Anatomy of a pardon

An e-mail trail reveals the high-level machinations behind the shocking pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.

Topics: Bill Clinton,

Anatomy of a pardon

E-mails and documents turned up by the House Subcommittee on Government Reform in its investigation of the controversial Marc Rich pardon shed a fascinating spotlight on the intersections of money, power and influence in Washington, New York, Israel and the up-for-sale wing of the Democratic Party.

And there’s still more to come. On Monday, Feb. 5, Government Reform Subcommittee chairman Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., sent Denise Rich, Rich’s ex-wife, 14 questions regarding the pardon of her ex-husband as well as her large contributions to the Clintons’ political campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. Rich’s attorney wrote back on Wednesday, Feb. 7, saying that she would be invoking her Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer because of fear of self-incrimination. Burton has asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to grant immunity from prosecution to Denise Rich so that she’ll testify.

Burton’s subcommittee held hearings Thursday on the Rich pardon, but he doesn’t see his job as done. There’s a whole lot more that has yet to see the light of day. As the e-mails show, the campaign for the Rich pardon didn’t just involve Rich’s attorney, former White House counsel Jack Quinn, or Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, but a whole host of others: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Abraham Burg and who knows who else.

How did this all end up such a mess? To former prosecutors like Morris “Sandy” Weinberg Jr. and Martin Auerbach, then assistant U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of New York, Bill Clinton’s late-hour pardon of the fugitive financier — literally granted in the last few minutes of the Clinton presidency — was stunning.

After all, to Weinberg and Auerbach, Rich’s criminal behavior couldn’t have been more concretely established. If there was any question as to the criminal intent in Rich’s financial dealings, they vanished on Aug. 9, 1983, when Weinberg and Auerbach received an anonymous tip that Rich was shipping two steamer trunks full of subpoenaed documents out of the country. The attorneys moved on it, tracking down the trunks on a Swiss Air flight.



The incident, known internally in then U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani’s office as “the steamer trunk affair,” was a perfect end to a summer spent investigating Rich and his partner, Pincus Green. In September of that year, the U.S. attorney’s office handed down a 51-count indictment against them and a co-conspirator, Listo Petroleum, for evading taxes on more than $100 million in revenues, mail and wire fraud, racketeering and trading with an enemy, Iran, during the Iranian hostage crisis.

However, though the steamer trunks couldn’t evade the U.S. attorney’s office, Rich and Green did, having quietly fled to Switzerland. In 1984, the Swiss government rejected U.S. extradition requests. Rich joined armed robber Victor Gerena and health clinic bomber Eric Rudolph on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

How, then, did this pardon happen? An examination of the e-mails and documents obtained by Rep. Burton tells an extraordinary tale of international influence peddling and wheeling and dealing on behalf of the wealthy Rich. His defenders tried to transform him from shady financier to philanthropist, and enlisted the elite of Israeli society as well as Democratic Party patrons to attest to his goodness.

The e-mails don’t explain everyone’s motives, and they don’t prove which of Rich’s personas — victim of overzealous prosecutors? international philanthropist? husband of major Clinton donor? — proved most sympathetic. But they’re a fascinating window into the Rich team’s stunningly successful strategy.

The following are verbatim e-mails exchanged by those involved and obtained by Salon.

The players:

Avner Azulay, director of the Rich Foundation in Tel Aviv

Kathleen Behan, aka “Kitty,” attorney at Arnold & Porter, Rich law firm

Former President Clinton, aka POTUS

Beth Dozoretz, aka “B,” former finance chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee

Robert F. Fink, partner in the New York law firm Piper, Marbury, Rudnick & Wolfe, also a Rich attorney

Eric Holder, former deputy attorney general

Gershon Kekst, a New York P.R. executive

Jack Quinn, aka “JQ,” former White House legal counsel, former chief of staff to Al Gore, attorney at Arnold & Porter, Rich attorney

Denise Rich, aka “DR”

Mary Jo White, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York

ACT 1: THE FRONT DOOR

In a July 21, 1999, letter from Behan to Rich and Fink, Quinn and Arnold & Porter are formally retained. The firm’s fees are big, and it reserves the right to work against Rich in other matters.

