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Hugh Rodham Tried to Get Pardons for Two Democratic Fund- Raisers

Aired February 26, 2001 - 2:04 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Lou mentioned the pardons, and we have more about that today. Today's "Washington Post" says Clinton's brother-in-law, Hugh Rodham, sought pardons for two former Democratic fund-raisers. But unlike two cases revealed last week, which we told you about, which generated such an uproar, Rodham did not come through for Eugene and Nora Lum.

CNN national correspondent Bob Franken is on the pardon story today -- Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Natalie, as a matter of fact, Rodham's lawyer says he did not advocate for the Lums. We're talking about Eugene and Nora Lum. It's a couple that has been convicted of campaign -- illegal campaign donations and also tax fraud. As you pointed out, there was no pardon granted by President Clinton.

But the attorney says that he did not advocate, as I mentioned, did not say whether in fact that Rodham had actually spoken to the Lums.

Now, the Lums have had a series of legal problems, but Hugh Rodham has had his own problems. Rodham was the one who, as a matter of fact, was named the other day when he was somebody who advocated and got $400,000 on behalf of two people who did get pardons. His lawyers said that he would be returning the money after he was requested to do so by the ex-president and the first lady. So there is that circumstance.

And a little hodgepodge of developments today. We move onto the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, which is holding a hearing on Thursday. And the question has to do right now with the delivery of subpoenaed records from the Clinton library in Arkansas.

The people who run the library have refused to turn over all the records that were requested by the committee, specifically requesting a list of all donors who had given or pledged more than $5,000. Instead, there was a compromise that was offered by the library, that in fact they would turn over records relevant to the Marc Rich investigation, specifically involvement by Beth Dozoretz and Denise Rich.

Now, the committee has sent a letter, a letter to the library, saying that's not satisfactory, saying that there should be an effort to allow the committee staff to review the lists of individuals who have given or pledged more than $5,000 to the Clinton library and then deciding which ones should be public.

And as a matter of fact, the committee chairman said if that didn't happen, "I am" -- quote -- "prepared to consider requesting a vote to hold the Clinton library in contempt." And on Thursday, the man who heads the library, Skip Rutherford (ph) of Arkansas, will join Beth Dozoretz, one of the central figures in this case, to testify before a hearing. That looks like it will be the very next big substantial step in the pardons controversy -- Natalie.

ALLEN: So all of this continues, even though the Bush administration has said they would like it to end. Congress doesn't plan to adhere to that request.

FRANKEN: Well, you have to wonder, as a matter of fact, if the Republicans are (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to get a lot of pressure from the Republican White House to end this. In any case, they're not planning to end it any time, although we're told that the Burton committee hopes to have this all wrapped up in -- quote -- "a few weeks."

ALLEN: All right, Bob Franken from Washington. Thanks, Bob.

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