Jimmy Carter - Billygate



To further complicate matters for Carter, his younger brother, Billy, came under attack in the summer of 1980. A jovial fellow with a drinking problem, he had already embarrassed his more earnest brother on several occasions. Now, critics filed charges concerning his connections with Libya, a country ruled by the dictator Mu'ammar al-Gadhafi, a financial backer of international terrorism. The complaints included the charge that the president had used American intelligence information to assist Billy. The latter had made a deal with an American oil company to buy Libyan crude oil, had obtained a $220,000 "loan" from the Libyans, and had made various efforts to promote Libyan and Arab interests in the United States. Senate investigators concluded that Libya had cultivated Billy's friendship in hope of gaining influence in Washington and that by responding to these overtures he had acted contrary to the interests of the United States and merited severe criticism. The senators also concluded that Billy had no influence but that the president and some of his aides deserved criticism for ill-advised use of Billy to enlist Libyan aid in the hostage crisis and for possibly giving Libyan officials a false impression that he had influence in Washington. But the investigators found no evidence that anyone had done anything illegal or seriously improper to help the president's brother. The episode damaged the president for only a short time.




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