PRIVILEGED & CONFIDENTIAL

July 21, 1999

… Dear Mr. Rich:

We are very pleased that Marc Rich has engaged Arnold & Porter (the “Firm”) to provide legal services and in connection with Mr. Rich’s potential negotiations and/or communications with the Department of Justice … The Firm will charge Marc Rich for the professional services of Jack Quinn and Kathleen Behan at a minimum rate of $55,000 per month … Mr. Rich agrees to pay a six-month initial retainer, as of the date of this agreement, from which fees and costs will be drawn, of $330,000.00 …

Arnold & Porter is a large firm, with offices in four United States cities and in foreign countries. Our practice is broadly based and covers many areas of both domestic and international law. The very size of the firm has created situations where work for one client in a narrow area has barred other lawyers from pursuing major matters, unrelated to the first matter … We request an advance agreement that Arnold & Porter will not be disqualified from representing interests adverse to Marc Rich in matters that are not substantially related to the matters on which Arnold & Porter has been retained by Marc Rich …

Once again, let me say how pleased we are that you have engaged Arnold & Porter in this matter.

Sincerely yours,

ARNOLD & PORTER

Kathleen A. Behan, Esq.

ACCEPTED AND AGREED TO:

MARC RICH

Dated: 26.7.99

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After speaking with Holder, Quinn notes that Justice Department officials think it “ridiculous” that federal prosecutors refuse to even meet with Rich attorneys.

JACK QUINN

Eric 11/8/99
c.o.s.
Dave Margolis

All think ridiculous
Send letter to Mary Jo not Larry or me cc EH + JR
Once we get, we’ll call her and say you shd do it
Be reasonable and conciliatory

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn writes to U.S. Attorney White on Dec. 1, 1999, to try to get her office to begin discussions about Rich’s case, despite her insistence that Rich return to the U.S. before they do so.

Dear Ms. White:

We are writing to request your attention to a matter involving our client, Marc Rich. Mr. Rich’s outstanding 1983 indictment now pending for over sixteen years is among the oldest unresolved matters on the Southern District’s docket (and, indeed, nationwide.)

From the time that the investigation into this matter began in the early 1980s until the resolution of the corporate cases in 1984, Mr. Rich’s defense followed a most unfortunate, no-communication, no-cooperation, no-negotiation strategy. For that expensive, but ill-advised strategy, Mr. Rich has paid dearly.

However, since the mid-1980s, the defense has completely reversed this posture toward the case. Mr. Rich’s defense has offered full cooperation and a willingness, even eagerness, to enter into a detailed discussion of the merits of the case and serious negotiations for resolution of it.

Despite this change, the last discussions in this matter occurred in 1994, when your Office took the position that no further discussions were possible while Mr. Rich remained outside the United States …

Quinn’s letter goes on to argue that Rich’s shady financial dealings were the result of energy regulations stemming from “the oil embargo and shortages of the seventies and the resultant patchwork of energy regulation.” The unilateral regulatory system was evaded by plenty of U.S. oil producers, not just Rich, but “none of the major U.S. oil companies who structured these transactions was ever prosecuted criminally.”

Marc Rich may be outside the jurisdiction of the United States, but he has in fact suffered much over the past sixteen years as a result of the outstanding indictment. He was unable to visit with and say goodbye to his daughter, Gabriella, prior to her death from leukemia, because he was denied permission to travel to her hospital bed. His reputation has been severely tarnished for transactions that renowned tax professors contend should not even have resulted in civil liability …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn takes notes from a conversation with Holder.

Eric

Spoke to M.J.
She has taken it herself and is servicing it personally
He’ll do what he can
She didn’t sound like her guard was up

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn takes notes after talking to Holder.

Eric Holder>>

… Deal?
… Yeah, think so. We’re all sympathetic. Equities on your side
MJW -> Reno

- – - – - – - – - – - -

But U.S. Attorney White rejects Quinn’s suggestion.

U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York

February 2, 2000

Dear Mr. Quinn and Ms. Behan:

We are writing in response to your letter of December 1, 1999, seeking a resolution of the Marc Rich prosecution. Under the present circumstances, however, the resolution that you contemplate, namely a dismissal or major modification of the indictment, is impossible. As we have repeatedly told a succession of lawyers who have approached our Office with similar applications, it is our firm policy not to negotiate dispositions of criminal charges with fugitives … If Mr. Rich genuinely believes that he is innocent and believes in the strength of his arguments, then he can surrender …

Very truly yours,

MARY JO WHITE
United States Attorney

By: SHIRAH NEIMAN
Deputy United States Attorney

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn talks to Holder, who for some reason keeps getting hung up on the fact that Deputy U.S. Attorney Shirah Neiman has already resoundingly rejected Quinn’s legal maneuvers. So Quinn decides it’s time to call in Rich’s friends in the government of Israel, or GOI, who will attest to his philanthropy.

