Documents Show a Complex Campaign to Win a Pardon

Alison Leigh Cowan - NY Times - February 10, 2001


Lawyers and advisers to the financier Marc Rich joined his former wife in choreographing a complex legal and political campaign to win a last-minute pardon from President Bill Clinton, whose own legal advisers opposed the pardon, newly released documents and interviews show.

The effort, which drew in operatives in Israel and Switzerland as well as a Washington team that included a former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee, culminated in Mr. Clinton's granting a pardon that has raised questions of improper influence. The Rich pardon was the subject of a confrontational Congressional hearing on Thursday, with more hearings planned.

A spokesman for the House Committee on Government Reform said today that the panel would issue subpoenas next week for the bank records of Denise Rich and the list of donors to the Clinton library after Ms. Rich's lawyer disclosed that Ms. Rich had contributed to the library.

"In every investigation of this sort where money is involved or contributions are involved," the spokesman, Mark Corallo, said, "the only way to establish any kind of causal relationship is to look at bank records."

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