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The Clinton scandals
News items from the Review

Plus later development on scandals
Other Clinton sites


earlier stories
more recent stories


Ties between the pardoned
and the pardoner

Linda Medlar Jones: fraud and obstruction of justice in Cisneros case. Was Cisneros' lover

Roger Clinton: conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Bill's half-brother

Tom Bhakta: tax evasion. His family gave $5,000 to Hillary's campaign Outcome: Pardoned

Almon Glenn Braswell: Vitamin peddler convicted of mail fraud and perjury. Hillary's brother Hugh Rodham lobbied for pardon.

Carlos Vignali Offense: cocaine trafficking. Hugh Rodham lobbied for him

John Bustamante: fraudulently obtaining a loan and stealing from a woman's estate. Former adviser to Clinton friend Jesse Jackson

Melvin Reynolds: bank fraud and having sex with underage staffer. Jesse Jackson asked Clinton for commutation.

Henry Cisneros: lying in independent-counsel probe. Served in Bill Clinton's Cabinet

Dorothy Rivers Offense: Embezzled federal aid for homeless children. Jesse Jackson associate.

John Deutch: security violations. Served Bill Clinton at CIA

Robert Clinton Fain and James Lowell Manning: tax charges. William Cunningham, Hillary's Senate campaign treasurer, acted as their lawyer.

Susan McDougal: fraud in Whitewater scandal; refusal to testify against Bill Clinton. Longtime friend and Whitewater partner of the Clintons.

Edward R. Downe Jr.: securities fraud. Hillary donor.

Alvarez Ferrouillet laundering money to cover loan for congressional campaign of Mike Espy's brother. Espy was Clinton's agriculture secretary; petition was pushed by Clinton pal Terry McAuliffe Outcome.

Ronald H. Blackley: Former Espy chief-of-staff convicted of making false statements related to Espy probe. Espy asked for clemency 27-month sentence commuted along with those of four others convicted of lesser charges in Espy probe

Arnold Paul Prosperi: Convicted in 1997 of filing false tax returns and using fake bank records to hide embezzlement. College buddy of Clinton.

Peg Bargon: Possessing eagle feather that her son found in a zoo. She gave feather to Hillary Clinton.

Charles D. Ravenel: bank-fraud conspiracy. Clinton friend since 1980.

Richard Riley Jr.: federal drug charges. Son of Clinton's education secretary.

Stephen A. Smith and Robert Palmer: charges related to Whitewater. Smith was former Clinton aide; Palmer worked as appraiser on Whitewater.

Christopher V. Wade: Whitewater bankruptcy fraud. One of the original developers of Clintons' Whitewater.

Marc Rich: 50 felony counts, including tax evasion of $48 million. Former Clinton counsel Jack Quinn urged Bill Clinton to grant pardon; ex-wife, Denise, a major Clinton donor

John Fife Symington III: false statements to obtain loans. Longtime Clinton friend; once saved Bill's life in boating mishap.

Harvey Weinig: Helped launder at least $19 million for drug cartel. A relative, former White House aide David Dreyer, asked Clinton confidants for clemency. NY POST



1985: A RELATIVE OF BILL CLINTON IS RAPED. Wayne Dumond is arrested and imprisoned in the case. While awaiting sentencing, Dumond himself is sexually assaulted and castrated by two masked men. A local sheriff, later sentenced to 160 years for extortion and drug dealing, displays Dumond's testicles in a jar on his desk under a sign that read, "That's what happens to people who fool around in my county." A parole board, upon receiving new evidence of Dumond's innocence, will vote to release him after 4 1/2 years in prison. Governor Clinton -- according to the managing editor of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette -- stages a "romping, stomping fit" and blocks the release . . . STEVE DUNLEAVY, NY POST: Both as governor of Arkansas and president, the one pardon [Clinton] forgot about was Wayne Dumond. In 48 years on this job on six continents, I have never seen or heard of a miscarriage of justice in these United States like the one visited on Wayne Dumond . . . Armed with a semen sample off a pair of jeans worn by the victim and which the state claimed came from Dumond, I went to Atlanta. I presented the sample to Dr. Moses Schanfield, one of the most respected DNA experts in the country. Dr. Schanfield told me: "No way, zip, nada. No way Dumond was the donor of that sperm. Not in a million years." We ambushed Clinton, who wasn't as talkative as governor of Arkansas as he was as president. "There is no merit to review this case, and as governor I can't comment," he said at the time. In 1999, Wayne Dumond was released, saying he wanted to be bitter but just couldn't get there. Twelve years in jail for a crime he did not commit, castrated, framed and denied any process by a Gov. Clinton and a President Clinton and he couldn't get bitter. NY POST

ROGER CLINTON, pardoned by his half-brother in the last hours of the Clinton presidency for a drug conviction in 1985, came under subsequent FBI scrutiny several times, Newsweek has learned, including one episode in which he allegedly sought to play middleman in the purchase of presidential pardons. No charges were ever brought, and a Clinton spokeswoman says the former president knew nothing of the FBI's interest in Roger. But the White House did make a point of bypassing the FBI and processing the Roger Clinton pardon directly through high-level Justice Department officials, Newsweek reports in the current issue.


BRIAN BLOMQUIST & DEVLIN BARRETT, NY POST: Manhattan US Attorney Mary Jo White launched a probe of whether fugitive billionaire Marc Rich bought his pardon - blocking an immunity deal to let his ex-wife, Denise, tell all . . .
The Justice Department told congressional investigators to halt their plan to give Denise Rich criminal immunity to compel her to testify publicly about the pardon that has sparked a furor . . . Denise Rich, who gave more than $1 million in campaign contributions to the Democrats and $450,000 to the Clinton library, has so far refused to answer questions about her ex-husband's pardon, citing her right to avoid incriminating herself.

DRUDGE REPORT: Time claims Clinton is dragging down Democratic fundraising. In Florida where Democrats say they need at least $12 million to defeat Governor Jeb Bush in 2002, a money man told Time normally dependable givers are refusing because of the allegation that Clinton gave pardons for campaign cash. "One problem with the Clinton defense that he pardoned Marc Rich to please Ehud Barak is that Israelis downplay the former prime minister's role, saying it consisted of a brief mention during one phone call, Time reports. Sources close to Clinton contend there were at least three calls. DRUDGE REPORT

BLOOMBERG: Michael Rankowitz, the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. official who hired former President Bill Clinton to speak and sparked a firestorm of criticism, has resigned.

EARLY RETURNS: The first contributions Denise Rich made in the 1990s went to none other than Senator Arlen Specter reports the Washington Post.

NY TIMES, MAY 16, 1998 - Moments after President Clinton gave videotaped testimony for the criminal trial of James and Susan McDougal, his former Whitewater partners, he privately agreed to give Mrs. McDougal a pardon if she was convicted, a new book by James McDougal says. "I'm willing to stick with it, but if it doesn't work out, or whatever, can you pardon Susan?" McDougal recalled asking Clinton shortly after the president had completed his testimony, in the Map Room at the White House two years ago. "You can depend on that," Clinton is said to have replied quietly in the private conversation, apparently out of earshot of others. McDougal then asked, "Like I say with all lawyers, I mean promptly?" The president grinned and nodded, by McDougal's account, and said, "If you hang with me, I'll do it."

WALL STREET JOURNAL: For the sake of argument and good manners, let us concede the possibility that the US Attorney for the Southern District really will, in short order, unravel whatever paper trail and money trail may exist between Marc and Denise Rich and the former President of the United States. But before everyone else shuts up shop on the Rich pardon and awaits the results from US Attorney White, let us just say for the record: Been there, done that . . . The last time other investigators passed through this door was in early 1999. That year and the year before, Rep. Pete Hoekstra's House Oversight and Investigations Committee was holding hearings into the financial irregularities involving the Teamsters presidential election, the AFL-CIO and campaign fund-raising by the Democratic Party. At the request of the Department of Justice, Mr. Hoekstra and his investigators agreed to steer clear of allegations that money had been illegally laundered among these entities, deferring that task to the US Attorney's office in the Southern District under Mary Jo White . . . Ms. White in fact has been investigating the Teamster affair since 1997, securing guilty pleas and convictions of various small fry and just last month indicting her first major figure, former Teamster President Ron Carey. Even with this, the case presumably will rattle on into the indefinite future . . . The Bush Administration keeps suggesting it wants the pardon scandal to go away, so perhaps Ms. White's blockade serves their purposes as well as Mr. Clinton's.

LESS WE FORGET: Marc Rich is America's record tax evader.




WHILE EVERYONE NOW KNOWS that the Clinton years ended with a dubious pardon, few know they started much the same way . . . THE REVIEW, FEBRUARY 1993: When Clinton was inaugurated, Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker came to Washington to see his old boss sworn in. That left the state under the control of the president pro tem of the senate, Little Rock dentist Jerry Jewell. Jewell used his power as acting governor to issue a number of pardons, one of them for a convicted drug dealer, Tommy McIntosh. The pardons were a big subject of controversy in Arkansas and not the least of the questions was: how did McIntosh get included?

Enter Robert "Say" McIntosh, father of Tommy, and a colorful political activist. According to the Washington Times, many in the state "say it was a political payoff, offered in exchange for dirty tricks Mr. McIntosh played on Clinton political opponents during the presidential campaign, or as a payoff for stopping his attacks on Mr. Clinton." It seems that the elder McIntosh had worked for Clinton in his last state campaign and, according to McIntosh in a 1991 lawsuit, had agreed not only to pay him $25,000 but to help him market his recipe for sweet potato pie and to pardon his son. He also alleged that Clinton expected McIntosh's help in covering up a trail of sexual indiscretions.

McIntosh dropped his lawsuit a month after Clinton was elected president and, he claims, after the president-elect agreed to get his son out of jail . . . The younger McIntosh was released 18 years before he was eligible for parole.