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2000 4:35 PM
To: Robert Fink
Cc: Kathleen Behan, Gershon Kekst
Subject: Holder call

We spoke briefly today. It started out badly “we’ve gone as far as we can go, can’t figure out a way around shira, etc” but I pushed back hard on the russian money laundering culprits and the uneven treatment of marc. He wants to talk further about that with his people, said he’d call back tomorrow. It’s time to move on the GOI front but we have to get the call initiated over there …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

ACT 2: THE BACK DOOR

The legal strategy has now shifted. Energies are being devoted toward a petition for Rich’s pardon. Rich has given tens of millions of dollars to charities and Quinn et al. seek evidence of those donations. Avner Azulay, the head of the Rich Foundation in Tel Aviv, is now included in the loop. (Giuliani has said that when he was U.S. attorney, Rich’s lawyers offered a huge gift to the New York City Board of Education in exchange for the charges being dropped.)

When the petition campaign is over, Quinn will have 21 letters specifically asking Clinton to pardon Rich, and an additional 50 saying that Rich is a good and decent man, though many of these letters were written by individuals who had no idea how they were going to be used.

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2000 3:19 PM
To: Jack Quinn, Kitty Behan
Cc: Marc Rich, Avner Azulay

Who will receive the petition and who else can we expect to read it and react to it? Is there some thing we (or I) can be doing to get some additional information on them?…

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2000 3:27 PM
To: Fink, Robert NY; Jack Quinn; Kitty Behan
Cc: Marc Rich, Avner Azulay

POTUS; Beth Nolan, the White House Counsel (she worked for me when I was there; is a firmer George Washington Law Prof and an expert on legal ethics); conceivably Bruce Lindsey, Beth’s deputy, but more importantly a very close confidant of the Pres from Arkansas and someone whose law practice was in labor relations, and undoubtedly one or two junior people in the Counsel’s ofc who handle pardons.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

The letter campaign continues, with Azulay pledging to get a letter from Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who never gets involved, choosing instead to focus his pardon energies on Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel.

From: The Rich Foundation
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2000 5:48 AM
To: Fink, Robert NY
Cc: Rich, Marc
Subject: trip

Bob, I hope to have all the material originating here ready by Monday. I plan to arrive on De 5th with it … We shall have a few days to get additional letters in New York ( Elie Wiesel, Abe Foxman and others). I assume by now you are getting letters from Switz..erland and Spain. We shall integration all into one file with the Foundation material. I am preparing maximum and it will be up to JQ & co to decide what is or not relevant.

Regrads,
Avner

While writing this msg, I have been informed that Elie Wiesel and cancelled his trip to Paris (30 Nov) and they are arranging for me to meet him in NY on Dec 6th. The ceremony where Vaclev Havel and Elie Wiesel were to be awarded was cancelled due to Havel’s sickness.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

On Dec. 11, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak meets with President Clinton and discusses a pardon of Pollard.

Quinn writes a letter that day to Clinton, arguing that “two of the most respected tax professors in the country concluded that the tax returns were correct as filed …”

White and Nieman have “rebuffed” Rich and Green’s “efforts at meaningful dialogue,” Quinn writes, so a “fair trial, however, appears highly unlikely: the prejudicial press coverage broadcast nationally, and fueled by the prosecutors’ own press conferences has simply been too one-sided, inflammatory, and extensive.”

“A pardon in the interests of justice is a reasonable end to all this. The indictment is seventeen years old and unfair by objective legal standards. Exile for two decades has been punishment without trial or resolution. And there is, frankly, an extraordinary amount to say about the exemplary contributions by Mr. Rich and Mr. Green to humanitarian and charitable causes this country encourages and admires all told, over $200 million throughout the world …”

Quinn also copies his letter to Beth Nolan and Bruce Lindsey, with copies of a New York Times story about the possible Pollard pardon.

Beth

I am told that Barak also discussed the Marc Rich matter with the POTUS.

JQ

- – - – - – - – - – - -

The letters are submitted, from notable Israelis ranging from a former mayor of Tel Aviv to the mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa to the maestro of the Israel Philharmonic.

