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Text: House Hearing on Clinton's Pardons

eMediaMillWorks
eMediaMillWorks
Thursday, March 1, 2001

Following is the transcript of the congressional hearing on former president Bill Clinton's last-minute pardons. Witnesses included: Former Democratic National Committee Finance Chairperson Beth Dozoretz, Marc Rich counsel Jack Quinn, former counsel to former president Clinton Beth Nolan, former Clinton aide Bruce Lindsey, former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, attorney Robert F. Fink, Chief of Staff to Vice President Cheney, Lewis Libby. Congressional speakers included: Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), Rep. Benjamin A Gilman (R-N.Y.), Rep. Constance Morella (I-Md.), Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), Rep. Steve Horn (R-Calif.), Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), Rep. Mark E. Souder (R-Ind.), Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.), Rep. Steven C. Latourette (R-Ohio), Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), Rep. Dan Miller (R-Fla.), Rep. Asa Hutchison (R-Ark.), Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.), Rep. Ron Lewis (R-Ky.), Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.), Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Rep. Major R. Owens (D-N.Y.), Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (D-Pa.), Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii), Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Del. Eleanor Holms Norton (D-D.C.), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), Rep. Rod R. Blagojevich (D-Ill.), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), Rep. John F. Tierney (R-Mass.), Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas), Rep. Thomas H. Allen (D-Maine), Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.), Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Rep. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.)

BURTON: Good afternoon. A quorum being present, the Committee on Government Reform will come to order.

I ask unanimous consent that all members' and witnesses' written opening statements be included in the record, and without objection, so ordered.

I ask unanimous consent that all articles, exhibits and extraneous or tabular material referred to be included in the record, and without objection, so ordered.

I ask unanimous consent that a set of exhibits, which was shared with the minority prior to the hearing, be included in the record, and without objection, so ordered.

I also ask unanimous consent that questioning in this matter proceed under Clause 2(j)(ii) of House Rule 11 and Committee Rule 14 in which the chairman and ranking minority member allocate time to members of the committee as they deem appropriate for extended questioning not to exceed 60 minutes, equally divided between the majority and minority, and without objection, so ordered.

I also ask unanimous consent that questioning in the matter under consideration proceed under Clause 2(j)(ii) of House Rule 11 and Committee Rule 14 in which the chairman and ranking minority member allocate time to committee counsel as they deem appropriate for extended questioning not to exceed 60 minutes, divided equally between the majority and minority, and without objection, so ordered.

Good morning.

Today we're holding our second hearing regarding the president's last minute pardons of Marc Rich and Pincus Green. Since our last meeting, there have been a number of new developments, but before I talk about that, let's go back and look at what we've learned in our first hearing.

On February 8, the first thing that we learned was that the normal review process at the Justice Department was completely bypassed. Jack Quinn testified that he delivered the pardon application to the White House on December 11, but it was never delivered to the Justice Department for review. We released an e-mail that showed that Mr. Rich's lawyers were doing their dead-level best to keep the pardon application secret to keep it from getting shot down.

We heard from Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder. Mr. Holder was told by Mr. Quinn in November that Marc Rich's pardon application would be submitted directly to the White House. Mr. Holder didn't tell the pardon attorney. He didn't tell the prosecutors in New York, who were responsible for the case and who had worked on it.

On January 19, Mr. Holder was called by the White House about the pardon. At this point, it was clear that this pardon of an international fugitive was under serious consideration. Again, he didn't contact the pardon attorney and he didn't contact the prosecutors in New York. In that January 19 phone call, White House counsel Beth Nolan asked Mr. Holder what he thought about pardoning Mr. Rich. He told her he was neutral, leaning towards. But he admitted that he never reviewed the case. He never talked to prosecutors about it. The only information he had was former White House counsel Jack Quinn. Now, how could he be "neutral, leaning towards," when the only information he'd seen about the case came from Marc Rich's lawyer?

We released an e-mail that showed that President Clinton called Beth Dozoretz about the pardon. Beth Dozoretz is a former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. She also pledged to raise $1 million for the Clinton Library, and she's a close friend of Denise Rich, Marc Rich's ex-wife. Neither one has cooperated with this committee so far.

According to that e-mail, the president wanted to approve the pardon, and he was doing all he could to turn around the White House counsels. Why was the president on such a different wavelength from his staff? Why would the president call a fund-raiser about a pardon, but he wouldn't ask his own Justice Department for an opinion?

Now there's new developments. That was three weeks ago. A lot's happened since then. I have said all along that I don't want to drag this investigation out, and I mean that. At the same time, new information is coming out so fast, it's almost impossible to keep up with it. I want to just mention a few important developments.

First, we've learned that Denise Rich gave $450,000 to the Clinton Library. That's on top of the $1.2 million that she gave to the Democratic campaigns. We need to learn more about that.

Second, we learned that Beth Dozoretz pledged to raise $1 million for the Clinton Library.

Third, we learned that the president's brother-in-law, Hugh Rodham, got more than $430,000 for helping two people get pardons. He received a $200,000 contingency fee from Glenn Braswell, who was convicted of fraud.

At the time of the pardon, Mr. Braswell was still under investigation by the Justice Department for tax evasion. He got another $200,000 to help Carlos Vignali get a pardon. Carlos Vignali was convicted of helping ship 800 pounds of cocaine from Los Angeles to Minneapolis. That's more than $5 million worth of cocaine, and they were going to turn it into crack.

Fourth, we learned that the former first lady's campaign treasurer received $4,000 to help two people who were trying to get pardons.

And fifth, we learned that the president's brother, Roger Clinton, asked for pardons for a number of people. We need to find out if any money was promised to Roger Clinton, and we need to find out exactly what he did on behalf of these people.

We have learned more important details in just the last two days. Today, the New York Times reported that the first lady's older brother, Tony Rodham, helped get a pardon for someone who was paying him as a consultant. The Justice Department opposed this pardon, but it was approved anyway.

We received a new document that shows that the prosecutors in the Marc Rich case offered to drop the RICO charge against Mr. Rich if he would return to the United States to face trial. I believe that was in 1999. Now, Mr. Quinn has been telling us that this RICO sledgehammer was what forced Mr. Rich to flee the country. Well, evidently that wasn't the whole story, and it wasn't quite accurate, because they were going to drop the RICO charge to get him back to stand trial on the other charges, and there were 50 of them.

We learned that Carlos Vignali, the cocaine dealer who paid Hugh Rodham, lied on his pardon application. He lied about his prior offenses and yet he still got a pardon, much to the chagrin of the Justice Department and, I believe, the pardon officials.

We were very surprise to learn this week that Eric Holder wouldn't sign the Justice Department's memo opposing Carlos Vignali's pardon. Apparently, he didn't want to sign any more pardon denials. He was the deputy attorney general, and he didn't want to sign a memo opposing a pardon of a major drug dealer. Why?

We've learned that John Podesta's personal lawyer, Peter Kadzik, was lobbying Mr. Podesta on behalf of Marc Rich. That's one of the reasons we called Mr. Kadzik here today.

Finally, on Tuesday, the pardon attorney from the Justice Department told us that the night the pardon of Marc Rich was granted, his office sent information to the White House stating that Marc Rich was involved in illegal arms trading. That was the night the pardon was granted. Now, it's not clear now that this information is accurate, but nobody at the White House even called back to ask about it. As far as they knew, they were granting a pardon for an arms dealer.

The appearances that have been created here are obvious. If you have friends in high places, you can get around the law. It makes it look like we have one system of justice for the rich and powerful, and another system of justice for all the rest of us.

Were laws broken? We don't know. We don't have all the facts yet. We want to be responsible. We don't want to rush to judgment or make accusations until we have all the facts. But we have an obligation to try to find out what happened and lay the facts before the American people. We want to move expeditiously. In some areas, we're making progress. We asked the president not to claim executive privilege so his aides could testify, and he's done that, and that's a positive step.

We had a problem with the Clinton Library, they didn't want to comply with our subpoena for information on their donors. If you read the editorial pages across the country, I think there is widespread agreement that they shouldn't try to keep that secret. We've made a great deal of progress on this issue in the last two days, and we're very close to resolving it. The lawyers for the library have committed to bringing us more information tomorrow. I had scheduled the library's president, Skip Rutherford, to testify on the first panel today. We've made enough progress that I've excused him. I appreciate the fact that the lawyers for the library have worked with us to resolve this.

We asked Mr. Quinn to provide us with written answers to some questions prior to the hearing, and he's done that, and we appreciate it.

Last night, we received answers to the questions we submitted to Mr. Rodham, and that was helpful. And I ask unanimous consent to place this letter in the record at the conclusion of my remarks, and without objection, so ordered.

On the other hand, we still have some problems. We wrought to Roger Clinton. We asked him to provide us with some basic information about who he tried to help get pardons.

We asked him how much money he received, if any. He has not responded. We wrote to the lawyer for Glenn Braswell. His name is Kendall Coffey. We asked him for some very basic information, like a copy of the material he submitted to the White House. He hasn't responded.

The most serious obstacle we faced is this: We have two key witnesses who are taking the Fifth Amendment against self incrimination. Denise Rich exercised her Fifth Amendment rights three weeks ago. We don't know if she has done anything wrong. We don't anticipate that she has, but we sure wish she would answer our questions.

We want to get to the bottom of this. Now we're told that Beth Dozoretz will also take the Fifth. These are two people who are involved in raising money for the president and lobbying the president for pardons, and we apparently can't talk to either one of them.

Now, Ms. Dozoretz is here with us today. She was called as a witness to this hearing. We've received word through her lawyer that she plans to exercise her Fifth Amendment rights. However, this is a personal privilege that must be exercised by the individual and not through counsel. And that's why we've asked Ms. Dozoretz to be here, and we hope she'll reconsider.

On our second panel, we have several former senior White House officials. We have the president's former chief of staff, John Podesta. We have the former White House counsel, Beth Nolan. We have the former deputy White House counsel, Bruce Lindsey. And we also have Jack Quinn, who represented Mr. Rich as well as having, in the past, worked at the White House with the president. And he, of course, has lobbied for Mr. Rich's pardon.

The purpose of the second panel is to determine what kind of process they went through at the White House. We know the Justice Department was not consulted in any meaningful way. So who was consulted? What information did they use to evaluate the Marc Rich pardon? Who advised the president? And that's what we want to find out from that panel today.

On the third panel, we have three attorneys who represented Marc Rich. We have Robert Fink. We have Lewis Scooter Libby, and we have Peter Kadzik.

I want to thank all of our witnesses for being here today. I know that members on both sides here don't want to spend the rest of their lives investigating Bill Clinton, and I'm certainly one of them. But I want people to recognize that we're facing some significant obstacles in getting information for the Congress and the American people who deserve to know the facts. We're going to be responsible, and we're going to move forward as rapidly as possible.

I want to work with members on both sides to get this done. Mr. Waxman asked us to call Scooter Libby to testify today. I, personally, didn't think that was necessary. There is no evidence that Mr. Libby was involved in the pardon process at all. But it was important to Mr. Waxman, so I agreed. And I believe, if we work together, we can get this work done very quickly, and we can move on to other important things that need to be done for the country.

That concludes my opening statement. And I now yield to Mr. Waxman for his statement.

WAXMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Three weeks ago at the committee's first hearing on the Marc Rich pardon, I criticized President Clinton's actions. I said, the Rich pardon was bad precedent, an end run around the judicial process and appeared to set a double standard for the wealthy and powerful.

Almost immediately, the phones lit up in my office. Oddly, many of the calls came from anti-Clinton viewers, accusing me of being an apologist for the president. But I also received many calls from Democrats, demanding that I explain why I wasn't supporting President Clinton's actions. That's where I want to start today.

I want particularly to direct my comments to Democrats around the country who are puzzled why congressional Democrats aren't defending President Clinton. Well, if a Republican president has presided over a pardon process that resembled the chaotic mess that seemingly characterized the final days of the Clinton administration, I would be outraged and would criticize it.

Issuing pardons is one of the most profound powers given to the president. At a minimum, the decision-making process must be careful and above reproach. It's clear that President Clinton's efforts were not.

President Clinton had two equally important responsibilities in deciding whether to grant pardons.

First, the president could not grant a pardon in exchange for any personal benefit. A quid pro quo obviously would break the law. And although the president's pardon power is absolute, it is not above the law.

To this point, I've seen no evidence that the president broke any law. I've seen a lot of evidence of bad judgment, but not illegality.

But given the extraordinary circumstances of the Rich pardon, it's important the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York fully, quickly, and impartially investigate this issue. The U.S. attorney is doing that, and its investigation should resolve any questions of illegality for the American people.

President Clinton's second fundamental obligation is just as important as the first. He must protect the American people's trust by exercising sound judgment. This isn't a legal standard, it's a subjective measure, and President Clinton failed to meet it.

The combination of revelations, ranging from the Marc Rich and New Square pardons to the role Hugh Rodham played in the pardon process, are disturbing and they raise serious questions about the president's judgment.

And if anyone should have been sensitive to this, it was the president. He has been subject to a constant barrage of attacks and scrutiny, some unquestionably justified, but most reckless and unfair. He knows that whatever he does will be questioned, even if he didn't actually do it.

During the battle over impeachment, I repeatedly noted a distinction between private conduct and official activities. The president's relationship with a White House intern was a personal failing and a betrayal of his family. Everything that sprang from that scandal, including his false testimony under oath, came from that personal failure.

In this case, however, Mr. Clinton's failure to exercise sound judgment affected one of the most important duties of the presidency. Bad judgment is obviously not impeachable, but the failures in the pardon process should embarrass every Democrat and every American. It's a shameful lapse of judgment that must be acknowledged, because to ignore it would betray a basic principle of justice that Democrats believe in.

I know that many Democrats fear that criticizing President Clinton's actions will somehow negate all of his accomplishments, all the accomplishments of his administration. I disagree. President Clinton's discipline and masterful handling of our economy, and his leadership on a score of international and domestic issues, health and environmental concerns, will not be forgotten.

Democrats, and I hope even some Republicans, should be proud of the progress we made and the immense talents President Clinton brought to the White House. Those truths remain, despite the president's other failings.

But when he makes a serious mistake, as I think he did in this case, Democrats must be willing to say so.

I hope that helps explain to my Democratic callers why I've been so critical of the president's conduct. But I also want to address the anti-Clinton callers, who attack me for being an apologist for the president and the first lady. At the same time that I believed that President Clinton made grave errors, I also believe there's clearly a double standard that's applied to him. Pointing out that there's a double standard isn't an attempt to excuse what's happened, it's just the facts.

One major reason we're holding this hearing is to investigate whether President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich in exchange for contributions. Republicans are saying that an investigation is essential, because of the suspicious circumstances that Marc Rich's former wife gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DNC and the Clinton Library.

Well, compare this pardon to that President Bush gave in 1989 to Armand Hammer, the former head of Occidental Petroleum, who plead guilty to making illegal campaign contributions.

NORTON: The public may know about Kemba Smith, the young mother and college student, who was caught up in her boyfriend's conspiracy to sell drugs when she, herself, had committed no overt act of crime, but I don't I don't think that the public knows of the press, which has made great stock of how these poor people have been left with nothing done for them. Shame on them.

I do think it only right for us to know that the president did pardon some such people. Congress has had no mercy, despite the fact that Justice Rehnquist, the Federal judiciary, Barry McCaffrey and the Catholic bishops have called for a change in the laws involving mandatory minimums.

Please let nothing that I have said contradict my view that Marc Rich should not have been pardoned, that pardons should not be granted to the privileged, that the president made a terrible judgment in making these pardons, that he will never set the record straight, because appearances control such matters. And I am afraid, tragically, that the appearances will always control this matter unless the U.S. attorney tells us otherwise.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

BURTON: Thank the gentlelady for her comments.

Mr. Souder?

SOUDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And I want to thank Mr. Waxman for his statement. I don't agree with the latter part of his statement, but I appreciate his acknowledgement in the forward part of his statement.

I also believe that he has attempted to--while defend the position that charges must be proven before they can be made, which at times has made him seem like a defender of the administration--is a fair-minded man.

I had no decision in my public career that was more agonizing or more painful than the impeachment vote. And I have paid a terrible price in my district from hatred of long-time friends, who did not like it that I only voted for one count on impeachment. And that was very difficult because I, too, have been trying to sort out how you separate public and private behavior and how you can establish a truth in this system and how we set precedents.

But sitting on this committee, under Chairman Clinger and Chairman Burton, has been one of the most exasperating experiences in my life. We have had a minimum of 125 people take the Fifth Amendment or flee the country.

If you want to know what is undermining the American people's confidence in our governmental systems, it's that everybody seems to be protecting everybody else, and that money and power seem to influence the ability to make decisions, even for pardons, which our founding fathers meant for those who were hurting, those who didn't get a fair trial.

And it seems like, whether it was in the travel office, whether it was in the files, whether it was in--and I said "seems like" because we haven't been able to get to the truth because there has been community blocking. The Chinese funding, the casino funding, every time we start to pursue something, it's like a whole bunch of people put up a wall. And that's partly why so many members on our side have been so frustrated.

And hopefully, with this investigation, we can move and advance toward truth in other things that have been, in my opinion, at the very least justice obstructed. We don't know what for sure was obstructed, but through this wall of fleeing the country and taking the Fifth, we have not been able to get to the truth.

And I really hope--and I understand there is a court case going on--but I really hope that today's witness will at some time come forward and speak fully to us as well, because the American people have a right to know what has happened in this whole entire process, because public hearings such as this and things that our chairman are conducting are part of the way, in the absence of a clear, norm, standard in our country, we determine our norms of what is acceptable behavior and not.

When Judge Thomas went through his hearing, we, as a community, as a nation, learned more about how sexual harassment can be handled. Whether the charges were true or not, we went through a process. Through Watergate, we went through a process. Through these are how we determine what is allowable behavior in the public arena. And I think this serves a purpose, and I hope today's witness and future witnesses will come forth and speak rather than take the Fifth.

Yield back.

BURTON: Thank you, Mr. Souder. Further discussion?

Mr. LaTourette?

LATOURETTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I'll attempt to be brief so we can get on with the panels. But I did want to follow up on the ranking member's observation that this hearing will talk about whether or not there is illegality.

I think that there are other things that this committee is looking at and should be looking at. For instance, one of our colleagues from Massachusetts, Congressman Frank, has introduced a constitutional amendment to indicate that perhaps pardons are not appropriate by lame-duck presidents between the time of the election and when they leave office. And I think that the facts developed at the last hearing and this hearing can illuminate us on that.

I think that this committee can certainly take a look at the revolving-door policy, of when someone who works for the administration or for Congress can come back and lobby. I think that that's an appropriate discussion.

My personal opinion is that Mr. Quinn sort of took the revolving door off the hinges as he spun around and went back into the White House to gain this particular pardon.

While the history lesson with President Bush and his relatives was interesting, I think what's intriguing with Mr. Rodham, the former first lady's brother, is that when Mr. Quinn was before the committee, he indicated that he didn't violate the revolving door policy because he was subject to the judicial exception; that is, he was able to represent Mr. Rich in a criminal matter.

Well, Mr. Rodham has taken a contingency fee in a pardon matter, which is against the ethics code of the bar association of the state of Florida, and his argument is, it's not a criminal matter. So I think perhaps we can legislatively get to the bottom of that as well.

And relative to the gentlelady from the District of Columbia, I think some of the press reports I've seen relative to who got in and who got out have to do with Mr. Vignali in California, where it was not only Carlos Vignali, a white drug dealer, 800 pounds, turning it into crack cocaine in Minnesota for distribution on the streets of Minnesota, but he had 30 co-defendants, many of whom had never been in trouble before, and they all still are in prison, with mandatory minimums. In particular, there was a fellow focused on from Minnesota who received a longer prison sentence than Mr. Vignali.

So I think all of those are issues that were before the committee.

And the last comment I want to make. After "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" last night, I was watching this Geraldo Rivera, and he was calling the chairman "Dandy Dan Burton," saying that he was going to bring Mrs. Dozoretz in and subject her to Mafia-style treatment before the United States Congress. And all I would say is that, if she chooses to take the Fifth Amendment today, it is a personal privilege, as you pointed out, it can't be sent by letter, it can't be sent by her lawyers, she has to invoke it. And if she feels that there is evidence that she would give that would implicate her in conspiracy or bribery or conduit contributions, and it's her best interest to take the Fifth Amendment, that is her right. But to suggest somehow otherwise, that she is receiving ill-treatment or it's a media spectacle or anything else, I think does a disservice to the chairman and does a disservice to the committee.

And I thank you, and yield back my time.

SANDERS: Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman?

BURTON: The gentleman is recognized.

SANDERS: I'll be very brief. Let me just pick up on a point that my friend, Mr. LaTourette, just made a moment ago. I think what he was suggesting is that one of the benefits of this hearing, it educates us about things. And he touched on other manifestations of what we can learn from hearings like this.

But I wonder if he would add to this some other areas that this committee might want to study. I have been concerned that the American people pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and that millions of elderly people cannot afford prescription drugs. I wonder if he would join me in calling on this committee to study the role of the millions of dollars that the pharmaceutical industry contributes to the Republican Party and to the Democratic Party and why we end up paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

This country is the only country in the industrialized world that does not have a national health care system guaranteeing health care to all people.

I wonder if he will join me and ask Mr. Burton to conduct a hearing about the role that insurance company monies play in influencing the political process so that millions of Americans don't have health care.

Today on the floor of the House, there's a bankruptcy bill. My understanding is that the credit card companies and those people who will benefit from this bill have contributed millions of dollars to the Republican Party.

There is a tax bill that President Bush has offered that will provide 43 percent of the benefits to the richest 1 percent. I wonder if we will take a hard look at the role of the hundreds of millions of dollars that have come into the political process from the wealthiest people in this country and see, maybe, there might be a correlation that the legislation that come out benefits overwhelmingly the wealthiest people in this country.

So I would agree with what Mr. Waxman said earlier. I think it's important that we have this hearing, that we learn about what Mr. Clinton did, and his terrible lapse in judgment. But if we're going to talk about money in politics, let's talk about money in politics. The influence that money had on Mr. Clinton, the influence the money has on the Republican Party and the Democratic Party and then open up that issue so the American people, once again, can have faith in the political process in this country.

LATOURETTE: Will the gentleman yield to me?

SANDERS: I yield.

LATOURETTE: I'd be delighted to join you in all of those activities. And I think the distinction that I would draw is if any of those activities have a quid pro quo, they're all wrong and the ones that you...

SANDERS: Good, then let's work together.

LATOURETTE: I'd be happy to work with you.

SANDERS: And, Mr. Burton, I hope that you will work with us on those, as well.

BURTON: I'd be happy to look into that with you, Mr. Sanders.

SANDERS: OK.

BURTON: Are there any further opening statements? If not, Ms. Dozoretz, would you rise and raise your right hand, please.

Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

DOZORETZ: I do.

BURTON: Mrs. Dozoretz, do you have any kind of opening statement?

DOZORETZ: No, I don't.

BURTON: Then we will start with 30 minutes on each side. I will yield the first to Mr. Shays.

SHAYS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Mr. Chairman, first let me thank you and ranking member Waxman for two very thoughtful statements, I appreciate it very much.

Good morning, Ms. Dozoretz.

DOZORETZ: Good morning.

SHAYS: Welcome to this hearing on presidential pardons, and thank you very much for being here.

This committee has almost been overwhelmed by what appears to be a number of inexcusable pardons granted by President Clinton in the 11th hour of his presidency.

Many on this committee question why a number of pardons were granted and we questioned the process by which they were granted. On the surface, it seems someone was more likely to get a controversial if they gave to the president's party or to its candidates, gave to the new presidential library, hired White House or Washington insiders, or used the services of family members of the former president and his wife.

We question why some of the pardons were granted, and the process by which they were granted. The fact that 40 weren't vetted with the Justice Department, the fact that some were not properly documented, and the fact that they were granted to a major drug dealer, who was caught shipping 800 pounds of cocaine--to four individuals who defrauded $30 million from government education programs designed to help those most in need, to an individual who practiced medical fraud, and is still under additional investigations.

But of all the pardons, the hardest one for us to understand and justify is the pardon of Marc Rich, an individual who allegedly made $100 million in illegal profits; attempted to hide $48 million in profits; fled the country and became a 17-year fugitive from justice; renounced the U.S. citizenship; and traded with Iran, while our hostages were there, Iraq around the time we had hostilities in the Gulf, Libya, Korea, and the apartheid South African government.

Ms. Dozoretz, we are an investigative committee that tries to root out waste, fraud and abuse in government. And Lord knows, it appears we seem to see all three in this pardon process. I hope these hearings, besides helping to root out fraud, lead to an improvement in the pardon process--not change the Constitution, but the process--help improve the revolving door requirements and public disclosure of money raised by sitting presidents and their libraries.

Your testimony is invaluable to us, and would help us conclude our investigation much more quickly. So with all this in mind, I would like to show you exhibit 63, and to ask for your response. What I'd like to do is just read parts of it.

Do you have a copy of it?

Number 2 says: "DR called from Aspen," and we understand from Jack Quinn, that that is Denise Rich. "Her friend B," we understand from Jack Quinn is you, Beth Dozoretz, "who is with her got a call today from POTUS," who we understand to be the president, "who said he was impressed by JQ's," Jack Quinn, "last letter." And that, "He wants to do it, and is doing all possible to turn around the White House counselors. DR," Denise Rich, "thinks he sounded very positive but," quote, "that we have to keep praying," end of quote.

"There shall be no decision this weekend. And the other candidate, Milek (ph)," which we understand to be Michael Milken, "is not getting it." And then, number three, "I shall meet her and her friends next week. She will provide more details."

Now, what I would like to ask is the following. Exhibit 63 is an e-mail which indicates that on January 10, 2001, President Clinton called you in Aspen, Colorado, where you were staying with Denise Rich. The e-mail indicates that the president discussed the Marc pardon with you before he spoke with the Justice Department. My question is, at any time while you were discussing the Marc Rich pardon with President Clinton, did either you or the president mention Denise Rich's contribution to the Clinton Library or the Democratic National Committee?

DOZORETZ: Upon the advice of my counsel, I respectfully decline to answer that question based on the protection afforded me under the United States Constitution.

SHAYS: Let me ask you this: Will that be your response to all our questions? Or are those that are specific subjects or persons you will not discuss and others you are willing to discuss with us?

DOZORETZ: Sir, that will be my response to all questions.

SHAYS: Thank you, Ms. Dozoretz. I know it hasn't been easy coming here today, and we appreciate your informing the committee personally of your decision to assert your rights under the Fifth Amendment, even though your lawyer had done so earlier. In doing so, you show respect for our responsibility in our process.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

BURTON: The gentleman yields back.

Mr. LaTourette, no questions?

BURTON: Mr. Waxman?

Let me just say that since Ms. Dozoretz has exercised her Fifth Amendment rights and has said she wants to continue to do so, we have no further questions, and we will be happy to excuse her. But if you have questions, go ahead.

WAXMAN: Mr. Chairman, I understand that Denise Rich, who also took the Fifth Amendment, but wasn't required to come here today to assert it, has indicated that she is going to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, which is, of course, the official investigation as to whether any criminal actions took place.

I don't think I could get an answer from Ms. Dozoretz because I think, as I understand the rules, if she answers any questions then she's waived her right not to testify. But I presume and expect and hope that she is also going to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As I understand the matter, witnesses who are being called to testify and cooperate with law enforcement may well feel that they ought to take the Fifth Amendment here, but cooperate there. I, again, regret that she was brought here to assert what the chairman knew she would assert, her constitutional right not to testify.

While people say that it's not for media spectacle purposes, I wish that the TV audience could see all the people here with cameras who were anxious to take her photo as she asserted her rights, which we expected she would do.

I have no questions.

BURTON: Mr. Waxman, I'll retain my time.

Let me just say, why do you assume that she wouldn't take her Fifth Amendment rights before the U.S. attorney?

WAXMAN: I can't answer whether she will or she won't. I could ask her the question, but I presume that that would be...

BURTON: No, I understand, but the comments you made indicated that you assumed...

WAXMAN: The reason I made that statement is that Denise Rich is going to cooperate and is cooperating with the U.S. attorney, and has taken the Fifth Amendment with regard to this committee. I presume and expect and will get a response, I expect, from Ms. Dozoretz and her attorney, if not on the record right now, shortly and publicly, that they would be cooperating with the official law enforcement of this case.

BURTON: Well, Mr. Waxman, perhaps you know something we don't, and I appreciate your sharing your expectations with us. But let me say this about Ms. Rich. I have heard she's a very fine lady, and we certainly didn't want to cause her any undue heartburn as well.

Ms. Rich, we sent a letter, as we have always done, to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Justice Department to find out if they objected to our granting Ms. Rich or possibly Ms. Dozoretz immunity for testifying, and the U.S. attorney indicated they were opening a criminal investigation, and I believe they've empaneled a grand jury. Whenever the U.S. attorney or the attorney general indicates to this committee that they would request that we not grant immunity because it might interfere with their investigation and might cause a person, who might possibly be convicted of a felony, and our granting immunity would impede that process, then we don't grant immunity, and we always write that letter.

Now, we received response back from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who said that they were opening a criminal investigation and asked us not to grant immunity. And since Ms. Rich planned to take the Fifth Amendment and we decided not to try to grant her immunity at the request of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, we decided not to call her. Those are the facts. And that has not been the case with Ms. Dozoretz, and that's why she was asked to be here today.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Chairman, would you just yield to me for a minute?

BURTON: I'd be happy.

LATOURETTE: I think Mr. Waxman's earlier observation is correct, at least my limit understanding of the law is that if Mrs. Dozoretz answers any question she can't pick and choose what questions she answers, so I think he's right about that. But I think, also, she can't pick and choose, nor can Mrs. Rich pick and choose, which forum she chooses to speak in.

And once she violates or says that she is no longer invoking the Fifth Amendment, should that be in the Southern District of New York or some other forum, she no longer retains that right. And I would ask, perhaps, that if she breaks this code of silence and determines that she wants to give testimony and not invoke the Fifth Amendment in another forum, that perhaps the committee send through her lawyers written questions, when she no longer has the privilege available, so that we may have the benefit of those answers that she's giving to others to help us in our probe.

BURTON: Thank you, Mr. Latourette.

Mr. Barr?

BARR: We're getting off on a tangent here that I'm not quite sure is accurate. Any individual has the right with regard to any question put to them to assert an articulable basis for not testifying if it incriminates them. And I'm not quite sure that we're all operating within the bounds of a clear understanding of the law when we say, "Simply because a person may choose to assert the right with regard to question A, that means they have to assert to all or none."

Ms. Dozoretz, I think we can, you know, at least get one issue off the table here. This has nothing to do with the hearing today, but is it your intention to cooperate with any investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York?

DOZORETZ: I rely on the advice of my counsel, sir.

BARR: In other words, your counsel has instructed you not to cooperate with any probe by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York?

DOZORETZ: I will rely on the advice of my counsel, sir.

BARR: And does that advice include telling you not to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York?

DOZORETZ: I will rely on the advice of my counsel, Mr. Barr.

BARR: Which is to assert your Fifth Amendment rights, even as to that question?

DOZORETZ: It's privileged, sir.

BARR: What is privileged?

DOZORETZ: The advice of my counsel.

BARR: But you keeping citing it, so it's not really privilege, because you keep citing it.

Apparently the witness, Mr. Chairman, will not even state to the American people or to this panel whether it is her intention to cooperate with the Department of Justice. I think that's very unfortunate. That's unfortunate advice, but apparently that's where we are.

BURTON: Well, we're prepared, Mr. Waxman, to release Ms. Dozoretz. Do you have any more comments?

WAXMAN: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I do want to make a further comment. I don't want the chairman or anyone else to think I'm being critical of how you've handled the situation with Ms. Rich in not asking her to come in and give her immunity and force her to testify because there is an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

I must also say that I take a harsh view of people not willing to cooperate with committees of the Congress. And if I had my way, I wish Mrs. Dozoretz would testify, because I think people ought to testify before committees of the Congress.

But I do understand that she is, under the guidance of her lawyers, sorting thorough a legal thicket, where on the one hand you have the committee of the House investigating, committee of the Senate investigating, and the U.S. Attorney's Office investigating.

It has been reported that Denise Rich, who also said she would take the Fifth Amendment before Congress, is, at the present time, talking to the U.S. attorney.

Now, I can't say from my own knowledge whether Ms. Dozoretz is doing the same. But I can say from my own knowledge, knowing her, that she is a responsible person and that she has been very philanthropic. She has been a concerned citizen, and as such, I would expect to hear that she is also going to be cooperating with the U.S. attorney's office.

I just wanted to make that statement and have my views very clearly on the record.

BURTON: If there is no further discussion or questions, Ms. Dozoretz and your counsel, thank you very much for being here. We'll excuse you at this time.

The next panel that we will welcome to the witness table will consist of Jack Quinn, Beth Nolan, Bruce Lindsey and John Podesta.

Mr. Quinn, Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey, Mr. Podesta, would you please rise and raise your right hand?

Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

WITNESSES: I do.

BURTON: You may have opening statements. I think we'll just go right down the table.

Mr. Quinn, do you have an opening statement?

QUINN: No, sir, Mr. Chairman.

As you know, Mr. Chairman, I testified before this committee for almost nine hours a few weeks ago, and I, subsequently, testified before a Senate committee. I've submitted to this committee, for inclusion in the record of its hearings, my Senate testimony. And I'll stand on that, and be prepared to answer any questions you may have today.

BURTON: Well, we appreciate your coming back and being with us.

Ms. Nolan, do you have an opening statement?

NOLAN: Mr. Chairman, I do not have an opening statement, but I'm prepared to answer your questions.

BURTON: Thank you, Ms. Nolan.

Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: No, sir, I do not have an opening statement, but I'm prepared to answer any questions.

BURTON: OK, thank you.

Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: Yes, I'd like to make an opening statement.

BURTON: You're recognized.

PODESTA: Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, my name is John Podesta. From November 1998 until January 2001, I served as President Clinton's chief of staff. Between January of 1993 through June of 1995 and between January of 1997 through November of 1998, I held other positions in the Clinton White House.

Between June of 1995 and January of 1997, I was a visiting professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, and I have recently returned to the law center as a visiting professor.

As the committee requested, in its letter inviting me here today, I will briefly outline my recollections of my discussions concerning the Marc Rich-Pincus Green pardon matter. This matter arose during, as you know, an exceedingly busy period at the White House, as President Clinton's term was drawing to a close.

Because I was involved in a great many issues unrelated to pardons during this time, and I do not have access to records, my ability to reconstruct these discussions has been limited, but I'm prepared to share with committee what I do recall.

My first recollection of this matter is that sometime in mid-December 2000, I returned a call from Mr. Peter Kadzik, who had been a friend of mine since we attended law school together in the mid-1970s. I remember that Mr. Kadzik told me that his firm represented Mr. Rich and Mr. Green in connection with a criminal case, and that Jack Quinn was seeking a presidential pardon for them.

At that point, I was unfamiliar with the Rich-Green case. Mr. Kadzik asked me who would be reviewing pardon matters at the White House. I recalled that I told him the White House counsel's office was reviewing pardon applications. A few days later, Mr. Kadzik sent me a summary of the cases, which I believe I forwarded to the counsel's office.

Shortly after the first of the year, Mr. Kadzik again called and asked that, in light of the pardons that President Clinton had issued around Christmas, whether any more pardons were likely to be considered. I told him that, yes, the president was considering additional pardons and commutations, but it was unlikely that one would be granted under the circumstances he had briefly described, unless the counsel's office, having reviewed the case on the merits, believed that some real injustice had been done.

I thought that a pardon in the Rich-Green case was unlikely, but still knew relatively little about it.

That call from Mr. Kadzik, I believe, prompted me to ask Ms. Nolan about the merits of the case. I believe she or Ms. Cabe or both told me that Rich and Green were fugitives in a major tax fraud case, and that whatever the merits of the underlying case, it was the unanimous view of the counsel's office that the appropriate remedy was not a presidential pardon.

I learned then, or subsequently, that Mr. Lindsey was of the same view. I strongly concurred in that judgment.

A few days later, Mr. Kadzik asked if he could see me for a few minutes. I agreed, and we had a brief meeting in my office. He again raised the Rich-Green pardon case. I told him that I, along with the entire White House counsel's staff, opposed it and that I did not think it would be granted.

At that point, I believed that the pardons would not be granted, in light of the uniform staff recommendation to the contrary, and that little more needed to be done on the matter.

Mr. Kadzik made one more call to me, and I believe we spoke on either January 15 or 16. He told me he had been informed that the president had reviewed the submissions Mr. Quinn had sent in, and was impressed with them and was once again considering the pardons. I told him that I was strongly opposed to the pardons and that I did not believe they would be granted.

On January 15 or 16, I also spoke with former Congressman John Brademas, president-emeritus of New York University. Mr. Brademas, who is a friend of King Juan Carlos of Spain, called to tell me that he had received a message from the king. The message concerned the Rich pardon case. Mr. Brademas told me that he understood Israel's foreign minister, Shlomo Ben Ami, had visited the king to brief him on the Middle East peace process and had raised the Rich case. Mr. Ben Ami evidently had asked the king to call President Clinton to support the Rich pardon application. And Mr. Brademas in turn had been asked if he could make known the king's interest to the White House.

Mr. Brademas did not advocate a pardon. He simply asked me whether the pardon was likely or even possible. I told him that while it was the president's decision, the White House counsel's office and I were firmly opposed, and I did not believe that the pardon would be granted.

Late on January 16, I believe, the staff met with President Clinton on some other pardon matters. And the president brought up the Rich case and told us that he thought Mr. Quinn had made some meritorious points in his submission. He clearly had digested the legal arguments presented by Mr. Quinn, since he made a point of noting the Justice Department had abandoned the legal theory underlying the RICO counts and mentioned the Ginsberg-Wolfman tax analyses.

The staff informed the president that it was our view that the pardon should not be granted.

On Friday afternoon, January 19, the president talked to Prime Minister Barak in a farewell call. While the bulk of that call concerned the situation in the Middle East, Prime Minister Barak raised the Rich matter at the end and asked the president once again to consider the Rich pardon.

That evening, the president had a final meeting with White House counsel to discuss pardon matters. While I was there for part of that meeting, I had to leave for a scheduled television interview and was not present during the discussion of the Rich-Green cases. I was informed of the president's decision to pardon Mr. Rich and Mr. Green by Ms. Nolan on Saturday morning, January 20.

Members of the committee, on February 18, former President Clinton stated in the New York Times his reasons for granting the Rich and Green pardons. One could disagree with his reasoning, as many have. One can say that he did not adequately consult with the Justice Department officials before issuing the pardons, as the president, himself, acknowledged in his statement. But I believe that President Clinton considered the legal merits of the argument for the pardons as he understood them and he rendered his judgment, wise or unwise, on the merits of the case.

Thank you.

BURTON: If there are no further opening statements, we'll now go to the 30 minutes on each side.

And I believe we're going to yield to Mr. LaTourette for the first part of that.

Mr. LaTourette?

LATOURETTE: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

And welcome to all.

Mr. Podesta, I think that your opening statement gets to the first set of questions that I had.

Is it your recollection that January 16 of this year was the first time that you personally discussed the Pincus Green-Marc Rich pardon with the president of the United States?

PODESTA: That's my recollection is it's the first time it came up with the president in my presence.

LATOURETTE: In your presence?

How about you, Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: I certainly don't remember the day. It came up in two, maybe three meetings that we had with the president. Sometime around the middle of January would seem approximately when the first meeting may have occurred.

LATOURETTE: From the last hearing, we know that the pardon application was filed with the White House on December 11. You don't remember any discussions in the month of December?

LINDSEY: With the president?

LATOURETTE: With the president.

LINDSEY: No, sir, I don't

LATOURETTE: Ms. Nolan, how about you?

NOLAN: No, I don't

LATOURETTE: We're you present at this January 16 meeting that Mr. Podesta was talking about?

NOLAN: I believe I was. Yes, I don't have access to my calendars, either. There were several meetings that week.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Lindsey, at the last hearing--if you have the book of exhibits in front of you--at the last hearing, exhibit number 15 in our program is a letter that we talked to Mr. Quinn about at our previous hearing. It's a letter dated December 19, 2000. And it indicates that perhaps while on a trip to Ireland, there was a concern raised--and it looked like it was raised by you--about whether or not Marc Rich and Pincus Green were fugitives from justice.

First of all, do you recall having such a conversation with Mr. Quinn in Ireland?

LINDSEY: Yes, I do.

LATOURETTE: And did you express to him your concern of the White House's concern or somebody's concern that these fellows were fugitives from justice and were on the FBI most wanted list?

LINDSEY: Well, I don't know I was aware that they were on the FBI most wanted list, but Mr. Quinn had asked me if I had gotten his packet of materials on Mr. Rich and Mr. Green. I told him I had. He asked me what I thought. I told him I thought they were fugitives.

LATOURETTE: This letter of December 19, did you receive it from Mr. Quinn?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir, I did.

LATOURETTE: And it addressed the issue of fugitivity, did it not?

LINDSEY: In a technical sense, yes, sir.

LATOURETTE: And, basically, in that letter, Mr. Quinn is advising you that these fellows really aren't fugitives because they left the country before the indictment was issued?

LINDSEY: That is correct.

LATOURETTE: Do you agree with that definition of fugitivity?

LINDSEY: Probably, from a legal point of view, yes. From a practical point of view, it made no difference to me whether they left before indictment or after indictment.

LATOURETTE: Did you ever discuss with the president of the United States, either in the meeting on January 16 or any other meeting, the concerns about pardoning people who had been 17-year fugitives from justice?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir.

LATOURETTE: And what was the president's reaction, I guess, to that?

LINDSEY: I believe he believed the fugitive status was a factor to be considered, but not the beginning and the end of the conversation. For me, it was both the beginning and the end of the conversation.

BURTON: Would the gentleman yield real briefly?

LATOURETTE: Certainly.

BURTON: Did anybody in the meeting ask the president if he knew that the study that the president based part of his judgment on was paid for by Mr. Rich and his attorneys?

LINDSEY: I don't think anybody asked him that. I assumed, since it was prepared at their request, that they had paid to have it prepared.

But frankly, I mean, I don't question either of the two professors. I do not believe either of them would say something different than what they believed, just because they were being paid. I don't know them personally, but I accepted their analysis at face value.

BURTON: Did the president know that Mr. Rich paid for that study?

LINDSEY: Again, it was never discussed.

BURTON: Thank you.

LATOURETTE: Ms. Nolan, to you, at our last hearing we had a discussion with Mr. Quinn. He indicates that you, at one point, raised a question about whether the executive order--talking about the revolving door policy, that a member of the administration can't come back within five years and lobby the administration--whether or not his involvement in the Rich pardon created a difficulty with that executive order? Do you remember that conversation?

NOLAN: I do remember raising the issue. I think when I first spoke with Mr. Quinn about the pardon, one of the things that concerned me was, was he eligible to represent someone?

LATOURETTE: And again, according to his testimony, he indicated that he allayed those concerns based upon the judicial exception contained therein, in the policy that he wrote, is that right?

NOLAN: He told me that he had obtained a legal opinion that it was permissible for him to represent someone in a pardon application. I nonetheless asked one of my associate counsels to look at the question independently and got the answer back that it did meet the exception.

LATOURETTE: And the exception that we're talking about is the judicial exception, that if there has been a criminal process commenced, it was your feeling that he could come back within a period of less than five years?

NOLAN: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: The reason that I ask that question is, I heard Mr. Quinn say that at the last hearing, you've also seen, I think, in the news, the indication that Hugh Rodham, who is the former-first lady's brother, accepted a $200,000 contingency fee to represent another individual in a pardon application. According to the Code of Ethics for lawyers in the state of Florida, it is improper to take a contingency fee in a criminal matter. One, are you aware of that fact? Are you aware of ethics codes similar to that?

NOLAN: I'm not aware of the Florida rules, but I'm certainly aware of ethics codes similar to that.

LATOURETTE: It's really not appropriate to take a contingency fee in a criminal case to get a desired result. That's the purpose behind the rule, I suppose. My observation is, in that case, at least, the first lady's brother seems to be indicating that that was OK because it's not a criminal matter. But in this particular case, Mr. Quinn's representation is also OK, because it is a criminal matter. And we seem to be, I think, at perhaps cross-purposes.

Going to the meeting of the 16th with the president of the United States, at that meeting, did he ask you to get more information other than the information that was included in Mr. Quinn's submission on behalf of Marc Rich and Pincus Green? Did he ask you to call the Justice Department?

NOLAN: I had already spoken with Mr. Holder. I don't recall that it was an extensive discussion, however. We were going through a number of pardon applications. And my memory is that it was a fairly brief discussion in which he heard, you know, from all of us, our opposition. I didn't think it was going anywhere.

LATOURETTE: When you say, "he heard"--he, you mean the...

NOLAN: The president.

LATOURETTE: That President Clinton heard your opposition, and you had the feeling at that meeting that it really didn't matter what you said, he was inclined to grant this pardon based upon reasons that he saw in the application and perhaps calls from world leaders? Is that...

NOLAN: No. I don't mean that at all. I did not believe that the pardon was going to go anywhere. He was familiar with it. He was sympathetic to it, and he was familiar with the issues. But I did not have the sense--he said, you know, "We'll come back to this." I did not have the sense at that meeting or until the 19th, that he really was inclined to grant the pardon.

LATOURETTE: And does that comport with your understanding, Mr. Lindsey and yours, Mr. Podesta, that you left that meeting thinking, yes, he's sympathetic, but this isn't going to happen?

LINDSEY: I clearly left the meeting understanding that no decision had been made. I don't know if I knew what was in his mind.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No, I thought he accepted our judgment. And I didn't think that this was a particularly active matter.

LATOURETTE: Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back to you for further...

BURTON: Mr. Barr?

Excuse me.

Mr. Shays?

SHAYS: Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Former deputy White House--and lady, I'm sorry, Ms. Nolan.

NOLAN: Thank you.

SHAYS: Former deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills left the White House in October 1999. It's reported to us by the pardon attorney that when he called the White House late in January that Ms. Mills answered the phone and responded to his questions in the White House regarding the pardons. And so my first question, was former deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills assisting the White House or counsel's office at any time during the final weeks of the Clinton administration? And we'll start with you, Ms. Nolan.

NOLAN: Ms. Mills, since she had left the White House, continued to be somebody that we called on for advice. She had been there for seven years. She had a great deal of experience, and people throughout the White House called her. She had been a very close adviser of the president and the president continued to depend on her. I'm not familiar with the particular phone call you're talking about. She was present the several days at the end, because there were events at the White House to which she'd been invited. She is a friend of mine and a former member of the counsel's office and she would come by the counsel's office. She was present the afternoon and evening of the 19th. She'd been invited to an event at the White House the evening of the 19th, and she did participate in discussions with my office and the president about the Marc Rich pardon and some other pardons.

SHAYS: Mr. Lindsey, what would you like to add?

LINDSEY: I don't know if there's anything needed to be added, sir.

SHAYS: Do you have any additional information that you can share with us?

LINDSEY: No, I'm unfamiliar with what Mr. Adams is referring to. Ms. Mills was at the White House on the afternoon and evening of the 19th and did participate in some discussions. But, beyond that, I have no clue as to what Roger Adams is referring to.

SHAYS: Mr. Podesta, was former deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills assisting the White House or at counsel's office at any time during the final weeks of the Clinton administration, and did you know about it?

PODESTA: Let me take it from the back-end and the front-end. I didn't know that she was assisting the counsel's office in the final weeks of the administration, if she was. I did know that she was present on the 19th during a discussion on some other pardon matters. But, as I said, I didn't participate in the Rich pardon matter discussion, and so I was aware that she was there on the 19th.

SHAYS: So your testimony is that you did not authorize her to be there?

PODESTA: I did not authorize her to be there? I was...

SHAYS: I mean, she wasn't...

PODESTA: ... aware that she was there in the discussion and I knew that, with respect to the other pardon matters that we were discussing, all of which involved cases that had been prosecuted by the independent counsel, that the president was interested in knowing what her views were on those cases.

SHAYS: But our--in fact--correct--she was not an employee of the White House.

PODESTA: I don't believe she...

SHAYS: She had left the White House?

PODESTA: She certainly had left the White House.

SHAYS: So, Ms. Nolan, I want to know who authorized her to be in the White House handling pardon activities.

NOLAN: I'm not sure I would describe her as being in the White House handling pardon activities. She did participate in advising the president. The president had continued to depend on her. She was the person who he had asked to be counsel to the president and she would have been counsel to the president had she accepted. He continued to depend on her throughout that time for advice.

BURTON: Would the gentleman yield just a moment?

SHAYS: Yes.

BURTON: When the pardon attorney called the White House, he said that Ms. Mills answered the phone and started giving him answers regarding the pardons. She was not an employee of the White House, and we were wondering by what authority she was entitled to answer questions to the pardon attorney about some of the pardons.

NOLAN: Mr. Chairman, I'm just not familiar with that phone call. As I mentioned, she not only is a long-time employee of the White House who is very familiar with the office, she is also a friend of mine. And when she was in Washington, she would sometimes come and sit in my office. She might have picked up the phone, I don't know. She wasn't working on pardon matters for the last several weeks, but she was familiar with pardons and she was present the last day and she participated in discussions.

BURTON: Well, there may be some misunderstanding, but when we talked to the pardon attorney, it was our impression, I think, pretty clearly, that she was discussing pardons with him on the phone with a great deal of authority and giving him, you know, answers.

Any how, I yield back to the gentleman.

SHAYS: Thank you.

Ms. Nolan, I'm having a little difficulty with this. I mean, we knew it really bordered on the very questionable lines that Mr. Quinn, who was a former White House employee, was back in the White House lobby. And we can have our disagreements on whether it was a criminal matter or not, there was a dialogue between the two in which he said you acquiesced. I have a problem with that, but I have a question about how someone who is in the private sector under private employment is back working in the White House.

And I'd like to know who invited her to be in the White House? Who authorized her to be involved in the Marc Rich issue? And then I want to ask you, isn't it true that she works for a trustee of the Clinton Library?

First, let me ask you this: Isn't it true that she is a trustee of the Clinton Library?

NOLAN: I believe I heard that a couple of weeks ago, yes.

