This is the second article in a series of articles that will culminate with a “You Be the Judge” article about the Kennedy Assassination around the time of the anniversary of his death in November. This article is about Robert Kennedy, Jimmy Hoffa and the McClellan Committee Hearings.
On the heels of the McCarthy Hearings, Robert Kennedy was given the unenviable task of being the chief counsel to the Senate Labor Rackets Committee, chaired by John McClellan. The younger Kennedy then decided to make organized crime and labor corruption his pet project and he went after them with a vigor rarely seen out of our government now. But, why? Why was he so intent on organized crime? With all of the stuff going in the world at that time, why would he be so bent on organized crime and the labor unions?
Does he really care that much about it and wanted to stop it or was it because he found out that his family fortune was because of crime? It’s no secret that Poppa Joe Kennedy bought liquor plants in Canada during the prohibition in the US and it is no secret that Joe was working with mobsters to get the liquor into the US to sell. It is also no secret that he was elected to be the new SEC Chairman and that was after he used insider trading to turn a little bit of money into a whole lot of money. Did young Robert find this out and he was upset with it or was it because he was young and cocky and wanted to walk before crawling?
That brings us to the McClellan Hearings, with Chief Counsel Robert Kennedy and his attack on Jimmy Hoffa. Hoffa was accused by Kennedy of the Teamsters Union having ties with organized crime and Hoffa vehemently denied the accusations. The two have had some heated debates during the hearings and both have attacked like angry pit bulls and neither one was giving way. When it was all said and done, they couldn’t get Hoffa. Not yet anyway. In 1961, President Kennedy appointed his brother to the position of US Attorney General. Do you think this upset the bosses and Hoffa? Of course it did. He went after organized crime and Hoffa again and in 1964, Hoffa was finally convicted of misappropriating more than one million dollars of union money.
In 1980, when he was finally able to get back with the Teamsters, he was trying to get the presidency back but the mob apparently didn’t like this because the new president of the Teamsters, Fitzsimmons, was easier to control. Hoffa was supposed to meet with three men outside of a restaurant in Michigan. He climbed into a car that pulled up and was never heard from again.
The Kennedy brothers were both killed in the 1960’s while Hoffa was under fire and Robert was assassinated just after he declared that he would be running for the presidency. Did he have something to do with the assassinations? Don’t answer just yet. Wait until I open the voting with upcoming “You Be the Judge” article this month.