The pack of letters also includes one from Rich’s ex-wife Denise, a songwriter and Manhattan socialite who has given more than a million dollars to Democrats, including $25,000 to Al Gore’s recount effort and an undisclosed sum to Clinton’s presidential library. But Quinn doesn’t want her letter to escape notice, so he proposes that she write another one.

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 10:06 AM
To: Kitty Behan, Jack Quinn
Cc: Avner Azulay
Subject: DR letter

I suggest something like this for Denise’s cover letter to POTUS

I recently wrote to you concerning the application for a pardon for my former husband, Marc Rich, but I know that my letter was included with many others which were written on his behalf.
Because I could not bear it were I to learn that you did not see my letter and at least understand my special personal reasons for being a supporter of a pardon, I am sending you an additional copy, and an additional request that you wisely use your power to pardon Marc.
Thank you again for your consideration.
Respectfully,
Denise Rich

PS to Avner: Jack thinks Denise should send another copy of her letter to the President to make sure he knows of her feelings. We will contact Denise today to ask her to do this.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn writes to Lindsey on Dec. 19, 2000, about Lindsey’s concern that Rich and Green are fugitives.

… I told you they are not. Here is why. Rich and Green were in fact residing in Switzerland when they were indicted in September 1983. They (understandably in my mind) chose not to return to the US for a trial in light of all that had happened to them, particularly the enormous and overwhelmingly adverse and prejudicial publicity generated, I am sure, by then U.S. Attorney Giuliani. Their failure to return to New York was not a crime and no one has ever accused them of a crime for failing to come to the US for a trial …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Denise Rich agrees to deliver another copy of her letter to the president, and in fact will hand-deliver it on Wednesday, Dec. 20, when she’s at the White House for a function. There, reportedly, she will tear Clinton away from Barbra Streisand and beseech him personally. In the meantime, Azulay is working on getting Israeli pols, who have seen Rich’s philanthropy firsthand, to press for Clinton to pardon Rich. And a certain senator’s influence on the president is brought into the discussion.

From: Avner Azulay
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 4:44 PM
To: Kathleen Behan
Cc: Robert Fink
Subject: teloecon to potus

Would it still be useful to have another VIP place an additional call to Potus to support the petition. I could try asking the Speaker of the Knesset(Parlement) Avraham Burg who was the guest speaker at the “Marc Rich Annual Seminar” which opened tonight … Burg is on very friendly terms with Hilary and knows potus from previous contacts. Pse advise/comments. Thanks & regards-Avner

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 5:52 PM
To: Avner Azulay
Cc: Jack Quinn, Kitty Behan

Let’s see what Jack says. I should tell him that Kitty did not see much of an up side. Because his season party is tonight. I do not expect to hear from him until tomorrow.
But it is already tomorrow in Israel.
Bob.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Jack Quinn
12/21/2000 3:16:41 PM
To: Robert Fink,
CC: Avram, Kathleen Behan

… Did Elie Wiesel call? Denise had a communication that she thought was positive …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Rich Foundation
12/25/2000 04:54:25 AM
To: Jack Quinn
Cc: Kathleen Behan, Robert Fink

Shimon Peres confirms that he talked to potus on Monday Dec 11th who “took note” of his intervention. FYI.

From: Jack Quinn
12/25/2000 04:33:01 PM
To: Marc Rich
CC: Robert Fink, Kathleen Behan
Subject Elie Wiesel

I talked to him today. He says that he brought up the topic at the WH on Mondat Dec 12th, he refused to disclose who he met. He was told of the difficulties lying ahead in dealing with it (he would explain it only in a face to face meeting) and hopes that they can be surmounted (end quote).

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Before leaving on a Colorado skiing vacation, Quinn checks in with the team, and offers some good news about Holder and a warning about the Justice Department calling U.S. Attorney White.

From: Jack Quinn
12/25/2000 01:45:29 PM
To: Rich Foundation
CC: Robert Fink, Kathleen Behan, Marc Rich

… I genuinely believe we have pushed every button and effectively communicated every argument, but I am sure that among us we can always come up with one more idea. He certainly knows now how deeply a number of us feel about the justice of our own plea. The greatest danger lies with the lawyers. I have worked them hard and I am hopeful that E. Holder will be helpful to us. But we can expect some outreach to NY …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

While reaching out to Sen. Hillary Clinton remains a possibility, Fink now expresses concern that communications with Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder will result in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) recommending against a Rich pardon.

