Dumond Docs

Murray Waas has a heck of a scoop demolishing Mike Huckabee's line on Wayne Dumond, the rapist he let out of jail who went on to graduate to murder:

Confidential Arkansas state government records, including letters from these women, obtained by the Huffington Post and revealed publicly for the first time, directly contradict the version of events now being put forward by Huckabee. [...]

But the confidential files obtained by the Huffington Post show that Huckabee was provided letters from several women who had been sexually assaulted by Dumond and who indeed predicted that he would rape again - and perhaps murder - if released. [...]

Huckabee kept these and other documents secret because they were politically damaging, according to a former aide who worked for him in Arkansas. The aide has made the records available to the Huffington Post, deeply troubled by Huckabee's repeated claims that he had no reason to believe Dumond would commit other violent crimes upon his release from prison. The aide also believes that Huckabee, for political reasons, has deliberately attempted to cover up his knowledge of Dumond's other sexual assaults. [...]

In 1996, as a newly elected governor who had received strong support from the Christian right, Huckabee was under intense pressure from conservative activists to pardon Dumond or commute his sentence. The activists claimed that Dumond's initial imprisonment and various other travails were due to the fact that Ashley Stevens, the high school cheerleader he had raped, was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton, and the daughter of a major Clinton campaign contributor.

A stark reminder both of how crazy the craziness was in anti-Clinton circles and also of how influential it was. This is a giant country, so there'll always be a certain number of nutters out there. But in the 1990s, the Clinton conspiracy theorists were in the driver's seat, getting governors to release rapists and people died. Appalling stuff.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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