SHAYS: So the answer is yes?

NOLAN: I believe that's correct. I've only heard it...

SHAYS: So then, now I want to know why this trustee of the Clinton Library was back in the White House, discussing Marc Rich's pardon?

NOLAN: Mr. Shays, I don't know that I'm going to be able to give you an answer that satisfies you more than the one I've given you. She was a long-time trusted adviser of president. She continued to be somebody that we looked to for advice.

SHAYS: So it's your point that the president authorized her to be there or that you authorized her to be there?

NOLAN: I don't know that I can give you answer about who authorized it.

SHAYS: Who invited her to come?

NOLAN: She was invited when she was in Washington to come by.

SHAYS: By whom?

NOLAN: Certainly by me, but many people in the White House. She had many friends.

SHAYS: Why would you have invited her to come and work on the Rich pardon in your office?

NOLAN: I did not invite her specifically to do that. She was present. I don't know whether the president had discussed pardons with her already. He talked with her frequently.

BURTON: Would the gentleman yield?

Was she in any of the meetings when they discussed any of the pardons?

NOLAN: She was in the meeting on January 19, the evening of January 19 with the president.

BURTON: And that was when they discussed the Rich pardon.

NOLAN: Yes.

BURTON: Did she take a position on the Rich pardon?

NOLAN: I don't remember her having a position on yes or no. I thought that she was pushing everyone in the room to think hard about the issues.

BURTON: There's a significance to this. She's on the library board. We want to find out if she participated in the decision-making process on the Rich pardon. She was in the room with you, and you don't recall. Do any of you recall what Ms. Mills' position was and what she said regarding the Rich pardon?

PODESTA: If you want me to start, I've already said I wasn't in the discussion. She was present in a room when we discussed several matters involving prosecutions by the independent counsel. The president wanted her views about those things. She was quite familiar with the cases. And I think that...

BURTON: But you don't recall on the Rich pardon?

PODESTA: The president did want to know what she thought about individual cases that had been prosecuted by independent counsels. And I think probably amongst all of those in the room, she may have been the most, maybe with deference to Mr. Lindsey, she had been the most familiar with those independent counsel cases, and that's why he was seeking her advice about them. But I was not present during the discussion of the Rich pardon.

BURTON: We're talking not about other cases that were before the independent counsels, but Mr. Rich.

PODESTA: That was, in some extent, in response to Mr. Shays' question.

LINDSEY: In order to understand the context, though, it is important to understand that the purpose of the meeting with the president, on the night of the 19th, was to discuss the independent counsel issues. That was why we were meeting with him. We had deferred those issues until the end.

In that meeting, the president indicated that he had received a call that day from Prime Minister Barak, and re-raised the Rich issue.

But until that time, as Mr. Podesta and Ms. Nolan have indicated, at least they were under the clear impression that the Rich issue was dead.

BURTON: OK, well, let me ask this. I mean, she was in there when they discussed the Rich pardon issue. Do any of you recall what her position was?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir, I don't believe she took a position on the merits of it. She asked whether or not we were discussing several of the assertions that Mr. Quinn made with respect to whether or not these people had been singled out. And she asked several questions as to, do we know whether they were singled out? Do we know if there were other cases similar to this? But beyond asking those questions, I don't believe she took a position.

BURTON: Were there any other things discussed, any financial things, like the library or anything like that?

LINDSEY: No, sir, there were no discussions in that meeting or in any meeting that I attended with the president in which contributions or the library was discussed, at which the DNC contributions were discussed, where contributions to Mrs. Clinton's campaign were discussed...

BURTON: Or the library?

LINDSEY: Or the library, not in that meeting, not in any meeting.

BURTON: And Ms. Mills, at that time, was she on the library board?

LINDSEY: She was a trustee of the board, yes, sir.

BURTON: But it was not mentioned? Nothing was mentioned in relation to that during...

LINDSEY: Nothing was mentioned in relation to the library, period.

BURTON: OK.

Mr. Shays?

SHAYS: Thank you. I'd love to refer to exhibit 152. While that's coming up, I just want to be very clear, Mr. Podesta, did you ask Ms. Mills to come to the White House, in any way, to discuss the Rich issues or any other pardon issues?

PODESTA: Did I ask her to come to the White House? No, I did not.

SHAYS: Ms. Nolan, did you?

QUINN: Can we look at the exhibit that you're referring to before we answer...

SHAYS: No, I was referring to something else and I'll give you...

QUINN: ... before we answer the question?

SHAYS: No, this question is not related to the exhibit directly.

QUINN: Oh, excuse me.

SHAYS: I just want to know--I just want to cover up the past territory. I'm unclear. Did you, in any way, request that Ms. Mills be there? Did you authorize her to be there?

NOLAN: I certainly knew she was coming to town and expected she would come to my office and see me, yes.

SHAYS: OK, did you make an assumption that the president had asked her to be there?

NOLAN: I don't know that I made that assumption, no, but I...

SHAYS: Well, what are we to assume? I mean, this person comes and starts talking about the Rich pardons, sits in on your meetings and she's not even an employee.

NOLAN: Well, I've explained the context in which that wasn't so surprising. I know you don't accept it, but I don't know what else to say.

SHAYS: Well, what I'm still unclear on is who asked her to be there.

Let me just have you make reference to the exhibit. It says, "Here is the letter Jack sent to the White House. As you may notice, it's from Robert Fink, sent to Mike Green." And it says, "Here's the letter Jack sent to the White House. As you may notice, his secretary said that Jack sent copies to Beth Nolan, Bruce Lindsey and Cheryl Mills. April said they have clearance to deliver it to the White House so it will get there this evening, presumably before POTUS leaves for Camp David. To whom Avner, with whom I am not be speaking this afternoon and evening. If you call me at home tomorrow, I can give you an update."

And I just want to know, Mr. Quinn, did you send it to her at the White House?

QUINN: I think not, sir.

SHAYS: OK. Why did you send Ms. Mills a copy? Was it your understanding that she was doing some type of work with the counsel's office in January 2001?

QUINN: I sent it to her, Mr. Shays, because knowing, as Ms. Nolan has testified, that she is a person who after some seven years at the White House was enormously well-regarded and trusted, well might at some point be consulted on this.

I had raised with her the fact that I was pursuing the pardon, as I did with others from time to time, to just bounce ideas off.

But also, I was hopeful, knowing of her relationship with Ms. Nolan and Mr. Lindsey and the president, that, as any good lawyer would, that as this thing progressed, if it were progressing, that I would get some sense of how people were reacting to different arguments in order that I might be in a position to know better what concerns the folks advising the president might have, so that I might address those concerns.

SHAYS: What is very surprising is that you were no longer an employee but you were back in touch with the White House and in the White House. You have Ms. Mills, who was no longer an employee, worked for the library, back in the White House and sitting in on meetings, in which no one knows who asked her to be there, other than that she was a sharp person and new a lot about these issues, and even answers the phone and has a dialogue with the pardon attorney.

Ms. Nolan, why would she have a dialogue with the pardon attorney?

QUINN: I can't answer that question, sir, but I do want to point out that, like Ms. Nolan, I learned of her role in the library only by reading it in the newspapers after this pardon was granted.

SHAYS: But the fact still exists that she...

QUINN: Well, it may, but I want you to know that I wasn't aware of it.

SHAYS: Ms. Nolan, who authorized her to answer phones and have dialogue with the pardon attorney?

NOLAN: Mr. Shays, I'm not familiar with the call, so I can't give you an answer about it.

SHAYS: But under what basis would you allow someone to be in your office answering phone calls from the pardon attorney? In other words, it was more than just seeking advice; she was in the office working. Isn't that true?

NOLAN: Mr. Shays, I'm not familiar with the call.

SHAYS: I just will conclude by just asking: Was she in the office working or did she just happen to stop by and she was only there for a few minutes or so? Tell me, again, how long she was there, how often she was there and, to the best of your knowledge, why she would have participated in conversations with the pardon attorney in the last night in office?

NOLAN: I'm sorry. Do you want the--that was a somewhat compound question.

SHAYS: Go for it.

NOLAN: OK. Ms. Mills left the White House in the fall of 1999. She continued to be a trusted adviser of the president and someone that many people in the White House called for advice, people in the counsel's office, people in other offices. She, but more than anything I think, continued to be somebody that I and others in the counsel's office look to advice and the president did.

In the last several weeks of the administration, she was present in Washington, at the White House, for several events, many of them having to do with staff parties and end-of-the-administration events. She often would come before events or after events and sit in my office. She, on a couple of those occasions, stayed over at my home for a night. She was welcome in my office. And she did, I know, on occasion, if she heard somebody was on the phone she knew, she might pick it up.

I don't recall her ever picking up and doing a business conversation, other than, I think, she did have conversations on the night of the 19th, regarding the Marc Rich pardon.

SHAYS: One last one?

BURTON: Sure.

SHAYS: The bottom line is, Mr. Quinn, you thought she had influence and the ability to persuade the president. And you sent her a letter advocating that Marc Rich be pardoned. Isn't it true that you sent that letter to her?

QUINN: I did send that letter to her. My primary motivation in discussing this matter with Ms. Mills was, as I said, to have a source of information about how people might be reacting.

But, again, as several of us here have said, I knew that she was terrifically well-regarded by the people here on this panel, myself included, and by the president, and I certainly didn't rule out the possibility that they would seek her judgment on this and other matters.

SHAYS: Would you tell me her view on the pardon?

QUINN: I don't actually know her view.

SHAYS: You don't know if she was sympathetic or not to your request that Marc Rich be pardoned?

QUINN: The one substantive, the one meaningful conversation that I think I can point to was one in which she didn't express a point of view but said to me that her view was that, in order for anyone to find the argument compelling, we would have to demonstrate that the prosecution had been unfair.

But she never said to me...

SHAYS: Did she think the prosecutor had been unfair?

QUINN: I'm trying to answer your question, Congressman. She did not adopt that point of view. She did not ever tell me that she agreed with me. She did not ever tell me that she would do what she could to help secure the pardon. You know, I think she was open-minded...

SHAYS: I get your point.

I yield back.

BURTON: We'll be giving you some time in just a minute.

You wrote the letter, I think, around the 5th or 6th of January to Ms. Mills?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

BURTON: When did she first start being involved in the discussions of the Marc Rich pardon? Does anybody recall that?

LINDSEY: Mr. Chairman, let me try. Ms. Mills was invited on the afternoon of January 19 to come to a reception in the White House.

BURTON: I know, but I'm talking...

LINDSEY: Hold on, if I can finish? I'm going to get to your question. I'm trying to put it in context. I don't know if she--I'm sorry, but your question was, was before that?

BURTON: Yes. The question is, the letter was sent on the 5th or 6th by Mr. Quinn to Ms. Mills. When did she first start talking to anyone at the White House, including the president, about the Marc Rich pardon? I know that she was there on the 19th and I know she participated in the meeting. But when was the first time, to any of your knowledge, that she started talking about this?

LINDSEY: The first time I ever had a conversation about Marc Rich with Ms. Mills was on the 19th.

NOLAN: I had one conversation earlier, I don't remember the exact date, but we were doing a staff farewell video for President Clinton. And I had invited Mr. Quinn and Lloyd Cutler and Judge Mikva and Mr. Nussbaum and Cheryl Mills to come back and be part of our video. And she said something to me, I think in Mr. Quinn's presence, that she had told him to stop pestering me about the Marc Rich pardon.

LINDSEY: But If I can go back to Mr. Shays' question, which is the context for the meeting on the 19th.

BURTON: I'll let you answer that question, Mr. Lindsey, in just one moment, but I'm running out of time here, and I want to yield to the minority.

At the meeting on the 19th, was anything of a classified nature discussed, national security or classified nature, in relation to any of the pardons or things that were confidential?

NOLAN: I don't think there was any classified or national security information.

LINDSEY: No, sir.

BURTON: No grand jury information was discussed?

NOLAN: I don't think, other than that there had been indictments was discussed, but, no, we didn't have any, you know, grand jury information or 6(e) material.

BURTON: OK. Go ahead, Mr. Lindsey, we'll let you conclude.

LINDSEY: Ms. Mills had been invited to the White House on the 19th for a reception for Kelly Craighead, an employee of Mrs. Clinton. She had also been invited by the president to fly back to New York on the 20th. She was also scheduled to have dinner with Mrs. Nolan and I on the evening of the 19th.

We were in Ms. Nolan's office, waiting to discuss with the president the independent counsel issues. As several people have indicated, there was no indication at that point that Marc Rich would be discussed. We got a call to come to the Oval Office to discuss the independent counsel matters. I invited Ms. Mills to join that conversation, because Ms. Mills had been in the White House at the time of the Espy investigation, at the time of the Cisneros investigation and at the time of the Whitewater investigation. The purpose of the meeting that night was on the independent counsel pardon.

The president did, in the meeting, raise the conversation he had had earlier in the day about Marc Rich, and I began revisiting it. In those conversations, Ms. Mills asked a question or two, but took no position. But there was no way for Ms. Mills to know when she went down to the meeting that the Marc Rich pardon was going to come up, since that was not the purpose of the meeting, and, therefore, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the independent counsel pardons.

BURTON: Mr. Waxman, you're recognized for 30 minutes.

WAXMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

The president has come in for a lot of criticism on these pardon decisions, and I think, those that have heard my opening statement, much of that criticism is justified, but I don't believe all the criticism he's received is justified, because some people have said he's trying to stonewall and cover up this investigation. Yet all of you are here testifying because he's waived the executive privilege.

Ms. Nolan, let me just ask you this question, so we have it on the record. As I understand it, the president could prohibit any of you from speaking today to Congress or to anyone else if he exercised his rights under the executive privilege. Isn't that correct?

NOLAN: President Clinton certainly has a strong voice in whether executive privilege can be asserted even after he's left office, and he did not do that.

WAXMAN: Well, I commend him for allowing all of you to come before us today. It's a major step to waive a fundamental constitutional prerogative. His action will be helpful to the committee and to the public.

But the reason we're all here today is not because President Clinton exercised poor judgment. It's because there's a juicier scandal, a suspicion that something illegal has taken place. So let me be blunt and get to some of these bottom-line questions.

Mr. Podesta, you served as the White House chief of staff. Did you see anything in the pardon process that remotely resembled quid pro quo?

PODESTA: No.

WAXMAN: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: No, sir.

WAXMAN: Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: I'm sorry, Mr. Waxman, I didn't get the last part...

WAXMAN: Did you see anything in that pardon process that the president followed that resembled a quid pro quo?

NOLAN: No. No, sir.

WAXMAN: Mr. Podesta, did you see anything in the pardon process that constituted wrongdoing of any kind?

PODESTA: I'm not--no. In the context that you're talking about, wrongdoing is different from making a bad judgment. And I think that there was no wrongdoing, and I think that, in response to your previous question, nothing of that nature. As Mr. Lindsey's indicated, we never discussed any matters having to do with any of the things that have been alleged by his critics. So, no, there was no wrongdoing in that sense.

WAXMAN: The president has an absolute right to make...

PODESTA: He has an absolute right to make...

WAXMAN: ... a pardon.

PODESTA: ... make a pardon. I guess, in that context, you know, he can make a decision, right or wrong, based on the merits. But, as I said in my opening statement, I believe that the president made the decision, even in the Rich case, which I disagreed with, he made it on the merits.

WAXMAN: Well, let me ask so we can get it on the record, Mr. Lindsey, did you see anything in the pardon process that constituted wrongdoing, meaning legal wrongdoing, not bad judgment?

LINDSEY: No, sir. To reinforce what Mr. Podesta said, we had long discussions with the president about many of these pardons. The discussion was on the merits. It was the pros and cons. It was the issues before us. In my judgment, the fact that they were fugitives was the beginning and the end of the discussion. For the president, that was a factor, but not the beginning and the end. I believe he made all of his decisions on the merits, whether you agree or disagree with his judgment.

WAXMAN: Ms. Nolan, did you see any--you said you didn't see any quid pro quo. Did you see any legal wrongdoing by the president in...

NOLAN: No.

WAXMAN: ... exercising this authority?

NOLAN: I did not, Mr. Waxman.

WAXMAN: Mr. Chairman, we're called to a vote and have...

BURTON: There's 12 minutes and 45 seconds on the clock. If you'd like to recess now and come back that would be fine, but we can proceed for another 10 minutes or five minutes.

WAXMAN: Well, let me proceed. I'm not going to, obviously, complete my 10 minutes, but let me proceed as far as I can get then.

BURTON: Sure.

WAXMAN: So none of you observed anything that would have violated the law. Isn't that correct? That's the testimony of all you. And that was also the testimony of Eric Holder and Jack Quinn, who testified us before us last time. If anyone was in a position to detect the existence of a quid pro quo or wrongdoing, it would have been one of you three, isn't that correct?

PODESTA: I think that's fair.

NOLAN: I think that's right.

WAXMAN: OK. Let's go to the Marc Rich pardon, and I want to ask about this pardon.

Ms. Nolan, Mr. Rich's application was received at the White House in December 2000. Is that correct?

NOLAN: I don't really--I remember a discussion about it in December. I don't remember seeing it until somewhere around Christmas, either late December or maybe early January.

WAXMAN: Did you get a chance to form an opinion as to whether this pardon should have been granted?

NOLAN: I formed an opinion very quickly that the pardon should not be granted.

WAXMAN: And did you convey your view to the president?

NOLAN: I think that--I know I had a discussion with John Podesta. I'm not sure when it first came up with the president, but I would have conveyed it the first time it did.

I don't remember talking about it right away.

WAXMAN: Mr. Podesta, did you form an opinion of whether Marc Rich should receive a pardon?

PODESTA: Yes.

WAXMAN: And what was your view?

PODESTA: I thought he should not receive a pardon, that if there was any problem with his indictment, that a proper remedy was to come back and handle it through judicial channels.

WAXMAN: And, Mr. Lindsey, you've already testified you thought the pardon should not have been granted because Mr. Marc Rich was a fugitive. Is that right?

LINDSEY: Maybe technically not a fugitive, but that he was out of the country and had been for 17 years.

WAXMAN: Did the president know of your views?

LINDSEY: In the process, he did. Again, we had scheduled meetings with the president in which we discussed pardons. The first time that the Rich pardon came up in one of those, and Mr. Podesta believes it was on the 16th--I wouldn't argue with that, I don't know that to be a fact--but whenever it came up, yes, he knew my views.

PODESTA: Just to be clear about that, I think that was the first time when I was present, but I was out of the country for a couple of days the previous week, and I don't know whether there were meetings held or not.

LINDSEY: Yes, again, I can't tell you which date or when we first discussed it. We had a series of meetings in late December, early January on pardon matters. Whenever the Rich pardon came up, I think each of us expressed our views.

WAXMAN: You're the three top advisers to the president. And each of you came to the conclusion this pardon shouldn't have been granted, and you communicated that to the president, so he knew it, presumably.

Ms. Nolan, why do you think the president granted that pardon?

NOLAN: The president was the president, sir. And I even had that discussion with him on the 19th, because we were in some heated discussion about one of the pardons, and I said, "Look, my job is to tell you what I think about this and to tell you what my best judgment about it is, but I know who's president and who's not." And he got to exercise the pardon power.

WAXMAN: Mr. Podesta, do you have a view...

PODESTA: Well, I think he laid that out in his op-ed piece. I think that, you know, I'm sure there were a variety of factors. I think that the fact that this happened at the end, on the 19th, I think the fact that he heard from Prime Minister Barak, Shimon Peres and others, didn't mean that we were doing this--that this was a significant U.S.-Israeli issue, but those were men he respected. And they were asking him to look at it.

And I think that he felt obliged, having heard from a number of people who he respected, asking him to take it under serious consideration, that he did that. And I think that, based on that, he looked at it, he bought the arguments. They're arguments that obviously the three of us didn't buy, but he bought them.

I think that, again, the process could have been done better. He could have heard more from the Justice Department, as I think he's acknowledged. But he made the decision, I believe, on the merits of the case as he understood it and based on all those factors.

WAXMAN: Well, did you, during this process of deliberations up to the president making his decision, were you aware, did you become aware of the fact that Denise Rich had made significant contributions to the Clinton Library?

PODESTA: No, I was not aware of that.

WAXMAN: And, Mr. Lindsey, were you aware of it?

LINDSEY: I may have been aware that she was a supporter. I don't know if I had any sense as to whether she had actually given money or what, but, yes, I think I probably was aware that she had indicated that she would be supportive of the library.

WAXMAN: And, Ms. Nolan, did you...

NOLAN: I was not aware.

WAXMAN: Or that she'd given to any of these campaigns? Were you aware of her financial involvement in politics?

NOLAN: No. I think I understood that she was somebody who was generally a supporter, but I wasn't aware of any specific contributions.

WAXMAN: Do any of you have any evidence to suggest that the Rich pardon was part of a quid pro quo for contributions to the campaigns, to the library, to Mrs. Clinton's efforts, to the Democratic National Committee?

LINDSEY: No, sir.

PODESTA: No.

NOLAN: No, sir.

Mr. Waxman, if I can say, too, when I said that the president did it because he was the president, I don't mean to suggest in any way that I think he did it just because he could. I agree with Mr. Podesta that the president believed there were valid reasons to do it, to grant that pardon, that I disagreed with and his staff did, but he was entitled ultimately to make the judgment about it.

WAXMAN: Thank you.

Mr. Lindsey, I'm particularly interested in your role regarding the Rich pardon. As I understand it, you were a consultant to the Clinton Library. In this role, you certainly had an interest in the success of the library, isn't that correct?

LINDSEY: Yes, I wasn't a consultant at the time, I was still in the government.

But since then, I am now a consultant to the Clinton Library.

WAXMAN: And I presume that you had an interest in making sure the library received adequate funding?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir, I've been involved with the library since the initial discussions five or six years ago.

WAXMAN: Is it fair that among those affiliated with the library, you were the president's closest adviser with the most regular contact with him at the White House, at that time?

LINDSEY: I'd hate to argue among who is the president's closest adviser, but probably with the most regular contact, yes.

WAXMAN: And did the subject of Ms. Rich's contribution to the library come up in your discussions with the president about the Rich pardon?

LINDSEY: Never.

WAXMAN: The major theory of wrongdoing that we're investigating, is that President Clinton issued the Rich pardon in order to get funds for the library. Even the suggestions about Cheryl Mills seem to give us a hint that, because she was on the board of the library, maybe she was trying to influence the president's decision. It's hard to see how this pardon was done to benefit the library, if you had that concern about the library in mind and you were even advocating to the president not to grant the pardon.

LINDSEY: Well, that's correct. And also, if you look, you know, there were other people who were probably more significantly involved in the library, who are advocating on behalf of other pardons--Michael Milken, Leonard Peltier--that we did not grant. So if you were to accept that as a premise, there were better cases, if you will, for that. It didn't happen in those cases, and it didn't happen in this case.

BURTON: We have a vote on the floor. And the gentleman from California has 18 minutes on the clock. So we will resume questioning as soon as we come back from the vote.

We stand in recess.

(RECESS)

BURTON: We're going to have another vote in about 15 or 20 minutes, and Mr. Waxman would like to conclude his questioning.

Would everybody please take their seats, please?

Mr. Waxman, you have 18 minutes and six seconds. So you're recognized for the balance of your time.

WAXMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

The issue of Ms. Mills' attendance at the January 19 meeting has been raised by several members, and I want to ask you all the same question so that I can understand why she was at the White House.

Ms. Nolan, how long did Ms. Mills serve in the White House counsel?

NOLAN: She was in the White House counsel's office from the first day of the administration in January 1993.

WAXMAN: And she had expertise and institutional memory that would be valuable to lawyers in the counsel's office?

NOLAN: Absolutely.

WAXMAN: And after she left the White House, was she contacted on various occasions for her expertise and institutional memory?

NOLAN: Yes.

WAXMAN: What types of issues would she be consulted about?

NOLAN: She was consulted about a range of matters that she had knowledge about or expertise. She had served as the alternate designated agency ethics official in the White House, so there are a number of rules and standards of conduct that she had experience in providing advice on.

WAXMAN: Ever on pardons?

NOLAN: She had, in fact, worked on pardons, yes, sir.

WAXMAN: And did she visit the White House after she left the staff? And was she sometimes consulted when she would come back to the White House, if she had?

NOLAN: Yes, and...

WAXMAN: Yes, to both, I guess I asked you a compound, but she had come back to the White House, and you had consulted with her when she...

NOLAN: She visited and we consulted. Even when she wasn't present, which you know, most of the time she was not present, in the White House, a vast majority of the time, but when she did stop by and visit, we might talk to her about issues. And it wasn't uncommon for us to talk about such issues with other former White House officials as well.

WAXMAN: Was she paid by the White House after she left the staff?

NOLAN: No.

WAXMAN: And did she maintain an office or desk at the White House after she left?

NOLAN: No.

WAXMAN: When she visited, did she need to be cleared in?

NOLAN: Yes.

WAXMAN: I have to say, from my own knowledge, my own experience, I've had former staffers of mine come in and talk to me about matters that are on my mind because I trust their judgment, and particularly if it relates to a matter that they were involved in when they had worked for me. So I don't find it all that significant.

But, Mr. Quinn, you were trying to influence her because you knew she had some ability to communicate and maybe even have an impact on those who were going to make the decision on this pardon. Is that right?

