Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The cost of a good pardon these days

"Will Trump Pardon Himself? Why the Hell Not?" (Scofield):
"To set a benchmark for the worst Trump could come up with as he issues the standard raft of end-of-Presidency pardons on his way to his last journey on Marine One, allow me a brief walk down memory lane to remind readers of one Bill Clinton’s highlights in sleaze: the Marc Rich pardon. It would be hard to top the standard set by the Clintons there.

Ex-wife, New York socialite and campaign fundraiser Denise Rich managed to secure a pardon for the fugitive financier from Clinton.

She denied that any money changed hands.

Sure. I believe her totally. Why should I not?

What I remember at the time was the strong, persistent rumors from well-connected contacts that more than money changed hands.

Leave it to Bill that money wasn’t quite sleazy enough – but that there also had to be a bedroom angle.

Rich also denied she had an affair with Bill in this Irish Times account, Denise Rich denies Clinton’s pardon bought:

Wealthy Democratic Party donor Denise Rich, in her first interviews since former President Bill Clinton’s pardon of her ex-husband, Marc Rich, insisted the pardon was not bought and said she supported it under pressure from their daughters.

“That’s not at all what it was about,” Ms Rich said in the 20/20 interview to be broadcast today.”I wanted to support the president, and I wanted to support my country.” Ms Rich also denied tabloid reports suggesting that she and Mr Clinton had an affair.

“I never had a sexual relationship or anything else that’s improper,” she said. “Any kind of relationship that would be improper with President Clinton.” In both interviews, Ms. Rich, 57, admitted that her contributions to the Democratic Party, including former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for a US Senate seat from New York, had bought her access to the White House.

The office of the US Attorney for Manhattan, Mary Jo White, is examining whether Marc Rich, 66, bought his pardon with political donations and gifts that Denise Rich gave Mr Clinton, the Democratic Party and Senator Hillary Clinton.

Vanity Fair traces Rich’s dealings in North Korea, Russia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Jamaica, Venezuela and South Africa, when anti-apartheid sanctions were in force.

“The smoking gun is greed,” Ken Hill, the US Marshall who hunted Mr Rich around the world for 14 years, told Vanity Fair. This is what Marc thrived on – the greed of those who had commodities and were in positions of influence and power."

blog comments powered by Disqus