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A L S O__T O D A Y

Loyal to the end
By Jessica Seigel
Susan McDougal, on trial in California on non-Whitewater offenses, feels vindicated
(09/18/98)

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Editorial
Why we ran the Henry Hyde story

The full text of The Starr Report and The White House Rebuttal


T A B L E+T A L K

George Wallace, R.I.P.: Mourn or scorn the controversial Alabama politician in the Politics area of Table Talk


R E C E N T L Y

Lives of the Republicans, Part Two
By David Neiwert
The strange case of Helen Chenoweth shows that playing the sex card against the Democrats as a political strategy can be, in Idaho parlance, as "dumb as a mud fence"
(09/16/98)

White House adjusts its game plan
By Jonathan Broder
White House switches tactics
(09/14/98)

Where's Whitewater?
By Jonathan Broder
The independent counsel seems to have forgotten something on his way to the impeachment party
(09/11/98)

The voyeur general's report to Congress
By Gary Kamiya
Once its Peeping-Tom shock wears off, the Starr report is nothing more than an extreme close-up of what we already knew
(09/11/98)

Commentary: The other woman
By Murray Waas
The one woman Clinton really hurt
(09/10/98)

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"This hypocrite broke up my family"

News
Henry Hyde and Cherie Snodgrass at a Chicago nightspot in the late 1960s.


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HENRY HYDE, THE MAN WHO WILL SIT IN JUDGMENT ON PRESIDENT CLINTON, CONFIRMS THAT HE CARRIED ON A SECRET AFFAIR.

BY DAVID TALBOT | Fred Snodgrass, a 76-year-old Florida retiree, says he gets so upset when he watches Rep. Henry Hyde on TV that "I nearly jump out of my chair." Hyde, the Illinois Republican who heads the House Judiciary Committee, is on television often these days. Hyde's committee will decide whether the adulterous affair President Clinton carried on with a White House intern, and his efforts to keep it hidden, should be referred to the House of Representatives for impeachment proceedings. "I watched [Hyde] on TV the other night," said Snodgrass. "These politicians were going on about how he should have been on the Supreme Court, what a great man he is, how we're lucky to have him in Congress in charge of the impeachment case. And all I can think of is here is this man, this hypocrite who broke up my family."

Snodgrass says Hyde carried on a five-year sexual relationship with his then-wife, Cherie, that shattered his family. Hyde admitted to Salon Wednesday that he had been involved with Cherie Snodgrass, and that the relationship ended after Hyde's wife found out about it. At the time of the affair, which lasted from 1965 to 1969, Fred Snodgrass was a furniture salesman in Chicago, and his wife was a beauty stylist. They had three small children, two girls and a boy. Hyde, then 41 years old, was a lawyer and rising star in Republican state politics. In 1966, he was elected for the first time to the Illinois House. Hyde was married and the father of four sons. (His wife, Jeanne Hyde, died of breast cancer in 1992, after a 45-year marriage.)

"Cherie was young and naive at the time," said a Snodgrass family intimate. "She was a glamour queen with three young kids, stuck at home. Then this Prince Charming guy, Hyde, comes along. She was very impressed with him. He was 12 years older, he was a hotshot, he knew everyone downtown. She had nothing, and he comes along, shows her off, she was young and beautiful."

Alex Berke, a former jewelry businessman and 37-year member of the Chicago Board of Trade who has been a friend of Fred Snodgrass for more than 50 years, also confirmed the story of the family breakup. "I knew Fred and Cherie when they first got married," he said. "They were an ideal couple. She was tall and gorgeous and he was a handsome SOB. They made a hell of a couple. The affair between Hyde and Cherie played a hell of a bad part in Fred's life. It went on for several years. It changed his whole life. And it affected the kids too. Being a nice guy, Fred took Cherie back, but it never worked out after that. He told me all about it when it was happening. It beat the hell out of him."

Snodgrass supplied Salon with two photographs of his ex-wife with Hyde taken in the late 1960s, including one of her sitting in Hyde's lap at a Chicago night spot. Another photograph is inscribed, "I love you Cherie!!!!" and signed, "Hank, Dec. 30, 1966!"

Hyde released the following statement to Salon Wednesday: "The statute of limitations has long since passed on my youthful indiscretions. Suffice it to say Cherie Snodgrass and I were good friends a long, long time ago. After Mr. Snodgrass confronted my wife, the friendship ended and my marriage remained intact. The only purpose for this being dredged up now is an obvious attempt to intimidate me and it won't work. I intend to fulfill my constitutional duty and deal judiciously with the serious felony allegations presented to Congress in the Starr report."

According to Snodgrass, his marriage began to fall apart in 1965 when his wife, then 29 years old, began staying out late and coming home intoxicated. He moved out the following year, later hearing from a relative and waiters at a favorite downtown Chicago restaurant that they had seen Cherie socializing with Henry Hyde. The same year, Cherie began pleading with Snodgrass to move back with her and their three small children and he agreed. But soon afterwards, he said, she began going out late again. "I'd be locking the door, and she'd finally come home and start banging on it," he recalled. "I'd let her in and we'd have these big fights -- it would wake the kids up. She was seeing Hyde again. She said she was miserable being married. So she moved out, said she was going to her mother's, and she left me with the kids."

Several months later, Snodgrass found out his wife was actually living in her own well-furnished apartment. One day, when he came by to try to talk with his wife, he found the door blocked by a man inside her apartment. "I'm trying to get in the door, I can see her buttoning up her blouse," said Snodgrass. "And some guy is holding the door, pushing back. It was Hyde. And he's a big guy, I couldn't get in. My wife said she used to tell him, 'What are you doing, trying to hit 300?'

"I yelled to Cherie, 'Get him out of the house so I can talk to you.' So I'm waiting outside, sitting in my car, and here comes Henry Hyde. I didn't confront him, I didn't say anything, I got no guts.

"She stayed in that apartment for a couple years. Every time I went back I'd see new clothes, new furniture -- he was keeping her."

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N E X T+P A G E+| "She knows she wasn't his first and she wasn't his last"




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