Judicial Watch Angered by Catholic Panel

Downloaded June 24, 2003

The presence of two key Clinton Sexgate impeachment players on a board of U.S. Catholic bishops convened to monitor the Church's handling of the priest sex abuse scandal is raising eyebrows.

"The resignation of former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating as chairman of the National Review Board formed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ... raises additional troubling questions concerning the board's composition," the Washington, D.C.-based legal watchdog group Judicial Watch said on Monday.

Serving on the panel all but unnoticed: high-powered Beltway lawyer Robert Bennett, who represented Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones case and presided over Clinton's deposition when he lied about having sex with Monica Lewinsky.

Also on the Catholic bishops panel: Leon Panetta, the former White House chief of staff whose office became Monica Lewinsky's first White House workplace. Panetta first testified that he was "not aware of any improper relationship" between Clinton and Lewinsky.

But he later admitted: "Obviously, there was something more here. And it's got to be explained to the American people."

"Bob Bennett and Leon Panetta qualify for the 'who's who' of cover-up experts, not for membership on the bishops' National Review Board for combating sexual abuse," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Or maybe that's the point?" he added.


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