Hillary Clinton can’t duck questions about her husband’s infidelities, not from campaign journalists, not from her debate sparring partners, and not from Linda Tripp who, because everything from the 1990s is refusing to stay dead and buried, has resurfaced today with allegations that Bill had other White House dalliances and has slept with thousands of women, all while under Hillary’s watchful, if ambitious, eye.
But while the question of Hillary’s involvement in shaming or covering up her husband’s behavior reflects directly on her claim to being a champion of feminism, there are other problems from her husband’s administration lingering around. According to the New York Post and journalist Peter Schweizer, Bill Clinton’s eleventh hour, controversial pardon of then-fugitive Mark Rich has, allegedly, been paying off for the Clintons since Rich walked free.
Even Bill Clinton eventually admitted that the pardon had been “terrible politics.” “It wasn’t worth the damage to my reputation,” he said.
But while the pardon was a political mistake, it certainly was not a financial one. In the years following the scandal, the flow of funds from those connected to Marc Rich or the pardon scandal have continued to the Clintons.
Rich died in 2013. But his business partners, lawyers, advisers and friends have showered millions of dollars on the Clintons in the decade and a half following the scandal.
Rich, who became one of the FBI’s Most Wanted after violating trade embargoes (he traded with Iran while they held American hostages, and with South Africa during Apartheid), supposedly earned his pardon by giving hundreds of millions to the Clintons over the course of their first national campaign. Since his pardon, Rich has been continuing to pay the favor as before, and has several friends in on the deal.
According to the article, one Rich collaborator, Gilbert Chagoury, has been instrumental in helping Bill and Hillary overcome that crushing mountain of debt they left the White House with, arranging hundred-thousand dollar speaking engagements for Bill and bankrolling Hillary’s attempts at seeking higher office. One Rich-affiliated Russian investor upped the ante on Chagoury, even, giving a million to the Clinton Foundation and organizing a $500,000 speaking engagement for Bill in Moscow. Lesser Rich affiliates – friends of the family and the like – have been just as generous. And according to Schweizer, those are just the donations which have to be disclosed. There could be hundreds more.
Bottom line is, the Clintons rarely do anything that doesn’t have some sort of long-term personal benefit for themselves. The question is, though, whether the American people will want to make that their problem once again.