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Of the many pardoned by Bill, few give to Hillary

By Laurie Bennett

May 1, 2008 at 12:30pm

In the last hours of his presidency, Bill Clinton granted pardons or prison commutations to 140 people. How many of them have shown their gratitude by contributing to his wife’s presidential campaign?

Not many.

Former CIA Director John Deutch, pardoned for charges relating to mishandling national secrets on a home computer, gave $2,300 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. However, he also gave same amount to Sen. Barack Obama and $1,000 to Sen. Christopher Dodd’s campaign.

South Carolina attorney Richard W. Riley, education secretary under Bill Clinton, gave Hillary Clinton $1,000 last year. His son, Richard Wilson Riley Jr., was pardoned in 2001 for marijuana and cocaine charges.

David Herdlinger, a former Arkansas prosecutor pardoned on mail fraud charges, donated $1,000 to Sen. Clinton’s presidential campaign in August.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros was pardoned for making false statements to FBI agents conducting a background investigation of him in 1993, when he was nominated to the cabinet post. He contributed $1,000 Hillary Clinton’s New York State Senate campaign in 2006. But when it came to the presidential campaign, he gave $3,000 to the presidential campaign of Bill Richardson, who endorsed Obama after ending his own campaign.

Edward Reynolds Downe Jr., pardoned on charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and subscribing to false income tax returns, gave $2,100 to Clinton’s Senate race. But he supported Dodd for president, giving the maximum $4,600.

Stanley Pruet Jobe, pardoned in a check-kiting scheme, supported Richardson.

Former Arizona Gov. John Fife Symington III, a Republican convicted of bank fraud, was also pardoned by Clinton. He has contributed to John McCain’s campaign.

One name that’s conspicuously absent from the Clinton donor list is that of Denise Rich. Clinton pardoned her ex-husband, Marc Rich, who fled the country in 1983 to avoid charges of tax evasion. The pardon followed her contribution of $450,000 to the Clinton Library.

Denise Rich was also a generous contributor to Democratic causes before the Bushes moved into the White House, and she supported Hillary Clinton’s first run for the Senate. However, her only contribution reported in the last 3 years was $1,000 to U.S. Rep. Nita M. Lowey of New York.

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