[House Report 107-454]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



                                                 Union Calendar No. 269
107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     107-454

======================================================================


 
     JUSTICE UNDONE: CLEMENCY DECISIONS IN THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE

                                _______
                                

  May 14, 2002.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Burton, from the Committee on Government Reform submitted the 
                               following

                             SECOND REPORT

    On March 14, 2002, the Committee on Government Reform 
approved and adopted a report entitled ``Justice Undone: 
Clemency Decisions in the Clinton White House.'' The chairman 
was directed to transmit a copy to the Speaker of the House.

                             CHAPTER THREE

    HUGH RODHAM'S ROLE IN LOBBYING FOR GRANTS OF EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY

                       FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE


HUGH RODHAM'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE VIGNALI COMMUTATION

Vignali's clemency petition was false and misleading.

 Carlos Vignali lied in his clemency petition. First, 
he continued to maintain his innocence, despite overwhelming 
evidence of his involvement in selling a substantial amount of 
cocaine across state lines and a specific finding by the 
sentencing judge that he lied at trial about his involvement in 
a large drug distribution network. Second, Vignali claimed that 
he was a first-time offender, despite the fact that he had a 
prior criminal record. By not accepting responsibility for his 
crime and lying about his background, he should not have been 
eligible for executive clemency.

Vignali's supporters provided letters of support that were 
false and misleading.

 A key element of the campaign by Carlos Vignali and 
his father Horacio, was a series of letters on Carlos' behalf 
from prominent Los Angeles politicians. A number of these 
letters contained misleading statements calculated to create 
the impression that Carlos Vignali was innocent. The officials 
who submitted letters included Representative Xavier Becerra, 
Representative Esteban Torres, State Assembly Speaker Robert 
Hertzberg, State Assembly Member Antonio Villaraigosa, State 
Senator Richard Polanco, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria 
Molina, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Hernandez, and 
Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca provided critical support 
for the Vignali commutation that was inappropriate, given his 
position.

 Sheriff Baca had a close relationship with Horacio 
Vignali that was based on Vignali's political and financial 
support for Baca. Sheriff Baca has known Horacio Vignali since 
1991, and Vignali has been a key political supporter of Baca, 
giving him at least $11,000 in contributions and raising 
between $60,000-$70,000 more.

 Sheriff Baca spoke with the White House in support 
of the Vignali commutation. In January 2001, Baca received a 
telephone call from Hugh Rodham in which Rodham told Baca that 
he would get a call from the White House about Horacio Vignali. 
Shortly thereafter, Baca received a call from White House staff 
and spoke in support of Horacio Vignali. Based on Baca's 
statements in this telephone call, White House staff clearly 
and justifiably concluded that Baca supported the commutation 
of Carlos Vignali's sentence.

 Sheriff Baca continues to claim, without any basis, 
that he did not support the Vignali commutation. Rather than 
express regret for his role in the Vignali commutation, Sheriff 
Baca maintains that he opposed the Vignali commutation and did 
nothing that could have been interpreted as support for the 
commutation. However, Sheriff Baca's supposed opposition to the 
Vignali commutation does not square with the fact that: (1) he 
drafted a letter that he believed Horacio Vignali would use in 
the clemency effort and (2) when he was asked squarely by the 
White House if the President should commute Vignali's prison 
sentence, he stated that it was ``the President's decision to 
make,'' rather than express his opposition. These facts, and 
others outlined in this report, indicate that Sheriff Baca 
wanted to support the Vignali commutation, but was afraid of 
creating a paper record that would clearly indicate his 
support.

 Sheriff Baca's efforts on behalf of the Vignalis are 
even more inappropriate given that there were extensive 
allegations that Horacio Vignali, Carlos' father, was also 
involved in illegal drug trafficking. It is inappropriate 
enough for a senior law enforcement official like Baca to 
support a grant of clemency for an unrepentant, large-scale 
drug dealer like Carlos Vignali. However, when coupled with 
credible allegations indicating that Horacio Vignali was a drug 
dealer, and in fact was the source of cocaine supply for his 
son, Baca's support of Horacio and Carlos Vignali is even more 
inappropriate.

U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas provided critical support for 
the Vignali commutation that was inappropriate, given his 
position.

 U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas called the White 
House in support of the Vignali commutation. Mayorkas, the top 
federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, was asked by Horacio Vignali 
to call the White House in support of his son's clemency 
petition. Mayorkas then called the White House about the 
Vignali commutation. While Mayorkas does not recall the details 
of his conversation, he now concedes that his call conveyed 
support for the Vignali commutation.

 Mayorkas supported the Vignali commutation despite 
his ignorance of the facts of the case and his knowledge that 
the prosecutors responsible for the Vignali case opposed 
clemency. Before he called the White House, Mayorkas had spoken 
twice with Todd Jones, the U.S. Attorney responsible for the 
Vignali case. Jones told Mayorkas that Vignali was a ``major 
player'' in drug trafficking, that he was ``bad news'' and that 
Mayorkas should not ``go there'' when it came to Vignali. 
Despite these warnings from a prosecutor who was intimately 
familiar with the Vignali case, Mayorkas still called the White 
House in support of the Vignali commutation.

 Mayorkas' support for the Vignali commutation was 
inappropriate. Mayorkas knew little about the Vignali case. 
What he did know indicated that Carlos Vignali was an 
unrepentant, large-scale criminal. These facts alone make his 
support for the commutation, as a senior federal prosecutor, 
totally inappropriate.

There are a number of allegations that both Horacio and Carlos 
Vignali were involved in illegal drug trafficking.

 There are allegations that, in addition to his son, 
Horacio Vignali was involved in illegal drug trafficking, and 
that Carlos Vignali was involved in drug trafficking far beyond 
the conduct that led to his conviction in Minnesota. DEA 
reports documenting these allegations include the following 
statements:

        ``[Horacio Vignali] negotiated with ATF agents to sell 
        a machine gun and stated to them that he had also 
        smuggled heroin into the United States utilizing 
        automobiles.''

        ``[Redacted] has also purchased cocaine from Carlos 
        Vignali Jr. of Los Angeles . . . Vignali's father 
        Carlos Vignali aka `pops' owns a body shop, at 1260 
        Figueroa and is the source of supply for his son.''

        ``Carlos Horatio Vignali's role in [George Torres' drug 
        dealing] organization is relatively unknown at this 
        time. It is believed that Vignali functions as a 
        financial partner in the organization.''

 These DEA reports are corroborated by law 
enforcement personnel who indicate that they had received 
information indicating that both Horacio and Carlos Vignali 
were involved in large-scale drug trafficking. These charges 
have never been formally made in court or substantiated by 
physical evidence. However, the mere existence of such 
allegations should have precluded senior law enforcement and 
political officials from supporting a commutation for Carlos 
Vignali on the strength of his father's reputation. 
Nonetheless, it appears that no one checked with the DEA prior 
to granting the commutation.

Hugh Rodham provided false and misleading information to the 
White House in support of the Vignali commutation.

 Hugh Rodham was paid $204,200 for his work on the 
Vignali commutation. It appears that, in return for this money, 
he worked part-time for two months gathering materials in 
support of Vignali's case and making telephone calls to White 
House staff. It appears that Rodham's payment in the Vignali 
matter was contingent upon his success, as he received the 
$200,000 payment on January 24, 2001, after President Clinton 
granted clemency to Vignali.

 Rodham repeatedly provided false information during 
his communications with the White House. First, and most 
importantly, Rodham told Bruce Lindsey that the trial attorney 
who prosecuted Vignali supported the commutation. This was 
completely false. Second, Rodham told Lindsey that Vignali was 
a first-time offender when, in fact, he had two prior 
convictions and two other arrests. Rodham also told Lindsey 
that Vignali ``did not play a major role in the offense'' when, 
in fact, Vignali was a major source of cocaine for the 
Minnesota drug-dealing ring at issue in his case.

Hugh Rodham told the White House that First Lady Hillary Rodham 
Clinton was aware of his lobbying efforts and that the Vignali 
commutation was ``very important'' to her.

 Hugh Rodham told White House staff that the Vignali 
commutation was ``very important to him and the First Lady as 
well as others.'' This statement is confirmed by the 
independent recollection of the White House staffer who spoke 
to Rodham as well as the note that she took contemporaneously. 
Rodham's statement raises two possibilities: first, that the 
First Lady was aware of and approved of Hugh Rodham's lobbying 
efforts; or, second, that Hugh Rodham was lying to White House 
staff regarding the First Lady's knowledge of his efforts.

The White House sought the opinion of powerful Los Angeles 
political figures, but failed to consult with the prosecutors 
or judge who understood the Vignali case.

 White House staff engaged in telephone conversations 
with a number of outside individuals regarding the Vignali 
case--Hugh Rodham, Lee Baca, and Alejandro Mayorkas, none of 
whom knew very much about the Vignali case. It appears that key 
White House staff gave great weight to the input provided by 
Rodham, Baca, and Mayorkas, even though they knew little about 
the case and had mixed motives.

 White House staff failed to reach out to the 
prosecutors who had convicted Vignali or the judge who 
sentenced him. White House staff justified their failure to 
take this simple action by concluding that they knew that the 
prosecutors and judge would object, so there was no need to 
speak to them. However, if the White House had spoken to Todd 
Jones, Denise Reilly, Andrew Dunne, or Judge David Doty, they 
would have learned that Carlos Vignali: (1) was not a small-
time drug dealer; (2) was unrepentant about his criminal 
activity; and (3) never cooperated with law enforcement by 
telling them who supplied him cocaine.

The White House ignored the strenuous objections to the Vignali 
commutation that were lodged by the Pardon Attorney.

 The Pardon Attorney provided the White House with a 
report that contained his recommendation against granting the 
Vignali commutation. This report contained a number of powerful 
arguments against the commutation, which were apparently 
ignored by the White House. The existence of the Pardon 
Attorney's report means that the White House cannot claim that 
it was totally unaware that Vignali's arguments were completely 
false. The White House knew that the Vignali clemency petition 
had no merit, yet decided to grant the commutation anyway. 
President Clinton's decision raises questions about why the 
Vignali commutation was granted.

Rodham has apparently misled the public about returning to the 
Vignalis those fees he received in connection with the clemency 
and ignored former President and Senator Clinton's request that 
he do so.

 On February 21, 2001, at the request of former 
President Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rodham 
promised to return to Horacio Vignali the legal fees he 
received in connection with the Vignali clemency. But, as of 
June 2001, Rodham had apparently returned only about $50,000 of 
the money that Horacio Vignali paid him. Rodham's attorney has 
confirmed to Committee staff that Rodham has not returned any 
additional amounts and has no plans to return the remaining 
$154,000.

HUGH RODHAM'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE BRASWELL PARDON

Glenn Braswell was under investigation by multiple federal 
agencies and several state attorneys general when the pardon 
was granted.

 Over the past two decades, Braswell has created a 
dietary supplement empire using false advertising to mislead 
consumers. After serving time in prison for mail fraud and tax 
evasion in 1983, Braswell has continued to defraud consumers 
about the benefits of his herbal remedies. In addition to 
facing numerous lawsuits, Braswell's companies have been 
investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Trade 
Commission, Food and Drug Administration, and Better Business 
Bureau.

 Unsurprisingly, Braswell was under another criminal 
investigation by federal prosecutors for a massive tax evasion 
and money-laundering scheme when he was pardoned. Braswell's 
petition bypassed the traditional route through the Justice 
Department and went directly to the White House. If the FBI had 
conducted a background investigation instead of the White 
House, Braswell's petition would have been rejected quickly.

Braswell paid Hugh Rodham $230,000 for successfully obtaining 
the pardon.

 Braswell hired Rodham to support his pardon petition 
for $230,000. For this price, Rodham claims he forwarded a 
letter of support for Braswell to the White House Counsel's 
Office and made a follow-up inquiry. According to Rodham, these 
two actions were the extent of his role in the Braswell pardon. 
Rodham refunded the $230,000 to Braswell after facing 
widespread criticism from the media and members of both 
political parties.

HUGH RODHAM'S EFFORTS TO OBTAIN CLEMENCY FOR THE LUMS

Gene and Nora Lum, prominent Democratic contributors and 
fundraisers, were convicted of making illegal conduit 
contributions and tax offenses.

 In 1997, the Lums pleaded guilty to making $50,000 
in illegal conduit contributions to the DNC. They were 
sentenced to home detention, confinement in a halfway house and 
a $30,000 fine. In August 1998, Gene Lum pleaded guilty to tax 
fraud for filing tax returns claiming more than $7.1 million in 
false deductions and was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

The Lums attempted to obtain executive clemency through Hugh 
Rodham.

 Hugh Rodham lobbied the White House as part of the 
Lums' efforts but failed to secure them a grant of clemency. In 
December 2000, Nora Lum called one of her husband's criminal 
attorneys and asked him to send various documents to Hugh 
Rodham at the White House. He did so. In early January 2001, 
Rodham called Gene Lum's attorney again and asked him to resend 
those documents directly to, among others, Meredith Cabe, an 
associate White House counsel responsible for clemency matters. 
Subsequently, Rodham telephoned Cabe and discussed the merits 
of the Lums' pardon request. Cabe then told White House Counsel 
Beth Nolan and Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey about 
her discussion with Rodham. Both told Cabe that the Lums were 
not going to receive clemency.

The Lums and Hugh Rodham have refused to cooperate with the 
Committee's investigation.

 Gene and Nora Lum have refused to cooperate with the 
Committee's investigation. The Lums' daughter, Nicole (with 
whom Hugh Rodham apparently had some sort of business 
relationship), has likewise declined to be interviewed by the 
Committee. Hugh Rodham has also refused to cooperate with the 
Committee's request for an interview. Therefore, the Committee 
is unable to obtain a full understanding of the Lums' efforts 
to obtain executive clemency and Rodham's role in those 
efforts.

INTRODUCTION

    Unlike Roger Clinton, Hugh Rodham was highly successful in 
leveraging his relationship with the President and First Lady 
into lucrative work lobbying for grants of clemency. The 
Committee is aware of three cases in which Hugh Rodham lobbied 
the White House for grants of executive clemency: Carlos 
Vignali, Glenn Braswell, and Gene and Nora Lum. Rodham was 
successful in two of these cases and was paid over $430,000 for 
his work.
    Simply put, Rodham inappropriately used his access to the 
White House to lobby for grants of clemency, which were not 
deserved and would not have been granted but for his 
intervention. Carlos Vignali was a supplier of cocaine to a 
major drug-dealing ring in Minnesota who never admitted his 
guilt or cooperated with law enforcement. Yet, because of Hugh 
Rodham's efforts, he had his sentence cut from 15 to 5 years. 
Glenn Braswell was a highly successful con artist who had his 
earlier fraud conviction erased despite that he was under 
active investigation for tax fraud at the time of the pardon. 
The fact that Vignali and Braswell received clemency from 
President Clinton through the efforts of Hugh Rodham undermines 
public confidence in the President's exercise of the clemency 
power and in the equality of our laws.

I. THE CARLOS VIGNALI COMMUTATION

A. The Case Against Carlos Vignali

    On December 20, 1993, a federal grand jury in Minnesota 
issued a 34-count indictment against 30 defendants. The 
indictment resulted from the largest drug investigation in 
Minnesota history.\1\ According to the indictment, Carlos 
Vignali and his co-defendants sent large quantities of cocaine 
to Minnesota by mail from California, converted it to crack, 
and distributed it quickly on the street.\2\ Vignali was 
indicted on one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine; two 
counts of using facilities in interstate commerce with the 
intent to promote a business enterprise involving narcotics; 
and one count of illegally using a communication facility to 
facilitate the distribution of cocaine.\3\ According to the 
government, Vignali and his associates sold a kilogram of crack 
a day as late as November 1993.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Superceding Indictment, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 30, 
1993) (Exhibit 1). See also Drug Ring Case Wrapped up with 2 Convicted, 
1 Acquitted, Star Trib. (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Dec. 13, 1994, at 2B.
    \2\ Id; Superceding Indictment, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 30, 
1993) (Exhibit 1).
    \3\ Id.
    \4\ Drug Ring Case Wrapped up with 2 Convicted, 1 Acquitted, Star 
Trib. (Minneapolis-St. Paul), Dec. 13, 1994, at 2B.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The investigation that resulted in Vignali's conviction 
began locally with a probe of Gerald and Shirley Williams, who 
were suspected of distributing cocaine.\5\ As the scope of the 
investigation expanded, Minneapolis narcotics authorities 
obtained the assistance of federal law enforcement agencies.\6\ 
Based on information obtained from confidential informants and 
other sources, authorities initiated a court-ordered wiretap of 
several residential and cellular telephones to monitor calls to 
and from Gerald Williams regarding cocaine distribution.\7\ 
Many of the intercepted conversations to and from Williams' 
residential and cellular telephones involved coded language and 
had to be interpreted by investigating officers.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ Telephone Interview with Tony Adams, Officer, Minneapolis 
Police Department, 4th Precinct, Narcotics Division (Mar. 27, 2001).
    \6\ Id.
    \7\ Presentence Investigation, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 1994) at 
para. 33 (Exhibit 2) (incorporated into Judgment in a Criminal Case as 
finding of fact).
    \8\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the course of its wiretap surveillance, authorities 
intercepted telephone conversations between Vignali and others 
during which cocaine shipments to Minnesota were discussed.\9\ 
Authorities ultimately learned that Williams' original supplier 
of cocaine in California was Dale Evans, who in turn obtained 
his supply from Jonathan Gray and, later, Carlos Vignali.\10\ 
The evidence obtained in the investigation indicated a broad 
level of involvement by Vignali in a multi-state conspiracy to 
distribute cocaine.\11\ In that context, authorities discovered 
that, in October 1993, Vignali sold a substantial quantity of 
cocaine to Todd Hopson in Los Angeles for distribution in the 
Minnesota area \12\ and supplied an additional six kilograms of 
cocaine to Minnesota-area distributors through use of the mails 
and the telephone.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\ Id.
    \10\ Id. at para. 31.
    \11\ Id. at para. 30, 31, 42, 45, 46, 49, 57, 58, 59, 66, 67, 68, 
71. See also Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 1001) (describing 
evidence supporting finding of Vignali's broad level of involvement in 
conspiracy). Before leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office, Jones obtained, 
as the lead AUSA in the Vignali investigation, the court orders for the 
wiretaps; represented the Government at suppression hearings; and 
presented the case to the grand jury. In 1998, Jones returned as the 
U.S. Attorney for the U.S. District of Minnesota.
    \12\ Presentence Investigation, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 1994) at 
para. 68 (Exhibit 2) (incorporated into Judgment in a Criminal Case as 
finding of fact).
    \13\ Id. at para. 42.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 9, 1993, Minnesota law enforcement executed 
warrants on several individuals involved in the drug 
conspiracy, including Dale Evans.\14\ Within Evans' home and 
vehicles, law enforcement found an AK-47 assault rifle and 
ammunition, a Desert Eagle pistol and ammunition, a Smith and 
Wesson 9 millimeter pistol and loaded magazine, a bag 
containing marijuana, pagers, addresses of other co-
conspirators, pictures of him and some of the other co-
conspirators target-shooting in California, and various other 
items.\15\ Searches and arrests of other co-conspirators 
likewise revealed large amounts of cash, cocaine and other 
contraband, drug paraphernalia, guns, and ammunition.\16\ As a 
result of these searches and arrests and with the assistance of 
Los Angeles law enforcement, Carlos Vignali was arrested in Los 
Angeles on May 6, 1994,\17\ and extradited to Minnesota for 
trial.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\ Id. at para. 85, 87.
    \15\ Id. at para. 87.
    \16\ Id. at para. 85-101. See also Telephone Interview with Tony 
Adams, Officer, Minneapolis Police Department, 4th Precinct, Narcotics 
Division (Mar. 27, 2001).
    \17\ Evans immediately cooperated with law enforcement. Id. He told 
DEA that he worked for Vignali, a.k.a., ``C-Low'' and identified him 
with a still-shot photograph of Vignali's appearance in a rap video.
    \18\ Presentence Investigation, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 1994) at 
para. 102 (Exhibit 2). When he was arrested, Vignali stated that he 
knew Gray but had not seen him for about a year; that Gray introduced 
him to Evans, who was interested in possibly buying his townhouse; and 
that no one had ever referred to him as ``C-Low.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Vignali's trial began on October 27, 1994. In his opening 
statement to the jury, Vignali's defense attorney, Danny Davis, 
repeatedly characterized the alleged drug conspiracy as ``a 
black drug network'':

        [T]he indictment that His Honor read for you--it is a 
        sensitive suggestion about the evidence in this case--
        and I do it with complete deference to what the court 
        suggested earlier about drugs, and our sensitivities, 
        about race, and our sensitivities--but this conspiracy, 
        the evidence will show, really comes down to a black 
        drug dealing network. One by one those drug dealers, 
        that the prosecution has found it necessary to come in 
        and put on as witnesses, will make clear this is a 
        nationwide black drug-dealing network. You can't get 
        around it. Disabuse yourself that I am prejudiced when 
        I say that. It is a fact. My client is not [black].\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Oct. 27, 1994) 
at 113-14.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Counsel for the co-defendants thereupon moved for a mistrial:

        Mr. Fenster [Counsel for Melvin Campbell]: [I]t is 
        offensive, what he is doing, and I think that just 
        because he is a defense counsel doesn't excuse him from 
        this kind of offensive behavior, and I think the 
        court--I don't know about a mistrial, maybe that is not 
        appropriate--I am not quite sure what to do, but I 
        think I will move for a mistrial. I think that kind of 
        presentation to the jury is so offensive to the fabric 
        of our law that it is impossible for the jury to now be 
        able to have a fair trial when he's painted the other 
        defendants in a black drug-dealing network. Certainly 
        the prosecution would have a mistrial if they did that.

        Mr. Cascarano [Counsel for Todd Hopson]: I join in that 
        motion.

        Mr. Gray [Counsel for Claude Oliver Phillips]: I join 
        in that motion and, if the court doesn't grant it, I 
        move to strike every word that Mr. Davis has said about 
        a black drug network around the nation. And, if he says 
        it again, I ask he be jailed. It is the worst conduct I 
        have seen by a defense lawyer in twenty-four years.

        Mr. Cascarano: Your Honor, [what] Mr. Davis has done is 
        paint not only the three black defendants as not 
        clothed with the presumption of innocence, but what he 
        has done is he has painted them guilty by virtue of 
        their skin color.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\ Id. at 115-16.

    The district court denied the motion for a mistrial. 
However, it did caution the jury that the defendants' race 
should play no role in its determination of their guilt or 
innocence.\21\ Even though the court did not grant a mistrial, 
Vignali's crude effort to play the race card against his 
codefendants is highly troubling. Vignali's conduct, through 
his counsel, is even more troubling when considered in light of 
the fact that one of his supporters later claimed, without any 
factual support, that Vignali was the victim of racial 
prejudice at trial.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\ On appeal, co-defendant Todd Hopson argued that those comments 
made by Vignali's attorney were so prejudicial that he was entitled to 
a new trial. U.S. v. Williams, 97 F.3d 240, 244 (8th Cir. 1996). 
However, the appellate court found that Hopson failed to show 
prejudice. In particular, the court observed that the jury's verdict 
indicated that it declined any invitation to use race as a proxy for 
guilt. In support of that view, the court cited the jury's acquittal of 
co-defendant Claude Phillips, an African-American, and its conviction 
of Vignali, a Hispanic, on three of four counts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At Vignali's trial, the government presented compelling 
evidence showing that he conspired to traffic cocaine, aided 
and abetted the mailing of at least two packages of cocaine 
from California to Minnesota, and used the telephone to 
facilitate the sale of cocaine. That evidence included the 
testimony of various co-conspirators, including Dale Evans, 
Gerald Williams, and Ronald Nunn. Evans testified that, 
beginning in March 1993, he bought cocaine from Jonathan Gray 
and typically mailed that cocaine to Gerald Williams in 
Minnesota for distribution.\22\ Evans also testified that Gray 
informed him in 1993 that he was obtaining his cocaine from 
Vignali.\23\ Evans first met Vignali sometime during the summer 
of 1993 when they discussed distributing cocaine and agreed on 
prices.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 16, 1994) 
at 86.
    \23\ Id. at 100.
    \24\ Id. at 101.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Evans also testified that Todd Hopson, one of the 
Minneapolis-based cocaine distributors, flew to Los Angeles 
around October 20, 1993, and met with Evans and Vignali, and 
Vignali agreed to sell Hopson cocaine.\25\ Hopson, Evans, and a 
friend of Evans then followed Vignali to an East Los Angeles 
apartment where Hopson bought between $36,000 and $70,000 of 
cocaine from Vignali.\26\ Evans testified that prior to leaving 
Los Angeles for Minnesota, he made arrangements with Carlos 
Vignali and Jonathan Gray to have an additional six kilograms 
of cocaine sent to the residence of Todd Hopson's relative in 
Minnesota.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\ Id. at 119.
    \26\ Id. at 120-21.
    \27\ Id. at 137-43. Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 
Nov. 17, 1994) at 10-12 (Evans testifying that he planned with Ronald 
Nunn to pick up Hopson and collect a parcel mailed by Vignali at the 
residence of Hopson's relative in Egan, Minnesota).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 21, 1993, officers conducted surveillance on 
Evans, Ronald Nunn, and Todd Hopson.\28\ In the course of that 
surveillance, officers observed Ronald Nunn picking up Evans at 
Gerald Williams' apartment in Minneapolis.\29\ Nunn and Evans 
then drove to Hopson's home in Apple Valley, Minnesota, picked 
him up, and went to the drop-off location in Eagan, 
Minnesota.\30\ They picked up a large parcel and returned with 
it to the Apple Valley residence.\31\ Evans, Nunn, and Hopson 
detected police surveillance while driving and attempted 
evasive maneuvers.\32\ After Evans noticed that he was being 
tailed by undercover surveillance, he paged Vignali and Gray in 
Los Angeles from his cell phone with the emergency code 
``911.'' After he had managed to shake off his pursuers, Evans 
spoke with Gray and Vignali. They did not realize that their 
conversation was being monitored by the police. Evans told 
Vignali that ``[t]hey followed us all around.'' \33\ He further 
stated that ``[w]e had to shake them, get them off, one in 
front, back one came, parked down the street, waiting for us, 
dog, undercrizzovers.'' \34\ Evans testified that by 
``undercrizzovers'' he was referring to undercover police and 
was conveying that he was being chased by the police.\35\ Evans 
also told Vignali that he had to start ``busting u-turns'' to 
evade the police.\36\ In response to Evans' report, Vignali 
asked, ``Is that right? So everything's cool, though?'' \37\ 
Vignali later asked Evans, ``How long ago was this?'' \38\ As 
Evans was continuing to talk to Vignali about the 
``undercrizzovers,'' Vignali asked, ``Hey, but, you, you, you, 
um, you made everything straight, right?'' \39\ Vignali also 
asked, ``Don't you think you should be careful before you bust 
a move?'' \40\ Evans responded, ``that's what I'm doing.'' \41\ 
Vignali later paged Evans to determine whether Evans was 
arrested.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 14, 1994) 
at 184-86 (testimony of Officer Tony Adams).
    \29\ Id.
    \30\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 17, 1994) 
at 16 (testimony of Dale Evans).
    \31\ Id.
    \32\ Id. at 14 (Evans testifying that Nunn detected undercover 
police surveillance).
    \33\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 22, 1994) 
at 51 (testimony of Dale Evans); Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali 
(D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) at 204 (Vignali testifying that Evans paged 
him ``911'').
    \34\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 22, 1994) 
at 51.
    \35\ Id. at 51, 56 (testifying that he later described to Vignali, 
``They were following us, riding and shining'').
    \36\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) 
at 276.
    \37\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 22, 1994) 
at 51.
    \38\ Id. at 52.
    \39\ Id.
    \40\ Id. at 53.
    \41\ Id. at 54.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At trial, Vignali contended that, during his conversation 
with Evans, he did not know what Evans meant by 
``undercrizzovers'' and that he was disoriented because Evans' 
call had woken him.\42\ Vignali testified that he inferred only 
that ``something was wrong'' with a $20,000 ``business loan'' 
that he supplied to Jonathan Gray \43\ and that Evans either 
lost or someone stole that money.\44\ At trial, prosecutors 
pointed out that Vignali's defense made no sense. Though he 
claimed to be confused and ``freshly woken up,'' Vignali 
cautioned his friend to ``be careful'' and asked if 
``everything was cool.'' The trial transcript makes it clear 
that Vignali's defense was implausible:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) 
at 204.
    \43\ Vignali claimed that Gray had told him that he needed $20,000 
for a short-term business deal involving Stacy Augmon and several other 
professional basketball players. Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali 
(D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) at 248-49 (cross examination of Carlos 
Vignali); Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 1, 1994) 
at 39-40 (direct examination by Horacio Vignali); Transcript of Trial, 
U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 5, 1994) at 232 (closing argument of 
Carlos Vignali).
    According to Vignali, Gray assured him that he would get $25,000 
back in a matter of days and that, if the deal fell through, Gray would 
sell his Porsche to cover Vignali's losses. Transcript of Trial, U.S. 
v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) at 192-93. Vignali claimed that he 
had $20,000 in cash to loan Gray because he had saved his allowance 
since he was a young child and that the resulting stack of $100 bills, 
which he had ironed and carefully stacked in his closet, represented 
his ``life savings.'' See Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. 
Minn. Dec. 1, 1994) at 40-43. According to Vignali, Gray returned to 
him the $20,000 and an additional $5,000. See Transcript of Trial, U.S. 
v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) at 188. Also, according to Vignali, 
a second ``business loan'' was made when Vignali ``loaned'' Gray 
$25,000, which, with $5,000 interest, resulted in the $30,000 referred 
to on the tapes. Id. at 192-95, 273-75.
    \44\ Id. at 173, 204, 259; Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. 
Minn. Dec. 5, 1994) at 232.

        Dunne. I thought that you said, on direct examination, 
        that you didn't understand what he meant by under 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        crizzovers because you had just gotten up?

        Vignali. Yes, he, he had just woken me up with the 
        page, sir.

        Dunne. Okay. And you will agree with me, will you not, 
        that the time on this transcript [is 12:09 p.m.], 
        Minneapolis time? \45\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) 
at 269-70.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 * * *


        Dunne. You say, when Dale gives you the explanation 
        about the under crizzovers . . . ``Is that right?''

        Vignali. Yes.

        Dunne. Do you say--you don't say to him, ``Dale what 
        are you talking about?''

        Vignali. No.

        Dunne. Okay. And you don't say, ``I don't understand 
        this?''

        Vignali. No, sir. Bear in mind that I, I had just 
        freshly woken up.\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\ Id. at 273.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 * * *


        Dunne. Now you just said that the reason you called . . 
        . [was] that you were concerned about your money?

        Vignali. Yes sir.

        Dunne. Concerned enough to say Don't you think you 
        should be careful before you bust a move?

        Vignali. Yes sir.

        Dunne. But you don't ask him what the problem is?

        Vignali. I, I have a little understanding that 
        something wrong is going on, but I'm not exactly sure, 
        he didn't make it clear to me.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \47\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 30, 1994) 
at 10-11.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 * * *


        Dunne. What do you mean, something is going wrong?

        Vignali. I have no idea. I wasn't there.

        Dunne. What did you think was going wrong with your 
        25,000 dollars?

        Vignali. I have no idea.

        Dunne. You have no idea?

        Vignali. No, sir. I thought maybe, when he told me that 
        it was smashing, maybe something was following him 
        trying--maybe trying to carjack him or something, I 
        don't know--and then he was going to try to tell me, 
        Well I lost your money, or something. I was just 
        concerned about, in that aspect.\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\ Id. at 12-13.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 * * *


        Dunne. Now let me ask you, during this phone 
        conversation where you are concerned about Dale's 
        busting a move with your 25,000 dollars because someone 
        might carjack him. Do you ever tell Dale: Dale, maybe 
        you should call the police if someone is trying to 
        carjack you?

        Vignali. I, I didn't, again I will tell you I didn't 
        know exactly what was going on.

        Dunne. But you thought somebody was trying to carjack 
        him?

        Vignali. It was, it was the morning. I'm--my head--I 
        had just woken up, I wasn't--it--nothing was clear to 
        me, it never was clear to me.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\ Id. at 13.

    Evans testified that he returned to California the day 
after he escaped the undercover surveillance.\50\ But, before 
returning to California, he mailed himself the money he 
obtained for the cocaine.\51\ Evans told Vignali and Jonathan 
Gray in intercepted telephone conversations that he would meet 
with them to give them the money.\52\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \50\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 17, 1994) 
at 56.
    \51\ Id. at 56.
    \52\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 14, 1994) 
at 189, 193 (Officer Tony Adams); Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali 
(D. Minn. Nov. 17, 1994) at 56-58 (Evans testifying that he received 
money he mailed to himself in California and took about $80,000 or 
$90,000 to Vignali and Gray at Vignali's house).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 26, 1993, agents tapped into a phone 
conversation between Dale Evans and Gerald Williams regarding a 
new shipment of cocaine, six kilograms sent from Los Angeles to 
Ronald Nunn's Minnesota home.\53\ That shipment was intercepted 
by postal inspectors on or about October 28, 1993.\54\ On 
October 31, 1993, agents overheard a call between Williams, 
Evans, and Carlos Vignali regarding the October 26th shipment. 
Evans asked, ``Love [the cocaine shipment] never got there?'' 
\55\ Williams replied, ``no.'' \56\ Evans stated that they had 
called the post office to see if the package had arrived.\57\ 
At that point, Vignali, who was apparently with Evans, got on 
the telephone, said ``[t]his is the other end,'' and told 
Williams to send somebody into the post office to find out 
about the package.\58\ Vignali then said, ``We sent that right 
down that day'' and told Williams to get on ``good horns [a 
public telephone].'' \59\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali, (D. Minn. Nov. 22, 1994) 
at 70 (Evans); Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 17, 
1994) at 59-60, 64-66 (Evans testifying to conversation). See also 
Presentence Investigation, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 1994) at para. 57-
58 (Exhibit 2).
    \54\ Id. at para. 65.
    \55\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 22, 1994) 
at 69. ``Love'' was the code word used by the conspirators to refer to 
cocaine.
    \56\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 5, 1994) 
at 164. See also Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 
22, 1994) at 66-68.
    \57\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 5, 1994) 
at 164.
    \58\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 22, 1994) 
at 70-71.
    \59\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 17, 1994) 
at 68.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    During that conversation, a prospective 15-kilogram deal 
was discussed.\60\ The parties conferred about whether the 
quantity should be broken up into one or two kilogram shipments 
or shipped all at once.\61\ They also discussed the prospect 
that the buyers might not want to pay for the shipment up front 
before obtaining all of their cocaine.\62\ They further 
discussed having someone either drive the shipment from 
California to Minnesota or having someone come down from 
Minnesota to California.\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\ Id. at 75-76.
    \61\ Id. at 76.
    \62\ Id.
    \63\ Id. at 76-77. That transaction appears not to have been 
consummated.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In attempting to explain away these conversations, Vignali 
argued that the money referred to ``life savings'' he 
accumulated as a child from his father and ultimately ``lent'' 
to Jonathan Gray. Vignali supposedly lent Gray, who had been 
recently released from jail for a crime Vignali knew nothing 
about, a $20,000 ``business loan'' for a project which Vignali 
also knew nothing about. This part of Vignali's story met with 
skepticism from prosecutors:

        Dunne. Now when you gave Jonathon [Gray] this 20,000 
        dollars for this loan . . . for this business 
        proposition or whatever, did he show you any kind of 
        contract?

        Vignali. No, he didn't.

        Dunne. Did he show you any kind of paperwork about this 
        business proposition?

        Vignali. No, he did not.

        Dunne. Did he have you sign anything to validate that 
        you were giving him 20,000 dollars in cash?

        Vignali. No, sir.

                                 * * *


        Dunne. And do you recall how much money was in your 
        checking account at the time you had 20,000 dollars in 
        a safe in your house?

        Vignali. No, I never, I never kept much money . . . in 
        the bank, I'm sorry.

        Dunne. Well, when you have money in a bank you earn 
        interest. Right?

        Vignali. If it is in your savings account, yes.

        Dunne. Are you earning any interest on 20,000 dollars 
        in a safe in your house?

        Vignali. No, but it is in my possession.\64\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) 
at 240, 243.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 * * *


        Dunne. In 1992 you file an income tax return where you 
        declared your income was thirteen thousand nine hundred 
        nine dollars? . . . Now the 20,000 dollars that you had 
        in the closet at home, was that part of the thirteen 
        thousand dollars that you made in 1992?

        Vignali. That was part of the money that I had 
        accumulated over my lifetime.

        Dunne. Over your lifetime?

        Vignali. Absolutely.

        Dunne. Okay. And so all of your life savings you put in 
        . . . the closet in the townhome.\65\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\ Id. at 247-48.

    Rather than refute the facts prosecutors had marshaled 
against him, Vignali argued that the co-conspirators who 
cooperated with law enforcement made ``sweetheart'' deals for 
leniency. In particular, Vignali charged that Dale Evans had 
falsely identified Vignali as his source of cocaine in 
California because he wanted to conceal the involvement of his 
family members and close associates in criminal activity.\66\ 
Nonetheless, the testimony of the cooperating co-conspirators 
and law enforcement officers and the corroborating physical 
evidence was overwhelming. The combination of evidence admitted 
at trial showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Vignali supplied 
significant quantities of cocaine from California for 
distribution in Minnesota.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \66\ Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 5, 1994) 
at 232.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On December 12, 1994, Vignali was convicted of all the 
crimes for which he was indicted, except one count of using 
facilities in interstate commerce for the promotion of his drug 
operation.\67\ All but one of the original thirty defendants in 
the drug conspiracy either pleaded guilty or were 
convicted.\68\ At sentencing, the probation office for the 
federal district of Minnesota submitted to Judge David S. Doty 
a pre-sentence report. This report recommended an imprisonment 
range of 151 to 188 months for Vignali.\69\ In determining the 
proper sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines, Judge 
Doty found that Vignali was, in fact, a willing participant in 
the shipment of cocaine to Minnesota on October 20, 1993.\70\ 
Judge Doty also found that Vignali was accountable for 
distributing between five and fifteen kilograms of cocaine, 
rather than the fifteen to fifty kilograms suggested in the 
pre-sentence report.\71\ Vignali was sentenced to imprisonment 
for 175 months, about 15 years, on July 17, 1995.\72\ On 
January 20, 2001, President Clinton commuted Vignali's sentence 
to time served.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \67\ Judgment in a Criminal Case, U.S. v. Vignali (D.Minn. July 17, 
1995) (Exhibit 3).
    \68\ Id. Claude Phillips, 50, of Memphis, Tennessee, was acquitted 
of conspiring to distribute cocaine--the sole count against him in the 
superceding indictment. Also convicted was Todd Hopson, 23, of Apple 
Valley, Minnesota.
    \69\ Id.
    \70\ Id. Judge Doty also found that, in late October, co-defendant 
Todd Hopson traveled to California and co-defendant Dale Evans arranged 
for Hopson to buy additional quantities of cocaine from Vignali.
    \71\ Id. Judge Doty did so by referring to the testimony of co-
defendant Dale Evans. According to Evans, Vignali may have been the 
source of two packages of cocaine sent to Minnesota--one on October 21, 
1993, and the other on October 28, 1993. Judge Doty noted that the 
second package was, in fact, seized by law enforcement authorities and 
found to have contained six kilograms of cocaine, and Evans testified 
at trial that the first package contained four kilograms of cocaine. 
However, Judge Doty found Evans' testimony regarding the sale of 
additional quantities of cocaine by Vignali unpersuasive.
    \72\ Id. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Vignali's Efforts to Obtain Executive Clemency

    As described below, 55-year old Horacio Carlos Vignali, a 
successful Los Angeles-area businessman,\73\ apparently used 
every tool at his disposal to see that his son would not fully 
serve out his prison sentence. When attempts to have his son 
released before sentencing and on appeal failed, Horacio, who 
cultivated political contacts over time through substantial 
campaign donations, fundraising activity,\74\ and civic 
involvement, directed his considerable resources to a concerted 
effort to lobby President Clinton for an eleventh hour pardon 
of his son.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\ Horacio Vignali, who immigrated to the United States in 1962, 
has owned several businesses, including parking lots, body shops, and 
real estate. See Richard Serrano and Stephen Braun, Working the 
American System, L.A. Times (L.A. Times Mag.) Apr. 29, 2001, at 10. 
Apparently, Horacio Vignali has been financially successful and owns a 
$9 million home in Pacific Palisades that apparently once belonged to 
Sylvester Stallone. Id.
    \74\ For example, Horacio Vignali has hosted several political 
fundraisers, including outdoor barbecue fundraisers (for which he 
became locally well known), and provided food for various political 
events. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            1. Initial Efforts to Reduce Vignali's Sentence
                a. Contacts with Prosecutors in Minnesota
    Efforts to reduce Carlos Vignali's sentence apparently 
started soon after Vignali was convicted. According to 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunne, who prosecuted Vignali in 
Minneapolis, Vignali's political associates exerted ``a lot of 
influence'' in Vignali's sentencing.\75\ Dunne explained that 
he and the other prosecutors working on the case received 
periodic calls from state representatives in California on 
behalf of Carlos Vignali after the sentencing.\76\ 
Characterizing some of the calls as ``perhaps improper 
influence,'' Dunne recalled that ``they wanted to know: Is 
there anything that could be done to help reduce the 
sentence?'' \77\ Denise Reilly, the lead government prosecutor 
in the Vignali case, likewise confirmed that they ``would get 
calls from different people--politically placed'' throughout 
the course of the case.\78\ She characterized the input of 
those who called ``odd,'' stating ``I don't know how they do 
things in the rest of the country, but that isn't what we do in 
Minnesota.'' \79\ Judge Reilly described the incoming calls as 
inquiring, ``are you sure you know what you're doing?'' and 
``are you sure that you have the right person?'' \80\ Judge 
Reilly believed that the calls came from political officials in 
Los Angeles.\81\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\ Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, Drug Kingpin's Release 
Adds to Clemency Uproar, L.A. Times, Feb. 11, 2001, at A1.
    \76\ Id.
    \77\ Id.
    \78\ Telephone Interview with the Honorable Denise Reilly, Juvenile 
Court Judge, 4th Judicial District of Minnesota (Hennepin County) (May 
11, 2001).
    \79\ Id.
    \80\ Id.
    \81\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                b. Vignali's Appeal
    Carlos Vignali appealed his conviction immediately after 
the verdict. Vignali appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of 
Appeals, claiming juror misconduct, witness perjury, improper 
jury instruction, failure to grant a severance, and improper 
exclusion of defense evidence. A unanimous appellate court 
upheld Vignali's conviction, dismissing Vignali's arguments 
with minimal discussion.\82\ In affirming the district court's 
ruling, the appellate court agreed that ``there was 
considerable evidence of Vignali's guilt.'' \83\ Vignali 
subsequently sought habeas relief, asserting ineffectiveness of 
counsel.\84\ This claim was also denied.\85\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \82\ U.S. v. Williams, 97 F.3d 240 (8th Cir. 1996).
    \83\ Id. at 246.
    \84\ NARA Document Production at 2 (Report to the President on 
Proposed Denial of Executive Clemency for Carlos Anibal Vignali, Jr. 
(Jan. 12, 2001)) (Exhibit 4).
    \85\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                c. Letters to the White House and Justice
                    Department
    Horacio Vignali was hard at work gathering political 
support for his son's cause even before filing his son's 
clemency petition. Vignali had a number of prominent California 
politicians write letters to the White House in 1996, 
requesting a ``review'' of Carlos Vignali's case. At least five 
similarly phrased letters were sent to the White House ``Pardon 
Secretary'' requesting an examination of the case.\86\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \86\ There is no position of ``Pardon Secretary'' at the White 
House. It is not clear who received and reviewed these letters when 
they were sent to the White House in 1996. However, the letters were 
ultimately made part of the Vignali clemency file at the White House 
Counsel's Office years later in 2000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The first letter, dated May 24, 1996, from California 
Assembly Member Antonio Villaraigosa, stated, ``After reviewing 
Mr. Vignali's case, I am convinced that he has been falsely 
linked to a drug ring in Minneapolis, MN, and that his 
conviction is a product of `guilt by association,' among other 
factors.'' \87\ Villaraigosa noted that Carlos Vignali had no 
prior record and that Vignali's ``military academy schooling 
adds to his superior resume.'' \88\ Villaraigosa was apparently 
unaware that Vignali both had a prior criminal record and had 
dropped out of military school.\89\ Under those circumstances, 
Villaraigosa's characterization of Vignali's resume as 
``superior'' was, at best, hyperbole and, at worst, misleading. 
Villaraigosa has since admitted that he did not independently 
investigate the details of Carlos Vignali's case and regretted 
not having done so.\90\ Villaraigosa stated, ``I was convinced 
at the time . . . that his son was not a major player in this 
drug ring. I made a mistake in not investigating.'' \91\ 
Villaraigosa stated that he was moved by Horacio Vignali's 
emotional plea: ``It was a conversation between fathers as much 
as anything. . . . He was very distraught.'' \92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Antonio R. Villaraigosa, 
Assembly Member, Forty-Fifth District, California Legislative Assembly, 
to Pardon Secretary, the White House (May 24, 1996)) (Exhibit 5).
    \88\ Id.
    \89\ Presentence Investigation, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 1994) at 
para. 130 (Exhibit 2).
    \90\ Mateo Gold, Vignali Case Casts Shadow over Mayor's Race, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 28, 2001, at B1 (``I wrote that letter without talking to 
prosecutors on the other end.'').
    \91\ John Antczak, L.A. Heads Retract Support for Pardon, AP 
Online, Feb. 13, 2001; See also Mateo Gold and Larry B. Stammer, 2 City 
Leaders Say They Regret Helping Dealer; Clemency: Cardinal Mahony and 
Politician Villaraigosa Say They Shouldn't Have Written on Behalf of a 
Cocaine Convict They Had Never Even Met, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at 
A22.
    \92\ Matea Gold and Larry B. Stammer, 2 City Leaders Say They 
Regret Helping Dealer; Clemency: Cardinal Mahony and Politician 
Villaraigosa Say They Shouldn't Have Written on Behalf of a Cocaine 
Convict They Had Never Even Met, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A22. It 
is widely believed that Villaraigosa's involvement in the Vignali 
matter cost him his election as mayor of Los Angeles to Robert Hahn. 
See, e.g., Beth Barrett, Villaraigosa's Refusal to Hit Back Cost Him--
Rival's Attack Went Unanswered, Daily News of L.A., June 7, 2001, at 
N9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 28, 1996, Los Angeles City Councilman Richard 
Alatorre wrote in support of Vignali:

        It is difficult for me to understand why Mr. Vignali 
        received such an exorbitant sentence. It has been 
        pointed out that this may have been due to the fact 
        that his case was grouped together with a much larger 
        case involving the sale of drugs. Others contend that 
        it may have been because of his Latino background, 
        which I hope is not the case.\93\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \93\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Richard Alatorre, 
Councilman, Fourteenth District, L.A. City Council, to Pardon 
Secretary, the White House (May 28, 1996)) (Exhibit 6).

However, Alatorre was not fit to provide a character reference 
for Vignali or anyone else. Throughout his extensive career in 
Los Angeles politics, Alatorre was the subject of various 
public corruption investigations, recently pleaded guilty to 
federal tax evasion charges, and is himself a proven cocaine 
user.\94\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \94\ Department of Justice Press Release No. 01-062, Former Los 
Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre Charged with Tax Evasion for 
Failing to Report Bribes; Defendant Agrees to Plead Guilty to Felony 
Offense, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, 
Apr. 3, 2001. As a result of Alatorre's failing to report bribes, he 
evaded the payment of at least $12,970 in federal income tax. In 
addition to pleading guilty, Alatorre has agreed to file an amended 
1996 federal income tax return and to pay any penalties and interest 
assessed by the Internal Revenue Service.
    Less than a year after being elected to the Los Angeles City 
Council, Alatorre agreed to pay a record fine of more than $140,000 for 
improperly financing his campaign for City Council with money he raised 
as a state lawmaker. Rich Connell and Robert J. Lopez, Alatorre's Fall 
Belies Early Promise, Achievements, L.A. Times, Jan. 17, 1999, at Al. 
In 1988, Alatorre was fined for attempting to steer a $722,000 contract 
to The East Los Angeles Community Union (``TELACU''), a firm that was 
headed by a longtime friend. Earlier, TELACU had flown Alatorre to a 
meeting at Lake Tahoe and paid him a $1,000 speaking fee.
    When Alatorre was on the board of the Metropolitan Transportation 
Authority (``MTA''), which administers Los Angeles' multibillion-dollar 
subway and light rail system, Alatorre reportedly solicited 
contributions of more than $500,000 from organizations with interests 
before the MTA and the City Council for the benefit of a children's 
charity he helped create. Rich Connell and Robert J. Lopez, Alatorre's 
Fall Belies Early Promise, Achievements, L.A. Times, Jan. 17, 1999, at 
Al; Robert J. Lopez and Rich Connell, MTA Probes Charities Promoted by 
Alatorre, L.A. Times, July 7, 1997, at Al. That charity exclusively 
hired Eventually Yours, an event-planning firm founded by Alatorre's 
third wife, Angie, paying the firm tens of thousands of dollars in 
fees. Ultimately, Alatorre was fined $8,000 by state and local watchdog 
agencies for improperly intervening on behalf of the firm before a city 
licensing agency. That was the maximum fine allowed under state and 
local laws. Also, in the custody dispute described below, Alatorre 
conceded to receiving a $13,200 loan (without a repayment plan) from 
TELACU. At that time, Alatorre was also supporting a TELACU team for a 
$65 million MTA subway contract and a TELACU partnership for a $2 
million city development for a shopping center in his district.
    The investigation of Eventually Yours broadened an earlier probe of 
how another firm that was ranked last in competing for a lucrative 
subway contract, but which Alatorre backed, came to be recommended for 
that contract. Robert J. Lopez and Rich Connell, MTA Probes Charities 
Promoted by Alatorre, L.A. Times, July 7, 1997, at Al. That controversy 
resulted in the resignation of MTA's executive director, who selected 
the team after it made a $20,000 donation to a golf tournament 
benefiting a charity of which Alatorre was an honorary chairman.
    Eventually Yours was also investigated by the California Attorney 
General's Office for failing to account for hundreds of thousands of 
dollars in charitable donations it helped raise. Robert J. Lopez and 
Rich Connell, MTA Probes Charities Promoted by Alatorre, L.A. Times, 
July 7, 1997, at Al. After repeated press inquiries for information 
regarding the firm's five-year failure to account for certain 
contributions, the firm's attorney stated that the firm's forte was in 
staging ``spectacular'' events--not in faithfully tending to 
administrative matters. In the course of its investigation, the State 
Attorney General's Office received an inquiry from State Senator 
Richard Polanco, generally well known to be an Alatorre ally. According 
to a State Justice Department official, Polanco stated that he was 
concerned about the pressure being brought to bear on the firm. The 
official recounted that Polanco said he knew the people associated with 
Eventually Yours to be upstanding and asked why they were targeted. In 
response, Polanco was told that, because the investigation was pending, 
he could be given no information about the matter. Robert J. Lopez and 
Rich Connell, MTA Probes Charities Promoted by Alatorre, L.A. Times, 
July 7, 1997, at Al.
    In the course of a child custody dispute regarding his niece in 
which Alatorre's competency to care for the girl was in controversy, 
Superior Court Judge Henry W. Shatford found that ``Richard Alatorre's 
credibility has been totally shredded as to his profound declaration 
[that] he has been clean from the use of cocaine.'' Robert J. Lopez and 
Rich Connell, Judge Says Test Shows Alatorre Is Using Cocaine, L.A. 
Times, Sept. 30, 1998, at Al. Judge Shatford arrived at that finding 
after Alatorre failed a surprise courthouse drug test. The judge 
ordered the test after Alatorre repeatedly denied using cocaine with an 
individual on whose behalf he aggressively helped obtain government 
business. That individual was a waste hauler and demolition specialist 
who pleaded guilty to possessing and intending to distribute heroin. 
That individual has publicly stated that Alatorre has written him 
letters of reference for public contracts, ``attesting to my 
character.'' Alatorre publicly explained that the white powder his 
former executive secretary testified to having seen on his nostrils and 
clothes upon his return from business meetings might have been 
dandruff, denture powder, or Doritos. Alatorre's former secretary also 
testified that, following Alatorre's divorce from his second wife when 
Alatorre was facing financial problems, he began mysteriously producing 
wads of $100 bills. The secretary claimed that some of the money came 
after meetings with businessmen and other supporters. After reviewing 
financial records involving associates of Alatorre with government 
business interests, Judge Shatford noted that Alatorre had 
``questionable conflict of interest financial dealings as a city 
councilman.'' Id. Ultimately, Judge Shatford stripped Alatorre of 
guardianship of his niece and barred him from visiting with her until 
he successfully completed a drug detoxification program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 22, 1996, State Senator Richard Polanco requested 
that the White House ``carefully review'' the Vignali case and 
stated that Vignali had ``no prior criminal record.'' \95\ On 
July 26, 1996, Archbishop Roger Mahony, Cardinal of the 
Archdiocese of Los Angeles, wrote to ``add [his] voice 
recommending that all of the process, the law, and the facts in 
this case be reviewed fully to determine if justice has been 
achieved[.]'' \96\ Finally, Congressman Esteban Torres wrote to 
Attorney General Reno complaining that Vignali was not 
``individually tried before a jury of his peers'' and asking 
that the Attorney General ``carefully review'' Vignali's 
case.\97\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \95\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Richard Polanco, State 
Senator, Twenty-Second District, California Legislature, to Pardon 
Secretary, the White House (July 22, 1996)) (Exhibit 7).
    \96\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Archbishop Roger Mahony, 
Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, to Pardon Secretary, the 
White House (July 26, 1996)) (Exhibit 8).
    \97\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Esteban E. Torres, 
Member of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, to Janet Reno, U.S. 
Attorney General, Department of Justice (July 3, 1996)) (Exhibit 9). 
Congressman Torres also wrote to the warden of Vignali's prison in 
Colorado, asking that Vignali be transferred to a prison closer to his 
family in California. Stephen Braun, et. al, L.A. Politicians Urged 
Pardon of Cocaine Dealer, L.A. Times, Feb. 12, 2001, at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Even these initial stages of lobbying for Carlos Vignali 
involved a significant amount of misinformation. For example, 
Villaraigosa, Alatorre, Polanco, and Torres all claimed in 
their letters that Carlos Vignali had no prior criminal record. 
In fact, Vignali had two prior criminal convictions for 
fighting in a public place and vandalism and two prior arrests 
for reckless driving and inflicting corporal injury on a 
cohabitant.\98\ It is unclear whether the political figures 
writing on Vignali's behalf were aware of Vignali's criminal 
history and chose to disregard it or were misinformed by those 
lobbying on Vignali's behalf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \98\ Presentence Investigation, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 1994) at 
para. 117, 118 (Exhibit 2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre's claims of 
racial prejudice were similarly baseless. Alatorre claimed that 
``others contend'' Vignali's sentence was the result of racial 
prejudice. However, the Committee is unaware of any 
allegations, other than Alatorre's own letter, that Vignali 
received unfair treatment because of his ethnic background. In 
fact, Vignali's attorney argued at trial that Vignali was 
innocent because he was Hispanic and, therefore, could not have 
been part of the ``black drug dealing network'' of his 
codefendants. Indeed, Vignali's black codefendants appealed 
their convictions on the basis of the potentially prejudicial 
statements by Vignali's lawyer.\99\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \99\ U.S. v. Williams, 97 F.3d 240, 244 (8th Cir. 1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            2. Vignali's Clemency Petition
    After Carlos Vignali's appeal failed, the Vignali family 
began to pursue a grant of executive clemency to get him out of 
prison. Horacio Vignali initially reached out to Danny Davis, 
Carlos' criminal defense lawyer, to assist with efforts to 
obtain presidential clemency for him.\100\ However, Davis, who 
represented Carlos Vignali at trial in Minnesota, declined 
because he calculated the probability of obtaining clemency for 
Carlos as ``a snowball in Hades.'' \101\ Sometime thereafter, 
Horacio Vignali himself embarked on a campaign to obtain a 
presidential grant of clemency for his son.\102\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \100\ Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, Drug Kingpin's Release 
Adds to Clemency Uproar, L.A. Times, Feb. 11, 2001.
    \101\ Id.
    \102\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Carlos Vignali's clemency petition was filed with the 
Justice Department on August 24, 1998. Vignali's brief petition 
laid out his reasons for seeking a commutation:

        Vignali loaned $25,000 to a friend, which were [sic] 
        interpreted through slang taped telephone conversations 
        to involve the purchase of drugs. No drugs were seized 
        from Vignali, and he was convicted solely on the 
        testimony of a codefendant who received leniency. The 
        taped conversations did not mention either drugs or 
        money but were interpreted to have those subjects. 
        Vignali was tried in Minnesota where he had never been 
        or had any significant contacts with.

                                 * * *


        The sentence of 175 months for a 21 year old, first 
        time, nonviolent offender with no significant prior 
        record is unwarranted. Based solely on a $25,000 loan 
        to a friend, falsely interpreted telephone recordings, 
        and a codefendant's highly rewarded testimony, the 
        punishment does not fit the crime as proved. The 
        concept of holding minor players responsible for any 
        and all drugs of a conspiracy, irregardless of whether 
        that minor play [sic] had any knowledge or nexus with 
        those drugs, undermines the concept of fairness. No 
        drugs were introduced at trial as to Vignali, who never 
        visited Minneapolis where the case was tried, yet he 
        was held responsible for the drugs involved in a 30 
        defendant conspiracy, when he knew, at best, two 
        people. By the end of 1998, Vignali will have served, 
        with good time, almost five years, which is the 
        mandatory minimum for the drugs which could have been 
        bought with his loan.\103\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \103\ NARA Document Production (Petition for Commutation of 
Sentence ) (Exhibit 10).

The Vignali clemency petition was a poorly drafted rehash of 
issues that had been thoroughly addressed at trial and on 
appeal. Unlike most successful clemency petitions, Vignali's 
petition continued to maintain actual innocence. Yet, it failed 
to present any new facts suggesting Vignali was indeed 
innocent. These flaws were easily recognized when the petition 
was reviewed by individuals familiar with the Vignali case. In 
short, the pardon petition made a number of misleading 
statements, including the following:
    ``Vignali loaned $25,000 to a friend, which were [sic] 
interpreted through slang taped [sic] telephone conversations 
to involve the purchase of drugs.'' Vignali's claim that he was 
simply engaged in a business deal--not a drug deal--was 
thoroughly disproved at trial. As described above, literally 
dozens of pieces of evidence pointed to Vignali's involvement 
in a drug deal, including the testimony of his co-conspirators, 
wiretap evidence, and the actual proceeds of the drug deal. In 
the course of reviewing Vignali's clemency application, the 
White House was apparently not persuaded by Vignali's 
explanation at trial. On the last page of a copy of the report 
from the Justice Department's Pardon Attorney to President 
Clinton declining to recommend Vignali's application for 
clemency, a handwritten note by a White House staffer reads 
``Need to XC for Bruce [Lindsey]. Definitely isn't simply 
making a loan[.]'' \104\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \104\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Carlos Anibal Vignali, Jr.) at 4 
(Exhibit 4) (handwritten note on last page of Report).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ``[Vignali] was convicted solely on the testimony of a 
codefendant who received leniency.'' As described above, the 
testimony of several witnesses proved Vignali's role in the 
conspiracy. The testimony of those witnesses was consistent 
with and independently corroborated by wiretap interceptions of 
communications among the co-conspirators, search warrant 
evidence obtained from lawful searches of the co-defendant's 
homes and drug stash houses, and visual police surveillance. 
Thus, as the Eighth Circuit noted on direct appeal, Vignali's 
conviction was supported by considerable evidence.
    Agreements with defendants for cooperation in exchange for 
leniency at sentencing are a widely-used tool used by 
prosecutors to obtain evidence in criminal cases. Such 
agreements are contemplated by the Federal Sentencing 
Guidelines as a basis for downward departure from the 
applicable guideline imprisonment range. Moreover, Vignali's 
sentence was commuted to a term shorter than even those of 
defendants who actually cooperated with the Government. This 
makes the clemency decision particularly egregious.
    ``Vignali was tried in Minnesota where he had never been or 
had any significant contacts with.'' This is a red herring. 
Physical presence within the district where a criminal 
defendant is to be tried has never been held to be a 
requirement in determining venue. It is well-settled that the 
appropriate focus for determining venue is the place of the 
crime and that the inquiry into the place of the crime may 
yield more than one appropriate venue or even a venue in which 
the defendant has never set foot.\105\ In this case, Vignali 
was charged with, among other things, aiding and abetting the 
distribution of cocaine using facilities in interstate commerce 
and conspiring to distribute cocaine. As described above, the 
evidence that Vignali facilitated the interstate sale of 
cocaine and conspired in Los Angeles to distribute cocaine in 
Minnesota included testimony of cooperating co-defendants 
(which was corroborated by wiretapped communications among the 
co-conspirators), search warrant evidence, and visual police 
surveillance. That evidence amply showed an interdependence 
between Vignali and the Minnesota-area distributors. Therefore, 
under prevailing case law, venue in the U.S. District of 
Minnesota was clearly proper.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \105\ U.S. v. Cabrales, 524 U.S. 1 (1998); U.S. v. Stewart, 256 
F.3d 231 (4th Cir. 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ``The sentence of 175 months for a 21-year old, first time, 
nonviolent offender with no prior record is unwarranted.'' 
First, Vignali was not a ``first time, nonviolent offender.'' 
Vignali's counsel, Danny Davis, similarly misrepresented 
Vignali's criminal record when he told the jury in closing 
argument that Vignali had ``[n]o prior criminal record'' and 
cited ``his unblemished past.'' \106\ Hugh Rodham, who was 
retained to lobby the White House on Vignali's behalf, likewise 
misrepresented Vignali's criminal record to the White House 
Counsel's Office. In fact, Vignali had two prior convictions 
and arrests. He was convicted in 1989 for fighting in a public 
place and received a $183 fine. He was also convicted of 
vandalism to which he pleaded no contest and received 12 months 
probation and was ordered to pay restitution and complete 82 
hours of community service work. In the course of his arrest 
for vandalism, Vignali stated that he was associated with ``The 
87th Street West Side Boys'' in Los Angeles.\107\ According to 
police records, Vignali also admitted that he was a member of 
the West Covina Mob.\108\ In 1988, Vignali was arrested for 
reckless driving.\109\ Finally, Vignali was arrested in 1990 
for inflicting corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, but that 
case was dismissed. Second, Vignali's sentence reflected the 
gravity of his participation in a large-scale conspiracy in 
which he served as the source of cocaine. It also reflected 
both Vignali's obstruction of justice in lying about his actual 
role in the conspiracy before a judicial tribunal and his 
obdurate refusal to accept any responsibility for his crimes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \106\ See Transcript of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 5, 
1994) at 229-30.
    \107\ Presentence Investigation, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. 1994) at 
para. 117, 118 (Exhibit 2).
    \108\ Id. at para. 117-18.
    \109\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ``No drugs were introduced at trial as to Vignali[.]'' 
Although this assertion appears to be true from the trial 
record, the implication that Vignali's verdict is therefore 
unsupported by sufficient evidence is misleading. In fact, the 
appellate court noted that Vignali's verdict was well-supported 
by the evidence admitted at trial. In sentencing Vignali under 
the federal sentencing guidelines, the trial judge determined 
how much cocaine was attributable to Vignali. Because the 
parcels of cocaine attributable to Vignali had long since been 
distributed or consumed, the judge looked to the testimony of 
co-defendant Dale Evans. According to Evans, Vignali was the 
source of two packages of cocaine sent to Minnesota, one on 
October 21, 1993, and the other on or about October 28, 1993. 
The judge found that Evans' testimony as to the amount of 
cocaine in the second package was corroborated by the postal 
inspector's seizure of the parcel and finding that it contained 
six kilograms of cocaine. In contrast, the judge found that 
Evans' uncorroborated testimony as to additional quantities of 
cocaine was not reliable. Nonetheless, he found that Evans' 
testimony was credible so as to establish that Vignali 
knowingly participated in distributing cocaine on more than one 
occasion. Given the strength of the available evidence, the 
judge's determination that between five and fifteen kilograms 
of cocaine were attributable to Vignali did not require the 
physical presence of those parcels in court.
    ``[Vignali] was held responsible for the drugs involved in 
a 30 defendant [sic] conspiracy, when he knew, at best, two 
people.'' The evidence admitted at trial against Vignali showed 
that he was a member of a large-scale drug conspiracy and 
facilitated the distribution of cocaine in Minnesota by 
supplying Dale Evans, Gerald Williams, and Todd Hopson with 
significant quantities of cocaine from Los Angeles. As such, 
Evans' association with the other members of the conspiracy was 
irrelevant to any issue material to the government's case.
    The facts prove that every substantive assertion in 
Vignali's commutation petition was false and misleading. The 
petition could have been easily refuted by anyone with a basic 
familiarity with Vignali's underlying conviction. The question 
then is how the White House came to believe that Carlos Vignali 
deserved an executive grant of clemency.
            3. Supporters of Vignali's Clemency Petition
    In 2000, a number of prominent California politicians wrote 
to the White House in support of Vignali's release. Some were 
the same individuals who wrote to the White House on Vignali's 
behalf four years earlier. In addition, a number of prominent 
Californians called the White House and the Justice Department 
to further press their arguments. The distortions of fact in 
the Vignali clemency petition were repeated throughout the 
campaign to win Vignali's release.
                a. Letters of Support from Prominent California
                    Politicians
    It appears that from the earliest stages of his efforts to 
obtain a commutation for his son, Horacio Vignali attempted to 
enlist the support of various state and federal politicians and 
other prominent Californians. By the time that the White House 
reviewed Vignali's clemency petition in January 2001, seven 
different political figures had drafted letters to the White 
House or Justice Department in support of Carlos Vignali's 
petition. Horacio Vignali apparently used a number of different 
tactics to convince these individuals to sign onto his cause.
    Perhaps most significantly, Horacio Vignali became a major 
political contributor to top federal, state, and local 
officeholders after his son was convicted in 1994.\110\ This 
made him a well-known figure in the Los Angeles political 
community. Horacio Vignali contributed reportedly more than 
$160,000 to state and federal office holders after his son was 
incarcerated.\111\ He reportedly gave $25,000 to former 
Governor Pete Wilson in 1994 and held a fundraiser for Governor 
Gray Davis in 2000 that raised $75,000, including $25,900 from 
himself.\112\ Horacio Vignali also reportedly gave $23,500 to 
Davis before he became Governor \113\ and $35,000 to the 
Democratic Party.\114\ In addition, he made large contributions 
to a number of Los Angeles city and county officials and held 
fundraisers and other political events at his Los Angeles 
estate. While these contributions clearly gave Vignali the 
access he needed to make his case to key political figures, it 
is less clear why his case was received so positively. Most of 
the politicians who endorsed Carlos Vignali's clemency petition 
now admit that their actions were a mistake and claim that they 
took the positions they did out of a misplaced sympathy for a 
father who was deeply hurt by his son's imprisonment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \110\ Did Politics Sway Clinton to Free Drug Dealer, L.A. Times, 
Feb. 13, 2001, at A8.
    \111\ Mateo Gold and Larry B. Stammer, 2 City Leaders Say They 
Regret Helping Dealer; Clemency: Cardinal Mahony and Politician 
Villaraigosa Say They Shouldn't Have Written on Behalf of a Cocaine 
Convict They Had Never Even Met, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at 22; Rob 
Morse, Still Have Bill to Kick Around, S.F. Chron., Feb. 14, 2001, at 
A2; Dominic Berbeo, Hertzberg Had Part in Pardon Flap, Daily News of 
L.A. (Valley Edition) Feb. 16, 2001, at N1.
    \112\ Ted Rohrlich and Robert Lopez, Convict's Father a Wealthy, 
Well-Liked Mediator on the L.A. Political Scene; Profile: Horacio 
Carlos Vignali Has Donated Thousands Across Party Lines. He Puts 
Emphasis on Strengthening the Latino Community, Aides Say, L.A. Times, 
Feb. 13, 2001, at A23.
    \113\ Id.
    \114\ Dominic Berbeo, Hertzberg Had Part in Pardon Flap, Daily News 
of L.A. (Valley Edition) Feb. 16, 2001, at N1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    i. Congressman Xavier Becerra
    Congressman Becerra conceded that the Vignalis were not 
members of his constituency but that Horacio had been a friend 
and contributor of his for five years.\115\ The Vignalis have 
donated at least $11,000 to Becerra's political action 
committee, Leadership of Today and Tomorrow, between 1998 and 
2001,\116\ $2,475 to Becerra's congressional campaigns, and 
$3,500 to Becerra for the mayor's race.\117\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \115\ Id.
    \116\ Id. Dominic Berbeo, Hertzberg Had Part in Pardon Flap, Daily 
News of L.A. (Valley Edition) Feb. 16, 2001, at N1.
    \117\ Id. Mateo Gold and Larry B. Stammer, 2 City Leaders Say They 
Regret Helping Dealer; Clemency: Cardinal Mahony and Politician 
Villaraigosa Say They Shouldn't Have Written on Behalf of a Cocaine 
Convict They Had Never Even Met, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at 22.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Congressman Becerra has explained to the press that he was 
initially approached by Horacio Vignali and Congressman Esteban 
Torres, who wanted to see if Becerra could assist the Vignali 
family.\118\ After Horacio Vignali asked for Becerra's help, 
Becerra called the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of 
California, Alejandro Mayorkas.\119\ Becerra asked Mayorkas 
about the case and whether a commutation could be granted. 
Becerra recalls that Mayorkas looked into the case and called 
him back a few days later, telling him that the conviction was 
justified but that the sentence was too harsh.\120\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \118\ Id.
    \119\ Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued 
Clemency Case, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A1.
    \120\ Richard Serrano and Stephen Braun, Working the American 
System, L.A. Times, Apr. 29, 2001, at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Becerra also called Pardon Attorney Roger Adams about the 
Vignali case.\121\ Becerra apparently called Adams on October 
13, 1998, asking about the procedures followed by the Office of 
the Pardon Attorney. On October 14, 1998, Adams sent Becerra a 
lengthy letter explaining the conditions under which the Office 
of the Pardon Attorney considered cases for commutation. Adams 
noted that ``commutation of sentence is usually recommended 
only in exceptional circumstances, such as unwarranted 
disparity or severity of sentence, the rendering of an 
important service to the government not taken into account at 
sentencing, or terminal illness. . . . Since President Clinton 
has been in office, he has granted clemency only in three 
commutation cases.'' \122\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \121\ Interview with Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of 
Justice (Feb. 27, 2001). Mateo Gold and Larry B. Stammer, 2 City 
Leaders Say They Regret Helping Dealer; Clemency: Cardinal Mahony and 
Politician Villaraigosa Say They Shouldn't Have Written on Behalf of a 
Cocaine Convict They Had Never Even Met, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at 
A22.
    \122\ Justice Department Document Production Mayorkas 00029-30 
(Letter from Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice, to 
Xavier Becerra, Member of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives (Oct. 
14, 1998)) (Exhibit 11).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Becerra then drafted a letter to the White House in support 
of Vignali. On November 21, 2000, Becerra wrote the following 
to President Clinton:

        [I write to] add my voice to those recommending a full 
        evaluation of this case to determine if justice has 
        been achieved in the case of Mr. Vignali. . . . In the 
        interest of redeeming the life of a young man, I 
        respectfully urge you to weigh a few factors in Mr. 
        Vignali's favor. Prior to Mr. Vignali's conviction, he 
        had no criminal record whatsoever. Although convicted 
        of drug possession and the illegal sale of drug 
        narcotics, his parents remain highly disturbed by a 
        variety of factors in play at Carlos' trial and believe 
        that when Carlos loaned money to a friend he 
        unwittingly became connected with the convicted 
        narcotics ring. It is my understanding that neither 
        drugs nor drug money was found in his possession.\123\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \123\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Xavier Becerra, Member 
of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, to President William J. 
Clinton (Nov. 21, 2000)) (Exhibit 12).

After the commutation, Becerra explained his actions as 
follows: ``Knowing that justice is not yet blind to color in 
America and with time running out for the review of the Vignali 
case, I added my voice to that of other community leaders . . . 
asking for a review of the case.'' \124\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \124\ Mateo Gold and Larry B. Stammer, 2 City Leaders Say They 
Regret Helping Dealer; Clemency: Cardinal Mahony and Politician 
Villaraigosa Say They Shouldn't Have Written on Behalf of a Cocaine 
Convict They Had Never Even Met, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A22.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unlike others, Becerra has not apologized for his role in 
the Vignali case. Rather, he has steadfastly maintained that he 
did nothing wrong and did not even explicitly support Vignali's 
clemency grant. Becerra stated that he wrote the letters to 
urge the White House to make sure that justice had been served 
in the Vignali case.\125\ He has said that he never 
specifically asked President Clinton to commute Carlos 
Vignali's sentence, despite the fact that he wrote about the 
case and even called the White House on January 19, 2001, to 
see where the case stood.\126\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \125\ Richard Serrano and Stephen Braun, Working the System, L.A. 
Times, Apr. 29, 2001, at A1.
    \126\ Id. Congressman Becerra's position should be contrasted with 
that of former Associate White House Counsel Meredith Cabe, who 
characterized the congressman's involvement as ``advocacy.'' Interview 
with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the President, the 
White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    ii. Congressman Esteban Torres
    In addition to his 1996 letters to the Justice Department 
and the warden of Vignali's prison, Congressman Torres wrote to 
the White House in support of Vignali's clemency request. In an 
August 4, 1998, letter, Torres requested President Clinton's 
``careful review and immediate consideration of approval of his 
petition.'' \127\ It is unclear why Torres wrote on Vignali's 
behalf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \127\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Esteban E. Torres, 
Member of Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, to President William 
J. Clinton (Aug. 4, 1998)) (Exhibit 13).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Congressman Torres' son-in-law, James Casso, apparently 
became aware of the Vignali case while working as Congressman 
Torres' district director. More importantly, after Congressman 
Torres' retirement in 1999, Casso went into private practice as 
an attorney and apparently maintained his contacts with the 
Vignalis. In that capacity, Casso apparently played a 
significant role in introducing the Vignalis to Hugh Rodham. 
Unfortunately, Casso has declined to be interviewed by the 
Committee about this matter.
                    iii. State Senator Richard Polanco
    State Senator Richard Polanco, who wrote to the White House 
``Pardon Secretary'' in 1996, wrote to the President once again 
in 2000, specifically requesting a presidential grant of 
clemency for Vignali. Polanco, who received $20,000 in 
political contributions from Horacio Vignali throughout his 
career,\128\ sent his letter to the White House on December 6, 
2000. At the time, Polanco was the Chair of the Latino 
Legislative Caucus and purported to write on behalf of the 
Caucus:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \128\ Antonio Olivo and Tina Daunt, Speculation Swirls over Polanco 
Exit from Race, L.A. Times, Mar. 11, 2001, at B1.

        The Caucus respectfully requests you commute Mr. 
        Vignali's sentence and that he be released immediately. 
        We believe that Mr. Vignali was convicted despite the 
        fact that the criminal investigation did not reveal any 
        guns, drugs, or illegal money in Mr. Vignali's 
        possession. Mr. Vignali was a 22-year-old investor and 
        did not have any contacts demonstrating his involvement 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        in the sale or purchase of drugs.

                                 * * *


        Given the facts of the case and Mr. Vignali's conduct 
        during incarceration, the Caucus has investigated the 
        impact of Mr. Vignali's release. We are convinced that 
        Mr. Vignali will return to his family in southern 
        California. Mr. Vignali's family is a loving, embracing 
        family and is committed to supporting him.\129\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \129\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Senator Richard G. 
Polanco, Senate Majority Leader, California State Senate, to President 
William J. Clinton (Dec. 6, 2000)) (Exhibit 16).

    It is not clear whether Polanco obtained the approval of 
all 23 members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus 
before he wrote the President on their behalf. However, it is 
clear that Senator Polanco spread misleading information about 
Carlos Vignali in his letter. Rather than being an investor in 
a legitimate business enterprise, as suggested by Polanco, 
Vignali was convicted by a jury of providing large amounts of 
cocaine for distribution. His conviction was upheld by an 
appellate court. As for the lack of contacts demonstrating his 
involvement in the sale of drugs, as claimed by Polanco, 
Vignali's own words, captured on government wiretaps, show that 
he was part of a cocaine distribution conspiracy. Also of 
interest is Senator Polanco's claim that the Latino caucus had 
``investigated'' the impact of Vignali's release. Polanco has 
not made it clear what steps he took to investigate the impact 
of the commutation. Given the inaccuracies in Polanco's letter, 
the Caucus' investigation appears to have been incomplete or, 
more likely, nonexistent.
                    iv. Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria
                        Molina
    Unlike many other individuals who supported Vignali's bid 
for clemency, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina did 
not receive political contributions from Horacio Vignali. 
Rather, she came to know Horacio Vignali through her husband, 
Ron Martinez, a Los Angeles affirmative action consultant.\130\ 
After receiving a ``constant barrage of requests'' from Horacio 
to support his son's bid for clemency, Molina agreed to write 
such a letter.\131\ In her December 20, 2000, letter, Molina 
stated the following:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \130\ Ted Rohrlich, et. al, Molina, Hertzberg Wrote Letters for 
Convict's Pardon, L.A. Times, Feb. 16, 2001, at B1.
    \131\ Id.

        While I usually do not write letters in support of 
        individuals I do not know personally, I am making this 
        request because I do know Mr. Vignali's family and have 
        reviewed his case carefully. What I have learned is 
        that Mr. Vignali is a young man who made a mistake in 
        his life and is immensely remorseful and has 
        demonstrated a genuine interest to re-join the 
        community.'' \132\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \132\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Gloria Molina, 
Supervisor, 1st District, Board of Supervisors, County of Los Angeles, 
to President William J. Clinton (Dec. 20, 2001)) (Exhibit 18) (cover 
sheet reflecting transmission from Rodham to Lindsey, attached).

Molina also noted Vignali's good record in prison, where he 
excelled in his work details and received a GED.\133\ It is 
unclear how Molina came to the understanding that Carlos 
Vignali was ``immensely remorseful'' for his actions. To the 
contrary, Carlos and Horacio Vignali have steadily maintained 
Carlos' innocence ever since his arrest in 1994, and Carlos, to 
date, has never cooperated with authorities by revealing the 
identities of his narcotics sources.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \133\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Molina's ignorance of the most basic aspect of the Vignali 
case--whether Vignali claimed to be innocent or guilty of the 
charges--seriously undermines her claim to have ``reviewed his 
case carefully.'' It has also been reported that Molina shared 
her draft letter of support with Horacio Vignali before it was 
provided to the White House.\134\ Therefore, Horacio Vignali 
was aware of the inaccuracies in the letter and still allowed 
it to be presented to the White House. While Molina told 
Horacio Vignali that her letter ``probably would do no good,'' 
\135\ it was provided to Bruce Lindsey the day after it was 
written. Hugh Rodham faxed the Molina letter to Dawn Woollen, 
Bruce Lindsey's assistant, on December 21, 2000, with a 
notation stating, ``Dawn, enclosed please find a copy of the 
letter we discussed.'' \136\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \134\ Richard Serrano and Stephen Braun, Clinton Brother-in-Law Was 
Paid $400,000 to Help Win Clemencies, L.A. Times, Feb. 22, 2001, at A1.
    \135\ Ted Rohrlich, et. al, Molina, Hertzberg Wrote Letters for 
Convict's Pardon, L.A. Times, Feb. 16, 2001, at B1.
    \136\ NARA Document Production (Fax Cover Sheet, Dec. 21, 2000) 
(Exhibit 18) (all capitalization omitted).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Molina has not explicitly renounced her representations in 
the Vignali case. She has, however, said that she will not 
write any more letters like her Vignali letter because 
prosecutors and judges know the facts better than political 
figures like herself.\137\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \137\ Rene Sanchez, Powerful Supporters Retreat on Pardon, Wash. 
Post, Feb. 24, 2001, at A6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    v. Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike
                        Hernandez
    Horacio Vignali cultivated a close relationship with Los 
Angeles City Councilmember Mike Hernandez, beginning with 
Hernandez's 1993 campaign, to which Vignali contributed $2,500. 
Vignali also hosted a day-long retreat at his estate for 
Hernandez and his staff. On December 4, 2000, Hernandez wrote 
to the President, asking him to ``strongly consider commuting 
the sentence of Carlos A. Vignali[,] Jr.'' \138\ Hernandez 
argued, ``Although convicted, you will hopefully note, that no 
evidence was presented that Mr. Vignali had any involvement 
with illegal narcotics prior to the last three months leading 
up to his arrest.'' \139\ Hernandez also noted Vignali's 
accomplishments in prison, including receiving his GED and 
being named the prison's ``Student of the Year.'' \140\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \138\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Michael Hernandez, 
Councilman, First Council District, City of Los Angeles, to President 
William J. Clinton (Dec. 4, 2000)) (Exhibit 17). 
    \139\ Id.
    \140\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hernandez's arguments were completely irrelevant as to 
Vignali's suitability for a commutation. Even assuming 
Hernandez was correct that Vignali was a large-scale drug 
dealer for only three months, that hardly seems to be a 
powerful argument in favor of executive clemency. Moreover, 
Carlos Vignali was suspected by law enforcement authorities of 
trafficking narcotics well before he was actually 
arrested.\141\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \141\ See infra, section 4.a, California Law Enforcement and 
Political Officials Supported Vignali's Clemency Petition Despite 
Serious Allegations Against Horacio and Carlos Vignali--There Were 
Extensive Allegations of Drug Trafficking Against Horacio Vignali and 
Carlos Vignali.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The extent to which the White House relied on Hernandez's 
letter is unclear. It is certain, though, that Hernandez was a 
questionable source for any kind of character reference, 
especially one involving drug charges. In August 21, 1997, 
Hernandez was arrested and charged with one felony count of 
cocaine possession.\142\ He subsequently posted $10,000 bond 
and checked himself into a drug-treatment hospital.\143\ 
Hernandez ultimately pleaded guilty and entered a drug 
diversionary program, which allowed him to complete his 
rehabilitation and, upon successful completion, avoid the 
felony conviction.\144\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \142\ Beth Shuster, Back from the Bottom, L.A. Times Mag., Feb. 6, 
2000, at 10.
    \143\ Michael Fleeman, He Just Said Yes--An Interview with L.A. 
City Councilman Mike Hernandez, L.A. Times Mag., Jan. 1998.
    \144\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    vi. Cardinal Roger Mahony
    Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, also 
wrote in support of Vignali. Given that the Cardinal was not a 
political figure, his letter may have carried particular weight 
with the White House. However, Cardinal Mahony's December 11, 
2000, letter, like those of the political figures who supported 
the Vignali clemency, was misleading. Mahony stated that 
``prior to [Vignali's] conviction, he had no criminal record or 
arrests.'' \145\ As described above, this claim was false. 
Cardinal Mahony also stated that there were ``mitigating 
factors'' in the Vignali case, such as the fact that ``neither 
drugs nor drug money was found in Carlos Vignali Jr.'s 
possession.'' \146\ Cardinal Mahony's recitation of these 
irrelevant facts gives the impression that there was no 
evidence linking Vignali to narcotics trafficking. To the 
contrary, Vignali's fellow drug dealers testified against him, 
and his voice was captured on intercepted telephone 
conversations, discussing the shipment of cocaine to Minnesota.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \145\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Cardinal Roger Mahony, 
Archbishop of Los Angeles, to President William J. Clinton (Dec. 11, 
2000)) (Exhibit 19).
    \146\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Cardinal has issued a statement accepting some 
responsibility for his actions in the Vignali case. In 
particular, he claimed, ``The purpose of the letter was to seek 
a further review of the facts, the law and the processes used 
in his case. I made it clear that I was incapable of making a 
judgment about his guilt or innocence.'' \147\ However, the 
Cardinal's letter did no such thing and even concluded that 
``the granting of clemency to Carlos Vignali, Jr. is worthy of 
your consideration. His relatives, a very respected, active and 
well-known Latino family, are committed to assist Carlos, Jr. 
to again become a contributing member of society.'' After the 
public learned of Cardinal Mahony's role in the Vignali case, 
the Cardinal conceded, ``Regardless of the merits of the case, 
I made a serious mistake in writing to the president and I 
broke my decades-long practice of never sending a letter on 
behalf of any person whom I did not know personally. I 
apologize for not following my own principles in this matter.'' 
\148\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \147\ Mateo Gold and Larry B. Stammer, 2 City Leaders Say They 
Regret Helping Dealer; Clemency: Cardinal Mahony and Politician 
Villaraigosa Say They Shouldn't Have Written on Behalf of a Cocaine 
Convict They Had Never Even Met, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A22.
    \148\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                b. Support from Los Angeles County Sheriff
                    Lee Baca
    The White House has cited the support of Los Angeles County 
Sheriff Lee Baca, along with the support of U.S. Attorney 
Alejandro Mayorkas, as being instrumental to the President's 
decision to grant clemency to Carlos Vignali. However, Baca has 
publicly claimed that he did not support the grant of clemency 
for Vignali but, rather, believed that he should serve out his 
sentence.\149\ Yet, when Baca's actions in the Vignali case are 
carefully examined, it is clear that he was close to Horacio 
Vignali and took a number of actions that could be seen by the 
White House as supporting a grant of clemency for Carlos 
Vignali. In light of these facts, it is troubling that Baca has 
refused to acknowledge the effect of his actions in the Vignali 
matter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \149\ Beth Shuster, Baca Admits Call, Not Advocacy on Felon's 
Clemency, L.A. Times, Feb. 23, 2001, at A1; Telephone Interview with 
Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los Angeles (June 22, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    i. Sheriff Baca's Relationship with the
                        Vignalis
    Sheriff Baca met Horacio Vignali in 1991 through ``Latinos 
for Riordan,'' a group which supported the election of Richard 
Riordan as Mayor of Los Angeles.\150\ Beginning in 1993, Baca 
and Horacio Vignali began having one-on-one contacts, including 
lunches and other social meetings.\151\ Over the course of the 
years that followed, Baca became friends with Horacio Vignali 
and his wife, Luz, and even visited the Vignali home on five or 
six occasions.\152\ Vignali became a major supporter of Baca. 
Vignali contributed $11,000 to Baca's campaigns for Sheriff 
between 1994 and 2001.\153\ Vignali also hosted three 
fundraisers for Baca at the C&H Body Shop, each of which 
raised, according to Baca, between $60,000 and $70,000 for his 
campaign.\154\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \150\ Telephone Interview with Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los 
Angeles (June 22, 2001).
    \151\ Id.
    \152\ Id.
    \153\ Id.
    \154\ Id. As described below, the C&H Body Shop was the location of 
a heroin trafficking arrest and was alleged to be a location where cars 
were altered to facilitate the transportation of narcotics and drug 
proceeds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Baca first learned of Carlos Vignali's trouble with the law 
through his own deputies. In 1994, detectives from his 
narcotics bureau went to the C&H Body Shop to arrest Carlos 
Vignali.\155\ Vignali had already been indicted in Minnesota, 
and detectives had just been able to identify the person 
previously known as ``C-Low'' on surveillance tapes as Carlos 
Vignali. When the detectives went to the C&H Body Shop, Horacio 
told them that Carlos Vignali was not there.\156\ After the 
detectives left, Horacio called Baca to ask why the detectives 
had been there and why they were looking for his son.\157\ 
Baca, who at the time was Chief of Field Operations for Region 
II of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office,\158\ told 
Horacio that he would look into the matter.\159\ Baca called 
the detective who had been by the body shop and asked him why 
he was looking for Carlos Vignali.\160\ The detective explained 
the matter to Baca, and Baca called Horacio back and explained 
that he should have his son meet with detectives at the body 
shop. Baca made a point of not informing Horacio Vignali why 
investigators were looking for Carlos and simply told Horacio 
that he should have his son show up at the body shop to speak 
to investigators.\161\ Shortly thereafter, Carlos did show up 
at the body shop, and he was arrested.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \155\ Id.
    \156\ Id.
    \157\ Id.
    \158\ Baca was elected Sheriff in November 1998, shortly after the 
death of his predecessor, Sherman Block. Id.
    \159\ Id.
    \160\ Id.
    \161\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After Carlos Vignali's arrest, Baca's information about the 
Vignali case came from Horacio Vignali. Baca learned of Carlos' 
conviction, and Horacio often mentioned his son's plight to 
Baca when they spoke.\162\ Horacio Vignali told Baca that he 
believed his son was innocent and that he was spending 
significant sums in legal fees to appeal the conviction. Baca 
claims that he consistently believed that Carlos Vignali was 
guilty of the charges against him. He even claims to have had a 
heated discussion with Horacio Vignali where he told him that 
he believed that Carlos was guilty and responsible for his own 
predicament.\163\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \162\ Id.
    \163\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite Sheriff Baca's apparent lack of sympathy for 
Carlos' situation, Horacio Vignali continued to mention Carlos 
to Baca. In 1996, Horacio informed Baca that, because he was 
afraid of flying, he was having difficulty visiting his son in 
prison in Colorado.\164\ He asked for Baca's help in having 
Carlos moved to a prison closer to the Vignali's home in Los 
Angeles. On November 1, 1996, Baca wrote a letter to Vignali's 
probation officer. In that letter, Baca argued that more 
frequent contact between the Vignali family and Carlos would 
help the family and Carlos deal with his imprisonment. Baca 
also referred to Horacio Vignali's ``cooperation'' with the 
Sheriff's Department:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \164\ Id.

        Mr. Vignali, a highly respected businessman, cooperated 
        with the initial investigation that enabled Sheriff's 
        Department investigators to arrest his son for the 
        offenses he was convicted of. This level of cooperation 
        is rare and it reflects very highly on Mr. Vignali's 
        integrity. That is why I am writing this letter.\165\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \165\ Justice Department Document Production Mayorkas 00014 (Letter 
from Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los Angeles, to Joan L. White, U.S. 
Probation Officer (Nov. 1, 1996)) (Exhibit 20).

However, Baca's glowing reference to Horacio's role in Carlos' 
arrest is misleading. First, Baca seems to ignore the fact that 
Horacio's first response after being contacted by Sheriff's 
Department investigators who wanted to speak to his son was to 
call his friend who was a chief in the Sheriff's Department. If 
Horacio Vignali was truly trying to cooperate with law 
enforcement, he would have told his son to meet with 
investigators rather than contact his politically powerful 
friend at the Sheriff's Department. More importantly, Baca 
intentionally did not tell Horacio Vignali that the Sheriff's 
Department intended to arrest Carlos. Rather, he told him only 
that they wanted to speak to him. In this instance, it appears 
that Sheriff Baca behaved professionally and appropriately. 
However, to the extent that Baca's letter portrays a father who 
knowingly participated in arrangements to have his son 
arrested, it is misleading.
                    ii. Sheriff Baca's Involvement in the Vignali
                        Clemency Effort
    In late 2000, Horacio Vignali again approached Sheriff 
Baca, this time asking for his help in obtaining a grant of 
clemency for Carlos. Horacio asked Baca to write a letter to 
the President in support of the grant of clemency.\166\ Baca 
recalls that Horacio showed him other letters of support he had 
obtained, including one from Representative Becerra.\167\ 
Horacio also mentioned that Hugh Rodham was helping him obtain 
a grant of clemency.\168\ However, Baca declined to write any 
letter in support of Carlos Vignali's request for a 
commutation.\169\ Baca informed Committee staff that he told 
Horacio that his son was guilty and would not receive the 
commutation that he wanted.\170\ Baca believes that Horacio was 
upset by his refusal to write a letter regarding the 
commutation request.\171\ After Baca had spoken with Horacio 
Vignali, he began to reconsider his refusal to write a letter 
and decided that he could write a general letter in support of 
Horacio Vignali.\172\ He drafted such a letter, signed it, and 
gave the original to Horacio Vignali.\173\ The letter drafted 
by Baca did make a number of strong statements in support of 
Horacio Vignali, but it did not mention Carlos at all:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \166\ Telephone Interview with Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los 
Angeles (June 22, 2001).
    \167\ Id.
    \168\ Id.
    \169\ Id.
    \170\ Id.
    \171\ Id.
    \172\ Id.
    \173\ Id.

        This letter will confirm my support for Mr. Carlos 
        Vignali, Sr., as a man of the highest integrity and 
        trustworthiness. I have known Mr. Vignali for many 
        years and have witnessed his consistent support of law 
        enforcement and especially the policing effort of the 
        Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. . . . I am 
        confident that Mr. Vignali will fulfill any commitment 
        he makes regarding any matter entrusted to him.\174\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \174\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Leroy Baca, Sheriff, 
County of Los Angeles, to President William J. Clinton (Dec. 8, 2000)) 
(Exhibit 21).

After Horacio read the letter, he told Baca he did not believe 
he could use the letter because it did not help his son.\175\ 
Indeed, Baca believes his letter was never forwarded to the 
White House by Vignali.\176\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \175\ Telephone Interview with Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los 
Angeles (June 22, 2001).
    \176\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After giving his letter to Horacio Vignali, Sheriff Baca 
did not have any further involvement with the Vignali matter 
until he received a phone call from Hugh Rodham in early 
January 2001.\177\ Baca received a message from Rodham and 
called the number Rodham left, which turned out to be the 
number for the White House switchboard.\178\ Baca was then 
connected with Rodham.\179\ Rodham told Baca that he was 
working for Horacio Vignali and that Baca would be receiving a 
telephone call from the White House Counsel's Office regarding 
``Vignali, Sr.'' \180\ Baca claims he told Rodham he had 
nothing to say about Carlos Vignali and believed Carlos 
deserved whatever he got.\181\ But, Baca indicated he would 
discuss Horacio Vignali with the Counsel's Office.\182\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \177\ Id.
    \178\ Id.
    \179\ Id.
    \180\ Id.
    \181\ Id.
    \182\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Several days after Rodham's telephone call, Baca received a 
message from someone else at the White House.\183\ Baca 
returned the call to the man who had left the message, but, 
when he asked for that person, he was transferred to a woman 
who identified herself as an assistant of the man whom Baca 
sought.\184\ It appears this woman was Dawn Woollen, assistant 
to Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey.\185\ Woollen asked 
Baca what he could tell her about Horacio Vignali.\186\ Baca 
told Woollen ``nice things'' about Horacio Vignali, 
particularly, that he was deeply devoted to his family and very 
disturbed by his son's imprisonment.\187\ Woollen then asked 
Baca whether President Clinton should commute Carlos Vignali's 
prison sentence.\188\ According to Baca, he answered that he 
was not familiar with the facts of the case and that it was the 
President's decision to make.\189\ Woollen's recollection of 
the call is significantly different. She remembers that Baca 
``expressed support for the Vignali commutation'' but that he 
was uncomfortable writing a letter in support of Vignali.\190\ 
According to Baca, he had no further involvement in the Vignali 
case after his conversation with Woollen.\191\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \183\ Id.
    \184\ Id.
    \185\ Interview with Dawn Woollen, Administrative Assistant to 
Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, the White House (Sept. 25, 
2001).
    \186\ Telephone Interview with Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los 
Angeles (June 22, 2001).
    \187\ Id.
    \188\ Id.
    \189\ Id.
    \190\ Interview with Dawn Woollen, Administrative Assistant to 
Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, the White House (Sept. 25, 
2001).
    \191\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    iii. Conclusion
    Sheriff Baca has maintained that he never supported a grant 
of clemency for Carlos Vignali. Rather, Baca claims that he was 
opposed to the commutation. After the pardon was granted, he 
even made a public statement that ``I maintain and espouse a 
policy that those persons convicted of a crime should serve 
their full and complete sentence.'' \192\ Moreover, Sheriff 
Baca has taken the position that it was not reasonable for the 
White House to interpret his call as conveying support for the 
commutation of Carlos Vignali's sentence.\193\ However, if the 
account of Dawn Woollen, the assistant to Deputy White House 
Counsel Bruce Lindsey, is accurate, Sheriff Baca's position is 
disingenuous. In addition, Sheriff Baca took a number of 
discrete actions that assisted the effort to get Carlos Vignali 
out of prison. As such, the White House was justified in 
believing that Baca supported a grant of clemency for Vignali.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \192\ Beth Shuster, Baca Admits Call, Not Advocacy on Felon's 
Clemency, L.A. Times, Feb. 23, 2001 at A1.
    \193\ Telephone Interview with Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los 
Angeles (June 22, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Baca knew or should have known that his actions would 
assist the effort to get Carlos Vignali out of prison. When 
Baca wrote a letter to President Clinton vouching for Horacio 
Vignali's character, he knew that he was providing Vignali with 
a letter that would be used to get Carlos Vignali out of 
prison. When he agreed to speak with White House staff about 
Horacio Vignali, he knew the only reason the White House wanted 
to know about Horacio Vignali was that they were considering a 
grant of clemency for Carlos Vignali. It is difficult to 
conceive what Sheriff Baca thought he was doing if not 
assisting in the effort to get Carlos Vignali out of prison. 
Indeed, the White House interpreted Baca's call as supporting a 
grant of clemency to Carlos Vignali. It appears that Sheriff 
Baca's support for Vignali, together with that of U.S. Attorney 
Alejandro Mayorkas (as described below), was instrumental to 
the White House decision to grant clemency. At a Committee 
hearing, Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey stated that 
``the Los Angeles sheriff indicated he supported a 
commutation.'' Lindsey also stated that:

        I originally was probably negative. After the call from 
        the . . . sheriff of Los Angeles and our office reached 
        out to the U.S. attorney in Central District of 
        California and Los Angeles, I decided that given the 
        community support and their position that into the 
        county in which he would go to live, that they would be 
        aware of the crime situation, if you will, in their 
        community, and if they were not concerned about him 
        coming back to their community, that I thought it was 
        an appropriate commutation.\194\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \194\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Congress 387, 
426 (Mar. 1, 2001).

