Monday, December 1, 2003 Print This | Email This     

An interview with Barr McClellan, author of Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.

Court TV Host: Our guest, Barr McClellan, author of "Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed JFK." Welcome, Mr. McClellan...thanks for being our guest today.

Barr McClellan: Thank you. Very glad to join you.

Court TV Host: Before we start, is there anything you didn't get a chance to say on television yesterday that you'd like to mention here before we begin?

Barr McClellan: I was preempted by Michael Jackson so the session was very abbreviated. Mainly I got the key exhibits on the show - the prints and the indictment. There's much more. Mainly it turned into a chat of somewhat harsh tones between Posner and the shot expert. There is a whole lot more - 68 total exhibits to tell the whole story and text to connect the dots.

Question from AnnD: How did LBJ kill JFK?

Question from lucy: What makes you believe LBJ did it?

Barr McClellan: The entire book needs to be read. Basically, LBJ wanted power - the presidency and he feared indictment. There was a lot more. He was a ruthless and violent man who would and did do anything. Then I have the exhibits bringing his hitman, Mac Wallace onto the sixth floor - by his prints and a witness. The lawyers I worked with first told me Ed Clark, the senior partner, was behind it. I later confirmed that. LBJ asked Clark for help and Clark provided it according to his long agreement with Johnson. This is the heart of what happened. There is a lot more in the book, to show these men in action.

Question from ally_oops: What indictment are you referring to?

Barr McClellan: In 1961 Henry Marshall was murdered by Mac Wallace, the hitman on the sixth floor. The ruling then was suicide; however, a later grand jury ruled homicide and said Johnson was guilty. He could not be indicted because he had passed on. But with that action, law enforcement got him. That grand jury ruled in 1984 with supporting evidence from Texas Ranger Clint Peoples. Three people were involved - Johnson, Wallace, and Cliff Carter. Billy Sol Estes was the fourth participant and was given immunity.

Court TV Host: What happened to that indictment?

Barr McClellan: The indictment was after Johnson had passed on. It was used to help the Marshall family change the result. Many newspapers covered the event in Texas but it got little publicity elsewhere. Since the guilty men were dead, nothing could be done.

Question from mergatroid: If LBJ were still alive, do you think there would be some congressional hearing (similar to Clinton's) where he would have been given the opportunity to testify?

Barr McClellan: That was happening back in 1961 when the murder was committed. Law enforcement was slowly closing in, centering on Estes who was indicted in April 1962. Then Johnson went underground, not available to the press. He was the top dog everyone suspected. Impeachment papers were introduced and talk started that Kennedy would drop him. Without the protection of his office, Johnson could be indicted. The stage was set for Dallas. Today, Johnson would have the chance to testify if alive; however, it would be in court, not Congress.

Question from lapdog: Well, LBJ obviously did not pull the trigger himself. How is it possible that those who assisted LBJ in this coup managed to keep their mouths shut all these years?

Question from ally_oops: Did any of these men ever admit any guilt to family members or anyone?

Barr McClellan: Their mouths were sealed by the attorney-client privilege. Many lawyers consider that to mean no talk. There is a proviso - they must talk to prevent imminent injury. The key men were thus protected and well-paid. Oswald was killed and Ruby died. Wallace was taken care of with a good job and then, after a divorce and wanting more, he was killed. There are two men we have not identified. They may still be subject to indictment. They were all protected and paid or they were killed.

Question from soccermom: Why haven't the Kennedy's ever come forward supporting any of these theories of conspiracy? If they believe Johnson is behind it, there should be nothing holding them back at this point in time.

Question from ally_oops: Do the Kennedys agree with you?

Barr McClellan: The Kennedys are central to any investigation, and I promptly notified them of the print exhibits. Jackie commissioned a book, Farewell America, with help of France, and it said conspiracy - big Oil. RFK was there but cut off from law enforcement, and blocked by Hoover. When he ran for the presidency, he said he would take action when elected. That, of course, did not happen. I have some indication from the Kennedy family, a nephew of Jackie's, who agrees. We are still confirming. Some key records are still sealed. We are waiting.

Question from ally_oops: Did the Kennedy family give you any interviews during your research of your book

Barr McClellan: No. And I did not ask. They have kept a very low profile, and the nephew's report may be one of the first to talk. They were informed but it was a courtesy. I received no response.

Question from Candyce_Moonwalking: Can you tell us a little about Edward Clark and what role you think he played for Johnson?

Question from Candyce_Moonwalking: How did this alliance with Ed Clark and Johnson come about? Why did Johnson trust him?

Barr McClellan: Clark was the key lawyer for Johnson and the only man he trusted. There is a telling letter in the book on this. In 1949 Clark was recognized as the boss of Texas and during the Johnson years ran the state. Johnson asked for his help and got it. Since Clark controlled Texas justice, Kennedy did not have a chance. Any trial would be in Texas courts - assassinating a president was not then a federal crime. They key between the men was several fold. Clark got Johnson elected for the first time. Clark sent Thomas to stuff the ballot box in the 1948 election. A series of letters in 1949 shows the basic conspiracy - Clark to take care of a man for good and to handle some deep financial problems. Johnson writes back - we know the risk, and you will be protected. This was in 1949. In 1960 a letter in the book shows Johnson trust - no man in more esteem and indebted to no other. These telling documents are part of the key exhibits and tell an important part of the story.

Court TV Host: You also worked for Clark, didn't you?

Barr McClellan: I was an attorney with Clark in 1966 and with him until 1977. I learned of the conspiracy in those years and worked the Johnson files from early on. I represented Clark personally in his efforts to get his bonus for the assassination. We covered a great many cases in those years and took care of Johnson interests in every way. As partner in 1972, I learned all the ins and outs, saw the flow of money, and confirmed all I had heard. It was very difficult because I admired Kennedy but was in the middle of his killers. I simply denied it, at first believing it was not true and then believing it covered by the privilege. It was very difficult.

Question from construe: What reaction have you gotten about your book from family of LBJ?

Barr McClellan: They said nothing for several weeks. Yesterday they had a press release saying it was a smear. The series on the History Channel brought them out of an obvious attempt to ignore the book. They have ignored what I have been saying since 1984 and even in 1998, hoping there will be no news. Now they have had to respond. Jack Valenti and Tom Johnson (former head of CNN and LA Times) are speaking for her. I say cut out the catch phrases and show the facts. Where are the facts? These two very powerful men have kept the book from some news outlets. We are now well out there.

Question from Tom: Do you contend that Wallace shot from the book depository, and if so, what about claims of shots from behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll?

Barr McClellan: The prints put Wallace on the sixth floor, and an eyewitness says he was there. Photos show his shadowy figure there. He fired one of the shots and ran to escape. Oswald fired two. There was a shooter on the grassy knoll. The crime scene reveals this situation. Three men claiming to be Secret Service were never identified. They were the killers making their escape. Oswald was the patsy. There were at least four shots.

Question from lapdog: If LBJ wanted the presidency so badly, why did he bail out on running for re-election?

Question from AnnD: If Johnson wanted the President badly enough to kill for it, why do you believe he didn't run for a second term?

Barr McClellan: He was exhausted. The emotions of paranoia and depression left him weakened. The decision was spur of the moment. He instantly regretted it. Clark did not know and never forgave him.By 1968, Johnson was a broken man and could take no more.

Court TV Host: Any closing thoughts?

Barr McClellan: The case is very complex. The book is only an overview. You have to see how lawyers can be so corrupt, and the power system can get away with what it did. But it happened, and I've laid it out in the book. May I return for more?

Court TV Host: Certainly. Thank you for being our guest online.