The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Partners:
  Clinton Pardons More Than 100

By Sonya Ross
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, Jan. 20, 2001; 10:49 a.m. EST

WASHINGTON –– In one of his final acts, President Clinton on Saturday pardoned more than 100 Americans, including former Whitewater business partner Susan McDougal, brother Roger Clinton and former CIA Director John Deutch, officials said.

Deutch's pardon spares the one-time spy chief and top Pentagon official of facing criminal charges in connection with his mishandling of national secrets on a home computer.

Clinton also pardoned a former Cabinet member, ex-Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, who was convicted in a controversy over payments to an ex-mistress.

The president granted clemency to Patty Hearst, the 1970s kidnap victim who later went to prison in connection with a bank robbery, and former Navaho Nation chief Peter MacDonald.

The list, released less than two hours before Clinton turned over the White House to President-elect Bush, was also notable for the number of people seeking pardons it did not include.

Among them: Webster Hubbell, a former law partner of Hillary Rodham Clinton; Jonathan Pollard, a former Navy analyst imprisoned for spying for Israel; one-time Wall Street financier Michael Milken; and Leonard Peltier, convicted of killing two FBI agents on an Indian reservation in 1975.

McDougal's pardon came just one day after the Whitewater investigation was closed down under a deal in which Clinton gave up his law license and admitted make false testimony under oath in the Monica Lewinsky in return for prosecutor agreeing not to indict him.

"She's absolutely delighted," said her lawyer, Mark Geragos. "She is speechless for once in her life. And I think it is especially poignant that it was one of the last acts of Bill Clinton's administration."

McDougal went to prison rather than testify in the Whitewater investigation.

Convicted at a 1996 trial where Clinton testified in her defense, McDougal remained an unabashed supporter of the president, appearing on national television in her orange prison jumpsuit to insist that Clinton never engaged in illegal loans or other improper conduct as prosecutors in Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's office sought to prove.

Her former husband, failed Arkansas savings and loan operator James McDougal, also was convicted at the same trial but took a markedly different path. He chose to cooperate with Starr's office and implicated the Clintons in wrongdoing before his sudden death in prison.

Susan McDougal never wavered, embarking on a campaign to portray Starr, a Republican, as politically motivated, on a "personal vendetta" to pursue the Clintons and disinterested in the truth. Starr and his staff repeatedly denied those allegations.

She only served 3½ months of a two-year prison term for her four felony convictions before a federal judge released her because of a back problem.

But her freedom was short-lived. She defied a judge's order to answer Whitewater prosecutor's questions before a federal grand jury and was returned to jail for 18 months for civil contempt.

Frustrated she still wasn't cooperating, Starr's office decided to prosecute McDougal for criminal contempt for obstructing the grand jury probe. The jury deadlocked, and prosecutors decided not to retry her.

Roger Clinton was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty in 1985 to conspiring to distribute cocaine. He cooperated with authorities and testified against other drug defendants.

He has since focused on an entertainment career. The president was best man at his brother's wedding back in the mid-1990s.

Deutch had been considering a deal with the Justice Department in which he would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of keeping classified data on his home computers.

He got in trouble when CIA security officials discovered, as he was stepping down in 1996 as CIA chief, that he had written and stored highly classified intelligence reports on home computers linked to the Internet.

Deutch publicly apologized. Pentagon officials later discovered Deutch had similar security lapses during his tenure as the No. 2 defense official.Deutch

Cisneros was Clinton's first housing secretary. He resigned in 1996 amid an investigation into allegations that he lied to the FBI about payments he made to a former mistress, Linda Medlar. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

Since leaving office, Cisneros served as head of Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language television network. Last year, he returned to his native San Antonio to launch an organization to provide housing for low-income families.

At age 19, Hearst was kidnapped in the 1970s by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army. She later served part of a prison sentence for a bank holdup in San Francisco before it was commuted by President Carter. She is married to her former bodyguard, Bernard Shaw.

MacDonald, 72, the former leader of the Navajo Nation, has been in a Fort Worth, Texas, medical prison since his 1992 sentencing for his role in a Window Rock, Ariz., riot that resulted in the deaths of two of his supporters in 1989.

MacDonald was removed from office for taking bribes and kickbacks. The two supporters were killed on July 20, 1989, by tribal police during a march to protest what they considered a coup against their leader. MacDonald, his health deteriorating, has been serving a 14-year sentence for inciting the deadly riot.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

Back to the top

Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar