thegaygardener

Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lest We Forget

Here's a great little history lesson from BOB HERBERT in THE NEW YORK TIMES
For those of you who may have forgotten:

The last time the Clintons had to make a big exit was at the end of Bill Clinton’s second term as president — and they made a complete and utter hash of that historic moment. Having survived the Monica Lewinsky ordeal, you might have thought the Clintons would be on their best behavior.

Instead, a huge scandal erupted when it became known that Mrs. Clinton’s brothers, Tony and Hugh Rodham, had lobbied the president on behalf of criminals who then received presidential pardons or a sentence commutation from Mr. Clinton.

Tony Rodham helped get a pardon for a Tennessee couple that had hired him as a consultant and paid or loaned him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Over the protests of the Justice Department, President Clinton pardoned the couple, Edgar Allen Gregory Jr. and his wife, Vonna Jo, who had been convicted of bank fraud in Alabama.

Hugh Rodham was paid $400,000 to lobby for a pardon of Almon Glenn Braswell, who had been convicted of mail fraud and perjury, and for the release from prison of Carlos Vignali, a drug trafficker who was convicted and imprisoned for conspiring to sell 800 pounds of cocaine. Sure enough, in his last hours in office (when he issued a blizzard of pardons, many of them controversial), President Clinton agreed to the pardon for Braswell and the sentence commutation for Vignali.

Hugh Rodham reportedly returned the money after the scandal became public and was an enormous political liability for the Clintons.

Both Clintons professed to be ignorant of anything improper or untoward regarding the pardons. Once, when asked specifically if she had talked with a deputy White House counsel about pardons, Mrs. Clinton said: “People would hand me envelopes. I would just pass them on. You know, I would not have any reason to look into them.”

It wasn’t just the pardons that sullied the Clintons’ exit from the White House. They took furniture and rugs from the White House collection that had to be returned. And they received $86,000 in gifts during the president’s last year in office, including clothing (a pantsuit, a leather jacket), flatware, carpeting, and so on. In response to the outcry over that, they decided to repay the value of the gifts.

So class is not a Clinton forte.

THANKS BOB!

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