ROD DREHER, NY POST: Overlooked so far is [Marc]Rich's role in the looting of the disintegrating Soviet Union by Communist Party officials and their associates in the early 1990s. You can read about it in "Godfather of the Kremlin," an exhaustively researched book about Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, which was published last fall. The author is Paul Klebnikov, an expert on Russia and a Forbes magazine senior editor. The book details the myriad ways Berezovsky and his minions stole untold sums from the Russian people through international financial schemes. According to Klebnikov, Rich came into the picture around 1990, when the Soviet Union began to open up to outsiders. "Governmental authority began to crumble. All these local Communist Party bosses got to strike deals on their own," the author tells me. Based in Switzerland, with its secretive banking laws, Rich was in a prime position to help Russia's plunderers carry out their dirty work. Klebnikov reported that Rich dealt in oil, aluminum, zinc and other raw commodities. "He'd strike a deal with the local party boss, or the director of a state-owned company," explains the author. "He'd say, 'OK, you will sell me the [commodity] at 5 to 10 percent of the world market price. "'And in return, I will deposit some of the profit I make by reselling it 10 times higher on the world market, and put the kickback in a Swiss bank account.'" For at least two years, as the Soviet Union was in its death throes, Rich was that nation's largest trader of aluminum and oil on a spot basis. "He made a complete mint off of Russia," says Klebnikov. NY POST

UPI: The head of the largest Jewish denomination in the United States Thursday criticized Jewish leaders who lobbied in favor of a pardon for Marc Rich calling it a "moral stain" for Jews. "Charged with massive tax evasion and breaking an embargo on trading with Iran, Rich is a multimillionaire fugitive from justice who lives in luxury in Switzerland," Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of Reform Judaism's Union of American Hebrew Congregations, wrote in an op-ed piece in the New York-based Jewish Week. "I am in no position to judge Rich's legal claims, but neither are the many Jewish leaders and luminaries who contacted President Clinton in support of the pardon. Why their interest in a man who appears to have traded illegally not only with Iran but with Iraq and Libya, rogue states devoted to Israel's destruction? The answer is simple: They were bought," added Yoffie. "Rich contributed generously to Jewish causes and charities around the world, and then, in a carefully orchestrated campaign, called in favors to put pressure on the president." UPI

NEWSMAX: The Washington Times columnist who first reported the looting of the presidential airplane used by the Clintons for their farewell flight home has no plans to retract the story, despite President Bush's statement this week that the incident never took place. "I stand by what I wrote," John McCaslin told NewsMax . . . "All the allegations that they took stuff off Air Force One are simply not true," [Bush] told reporters. The White House refused to say whether Bush actually investigated the looting incident . . . Two days after McCaslin's initial report, the Times front paged news that a number of items bearing the Air Force One logo had turned up on the internet auction site eBay. "These are very hard-to-get items," one collectables dealer told the paper. "They are not mass-marketed and are made only for the White House." Citing that report, McCaslin reiterated, "I'm standing by what I wrote right down to the stolen toothpaste." NEWSMAX

HAMILTON JORDAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: If I'd have had the nerve to walk into the Oval Office to discuss a pardon with Mr. Carter, I would have been peppered with questions: "Hamilton, why on earth are you bringing this to me? What does (Attorney General) Griffin Bell think? Why isn't Lloyd Cutler (the White House counsel) here? What is the case history and rationale for this pardon? What are the extenuating circumstances that merit my overturning the judgment of a jury and our court system? Do the former prosecutors favor a pardon, and if so, why?" After a series of my answering "I don't know," President Carter would have surely given me one of his famous icy stares and admonished me, "Pardons are serious legal business and not your business, Hamilton. Don't ever come in here again to talk to me about a pardon." If I had summoned the courage to say, "But Mr. President, this pardon is for someone who contributed generously to our campaign and has even promised to contribute to the Carter Presidential Library," he would have thrown me out of the Oval Office and probably fired me on the spot." . . . Grifters was a term used in the Great Depression to describe fast-talking con artists who roamed the countryside, profiting at the expense of the poor and the uneducated, always one step ahead of the law, moving on before they were held accountable for their schemes and half-truths. No longer able to dominate the national news with moving speeches or policy initiatives, the First Grifters have been unable to move beyond the Marc Rich pardon, White House gifts and other events related to their noisy and ungraceful departure from office. Robbed of the frills of high office, we can now examine these last-minute pardons--and the Clintons--for what they are. WALL STREET JOURNAL

KENNETH R. BAZINET, NY DAILY NEWS: Controversial gifts taken by former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton were specifically solicited for them by friends of the Clintons, a top aide confirmed for the first time. "Did friends of Mrs. Clinton not solicit others and say, 'Would you please buy this silverware, these gifts for Mrs. Clinton for her new houses?'" ex-White House chief of staff John Podesta was asked on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Yes, that happened," Podesta conceded, adding that he thought it was a mistake . . . Up until Podesta's comments, aides to both the senator and the former President had denied anyone had solicited gifts for them. NY DAILY NEWS

Larry King Show, February 8

KING: We're going to spend [some] minutes with Howard Safir, good friend and former New York City Police . . . He was chief of operations for the US Marshall Service, headed the pursuit of fugitive Marc Rich. Why was he so hard to get?

HOWARD SAFIR, FORMER NEW YORK CITY COMMISSIONER: He was hard to get because he had a great deal of influence in a lot of countries, and we were pretty much restricted to just a few countries where we could apprehend him. He had Bolivian passport, he had a Spanish passport. The Israelis were very clear they weren't going to help us apprehend him. So it was very difficult to get him, plus he had a lot of money . . .

KING: Howard, are you hinting at or saying bribe here? Are you saying quid pro quo? What are your feelings? We don't have facts yet.

SAFIR: We don't have facts. What I'm saying is the appearance: the appearance of fugitive's ex-wife contributing over $1 million to the Democratic Party. You are talking about an individual, when I did a spy exchange in 1986, he had a lawyer from East Germany offer $225 million for him and Pinky Green if the prosecutions were wiped out. Well, we told them at the time: Justice is not for sale.

[As reported by Rod Dreher of the NY Post, Rich was deeply involved with the Russians who, at the time of the offer to Safir, included East Germany in their empire. While we know Rich subsequently made tens of millions helping the old regime (including members of the KGB) loot their country in the name of capitalism, we don't know why they, or the East German Stasi, considered Rich and Green worth $225 million]

PHILIP SHENON, NY TIMES: The chairman of Morgan Stanley has told clients that the Wall Street investment company "clearly made a mistake" by having former President Bill Clinton speak at a conference in Florida, saying the firm understood their unhappiness in light of "Mr. Clinton's personal behavior as president." . . . "We should have thought twice before the speaking invitation was extended," the e-mail message continued. "Our failure to do so was particularly unfortunate in light of Mr. Clinton's actions in leaving the White House." NY TIMES

NEWSMAX recalls that former Arkansas state trooper L.D. Brown claims he was strong-armed by the now director of the Clinton Presidential Foundation just as the Whitewater probe was heating up. Brown, a Clinton body guard, says in his book, "Crossfire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation," that Skip Rutherford called him in and asked him about the Madison investigation and for a list of women that the media knew about. At one point, said Brown, Rutherford said, "L.D., you wouldn't want all your credit card receipts splashed all over the front page of the newspapers, now would you?" Brown said the incident led to his decision to come forth with his story, in which he told investigators of that Clinton knew about an illegal SBA loan for Susan McDougal and about the drug running operations in Mena. NEWSMAX

TITLE 18, CHAPTER 12, SECTION 201, US CODE: Whoever, being a public official ... directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act . . . shall be fined under this title not more than three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value . . . or imprisoned for not more than fifteen years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States

THE KERRY REPORT ON BCCI, 1992: Many investigative leads remain to be explored, but cannot be answered with devoting substantial additional resources that to date no agency of government has been in a position to provide. Unanswered questions include, but are not limited to, . . . the alleged relationship between the late CIA director William Casey and BCCI; the extent of BCCI's involvement in Pakistan's nuclear program; BCCI's manipulation of commodities and securities markets in Europe and Canada; . . . the use of BCCI by central figures in the alleged "October Surprise," . . . its involvement with foreign intelligence agencies; the financial dealings of BCCI directors with Charles Keating and several Keating affiliates and front-companies, including the possibility that BCCI related entities may have laundered funds for Keating to move them outside the United States; BCCI's financing of commodities and other business dealings of international criminal financier Marc Rich KERRY REPORT

the public about their knowledge of and support for the operations . . . Abrams pleaded guilty in October 1991 to two counts of withholding information from Congress about secret Government efforts to support the contras, and about his solicitation of $10 million to aid the contras from the Sultan of Brunei . . . At the time President Bush pardoned Weinberger and Clarridge, he also pardoned George, Fiers, Abrams, and McFarlane."

Abrams is now, believe it or not, president of something called the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and is featured on programs like PBS' 'Think Tank' and speaks at places such as Princeton, where a news release gracefully side-stepped his pivotal role in Iran-Contra: "Abrams, who served in the State Department during all eight years of the Reagan administration, was assistant secretary of state first for international affairs, then for human rights and humanitarian affairs, and finally for Inter-American affairs. In 1988, he received the Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award from Secretary George P. Shultz for his work in the department."

This is the way the American establishment works. Get on the tenure track early and you too can deceive Congress with impunity. It will not surprise us to learn in the near future that the noted intentional financier Marc Rich has been given a chair at the Harvard Business School. After all, the approved expert is never wrong for long.

RICHARD A. SERRANO & STEPHEN BRAUN LOS ANGELES TIMES: A third of those granted last-minute pardons or commutations by President Clinton last month skirted the normal Justice Department review process and instead appealed directly to the White House in the waning days of his presidency . . . 47 people - nearly twice as many as the two dozen originally reported - were granted presidential relief without applications first being fully examined by the Justice Department's pardon attorney's office. Most of them never filed normal clemency applications with the Justice Department. Others had been denied pardons by Clinton earlier or simply were not qualified for a pardon under Justice Department rules.LA TIMES

TIME: The former wife of fugitive financier Marc Rich contributed about $400,000 to the Clinton presidential library, legal sources tell TIME. This revelation is likely to deepen suspicions of congressional investigators looking into the controversial pardon given to Rich by President Clinton - that Denise Rich's financing of Clinton political and personal projects influenced his decision to give amnesty to her ex-husband. The sources said Denise Rich gave money to the library after consulting with Beth Dozoretz, a close Clinton friend and major Democratic fund-raiser who discussed the pardon of Marc Rich with the President nine days before he granted it. The timing of the library contribution and its proximity to the pardon were not immediately obtainable. Denise Rich's generosity aroused the suspicion of Republican investigators from the moment Clinton pardoned her ex-husband of 1983 charges that he evaded $48 million in taxes and engaged in illegal oil sales with Iran. She gave over $1 million to Democratic campaigns in the Clinton era and at least $70,000 to Hillary Clinton's US Senate race as well as $10,000 to the President's legal defense fund. TIME

GEORGE LARDNER JR. WASHINGTON POST: Among the gifts that former president Bill Clinton says he is keeping as personal presents he accepted last year are $28,000 worth of furnishings that documents and interviews indicate were given to the National Park Service in 1993 as part of the permanent White House collection . . . Two of the furniture makers whose donations Clinton took with him on leaving the White House last month say they gave them to the White House as part of a widely publicized, $396,000 redecoration of the executive mansion and not to Clinton personally . . . Two former Internal Revenue Service commissioners, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, said that Clinton's taking the furnishings under such circumstances would appear to be an improper "conversion of government property" that could require the Clintons to pay taxes on them. They said they were not suggesting criminal wrongdoing by the president. "It's the intent of the giver that counts," said Sheldon S. Cohen, who headed the IRS under president Lyndon B. Johnson. "If it was given to him [Clinton], it's his. But if it was given to the United States, then it is improper for it to end up in his hands unless he buys it." Donald C. Alexander, who was IRS commissioner under Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, said: "If someone gave something of value to the White House as the White House and not to the president, that is a gift to the government of the United States . . . a charitable contribution." The Clintons, he said, "have no business taking it with them. That is conversion of government property and income to them." WASH POST

[This is not the first time the Clintons have run into problem with conversion of government property.]

REPORT OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT: The story of the White House Database is one about a White House that disregarded the difference between the official business of the United States government and the political business of reelecting the President. Because the line between official business and campaigning was obliterated, this President and his White House subordinates proceeded to spend at least $1.7 million of government funds on a complex, centralized computer system known as the White House Database or "WhoDB." It was used not just for official purposes; senior White House staff planned and, in fact, used it to advance the campaign fundraising objectives of the Democratic National Committee. This conversion of government property to the use of the DNC constitutes a theft of government property under 18 USC § 641 . . .

[Incidentally, two familiar names that have cropped up in the Clintons' post-White House activities also appeared in the House committee report]

The committee believes that there is substantial evidence that in September 1996 then-Associate (now-Deputy) Counsel to the President Cheryl Mills, with the knowledge and concurrence of then-White House Counsel Jack Quinn, knowingly and willfully obstructed the investigative authority of this committee by withholding documents that were plainly responsive to the committee requests for documents and information. Moreover, when this obstruction was brought to light in a hearing before the committee, Ms. Mills lied under oath about the documents and the circumstances surrounding their non-production. Ms. Mills's actions, withholding responsive documents from the committee, delayed the committee for more than a year from obtaining important evidence . . . Moreover, the failure to produce these documents when they were discovered in September 1996 had the effect of delaying the committee's investigation long enough to allow memories of relevant witnesses to fade for more than a year until they could plausibly testify that they could no longer remember the meetings or conversations reflected in the documents. The committee believes that Ms. Mills was fully aware of these potential effects and deliberately engaged in the withholding of documents for that purpose. In the second term, she was promoted from Associate Counsel to the President to Deputy Counsel to the President. HOUSE REPORT

18 USC § 641: Whoever embezzles, steal, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority . . . conveys or disposes of any record, . . . or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof . . . ; or Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted - shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both . .

NILES LATHEM, NY POST: Billionaire Marc Rich lived a double life during his 20 years as a fugitive, funneling secret data to Israeli and other intelligence services about some unsavory governments. Sensational details about Rich's ultimate high-wire act as a spy for Israel and other countries were provided to The Post as congressional committees prepare to hold hearings into former President Bill Clinton's controversial decision to pardon the fugitive commodities trader. Among the issues that will be explored by the House Oversight Committee in its probe of the hotly disputed Rich pardon, according to congressional sources, are:

* Rich's lengthy relationship with the Israeli Mossad.

* His numerous contacts with federal prosecutors in New York, during which his lawyers offered to provide intelligence to the CIA in return for leniency.

A CIA spokesman denied any relationship with Rich and said no one from the agency participated in behind-the-scenes White House discussions about his pardon. But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak repeatedly cited Rich's contributions to Israel's "national security" in phone calls to President Clinton last month in which he lobbied for Rich's pardon, according to Barak spokesman Gadi Baltiansky. And a letter from former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit to Clinton confirming that Rich provided "assistance" to the Israeli spy agency that produced results "beyond the expected" was among the documents released last week by Rich's lawyer Jack Quinn to support the Rich pardon. NY POST

JACKIE JUDD, ABC: The investigations still dogging former President Clinton more than three weeks after the end of his term are beginning to make a dent in his earnings. A few days after another financial giant acknowledged it made a "mistake" by paying Clinton about $125,000 to speak last week, the UBS-Warburg financial services company announced it has scrapped negotiations to have the former president address a conference in April. UBS-Warburg, parent company of PaineWebber, was in discussions to have Clinton speak at conference of institutional investors. But UBS pulled out of the talks because, according to a spokesman, "It would not be in the best interests of the firm, because of the likely client reaction." . . . The spokesman also acknowledged the decision to take a pass on Clinton came after Morgan Stanley Dean Witter faced criticism from clients for hosting Clinton last week. After Clinton spoke to a Morgan Stanley conference in Florida last week, some Clinton critics cut their ties to the firm . . . In an e-mail to investors apologizing for the Clinton appearance, Morgan Stanley CEO Philip J. Purcell said the Clinton invite was a mistake. "We should have been far more sensitive to the strong feelings of our clients over Mr. Clinton's personal behavior as president," Purcell wrote. "We should have thought twice before the speaking invitation was extended." ABC

ORACLE: Former President Bill Clinton to Deliver Opening Keynote at Oracle AppsWorld! Monday, February 19 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Monday isn't just President's Day ... it's opening day at Oracle AppsWorld. So who better to kick-off the biggest event in e-business than former United States President Bill Clinton? . . . ORACLE'S REPLY TO COMPLAINT: When we accepted Bill's offer to speak at AppsWorld, we knew that it would create controversy in some quarters. Be assured that the positive comments have far outweighed the negative comments. Love him or hate him, Bill presided over the USA at an incredible time in US and World history - the Internet boom, the "new" economy, the B2C revolution, the B2B boom - all of which are very relevant to our audience. Furthermore, the announcement of Bill's presence has dramatically increased registrations for our event, meaning that more potential customers will attend our premier event and hear Oracle's message - that's good for shareholders and great for future revenue. We've taken your comments and ensured that they are included in all the feedback we've had. Thanks for taking the time to send us them. Best Regards, Oracle Web Marketing

EASTERN BANK REPLY TO COMPLAINT: For 10 years, Eastern Bank has been one of the corporate sponsors of the Salem State College speaker series. The college has hosted former presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and George Bush, and world-renowned figures such as Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. Next month, the college will host former president Bill Clinton . . . Our sponsorship does not reflect an endorsement of any speaker. Instead, it's a commitment to support an educationally significant speaker series. We appreciate your thoughts on the former president's appearance and hope you will join us in respecting the College's right to host such events.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Will the torment never cease? It's been three long weeks since Bill Clinton left the White House, and still the wails of agony, the cries of outrage and the shouts of denunciation continue. And that's from the former president's friends . . . We about fell off our chair when The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne finally mustered up enough moral outrage after eight years to quote an equally outraged [Rep.] Barney Frank. That most fervent of all Clinton apologists now calls the Rich pardon a 'betrayal' and 'contemptuous.' Even Joe Conason took a shot at his heroes, which is like Boswell doubting Dr. Johnson. Who's next? Sid Blumenthal?"

ROBERT WINDREM, NBC NEWS Newly available financial data shows that Denise Rich's giving to the Democratic Party and the Clintons intensified dramatically over the past two years, ending in a final rush as the Clintons neared their White House exit. An NBC News analysis of documents on file with various federal agencies, including the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service and government ethics office shows that while Rich gave at least $1.5 million to Clinton-related political, legal and charitable organizations during the last decade, the majority of the giving - more than $900,000 - came over the final two years of the Clinton era - just before her ex-husband, Marc Rich, was pardoned. More than $200,000 came in a spurt during the final six months, $140,000 of that in September, October and November, as her ex-husband's team of lawyers, led by former White House counsel Jack Quinn, began pressing Clinton for a pardon. NBC


MARA LEVERITT, ARKANSAS TIMES, Sep. 24, 1999: I've heard about the site for the library, the financing of the land for the library, the naming of the street that leads to the library, the training for leadership at the library, the architect for the library, and even the architect's vision for the bridge outside the library - a bridge, he suggested, that makes him imagine a rainbow with the library as its pot of gold. What I have not heard mentioned at all is what the library will hold. What will visitors find, after the land has been paid for, and the library has been built, and the lid is taken off that pot of gold? I know someone, somewhere, must be contemplating the library's contents. Surely. But the matter of what's to go in and what's to stay out certainly hasn't gotten public attention. And that strikes me as unfortunate, for we might end up with a library that, for all its elaborate trappings, is missing a few central features. I expect that there will be a number of biographical documents relating to the background of Bill Clinton; records from his early years in Hope and Hot Springs and Fayetteville, for instance. But what about the records from his years as governor? Will they ever see the light of day?

MARA LEVERITT, "THE BOYS ON THE TRACKS:" Reporters seeking to research records from Clinton's administrations in Arkansas . . . found that that was impossible. Arkansas is one of five states that allow governors to keep their official papers out of the public domain. [The others are Iowa, Maryland, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.] At first Clinton had indicated he would make his official records public. After his defeat for reelection as governor in 1980, he deposited the records from his first tow-year term in the archives of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. They remained there after he regained the office in 1982. However, when Clinton launched his presidential campaign in 1991, he ordered the records from his first term removed from the university archives. When he left office as governor, they, along with all his office's records from 1982 through 1991 - some four thousand boxes in all - were placed in private storage an undisclosed location. In 1998, even as planning was begun for the Clinton presidential library in Little Rock, it was impossible for anyone without a court order to see records from Clinton's administration as governor.


We initially dismissed out of hand Snarlin' Arlen Specter's idea of re-impeaching Bill Clinton. But a Nixon impeachment committee staffer has pointed us towards some history that makes it wise to bring the matter before the Review's committee of the whole.

The problem with the current view of impeachment, compounded by the recent unpleasantness, is that we tend to see it as the equivalent of ordinary indictment and trial when, in fact, it is more like being disbarred or kicked out of a club for offensive behavior. At stake is not so much the punishment of the offender as the honor of the institution and of its by-laws.

Thus it was in 1997, long before Monica Lewinsky, that the Review offered wording for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. It wasn't hard to do; with the exception of the named impeachee and a few other words, it came exactly from the document prepared in the case of Richard Nixon. For example:

"He has failed to take care that the laws were faithfully executed by failing to act when he knew or had reason to know that his close subordinates endeavored to impede and frustrate lawful inquiries by duly constituted executive, judicial, and legislative entities."

The later House articles of impeachment against Clinton began in a similar vein:

"In his conduct while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of justice, in that. . . ."

Now, you can't take a president down to the precinct house and book him on charges of failing to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," but you can impeach him for it. Clinton got off in no small part because his lawyers -- skilled defenders of white collar criminals that they were - convinced the Senate that it was no more than a jury hearing a case at DC Superior Court when, in fact, it was supposed to be making a critical moral choice between politics and honor.

The old Greeks understood this better, and - recognizing the process as a good way to hold their leaders in check - used impeachment trials with a vigor that might shock us. For example, Thucydides, an elected general, had his forces in the wrong place in the wrong time in the winter of 424 and as a result lost the city of Amphipolis to the Spartans. The Athenians reacted by impeaching General Thucydides and sending him off to exile for some two decades. He didn't waste his time, however, but used it to begin a tradition of failed leaders in foreign affairs parading as experts in what they had done badly - a tradition that continues to this day with the likes of Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell.

The strictures that the Senate is allowed to impose in cases of impeachment are limited. It can not imprison, send into exile, or hang a president; it can, however, remove the president from office, deny him the emoluments of same, and bar him from holding public office in the future. Should an ex-president be found to have raped someone or taken bribes for pardons, then it can be reasonably argued that Congress still has the power and obligation to uphold the honor of the state and impeachment is about the only recourse it has.

Admittedly, the case law on this is limited. But one fascinating incident not only sheds some light, but intersects almost mystically with current circumstances in a number of other ways. In July 1917, Texas Governor Pa Ferguson was indicted on nine charges, including the misapplication of public funds, embezzlement, and diversion of a special fund. He was also said to have sold pardons. That was the same year, incidentally, that Ferguson vetoed a bill financing the teaching of foreign languages in schools, explaining, "If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for the school children of Texas." Ferguson was also impeached and the Senate, after three weeks of deliberation, convicted him of ten counts, including receiving $156,500 from someone he declined to identify. Ferguson, however, resigned the day before the judgment and argued that it therefore did not apply to him. The decision was eventually upheld in court.

In 1924, Ferguson's wife ran for governor on the slogan, "Two governors for the price of one" but lost reelection thanks in part to news of the number of pardons she had issued: 2,000, or about 100 a month. In the mid thirties, a Board of Pardons and Paroles was established under a law that limited the governor's pardon authority. Today, the Texas governor - according to the AP and contrary to the impression held by many of George Bush's critics - "may only issue a one-time, 30-day reprieve or act on a recommendation of the parole board to grant a stay, commute a sentence or issue a pardon." All thanks to Ma Ferguson, who sold pardons, and Pa Ferguson, who was convicted in an impeachment trial after he had left office.

There remains one other curious if distant possibility: not only could Bill Clinton be re-impeached but his wife could be in the Senate docket with him. This thanks to yet another impeachment uncertainty. We do know that the House once impeached, and the Senate came close to convicting, a member of Congress - the financially strapped Senator William Blount of Tennessee. Blount was found to have been plotting to have frontiersmen and Indians help the British conquer Florida and Louisiana. He was expelled from the Senate in 1797 for a "high misdemeanor entirely inconsistent with his public trust and duty." In 1799, the House sent his impeachment to the Senate, which thought better of the matter and dismissed it for lack of jurisdiction after Blount argued that members of Congress were not the "civil officers" described in the Constitution, nor were they appointed by the President. The vote to dismiss passed by only 14 to 11 and no other member of Congress has ever been impeached, but the question of the Senate's power has never been finally settled.


NEWSMAX: Ex-President Clinton's fundraising team tried to get millionaire Democrat donor Denise Rich to fork over a whopping $25 million for the William J. Clinton Presidential Library Foundation, a report hitting newsstands claims. "Clinton fund raisers pressed the flamboyant singer-socialite for.... as much as $25 million for the library fund," Rich's friends tell US News & World Report. NEWSMAX


WASHINGTON TIMES: As far as Bill Clinton's recent pardoning shenanigans, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman has urged everyone to forget about it. "I certainly think that the pardon of Marc Rich was a mistake," he said. "But it's time to move forward."


JACQUELINE TRESCOTT, WASHINGTON POST: In an unheard-of last-minute gambit, Ronald I. Dozoretz resigned from the Kennedy Center board and then was reappointed to it last month by President Clinton. The maneuver by the outgoing president gives Dozoretz an additional four years in a post considered one of the choicest plums of Washington art and social circles. Dozoretz is a friend of the Clintons and has given thousands of dollars to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign and other Democratic Party organizations. WASHINGTON POST:

JERRY SEPER, WASHINGTON TIMES: Marc Rich, the fugitive financier pardoned on Inauguration Day by President Clinton, personally devised and oversaw an elaborate scheme to funnel to Swiss banks more than $70 million in illegal profits from the resale of crude oil. According to federal law enforcement authorities and government records, Mr. Rich - as part of an extensive plot to evade US taxes and federal energy regulations - successfully hid millions of dollars in illegal profits that he and his partner, Pincus Green, also pardoned by Mr. Clinton, accumulated in the 1980s. The scheme, described by authorities as one of the biggest tax-fraud cases in US history, continued over nine months while the illegal profits were secretly being routed from the United States to banks in Switzerland. Records show the profits had been obtained through the purchase and later resale of $200 million of Iranian oil after President Carter had banned trade with that country.

DAVID WASTELL, LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Former President Clinton is offering to repay the cost of vandalism by his outgoing staff when they left their offices on Jan. 20, once he is given a complete list from the Bush White House of the damage reportedly done . . . President Bush has ordered that no action be taken against officials of Mr. Clinton and Al Gore, the former vice president, in effect granting his first presidential "pardon." Mr. Bush's order was an attempt to calm the massive uproar in the media over reported theft and damage in the White House that was beginning to overshadow the opening days of his administration and sour relations with his predecessor. Mr. Clinton, however, has asked for a detailed accounting of what went wrong during his staff's departure amid suspicions that the Bush camp overplayed the charges against his aides. The Sunday Telegraph has learned that the former president's office contacted the White House on Friday to request a written report. Jake Siewert, Mr. Clinton's former press secretary, said: "We'd like a fuller explanation of what, if anything, was amiss. I was one of the last to leave the West Wing, and I saw nothing obviously wrong. If there was any serious vandalism, it's something President Clinton would like to hear about and have some way of redressing." . . . NEWSMAX: A top Democrat's charge that aides to former President George Bush trashed the White House before leaving in 1993, much the same way Clinton administration staff did last Saturday, was contradicted by NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell. "I covered the Clintons coming in," Mitchell told radioman Don Imus. "There was a lot of bitterness because the hard drives were missing from some of the computers." . . . But Mitchell went on to dispel any notion that former Bush aides had deliberately tampered with White House computers to sabotage the incoming Clinton administration. "It turned out that the missing hard drives were taken by special prosecutors who were looking into a Bush campaign, a Bush White House issue," Mitchell told Imus.


JEWISH WEEK: The furor over President Bill Clinton's pardon of fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich could entangle the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in new controversy as lawmakers probe what some say was a politically motivated action by the outgoing president. The Jewish Week learned that Rabbi Irving Yitzî Greenberg, chair of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, wrote to Clinton asking for a pardon for Rich. More important, Rabbi Greenberg wrote his appeal on official council stationery. A council source expressed concern that the letter, which Rabbi Greenberg said was put on council stationery by mistake, could further inflame congressional critics of the successful by sometimes-controversial museum on the Mall in Washington.

THOMAS DeFRANK, New York Daily News: Washington resident Bush makes his first trip abroad as America's leader next month, but Gary Wright couldn't care less - thanks, he says bitterly, to Hillary Rodham Clinton. For 32 years, circling the globe with Presidents was Wright's livelihood. Assigned to the White House Travel Office, he logged millions of miles on press charters, accompanying seven Presidents to every continent and scores of world capitals. These days, Wright, now 58, pulls 12-hour shifts as a $22,000-a-year correction officer at a North Carolina state prison. "It helps pay the mortgage," says Wright, one of the seven civil servants summarily sacked eight years ago in the first scandal of the Clinton era. To this day, he's convinced that now-Sen. Clinton masterminded the Travelgate firings to turn the lucrative White House travel business over to Arkansas cronies. Dale, his deputy Wright and their entire staff were sacked in May 1993 after charged of financial mismanagement - charges that proved bogus. The firings triggered a firestorm of media and congressional scrutiny implicating Clinton and her pal Harry Thomason in the coup . . . In June, independent counsel Robert Ray declined to file charges, but cited "substantial evidence she had a 'role'" in the ousters and that her concerns "ultimately influenced" the decision.

NEWSMAX: Rare presidential souvenirs similar to the ones taken from Air Force One when Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton used the aircraft for their final trip home to New York have popped up on the Internet auction site E-Bay.com, United Press International reported. Giving the first family the benefit of the doubt, UPI suggested the missing items had been taken by "Clinton staffers" and noted, "there is no indication that some of the (auction) items.... were among items taken from the plane." But dealers in collectibles told the wire service that it was unusual for such a large number of presidential souvenirs to become available so soon after the transfer of power . . . The items up for sale included a White House guest bathrobe, current bid $305; a leather air travel bag, with Air Force One logo ($360) and an Air Force One humidor - item # 544207091 -- emblazoned with the president's seal, for more than $2,000 - 48 cigars included. The presidential souvenirs were put on sale between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21. NEWSMAX


AMERICAN SPECTATOR: Facilities managers at the Old Executive Office Building and the Government Services Administration estimate it will cost as much as $250,000 to clean up the mess left by outgoing Clinton and Gore staff in the Old Executive Office Building. The Washington Post thought it funny that the outgoing crew left "pranks" for the new Bushies: prying the "W" from computer keyboards, shifting the signs on the Men's and Ladies' rooms. But according to an inspector at the GSA who was called in to inspect the vandalism, several executive desks were damaged to the point that they must be replaced, several more offices must be repainted due to graffiti . . . The GSA has told the Bush administration that it will seek reimbursement for some of the expenses. That's because the GSA and maintenance office of the OEOB still has records of who inhabited the vandalized offices in the Clinton administration's final days and can collect damage costs from these former government employees . . . DRUDGE REPORT: President Bush told senior advisers on Thursday that he would not be inclined to order any prosecution for acts of vandalism and destruction of federal property caused by previous tenants at the White House . . . "We are looking at each and every computer," said a White House source. "We have reason to believe that some computers may have been infected with a virus." The source indicates that new computers will likely be purchased for incoming staff. SPECTATOR

F SCOTT FITZGERALD: They were careless people -- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.

