The Hon. Donald J. Trump
Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
I see in the media you’ve been rather busy lately, but I
hope you or someone in your office can take the time to read and act on this
letter. I apologize for its length, but this is a very complex situation and
requires some explanation.
writing to appeal to you for an act of executive clemency and commutation of
sentence for federal prisoner William A. White #13888-084, now being held in
penitentiary in Marion, Illinois in a special unit for alleged “terrorists.”
first thing that needs to be said is that Bill White is no more a terrorist
than Big Bird, and everyone involved in his case is fully aware of the fact.
Bill is a former political activist, true, but even in his wild and woolly
youth he was always a mile wide and an inch deep. Bill has never hurt anyone in
his life, and I am convinced after some years of association with him that he
simply doesn’t have it in him to do so. He has undergone torture, false
imprisonment, and the loss of everything he had in the world including his wife
and daughter, because he was viciously and cynically persecuted out of the most
contemptible of motives, for things his accusers knew perfectly well he did not
second thing you need to understand about Bill White’s case is that it’s
nothing but Net. He is one of the few people in this country who is in prison
on foot of internet postings and e-mails alone, without the government ever having
demonstrated any overt act of any kind in furtherance or intention involving
the actual carrying out of any crime.
White’s only offense involving an overt act occurred in 2012. Bill was released
from prison on constitutional grounds by a federal judge (i.e. his alleged internet
posts were ruled protected speech under the First Amendment.) Motivated so far
as I can see only by vindictive malice, the government appealed. They found a
sympathetic left-wing judicial activist to reverse the acquittal. When Bill
understood that he had been betrayed and the FBI were coming to take him back
to prison, he fled the country to Cancun,
Mexico of all places. There he made repeated internet posts
protesting his innocence until he was arrested outside an internet café. This
of course led to a charge of parole violation. My understanding is that he has
already cleared that charge with time served.
of all the quasi-legal ishkabibble, Bill White’s alleged crimes consist of A)
being Bill White, and B) supposedly sending e-mails and making internet posts
which “made people uncomfortable.” Not even the most wild-eyed and foam-lipped
United States Attorney has ever claimed that Bill actually harmed anyone at all,
or that he ever committed any kind of physical act beyond running off to Mexico in a panic five years ago.
the years Bill has repeatedly been offered deals by multifarious United States
Attorneys and other Justice Department officials if he will only plead guilty
to something, in other words admit that
something happened, even if nobody
knows quite what it was. Bill has repeatedly refused to let his persecutors off
the hook and plead guilty to crimes that he and they are both aware he did not
commit, which has fueled an animosity and vindictiveness on the part of the government
that I have witnessed nowhere else in over 40 years of observing the inner
workings of American society.
gets worse. In the past nine years Bill has in fact painstakingly assembled a
massive compendium of technical and forensic evidence which indicates that he did not in fact send the e-mails or make the
internet posts which he is accused of originating. He has identified the
actual sender in at least one case and believes he can demonstrate the identity
of others if he is ever allowed meaningful access to the courts and full
discovery is compelled from the prosecution. He has repeatedly presented this
evidence of his actual innocence to the courts, both pro se and through counsel, and he is essentially being ignored and
told to be quiet.
he’s not exactly the Count of Monte Cristo. He has his faults. Bill White is
one of these people who sit down in front of a computer keyboard and get a
visit from Mr. Hyde. Yeah, back about 15 years ago he could be silly and
intemperate when he started tapping on that keyboard. I think somebody picked
up on that, and that’s what they used to destroy Bill.
that’s not paranoia. Anyone examining this case is always stunned at the sheer
disproportionate level of institutional violence with which the government
responded to a non-existent threat on the part of an obscure radical poseur. As nearly as I can determine, this
entire sorry mess grew out of the fact that in October 2008 Bill ran a proposed
magazine cover on his web site which the then-campaigning Obama people didn’t
like, and somebody in the Justice Department decided to curry favor with the
incoming régime by making an example of an Obama-skeptic gadfly.
that act of disrespect to The One, someone has decided Bill White must die in
prison, especially now that it’s grown into such a grotesque abomination of
torture, malfeasance and corruption that the Justice Department is anxious to
bury it before somebody looks at it too closely. The hell of it is, the
magazine cover to which they objected appeared only on the internet; White was
arrested before the actual magazine itself could be printed and mailed. This
whole thing seems to have grown out of somebody in the Democratic party
throwing some kind of hysterical hissy fit over nothing. If the magazine had
been published it would have been long forgotten by now.
An unsettling vibe of near-insanity on the part of
government and federal law enforcement has always hovered over every aspect of
this case. Bill White, the very idea of Bill White, seems to give them
conniption fits. Like Alice, we are expected to believe six impossible things
before breakfast. Over the past nine years, several United States Attorneys
have created a bizarre structure of fantasy and fabrication regarding Bill
White, which appears to be based on a Fox Television crime drama series
entitled “The Following,” starring Kevin Bacon and the British actor James
Purefoy. (I think it ran for three seasons.)
this TV show, Purefoy is an evil and charismatic cult leader who has this huge
“following” of weirdos who run around and murder people while wearing Edgar
Allan Poe masks. This is how Bill White has been portrayed to the public and to
successive juries. For example, the jury in one of his trials was anonymized
for fear of Bill’s non-existent “followers.” The jurors were told that they had to be protected
from crazed blood-lusting right-wing psychos acting on telepathic commands from
Bill White sitting in his jail cell, beaming orders from his brain to his
zombie-like “followers” to kill kill kill! Yes, Mr. President, it really did
get that ridiculous.
not making this up, you know. When you look over what has been done to this man
for the past nine years, it is horrifying and heart-breaking. This is the kind
of case that destroys people’s faith in America, with the law being abused to serve a political
agenda and an almost incomprehensible personal hatred of one man on the part of
people with power. A land where something like this can happen is not a place
the Founding Fathers would recognize.
President, I am appealing to you for an act of common human decency. This man
has done nothing, and the government of which you are now the head has
brutalized and tortured him for nine years. Let him go. For nine years Bill has
been the Department of Justice’s favorite chew toy. That’s long enough. Let him
predecessor in the office you now hold committed a terrible wrong in the case
of Bill White, one of many. I am asking you to right that wrong. I know you
probably will not read this letter personally, and I get that. You have a swamp
to drain. But I am sending a copy to your new Attorney General, Mr. Sessions,
and I hope that somehow this appeal will get through to someone with authority,
or even with just a little curiosity.
government has done to Bill White is vile and unconscionable. It is sordid. It
is squalid. What the United States government has done to Bill White brings every man
and woman involved in it into shame, disrepute, and contempt.
Mr. Trump. As you battle to repair much greater wrongs these people have done
to us all, take some time to look at this case and fix this one small wrong to
one single man. Those little victories can mount up.
Harold A. Covington
P. O. Box 2188
Bremerton, Washington 98310
Cc: The Hon. Jeff Sessions
Attorney General of the United States