    Sheriff Baca has been careful to point out that in none of 
his calls or letters did he expressly advocate support for a 
grant of clemency for Carlos Vignali. Nonetheless, it is likely 
that the careful language in the Sheriff's letters resulted 
from his own desire to avoid creating evidence that he 
supported the commutation rather than from any lack of desire 
to help the Vignali family. Indeed, an internal White House 
note confirms this view. The note indicates that Hugh Rodham 
told Dawn Woollen that ``Sheriff Baca from LA is more than 
happy to speak with you about [Vignali] but is uncomfortable 
writing a letter offering his full support.'' \195\ This note 
supports the conclusion that Sheriff Baca's actions had the 
effect of assisting Horacio Vignali's effort to get his son out 
of prison but did not want to create a paper trail showing that 
he helped a convicted cocaine dealer get out of prison.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \195\ NARA Document Production (Note from Dawn Woollen, Secretary 
to Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, the White House, to Bruce 
Lindsey, Deputy White House Counsel, the White House) (Exhibit 22) 
(NARA cover sheet, reflecting that document came from Lindsey's file, 
attached).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The most troubling aspect of Sheriff Baca's involvement is 
his continued claims that he was opposed to the Vignali 
commutation. In his public statements since the commutation and 
his interview with Committee staff, Baca maintained that 
Vignali was guilty and should not have had his sentence 
commuted. Moreover, Sheriff Baca believes there was nothing 
inappropriate about his role in the Vignali matter. However, 
when Sheriff Baca was asked squarely by the White House 
Counsel's Office whether the President should commute Vignali's 
sentence, he said he was not familiar with the facts of the 
case and it was a decision that only the President could make. 
If Baca believed Vignali was guilty, as he claims to have, and 
was opposed to a commutation, he should have shared his views 
with the White House. It is troubling that Sheriff Baca would 
make self-serving statements to the Committee and the press 
that he was opposed to the commutation yet refused to express 
meaningful opposition when given the opportunity.
    Sheriff Baca's actions, which are troubling enough when 
viewed in isolation, are even more troubling when considered in 
light of two additional facts. First, Horacio Vignali was a 
major financial supporter of Baca's campaign, contributing 
$11,000 and raising tens of thousands of dollars more. Second, 
as discussed below, law enforcement knew of numerous 
allegations that Horacio Vignali himself was involved in 
trafficking cocaine. Thus, the top law enforcement officer in 
Los Angeles County supported a grant of clemency for a cocaine 
trafficker, the son of a major financial supporter and alleged 
narcotics trafficker. Sheriff Baca's involvement in the Vignali 
matter was inexcusable, especially for a law enforcement 
officer.
                c. Support from U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas
    As described below, the government attorneys who actually 
convicted Vignali vehemently opposed the Vignali commutation. 
In the face of this opposition, the intervention of Los 
Angeles-area U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas is particularly 
troubling. According to President Clinton's Deputy Counsel, 
Bruce Lindsey, the White House Counsel's Office ``reached out'' 
to Mayorkas regarding Vignali's clemency petition.\196\ Why the 
White House reached out to Mayorkas--who had no role in 
prosecuting Vignali in Minneapolis--rather than to the federal 
prosecutors who convicted Vignali is far from clear. Equally 
unclear and of greater concern is why the White House gave 
greater weight to Mayorkas' position than it did to the 
strenuous objections of the U.S. Attorney's Office that 
actually convicted Vignali and the Pardon Attorney's negative 
recommendation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \196\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Congress 426 
(Mar. 1, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    i. Mayorkas' Initial Exposure to the Vignali
                        Matter
    Sometime in the first quarter of 1999, Mayorkas received a 
call from Representative Xavier Becerra.\197\ During that 
conversation, Becerra informed Mayorkas that he had received 
information regarding an appeal of Carlos Vignali's 
conviction.\198\ Becerra sent Mayorkas a copy of the brief and 
asked him to look into the matter.\199\ Becerra attached to the 
brief a few letters submitted by various community leaders in 
support of Carlos Vignali's case.\200\ Because some of those 
letters were addressed to a ``Pardon Secretary,'' Mayorkas 
believes he assumed Carlos Vignali was seeking clemency.\201\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \197\ Telephone Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. 
Attorney for the Central District of California, Department of Justice 
(June 15, 2001).
    \198\ Id.
    \199\ Id. Mayorkas did not read the brief. After he received it, he 
put it in a file.
    \200\ Id.
    \201\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to Mayorkas, he treated Congressman Becerra's 
call as he did other inquiries from congressmen, which he 
received frequently.\202\ In this case, he consulted Minnesota 
U.S. Attorney Todd Jones, whose office tried the original case 
against Vignali.\203\ In fact, Mayorkas called Jones 
twice.\204\ In the first call, which occurred shortly after the 
inquiry from Representative Becerra, Mayorkas called Jones to 
obtain information on the status of Carlos Vignali's case.\205\ 
In response, Jones told Mayorkas that Carlos Vignali was ``a 
major player'' in drug trafficking.\206\ Jones told Mayorkas, 
``don't go there,'' when it came to Vignali--he was ``bad 
news.'' \207\ Jones also told Mayorkas he should call Assistant 
U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunne for further details regarding the 
case.\208\ Mayorkas noted that he might have asked Jones during 
the call if his office was interested in receiving Carlos 
Vignali's cooperation, but he does not specifically 
recall.\209\ Mayorkas relayed what he learned back to 
Congressman Becerra.\210\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \202\ Id.
    \203\ Id. Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for 
the District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001); Power 
of Words from High Places, L.A. Times, Feb. 14, 2001, at B10; Richard 
A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued Clemency Case, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A1. Jones believed that Mayorkas received 
inquiries from Horacio Vignali and was reaching out to Jones to look 
into Vignali's case. Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney 
for the District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001). 
Specifically, Jones opined, ``Why [was Mayorkas calling him]? Because 
the old man was calling him. Horacio was contacting [Mayorkas] and his 
U.S. Attorney's Office seeking support for a commutation.'' Richard A. 
Serrano and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued Clemency Case, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A1.
    \204\ Id. Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for 
the District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001); Power 
of Words from High Places, L.A. Times, Feb. 14, 2001, at B10; Richard 
A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued Clemency Case, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 13, 2001 at A1.
    \205\ Telephone Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. 
Attorney for the Central District of California, Department of Justice 
(June 15, 2001); Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for 
the District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001) (Jones 
noting that December 2, 1999, is the likely date); Richard A. Serrano 
and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued Clemency Case, L.A. Times, 
Feb. 13, 2001 at A1.
    \206\ Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2000).
    \207\ Id. In an Interview with Committee staff, Mayorkas denies 
having been told this. Also, Jones recalls that, during their 
discussion, Mayorkas referred to Horacio Vignali as a ``player in the 
community in Los Angeles, a pillar in the community.'' Richard A. 
Serrano and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued Clemency Case, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A1. See also Telephone Interview with Todd 
Jones, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Department of 
Justice (May 2, 2001) (describing that Mayorkas also told Jones that 
Horacio Vignali was ``a big guy in the community''). Mayorkas sternly 
denies ever having told Jones that Horacio Vignali was a pillar--or 
player--in the community. Telephone Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, 
former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, Department 
of Justice (June 15, 2001). According to Mayorkas, he just does not 
talk like that.
    \208\ Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001). Telephone 
Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. Attorney for the Central 
District of California, Department of Justice (June 15, 2001) (Mayorkas 
stating that he recalls having been referred to a line attorney as well 
as the general fact of their conversation but cannot specifically 
recall what was discussed).
    \209\ Id.
    \210\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jones also referred Mayorkas to a line attorney who handled 
the case for specifics regarding Carlos Vignali's 
conviction.\211\ As described below, that line attorney was 
probably Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunne, who tried the 
government's case with former Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise 
Reilly. Jones believes that Mayorkas may have followed up with 
Dunne. Mayorkas cannot recall whether he spoke with Dunne but 
believed that such a conversation may have taken place. 
Unfortunately, the Committee was unable to interview Dunne to 
confirm the conversation because of objections from the 
Department of Justice. However, if such a conversation took 
place, Mayorkas would have likely gained even more specific 
information regarding the scope of Vignali's criminal activity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \211\ Id. Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for 
the District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001) (Jones 
noting that he referred Mayorkas to Dunne ``for the gory details'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After looking into the Vignali case for Representative 
Becerra, Mayorkas actually met Horacio Vignali for the first 
time. Over the next two years, Mayorkas would see Horacio 
Vignali at various community events and at several one-on-one 
meetings with Vignali. When Mayorkas saw Horacio Vignali, 
Vignali would usually mention his son's case and tell Mayorkas 
how much anguish he was suffering as a result of his son's 
imprisonment. Sometime early in 1999, Horacio Vignali spoke to 
Mayorkas about executive clemency.\212\ Mayorkas told Horacio 
the only way he knew that Carlos' sentence could be reduced was 
for him to cooperate with law enforcement and receive a 
reduction of his sentence under Federal Rule of Criminal 
Procedure 35.\213\ Mayorkas does not recall Horacio Vignali's 
response to that comment.\214\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \212\ Telephone Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. 
Attorney for the Central District of California, Department of Justice 
(June 15, 2001).
    \213\ Id.
    \214\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    ii. Mayorkas Calls the White House
    In early January of 2001, Horacio Vignali called Mayorkas 
and, noting that a petition for the commutation of his son's 
sentence was pending, asked Mayorkas if he would call the White 
House.\215\ During that conversation, Horacio Vignali stated 
that other individuals, including Sheriff Baca and Archbishop 
Mahoney, had made similar communications.\216\ After Horacio 
Vignali's call, Mayorkas called the Justice Department to see 
if it was proper for him to contact the White House regarding a 
clemency matter in which he did not have a prosecutorial 
role.\217\ The Justice Department referred Mayorkas to the 
Office of the Pardon Attorney.\218\ Mayorkas spoke to an 
unidentified female lawyer at the Pardon Attorney's Office and 
asked if it was permissible for him to make a call to the White 
House regarding clemency.\219\ Mayorkas recalls telling the 
attorney that: (1) the case he intended to weigh in on was not 
in his jurisdiction; (2) he did not know the defendant but knew 
the parents; and (3) he intended only to speak to the integrity 
of the parents.\220\ According to Mayorkas, the Office of the 
Pardon Attorney permitted him to call the White House.\221\ 
Mayorkas noted that the attorney with whom he spoke did not 
express the slightest reservation about his intention to call 
the White House.\222\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \215\ Id.
    \216\ Id.
    \217\ Id.
    \218\ Id.
    \219\ Id.
    \220\ Id.
    \221\ Id.
    \222\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Before calling the White House, Mayorkas called Minnesota 
U.S. Attorney Todd Jones and informed him of his intention to 
weigh in with the White House.\223\ Indeed, Jones also recalls 
that Mayorkas initiated a second contact with him regarding the 
Carlos Vignali matter and specifically asked him how he came 
out on Vignali's clemency request.\224\ Jones told Mayorkas 
that he opposed commutation of Vignali's sentence.\225\ He did 
not recall whether Mayorkas indicated an intent to weigh in 
with the White House but noted that the conversation was very 
brief.\226\ Jones was troubled by Mayorkas' inquiries about the 
Vignali case and his subsequent lobbying on behalf of Vignali, 
believing that only the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case 
should have been involved in recommending a grant of clemency 
and that, if a prosecutor was not so involved, he should ``stay 
the hell away from it.'' \227\ Jones remarked that if the roles 
were reversed, he would never have weighed in on the Vignali 
case.\228\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \223\ Id.
    \224\ Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001). See also 
Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued Clemency 
Case, L.A. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A1.
    \225\ Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001); Telephone 
Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. Attorney for the Central 
District of California, Department of Justice (June 15, 2001).
    \226\ Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001); Richard A. 
Serrano and Stephen Braun, U.S. Attorney Pursued Clemency Case, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A1.
    \227\ Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney for the 
District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 2001).
    \228\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mayorkas then called Deputy White House Counsel Bruce 
Lindsey.\229\ Mayorkas believes that Horacio Vignali suggested 
he call Lindsey and provided him Lindsey's contact 
information.\230\ Mayorkas' call was returned by Associate 
White House Counsels Meredith Cabe and Eric Angel.\231\ 
Mayorkas indicated that Horacio Vignali had asked him to make 
the call.\232\ Also, according to Mayorkas, he told Cabe and 
Angel that he was not familiar with the facts of the case and 
did not know the defendant but knew the parents to be good 
people.\233\ In that conversation, he also noted that the 
federal prosecutors in Minnesota who convicted Vignali opposed 
commutation of Vignali's sentence.\234\ Mayorkas does not 
recall having expressed support for Vignali's clemency request 
during that call.\235\ But, he observed that the fact of his 
call conveyed support for the commutation, noting, ``By virtue 
of the fact of the phone call, there's no question that I 
conveyed support for the commutation.'' \236\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \229\ Id.
    \230\ Id.
    \231\ Id. See also Telephone Interview with Meredith Cabe, former 
Associate Counsel to the President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001) 
(corroborating that she and Angel spoke with Mayorkas); Interview with 
Eric Angel, Associate Counsel to the President, the White House (Mar. 
28, 2001) (corroborating that he and Cabe spoke with Mayorkas).
    \232\ Telephone Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. 
Attorney for the Central District of California, Department of Justice 
(June 15, 2001).
    \233\ Id.
    \234\ Id.
    \235\ Id.
    \236\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mayorkas' belief, in hindsight, that his call to the White 
House conveyed support for Vignali's clemency request was 
correct. Statements of various staff members at the White House 
involved in the clemency process indicated that they thought 
that Mayorkas supported the commutation. Chief of Staff John 
Podesta plainly believed that Mayorkas actually supported 
commutation of Vignali's sentence.\237\ Also, in testimony 
before the Committee, Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey 
stated that Mayorkas, ``while saying he didn't know much about 
the facts, felt like that the family was a good environment for 
which [sic] Mr. Vignali would get the proper supervision.'' 
\238\ Associate White House Counsel Meredith Cabe likewise 
confirmed that Mayorkas supported Vignali's petition, said he 
thought well of the Vignali family, and believed that the 
family would support Vignali after his release.\239\ According 
to Cabe, Mayorkas explained his views in the Vignali case by 
asserting that most drug sentences were disproportionate.\240\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \237\ Richard Serrano, L.A. Leaders' Support Cited in Decision to 
Free Vignali, L.A. Times, Feb. 19, 2001, at A1.
    \238\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Congress 387 
(Mar. 1, 2001).
    \239\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001); Interview with Eric Angel, 
former Associate Counsel to the President, the White House (Mar. 28, 
2001).
    \240\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001); Interview with Eric Angel, 
former Associate Counsel to the President, the White House (Mar. 28, 
2001). Mayorkas strenuously denies having said this. Telephone 
Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. Attorney for the Central 
District of California, Department of Justice (June 15, 2001). 
According to Mayorkas, he was never in a position to opine about the 
appropriateness of Vignali's sentence. And, if he was asked whether he 
holds that position now, the answer would be ``no.'' And, if one were 
to ask whether he espoused that position then, his answer would be 
``no.'' According to Mayorkas, ``Some sentences are too lenient. Others 
are too harsh.'' But, regarding the term ``disproportionate'' as 
relating to Vignali's sentence, Mayorkas stated that he ``never talked 
like that.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    iii. Conclusion
    Alejandro Mayorkas acted inappropriately in supporting the 
commutation of Carlos Vignali's sentence. Mayorkas made three 
major mistakes in the Vignali matter. First, Mayorkas should 
have realized that by calling the White House regarding Horacio 
Vignali, he was conveying support for the commutation of Carlos 
Vignali's sentence. Mayorkas now understands that his call had 
such an effect, but there is no reason that Mayorkas should not 
have understood this simple fact when he called. Mayorkas 
understood that the White House was considering the commutation 
of Vignali's sentence. He knew that the only reason the White 
House wanted to hear from him was so that it could evaluate 
whether to grant the commutation. Therefore, when he provided a 
positive character reference for Horacio Vignali, he should 
have known it would have a positive effect on Carlos Vignali's 
commutation petition.
    Second, just as Mayorkas should have known the effect of 
his actions, he should have known he was weighing in on a 
matter about which he knew very little. Mayorkas was aware that 
the prosecutor responsible for the Vignali case, Todd Jones, 
was against the commutation. In fact, he pointed this fact out 
to White House staff during his conversation with them. 
However, Mayorkas should have also known that, as a U.S. 
Attorney, he was providing confusing signals to the White 
House. He should have realized he was abusing his office by 
providing a character reference in a clemency case in which his 
office had no involvement.
    Finally, Mayorkas did not know Horacio Vignali well enough 
to offer a character reference. Mayorkas' relationship with 
Horacio Vignali consisted of seeing Vignali at various 
community events and only two or three one-on-one meetings for 
dinner or drinks. Mayorkas now concedes that he did not know 
Vignali well enough to call the White House and provide a 
character reference. But, Mayorkas' concession raises questions 
as to why he made the call at all. Three possibilities are 
apparent: first, that Mayorkas is simply an overly 
compassionate person who provided help when he should not have; 
second, that he wanted to help a well-connected, wealthy, and 
politically powerful businessman; and third, that he felt 
pressure to help Vignali because so many other Los Angeles 
political figures were helping him. Most likely, Mayorkas 
assisted Vignali out of a combination of all three of these 
factors.
    However, of all of the people who were involved in helping 
Carlos Vignali, Mayorkas appears to have most clearly accepted 
responsibility and apologized for his actions. After his 
involvement in the Vignali matter came to light, Mayorkas 
explained to his staff:

        I called the White House counsel's office and informed 
        the office that I was not familiar with the facts of 
        the case, that the prosecuting U.S. attorney was 
        against the commutation, and that I was calling because 
        I knew the parents to be upstanding people. I 
        understand that my telephone call conveyed support for 
        the commutation. In hindsight, it was a mistake for me 
        to place that call [to the White House] and I am sorry 
        that I did so. I allowed my compassion for the parents 
        to interfere with my judgment.'' \241\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \241\ U.S. Attorney Apologizes for Role in Vignali Pardon, City 
News Service, Feb. 23, 2001.

    In addition, the responsibility for the Vignali commutation 
cannot be pinned entirely on Mayorkas, as some White House 
staff have attempted to do. In various settings, White House 
staff have pointed to the involvement of Mayorkas, along with 
Sheriff Baca, as being central to the President's 
decisionmaking. Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey 
testified that he changed his mind regarding the Vignali matter 
after the White House heard from Baca and Mayorkas. Associate 
White House Counsel Meredith Cabe stated that Mayorkas' opinion 
was ``significant'' because ``very few prosecutors advocate 
clemency in any form.'' But, the White House was not justified 
in relying on the support offered by Baca or Mayorkas to any 
determinative extent. While they both made statements that 
amounted to support for Horacio Vignali, and as such, support 
for the commutation, they both also made it clear that they 
knew little about the case against Carlos Vignali. It appears 
that the White House was looking for reasons justifying 
commutation and as such used the support of Mayorkas and Baca 
as a fig leaf to rationalize its decision.
            4. California Law Enforcement and Political Officials 
                    Supported Vignali's Clemency Petition Despite 
                    Serious Allegations Against Horacio and Carlos 
                    Vignali
                a. There Were Extensive Allegations of Drug
                    Trafficking Against Both Horacio and Carlos
                    Vignali
    The Committee has learned of numerous allegations made to 
law enforcement as long as twenty-five years ago that Horacio 
Vignali was involved in cocaine trafficking and other illegal 
activity. The Committee has also discovered other allegations 
that Carlos Vignali was involved in drug sales even more 
extensive than those for which he was prosecuted in Minnesota. 
Although the information the Committee obtained consists solely 
of allegations against Horacio and Carlos Vignali, it is 
extremely significant. These reports allege long-term criminal 
activity on the part of Horacio Vignali, in particular, that 
Horacio Vignali was involved in the cocaine trade and was the 
source of supply for his son. Despite the availability of these 
reports to Sheriff Baca and U.S. Attorney Mayorkas, both chose 
not to exercise any due diligence before supporting Vignali's 
clemency plea. Although the White House and the Justice 
Department also had access to these reports, it apparently did 
not consider them. Even though these serious allegations have 
not been proven, the mere fact of their existence--without 
additional information--should have ruled out the possibility 
of executive clemency for Carlos Vignali. Instead, these 
reports were never considered.
    While the extensive DEA reports regarding Horacio and 
Carlos Vignali are being made public only now, it appears that 
suspicions about Horacio Vignali's role in drug trafficking 
were widespread and well-known to law enforcement. In 
interviews with Committee staff, Todd Jones and Denise Reilly, 
who were responsible for the investigation and prosecution of 
Carlos Vignali in Minnesota, both indicated they believed that 
Carlos Vignali was not the ``end of the line'' and were aware 
of the widespread belief among investigators that Horacio 
Vignali was involved in drug trafficking with his son.\242\ Law 
enforcement officers in California had even more detailed 
knowledge regarding allegations against Horacio and Carlos 
Vignali. According to a number of investigators working for 
local law enforcement in Southern California, both Horacio and 
Carlos Vignali had been the subjects of major drug 
investigations.\243\ As the following reports indicate, a 
number of law enforcement agencies apparently received credible 
information indicating that Carlos and Horacio Vignali were 
personally involved in large-scale drug dealing. These same 
agencies also received allegations indicating that the Vignalis 
were part of a large organized drug-dealing ring headed by 
George Torres.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \242\ Telephone Interview with the Honorable Denise Reilly, 
Juvenile Court Judge, 4th Judicial District of Minnesota (Hennepin 
County) (May 11, 2001); Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, U.S. 
Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Department of Justice (May 2, 
2000).
    \243\ In the course of its inquiry, the Committee has learned that 
while the White House was reviewing Carlos Vignali's clemency petition, 
Horacio Vignali and associates of Vignali were part of an Organized 
Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (``OCDETF'') investigation in the Los 
Angeles area. Various federal and California law enforcement agencies 
were investigating Carlos and Horacio Vignali's involvement in 
supplying narcotics before Carlos' conviction in Minneapolis and 
Horacio Vignali's personal and business relationship with alleged 
California drug figure George Torres. In this case, the OCDETF 
investigation was being conducted by the federal government in 
cooperation with various agencies of the California State Department of 
Justice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The first series of reports indicates that there were 
allegations of drug dealing against Horacio Vignali dating back 
to 1976. Among those reports is a DEA-6, an internal 
investigative report, which notes:

        [Horacio] Carlos VIGNALI \244\--Co-owner of the C & H 
        Auto Body Shop. His drug relationship with the 
        [redacted] Organization is also unknown. VIGNALI 
        however is a close personal friend of [redacted]. In 
        November, 1975, he negotiated with ATF Agents to sell a 
        machine gun and stated to them that he had also 
        smuggled heroin into the United States utilizing 
        automobiles. Since current intelligence indicates that 
        the remainder of the [redacted] Family in Los Angeles, 
        [redacted] are still dealing in multi-kilogram 
        quantities of heroin, it is recommended that a grand 
        jury probe be initiated with the object of eliminating 
        the remaining [redacted] Organization in Los Angeles by 
        obtaining indictments on [redacted] possibly other 
        members of their organization such as [redacted] 
        [Horacio] Carlos VIGNALI, [redacted].\245\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \244\ The DEA report refers to ``Carlos Vignali,'' but it clearly 
means Horacio Vignali, or ``Carlos Vignali, Sr.,'' as he is known to 
many of his associates. The date of birth listed for Vignali, as well 
as other personal information, appears to correspond to that of Horacio 
Vignali.
    \245\ DEA Document Production V-DEA-00009 (DEA-6-Internal 
Investigative Report (Feb. 18, 1976)) (Exhibit 23).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
A December 1, 1976, DEA report contains similar information:

        [Horacio] Carlos VIGNAL [sic]--the [redacted]s used his 
        body shop in Los Angeles to take heroin out of the 
        drive shafts of vehicles brought into the United States 
        from Mexico.\246\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \246\ DEA Document Production V-DEA-00012 (DEA-6-Internal 
Investigative Report (Dec. 1, 1976)) (Exhibit 24).

    A more recent set of DEA reports contains additional 
allegations that Horacio Vignali was involved in drug 
trafficking. They also show that the DEA received information 
indicating Horacio was involved in the drug trade with his son 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Carlos. A March 19, 1993, report states:

        The ``traps'', (hidden compartments) were built into 
        the truck through Carlos VIGNALI Jr. for $5,000.00. 
        [Redacted] has also purchased cocaine from Carlos 
        VIGNALI Jr. of Los Angeles. . . . VIGNALI's father 
        Carlos VIGNALI aka ``pops'' owns a body shop, at 1260 
        Figueroa and is the source of supply for his son.\247\ 
        . . . An associate of VIGNALI, Jorge TORRES aka ``G'' 
        owns [NUMBERO UNO] Market on Jefferson St. in Los 
        Angeles. Across the street from the Market, TORRES 
        maintains a warehouse full of luxury vehicles and 
        tractor trailers used to transport cocaine. The 
        warehouse also has a penthouse complete with a casino 
        where TORRES and VIGNALI gamble. . . . Cocaine 
        purchased from VIGNALI Jr. went to [redacted] of 
        Shreveport, La.\248\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \247\ This information casts the following testimony from Horacio 
Vignali at Carlos' trial in a new light: ``I treated him like my best 
friend, my partner. Anything he needed, I would always provide for him. 
Always. It doesn't matter. I always provided for him.'' See Transcript 
of Trial, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. Dec. 1, 1994) at 297.
    \248\ DEA Document Production (DEA-6-Internal Investigative Report 
(Mar. 19, 1993)) (Exhibit 25).

    The Committee has received additional information from a 
DEA report that it is not releasing because it could identify 
confidential informants.\249\ In this report, an informant 
alleges, based on his direct knowledge, that Carlos Vignali 
sold hundreds of kilograms of cocaine. Additionally, Vignali is 
alleged to have stated that he had ties to the relative of a 
prominent South American cocaine dealer. Like the other 
information in the DEA reports, these allegations are unproven.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \249\ See DEA Document Production V-DEA-00028-29 (DEA-6-Internal 
Investigative Report (Apr. 26, 1993)) (Exhibit 26). The Committee has 
reviewed an unredacted copy of this report but is not releasing it for 
the reason described above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to the reports listed above, two recent reports 
indicate that the DEA received information linking Horacio 
Vignali to a large-scale drug dealing organization headed by 
George Torres.\250\ A September 25, 1997, DEA Case Initiation 
Report describes the Torres organization:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \250\ At trial, Carlos Vignali conceded that Torres was a friend of 
the family and, in particular, of his father. Transcript of Trial, U.S. 
v. Vignali (D. Minn. Nov. 29, 1994) at 227. Carlos appears to have used 
a variation of George Torres' name--``Charles Torres''--when he 
subscribed for his pager. Because Carlos used that pager to communicate 
with his coconspirators in trafficking cocaine, he used ``Charles 
Torres'' to conceal his true identity.

        [Torres' organization] has been in existence since the 
        middle 1980's when it was closely associated with the 
        [redacted] family in their drug trafficking. By the 
        early 1990's this group were [sic] transporting 
        approximately 1,800 kilograms of cocaine into the Los 
        Angels [sic] area from Mexico. At that time they were 
        smuggling the cocaine using the [redacted] TORRES's 
        tractor-trailer trucks, concealing the drugs inside 
        laundry detergent and jalapeno chilli [sic] cans. 
        [Redacted.] Since that time TORRES has continued to be 
        involved in drug trafficking and information shows that 
        his organization supply [sic] various drug trafficking 
        organizations throughout the United States. TORRES' 
        organization has used illicit profits derived from drug 
        trafficking to buy legitimate businesses and properties 
        throughout Los Angels [sic] and southern California. . 
        . . Investigators believe that the organization uses 
        these businesses to laundry [sic] its drug 
        proceeds.\251\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \251\ DEA Document Production V-DEA-00110 (DEA Case Initiation 
Report (Sept. 25, 1997)) (Exhibit 27).

A September 16, 1998, DEA report about Torres reported the 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
following:

        To date, the investigation shows that the TORRES 
        organization is involved in the importation and 
        distribution of drugs throughout the United States. 
        Latest intelligence reveals that this group is 
        distributing approximately one hundred (100) kilograms 
        of cocaine per month. [Redacted.] George TORRES is the 
        head of this organization. TORRES' direct associates 
        include [redacted] Carlos Vignali. [Redacted] Carlos 
        Horatio [sic] VIGNALI's role in the organization is 
        relatively unknown at this time. It is believed that 
        VIGNALI functions as a financial partner in the 
        organization. VIGNALI has been involved in organizing 
        meetings between TORRES and individuals with extensive 
        criminal backgrounds.\252\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \252\ DEA Document Production (Case Initiation Report on the George 
Torres Cocaine Trafficking Organization, Sept. 16, 1998) (Exhibit 28).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The report goes on to describe the scope of Torres' activities:

        The TORRES organization has used its profits from drug 
        trafficking to purchase legitimate businesses and 
        properties throughout the Southern California area--The 
        grocery and wholesale business are cash intensive thus 
        making it easy to launder illicit funds through them. 
        In 1996, TORRES' businesses had sales of approximately 
        $50,000,000. Investigators believe that TORRES uses 
        these businesses, properties and vehicles to launder 
        his drug profits. Members of the TORRES organization 
        have been involved in various acts of violence. In 
        1996, TORRES was arrested for being a felon in 
        possession of a firearm. The Los Angeles Police 
        Department (LAPD) has named TORRES a suspect in two 
        murders. One involved a disgruntled employee and the 
        other involved the owner of a property adjacent to one 
        of TORRES' businesses. TORRES has been known to 
        intimidate and threaten others and in so doing likes to 
        portray himself as a Mafia member. He often uses his 
        associates to carry out these acts of 
        intimidation.\253\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \253\ Id.

This troubling report regarding Horacio Vignali and George 
Torres was received just one month after Carlos Vignali applied 
for executive clemency.
                b. The Extensive Allegations Against Horacio
                    and Carlos Vignali Were Never Considered by
                    Sheriff Baca, U.S. Attorney Mayorkas, or the
                    Clinton White House
    The allegations made against Horacio Vignali, Carlos 
Vignali, and George Torres are serious. However, with respect 
to the decision to commute the sentence of Carlos Vignali, the 
key fact is that these allegations existed, and none of the 
individuals involved in the clemency process conducted 
sufficient due diligence to find these reports. Both Sheriff 
Lee Baca and U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas, who made 
supportive calls to the White House on the Vignalis' behalf, 
had access to this information. In addition, the White House 
should have been provided with this information as part of the 
clemency process. However, it appears that Baca, Mayorkas, and 
the White House were all unaware of the extensive allegations 
against the Vignalis.
    Committee staff asked Sheriff Baca whether he was aware of 
any allegations that Horacio Vignali was involved in drug 
trafficking. Baca replied that he was not aware of any such 
allegations.\254\ Baca readily admitted that he would be the 
person to know if there were any such allegations against 
Vignali.\255\ Sheriff Baca was also asked if he was familiar 
with George Torres. He stated that he knew Torres and ``know[s] 
him to be a legitimate businessman.'' \256\ As he himself 
conceded, Sheriff Baca, the top law enforcement officer in Los 
Angeles County, should have known if a businessman of Horacio 
Vignali's or George Torres' caliber was alleged to have been 
involved in drug dealing.\257\ Therefore, it is troubling that 
Baca is completely unaware of the allegations against Vignali 
and Torres. It appears that rather than investigate these 
allegations against Horacio Vignali and close down what might 
have been a major conduit for drugs into the Los Angeles area, 
Sheriff Baca maintained a warm relationship with Vignali and 
vouched for him as a ``man of the highest integrity and 
trustworthiness.'' Indeed, Baca held three fundraisers at 
Vignali's C&H Body Shop, which itself was alleged to be a locus 
for unloading drugs and outfitting vehicles for smuggling 
drugs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \254\ Telephone Interview with Leroy Baca, Sheriff, County of Los 
Angeles (June 22, 2001).
    \255\ Id.
    \256\ Id.
    \257\ According to a November 10, 1992, DEA report, the gang 
enforcement unit at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department 
discovered that a vehicle used by Carlos Vignali was registered to a 
company that owned cars ``associated with various gangs.'' DEA Document 
Production V-DEA-00024 (DEA-6, Report of Investigation, ``Carlos Anibal 
Vignali,'' (Nov. 10, 1992)) (Exhibit 29). 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Committee staff also asked Alejandro Mayorkas whether he 
was aware of allegations that Horacio Vignali was involved in 
drug trafficking.\258\ Mayorkas expressed great surprise that 
Horacio Vignali was the subject of these kinds of 
allegations.\259\ When informed of the allegations, Mayorkas 
immediately stated that if he had been aware of the 
allegations, he would have ruled out any possibility of 
involvement in Carlos Vignali's clemency petition. Mayorkas 
also confirmed that it would not have mattered to him that the 
allegations against Horacio Vignali were not proven. Mayorkas 
stated that ``an allegation is enough--the world consists of 
the caught and the uncaught. Allegations alone would have 
eliminated the possibility [of my involvement].'' \260\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \258\ Telephone Interview with Alejandro Mayorkas, former U.S. 
Attorney for the Central District of California, Department of Justice 
(June 15, 2001).
    \259\ Id.
    \260\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mayorkas conceded that he did not exercise any due 
diligence regarding the Vignalis prior to his weighing in on 
the clemency proceedings with the White House.\261\ In other 
words, he did not consult his criminal chief or the head of his 
narcotics division at the Los Angeles-area U.S. Attorney's 
Office to determine whether his own office had an investigative 
or prosecutorial interest in the Vignalis, which might have 
conflicted with his assistance to the Vignalis.\262\ Mayorkas 
explained that his failure to conduct due diligence resulted 
from his belief that he was not supporting Carlos Vignali's 
clemency petition. Since he did not view himself as providing 
support for the grant of clemency, Mayorkas did not believe 
that he needed to investigate Vignali's background. However 
given what he knows in hindsight about the Vignalis and about 
how his call to the White House was interpreted by White House 
staff, Mayorkas conceded it was perhaps an error for him to 
have taken his involvement in the clemency proceedings so 
lightly.\263\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \261\ Id.
    \262\ Id.
    \263\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While Mayorkas' acceptance of responsibility is 
commendable, his actions in this matter remain less than 
commendable, especially for the top federal prosecutor in Los 
Angeles. Mayorkas has explained that his actions in this matter 
were motivated by his sympathy and compassion for a father who 
appeared to be distraught by the imprisonment of his son. 
Because he failed to conduct due diligence and look into 
Horacio Vignali's background before contacting the White House, 
Mayorkas ended up providing assistance to a man who was alleged 
to be a drug dealer and the source of cocaine for his son. Like 
Sheriff Baca, Mayorkas was a senior law enforcement official 
charged with protecting his communities. By becoming involved 
in the Vignali matter without being fully aware of the facts, 
both did the public a profound disservice to the rule of law.
    There is no indication that the White House was ever made 
aware of the additional allegations against Horacio and Carlos 
Vignali. Unlike many other last-minute pardons and 
commutations, the Vignali commutation was filed with and 
processed by the Justice Department. Although the Vignali 
petition was filed with the Justice Department in August 
1998,\264\ there is no indication that the Justice Department 
discovered these allegations against Horacio and Carlos Vignali 
during its background check. The memorandum prepared by the 
Pardon Attorney, Roger Adams, for President Clinton makes no 
mention of these allegations. There is also no indication that 
they were provided to the White House in any other form. 
However, it is possible that the White House would have learned 
about these allegations if it had reached out to the prosecutor 
who had tried Vignali's case or the judge who sentenced him. 
Rather, they reached out to Horacio Vignali's friends and 
associates in Los Angeles who knew little about the Vignali 
case but were ready to provide a favorable reference.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \264\ NARA Document Production (Petition for Commutation of 
Sentence) (Exhibit 10).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Therefore, the failure of the White House to receive this 
information appears to be the result of the skewed, ad hoc 
system set up by President Clinton to churn out pardons and 
commutations in the waning days of his presidency. This was a 
system that necessarily catered to the wealthy and the well-
connected. If White House staff had approached the Vignali 
matter in a deliberate manner and had spoken to the individuals 
who knew the most about Carlos Vignali's conviction, they 
likely would have learned this information. While it is not 
certain that this information regarding the drug dealing 
allegations against Horacio and Carlos Vignali would have 
changed President Clinton's mind, it clearly should have been 
considered.

C. The White House's Review of Vignali's Clemency Request

    Carlos Vignali's clemency petition was first filed with the 
Justice Department in August 1998, but it first came under 
serious consideration much later, in December 2000, when Hugh 
Rodham was hired by the Vignali family and approached the White 
House about a grant of clemency for Carlos Vignali. Rodham's 
contacts with the White House started a process culminating in 
the January 20, 2001, commutation of Vignali's sentence. The 
process by which the White House considered the Vignali 
petition was remarkable and disturbing for a number of reasons:

 Hugh Rodham made a number of misrepresentations to 
the White House regarding the Vignali matter. Nevertheless, the 
White House continued to rely on his word and granted the 
commutation he so desperately sought.

 The White House sought input from a number of 
Vignali's supporters yet never contacted the prosecutors who 
tried the Vignali case or the judge who sentenced him.

 The White House ignored the strenuous objections 
lodged by the Pardon Attorney who had considered the position 
of the prosecutors who tried the Vignali case.

 The White House apparently relied heavily on letters 
and statements of support by California politicians and law 
enforcement figures despite the fact that they either misstated 
the Vignali case or were completely unaware of the facts of the 
case.

 The White House has subsequently misstated the facts 
of Vignali's case in an attempt to justify the unjustifiable.
            1. Hugh Rodham's Hiring
    In connection with its investigation, the Committee 
requested that Hugh Rodham produce records to the Committee and 
participate in an interview with Committee staff. Rodham 
refused both requests, citing attorney-client privilege. Rodham 
made a blanket invocation of the privilege even though the 
privilege does not apply to the vast majority of Rodham's 
activities. For example, Rodham's contacts with third parties, 
like White House staff, are not covered by the attorney-client 
privilege. Therefore, by using the attorney-client privilege to 
avoid any inquiry from the Committee, Rodham is simply seeking 
to avoid questions about his activities rather than to protect 
any legitimately privileged information. Despite Rodham's 
unreasonable invocation of privilege, the Committee was able to 
piece together a number of Rodham's activities.
    It appears that the Vignalis hired Rodham late in 2000. 
According to Luis Valenzuela, a close friend of Horacio 
Vignali,\265\ James Casso, the son-in-law and former district 
director of former Congressman Esteban Torres, introduced 
Horacio Vignali to Rodham sometime around October 2000.\266\ At 
that time, Valenzuela attended a dinner at Barrangas restaurant 
in Los Angeles where he met with Horacio Vignali, Casso, 
Rodham, and three members of the Lum family.\267\ The Lums were 
seeking presidential pardons through Hugh Rodham at that time, 
and it is possible Rodham introduced the Lums to Horacio 
Vignali as a way of marketing his services. After dinner, the 
Lums left the restaurant, and Horacio Vignali discussed his 
son's clemency matter with Rodham.\268\ At that point, Horacio 
Vignali explained the background of his son's underlying 
conviction and provided Rodham with a binder of materials 
regarding his son.\269\ Rodham indicated that he would review 
the matter, ``make some calls,'' and get back to Horacio 
Vignali.\270\ For that initial consultation, Rodham charged 
Horacio Vignali $4,200.\271\ Valenzuela was not privy to any 
further meetings or discussions between Rodham and 
Vignali.\272\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \265\ Valenzuela is a Los Angeles-area real estate executive and a 
member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
    \266\ Telephone Interview with Luis Valenzuela, Vice President, NAI 
Capital Commercial Real Estate Services (Oct. 30, 2001). Presently, 
Casso, who served as Congressman Torres' district director until 
Torres' retirement in 1999 and unsuccessfully ran for Congress, is an 
attorney with the Los Angeles firm of Alavarez-Glasman & Colvin.
    \267\ Id. According to Valenzuela, Nora Lum, her sister, Kathy 
Nojima, and her daughter, Nickie, attended the dinner. Because Gene Lum 
was then in prison for a tax evasion conviction, he was apparently 
unable to attend the dinner. According to Valenzuela, Casso might have 
represented the Lums on various real estate matters. Gene and Nora Lum, 
who operated an Oklahoma natural-gas pipeline company, received 10-
month sentences after pleading guilty in October 1997 to funneling 
$50,000 in illegal contributions to the 1994 re-election campaign of 
Senator Edward Kennedy and to an unsuccessful congressional campaign in 
Oklahoma. Federal Document Clearing House, Department of Justice, New 
Jersey Attorney Sentenced in Campaign Finance Case, Oct. 12, 2000 
(summarizing Campaign Task Force prosecutions). They admitted making 
the donations through ``straw donors,'' including their daughter and 
Michael Brown, son of the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. The 
fundraisers gave Michael Brown thousands of dollars in shareholder fees 
and corporate perks, and Brown then gave the money to friends to give 
to Kennedy's re-election campaign.
    \268\ Telephone Interview with Luis Valenzuela, Vice President, NAI 
Capital Commercial Real Estate Services (Oct. 30, 2001).
    \269\ Id.
    \270\ Id.
    \271\ Id. See also City National Bank Document Production (Check 
from Horacio C. and Luz C. Vignali to Rodham & Fine, P.A. for $4,200.00 
(Nov. 22, 2000)) (Exhibit 30).
    \272\ Telephone Interview with Luis Valenzuela, Vice President, NAI 
Capital Commercial Real Estate Services (Oct. 30, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Due to the refusal of Horacio Vignali, Hugh Rodham, and 
James Casso to cooperate with the Committee, little is known 
about the agreement that was reached between Rodham and Vignali 
after the Barrangas dinner. What is clear is that Rodham agreed 
to help Carlos Vignali obtain a commutation from President 
Clinton, and that Horacio Vignali agreed to pay $200,000 to 
Rodham, contingent on Rodham's success in getting Carlos 
Vignali out of prison.
    Horacio Vignali paid Rodham on January 23, 2001, three days 
after Carlos Vignali received his commutation. Vignali's bank 
records make it appear that Vignali originally wrote a check 
for $200,000 to Rodham & Fine, Rodham's law firm, but then 
converted those funds into a cashier's check.\273\ That 
cashier's check was purchased by Maria Cisneros, the office 
manager for Horacio Vignali's Morvis Corvis Corporation.\274\ 
It is unknown whether Vignali altered his payment method at 
Rodham's request. Hugh Rodham deposited the funds on January 
24, 2001.\275\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \273\ See Turnberry Bank Document Production (Check from Horacio C. 
and Luz C. Vignali to Rodham & Fine for $200,000 (Jan. 23, 2001)) 
(Exhibit 31); City National Bank Document Production (Application for 
Cashier's Check (Jan. 23, 2001)) (Exhibit 32); First Union Document 
Production (Deposit Slip and Cashier's Check for $200,000 (Jan. 26, 
2001)) (Exhibit 33).
    \274\ See City National Bank Document Production (Application for 
Cashier's Check (Jan. 23, 2001)) (Exhibit 31); City National Bank 
Document Production (Morvis Corvis Business Account Agreement (Mar. 5, 
2001)) (Exhibit 34) (describing Maria Cisneros as ``office manager'').
    \275\ First Union Document Production (Deposit Slip and Cashier's 
Check for $200,000 (Jan. 26, 2001)) (Exhibit 33). In several contexts, 
Valenzuela appears to have been involved in funding Horacio Vignali's 
payment to Rodham. On January 12, 2001, Horacio Vignali wrote a check 
for $200,000 to City National Bank. On the memo of that check, Vignali 
noted ``CC: Luis Valenzuela.'' See City National Bank Document 
Production (Exhibit 35). In a separate transaction, on January 26, 
2001, a cashier's check for $200,000 was purchased, apparently on 
Horacio Vignali's behalf, and made payable to Luis Valenzuela. See City 
National Bank Document Production (Exhibit 36). It appears that the 
check was later endorsed by Cisneros and ultimately deposited into 
Horacio's personal account. Accordingly, it appears that Vignali 
contemplated paying Valenzuela but changed his mind. See City National 
Bank Document Production (Deposit Slip for $200,000 (Jan. 26, 2001)) 
(Exhibit 37). In an interview with Committee staff, Valenzuela did not 
know that his name had been put on the checks until after it was done 
and, in any case, never came into possession of any of the money. 
Telephone Interview with Luis Valenzuela, Vice President, NAI Capital 
Commercial Real Estate Services (Oct. 30, 2001). But, Valenzuela 
speculated that his name appeared on both instruments because Vignali 
probably intended for him to act as an escrow agent for the money if/
when Carlos Vignali was released. According to Valenzuela, this was 
probably done ``so the representation could be made to [Hugh Rodham] 
that the money was in escrow.'' Valenzuela believes that such a 
representation was made only because ``[Horacio] is a very cautious 
guy.'' Valenzuela believes that he was designated as an escrow agent 
without having been notified only because he and Horacio are ``like 
brothers.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By December 2000, Hugh Rodham was apparently actively 
working on Carlos Vignali's clemency petition. This is 
evidenced by a December 9, 2000, letter to Rodham wherein 
Horacio Vignali forwarded a number of letters of support for 
Carlos Vignali.\276\ The letter begins, ``[p]ursuant to your 
conversation with Jaime Casso, I am enclosing the testimonial 
letters I have been able to secure as of today.'' \277\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \276\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Horacio Vignali to Hugh 
Rodham (Dec. 9, 2000)) (Exhibit 14).
    \277\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            2. Hugh Rodham's Initial Approach to the White
                House
    In mid-December 2000, Rodham first approached Bruce Lindsey 
regarding the Vignali case. It appears that Lindsey was 
Rodham's main White House contact. Chief of Staff John Podesta 
testified that he did not know Hugh Rodham was advocating 
Carlos Vignali's petition. White House Counsel Beth Nolan 
equivocated about her knowledge of Hugh Rodham's involvement. 
Specifically, Nolan answered, ``I don't think I knew that, but 
I may have known that.'' \278\ Lindsey explained his 
interactions with Rodham in the Committee's March 1, 2001, 
hearing:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \278\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Congress 412 
(Mar. 1, 2001).

        Mr. Rodham called to ask me to take a look at a 
        commutation application for Carlos Vignali, indicated 
        that he was a first-time offender, that his application 
        was supported by the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, 
        that it was supported by the U.S. Attorney in Los 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Angeles.

                                 * * *


        [H]e also told me it was supported by the trial 
        attorney who actually tried the case in Minnesota. That 
        turned out probably not to be correct.

                                 * * *


        [He] [t]old me it was supported by the U.S. Attorney in 
        Los Angeles, by the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, by 
        the Cardinal Archbishop Diocese and Archdiocese in Los 
        Angeles, Cardinal Mahoney, by several Congressmen, 
        former Congressmen, city council people. . . . I 
        indicated to him that it was--that he had served six 
        years approximately. I indicated to Mr. Rodham that 
        that was the kind of application the President actually 
        was interested in looking at. He was interested in 
        looking at first-time drug offenders who did not play 
        major roles in the crime and that we would take a look 
        at it.\279\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \279\ Id. at 361-62.

    Based on Bruce Lindsey's testimony, in his initial 
presentation to Lindsey, Rodham made a number of serious 
misrepresentations. First, he claimed that Vignali was a first-
time offender. As described above, this is plainly false 
because Vignali had two prior convictions and two other 
arrests. In addition, Vignali was an admitted gang member. 
Second, when Rodham told Lindsey that Vignali was a ``first-
time drug offender who did not play a major role in the 
crime,'' Rodham misstated the case against Vignali. As 
explained above, Vignali was a major source of cocaine and was 
sentenced accordingly. Third, Rodham informed Lindsey that the 
Vignali petition was ``supported by the trial attorney who 
actually tried the case in Minnesota.'' While Lindsey could 
bring himself only to concede that Rodham's statement was 
``probably not correct,'' it is, in fact, utterly false.\280\ 
The only question is whether Rodham's lie was his own creation, 
calculated to mislead the White House or whether he was fed the 
lie by the Vignalis or others working on their behalf. Rodham's 
lie regarding the position of the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's 
office was no small matter. It was apparently passed on by 
Lindsey to Meredith Cabe and Eric Angel, the White House 
lawyers working on the pardon. Both noted they had originally 
believed that the prosecutors supported the commutation and 
then learned that their information was not accurate.\281\ 
Rodham's misinformation also found its way into White House 
documents analyzing the Vignali matter. In a chart dated 
January 9, 2001, a White House staffer stated that ``acc. to 
representatives, U.S. Atty in Minneapolis (who prosecuted him) 
supports [clemency.]'' \282\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \280\ There are only three possible prosecutors Rodham could have 
been referring to: Todd Jones, Andrew Dunne, or Denise Reilly. 
Committee staff interviewed Jones and Reilly, and they were strongly 
opposed to the commutation. Committee staff were not able to interview 
Dunne, but Jones informed Committee staff that Dunne helped him prepare 
the Minnesota U.S. Attorney Office's formal opposition to the Vignali 
commutation. Therefore, it is certain that he opposed the commutation 
as well. It is clear now that no attorney involved in prosecuting 
Vignali supported the commutation, and it was just as clear when Hugh 
Rodham made his misrepresentation to the White House.
    \281\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \282\ NARA Document Production (chart of former Associate White 
House Counsel Eric Angel) at 6 (Exhibit 38).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After Lindsey spoke to Rodham, Lindsey referred the Vignali 
matter to Meredith Cabe, the Associate White House Counsel 
responsible for clemency issues. Cabe conducted a brief review 
of the two-page clemency petition but did not read any of the 
appendices submitted with the petition.\283\ Cabe also stated 
that she frequently received materials from Lindsey regarding 
the Vignali case.\284\ Presumably, Lindsey received these 
materials from Hugh Rodham and other outsiders interested in 
the Vignali case.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \283\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \284\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite Hugh Rodham's efforts to mislead, the White House 
was able to obtain accurate information about Carlos Vignali. 
Thanks to the Pardon Attorney, the White House learned that 
Carlos Vignali had prior convictions and that the U.S. Attorney 
in Minnesota opposed his commutation. However, it is surprising 
that having caught Hugh Rodham providing patently false 
information, the White House staff would go ahead and recommend 
that Rodham's client receive a commutation anyway.
            3. The Justice Department's Input on the Vignali Case
    Long before the Vignali case was brought to the White 
House's attention by Hugh Rodham, staff in the Justice 
Department Pardon Attorney's office had been considering the 
Vignali petition. The petition was initially filed with the 
Department in August 1998. Some point after that date, the 
Pardon Attorney's office conducted a background investigation 
of Vignali. Such a report would typically involve contacts with 
the prosecutors and FBI, a review of a report from the Bureau 
of Prisons, the presentence report, and the judgment and 
commitment order.\285\ In the fall of 2000, the Pardon Attorney 
forwarded a draft report to the Deputy Attorney General 
recommending the denial of Vignali's clemency petition. A staff 
member of the Deputy Attorney General would typically review 
the Pardon Attorney's recommendation and provide the Pardon 
Attorney's recommendation and her own comments to the Deputy 
Attorney General for his review. The Deputy Attorney General 
could then sign off on the Pardon Attorney's recommendation and 
provide it to the President for his consideration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \285\ Interview with Deborah Smolover, Associate Deputy Attorney 
General, Department of Justice (Mar. 12, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, the usual Justice Department process was not 
followed in the Vignali case. In November 2000, the White House 
instructed the Deputy Attorney General's office to stop sending 
recommendations for clemency denials to the President.\286\ The 
White House told the Deputy Attorney General's office that it 
was interested in favorable clemency recommendations, 
specifically favorable pardon recommendations, and to place a 
priority on forwarding such favorable recommendations to the 
White House.\287\ As a result of this directive, the Deputy 
Attorney General stopped forwarding to the White House negative 
clemency recommendations prepared by the Pardon Attorney.\288\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \286\ Id.
    \287\ Id.
    \288\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This was almost the fate of the Pardon Attorney's report 
regarding Carlos Vignali. At some point in the fall of 2000, 
the Pardon Attorney prepared a report that strongly recommended 
against the Vignali commutation.\289\ The report was forwarded 
to the Deputy Attorney General's office, where it was reviewed 
by Deborah Smolover, the Associate Deputy Attorney General 
responsible for supervision of the Office of the Pardon 
Attorney. Smolover stated that the Vignali report was not 
signed off on by the Deputy Attorney General or forwarded to 
the White House because it fell into the category of reports 
that the White House staff had earlier said it did not want to 
receive--negative clemency recommendations.\290\ However, after 
an inquiry from the Pardon Attorney, Roger Adams, Smolover sent 
the Vignali report back to Adams and told him that he could 
sign off on the memo and send it to the White House.\291\ Adams 
believed it was important for the Justice Department to be on 
the record as opposed to the Vignali commutation, so he signed 
the memo and sent it to the White House on January 12, 
2001.\292\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \289\ Id.
    \290\ Id.
    \291\ Interview with Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of 
Justice (Feb. 27, 2001).
    \292\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The failure of the Deputy Attorney General to sign off on 
the recommendation against the Vignali commutation is 
disturbing. Deborah Smolover could not recall any cases other 
than Vignali's where the Pardon Attorney, rather than the 
Deputy Attorney General, signed off on a recommendation 
memorandum.\293\ Moreover, she did not ascribe any significance 
to the fact that Pardon Attorney Roger Adams, rather than Eric 
Holder, signed it. However, Roger Adams stated that Holder 
refused to sign two or three denial recommendations because he 
``didn't want to sign any more denials.'' \294\ But, Smolover 
stated that Holder would not have allowed Adams to send any 
recommendation with which he did not agree to the White 
House.\295\ In addition, Smolover could not offer any 
reasonable explanation why Holder refused to sign the denial 
recommendation at issue but allowed Adams to send it to the 
White House under Adams' own signature. In the Marc Rich case, 
Holder's actions made it clear that he was attempting to please 
his superiors in the White House while trying to maintain some 
credibility as a prosecutor serious about law and order. He 
failed miserably in the Rich case, first by failing to warn 
prosecutors that the Rich case was being considered and then by 
taking the position that he was ``neutral, leaning towards 
favorable'' on the pardon if it helped the Middle East peace 
process. It appears that Holder took a similarly irresolute 
position in the Vignali case--allowing his subordinate to 
oppose the Vignali commutation while refusing to go on the 
record against a commutation the President apparently wanted to 
grant and the President's own brother-in-law supported.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \293\ Interview with Deborah Smolover, Associate Deputy Attorney 
General, Department of Justice (Mar. 12, 2001).
    \294\ Interview with Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of 
Justice (Feb. 27, 2001).
    \295\ Interview with Deborah Smolover, Associate Deputy Attorney 
General, Department of Justice (Mar. 12, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The report recommending against the Vignali commutation was 
an important one. For the first time, it made the White House 
aware of a number of key facts in the Vignali case,\296\ 
including Vignali's role in the offense and the basis for his 
sentencing. Adams pointed out that Vignali had two prior 
convictions and two prior arrests and that he had not disclosed 
the arrests on his petition, as was required. Adams included in 
his report the opposition of the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's 
Office:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \296\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Carlos Anibal Vignali, Jr. (Jan. 12, 
2001)) (Exhibit 4). Adams noted that ``Petitioner's defense counsel 
used th[e] fact [that he was the sole Hispanic charged] to argue his 
client's innocence to the jury, characterizing the case as involving a 
`black drug dealing network,' and emphasizing that petitioner was not 
black.''

        United States Attorney B. Todd Jones strongly opposes 
        clemency for petitioner, noting that petitioner's 
        persistent claims of innocence are undermined by [the] 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        strength of the evidence presented against him:

                Th[e] testimony [of the cooperating 
                coconspirators] was consistent and 
                independently corroborated by Title III 
                wiretap interceptions, search warrant 
                evidence and police surveillance. The 
                evidence clearly established that 
                Carlos Vignali, Jr., was a member of 
                the charged drug conspiracy and 
                facilitated the distribution of 
                narcotics in the Twin Cities by 
                supplying Evans, Williams and Hopson 
                with substantial quantities of cocaine 
                from Los Angeles, California.

        Mr. Jones noted that the two main cooperating 
        coconspirators, Williams and Evans, received sentences 
        of 180 months and 95 months respectively. He concluded 
        by stating:

                The sentence imposed by Judge Doty 
                reflects the seriousness of the 
                defendant's role in a large scale 
                narcotics conspiracy as the California 
                source of cocaine to Evans, Williams, 
                and Hopson. To my knowledge Vignali has 
                refused to accept personal 
                responsibility for his criminal 
                activities and has never expressed 
                sincere remorse for his conduct. In 
                light of the exacting standards 
                generally applicable in pardon cases, 
                this case does not warrant such a 
                commutation.\297\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \297\ Id.

After quoting the Minnesota U.S. Attorney, Roger Adams offered 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
his position on the Vignali commutation:

        In applying for clemency, petitioner has to a large 
        degree merely recycled arguments already rejected by 
        the jury and courts. He continues to deny his guilt, 
        and his petition contains misleading statements and 
        misstatements of fact. As for his allegation that he 
        has no connection to Minnesota, the jury convicted him 
        of the offense of supplying large quantities of cocaine 
        to distributors in that state. Moreover, his contention 
        that his sentence is excessive fails in light of the 
        sentencing record, which establishes that the district 
        court accorded him leniency in refusing to adopt two 
        enhancements recommended by the presentence report. For 
        all these reasons, I recommend that you deny his 
        petition.\298\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \298\ Id.

    It appears that the Pardon Attorney's report had an impact 
on the White House staff. Next to the portion of the report 
discussing Judge Doty's sentence of Vignali, a White House 
staffer wrote a note reading, ``He recommended other cases--was 
he contacted?'' \299\ Apparently, members of the White House 
staff were aware that Judge Doty recommended commutations for 
Serena Nunn and Kim Willis, making his opposition to the 
Vignali commutation even more significant. Despite this inquiry 
from a White House staffer, Judge Doty was never contacted. 
More importantly, at the end of Roger Adams' report, a White 
House staffer wrote, ``Need to XC for Bruce. Definitely isn't 
simply making a loan--& do we believe the gang thing? USA is 
actually against--maybe we shd call & ck the recs we've been 
told of?'' \300\ Apparently, the report dispelled any beliefs 
the White House might have had regarding Carlos Vignali's story 
that the $25,000 he had been paid was simply payback on a loan 
he had made to friends. The notation ``USA is actually 
against--maybe we shd call & ck the recs we've been told of'' 
indicates that the Adams report was the first clear enunciation 
received by the White House that the Minnesota U.S. Attorney 
was actually opposed to the commutation. It also indicates that 
learning of this fact cast some doubt on other information that 
had been shared with the White House, likely by Hugh Rodham. 
Despite the clear doubts expressed by the White House staffer's 
notes on the Adams memo, apparently little was done to follow 
up on those doubts. The White House staff never followed up 
with either the prosecutors or the judge in the Vignali case.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \299\ Id.
    \300\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            4. The Final Decision on the Vignali Commutation
                a. Contacts Between the White House and
                    Interested Parties
    In addition to reviewing the Pardon Attorney's comments on 
the Vignali commutation petition, White House staff contacted a 
number of individuals regarding Vignali. First, Meredith Cabe 
recalls that Representative Xavier Becerra was advocating for 
the Vignali commutation. \301\ According to other White House 
staff, Representative Becerra ``peppered'' the White House with 
calls on Vignali's behalf.\302\ Together with her colleague 
Eric Angel, Cabe also spoke to U.S. Attorney Alejandro 
Mayorkas. According to Cabe, Mayorkas said he supported the 
petition but admitted he was not familiar with the details of 
the case.\303\ Cabe also recalls that Mayorkas stated that most 
drug sentences were disproportionate and that this one likely 
was as well.\304\ Eric Angel recalls that Mayorkas expressed 
support for the Vignali family and opined that Carlos Vignali 
would have a strong support network if he were released. Angel 
also recalled that Mayorkas made general comments about the 
length of Vignali's sentence and a statement to the effect that 
``a lot of these sentences are too long and this one was long 
too.'' \305\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \301\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \302\ Richard Serrano and Stephen Braun, Working the American 
System, L.A. Times, Apr. 29, 2001, at A1.
    \303\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \304\ Id.
    \305\ Interview with Eric Angel, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 28, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In an interview with Committee staff, Dawn Woollen, Deputy 
White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey's administrative assistant, 
conceded that she wrote a note to Lindsey that indicated, among 
other things, that ``Sheriff Baca from LA is more than happy to 
speak with you about him but is uncomfortable writing a letter 
offering his full support.'' \306\ According to Woollen, her 
note reflected a telephone conversation with Hugh Rodham around 
early January 2001.\307\ Within a week of having spoken with 
Hugh Rodham, Woollen ``very briefly'' spoke to Sheriff Baca 
about the Vignali matter.\308\ Originally, Sheriff Baca left a 
telephone message for Lindsey, but, as per Lindsey's request, 
Woollen returned Baca's call.\309\ During that conversation, 
according to Woollen, Sheriff Baca ``expressed his support for 
the Vignali commutation.'' \310\ According to Woollen, Baca 
also told her he was uncomfortable writing a letter offering 
his full support for the petition but did not say why.\311\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \306\ Interview with Dawn Woollen, Administrative Assistant to 
Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, the White House (Sept. 25, 
2001). NARA Document Production (Handwritten Note from Woollen to 
Lindsey) (Exhibit 22).
    \307\ Interview with Dawn Woollen, Administrative Assistant to 
Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, the White House (Sept. 25, 
2001).
    \308\ Id. This conversation with Sheriff Baca was the witness' only 
conversation with Sheriff Baca about the Vignali clemency matter.
    \309\ Id.
    \310\ Id. With Committee staff, Woollen was unequivocal about her 
understanding about Baca's support for the petition. When asked by 
Committee staff what the specific basis was for her understanding as to 
Baca's position, Woollen replied, ``Sheriff Baca said that he supported 
[the commutation].'' Woollen further stated that ``it was clear that 
Sheriff Baca was supporting the commutation.''
    \311\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contrary to statements Baca has made to this Committee, 
according to Woollen, at no point during his conversation with 
her did he say that he was unfamiliar with the facts associated 
with Vignali's clemency petition or cite any unfamiliarity with 
the underlying conviction as a basis for not commenting on 
Vignali's clemency petition.\312\ Finally, according to 
Woollen, Sheriff Baca did not express any support for Carlos 
Vignali's father or even mention the name ``Horacio.'' \313\ 
The degree to which Baca and Woolen disagree about the nature 
of their conversation gives rise to serious concern.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \312\ Id.
    \313\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the general nature of the White House's discussions 
with Mayorkas and Baca, their support has been described as 
being important in the decision to grant clemency to Vignali. 
Cabe understood the qualifications offered by Mayorkas but 
still viewed his support as ``significant'' because ``few 
prosecutors advocate clemency in any form.'' \314\ Similarly, 
Bruce Lindsey stated:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \314\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).

        I originally was probably negative. . . . But after I 
        received a call from the sheriff of Los Angeles and our 
        office reached out to the U.S. Attorney in the central 
        district of California and Los Angeles, I decided that 
        given the community support and their position that 
        into the county in which he would go to live, that they 
        would be aware of the crime situation, if you will, in 
        their community, and if they were not concerned about 
        him coming back to their community, that I thought it 
        was an appropriate commutation.\315\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \315\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Congress 426 
(Mar. 1, 2001).

    The White House's reliance on the support for the 
commutation voiced by Baca and Mayorkas should be juxtaposed 
against the fact that the White House made no attempt to speak 
to the prosecutors or judge involved in the Vignali case. Judge 
David Doty, who sentenced Vignali, has stated that he was 
surprised by the commutation \316\ and that, if the White House 
had contacted him, he would have argued against a commutation 
for Vignali.\317\ Judge Doty believes Vignali was an unsuitable 
candidate for clemency first because his sentence was 
appropriate: ``Carlos deserved what he got . . . I hit him in 
the middle, not in the low end. . . . And I didn't max him 
out.'' \318\ Judge Doty also noted that Vignali was not a 
small-time offender: ``[He] provided funds to the conspiracy, 
provided places and was involved in the direct transfers. He 
was a big player. He was one of the top two or three 
defendants.'' \319\ Judge Doty also pointed out that Carlos 
Vignali had never admitted his crime, noting that Vignali ``was 
non-repentant.'' Even after I sentenced him, he claimed he had 
been railroaded.'' \320\ Judge Doty's strong position against 
the Vignali commutation is even more significant given his 
longstanding opposition to mandatory minimum sentences for drug 
offenses and his support for clemency for two other drug 
offenders he had sentenced.\321\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \316\ Los Angeles Cardinal Regrets Role in Pardon, N.Y. Times, Feb. 
13, 2001, at A26.
    \317\ Drug Kingpin's Release Adds to Clemency Uproar, L.A. Times, 
Feb. 11, 2001, at A1.
    \318\ Bob von Sternberg and Pam Louwagie, Judge Who Sentenced 
Dealer in Minnesota Questions Clemency, Star Trib. (Minneapolis, MN) 
Feb. 15, 2001, at A1.
    \319\ Richard Serrano and Stephen Braun, Vignali Case Built on 
Informants, Wiretaps, L.A. Times, Feb. 15, 20001, at A1.
    \320\ Richard Serrano and Stephen Braun, Drug Kingpin's Release 
Adds to Clemency Uproar, L.A. Times, Feb. 11, 2001, at A1.
    \321\ Bob von Sternberg and Pam Louwagie, Tale of a Prodigal 
Father, Star Trib. (Minneapolis, MN) Feb. 18, 2001, at A1; Bob von 
Sternberg and Pam Louwagie, Judge Who Sentenced Dealer in Minnesota 
Questions Clemency, Star Trib. (Minneapolis, MN) Feb. 15, 2001, at A1. 
Judge Doty wrote in support of grants of clemency for Serena Nunn and 
Kim Allen Willis, two small-time drug offenders who had been sentenced 
to 15 year terms in prison. Judge Doty as well as prosecutors and 
investigators involved in the Nunn and Willis cases agreed that they 
were truly low-level drug offenders who had been caught up in a larger 
conspiracy and were suitable candidates for clemency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Similarly, the White House never consulted the lawyers who 
prosecuted Vignali. Meredith Cabe stated that she did not 
consult with the prosecutors because the Justice Department had 
already been in contact with them and their position on the 
commutation was already clear. However, Cabe's explanation is 
less than satisfactory. Just because the White House knew that 
the prosecuting office opposed a grant of clemency for Vignali 
did not eliminate the need to actually speak to the prosecutors 
who had tried the case. If the White House staff had discussed 
the grant of clemency with the U.S. Attorney or his staff, it 
is possible that the prosecutors could have explained the scope 
of Vignali's drug-dealing activities, his utter lack of 
remorse, or the suspicions regarding his other drug-dealing 
activities or those suspected of his father.
                b. Contacts Between the White House and Hugh
                    Rodham
    In the final days of the Clinton Administration, it appears 
that Hugh Rodham had several contacts with White House staff 
about the Vignali matter. Rodham spoke to Bruce Lindsey twice 
more about Vignali after his initial conversation in December 
2000 and Meredith Cabe once about Vignali. Rodham's counsel 
described the two subsequent contacts with Bruce Lindsey as 
follows: ``he subsequently submitted and discussed letters of 
recommendation, and he made a final follow up inquiry.'' \322\ 
Meredith Cabe stated that Rodham called her about the Lums, for 
whom Rodham had been requesting executive clemency, and brought 
up Vignali.\323\ Cabe recalled that Rodham was concerned that 
the White House was getting bad information about Vignali and 
believed that someone had accused Vignali of being in a 
gang.\324\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \322\ Letter from Nancy Luque, Counsel for Hugh Rodham, Reed Smith, 
to the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Feb. 28, 
2001) at 2 (within Appendix I).
    \323\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \324\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No one on the White House staff has made it clear how 
Rodham's lobbying was viewed by the President or his staff. In 
their defense, White House staff have claimed that they never 
figured out that Rodham represented Vignali or was receiving a 
large fee from Vignali for his work. When questioned in a 
Committee hearing, Lindsey was vague about whether the 
President was informed about Rodham's role in the Vignali 
matter:

        Mr. LaTourette. I am interested in what took place in 
        front of the President, and the meeting that you 
        remember, Ms. Nolan, whether these guys were there or 
        weren't there, was the fact that Hugh Rodham was 
        advocating this position, or was advocating that Mr. 
        Vignali receive a pardon [or] commutation, was that 
        discussed in your presence? Was Hugh Rodham's name 
        invoked to the President of the United States in this 
        meeting?

        Ms. Nolan. I don't know, Mr. LaTourette.

        Mr. LaTourette. How about you, Mr. Lindsey?

        Mr. Lindsey. I don't recall. I don't have a specific 
        memory of mentioning it. I wouldn't have hesitated to 
        mention it. I just don't recall.

        Mr. LaTourette. You don't remember. How about you, Mr. 
        Podesta?

        Mr. Podesta. With the caveat that I gave earlier, in 
        the meeting I was in where Vignali was discussed, Mr. 
        Rodham's name did not come up.\325\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \325\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Congress 412 
(Mar. 1, 2001).

The hazy recollection of senior White House staff therefore 
makes it impossible to know whether Rodham's name was invoked 
in the discussions that White House staff had with the 
President.
                c. Hugh Rodham's Invocation of First Lady
                    Hillary Clinton
    One critically important document makes it clear that, at a 
minimum, Hugh Rodham invoked the First Lady's name in lobbying 
for Vignali's commutation. That document, a note handwritten by 
Dawn Woollen, the administrative assistant of Deputy White 
House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, states, ``Hugh says this is very 
important to him and the First Lady as well as others. Sheriff 
Baca from LA is more than happy to speak with you about him but 
is uncomfortable writing a letter offering his full support.'' 
\326\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \326\ NARA Document Production (Handwritten Note from Dawn Woollen, 
Administrative Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Lindsey, the 
White House, to Bruce Lindsey, Deputy Chief of Staff, the White House) 
(Exhibit 22).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In an interview with Committee staff, Woollen recalled 
having spoken with Hugh Rodham about the Vignali matter on at 
least five occasions.\327\ After one such conversation, around 
early January 2001, Woollen wrote the previously described note 
to Lindsey.\328\ When presented with that note during her 
interview with Committee staff, Woollen confirmed that the note 
was accurate.\329\ But, independent of what she wrote on the 
note, Woollen could not recall what Rodham said about the First 
Lady's knowledge of the Vignali issue.\330\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \327\ Interview with Dawn Woollen, Administrative Assistant to 
Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Lindsey, the White House (Sept. 25, 2001). 
All of those conversations took place over the phone. Id.
    \328\ Id.
    \329\ Id.
    \330\ Id. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the very least, Woollen's note reflects attempts by Hugh 
Rodham to capitalize financially on his association with the 
First Family by invoking his sister's support for the Vignali 
petition without her knowledge. After Hugh Rodham's role in 
clemency proceedings pending before President Clinton was 
publicly disclosed, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton asserted 
that she ``knew nothing about [her] brother's involvement in 
these pardons'' and that she ``did not have any involvement in 
the pardons that were granted or not granted.'' \331\ In fact, 
when Senator Clinton was asked by the media about pardons 
President Clinton granted in the final hours of his 
administration, she replied, ``I was very disturbed to learn 
that my brother, Hugh Rodham, received fees in connection with 
two clemency applications. . . . Hugh did not speak with me 
about these applications.'' \332\ When asked about President 
Clinton's last-minute pardons generally, she stated, ``you'll 
have to talk with people who were involved in making them, and 
that leaves me out.'' \333\ Indeed, according to Senator 
Clinton, her involvement in pardon matters pending before the 
President was limited to passing on ``envelopes'' that were 
given to her.\334\ The Woollen note leaves only two 
possibilities: (1) that Hugh Rodham indeed told Hillary Clinton 
about his efforts on behalf of Carlos Vignali and that Hillary 
Clinton was not being candid when she stated that Hugh did not 
speak to her about Vignali; or (2) Hugh Rodham was lying when 
he told Woollen that the Vignali case was ``very important'' to 
the First Lady. The first possibility raises serious questions 
about the conduct of the former First Lady, and the second 
possibility raises serious questions about the conduct of Hugh 
Rodham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \331\ Sumana Chatterjee, Hillary Clinton Addresses Pardons 
Involving Brother, Campaign Aide, Knight Ridder (Washington Bureau) 
Feb. 23, 2001.
    \332\ James V. Grimaldi and Peter Slevin, Hillary Clinton's Brother 
Was Paid for Role in 2 Pardons, Wash. Post, Feb. 22, 2001, at A1.
    \333\ Jackie Judd, Senator Hillary Clinton Answers Questions About 
Her Brother's Involvement in Two Presidential Pardons, ABC World News 
Tonight, Feb. 22, 2001.
    \334\ Sumana Chatterjee, Hillary Clinton Addresses Pardons 
Involving Brother, Campaign Aide, Knight Ridder (Washington Bureau) 
Feb. 23, 2001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                d. The President's Decision to Grant the
                    Commutation
    White House staff have been vague in describing the process 
the Vignali commutation went through. Cabe indicated that staff 
had a mixed opinion regarding the Vignali case until the end of 
the process, when they were all in agreement to recommend 
Vignali for a commutation.\335\ White House documents seem to 
confirm vacillation in the White House's position on the 
matter. One document about the Vignali case states, ``Lean 
no,'' \336\ and another states, ``STAFF: mixed(?)'' \337\ Cabe 
also indicated that Vignali was considered together with a 
number of other drug cases in which the defendant had been 
``oversentenced.'' \338\ Cabe recalls that others in this group 
were Lau Ching Chin, Derek Curry, Peter Ninemire, and Loretta 
De-Ann Kaufman.\339\ These parts of Cabe's recollection are 
confirmed by documents. A chart of potential pardons and 
commutations maintained by Associate White House Counsel Eric 
Angel with the heading ``Disparate Sentencing Commutation 
Cases'' includes Vignali's name with the notations:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \335\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \336\ NARA Document Production (chart of ``Disparate Sentencing 
Commutation Cases'') at 21 (Exhibit 39).
    \337\ NARA Document Production (alternate chart of ``Disparate 
Sentencing Commutation Cases'' at 11 (Exhibit 40).
    \338\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \339\ Id.

        Arg is he is not guilty--loaned $25K to a friend, which 
        he args was falsely interpreted to be part of drug 
        conspiracy; aged 24 at time of offense, with no 
        significant criminal record; args he had minor role; 
        DOJ states that petitioner was supplier for major 
        cocaine distribution organization and has two 1989 
        convictions for fighting in public place and vandalism; 
        1990 arrest for corporal injury to spouse or 
        cohabitant, dismissed. DOJ says U.S. Attorney strongly 
        opposes. DOJ recommends denial.\340\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \340\ NARA Document Production (Exhibit 39).

A separate column of Angel's chart discusses who supported the 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vignali commutation:

        Reps. Becerra, Torres ask for ``every consideration'' 
        because parents are friends; Council of CA State 
        Legislators also ask for consideration; Archbishop of 
        LA supports; acc. To representatives, U.S. Atty in 
        Minnesota (who prosecuted him) supports; LA Sheriff Lee 
        Baca and LA US Atty Alejandro Mayorkas support; Maria 
        E[chaveste] has inquired.\341\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \341\ Id.

Given President Clinton's silence regarding his pardons and 
commutations, it is impossible to know which factors led to his 
decision to commute Vignali's sentence. Clearly, there were a 
number of outside factors contributing to the President's 
decision: a White House staff generally supportive of the 
decision; pressure, including misleading statements, from Hugh 
Rodham; and pressure from California political figures. On 
January 20, 2001, President Clinton commuted Carlos Vignali's 
sentence to time served, reducing his 15-year sentence to only 
about 5 years.
            5. The White House Has No Justification for the Vignali 
                    Commutation
    The process by which the President actually reached the 
decision to grant the Vignali commutation is still a mystery. 
Apparently, the President did not reach his decision to grant 
the commutation until January 19, after a meeting with his 
staff. Since the President has never answered questions about 
the Vignali matter, the Committee has not been able to 
determine which facts influenced his decisionmaking. The 
President's failure to speak out on the Vignali matter leaves a 
number of key questions unanswered:

         To what extent did Hugh Rodham's 
        representation of Carlos Vignali play a role in the 
        President's decision to grant Vignali's commutation?

         Did First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton 
        support the effort to obtain the Vignali commutation?

         Did the President or the First Lady know 
        that Rodham was being paid $200,000 for obtaining the 
        Vignali commutation?

         When did the President make the decision to 
        commute Vignali's sentence and why?

In the absence of answers to these questions, the Committee 
must examine the arguments offered by the White House to 
justify the Vignali commutation. These arguments, set forth 
below, are all spurious.
    ``Vignali was a minor participant in a large drug 
conspiracy.'' It appears that the White House based its 
decision on the belief that Vignali was only a minor 
participant in the Minnesota-area drug dealing scheme. As 
Lindsey testified before the Committee:

        I actually believe the judge made a specific finding 
        that [Carlos Vignali] was responsible for five to 15 
        kilos, which is I think 11 to 33 pounds. I think the 
        total amount of money he was involved with was $2,500--
        $25,000 excuse me. So I don't think it is correct that 
        he was responsible for $800,000; and in fact, I believe 
        there was a specific finding that he was not. There was 
        also I believe a specific finding that he was not an 
        organizer, leader of the conspiracy.\342\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \342\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Congress 362 
(Mar. 1, 2001).

In applying the federal sentencing guidelines to Vignali's 
case, Judge Doty indeed attributed five to fifteen kilograms of 
cocaine to Vignali, rather than the fifteen to fifty kilograms 
suggested in the pre-sentence report.\343\ Judge Doty 
nevertheless enhanced Vignali's offense level because he found 
that Vignali committed perjury by denying that he was involved 
in the distribution of cocaine.\344\ The judge also concluded 
that Vignali's role as a supplier of cocaine tended to make him 
more culpable than other co-defendants.\345\ These conclusions 
led the judge to give Vignali a sentence on the upper end of 
the guideline range.\346\ Therefore, Bruce Lindsey's heavy 
reliance on Judge Doty's finding that Vignali was responsible 
for only five to fifteen kilograms of cocaine appears highly 
disingenuous. Indeed, Judge Doty sentenced Vignali to 175 
months imprisonment despite his belief that the evidence 
adduced at trial supported a finding that Vignali supplied 
between five and fifteen kilograms of cocaine. Lindsey 
completely ignored the judge's finding that Vignali perjured 
himself when he denied any involvement in supplying narcotics. 
For Lindsey to accept that Vignali was responsible for 
supplying between five and fifteen kilograms of cocaine would 
have required that Lindsey accept that Vignali perjured himself 
at trial and refused to accept responsibility for what he had 
done. It is difficult to believe that Lindsey would recommend 
that such a person be granted executive clemency.\347\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \343\ Judgment in a Criminal Case, U.S. v. Vignali (D. Minn. July 
17, 1995) (Exhibit 3).
    \344\ Id.
    \345\ Id.
    \346\ Id.
    \347\ Judge Doty was never contacted by the White House about 
Vignali's clemency application. L.A. Cardinal Regrets Role in Pardon, 
N.Y. Times, Feb. 13, 2001, at A26; Richard A. Serrano and Stephen 
Braun, Drug Kingpin's Release Adds to Clemency Uproar, L.A. Times, Feb. 
11, 2001 at A1. Referring to the Vignali commutation, Judge Doty stated 
``I have no idea why it happened, but we are all aghast.'' Los Angeles 
Cardinal Regrets Role in Pardon, N.Y. Times, Feb. 13, 2001 at A26. 
According to Judge Doty, Carlos Vignali never acknowledged 
responsibility or showed remorse for his crime, ``He was non-repentant. 
. . . Even after I sentenced him, he claimed he had been railroaded.'' 
Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, Drug Kingpin's Release Adds to 
Clemency Uproar, L.A. Times, Feb. 11, 2001 at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The White House's reliance on Judge Doty's findings 
regarding the amount of cocaine Vignali supplied was 
irresponsible and misleading for another reason. The judge's 
finding was a highly technical decision relating to the offense 
level computed under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Under 
those guidelines, a different base offense level is applied if 
the offender supplies between 5 and 15 kilograms of cocaine 
than if he deals between 15 and 50 kilograms of cocaine. When 
deciding whether to grant Vignali's clemency request, one would 
think the White House would be more interested in an evaluation 
of who Vignali was and what he was doing in a generalized sense 
than in trying to defeat a technical application of the 
sentencing guidelines. If the White House had wanted such an 
evaluation, it could have turned either to the Pardon 
Attorney's recommendation or the submission of the U.S. 
Attorney in Minnesota. In his submission, U.S. Attorney Todd 
Jones explained that Vignali was involved in a far larger 
network of drug dealing than that which was alleged in the case 
against Vignali in Minnesota. As former U.S. Attorney Todd 
Jones noted in an interview with the Committee, ``the fact the 
Vignali was convicted as a Category 1 dope dealer doesn't mean 
that he's innocent, just that he was smart.'' \348\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \348\ Telephone Interview with Todd Jones, Partner, Greene Espel 
(May 2, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ``Vignali's sentence was disproportionate in comparison to 
his co-conspirators.'' In testimony before the Committee and in 
various public statements, the White House has argued that the 
leniency granted to similarly situated codefendants provided a 
basis for the President's grant of clemency to Carlos Vignali. 
This position is wholly without merit. A number of Carlos 
Vignali's co-conspirators received leniency because they, 
unlike Vignali, cooperated with law enforcement. Vignali, on 
the other hand, took his chances with the jury and lost, 
receiving 175 months in prison. A brief review of the sentences 
given to other major defendants in the Vignali case 
demonstrates that Vignali's sentence was fair and 
proportionate.

 Gerald Williams: Williams was convicted of 
conspiring to distribute cocaine. Judge Doty found that he was 
the main distributor, organizer, and leader of the drug 
conspiracy. The government recommended an imprisonment term of 
360 months to life, but Williams received a sentence of 120 
months. Judge Doty departed from guideline range because of 
``substantial and valuable assistance'' Williams provided to 
law enforcement in breaking up the distribution ring.

 Dale Evans: Evans was convicted of conspiring to 
distribute cocaine. Evans was a California source to 
distributors in Minnesota. At trial, Evans testified that he 
was sending an average of one to two kilos of cocaine to 
Minnesota per week during 1993. Evans obtained that cocaine 
from Jonathan Gray and Vignali. The government recommended an 
imprisonment term of 135-168 months, but Evans received a 
sentence of 95 months. Judge Doty departed from the guideline 
range because Evans provided law enforcement with ``substantial 
and valuable'' assistance in breaking up the ring.

 Shirley Williams: Williams was convicted of 
conspiring to distribute between 15 and 50 kilos of cocaine for 
finding buyers of cocaine for her son, Gerald. The government 
recommended a 151-188 month term of imprisonment, but Judge 
Doty sentenced Williams to 75 months in jail. Judge Doty 
ordered a downward departure because of the substantial 
assistance Williams provided law enforcement.

 Melvin Campbell: Melvin Campbell was convicted of 
using a telephone to conspire in selling cocaine. Campbell was 
another California source to distributors in Minnesota. He 
distributed large amounts of cocaine and cocaine paste with 
Shirley and Gerald Williams and cooked crack for distribution. 
The government recommended imprisonment for 12-18 months, but 
Judge Doty sentenced Campbell to 48 months. He ordered an 
upward departure because of Campbell's significant involvement 
in the conspiracy, the substantial amount of drugs he 
distributed, and his criminal history.

 Jonathan Gray: Jonathan Gray was convicted of 
conspiring to distribute more than 5 kilos of cocaine. In 1993, 
Gray and Vignali supplied cocaine from California to Dale Evans 
in Minnesota. The government recommended 151-188 months in 
jail, and Judge Doty sentenced Gray to 170 months. Gray was the 
defendant most similarly situated to Vignali as he was a 
California source of cocaine for the Minnesota distribution 
network and refused to cooperate with law enforcement. Gray's 
sentence was almost identical to Vignali's.

 Tony Speank: Tony Speank was convicted of conspiring 
to manufacture and distribute between 1.5 and 5 kilos of 
cocaine and cocaine base. The government recommended a sentence 
of 210-262 months, but Judge Doty sentenced Speank to 58 
months. Judge Doty granted a downward departure because of the 
``substantial and valuable'' assistance Speank provided law 
enforcement.

 Todd Hopson: Todd Hopson was convicted of conspiring 
to distribute cocaine; using facilities in interstate commerce 
to promote a drug enterprise; possession with intent to 
distribute and distribution of more than 5 kilos of cocaine; 
and use of telephone for promotion of drug enterprise. The 
government recommended 235-293 months in jail. Judge Doty 
sentenced Hopson to 235 months imprisonment. Judge Doty found 
that the low end of the range adequately reflected the nature 
and circumstances of Hopson's offense and his past criminal 
conduct.

    As shown above, in those cases where Judge Doty exercised 
leniency in sentencing codefendants who were at least as 
culpable as was Vignali, Judge Doty specifically found that 
each of those codefendants provided ``substantial and 
valuable'' assistance to law enforcement. By contrast, Carlos 
Vignali and Todd Hopson, both of whom were charged with 
conspiring to distribute substantial amounts of cocaine and 
various other federal narcotics offenses, chose not to 
cooperate. Furthermore, they failed to express the least 
remorse about or assume responsibility for their roles in the 
distribution ring. As such, there could have been no reasonable 
expectation of leniency from the sentencing judge. Accordingly, 
the White House's position that Vignali's sentence was overly 
harsh or disproportionate as compared with his codefendants is 
wholly without merit. Having thoroughly considered the 
available evidence, Judge Doty sentenced Vignali under the 
applicable standards set forth under the law.
    ``Vignali's sentence was an unfair and overly harsh result 
of mandatory minimum sentencing laws.'' Although the rationale 
for President Clinton's commutation of Carlos Vignali's 
sentence remains unclear, the former president has said he 
believes mandatory sentences ``in many cases are too long for 
nonviolent offenders.'' \349\ Documents and statements obtained 
by the Committee indicate that the White House considered 
Vignali's petition together with a number of other drug cases 
in which the defendant had been ``oversentenced.'' \350\ 
Associate White House Counsel Meredith Cabe, who was 
responsible for clemency matters for the White House Counsel's 
Office, recalled that others in that group were Lau Ching Chin, 
Derek Curry, Peter Ninemire, and Loretta DeAnn Kaufman.\351\ 
Cabe's appreciation that Vignali's petition was considered as a 
``mandatory minimum'' case is borne out by a chart of potential 
pardons and commutations maintained by Associate White House 
Counsel Eric Angel, who worked with Cabe on clemency 
matters.\352\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \349\ Bob von Sternberg and Pam Louwagie, Judge Who Sentenced 
Dealer in Minnesota Questions Clemency; Clinton Commuted Cocaine 
Supplier Carlos Vignali's Sentence, Star Trib. (Minneapolis, MN) Feb. 
15, 2001.
    \350\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \351\ Id
    \352\ See, e.g., NARA Document Production (chart of ``Disparate 
Sentencing Commutation Cases'') (Exhibit 39).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    U.S. District Judge David Doty, who sentenced Vignali, has 
long been a critic of mandatory federal sentencing guidelines 
for drug offenses.\353\ In Judge Doty's view, ``most drug 
sentences are exceedingly long and onerous.'' \354\ But, in 
Vignali's case, Judge Doty felt that ``Carlos deserved what he 
got.'' \355\ In explaining the sentence he imposed on Vignali, 
Judge Doty stated, ``I based the sentence on his criminal 
history score--he didn't have much. And I kicked it up because 
of the amount of drugs involved.'' \356\ According to Doty, the 
sentence he imposed was slightly more than the midpoint of the 
guideline range.\357\ Doty observed, ``I hit him in the middle, 
not in the low end. And I didn't max him out.'' \358\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \353\ Bob von Sternberg and Pam Louwagie, Judge Who Sentenced 
Dealer in Minnesota Questions Clemency; Clinton Commuted Cocaine 
Supplier Carlos Vignali's Sentence, Star Trib. (Minneapolis, MN) Feb. 
15, 2001.
    \354\ Id.
    \355\ Id.
    \356\ Id.
    \357\ Id.
    \358\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. The Aftermath of the Vignali Commutation

            1. The Response from Hugh Rodham
    The Vignali commutation proved to be almost as 
controversial as the Marc Rich and Pincus Green pardons. News 
of Hugh Rodham's involvement in the Vignali matter first 
surfaced around February 21, 2001. Former President Clinton 
issued a statement indicating that he and former First Lady 
Hillary Rodham Clinton were unaware that Hugh Rodham had been 
paid for his work on the Vignali and Braswell matters: 
``Neither Hillary nor I had any knowledge of such payments . . 
. We are deeply disturbed by these reports and have insisted 
that Hugh return any monies received.'' \359\ Hillary Clinton 
added, ``I was very disturbed to learn that my brother, Hugh 
Rodham, received fees in connection with two clemency 
applications[.] Hugh did not speak with me about these 
applications.'' \360\ Rodham responded to the statement from 
the former President and Senator Clinton with a statement from 
his own attorney, Nancy Luque:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \359\ James V. Grimaldi and Peter Slevin, Hillary Clinton's Brother 
Was Paid for Role in 2 Pardons, Wash. Post (Feb. 22, 2001) at A1.
    \360\ Id.

        My client, Hugh Rodham, today acceded to his family's 
        request that he return legal fees earned in connection 
        with pardon requests. My client did not advise 
        President or Senator Clinton of his involvement in 
        these requests. He believes they were unaware until 
        this week of his work on his client's behalf. Hugh 
        Rodham has done absolutely nothing wrong. He has 
        returned these fees solely because his family asked 
        that he do so. Their request, presumably made because 
        of the appearance of impropriety, is one he cannot 
        ignore. There was, however, no impropriety in these 
        matters.\361\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \361\ Statement by Nancy Luque, Counsel for Hugh Rodham, Reed Smith 
(Feb. 21, 2001).

Luque's initial statement suggested that Rodham returned all of 
the fees he was paid for obtaining the Braswell pardon and the 
Vignali commutation. She soon backtracked, and conceded to the 
press that he had returned only $300,000 of the fees.\362\ The 
press still reported that Rodham had agreed to refund all 
$434,000 he was paid by Braswell and Vignali.\363\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \362\ David Johnston, Hollywood Friend Had Clinton's Ear for 2 Late 
Pardons, N.Y. Times, (Feb. 24, 2001) at A8.
    \363\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, the Committee's review of Rodham's bank records 
shows that as of June 2001 Rodham had returned only $280,000 of 
the $434,000 he was paid for his work on the Vignali and 
Braswell matters. On February 21, 2001, Rodham wrote checks for 
$230,000 and $50,000 to the Coale, Cooley, Leitz, McInerny law 
firm.\364\ It appears that the funds were then forwarded by the 
Coale, Cooley firm to Reed Smith, Nancy Luque's law firm. Then, 
on February 23, 2001, Reed Smith issued a check for $230,000 to 
Glenn Braswell \365\ and a check for $50,000 to Morvis Corvis 
Corporation, one of Horacio Vignali's companies.\366\ When 
Luque forwarded the $50,000 to Vignali, she stated that ``a 
check for the balance will be forwarded directly.'' \367\ 
Communications between Committee staff and Rodham's attorney 
have confirmed that Rodham has not to date returned any 
additional amounts and has no plans to return the remaining 
$154,000 to Vignali.\368\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \364\ First Union Document Production (Check numbers 1321 and 1322 
from Rodham & Fine, P.A. IOTA [sic] to Coale, Cooley Liets, McInerny & 
Broadus, for $230,000.00 and $50,000, respectively) (Feb. 28, 2001)) 
(Exhibit 41) (in globo). John P. Coale, a name partner in Coale Cooley, 
is a well-known personal injury lawyer with strong ties to the Clinton 
Administration.
    \365\ Reed Smith Document Production (Check from Reed Smith to 
Glenn Braswell for $230,000 (Feb. 23, 2001)) (Exhibit 42).
    \366\ Reed Smith Document Production (Check from Reed Smith to 
Morvis Corvis Corporation for $50,000 (Feb. 23, 2001)) (Exhibit 43).
    \367\ Letter from Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith, to Carlos 
Vignali, Morris [sic] Corvis Corp. (Feb. 21, 2001) (Exhibit 44).
    \368\ In her discussions with Committee staff, Luque indicated that 
she advised against refunding any of the money and that Rodham did so 
against her advice. It is also interesting to note that Roger Clinton 
believes that Hugh Rodham should not have been forced to return the 
money:

      GAnyway, Huey [Rodham] has been sort of hung out to dry, 
      and I want to make that clear. He is a great man. I love 
      him. He didn't do anything wrong. But he was just tired of 
      the crap. And tired of the hounding, and he did what he 
      thought it was going to take to get rid of it. You know 
      what? He is a lawyer, he was entitled to do what he wanted 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
      to do.

      Larry King Live, CNN, June 21, 2001.

Roger Clinton has an interesting point insofar as Hugh Rodham was asked 
to return $434,000 he earned lobbying for executive clemency when Roger 
was not asked to return any of the money he earned in connection with 
the Gambino matter and Jack Quinn was not asked to return fees he 
earned in connection with the Marc Rich matter.
    Therefore, it appears that Rodham misled the public when he 
suggested he returned all of the fees when he, in fact, ignored 
the request from former President Clinton and Senator Clinton 
that he do so. The lack of any further demands from former 
President Clinton and Senator Clinton that Rodham return the 
fees suggests that their initial demand was motivated by media 
pressure, rather than a genuine sentiment that Hugh Rodham 
should return the funds.
            2. The Florida Bar's ``Investigation'' of Hugh Rodham
    Shortly after news of Rodham's role in the Vignali and 
Braswell grants of clemency came to light, a complaint was 
filed against Rodham with the Florida Bar Association. The 
Florida Bar rules, like those of most other states, prohibit 
excessive fees and the receipt of contingent fees in criminal 
cases. Rule 4-1.5(a)(1) states that ``[a]n attorney shall not 
enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal, 
prohibited or clearly excessive fee.'' \369\ Rule 4-
1.5(f)(3)(B) states that a ``lawyer shall not enter into an 
agreement for, charge, or collect . . . a contingent fee for 
representing a defendant in a criminal case.'' \370\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \369\ Rule 4-1.5(a)(1), Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.
    \370\ Rule 4-1.5(f)(3)(B), Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The facts of the Rodham case not being in dispute, it seems 
that the one issue examined by the Florida Bar was whether 
Rodham's work constituted ``representing a defendant in a 
criminal case.'' Indeed, there is mixed opinion regarding how 
Rodham's work on the pardons should be characterized. Jack 
Quinn took the position that his lobbying for Marc Rich's 
pardon did constitute representation in a criminal case and 
that is why he met the exemption in Executive Order 12834, 
which otherwise would have prohibited him from lobbying his 
former colleagues in the White House Counsel's Office. If 
Quinn's reasoning were to prevail in the Rodham case, it seems 
clear that Rodham would have violated the Florida Bar Rules 
against receiving contingent fees in a criminal case. On the 
other hand, Federal District Court Judge Denny Chin rejected 
the claims of Jack Quinn and the other Marc Rich lawyers that 
their work lobbying for the pardons of Rich and Pincus Green 
were protected by the attorney-client privilege and attorney 
work product protection. Judge Chin ruled that their work 
lobbying for a pardon could not be considered legal work 
entitled to the attorney-client privilege or work product 
protection.\371\ If Judge Chin's ruling were to be followed by 
the Florida Bar, it is less likely that Rodham could be 
sanctioned for violating the Florida Bar rules. However, it is 
still possible that he could be punished for charging an 
excessive fee in relation to the amount of work he performed on 
the pardons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \371\ In re Grand Jury Subpoenas (No. M11-189 (DC)) (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 
9, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rather than conducting a serious inquiry into the facts or 
the law, it appears that the Florida Bar has declined to look 
into the Rodham matter at all. On July 16, 2001, the Florida 
Bar grievance committee voted unanimously to close the Rodham 
case. In its letter closing the case, the Florida Bar described 
its investigation and reasons for closing the case. It appears 
that the investigation consisted solely of reading press 
accounts of Rodham's involvement in lobbying for pardons and 
requesting a written response to the allegations from Rodham's 
counsel.
    The Florida Bar considered first whether Rodham's fees were 
improper and ruled that they were not for two main reasons. 
First, it determined that the clemency process was not a 
judicial proceeding. Contingent fees are prohibited in criminal 
cases, largely because the ``right to competent counsel should 
not be tied to the compensation paid to the attorney.'' \372\ 
However, the Florida Bar concluded that ``clemency is different 
from other post-conviction avenues of appeal. It cannot be said 
that, based on existing rules and ethics opinions, accepting a 
contingency fee for assistance in a clemency proceeding is 
improper per se.'' \373\ Second, it determined that Rodham's 
fees could not be characterized as ``excessive,'' despite the 
fact that he was paid $434,000 for minimal work. The Bar 
Committee concluded that ``it would be highly unusual for The 
Florida Bar to become involved in a determination of 
reasonableness of attorney's fees in the absence of a complaint 
of an interested party, one who actually suffered harm 
directly. We may consider doing so when a compelling public 
interest arises . . . [We] did not find a compelling public 
interest in the matters involved.'' \374\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \372\ Letter from Barry W. Rigby, Chief Branch Disciplinary 
Counsel, The Florida Bar, to J. Christian Adams, Counsel, Adams Law 
Firm (July 16, 2001) (Exhibit 45).
    \373\ Id.
    \374\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Second, the Florida Bar considered whether Rodham engaged 
in dishonest conduct in his efforts to obtain the Vignali and 
Braswell grants of clemency. The Florida Bar concluded:

        There has been no evidence presented or made available 
        to The Florida Bar: 1) that Mr. Rodham violated rules 
        or procedures relating to the pardons in question; 2) 
        that monies were intended as improper payment to 
        persons involved in the pardon process; or 3) that 
        there was any other deceit or dishonesty on his 
        part.\375\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \375\ Id.