JACK QUINN isn't just Marc Rich's lawyer. He was one of Al Gore's top aides, who went to the White House as counsel in an extraordinary case of a president allowing a veep capo in on his secrets. We speculated at the time that it was part of a deal between Gore and Clinton to keep the vice president from defecting from the scandal-ridden president . . . JACK NEWFIELD OF THE NY POST writes "We are just lucky that those seven escaped killer convicts from Texas didn't have time to hire Clinton's former counsel, Jack Quinn, the way Marc Rich did. Otherwise, Clinton might have pardoned them mid-flight."


[It's taken less than a week for the media power-suckers to turn on their former heroes, the Clintons. This is pretty speedy even by Washington standards. Some cases in point, compiled by the Wall Street Journal]

WASHINGTON POST: The list [of house gifts] demonstrates again the Clintons' defining characteristic: They have no capacity for embarrassment. Words like shabby and tawdry come to mind. They don't begin to do it justice.

MARY MCGRORY: The liberating effect of this terminal tackiness and greed was immediately felt.

NEW YORK TIMES: We are particularly troubled by the numerous instances in which Mr. Clinton granted pardons or commutations without proper consultation with federal prosecutors, often to reward friends or political allies or gain future political advantage."

NEWSDAY: Leave it to Bill Clinton to close out his presidency with one last helping of his signature dish: a pungent stew of campaign contributions, ethical shortcuts and what-the-hell disregard for likely consequences.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: What seems to be happening now is the liberals' realization that in fact the Clintons don't give a damn what anyone thinks, including them. Very hard on them, poor souls. The Clintons' latest is not just a thumb in the eyes of the low, sloping forehead conservative rabble; it's their blazing-in-neon sign to the world that they now don't care what anyone says, not the New York Times (which endorsed her for Senator), not the progressive elites, not anyone. This fact came home hard to liberal commentators when the Clintons finally abandoned all pretense to style, which was very important to his enablers, for a lot of whom the most important warring values are not those of good vs. evil, but tacky vs. stylish.

[Whatever is involved, if you want locked box evidence that the Clinton era is over, check this remarkable movie review in the pages of the Style section of the Washington Post. Style serves as daily value fix for the capital estalbishment.]

STEPHEN HUNTER, WASHINGTON POST: "The Wedding Planner" is one of the first big studio releases of the post-Clinton era, but it feels like a pure Clintonian artifact. It seems written and directed by a savvy Washington PR firm: It's mostly spin in which people do terrible things to other people but it's never their fault, and they never have to face any consequences. Jennifer Lopez plays Mary, a highly talented wedding planner whom the movie seems to admire profusely, as it introduces her talking a terrified bride through a severe case of nerves. That characterizes Mary as a caring, feeling, compassionate woman; only later do we learn that her pep talk was shtick for such situations . . . The nonentity director Adam Shankman steers the movie relentlessly toward sugary romantic fantasy. It's as if the tone is at war with the content. Bright and bubbly, it endlessly chronicles bad behavior spun toward the positive. Dr. Steve, for example, is never judged for cheating on Fran by going out with Mary, and he never even has to 'fess up. Not even Jesse Jackson got off that easy. Twice, brides and grooms are dumped at the altar, but the movie labors to convince you that it's not the fault of the dumpers, who are somehow portrayed as victims, and that it was in everybody's best interest. A father whose $600,000 wedding investment is trashed doesn't even get any screen time to lament his fate. WASHINGTON POST


DRUDGE REPORT: The Bush Administration has quietly launched an investigation into apparent acts of vandalism and destruction of federal property -- after incoming Bush staffers discover widespread sabotage of White House office equipment and lewd messages left behind by previous tenants . . . The damage left by departing Clintonites goes "way beyond pranks, to vandalism", said a close Bush adviser . . . Bush's staff has been cautioned not to go public with the extent of the damage and the worst is being closely held among very top staffers for fear of leaks. But, according to sources, so far Bush officials have found: Phone lines were cut . . . Voice mail messages were changed to obscene, scatological greetings . . . Many phone lines misdirected to other government offices . . . Desks found turned completely upside down and trash deliberately left everywhere . . . Computer printers that were filled with blank paper but interspersed with pornographic pictures and obscene slogans that would be revealed only as items were run off the computer . . . 'W' keys weren't just pried off more than 40 keyboards, some were glued on with Superglue; some were turned upside down and glued on . . . Filing cabinets glued shut . . . VP Office space in the Old Executive Office Building found in complete shambles. Mrs. Gore had to phone Mrs. Cheney to apologize . . . Lewd Magic Marker graffiti found on one office hallway. DRUDGE REPORT

JOHN MCCASLIN, WASHINGTON TIMES: Now that Bill Clinton is gone — after the longest goodbye anyone remembers — an Air Force steward tells us about the former president's "official" farewell flight to New York on Inaugural Day.
The presidential plane was "stripped bare." . . . Missing from the plane on arrival in New York, Inside the Beltway is told, was all the porcelain china, silverware, salt and pepper shakers, blankets and pillow cases — most of it bearing the presidential seal. What most astonished the military steward was that even a cache of Colgate toothpaste, not stamped with the presidential seal, was snatched from a compartment beneath the presidential plane's sink.

JEANNE CUMMINGS & DAVID CLOUD, WALL STREET JOURNAL: The pardon [of Marc Rich] is causing considerable discomfort among overseas business executives who plotted with US officials to capture Mr. Rich. Some of these individuals now fear he might learn their names, and have asked the Justice Department to move preemptively to seal US government files related to their efforts before anyone seeks them under the Freedom of Information Act. Justice Department officials said they were considering the request . . . James Kallstrom, the former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in New York, said any names included in publicly released documents "would be redacted. The question is how well it is redacted. Some of the information in there doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who it came from."

CLINTON LAWYER David Kendell tells the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that the president's de facto plea agreement with special prosecutor Robert Ray does not prevent him from seeking legal fees in other investigations.

REUTERS: President George W. Bush has lost his middle initial from many computer keyboards at the Old Executive Office Building in the White House complex . . . Bush aides said that the W was marked out in some cases but often the key had been removed -- and sometimes taped on top of doorways -- or damaged with the spring broken. The new team was studying whether any of the keyboards could be salvaged, but it appeared in many cases they would simply have to be replaced.
In the West Wing, the computers seemed not to have been vandalized. "I have my W," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said . . . Bush aides were working to repair or replace the keys.

AMERICAN SPECTATOR: Any illusions Al Gore might have had that he could still be leader of the Democratic Party were wiped out when he was invited by DNC head Terry McAuliffe to the Andrews Air Force Base sendoff of the Clintons -- and told he could not speak. "McAuliffe didn't want him to speak, and the president didn't want him to speak," said a DNC source. "McAuliffe really didn't want him there, and wasn't going to encourage it. The send-off was about good memories, success stories. And the vice president isn't either." . . . So why go to such petty lengths to keep Gore from addressing the administration faithful? "McAuliffe is heading the DNC, but Clinton is going to run the party. Whoever runs for president in 2004 is going to be Clinton's candidate, and that isn't going to be Al Gore," said another DNC operative. SPECTATOR

WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL: Hillary Rodman Clinton and her husband accepted more than $190,000 in gifts last year, according to the financial disclosure statement issued as they were preparing to leave the White House . . . Under Senate rules, Mrs. Clinton could not have accepted such expensive gifts once sworn in, absent a waiver from the ethics committee . . . No previous president appears to have accepted parting gifts of such magnitude, nor did the Clintons approach their last year's total in prior years . . . The list demonstrates again the Clintons' defining characteristic: They have no capacity for embarrassment. Words like shabby and tawdry come to mind. They don't begin to do it justice. WASHINGTON POST

NY TIMES EDITORIAL: Bill Clinton's last-minute pardon of Marc Rich, the shadowy commodities trader who fled to Switzerland in 1983 to avoid American justice, was a shocking abuse of presidential power and a reminder of why George W. Bush's vow to restore integrity to the Oval Office resonates with millions of Americans who otherwise disagree with the new president's politics. Unchecked by any other branch of government, the president's authority under the Constitution to pardon anyone charged with federal crimes is meant to be exercised with great restraint to correct an injustice or to further some societal good. Bestowing undeserved beneficence on a fugitive accused of evading $48 million in taxes and illegally trading with Iran in oil during the hostage crisis is hardly what the Constitution's framers had in mind. NY TIMES


NEWSMAX: Disgraced former top Justice Department official Webster Hubbell is angry he was left off President Clinton's 11th-hour pardon list, says reporter and Hubbell friend Ellen Ratner, who lunched with the Whitewater convict on Monday. "I can tell you that Webb Hubbell is not a very happy camper right now," Ratner told WKDR Burlington, Vt., radio host Mark Johnson. "He's actually getting somewhat angry, which I think is quite good for him, because this is a man that never gets angry." No doubt the Clintons owe their former friend big time for keeping his lip buttoned through eight years of independent counsel investigations. In one telling episode, jailhouse recordings released in 1997 show Hubbell promising White House aide Marsha Scott that he'd "roll over one more time" in order not to implicate Hillary in any Whitewater criminality. Ratner said the reason Clinton didn't pardon Hubbell may have something to do with the fact that he pleaded guilty to bilking the Rose Law Firm out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which meant he stole from his law partners Vince Foster and Mrs. Clinton. Another possibility, she said, was that a Hubbell pardon might look like the Clintons were trying to influence the case against Indonesian billionaire and Clinton friend James Riady, who signed a last-minute no-jail time plea bargain two weeks ago with the Clinton Justice Department. NEWSMAX


SATIRE WIRE: Only hours after President Clinton struck a deal to avoid prosecution by admitting he lied in court about Monica Lewinsky, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the entire company will admit to an affair with Lewinsky if the government will drop the case against it, too. In a prepared statement, Ballmer said people were "sick and tired" of both the Clinton proceedings and the Microsoft trial, and noted that both defendants should be given the same settlement, "especially since we're both guilty of the same thing. Microsoft did have an inappropriate relationship with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, and it was wrong of us not to testify to that in court," the statement said. "This has been painful to the entire Microsoft family of products, and I hope our actions today will help bring closure and finality to the matters."