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Tuesday, December 26 2000 11:12 AM
To: Jack Quinn
Cc: Kitty Behan, Marc Rich, Avner Azulay
Subject: More follow up on MR

Kitty and I think the best person to call Hilary (if it makes sense to make to call her at all) may well be Denise. She is in Aspen; let me know if you need the number … Is there some way to find out if the lawyers will speak (or have spoken) to Eric and if they are going to call the SDNY? Is there some way we can have an opportunity to respond to whatever they say (assuming it in anyway is in disagreement with what we said)?

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Fink, Quinn, Rich, Azulay, Behan, New York P.R. executive Gershon Kekst and another attorney, Mike Green, e-mail about getting a New York pol in on the deal.

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2000 5:25 PM
To: Jack Quinn
Cc: Marc Rich, Avner Azulay, Gershon Kekst, Kitty Behan, Mike Green

Of all the options we discussed, the only one that seems to have real potential for making a difference is the HRC option and even that has peril if not handled correctly … As for contacting Rudy, that seems to be too fraught with peril, and I am against it unless someone has some inside information which would strongly suggest he is willing to stay on the side lines and we only want confirmation … Frankly, I think we benefit from not having the existence of the petition known …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Avner
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 8:26 AM
To: Quinn, Jack; Fink, Robert NY
Cc: Rich, Marc; behan kathleen
Subject: Chuck Schumer

I have been advised that HRC shall feel more at ease if she is joined by her elder senator of NY who also represents the jewish population. The private request from DR shall not be sufficient. It seems that this shall be a pre requisite from her formal position.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Fink,Robert – NY
Sent: Wednesday, Dec. 27, 11:04 AM
To: Gershon Kekst
Cc: Avner Azulay, Jack Quinn, Kitty Behan
Subject: FW: Chuck Schumer

Here is another message from Avner which you did not receive. Avner is looking for suggestions on who could contact the senior Senator and ask for support so that the only request for help from the Jewish community is not to HRC. It may be that DR can play this role as well. What do you think?…

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: gkekst
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 5:20 PM
To: Fink, Robert NY
Subject: Chuck Schumer

Good point. Can quinn tell us who is close enough to lean on schumer?? I am certainly willing to call him but have no real clout. Jack might be able to tell us quickly who the top contributors are … maybe Bernard Schwartz ??

Gershon

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Jack Quinn
12/27/2000 08:14:35 PM
To: Avram, Robert Fink
Cc: Marc Rich, Kathleen Behan
Subject: RE: Chuck Schumer

CS was not as helpful to HRC as she was to him. There may be some feelings about this else I wouldn’t be aware of it. Worry that we have no idea how CS will react. We shd contact him only if we have a VERY, VERY solid contact who can speak to him in the greatest confidence and we will then no doubt have to brief him very carefully. If we have no such close connection, I would be wary of this approach and I have to believe that the contact with HRC can happen without him after all, we are not looking for a public show of support from her.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

About 100 times smarter than her ex-husband’s attorneys, Denise Rich, apparently in consultation with Beth Dozoretz, slams the whole idea of getting any of these individuals involved.

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2000 2:12 PM
To: Avner Azulay
Cc: Marc Rich

I spoke to DR who was adamantly against the proposal. She is convinced it would be viewed badly by the recipient. Nothing good will come of the overture even with a good word from anyone in NY.

She said she is convinced of this and so is her friend who has advised DR not to discuss it in front of HRC …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn has a brainstorm.

From: Jack Quinn
To: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: 12/30/00 12:41 PM

Hope you’re checking email; I don’t have access here to avner’s email address, or marc’s, and wonder if you can inquire whether there is a possibility of persuading Mrs Rabin to make a call to POTUS. He had a deep affection for her husband.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2000 3:47 PM
To: Avner Azulay

… Jack asks if you could get Leah Rabin to call the President; Jack said he was a real big supporter of her husband …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Avner
To: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: 12/31/00 2:29 AM

Bob, having Leah Rabin call is not a bad idea. The problem is how do we contact her? She died last November …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Roughly two weeks before the end of Clinton’s presidency, more big guns are being recruited.