The Bar then noted that it had attempted to obtain information 
about Rodham from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern 
District of New York but was declined.\376\ At no time did the 
Florida Bar approach this Committee seeking information about 
Rodham, which would have been shared readily with the Bar.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \376\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As this report has made clear, Hugh Rodham engaged in 
dishonest conduct on a number of occasions with respect to his 
work on the Vignali commutation. Rodham passed on misleading 
information to the White House, he made misleading arguments to 
White House staff about Vignali's case for clemency, and he 
told outright lies to White House staff, for example, that the 
attorney who prosecuted Vignali supported his commutation. The 
Florida Bar should review this report and take appropriate 
action against Rodham.
            3. The Message Sent by the Vignali Commutation
    The Vignali commutation will have two practical 
consequences. First, Carlos Vignali has been released from 
prison approximately nine years ahead of schedule. There is no 
evidence that Vignali is reformed or that he has in any way 
changed his life since being convicted. He has never admitted 
his guilt, he has never cooperated with law enforcement, and he 
has never admitted that he did anything wrong.
    However, the Vignali commutation has a significance beyond 
the early release from prison of an unrepentant cocaine dealer. 
With his commutation, President Clinton sent a message that 
there is a double standard of justice between the rich and the 
poor. Twenty-eight other people were convicted along with 
Vignali for participating in the cocaine distribution ring. 
Carlos Vignali was the only person in that distribution ring to 
receive executive clemency. Yet, other participants in the 
conspiracy received stiffer prison sentences, despite the fact 
that they served more minor roles in the conspiracy than 
Vignali. For example, Todd Hopson was sentenced to over 19 
years in prison and is still in prison today. While Hopson was 
clearly guilty, police have stated that his sentence was 
excessive.\377\ After Vignali received his commutation, Hopson 
observed, ``I didn't pay anybody, I didn't have anybody walk my 
application up to the White House and put it in front of the 
President. I didn't have those connections.'' \378\ Even Todd 
Hopson, a convicted cocaine dealer, can understand the message 
sent by President Clinton: if you can afford to hire the right 
person--especially a relative of the President--you can get out 
of prison, even if you are clearly guilty of a serious crime.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \377\ Fox Special Report with Brit Hume (Feb. 27, 2001).
    \378\ Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, Working the American 
System, L.A. Times, Apr. 29, 2001, at L.A. Times Mag. 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Vignali commutation also sent a message to the nation's 
law enforcement officers. Many law enforcement officers risk 
their lives on a daily basis to stem the flow of illegal drugs 
into our neighborhoods. Indeed, Carlos Vignali and his 28 co-
conspirators were apprehended only after a painstaking 
investigation that included wiretaps and undercover 
surveillance. When one of the ringleaders of a cocaine 
distribution ring receives executive clemency solely because he 
hired the president's brother-in-law to represent him, it mocks 
the efforts of law enforcement and indicates a dangerously lax 
attitude towards fighting the war on drugs. Tony Adams, the 
Minneapolis narcotics detective who played a key role in 
apprehending Vignali and who has risked his life in the line of 
duty,\379\ understood the significance of President Clinton's 
actions. Adams observed that ``it's like, basically, you've 
just been told that this kid, he's untouchable.'' \380\ Adams 
stated that the Vignali commutation ``more or less tells us 
that America's system has been bought if you have money.'' 
\381\ The bitterness of Adams, and presumably a number of other 
law enforcement officers, is clear in Adams' statement that 
``politicians always get in front of this camera and say 
``We're trying to take dope off the streets. We're trying to 
put dope dealers in jail.'' Well, you just let one out, a big 
one.'' \382\ Adams suggested that ``the politicians in L.A. or 
Washington, D.C., should finish the nine years that he has left 
on his time, and I'm standing right by that.'' \383\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \379\ The danger of Adams' work is underscored by the fact that on 
April 20, 2001, he was shot at by a suspect. Adams was unharmed. David 
Chanen, Man Fires at Officer, But Nobody is Hurt, Star Trib., Apr. 20, 
2001, at 9B.
    \380\ Richard A. Serrano and Stephen Braun, Working the American 
System, L.A. Times, Apr. 29, 2001, at L.A. Times Mag. 10.
    \381\ Fox Special Report with Brit Hume (Feb. 27, 2001).
    \382\ ABC World News Now (Feb. 23, 2001). See also Duncan DeVille 
Document Production (Letter from Duncan DeVille, Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the Central District of California, Department of Justice, 
to Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of 
California, Department of Justice (Mar. 2, 2001)) (Exhibit 46) (citing 
Mayorkas' assistance in the Vignali matter as the basis for 
resignation).
    \383\ Fox Special Report with Brit Hume (Feb. 23, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. THE PARDON OF A. GLENN BRASWELL

    Another of the recipients of President Clinton's misplaced 
mercy on his final days in the White House was Almon Glenn 
Braswell. Braswell was convicted in 1983 of mail fraud, 
perjury, and tax evasion in connection with selling herbal 
remedies purporting to encourage hair growth, remove cellulite, 
and increase breast size.\384\ More alarmingly, Braswell was 
under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, the 
Federal Trade Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and 
several state attorneys general when his pardon was 
granted.\385\ In addition, as the President was granting 
Braswell a pardon, federal investigators in Los Angeles were 
examining a massive tax evasion and money-laundering scheme 
allegedly conducted by Braswell.\386\ How such an unmeritorious 
application received President Clinton's attention may be 
explained by a $230,000 payment from Braswell to Hugh Rodham, 
the President's brother-in-law. \387\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \384\ Douglas Pasternak, Another Dubious Pardon, U.S. News & World 
Rep., Feb. 12, 2001, at 26.
    \385\ Id.
    \386\ Peter Slevin, Another Pardon Stirs Controversy; Herbal 
Marketer Faces U.S. Tax Evasion Probe, Wash. Post, Feb. 6, 2001, at A3.
    \387\ See Letter from Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith, to the 
Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Feb. 28, 2001) 
(within Appendix I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Braswell's History of Misconduct

    In the decades prior to Hugh Rodham's involvement, Braswell 
created a dietary supplement empire by intentionally misleading 
consumers with false claims of health benefits.\388\ These 
fabricated claims led to Braswell's conviction in 1983 on 
perjury, tax evasion, and mail fraud charges.\389\ According to 
his pardon petition, Braswell was convicted of tax evasion for 
creating a system in which he would intentionally overpay for 
corporate services and, in return, receive cash payments that 
were not reported as income to the IRS.\390\ With respect to 
the mail fraud conviction, Braswell devised a scheme to defraud 
consumers by placing false and misleading advertisements in 
magazines throughout the United States.\391\ These 
advertisements depicted phony ``before and after'' photographs 
purportedly revealing how Braswell's products promoted hair 
growth and breast enlargement.\392\ Mr. Braswell was sentenced 
to three years' imprisonment and five years' probation for 
these crimes,\393\ but he received parole after serving only 
seven months in prison.\394\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \388\ Kurt Eichenwald and Michael Moss, Pardon for Subject of 
Inquiry Worries Prosecutors, N.Y. Times, Feb. 6, 2001, at A1.
    \389\ NARA Document Production (Almon Glenn Braswell's Petition for 
Pardon (Jan. 12, 2001)) (Exhibit 47).
    \390\ Id.
    \391\ Id. The House Select Committee on Aging held a hearing in 
1984 examining the fraudulent claims of dietary supplement marketers 
such as Braswell. ``In Quackery: A $10 Billion Scandal,'' Hearings 
Before the House Select Committee on Aging, Subcommittee on Health and 
Long-term Care, 98th Cong. (May 31, 1984). Regarding Braswell's 
companies in particular, a Postal Service official testified, ``one 
hundred and thirty-eight false representation complaints were filed 
against 50 different medical-cosmetic products marketed by Braswell, 
Inc.'' Id. at 137. The cases were concluded through 32 false 
representation orders and 15 consent agreements.
    \392\ Id. at 138.
    \393\ Richard A. Serrano, Man's Pardon for ``83 Crime Can't Aid Him 
in L.A. Probe, L.A. Times, Feb. 7, 2001, at A4.
    \394\ Douglas Pasternak, Another Dubious Pardon, U.S. News & World 
Rep., Feb. 12, 2001, at 26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Braswell's conviction was just the beginning of his legal 
troubles. Braswell pled no contest to grand theft after being 
arrested for burglary at the home of a former employee.\395\ He 
was sentenced to two years' probation to run concurrently with 
his federal sentence.\396\ Additionally, the Federal Trade 
Commission brought charges against Braswell in 1983. The FTC 
contended that his companies lacked adequate scientific 
evidence supporting the claims of their hair-loss products and 
that the companies declined to pay refunds promised to 
customers.\397\ Braswell's companies settled FTC charges by 
paying $610,000 in civil penalties, and the FTC permanently 
barred them from making performance claims for any product 
without reliable scientific evidence.\398\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \395\ ``Swindlers, Hucksters and Snake Oil Salesman: Hype and Hope 
Marketing Anti-Aging Products to Seniors,'' Hearing Before the Senate 
Special Committee on Aging, 107th Cong. 27 (prepared statement of E. 
Vernon F. Glenn, Attorney, Law Offices of E. Vernon F. Glenn). Glenn 
represented several clients in a defamation lawsuit against Braswell.
    \396\ Id.
    \397\ Federal Trade Commission Press Release, Braswell Prohibited 
Permanently from Advertising Baldness ``Cures'' Without FDA Approval of 
Product, Under Federal Trade Commission Consent Judgment, Sept. 16, 
1983.
    \398\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For over a decade, the herbal remedy dealer managed to 
evade the attention of federal regulators. In 1995, the Food 
and Drug Administration issued an import alert on products 
manufactured by Gero Vita International, Braswell's principal 
mail-order marketer of natural medicines.\399\ The FDA 
determined that Gero Vita was promoting certain products as 
``drugs'' that could cure various ailments without first 
receiving FDA approval.\400\ The alert enabled FDA to seize 
Gero Vita products imported into the United States. It was in 
effect at the time President Clinton pardoned Braswell on 
January 20, 2001, and it was still in effect as of January 
2002.\401\ Also in 1995, the National Advertising Division of 
the Council of Better Business Bureaus concluded that Gero Vita 
could not substantiate claims for one of its products claiming 
to be an ``Anti-Aging Pill.'' \402\ The company advertisement 
declared that the pill ``improves memory . . . Sex Drive! And 
reduces chance of Heart Attack by 83%!'' \403\ The Better 
Business Bureau warned consumers that these proclamations were 
``exaggerated and overstated'' and ``misleading.'' \404\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \399\ Michael Isikoff, The Bush Clan's Donor Problem, Newsweek, 
Sept. 29, 2000, at 2000 WL 33208288.
    \400\ Id.
    \401\ See Food and Drug Administration Import Alert #66-41, 
Unapproved New Drugs Promoted in the U.S., Sept. 28, 2000.
    \402\ Michael Isikoff, The Bush Clan's Donor Problem, Newsweek, 
Sept. 29, 2000, at 2000 WL 33208288.
    \403\ Id. (quoting Gero Vita Advertisement)
    \404\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Three sports celebrities were also victims of Glenn 
Braswell's fraudulent practices. Race-car driver Richard Petty, 
Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, and baseball Hall of Famer 
Stan Musial filed suit against Braswell in 1997 for falsely 
portraying these celebrities as endorsing a Braswell product 
that purportedly treats prostate cancer.\405\ In peddling 
Prostata, Braswell inappropriately and inaccurately warned that 
the sports figures ``waited too long and are suffering'' from 
prostate problems.\406\ He then mailed brochures featuring the 
celebrities' photographs with their bogus endorsement to over 
17 million addresses.\407\ As a result, subsequent sales of 
Prostata associated with those brochures totaled over $5 
million.\408\ The lawsuit accused Braswell of defamation, 
invasion of privacy, unfair trade practices, and intentionally 
inflicting emotional distress.\409\ In his two-hour deposition, 
Braswell invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-
incrimination 196 times.\410\ According to the sports stars' 
attorney, the lawsuit was eventually settled out of court for 
``significant money.'' \411\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \405\ Joan McKinney, New ``Snake-Oil'' Industry Roasted, Baton 
Rouge Advoc., Sept. 11, 2001, at 1A.
    \406\ Lucy Morgan, Bush Brothers Pop Up in Potion Peddler's 
Magazine, St. Petersburg Times, Sept. 29, 2000, at A1.
    \407\ ``Swindlers, Hucksters and Snake Oil Salesman: Hype and Hope 
Marketing Anti-Aging Products to Seniors,'' Hearing Before the Senate 
Special Committee on Aging, 107th Cong. 26 (prepared statement of E. 
Vernon F. Glenn, Attorney, Law Offices of E. Vernon F. Glenn).
    \408\ Id.
    \409\ Lucy Morgan, Bush Brothers Pop Up in Potion Peddler's 
Magazine, St. Petersburg Times, Sept. 29, 2000, at A1.
    \410\ Isabel Vincent, The Canadian Connection to Clinton Pardon, 
Nat'l Post, Mar. 3, 2001, at B1.
    \411\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Undeterred by the settlement, the FDA's import alert, and 
the Better Business Bureau's consumer warning, Gero Vita 
continued to publish deceiving advertisements. In 1998, the 
editors of Consumer Reports wrote, ``We see a lot of misleading 
marketing, but what spews out of Gero Vita Industries rivals 
the worst.'' \412\ Continuing its censure, Consumer Reports 
described Gero Vita's unsolicited booklet mailings as 
``masquerading as science. The booklets cite actual studies, 
but twist the findings to support the company's own 
unsubstantiated claims.'' \413\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \412\ Consumer Reports, quoted in Peter Slevin, Another Pardon 
Stirs Controversy; Herbal Marketer Faces U.S. Tax Evasion Probe, Wash. 
Post, Feb. 6, 2001, at A3.
    \413\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite drawing the attention of law enforcement agencies, 
various federal regulators, consumer advocate groups, and 
plaintiffs' attorneys, Braswell has continued to use misleading 
advertising to promote his products. Since the Prostata 
lawsuit, Braswell has been sued twice more for misrepresenting 
the results of medical research.\414\ Arthritis specialist Dr. 
Joel Kremer filed suit against two Braswell companies for 
creating the appearance in an advertisement that Dr. Kremer's 
research supported the effectiveness of a Braswell arthritis 
product.\415\ According to the lawsuit, the advertisement also 
falsely portrayed Dr. Kremer as endorsing an anti-arthritis 
elixir,\416\ an allegation similar to the one Braswell settled 
in the Prostata lawsuit. In a similar lawsuit, Braswell 
allegedly misused another doctor's research once again for an 
anti-arthritis product.\417\ This lawsuit asserts that Gero 
Vita distorted Dr. John Prudden's research to support the claim 
that the Gero Vita product supposedly rebuilt joints and 
stopped arthritis.\418\ These suits were still pending as of 
September 2001.\419\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \414\ ``Swindlers, Hucksters and Snake Oil Salesman: Hype and Hope 
Marketing Anti-Aging Products to Seniors,'' Hearing Before the Senate 
Special Committee on Aging, 107th Cong. 28-29 (prepared statement of E. 
Vernon F. Glenn, Attorney, Law Offices of E. Vernon F. Glenn).
    \415\ Kim Martineau, Doctor Sues Firms Over Claims in Ad, Times 
Union (Albany, NY) Sept. 2, 2000, at B4.
    \416\ Id.
    \417\ ``Swindlers, Hucksters and Snake Oil Salesman: Hype and Hope 
Marketing Anti-Aging Products to Seniors,'' Hearing Before the Senate 
Special Committee on Aging, 107th Cong. 28-29 (prepared statement of E. 
Vernon F. Glenn, Attorney, Law Offices of E. Vernon F. Glenn).
    \418\ Id.
    \419\ Id. at 29.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Braswell was under criminal investigation by federal 
prosecutors in Los Angeles for tax evasion when President 
Clinton pardoned him in January 2001.\420\ The federal inquiry 
focused on whether Braswell transferred millions of dollars 
offshore through a shell company to evade IRS detection.\421\ 
Federal investigators described Braswell's actions as ``a 
massive tax evasion and money-laundering scheme.'' \422\ Court 
documents also allege that Braswell and his employees attempted 
to conceal documents from the government.\423\ These 
allegations are based on documents and company computers seized 
from Braswell's principal holding company, G.B. Data Systems, 
after IRS agents raided the office in 1999.\424\ Should any 
charges be brought based on these allegations, federal 
prosecutors anticipate that Braswell will argue that his pardon 
included the pending tax evasion investigation.\425\ Moreover, 
if Braswell were convicted on tax evasion charges, the pardon 
could lessen his sentence by neutralizing past felonies.\426\ 
In either scenario, the legal consequences of the pardon could 
potentially reward Braswell with unjustified leniency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \420\ Peter Slevin, Another Pardon Stirs Controversy; Herbal 
Marketer Faces U.S. Tax Evasion Probe, Wash. Post, Feb. 6, 2001, at A3.
    \421\ Id.
    \422\ Id.
    \423\ Michael Isikoff, The Bush Clan's Donor Problem, Newsweek, 
Sept. 29, 2000, at 2000 WL 33208288.
    \424\ Id.
    \425\ Michael Moss, Officials Say Investigation Will Go On Despite 
Pardon, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2001, at A24. A former White House 
spokesman said that the President did not intend for the pardon to 
cover anything other than the felonies Braswell committed in 1983. 
Richard A. Serrano, Man's Pardon for ``83 Crime Can't Aid Him in L.A. 
Probe, L.A. Times, Feb. 7, 2001, at A4. The Justice Department also 
concluded that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles could continue 
its investigation of Braswell's potential felonies involving his 
offshore corporations and accounts.
    \426\ Michael Moss, Officials Say Investigation Will Go on Despite 
Pardon, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2001, at A24.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Consideration of the Braswell Pardon by the Clinton White House

    The active criminal investigation into Braswell might have 
disqualified him if normal pardon procedures were 
followed.\427\ Yet, Braswell's petition bypassed the 
traditional route through the Justice Department and went 
directly to the White House.\428\ Legal experts agree that had 
the FBI conducted the background investigation instead of the 
White House, Braswell's application would have been rejected 
quickly.\429\ A former pardon attorney at the Justice 
Department during the Carter Administration said, ``If it had 
gone through normal channels, it never would have gotten 
through. Nobody ever gets a pardon when they are under active 
investigation for other offenses--ever.'' \430\ Margaret 
Colgate Love, the Justice Department's pardon attorney from 
1990 to 1997,\431\ concurred that evidence of an ongoing 
investigation should stop a president from issuing a pardon 
because the ``law-abidingness'' of the individual is a critical 
threshold in determining whether a petitioner is 
deserving.\432\ Love described the final Clinton pardons as 
``an accident waiting to happen.'' \433\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \427\ Kurt Eichenwald and Michael Moss, Pardon for Subject of 
Inquiry Worries Prosecutors, N.Y. Times, Feb. 6, 2001, at A1.
    \428\ Id.
    \429\ Id.
    \430\ Tim Nickens, Pardon of Man Under Investigation Questioned, 
St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 8, 2001, at 6B.
    \431\ Leon Bruneau, Clinton Aides Testify Before Congress on Pardon 
Controversy, Agence France-Presse, Mar. 1, 2001, at 2001 WL 2352895.
    \432\ Peter Slevin, Clinton Termed Unaware of Braswell Probe; 
Spokesman Says Pardon Covered Only '83 Case, Not Possible New Charges, 
Wash. Post, Feb. 7, 2001, at A20.
    \433\ Leon Bruneau, Clinton Aides Testify Before Congress on Pardon 
Controversy, Agence France-Presse, Mar. 1, 2001, at 2001 WL 2352895.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    How such an undeserving petitioner received the President's 
ultimate grant of forgiveness can be explained by Braswell's 
powerful and high-priced connections. Braswell was represented 
in his pardon bid by Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. Attorney 
appointed by President Clinton \434\ and an attorney for former 
Vice President Al Gore during the Florida vote recount.\435\ 
However, it is unclear whether Coffey called on his own 
influence with the Clinton Administration to obtain the 
Braswell pardon. Rather, it appears that Coffey's main 
contribution to the pardon effort was to hire Hugh Rodham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \434\ Coffey's tenure as U.S. Attorney ended under an ethical 
cloud. After losing a major drug trafficking trial in February 1996, 
Coffey visited the Lipstik Adult Entertainment Club, charged a $900 
magnum of Dom Perignon champagne to his American Express card, and 
retired to the club's private champagne room with one of the dancers. 
David Adams, Top Lawman Quits After Topless Bar Tale, St. Petersburg 
Times, May 18, 1996, at 1A. Reports indicate that, after the dancer 
rebuffed Coffey's advances towards her, Coffey grabbed the dancer, 
pulled her towards him, and bit her left upper arm. The bite broke the 
dancer's skin and drew blood, according to the dancer's husband. After 
meeting with then-Attorney General Janet Reno about the incident, 
Coffey resigned as U.S. Attorney. Federal Attorney Resigns, Tampa 
Tribune, May 18, 1996, at 1.
    \435\ Tim Nickens, Pardon of Man Under Investigation Questioned, 
St. Petersburg Times, Feb. 8, 2001, at 6B.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On January 12, 2001, Coffey sent a note to Rodham 
requesting his assistance. The note suggested that Rodham could 
earn a very large sum of money for his work.\436\ In his note 
regarding Braswell, Coffey wrote:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \436\ Kendall Coffey Document Production 0003 (Memorandum from 
Kendall Coffey, Attorney, to Hugh Rodham, Attorney (Jan. 12, 2001)) 
(Exhibit 48). Along with this note, Coffey attached a copy of 
Braswell's pardon petition.

        The client proposes $20,000 for a best efforts 
        submission and an $80,000 success payment. Both numbers 
        are negotiable, especially the latter. The initial 
        payment can be wired Tuesday a.m. if the representation 
        is accepted.\437\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \437\ Id.

Rodham accepted the representation but not before negotiating a 
fee of $230,000 for his work if successful.\438\ On January 17, 
2001, two days before the pardon was issued, Coffey sent Rodham 
a fax at the White House.\439\ The fax included a three-page 
letter written by Coffey to the President expounding on the 
merits of the Braswell case.\440\ With Braswell's crime-ridden 
background in mind, in addition to the current investigation 
for tax fraud, excerpts from Coffey's letter would be laughable 
if not for the gravity of the situation. In the letter, Coffey 
describes Braswell as a ``visionary'' with an ``exemplary 
record of business accomplishments'' who is ``truly deserving 
of the extraordinary measure of mercy embodied in a 
Presidential pardon.'' \441\ Coffey also opined that 
``[g]ranting a pardon to bring justice and healing to a man's 
life would further the extraordinary legacies that have defined 
your Presidency.'' \442\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \438\ See Letter from Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith, to the 
Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Feb. 28, 2001) 
(within Appendix I). News reports indicated that Rodham received 
$200,000 for his work on Braswell's pardon, but, according to Rodham's 
attorney, Braswell made one payment of $30,000 and then transferred 
$200,000 by wire to Rodham's law firm. Based on this information and 
Coffey's note to Rodham, the $30,000 payment likely was for a ``best 
efforts submission'' by Rodham that he would receive regardless of 
outcome. The $200,000 wire transfer likely was received as a ``success 
payment.''
    \439\ Kendall Coffey Document Production 0004-07 (Fax from Kendall 
Coffey, Attorney, Kendall Coffey, P.A., to Hugh Rodham (Jan. 17, 2001)) 
(Exhibit 49).
    \440\ See id.
    \441\ Id.
    \442\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At this point, Coffey's work pushing the Braswell pardon 
was finished,\443\ and Braswell's fate was placed in Rodham's 
hands. In the final days of the Clinton Administration, Rodham 
contacted Meredith Cabe of the White House Counsel's Office at 
least twice.\444\ He forwarded Coffey's letter of support for 
Braswell to Cabe, and he made a follow-up inquiry.\445\ 
According to Rodham's attorney, these two actions were the 
extent of Rodham's role in the Braswell pardon, a role for 
which he received $230,000.\446\ Despite the huge reward for 
success, his close relationship with the President, and his 
living in the White House, Rodham claims he never discussed 
either Braswell or Vignali with President Clinton or Hillary 
Clinton.\447\ However, the small circle of aides advising the 
former President admit that Clinton and Rodham may have had 
private discussions to which staffers were not privy.\448\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \443\ Kendall Coffey Document Production 0001-02 (Record of 
Professional Services Rendered Regarding Braswell Clemency Application 
(Feb. 4, 2001)) (Exhibit 50).
    \444\ Letter from Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith, to the 
Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Feb. 28, 2001) 
(within Appendix I).
    \445\ Id.
    \446\ Id.
    \447\ Id.
    \448\ Christopher Marquis and Michael Moss, A Clinton In-law 
Received $400,000 in 2 Pardon Cases, N.Y. Times, Feb. 22, 2001, at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Among the staffers assisting the President with the pardon 
petitions were members of the White House Counsel's Office. 
Meredith Cabe recalls discussing the Braswell pardon with 
Rodham.\449\ In fact, another associate counsel at the White 
House, Eric Angel, was also aware that Rodham was involved with 
the Braswell case.\450\ When asked how he knew of Rodham's 
advocacy, Angel responded, ``I think his name was on an 
envelope or Meredith mentioned it.'' \451\ Based on the pardon 
petition and the White House's cursory investigation, Angel did 
not oppose the Braswell pardon and remembers no other staff 
member opposing the Rodham-backed pardon either.\452\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \449\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \450\ Interview with Eric Angel, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 28, 2001).
    \451\ Id.
    \452\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    One of the President's closest advisors, White House 
Counsel Beth Nolan, was also aware that Rodham was advocating 
Braswell's petition.\453\ Ms. Nolan knew that Mr. Rodham 
circumvented the Justice Department and filed the Braswell 
petition directly with the White House.\454\ In fact, Nolan 
brought the Braswell pardon to Cabe's attention.\455\ Ms. Nolan 
personally handed the Braswell file to Cabe and Angel.\456\ 
Nolan then requested that Cabe inspect the petition because 
Nolan believed it was the type of case in which the President 
was interested.\457\ Finally, both Cabe and Nolan recall 
discussing the Braswell petition in a meeting with the 
President.\458\ Despite Rodham's oddly intense interest in an 
obscure herbal remedy dealer from South Florida, Nolan claims 
that she was unaware Rodham was receiving a fee for his 
advocacy.\459\ Cabe explained that the President had a 
``general articulation'' of types of cases he wanted to 
consider.\460\ She recalled that President Clinton believed 
that felons convicted a long time ago, but who now abided by 
the law, deserved to have their civil rights restored.\461\ 
Based on general agreement among White House staff, Braswell 
fell into this category and deserved clemency.\462\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \453\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Cong. 413 
(Mar. 1, 2001) (testimony of Beth Nolan, former Counsel to the 
President, the White House).
    \454\ Id. at 382.
    \455\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \456\ Interview with Eric Angel, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 28, 2001).
    \457\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \458\ Id. ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Cong. 413 
(Mar. 1, 2001) (testimony of Beth Nolan, former Counsel to the 
President, the White House).
    \459\ Id.
    \460\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001). 
    \461\ Id.
    \462\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a carefully worded statement, President Clinton issued a 
similar claim.\463\ The former President said he had no 
knowledge that Rodham received a contingency fee for his work 
on the Braswell application and insisted that Rodham return any 
monies received.\464\ The President's careful use of the phrase 
``contingency fee'' leaves open the possibility that he was 
aware Braswell was paying Rodham, but not the details of their 
arrangement. Rodham's attorney Nancy Luque mailed a $230,000 
check to Braswell on February 23, 2001,\465\ after Rodham's 
conduct was widely reported and criticized in the press.\466\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \463\ Jerry Seper, Hillary's Brother Returns Cash for Pardon Work, 
Wash. Times, Feb. 22, 2001, at A1.
    \464\ Id.
    \465\ Letter from Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith, to Glenn 
Braswell (Feb. 23, 2001) (Exhibit 42).
    \466\ Reports detailing Rodham's receipt of over $200,000 from 
Braswell appeared on the front page of The New York Times, Washington 
Post, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and USA 
Today.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the face of widespread criticism from Republicans and 
Democrats alike, Luque somehow maintained that ``Hugh Rodham 
has done absolutely nothing wrong.'' \467\ Most disagreed with 
Luque's viewpoint. President Clinton declared that he and 
Hillary were ``deeply disturbed'' by news reports of Rodham's 
actions.\468\ In a separate statement, Hillary Clinton stated 
her belief that ``the payments should be returned 
immediately.'' \469\ Other critics more forcefully condemned 
Rodham. Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic National 
Committee, declared, ``What he did was absolutely wrong.'' 
\470\ The DNC Chairman called on Rodham to ``fully account for 
his actions.'' \471\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \467\ Christopher Marquis and Michael Moss, A Clinton In-law 
Received $400,000 in 2 Pardon Cases, N.Y. Times, Feb. 22, 2001, at A1.
    \468\ Jerry Seper, Hillary's Brother Returns Cash for Pardon Work, 
Wash. Times, Feb. 22, 2001, at A1.
    \469\ Id.
    \470\ Christopher Marquis and Michael Moss, A Clinton In-law 
Received $400,000 in 2 Pardon Cases, N.Y. Times, Feb. 22, 2001, at A1.
    \471\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As for Braswell, he has been unable to steer clear of 
allegations of misconduct. In addition to the federal tax 
evasion inquiry ongoing in Los Angeles, Braswell was subpoenaed 
to testify before a Senate Committee investigating health scams 
in September 2001.\472\ At the hearing, the former chief 
executive officer of a Braswell company testified that its 
products are ``laden with lies and deception'' \473\ and that 
Braswell continues to ``prey on the elderly and infirmed.'' 
\474\ Due in part to advertisements containing ``outright false 
statements,'' Braswell's companies generate annual revenues of 
approximately $200 million.\475\ The companies are organized to 
create the appearance of foreign ownership in ghost locations 
so any individual or agency seeking to locate the company will 
be delayed.\476\ In response to these weighty allegations, 
Braswell invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-
incrimination and refused to answer questions posed by the 
Committee.\477\ Braswell similarly refused a request for an 
interview by Committee staff.\478\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \472\ William M. Welch, Senate Probes ``Anti-Aging'' Claims, USA 
Today, Sept. 10, 2001, at A7.
    \473\ ``Swindlers, Hucksters and Snake Oil Salesman: Hype and Hope 
Marketing Anti-Aging Products to Seniors,'' Hearing Before the Senate 
Special Committee on Aging, 107th Cong. 8 (testimony of Mike O'Neal, 
former Chief Executive Officer, GB Data Systems)
    \474\ Id. at 11.
    \475\ See id. at 8-9.
    \476\ Id. at 9.
    \477\ Dennis Camire, President of Dietary Supplement Firm Takes 
Fifth in Senate Questioning, Gannett News Service, Sept. 11, 2001, at 
2001 WL 5112568.
    \478\ Letter from James C. Wilson, Chief Counsel, Comm. on Govt. 
Reform, to Henry F. Schuelke, III, Partner, Janis, Schuelke and 
Wechsler (February 26, 2002) (within Appendix I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. HUGH RODHAM'S EFFORTS TO OBTAIN CLEMENCY FOR THE LUMS

A. Background on Gene and Nora Lum

    Gene and Nora Lum were prominent Democratic contributors 
and fundraisers who gave more than $90,000 to the Democratic 
Party and raised at least $250,000 more.\479\ The Lums were 
especially close to former DNC Chair and Commerce Secretary Ron 
Brown. In 1992, at the request of Ron Brown, the Lums 
established the Asian Pacific Advisory Council to organize the 
Asian-Pacific American community and raise funds for the 
Democratic National Committee. In 1993, the Lums purchased an 
oil and gas company in Oklahoma and named it Dynamic Energy 
Resources. They hired Secretary Brown's son, Michael, to work 
at Dynamic Energy Resources. Although he did little work for 
the Lums, he was given $500,000 in company stock and a country 
club membership worth $60,000.\480\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \479\ Jerry Seper, Brown Son Gets Probation and Fine; Illegal 
Donations Made in '94 Races, Wash. Times, Nov. 22, 1997, at A2; John 
Solomon, Couple to Plead Guilty to Illegal $50,000 Donation, Associated 
Press Political Service, May 22, 1997, at 1997 WL 2527905.
    \480\ Jerry Seper, Couple Jailed for Gifts to Democrats, Wash. 
Times, Sept. 10, 1997, at A10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Many of the Lums' political contributions were illegal, and 
in 1997 the Lums pleaded guilty to making $50,000 in illegal 
conduit contributions to the DNC and the campaigns of Senator 
Edward Kennedy and Stuart Price. Their daughter, Trisha Lum, 
and Michael Brown also pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of 
making conduit contributions. As part of their plea agreement, 
Gene and Nora Lum were sentenced to 5 months in home detention 
and 5 months in a halfway house and were ordered to pay a 
$30,000 fine.\481\ In August 1998, Gene Lum also pleaded guilty 
to tax fraud for filing tax returns claiming more than $7.1 
million in false deductions.\482\ In June 1999, Gene Lum was 
sentenced to two years in prison.\483\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \481\ Press Release 01-182, Thai Businesswomen Sentenced On 
Campaign Financing Charges, Department of Justice, Apr. 20, 2001. In 
particular, the Lums pleaded to using Dynamic Resources to funnel 
$50,000 in illegal contributions to the 1994 re-election campaign of 
Senator Edward Kennedy and to Stuart Price's unsuccessful congressional 
campaign in Oklahoma. James Rowley, The Justice Department Opposes 
Giving Convicted . . ., Associated Press Political Service, Oct. 15, 
1997, at 1997 WL 2555487; Federal Document Clearing House, Department 
of Justice, ``New Jersey Attorney Sentenced in Campaign Finance Case,'' 
Oct. 12, 2000 (summarizing Campaign Task Force prosecutions). The Lums 
admitted making the donations through ``straw donors,'' including their 
daughter, Trisha, and Michael Brown. James Rowley, ``The Justice 
Department Opposes Giving Convicted . . .,'' Associated Press Political 
Service, Oct. 15, 1997, at 1997 WL 2555487. The Lums also admitted to 
having given Brown thousands of dollars in shareholder and consulting 
fees, which were given to friends to forward to Kennedy's re-election 
campaign. Id. 
    \482\ Id.
    \483\ Press Release 01-182, Thai Businesswomen Sentenced On 
Campaign Financing Charges,'' Department of Justice, Apr. 20, 2001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Hugh Rodham Approaches the White House About the Possibility of a 
        Pardon for the Lums

    The Committee has attempted to interview Gene Lum, Nora 
Lum, and their daughter Nicole Lum. All three have refused to 
cooperate with the Committee's investigation. Hugh Rodham also 
refused to cooperate with the Committee's request for an 
interview. Therefore, it is difficult to obtain a full 
understanding of the Lums' efforts to obtain executive 
clemency. However, sufficient evidence exists to conclude that 
the Lums did attempt to obtain executive clemency and that Hugh 
Rodham lobbied the White House as part of that effort. It is 
not clear why Rodham lobbied on behalf of the Lums or why their 
request was rejected.
    It appears that the Lums had a relationship with Hugh 
Rodham predating their efforts to obtain executive clemency. 
The Lums' daughter Nicole described Hugh Rodham was a 
``business associate and a friend.'' \484\ This relationship is 
supported by the fact that, on January 26, 2001, Hugh Rodham 
paid Nicole Lum $20,420.\485\ However, Nicole Lum refused to 
elaborate on the nature of the relationship between Hugh Rodham 
and her family or the purpose of the payment made by Rodham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \484\ Notes of Conversation Between Pablo E. Carrillo, Counsel, 
Comm. on Govt. Reform, and Nicole Lum (Aug. 28, 2001).
    \485\ See First Union Document Production (Check number 1314 from 
Rodham & Fine, P.A. IOTA Account to ``Ms. Nikki Lum'' for $20,420 (Jan. 
26, 2001)) (Exhibit 51).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In late 2000, the Lums apparently began their efforts to 
obtain executive clemency. In December 2000, Nora Lum called 
Joel Wohlgemuth, the attorney who represented her husband in 
his tax case, and asked him to compile a variety of documents 
related to their criminal cases and send them to Hugh Rodham at 
the White House.\486\ Wohlgemuth then compiled a packet of 
documents relating to both the tax case against Gene Lum and 
the campaign fundraising case against Gene and Nora Lum.\487\ 
Wohlgemuth sent the documents to Rodham at the White House in 
late December 2000.\488\ In early January 2001, Rodham called 
Wohlgemuth and said that the Justice Department did not have 
the documents Wohlgemuth had sent to the White House and asked 
him to resend them directly to Meredith Cabe, the associate 
White House Counsel responsible for vetting clemency 
applications, and one other person whose name Wohlgemuth could 
not recall.\489\ Wohlgemuth also asked the Lums' criminal 
attorneys in their campaign finance-related case to forward the 
Lums' presentence report directly to Cabe.\490\ On January 18, 
2001, Cabe received the Lums' presentence report from Caplin & 
Drysdale.\491\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \486\ Telephone Interview with Joel Wohlgemuth, Partner, Norman, 
Wohlgemuth, Chandler & Dowell (Jan. 17, 2002).
    \487\ Id.
    \488\ Id. The Federal Express package addressed to Hugh Rodham at 
the White House that contained the documents was reportedly dated 
December 28, 2000, at 11:11 a.m. The Lawyer's Column, Lobbyist? Who's a 
Lobbyist? When It Comes to Clemency, They Are Most Likely Advocates, 
Wash. Post, Mar. 5, 2001, at E8. Because Rodham needed the documents 
immediately at that point, Wohlgemuth sent the documents directly to 
him through the Usher's Office so that it would not be subject to, and 
therefore delayed by, onerous security measures that might have had the 
package rerouted through an offsite location for screening. Telephone 
Interview with Joel Wohlgemuth, Partner, Norman, Wohlgemuth, Chandler & 
Dowell (Jan. 17, 2002).
    \489\ Id.
    \490\ Telephone Interview with Cono Namorato and Scott Michel, 
Partners, Caplin & Drysdale (Jan. 17, 2002). This was the extent of 
Namorato and Michel's involvement in the Lums' clemency matter. Id. At 
no time did they speak to Hugh Rodham about that, or any other, matter. 
Id.
    \491\ Id.; NARA Document Production (Cover Letter and Presentence 
Investigation Report from Scott Michel, Partner, Caplin & Drysdale, to 
Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the President, the White 
House (July 16, 1997)) (Exhibit 52).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In January 2001, Hugh Rodham telephoned Meredith Cabe and 
spoke to her about the prospects of obtaining pardons for Gene 
and Nora Lum.\492\ Cabe found the case Rodham presented in 
support of the Lums unimpressive, so she ``just heard him 
out.'' \493\ Cabe relayed the substance of her discussion with 
Rodham about the Lums to Beth Nolan and Bruce Lindsey. Cabe 
also recalls that later, shortly before the end of the Clinton 
Administration, she again raised the issue of the Lum pardons 
with Nolan and Lindsey, and they made it clear to Cabe that the 
Lums were not going to receive pardons. While Cabe did not know 
why the Lum pardons were not seriously considered, one 
anonymous White House source told the press that ``senior White 
House aides had spread the word that clemencies would not be 
available for those who had been convicted in the past of 
campaign finance irregularities involving the Democratic 
Party.'' \494\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \492\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001); James V. Grimaldi & Lois 
Romano, Two Others Rodham Helped Didn't Win Pardons; Clinton Relative 
Called White House on Behalf of Former Fundraisers, Wash. Post, Feb. 
26, 2001, at A1. According to one unnamed source, during that 
conversation, ``[Rodham] was expressing some interest in the prospects 
of the Lums [sic] getting a pardon. He wanted to know where it stood, 
what the likelihood of a pardon might be.'' Stephen Braun and Richard 
Serrano, More Clemency Lobbying by Rodham Alleged; Commutations; Former 
President Clinton's Brother-In-Law Called a White House Lawyer About a 
Pardon For a Couple Convicted of Illegal Campaign Contributions, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 26, 2001, at A1.
    \493\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \494\ Stephen Braun and Richard Serrano, More Clemency Lobbying by 
Rodham Alleged; Commutations; Former President Clinton's Brother-In-Law 
Called a White House Lawyer About a Pardon For a Couple Convicted of 
Illegal Campaign Contributions, L.A. Times, Feb. 26, 2001, at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hugh Rodham has refused to participate in an interview with 
Committee staff regarding his pardon efforts. However, Rodham's 
attorney has publicly stated that Rodham ``did not represent 
the Lums. He was asked to represent them. He declined.'' \495\ 
Luque also publicly noted that Rodham ``did not represent [the 
Lums] in any way, shape or form in connection with any pardon 
request'' and that Rodham ``did not advocate on [the Lums'] 
behalf.'' Luque's statement is in direct conflict with Meredith 
Cabe's clear recollection that Hugh Rodham called her about the 
Lum pardons and lobbied her on behalf of the Lums. Ultimately, 
Luque modified her earlier public statement when she noted that 
Rodham in fact played ``a negligible role'' in pursuing 
executive clemency for the Lums.\496\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \495\ Stephen Braun and Richard Serrano, More Clemency Lobbying by 
Rodham Alleged; Commutations; Former President Clinton's Brother-In-Law 
Called a White House Lawyer About a Pardon For a Couple Convicted of 
Illegal Campaign Contributions, L.A. Times, Feb. 26, 2001, at A1.
    \496\ David Johnston and Don Van Natta, Jr., White House Logs Said 
To Show Pre-pardon Visits, N.Y. Times, Feb. 27, 2001, at A20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It remains unclear what, if any, amount of money was paid 
by Rodham to the Lums. Also unclear is whether there was any 
arrangement for a success fee in the event that Rodham was 
successful. The refusal of Rodham and the Lums to cooperate 
with the Committee only heightens the suspicion that some sort 
of financial arrangement, similar to Rodham's payment 
arrangement with Horacio Vignali and Glenn Braswell, existed in 
this case.

IV. FAILURE OF KEY PARTIES TO COOPERATE IN THE HUGH RODHAM 
        INVESTIGATION

A. Hugh Rodham

    Hugh Rodham was a central figure in both the Vignali and 
Braswell matters. However, he extended only partial cooperation 
to the Committee. On February 21, 2001, Chairman Burton sent 
Hugh Rodham a letter posing a number of questions regarding his 
work lobbying for pardons and commutations for various 
individuals.\497\ This letter also requested Rodham to produce 
records to the Committee regarding his lobbying efforts. On 
February 28, 2001, Nancy Luque, counsel for Rodham, provided 
brief answers on behalf of Rodham.\498\ On March 7, 2001, Luque 
provided to the Committee records regarding Rodham's efforts to 
obtain a pardon for Glenn Braswell.\499\ However, Luque did not 
provide any records regarding Rodham's efforts to obtain a 
commutation for Vignali, claiming they were all protected by 
the attorney-client privilege. Shortly thereafter, Chairman 
Burton requested that Rodham participate in an interview with 
Committee staff.\500\ Rodham refused to participate in an 
interview but continued to offer to respond to written 
questions. Therefore, the Committee did send Rodham two letters 
asking questions regarding his role in the Vignali matter.\501\ 
Rodham did provide extremely brief responses to these 
questions. However, he refused to provide to the Committee any 
documents relating to his work on the Vignali matter. Rodham's 
refusal to provide records relating to the Vignali matter was 
not justified by the attorney-client privilege, and it appears 
that Rodham's invocation of the privilege was overbroad and 
made to hinder the Committee's investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \497\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform, to Hugh Rodham (Feb. 21, 2001) (within Appendix I).
    \498\ Letter from Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith, to the 
Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Feb. 28, 2001) 
(within Appendix I).
    \499\ Letter from Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith, to the 
Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Mar. 7, 2001) 
(within Appendix I).
    \500\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform, to Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith (Mar. 13, 2001) 
(within Appendix I).
    \501\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform, to Hugh Rodham c/o Nancy Luque, Partner, Reed Smith (July 
30, 2001) (within Appendix I); Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, 
Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform, to Hugh Rodham c/o Nancy Luque, 
Partner, Reed Smith (Sept. 21, 2001) (within Appendix I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Horacio and Carlos Vignali

    On March 9, 2001, Chairman Burton sent a letter to Edward 
Rucker, counsel for Horacio and Carlos Vignali, posing a number 
of questions regarding the effort to win a commutation for 
Carlos Vignali.\502\ On March 15, 2001, Rucker responded, 
stating that, in light of the criminal investigation into the 
Vignali matter, it would be ``inadvisable'' to respond to the 
questions or produce documents to the Committee.\503\ On March 
21, 2001, Chairman Burton issued subpoenas to the Vignali's, 
requiring them to produce records to the Committee regarding 
the effort to obtain a commutation.\504\ On March 22, 2001, 
Rucker sent a letter to the Committee stating that his clients 
invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 
and, therefore, would not respond to the subpoena.\505\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \502\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform, to Edward A. Rucker, Esquire (Mar. 9, 2001) (within 
Appendix I).
    \503\ Letter from Edward A. Rucker, Esquire, to the Honorable Dan 
Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Mar. 15, 2001) (within 
Appendix I).
    \504\ Subpoena of Comm. on Govt. Reform to Horacio C. Vignali c/o 
Edward A. Rucker, Esquire (Mar. 21, 2001) (within Appendix II); 
Subpoena of Comm. on Govt. Reform to Carlos A. Vignali c/o Edward A. 
Rucker, Esquire (Mar. 21, 2001) (within Appendix II).
    \505\ Letter from Edward A. Rucker, Esquire, to the Honorable Dan 
Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Mar. 22, 2001) (within 
Appendix I). See also Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, 
Comm. on Govt. Reform, to Edward A. Rucker, Esquire (Apr. 4, 2001) 
(within Appendix I); Letter from Edward A. Rucker, Esquire, to the 
Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (Apr. 6, 2001) 
(within Appendix I).
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C. James Casso

    During the Committee's investigation of the Vignali matter, 
James Casso emerged as a significant figure in the effort to 
win a commutation for Carlos Vignali. Beginning in July 2001, 
Committee staff began efforts to interview Mr. Casso. Mr. Casso 
spoke with staff but initially declined to answer any questions 
about his involvement in the Vignali matter. Casso explained 
that he wanted to see if other individuals involved in the 
investigation were cooperating before he decided whether to 
cooperate. In late July, Casso informed Committee staff that he 
would not answer questions in an interview but would like to 
receive questions in writing from the Committee. Accordingly, 
on July 25, 2001, Chairman Burton posed a number of written 
questions to Casso.\506\ However, Casso failed to respond to 
this letter, necessitating a number of telephone calls from 
Committee staff. Eventually, Casso hired a lawyer and refused 
to cooperate with the Committee. On August 27, 2001, Mark 
Overland, Casso's attorney, wrote to the Chairman and stated 
that Casso was ``unable to provide'' the requested 
information.\507\ Overland later explained that Casso could not 
provide the information because he had an attorney-client 
relationship with the Vignalis that prohibited him from 
discussing his work for the Vignalis. This representation was 
in direct conflict with earlier assurances given by Casso to 
Committee staff, namely that he never represented the Vignalis. 
It appears that Casso, like Hugh Rodham, invoked the attorney-
client privilege in an overbroad and unjustified manner to 
avoid answering questions about his involvement in the Vignali 
matter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \506\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform, to James M. Casso, Partner, Alvarez-Glasman & Colvin 
(July 25, 2001) (within Appendix I).
    \507\ Letter from Mark E. Overland, Partner, Shapiro, Borenstein & 
Dupont, to the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform 
(Aug. 27, 2001) (within Appendix I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Glenn Braswell

    The Committee contacted Glenn Braswell's attorney, Henry F. 
Schuelke, and requested that Braswell participate in an 
interview on February 26, 2002. Through his attorney, Braswell 
declined to be interviewed \508\ and provided no documentation 
regarding his relationship with Kendall Coffey and Hugh Rodham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \508\ Letter from James C. Wilson, Chief Counsel, Comm. on Govt. 
Reform, to Henry F. Schuelke, III, Partner, Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler 
(February 26, 2002) (within Appendix I) (confirmation letter).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Kendall Coffey

    Kendall Coffey represented Glenn Braswell in his efforts to 
obtain clemency. On February 16, 2001, the Committee requested 
all records relating to Coffey's work on the Braswell pardon. 
Coffey's attorney provided records relevant to the Committee's 
request. These records raised a number of questions, and the 
Committee requested an interview with Coffey to resolve several 
issues regarding his role in the Braswell matter in an April 
10, 2001, letter. After not receiving a response from Coffey or 
his attorney, the Committee again requested that Coffey 
participate in an interview in a letter dated June 12, 
2001.\509\ On July 27, 2001, Coffey's attorney finally 
responded to the Committee by claiming that Coffey was ``unable 
to participate in an interview'' due to attorney-client 
privilege.\510\ Without Coffey's full cooperation, the 
Committee has been unable to resolve questions about the 
relationship between Braswell, Coffey, and Rodham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \509\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform Committee, to Jon A. Sale, Partner, Sale & Kuehne (June 
12, 2001) (within Appendix I).
    \510\ Letter from Jon A. Sale, Partner, Sale & Kuehne, to the 
Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform Committee (July 
27, 2001) (within Appendix I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. Gene and Nora Lum

    The Lums likewise refused to cooperate with the Committee's 
investigation. On September 26, 2001, the Committee had Gene 
and Nora Lum served with a subpoena duces tecum.\511\ For 
almost two months, both avoided repeated requests by the 
Committee for compliance with its subpoena. After numerous 
delays, the Lums finally replied to the Committee's subpoena by 
claiming that they had no responsive documents.\512\ On 
February 12, 2002, Gene Lum declined to be interviewed by 
Committee staff unless he was granted immunity from 
prosecution.\513\ Nora Lum likewise declined to cooperate with 
the Committee's investigation.\514\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \511\ Subpoena Duces Tecum from the Comm. on Govt. Reform to Gene 
K.H. Lum (Sept. 24, 2002) (within Appendix II); Subpoena Duces Tecum 
from the Comm. on Govt. Reform to Nora Lum (Sept. 24, 2002) (within 
Appendix II).
    \512\ Letter from Gene K.H. Lum to Pablo E. Carrillo, Counsel, 
Comm. on Govt. Reform (Nov. 14, 2001) (within Appendix I). Despite 
indications of Rodham's involvement in seeking executive clemency for 
the Lums and suggestions of some sort of ``business relationship'' 
between the Lums and Rodham, the Lums claimed that they did not have 
any records whatsoever relating to Rodham. Id.
    \513\ Letter from Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. 
Reform, to Gene K.H. Lum (Feb. 20, 2002) (within Appendix I) 
(memorializing request for prosecutorial immunity).
    \514\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform, to Nora Lum (Feb. 20, 2001) (within Appendix I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

G. Nicole Lum

    On August 28, 2001, Committee staff briefly spoke to Nicole 
Lum. During that conversation, Nicole Lum described Hugh Rodham 
as ``a friend'' and ``a business associate.'' Committee staff 
then attempted to probe into Nicole Lum's (and her family's) 
relationship with Rodham and Rodham's efforts to obtain a 
presidential pardon for Gene and Nora Lum. Nicole Lum indicated 
that she was unwilling to submit to an interview without her 
attorney present. However, Nicole Lum ultimately declined to 
retain an attorney for purposes of the Committee's 
investigation. On February 12, 2002, February 15, 2002, and 
February 20, 2002, Committee staff attempted to interview 
Nicole Lum.\515\ Nicole Lum has not responded to the 
Committee's repeated requests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \515\ Letter from Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. 
Reform, to Nicole M. Lum (Feb. 20, 2002) (within Appendix I) 
(requesting interview and noting telephone calls made on February 12, 
2002, and February 15, 2002).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [Exhibits referred to follow:]
    
    
                              CHAPTER FOUR

    TONY RODHAM'S ROLE IN LOBBYING FOR GRANTS OF EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY

                       FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE

Tony Rodham's Role in the Case of Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory

 Tony Rodham lobbied President Clinton to grant 
pardons to Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory while he was receiving 
substantial sums of money from the Gregorys. Rodham received 
$244,769 in salary from the Gregorys over two and a half years 
and also received another $79,000 in loans from the Gregorys. 
The Gregorys claim that they paid Rodham this large sum of 
money for various consulting services that Rodham provided to 
the Gregorys. However, the Gregorys do not have any 
documentation reflecting work performed for them by Rodham.

 Given the fact that the Gregorys do not have any 
documentary evidence reflecting the $244,769 of work performed 
for them by Rodham, substantial questions are raised as to what 
Rodham actually did for the Gregorys that was so valuable. The 
most valuable thing that Rodham did for the Gregorys was to 
obtain presidential pardons. Therefore, there is a substantial 
question as to whether the Gregorys paid Rodham for his efforts 
to obtain presidential pardons for them.

 If Rodham was paid to obtain presidential pardons 
for the Gregorys, it creates the strong appearance of 
impropriety. The prospect of financial benefit for Rodham would 
taint Rodham's actions in lobbying for the pardon. Also, if 
President Clinton knew about Rodham's financial arrangement, it 
would taint his actions in granting the pardons.

 Compounding the appearance of impropriety in the 
Gregorys case is the fact that the pardons were opposed by the 
Justice Department, the prosecutors responsible for the case, 
and the Gregorys' sentencing judge. Apparently, the only people 
in the Clinton Administration who felt that the Gregorys 
deserved pardons were President Clinton and Deputy White House 
Counsel Bruce Lindsey, both of whom knew of Tony Rodham's 
involvement in the matter.
Tony Rodham's Role in the Case of Fernando Fuentes Coba

 Tony Rodham offered to help Vivian Mannerud obtain a 
pardon for her father, Fernando Fuentes Coba, in exchange for 
$50,000. When Rodham learned in late 2000 that Mannerud was 
seeking a pardon for her elderly father, he met with Mannerud 
and told her that he could help obtain the pardon if she paid 
him a $50,000 consulting fee. Rodham told Mannerud that he had 
successfully obtained pardons before and showed her the 
Gregorys' pardon petition to support his claim.

 Rodham attempted to convince Mannerud to hire him by 
making a number of false representations to her. Rodham told 
Mannerud that he was close personal friends with the Pardon 
Attorney, Roger Adams. Rodham also told Mannerud that he would 
use the $50,000 to hire a law firm to handle her case, and that 
Roger Adams' wife worked at the law firm, which would help her 
case be treated favorably. All of these representations were 
completely false and were apparently made to mislead Mannerud 
as to the purpose of the payment to Rodham.

 Mannerud rejected Rodham's offer. Mannerud was 
concerned that Rodham could not guarantee that he could obtain 
a pardon in exchange for the $50,000. She was also concerned 
about becoming embroiled in a scandal. Therefore, she rejected 
Rodham's offer.

 After Mannerud rejected Rodham's offer, an associate 
of Rodham came back to Mannerud with another offer. According 
to Mannerud, a month after she rejected Tony Rodham's proposal, 
Marilyn Parker, a mutual friend of Rodham's and Mannerud's who 
attended the initial meeting between them, came back to 
Mannerud and told her that Rodham now wanted only $30,000 to 
help her obtain a pardon for her father. Mannerud was still 
concerned about the nature of Rodham's proposal and rejected 
it.

 The actions taken by Rodham and Parker may have been 
illegal. It appears that Rodham, and maybe Parker, tried to 
defraud Mannerud. While this effort was unsuccessful, it may 
have constituted criminal conduct. The Committee recommends 
that the Justice Department investigate these allegations.

INTRODUCTION
    Like his brother, Hugh Rodham, and his brother-in-law, 
Roger Clinton, Tony Rodham tried to sell his access to the 
White House. The Committee has investigated at least two 
instances in which Tony Rodham was involved in discussions 
regarding lobbying the White House for presidential pardons. In 
one case, dealing with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, Tony Rodham 
was successful and obtained pardons on March 15, 2000. Rodham's 
efforts on behalf of the Gregorys are troubling given several 
facts: (1) the Gregorys do not appear to be suitable candidates 
for presidential pardons; (2) Tony Rodham used his access to 
the President to lobby for the pardons; and (3) Tony Rodham had 
an extremely lucrative financial relationship with the Gregorys 
in which he apparently did very little work other than lobby 
for the presidential pardons.
    In the other case, it appears that Tony Rodham attempted to 
convince Vivian Mannerud, a prominent Democratic donor who was 
seeking a pardon for her father, that she should hire him to 
help obtain the pardon. In the course of attempting to convince 
Mannerud to hire him, it appears that Rodham seriously misled 
Mannerud about his influence with the Justice Department. 
Rodham was seeking as much as $50,000 for his work on this 
matter. While Mannerud did not accept Rodham's offer, Rodham's 
efforts to obtain money from Mannerud might have been criminal.
    Although the investigation of Tony Rodham's involvement in 
clemency proceedings produced important new evidence, the 
investigation was hampered by Tony Rodham's refusal to 
cooperate fully with the Committee. Though Rodham produced 
documents in response to a Committee subpoena, he refused to be 
interviewed by Committee staff. Rodham's refusal to answer 
questions regarding his involvement in the Gregory and Fuentes 
matters limited the ability of the Committee to reach 
definitive conclusions about certain aspects of those cases. 
Given Rodham's position that he did nothing improper, it is 
unclear why he did not want to answer questions from the 
Committee regarding his actions.
I. EDGAR AND VONNA JO GREGORY
A. Background
    Edgar Allen Gregory, Jr., and his wife, Vonna Jo, live 
outside Nashville and own United Shows of America, a carnival 
company which puts on the Florida State Fair and more than 30 
other carnivals a year.\1\ The Gregorys have felony convictions 
dating from 1986 relating to their ownership of several banks 
in the 1970s. From November 1975 to April 1977, the Gregorys 
owned controlling interests in five Alabama banks.\2\ The 
Gregorys' banking practices came under fire from regulators, 
who accused the Gregorys of making unsound loans to other 
companies they owned and to various associates.\3\ Alabama's 
banking superintendent closed one of the Gregorys' banks in 
March 1978.\4\ In a separate matter in January 1978, regulators 
seized another of the Gregorys' banks, the First Bank of Macon 
County in Notasulga, Alabama, citing ``unsafe and unsound 
banking practices.'' \5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Kevin Sack, Pardoned Couple Say Access Has Served Them Well, 
N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 2001, at A9. A news report aired by ``Dateline 
NBC'' several years ago alleged that ``games of skill and chance'' were 
rigged in United Shows fairways. At that time, Edgar Gregory said he 
thought such games were legal but would investigate the allegations. 
See Gregory Document Production 00004-08 (``Florida State Fair's 
Midway--United Shows of America, Inc.: Showmanship, Entertainment, 
Food, Family, Fun, Memories,'' 1998 Fla. State Fair Mag.) (Exhibit 1).
    \2\ See Kirk Loggins, Local Man Denies Paying Tony Rodham to Seek 
Pardons, The Tennessean, Mar. 2, 2001, at 1A.
    \3\ Id.
    \4\ Id.
    \5\ Id.
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    In 1982, the Gregorys were indicted on charges that they 
stole $800,000 in connection with their banking activities in 
the 1970s, sending the bank into bankruptcy.\6\ Subsequently, 
they were convicted of conspiring to misapply bank funds, 
making false statements to banks, misapplication of bank funds, 
and wire fraud.\7\ At that time, Edgar Gregory was sentenced to 
two years imprisonment and his wife to three years 
probation.\8\ The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed 
the conviction in part but also vacated in part.\9\ In 1986, 
the case was concluded when the Gregorys pleaded guilty to 
conspiracy and misapplication of bank funds.\10\ On October 1, 
1986, Edgar Gregory and his wife were sentenced to 5 years and 
3 years probation respectively.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\ Id.; Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton In-Law 
Says He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at A1.
    \7\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000029 (Petition for Pardon 
After Completion of Sentence for Vonna Jo Gregory, Nov. 10, 1998) 
(Exhibit 2); Gregory Document Production (Petition for Pardon After 
Completion of Sentence for Edgar Allen Gregory, Jr., Nov. 10, 1998) 
(Exhibit 3). See also Florida Officials Investigating Couples State 
Fair Contract Extension, Associated Press State and Local Wire, Mar. 8, 
2001.
    \8\ Id.
    \9\ U.S. v. Gregory, 730 F.2d 692, 706 (11th Cir. 1984). See also 
Florida Officials Investigating Couples State Fair Contract Extension, 
AP State and Local Wire, Mar. 8, 2001.
    \10\ Kirk Loggins, Local Man Denies Paying Tony Rodham to Seek 
Pardons, The Tennessean, Mar. 2, 2001, at 1A.
    \11\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000029 (Petition for Pardon 
After Completion of Sentence for Vonna Jo Gregory, Nov. 10. 1998) 
(Exhibit 2); Gregory Document Production (Petition for Pardon After 
Completion of Sentence for Edgar Allen Gregory, Jr., Nov. 10, 1998) 
(Exhibit 3). See also Kirk Loggins, Local Man Denies Paying Tony Rodham 
to Seek Pardons, The Tennessean, Mar. 2, 2001, at 1A.
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B. Tony Rodham's Relationship with the Gregorys
    The Gregorys had a relationship with President Clinton 
predating their relationship with Tony Rodham. The Gregorys 
made substantial contributions to Bill Clinton when he was 
running for President in 1992 and continued their contributions 
throughout President Clinton's two terms in office.\12\ By 
making large and frequent contributions to President Clinton's 
campaign, the Gregorys were able to meet with President Clinton 
a number of times. In total, the Gregorys met with President 
Clinton at least ten times while he was in office.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\ According to the Center on Responsive Politics, United Shows, 
the Gregorys' company, has ranked among the top 6 entertainment 
industry companies contributing to federal candidates and committees in 
the last three two-year campaign cycles. According to campaign finance 
disclosure records, United Shows contributed $50,000 to the DCCC in 
2000, $25,000 to the DNC in 1998, and $10,000 to the Democratic 
Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1998. According to financial 
disclosure records, the Gregorys also contributed a total of $4,500 to 
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1999 and 2000, $11,000 to the New 
York Senate 2000 Committee, $1,000 to President Clinton in 1995, $4,000 
to Vice President Gore, $8,000 to the Tennessee Democratic Party, and 
$5,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 1992. During 1999 and 
2000, the Gregorys, their children, and their company and its employees 
reportedly contributed a total of $294,000. Although the Gregorys 
contributed to Republican political interests during that period, 
eighty-nine percent of the Gregorys' contributions in that interim 
reportedly went to Democrats.
    \13\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001). See also Gregory Document Production (Invitation to birthday 
party for Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oct. 27, 1997) (Exhibit 4); Gregory 
Document Production (Facsimile driving instructions from Daniela 
Castro-Quijada, Tony Rodham & Associates, to Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory 
to birthday party for Hillary Rodham Clinton (Oct. 24, 1997)) (Exhibit 
5). The Gregorys declined that invitation. See Letter from Deborah L. 
McGee, Secretary to Howard Vine, Greenberg Traurig, to David Kass, 
Deputy Chief Counsel, Comm. on Govt. Reform (June 7, 2001) (within 
Appendix I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Gregorys first met Tony Rodham while President Clinton 
was campaigning for his second term.\14\ They met Rodham at a 
small private fundraiser in Washington, D.C.\15\ Rodham 
apparently used such fundraisers as a venue to solicit business 
opportunities for his consulting firm \16\ and develop a 
network of associates from which he could generate cash not 
only for political purposes but also for his personal use. At 
the fundraiser, Rodham introduced himself to the Gregorys as he 
was making the rounds in the room.\17\ The Gregorys cannot 
recall how many times or in what contexts they subsequently met 
Rodham.\18\ But, in the period that followed, a substantial 
business relationship between the Gregorys and Rodham 
developed. Around August 1997, Rodham approached the Gregorys 
and asked them to hire him as a consultant for their carnival 
and music businesses.\19\ Rodham told the Gregorys that he 
could be helpful to them in securing contracts or other 
opportunities for their businesses.\20\ Rodham also suggested 
that he had contacts in the real estate and music 
businesses.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
    \15\ Id.
    \16\ In a televised interview, Rodham described himself as a 
``general consultant'' and someone ``who solves problems for people.'' 
Interview by Larry King, CNN, with Tony Rodham (Mar. 3, 2001) (``I just 
bring different peoples together. I help them negotiate deals.'').
    \17\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001). See Kevin Sack, Pardoned Couple Say Access Has Served Them Well, 
N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 2001, at A9.
    \18\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
    \19\ Id.
    \20\ Id. This paragraph was added by the Gregorys to the draft 
Rodham originally submitted to them.
    \21\ Id.; Gregory Document Production (Consulting Services 
Agreement between Tony Rodham & Associates and Anthony D. Rodham and 
United Shows of America, et al. (June 6, 1998)) (Exhibit 6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In August 1997, Rodham provided the Gregorys with a 
proposed consulting services agreement.\22\ Under Rodham's 
proposal, he would be retained to provide ``general consulting 
services'' to United Shows of America.\23\ Rodham proposed that 
he be paid a retainer of $200,000 in addition to $2,500 per 
month for his labors.\24\ The Gregorys substantially revised 
Rodham's proposed agreement before signing it in June 1998. The 
main change made by the Gregorys was eliminating the $200,000 
retainer. With their changes, Rodham received $2,500 per month 
from the Gregorys as well as a $25,000 ``signing bonus.'' \25\ 
In addition, the Gregorys agreed to pay at their discretion 
additional bonuses to Rodham for specific services provided by 
Rodham.\26\ Rodham also received health benefits and the use of 
a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Tony Rodham Document Production (Draft of Consulting Services 
Agreement between Tony Rodham & Associates and United Shows of America 
(Aug. 1, 1997)) (Exhibit 7).
    \23\ Id.
    \24\ Id.
    \25\ Gregory Document Production (Consulting Services Agreement 
between Tony Rodham & Associates and Anthony D. Rodham and United Shows 
of America, et al. (June 6, 1998)) (Exhibit 6).
    \26\ Id.
    \27\ Id. See also Letter from Deborah L. McGee, Secretary to Howard 
Vine, Greenberg Traurig, to David Kass, Deputy Chief Counsel, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform (June 7, 2001); Gregory Document Production (Certificate 
of Vehicle Registration Renewal, Dec. 5, 2000) (Exhibit 8); Gregory 
Document Production (Vehicle inspection report, Dec. 5, 2000) (Exhibit 
9); Gregory Document Production (Insurance Enrollment Form submitted by 
Tony Rodham for life and health insurance to be provided by United 
Shows of America, Mar. 29, 1999) (Exhibit 10).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Over the course of his relationship with the Gregorys and 
United Shows, Tony Rodham received a substantial sum of money. 
Rodham received a total of $62,985 in 1998,\28\ $85,806.27 in 
1999,\29\ $93,978.66 in 2000,\30\ and at least $2,000 in 
2001.\31\ In addition to the $244,769 he received in salary 
from the Gregorys, Rodham also received a substantial sum in 
personal loans. Rodham apparently had significant expenses 
resulting from his divorce, and, therefore, he asked the 
Gregorys to loan him money for expenses ranging from lawyer's 
fees to school tuition for his son. The Gregorys started 
loaning Rodham money in early 2000.\32\ In total, the Gregorys 
made more than ten separate loans to Rodham, all of which were 
consolidated into one promissory note for $72,000 payable in 
December 2001 at eight percent interest.\33\ According to the 
Gregorys, Rodham said that ``he was working on a deal and 
expected a large payment before the note [was] due.'' \34\ In 
2001, the Gregorys loaned Rodham an additional $7,000.\35\ 
Despite that the loan was due in December 2001, there is no 
evidence that Rodham has repaid this loan, and the Gregorys' 
attorney informed Committee staff that he believes that Rodham 
has not repaid the loan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\ Gregory Document Production (1998 IRS 1099 for Tony Rodham by 
United Shows of America) (Exhibit 11).
    \29\ Gregory Document Production (1999 IRS 1099 for Tony Rodham by 
United Shows of America) (Exhibit 12).
    \30\ Gregory Document Production (2000 IRS 1099 for Tony Rodham by 
United Shows of America) (Exhibit 13).
    \31\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
    \32\ Id.
    \33\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000003-04 (Promissory Note 
from Tony Rodham to United Shows of America (Dec. 12, 2000)) (Exhibit 
14).
    \34\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
    \35\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From 1998 to 2001, Tony Rodham received a total of $323,769 
in salary and loans from the Gregorys. A central question is 
whether he was paid by the Gregorys to help obtain their pardon 
or whether Rodham was paid for legitimate business services.
    The Gregorys have referred to several efforts Rodham made 
to obtain business for them and their company, United Shows. 
For example, Edgar Gregory indicated that Rodham had contacts 
with officials in the United Arab Emirates as part of an 
unsuccessful effort to bring an ``American-style'' carnival to 
Dubai.\36\ With the input of his sister, First Lady Hillary 
Rodham Clinton, Rodham did help the Gregorys obtain a contract 
to put on an ``old style'' carnival at the White House in 1998 
and 2000.\37\ Rodham also obtained information from the State 
Department for the Gregorys about doing business overseas and 
reportedly did some unspecified ``public relations'' for the 
Gregorys.\38\ In an interesting twist, the Gregorys also 
indicated that Rodham's work for them also included bringing 
them investment possibilities.\39\ The Gregorys said that 
Rodham asked them to invest in an overseas telecommunications 
project and a $118 million hazelnut scheme conceived by Tony 
and Hugh Rodham.\40\ In essence, the Gregorys make the claim 
that they paid Rodham to ask them to invest in other schemes in 
which he was involved. There is no evidence that Tony Rodham's 
investment advice was in such demand that the Gregorys had to 
pay to be solicited by Rodham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\ Letter from Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory to the Honorable Dan 
Burton, Chairman, and David Kass, Deputy Chief Counsel, Comm. on Govt. 
Reform (June 12, 2001) (within Appendix I). See also Telephone 
Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 2001); Kevin Sack, 
Pardoned Couple Say Access Has Served Them Well, N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 
2001, at A9.
    \37\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001). According to the Gregorys, Tony Rodham told them that Hillary 
Rodham Clinton asked him to contact them about having an ``old-time'' 
carnival at the White House. Id.
    \38\ Id.
    \39\ Kevin Sack, Pardoned Couple Say Access Has Served Them Well, 
N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 2001, at A9.
    \40\ Letter from Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory to the Honorable Dan 
Burton, Chairman, and David Kass, Deputy Chief Counsel, Comm. on Govt. 
Reform (June 12, 2001) (within Appendix I). See also Telephone 
Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 2001); Kevin Sack, 
Pardoned Couple Say Access Has Served Them Well, N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 
2001, at A9. The latter deal involved growing and exporting hazelnuts 
from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Letter from Edgar and Vonna 
Jo Gregory to the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, and David Kass, 
Deputy Chief Counsel, Comm. on Govt. Reform (June 12, 2001) (within 
Appendix I). See also Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo 
Gregory (Apr. 2, 2001); Kevin Sack, Pardoned Couple Say Access Has 
Served Them Well, N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 2001, at A9; John F. Harris, 
Hazelnut Flap Is Building; White House Disavows Clinton In-Law's 
Foreign Dealings, Wash. Post, Jan. 1, 2000, at A6; Viveca Novak and Jay 
Branegan, Are Hillary's Brothers Driving Off Course--Hugh and Tony 
Rodham Are Bill Clinton's In-laws, a Connection That's Brought Them 
Pain and Gain, Time, Nov. 1, 1999, at 46. In that deal, the Rodhams 
entered into a partnership with the political rival of President Eduard 
A. Shevardnadze whose government, then only tenuously in power, enjoyed 
the support of the Clinton Administration. See Sack, supra (and other 
cited authority). After the State Department complained that the deal 
was causing diplomatic tension, the deal was abandoned. Id. Rodham's 
other international business ventures were equally unimpressive. For 
example, in 1998, Rodham and Stephen Graham, a business partner, met 
with Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia in that country in search of 
new business opportunities. Lisa Getter, Family Ties Put Rodham 
Brothers In Spotlight, L.A. Times, Mar. 4, 2001, at A1; Robin McDowell, 
Brother of U.S. First Lady Meets Cambodia Strongman on Business Trip, 
Associated Press, July 14, 1998. As with Rodham's initiative in the 
Republic of Georgia, the State Department, which had difficulty with 
Cambodia's human rights record, expressed concern about Rodham's 
dealings in that country. See Getter, supra (and other cited 
authority). Rodham was equally oblivious to the policy implications of 
his ``business trips'' when he went to Taiwan and met with Taiwanese 
Vice President Annette Lu. See Getter, supra; Deborah Kuo, ROC Vice 
President Meets US First Lady's Brothers, Central News Agency (Taipei), 
June 23, 2000. Taiwanese government officials who attended the meeting 
``considered [the meeting] very hush-hush.'' See Getter, supra. 
According to one such official, ``Nobody wanted to talk about [the 
meeting] because [Rodham's] brother-in-law was the president--because 
if China knew about the trip, they might raise issues.'' Id. Not 
surprisingly, as was the case with Rodham's other attempts to develop 
international business opportunities, no deal emerged from Rodham's 
trip to Taiwan. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Critically, the Gregorys did not provide the Committee with 
a single document reflecting work performed for them by Tony 
Rodham. Given the fact that the Gregorys were subpoenaed to 
provide the Committee with ``[a]ll records reflecting work 
performed for you or your company by Tony Rodham,'' such 
records should have been produced to the Committee if they 
existed. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the Gregorys do 
not have a single document reflecting substantive work 
performed for them by Tony Rodham despite the fact that they 
paid him $244,769 in salaries and loaned him another $79,000. 
Such a lack of documentation supports the conclusion that Tony 
Rodham performed little or no substantive valuable work for the 
Gregorys apart from the failed effort to stage a carnival in 
Dubai and the effort to stage carnivals at the White House. The 
Gregorys attempted to explain the lack of documentation in a 
letter to Chairman Burton:

        [We] certainly do not deny he has either sent or 
        brought to us a great deal of information over the 
        years, of which a lot of Tony's ideas were over the 
        telephone and not in writing, that he thought we may be 
        interested in investing in, as a management partner, 
        and/or that he thought we might be interested in taking 
        a financial position in.\41\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \41\ Letter from Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory to the Honorable Dan 
Burton, Chairman, Comm. on Govt. Reform (June 12, 2001) (within 
Appendix I).

However, since the Gregorys did not produce to the Committee 
any documentation of the work performed for them by Rodham, it 
is possible that the large sum of money paid to Tony Rodham by 
the Gregorys was compensation for Rodham's efforts to obtain 
pardons for the Gregorys.
C. Tony Rodham's Efforts to Help the Gregorys Obtain Pardons
    In 1998, the Gregorys became interested in seeking 
presidential pardons, primarily because their convictions 
undermined their ability to obtain carnival contracts.\42\ In 
cases where bid applications specifically requested criminal 
history, the Gregorys were sometimes barred from bidding for 
contract business.\43\ In some cases, according to the 
Gregorys, their competitors sent fair officials information 
regarding their criminal history.\44\ One of the largest 
problems faced by the Gregorys during this time period related 
to their role as the primary contractor for the Florida State 
Fair. The Gregorys took over as primary contractor for the Fair 
in 1998 and soon found that their criminal convictions were 
posing a problem for Florida state officials.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
    \43\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001); Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton In-Law Says He 
Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at A1; Kevin Sack, 
Pardoned Couple Say Access Has Served Them Well, N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 
2001, at A9; Kirk Loggins, Local Man Denies Paying Tony Rodham to Seek 
Pardons, The Tennessean, Mar. 2, 2001, at 1A.
    \44\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Faced with the possible loss of significant business 
relating to state fairs, the Gregorys decided to file for 
pardons. They consulted with their son, David Gregory, a 
lawyer, as well as Greenberg Traurig, a prominent Florida law 
firm.\45\ The Gregorys prepared the relevant paperwork and 
filed their pardon petition with the Justice Department on 
November 14, 1998.\46\ It appears that, on that same day, the 
Gregorys also sent copies of their pardon petitions directly to 
the White House and requested that President Clinton ``[p]lease 
personally review the application and exhibits enclosed 
herein.'' \47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\ Id.
    \46\ Id. See also Gregory Document Production 000144 (Letter from 
Vonna Jo Gregory to Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice 
(Nov. 16, 1998)) (Exhibit 15); Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., 
Second Clinton In-Law Says He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 
1, 2001, at A1.
    \47\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000028 (Letter from Vonna Jo 
Gregory to President William J. Clinton (Nov. 14, 1998)) (Exhibit 16).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After the pardon petition was filed, the Gregorys and their 
Greenberg Traurig lawyers remained in contact with the Justice 
Department. Mark Schnapp, one of the Gregorys' lawyers at 
Greenberg Traurig, met with Pardon Attorney Roger Adams and 
Helen Bollwerk, another staff attorney in the Pardon Attorney's 
office, to discuss the petition.\48\ Specifically, Schnapp 
informed them that the Gregorys' convictions were adversely 
impacting their business in relation to the Florida State 
Fair.\49\ He also told them that the Gregorys needed the 
pardons by February 2000 if they were to help with the 
contracting process in Florida.\50\ Justice Department staff 
asked the Gregorys or their representatives on several 
occasions for additional information with respect to the pardon 
petitions. Throughout their contacts with the Justice 
Department, the Gregorys and their attorneys believed that the 
Justice Department was ``understanding,'' and they never 
developed a sense that the Department viewed their petition 
negatively.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
    \49\ Id. See also Gregory Document Production (Letter from Bob 
Crawford, Commissioner, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer 
Services to Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice (Jan. 
28, 2000)) (Exhibit 17) (urging Pardon Attorney to consider Gregorys' 
clemency application expeditiously because of impending contract 
negotiations regarding Florida State Fair).
    \50\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nevertheless, by late 1999 the Gregorys had not received 
their pardons, and they were growing impatient. The Gregorys 
approached Tony Rodham for his assistance with the pardon at a 
party in late 1999 or early 2000.\51\ At this point, Rodham had 
been on the Gregorys' payroll for a year and a half. Edgar 
Gregory described his request to Tony Rodham as follows: 
``Tony, we've applied for a pardon, and if you can help us in 
any way, we'd really appreciate it.'' \52\ Gregory recalls that 
Rodham initially replied, ``I don't really get involved in 
that'' and suggested that pardons were handled at the Justice 
Department.\53\ According to Edgar Gregory, Rodham gave them 
the impression that he could not help much with their pardon 
petition but that ``if he could do anything, he would.'' \54\ 
Edgar Gregory stated that he saw Tony Rodham occasionally 
between late 1999 and March 2000 when he and Vonna Jo Gregory 
received their pardons. Edgar Gregory occasionally raised the 
pardon effort with Rodham, even once telling him that the 
Justice Department was ``putting them through the wringer'' 
with respect to their pardon applications.\55\ But Rodham said 
little to encourage them and did not tell them that he had 
raised the pardons with his brother-in-law or sister.\56\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001). See also Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton In-
Law Says He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at A1. 
Vonna Jo Gregory believes that Rodham first became aware of their 
convictions in connection with their bid for the Florida State Fair, 
but it was in December 1999 that the Gregorys expressed to Rodham 
disappointment about not having been pardoned and asked him for help. 
Id.
    \51\ Id. See also Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton 
In-Law Says He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at 
A1.
    \53\ Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton In-Law Says 
He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at A1.
    \54\ Telephone Interview with Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory (Apr. 2, 
2001).
    \55\ Id.
    \56\ Id. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In their interview with Committee staff, the Gregorys and 
their attorneys attempted to minimize the role of Tony Rodham 
in obtaining the pardons. They discounted the importance of 
Rodham's role in obtaining pardons. They claimed that the 
Justice Department had the predominant role in processing the 
Gregorys' petition, and since Tony Rodham did not have any 
influence at the Justice Department, Rodham was not 
``necessary'' to the process.\57\ However, common sense and the 
evidence in this case suggest that the Gregorys' basic story--
that they believed that Rodham was not important to the pardon 
process--is not true. Rather, Tony Rodham had a significant 
role in obtaining the pardons, and the Gregorys attached some 
importance to Rodham's efforts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First, the suggestion by the Gregorys and their lawyers 
that Rodham's participation was not significant because he did 
not have influence at the Justice Department is absurd. 
Obviously, when seeking Presidential pardons, it is far more 
important to have influence and access to the President of the 
United States than the Pardon Attorney or any other Justice 
Department staffer. Tony Rodham had this access and used it to 
lobby for the Gregorys' pardons.
    Second, Edgar Gregory did more than merely mention his 
pardon effort to Tony Rodham in an off-hand manner. Gregory 
provided Rodham with a copy of his pardon petition as well. 
When Committee staff initially asked Gregory why he provided 
Rodham with a copy of the petition, he was initially unable to 
provide an explanation. Then, he suggested that he gave Rodham 
a copy of the petition just so that Rodham would not be 
``blindsided'' by the fact that they had applied for a 
pardon.\58\ Gregory vehemently denied that he had given Rodham 
a copy of the petition so that Rodham could hand-carry it to 
the White House or otherwise influence the pardon process.\59\ 
If Gregory did provide Rodham with a copy of the pardon 
petition so that he could hand-carry it to the President or so 
that Rodham could make a more impressive pitch to the 
President, it would undermine the Gregorys' claim that they did 
not place any significance on Rodham's efforts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\ Id.
    \59\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the Gregorys' protestations, it appears that Rodham 
did have a significant role in the pardon process. Rodham would 
not agree to an interview with Committee staff regarding his 
role in the Gregory pardons. Nevertheless, he did describe some 
of his activities to the press. According to these reports, 
Rodham asked President Clinton to pardon the Gregorys.\60\ 
Specifically, he stated, ``I didn't push. I told the President 
about Ed Gregory and that he had applied for a pardon. He's 
what the pardon process is all about.'' \61\ Rodham has 
recalled publicly that he told President Clinton that the 
Gregorys' pardon petition had been filed through the Justice 
Department and argued to the President that pardons for the 
couple ``made good sense.'' \62\ He told the President that 
``[Edgar Gregory] is repentant for what he did'' and ``[the 
offenses for which the Gregorys were convicted were] white-
collar crime[s] involving banking irregularities. He's paid his 
taxes. He's run a respectful business for 40 years. He's a good 
guy.'' \63\ It also appears that Rodham claimed that the 
Gregorys were deeply involved in charitable activities in 
Tennessee and throughout the country.\64\ Rodham also called 
Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey about the Gregory 
pardons. Lindsey stated that Rodham's call to him was ``mostly 
concerned about the fact that the application had been pending 
over in the Justice Department[,] and [he] asked me whether I 
could try to move it along.'' \65\ Either at that point or 
subsequently, Lindsey became aware that Rodham had spoken to 
the President.\66\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\ Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton In-Law Says 
He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at A1.
    \61\ Id.
    \62\ Id.
    \63\ Id.
    \64\ See Interview by Larry King, CNN, with Tony Rodham (Mar. 3, 
2001).
    \65\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Cong. 254 
(Mar. 1, 2001).
    \66\ Id. Howard Vine, one of the Greenberg Traurig attorneys 
representing the Gregorys, also called Deputy White House Counsel Bruce 
Lindsey and White House Counsel Beth Nolan. Vine describes those calls 
as ``largely procedural.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
D. Deliberations by the Administration
    According to press reports, the Justice Department opposed 
the Gregory pardons because the Gregorys did not ``accept the 
criminality of their actions.'' \67\ The United States Attorney 
who prosecuted the case as well as the judge responsible for 
sentencing the Gregorys also opposed the pardons.\68\ According 
to federal prosecutors, the Gregorys' activities as owners of 
several small Alabama banks were blatantly fraudulent; such 
activities included arranging unsecured loans to themselves, 
their friends, and other companies they owned.\69\ Ginny S. 
Grande, the assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the 
Gregorys, noted, ``[The Gregorys] drained the banks that they 
were majority shareholders in and just ran them into the ground 
for this interconnecting web of companies they owned. They ran 
those banks with an iron fist.'' \70\ The question then is why 
were these recommendations ignored.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \69\ Kevin Sack, Pardoned Couple Say Access Has Served Them Well, 
N.Y. Times, Mar. 10, 2001, at A9.
    \67\ Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton In-Law Says 
He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at A1. See also 
Interview with Meredith Cabe, Associate Counsel to the President, the 
White House (Mar. 16, 2001). However, due to the Bush Administration's 
refusal to produce to the Committee records relating to the 
consideration of pardon petitions by the Justice Department and Clinton 
White House, the Committee has not obtained any records from the 
Justice Department regarding the consideration of the Gregory pardon. 
Therefore, the Committee does not know the specific reasons the Justice 
Department opposed the Gregorys' petition.
    \68\ Id.
    \70\ Id. Federal prosecutors have noted that the Gregorys also used 
the Wilcox County Bank in Camden, Alabama, to buy goods from their 
other companies. For example, that bank ordered 10,000 job application 
forms from a company owned by the Gregorys for another bank with 20 
employees in a town of 2,000 people.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is evidence indicating that the President, not White 
House staff, was the driving force behind the Gregory pardons. 
Associate White House Counsel Meredith Cabe, the primary White 
House lawyer responsible for processing clemency petitions, 
recalls that Bruce Lindsey and Beth Nolan told her that someone 
had raised the Gregory case with the President because the 
President had been asking them about the case.\71\ Former 
Clinton aides have publicly conceded that President Clinton 
expressed a strong desire to Justice Department officials to 
have the Gregorys pardoned.\72\ In speaking to Deputy White 
House Counsel, Bruce Lindsey, President Clinton ``indicated . . 
. that he understood that the Gregorys were unable to do 
business in certain states, and that competitors of the 
Gregorys were raising their conviction some 17, 18 years ago as 
a basis as to why various states shouldn't do business with 
them.'' \73\ According to Lindsey, President Clinton ``thought 
that was not fair.'' \74\ In testimony before the Committee, 
Lindsey elaborated as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \72\ Marc Lacey and Don Van Natta, Jr., Second Clinton In-Law Says 
He Helped to Obtain Pardon, N.Y. Times, Mar. 1, 2001, at A1.
    \73\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Cong. 255 
(Mar. 1, 2001).
    \74\ Id.

        The President's belief on pardons is that if a person 
        makes a mistake, does something illegal, wrong, if they 
        have paid the price for that, if they have gone to jail 
        or they go on probation and then they live a good life 
        from that point on forward, that they should not be 
        denied the restoration of their rights because of that. 
        He certainly would believe that a person 17 years 
        afterwards shouldn't have a conviction be used to keep 
        them from making a living. And, therefore, believed 
        that if, in fact, they had lived a good life, if they 
        had not been in additional trouble from that point[.] 
        \75\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\ Id.

    Because Lindsey believed that the Gregorys ``were being 
financially hurt because of a conviction 17, 18 years ago and 
that they had done nothing subsequent to be in trouble with the 
law, that they were deserving of a pardon,'' he recommended 
that President Clinton consider the petition.\76\ Meredith Cabe 
did not find the merits of the Gregorys' petition particularly 
compelling.\77\ For her part, White House Counsel Beth Nolan 
does not recall her position on the Gregory case. Cabe recalls 
that Nolan was not opposed to the pardons and recommended that 
the President review the case.\78\ On March 15, 2000, President 
Clinton pardoned the Gregorys of their convictions.\79\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \76\ Id.; Interview with Meredith Cabe, Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001). To the extent that the 
Gregorys believed that a presidential pardon would require that they no 
longer disclose their convictions when applying for state carnival 
contracts, it appears that they were wrong. According to Pardon 
Attorney Roger Adams, a pardon ``does not erase or expunge the record 
of conviction and does not indicate innocence.'' Letter from Roger 
Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice, to Mark Schnapp, Counsel 
to Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, Greenberg Traurig (Mar. 15, 2000) 
(Exhibit 18). As Adams indicated to the Gregorys, ``On any application 
or other document which requires the information, a pardon recipient 
should disclose the fact of his or her conviction.'' Id.
    \77\ See Interview with Meredith Cabe, Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \78\ Id.
    \79\ See Gregory Document Production (Letter from Roger Adams, 
Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice, to Mark P. Schnapp, Counsel to 
Edgar and Vonna Jo Gregory, Greenberg Traurig (Mar. 15, 2001)) (Exhibit 
18) (describing President Clinton's grant of clemency); Gregory 
Document Production (Warrant of Executive Grant of Clemency for Vonna 
Jo Gregory, Mar. 15, 2000, and Acknowledgement Form, Mar. 17, 2000) 
(Exhibit 19); Gregory Document Production (Warrant of Executive Grant 
of Clemency for Edgar Allen Gregory, Mar. 15, 2000, and Acknowledgement 
Form, Mar. 17, 2000) (Exhibit 20). See also Gregory Document Production 
(Letter from Edgar Allen and Vonna Jo Gregory to President William J. 
Clinton (Mar. 16, 2000)) (Exhibit 21) (thanking President for grant of 
clemency).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
E. Conclusion
    There are several troubling facts regarding Tony Rodham's 
lobbying efforts on behalf of the Gregorys:

 Tony Rodham was provided with $323,769 by the 
Gregorys for work for which there is little documentary 
evidence.

 Rodham lobbied his brother-in-law, President 
Clinton, and Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey in 
support of the Gregorys' pardons.

 President Clinton granted the Gregorys' pardons 
despite the fact that the Justice Department, relevant 
prosecutors, and the sentencing judge all objected to the 
pardon. The Gregorys' only qualification for the pardons was 
that they had a lucrative business which was being adversely 
impacted by their criminal record and that they had hired the 
President's brother-in-law.

 A full understanding of these facts has been further 
complicated by the refusal of Tony Rodham to cooperate with the 
Committee and the refusal of the Bush Administration to provide 
the Committee with all records relating to the consideration of 
the Gregory pardons.

    The Committee is able to conclude that Rodham was paid a 
significant amount of money by the Gregorys and apparently did 
little for them other than lobby for their pardons. However, 
there is not sufficient evidence to conclude definitively that 
the Gregorys hired Rodham for the express purpose of using him 
to lobby for Presidential pardons. However, the time period 
during which the Gregorys were seeking presidential pardons and 
during which they were paying Rodham overlapped substantially; 
therefore, it is probable that Rodham was paid for his efforts 
to obtain pardons for the Gregorys. This conclusion is also 
bolstered by Tony Rodham's subsequent attempted to use his 
success in the Gregorys' case to obtain payments to help others 
obtain pardons, described below.
    It is clear that Rodham had a significant role in obtaining 
pardons for the Gregorys. Reportedly, those individuals who 
were familiar with the Gregory case--the Pardon Attorney, 
federal prosecutors and the sentencing judge--did not believe 
that they should be pardoned. However, those people who were 
lobbied by Tony Rodham--President Clinton and Bruce Lindsey--
did believe that they should be pardoned. As in the case of 
many other questionable grants of clemency issued by President 
Clinton, the impetus for the Gregory pardons came from the 
President himself. It appears that the President was interested 
in the Gregory pardons solely because of his contacts with Tony 
Rodham. It is fair to conclude that, but for Tony Rodham's 
lobbying efforts, the Gregory pardons would not have been 
granted.
    One of the factors supporting the conclusion that Rodham 
was indispensable to the Gregorys' pardon effort is the 
Gregorys' unsuitability for presidential pardons. The Gregorys 
committed a serious crime, defrauding banks they owned out of 
substantial funds for their personal benefit. Tony Rodham 
himself was unable to provide much of a justification for the 
Gregory pardons:

        Tony Rodham. The Gregorys are the kind of people that 
        the pardon system is made for.

        Larry King. Because?

        Tony Rodham. They are people--well, they're tax-paying 
        citizens. They've been involved in different charitable 
        organizations. They do a tremendous amount of help in 
        their community in Nashville and throughout the rest of 
        the country. Florida, where they do the Florida State 
        Fair every year, they do a tremendous amount of money 
        every year. They do a tremendous amount of money that 
        has gone into the Florida state government's 
        coffers.\80\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \80\ Interview by Larry King, CNN, with Tony Rodham (Mar. 3, 2001).

It appears that the primary motivation for the pardons was the 
fact that the Gregorys were finding that their criminal 
histories were an impediment to receiving state contracts. Of 
course, such difficulties are the natural and fair result of 
criminal convictions, not by themselves a justification for 
pardons.
    However, there are also unanswered questions about the 
Gregory case. The most significant question is whether the 
President or First Lady knew of the financial relationship 
between Tony Rodham and the Gregorys when Rodham was lobbying 
the President for the pardons. In his testimony before the 
Committee, Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey stated that 
this financial relationship ``was unknown to me until I read it 
in paper [this] morning [of the hearing].'' \81\ Lindsey 
testified that he did not know if the President knew of 
Rodham's financial relationship with the Gregorys.\82\ In a 
statement to the press, Hillary Clinton stated that ``[t]hese 
are people he has known for some time . . . he has a personal 
relationship with them. He was not paid. I think there's a 
distinction between someone whom you've known for a number of 
years . . . and taking money on behalf of people he didn't know 
and had no personal relationship with.'' \83\ At the time 
Senator Clinton made her statement about the Gregory case, it 
had already been publicly disclosed that Tony Rodham was 
working as a paid consultant. Therefore, her statement that 
Tony Rodham ``was not paid'' is not accurate. However, her 
statement does not make it clear whether she knew of Tony 
Rodham's lucrative financial relationship with the Gregorys at 
the time he was lobbying the White House for their pardons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \81\ ``The Controversial Pardon of International Fugitive Marc 
Rich,'' Hearings Before the Comm. on Govt. Reform, 107th Cong. 256 
(Mar. 1, 2001).
    \82\ Id.
    \83\ Hillary Clinton Defends Brother Tony, Associated Press State 
and Local Wire, Mar. 1, 2001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If the President or First Lady did know that Tony Rodham 
was receiving substantial sums of money from the Gregorys at 
the time he was lobbying the White House for their pardons, it 
would cast substantial doubt on the motivations of the 
President for issuing the pardons. It would appear that the 
President was not motivated by any genuine belief in the merits 
of the Gregorys' case, particularly given the fact that such 
merits did not exist. Rather, it would appear that he was 
motivated by the desire to help his brother-in-law cash in. 
Such a case would be a quintessential conflict of interest. 
However, given the failure of the President to address the 
details of his decisionmaking in the Gregorys case and other 
controversial grants of clemency, the public will likely never 
know his true motivations.
II. FERNANDO FUENTES COBA
    In the course of its investigation, the Committee 
discovered that Tony Rodham attempted to become involved in 
lobbying for a presidential pardon for another individual, 
Fernando Fuentes Coba. In this case, Rodham solicited a large 
payment from Fuentes' daughter, Vivian Mannerud, in return for 
the promise to lobby for Fuentes' pardon. It appears that 
Rodham and an associate of Rodham's made misleading statements 
to Mannerud in an attempt to get her to pay Rodham to work on 
the case. The Fuentes case combines the unsavory aspects of 
Rodham's work on the Gregory matter--a blatant attempt by 
Rodham to sell his influence--with a potentially illegal 
attempt to defraud Vivian Mannerud.
A. Background on Fernando Fuentes Coba
    In the late 1970s, Fernando Fuentes Coba started an airline 
charter business called American Airways Charters, Inc. 
(``AAC''). AAC took advantage of changes in U.S. law permitting 
charter flights to Cuba and, over the next several years, built 
a successful business based on flights between the U.S. and 
Cuba.\84\ After the Mariel boatlift, Fuentes, AAC, and a number 
of other companies and individuals were investigated for having 
violated U.S. law in connection with having facilitated the 
Mariel Boatlift. In 1982, Fuentes, seven other individuals, and 
four corporations were indicted for what U.S. customs officials 
described as a ``big, gigantic conspiracy by the Cuban 
Government to obtain U.S. currency'' in connection with the 
Mariel Boatlift.\85\ In late 1982, Fuentes was convicted of 
conspiring to trade with the enemy and violating the Cuban 
Assets Control Act in connection with the shipment of goods to 
Cuba.\86\ Fuentes was sentenced to a term of one-year 
imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.\87\ After having his appeals 
rejected, in 1985, Fuentes was ordered to report to prison.\88\ 
Rather than report, Fuentes fled to Mexico where he remained a 
fugitive until his death.\89\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000020 (Attachment B to Pardon 
Application of Fernando Fuentes Coba) (Exhibit 24).
    \85\ 8 People, 4 Companies indicted in Cuba Sealift, N.Y. Times, 
Feb. 26, 1982, at A14.
    \86\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000017 (Attachment A to Pardon 
Application of Fernando Fuentes Coba) (Exhibit 23).
    \87\ Id.
    \88\ Id.
    \89\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001). 
Fuentes was sentenced to a term of one year in prison but, according to 
Mannerud, was ``fearful for his life'' because ``there were drug 
dealers there'' and he ``would have been lumped in as a communist.'' 
According to Mannerud, Fuentes ``decided not to go'' to jail for that 
reason. See also Mark Hosenball, Periscope, Newsweek, Mar. 11, 2002 
(noting Fuentes' death).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While a fugitive, Fuentes apparently became very ill, 
suffering from heart disease, stroke, two aortic aneurysms, 
emphysema, and diabetes.\90\ In 2000, Fuentes apparently 
decided that he wanted to return to the U.S. to receive medical 
treatment and be close to his family without serving his prison 
sentence.\91\ Helping Fuentes achieve this goal was his 
daughter, Vivian Mannerud. Mannerud, a prominent Democratic 
contributor who has raised or contributed hundreds of thousands 
of dollars, is also involved in the charter airline business 
and has arranged a number of high-profile flights between the 
U.S. and Cuba.\92\ Mannerud was herself embroiled in 
controversy when she solicited convicted cocaine dealer Jorge 
Cabrera to contribute to the DNC and arranged for Cabrera to be 
photographed with President Clinton. Mannerud also had $22,000 
in contributions returned by the Senate campaign of Hillary 
Clinton when the press reported on Mannerud's role in the 
Cabrera matter.\93\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \90\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000021 (Attachment C to Pardon 
Application of Fernando Fuentes Coba) (Exhibit 25).
    \91\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).
    \92\ For example, Mannerud was instrumental in arranging for Elian 
Gonzalez's Cuban grandparents to visit the United States. See Carol 
Rosenberg, Longtime Air Charter Operator Set to Retire, Miami Herald, 
Nov. 6, 2000, at 1B. She also provided the charter for U.S. celebrities 
to attend the 1999 game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Cuban 
national team.
    \93\ See Carol Rosenberg, Donor Gets Angry at Democrats, Miami 
Herald, Apr. 21, 2000, at 1B. When her money was returned by the 
Clinton campaign, Mannerud stated, ``I think . . . they have to stop 
calling me for money, begging me for money, haunting me for money'' and 
recommended that the Democratic Party return to her the ``several 
hundred thousand dollars'' she had given in the preceding years. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mannerud initially attempted to resolve her father's case 
by contacting the U.S. Attorney's office.\94\ Mannerud 
attempted to negotiate her father's return to the United 
States, claiming he could stay in a hospital in lieu of 
incarceration.\95\ When Mannerud concluded that the U.S. 
Attorney's Office could not give her any guarantees, she and 
her attorney, Lonnie Anne Pera, prepared a pardon petition on 
her father's behalf.\96\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \94\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).
    \95\ Id.
    \96\ Id. Mannerud did so through the assistance of her attorney in 
Washington, Lonnie Pera, an aviation attorney. See Tony Rodham Document 
Production 000005 (Fernando Fuentes Coba Pardon Petition) (Exhibit 22).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
B. The Pardon Attorney Refuses to Process Fuentes' Clemency Petition
    Around late October 2000, Mannerud sent her father's pardon 
petition to the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department 
of Justice.\97\ In the petition, Fuentes did not indicate any 
remorse for his crimes. Rather, he maintained his innocence and 
claimed selective prosecution and ineffective assistance of 
counsel.\98\ Fuentes also did not express regret for having 
fled the United States after his conviction. Rather, he claimed 
that he fled the country because he ``feared that anti-Castro 
groups would seriously injure, maim, or kill me in prison.'' 
\99\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \97\ Id. In an interview with Committee staff, Mannerud could not 
recall exactly when she sent the petition to the Pardon Attorney's 
Office. She believed that she probably did so about a month before the 
date on a White House document which states that Fuentes ``just 
applied'' for a pardon. That document is dated November 27, 2000. 
Mannerud's recollection that she sent the petition late in 2000 accords 
with her memory that, whenever she submitted the petition, someone told 
her that it was ``kind of late'' to apply because there was not enough 
time for the FBI to conduct its background check.
    \98\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000025 (Attachment C to Pardon 
Application of Fernando Fuentes Coba) (Exhibit 25).
    \99\ Tony Rodham Document Production 000023 (Attachment C to Pardon 
Application of Fernando Fuentes Coba) (Exhibit 25).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 7, 2000, Pardon Attorney Roger Adams sent a 
letter to Mannerud's attorney stating that the Justice 
Department would not process Fuentes' petition because he was a 
fugitive.\100\ Adams explained that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \100\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).

        Mr. Coba is ineligible to apply for a presidential 
        pardon. Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. Sec. 1.2 . . . ``[n]o 
        petition for pardon should be filed until the 
        expiration of a waiting period of at least five years 
        after the date of the release of the petitioner from 
        confinement . . . .'' Because Mr. Coba has served none 
        of his prison sentence, he fails to meet this most 
        basic eligibility requirement for pardon consideration. 
        Moreover, the Department of Justice has consistently 
        declined to accept pardon petitions from individuals, 
        such as Mr. Coba, who are fugitives, since the pardon 
        process assumes the Government's ability to implement 
        either of the President's possible decisions regarding 
        a petition--that is, a denial of clemency as well as a 
        grant of clemency. Put another way, it is not 
        reasonable to allow a person to ask that the President 
        grant him a pardon which, if granted, would have the 
        effect of eliminating the term of imprisonment to which 
        he has been sentenced, while at the same time 
        insulating himself from having to serve the sentence if 
        the pardon is denied.\101\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \101\ Vivian Mannerud Document Production (Letter from Roger Adams, 
Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice, to Lonnie Anne Pera, Counsel to 
Vivian Mannerud, Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger (Nov. 7, 2000)) (Exhibit 
28).