ROBERT RAY'S DEAL with Clinton can be explained in part by the reality of how a jury would react to the thought of convicting a former president. What verges on the inexplicable, however, is the language Ray permitted in the deal. In short, the prosecutor let the president use evasive and misleading language in a de facto plea agreement in which he admitted using "evasive and misleading" testimony. In a literary sense at least, Ray thus compounded the felony by permitting Clinton to continue to do what got him in trouble in the first place. So weaselly was Clinton's language that his supporters were promptly on the airwaves denying that the president had admitted he had lied. The only conceivable excuse was that Clinton threatened to pardon himself if Ray didn't go along . . . NEWSMAX: NewsMax has learned exclusively that Clinton will in fact be able to seek reimbursement for all legal costs not related to the OIC's Monica Lewinsky probe, a sum that could be as high as eight million dollars. "This has been misreported a bit," Deputy Independent Counsel Keith Ausbrook told NewsMax late Friday. "Clinton could seek reimbursement with respect to other parts of the Whitewater investigation." Ausbrook said that Clinton would have to submit an application to the court, which would determine his eligibility for the recovery of legal costs run-up during the non-Lewinsky phase of the Whitewater investigation, as well as the Travelgate and Filegate probes. Since Mrs. Clinton was not a target of Monicagate prosecutors, the entire cost of legal bills incurred during the seven year investigation of her role in the unrelated scandals could be recovered. If the Clintons are reimbursed, it's not clear whether they'd be required to refund the six million dollars collected since 1994 by their legal defense fund. NEWSMAX

DAILY MAIL: Bill Clinton bid a reluctant farewell to the White House on Saturday, taking an unprecedented $200,000 worth of furnishings to remember it by. The items included works of art, chinaware and rugs - many of them gifts from the ex-president's supporters in Hollywood - amassed during his eight years in office . . . An emotional Mr. Clinton did not reach Chappaqua until almost 6pm on Saturday, inauguration day for his successor George W Bush, after telling misty-eyed supporters at Andrews Air Force Base: 'I've left the White House but I'm still here.' . . . WASHINGTON POST: In their financial disclosure forms, the Clintons reported a variety of assets and receipts, including "over $1 million" in a Citibank personal account in New York; blind trusts, insurance policies and some common stock worth more than $1 million; and the payment of $1.05 million in legal fees by the Clinton Legal Expense Trust. Bill Clinton continues to owe "between $1 million and $5 million" to each of two law firms, Williams and Connolly and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, resulting primarily from his defense in House and Senate impeachment proceedings, along with a number of other investigations. Many of the gifts the Clintons are taking with them are from Hollywood figures, Democratic donors and a wide array of friends and associates, including his Georgetown University classmates. Most of the gifts are artworks, flatware, furniture, china and rugs for a couple who for nearly two decades have not had a home of their own but now suddenly have two large houses, one in Northwest Washington, the other in Chappaqua, NY . . . In seven previous years, the most the Clintons had reported receiving in gifts was $23,602 in 1999. Clinton's predecessor in the White House, George Bush, listed $52,853 in gifts in 1992. WASHINGTON POST


BETH MAXWELL BOYLE: Hi Sam, Get over it. You are still trying to change history by printing bile on Bill Clinton. We really would like a little more news about the world. Using your Progressive Review as a Clinton bashing tool is getting very old and is damaging your credibility. We know how you feel now can we get on with life already? It seems against the very nature of the "Review" to be so slanted and so obsessed. Please can we move on!

[Since this is presumably the last such letter I'll get during the Clinton administration, I'd like to point out an interesting anomaly. While I have received many letters attacking my reporting of the Clinton story, I can not recall one that challenged me on the facts with the exception of those that accepted the basic coverage but disagreed on some details of events. In other words, the corrections and disputes have all come from those accepting the notion that we have been dealing with severe corruption and criminality. Those who have thought otherwise have typically responded to the presentation of facts with presumptions of motivation, perceptions of paranoia, and allegations of hatred and bile.

Although I have written critically of nine presidents, this is the first time anything like this has occurred. Some of this reaction is a tribute to the skill with which the Clinton administration has demonized its critics. Some is a product of a postmodernism in which facts not longer matter, but only perceptions and the repackaging of facts.

But there has also been a stunning change in the culture, values, and ethics of journalism. A few cases in point:

- When I started out, more than half the reporters in this country didn't have a college education. As a result, more than half of the reporters in the country were closer, in a sociological sense, to the readers than to their employers and official sources. This is no longer true. The national journalist has become part of the elite. And, too often, a part of the problem.

- A reporter, like a detective, starts with the evidence, not a theory. If you start the other way, you will find yourself constantly trying to stuff facts into places they don't belong. The great failing in the reporting of Clinton is that the Washington media spent eight years justifying a theory it had developed during the 1992 campaign. When facts didn't fit, they were simply jettisoned.

- The traditional reporter, no matter how biased, tended to put the story first. This has gone out of fashion, and now political reporters are often but extensions of the op ed pages, spin doctors for a cause rather than sympathetic but still independent observers who might at any moment defect because a few facts got in the way. It disloyalty to one's own presumptions in the face of contrary evidence that is the hallmark of a good reporter.

Thus, the observant reader will find here few unified theories concerning the Bush administration. Nor have I joined the liberal rush to assign pernicious motivation to various appointees. Rather, I have -- just as I did during the Clinton years -- gone about looking for things that are amiss, a friendly or ugly fact, an anecdote that tells infinitely more than an ad hominem attack, unless, of course, the latter is funny or an appealing metaphor.

I don't trust these folk, and some are up to no good. But I have not the skill, desire, or cynicism to try - in the current journalistic manner - to convince you of this without any evidence. And so, for the most part, I will continue to bring you items from the scene of the crime. With enough of them, and enough time, maybe we'll figure out what the hell is going on.]


WILLIAM SAFIRE, NY TIMES: As he rages against the dying of the spotlight, Bill Clinton can breathe one final sigh of relief: the man with whom he established the illegal "Asian Connection" that heavily financed his 1992 and 1996 campaigns has been given a walk by Reno Justice. James Riady, the Indonesian billionaire with close ties to Beijing's leaders, was allowed to plead guilty to conspiring to defraud the US One of his banks will pay a fine of $8 million, to him a painless penalty. Because no threat of jail hangs over the Clinton money man who evaded subpoenas for almost five years, he is not induced to tell the whole truth about his hugely successful purchase of White House influence . . . Consider the unprecedented scope of what even the most ardent Clinton partisan must admit is a criminal conspiracy. In a limousine with Clinton shortly after the 1992 nomination, Riady - well known by Clinton to be a foreign national - stated his intent to raise a million dollars for the campaign . . . Riady then gave [John] Huang a million-dollar "bonus" and ensconced him in a sensitive post at the Commerce Department. Records show Huang had the run of the White House and kept in close touch with Riady interests in Asia. He used his "bonus" to fill campaign coffers of Clinton and his allies throughout the first term. NY TIMES

NEWSMAX: Moctar Riady's plea bargain, reached just days before President Clinton leaves office, was the Justice Department's way of preventing a Republican attorney general from pursuing the Chinagate case and exposing the president's role in that scandal, says former Clinton adviser Dick Morris. Appearing on Paula Zahn's "The Edge" on Fox News, Morris said that the timing of the plea bargain, which let Riady off with nothing more than a fine and no jail time, was deliberate and was meant to keep Riady from spilling the beans about Clinton's involvement in the scandal . . . Morris said that the deal could keep a future GOP attorney general from getting to the bottom of the Clinton-Riady connection because the Indonesian mogul could not be threatened with jail time for the offenses covered in the plea bargain. The deal bought Riady's continued silence, Morris charged.NEWSMAX

PAUL SPERRY, WORLD NET DAILY: The White House is rushing to "wipe clean" the hard drives of computers used by President Clinton's aides before the Jan. 20 changeover, a public-interest law firm claims. Normally, when employees leave the White House, computer workers take a snapshot of the contents of their hard drives and store them as part of official records, as required by law. Then they reformat the hard drives for the next users. But according to Judicial Watch, political aides have ordered computer workers to first run the hard drives through a software program by the firm Jetico, called BC, or Best Crypt, which "wipes clean the drives so the next administration can't retrieve any files." "They're starting with [the hard drives of] the most important people first -- the [White House] lawyers -- and working their way down," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "And they're working through the weekend." He added: "It's the equivalent of burning records, according to our sources," who are White House employees. WORLD NET DAILY


SATIRE WIRE: Only hours after President Clinton struck a deal to avoid prosecution by admitting he lied in court about Monica Lewinsky, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the entire company will admit to an affair with Lewinsky if the government will drop the case against it, too. In a prepared statement, Ballmer said people were "sick and tired" of both the Clinton proceedings and the Microsoft trial, and noted that both defendants should be given the same settlement, "especially since we're both guilty of the same thing. Microsoft did have an inappropriate relationship with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, and it was wrong of us not to testify to that in court," the statement said. "This has been painful to the entire Microsoft family of products, and I hope our actions today will help bring closure and finality to the matters."



THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PLEA BARGAIN described below can not be underestimated. It establishes beyond doubt the criminal relationship between James Riady and Bill Clinton's political machine. Almost alone in the media, the Review pointed out that as early as May 1992 there was an unsavory connection between Riady's father, Mochtar, and Clinton. For some 25 years, as our timeline below indicates, Mochtar Riady, and later his son James, served as godfather figures lurking behind the Clintons. Why, we asked, would an Indonesian billionaire get involved in a backwater state like Arkansas in the 1970s? Why would James Riady wish to help purchase a bank in a tiny town of 5,000 named Mena?

In his criminal plea agreement, Riady states that the purpose of the illegal foreign campaign contributions was to buy influence for his Lippo Group and LippoBank, which were huge multinational conglomerates with ties, among other things, to BCCI. As often happens in such matters, the plea bargain is only the tip of the iceberg. But it establishes some of the illegal depths of the Clinton machine. As we wrote some times back:

"Mochtar Riady, an Indonesian billionaire closely tied to China, came to a tiny, depressed, corrupt state called Arkansas in the late 70s and hooked up with a rising young politician named Bill Clinton. In the mid-80s, with Clinton in the state house, Riady made a sudden multi-million dollar investment in the Worthen bank that some suspect was a bailout for disastrous investment by the state pension fund. Riady would perform many other favors for Clinton. And vice versa.

"By 1983, Charlie Trie was running a Little Rock restaurant thanks to a SBA loan that had used Clinton as a reference. He also tried to contribute $640,000 to the Clinton legal defense fund but the money was turned back after it was noticed that the checks had signatures matching those on other checks numbered sequentially but from separate cities.