QUINN: Again, Mr. Waxman, I thought it was conceivable that she could be helpful. I didn't anticipate that she would be a decision-maker. I didn't anticipate that she would be one of the people, who along with the other folks here on this panel, would necessarily be asked for a recommendation, but I thought it was conceivable. And more importantly, again, I thought that, based on the longstanding relationship I had with her, that I could get a feel for where I stood and perhaps be in a position to better tailor my arguments, know what the substantive concerns were and address them at an appropriate point.

WAXMAN: Well, I understand your point.

Now, let me ask the three of you, at the White House, did Cheryl Mills advocate the pardon for Marc Rich?

Ms. Nolan, do you know whether Cheryl Mills was urging that he be pardoned?

NOLAN: No, she did not urge that he be pardoned. She did urge that we look seriously at the issues.

WAXMAN: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: Yes, I'm not aware that she advocated for the pardon.

PODESTA: I'm certainly not aware of it, but again, I wasn't in this meeting.

WAXMAN: So the three of you would be the natural people that would know whether she was advancing Mr. Rich's pardon to the president, urging him to grant that pardon? So it's your testimony from the three of you, you don't believe she--you don't know whether she did.

And the question is, do you believe that she talked to the president in favor of this pardon? Do you know whether she did or did not?

NOLAN: I know she spoke with the president in that meeting. I don't believe that she urged that he grant the pardon.

WAXMAN: Let me try to find out what the mood of the White House was like at this time.

Mr. Podesta, could you walk us through the final weeks of the Clinton administration. In addition to pardon decisions, what else was going on?

PODESTA: Well, I think, as you know, Mr. Waxman, there were a number of issues before the president at the end of the administration, and we were trying to work diligently up and through, toward the end, to make sure that the policies that he had been pursuing were implemented properly. We were working on issues like protecting the privacy of medical records, providing a patients' bill of rights for Medicaid patients. We were dealing with the California energy crisis. We issued a new rule on air conditioner standards. I mean, we had--I recall that during the--on Wednesday of that week, for example, we did a major event with Secretary Babbitt, where we designated a number of new monuments.

And so we were--the bulk of at least my time and I think the president's time were take up with those issues, finishing up the agenda, working diligently to get that done. We had...

WAXMAN: Two other things.

PODESTA: We appointed--made a recess appointment of a fine trial attorney in Virginia to the Fourth Circuit, to integrate the Fourth Circuit for the first time. We were putting forward federal judges. We had just enumerable matters that we were trying to deal with to get done before the end of the term.

WAXMAN: So you weren't just winding down the administration for the new team to take over. You were pretty busy. You had the Middle East, you didn't mention. And then the other thing that was going on is the...

PODESTA: We had the Middle East. He was talking to--as you refresh my recollection, he was dealing with that right up until the end. He was dealing with Prime Minister Blair and Bertie Ahern on the Northern Ireland issues.

And so, I mean, I think that there was plenty on both the foreign policy side as well as on the domestic policy side that we were dealing with. He also traveled and made a number of speeches in the last week, talking about what he thought the right direction for the country was, including a trip to Arkansas on Wednesday of that week.

WAXMAN: And he was also dealing with the fact that he had to come to terms with the independent counsel.

PODESTA: Yes, he was. And that, you know, that was a significant issue that really kind of, I think, arose--I don't remember precisely, maybe Ms. Nolan would--but it arose at the beginning of January and worked its way through the process right up until the end, and I think it's fair to say, at Mr. Ray's insistence, the agreement that he struck with Mr. Ray, the independent counsel, was entered on January 19, the morning of the time that we're talking about these events.

WAXMAN: So that was the same day that he came to terms with Mr. Ray and had to make his admission publicly about the Monica Lewinsky and all of that, his statements before the grand jury and all of that, that was the same day he had to do that, that he also had the meetings on the pardons.

PODESTA: That's correct.

WAXMAN: That meeting on the pardons--that was that night he had the meetings on the pardons.

PODESTA: Right. I guess the only thing I would quarrel with in what you just said was that I think Mr. Ray recognized--and it's sort of been lost in history, and maybe we shouldn't keep fighting it--but Mr. Ray recognized that there was no problem with his grand jury testimony and there is no statement on the grand jury testimony.

WAXMAN: He might have been feeling a little bit more sensitive about overzealous prosecutors on that day?

(LAUGHTER)

PODESTA: I can only speculate, Mr. Waxman.

WAXMAN: I can only speculate, but Mr. Quinn was certainly making that argument with regard to Marc Rich, that he was a victim of an overzealous prosecutor. Isn't that right, Mr. Quinn?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

WAXMAN: This pardon process, the president's been criticized for not getting the input from the Justice Department.

Ms. Nolan, you've been with the president in the White House counsel's office in 1999, all the way to the end.

After you began this position, did the president give you instructions as to how he wanted to handle the pardon process, how he wanted to proceed?

NOLAN: Sometime fairly soon after I began as counsel, which was in September of 1999, certainly by the beginning of the year 2000, we had had a discussion in which he said that he wanted to exercise the pardon power more than he had in the past, that he felt that he hadn't exercised it fully, and he wanted to be sure that we had a process in place to be sure that pardons were moved quickly through the process.

WAXMAN: And so the president was saying, he wanted to exercise his pardon authority more frequently than he had in the past. He wanted more pardons to be presented to him. Is that a fair statement?

NOLAN: That is correct.

WAXMAN: And he told you to get those pardons to him. Did you call the Justice Department and tell them to get those pardon reviews to the White House?

NOLAN: Yes.

WAXMAN: And was it running smoothly? Or what was happening?

NOLAN: Well, I actually had several meetings. I think the first meeting was sometime in early 2000--I'm not sure of the exact date--with the deputy attorney general and the pardon attorney and, I think, one or two other people from the deputy or pardon attorney's office, which we talked about the standards that the Justice Department was using in reviewing pardons and expressed the president's view that, with respect to pardons, he generally believed that restoration of civil rights was important, that if people had served their time and led a good life since then, he would be in favor of receiving pardons.

We discussed particular standards that were used by the Justice Department, some of which, I think, the deputy attorney general and...

WAXMAN: Let me interrupt you because we have a limited amount of time.

NOLAN: Certainly.

WAXMAN: Is it fair to say that this process was not moving along as fast as the president would have like and that you would have liked?

NOLAN: That's fair to say. Yes, sir.

WAXMAN: And so, did you find resistance from the Justice Department pardon department or office or whatever it was?

NOLAN: I found no movement. I don't quite know how to describe what was happening. It was very hard for me to see inside the Justice Department. But sometime in August, I said to Eric Holder, we have to have another meeting because we're coming up to the end and we need to know that, you know, we can move along more pardons.

That produced very little. Sometime, I think in November or December, I learned that we could expect, at most, 15 favorable recommendations.

WAXMAN: Did the pardon attorney's office tell the White House in September or October of 2000 that they couldn't take any more pardon applications and that they weren't going to be able to review them or get the information to the White House?

NOLAN: They told us that sometime in the fall, I'm not sure of the exact date.

WAXMAN: And so around the time that the pardon attorney's office at the Justice Department was telling the White House that it would process no more pardon applications, the president was seeking out more applications and there was also an increase in pardon requests. Isn't that right?

NOLAN: Right, there had been in fact a great increase all through the year in applications, so the pardon attorney's office had more applications and hadn't been able to move them in any significant, faster rate.

WAXMAN: In December and January, did you feel overwhelmed by the amount of pardon requests that you were asked to process?

NOLAN: We were really inundated with pardon requests, and, in fact, sometime around Christmas week, I think, I spoke with Mr. Podesta and said, "We have to have a cut off. We can't possibly finish what we have, if more pardon requests come in and..."

WAXMAN: Where were they coming from?

NOLAN: They were coming from everywhere, Mr. Waxman. We had requests from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and both Houses. We had requests from movie stars, newscasters, former presidents, former first ladies. There wasn't anybody--I refused to go to holiday parties because I couldn't stand being--nobody wanted to know how I was, thank you very much. They wanted to know about a pardon. So I just didn't go.

WAXMAN: So let me make sure I understand this. The White House was involved in closing up its operations, but still trying to issue new regulations and negotiating a Middle East peace agreement. The president was insisting that you consider as many pardon applications as possible, despite the fact that the Justice Department wouldn't take any more applications after October of 2000, and you were being besieged by members of Congress and others to consider an ever-growing number of pardons. And on top of that, I suspect you weren't even aware of some of the pardon activities. Is that a fair statement of what was going on at the White House?

NOLAN: I think that is a very fair statement. I would add that we were also doing this shortened transition period and trying to work with the incoming administration, so that was another...

WAXMAN: And, Mr. Podesta, is that an accurate statement from your point of view?

PODESTA: I think that's accurate, yes.

WAXMAN: You were hearing from members of Congress, and I even called you on behalf of a constituent, who I thought deserved consideration for a pardon, Mike Milken, who did not get a pardon.

NOLAN: That's right.

WAXMAN: And I understand you got calls from congressman and senators. Did any of them suggest you not follow the Justice Department Guidelines?

NOLAN: Yes, certainly. Several of them suggested that they knew it was too late, really, to go through the Department of Justice, but they wanted to send the pardon application directly to the White House.

WAXMAN: How many contacts, if you know, did you get from members of Congress, House and Senate?

NOLAN: I don't no, sir. I had probably 30 or 40 phone calls. And I think I took less than half of the calls. I just couldn't possibly respond to all the calls I had.

WAXMAN: Mr. Podesta, do you have any idea of how many calls you...

PODESTA: I would guess it's in the high double or in the triple digits.

WAXMAN: Were there any examples that stand out in your mind of congressman or senators that were asking you to issue pardons and not follow the Justice Department guidelines?

PODESTA: Well, let me clarify one thing. I don't think that members of Congress said, "Please issue a pardon, and, by the way, don't follow the Justice Department guidelines." I think they basically just didn't care whether we followed the Justice Department guidelines.

For example, I think in one particular case in which we did issue a pardon for Mr. Lake, that was done at the end, and I think did not go through the Justice Department. I think both the chairman and the Senate Judiciary Committee and the chairman of the counterpart committee to your committee in the Senate called on his behalf, or at least made their views known on his behalf.

WAXMAN: Senator Hatch?

PODESTA: Senator Hatch and Senator Thompson. I don't think they really cared whether that had gone through the Justice Department guidelines or not.

WAXMAN: Ms. Nolan, did you know Roger Clinton was seeking pardons for some individuals?

NOLAN: I'm sorry, sir, the question?

WAXMAN: Did you know that Roger Clinton was seeking pardons for some individuals?

NOLAN: I believe I did. I can't think of who those individuals are now, but I think I probably knew that he was interested in certain pardons. I did not know everybody who was interested in every pardon. It was impossible, given the thousands, as Mr. Podesta said, thousands of people who were interested in pardons.

WAXMAN: Did you know that Hugh Rodham was being paid to obtain pardons for Vignali and Braswell?

NOLAN: No.

WAXMAN: Well, I see my time is about up. But I have to say, it doesn't seem to me a very ideal process for the president exercising such an important responsibility. It just seems absolute chaos at the White House and lack of cooperation from the Justice Department in what the president wanted to do, which was to give more pardons. And at some point, it looks like, particularly on the 19th of January, the president sat there and said, "I'm going to go ahead and just issue some of these pardons" that he though made sense.

PODESTA: Mr. Waxman, I think I want to put that in a little bit more perspective, which is that I think that for the bulk of the 177 pardons and commutations that were processed, you could disagree with them, you can agree with them, most of them were, at least, the Justice Department got the chop on the them, give them recommendations, but I think that they were managed by the White House counsel's office through a process in which there was substantive consideration given to them. And a judgment was made and a recommendation was made to the president, and he either took it or he didn't take it.

So I think that there's a misperception that this all happened on the last day, and this giant batch of pardons and commutations went through on the last day.

WAXMAN: Let me ask you...

PODESTA: I think the bulk of them were considered and they were considered on the merits. And as I said, in many cases the Justice Department agreed and concurred.

In some cases, they didn't. But they were considered on the merits.

WAXMAN: But do you think that the process broke down and could have been handled better?

PODESTA: I want to say two things. One is that I think there are a couple of, what I would describe as suigeneris cases. I think the batch of independent counsel cases that we considered at the end were considered, sort of, suigeneris and as a group.

And then I think that some of these cases moved through at the very end. As Ms. Nolan testified, she talked to me about stopping the inflow. I discussed that with the staff at a staff meeting in early January and said no more new pardon applications are coming through the system. But I think, obviously, that there were some that came in late, and I think that, you know, we bear the responsibility for having a process that we thought was manageable, that in the last days, I think, broke down and let some of these go through.

But I don't think it's the whole set of pardons. And I think if you look at those, the bulk of them, everyone would agree, are meritorious. Now, some people may think that no pardons should be granted, but I think that the bulk of them are meritorious.

I think there are others in which that they were considered by the White House, judgment was rendered, you can agree or disagree with it. And there were very few that came up--and I would put Rich as probably the number one example--in which the process broke down. I don't think the president got good and full advice on it. He made a judgment.

As I said, I believe he made it on the merits as he understood them, but I think that we didn't serve him very well, in terms of providing him with the counterarguments. There is an explanation for that, because of the Barak call on the 19th, et cetera. We all thought it wasn't happening, but I don't think we served him well in that regard.

BURTON: We have a vote in less than two minutes, so we're going to have to sprint to the floor. This will probably be the last interruption, so we won't have to break. If you need to take a break while we're gone, we'll be back in about 10, 15 minutes.

(RECESS)

BURTON: OK. I want to get a little bit more specific, if I can. We've kind of hit and missed on some questions, so I'm going to try to do this in a little more organized manner so maybe we can expedite this a little quicker.

Who among the White House staff supported the pardons of Marc Rich and Pincus Green? Who at the White House staff supported the pardons of Marc Rich and Pincus Green?

PODESTA: Let me speak for the panel, I believe we all opposed it.

BURTON: Was there anybody else at the White House that you know of that supported the pardon of those gentlemen?

PODESTA: The president reviewed the matters, and he decided to grant it.

BURTON: So it was the president alone, as far as you know.

OK, who opposed it? I know you say...

PODESTA: Start with the three of us.

BURTON: And was there anyone else that opposed it? That expressed opposition to the president?

NOLAN: There were a couple of associate counsels who worked on pardon matters, and they opposed it.

BURTON: OK, who participated in the debate about the pardons on the 19th and any other time? Who participated in a debate on the pardons?

NOLAN: I did, Mr. Lindsey, the two associate counsels, the president, and Ms. Mills.

BURTON: And everyone was opposed to it, except ultimately the president, when he made his decision?

NOLAN: I think, as I said before, I don't believe Ms. Mills expressed a view on the bottom line. She didn't support it.

BURTON: What did Ms. Mills say?

NOLAN: She argued, or suggested, I think is a fairer way of saying it, suggested that we should be looking at the selective prosecution question seriously, had anyone looked at that. But she also had very strong views that normally pardons--or the arguments about selective prosecution were less available or plausible to rich white people.

BURTON: Was there a formal recommendation from the entire staff to the president?

I mean, did you all collectively say, "We think this is...." Was there a formal recommendation that he not pardon them?

NOLAN: I'm not sure what you mean by a formal recommendation. I think the president knew that each of us opposed the grant.

BURTON: Besides the three of you, you said there were two others. Who on the White House staff expressed their opposition directly to President Clinton, besides the three of you and Ms. Mills? Or Ms. Mills didn't, but besides the three of you? You said two associate counsels...

NOLAN: There were two associate counsels.

BURTON: Who were they?

NOLAN: Meredith Cabe and Eric Angel (ph).

BURTON: Meredith Cabe, she had contact with the pardon attorneys on occasion, didn't she?

NOLAN: Yes.

BURTON: I want you to take a look at exhibit number 63. According to this January 10, 2001, e-mail, President Clinton called DNC finance chair Beth Dozoretz and spoke to her about the pardons, saying, he, quote "wants to do it and is doing all possible to turn around White House counsels."

What was the president doing to try to turn you around?

NOLAN: I'm not aware that he did anything.

BURTON: Well, in the memo, as you can see there, it says very clearly, he was talking to Ms. Dozoretz and Ms. Rich was with her. He was saying, he, "was having difficulty," and he says, "I'm doing everything I can to turn them around." I think he also said you should pray about it, or she should pray about it.

NOLAN: Mr. Chairman, I don't know if this is accurate or not. All I can tell you is, from my end, other than--the president did sometime, I think, the last week of January, the last week of his presidency, it might have been the week before, raised the pardon, seemed to be familiar with the issues, but I didn't...

BURTON: But he didn't try to turn you around, as denoted in this...

NOLAN: I did not experience that.

BURTON: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: No, sir.

BURTON: There was no--I mean, he discussed it with you, but he wasn't trying to turn you around or anything?

LINDSEY: No, sir.

BURTON: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No. And I think that the president--I don't know where this comes from. It's third-hand conversation. I have no reason to believe that it's accurate. But it sort of inverts the authority in the White House. The counsel doesn't--the president does not report to the counsel; the counsel reports to the president.

BURTON: No, I'm very well-aware of that. That's why it was troubling when I read that. OK, I have one more question, and I think we'll be out of time.

If the staff had been in a veto mode, could you guys have prevented the pardon, if you had been in a veto mode? I mean, you would have said, you believed it shouldn't have been done?

PODESTA: The president understood our views, and ultimately, it's his decision to grant or not to grant the pardon.

BURTON: Well, let me go ahead and yield to Mr. Waxman or one of your staff. My time is expired.

WAXMAN: Mr. Cummings?

CUMMINGS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, I wan to thank all of you for being here. I must tell you that your testimony has helped me tremendously in feeling a little bit better about this situation. And I wanted to just zero-in on one point. It seems as if, I think almost all of you, Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Podesta, said that there was a certain point where you all felt, because of the circumstances of the Rich case, that it was basically not going to happen.

And I think it was you, Mr. Lindsey, who said that on the 19th, apparently a call came from Prime Minister Barak and that things began to change. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but it seems as if things were going in one direction, and then all of a sudden, or it may not have been all of a sudden, but they started going in another direction.

Could you help us with that because it seems to be--the president, in his New York Times explanation, said that the Barak call was of some significance. Can you or Mr. Podesta or you, Ms. Nolan, shed some light on that?

LINDSEY: Let me start. We had, on at least one occasion prior to the 19th, had a fairly full discussion of the Marc Rich, Pincus Green application. We each expressed our views, and there was no indication at the end of that meeting that the president was going to grant the pardon request.

CUMMINGS: When was that?

LINDSEY: Well, Mr. Podesta believes the first one he participated in was the 16th. I don't have access to a calendar, so. But I wouldn't argue with that. It was sometime three or four or five days prior to the 19th.

CUMMINGS: All right.

LINDSEY: On the 19th, we had put off discussion of pardons for the people involved in various independent counsel investigations, and we had scheduled a meeting with the president for the purposes of discussing those applications and requests. During that meeting, or at some point during that meeting, the president raised with the group--Mr. Podesta may have been gone at this point--that Prime Minister Barak had spoken to him that afternoon and had asked him--again, I don't believe it was the first time that the prime minister had raised the Marc Rich pardon--had asked him again to consider it.

We then had an additional discussion concerning their status, the arguments that Mr. Quinn had been making to the counsel's office. At that point, it was sometime that evening that the president made the decision, after speaking again with Mr. Quinn and getting from Mr. Quinn a commitment that they would waive all civil procedural restrictions, statute of limitations and so forth, that the president indicated that he intended to grant the pardons.

CUMMINGS: Ms. Nolan? And then I want to come to you, Mr. Quinn.

NOLAN: Again, like Mr. Lindsey, I'm not exactly sure when the first discussion was. But I did not realize until the evening of the 19th that it was live and the president did specifically did mention his conversations with Mr. Barak.

CUMMINGS: Did you have something, Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No.

CUMMINGS: All right.

Mr. Quinn, Mr. Lindsey just referenced a conversation about the waiving of the civil situation. Is there a point where, things in your efforts to represent your client, where things seemed to be going down hill and then they seemed to turn? During that discussion that Mr. Lindsey just referenced, and I assume that you're familiar with it, do you remember the president ever mentioning that he had gotten more than one call or had recently gotten a call from Mr. Barak?

QUINN: Congressman, I came to the impression, as we approached the end of the term, that he had spoken to Prime Minister Barak more than once. But I quite honestly can't tell you how I came to believe that. I think in all likelihood, I was hearing that reported back from people associated with Marc Rich in Israel. I'm rather confident that no one in the White House told me of those calls, but I was aware that on the 19th this matter was raised by Prime Minister Barak with the president.

In retrospect, it strikes me, as I think it does a good many people, that that was a significant development; it was a turning point. And in all honesty, I can't tell you that I ever thought that this was anything other than a tough decision. I thought we had put together a persuasive case and had a meritorious argument, but I was well-aware, not so much of Mr. Podesta's views, but I was certainly well-aware that Mr. Lindsey and Ms. Nolan were, at a minimum, highly skeptical.

CUMMINGS: Thank you very much.

BURTON: Thank you, Mr. Cummings.

Mr. Barr?

BARR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Ms. Nolan, you had a number of phone conversations with Eric Holder on January 19. That's correct, isn't it?

NOLAN: I think I did, yes, sir.

BARR: OK. What was the subject matter of those phone calls, beginning with your call to Mr. Holder at 9:45 that morning? These are logs found at exhibit 127.

NOLAN: I'm sorry, exhibit 127?

BARR: Yes, ma'am.

NOLAN: Found them.

I'm not sure I can remember the specifics of each, you know, what each call was for. I remember several pardon discussions with him that day. The only one I had with him regarding Marc Rich was late in the evening. It would be the last phone call on the log, the 6:38.

BARR: The one where you called him at 6:38?

NOLAN: That's correct.

BARR: And what precipitated that particular phone call about Mr. Rich?

NOLAN: As I'd said earlier, Ms. Mills was in my office. Jack Quinn had, I believe, called my office and ended up speaking to her, and she told me that he said Mr. Holder favored the pardon, and I called Mr. Holder right away to determine if that was correct.

BARR: And did he say to you, "Yes, I favor the pardon."

NOLAN: I had talked with him the first week in January about it, and I did not have the impression that he was in favor it, so that's what I said.

I said, "I'm hearing you're in favor of it. I didn't think you were in favor of it." He said that he was neutral, which I think is the language he had used earlier in January about it.

And I said, "Well, I'm a little confused, because I'm hearing that you're not just neutral." And he said that he had heard that Mr. Barak was interested, that if that were the case, while he couldn't judge the foreign policy arguments, he would find that very persuasive.

And I finally said, "Well, you know, I still don't understand what neutral means here," and he described it as neutral, leaning toward, or neutral, leaning favorable. I'm not sure the exact phrase.

BARR: So he never really answered the question.

NOLAN: Well, at the end of the conversation he said he would consider himself "neutral, leaning favorable," which I thought was an answer. It wasn't, you know--it was an answer.

And I informed the president of that conversation when I met with him sometime fairly soon after that. I think we met around 7:00, 7:30.

BARR: And what was the president's reaction?

NOLAN: I think that was significant to the president. I don't think it was the thing that made his mind up entirely, but I think it was a significant piece of information, that the deputy attorney general had said that.

BARR: From the standpoint that that would give him something to hang his hat on?

NOLAN: I didn't understand it that way. Mr. Quinn had made what were to the president very persuasive arguments.

Mr. Quinn was somebody he greatly respected. Mr. Barak, who the president respected a great deal, had weighed in, in favor, several times, and Mr. Hogan...

BARR: Who made the persuasive arguments on the other side, against granting the pardon to this fugitive?

NOLAN: We argued, Mr. Barr, that if Mr. Rich and Mr. Green had such great legal arguments, there was a place to make them, and it wasn't there. It wasn't in the Oval Office.

BARR: And Mr. Clinton apparently disagreed?

NOLAN: He did disagree, and I think he disagreed because people--other people he respected had a different view, and he made a judgment in favor of their view.

BARR: Returning to the phone logs on that final sheet, there are calls to you, there are calls from Roger Adams to Eric Holder, calls from Eric Holder to Roger Adams, calls from Eric Holder to you, but none of those, as far as you know, related to the Rich case?

NOLAN: No, the only one I spoke with him about was at the end of the day.

BARR: OK, did these other calls...

NOLAN: I mean, I don't know about the Roger Adams calls to Mr. Holder.

BARR: These other calls between you and Mr. Holder, they related to other pardon cases?

NOLAN: They related to other pardon cases, as far as I'm aware. There may have been other matters that weren't pardon cases, because we did deal with other things. The only thing I can remember is pardon discussions.

BURTON: The gentleman's time has expired. We'll have several more founds.

Ms. Mink?

MINK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I, too, want to join my colleagues in commending your presence here today, Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Podesta. And I think that you've added a great deal of light to the testimony and news articles and other things that we have read about the circumstances that some people think led to the decision that the president made with respect to the Marc Rich case.

And I think that the fact that there were discussions between the three of you and the president with respect to this pardon is very material to the public's understanding that there was consultation amongst the people that the president trusted the most to give him their honest opinion.

