Confederates Running Senate Impeachment Coup

by Edward Spannaus

Printed in the American Almanac, January, 1999.

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When Chief Justice William Rehnquist takes an oath to ``do impartial justice'' as he presides over the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton, he will have an immediate conflict of interest--since this impeachment is the culmination of a process that Rehnquist himself set into motion over six years ago. It was Rehnquist who personally and irregularly appointed the judge who in turn made the highly-irregular appointment of Kenneth Starr in 1994 as the Whitewater independent counsel.

The process by which Starr came to be appointed demonstrates further how the coup d'etat now being run against President Clinton and the United States Constitution has its treasonous roots deep in the old Confederacy.

The special three-judge panel which appoints independent counsels under the so-called ``Ethics in Government Act'' is directly appointed by the Chief Justice. The panel is supposed to be composed of senior, often retired Federal judges, so observers were quite surprised when, in 1992, Rehnquist picked a relatively-inexperienced federal appeals court judge from North Carolina to head the panel. David Sentelle had only been appointed a Federal district judge in North Carolina seven years earlier, in 1985. In February 1987, Sentelle was nominated to sit on the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia circuit--a nomination which gave rise to a violent controversy over Sentelle's membership in a segregated Masonic lodge.

In fact, the 1987 confirmation hearings for Sentelle were the only instance in modern times that the question of a Federal judge's membership in a Masonic organization became an issue. At his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sentelle admitted under questioning by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that he belonged to Masonic lodges of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, in North Carolina, that had no blacks or women as members. Leahy pointed out that white Masonry does not accept black members, nor does it recognize black Masonry.

The Sentelle nomination did not get to the Senate floor for seven months because of holds placed on it by other Senators.

Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Sentelle's patron and sponsor, is himself a 33rd degree Mason, and he declared that he was ``aghast'' that a question of Sentelle's membership in a Masonic lodge had even become a matter of discussion, let alone an issue. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), then the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that he was ``astounded'' that the question was raised, and he acknowledged that he also was a 33rd degree Mason.

(The story of how Rehnquist's own nomination to be Chief Justice was rammed through the Southern-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee a year earlier, is told in the accompanying article.)

Scottish Rite Treason

The Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite was always a traitorous conspiracy against the United States, formed by Tory British sympathizers after the American War of Independence. The Southern Jurisdiction was the core of the Confederate treason which sought to split the United States on behalf of Great Britain, and it gave birth to the Ku Klux Klan in the period immediately following the Civil War. Its Grand Commander from 1859 to 1891, Albert Pike, was a founder of the Klan and served as its Chief Judicial Officer. It was Pike, whose statue still blasphemes Judiciary Square in Washington, D.C., who declared, ``I took my obligation to white men, not to negroes. When I have to accept negroes as brothers or leave Masonry, I shall leave it.''

Despite this, Sentelle was confirmed as an appeals court judge, and this enabled Rehnquist, five years later, to hand-pick Sentelle to head the ``Special Division for Apppointing Independent Counsels.''

If Rehnquist's appointment of Sentelle was a surprise, it was nothing like that shock that greeted the sudden appointment of Kenneth Starr by Sentelle and the Special Division in August 1994. Attorney General Janet Reno had applied to the Special Division to reappoint Robert Fiske, the Whitewater independent counsel whom she had appointed under Justice Department regulations in January 1994, during the period when the Ethics in Government Act had expired. But instead of reappointing Fiske, who was a senior and respected former Federal prosecutor, Sentelle fired Fiske and appointed the Texan Starr--a crony of Sentelle's and Rehnquist's who had never been a prosecutor and who had never tried a criminal case in his life.

That Sentelle took this action after a luncheon meeting with North Carolina's rabidly anti-Clinton Senators, Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth, made the appointment even more controversial--on top of the fact that Starr was involved with Paula Jones's lawyers and was preparing to write a legal brief on their behalf.

Rehnquist himself was a guiding light in the founding of the so-called Federalist Society in 1982, funded by Richard Mellon Scaife, the ``Daddy Warbucks'' of the ``Get Clinton'' crusade. Sentelle and Starr are both leading activists in the Federalist Society; in fact, Starr was a featured speaker at a Federalist Society event at the time of his appointment.


  • Seven of the 13 managers from the House Judiciary Committee are Southerners, and this includes those who are likely to carry the most weight. Bob Barr of Georgia, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, and Ed Bryant of Tennessee are all former federal prosecutors. Barr was already calling for the impeachment of Clinton in early 1997. Bill McCollum of Florida, Lindsay Graham of S.C., and Bryant (plus Steve Buyer of Indiana--a borderline case) were military lawyers. The seventh Southerner is Charles Canady of Florida.

  • As the New York Times noted in an article on the ``Heirs of Jeff Davis'' on Dec. 27, ``conservative Southerners hold virtually all of the Republican leadership positions in Congress. Southerners have also been the prime advocates of impeachment.'' The only non-Southern Republican who has played a major role in the House, noted the Times, has been Henry Hyde, ``but Mr. Hyde has always voted like a Southerner, with a 100 percent rating by the Christian Coalition.''

  • Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told the Southern Partisan in 1984: ``I think that a lot of the fundamental principles that Jefferson Davis believed in are very important to people across the country, and they apply to the Republican Party.'' Lott said that the Republican agenda, ``from tax policy, to foreign policy, from individual rights to neighborhood security are things that Jefferson Davis and his people believed in.''

Lott, and Rep. Bob Barr also, was recently shown to have spoken at meetings of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens--an cleaned-up version of the old southern White Citizens Councils.

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The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The American Almanac. It is made available here with the permission of The New Federalist Newspaper. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The New Federalist, and The American Almanac

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