FBI re­leases closed case files on Bill Clin­ton

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE FBI has un­ex­pect­edly re­leased doc­u­ments con­cern­ing ex­pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s par­don of the hus­band of a wealthy Demo­cratic donor just days be­fore the elec­tion in which his wife is seek­ing to be­come Amer­ica’s first fe­male pres­i­dent.

The re­lease of the heav­ily redacted 129-page re­port over the par­don of trader Marc Rich – an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that closed in 2005 with­out charges – trig­gered ques­tions from Democrats al­ready an­gered by the FBI’s probe into hun­dreds of thou­sands of newly un­cov­ered emails pos­si­bly linked to Hil­lary Clin­ton.

While the Rich doc­u­ments were pub­lished on­line, they re­ceived lit­tle no­tice un­til they were posted on a Twit­ter ac­count for the FBI’s divi­sion man­ag­ing Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act (FOIA) re­quests that had had no posts since a year ago.

“Will FBI be post­ing docs on Trump’s hous­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion in [the] 70s?” said Clin­ton spokesper­son Brian Fal­lon, re­fer­ring to Repub­li­can ri­val Don­ald Trump, a bil­lion­aire real es­tate mag­nate.

The FBI said the doc­u­ments were posted shortly af­ter they were pro­cessed, as with FOIA ma­te­ri­als re­quested three or more times, adding this was only a “pre­lim­i­nary” re­lease that could there­fore be fol­lowed by more.

Mr Rich was in­dicted on fed­eral charges of tax eva­sion in the United States. He was a fugi­tive from the Depart­ment of Jus­tice – at a time one of the FBI’s most wanted – liv­ing in ex­ile in Switzer­land at the time of his in­dict­ment. He died there in 2013.

In a con­tro­ver­sial move, Bill Clin­ton par­doned him on his last day in of­fice on Jan­uary 20, 2001. The FBI opened its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the par­don later that year.

Mr Rich’s ex-wife Denise Eisen­berg Rich, whose name was redacted from the FBI files, “has been a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal donor to the Demo­cratic Party, and these dona­tions may have been in­tended to in­flu­ence the fugi­tive’s par­don”, reads a bureau note re­quest­ing that a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion be opened. –

Photo: AFP

US Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton speaks dur­ing a cam­paign rally in Florida on Novem­ber 1.

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