Barry Bad Witness To History?

landau-barry.jpg Man and mementos

The Associated Press presents Barry Landau as international man of mystery, dancing with queens and first ladies when he isn’t precociously worming his way into an Eisenhower White House invitation. Since then they claim he has been operating at the nexus, working the fulcrum, and in and of himself representative of the convergence of all we hold dear in politics and entertainment.

And snagging a lot of tchotskis over the years. Some of his collection will be reflected in “The President’s Table: 200 Years of Dining and Diplomacy,” first of a threatened three volumes of Presidentish stuff.

“He’s the kind of guy you may not notice in the pictures with celebrities. He is 59 and has been in the company of presidents for nearly 50 years. He is tall and bearded, with a home full of history and a head crammed with names, like boxes in an overstuffed closet ready to tumble out.”

One name that doesn’t tumble out in AP’s account is Hamilton Jordan.

Landau was supporting witness to allegations that Jimmy Carter Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan carter-hamilton-jordan.jpg used cocaine during a visit to Studio 54, the New York nightclub which from almost any perspective symbolized everything wrong with America in the 70s.

studio-54-ny-3.jpg Drugs were the least of their problems

Club owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager faced prison for tax evasion, and offered up Jordan’s name as plea bargain bait. Their attorney was sinister New York fixer Roy Cohn, mccarthy-roy-cohn.jpg Joe McCarthy’s former counsel.

Cohn, clubbing. cohn-roy-birthday-party-studio-54.jpg

The Special Counsel* appointed to investigate the allegations rejected them, and found Landau to be, shall we say, a questionable witness:

“There were only three people who claimed to have direct information concerning Mr. Jordan’s alleged use of cocaine in Studio 54: Rubell, Johnny C., and one Barry Landau. As witnesses, the most charitable thing that could be said about them was that they were utterly unbelievable….Landau claimed that on the evening of June 27, 1978, while at Studio 54, Mr. Jordan asked him for cocaine. Despite what he had said on the 20/20 program, however, when we pressed him, he did not claim to have any knowledge that Mr. Jordan in fact took cocaine that night. Landau said he did not hear Mr. Jordan ask Rubell or anyone else for cocaine, did not hear any other discussions about cocaine, and did not see Mr. Jordan or any other member of the Jordan group take cocaine. He also said that prior to August 24, 1979, he was never told by Rubell or anyone else that Mr. Jordan had taken cocaine in his visit. Landau declined to be interviewed by the FBI about June 27, 1978.20…Although Landau said that other persons were with Mr. Jordan that evening when Mr. Jordan asked Landau for cocaine, each of those persons explicitly denied that Mr. Jordan asked anyone for cocaine in his presence. I had very serious doubts about Landau’s credibility under any circumstances.”

None of this stops Landau on the book tour. He’s planning to hit the Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Bush Presidential Libraries, and for some reason doing both the Ford Archive and Ford Museum on separate days.

Somehow he is skipping the Carter Library.

*Youngsters may not recall, but one part of the hell that was the 70s was the appointment of Special Counsels at the hint of White House impropriety.

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