"Riady and Trie joined those -- such as the CIA, drug traffickers, and other members of the Dixie Mafia -- who already understood the utility of a rising politician without morals or shame. Someone you could do business with -- and perhaps blackmail when you couldn't. By the early 1980s, the story we are reading about today had already begun."



Bill Clinton is elected attorney general of Arkansas. Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Riady's agent is Jackson Stephens, who also brokers the arrival of BCCI to this country and steers BCCI's founder, Hassan Abedi, to Bert Lance. Apparently because of pressure from Indonesia, Riady withdraws his bid to buy Lance's 30% share of the National Bank of Georgia. Instead, a BCCI front man buys the shares and Abedi moves to secretly take over First American Bankshares -- later the subject of the only BCCI-connected scandal to be prosecuted in the US. Riady's teen-age son, James, is taken on as an intern by Stephens Inc. He later says he was "sponsored" by Bill Clinton.


Mochtar Riady forms Lippo Finance & Investment in Little Rock. A non-citizen, Riady hires Carter's former SBA director, Vernon Weaver, to chair the firm. The launch is accomplished with the aid of a $2 million loan guaranteed by the SBA. Weaver uses Governor Clinton as a character reference to help get the loan guarantee. First loan goes to Little Rock Chinese restaurant owner Charlie Trie.


Riady buys a stake in the Worthen holding company whose assets include the Stephens-controlled Worthen Bank. Price: $16 million. Other Worthen co-owners will eventually include BCCI investor Abdullah Taha Bakhish.


Arkansas state pension funds --deposited in Worthen by Governor Bill Clinton -- suddenly lose 15% of their value because of the failure of high risk, short-term investments and the brokerage firm that bought them. The $52 million loss is covered by a Worthen check written by Jack Stephens in the middle of the night, an insurance policy, and the subsequent purchase over the next few months of 40% of the bank by Mochtar Riady. Clinton and Worthen escape a major scandal. Mochtar's son James comes back to Arkansas to manage Worthen as president. He bonds with Clinton and Charlie Trie. Lippo executive and Chinese native John Huang becomes active in Lippo's operations in Arkansas. China Resources pays for a Lippo-organized trip to Asia by Gov. Clinton, according to a later FBI inteview with John Huang. Mochtar and James Riady engineer the takeover of the First National Bank of Mena in a town of 5,000 with few major assets beyond a Contra supply base, drug running and money-laundering operations.


James Riady takes over operations of a new branch of the Lippo Bank, working with Hong Kong Lippo executive, John Huang.


The Arkansas Industrial Development Commission furthers the Indonesian - Arkansas connection. Deals are worked on for Wal-Mart, Tyson's Food, and JB Hunt. Later documents uncovered by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will "make reference to Clinton's ideal position as president . . . in helping to secure Arkansas-Indonesian deals." The US ambassador in Jakarta at the time will later remark, "There were lots of people from Arkansas who came through Indonesia." . . . Jackson Stephens and BCCI figure Moctar Riady buy BCCI's former Hong Kong subsidiary.


An FBI report says Democrat fund-raiser John Huang, a James Riady employee, reported that in 1992 Riady told Clinton during a limousine ride that he wanted to raise $1 million for his campaign..


John Huang and James Riady give $100,000 to Clinton's inaugural fund.


Webster Hubbell is convicted of tax evasion and mail fraud involving the theft of nearly a half million dollars from his partners at the Rose firm and failing to pay nearly $150,000 in taxes. After quitting the Justice Department and before going to jail, Hubbell is a busy man. He meets with Hillary Clinton, and follows up by getting together with major scandal figures John Huang, James Riady, and Ng Lapseng. Riady and Huang go to the White House every day from June 21 to June 25, 1994 according to White House records. Hubbell had breakfast and lunch with Riady on June 23. Four days later -- and one week after Hubbell's meeting with Hillary -- the Hong Kong Chinese Bank, jointly owed by Lippo and the Chinese intelligence services, sends $100,000 to Hubbell. Huang, incidentally, formerly worked for the Hong Kong Chinese Bank. Hubbell also receives $400,000 from other sources.

USA TODAY: FBI Director Louis Freeh, whose public clashes with the White House led to an often tense relationship with President Clinton, has been asked to remain on the job in the new Bush administration, officials close to the situation say . . . In a statement in 1996, Freeh said the "FBI and I were victimized" by the White House, when the bureau mistakenly turned over confidential personnel files that were requested by administration officials. The episode led the FBI to place new restrictions on access to its confidential files. In recent years, Freeh has split with Attorney General Janet Reno by pressing for an independent investigation of campaign finance irregularities involving Clinton and Vice President Gore.

DAVID SHUSTER, FOX NEWS: Senior staff working for Attorney General Janet Reno have threatened to fire an independent counsel investigating a possible cover-up at the Justice Department, Fox News has learned. Independent Counsel Dave Barrett led the investigation of former Clinton housing secretary Henry Cisneros, who admitted lying to the FBI. According to sources, for the last 10 months Barrett has been presenting his grand jury with new evidence alleging that officials at the Justice Department improperly tried to influence actions by the Internal Revenue Service. Barrett was warned by senior Justice Department officials to halt his investigation . . . During his investigation, Barrett uncovered evidence of possible tax fraud by Cisneros. But Justice Department officials, along with the IRS, said that aspect of the Cisneros record was beyond the independent counsel's jurisdiction. After looking at the evidence themselves, the Justice Department and IRS both refused to pursue the matter.
According to well-placed sources, last year a top lawyer within the IRS alleged that senior Justice Department officials were attempting to protect Cisneros. The IRS employee, who is now a whistleblower for the independent counsel, has reportedly testified that justice officials pressured the IRS in other cases as well.


Arkansas population as percent of US: 1%
Arkansas pardons and commutations as percent of all presidential pardons and commutations" 12%

REUTERS: A somber President Clinton mourned the lawyer and friend who defended him during his impeachment trial, saying yesterday that Charles F.C. Ruff brought "grace and honor" to the White House during the "craziest of times." . . . "Chuck never lost his cool, never lost his temper, and never let me entirely lose my sense of humor about what often was a patently absurd situation," the president said.

NEIL TRAVIS, NY POST: The gossip among political insiders at last night's Kennedy Center Honors gala and at the White House reception beforehand was that Bill and Hillary Clinton are putting their "home" in Chappaqua on the market less than a year after their much-ballyhooed arrival in the leafy Westchester environs. I hear that the Clintons never even got around to having "hard-wired" security installed because they wouldn't be there long . . . The windfall if the Clintons do sell Chappaqua would help ease their debts, and his first book of memoirs, with a floor price of $7 million, would have them out of the financial woods.

CARL LIMBACHER, NEWSMAX: Not since Bill and Hillary Clinton teamed up with Whitewater's Jim and Susan McDougal have two public officials contemplated pulling off such a daring land flip heist in broad daylight . . . Here's the plan, which should sound more than a little familiar to those who recall how Hillary turned a modest six figure investment in Castle Grande into a $4 million bonanza for Webb Hubbell's father-in-law: "You get yourself elected, find a place in DC and shake the dust of Chappaqua off your sensible flat shoes," says Travis. "As a bonus, one of your well-heeled pals buys the mansion at a huge premium, giving you a fat profit . . . A source in Chappaqua tells NewsMax that Travis is right on the money -- and that the Clintons actually put their New York "home" up for sale just three days after Hillary won her Senate seat.

[Whitewater Irregular High Sprunt suggests that this may be "one of many 'indirect' ways to legally pass $$$ to a politician -- buy something (anything) that they own from them for a higher than market value price, especially if the item trades in a market with a very wide (or arguably very wide) bid-ask spread . . . This sort of thing will make substantive "campaign finance" reforms a joke -- the most you can hope to do is to have a chance at getting disclosure of such gifts. It would be completely naive to think that any reforms will put an end to such gifts since there are so many ways, direct and indirect, that they can be accomplished.]


PETER OBORNE AND TOBY MOORE, LONDON DAILY EXPRESS: Outgoing President Bill Clinton is favorite to become the next Chancellor of Oxford University. There is huge support within the university for his appointment which would be a major international coup. The move would receive enthusiastic endorsement from Tony Blair while Mr. Clinton himself, who leaves the White House next month, has fond memories of his Oxford student days in the sixties and would welcome the global prestige. Supporters of Mr. Clinton's case say he has impeccable academic credentials and stature to do the job. They add he would "do wonders" for university fund-raising.

NEWSMAX: On Saturday's New York Times op-ed page, New York University Law Professor Stephen Gillers argued that Clinton should remain president past January 20 while Bush and Gore fight it out. "It's right there in the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1933," explained Gillers. "On Jan. 6, Congress is supposed to count the electoral votes and pick a president. But if, in the language of the amendment, it decides that no one has yet 'qualified' for the job, it can pass a law 'declaring who shall then act as President....until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.' "Surely," said Gillers, "Bill Clinton would be willing to stay on for a few weeks."



NEWSMAX: Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, whose rising poll numbers have Gore campaign officials begging him to drop out of the race, called President Clinton a liar on Sunday, saying he disgraced his office over his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Nader voiced his strong criticism of Clinton during an interview on ABC's "This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts":

DONALDSON: You say that if you'd been in the Senate, you would have voted to convict Bill Clinton in his impeachment trial. Correct?

NADER: Correct. And I would have voted against (Robert) Bork and I fought vigorously against (Antonin) Scalia and (Clarence) Thomas, which is more than I can say for Vice President Gore.

DONALDSON: You think Clinton is what -- a liar? A perjurer? I mean what....

NADER: I think he disgraced the office. He then lied about it. A judge confirmed that. He dragged it out and he took a year of journalism from both of you.

DONALDSON: Well, a lot of your supporters, according to our poll, were Clinton supporters.

NADER: Well, they're going to have to choose, aren't they?



BILL SAMMON, WASHINGTON TIMES: President Clinton yesterday complained that his demand for an apology from Republicans who impeached him was not meant to be published until after the election, when he calculated that it could do no harm to Al Gore's presidential campaign. But the president's discussion of impeachment in an interview with Esquire magazine was distributed over the weekend, infuriating both the Clinton and Gore camps because it reminded voters of Clinton scandals in the final days of the vice president's struggling campaign . . . The magazine's editor-in-chief, David Granger, strongly disputed the president's assertion. "Esquire violated no agreement with the White House," Mr. Granger said last night. "As for the timing of its release, there was no embargo requested by the White House."


