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There have been multiple scandalous theories attributed to the Clinton family, and one that claims Hillary Clinton is connected to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing has recently resurfaced on social media.
The post – which displays an aerial image of the destroyed Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and a photo of Clinton superimposed on it – says: "Reminder: The building in Oklahoma City was blown up and destroyed just 4 days before Hillary Clinton was to be indicted in the Whitewater scandal. All documents lost!"
The meme was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Let’s cut to the chase: There is no evidence to support the suggestion that Clinton, then first lady, was to be indicted in the Whitewater case or had anything to do with the bombing carried out by Timothy McVeigh that killed 168 people on April 19, 1995.
Government officials denied that any documents associated with the case were in the Murrah building, according to a 1995 Washington Post article about conspiracy theories surrounding the event. Moreover, according to a report issued after the bombing, the list of government departments with regional offices housed in the Murrah building did not include the Department of Justice.
The first version of the conspiracy theory, which came about shortly after the bombing, implicated then-President Bill Clinton, saying he orchestrated the bombing to protect himself from the brewing scandal. The 21-Century meme version redirects the blame toward Hillary.
The July 1995 article by the Washington Post detailed many competing conspiracy theories that arose after the bombing, and at one point, discusses one theory that places the blame on President Clinton’s attempts to evade a scandal:
"A common theme is that (Bill) Clinton or rogue factions within the government ordered the bombing to divert attention from embarrassing issues such as the Whitewater probe and the Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Tex.," the article states. "Theorists have speculated that documents related to Whitewater or Waco were kept in the Oklahoma City federal building and destroyed in the blast; the government has denied this. Others believe that Clinton arranged for the death and destruction so he could come across as a strong leader amid the ensuing chaos and boost his sagging popularity."
It is accurate that the Clintons were investigated in the 1990s as part of the Whitewater scandal, a failed real estate investment project they took part in with Jim McDougal, a real estate entrepreneur. The project sank for a myriad of reasons, and while the Clintons invested in a bad land deal, none of the investigations found that they did anything illegal. McDougal, on the other hand, was convicted for crimes that were discovered during the course of the investigation.
But nowhere in the investigation files does it say that indictments against Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton were pending but made impossible when incriminating documents were destroyed in the Oklahoma City bombing. As well, the Clintons were actually interviewed for the investigation three days after the bombing occurred.
If any part of the claim was true, not only would it have been documented in case files, but it would have been widely reported as a bombshell development in the scandal and the bombing, both of which were closely monitored by the national press.
A meme on social media suggests Hillary Clinton had something to do with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing because she was to be "indicted" in a scandal four days after the bombing, but the blast destroyed documents related to the case.
We could quibble about whether the Clintons were involved in any wrongdoing related to Whitewater, but the meme’s suggestion that Hillary was to be indicted days after the bombing, and that investigation documents related to the scandal were suspiciously destroyed in the event, is false and lacks any supporting evidence.
We rate this conspiracy theory Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, April 22, 2019
Washington Post, OKLAHOMA BOMBING CONSPIRACY THEORIES RIPPLE ACROSS THE NATION, July 9, 1995
FactCheck.org, Baseless Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy Theory, March 6, 2019
The Washington Post, Whitewater special report, Accessed May 1, 2019
Vox, Whitewater, explained for people who don't remember the Clinton presidency, April 13, 2015
New York Times, Clintons' Whitewater Investment: Details of a Land Deal That Soured, Feb. 7, 1994
The Oklahoma Department of Civil Emergency Management After Action Report, Accessed May 1, 2019
Government Publishing Office, Final Senate Report of Special Committee Whitewater Investigation, June 17, 1996; Accessed May 1, 2019
Government Publishing Office, Final Report of the Independent Counsel in Re Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association, Jan. 5, 2001; Accessed May 1, 2019
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