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Clinton Pardons: Denise Rich, Beth Dozoretz Dispute Secret Service Record of White House Visit

Aired February 27, 2001 - 1:19 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The clemency/pardon controversy now includes a dispute over the whereabouts of two key players on the final night of Bill Clinton's presidency. Did the ex-wife of a pardoned expatriate millionaire attend a White House party the night of Jan. 19, 2001? And what about the former finance director of the Democratic National Committee? Was that person at the party? And what if they were?

Adding to the intrigue, the former DNC official has decided not to answer questions for congressional investigators. It's beginning to sound a lot like a whodunit. The only thing we know for sure is who done the pardons.

And CNN's Frank Buckley caught up with him today in his new hometown of Chappaqua, New York.

Frank, what do you got?

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, former President Clinton undeniably the person who issued the pardon of Marc Rich. And, yes, he is here in Chappaqua today. No, he is not talking about the new information regarding Beth Dozoretz or Denise Rich.

The president did make a quick trip this morning to a local deli as information emerged that, according to Secret Service logs, both Rich and Dozoretz were waved into the White House on Jan. 19, on the eve of Mr. Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich. He is the financier whose pardon has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. We asked the president about today's headlines as he emerged from the restaurant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: Mr. President, Mr. President...

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Bagel?

QUESTION: Mr. President, (OFF-MIKE) on the night of Jan. 19, sir?

QUESTION: Sir, how do you like post-presidential life?

CLINTON: Very much.

QUESTION: Tell us about it.

CLINTON: Very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: Dozoretz and Rich have both indicated through spokesmen that the information is incorrect, that neither of them was at the White House on Jan. 19.

Meanwhile, the president is continuing his post-presidency life, Lou. He is expected to speak at a media conference this afternoon. The topic of his speech: The role of the media in a capitalist democracy -- Lou.

WATERS: All right, Frank Buckley in Chappaqua.

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