After 06:27 in the CNN video Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in New York state commentator Paul Kane, Senior Congressional Correspondent for The Washington Post said (my transcription):

And it’s not just... there are federal courts now that are starting to sentence some of those who were in the January 6th riot, and Royce Lamberth, a judge appointed by Ronald Reagan... was a real pain in the butt to Bill Clinton’s administration, yesterday in sentencing one of those rioters singled out the congressional republicans who are trying to rewrite the January 6th history. He said “I don’t know what planet they were on.” the Republicans who are trying to defend this. And he said that that attack was, quote: “intended to halt the very functioning of government. So the whole legal system is starting to shift.

Wikipedia's Royce Lamberth says:

Lamberth was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on March 19, 1987, to the seat on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated by Judge Barrington D. Parker. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 13, 1987, and commissioned on November 16, 1987. He served as chief judge from 2008 to 2013. He assumed senior status on July 15, 2013. He also served as presiding judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 1995 to 2002. Since becoming a senior judge, Lamberth has been assigned as a visiting judge in San Antonio for several months per year at the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Question: The Clinton administration spanned from 1993 to 2001 so there is substantial overlap, but neither Wikipedia article mentions the other individual. In what way(s) was US Judge Royce Lamberth a "pain in the butt" to the Clinton Administration as the Senior Congressional Correspondent for The Washington Post asserts?

1 Answer 1


Judge Lamberth presided over quite a number of cases involving the Clinton administration, and often ruled against it - leading a presidential aide to call Lamberth a "loose cannon", and President Clinton to note that "he does seem to have somehow acquired a significant percentage of the cases involving the White House".

These comments came after Lamberth ruled that President Clinton had "committed a criminal violation" of the Privacy Act 1974 when he released private letters from Kathleen Willey after she accused him in 1998 of sexually assaulting her five years earlier. This was perhaps the most well-publicised ruling, but there were a string of others.

In 1997, after almost five years of litigation, Judge Lamberth ruled that the administration's Health Care Task Force broke the law by meeting in secret, commenting that "the executive branch of the Government, working in tandem, was dishonest with this court, and the Government must now face the consequences of its misconduct".

In 1998, he sentenced an Agriculture Department aide, Ronald Blackley, to 27 months in prison for making false statements, despite sentencing guidelines suggesting probation. Lamberth said that he "wanted to send a message to other officials who might be tempted to be greedy and lie".

In 1999, Lamberth cited Clinton's Interior Secretary and Treasury Secretary for contempt of court after they failed to furnish the court with records during a case involving Native American trust funds. According to the WSJ, Lamberth charged the two officials and their aides with "engaging in a shocking pattern of deception".

Judge Lamberth also presided over Judicial Watch's lawsuit against the FBI relating to the 'Filegate' scandal involving the Clinton administration, although this was dismissed in 2010, 14 years after it was filed.

  • 3
    That the Clinton administration likely experienced a pain in the butt has been clearly demonstrated.
    – uhoh
    Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 9:19

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