FBI naming Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as witnesses in the Madison Guaranty case. U.S. Attorney Charles A. Banks and the FBI determined that the referral lacked merit, but she continued to pursue it. Between 1992 and 1994 she issued several additional referrals against the Clintons and repeatedly called the U.S. Attorney's Office in Little Rock and the Justice Department about the case.
Lewis later appeared before the Senate Whitewater Committee. Before the hearings it was claimed that her testimony could prove to be "more troublesome for Bill Clinton than Paula Jones"; however, her testimony did not provide any sensational or new information, and she eventually fainted under cross examination and had to be helped from the hearing room.
She was later suspected of illegally recording a conversation with a senior government attorney during the investigation. She was herself investigated for various wrongdoings, including misuse and mishandling of classified material, secretly recording conversations with her colleagues, and use of government equipment for personal gain. She later admitted to using her office to market t-shirts and mugs lettered "B.I.T.C.H." (Bubba/Bill, I'm Taking Charge, Hillary).
Lewis was appointed in 2003 as chief of staff of the Pentagon Inspector General's Office in the United States government. On February 26, 2004 she again attracted attention when her office was supposed to look into Halliburton contracts.
References[edit | edit source]
- James Risen, Mystery Woman of Whitewater : Politics: Laura Jean Lewis may very well be the star witness in this summer's congressional hearings. So who is she?, , June 21, 1994
- Williams, Robert (1998). Political Scandals in the USA. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. p. 65. ISBN 1-57958-039-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=drwDdakx57cC&pg=PA65&dq=%22L.+Jean+Lewis%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-zadUcXHJ7a84AO05YHYCg&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22L.%20Jean%20Lewis%22&f=false.
- Conason, Jason (March 19, 2007). "An Awful Legacy of Bush 41". New York Observer, via Wayback Machine. http://web.archive.org/web/20120603115410/http://observer.com/2007/03/an-awful-legacy-of-bush-41/. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
- James Carville, ...And the Horse He Rode in On, Chapter 1, , , ISBN 0684857340, Published October 27, 1998
- Bush Hires Controversial Whitewater Figure as Pentagon's Inspector General,, History Commons, ref. Newsweek, September 14, 2003; Graydon Carter, What We've Lost, pp 71, August 2004, ISBN 0374288925; and New York Observer, March 18, 2007
- Mekay, Emad (February 26, 2004). "Halliburton Contracts Require Greater Scrutiny, Groups Demand". lnter Press Service. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0226-02.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-16.
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