Your opinion was not regarded by the president, and he went another course, but that's the president's prerogative in these cases, that's what the Constitution allows.

The first question I wanted to ask was with reference to executive privilege, which he has waived and allowed you to come to testify. Is it the clear understanding of the law that, after the president has left the White House, that this executive privilege continues on with respect to conversations that you had with him that led to some executive decision?

NOLAN: Yes.

MINK: That continues on. So I think then that it is of paramount importance that the president has issued this release to allow you to come to testify, to give some clarity to what happened.

Now, in terms of your discussions about the Marc Rich case, from what you have said already today, there were discussions on April 19. I think the three of you have indicated that.

LINDSEY: January 19.

MINK: That he had still not made up his mind. Is that a clear conclusion of the status of your discussions, that your impression was on January 19 when you met with him, he had not yet made up his mind?

LINDSEY: I think I'll speak for Mr. Podesta and Ms. Nolan. I think their impression was that the matter had been resolved at an earlier meeting and that he was not going to grant it. When the president re-raised it on the 19th, it was clear, once he re-raised it, that he was still considering it and that he had not made a decision. But it was their clear impression, prior to that, that he had accepted our recommendation and was not going to grant it.

MINK: So there was an earlier meeting where the three of you were fairly sure that the president had decided not to grant this pardon? Is that accurate?

PODESTA: That was my impression, that was on January 16.

MINK: And Mr. Lindsey, that was your clear understanding?

LINDSEY: I was not as clear as they are as to what the president's--when we left that meeting--what the president intended or didn't intend to do.

MINK: Did he specifically articulate it? Or did you just make that assumption because he didn't have a rebuttal?

PODESTA: In may case, I'd say the latter, that he raised the points that had been made in at least some of the points had been raised by Mr. Quinn. We argued that, given his status as a fugitive, if you will--we can go back and forth on that a little, but I think we viewed him as a fugitive in at least a common sense--that the proper forum to raise those was before judicial tribunal. And it was my impression that he accepted that.

MINK: So given your long experience of working with the president, your assumption was, since he give you a clear rebuttal on the other side, that he would be persuaded by the advice that he was getting from people that had worked with him and whom he trusted the most in the White House. Is that a fairly good understanding?

PODESTA: I think that's a fairly good understanding.

MINK: OK, then after that, is it, in the factual circumstances of things, where Mr. Barak made a phone call, was it after that discussion or somewhere earlier or before? I'm trying to get a feeling as to when things might have changed, in view of this particular pardon.

PODESTA: Well, the conversation...

MINK: When was the Barak...

PODESTA: ... occurred in midafternoon, I think, on Friday, January 19.

MINK: So it was after your earlier discussions?

PODESTA: No, after the conversation on the 16th. Then Prime Minister Barak talked to him one more time on January 19, on Friday. And later that evening, there was a further discussion, as I said, between my colleagues here. I wasn't present for that conversation. But it was early or, I guess, late in the evening. It must have been 9 or 10 o'clock on the evening of the 19th. So it was subsequent to his conversation with Prime Minister Barak.

MINK: So Ms. Nolan and Mr. Lindsey, you can verify that it was likely that the telephone conversation he had with Prime Minister Barak may have had an impact on his prior decision not to grant the pardon?

LINDSEY: He actually, I think, indicated that.

NOLAN: Yes, he did.

MINK: He specifically said that to both of you.

LINDSEY: That's correct.

NOLAN: And I would be clear, though, I wouldn't characterize that he had made, as Mr. Podesta said, I don't think he had made...

MINK: But it had an influence on his thinking?

NOLAN: But it certainly seemed that he was not going to grant it and then that Mr. Barak's phone call had been significant.

BURTON: The time of the gentlelady from Hawaii has expired.

The chair recognizes the gentlelady from Maryland, Ms. Morella, for five minutes.

MORELLA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to thank you, Ms. Nolan, and gentlemen for your patience. It's awfully hard to be here all afternoon under the grilling, but we do appreciate it, and we do feel that it adds further clarification to this very difficult situation.

I guess the kinds of questions I want to ask is, what did you know, when did you know it, what would you have done about it had you known about it earlier, just, kind of, to set the record straight.

For instance, I would ask the same question of all the panel, and you can answer as briefly and succinctly as you can: Did you know that Marc Rich or his companies were trading with Gadhafi in Libya?

Mr. Quinn?

QUINN: I did not know that.

MORELLA: You did not know that. Had you known it, would you have done anything about it?

QUINN: I was representing Marc Rich, as a lawyer, trying to persuade the Department of Justice, the Southern District and, ultimately, the president that the indictment was wanting.

That matter was not addressed in the indictment. And I think it does bear emphasis that if Marc Rich or anyone associated with him broke any laws in that regard, the pardon does not free him from being held accountable for that.

MORELLA: But you really were not even aware of it?

QUINN: I was not. I had no personal knowledge of that. My assignment had to do with the indictment.

MORELLA: Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: I did not.

MORELLA: Would you have done something if you had known?

NOLAN: Well, it certainly would have been another important factor in an argument I was already making against.

MORELLA: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: No, I understood that there were allegations that he had traded with Iran, but not with Libya.

MORELLA: How about Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I was unaware of that.

MORELLA: You were unaware of it. OK.

Were you aware that Marc Rich or his companies were involved with trading with Iran? Maybe you can just go yes, no. And if you want to add anything about whether it would have made a difference in your actions?

Mr. Quinn?

QUINN: I think my earlier answer stands. I was asked the question at one point whether he had been involved in arms-trading. I responded first that I had heard that that allegation had been made in an article in Playboy magazine and that I had been informed that he denied that allegation. I took the opportunity then to call Mr. Fink in New York to confirm that my memory was correct, that he maintained that he had not dealt in arms, and I reported that back.

But again, even with regard to that allegation, I do think it's important to bear in mind that the pardon does not free him from being held accountable for anything unrelated to the indictment, if in fact he broke any other law.

MORELLA: Looking at little technicalities of the law, but, in general, this man is asking for a pardon. But let me go on, just ask the rest of the panel if they knew anything about whether Mr. Rich or his companies were trading with Iran.

NOLAN: I had the conversation with Mr. Quinn in which I asked him about the arms-trading allegation. I did understand that there was a Trading with the Enemy Act issue, but I was concerned about what, you know, what the arms-trading was and was assured that that was misinformation.

MORELLA: You were assured by whom?

NOLAN: Mr. Quinn.

MORELLA: By Mr. Quinn.

Let's go on.

Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: Again, I was are that there was a trading with the enemy count in the indictment. Your question as to whether it would have changed my mind or I would have done anything differently...

MORELLA: Whether you would have done something, yes.

LINDSEY: Yes. I don't know if there's any way to be more against something than I was against this. So, you know, it would have been an additional basis. It was an additional basis for my opposition. But I was told that his company was not an American company, and, therefore, the company would not be subject to our laws.

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal the other day that suggested there are a lot of American companies that have foreign subsidiaries who, because they're foreign subsidiaries, are not subject to that, are not subject to that.

But again, I was opposed to this and for all of the reasons, you know, that we've talked about.

MORELLA: And, Mr. Podesta?

BURTON: Time of the gentlelady has expired, but certainly Mr. Podesta can finishing answering the line of questioning.

MORELLA: Mr. Chairman, could I just mention some items that fall into the same category, Ms. Nolan and gentlemen. The trading grain with the Soviet Union when there was the embargo, the trade with South Africa during Apartheid.

The reason I was asking these questions, Mr. Chairman, was simply to point out whether we knew. And if we did know, did we do anything about it? And if we didn't know, should we have found out more about it? And so I then yield back.

BURTON: OK.

Mr. Podesta, you can complete your answer.

PODESTA: Let me answer the question on Iran.

I'm not sure precisely when I learned this, whether it was before or after, but I think the underlying indictment involved oil trading, and that involved oil trading that I guess was involved with Iran. But I associated myself with Mr. Lindsey. I was against this, so I don't know whether I would have taken additional steps if I had known it. I suspect that--and I don't know what the president's knowledge was either on those issues.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

The gentlelady from the District of Columbia is recognized for five minutes.

NORTON: Mr. Chairman, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I appreciate your willingness to come freely, and I certainly appreciate the president's willing to waive his executive privilege. At the very least, it certainly speaks to the notion of whether or not he believes things should be hidden from this committee, and tends to eliminate the notion that he does. He wants to bring these matters out into the open.

I'd like to have your views on these notions of constitutional amendments, which are popping up, especially as people who have been on the inside of the White House during the pardon process.

Ms. Nolan indicated that you had so many of these coming down, and then they came late, and then there was a notion of, my goodness, isn't there some a cutoff in all of this? As a matter of fact, the framers reserved the pardon power in part because there might be things that came late. But I certainly can understand the notion that these things galloped in with increasing speed as you got near the end.

Indeed, as I've said earlier in this hearing, I called the counsel's office, it must have been the day before the end of the administration, because it had crossed my mind that the so-called Democracy Seven, people who were being tried for the second time, for the same offense after having had a hung jury, for protesting from the gallery that the Congress takes the budget of the District of Columbia and adds things to it were--and so I called and said, "Can we have a pardon for the Democracy Seven?"

Of course these were misdemeanors, and it would have been a political act of the president who supports voting rights and statehood for the District, but I can certainly understand that people just get the idea in the back of their mind. And, of course, I didn't get to speak with Ms. Nolan. I got to speak to somebody in your office.

NOLAN: I apologize to every member of Congress whose call I did not take.

(LAUGHTER)

NORTON: Nor do I believe, frankly, that you should have come to the phone for me or any member of Congress in those last hectic days, especially after what we've heard here today about what you confronted.

By the way, I had no idea that there were--there was any such things as the Justice Department guidelines. I am a member of Congress and a lawyer, and I had no idea what the process was. You know, I called the counsel's office the way I think people knowing nothing might well do.

We've had one constitutional amendment that's kind of been shouted down, that would have the pardon power reviewed by two-thirds of the Congress; that is to say, a pardon could be overturned if two-thirds of the Congress--if anything, that would make it more political. Imagine members of the Congress voting to pardon a criminal.

So that one didn't get very far. Now there's another one that says, no pardons after October 1. Now, I know that would make your--October 1 of the election year--I know that would make your lives a lot easier, or maybe not.

So I'd like your view as to the effect on the pardon power of stopping all pardons October 1 of the election year when the president is going out of office.

NOLAN: I think that the framers had it right when they vested the pardon power in one person, that person being the president. They did it quite deliberately, to ensure that one person was responsible for the decision, one person could take the hits for it, and knowing full well that the kind of mercy that is inherent in the pardon power would not be exercised by committee in the same way that it would by one person.

I don't think...

NORTON: I asked about the timing. I'm asking about October 1.

NOLAN: I think that I would retain that power, and I would retain it unfettered, and expect that this president and future presidents are fully subject to criticism and public rebuke if the public disagrees, but that the idea of having one person who can do it and can do it at any time I think is what the framers had in mind. And I continue to believe that's the right way to do it.

NORTON: Mr. Lindsey?

PODESTA: I'm not sure precisely when I learned this, whether it was before or after, but I think the underlying indictment involved oil trading, and that involved oil trading that I guess was involved with Iran. But I associated myself with Mr. Lindsey. I was against this, so I don't know whether I would have taken additional steps if I had known it. I suspect that--and I don't know what the president's knowledge was either on those issues.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

The gentlelady from the District of Columbia is recognized for five minutes.

NORTON: Mr. Chairman, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I appreciate your willingness to come freely, and I certainly appreciate the president's willing to waive his executive privilege. At the very least, it certainly speaks to the notion of whether or not he believes things should be hidden from this committee, and tends to eliminate the notion that he does. He wants to bring these matters out into the open.

I'd like to have your views on these notions of constitutional amendments, which are popping up, especially as people who have been on the inside of the White House during the pardon process.

Ms. Nolan indicated that you had so many of these coming down, and then they came late, and then there was a notion of, my goodness, isn't there some a cutoff in all of this? As a matter of fact, the framers reserved the pardon power in part because there might be things that came late. But I certainly can understand the notion that these things galloped in with increasing speed as you got near the end.

Indeed, as I've said earlier in this hearing, I called the counsel's office, it must have been the day before the end of the administration, because it had crossed my mind that the so-called Democracy Seven, people who were being tried for the second time, for the same offense after having had a hung jury, for protesting from the gallery that the Congress takes the budget of the District of Columbia and adds things to it were--and so I called and said, "Can we have a pardon for the Democracy Seven?"

Of course these were misdemeanors, and it would have been a political act of the president who supports voting rights and statehood for the District, but I can certainly understand that people just get the idea in the back of their mind. And, of course, I didn't get to speak with Ms. Nolan. I got to speak to somebody in your office.

NOLAN: I apologize to every member of Congress whose call I did not take.

(LAUGHTER)

NORTON: Nor do I believe, frankly, that you should have come to the phone for me or any member of Congress in those last hectic days, especially after what we've heard here today about what you confronted.

By the way, I had no idea that there were--there was any such things as the Justice Department guidelines. I am a member of Congress and a lawyer, and I had no idea what the process was. You know, I called the counsel's office the way I think people knowing nothing might well do.

We've had one constitutional amendment that's kind of been shouted down, that would have the pardon power reviewed by two-thirds of the Congress; that is to say, a pardon could be overturned if two-thirds of the Congress--if anything, that would make it more political. Imagine members of the Congress voting to pardon a criminal.

So that one didn't get very far. Now there's another one that says, no pardons after October 1. Now, I know that would make your--October 1 of the election year--I know that would make your lives a lot easier, or maybe not.

So I'd like your view as to the effect on the pardon power of stopping all pardons October 1 of the election year when the president is going out of office.

NOLAN: I think that the framers had it right when they vested the pardon power in one person, that person being the president. They did it quite deliberately, to ensure that one person was responsible for the decision, one person could take the hits for it, and knowing full well that the kind of mercy that is inherent in the pardon power would not be exercised by committee in the same way that it would by one person.

I don't think...

NORTON: I asked about the timing. I'm asking about October 1.

NOLAN: I think that I would retain that power, and I would retain it unfettered, and expect that this president and future presidents are fully subject to criticism and public rebuke if the public disagrees, but that the idea of having one person who can do it and can do it at any time I think is what the framers had in mind. And I continue to believe that's the right way to do it.

NORTON: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: Well, I have law professors on both sides of me, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer this. But I agree with Ms. Nolan that I think the power as it exists, for the purpose that it exists, should remain the same. I would just also say, I'm not sure that the 30th of September would be any different than the 19th of January, under that scenario.

NORTON: There would be the rush then to meet that, then.

LINDSEY: Exactly.

NORTON: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: Well, I agree with Ms. Nolan. Let me point out one other point, though, that I think that this situation gives rise to, which is--it goes back to the beginning of Ms. Nolan's statements about the president's frustration about not getting recommendations for pardons from the pardon office in the beginning of the year 2000, which is I think that, if you look back on this, the president granted, I think, only something less than 200 pardons over the course of his eight years.

And I think that was something that the president really noticed, that he was not getting any applications moving forward out of the system as it currently exists. Partly, I think that's the result of a situation in which people are afraid to be criticized for granting pardons or for recommending pardons, et cetera.

If you look, in contrast to what President Clinton granted, the system produced, I guess, for President Reagan, during his eight years, some 400 pardons, more or less. There are more people in prison. There are more people coming out of it. There are more people who, I believe, served their sentence and need to lead a good life.

So I don't think that the answer to the problems that we encountered is to restrict or to try to suppress or to try, to some extent, through the exercise of second guessing, the reduction of the overall number of pardons and commutations. I think that would be a bad outcome.

CHAIRMAN: The time of the gentlelady has expired.

The chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. LaTourette, for five minutes.

LATOURETTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And I think to Mr. Quinn's delight, I'd like to leave the Rich-Pincus Green matter for a moment and talk about another fellow, Carlos Vignali, if I could.

And as you know from the news accounts, Carlos Vignali helped finance another group of people that were involved in the distribution of 800 pounds of cocaine shipped to Minnesota where it was going to be cooked with other chemicals to create crack cocaine for distribution to, among other people, children in the state of Minnesota. And 30 people, in my understanding, were convicted, and on January 20, only one spins out of jail, and that's Carlos Vignali.

And there have been a couple of wrinkles since we last got together. One has to do with Hugh Rodham.

And Mr. Lindsey, I'd like to start with you. I think I read in the Los Angeles Times an observation that you recall speaking at least twice with Mr. Rodham about the Vignali pardon. Were you quoted correctly?

LINDSEY: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: And when and where did those conversations take place?

LINDSEY: Oh, I believe the first conversation occurred probably around the middle of December. Mr. Rodham called, asked me to take a look at a commutation application for Carlos Vignali, indicated that he was a first-time offender, that his application was supported by the sheriff of Los Angeles county, that it was supported by the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles...

LATOURETTE: Stop there. Were you aware that the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles was not the prosecuting agency, during the course of that conversation?

LINDSEY: Yes, I was. Yes, because he also told me it was supported by the trial attorney, who actually tried the case in Minnesota. That turned out, probably, not to be correct.

LATOURETTE: Probably not.

LINDSEY: But, you know--I don't--well, we know the U.S. attorney opposed it. I don't know whether the trial attorney did or didn't. But be that as it may, I'm telling you what he told me.

LATOURETTE: Sure.

LINDSEY: He told me it was supported by the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, by the sheriff of Los Angeles county, by the cardinal, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahony...

LATOURETTE: Right, a variety of people...

LINDSEY: ... by several congressmen, former congressmen, city council people.

I indicated to him that he had served six years, approximately. I indicated to Mr. Rodham that that was the kind of application the president, actually, was interested in looking at. He was interested in looking at first-time drug offenders, who did not play major roles in the crime and that we would take a look at it.

LATOURETTE: Did he represent to you that this fellow didn't play a major role in a crime? Eight hundred pounds is a lot where I come from.

I would assume that that's not the type of drug deal...

LINDSEY: I don't think there was a finding. I actually believe the judge made a specific finding that he was responsible for five to 15 kilos, which is, I think, 11 to 33 pounds. I think the total amount of money that he was involved with was $25,000. So I don't believe that it is correct that he was responsible for 800,000. And, in fact, I think there was a specific finding that he was not. There was also, I believe, a specific finding that he was not an organizer or leader of the conspiracy.

LATOURETTE: How about the second time you talked to Mr. Rodham, when did that occur?

LINDSEY: Sometime thereafter. At some point we learned, through the pardon attorney's office, that the U.S. attorney in Minnesota did not support the application, was opposed to the application.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: In some conversation, I can't date it for you, I told--because one of the facts he had told me at the beginning was that the attorney in Minnesota, he said the trial attorney, not the U.S. attorney, but the trial attorney in Minnesota supported it. I told him that at least, as far as the U.S. attorney office was concerned, in Minnesota, that they were not supportive.

LATOURETTE: And is that the sum and substance of your contact with Mr. Rodham on this matter?

LINDSEY: As far as I can recall, yes.

LATOURETTE: Did you inquire of him what his interest was in a convicted drug dealer from Los Angeles?

LINDSEY: No.

LATOURETTE: Did you ask him whether he'd received a fee?

LINDSEY: I didn't ask him. I don't think I've ever asked that of any person who's contacted me.

LATOURETTE: Well, is that your assumption? I mean, did you think he was a family friend or, I mean, that he was acting as a lawyer?

LINDSEY: You know, I don't know. When anyone contacts me, I have no idea. I mean, if they're a lawyer, they could be there as a lawyer. Oftentimes, they have friends or they know someone.

From my analysis, it wasn't important why he was calling me. He told me about a person. The facts seemed to follow along the lines of people we were looking at, and I told him I would take a look at it.

LATOURETTE: Were you aware or did the pardon attorney tell you that Mr. Vignali lied upon his pardon application, in the section that asked if he had a previous criminal conviction? Were you advised of that by the pardon attorney?

LINDSEY: I don't believe so.

LATOURETTE: Were you advised of that by Mr. Rodham?

LINDSEY: No. I believe the first time I heard that, frankly, was this morning. If I remember right, he actually indicated he had several prior...

LATOURETTE: On his pardon application?

LINDSEY: I thought so.

LATOURETTE: I don't think that that's correct, and I'll be happy to supply you with the information that that's incorrect.

LINDSEY: OK.

LATOURETTE: And just as a last matter, as my time...

LINDSEY: I was just informed that it is reflected in his pardon application. But again, we can get the application and see.

LATOURETTE: It's reflected in his pardon application that he has priors?

LINDSEY: I believe so.

LATOURETTE: OK.

Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN: I thank the gentleman from Ohio.

The gentleman from California, Mr. Ose, is recognized for five minutes.

OSE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

My question is directed, I believe, to the former chief of staff, Mr. Podesta. And that is, what is the procedure by which the White House deals with gifts received during a president's tenure, particularly this president's tenure?

PODESTA: I think that Ms. Nolan could answer that more directly...

OSE: Well, I might ask her, but we'll start with you, OK?

PODESTA: Well, I think that if the president receives a gift, it's logged into the gift unit. The gift unit then creates a running log of those. The president has the right to accept and take gifts that are presented to him, if he chooses to do so. If he does not choose to do so, I believe they become the property of the National Archives. And I think that's set up by statute, but I couldn't quote the statutory citation.

OSE: Is there a procedure outlined at the White House for what qualifies as a gift to the president or one that's supposed to go to the archives?

PODESTA: Sure.

OSE: When was that policy established?

PODESTA: I think it's been in existence since probably prior to the Clinton administration.

OSE: Do we have a copy of that particular policy as it applied to the Clinton administration?

PODESTA: I think that this is regulated by statute.

OSE: All right.

Mr. Quinn, is Mr. Rich a United States citizen or is he not?

QUINN: It is my understanding now that he believes he is not a United States citizen. I understand that our State Department disputes that.

OSE: Ms. Nolan, is your recollection of the manner in which gifts are received by the White House consistent with Mr. Podesta's?

NOLAN: Yes, it is.

OSE: If a gift comes to the White House, what happens? Just take me through just a brief synopsis. Let's say I sent a gift to the president valued at $275, and it's a portrait, what happens? What are the questions that are asked?

NOLAN: The gift, as I understand it, is sent to the gift unit in the White House for evaluation, and the gift unit puts on a list who the donor is, what the value is, and the president makes a determination whether to accept the gift or not.

OSE: The president makes the determination whether to accept the gift personally or as a representative of the federal government or...

NOLAN: Well, it depends on whether the gift is--if the gift is given to the White House--as I understand it, the gift unit records reflect gifts given to the president personally.

OSE: What happens to the gifts given to the White House?

NOLAN: I believe that the resident's office keeps a record of those. But I haven't seen such records. I don't know.

OSE: How would we go about establishing what those records contained?

NOLAN: I'm have to say I'm not quite clear what you're asking me.

OSE: Well, where are those records?

NOLAN: I assume that they are with the archives now, as part of the president's records, but I'm not sure.

OSE: OK, and, my final question, Mr. Chairman, I see that I'm almost out.

I was here for the testimony about the relative lack of knowledge about Mr. Rich's past behavior in terms of his activities overseas. Relative to Mr. Vignali and the behavior that he engaged in, transporting 800 pounds--you're all aware of Plan Colombia? The official United States government policy...

PODESTA: I certainly am.

OSE: OK, do you have any observations about the conflict that might be perceived between the president pardoning somebody transporting 800 pounds of coke and our efforts in Colombia to ameliorate or eliminate the production?

PODESTA: I think that Mr. Lindsey has already corrected the record. He knows more about the case than I do with regard to the specific facts, but I think that what you're suggesting is that no one who's involved in a drug case should ever receive a commutation or ever receive a pardon. And I think that's--I understand that you may believe that, but I think that's a harsh thing.

OSE: That's not the suggestion I'm making, Mr. Podesta.

LINDSEY: If I may correct the record again, the judge made a specific finding in the Vignali case that he was responsible for 5 to 15 kilos, which I understand translates to 11 to 33 pounds, not 800.

BARR: I think we've established the ratio between pounds and kilos sufficiently.

The chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Davis, for five minutes.

DAVIS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Let me also thank each one of you for appearing this afternoon.

Mr. Podesta, in your opening statement, you indicated that the staff had recommended against pardoning Mr. Rich. Did you have any further individual conversation with the president about the matter?

PODESTA: No, not beyond the night of the 16th of January. As I said, I was not present at the night of the 19th to have that discussion.

DAVIS: And that was part of a group discussion or group interaction?

PODESTA: On the 16th?

DAVIS: Yes.

PODESTA: Yes.

DAVIS: Yes.

Mr. Lindsey, how long have you known the president?

LINDSEY: Over 32 years.

DAVIS: And how would you characterize your relationship?

LINDSEY: Well, up until a month ago, I was an employee for eight years. Before that, he and I, for a short period of time, were both in the same law firm. We've been friends for a number of years. We both worked for Bill Fulbright in the late '60s, which is where I first met him.

DAVIS: And so you'd say that the two of you were very comfortable with each other, I would assume?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir.

DAVIS: Did you have any individual conversation with the president about the Rich case?

LINDSEY: I don't believe so. I can't recall any conversation with him.

DAVIS: So any interaction you would have had would have been part of the group activity where someone else was present, other than just the two of you?

