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News Brief

April 2, 2002
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President Clinton said he regrets pardoning billionaire financier Marc Rich. Clinton told Newsweek magazine that he would not grant the pardon again “just for the politics.” Rich fled the United States to Switzerland in 1983 after he had been indicted on 51 counts of tax evasion, racketeering and violating trade sanctions with Iraq. His attorneys launched a major initiative on his behalf, courting Israeli and American Jewish activists to impress Clinton with Rich’s philanthropic activities. “It was terrible politics,” Clinton said of the pardon. “It wasn’t worth the damage to my reputation. But that doesn’t mean the attacks were true.”

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