Bill Clinton’s abrupt departure from long-standing precedent was an astonishing abuse of the Justice Department processes and underscored the shady wheeling and dealing that was common in the Clinton orbit. Bill, Hillary, and brothers Roger Clinton, Hugh Rodham, and Tony Rodham all profited financially or politically from hustling dozens of pardons to some of history’s most undeserving recipients. These ranged from worldwide pariah Marc Rich, to a cocaine trafficking kingpin, to murderous terrorists who hadn’t even requested executive clemency.
A third of the final-day pardons bypassed Justice Department review and went straight to Bill for approval. Dozens of recipients hadn’t even filed a petition. In the final hours of Bill Clinton’s last day in office, the pardon attorney was frantically preparing paperwork for recipients whose names were misspelled or whose addresses were unknown. It was a free-for-all.
The brothers were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to privately lobby Bill for pardons, some of which never materialized. But the brothers were still paid. Hillary collected political and financial IOUs she later cashed in when she sought political office. For most of his presidency, Bill was one of the stingiest presidents of all time when it came to the awarding official forgiveness to felons, but the pardon floodgates opened when Hillary began her run for the US Senate.
It was the selling of pardons for money and influence that launched the Clintons’ nearly two-decade pay-for-play scheme—a scheme that not only amassed billions of dollars for the Clinton Foundation and hundreds of millions of dollars for the Clintons, but also catapulted Hillary into a presidential front-runner. Pardongate reveals details of the Clinton machine that will leave even the most informed citizens appalled.