LINDSEY: I think that's correct. I do recall one conversation that was not part of a meeting in which I indicated to him that he should consider Mr. Quinn in this to be an advocate on one side, and not his adviser, and that Jack had a client.

OSE: What happens to the gifts given to the White House?

NOLAN: I believe that the resident's office keeps a record of those. But I haven't seen such records. I don't know.

OSE: How would we go about establishing what those records contained?

NOLAN: I'm have to say I'm not quite clear what you're asking me.

OSE: Well, where are those records?

NOLAN: I assume that they are with the archives now, as part of the president's records, but I'm not sure.

OSE: OK, and, my final question, Mr. Chairman, I see that I'm almost out.

I was here for the testimony about the relative lack of knowledge about Mr. Rich's past behavior in terms of his activities overseas. Relative to Mr. Vignali and the behavior that he engaged in, transporting 800 pounds--you're all aware of Plan Colombia? The official United States government policy...

PODESTA: I certainly am.

OSE: OK, do you have any observations about the conflict that might be perceived between the president pardoning somebody transporting 800 pounds of coke and our efforts in Colombia to ameliorate or eliminate the production?

PODESTA: I think that Mr. Lindsey has already corrected the record. He knows more about the case than I do with regard to the specific facts, but I think that what you're suggesting is that no one who's involved in a drug case should ever receive a commutation or ever receive a pardon. And I think that's--I understand that you may believe that, but I think that's a harsh thing.

OSE: That's not the suggestion I'm making, Mr. Podesta.

LINDSEY: If I may correct the record again, the judge made a specific finding in the Vignali case that he was responsible for 5 to 15 kilos, which I understand translates to 11 to 33 pounds, not 800.

BARR: I think we've established the ratio between pounds and kilos sufficiently.

The chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Davis, for five minutes.

D. DAVIS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Let me also thank each one of you for appearing this afternoon.

Mr. Podesta, in your opening statement, you indicated that the staff had recommended against pardoning Mr. Rich. Did you have any further individual conversation with the president about the matter?

PODESTA: No, not beyond the night of the 16th of January. As I said, I was not present at the night of the 19th to have that discussion.

D. DAVIS: And that was part of a group discussion or group interaction?

PODESTA: On the 16th?

D. DAVIS: Yes.

PODESTA: Yes.

D. DAVIS: Yes.

Mr. Lindsey, how long have you known the president?

LINDSEY: Over 32 years.

D. DAVIS: And how would you characterize your relationship?

LINDSEY: Well, up until a month ago, I was an employee for eight years. Before that, he and I, for a short period of time, were both in the same law firm. We've been friends for a number of years. We both worked for Bill Fulbright in the late '60s, which is where I first met him.

D. DAVIS: And so you'd say that the two of you were very comfortable with each other, I would assume?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir.

D. DAVIS: Did you have any individual conversation with the president about the Rich case?

LINDSEY: I don't believe so. I can't recall any conversation with him.

D. DAVIS: So any interaction you would have had would have been part of the group activity where someone else was present, other than just the two of you?

LINDSEY: I think that's correct. I do recall one conversation that was not part of a meeting in which I indicated to him that he should consider Mr. Quinn in this to be an advocate on one side, and not his adviser, and that Jack had a client.

And I don't believe that was in a group meeting. I think that was the night of the 19th, at some point.

D. DAVIS: Ms. Nolan, were your discussions with the president individual or part of a group discussion or where other people were present?

NOLAN: Yes, my conversations with the president were part of a group discussion. I did talk to him on the telephone late on the night of the 19th, morning of the 20th, for a few minutes. There were people in my office, but I talked with him on the phone.

D. DAVIS: And so, for the most part, it seems to me that all three of us are saying that our conversations were part of normal interaction that one would have expected to take place, given the roles that each one of you played?

NOLAN: That's correct.

D. DAVIS: At any time or any other time, did you ever get the impression that there was anything to be considered other than the legal determinations, in terms of trying to make a rational decision about the situation?

NOLAN: I did not. I disagreed with the president's judgment, but I believed he had his reasons for doing it that involved his view of the merits of the case and the advice or recommendation of people he respected.

PODESTA: I agree with that.

LINDSEY: Yes, same answer.

D. DAVIS: Thank you very much.

I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.

BURTON: Ms. Davis?

J. DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'd sort of like to go back to the process under which a pardon application comes in. And I guess this is directed to Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Podesta.

It's my understanding you all knew about the pardon application some time in December. Correct?

NOLAN: I think that's right, yes.

J. DAVIS: At any time, did you all, any of you, discuss it with the prosecuting attorneys or the U.S. attorney or get any input from them or notify them?

NOLAN: I discussed it with Mr. Holder some time early in January, which was right after I first took a look at it. It had come in some time in December, but I don't think I took a look at it until early January. I discussed it with Mr. Holder, the deputy attorney general.

J. DAVIS: I'm talking about the prosecuting attorneys.

NOLAN: Well, he...

J. DAVIS: Would he be the one that would have contacted them?

NOLAN: Right, I normally would talk to main Justice and to the deputy's office, or my office would, more commonly. And we wouldn't normally reach out individually. We did on some occasions, but rarely. It usually went through the Justice Department.

He represented to me at that time that he was, you know, clear what the U.S. attorney's office would think about the matter, but that he did not think we would hear any objection from main Justice.

J. DAVIS: Is it normal procedure that the prosecuting attorneys would get to weigh in on a case, especially one of this magnitude?

NOLAN: Yes, normally they would.

J. DAVIS: Mr. Podesta or Mr. Lindsey, did either one of you all think to tell the president or anyone that, "We need to talk to the prosecuting attorneys"?

LINDSEY: The president has indicated--and I think we did indicate--that the U.S. attorney's office in the Southern District was opposed to it. We knew that as a fact.

J. DAVIS: How did you know that as a fact, if they had not had the opportunity to weigh in on it?

LINDSEY: Because we knew that there had been discussions prior to this application for the U.S. attorney's office to sit down with representative attorneys for Mr. Rich to discuss the matter, and that their position is that, until they came back, there would be no discussions.

Again, their position was that as long as they remain fugitives, there would be no discussion of any of these matters. And I just assumed that that would clearly be their position with respect to a pardon application.

J. DAVIS: Did you relay that to the president?

LINDSEY: You know, can I recall, specifically? I believe the president was aware of all of that, that there had been attempts--I think Mr. Quinn may have mentioned it in letters--that there had been attempts to talk with the U.S. attorney's office in the southern district, and that they refused to have those conversations.

J. DAVIS: Mr. Podesta, weigh in, then I'm going to yield my time...

PODESTA: I think that the proper channel for soliciting the U.S. attorney's views in this case was through main Justice, through Mr. Holder or through the pardon attorney. And I think it was a mistake not to have done that.

I think that, from the perspective of the three people sitting up here, and I think with respect to Mr. Holder, I think the reason that that wasn't done was because no one thought this was going to happen, and no one supported it. And I think it wasn't until the evening of the 19th that that proposition was put to Mr. Holder, and I think that it would clearly have been better to have solicited the views of the U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York and to have that in front of the president before he made a final decision on this matter.

And I think, as I said earlier in my testimony, I think we bear some responsibility for not having had that done, but I think it's explained by the course of conduct we were all engaged in, which was we were busy; we were working on a lot of things; we didn't think this was going anywhere; we didn't think it was a live option on Tuesday night. But obviously, I think, the president made a decision.

I think it's fair to say what Mr. Lindsey said, which the president understood that the U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York would not support this, but I think, in due regard to her equities, that he at least should have been able to hear what her views were.

I would add something else, which is that I don't think the president in all these matters--and I think I heard him say this on several occasions--wanted to not know what the Justice Department thought. I think he always wanted to know what the Justice Department thought, but he didn't want them to have, in essence, a de facto veto power by not giving them the applications or what their views were.

So I think that he was perfectly happy to get recommendations not to grant a pardon, which he then could consider and then decide to do or not do. But in this case, I think that from that perspective, the system didn't work well and we bear some of the responsibility for that.

J. DAVIS: I yield to Mr. LaTourette.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Lindsey, I just heard what you said in response to the question, and Mr. Quinn said that at the last hearing, but I think in the next round I'd invite you to look at exhibit 135 and the observation that the southern district of New York would not sit down and negotiate this case is not right. They agreed to dismiss the RICO case. They agreed to bail. They agreed to sit down with the lawyers that prepared the report that Mr. Rich paid for. Did you know all of that?

PODESTA: No, sir, I was told that the U.S. attorney's office had indicated that, as long they were fugitives, that they would not negotiate.

LATOURETTE: I would just invite you to look at exhibit 135 and then maybe you and I can talk about it when I get more time.

CHAIRMAN: Mr. Putnam?

PUTNAM: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Podesta, you have testified that your opinion on this case was that the facts did not support a recommendation to the president for a pardon, is that correct?

PODESTA: That's correct.

PUTNAM: And you stated the same, Mr. Lindsey, is that correct?

LINDSEY: I'm sorry, I was reading exhibit 135.

(LAUGHTER)

What was your question?

PUTNAM: You stated that, from the beginning, it was your opinion that the facts did not support a recommendation to the president for a pardon.

LINDSEY: That is absolutely correct.

PUTNAM: And you did the same, Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: I'm sorry, sir?

PUTNAM: That the facts did not support...

NOLAN: That's correct.

PUTNAM: So the conclusion that I draw from that is that Mr. Quinn has an uncanny ability for persuasive writing that, based on the advice of every attorney in the White House who has responsibility for reviewing these matters, it was your memo to the president that convinced him based on the merits of the case that the pardon was in fact justified. Is that essentially what it was, that everyone else in the entire White House counsel's office, according to Mr. Podesta, unanimously was against the pardon, so this one memo to the president was so persuasive, so convincing, that he made his decision to pursue the pardon?

If I may respond to that, I think there were a number of issues. I think Jack did make persuasive arguments, at least to the president. In addition, we talked about the prime minister of Israel weighing in. In addition, the president at the time he made the decision--had been advised that the deputy attorney general was neutral, leaning favorable.

I cannot tell you, if any one of those three factors had not been present, whether the decision would have been the same, but to sort of focus only on one of those factors I think is not correct.

PUTNAM: A moment ago, Ms. Nolan testified that the president made the decision based on the merits of the case and advice of those whom he trusted. Who else did he seek out for advice, besides those of you here who were on the White House or Justice Department staff?

NOLAN: The people I had mentioned before were the advice of Mr. Quinn, the recommendation of Mr. Barak, and the recommendation, such as it was, of Mr. Holder. That's what I was referring to.

PUTNAM: And is it common, in your review of the other pardon applications, how many other--you know, we've got the king of Spain, Barak. How often does it come up that foreign heads of state weigh in on pardon applications?

NOLAN: It came up I would guess a handful of times in this past season.

PUTNAM: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: Just to give you some example, I just read that, for example, Margaret Thatcher and Prime Minister Gorbachev, at the time, weighed in on behalf of Armand Hammer's pardon application shortly after he had contributed $100,000 to the Bush-Quayle campaign and the RNC campaign, and those may have been factors in granting that pardon as well.

PUTNAM: And you had indicated that your concern about this pardon was not great because, quote, "No one thought it was going to happen. It was not a live option." Had you had an opportunity to review exhibit 67, the e-mail that indicates that, "As we previously indicated, the staff are not supportive, but not in detail mode," but that according to you, Mr. Podesta, "The efforts with the president are being felt. It sounds like you're making headway and should keep at it as long as you can." That was sent on the 16th.

PODESTA: I mean, again, my recollection of that conversation was that I said to Mr. Kadzik that I was opposed to it, that the counsel was opposed to it, and that we would recommend to the president that he not grant it.

PUTNAM: Mr. Quinn, do you have any idea why Mr. Fink would have thought that, based on Podesta's remarks, you were making headway and your presence was being felt?

QUINN: No, and you'll notice that Mr. Fink is not reporting on a conversation he had with me. But I know that Mr. Kadzik and Mr. Fink will both be before the committee today.

PUTNAM: And just one final question for you, Mr. Quinn. According to exhibit 72, there was an e-mail that indicates, from Robert Fink to Mr. Azulay, "I have been asked who lobbied the president on behalf of Marc and Pinky, and said it may be private and therefore did not immediately respond. Who should I say?"

Why would there be any reason for embarrassment or shame or reluctance to disclose who had advocated this supposedly meritorious pardon application?

QUINN: Again, sir, that's not my e-mail, so I can't speak to what was in his mind. I do know that there's at least one other document that indicates that Mr. Azulay was sensitive to public opinion in Israel. But beyond that, I can't comment.

PUTNAM: Thank you.

BURTON: Gentleman's time has expired.

Mr. Schrock?

Mr. Schrock, would you yield to me, please?

BURTON: Thank you.

I hope I'm not redundant. I was gone for a little bit. I had to leave. But there's a few questions I'd like to ask.

I know that when Mr. Quinn presented his application to the president, he presented the best case possible. And when you met with the president, the three of you, and talked to him about the Rich pardon, did you talk to him about Mr. Rich breaking embargoes by trading with Mr. Moammar Gadhafi of Libya, or trading with Iran when our hostages were being held in violation of the embargo, or that he traded with Iraq when we were involved in problems with Iraq and the embargoed oil, or the grain embargo on the Soviet Union when we had the grain embargo? Was the president aware of that?

Was he aware that Mr. Rich was violating the embargo of South Africa or that he was trading with Cuba during the Cuban embargo? Did you tell the president any of that?

NOLAN: Mr. Burton, I don't think I knew or know any of that. I don't except I did know that part of the indictment was a Trading with the Enemies Act violation, and the president knew that.

I told the president, late in the evening, that there was an allegation of arms-trading, that I had spoken with Mr. Quinn several times to try to determine what that allegation was and if that was something different from trading with the enemy. I...

BURTON: I want to get to that in just a moment, but did you or any of you talk to him about any of these violations of embargoes that was in violation of the law? Any of them? And there was one, two, three, four, five, six that we know of. Did you tell the president...

NOLAN: Other than the thing I just referred to, the Trading with the Enemies Act, and the allegation of arms-trading, no, I don't believe so. I don't think I knew about it.

BURTON: Did you ask for an intelligence briefing? Did you talk to anybody at the Justice Department about any other violations that may have taken place by Mr. Rich so you could convey them to the president?

NOLAN: No. I agree with Mr. Podesta's description, and want to make clear that until 8 or 9 or later in the evening of January 19, I did not know this pardon was going forward.

BURTON: Yes, but you knew it was being considered earlier, did you not? I mean, you knew Mr. Quinn...

NOLAN: I thought that it was not going forward. I knew it had been considered, but I left a meeting sometime earlier in that week with the clear impression that it would not go forward.

BURTON: Well, what I can't understand is, even if something of this significance is being considered, and you knew that this was one of the most wanted fugitives in the world by the United States, if you thought it was even being remotely considered and you knew Mr. Quinn was pushing for it, you knew there was calls coming in from people, leaders around the world, why didn't you ask for an intelligence briefing? Why didn't you ask if there were other laws and embargoes and things like that that had been broken, so that the three of you could have at least explained to the president, you know, what was going on? The Justice Department knew about these things.

NOLAN: Sir, I did not know until that evening that it was a live issue. For all the kinds of matters Mr. Podesta described, we were extremely busy, and we weren't spending time on pardon applications that looked like they weren't going anywhere. And that was simply a matter of trying to manage the best we could with an extremely heavy load. I didn't have the time and wasn't inclined to do work on matters that I thought weren't live matters.

Once we had the president's determination, we did ask the Justice Department for an NCIC check.

BURTON: You reached out to Mr. Quinn about some of the issues, did you not? I mean, you talked to him.

NOLAN: On the 19th. And I...

BURTON: If you talked to Mr. Quinn, why didn't you call over to the Justice Department and say, "Hey, this thing is a hot item. I want as quickly as you can get it, I want a complete rundown..."

NOLAN: I spoke with Mr. Holder, sir.

I spoke with the deputy attorney general.

BURTON: And what did Mr. Holder say?

NOLAN: He said he was neutral, leaning toward favorable.

BURTON: No, did you ask him about specific things, like, "Tell me what was going on Mr. Rich. Tell me where he violated the law. Tell me what was going on, so I can tell the president, clearly, what the problems are with this pardon"? Did you ask him that?

NOLAN: If the deputy attorney general gives me a view on a pardon, I don't normally get all of the underlying facts of it, sir.

BURTON: So he says, "Well, I'm neutral, leaning yes," but the fact of the matter is, you knew this was a very, very wanted fugitive and you didn't pursue it any more than, "I'm neutral, leaning yes"?

NOLAN: Well, my view, as clearly expressed to the president, was that this should not be done because he was a wanted fugitive.

BURTON: But the problem is, on what basis?

NOLAN: My view was, if Mr. Quinn's arguments were all correct, if Mr. Rich and Mr. Green had been selectively prosecuted, it didn't matter...

BURTON: I think I'm next. Do you want to take your time? Well, I'd like to go on and continue the questioning, if you would let me take my time, but I'll yield to you if you like.

Go ahead.

WAXMAN: It just appears to me this whole pardon process broke down because, ideally, the president should have had all of this information. He should have known what the prosecutors had to say about it. He should have known all of this background about Mr. Rich, which he apparently did not have at his disposal.

So this whole pardon process broke down, and we're trying to understand how the president could make this decision. And he made it contrary to his top advisers who worked for him at the White House. Sometimes, when we step back and try to figure out what is going on, we miss the obvious.

And two things are going through my mind, as I recollect that period of time.

The failure of the Middle East peace process, it must have been a tremendous blow to the president, and here Prime Minister Barak was calling him and asking for a favor. The president must have known at that point that Mr. Barak was likely to be out of office fairly soon.

Second thing was that that was the day that the president had to come to terms with the independent counsel and make a public statement of his statements not being completely accurate, if I could just be mild in my way of putting it. But the president, nevertheless, had to come forward and make a public statement about the testimony he had given. These were two things on his mind.

Mr. Podesta, no one can quite know what was going on in his head, but his concern about overzealous prosecutors, a request from the prime minister of Israel, probably his exhaustion, the failure to get all of the information, how much of this was contributing to the president's decision-making?

PODESTA: Mr. Waxman, I am loathe to kind of psychoanalyze the president and try to figure out exactly what factors went to what. But I do know that Mr. Barak had, as I think Mr. Lindsey said, raised it a couple of times. I think that was, as you properly point out, an emotional time. The peace process, obviously, wasn't coming to fruition. He had enormous respect for Mr. Barak.

I think Mr. Barak had asked him for several things, if you will, that were intended to show support for the state of Israel, not so much for Mr. Barak, but for the state of Israel, including, for example, the pardon of Jonathan Pollard. This was one of things...

WAXMAN: And the president was not going to give that pardon to Jonathan Pollard?

PODESTA: That's correct. And I think this was one thing that he was seeking. I think, in my own view, that meant that he felt like he really had to go back and look at it hard.

And at that point it was, I think, too late to do what you're suggesting we should have done and that I have suggested that we should have done, which is to provide him a more complete portfolio with the thing.

But it was on the evening of January 19. I think as a result of that, he wanted to take a hard look at it. He did. Again, I wasn't present for the conversation, so I can't go into what I thought was in his head, but that, I think, gives some fuller explanation of what the situation was at that time.

WAXMAN: I want to touch on another issue. I want to clarify something that received a lot of attention earlier, and that was a conversation that Cheryl Mills had with Roger Adams. Roger Adams is the pardon person over at the Justice Department.

One, this was a conversation on January 20. Ms. Nolan, I assume, tell me if I'm not correct, that all the pardon decisions had been decided by January 19.

NOLAN: All the pardon decisions except, I believe, Mr. Deutch were decided on the 19th.

WAXMAN: Mr. Rich was decided earlier.

NOLAN: Yes.

WAXMAN: From Cheryl Mills, her position was she never called Roger Adams on January 20 or any other day, and that Roger Adams called the White House counsel's office. She picked up the phone because everybody was so frantic and so busy--this was the last day of the president's term--and he had a question about paperwork, something about warrants that had to go back over the Justice Department. She tried to assist him in answering that question on the paperwork.

And then I do want to make the point that she has maintained, and as far as I know it's true, that she had no knowledge about Denise Rich contributions to the library, to the campaigns or anything else. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

NOLAN: None whatsoever.

WAXMAN: Then the last thing I want to ask Mr. Podesta. There's been some concern in the press about this Hasidic group in New York and the appearance, because they all voted so overwhelmingly for Mrs. Clinton for Senate. Do you have any information that you can share with us about this group? Is it surprising that they voted so overwhelmingly? And anything else you want to tell us about that?

PODESTA: Well, I think that, again, I think that much has been made in the press about the fact that the group voted overwhelmingly for Mrs. Clinton and suggested that there was quid pro quo, which I reject. But I went back and looked at the voting in New Square, and it's interesting that in 1998 they voted 1,132 for Governor Pataki, eight for Peter Vallone, who was running for governor. In 1996, they voted 1,110 for President Clinton, 31 for Senator Dole. In the Senate race in 1992, the vote was 664 for Al D'Amato, three for Mr. Abrams. So I don't know much about this community, but I do know they vote as a bloc. And I don't think you can take much out of the fact that they, in fact, vote as a bloc because they seem to do it for Republicans and they seem to do it for Democrats.

I think the president concluded in that particular case that no purpose was served in these gentlemen staying in jail. They'd all served a couple of years, and he thought that--he did not, by the way, pardon the gentlemen as he was requested to do by the community leaders. He did commute their sentence to time served--not time served. I think he commuted it to two years, because he thought that they all had children at home and it made more sense at that point to reduce their jail terms, to let them go home, and to begin to work and pay off the restitution fines that they had, which he left in place.

Again, one could disagree with it, but I think it was a decision made on the merits. We heard from people outside the community as well, on that particular case. And I think it was a justifiable decision, based on the fact that they had all served significant jail terms, and it made more sense to have them home with their kids and earning money to pay the restitution back.

WAXMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURTON: I understand that there's a need for a brief break, so we'll take about a five or 10 minute break, then we'll go to the next round.

Stand in recess for 10 minutes.

(RECESS)

BURTON: The committee will return to order.

We'll start the second round. I'll start with my five minutes.

Ms. Nolan, you received word that Mr. Rich had been involved in arms trading. And as I understand it, correct me if I'm wrong, you asked Mr. Quinn about that. Is that correct?

NOLAN: That's correct.

BURTON: Did you ask anybody at the Justice Department about it?

NOLAN: No, this was...

BURTON: Turn your mike on, would you, please?

NOLAN: Sorry.

This was at 2:00 or 2:30 in the morning. I did not.

BURTON: Well, the thing is, when somebody who's an international fugitive is about to be pardoned, and somebody tells you from one of the, I guess, intelligence agencies that the man was involved in international arms-trading, which may or may not have been the case, it may have been under that category, it looks like red lights would go all over the place. And you would say, "My gosh, we've got to check this out very thoroughly."

Now, I cited earlier six or seven violations of embargoes, trading with the enemy of the United States: Iran, Iraq, the Soviet Union during the grain embargo, Cuba, South Africa during the embargo, all of those things, Libya, Moammar Gadhafi, whom we bombed because of the things he was doing. And it seems light if a red light went off like that, you would say, "Hold it. We've got until tomorrow at noon. Let's double check this thing."

What I want to understand is, why would you go to the man who's advocating a pardon, Mr. Quinn, and ask him about it and not get people out of bed at the Justice Department? I just don't understand it. It doesn't make any sense to me.

NOLAN: That's what I did. I asked Mr. Quinn the information. Then I talked to the president. I told him that we had this information that--I remember the words I used, because I said, "All we have is Jack Quinn's word" that the arms-trading is not, in fact, an issue for Mr. Rich.

BURTON: If you will, let me interrupt. All you had was Jack Quinn's word.

NOLAN: That's correct.

BURTON: An intelligence agency tells you that there was arms-trading, a violation of law, and all these other things had taken place, which should had not yet been revealed or checked, and you take the man's word or the president takes his word on a pardon of one of the most wanted fugitives in the world, who renounced his citizenship and all the other things we've talked about, you took his word when Mr. Quinn was representing him. And Mr. Quinn has said in previous testimony, the last time he was here, "My job wasn't to tell all the facts that were against the pardon. My job was to point out all the reasons why there should be a pardon." And you know as an attorney that's what you do. You try to make the best case for your client.

Now, why in the world would you go to Mr. Quinn when there was a question of illegal activity and say, "Hey, what about this?" You darn well he's going to say, "Oh, that's nothing. That's just a minor thing. That was probably not arms trading. It's probably oil trading or something else." Why would you take his word for it and why would the president take his word for it, and then go ahead and grant that pardon? I just don't understand it. It eludes me. Would you explain that to me?

NOLAN: Mr. Chairman, I will try to explain it to you. I don't know that you and I will see eye to eye on what the situation was then.

BURTON: I'm worried about the American people and what they think about it.

NOLAN: Well, I would like to try to explain it.

BURTON: OK.

NOLAN: This was 2:30 in the morning. My eyes were officially stuck together, by then. I'd had my contact lenses in since 7 or 6 the morning before. I'd been going on a couple of hours sleep most nights that week, as had the president. And I think, frankly, as Mr. Podesta said, because this came up so late, we did not do the kind of checks that we would have done if we had more time.

