I thought it appropriate since Mad brought up the subject of pardons in her last post that some of Mr. Clintons' Pardons be brought to the forefront to show what sort of characters he associated with either directly of indirectly. Since Scooter Libby is such a horrible criminal to have his sentence commuted by President Bush, I thought it appropriate to show some (140) of the sentences that Mr. Clinton overturned and "made right".
Pardons and commutations signed on final day in officeClinton issued 140 pardons as well as several commutations on his last day of office (January 20, 2001). When a sentence is commuted, the conviction remains intact, but the sentence can be altered in a number of ways. Some controversial actions include the following:
- Carlos A. Vignali had his sentence for cocaine trafficking commuted, after serving 6 of 15 years in federal prison.
- Almon Glenn Braswell was pardoned of his mail fraud and perjury convictions, even while a federal investigation was underway regarding additional money laundering and tax evasion charges. Braswell and Carlos Vignali each paid approximately $200,000 to Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham, to represent their respective cases for clemency. Hugh Rodham returned the payments after they were disclosed to the public. Braswell would later invoke the Fifth Amendment at a Senate Committee hearing in 2001, when questioned about allegations of his having systematically defrauded senior citizens of millions of dollars.
- Marc Rich, a fugitive, was pardoned of tax evasion, after clemency pleas from Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, among many other international luminaries. He was required to pay a $100 million dollar fine and waive any use of the pardon as a defense against any future civil charges that were filed against him in the same case. Critics complained that Denise Rich, his former wife, had made substantial donations to the Clinton library and to Mrs. Clinton's senate campaign. Emails uncovered during the course of the investigation revealed that her final donation was provided a year before Scooter Libby requested that she approach Clinton for a pardon. According to Paul Volcker's independent investigation of Iraqi Oil-for-Food kickback schemes, Marc Rich was a middleman for several suspect Iraqi oil deals involving over 4 million barrels of oil.
- Susan McDougal, who had already completed her sentence, was pardoned for her role in the Whitewater scandal; McDougal had served 18 months on contempt charges for refusing to testify about Clinton's role.
- Dan Rostenkowski, a former Democratic Congressman convicted in the Congressional Post Office Scandal. Rostenkowski had served his entire sentence.
- Melvin J. Reynolds, a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, who was convicted of bank fraud, 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice, and solicitation of child pornography had his sentence commuted on the bank fraud charged and was allowed to serve the final months under the auspices of a half way house. He had served his entire sentence on child sex abuse charges before the commutation of the later convictions.
- Roger Clinton, the president's half-brother, on drug charges after having served the entire sentence more than a decade before. Roger Clinton would be charged with drunk driving and disorderly conduct in an unrelated incident within a year of the pardon. He was also briefly alleged to have been utilized in lobbying for the Braswell pardon, among others. However, no wrongdoing was uncovered.