Remember the “Pardongate” scandal, where in the waning days of his administration, Bill Clinton doled out presidential pardons to felons in exchange for favors and kickbacks? Well, six years later it’s back in the news thanks to Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham.
Judicial Watch has filed a formal request with the U.S. Department of Justice calling for a criminal investigation into the reported activities of Hillary Clinton, her brother, Anthony D. Rodham, former President Clinton, and Vonna Jo Gregory, former owner of the carnival company United Shows International. Here’s why.
In March 2000, former President Clinton pardoned Vonna Jo Gregory, and her husband, Edgar Gregory, Jr., for a 1982 band fraud conviction. (Mr. Gregory passed away in 2004.) After the pardon was issued, Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodham, who helped broker the pardon deal, received $107,000 in "loans" from United Shows International. (The company ultimately filed for bankruptcy and, of course, Rodham never paid back the money. It is obvious that he was never expected to pay it back, but that logic seemed to have escaped any Department of Justice investigators at the time.)
Now, fast forward to June 2006. Michael Collins, a court-appointed trustee handling the United Shows International’s finances, sought repayment from Rodham and won a default judgment in a Nashville, Tennessee bankruptcy court. As a result, Rodham was ultimately barred from accessing the $142,000 he then had in his bank account.
Rodham, of course, is fighting the judgment. He says the funds transferred to him weren’t loans; they were payments for consulting services. No one, however, can document any work Rodham did for the Gregorys to earn the money.
Despite Rodham’s protestations, this was clearly a quid pro quo – pardons for cash. Not surprising, considering the fact that former president Clinton issued 140 pardons and commuted 36 sentences in the last day of his presidency. Many of the pardoned parties were convicted felons who allegedly paid large fees to Clinton family members and associates. (Hillary’s other brother, Hugh Rodham, was among them. Hugh allegedly received $400,000 in payments from two convicted felons for securing pardons from former President Clinton.)
The Justice Department previously initiated a failed investigation of the Clinton pardons, but these new court documents warrant renewed investigation. No one should get away with selling pardons, and it is time for the Justice Department to finally get serious about this scandal.
GOP Leaders Call for Further Investigation of Sandy Berger’s Actions
Last week, GOP leaders called for a congressional investigation of the 2003 actions of former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, who admittedly spirited classified documents from the National Archives and destroyed them just days before the 9/11 commission issued its final report.
According to an AP report, ten GOP leaders wrote a letter to the Government Reform Committee calling for the probe. The investigation would inquire into whether any of the documents were missing from the Clinton administration terrorism records, and will review security measures for classified documents. The GOP officials hope to acquire testimony from Berger.
In 2005, Berger, Clinton’s top national security official, pled guilty to charges of smuggling five documents, including a highly secret memorandum, out of the National Archives. Berger initially said he had removed the documents "by accident" and had "misplaced them." He later admitted to stuffing the documents into his socks and pants and shredding them with scissors in his office. Berger served no jail time for this serious breach of national security. He paid a $50,000 fine.
Judicial Watch has been outspoken in its demand for stricter punishment.
On July 22, 2004, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI for information related to Berger’s visits to the Archives and their ensuing investigations. On May 19, 2005, based on Judicial Watch’s findings, we filed a complaint with the Office of Bar Counsel for the District of Columbia Bar, calling to discipline Sandy Berger for his unethical conduct. More than a year and a half later, the D.C. Bar has failed to take any public action on the issue.
I’ve previously said that Sandy Berger deserves to go to jail and should have his security clearance revoked forever. I stand by that statement. He, like so many other Clinton officials, violated public trust and he compromised the critical 9/11 investigations. A $50,000 fine is no more than a slap on the wrist for such inexcusable actions.
Unfortunately, as we approach the November elections, calls by House Republicans to investigate Berger, a Democrat, will be dismissed as political mudslinging and won’t be taken seriously. Sure, now is a politically opportune time to call for this type of investigation. Whatever the motives for calling for one, a congressional investigation is warranted.
Leftist Anti-War Group Violates Election Laws
While I generally believe too many leftist anti-military protesters harm our soldiers by providing aid and comfort to the enemy, this is a free country, and they have a right to their opinion. They do not, however, have a right to violate federal election and IRS laws, which is what one “peace” organization is apparently doing.
On October 10, Judicial Watch filed an official complaint with the IRS regarding Code Pink, a self-described "grassroots peace and social justice movement." Code Pink claims that it is a tax-exempt non-profit organization. However, according to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the organization openly advocates support for political candidates which, of course, is a big "no-no" for tax-exempt organizations.
Here’s what the law says, in part: "Public statements of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization in favor or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention."
Here’s how Code Pink seemingly violated this law:
* Code Pink issued a "web blog" advertising a fundraising event for California Congresswoman Lynn Woosley. This alone is likely a violation of the law, but Code Pink went one step further. They agreed to be one of the hosting entities for the fundraiser!
* Code Pink operates an Internet site called "Give Peace a Vote" in order to raise funds to remove from office politicians with whom they disagree. This from the campaign web page: "Please donate generously towards the Give Peace a Vote campaign to send a clear message to hawkish politicians. Your donation will help forge a powerful voting bloc of Americans across the political spectrum who are committed to ending the US occupation and preventing future wars of aggression."
* One Code Pink "blogger" stated that he campaigned with former Georgia Congresswoman (and cop puncher) Cynthia McKinney, urging others to support her campaign: "We need her strong anti-war voice in Congress, so please consider helping her campaign.”
Code Pink ought to stick to protesting and stay out of electioneering. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on Judicial Watch’s efforts to hold Code Pink accountable.