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I beg your pardon…

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 28, 2007 09:15 AM

The Boston Globe reports that pardons have reemerged as an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign (hat tip: B.B.):

Six years ago, the launch of Hillary Clinton’s career in the US Senate was marred by allegations that her brothers had received payments from people pardoned by President Bill Clinton in the waning months of his presidency.

Now, in the wake of the launch of her presidential campaign, the pardon controversy has reemerged in an obscure court case in which Senator Clinton’s brother Tony is battling an order to repay more than $100,000 he received from a couple pardoned by President Clinton.

Tony Rodham, who acknowledged approaching the president about a pardon for the couple, is the second of Hillary Clinton’s brothers to receive money from people who were eventually pardoned by President Clinton. Hugh Rodham received $400,000 from two people, one of whom was pardoned and one whose sentence was commuted.

But while Hillary Clinton immediately expressed chagrin over the news in 2001 that Hugh received the money — and asked him to return it — she said Tony was “not paid,” according to a congressional report. The Clinton campaign yesterday declined to comment on the case involving Tony Rodham.

Clinton critics have been seeking to revive an array of controversies, from the Whitewater land deal to the Monica Lewinsky case. The Clinton campaign has sought to depict them as old or moot cases. But the Tony Rodham case could be different because it is in court just as Senator Clinton’s campaign reaches full speed.

Yesterday, US Bankruptcy Court Judge Marian Harrison of Nashville ordered Tony Rodham to respond by March 16 to the allegation that he failed to repay a loan of $107,000 from the couple pardoned by Clinton, according to attorneys involved in the case.

President Clinton’s pardons have been a political issue for Hillary Clinton because of her ties to a number of the cases. In addition to the people who paid her brothers, those receiving pardons included commodities trader Marc Rich, a fugitive who was prosecuted for tax evasion by then-US Attorney Rudolph Giuliani and fled to Switzerland. Rich was pardoned after his former wife, Denise Rich, contributed heavily to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign.

Controversy over the pardons was reignited last week after Hollywood mogul and former Clinton supporter David Geffen criticized the Clintons for the Rich pardon.

“It is a legitimate campaign issue,” said Stephen Gillers, professor of legal ethics at New York University School of Law. He said that Hillary Clinton should answer questions about her brothers’ and her own involvement in the pardons because “the stench of the Marc Rich pardon still stinks and it has never been adequately explained. “

Cue the whining about the “politics of personal destruction.”

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Clinton’s pardon list 1998-2001

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Categories: 2016 Campaign, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Corruption, Democrats, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton