As Hillary Clinton preps for an inevitable 2016 presidential bid, both supporters and detractors (and the politician herself, in her new memoir) have been exposing elements of her past to the public.
The most recent unearthing was accomplished by conservative publication The Washington Free Beacon, which posted audio recordings from the early 1980s of Clinton discussing her defense of a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl.
Some of the things Clinton says in the recordings suggests she knew that the man, Thomas Alfred Taylor, was actually guilty. She also discusses the entire case lightly, often laughing during the interview (which was conducted by Esquire reporters for a story that never ran).
In the original trial, Clinton was able to successfully reduce the 30 years to life in prison that Taylor faced into a one year sentence for “unlawfully fondling someone under 14,” according to Gawker.
“[Of] course he claimed that he didn’t [rape her] and all this stuff. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed — which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” Clinton says in one portion of the tape.
The victim in the case has since responded to the release of the tapes, calling into question Clinton’s declared support for women’s rights.
"I think [Clinton] wants to be a role model being who she is, to look good, but I don't think she's a role model at all. If she had been, she would have helped me at the time, being a 12-year-old girl who was raped ... She did that to look good and she told lies on that. How many other lies has she told to get where she's at today? If she becomes president, is she gonna be telling the world the truth? No. She's going to be telling lies out there, what the world wants to hear," the victim said in an interview with The Daily Beast.
The victim also took issue with the 1975 affidavit in which Clinton described her as “emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.”
Whether or not Clinton should have talked so casually about her client who was convicted of sexual assault is a difficult question, and whether or not that should be used against her as she prepares to run for president is a deeper question that voters need to consider as the election nears.