BURTON: Ms. Nolan...

NOLAN: The president and Mr. Lindsey--if I may finish, Mr. Chairman, since you asked this question.

BURTON: Sure.

NOLAN: As Mr. Lindsey indicated, he had indicated that he had said to the president that, you know, "Understand Mr. Quinn is not your adviser. He's an advocate."

But I do think that the president viewed Mr. Quinn as somebody who he truly did trust to give him correct information. And as far as we know, that information was not incorrect.

BURTON: I'm running out of time here.

Was Mr. Quinn at the White House?

NOLAN: No.

BURTON: OK, so you had the ability, with your eyes stuck together, to get a hold of Mr. Quinn, but you didn't try to contact the Justice Department to ask them about it because it was...

NOLAN: I...

BURTON: Let me--it's 2:30 in the morning and you can get a hold of the man who is an advocate for pardoning one of the most wanted fugitives in the world, but you don't call the Justice Department or the intelligence agencies at 2:30 in the morning, because your eyes are stuck together. I just don't understand that.

NOLAN: Sir...

BURTON: Why would you call Mr. Quinn and not call the Justice Department to find out about that?

NOLAN: I was trying to determine if Mr. Quinn understood or had an explanation for why it was there. I agree, although as I said, it may very well be, appears that it is correct, that Mr. Quinn was correct about the description of the NCIC. So I'm not sure, in retrospect, that was an incorrect decision.

But I agree, had there been more time, had I been operating on more sleep, had the president been operating on more sleep, if the Constitution didn't say that at 12 noon, this was done, there would have been more calls made.

I have no question about that. I completely agree with that. I can only tell you what happened.

BURTON: Well, let me just end by saying this: It was 2:30 in the morning. The president didn't leave office until noon the next day. This was a very, very serious thing. It should have sent up red flags all over the place. And to ask the defense attorney for his counsel on this and not ask the Justice Department when you're going to be pardoning one of the most wanted fugitives in the world, whom everybody in Justice and Democrats and Republicans, alike, said shouldn't be pardoned, just doesn't make sense. It just doesn't past muster.

Who is next?

CUMMINGS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I'm so glad you started asking those questions, Mr. Chairman. It's just amazing. That's exactly where I wanted to go. I wanted to talk about Mr. Quinn for a moment and just ask a few questions.

Ms. Nolan, you seem to have a lot of confidence in Mr. Quinn. Is that right?

NOLAN: Yes.

CUMMINGS: And I take it that you believe that the president did, also?

NOLAN: That's correct.

CUMMINGS: Now, the chairman asked you a question--and I'm going to get to you, Mr. Quinn, in a moment. But the chairman asked you a question, and it seems to boil down to this: You have a trusted friend of the president, someone who has represented the president, who is now an advocate for his client. And we lawyers, we advocate for our clients, that's our job, we're sworn to do that. And, at the same time, one who has a loyalty to the president because he has a significant part of his life. I mean, did you take that into consideration? Did you feel that there some kind of, not official conflict, but perhaps a conflict with his advocacy for his client and, at the same time, his friendship for the president? And do you think Mr. Quinn would have put the president in a situation, would have, say, given the president some advice that might have done harm to the president and would have benefited his client?

And I'm going to ask you the same question, Mr. Quinn.

NOLAN: I did not believe, and do not believe, that Mr. Quinn would put the president in harm's way or intended to in any way. And Mr. Quinn had, in fact, said that he believed in this case.

He said, "I'm an advocate, but I believe in this with my whole heart and soul. I completely believe in this case."

CUMMINGS: You remember those words or similar words?

NOLAN: Yes.

CUMMINGS: And you believed that? You felt that he really meant that when he said it?

NOLAN: I thought he meant it. It didn't change my mind. I thought his heart and soul were taking him in the wrong place. But I believe that he believed it, yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: Mr. Quinn, you understand my question, right?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: You're advocating for your client, but at the same time you've got a president who you've represented. And what happens so often with us lawyers and our clients, we get to know them so well and we want the best for them, too. So we got two situations. And I guess somebody who is a non-lawyer may be looking at this, and there's been some implications coming from up here that maybe there was some kind of, again, unofficial conflict.

And I want you to comment on that. And the reason why I'm getting to that is because I think that sometimes things can be implied, and I'd rather for you to let us know exactly where you stood with regard to the president, who you felt was your former client, and, at the same time, Mr. Rich, who was your present client.

QUINN: Sure. Well, let me say several things, if I may, Congressman.

First of all, Ms. Nolan's absolutely correct. I would never have consciously put the president in harm's way, or any of the people sitting next to me. I would imagine you can appreciate that I did not think my advocacy here would lead to us being in this room today. I acknowledge that.

I did believe in the merits of the case I made. I still do. I don't expect to convince anyone of that, after all the publicity we've seen and all the questions that have been raised. But I believed in it and I do today. And I would not have misrepresented the facts, either to the people sitting alongside me or to the president.

When Ms. Nolan called me about this matter, I told her what my understanding of the allegation was. I told her that I wanted to confirm my understanding with the person who had led me to that understanding, one of my co-counsel, and I did so.

And I would point out that, with respect to these matters of arms dealing that have been alleged, not only were these people never indicted for anything like that, to my knowledge, there's not any criminal investigation of it.

And again, I will repeat, if they violated any law for activities outside the scope of this indictment, of which the chairman has complained, they can be held legally accountable.

CUMMINGS: I just want to take a moment again to thank you all for your service to the country. One of the things that has always concerned me about this committee is that so often we drag people before the committee and then their reputations are tarnished. And like somebody said, "How do I get my reputation back?" And I really do appreciate what you all have done to try to lift up all Americans.

And so I just want to take that moment to speak on behalf of Elijah Cummings and the people that I represent, to say thank you.

LINDSEY: Thank you, sir.

NOLAN: Thank you.

PODESTA: Thank you, Congressman.

BARR: The time of the gentleman has expired.

Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey, or Mr. Podesta, any of you all familiar with the Braswell case?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir.

NOLAN: Yes, sir.

BARR: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I was not familiar with it while I was at the White House, but I've become familiar with it from reading press accounts later.

BARR: Did any of you all see the petition filed by Mr. Braswell?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir.

NOLAN: I believe I did. Yes, sir.

BARR: Very interesting. According to the Department of Justice, there was no petition filed.

NOLAN: We certainly received something, and I think it was in the form of a pardon petition.

BARR: Oh, really?

NOLAN: I think so.

BARR: This is very interesting, because, according to the Department of Justice, he was one of 44 individuals pardoned on the president's last day in office who did not file clemency applications with the Department of Justice prior to January 20. How could you all have seen a petition?

NOLAN: Well, I think, as in the case with Mr. Rich, he filed a pardon petition. It was filed with the White House, not with the Justice Department.

BARR: And apparently a very fine one.

Well, this is the pardon petition for Mr. Rich. Did any of you all see that one?

NOLAN: Yes, sir.

BARR: OK. Well, that one really does exist. I'm really intrigued that you all could have seen a petition that the Department of Justice says didn't exist.

NOLAN: Sir, all I can tell you is the fact that the Department of Justice didn't receive a pardon petition doesn't mean that a pardon petition wasn't filled out and sent to the White House.

BARR: Well...

NOLAN: And I believe I saw one. I certainly saw some application. I think it was a pardon petition.

BARR: That's very interesting. Was it Mr. Rodham that filed it?

NOLAN: I don't know who filed it. I believe that it was sent to the White House through Mr. Rodham, yes.

BARR: Is that the petition that you might have seen, Mr. Lindsey, a petition filed by Mr. Rodham?

LINDSEY: I did not know Mr. Rodham was involved at all. I believe what I saw was filed by Mr. Kendall Coffee.

BARR: OK. Which one did you...

LINDSEY: Filed it may not be the right word.

NOLAN: Yes, I'm not sure--right.

LINDSEY: Filed is not the right word because, again, as Ms. Nolan said, you know, it...

BARR: Well, I'm not splitting hairs. Apparently the two of you all saw some document on behalf of Mr. Braswell.

LINDSEY: Yes, sir, I actually...

NOLAN: That's correct.

LINDSEY: And I believe it was a pardon application, because I think I read it.

BARR: And did you bring that with you, Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: It would be in the White House files. It would be at the archives.

BARR: OK, Ms. Nolan did you bring what you saw with you?

NOLAN: I don't have it.

BARR: And which one did you see, Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I didn't see any of Mr. Braswell. The first time I heard about Mr. Braswell was when I read about him in the New York Times.

BARR: OK. Do you recall exactly what was in that petition, Ms. Nolan? To your recollection, the one filed by Mr. Rodham?

NOLAN: May I be clear? I would not use the word "filed," and I don't know that it was sent to the White House by Mr. Rodham. I thought it was, but I don't know for sure. It could be the same one Mr. Lindsey is talking about. I just want to be clear.

BARR: Well, that's not very clear.

NOLAN: Well, it's as clear as I can be, sir.

BARR: First, you...

NOLAN: I want to be clear about the lack of clarity of my memory.

BARR: That's clear, that you're trying to be clear about the lack of clarity.

NOLAN: I don't want to overstate what I remember.

BARR: I don't think there is any doubt that any of us harbor any illusions that you do. I think you're deliberately unclear.

NOLAN: Sir...

BARR: Yes, ma'am.

NOLAN: ... I have not been deliberately unclear.

BARR: Well, then perhaps you might rethink whether the petition that you saw, the documentation that you saw on behalf of Mr. Braswell, came from Mr. Rodham.

NOLAN: Are you asking me to testify to facts I don't remember?

BARR: Why would I do that?

NOLAN: Sir, you seem to be objecting to the level of my memory.

BARR: That is...

NOLAN: All I can do is tell what you I remember.

BARR: That is true. I do object to the level of your memory.

NOLAN: Really? Well...

BARR: It is apparently pretty low.

NOLAN: I don't think that's correct, sir, and I don't think that's a fair characterization of my testimony.

BARR: Well, you can't remember where the petition came from, yet you take great exception to the fact that I used the word "filed," which is not a legal term that I'm using. Apparently there was documentation that was somehow delivered to the White House or got in the hands of people at the White House, namely, yourself.

First you say that you think it was sent by Mr. Rodham or he had something to do with it. Then as soon as we hear from Mr. Lindsey that he saw something filed perhaps, or delivered by somebody else, all of a sudden your memory becomes even fuzzier, and you're not sure that it was from Mr. Rodham. This one might be the one Mr. Lindsey filed.

NOLAN: I think I testified right to begin with that I thought it was from Mr. Rodham. I just wanted to clarify that I had so testified. But maybe can just move on, because I don't know that we'll see eye to eye on...

BARR: Thank you very much for your direction to the committee.

NOLAN: You're welcome, sir.

BARR: We will come back to that.

CHAIRMAN: The chair recognizes the gentlelady from Hawaii.

MINK: Thank you.

WAXMAN: Will you yield to me?

MINK: Yes, I'll be happy to yield to Mr. Waxman.

WAXMAN: I just want to say that I thought that the last questioning that you had was insulting. And Ms. Nolan has been before this committee on many of occasions. She's always been as helpful and as cooperative as she can be. No one can testify about things they don't know. And she's testifying, after many, many hours, to the best of her recollection. And I thank her for being here. And I don't think any witness should be treated in a shabby way, as I thought you just were.

NOLAN: Thank you.

MINK: I yield to my colleague, Mr. Cummings.

CUMMINGS: I want to thank the gentlelady for yielding.

I want to just take a moment to associate myself with the words of Mr. Waxman. You know, since I've been on this committee for almost five years, I've heard a lot of people testify.

And, Ms. Nolan, we were just talking here a moment ago, I was talking with staff, and we were talking about how credible, not only you, but all of you have been. You've answered the questions straight up. What you didn't know, you didn't know. What you didn't remember, you didn't remember. I believe you gave us the very best that you had to give.

And we cannot ask any more of witness. For you to give us the best that you have to give, that's just what you're sworn to do. And to object to your remembering, I just find simply incredible.

But I just want you to know, and I'll reiterate it until the day I die, people who work for the government often sacrifice much. I'm not only talking about wages, I'm talking about sacrificing reputations, hours of work, time away from their family. When I heard you talk, Ms. Nolan, about 2:30 in the morning with your eyes--I've forgotten how you said--stuck close, I think you said something like that. But I just want you to know that there are a lot of people who really appreciate it.

And, again, I could not let this moment go by. I wanted to scream a moment ago, but I didn't. I thought I would be called out of order by Mr. Barr, so I didn't want to do that.

But I just know that we do appreciate your testimony, all of you. And I am so glad, I am so very, very glad that it's people like you that are part and have been a part of our government. And I don't want people who look at the television screen tonight or whenever this plays, to feel that people who come into public service have to go through unfair statements and things that have happened here in the last few moments.

Thank you. I yield back.

MINK: Mr. Chairman, I just want to join my two colleagues in expressing my own personal satisfaction with the responses that have been given. I have a much clearer view of what transpired in those last hectic days in the White House.

And I think that your explanations and your timeframes in which all of this occurred are very helpful, at least it is to me. And I hope to all of the people who have watched this hearing this afternoon, as to what the judgment was and how it came about, no one will ever know. But certainly the circumstances, the performance, the advice that the president's highest advisers attempted to give him is very clear.

You were there. You told him what you thought. And the decision went the other way.

And I'm satisfied that there is absolutely no scintilla of evidence or suspicion of any kind of conduct that could lead to any questions as to the behavior of you or your colleagues or your staff or your assistants in the president's final determination. It was his judgment, you may disagree with it, but I'm perfectly comfortable in saying this afternoon that the performance of all of you, as his staff and advisers, were clearly beyond any suspicion, any characterization other than the superb performance of dedicated people who have served this administration for such a long time. And I thank you for coming here today voluntarily.

BARR: The chair recognizes the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Shays, for 5 minutes.

SHAYS: Thank you very much.

I think one of the things that this hearing has pointed out is that you don't give pardons in the last few days of the president's term, unless you're able to do real due diligence. And I don't agree with any comment on any side of the aisle that would suggest that due diligence was done.

Whether someone questions your memory or not, that's another issue. I don't know what your memory is, but due diligence was not done. This was not the finest hour for the president or for his staff. And it may be just that, just not a fine hour.

But, I mean, I have a problem with the pardon of Susan McDougal. But, you know, I just happen to have a problem with someone who is given immunity to testify and tell the truth, and just explain why in the September 1996 appearance before the grand jury, the United States located a record of a check dated August 1, 1983, in the amount of $5,081.82 drawn on the James B. McDougal trustee account payable to Madison Guarantee and signed by Susan McDougal. The words quote, "payoff" are written in the notation section of the check.

What we wanted to know is what the word payoff meant, and all she had to do was come and tell the truth. Instead, she went to jail because she, even after given immunity, didn't want to tell the truth and was sent to jail. And the president pardoned her. I mean, there's nothing really very pleasant about a lot of these pardons.

So, we're just going to plug away. And in the end, I look at someone I know well, Mr. Podesta, and I hope that we meet on better grounds, and I hope that we find a way to get out of this morass, because the more questions we ask, the worse it looks.

I would just want to verify a few things and then I have a subject to question, and I may have to keep coming back.

But, Mr. Lindsey, when I was gone ahead a number of people came up to me and said that you had reason to know Mrs. Mills schedule a little better than you have led on. And I want to just put on the record, because when you ask different people--the questions may not have directed it properly.

But the last week of the president's term, I'd like to know in that last week, the 20th down to Monday, do you know if Ms. Mills was in town on Monday?

LINDSEY: Monday, what Monday?

SHAYS: The Monday preceding the Saturday before the January 15th.

LINDSEY: I do not.

SHAYS: On Tuesday?

LINDSEY: I don't know.

SHAYS: On Wednesday?

LINDSEY: I don't know.

SHAYS: On Thursday?

LINDSEY: I don't think so.

SHAYS: On Friday?

LINDSEY: She came to town on Friday, I think.

SHAYS: So your testimony is that she came to town on Friday and she was there on Friday, but not before?

LINDSEY: Again, my testimony was that I don't know. I don't think she was there on Thursday, because I think she came to town on Friday. I don't know whether she was there earlier in the week.

SHAYS: Was she there in the White House on Friday?

LINDSEY: Yes, that was the night that we were talking about.

SHAYS: Yes, was she at the White House on the 20th?

LINDSEY: Yes, she flew back with us to New York.

SHAYS: Thank you very much.

I am going to ask each of you these questions. Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Podesta, the questions I ask each, I'm asking all of you. And so some of it will be a little redundant, but we'll just plug through it.

Starting with you, Ms. Nolan, when did you first discuss with Mr. Clinton the possibility of a pardon for Mr. Rich and Mr. Green?

NOLAN: I'm not sure. I think it was about mid-January, but it could have been the week before.

SHAYS: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: We had a discussion prior to the 19th. Mr. Podesta believes we had a discussion on the 16th. I'll accept his memory on that. Whether we had a discussion prior to that, I don't know.

SHAYS: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: As I said in my opening statement, I think that we had that discussion, I believe it was on the night of the 16th, and that was the first time, I believe, that I discussed the matter with the president.

SHAYS: Thank you.

Do you have any understanding of what the president knew about either Mr. Rich or Mr. Green at the time the pardon application was presented to him? And what is that understanding?

Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: I'm sorry?

SHAYS: Yes, I read it fast. Do you have any...

NOLAN: It was the last phrase, sir, "at the time the pardon petition was presented"?

SHAYS: Was presented to him.

NOLAN: I don't know that he knew anything at that time. Do you mean, what did he know when we discussed the pardon or...

SHAYS: When he got the application did he have a sense of what this application was all about?

NOLAN: I don't know at the time that he received the application what he knew it was. I think he did understand the arguments Mr. Quinn was making by the time we discussed it.

SHAYS: Mr. Lindsey?

NOLAN: I would agree with that.

SHAYS: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I have no knowledge of his knowledge in mid-December when he received the application.

SHAYS: I understand that you can smile about it, but you know a lot about what he thinks, because you're his closest adviser.

PODESTA: But I don't know--as I said, I think the first time I talked to him about it was January 16. So it was a little over a month later.

SHAYS: I see my time has run out. We're going to just have to come back. I'll just come back.

BARR: The chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. LaTourette, for five minutes.

LATOURETTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Lindsey, I want to come back to Carlos Vignali, and then maybe we can talk about exhibit 135.

I was under the impression, and I think this came from the briefing that we received from the clemency attorney, that Mr. Vignali lied on his pardon application. You were of the opinion that he reported past convictions.

LINDSEY: Well, I don't know what, you know, I'm not sure what they were referring to with respect to lying, whether it had to do with past convictions. I remember, I think, that there were past convictions listed on the pardon application.

LATOURETTE: Well, and so I would hope you'd agree with me that, if he lied on the pardon application, that's a bad thing. And if he didn't lie on the pardon application and in fact was asked if he prior convictions and listed them, I guess my question is, I'm curious as to how he fit into the profile of a first-time offender that we were interested in getting out of jail.

LINDSEY: Well, again, I found that certain of those qualifications, certain of the facts that were given to me--you asked me what I learned from Mr. Rodham.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: Certain of those facts turned out not to be correct.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: It turned out to not be correct that he was a first-time, necessarily, a first-time offender. He had previous run-ins with the law. They were fairly minor, but I believe he had previous run-ins.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: That was clearly in Roger Adams' report.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: So if I didn't know it from the application, I knew it from Mr. Adams' report. I also know from the report that the Minneapolis U.S. attorney was opposed to the application.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: Those facts were different than what Mr. Rodham told me. The facts that were not different was that the Los Angeles sheriff indicated he supported a commutation, that the U.S. attorney, while saying he didn't know much about the facts, felt like that the family was a good environment for which Mr. Vignali would get the proper supervision.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: That the cardinal from Los Angeles had weighed in. That numerous congressman had weighed in. That numerous other public officials had weighed in.

So as we considered it, it wasn't a matter that if I learned any fact that was wrong, I was going to discard it.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: He, Mr. Rodham, asked me to review it. We began reviewing it. In that process, we decided that we should commute the sentence.

LATOURETTE: OK. Mrs. Davis was talking about process. Clearly, when we heard from Ms. Holmes Norton before, not everybody that asked the president for clemency or a pardon made it to his desk. And as a matter of fact, when--if I could just finish my question, then I'll be happy to have your response--and I think in the last weeks he made the observation that he was considering between 300 and 500, which certainly wasn't the sum substance of anybody that was looking for his mercy in the waning days of the administration.

I'm curious as to how, since the Justice Department saying it was a good idea to pardon wasn't the criterion, how did you get in that pile? If I was looking for it, how did I get in that pile of 300 to 500 that was going to receive President Clinton's ultimate authority on whether I deserved grace or not?

LINDSEY: Well, there's many ways. A member of Congress may call us and ask us to look at an application.

LATOURETTE: Well, let me ask you this: How did Mr. Vignali get into this pile of 300?

LINDSEY: Well, he came through the Justice Department. His application did come...

LATOURETTE: With a negative recommendation.

LINDSEY: Oh, yes. But, you know, again, it's the president's decision.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: First of all, it should be clear, every person that the Justice Department recommended favorably we considered. So there was no person that went through the process that got to us whose application wasn't considered and probably granted.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: In addition, there were numerous people, not just Mr. Vignali, that went through the Justice Department that they recommended negatively.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: We indicated to them on several occasions that we didn't necessarily agree with the standards. For example, in Mr. Vignali's case, one of the reasons why they turned it down was that he throughout the process maintained his innocence.

For the Department of Justice, that's an automatic rejection.

LATOURETTE: I think that that shows a lack of remorse on the part of the criminal, doesn't it? When you convicted and you get caught and you still say, "I didn't do it," that, sort of, flies in the face of remorsefulness, doesn't it?

LINDSEY: No, not necessarily, if you believe it. I mean, are you suggesting that no person has ever been innocent that's ever been convicted?

LATOURETTE: Well, do you think Mr. Vignali was wrongfully convicted after talking to the...

LINDSEY: No, sir.

LATOURETTE: Then, I think it shows a lack of remorse.

LINDSEY: Well, again, it could be a factor. It's not in the president's decision, at least, or in his mind an absolute disqualifier. So there were a number of factors that he considered.

But anyway, my point was, all the people that the Justice Department sent us favorably were considered. Many of the people that they made a negative recommendation, we reviewed and the president granted. Some--many he didn't grant.

There were others. Families Against Mandatory Minimums sent--someone made reference to it this morning--sent us a list of 24, 25 people. We took a look at them. We granted...

LATOURETTE: Twelve, she said.

LINDSEY: Twelve, 13, I'm not sure how the numbers--they got to us through Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

Members of Congress sent them to us.

LATOURETTE: I understand. I'm interested in Mr. Vignali in particular.

LINDSEY: And I told you that Mr. Vignali's--we took a--I'm not sure what we would have done if we had gotten the recommendation from Mr. Adams. The fact of the matter is that application had been pending at the Department of Justice for over two years, which is one of the problems that the president had been complaining about. And it's only, you know, probably when we went back to the department and said, you know, "We're going to look at this; are they able to rush up a recommendation?" And they sent it to us some time in the last week.

So my point is, if an application--no person, in my judgment, should have to have his application sit over at the Department of Justice for two or three years. That is part of the system that's wrong, you know.

LATOURETTE: Well, and no person that wants to become a United States citizen should have to sit at INS for two or three years, either.

LINDSEY: And I agree with that.

LATOURETTE: Anyway, but as the president said in that wonderful video he made for the White House correspondents, so many questions, so little time. And I'll be back in a little bit.

BURTON: Mr. Ose?

OSE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to go back into the White House office of gifts, Mr. Podesta. If I understand your earlier testimony, if a citizen gives a gift to the White House, it comes into the office of the gifts, there's a determination made, "Is this a personal gift to the president? Does this go to the archives?" What have you. And there's an evaluation attached to the gift; am I correct on that?

PODESTA: When a gift is sent to the president, it goes to the gift unit. The gift unit values the gift, puts it on a list, and the president, under the law, may choose to keep that gift or it goes to the archives.

OSE: OK. How is the value of the gift that's received determined?

PODESTA: By the gift's unit, which is staffed by a career employee, I believe of the General Services Administration, who's detail to the White House.

OSE: So GSA sends over...

PODESTA: I believe that's right, but I think there's a career person in the gift unit and I believe that's a detailee from the GSA. But, I could hate to stand to be corrected on that.

OSE: All right. Who oversees--I mean, is there a check on these valuations? In other words, if I'm that GSA career employee and I say that it's worth $3,218, is that the end of the debate? Is there any check on it? I mean, I...

PODESTA: Well, you know, I don't believe there's any re-review of the career employee's decision about what a gift is worth and I believe that's been the system that's been in place for many, many years and many, many presidents.

OSE: OK. How many gifts--I have no idea. I mean, how...

PODESTA: Hundreds of thousands.

OSE: Ten per day?

PODESTA: Oh, at least, I would think. I don't know. I don't know the answer to that.

OSE: Hundreds of thousands; is that what you said?

PODESTA: Thousands. Let me correct that. Thousands.

OSE: Tens of thousands or ones of thousands?

PODESTA: I think that over the course of eight years, I would think it was tens of thousands.

OSE: OK. Now, do the questions as to how to assign the gifts ever percolate up to your level?

