Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Six Degrees of Presidential Separation (or, Kevin Bacon Goes to Washington)

It's a small, small world for pardons, after all:

Before entering government, ("Scooter") Libby was a private attorney who represented billionaire international commodities trader Marc Rich. Rich was indicted in 1983 by then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani on charges of tax evasion and illegal dealing with Iran during the American hostage crisis.

Rich fled to Switzerland. He also occupied a spot on the FBI's Most Wanted List.

Giuliani, former mayor of New York, is now a leading Republican presidential candidate. He endorsed Bush's decision to spare Libby jail time even though he'd tried to put Libby's client behind bars.

"After evaluating the facts, the president came to a reasonable decision, and I believe the decision was correct," Giuliani said.

Rich's fugitive days ended when President Clinton pardoned him in January 2001, a move that prompted a congratulatory call from Libby to Rich. The pardon raised questions about whether large donations to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Library by Rich's former wife, Denise, had anything to do with it.

Clinton, of course, is married to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who is a Democratic front-runner for the White House. She blasted Bush's decision on Libby, leaving out any mention of Libby's connection to Rich — or Rich at all, for that matter.

No comments: