The pardon of Marc Rich was one of 176 last-minute pardons and clemency orders issued by Clinton on his last day in office, 47 of which were granted without first being fully examined by the Justice Department’s pardon attorney’s office.
Who was Marc Rich? He died in 2013, but made a fortune for himself as a commodities trader, hedge fund manager, and businessman. By the time of his death, he had amassed a net worth of $2 billion.
In 1983 he was indicted in the largest case of tax evasion in American history up until that point…. and a number of other charges. Rich was wanted for a list of charges going back decades. He had traded illegally with America’s enemies including Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, where he bought about $200 million worth of oil while revolutionaries allied with the Iranian regime which held American hostages in the 1970s. It’s thanks to Reagan that those hostages were freed, by the way.
Rich made a large part of his wealth selling oil to the apartheid regime in South Africa when it faced a UN embargo. Needless to say he isn’t a good guy – but Bill Clinton still granted him a last minute pardon.
Even the liberals at the New York Times couldn’t defend it, with an editorial at the time calling it “a shocking abuse of presidential power.” “Coincidentally,” Rich’s ex-wife, Denise Rich, had donated more than $1 million to the Democratic National Committee, including $450,000 to Clinton’s presidential library foundation and more than $100,000 to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign.
Now, as Western Journalism reported, the FBI has just released documents relating to that pardon:
On Monday the FBI released 129 pages of documents related to its 2001 investigation into former President Bill Clinton’s pardon of hedge-fund manager Marc Rich.
The release received little attention until the bureau noted it Tuesday through its FBI Records Vault Twitter account.
William J. Clinton Foundation: This initial release consists of material from the FBI’s files related to the Will… https://t.co/Y4nz3aRSmG
— FBI Records Vault (@FBIRecordsVault) November 1, 2016
This subsequent FBI investigation was closed in 2005, with no charges filed against Bill Clinton. Rich died in 2013.
The document release Monday was “heavily redacted and doesn’t shed any meaningful light into the investigation,” The Hill reported.
It did, however, put the controversial pardon back in the spotlight.
The release came just three days after FBI Director James Comey told Congress the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state was reopened because of newly discovered evidence. The evidence has since been revealed to be tens of thousands of emails found on the computer of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
While the new information is too redacted to contain anything that could be considered a “bombshell,” it’s a reminder that the Clintons are willing to let a crook go free – as long as they pay the right price.
Let’s not wait and see who they pardon under a Hillary Presidency.