In trailer to new anti-Clinton movie, Peter Paul baselessly suggests connection between anti-Clinton lawsuit and detention in Brazilian jail
Research ››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS, RYAN CHIACHIERE & TERRY KREPEL
A FoxNews.com article reported that allegations against the Clintons made by Peter F. Paul -- a lawyer and businessman who has been convicted of fraud -- in the purported documentary "Hillary Uncensored" include an accusation that the Clintons "made sure Paul was kept in a Brazilian prison for 25 months, including 58 days in a maximum security cellblock nicknamed the 'Corridor of Death,' while the Justice Department waited to extradite him." In the trailer, Paul is not shown alleging that the Clintons "made sure" he "was kept in a Brazilian prison," but he does suggest a connection between his filing of a civil lawsuit against the Clintons and his detention in a Brazilian jail. In fact, Paul was indicted after Bill Clinton left office, and, according to the U.S. attorney's office that indicted him, Paul was arrested in Brazil because he refused to return to the United States.
An October 26 FoxNews.com article about a new purported documentary, "Hillary Uncensored," reported that the film sets out allegations by Peter F. Paul -- a lawyer and businessman who has been convicted of fraud -- against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton. According to the article, among the "allegations summarized in the documentary" is an accusation that the Clintons "made sure Paul was kept in a Brazilian prison for 25 months, including 58 days in a maximum security cellblock nicknamed the 'Corridor of Death,' while the Justice Department waited to extradite him." In the movie's 13-minute trailer, Paul is not shown alleging that the Clintons "made sure" he "was kept in a Brazilian prison," but he does suggest a connection between his filing of a civil lawsuit against the Clintons and his detention in the Brazilian prison: [transcript begins at 5:51]
PAUL: And I delivered a demand letter to Hillary Clinton. We had filed the civil suit against the Clintons, which detailed all the money that I had spent with copies of checks and invoices. And then I discovered that I was being investigated in connection with the misuse of my brokerage accounts. I was suddenly detained by Interpol in Brazil for extradition. They moved me to a remote part of this jail which was called the "Corridor of Death," in which 16 inmates had been immolated. They would be chanting "burn the gringo." My family wasn't able to hear from me at all. They didn't know what was happening.
ANDREA PAUL: And I never knew from one day to the next if he was alive or dead.
PAUL: The Clintons were able to have the original civil suit thrown out on the basis of -- that I was a fugitive at the time.
However, in the trailer, Paul does not mention that the events he describes occurred after Bill Clinton left office. Moreover, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York, which had indicted him, Paul was arrested in Brazil because he refused to return to the United States. From a March 8, 2005, press release from the office, headlined "Peter Paul, Co-founder of Stan Lee Media, Inc., Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud[;] Fraud Scheme Caused $25 Million in Losses to Investors and Financial Institutions":
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced in 2001 that it was investigating Stan Lee Media. After that announcement and before he was first indicted, PAUL left the United States for Brazil and refused to return after the United States Attorney's Office informed him that he was the target of a criminal investigation. Subsequent to the filing of first indictment, PAUL again refused the United States Attorney's Office demand that he return to this country. Accordingly, the government sought the assistance of law enforcement authorities in Brazil. On August 3, 2001, PAUL was arrested in Brazil and jailed pending the outcome of extradition proceedings, which PAUL contested for the next two years. In July 2003, the Supreme Court of Brazil ordered PAUL's extradition to the United States. PAUL was arraigned in September 2003 on the original securities fraud charges, and his trial was scheduled to commence on March 28, 2005.
Several news reports of his imprisonment in Brazil report differing versions of who is alleged to have been responsible and the extent to which he resisted extradition, but do not suggest a connection between his lawsuit against the Clintons and his detention in Brazil.
For example, a September 7, 2003, New York Post article, featured in the trailer and bearing the headline "CELL HELL FOR HILLARY NEMESIS," reported:
AFTER more than two years in a Brazilian prison, a shadowy felon who says he has enough dirt on Hillary Rodham Clinton to end her career is going to be extradited to the United States - if he lives that long.
Peter Paul - whose dealings with Bill and Hillary Clinton sparked an ongoing federal investigation into the former first couple's fund raising - has been wanted in New York to answer stock-manipulation charges since June 2001. In the past, he has fought extradition while negotiating with U.S. investigators, but that all changed recently when Brazilian authorities put him in the dreaded "Corridor of Death."
Paul was put in the notorious Block F of Brazil's maximum-security state penitentiary in Brasilia. The nation's most vicious criminals are housed in Block F, where a favorite pastime among inmates is to burn their fellow prisoners alive in their cells.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which represents Paul, reports that 16 inmates have met their ends by immolation there in the last year alone.
"It's extremely dangerous for him there," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tells PAGE SIX's Ian Spiegelman. "He's already been threatened."
Fitton says there's an ongoing war between various prison factions and that "Americans aren't very popular" with any of them. As far as the inmates of Block F are concerned, "Getting an American would be a coup."
Paul has claimed that he can prove Sen. Clinton accepted at least $2 million in campaign contributions from him in 2000 but reported only $500,000 of it.
It's a mystery why Paul remained in a Brazil jail even after that country's Supreme Court decided he should be extradited last December. After that, Fitton says he continually pressured officials at the U.S. Embassy to fetch Paul, but they told him they needed "official" notice from the Brazilian foreign minister before they could do so.
Oddly, just days after that official notice was sent, Paul was transferred to the Corridor of Death on Aug. 20 while U.S. authorities continued to show no interest in following through with the extradition.
After several complaints from Fitton, the feds finally decided on Friday that Paul would be returned to the United States on Sept. 12, if he's lucky.
Sen. Clinton's rep declined comment.