John Huang, who previously worked for the Lippo Group, an alleged front for Chinese intelligence, and was a high official at the Commerce Department during the Clinton-Gore Administration, has returned to answer questions about the illegal sale of seats on trade missions in exchange for political campaign contributions. The deposition is being taken by Judicial Watch. Since Huang now has immunity, he was forced to answer questions without claiming the 5th Amendment - having previously done so over 2,000 times over the last four years.

In his testimony, Huang implicated Vice President Al Gore in the illegal fund raising, but refused to answer questions on at least 131 occasions. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola found Huang in contempt of Court for these refusals, and if this is sustained by Judge Royce C. Lamberth, Huang could be in serious trouble.

Huang did reveal that Congress never questioned him about the Commerce Department trade mission scandal, but he refused to answer questions about a number of high-level Republican politicians who reportedly got illegal campaign contributions.



The longest campaign commercial and largest soft money contribution this season comes in the guise of a movie, "The Contender." The film covers a number of talking points favored by the Gore-Lieberman campaign. For example, it reminds us that while both parties believe in trickle-down economics, the SUV liberal set also believes in trickle-down equality. Make an Orthodox Jew (real life) or a woman (movie) the vice president and all will be well with the world. The absence of black and latino faces in this better world seems to pass the producers by unnoticed.

The major theme, however, is a more familiar one: namely that public officials -- read Bill Clinton -- should not be asked about their sex lives. Since this theme is based on a rampantly false reading of both impeachment trial and what happens to women who got too close to Clinton, we thought it would be helpful to review the bidding:

-- Salley Perdue, who was involved with Clinton, reported that she received a visit from a man who told her, "There were people in high places who were anxious about me and they wanted me to know that keeping my mouth shut would be worthwhile . . . If I was a good little girl, and didn't kill the messenger; I'd be set for life: a federal job, nothing fancy but a regular paycheck. . . I'd never have to worry again. But if I didn't take the offer, then they knew that I went jogging by myself and he couldn't guarantee what would happen to my 'pretty little legs.'" Perdue also found a spent gun cartridge on the seat of her car and a broken windshield.

-- Both impeachment counsel David Schippers and a top Chicago sex crimes detective who investigated Juanita Broaddrick's claim that she was raped by Bill Clinton believe Broaddrick is telling the truth. Here, on the other hand, is what Al Gore had to say about the Juanita Broaddrick rape allegations: "I think that whatever mistakes he made in his personal life are, in the minds of most Americans, balanced against what he has done in his public life as president."

-- Juanita Broaddrick, Paul Jones, Gennifer Flowers, and Elizabeth Ward Gracen were all audited by the IRS.

-- Gennifer Flowers, interviewed by Penny Crone and Curtis Sliwa on New York's WABC, claimed that she received threats -- including death threats -- around the time of her tape recorded conversations with Bill Clinton and that this was why she had made the recordings. Asked whether she thought Clinton was behind the threats, Flowers replied, "What I thought, after my home was ransacked, was that he was behind that -- simply because I had called to tell him about it and it was his reaction it. I mean, he acted, he was aloof. Her didn't act that concerned."

-- Monica Lewinsky told Linda Tripp over the phone, "I would not cross these -- these people -- for fear of my life."

-- Linda Tripp found on her office chair a list of persons connected to Clinton who had died mysteriously. An attached unsigned note said the deliverer thought Tripp would be interested.

-- A former Miss America, Elizabeth Ward Gracen had a short encounter with Clinton in 1983. She initially told friends that then-Governor Clinton had forced himself upon her but later said the incident was consensual. She refused to talk about it for a number of years but eventually admitted the encounter to a Toronto newspaper and also told of alleged intimidation of her family and friends. Following the story's publication, according to Gracen lawyer Vincent Vento, a caller contacted her and said, "You should really keep your mouth shut about Bill Clinton and go on with your life. You could be discredited. You could have an IRS investigation." Gracen told the New York Post's Steve Dunleavy, "I spent a small fortune hiring investigators to investigate the investigators of the White House who I honestly believe were chasing me to head off my story." She said she was physically scared: "We are talking about the presidency. There were always veiled threats." In one case, she says her hotel room was ransacked while she was hiding out in the Caribbean: "The gentleman looking after my room said he saw two men in suits enter the place and one man in a suit waiting outside." Further, despite her attempt at concealment, she received threatening phone calls: "It was pretty much the same kind of call. Get out of town before I get hit with a subpoena... Between the calls telling me to get out of town for my own good and the calls talking about smear tactics, I got scared."

-- Sharlene Wilson, a onetime Little Rock drug dealer told a federal grand jury in 1990 that she witnessed then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton use cocaine on multiple occasions. Not long after was convicted of a minor drug offense. The prosecutor who sent her to jail was her ex-boyfriend Dan Harmon, who later ended up in prison himself on drug, racketeering, and extortion charges. According to British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, "At the time [of her grand jury testimony] she was an informant for the Seventh Judicial District drug task force in Arkansas. Jean Duffey, the prosecutor in charge of the task force, talked to Wilson days after her grand jury appearance. "She was terrified. She said her house was being watched and she'd made a big mistake," said Duffey. "That was when she told me she'd testified about seeing Bill Clinton get so high on cocaine he fell into a garbage can . . . I have no doubt that she was telling the truth." Shortly after Wilson's testimony the drug task force was closed down. In 1992 she was sentenced to 31 years for selling half an ounce of marijuana and $100 worth of methamphetamine to an informant .... Her case went all the way to the US Supreme Court. Finding a violation of her constitutional rights, the court ordered the state of Arkansas to give Wilson a fresh trial or set her free. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee commuted her sentence after she had served most of the Clinton administration in jail.

-- Gary Johnson, a neighbor of Gennifer Flowers whose security camera filmed Clinton going in and out of Flowers apartment, was beaten, left for dead, and had his tapes stolen.

-- Jerry Parks, the chief of security for Clinton's Little Rock headquarters who had gathered a large personal dossier on Clinton, was shot dead in a mob-type slaying.

-- Private detectives were used to investigate, pay-off and/or intimidate Clinton's former paramours. According to Dick Morris, the 1992 campaign spent $100,000 for these purposes.

-- Women in Clinton's life were repeatedly trashed by the White House, the media, and even leading feminists. For example, Newsweek's Even Thomas called Paula Jones a "sleazy woman with big hair who came out of a trailer park." Jones later won a $850,000 settlement with Clinton.

-- Kathleen Willey had the tires on her car mysteriously punctured with dozens of nails and her cat suddenly disappeared. Subsequently, Willey reported that she was out jogging near her home when a stranger approached and asked if the tires had been fixed and if the cat had been found. The man then asked Willey, "Don't you get the message?" and jogged off. Willey also found an animal skull on her porch the day after she testified in the Paula Jones case.

-- Linda Tripp was considered in enough danger that FBI agents put her in a safe house after she revealed her conversations with Monica Lewinsky.

-- A study done during the first four months of the Lewinsky affair found that
coverage of Kenneth Starr by ABC, CBS and NBC evening news was overwhelmingly negative (74% to 26%). Also receiving negative network coverage: Kathleen Willey (68% negative), Monica Lewinsky (75% negative) and Paula Jones (78% negative).

-- Jean Duffey was head of a joint federal-county drug task force in Arkansas. Her first instructions from her boss: "Jean, you are not to use the drug task force to investigate any public official." Duffey's work, however, led deep into the heart of the Dixie Mafia, including members of the Clinton machine. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reported that when she produced Sharlene Wilson, who would testify to Clinton's involvement with cocaine, the local prosecuting attorney, Dan Harmon, issued a subpoena for all the task force records, including "the incriminating files on his own activities. If Duffey had complied it would have exposed 30 witnesses and her confidential informants to violent retributions. She refused." Harmon issued a warrant for her arrest and friendly cops told her that there was a $50,000 price on her head. She eventually fled to Texas.

-- Kathy Ferguson -- ex-wife of Danny Ferguson, Clinton's bodyguard and co-defendant in the Paula Jones case -- was expected to testify for Jones. Within a week of Jones' filing a lawsuit, however, she was found dead of a gunshot wound in her apartment. She left a suicide note but the body was found in her living room next to her packed bags as though she was planning to take a trip. Local police ruled it a suicide. Bill Sheldon, a Little Rock police officer and boyfriend of Kathy Ferguson, decided to conduct his own investigation of her case. A couple of weeks later he was found shot in the head in what was also ruled a suicide.

-- From an affidavit from Dolly Kyle Browning: "I have known William Jefferson Clinton since I was eleven years old. I call him 'Billy.' We attended high school together. During the period from the mid-1970's until January 1992, we had a relationship that included sexual relations. The frequency of our contact with each other, and the frequency of our sexual encounters, varied over that time period, but we did have sexual relations many times during that time period. Our relationship ended abruptly in January of 1992 when Billy would not return my telephone call. I told his secretary, Linda, that a tabloid had the story about me and Billy. I asked her to have him call me and he refused. Instead he had my brother, who was, at that time, working in the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign, call me from Billy's New Hampshire apartment or office. My brother said that Billy was afraid to talk to me because everyone thought that I might record the conversation as Gennifer Flowers had done. He said 'we' think you should deny the story. He finally said: "if you cooperate with the media we will destroy you."


THE NY TIMES says that Hillary Clinton listens to her husband's advice "and not coincidentally, in the view of several Clinton aides, seems to be doing better in her race than the vice president is in his." But, as Smarter Times points out, "The Clinton aides may claim that Mrs. Clinton is 'doing better' than the vice president, but they -- and the Times -- seem to have neglected the fact that in the only state where Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Gore are both on the ballot, New York, Mr. Gore is 'significantly more popular' than Mrs. Clinton.

ABC NEWS: In an interview with a weekly gay publication, President Clinton says homosexuals stood by his side during impeachment because they understood what it was like to be "publicly humiliated and abused." Asked by The Advocate magazine how he felt about the support he received during the scandal from gays, Clinton said it "came from the same wellspring of experience that prompted so many African-Americans to stick with me - they've been there."

WALL STREET JOURNAL: The Department of Housing and Urban Development's internal watchdog filed a sexual-discrimination and harassment complaint against the agency's top officials. Inspector General Susan Gaffney filed the complaint with the department's equal employment opportunity office, alleging that senior political appointees, including Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo, had harassed, intimidated and discriminated against her because of her efforts to monitor the agency. In a nine-page memo widely distributed to members of Congress, Ms. Gaffney outlined more than 30 instances that she says point to a broad and deliberate effort to thwart her office's work -- an environment, she says, that her male predecessors never faced.