From: Avner Azulay
Sent: January 02, 2001, 12:42 PM
To: Robert Fink, Jack Quinn, Kathleen Brehan

… I met with A. Burg (The Speaker of the House). He shall see if he can recruit Israel Singer, Edgar Bronfman and Elie Wiesel … Has anyone an idea how to reach VernonJ?

You should know that MR spoke with DR. Her impression-from Beth is that HRC shall try to be protective of her husband and stay out of potential trrouble.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

After a conversation with White House counsel Nolan that seems to revolve quite a bit around Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Quinn finally has some real news from the White House. “Sui generis” is a legal term meaning “constituting a class alone unique or particular to itself.”

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2001 4:49 PM
To: Avner, Fink, Robert NY
Cc: behan kathleen, Rich, Marc

I just got off the phone with Beth Nolan, the White House Counsel. She told me that her office will do the next “reassessment” of our and other applications on Friday. I impressed upon her that our case is “sui generis” only in that MR was indicted but did not stand trial and then elaborated at some length on the circumstances of MR’s decision not to return the facts that Rudy was new, was trying to make a reputation, overcharged in the most gross way (and in ways that would not stand today …) and that MR, seeing the mountain of adverse publicity generated by US Atty’s ofc and the disproportionate charges, made the choice anyone would make, i.e., not to return. She responded that this is still a tough case – that the perception will nevertheless be that MR is in some “sense” a fugitive. I explained why he is not. I told her that I want an opportunity to know, before a final decision, if there are things we have not said or done that should be said or done. She promised me that opportunity … I told her, finallt, that I intend to have on more conversation with POTUS before this is finalized in order to make the case to him, focusing in particular on his appreciation of what an overly-zealous prosecutor can do to make a fair trial, in court or in the court of public opinion, impossible …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2001 4:40 PM
To: Avner
Cc: Marc Rich, Jack Quinn

I just got off the phone with Jack who had just gotten off the phone with the WH counsel. He will send an email update, but I can tell you that it does not sound too late for these calls. JQ specifically dwelled on the high level and deep support MR was getting from Israel as a ground for consideration. So do not let up. Bob.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn writes again to Clinton. With a new angle.

January 5, 2001

… On a personal note, I believe in this case with all my heart. When first approached about getting involved, I was highly skeptical. But, I studied the facts and the law carefully and became convinced of both Marc’s innocence and the outrageously prejudicial and unfair treatment of him by the then-new U.S. Attorney in New York, Mr. Giuliani …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

A back-and-forth on being honest and open with the American people, with a word relayed from White House chief of staff John Podesta.

From: Fink, Robert NY
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001, 12:21 PM
To: gkekst
Cc: Jack Quinn
Subject: Herald Tribune

Marc heard today from a friend in Paris that a reporter named Joseph Sitches of the Herald Tribune was going to write a story on the people who were (adversely) affected by Rudy Giuliani. Apparently, Marc will be among those about whom he deals … Marc was interested in your reaction to this … which led to a discussion on whether we seek any publicity about the pardon application if we do not succeed or even if we attempt to do something now. I explained that we did not want publicity now. He understands that is our view …

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: gkekst
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 2:35 PM
To: Fink, Robert NY
Cc: Jack Quinn
Subject: RE: Herald Tribune

Unless jack quinn changes his views about the risk-reward ratio for publicity, I vote against it … By the way, please tell marc that I am “assured” the call has been made by elie.

Gershon

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 1:12 PM
To: Fink, Robert NY, Gershon Kekst
Subject: RE: Herald Tribune

I think we’ve benefitted from being under the press radar. Podesta said as much.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Quinn forwards a copy of his Jan. 5 letter to Clinton to Eric Holder.

January 10, 2001

… Dear Eric:

I hope you can say you agree with this letter. Your saying positive things, I’m told, would make this happen.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jack Quinn

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Leah Rabin being otherwise unavailable for comment, an alternative Rabin spokeswoman is sought.

From: Avner Azulay
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 10:59 AM
To: Jack Quinn
CC: Fink, Robert NY, Kathleen Behan, Rich, Marc
Subject: update

1. I met Rabin’s daughter today. She is going to call potus tonight or tomorrow. She read your last ltr and saw the summary etc..She has an ongoing relationship with him and feels comfortable about it.

2. DR called from aspen .Her friend B- who is with her got a call today from potus who said he was impressed by JQ’s last letter and that he wants to do it and is doing all possible to turn around the WH counsels.DR thinks he sounded very positive but ” that we have to keep praying” .There shall be no decision this wknd and the other candidate Milik is not getting it.

3. I shall meet her and her friend next week she will provide more details.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Speaker of the Knesset Abraham Burg sends a letter on Rich’s behalf to Clinton on Jan. 9, 2001. On Friday, Jan. 12, Rich meets with Israeli Prime Minister Barak.

From: Avner Azulay
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2001 5:16 pm
To: Jack Quinn, Marc Rich, Robert Fink, Kathleen Behan
Subject: telecons to potus

Following mr’s mtg with the pm the latter called potus this week. Potus said he is very much aware of the case, “that he is looking into it and that he saw 2 fat books which were prepared by these people.” Potus sounded positive but maede no concrete promise.

Rabin has a telecon date with potus on Monday

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From: Avram
01/13/2001 02:32:13 PM
To: Jack Quinn, Kathleen Behan, Robert Fink, Gershon Kekst, Marc Rich
Subject: update

One more update before I leave to NY

1. we have a CFM that the king of spain talked to potus.He reports a positive conversation.No concrete sayings.

2. Our PM talked to sandy berger a few days ago and shall check with him again if he talked to potus. See you soon

- – - – - – - – - – - -

From his Blackberry wireless, Quinn tries to call in Denise Rich once more.

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2001 9:48 AM
To: Robert Fink
Cc: Avner
Subject: Denise

I am advised that it would be useful if she made another call to P. I am in a fannie mae bd mtg, but would like to set this in motion asap. Message shd be simple: “I’m not calling to argue the merits. Jack has done that, and we believe a pardon is defensible and justified. I’m calling to impress upon you that MR and our whole family has paid a dear price over 18 yrs for a prosecution that shd never have been brought and that singled out MR while letting the oil companies he dealth with go scot free. Please know important this is to me personally.” Can you or avner call her this morning?

- – - – - – - – - – - -

ACT 3: ONE LAST THING ‘FORE I GO

It’s crunch time, and the president is surrounded by staffers who oppose a Rich pardon. Fink is afraid that “maybe the SDNY knows.”

In any case, on the evening of Friday, Jan. 19, Quinn and Clinton talk about the pardon for about 20 minutes. Quinn’s notes include the following:

3. Stalemate
4. Skepticism
5. Wrong
6. You

8.Price controls

11. Pollard (crossed out)

Other notes:

*Unusual
*But not unworthy
*… stayed away publicity
*Ken Starr
*Inequity
*Bias rich Jew
*Israel

In the closing hours of his presidency, on Jan. 20, 2001, Clinton offers both Rich and Green a pardon.

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2001 5:04 PM
To: Fink, Robert NY, Avner Azulay, Kitty Behan … Gershon Kekst
Cc: Marc Rich

… just spoke to holder. Said I did a very good job and that he thinks we shd be better about getting the legal merits of the case out publicly. I assured him we were and that we were letting the press see the petition and attachments … he also thinks we shd made public our commitment to waive defenses to civil penalties at doe and the support of barak.

Justice Department officials explode, telling members of the press that they didn’t even know the pardon was under consideration until two days before it was granted, and that the pardon did not go through the normal process. The Justice Department’s pardon attorney, Roger Adams, was not consulted, nor was U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White asked for her opinion.

There is a media maelstrom, and the Rich pardon team begins trying to defend itself with any ammo it can find.

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 12:51 PM
To: Kekst, Gershon, Fink, Robert
Subject: Giuliani

I recall hearing that denise was asked by him to support him, not hillary, in the senate race. She declined. Shouldn’t the nytimes know this? From whom?

One of the complaints is that the Justice Department didn’t even receive the petition until Jan. 17, though Quinn insists that he sent it on the 10th and there was a mix-up with the addresses.

From: Jack Quinn
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2001 9:28 AM
To: April Moore
Cc: Jeff Connaughton, Peter Mirijanian Scott Hynes
Subject: Courier details

Imp we pin this down today. First, how do we prove that address we used is where all hand deliveries are required to go? Second, did delivery envelope say “DOJ”?

Re-Pete Courier Services faxes a letter to Quinn on Jan. 26 with evidence that the courier dropped the package off on Jan. 10 at the central drop point at the Department of Justice at 901 E St. N.W.

And the chaos begins.

Jake Tapper is the senior White House correspondent for ABC News.

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