    The Justice Department's application of the foregoing 
policy, whereby it does not even consider pardon petitions from 
fugitives, stands in marked contrast to how the policy was 
applied in the Marc Rich and Pincus Green case. Clearly, the 
policy expressed by Roger Adams in the Fuentes case should have 
applied equally in the Marc Rich case. In the Rich case, of 
course, the White House considered and granted the Rich and 
Green pardons contrary to Justice Department policy. Moreover, 
the Deputy Attorney General, Eric Holder, expressed his support 
for the pardons despite the express contrary policy of his own 
Department. The fact that Fuentes' petition was summarily 
rejected confirms that Jack Quinn was right in thinking that he 
needed to circumvent the Justice Department in order to obtain 
pardons for Marc Rich and Pincus Green. Fuentes' summary 
rejection by the Justice Department also leads one to speculate 
that Fernando Fuentes Coba and Vivian Mannerud might have been 
more successful if they had hired Tony Rodham to lobby for the 
pardon.
    Despite the fact that the Justice Department declined to 
process her father's pardon petition, Mannerud gave the pardon 
petition to ``a lot of people--anyone who could help make sure 
that the application wasn't just put on a pile.'' \102\ Among 
the people to whom Mannerud gave copies of the petition was Joe 
Perez, a friend of Mannerud's in California, who, according to 
Mannerud, owns J. Perez & Associates, a travel services 
company.\103\ Mannerud believed that Perez knew ``one of the 
Clinton brothers--probably Roger Clinton, because he is in 
California too.'' \104\ Ultimately, Mannerud understood that 
Perez was going to speak to ``his contact'' about her father's 
pardon petition.\105\ But, in hindsight, Mannerud does not know 
whether Perez did so.\106\ Mannerud also gave a copy of the 
petition to a friend named Joe Velazquez who, according to 
Mannerud, ran a Hispanic outreach program and had worked at the 
Clinton White House.\107\ Mannerud does not know what, if 
anything, Velazquez did in support of her father's 
petition.\108\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \102\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).
    \103\ Id.
    \104\ Id. In connection with its investigation of Roger Clinton, 
the Committee learned that Clinton was in business with Perez and a 
number of other individuals in Los Angeles who were in the business of 
arranging travel to Cuba.
    \105\ Id.
    \106\ Id.
    \107\ Id.
    \108\ Id. But see NARA Document Production (Draft of document 
entitled ``Pending Clemency Matters'' by Meredith Cabe, Associate 
Counsel to the President, the White House (Dec. 10, 2000)) (Exhibit 29) 
This document, which was retrieved from the work file of Deputy White 
House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, indicates that ``Velazquez spoke to POTUS 
re: case.'' Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
C. Tony Rodham's Attempt to Become Involved in the Fuentes Clemency 
        Effort
    Tony Rodham became involved in the Fuentes matter in 
November 2000.\109\ Mannerud was introduced to Rodham at the 
Mayflower Hotel by their mutual friend, Marilyn J. Parker.\110\ 
Parker, like Mannerud, was a prominent Democratic contributor. 
Parker also was involved in business with Tony Rodham. Rodham 
invested in a Florida company called Environmental Energy 
Fuels, which has developed a reportedly environmentally-
sensitive gasoline additive.\111\ Well before the meeting at 
the Mayflower Hotel, Parker had offered Rodham, and Rodham 
accepted, an opportunity to obtain shares in that company.\112\ 
In August 2001, Parker pleaded guilty to five felonies in 
connection with $145,000 she paid in bribes to Miami airport 
officials in return for $1.5 million in no-bid work at the 
airport.\113\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \109\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).
    \110\ Id.
    \111\ Lisa Getter, Family Ties Put Rodham Brothers In Spotlight, 
L.A. Times, Mar. 4, 2001, at A1.
    \112\ Id.
    \113\ Joseph Tanfani, Case Could Bring More Prosecutions, Miami 
Herald, Aug. 4, 2001, at 20A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to Parker, Mannerud initially spoke to her about 
her father's pardon matter during a trip in New York.\114\ 
During that trip, which, according to Parker, occurred around 
September 2000, Mannerud talked about her father's age and 
deteriorating physical condition as well as his desire to 
return to the United States.\115\ Parker offered to write a 
letter in support of his petition.\116\ According to Parker, 
the gist of her letter was simply that she knew that Fuentes 
was aged and in ill health.\117\ Parker had no opinion as to 
why Mannerud thought that, given her limited knowledge about 
the matter, her support would have been meaningful.\118\ Parker 
initially characterized her role as being limited to drafting 
the letter.\119\ However, she later conceded that she had also 
arranged and participated in a meeting between Tony Rodham and 
Vivian Mannerud.\120\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \114\ Telephone Interview with Marilyn J. Parker (Dec. 18, 2001).
    \115\ Id.
    \116\ Id
    \117\ Id.
    \118\ Id.
    \119\ Id.
    \120\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After discussing the pardon effort with Mannerud in New 
York, Parker decided that Tony Rodham might be able to assist 
Mannerud.\121\ Therefore, she called Rodham, and he suggested 
that Parker and Mannerud meet him for a drink that afternoon in 
the Mayflower Hotel.\122\ At the hotel, Rodham and Mannerud 
talked about her father's pardon petition.\123\ According to 
Parker, the meeting lasted no more than an hour.\124\ Mannerud 
and Rodham discussed why she was seeking a pardon for her 
father and what avenues Mannerud had pursued to date.\125\ 
Rodham then told Mannerud that he could help her obtain the 
pardon for her father.\126\ Rodham told Mannerud that he had 
previously helped two individuals obtain pardons and even 
brought a copy of their clemency petition with him to the 
meeting.\127\ Rodham then told Mannerud that he would help her 
if she paid him.\128\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \121\ Id.
    \122\ Id.
    \123\ Id.
    \124\ Id.
    \125\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).
    \126\ Id.
    \127\ Id. Neither Parker nor Mannerud was able to specifically 
recall the names of the individuals mentioned by Rodham, although 
Mannerud did remember that they were ``carnival people.'' This 
reference strongly suggests that Rodham mentioned the Gregorys' case to 
Mannerud. The petition that Rodham showed to Mannerud was so thick that 
Mannerud ultimately redrafted her father's petition.
    \128\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mannerud asked Rodham what exactly he would do to help get 
the pardon.\129\ Rodham explained that ``it costs money,'' 
specifically $50,000, which would be paid to Rodham and then 
``go to an attorney'' to work on the matter.\130\ When Mannerud 
pressed Rodham for more details of how exactly he would help 
get the pardon, Rodham explained that he knew the Pardon 
Attorney, Roger Adams.\131\ He stated that Adams was from 
Arkansas and that he had ``known Adams forever.'' \132\ Rodham 
then told Mannerud that ``after the Administration, we're all 
out of jobs.'' \133\ Mannerud understood that Rodham was 
referring to himself and Adams.\134\ Rodham then told Mannerud 
he would hire a law firm to prepare her father's pardon 
petition and Roger Adams' wife was associated with this law 
firm.\135\ When Mannerud asked if he could guarantee that her 
father would be pardoned, Rodham demurred.\136\ Mannerud then 
told Rodham that she had had ``her share of scandals'' and 
wanted no part of Rodham's proposal.\137\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \129\ Id.
    \130\ Id.
    \131\ Id.
    \132\ Id.
    \133\ Id.
    \134\ Id.
    \135\ Id.
    \136\ Id.
    \137\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mannerud's account of the Mayflower meeting with Rodham is 
corroborated in large part by Marilyn Parker. Parker does not 
recall a number of details of the meeting and attributes her 
poor memory to the fact that Rodham and Mannerud did most of 
the talking at the meeting.\138\ However, she confirms that 
Rodham explored with Mannerud ``whether there was any way they 
could work together'' on the pardon matter.\139\ She also 
confirms that Rodham mentioned his previous work on a pardon 
matter.\140\ Parker also confirms that Rodham mentioned he knew 
a person handling the pardons, a law firm that worked with DOJ 
on pardons, and that a wife of a Justice Department official 
worked at the law firm.\141\ Parker also believes that it was 
possible that Rodham ``expressed his desire to be paid'' for 
his work on the Fuentes matter but could not recall whether 
Rodham specifically sought $50,000.\142\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \138\ Telephone Interview with Marilyn J. Parker (Dec. 18, 2001).
    \139\ Id.
    \140\ Id.
    \141\ Id.
    \142\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to Mannerud, in December 2000, about a month 
after the first meeting, Marilyn Parker called her about the 
possibility of Rodham helping her with the effort to obtain a 
pardon for Fuentes.\143\ Parker told Mannerud that Rodham had 
lowered his asking price and wanted only $30,000.\144\ Mannerud 
asked once again if there were any guarantees, to which Parker 
responded that there were not.\145\ Parker asked Mannerud to 
consider the offer, emphasizing her father's poor health.\146\ 
Ultimately, Mannerud told Parker in strong terms that she did 
not want to be involved in such an arrangement with 
Rodham.\147\ After that discussion, Mannerud had no further 
discussions about the clemency matter with either Parker or 
Rodham.\148\ Mannerud continued her efforts to obtain a pardon 
for her father but was unsuccessful.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \143\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).
    \144\ Id.
    \145\ Id.
    \146\ Id.
    \147\ Id.
    \148\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Parker denies Mannerud's account of this subsequent 
telephone call. According to Parker, Rodham simply asked her 
whether she had spoken to Mannerud ``about her father.'' \149\ 
As for a subsequent conversation with Mannerud, Parker 
remembered only having asked Mannerud how the pardon effort was 
going and that Mannerud became upset.\150\ Parker flatly denied 
having approached Mannerud on Rodham's behalf with a reduced 
offer of $30,000 for services relating to Fuentes' pardon 
proceedings.\151\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \149\ Id.
    \150\ Id.
    \151\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
D. Tony Rodham's Representations to Mannerud Were Fraudulent
    Tony Rodham's activities in the Fuentes case go beyond an 
attempt by Rodham to sell his political access for $50,000. 
Rather, Rodham's actions were a potentially criminal attempt to 
defraud Vivian Mannerud of $50,000 by making serious 
misrepresentations to her about the actions he would take to 
help her. Almost all of the statements made by Rodham to 
Mannerud in the course of his efforts to be hired by Mannerud 
were false. Tony Rodham does not know Roger Adams or his 
wife.\152\ In fact, Adams has never met Tony or Hugh Rodham. 
Adams is not from Arkansas and has been to Arkansas only once 
in his life, in the 1970s.\153\ Adams' wife does not work for a 
law firm at all, let alone one that handles pardon 
matters.\154\ In fact, Adams' wife is not even an 
attorney.\155\ When Committee staff informed Mannerud that 
Rodham in fact had no relationship with Adams, she stated that 
she was ``shocked'' because Rodham left no doubt that he was 
close with Adams and that he intended to use that relationship 
to obtain the pardon for Fuentes.\156\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \152\ Telephone Interview with Roger Adams (Sept. 4, 2001).
    \153\ Id.
    \154\ Id.
    \155\ Id.
    \156\ Telephone Interview with Vivian Mannerud (Aug. 28, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There are several questions about Tony Rodham's actions in 
this case. First, what is Rodham's response to Mannerud's 
charges? Second, what was Rodham's motivation for making these 
false representations to Mannerud? Third, were the actions 
taken by Rodham and Marilyn Parker criminal?
    Due to Rodham's refusal to participate in an interview, the 
Committee has not been able to determine Rodham's response to 
these charges. However, in the absence of Rodham's cooperation, 
it still appears that there is substantial corroboration for 
Mannerud's account. First, Marilyn Parker recalls a number of 
key details from the first meeting at the Mayflower Hotel. 
Second, Tony Rodham had in his possession a copy of Fernando 
Fuentes Coba's pardon petition. Third, Mannerud has provided 
the Committee with a detailed and credible account.
    It is difficult to divine Tony Rodham's motivation for 
making these false representations to Vivian Mannerud. It is 
possible that Rodham was concerned about the appearance of 
impropriety if he asked for $50,000 to lobby his sister or 
brother-in-law for a pardon, especially considering the fact 
that he was not an attorney. To address this concern, Rodham 
may have concocted a cover story that he needed the $50,000 to 
hire a law firm which was close to Roger Adams when in reality 
no such firm existed and Rodham was going to keep the $50,000 
for himself.
    The final, and most important, question is whether the 
actions taken by Tony Rodham or Marilyn Parker were criminal. 
It is certainly possible that Rodham and Parker engaged in a 
conspiracy to defraud Mannerud. Clearly, Mannerud ended up 
rejecting the overtures from Rodham and Parker and was never 
defrauded of any funds. However, the actions by Rodham and 
Parker may have amounted to a criminal conspiracy.\157\ The 
Committee does not have sufficient evidence at this point to 
conclude that criminal conduct took place but strongly 
recommends that the Department of Justice examine this case and 
obtain sworn testimony from all of the relevant actors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \157\ Based on the information currently available to the 
Committee, it appears that Tony Rodham and Marilyn J. Parker might be 
criminally liable for conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 371 or 18 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1343 (wire fraud). Liability as to Rodham and Parker under those 
statutes turns on the extent to which Rodham and Parker devised or 
intended to devise a scheme to defraud Mannerud and whether the 
telephone call by Parker to Mannerud was made interstate and in 
furtherance of the underlying scheme. If Parker did not conspire with 
Rodham to defraud Mannerud, it appears that liability as to Parker 
turns on whether she knowingly and willingly participated in Rodham's 
fraud scheme. See, e.g., U.S. v. Maxwell, 920 F.2d 1028 (C.A.D.C. 
1990).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [Exhibits referred to follow:]
    
    
                              CHAPTER FIVE

      THE GRANT OF CLEMENCY TO DRUG MONEY LAUNDERER HARVEY WEINIG

                       FINDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE

Weinig was properly imprisoned for conspiring to launder 
millions of dollars in drug money and concealing and furthering 
an extortion-by-kidnapping scheme.

 Weinig, a former Manhattan attorney, conspired to 
launder about $19 million dollars in drug proceeds through a 
Swiss bank for the Cali cartel. Members of the money laundering 
organization, of which Weinig was a part, boasted that they 
successfully laundered more than $70 million for the cartel. In 
addition to conducting banking transactions for the 
organization, Weinig consulted with co-conspirators in 
furtherance of the organization's activities and stored the 
drug proceeds in his New York City apartment.

 Weinig and other co-conspirators at his law firm 
stole from the Cali cartel about $2.5 million they were 
supposed to have laundered. This theft exposed Weinig's family 
to a risk of being harmed by those drug dealers. In the course 
of investigating the organization's money laundering 
activities, authorities intervened when they learned that the 
drug dealers sent a hit man to kill one of Weinig's co-
conspirators.

 Weinig learned that one of his co-conspirators 
kidnapped an individual as part of a scheme to extort money 
from the victim's family. Rather than report the kidnapping, 
Weinig made his office available as a meeting place where the 
ransom could be delivered and directed his associates at the 
firm to execute transfer agreements.

Weinig's lawyer, a prominent Washington attorney with close 
connections to the Clinton Administration, lobbied the White 
House in support of Weinig's clemency petition.

 Weinig's wife, Alice Morey, retained Reid 
Weingarten, who was close to the Clinton White House, to lobby 
for the commutation. In April 2000, Weingarten filed a clemency 
petition on Weinig's behalf with the Justice Department and the 
White House. Knowing that the Justice Department would advise 
the President to reject the Weinig commutation petition, 
Weingarten lobbied the White House directly, approaching White 
House Counsel Beth Nolan, Deputy White House Counsel Bruce 
Lindsey, and Chief of Staff John Podesta.

 Weingarten chose not to familiarize himself with the 
facts of Weinig's underlying conviction. Accordingly, he was 
unable to convey to those he lobbied a full, accurate, factual 
basis of the merits of Weinig's petition.

Two former Clinton Administration officials, David Dreyer and 
Harold Ickes, lobbied the White House on Weinig's behalf.

 Alice Morey enlisted the assistance of her cousin, 
former White House Deputy Communications Director David Dreyer. 
Dreyer repeatedly raised the Weinig commutation with John 
Podesta. Ultimately, Podesta recommended that the President 
grant the Weinig commutation. Dreyer has invoked his Fifth 
Amendment rights rather than cooperate with the Committee's 
investigation.

 Morey also obtained support for Weinig's commutation 
from former Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, whose children 
attended the same school as did her sons. Ickes discussed the 
Weinig case with President Clinton twice and recommended the 
commutation of Weinig's sentence.

The Justice Department repeatedly and adamantly recommended 
against the commutation of Weinig's sentence.

 On several occasions, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, 
whose office convicted Weinig, objected to any reduction of 
Weinig's sentence. Ultimately, in a report to President 
Clinton, the Pardon Attorney and Deputy Attorney General Eric 
Holder voiced their strong opposition to a commutation of 
Weinig's sentence.

 Pardon Attorney Roger Adams submitted a report to 
the President advising against the Weinig commutation. Adams 
pointed out that Weinig ``was a well-respected lawyer who used 
his professional skills to assist in laundering millions of 
dollars that he knew constituted the proceeds of a huge 
narcotics trafficking enterprise. He was involved in this 
activity for an extended period of time, and he admits that he 
engaged in it purely out of greed.'' Adams also informed the 
President that Weinig ``aided and abetted the extortion of 
money from an individual he knew had been kidnapped at the 
direction of a co-defendant in order to coerce the production 
of a ransom.''

After an apparently cursory review, the White House set aside 
the Justice Department's negative recommendation and granted 
Weinig clemency.

 Support for Weinig's petition from John Podesta and 
Beth Nolan appears to have been critical. The Associate White 
House counsels responsible for clemency matters did not support 
the petition. However, setting aside the negative 
recommendations of not only the Justice Department but also 
staff at the White House Counsel's Office, Nolan and Lindsey, 
who were lobbied by Weingarten, recommended Weinig's clemency 
to President Clinton. John Podesta, who was lobbied by 
Weingarten and Dreyer, also recommended to the President that 
Weinig's sentence be commuted.

The White House was unjustified in commuting Weinig's sentence.

 None of the arguments made by Weinig entitle him to 
executive clemency. In his petition, Weinig stated three main 
reasons why his sentence should have been commuted: (1) his 
sentence was disproportionate and excessive; (2) his 
contributions to society justified his early release from 
prison; and (3) one of his children was suffering emotional 
difficulties as a result of his imprisonment and needed him to 
return home. The first reason is simply not true. Weinig's 
sentence was comparable to those received by other co-
conspirators who were directly responsible for laundering large 
amounts of drug money and declined to cooperate with 
authorities. Weinig's sentence was also comparable to those 
received by co-defendants who participated in the extortion-by-
kidnapping scheme, which Weinig concealed and facilitated. The 
other two reasons fail to distinguish Weinig from the vast 
number of other similarly situated felons, who were properly 
sentenced but whose families have suffered because of their 
imprisonment.

President Clinton's commutation of Weinig's sentence has sent 
out the wrong message about the United States' commitment to 
fighting drug trafficking.

 President Clinton's decision conveyed an appearance 
of granting special consideration to wealthy, politically well-
connected criminals and their relatives. Pardon Attorney Roger 
Adams foresaw the message sent by the Weinig commutation, 
warning President Clinton that ``[t]o commute [Weinig's] prison 
term to the five years he proposes would denigrate the 
seriousness of his criminal misconduct, undermine the 
government's legitimate interest in encouraging prompt guilty 
pleas and truthful cooperation from criminal defendants, and 
could give the appearance of granting special consideration to 
economically advantaged, white-collar offenders.''

 The Weinig commutation undermines the nation's 
efforts to fight the illegal drug trade. Complaints are 
frequently made that U.S. drug laws punish low-level drug 
criminals too severely yet do not punish high-level drug 
distributors enough. When a large-scale drug money launderer 
like Harvey Weinig receives executive clemency after serving 
five years of an eleven-year sentence, it sends the message 
that the U.S. is not serious about prosecuting the high-level 
criminals who make the drug trade possible.

 The Weinig commutation has eroded the United States' 
moral authority to press other countries to fight the drug 
trade within their own borders. The Weinig commutation could 
harm the efforts of the U.S. government to extradite drug 
traffickers and money launderers from Latin America. Newspapers 
in Latin American countries have accused the U.S. of hypocrisy 
in the Weinig case. For example, in Colombia's leading daily, 
former Colombian attorney general Gustavo De Greiff, in an op-
ed entitled ``The Morality of the Strongest,'' labeled 
President Clinton's clemency decision ``monstrous.''
I. BACKGROUND
    Harvey Weinig was among the 36 prisoners whose sentences 
were commuted on President Clinton's last day in office. 
Weinig, a former Manhattan attorney, was centrally involved in 
conspiring to launder about $19 million in drug proceeds 
through a Swiss bank for the Cali cocaine cartel.\1\ Weinig 
also actively participated in a kidnapping and extortion 
plot.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ See U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 14 (Exhibit 1); NARA Document Production (Letter from Mark P. 
Goodman, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of 
Justice, to John R. Wing, Member, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Sept. 20, 
1995)) (Exhibit 2).
    \2\ See U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 29 (Exhibit 1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The efforts that led to Weinig's conviction began in 
February 1994 when the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the 
Drug Enforcement Administration, and the New York City Police 
Department jointly investigated a large international money 
laundering organization.\3\ Ultimately, the organization was 
found to have laundered tens of millions of dollars in 
narcotics proceeds generated in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and 
other locations.\4\ In connection with that investigation, law 
enforcement authorities seized almost $5 million in drug 
proceeds from members of the organization.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Id. at 17.
    \4\ Id. at 22.
    \5\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Weinig and His Co-Conspirators
    As members of the money laundering organization, Weinig and 
his law partner, Robert Hirsch, used their firm, Hirsch Weinig, 
to launder drug proceeds for the benefit of their clients, 
including members of the Cali cocaine cartel in Colombia.\6\ 
After Weinig and Hirsch formed their partnership in October 
1993, they helped a German resident named Tohmes Peter retrieve 
large sums of money that had been seized by law enforcement due 
to a suspicion that the money was related to drug sales.\7\ To 
assist in the effort, Weinig recruited Richard Spence, a client 
and former New York City fireman who became a leader of the 
money laundering organization.\8\ Weinig and Hirsch 
incorporated Transglobal Import Export Trading Co., Inc., so 
that Spence could open a corporate bank account through which 
he could operate his end of the money laundering scheme.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\ See id. at 19 (describing co-defendants Miguel Omar Garrabito 
Botero, Amparo Hurtado Valencia, Juliana (last name unknown), and 
Carlos Lopez as associated with Cali cocaine cartel).
    \7\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 2 (Exhibit 3).
    \8\ See id.
    \9\ See id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Weinig, Hirsch, and Spence divided responsibilities in the 
money laundering operation. Weinig conducted banking 
transactions for the organization and consulted with co-
conspirators Hirsch and Richard Spence about the organization's 
activities.\10\ Weinig also stored the proceeds from the money 
laundering operation in his New York City apartment.\11\ Hirsch 
coordinated laundering activities with Spence in New York, 
Tohmes Peter and Juan Guillermo Ocampo in Germany, and Leon 
Shulum Weinmann and his wife, Rachel, in Switzerland.\12\ As 
part of the money laundering conspiracy, the Weinmanns received 
money transfers in Switzerland and remitted them to bank 
accounts designated by their principals.\13\ Spence was 
responsible for organizing pickups of the drug money, 
depositing the money into bank accounts without raising 
suspicion, and wire-transferring the money to various other 
accounts with the intent of concealing its nature and 
source.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\ U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 18 (Exhibit 1).
    \11\ Id.
    \12\ Id. at 19. Ocampo was previously convicted in New York of 
selling narcotics, for which he was sentenced to 5 years to life 
imprisonment and released on parole in or about May 1987. Id. In 
September 1994, Ocampo was re-arrested in Colombia. Id.
    \13\ Id.
    \14\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other co-conspirators included Michael Kalanz, a police 
officer at the 48th Precinct in the Bronx, who counted, stored 
(sometimes in his locker at the Precinct), and transported 
hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds; Charles 
Bruno, a New York City fireman who acted as a courier; 
Alexander Schwartz, a rabbi who picked up drug proceeds 
throughout the U.S. and returned them to New York City; 
Latchezar Christov, reportedly a Bulgarian diplomat who 
received drug proceeds in California and shipped them via 
overnight courier to New York City; and Gary Salerno, an 
enforcer of the money laundering organization who intimidated 
and collected money from various individuals.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\ Id. at 19-21. See also Joseph B. Treaster, U.S. Says It 
Uncovered a $100 Million Drug-Money Laundry, N.Y. Times, Dec. 1, 1994, 
at B1; John J. Goldman, ``White-Collar'' Money Laundry Is Smashed 
Crime: Lawyers, Rabbis, a Police Officer and an L.A. Diplomat are Among 
23 Charged. Ring Handled Tens of Millions of Dollars in Drug Proceeds, 
Officials Say, L.A. Times, Dec. 1, 1994, at A7. On July 21, 1994, 
Salerno was arrested by NYPD for extortion involving physical injury 
and attempted grand larceny; and, on November 16, 1994, he was arrested 
for conspiracy to traffick in firearms, a federal offense. U.S. 
Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence 
Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 20 
(Exhibit 1). A contemporaneous search of Salerno's residence uncovered 
a ``hitman's kit'' containing a garrotte (a device used to strangle and 
sever the vocal chords of the intended victim), three pairs of 
handcuffs, a handgun, two rifles, ammunition, a law enforcement badge 
bearing the name of another, and a bugging device. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
B. The Money Laundering Operation
    The money laundering conspiracy typically operated as 
follows. A narcotics trafficker or his representative (for 
example, Juan Guillermo Ocampo) would contact a member of the 
money laundering network (for example, Spence and later Hirsch) 
to pick up a parcel of cash on the street or in a hotel in a 
particular city.\16\ The cash in those parcels was generated 
from street sales of cocaine and totaled anywhere from tens of 
thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.\17\ A member of 
the network, sometimes a courier, would then retrieve the 
parcel at the given location and deliver it to a leader in the 
network (for example, Spence) who would count and deposit the 
money into bank accounts controlled by Weinig, Hirsch, or 
Spence.\18\ From such accounts, Weinig, Hirsch, or Spence would 
then transfer the money by wire or other means to the Weinmanns 
in Switzerland or elsewhere.\19\ Through a foreign money 
exchange, the drug proceeds would then be auctioned to 
``brokers'' who typically bid about 85 cents on the dollar for 
$10 million to $20 million bundles.\20\ The brokers would then 
generally have to return 85 percent of the cash to the 
Weinmanns within a fixed period.\21\ With the proceeds safely 
laundered, the Weinmanns would send the cash to bank accounts 
designated by their principals in Colombia.\22\ Members of the 
organization would ultimately be compensated for their services 
by receiving about 7 percent of the amount laundered, which 
between 1993 and 1994 equaled between $70 million and $100 
million.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001). During the federal 
investigation of Weinig's money laundering activities, Levin was with 
the New York field division of the DEA and was the primary case agent 
in the investigation. See also U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) 
Document Production (Pre-sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig 
(S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 22 (Exhibit 1). After Peter and Ocampo 
began contacting Hirsch directly in the U.S., Hirsch contacted Spence, 
who would arrange for the cash to be picked up and retrieved back to 
him in New York. Id. Hirsch's increased involvement in the conspiracy 
was corroborated by his attendance at meetings in Switzerland with, 
among others, Weinmann and Peter from January 31, 1994, through 
February 1, 1994. Id. At that meeting, during which the network's 
laundering activities were discussed, the Weinmanns reportedly stated 
that they, with Peter's assistance, laundered about $72 million. Id.
    \17\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); U.S. Probation Office 
(S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence Investigation Report, U.S. 
v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 22 (Exhibit 1).
    \18\ See Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001). See also U.S. 
Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence 
Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 22-23 
(Exhibit 1).
    \19\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); U.S. Probation Office 
(S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence Investigation Report, U.S. 
v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 22-23 (Exhibit 1). Joseph B. 
Treaster, U.S. Says It Uncovered a $100 Million Drug-Money Laundry, 
N.Y. Times, Dec. 1, 1994, at B1.
    \20\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); Timothy O'Brien, 
Embarrassment of Riches: Cartels Use U.S. Lawyers to Launder Drug 
Fortunes, Asian Wall St. J., May 30, 1995, at A1.
    \21\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); Timothy O'Brien, 
Embarrassment of Riches: Cartels Use U.S. Lawyers to Launder Drug 
Fortunes, Asian Wall St. J., May 30, 1995, at A1.
    \22\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); U.S. Probation Office 
(S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence Investigation Report, U.S. 
v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 23 (Exhibit 1). See also Joseph 
B. Treaster, U.S. Says It Uncovered a $100 Million Drug-Money Laundry, 
N.Y. Times, Dec. 1, 1994, at B1.
    \23\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); U.S. Probation Office 
(S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence Investigation Report, U.S. 
v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 22-23 (Exhibit 1). When the co-
conspirators of the money laundering ring discussed their activities 
over the phone, they often used coded language to conceal the actual 
nature of their conversations. For example, they referred to money as 
``paper'' and units of $1 million as ``containers.'' Id. at 18. See 
also Timothy O'Brien, Embarrassment of Riches: Cartels Use U.S. Lawyers 
to Launder Drug Fortunes, Asian Wall St. J., May 30, 1995, at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
C. Weinig and His Co-Conspirators Run Afoul of the Colombian Cocaine 
        Cartel
    The organization lost money throughout 1993 and 1994, when 
law enforcement arrested some of its couriers in San Juan, 
Puerto Rico, and Houston, Texas, and seized drug proceeds they 
carried.\24\ In response to those seizures, Weinig, Hirsch, and 
Spence filed fraudulent claims of ownership with the DEA, 
typically asserting that the money seized from their couriers 
represented the proceeds of payment ``for a sale of precious 
stones [by Spence] . . . acquired and sold overseas.'' \25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\ U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 23 (Exhibit 1).
    \25\ Id. at 25. On November 4, 1993, the Hirsch Weinig law firm 
filed a complaint in federal court alleging that a hotel allowed 
someone to take a suitcase containing $260,000, which was left by Rabbi 
Alexander Schwartz, one of their couriers. Id. at 24-25. The firm 
subsequently filed, on February 14, 1994, a claim of ownership with the 
DEA for entitlement to those proceeds. Id. at 25. The law firm also 
filed three false claims on July 13, 1994, for $1,053,200 (with respect 
to a seizure from another courier, Charles Bruno), $1,010, and 
$802,893. The law firm filed another false claim on March 24, 1994, for 
$676,392 (with respect to proceeds seized from Gary Salerno). Id. at 
25-26. Weinig contended that, despite being aware of the filing of 
those documents, he was not personally involved in their preparation or 
filing. Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The organization also lost money when some of its members, 
including Weinig, Hirsch, and Spence, stole from Colombian drug 
dealers about $2.5 million they were supposed to have 
laundered.\26\ To conceal their theft from the Colombians, 
Weinig, Hirsch, and Spence drafted a bogus indictment and 
notice of seizure to induce their principals in Colombia into 
believing that their money was seized by law enforcement when 
Spence was ``arrested.'' \27\ In October 1994, law enforcement 
intercepted Weinig's explanation to Hirsch of his theft from 
the organization:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\ Joseph B. Treaster, U.S. Says It Uncovered a $100 Million 
Drug-Money Laundry, N.Y. Times, Dec. 1, 1994, at B1.
    \27\ Id. at 23-24. Weinig asserts that the indictment was created 
by Hirsch alone. Id. at 24. A member of the organization who was 
conducting activities from Germany reportedly lost so much money that 
he began speculating in commodities to recoup the losses but then lost 
even larger sums on poorly placed market gambles. Timothy O'Brien, 
Embarrassment of Riches: Cartels Use U.S. Lawyers to Launder Drug 
Fortunes, Asian Wall St. J., May 30, 1995, at A1.

        Weinig. And all of the sudden, someone says to me, I 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        can put a million in cash in your . . .

        Hirsch. Oh, God. I'm sick.

        Weinig. In your, in your attic. I do a quick analysis, 
        and understand that if everything else goes wrong in 
        the world for the rest of my life, a million in cash 
        takes care of everything I'll ever need.

        Hirsch. That's true.

        Weinig. And so I said, I'm dealing with people, and I 
        remember this was, this was my approach. We're dealing 
        with people who are total a**holes, who are out of 
        control, who are scumbag, lying, cheats. And I am gonna 
        be in this for the long haul? F**k 'em! F**k 'em! I'm 
        taking a million dollars and let's, let's see you get 
        it from me. That was my approach.

        Hirsch. But remember the other . . .

        Weinig. A million f**king dollars.

        Hirsch. A million dollars, but where, you know . . .

        Weinig. This is not . . .

        Hirsch. How much you would have had today?

        Weinig. This is not, this is dealing with normal 
        Americans. This is dealing with guys I wouldn't take a 
        telephone call from.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\ See U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter 
from Lev L. Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., and Mark 
P. Goodman, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., 
Department of Justice, to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. 
District Court Judge (Mar. 21, 1996)) at 3-4 (Exhibit 4) (transcription 
of conversation between Harvey Weinig and Robert Hirsch recorded in 
October 1994).

As the foregoing indicates, Weinig believed that because his 
clients were unsavory he was justified in stealing their drug 
proceeds. To account for the millions in drug proceeds they 
stole from their Colombian principals, Weinig, Hirsch, and 
Spence planned to divide it among themselves and allow Spence 
to disappear, letting their principals believe that Spence was 
arrested and imprisoned.\29\ Plainly, Weinig's decision to 
steal from the Colombian drug traffickers exposed him, his co-
conspirators, all of their families, and various innocent 
bystanders to a considerable risk of harm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The theft of the drug money by Weinig, Hirsch, and Spence 
ultimately led to the unraveling of the money laundering 
conspiracy and to Weinig's imprisonment. In late 1994, leaders 
in the Cali cartel apparently decided that Hirsch had stolen 
money from them and sent two individuals, Miguel Omar Garrabito 
Botero and Amparo Hurtado Valencia, to ``convince'' him to 
return the money.\30\ Hirsch indicated that he would attempt to 
get the money together.\31\ Unknown to Hirsch and the 
Colombians, law enforcement was monitoring these discussions 
and approached Hirsch to obtain his cooperation.\32\ Law 
enforcement also informed Hirsch that the Colombians had 
decided to kill him and had, in fact, dispatched a hitman to 
New York.\33\ Once provided with this information, Hirsch began 
cooperating with the investigation of the money laundering 
network.\34\ Over the next several months, the money laundering 
network had meetings to address the actual and the fictitious 
seizures.\35\ With Hirsch's cooperation, many of those meetings 
were observed or recorded by law enforcement.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\ U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 24 (Exhibit 1). Botero and Valencia similarly threatened Tohmes 
Peter and Juan Ocampo, both of whom conducted money laundering 
activities for the organization from Mulheim, Germany. Id. Ocampo's 
brother was apparently kidnapped in Colombia. Id. There is no doubt 
that Weinig was aware of the risk of harm his theft from the cartel 
created. On September 30, 1994, Hirsch told Weinig that Botero was the 
principal ``of everyone'' in Colombia and explained to him the 
financial difficulties that arose from the debt owed to Botero. Id. at 
27. Weinig acknowledged the problem and said, ``[L]isten, let's not 
talk about this on the phone.'' Id. In response to Hirsch's request for 
the telephone number for his private line at the office, Weinig noted 
that he did not think that his private line was any more secure than 
the line on which they were speaking. Id. Hirsch also told Weinig that, 
in a previous conversation with Botero, Botero implied that Ocampo 
might be dead. Weinig replied, ``[L]et's not talk about it.'' Id. See 
Joseph B. Treaster, U.S. Says It Uncovered a $100 Million Drug-Money 
Laundry, N.Y. Times, Dec. 1, 1994, at B1
    \31\ U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 27 (Exhibit 1) (describing that Hirsch, Weinig, and Spence pooled 
together some of the money they had stolen and sent it to their clients 
in Colombia).
    \32\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); Timothy O'Brien, 
Embarrassment of Riches: Cartels Use U.S. Lawyers to Launder Drug 
Fortunes, Asian Wall St. J., May 30, 1995, at A1.
    \33\ Id.
    \34\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001).
    \35\ Telephone Interview with Mark Levin, former Special Agent, 
Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 2001); U.S. Probation Office 
(S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence Investigation Report, U.S. 
v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 23 (Exhibit 1).
    \36\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As money owed to the cartel became more of a problem, 
Weinig decided to extend his criminal activities beyond money 
laundering. On November 15, 1994, Spence told Weinig that he 
had kidnapped an individual named James Clooney, who had 
swindled him out of $237,000 by tricking him into investing in 
an insolvent company.\37\ Although Clooney had assets that 
would have enabled Spence to recover part of his loss, Clooney 
would not return Spence's money.\38\ While Weinig was abroad 
between November 9 and 13, 1994, Spence had Clooney kidnapped 
to ``compel him to return the money that he had wrongfully 
taken.'' \39\ On November 15, 1994, Weinig told Hirsch that 
Spence ``seized a person.'' \40\ After Hirsch joked with him 
that Spence ``learned it from the Colombians,'' Weinig 
continued, ``[Clooney] will be released as soon as his family 
produces money[.]'' \41\ Hirsch responded, ``Wait a minute. 
Hold it, hold it. Dick Spence is holding someone hostage and 
you're sitting here? . . . He's holding a person and you really 
don't see any problem with that?'' \42\ Hirsch observed that 
Clooney might notify the authorities, but Weinig replied, 
``Well, he's not in a position to call the police at this 
point, right?'' \43\ Weinig rationalized Clooney's abduction by 
noting, ``You know [Spence is] kidnapping someone who owes him 
money here.'' \44\ He continued, ``It's not drug money, it's 
money. He's lost some good money.'' \45\ Weinig apparently felt 
that his role as a lawyer might conflict with his participation 
in a kidnapping. He therefore attempted to justify his 
involvement to Hirsch:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 3-5 (Exhibit 3); 
U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence 
Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 29 
(Exhibit 1); U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter 
from Lev L. Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., and Mark 
P. Goodman, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., 
Department of Justice, to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. 
District Court Judge (Mar. 21, 1996)) at 6 (Exhibit 4).
    \38\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 3-5 (Exhibit 3); 
U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence 
Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 29 
(Exhibit 1); U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter 
from Lev L. Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., and Mark 
P. Goodman, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., 
Department of Justice, to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. 
District Court Judge (Mar. 21, 1996)) at 6 (Exhibit 4).
    \39\ Lev Dassin Document Production at 11 (Letter from John R. 
Wing, Member, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, to Mary Jo White, U.S. Attorney 
for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Feb. 28, 1997)) (Exhibit 5). 
See also U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter 
from Lev L. Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., 
Department of Justice, to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. 
District Court Judge (Mar. 19, 1996)) (Exhibit 6) (transcript of 
conversation between Harvey Weinig and Robert Hirsch recorded on 
November 15, 1994).
    \40\ Id.
    \41\ Id.
    \42\ Id. at 5-6.
    \43\ Id. at 6.
    \44\ Id.
    \45\ Id. at 25. 

        We didn't do it. I don't know anything about it. If he 
        tells me a crime is going to be committed, then I have 
        an obligation, I have to disclose it or go to the 
        authorities. . . . But he didn't do that. He just 
        talked to me a few times about ``I couldn't just sit 
        around and wait so I had some goons go talk to the guy 
        and they're gonna make sure the money comes this 
        week.'' \46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 4 (Exhibit 3).

Clooney was released the following day on the condition that he 
surrender his artwork and a home mortgage to settle his debt to 
Spence.\47\ Weinig offered his office as a meeting place where 
Clooney could convey the ransom and instructed two of his 
associates to execute transfer agreements when Clooney and his 
girlfriend arrived at the office.\48\ However, he left before 
they arrived.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \47\ U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter 
from Lev L. Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., and Mark 
P. Goodman, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., 
Department of Justice, to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. 
District Court Judge (Mar. 21, 1996)) at 7-8 (Exhibit 4).
    \48\ Id. at 8. Specifically, Weinig instructed two attorneys at the 
firm to receive the ransom from Clooney. Id.
    \49\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
D. Weinig's Prosecution and Sentencing
    Robert Hirsch was arrested in September 1994 and, with 
Spence, subsequently cooperated with authorities in their 
investigation of the remaining members of the money laundering 
organization.\50\ On November 30, 1994, Weinig and the 
remaining members of the organization, including Tohmes Peter, 
were arrested.\51\ Weinig was subsequently released on 
bail.\52\ Weinig was indicted on December 22, 1994, and April 
20, 1995, with several co-defendants in the Southern District 
of New York for conspiring to launder drug proceeds, 15 counts 
of money laundering, two counts of interstate transportation of 
stolen money, wire fraud, three counts of making false 
statements to federal authorities, and criminal forfeiture.\53\ 
On September 21, 1995, Weinig was charged under a separate 
indictment with interfering with commerce by extortion arising 
from his participation in Spence's abduction of Clooney.\54\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \50\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001); U.S. 
District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter from Lev L. 
Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., and Mark P. Goodman, 
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of 
Justice, to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. District Court Judge 
(Mar. 21, 1996)) at 2 (Exhibit 4). See Telephone Interview with Mark 
Levin, former Special Agent, Drug Enforcement Administration (Mar. 22, 
2001).
    \51\ U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 29 (Exhibit 1). See also NARA Document Production (Criminal 
Complaint, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 29, 1994)) (Exhibit 7); NARA 
Document Production (Affidavit of Special Agent Jeffrey Drubner, In Re 
Application for Arrest and Search Warrant (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 29, 1994)) 
(Exhibit 8). The best recollection of those involved in Weinig's arrest 
is that he was taken into custody at his home, without incident, and 
outside the view of his children. See, e.g., Telephone Interview with 
Lev Dassin, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department 
of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001).
    \52\ U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 29 (Exhibit 1).
    \53\ U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production 
(Indictment, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 22, 1994)) (Exhibit 9); U.S. 
District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Indictment, U.S. v. 
Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 1995)) (Exhibit 10); U.S. Probation Office 
(S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence Investigation Report, U.S. 
v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 4 (Exhibit 1).
    \54\ U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production 
(Indictment, U.S. v. Weinig, S2 95 CR-167 (KTD) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 21, 
1995)); U.S. Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-
sentence Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) 
at 13 (Exhibit 1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shortly before Weinig was to go to trial on money 
laundering charges, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder 
drug money for the Cali cocaine cartel and to owning or 
controlling property that was involved in and traceable to the 
money laundering conspiracy.\55\ Weinig's plea to those charges 
resulted in his forfeiture of various personal and business 
assets, including his summer home, proceeds traceable to his 
money laundering activities, and personal and business bank 
accounts.\56\ Weinig also pleaded guilty to knowingly 
concealing from law enforcement authorities Spence's abduction 
of Clooney for the purpose of extorting the payment of 
ransom.\57\ Because he waited until the eve of trial to plead 
guilty and did not cooperate with law enforcement, Weinig did 
not receive any credit for cooperation in the plea 
agreement.\58\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \55\ Id. at 14. See also NARA Document Production (Letter from Mark 
P. Goodman, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of 
Justice, to John R. Wing, Member, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Sept. 20, 
1995)) (Exhibit 2) (plea agreement).
    \56\ Id. at 16-17.
    \57\ Id. at 14. Under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 4 (2000) of the federal 
criminal code, this offense is referred to as ``misprision of a 
felony.''
    \58\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., U.S. Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The documents relating to Weinig's plea show that he failed 
not only to cooperate with law enforcement but also to accept 
responsibility for his actions. In his allocution before Judge 
Kevin T. Duffy, Weinig stated that he originally believed 
representations made by Hirsch that Tohmes Peter was involved 
in the ``worldwide distribution of parallel market or greige 
market goods, including electronic equipment, computer 
equipment, health and beauty aids, and other commodities[,]'' 
not money laundering.\59\ But, Weinig conceded that ``[f]rom 
the very start . . . [he] had misgivings about the highly 
unconventional nature of the activity in which [Peter] was 
engaged'' and ``[a]s time went on, [he] deliberately ignored 
obvious indications that these monies were, in fact, the 
proceeds of illicit drug transactions, and eventually [he] was 
fully aware of this fact.'' \60\ Weinig admitted that he 
ignored the following indicators: DEA statements that the 
proceeds at issue were drug-related; the ``highly 
unconventional locations, . . . [h]otel rooms, street corners 
and empty cars in parking lots where the money was 
transferred''; that ``[his law] office never saw documents that 
would ordinarily underlie a commercial transaction''; and that 
he received ``what [he] perceived to be an unreasonably large 
amount of money in relation to the business being conducted.'' 
\61\ However, Weinig argued that, with respect to the money 
laundering operation, he was less involved than were Hirsch and 
Spence in the operation's day-to-day operations.\62\ Regarding 
his role in the kidnapping scheme, Weinig maintained that he 
was not told about the extortion-by-kidnapping scheme until 
after Clooney was abducted.\63\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 6 (Exhibit 3) 
(quoting transcript of allocution).
    \60\ Id.
    \61\ Id. at 6 n.14.
    \62\ U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter 
from Lev L. Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., and Mark 
P. Goodman, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., for Mary 
Jo White, U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice, to the 
Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. District Court Judge (Mar. 21, 
1996)) at 1 (Exhibit 4).
    \63\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In reply to Weinig's claims, the Government argued that 
Weinig was in fact centrally involved in the money laundering 
organization with Hirsch and Spence from its inception and 
played an important role in the kidnapping.\64\ In support of 
its position, the Government cited private statements and 
proffers made by Hirsch and Spence, both of whom cooperated 
with the Government from the date of their arrest.\65\ In 
particular, the Government noted that both Hirsch and Spence 
had consistently stated that Weinig was generally aware of the 
organization's day-to-day activities and had spoken to them 
about those activities frequently.\66\ The Government also 
cited various wiretapped conversations, which clearly and 
consistently inculpated Weinig.\67\ The Government also argued 
that the level of Hirsch's and Spence's involvement in the 
organization was irrelevant to Weinig's sentencing.\68\ 
According to the Government, Weinig's conduct was ``extremely 
serious and reprehensible'' and was motivated by ``unmitigated, 
unrelenting greed and arrogance.'' \69\ With regard to Weinig's 
role in the extortion scheme, the Government argued that, for 
sentencing purposes, Weinig's activities should be considered 
independent of those of the other criminals involved and 
characterized his conduct, particularly inasmuch as Weinig was 
a lawyer, as ``chilling.'' \70\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\ Id. at 1-9.
    \65\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001); U.S. 
District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Letter from Lev L. 
Dassin, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., and Mark P. Goodman, 
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of 
Justice, to the Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. District Court Judge 
(Mar. 21, 1996)) at 2 (Exhibit 4).
    \66\ Id. at 3.
    \67\ Id.
    \68\ Id.
    \69\ Id. at 6.
    \70\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Judge Duffy agreed. On March 22, 1996, he sentenced Weinig 
to the maximum sentence under federal guidelines--11 years and 
three months.\71\ Before he did so, John Wing, Weinig's 
attorney, asked for leniency:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\ U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Transcript 
of Sentencing Hearing, U.S. v. Weinig, et al. (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 22, 1996)) 
at 14 (Exhibit 11).

        Your Honor, when my kids were young, I was familiar 
        with that Sesame Street character Big Bird and a song 
        he used to sing about how everybody makes mistakes, big 
        people, small people, as a matter of fact, law people. 
        It's probably a different version of the doctrine of 
        original sin, but Harvey Weinig made some business 
        mistakes[.] \72\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \72\ Id. at 2-3.

Wing continued by noting that his client ``did not sit down and 
make a conscious, knowing decision to initiate and enter into a 
business of laundering drug proceeds.'' \73\ Rather, according 
to Wing, Weinig was misled by his law partner, Robert Hirsch, 
``a man he liked, respected, trusted, someone he thought was 
smart,'' into believing that they were handling ``gray market'' 
forfeiture cases unrelated to narcotics trafficking.\74\ 
However, Wing conceded that after Weinig learned about the true 
nature of the business, ``[he] stayed in. [He] made money. He 
liked having the security.'' \75\ Wing then discussed Weinig's 
role in the extortion by kidnapping scheme, which he 
characterized as ``also somewhat bizarre.'' \76\ Wing conceded 
that, with full knowledge of the abduction scheme, Weinig 
``basically let it happen. He didn't stop it.'' \77\ In an 
attempt to offset the seriousness of Weinig's criminal conduct, 
Wing mentioned Weinig's character, the harm his behavior 
visited on his family, and the legal assistance Weinig 
occasionally made available to various friends without 
charge.\78\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\ Id. at 5.
    \74\ Id.
    \75\ Id. at 7.
    \76\ Id.
    \77\ Id. at 9.
    \78\ Id. at 9-11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Speaking for himself at sentencing, Weinig conveyed to 
Judge Duffy, among other things, that ``today marks yet another 
milestone in the nightmare from which I am unable to awake.'' 
\79\ But Judge Duffy observed the following with regard to 
Weinig's involvement in the kidnapping scheme:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\ Id. at 11.

        You know, you talk about a nightmare. Nightmares come 
        from the unconscious, the subconscious. What you are 
        facing is something that you were conscious or you got 
        yourself into. . . . The suggestion has been made that 
        you are a very altruistic person, that you are a great 
        guy . . . . I don't know . . . . What would you have 
        done, Mr. Weinig, if your son Jacob had been kidnapped 
        and some lawyer knew about it . . . and didn't do 
        anything? . . . I insisted on getting the tape and 
        listening to your conversation with Hirsch when you 
        talk about it, very flip, matter of fact. You couldn't 
        care less, but if it had been your son, you would have 
        cared more. . . . You apparently were able to divide 
        yourself in two, outside the office and inside. Even 
        when Clooney came in, your attorney says you let it 
        happen. Sure you let it happen, because you went, and 
        you stuck two young associates with the job of cleaning 
        it up.\80\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \80\ Id. at 12-14.

    With regard to Weinig's involvement in the money laundering 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
operation, Judge Duffy noted the following:

        The suggestion is made that you are not smart or 
        sophisticated. I can't believe that. You thought that 
        the money laundering was coming in gray market goods. 
        But even you admit that you knew where it was coming 
        from, at least at the end.

        What are we talking about? Well the figures vary, from 
        72 million dollars, that the Swiss bankers claimed to 
        have laundered, to nineteen, which I understand you are 
        accused of. Nineteen million dollars in drugs is a lot 
        of money. That much drugs is a lot of pain. If [your 
        sons] Samuel or Jacob were the ones who were using the 
        drugs, you would be singing a different story, an 
        entirely different song.\81\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \81\ Id. at 14.

    Judge Duffy thereupon noted that ``if [this case] had been 
in the old days, I would have given [Weinig] the statutory 
maximum.'' \82\ On March 22, 1996, Judge Duffy sentenced Weinig 
to 135 months (11 years and three months) plus three years 
supervised release and a $100 special assessment.\83\ Even with 
credit for good behavior, Harvey Weinig would not get out of 
prison until 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \82\ Id.
    \83\ U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Judgment 
and Commitment Order, U.S. v. Weinig, et al. (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 25, 1996)) 
(Exhibit 12). See 11-Year Sentence for Lawyers in Drug Case, N.Y. 
Times, Mar. 23, 1996, at A25.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After his conviction in federal court, Weinig filed for 
resignation from the New York Bar with the Appellate Division 
of the State of New York. That court accepted Weinig's 
resignation, observing that ``[its] review of the record in 
this matter reveals that respondent engaged in a course of 
conduct that can only be described as shocking and 
reprehensible for anyone, let alone a member of the bar.'' \84\ 
The court also emphasized that if Weinig had not voluntarily 
resigned from the bar, a ``serious crimes'' hearing would have 
commenced with disbarment being ``the only appropriate 
sanction.'' \85\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\ In re Weinig, 642 N.Y.S.2d 654, 656 (N.Y. App. Div. 1996).
    \85\ Id. See also Disciplinary Proceedings; Appellate Division; 
First Department, N.Y. Law J., May 20, 1996, at 5; Today's News Update, 
N.Y. Law J., May 20, 1996, at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
II. WEINIG'S EFFORTS TO OBTAIN EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY
    Soon after Weinig was imprisoned, John Wing, Weinig's 
criminal defense counsel, wrote a 34-page letter to the U.S. 
Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mary Jo White, 
in which he sought a reduction in his sentence, citing the 
difference between Weinig's sentence and those of his co-
conspirators.\86\ The U.S. Attorney rejected Wing's 
request.\87\ After that effort, Weinig focused his efforts on 
obtaining executive clemency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \86\ See generally Lev Dassin Document Production (Letter from John 
R. Wing, Member, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, to Mary Jo White, U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Feb. 28, 1997)) 
(Exhibit 5); Benjamin Weiser, A Felon's Well-Connected Path to 
Clemency, N.Y. Times, Apr. 14, 2001, at A1.
    \87\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001); 
Benjamin Weiser, A Felon's Well-Connected Path to Clemency, N.Y. Times, 
Apr. 14, 2001, at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Weinig Hires Reid Weingarten to Lobby for Clemency
    After Weinig was sent to prison, his wife, City University 
of New York law professor Alice Morey, explored ways of getting 
Weinig out of prison. Perhaps Morey's most important move was 
to hire Reid Weingarten, a prominent Washington attorney with 
close connections to the Clinton White House. Weingarten had 
represented a number of key figures in Clinton-era scandals, 
including Yah Lin ``Charlie'' Trie, Ron Brown, Mike Espy, and 
Pauline Kanchanalak. In representing these individuals, 
Weingarten had frequent contact with senior Clinton White House 
officials and their attorneys. Weingarten was also well-
connected in the Justice Department, having served as a trial 
attorney in the Public Integrity Section.
    A friend told Weingarten about the Weinig case in 1998 and 
asked him to meet with Weinig's wife.\88\ Weingarten met with 
Morey, who was at her ``wits end'' because of Weinig's 
imprisonment and the harm his imprisonment had caused to her 
children.\89\ Weingarten ultimately took the case because ``the 
general sentiment was that the sentence was `grossly 
disproportionate.' '' \90\ Accordingly, Weingarten prepared a 
clemency petition packet on Weinig's behalf and attached 
letters submitted while Weinig was awaiting sentencing and 
written in support of the clemency petition itself.\91\ In the 
petition, Weinig set forth his offenses as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \88\ Interview with Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson 
(Mar. 23, 2001).
    \89\ Id.
    \90\ Id.
    \91\ Id. See also NARA Document Production (Petition for 
Commutation of Sentence, Apr. 6, 2000) (Exhibit 13) (letters attached 
to petition not attached).

        As to the first count, I assisted various individuals 
        in laundering money, after realizing that the funds 
        were proceeds of illegal drug sales. As to the second 
        count, I became aware, after the fact, that a client of 
        mine had detained an individual who had defrauded my 
        client and owed my client money. I subsequently 
        instructed associates in my law firm to prepare 
        documentation that gave my client a security interest 
        in some of the individual's assets. I did not report to 
        the authorities that my client had previously detained 
        the individual.\92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \92\ Id.

Weinig also observed that ``[a]s to my client's abduction of an 
individual, I did not learn of the kidnapping until after the 
individual had been released.'' \93\ As bases for the 
commutation of his sentence, Weinig argued that: (1) his 
sentence was grossly disproportionate to the sentences given to 
more culpable co-defendants and to money laundering sentences 
nationwide; (2) he had made and will continue to make 
contributions to society; and (3) his family and, in 
particular, his youngest son needed him to return home.\94\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \93\ Id. (attachment).
    \94\ NARA Document Production (Harvey Weinig's Memorandum in 
Support of His Petition for Commutation of Sentence, Apr. 6, 2000) at 6 
(Exhibit 14) (originally attached to petition).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Weingarten filed a copy of the petition with the Pardon 
Attorney's Office at the Justice Department on April 3, 
2000,\95\ and with the White House Counsel's Office on April 7, 
2000.\96\ Weingarten knew that the support of the prosecuting 
U.S. Attorney's Office was critical because he had previously 
represented two clients in clemency proceedings (and prevailed 
in one of them).\97\ Accordingly, he spoke with Deputy U.S. 
Attorney Shirah Neiman and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Kaufman 
in the Southern District of New York.\98\ Weingarten knew that 
the prosecutors office had to be on board or the application 
was not going anywhere.\99\ In Weingarten's ``spirited'' 
conversation with Neiman and Kaufman, the prosecutors indicated 
that they would not recommend commutation of Weinig's 
sentence.\100\ Therefore, sometime in the fall of 2000, 
Weingarten turned to Pardon Attorney Roger Adams.\101\ Rather 
than persuade Adams to support commutation of Weinig's 
sentence, which he was confident he would not do, Weingarten 
intended only to have Adams ``soften'' his recommendation 
against granting Weinig clemency.\102\ Weingarten failed, as is 
apparent from the Justice Department's report to President 
Clinton regarding Weinig's clemency petition, which is 
discussed below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \95\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Reid Weingarten, 
Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, to Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department 
of Justice (Apr. 3, 2000)) (Exhibit 15); Interview with Reid 
Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson (Mar. 23, 2001).
    \96\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Reid Weingarten, 
Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, to Beth Nolan, Counsel to the President, 
the White House (Apr. 7, 2000)) (Exhibit 16); Interview with Reid 
Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson (Mar. 23, 2001). See also NARA 
Document Production (Letter from Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & 
Johnson, to Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice (Apr. 
3, 2000)) (Exhibit 17) (indicating, in note by Podesta to Nolan, ``I 
need to discuss this one with you. Can you give me a call[?]''); NARA 
Document Production (Letter from Beth Nolan, Counsel to the President, 
the White House, to Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson (May 
25, 2000)) (Exhibit 18) (drafts of letter attached).
    \97\ Interview with Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson 
(Mar. 23, 2001).
    \98\ Id.
    \99\ Id.
    \100\ Id.
    \101\ Id.
    \102\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Weingarten then turned his attention to the White House. 
When Weingarten's practice occasionally required trips to the 
White House, he typically met with White House Counsel Beth 
Nolan, Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, or Chief of 
Staff John Podesta.\103\ Though Weingarten has no specific 
recollection of meetings he had with any of them regarding the 
Weinig matter, he is confident that he brought the matter up 
with them.\104\ Weingarten implored those staff members to 
review the Weinig clemency petition, telling them ``please read 
it, it sings.'' \105\ He also communicated that Weinig was a 
``small fry in terms of culpability'' and that the Weinig 
family believed that their youngest son's life was in jeopardy 
if Harvey Weinig was not released from prison.\106\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \103\ Id.
    \104\ Id.
    \105\ Id.
    \106\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, it appears that Weingarten was not well situated 
to lobby the White House on the Weinig case because he was 
ignorant of many basic details of the Weinig case. For example, 
when discussing the Weinig case with Committee staff, 
Weingarten attempted to characterize Weinig as a low-level 
white collar criminal.\107\ However, he readily admitted that 
he ``never, ever, ever got into the facts of the case because I 
felt that I didn't need to.'' \108\ Regarding the kidnapping-
related charge, Weingarten said, ``That could hardly be called 
a kidnapping. If it was, it was the mildest kidnapping ever. 
First of all, the facts are in dispute. And, the alleged victim 
was fed steaks and whores.'' \109\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \107\ Id.
    \108\ Id.
    \109\ Id. Weinig's trial attorney, John R. Wing, also argued this 
point in a letter to U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White after Weinig's 
sentencing. In that letter, Wing argued that Weinig's belief that 
Clooney was not in danger was shared by law enforcement and that, in 
fact, ``[i]t was later learned that Clooney was provided with steaks 
and prostitutes during his `detention.' '' Lev Dassin Document 
Production (Letter from John R. Wing, Member, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, 
to Mary Jo White, U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice 
(Feb. 28, 1997)) (Exhibit 5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Every aspect of Weingarten's response is troubling. First, 
Weingarten was apparently trusted and respected by White House 
staff. It is difficult to imagine how, in lobbying the 
Administration, Weingarten could have accurately conveyed a 
factual basis for his belief in the merits of Weinig's clemency 
petition when he ``never, ever, ever'' felt the need to ``[get] 
into the facts'' of Weinig's underlying conviction. Second, 
contrary to Weingarten's assertion, the facts most relevant to 
Weinig's active involvement in the extortion-by-kidnapping 
scheme were not in dispute. In fact, Weinig admitted most of 
them in court. Those facts established that Weinig was aware of 
the scheme to kidnap Clooney and facilitated Clooney's 
extortion through that scheme. Finally, Weingarten's contention 
that Clooney's kidnapping was the ``the mildest . . . ever'' 
because his kidnappers provided him with ``steaks and whores'' 
fails to reflect the true facts of the crime. As Lev Dassin, 
the assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case indicated 
to Committee staff, ``[H]aving your abductors have sex with 
prostitutes while you're cowering by the bed on the floor can, 
in no way, be construed as pleasant.'' \110\ Weingarten failed 
to appreciate the actual dynamics of Clooney's abduction. The 
kidnappers, rather than Clooney, apparently partook of the 
steaks and prostitutes at issue.\111\ This distinction appears 
to have been lost on Weingarten. Nonetheless, assuming only for 
the sake of argument that Weingarten's representation that 
Clooney was treated favorably while abducted is accurate, there 
is an obvious problem with Weingarten's citing it here. It is 
simply bizarre for a lawyer, particularly one with Weingarten's 
background, to suggest that the offense is mitigated by 
supplying a kidnapping victim with ``steaks and whores.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \110\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001).
    \111\ There are additional elements of the crime of which 
Weingarten was apparently unaware when he spoke with Committee staff. 
First, as Clooney was being abducted, he was plainly fearful for his 
life. He cried. See Appellate Brief, U.S. v. Messina, Docket No. 96-
1789 (2d Cir. 1997) at 9 (citing to record). When Spence told co-
conspirator Richard Messina on the telephone that Clooney cried while 
being abducted, Messina responded that he wished he could have been 
there to have seen Clooney cry. Id. Also, at various times during 
Clooney's ordeal, a co-conspirator brandished a butterfly knife. Id. 
Additionally, Clooney noticed that two other co-conspirators had a gun. 
Id. Finally, Clooney's kidnappers told him several times that he would 
be harmed if he tried to escape. Id. Had Weingarten bothered to ``get 
into the facts,'' one hopes that he would have refrained from 
characterizing Clooney's abduction as ``the mildest ever.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
B. Weinig's Wife Seeks Support for His Clemency Petition
    While Weingarten was meeting with the White House about the 
Weinig matter, Alice Morey called several public officials and 
prominent rabbis regarding her husband.\112\ Morey sought these 
individuals' help in obtaining a commutation of Weinig's prison 
sentence. Morey's statements to these individuals can be 
inferred from her February 24, 2000, letter to the Pardon 
Attorney. In that letter, Morey characterized Weinig's role in 
the conspiracy as ``exceedingly limited.'' \113\ She also 
asserted that ``if [Weinig] has to serve the full remainder of 
his sentence . . . our family will not be able to survive.'' 
\114\ Morey further observed that ``[w]ith the exception of 
[Weinig], all of the twenty or so co-defendants in this case 
received relatively light sentences and most have been out of 
jail for some time.'' \115\ She continued, ``[I]t is cruelly 
inequitable that Hirsch and the other major players received 
sentences so far lighter than that which [Weinig] received, 
despite [Weinig's] less significant role.'' \116\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \112\ Interview with Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson 
(Mar. 23, 2001).
    \113\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Alice Morey to Roger 
Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of Justice (Feb. 24, 2000)) (Exhibit 
19).
    \114\ Id.
    \115\ Id.
    \116\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Morey's letter to the Pardon Attorney contained many of the 
same arguments made in Weinig's clemency petition. However, 
Morey's letter also contained arguments not asserted by others. 
For example, Morey attempted to distance Weinig from the 
conspiracy by noting that Tohmes Peter was Hirsch's client, not 
Weinig's.\117\ However, she conceded that Weinig acted on 
behalf of Peter ``in a few instances when Hirsch was not 
available [and] accepted the cash payments that [Peter] made to 
the firm[.]'' \118\ Nonetheless, Morey maintained that 
``[i]nterestingly enough, prior to Hirsch's arrest and 
subsequent cooperation, the government had little or no 
evidence that [Weinig] was connected in any way other than as 
Hirsch's law partner.'' \119\ Morey also argued that the 
Government had essentially entrapped Weinig, claiming that 
``once Hirsch began cooperating with the federal government, he 
began involving Harvey in his dealings with Peter Tohmes.'' 
\120\ Morey further argued that the original indictment 
``barely mentions'' Weinig, ``perhaps because he had little to 
do with the illegal activities.'' \121\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \117\ Id.
    \118\ Id.
    \119\ Id.
    \120\ Id.
    \121\ Id. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Morey's position as to Weinig's activities is totally 
misleading. Weinig's extensive involvement in the money 
laundering conspiracy was supported by statements of co-
conspirators and corroborated by Weinig's own admissions 
captured by a wiretap. Contrary to Morey's representation that 
Weinig's involvement was barely mentioned in the indictment, 
counts one, five, eleven through seventeen, nineteen, twenty-
six through twenty-nine, and thirty through thirty-eight of the 
April 20, 1995, indictment clearly indicate Weinig's deep 
involvement in the money laundering conspiracy well beyond his 
mere partnership in the law firm. Indeed, Morey's 
characterization of Weinig's business transactions as having 
been conducted ``in a few instances'' is charitable and, to the 
extent that it ignores the $19 million Weinig admitted to 
having laundered for members of the Colombian cartel and 
Weinig's role in the extortion-by-kidnapping scheme, 
irrelevant.
    Regarding Weinig's guilty plea and sentencing, Morey 
asserted that Weinig pleaded ``[f]or a host of reasons, mostly 
emotional and financial.'' \122\ Morey also suggested that 
``[a]lthough [Weinig's] lawyer had been hopeful that the court 
would depart downward in sentencing, Judge Duffy sentenced 
[Weinig] to the top of the guidelines without articulating his 
reasons.'' \123\ Morey's assertion of why Weinig pleaded guilty 
seems to confirm that Weinig never fully accepted 
responsibility for his actions--one of the requirements for 
receiving a commutation. Indeed, there was never a legitimate 
expectation of downward departure at sentencing. Weinig 
provided no meaningful assistance to authorities until 
immediately before trial, and, as described below, the 
information he ultimately provided was useless.\124\ 
Accordingly, Weinig's plea agreement did not contemplate a 
downward adjustment for substantial assistance to 
authorities.\125\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \122\ Id.
    \123\ Id.
    \124\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001).
    \125\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
C. Weinig's Wife Obtains Support From Individuals With Ties to the 
        Administration
    Alice Morey obtained the assistance of a number of 
individuals to press her husband's clemency case with the White 
House. A key individual who helped Morey was her cousin, David 
Dreyer, who served as a deputy communications director with the 
Clinton White House and senior advisor to Clinton 
Administration Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Dreyer used his 
White House contacts to lobby White House Chief of Staff John 
Podesta.\126\ When asked about Dreyer's role in lobbying for 
the commutation, Weingarten confirmed that Dreyer ``bugged'' 
Podesta about the Weinig matter but does not know how many 
times Dreyer contacted the White House.\127\ Weingarten noted 
that, because Dreyer was a ``noodge,'' it might have been as 
many as 20 times.\128\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \126\ Interview with Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson 
(Mar. 23, 2001).
    \127\ Id.
    \128\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dreyer has publicly noted his fondness for his cousin Alice 
and that he occasionally saw Weinig at various family 
functions.\129\ He also observed that his friendship with 
Podesta, with whom he occasionally jogged in Rock Creek Park, 
remained strong even after he left the White House.\130\ 
According to Dreyer, sometime in July 2000 during a visit to 
Podesta's office, he gave Podesta the cover memorandum from 
Weinig's clemency petition and ``asked him to take a look at it 
and explained to him the relationship, and why this 
mattered[.]'' \131\ Dreyer confirmed that Podesta made no 
promises but was ``certainly willing to look into it as an act 
of friendship[.]'' \132\ Dreyer asked Podesta about the matter 
again during the Fall of 2000 as they were jogging.\133\ 
Podesta responded by telling Dreyer not to expect any action 
for several months.\134\ According to Weingarten, Podesta felt 
that the Weinig clemency matter was a ``good story'' and that a 
decision could be made ``on the merits.'' \135\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \129\ Benjamin Weiser, A Felon's Well-Connected Path to Clemency, 
N.Y. Times, Apr. 14, 2001, at A1.
    \130\ Id.
    \131\ Id.
    \132\ Id.
    \133\ Id.
    \134\ Id.
    \135\ Interview with Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson 
(Mar. 23, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some insight as to what Dreyer specifically told Podesta, 
and possibly others in the Administration, about the Weinig 
matter can be gleaned from a letter that Dreyer submitted to 
the Pardon Attorney's Office in support of Weinig's 
petition.\136\ Dreyer noted in the letter that ``[n]o 
conceivable societal interest is being served by forcing Harvey 
[Weinig] to remain in prison for the entire length of his 
maximum sentence.'' \137\ Dreyer cited as bases for clemency: 
(1) the ``disproportion'' between Weinig's sentence and those 
of co-defendants ``all more deeply involved [in the money 
laundering conspiracy and misprision] than he''; (2) the fact 
that ``Harvey's wife and sons are bearing the brunt of his 
punishment with enormous force''; and (3) the fact that Weinig 
was ``a good and decent father'' and ``a contributing member of 
the community.'' \138\ Apparently content with only a 
superficial appreciation of the facts, Dreyer noted that the 
apparent disproportion between Weinig's sentence and those of 
his co-defendants ``[o]n its face . . . is not fair.'' \139\ As 
described above, these arguments are based on an incomplete 
understanding of the underlying case. Perhaps more importantly, 
characterizing Weinig as a ``contributing member of society'' 
does not help those unfamiliar with the facts of the case 
understand that his most significant ``contribution'' was to 
assist the Cali cartel in flooding the United States with 
cocaine.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \136\ Dreyer's letter refers to ``papers filed with your office 
[seeking] a clemency . . . for Harvey Weinig,'' yet the petition was 
actually filed with the Justice Department (and the White House 
Counsel's Office) months later in April 2000.
    \137\ NARA Document Production (Letter from David Dreyer, 
Principal, TSD, Inc., to Roger Adams, Pardon Attorney, Department of 
Justice (Feb. 28, 2000)) (Exhibit 20).
    \138\ Id.
    \139\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In light of the specious arguments Dreyer set forth in his 
letter to the Pardon Attorney and also likely communicated to 
senior Administration officials, Chairman Burton asked Dreyer 
to participate in an interview with Committee staff and 
subpoenaed documents from Dreyer.\140\ Dreyer declined the 
Committee's invitation and asserted his Fifth Amendment rights 
against self-incrimination rather than produce records. 
Dreyer's role in lobbying senior Clinton Administration 
officials for the Weinig commutation was obviously critical. 
Therefore, it is disappointing that Dreyer would not cooperate 
with the Committee's investigation. Moreover, it is troubling 
that Dreyer believed that something about his involvement in 
the Weinig matter might be incriminating. Nevertheless, the 
Committee must take his representation at face value and 
conclude that Dreyer at least believes that he might have 
incurred criminal liability during the course of his 
activities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \140\ Letter from the Honorable Dan Burton, Chairman, Comm. on 
Govt. Reform, to David Dreyer, Principal, TSD, Inc. (Mar. 16, 2001) 
(within Appendix I) (invitation letter); Subpoena from Comm. on Govt. 
Reform to David Dreyer, Principal, TSD, Inc. (Apr. 4, 2001) (within 
Appendix II).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Weinig's wife, Alice Morey, also directly lobbied Harold 
Ickes, the President's former Deputy Chief of Staff, whose 
children attended her sons' school.\141\ Ickes and Podesta have 
publicly stated that, like Dreyer, they were persuaded to 
support Weinig's petition by the merits of the argument that 
Weinig's sentence was disproportionate to other sentences 
imposed in the case.\142\ Ickes, in particular, said, ``I think 
what really drove it home to me was the disparity in the 
sentences.'' \143\ They have also stated that they believed 
that Weinig's sons were suffering considerably from their 
father's incarceration.\144\ That appears to be the position 
that Ickes conveyed to President Clinton when the President 
approached him about the Weinig petition.\145\ Ickes recalled, 
``[The President] asked me about it a couple of times. I don't 
think he was aware of all the nuances, so I told him my view of 
it. It was the sentencing issue. I said, `Look, this guy was 
sentenced. He pled guilty. And nobody is claiming that he's a 
saint.' '' \146\ However, it is not entirely clear why the 
sentencing disparity--not whether Weinig's crimes merited the 
sentence Judge Duffy imposed--was the primary focus. It appears 
in hindsight that the disparity argument was manufactured to 
compensate for the fact that there were actually no 
intellectually defensible grounds for the argument that 
Weinig's sentence should be commuted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \141\ Interview with Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson 
(Mar. 23, 2001).
    \142\ Benjamin Weiser, A Felon's Well-Connected Path to Clemency, 
N.Y. Times, Apr. 14, 2001, at A1.
    \143\ Id.
    \144\ Id.
    \145\ Id.
    \146\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Reid Weingarten also enlisted Alma Brown, the widow of 
former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, in the clemency campaign. 
Weingarten had represented Ron Brown in various investigations 
prior to his death and remained friendly with Alma Brown. 
Knowing that Alma Brown remained close to the White House, 
Weingarten asked her to write a letter ``putting in a good 
word'' for Weinig.\147\ Brown initially resisted but eventually 
did so.\148\ Weingarten believes that Brown also might have 
spoken to President Clinton about the Weinig matter.\149\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \147\ Interview with Reid Weingarten, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson 
(Mar. 23, 2001).
    \148\ Id.
    \149\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
III. THE WHITE HOUSE'S REVIEW OF WEINIG'S COMMUTATION REQUEST
A. The Justice Department's Input in the Weinig Clemency Matter
    The Justice Department repeatedly, clearly, and adamantly 
recommended against any reduction of Weinig's sentence, not 
only at and after sentencing but also during the clemency 
proceedings. Some time after sentencing, Weinig's defense 
counsel sent a 34-page letter to U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White 
seeking a reduction of Weinig's sentence. In response, White 
rejected the request out of hand. Also, when Weinig sought a 
commutation of his sentence from the White House, the Justice 
Department, through Pardon Attorney Roger Adams, voiced its 
opposition.
            1. The U.S. Attorney Strongly Objected to Commuting 
                    Weinig's Sentence
    U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White expressed her opinion on the 
Weinig commutation in her official comments to the Pardon 
Attorney. White's position was then communicated by the Pardon 
Attorney to President Clinton. White disputed Weinig's 
description of his role in the money laundering 
conspiracy.\150\ Citing Weinig's admissions at the sentencing 
hearing and in the recorded conversations with Hirsch, White 
argued that ``the evidence amply demonstrates both Weinig's 
knowledge of and enthusiasm to participate in this scheme.'' 
\151\ White also argued that Weinig ``misstates his role in the 
extortion scheme,'' and she challenged his argument that ``he 
should be exonerated on [the misprision] count because his 
ethical duties as a lawyer prevented him from disclosing 
confidential information.'' \152\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \150\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 11 (Exhibit 3).
    \151\ Id.
    \152\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    White explained that ``the extortion charge . . . stemmed 
not from Weinig's failure to interfere with the kidnapping, but 
rather from his affirmative efforts to conceal and further his 
client's extortion of Clooney.'' \153\ White also noted that 
``the tapes of Weinig's conversations with Hirsch regarding the 
kidnapping provide perhaps the greatest example of Weinig's 
shocking lack of morality or care for the rule of law.'' \154\ 
White described Weinig's ``suggestion that New York [S]tate's 
ethics rules either compelled, or at least justified, his 
conduct'' as ``perverse.'' \155\ In particular, she noted that, 
although Spence was Weinig's client, he plainly did not inform 
Weinig of the kidnapping because he was seeking legal 
advice.\156\ White maintained that, to the contrary, Spence 
sought Weinig's assistance in obtaining ransom from Clooney. 
She observed that ``[n]othing in the ethics rules governing 
attorney conduct in New York State (or any other state for that 
matter) sanctions one's affirmative participation in a crime, 
let alone the collection of ransom from a kidnap victim, which 
is exactly what Weinig directed his law firm's associates to 
do.'' \157\ White also noted that the Appellate Division of the 
State of New York, which accepted Weinig's resignation from the 
bar, took grave exception to his interpretation of the state's 
ethics rules.\158\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \153\ Id. at 11.
    \154\ Id. at 12.
    \155\ Id.
    \156\ Id.
    \157\ Id.
    \158\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    White also challenged Weinig's claim of entitlement to 
commutation because he received a longer sentence than did his 
co-conspirators.\159\ White noted that several co-conspirators, 
including Gary Salerno and Tohmes Peter, received significant, 
comparable jail sentences for their crimes.\160\ White observed 
that Weinig was not similar to other co-conspirators in that he 
was a successful attorney and, therefore, had no reason to 
engage in illegal activity other than ``sheer greed.'' \161\ 
White further noted that, contrary to co-conspirators Hirsch 
and Spence, Weinig repeatedly declined to cooperate with the 
Government and admit his guilt until immediately before 
trial.\162\ White explained that any disparity existing between 
Weinig's sentence and those of his money laundering co-
conspirators is explained by Weinig's active participation in 
the kidnapping scheme.\163\ Finally, White argued that Weinig's 
family situation did not justify commutation of his 
sentence.\164\ White apparently notified Judge Duffy, the judge 
who sentenced Weinig, of Weinig's ongoing effort to obtain 
presidential clemency. Judge Duffy did not comment on the 
petition ``other than to point out that Mr. Weinig was 
sentenced within the Guidelines'' range and that the 
Commutation Application contains no facts not known to the 
prosecution and the sentencing court at the time of 
conviction.'' \165\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \159\ Id. at 12.
    \160\ Id.
    \161\ Id.
    \162\ Id.
    \163\ Id.
    \164\ Id. at 13.
    \165\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            2. The Pardon Attorney Objected to Commuting Weinig's 
                    Sentence
    Roger Adams, the Pardon Attorney, also opposed the Weinig 
commutation. In his report to the President, Adams pointed out 
that the length of Weinig's sentence was directly attributable 
to the following aggravating factors: the extremely large 
amount of money Weinig helped to launder, Weinig's actual 
knowledge that the money he laundered was narcotics trafficking 
proceeds, and Weinig's use of his special skills as an attorney 
to ensure that the offense would succeed.\166\ The report 
further stated that, but for those aggravating factors, 
Weinig's sentence would have been much lower.\167\ The report 
also noted that Weinig's argument that his sentence was too 
severe under the sentencing guidelines was meritless because 
his offense (of assisting in the laundering of millions of 
dollars that he knew were the proceeds of drug sales) falls 
comfortably within the category of drug-related financial 
crimes that Congress sought to punish severely through the 
money laundering statute and its sentencing guidelines.\168\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \166\ Id.
    \167\ Id.
    \168\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The report refuted Weinig's claim that he learned of 
Spence's kidnapping of Clooney only after Clooney was released. 
Weinig's claim is flatly disproved by his contemporaneously 
recorded telephone conversations with Robert Hirsch. Given that 
Weinig's claim indicates his unwillingness to accept full 
responsibility for his role in the extortion scheme, according 
to the report, Judge Duffy was fully entitled under the 
sentencing guidelines to consider this fact when determining 
Weinig's proper sentence.\169\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \169\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regarding Weinig's argument that his sentence was unfair in 
comparison to his co-conspirators, the report notes that, 
inasmuch as Weinig plainly sought to downplay his involvement 
in the extortion scheme, he also sought to significantly 
minimize his role in the money laundering conspiracy, calling 
himself ``a belated and minor participant.'' \170\ The report 
correctly notes that this characterization is contrary to the 
evidence. Although the report concedes that Weinig was less 
frequently involved in the day-to-day operations of the money 
laundering scheme, it notes that Weinig participated in the 
planning and oversight of the operation, wired money when 
needed, assisted in recovering seized funds, and participated 
fully in the profits of the enterprise.\171\ The report also 
noted that, unlike his co-conspirators, Weinig rejected 
repeated requests from the government for assistance and did 
not enter into a plea agreement until the eve of trial--nearly 
10 months after his arrest and long after his co-conspirators 
pled guilty.\172\ Accordingly, the report observes that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \170\ Id. at 14.
    \171\ Id.
    \172\ Id. See NARA Document Production (Letter from Mark P. 
Goodman, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., for Mary Jo White, 
U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice, to John R. Wing, 
Member, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Sept. 20, 1995)) (Exhibit 2) (plea 
agreement).

        [Weinig] thus has no one but himself to blame for the 
        fact that, unlike his co-defendants, he was not the 
        beneficiary of a government motion for a downward 
        departure at sentencing, since his own choices 
        precluded him from providing the kind of assistance 
        that would have warranted such a request.\173\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \173\ See NARA Document Production (Report to the President on 
Proposed Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 14 (Exhibit 
3).

Critically, the report notes that, under those circumstances, 
commuting Weinig's sentence as he proposed would 
``significantly undermine'' the government's ``legitimate and 
important policy interests in encouraging early and complete 
cooperation by criminal defendants.'' \174\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \174\ Id. at 14-15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, the report maintains that Weinig's remaining 
arguments for clemency, those relating to a history of and 
potential for continued community service as well as those 
relating to family hardship, simply fail to distinguish Weinig 
from other convicted felons. The report helpfully notes that 
many felons have enjoyed fewer advantages than has Weinig, have 
served longer portions of their lengthy sentences, and have had 
their clemency requests denied by President Clinton. Given the 
foregoing and the vehement opposition of the prosecuting U.S. 
Attorney, the report recommended denial of Weinig's petition.
    The Committee finds the Justice Department's positions, as 
articulated by both U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White and Main 
Justice, powerfully persuasive. Their positions reflect a 
reasoned, thoughtful deliberation of the merits of Weinig's 
clemency application against criteria traditionally considered 
when vetting clemency petitions. They also reflect a thorough 
understanding of Weinig's underlying conviction and the extant 
record. To accept Weinig's argument requires a willingness to 
overlook the facts of the underlying conviction and the record. 
Such willful blindness gives rise to the inference that the 
ultimate decision to commute Weinig's sentence was motivated by 
a factor other than the merits of Weinig's petition.
B. The White House's Deliberations
    By late 2000, Weinig's clemency matter was brought before 
President Clinton for consideration. Despite the Justice 
Department's opposition to the commutation and the lack of any 
strong arguments in favor of the commutation, key White House 
staff supported the commutation. The Weinig commutation, like 
many of President Clinton's other final clemency grants, is 
remarkable for the lack of analysis that the case received at 
the White House. The White House seems to have ignored the 
strong recommendations of the Pardon Attorney and the Justice 
Department prosecutors and granted the commutation after only 
cursory consideration.
    Support from John Podesta and Beth Nolan appears to have 
been critical to the decision to grant the Weinig commutation. 
Podesta had been lobbied by his former staffer, David Dreyer, 
and Nolan had been lobbied by Reid Weingarten. Eric Angel, an 
Associate White House Counsel who was working on clemency 
matters, recalls that Podesta ``asserted himself'' in favor of 
Weinig at a meeting with the President regarding the Weinig 
matter.\175\ White House Counsel Beth Nolan also supported the 
Weinig commutation.\176\ The lower-level staff in the Counsel's 
Office, Meredith Cabe and Angel, were not as supportive. Angel 
claims that he was strongly opposed to the commutation because 
of the seriousness of Weinig's crimes.\177\ Cabe put her 
opposition in more gentle terms, stating simply that she was 
``not a big fan'' of the Weinig case.\178\ According to Cabe, 
Podesta and Nolan supported the Weinig commutation for two main 
reasons. First, they believed that Weinig's sentence was 
disproportionately long, apparently accepting the argument that 
Weinig was treated unfairly because his co-conspirators 
received lighter sentences than he did.\179\ Second, one of 
Weinig's children was suffering from severe emotional distress 
as a result of his father's incarceration.\180\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \175\ Interview with Eric Angel, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 28, 2001).
    \176\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \177\ Interview with Eric Angel, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 28, 2001).
    \178\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001).
    \179\ Id.
    \180\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By late December 2000, the White House Counsel's Office was 
prepared to recommend that Weinig's sentence be commuted. In a 
December 17, 2000, draft memorandum to the President, Beth 
Nolan, Bruce Lindsey, and Meredith Cabe recommended clemency 
but noted opposition by the office of the prosecuting U.S. 
Attorney.\181\ A December 20, 2000, draft memorandum noted 
opposition by Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and 
recommended that Weinig's sentence be commuted to 108 months 
``[s]ince [Weinig] agreed in guilty plea range should be 108-
135 months[.]'' \182\ As the ``rationale'' for the 
recommendation, Nolan, Lindsey, and Cabe observed that ``[m]ore 
culpable co-defendants, including the law partner who directed 
the kidnapping, received shorter sentences and have been 
released.'' \183\ No mention is made of the substantial 
assistance provided by the ``more culpable defendants'' to 
investigating authorities or that a similarly situated 
defendant (who actively participated in the extortion by 
kidnapping scheme) received a sentence comparable to Weinig's. 
Presumably, both of these facts, as well as a correction to the 
misstatement that Weinig's ``law partner . . . directed the 
kidnapping,'' were made in the final draft of the memorandum or 
orally when advising the President. It is also unclear when or 
why the decision was made to commute Weinig's sentence from 108 
months to time served. But, drafts of ``Pending Clemency 
Matters'' noted that ``Rep. By Reid Weingarten; through JDP; 
Harold Ickes.'' \184\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \181\ NARA Document Production (Draft Memorandum to the President 
by Beth Nolan, Bruce Lindsey, and Meredith Cabe (Dec. 17, 2000)) 
(Exhibit 21).
    \182\ NARA Document Production (Draft Memorandum to the President 
by Beth Nolan, Bruce Lindsey, and Meredith Cabe (Dec. 20, 2000)) 
(Exhibit 22).
    \183\ Interview with Meredith Cabe, former Associate Counsel to the 
President, the White House (Mar. 16, 2001). 
    \184\ NARA Document Production (Draft Memorandum from Beth Nolan, 
Bruce Lindsey, and Meredith Cabe to President William J. Clinton 
entitled ``Pending Clemency Matters'') (Exhibit 23) (entry for Weinig 
only).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The only indication of the President's reasoning in the 
Weinig matter comes from a copy of the summary of Weinig's 
argument for a commutation. On a note attached to that 
document, President Clinton wrote, ``M. Cabe--This looks 
meritorious[.] Advise[.]--BC.'' \185\ At the top of the 
memorandum itself, President Clinton wrote, ``Reduce to time 
served.'' \186\ On January 20, 2001, President Clinton commuted 
Harvey Weinig's 11-year prison term to time served, which 
reduced Weinig's sentence by 66 months.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \185\ NARA Document Production (Summary of Harvey Weinig's Petition 
for Commutation) (Exhibit 24) (note attached).
    \186\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
C. The White House Had No Justification for the Weinig Commutation
    Weinig articulated three main reasons why he was entitled 
to presidential clemency: (1) that his sentence was 
disproportionate and excessive; (2) that his contributions to 
society justified his early release from prison; and (3) that 
one of his sons was suffering severe emotional difficulties as 
a result of his imprisonment. The first reason simply was not 
true. The other two did not justify any reduction in his 
sentence, much less his release from prison.
    Weinig's main argument in favor of the commutation was that 
his sentence was disproportionate and excessive. In support of 
his claim, Weinig pointed to his main two co-defendants, 
Richard Spence and Robert Hirsch, both of whom received lighter 
sentences than he did and who arguably were more involved in 
money laundering activities. However, Weinig's sentence was 
stiffer than those received by Spence and Hirsch because they, 
unlike Weinig, cooperated with law enforcement.\187\ Judge 
Duffy adjusted their sentences downward because they provided 
substantial assistance to investigative authorities.\188\ Co-
conspirators truly ``equally culpable,'' including Tohmes Peter 
and Gary Salerno, received sentences comparable to Weinig's 
135-month imprisonment term.\189\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \187\ Weinig has argued on occasion that he attempted to cooperate 
with the government but was rebuffed. A close examination of Weinig's 
claims shows them to be hollow. Between the time when Weinig entered 
his guilty plea and his sentencing hearing, Weinig apparently attempted 
to cooperate with the Government. See Interview with Reid Weingarten, 
Partner, Steptoe & Johnson (Mar. 23, 2001); NARA Document Production 
(Report to the President on Proposed Denial of Executive Clemency for 
Harvey Weinig) at 6-7 (Exhibit 3). Specifically, he submitted himself 
for debriefing regarding the money laundering operation in November 
1995. At that time, he told authorities that Robert Hirsch had violated 
his own cooperation agreement with the government by resuming his money 
laundering activities. Id. But this fact was already well known to the 
federal government. Months earlier, in May 1995, and well before his 
guilty plea, the government already knew about Hirsch's activities and 
moved for revocation of Hirsch's bail. Id. at 7; see Telephone 
Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the 
S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001). Ultimately, the 
federal government did reach an agreement with Hirsch whereby Hirsch 
agreed to plead guilty to money laundering, bank fraud, and making 
false statements to federal law enforcement authorities and to 
cooperate with law enforcement. See NARA Document Production (Report to 
the President on Proposed Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey 
Weinig) at 7 (Exhibit 3). Under this agreement, Hirsch received a 
sentence of three years imprisonment under the federal sentencing 
guidelines. The prosecutors made this deal with Hirsch primarily 
because they needed his cooperation to prosecute Weinig. See Telephone 
Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the 
S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001). As the U.S. Attorney 
informed the Pardon Attorney, ``The predominant reason the Government 
resigned Hirsch as a cooperator was to assist in prosecuting [Weinig's] 
trial. If [Weinig] had admitted his guilt earlier, Hirsch would not 
have been resigned as a cooperating witness.'' NARA Document Production 
(Report to the President on Proposed Denial of Executive Clemency for 
Harvey Weinig) at 7 (Exhibit 3).
    \188\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001).
    \189\ Peter received 97 months in prison, and Salerno received 108 
months in prison. Leon and Rachel Weinmann were indicted for, among 
other things, money laundering and, under separate indictment, causing 
a $20,000 fully endorsed third-party check to be sent from New York 
City to Switzerland without filing a particular customs report. On May 
19, 1995, they pleaded guilty to only the customs violation. U.S. 
Probation Office (S.D.N.Y.) Document Production (Pre-sentence 
Investigation Report, U.S. v. Weinig (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 19, 1996)) at 12 
(Exhibit 1). But, prior to their sentencing, it was stipulated that (1) 
the Weinmanns were charged with money laundering in Switzerland; (2) 
the case against the Weinmanns represented the second largest money 
laundering prosecution in Swiss history; and (3) the Weinmanns should 
be extradited as soon as possible to Switzerland for prosecution there. 
Id. at 13. Accordingly, the Weinmanns waived the preparation of a 
presentence report; the Government declined to take a position 
regarding the Weinmann's sentencing; and, for the crime to which they 
pled guilty, the Weinmanns were sentenced by Judge Kevin T. Duffy to 1 
year unsupervised probation, a $1,000 fine each, and a $50 special 
assessment. Id. The Weinmanns were then escorted to a flight to 
Switzerland for prosecution. Id. See Swiss Couple to Be Extradited from 
United States, Official Says, Associated press Worldstream, May 16, 
1995. However, Marc Ziegler, who was then the District Attorney for the 
Canton of Zurich, noted substantial difficulty with his prosecution of 
the Weinmanns. The prosecution was intended as a test case of 
Switzerland's money laundering law, which was introduced in 1990. 
Apparently, the case against the Weinmanns in Switzerland arose out of 
the same facts that gave rise to the Weinmann's indictment for money 
laundering in the U.S. Nonetheless, as described below, many of 
Weinnman's co-conspirators entered into plea agreements, which 
precluded evidence that could have been used against the Weinmanns in 
their prosecution in Switzerland. Ziegler attributes his difficulties 
in prosecuting the Weinmanns to that factor, ambiguities in the Swiss 
money laundering statute, and the differences between Swiss and 
American evidentiary law. The current status of the Swiss case against 
the Weinmanns is unknown. Richard Messina, one of Weinig's co-
conspirators in the scheme to extort James Clooney by kidnapping, was 
sentenced to 151 months incarceration and three years supervised 
release--a sentence comparable to Weinig's sentence. Judge Duffy 
sentenced both Weinig and Messina to the upper end of a recommended 
sentencing range of 121 to 151 months imprisonment. Judge Duffy's 
rationale for Messina's sentence was very similar to his rationale for 
sentencing Weinig, an attorney, to 135 months. He found, among other 
things, that Messina knowingly played a role in the extortion of 
Clooney and engaged in serious criminal conduct after having been 
disbarred. See Telephone Interview with Lev Dassin, former Assistant 
U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001); 
Appellate Brief, U.S. v. Messina, Docket No. 96-1789 (2d Cir. 1997) at 
20 (citing to record for judge's reasons).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, in many criminal cases involving multiple co-
defendants, the Government obtains cooperation from some 
defendants to help develop its case against others. Generally, 
and understandably, there arrives a point in the investigation 
in which the Government becomes unwilling to make available any 
more deals with other co-defendants. In such cases, those co-
defendants choose to take their chances with the judge and the 
jury rather than cooperate with the Government. Until the eve 
of trial, this was Weinig's decision.\190\ Accordingly, 
Weinig's citing the resulting ``disproportion'' between reduced 
sentences given to co-defendants who substantially assisted the 
Government and the sentences of those who decide not to is 
flawed because it renders his case indistinguishable from all 
similar cases where cooperation agreements were used to obtain 
evidence. In other words, Weinig cannot argue that the methods 
by which law enforcement gathered evidence to convict him is 
inherently unfair without requiring that all those cases where 
convictions were obtained by those same means also be reversed. 
Such a position is obviously untenable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \190\ Telephone Interview with Lev L. Dassin, former Assistant U.S. 
Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Department of Justice (Nov. 26, 2001).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The second main argument used by Weinig as a justification 
for his commutation is that his humanitarian actions justified 
his early release from prison. The basic thrust of this 
argument was that, apart from his activities laundering money 
for the Cali cartel and participating in a kidnapping scheme, 
Weinig was actually a very nice person. There are several 
obvious flaws with this argument. First, it should not have 
been relevant to the President's analysis. Second, there is 
little evidence that Weinig was a humanitarian in any 
significant sense. Rather, the letters of support for Weinig in 
his clemency petition basically show that Weinig, like most 
people, had friends who liked him. While he may have been nice 
to his children and friends, it is difficult to ignore that he 
was laundering millions of dollars in drug money for the Cali 
cartel. The fact that Harvey Weinig consciously decided to 
assist and profit from the Cali cartel's efforts to distribute 
massive amounts of cocaine in the United States should have 
been both the starting and finishing point in determining his 
suitability for Presidential clemency. Doubtless, many families 
around the United States could provide tragic stories 
supporting the theory that a money launderer for one of the 
most powerful Colombian drug cartels is not the kind of person 
that should be described as humanitarian.
    The final argument used by Weinig to support his clemency 
effort was that one of his children was suffering emotional 
difficulties as a result of his imprisonment. It appears that 
this argument, more than any other, had a great impact upon the 
President's decision to grant the commutation. John Podesta 
obliquely referred to this in one of his public comments about 
the Weinig case: ``I think that people were aware of what he 
had done, but that ultimately, I think that based on the length 
of time he had served and based on a humanitarian plea, while a 
difficult case, it seemed like the right decision.'' \191\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \191\ Benjamin Weiser, A Felon's Well-Connected Path to Clemency, 
N.Y. Times, Apr. 14, 2001, at A1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, the ``humanitarian plea'' made by Weinig did not 
justify the commutation of his sentence. Thousands of criminals 
have families adversely impacted by the stigma of criminal 
conviction or the fact of incarceration. Yet, this fact should 
serve as a deterrent to crime, not as a reason to let criminals 
out of prison long before their sentences are completed. One of 
the letters in support of Harvey Weinig noted, ``Harvey's love 
for his children has always been a dominant factor in his life, 
shaping his ideas of how he wants to spend his time, his money 
and his life.'' \192\ If this were true, Harvey Weinig would 
have decided not to join a conspiracy to launder millions of 
dollars of drug money for, or tried to steal millions of 
dollars from, the Cali cartel. Weinig knew that his money 
laundering activity was illegal and that it, as well as his 
attempted theft of the cartel's drug money, exposed his family 
to considerable danger. He also knew that, if he was caught by 
authorities laundering drug money or the cartel stealing its 
money, he would go to prison or be harmed by the Colombian drug 
traffickers themselves. However, because of what U.S. Attorney 
Mary Jo White described as ``sheer greed,'' Weinig participated 
in substantial criminal conduct that ended up harming his 
family immeasurably. Given that it was Harvey Weinig who harmed 
his family, it is unclear why that same harm should then be 
used to justify freeing Weinig from prison. Weinig's plea is 
reminiscent of the man who kills his parents and then asks for 
leniency because he is an orphan. Weinig's ``humanitarian 
plea'' also ignores entirely his role in bringing into the 
United States large volumes of drugs that harmed innumerable 
families.
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    \192\ NARA Document Production (Letter from Cynthia A. Hayes to the 
Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, U.S. District Court Judge (Dec. 18, 
1995)) (Exhibit 25).
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    Moreover, as Weinig's situation was no different from that 
of thousands of other inmates, it is hard to see why President 
Clinton chose to grant clemency to Weinig, rather than one of 
the other thousands of inmates whose families were suffering 
because of their incarceration. In short, the only answer is 
that President Clinton chose Weinig because he was the person 
who had the access, through his wife's cousin, David Dreyer, 
and his lawyer, Reid Weingarten, to make his case to the 
President and the White House staff.
D. Aftermath of the Weinig Commutation
    President Clinton's grant of clemency to Harvey Weinig has 
trivialized the seriousness of Weinig's criminal misconduct. 
Having interviewed law enforcement personnel, it is also clear 
that the clemency decision has eroded morale among law 
enforcement personnel who put their lives on the line and work 
tirelessly to enforce the drug laws on a federal, state, and 
local level. As a policy matter, the grant of clemency has also 
undermined the government's legitimate interest in encouraging 
prompt guilty pleas and truthful cooperation from criminal 
defendants.
    Domestically, President Clinton's action conveyed an 
appearance of granting special consideration to wealthy, 
politically well-connected criminals and their relatives. 
Pardon Attorney Roger Adams foresaw the message sent by the 
Weinig commutation, warning President Clinton that:

        To commute [Weinig's] prison term to the five years he 
        proposes would denigrate the seriousness of his 
        criminal misconduct, undermine the government's 
        legitimate interest in encouraging prompt guilty pleas 
        and truthful cooperation from criminal defendants, and 
        could give the appearance of granting special 
        consideration to economically advantaged, white-collar 
        offenders.\193\
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    \193\ NARA Document Production (Report to the President on Proposed 
Denial of Executive Clemency for Harvey Weinig) at 15 (Exhibit 3).

It is difficult to disagree with Adams' conclusion. Clearly, 
many prison inmates have families that have been adversely 
impacted by their criminal activity. Yet, of all those people, 
Harvey Weinig received a commutation of sentence. Weinig's 
commutation did not come as a result of having committed some 
minor crime--he was a money launderer for the Cali cartel. 
Rather, Weinig received a commutation because he was wealthy 
and privileged, could hire a lawyer like Reid Weingarten, and 
had relatives and friends who knew the President.
    On an international level, President Clinton's commutation 
decision has unfortunately sent the message to the world that 
the United States' commitment to eradicating narcotics 
trafficking is, to some extent, disingenuous. Former Colombian 
National Police Chief Rosso Serrano noted that President 
Clinton ``sent the wrong message to the anti-drug struggle, 
because it negates the suffering of all the families of those 
who died to fight trafficking.'' \194\ According to Serrano, 
``[The Weinig clemency decision is] very frustrating. [The drug 
traffickers] must be laughing at us. It's a terrible precedent 
for those of us who have openly fought this scourge.'' \195\ In 
an op-ed entitled ``The Morality of the Strongest'' in El 
Tiempo, Colombia's leading daily, Gustavo De Greiff, a former 
Colombian attorney general, labeled President Clinton's 
clemency decision ``monstrous.'' \196\ Likewise, former 
Colombian president Ernesto Samper, who saw his country 
decertified and facing sanctions for his apparent lack of 
cooperation with the United States, described the clemency as 
``repugnant.'' \197\ He rhetorically asked, ``What would have 
happened if, with just a few days left in my presidency, I had 
set free several drug traffickers arrested in Bogota, and if 
those same people were found to be helping people in my 
government?'' \198\
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    \194\ Former Colombian Drug Agent Blasts Clinton's Pardon of 
Trafficker, Agence France Presse, Mar. 4, 2001.
    \195\ Colombian General Hits Clinton Commutation, Wash. Times, Mar. 
6, 2001, at A13.
    \196\ Russell Crandall, The Americas: In the War on Drugs, 
Colombians Die, Americans Are Pardoned, Wall St. J., Apr. 20, 2001, at 
A15.
    \197\ Id.
    \198\ Id.
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    Indeed, President Clinton's eleventh-hour commutation of 
Weinig's sentence prompted government officials and the media 
in Colombia to accuse the U.S. government of hypocrisy. During 
the mid-1990s, the Clinton administration openly condemned the 
Colombian government's ``surrender policy'' toward the Cali 
cartel. Pursuant to the ``surrender policy,'' the Colombian 
government allowed reduced prison sentences for drug kingpins 
who agreed to surrender. And, currently, an important element 
of the U.S. anti-drug approach is the $1.3 billion U.S. 
commitment to Plan Colombia--President Andres Pastrana's 
program to recover control of the country from guerilla 
factions brutally dominating the Colombian countryside in 
furtherance of their cocaine production enterprises. But, there 
can be no doubt that, to the extent that eradicating narcotics 
trafficking is indeed important to the United States, such a 
commitment should be reflected in the activities of those 
charged with the public trust at the highest levels of elected 
office.
    [Exhibits referred to follow:]