Tags: Hillary | Claims | Ignorance | Distances | Self | From | Bill

Hillary Claims Ignorance, Distances Self From Bill

Thursday, 22 February 2001 12:00 AM

New York's junior senator also said she had no knowledge of the involvement of her campaign treasurer, William Cunningham III, in securing last-minute pardons for two Arkansas felons convicted of tax charges in the 1980s.

"I was very disappointed and saddened by this whole matter. It came as a surprise to me, and it was very disturbing, and I'm just very disappointed about it. I did not know my brother was involved in any way in any of this. I did not know any specific information until late Monday night," Clinton told a Capitol Hill news conference.

But on the subject of last-minute pardons by her husband, she said to "ask him or his staff about that. I did not have any involvement in the pardons that were granted or not granted, and I'm just very disappointed about my brother's involvement."

Several times during the news conference, Clinton was peppered with questions about her brother's involvement. She said: "I didn't know about it, and I am very regretful that it occurred and that I didn't know it. I might have been able to prevent this from happening, and I'm just very disappointed about the whole matter."

However, despite all this, she says she still loves her brother.

"He's my brother. I love my brother. I'm just extremely disappointed in this terrible misjudgment that he made," Clinton said.

Her brother, Hugh Rodham, returned nearly $400,000 he received for helping a convicted drug dealer win a commutation of his sentence and for helping another felon win a last-minute presidential pardon.

"I have not talked with him, and as soon as we found out Monday night I was heartbroken and shocked by it and immediately said this is a terrible misjudgment and the money had to be returned. This is a very sad matter to me personally. It was a surprise, but more than being surprising it was extremely disappointing," said Clinton.

Wire service reports said Thursday that Clinton's Senate campaign treasurer, William Cunningham, a New York attorney, helped obtain last-minute pardons for two convicted felons from Bill Clinton.

"With respect to Mr. Cunningham, I knew nothing about that. But I know that he is a fine lawyer and a fine man. I had no knowledge that he was involved. But lawyers from all over the country were involved in these matters. That has happened in the past, and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone," said Clinton.

"But you'll have to ask Mr. Cunningham about the details. I didn't know anything about his involvement at all," Clinton said.

After learning of her brother's involvement, House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., said his committee would look into it. Burton called the news "deeply troubling."

"We intend to ask Mr. Rodham to give us all the details of whom he represented and how much he was paid," said Burton, whose committee is already probing Clinton's controversial pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.

Sen. Clinton's brother is a private attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. His own attorney, Nancy Luque, is quoted as saying he did "absolutely nothing wrong."

Said Luque in a statement: "He has returned these fees solely because his family asked that he do so. Their request, presumably made because of the appearance of impropriety, is one he cannot ignore. There was, however, no impropriety in these matters."

Also Thursday, Bill Clinton's lawyer David Kendall released a letter that he sent to Burton's committee saying that the foundation overseeing the construction of the Clinton presidential library in Little Rock would provide documents that Kendall says are related to "12 persons and entities" that the committee is questioning.

But Kendall refused to comply with the committee request for other documents. He refused because he said he thought it violated the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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New York's junior senator also said she had no knowledge of the involvement of her campaign treasurer, William Cunningham III, in securing last-minute pardons for two Arkansas felons convicted of tax charges in the 1980s. I was very disappointed and saddened by this...
Hillary,Claims,Ignorance,,Distances,Self,From,Bill
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2001-00-22
Thursday, 22 February 2001 12:00 AM
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