Image Credits: NYTimes

Today, we’re doing a little throwback Thursday that also contains a hint of investigation. After the horrific Stanford Rape Case and the public outrage with it, many people on both sides of the aisle took to the internet with memes and pictures and Facebook statuses telling the world about the time that Hillary Clinton got a child rapist off nearly as scot-free as Brock Turner. Of course, as it is the internet, many people called into question whether that story, and those memes, could be trusted. 

That still leaves us begging the question: what really happened? Well, today we’re throwing it back to 1975, when Hillary Clinton served as the defense attorney for a man accused of the rape of a child.

The fact that this case exists and Hillary served as the defense attorney cannot be disputed, as they are public record. At the time, 27-year-old Clinton was living in Arkansas and working at a legal-aid clinic. A middle aged man, 41 to be exact, was accused of raping a twelve year girl. Like many other people facing trial, he had received a court appointed attorney, who happened to be male. He asked the judge for a female attorney, and eventually, Hillary Clinton was assigned to him. As far as we can tell, Clinton did not gleefully accept this case, and no one has come forward yet to say that she sought out this case, only that she agreed to take it on. In Clinton’s autobiography, she wrote “I told [prosecutor] Mahlon [Gibson] I really don’t feel comfortable taking on such a client, but Mahlon gently reminded me that I couldn’t very well refuse the judge’s request.”

Okay, so maybe Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate who says that all women deserve to believe” did take on this role, but what did she do in that capacity? Well, at one point she tried to call into question the validity of an affidavit the poor victim had written and even said that the girl “is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing.” That’s right. Somehow, emotional instability would make a 41-year-old man’s rape of a child better. Is that right, Hillary?

Ultimately, the trial ended in a reduction of the charges and instead of the rape, the defendant plead guilty to unlawful fondling of a minor under 14. That’s that. But can we blame Hillary? Did she do anything wrong? Isn’t that what lawyers do? Well, frankly, not every lawyer is running for the most important political position in the world. Not every lawyer is married to a man who himself has been accused of rape. Not every lawyer tweets out that “every woman deserves to be believed” when it comes to sexual violence.

The reason so many people are up in arms about this situation is not that Hillary Clinton defended a rapist. A lot of politicians might have done the same thing, had they been asked to by a judge when they were young and needed a job. People are angry because of tapes that reveal Hillary laughing about the case which put a 12-year-old rape victim “through hell” as she describes it. These tapes also seem to imply Hillary’s knowledge of the man’s guilt.  You can watch the video below.

One of the most outstanding quotes from these tapes is when Clinton says, “Of course he [the defendant] claimed he didn’t [rape]. All this stuff. He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” This implies that she knew very well that he was guilty and still put the victim through the ringer of a trial instead of trying to get her client to plead guilty to a crime he committed. She laughed after making this comment. She laughed about the rape of a twelve-year-old child.

Maybe Hillary Clinton had to take on this case. Maybe she had to try her hardest to get her client off, for her own reputation. But now that she is running for president, now that she wants every woman to believed, we have every right to call into question her actions since the case and the comments she had made in relation to it. Every woman DOES deserve to be believed, and that includes Monica Lewinsky, Juanita Broaddrick, this victim, and all of the women who have been victimized. Whether you’re disgusted by the facts of this case or not, they definitely call into question whether Hillary really is the champion of women she claims to be.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member