On March 15, 2005, The New York Times reported that "Paul also says that by botching his defense in a criminal case concerning stock fraud that he pleaded guilty to last week, the organization [Judicial Watch] caused his unnecessary detention in a Brazilian jail for two years while he awaited extradition to the United States, which occurred in September 2003." From the Times report:
Mr. Paul says Judicial Watch let his civil suit against the Clintons linger in court while using it to raise more than $15 million since 2001 from people who dislike the Clintons. Mr. Paul also says that by botching his defense in a criminal case concerning stock fraud that he pleaded guilty to last week, the organization caused his unnecessary detention in a Brazilian jail for two years while he awaited extradition to the United States, which occurred in September 2003. The group is now backing out of its agreement to pay the legal fees relating to Mr. Paul's criminal case, Mr. Paul says.
It all started in March 2001, when Mr. Paul says Judicial Watch agreed to handle his criminal and civil legal matters.
At the time, Mr. Paul was in Brazil, where he had gone in December 2000 to attend to a second business that he owned, soon after the collapse of Stan Lee Media, an Internet company that he had co-founded. Mr. Paul was facing criminal charges of stock fraud relating to the company. He also had a civil suit against the Clintons, in which he says that he gave close to $2 million in services and donations to Mrs. Clinton's Senate campaign based on promises that Mr. Clinton would join Mr. Paul's Internet company when the president left office. These promises were never fulfilled, he says.
Mr. Paul said that by failing to dedicate sufficient resources to his civil suit, Judicial Watch left the case to idle in California courts. And in taking an overly combative approach to negotiations with the Department of Justice regarding Mr. Paul's return for trial in the United States from Brazil, Judicial Watch lengthened his prison stay, Mr. Paul said.
''Had Peter's prior counsel been more willing to plea with the government, as we were willing to do, it would not have taken two years to get him out of the Brazilian prison,'' said Joseph R. Conway, the lawyer whom Mr. Paul hired in October 2004 to take over the criminal case.
According to a September 2, 2003, Judicial Watch press release, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said "the Bush Administration continues to delay his [Paul's] return":
Five weeks after the Brazilian Foreign Minister notified the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil that Peter F. Paul's extradition process had been completed and U.S. officials should immediately return him to the U.S. to face stock manipulation and other related charges, the U.S. Embassy in Brazil has failed to arrange for Paul's delivery to a federal court in New York.
Paul, the largest donor to Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign, told the Ashcroft Justice Department that he made at least $2 million in contributions to Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign with the expectation that Bill Clinton would work with him in return for a $15 million in cash and stock from Stan Lee Media, a NASDAQ company named after Spiderman creator Stan Lee. Peter Paul, who co-founded Stan Lee Media with Mr. Lee, has been cooperating with Department of Justice investigators about the criminal issues surrounding his dealings with the Clintons. As part of Paul's good faith proffer to investigators, Paul detailed Mrs. Clinton's personal knowledge of his contributions, none of which the former First Lady and current U.S. Senator reported to the Federal Election Commission, and how she directed the diversion of Paul's payment of $55,000 of Stan Lee Media stock to an outside political entity working on her behalf. Paul also detailed allegations that for several years, the FBI allowed one of its organized crime operatives to loot publicly traded companies under the guise of criminal investigations, while the government looked the other way. Reports by The Los Angeles Times and Vanity Fair have confirmed key aspects of Paul's information concerning the Clintons and FBI corruption. A criminal investigation of the Clintons has begun relating to the August 2000 fundraiser.
In the midst of this cooperation, Paul was indicted in New York on alleged stock fraud and conspiracy charges on June 12, 2001. He was then indicted in California on alleged bank fraud charges. When he was indicted, Paul was in Brazil managing businesses he had there for many years, was cooperating with Justice Department, and was making arrangements to return to the U.S. to address the criminal charges against him. He was picked up by Brazilian police on August 3, 2001.
On August 20, 2003, after over two years in various Brazilian prisons, Paul was moved to the notorious Block F section of maximum security state penitentiary in Brasilia, where Paul is being held pending his extradition to the U.S. Paul, the only American ever to be imprisoned there, was placed among some of Brazil's most dangerous criminals, in a cell in the "Corridor of Death," infamous for the regular murder of prisoners by immolation. Mr. Paul has learned that more than sixteen prisoners have been burned alive in their cells in "Block F" within the past year alone. Paul has attempted to expedite the conclusion of his extradition proceeding since the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled in December, 2002 that he could be returned to the U.S. Yet the U.S. government has failed to respond to the Brazilian government's official notice to retrieve Paul, sent to the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia on July 18, 2003. Judicial Watch lawyers in Brazil have filed a petition with the Brazilian Supreme Court seeking protection and better conditions for Paul.
"Mr. Paul is a key witness in a criminal investigation regarding the Clintons. Mr. Paul's life is in jeopardy every day in a brutal and dangerous Brazilian prison, while the Bush Administration continues to delay his return. If the United States government wanted Mr. Paul home, it would have acted at least nine months ago to expedite his return. Mr. Paul should be brought back home immediately so that he can continue to cooperate with the government's investigation into the Clintons and FBI corruption," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
On September 30, 2003, The Miami Herald reported:
Acting on a request from U.S. prosecutors, Brazilian police arrested Paul in August 2001 and held him in a Sao Paulo facility while he fought extradition. This month, his legal defenses finally failed and he was moved to the Brooklyn, N.Y., Metropolitan Detention Center.
"He's happy to be back in the United States, and he wants to get this behind him," said Tom Fitton, head of Judicial Watch, a legal watchdog group that has been asking prosecutors to listen to Paul, who claims to have information potentially damaging to U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and California Gov. Gray Davis, also a Democrat.