EDITORIAL: Clinton wrong to let contributor off the hook

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Presidential pardons always have been a subject of controversy. It seems that every outgoing president pardons a large number of people in the closing days, or even hours, of his presidency.

Former President Clinton granted 140 pardons two hours before leaving office.

One of Clinton’s pardons has been under intense scrutiny, and for good reason. Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, a commodities trader accused of evading $48 million in income taxes.

Rich managed to flee to Switzerland just before he was indicted in 1983.

Clinton said he is convinced the matter is a civil matter and not criminal.

What Clinton doesn’t want to mention is that Rich’s ex-wife, Denise, has donated more than $1 million to Democrats since 1993 – not to mention personally giving the Clintons two coffee tables and two chairs worth more than $7,000.

Denise Rich said her financial support has nothing to do with Clinton’s pardon decisions.

Any logical person knows otherwise. President Bush is trying to find a way to overturn this pardon, and he has every reason to do so.

Pardons are strictly an executive order, and they should be kept that way. It is one of the ways the executive branch of government is able to maintain enough power.

Clinton abused this power.

There are so many suspicions about this case that Clinton should have known that it would cause controversy. If he was trying to redeem himself from a scandalous presidency, he made a big mistake.

This is just another reason for historians to remember Clinton as an incredibly shady character.

Presidential pardons should only be granted when there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports it. Unfortunately, Marc Rich’s pardon was financially motivated.

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