PODESTA: Assign the gifts?

OSE: For instance--well, for instance, if the office of gifts can't make a determination and it's a close call, does it ever percolate up to your level for final determination?

PODESTA: No.

OSE: OK.

Ms. Nolan, does it ever come to the counsel's office, Mr. Lindsey?

NOLAN: As to the evaluation of the gift?

OSE: Or how to treat it--whether it's a gift to the president, or a gift to the White House, or something that goes to archives, or what have you?

LINDSEY: First of all, just to be absolutely fair, I don't believe the White House has gift authority. So gifts to the White House are actually gifts to the National Park Service, which accepts the gifts on behalf of the White House.

OSE: Well, Mr. Lindsey, you just--you're embarrassing me. You've exposed my ignorance here. So I appreciate that.

LINDSEY: So--but gifts that are meant to be part of the permanent gift collection, I think, go to the National Park Service that makes--sends a thank you-note, and so forth.

Gifts that are meant to be gifts for the Clintons personally are sent to the White House gift unit that makes the evaluation, puts them on a register, if you will. The president, at some point, reviews that register and decides whether or not he intended to keep any of the gifts personally. If he does, those gifts are reported on his annual financial disclosure form.

So, every year, any gifts that the president accepts are reported on his annual financial disclosure form.

OSE: All right.

LINDSEY: Any gifts that he does not accept, automatically at the end of the administration, go with everything else from the White House--all other presidential records, if you will, to the archives, and becomes part of the archives collection--the president's collection that are maintained by the archives.

OSE: If you've got tens of thousands of gifts flowing in over an eight-year period of time--let's say, it's 10,000--that's 10 gifts a day. If it's 20,000, it's 20 gifts a day--or whatever--I mean, do the math. How do you handle gifts that, say, come in the last month or six weeks?

Because you are in the process of shipping stuff to the archives, you are in the process of crossing the t's and dotting the i's on the administration.

Do you maintain the process of logging in the gifts?

LINDSEY: Absolutely.

OSE: So that went on all the way till noon on the 20th.

LINDSEY: If any gifts were accepted or received on the 20th, it would have been the process, yes.

OSE: OK.

LINDSEY: Now, there is some dollar amount, and Ms. Nolan might know, below which they do not go on the register, because they were at the minimus.

OSE: $250 or something like that.

NOLAN: I think it's around $270 now. It changes every so often, but I can't remember. But it's approximately that.

OSE: But they still go through that process, but if it's determined that it's below that...

NOLAN: That's the reporting requirement for the public financial disclosure.

OSE: So above that, it has to be reported, below that...

NOLAN: That's correct.

LINDSEY: Right.

OSE: OK. Now, Ms. Nolan, have you ever...

(UNKNOWN): Got a lot of t-shirts we could send you guys.

(LAUGHTER)

OSE: In your role as counsel, Ms. Nolan, have you ever been involved in judgment calls on any of these gifts or setting the policy or determining what's--you say National Park Service, what's personal gifts and what's archived? Have you ever played a part in it?

NOLAN: Normally, you know, whether something is given to the Clintons or intended for the White House, and therefore a gift of the National Park Service, is a determination that's made when something comes in. It's not normally a legal question, it's just a question of what the donor can tell us.

OSE: Have you ever been involved in such a determination?

NOLAN: I don't think so.

OSE: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: No, sir.

OSE: And, Mr. Podesta, you testified it's never gotten to your level.

OK, my time is up. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate it.

BURTON: Ms. Davis?

DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

To go back to Mr. Quinn, could you tell us exactly how many contacts you had with Mr. Clinton or the White House staff regarding the Marc Rich pardon?

QUINN: Sure, let me take them one at a time. And I covered some of this in my recent submission to the committee.

I had a conversation with the president on the evening of the 19th about this matter.

DAVIS: In person, telephone?

QUINN: Telephone call.

I believe that it's possible that at an earlier point in time, I said to him, in person, "I'd like to talk to you some time." I'm confident that I didn't say to him then, either that it was about Marc Rich or that is was about pardons, but I have some memory of knowing this was on my mind and something I wanted to do, trying to indicate to him that I'd like to have conversation with him.

After the pardon was granted, early the next week--and I'm not sure whether it was Monday or Tuesday or even conceivably Wednesday--I had a conversation with him about the considerable press attention that this had gotten.

DAVIS: OK.

QUINN: Now, on staff, I, as I've testified earlier, had a relatively brief conversation with Mr. Lindsey around the 12th or 13th of December when we were in Belfast.

DAVIS: OK, and that was in person?

QUINN: Yes.

DAVIS: OK. Were there any others--people there with you?

QUINN: A lot of people around, but no one else in that conversation. I think it's possible, though I'm not 100 percent sure of this, that I may have also spoken to Ms. Nolan separately on the same day.

DAVIS: In person?

QUINN: In person, on the course of that trip.

I had subsequent telephone conversations with Ms. Nolan. I think I've left out that I believe that on the day I filed this, the 11th of December, I believe I called Ms. Nolan and either told her it was coming or it was there.

Then again, I had a number of telephone conversations with her subsequently. I really can't identify each and every one of them. I had, you know, more than one conversation with her on the 19th.

I don't recall having had further conversations with Mr. Lindsey, and I did not at any time have a conversation with Mr. Podesta.

BURTON: Ms. Davis would you yield just for one question?

DAVIS: If you leave me time to ask one more.

BURTON: When did you start working on the Rich case?

QUINN: I started working on the matter sometime in the spring of 1999. The focus of our efforts in '99 and going through March or so of 2000, was twofold. First, the efforts we made at main Justice to attempt to get assistance from main Justice, either in the form of having them encourage the Southern District to sit down with us and try to work this case out, take another look at it; or, secondly, to, you know, see if it were possible that they might, in essence, take the matter.

BURTON: Thank the gentlelady.

DAVIS: Thank you.

The committee received waives records indicating you entered the White House on January 17, 2001, at 9:01 a.m. and exited at 10:58 a.m. You were scheduled to visit with the president of the United States in the residence. Could you tell us what you were doing at the White House on the morning of January the 17th?

QUINN: Yes, that was what has been referred to as the president's last public event at the White House. I think Mr. Podesta alluded to it earlier; it was the designation of certain national monuments around the country, an event that he did with Secretary Babbitt. There were a couple hundred people there. I was invited to attend that event, and I did. But in the course of being there, I did not have any conversation with the president or anyone from--I don't think I even saw anyone from the counsel's office.

DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think my time has expired.

BURTON: Mr. Souder?

SOUDER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I don't have any questions at this time.

BURTON: Would the gentleman yield to me then for a couple of questions?

SOUDER: I yield to the chair.

BURTON: Thank you very much.

Let me ask you, Mr. Quinn, you started, you said, working on the Rich case in 1999 in the spring?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

BURTON: And you said you focused your attention, initially, on the Justice Department to try to find out what could be done there?

QUINN: That's correct.

BURTON: Did you ever talk to anybody at the White House? I mean, you were a very close friend of the president. Did you ever talk to him about that during the years 1999 or 2000, before all of this happened?

QUINN: I don't believe so, sir.

BURTON: Well, I don't want you to believe. Did you or didn't you?

QUINN: I'm quite confident I did not.

BURTON: I don't want you to be quite confident. Did you or didn't you?

QUINN: Well, Mr. Chairman, I'm doing the very best I can.

BURTON: No, I know, but, you know, we've had these little nuances in the language. Did you, yes or no, talk to the president about this? Did you, yes or no, talk to the president about this in the year 1999 or 2000, before all of this happened?

QUINN: No, sir.

BURTON: You're sure about that?

(LAUGHTER)

QUINN: I gave you may preferred answer, and you blackjacked me into that one.

BURTON: OK, I want to read you something. This is a memo from Avner Azulay. Do you know who he is?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

BURTON: OK. It's dated Saturday, March 18, year 2000. I think it's exhibit 137. And it's to Robert Fink, who will be testifying later. And it's subject JQ. I guess that might be Jack Quinn. What do you think?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

BURTON: And MS, et cetera. "I had a long talk with JQ," Jack Quinn, "and Michael." Now, as I understand it, Michael is Michael Steinhart, who is a New York financier and a good friend of Mr. Rich.

QUINN: I think that's right.

BURTON: "I explained why there is no way the MOJ," and I understand that's the Minister of Justice in Israel, "there is no way the MOJ is going to initiate a call EH," Eric Holder, "a minister calling a second-level bureaucrat who has proved to be a weak link," period. "We are reverting to the idea discussed with Abe," Abe is Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, "Abe, which is to send DR," Denise Rich, "on a personal mission to No. 1," now I have a wild guess that might be the president, "with a well-prepared script. If it works, we didn't lose the present opportunity until November which shall not repeat itself. If it doesn't, then probably Gershon," and Gershon Kekst is a public relations expert in New York, "then, probably, Gershon's course of action shall be the one left option--to start all over again. This is only for your info. Regards, AA."

Now, this was in March 18 of the year 2000, and they were talking, if I interpret this correctly, and this was about you and MS, they were talking about asking Denise Rich to go on a personal mission to No. 1 with a well-prepared script. You don't anything about that or do you?

QUINN: Let me say what I know and what I don't know. First of all, you'll see, I think, that I didn't receive this e-mail.

BURTON: No, I know you didn't receive this e-mail. I just want to know, do you know about this?

QUINN: I don't have any recollection of it.

BURTON: No, no, don't give me "no recollection." Do you know about this, yes or no?

QUINN: I have no recollection of having heard this, but--OK?--I do not believe that Denise Rich spoke to the president at this time about this matter. I don't believe this was followed up on.

BURTON: Well, the reason I'm asking this question is, you said you didn't talk to the president about this at any time up until, you know, the timeframe we're talking about here, and here you started working on this back in 1999. Here is March 18, 2000, 10 months before the pardon was granted, or 11 months, And this is a pretty involved memo saying, you know, "We're trying this, we're trying that, and now we're talking about sending Denise Rich, his former wife, on a personal mission to number one with a well-prepared script."

And the subject of the memo was you. But you don't recall anything about it, and you don't think anything happened, and you didn't talk to the president about it.

QUINN: Mr. Chairman, I did not speak to the president any time around this time about this matter. I do not believe that Denise Rich spoke to him about it.

By the way, remember, this was, I suspect, around the time that we had heard from the southern district in New York that they would not sit down with us. When I had then made another effort to persuade Mr. Holder, who, in turn, was consulting with two other senior officials at the Department of Justice, to meet with us and essentially take the case--sometime around this time, and I know that the record reflects a note in my hand to this effect, I asked Mr. Holder, "Look, is this over? Are we basically dead? Are you guys not going to take this?" And he said that's correct.

It is entirely possible that these folks and every one of us involved in this thought out loud with each other: Is there any way to persuade the president to tell Justice to tell the southern district to do something.

It's also entirely possible that Mr. Kekst, Mr. Azulay, others, myself included, were involved in a conversation where someone said, you know, "We're going to have to try a pardon one of these days." But as I think the record also reflects, basically the legal work on this matter at all of these firms, Mr. Fink's, Mr. Libby's and so on, basically shut down some time around the end of March.

Now, I'm telling you, I did not speak to the president in the year 2000 about the Marc Rich matter. I was not a recipient of this. I had no reason to believe that any one asked Denise Rich to speak to him about this matter, and I have no reason to believe that she did so. But my first hand knowledge of this is limited to the facts I'm able to testify to.

SHAYS: Well, we'll talk to Mr. Fink about that later.

WAXMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Just to follow up on this issue. Mr. Rich had lawyers, lots of lawyers, didn't he?

QUINN: Yes, sir. Over the years a good many.

WAXMAN: Over the years a good many, and they were trying to figure out how to serve their client. So it appears, and even there's a story on the web on The Washington Post that, even a year ago, a top aide to Marc Rich was thinking about a presidential pardon.

QUINN: That would not surprise me. But my impression, having been involved in this, is that that was not seriously considered until sometime in the vicinity of the 30th of October and decided upon early, you know, in the next couple of weeks. And I don't think the lawyers involved actually got together to meet about it until the 21st of November.

WAXMAN: Now, earlier in the year, as I recall your testimony from three weeks ago when you were before this committee, earlier in that year, Mr. Rich's lawyers, and maybe I think you were included, you were trying to get a deal with the Justice Department. And, in fact, as I recall, you were talking to Mr. Holder about getting the prosecutors to talk to Mr. Rich's attorneys, you and his other attorneys. Is that right?

QUINN: Yes, and heard back from Mr. Holder that he and other senior officials of the Department of Justice thought it was ridiculous that the southern district wouldn't sit down with us.

WAXMAN: Was there some point in the year 2000 when you concluded that there was no chance any longer with the Justice Department?

QUINN: Yes, sir. Without being able to pinpoint the records I produced earlier in this book, my recollection is that at some time in the month of March.

WAXMAN: Well, I'm not as interested in the specific moment; I'm just trying to understand the trend here. All these lawyers are working around the clock, or at least billing around the clock, and trying to figure out what to do for their client, and they want to negotiate a settlement. You wrote Mr. Holder, to see if Mr. Holder can get Justice to agree with some settlement. That didn't work out.

And at that point, when it fell apart, when there was no question the Justice Department was not going to agree to what you wanted, is that when the whole idea of a pardon started coming forward as the way to help your client?

QUINN: Well, again, and I'm looking now at my pardon application and specifically tab G, which reflects the southern district informed us they wouldn't sit down with us on the 2nd of February, 2000. In the ensuing weeks, I undertook what I viewed as a last-ditch effort with Mr. Holder to make a determination whether they could either persuade the southern district or get us a meeting with the head of the Criminal Division and the head of the Tax Division. Mr. Holder basically came back and said, "That's not going to happen." And again, the best I can do on this is that it is entirely conceivable that there were conversations in which the notion of one day pursuing a pardon took place back around that time.

WAXMAN: Well, I really don't want to get into all the details of it, because I don't see how it's really particularly important. Mr. Rich was able to hire lots of lawyers. They were going in every way they could to help their client. And at some point, lawyers sending all sorts of e-mails came up with the idea that you could go in and get a pardon, if you could work at it and convince the president.

But the thing I want to ask you is this: You made a case to the president that persuaded him, and that case was based on the indictment not being a valid indictment. Who prepared that argument? Who came up with that theory? Was that you or did someone else do that on behalf of your client?

QUINN: Well, it grew out of a lot of working going back a good many years. The chief architects of that argument, in my view, were Larry Urgenson, who had been in the Reagan Justice Department, Mr. Libby, who will be here with you...

WAXMAN: Scooter Libby, who's now the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney?

QUINN: Yes, sir. A partner of his named Mike Green (ph). Mr. Fink, himself.

WAXMAN: So when it was reported in the press that Scooter Libby and some of these Republican lawyers didn't have anything to do with the pardon, that might have been accurate, but they helped develop the theory that you advanced to the president to convince him to grant this pardon.

QUINN: Yes. And I don't want to speak for Mr. Libby. That wouldn't be fair.

WAXMAN: We'll hear from him shortly. I expect in only a couple more hours.

QUINN: He's a terrific lawyer, a very smart guy, as are all of the other people I've mentioned who were involved in this.

The argument for the pardon was, as you know, that the indictment had complete defenses. That argument was laid out over literally days and days and days of meetings involving all of those lawyers and me and one of my partners.

WAXMAN: Well, that argument didn't convince the three other people sitting next to you who are the president's chief advisers, but it convinced the president on a day when he was probably fuming about the deal he had to make with the independent counsel and concern about what was happening in the Middle East and looking at so many different other things and probably wanting to do something for Mrs. Rich, who was certainly very helpful to him.

QUINN: I don't think any one of us can testify to all the different things that might have been in the president's mind at the time. But I think the point that Mr. Lindsey made earlier is fair, that it's, you know, it's inconceivable and, based on what we know, more than quite likely that the appeal from Prime Minister Barak--which, by the way, followed on the heels of an appeal from Shimon Peres and others in Israel...

WAXMAN: But that was all based on strategies you and other lawyers worked out to try to influence the president...

QUINN: Right. But I think that all of these things...

WAXMAN: I'm not being critical.

QUINN: I understand. But I think that all of these things were elements of the decision.

WAXMAN: All of us in public office have to understand that when we have an orchestrated campaign, we have to recognize it for what it is, that often the rich and the powerful, whether it's an individual or an industry, get access and make their case. And it comes from all different directions, because they have smart lawyers, skillful people thinking about what might be the right button to push with any of us as we sort through and make our decisions.

QUINN: Yes. And I think, by the way, that the president was served by some very smart people, himself.

BURTON: Let me start another round.

Going back to exhibit 137, you said that you didn't talk to the president during the year 2000. Did you talk to any of his aides about the pardon, any of the people at the White House, besides the president?

QUINN: I believe the first conversation I had with anyone in the White House, again, I believe that I spoke to Ms. Nolan on the 11th of December to tell her the application was coming, and the next conversation I had was with Mr. Lindsey in Belfast.

BURTON: But that was the first, the 11th of December, year 2000.

QUINN: Right, you asked about the year 2000.

BURTON: Yes. Now, this is 2001, so it would have been last year.

So the earliest that you talked to anybody at the White House was in December of 2000.

QUINN: Yes, sir, that is my recollection.

BURTON: I just wanted to get that straight, because the memo that we're talking about there, if you look up above it, you'll see that that was followed up two days later. The memo I refer to was on the 18th of March, 2000, at 2:11 a.m., incidentally.

And then two days later, it says it's from Mr. Fink to Avner Azulay. And it says, "Thanks, I spoke to J.Q. after you, and he told me about Denise. Let's see how his visit with Zivy (ph) goes and what E.H.'s," Eric Holder's, "research shows. I assume you're keeping," Marc Rich, "M.R. update to date, as I had nothing real there to report." And the first memo says that they were going to try to send her to No. 1 with a well-prepared script.

What did you tell him about Denise?

QUINN: I don't recall that conversation.

BURTON: You don't recall?

QUINN: No, sir. And I didn't write the memo or receive it.

BURTON: No, I know, but the memo said that they were going to suggest sending her on a personal mission to, number one, with a well-prepared script. And two days later it says, "I spoke to J.Q. after you, and he hold me about Denise."

QUINN: I'm not sure what he's referring to. He may have a better recollection of this. And the best I can do for you is that I do not believe, but I have no personal knowledge, but I don't believe that Denise Rich spoke to the president about her ex-husband in this timeframe.

BURTON: Mr. Barr, I yield my time to you.

BARR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

According to the wave records, two individuals visited the White House, visited the president, between this period of January 16 and January 19 when something seems to have happened to gel in the president's mind that he would grant the Rich pardon. The two individuals are Beth Dozoretz and Denise Rich. Both, according to the records, visited the president during that timeframe.

Do any of you know why Ms. Dozoretz and Ms. Denise Rich visited the president during that particular time?

PODESTA: Mr. Barr, I think, given the fact that at least I believe Ms. Rich through her counsel, I believe, and certainly, Ms. Dozoretz, through her husband, have denied that they met with the president, I think that the question is unfounded.

Look, I don't know anything about this, but I believe, but I believe that Mr. Dozoretz...

BARR: Well, then how do you know that the question is unfounded?

PODESTA: It's in the newspapers, laid-out records that he had showing that they are on an airplane and staying in some hotel in Los Angeles. So I think the implication of your question, unless you're not reading the newspapers, Mr. Barr, is just off-base.

BARR: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Podesta. You and Ms. Nolan certainly have thin skins today.

I'm reading not the newspaper...

PODESTA: Mr. Barr, I have exceedingly thick skin.

BARR: Hold on, hold on.

PODESTA: And that's why I'm sitting here all day.

BARR: Hold on. I'm not reading a newspaper. I am reading the wave records from the White House, which show not only a scheduled time for the visit for Ms. Dozoretz and Ms. Rich, but also a time of arrival on those days. So unless you're telling me that in your experience these wave records don't accurately reflect the reality of who's visiting the White House, the question has a very well-founded basis in fact, the White House records themselves.

PODESTA: The question has a well-founded innuendo, in fact.

BARR: According to these waves records, with which all three of you are very familiar with--and I'm sure you are too, Mr. Quinn--they indicate that during that time period, between January 16th and the 19th, both Ms. Dozoretz and Ms. Rich--neither of whom have chosen to testify, so it's very easy for you to stand there and say that these records are not good--visited the White House. And I'm simply asking, do you all know why they might have visited the White House during this period of time?

LINDSEY: Mr. Barr, if I may, you keep saying between the 16th and the 19th. Are you talking about the 19th?

BARR: According to these records...

LINDSEY: Well, the records have the date, so which date is it that they were supposed to have visited the White House, between the 16th and the 19th?

BARR: Well, thank you for assuming the role of questioner here, but I don't mind telling you, because these are the records. According to these records, Ms. Dozoretz visited the residence of the president of the U.S., visited him at his residence on the 19th, at 1729.

LINDSEY: OK.

BARR: And this...

LINDSEY: The event on the 19th was a reception for Kelly Craighead, who got engaged several weeks before that. Again, Ms. Rich and Ms. Dozoretz say they were not there. I have asked other people who were there, who do not remember seeing them. But the event that they were waved in for, was a reception for Kelly Craighead, who had just gotten engaged.

BARR: And the same would hold, according to the best of your recollection, for Ms. Denise Rich, also?

LINDSEY: For the 19th, yes. I asked ...

BARR: For the 19th.

LINDSEY: I asked people who were there, whether--because I knew they were on the waves list--whether they attended, and was told that nobody remembered them being there.

BURTON: My time has expired. Who's next on the your side?

Mr. Cummings?

CUMMINGS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. On these records, these wave records, are they always accurate, as to who's there and who's not there, who appears at the White House, and who does not?

LINDSEY: No, sir. They basically are accurate, as to someone being waved in.

CUMMINGS: OK.

LINDSEY: Beyond that, especially for large social events, you know, where there are lots of people, they often are not correct, because at some point, people get backed up. And if it is a large event, where there's going to be a lot of people, they will oftentimes let people in, without going through all of the procedures. But they are usually accurate, as to when someone was scheduled to come in, not necessarily accurate as to whether they were actually there at that time.

CUMMINGS: So, in other words, we--like, if when we get to opportunities to go to the White House, and this is some function, and they've got--they have your name at the gate. If I don't show up, you would still have a record that I was--I could have come in.

LINDSEY: That's correct.

CUMMINGS: It wouldn't mean I was there.

LINDSEY: Correct.

CUMMINGS: And that happens many times up here, because we get--our schedules conflict. And you've got a document that says we could have gotten in, but that doesn't prove that we got there.

LINDSEY: Well, then, it would also would be the case, perhaps, that if you all were out there and getting a little unhappy about having to wait in the line, that somebody might make a judgment to bring you all in without going, necessarily, through the procedures, simply because certain members of the Congress oftentimes do not like standing outside, while they're being waved in. So, oftentimes they would make that judgment.

CUMMINGS: OK, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Libby is definitely going to testify tonight? I have some questions, and I want to make sure. We're hearing that he might not testify. I want to make sure he's going to testify.

BURTON: No, no, he has agreed to come, and he offered no resistance. So we...

CUMMINGS: So he will be testifying?

BURTON: Yes, sir, he will be here.

CUMMINGS: Good. In that light, I want to just ask you a question, Mr. Quinn. I was just looking at these exhibits. And then when I--you know, we've spent a lot of time on exhibit 137. But when you turn the page, we turn, lo and behold, to 138. It's a very interesting exhibit. And it says, to the Rich team, from Lewis Libby. Are you familiar with that document?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: Can you tell me about it?

BURTON: Excuse me, would you put the document up on the--thank you.

QUINN: The southern district had taken the position, in response to a letter that Mr. Urgenson had written some years earlier, that it would not negotiate with attorneys for these men, because they were fugitives. In the course of our work together, on this matter, Mr. Libby, I recall, volunteered to put together a document, which would demonstrate that, in fact, there was no Department of Justice policy prohibiting them from negotiating with fugitives.

And this is the product of that work.

At around this same time, by the way, you'll recall there were press reports about the Bank of New York Russian money laundering matter, which was pending, in fact, in the southern district of New York. And based on those press reports, it seemed apparent to us that the U.S. attorney's office had, in fact, dealt with attorneys for people who ultimately became defendants and pled in the matter, even though they were not in the country.

So we were trying to demonstrate that there was no such policy and that it was at least the practice in a good many U.S. attorney's offices, and perhaps even in the southern district, from time to time to negotiate with attorneys for people who had absented themselves.

CUMMINGS: That's dated October 6, 1999, is that right?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: And just so that we'll be real clear, this is the same Lewis Libby who is now chief of staff for Vice President Cheney?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: All right. I just wanted to make sure I was clear on that.

Let me just go on to something else. Ms. Nolan, you said something that was very interesting a little bit earlier, and I just wanted to see what you meant by this. You said, when you were talking about advising the president and you had talked about the president is the president, he makes the decision, he had the final decision, you said one person would have to take the hit for it; in other words, for a decision. And I take it that what you meant by that is that if it was the wrong decision, that there might be some criticism. Is that what you were alluding to?

NOLAN: Yes.

CUMMINGS: And did you all ever say--you, Mr. Podesta, Mr. Lindsey or Ms. Nolan--did you ever say, "Mr. President, you know, you are the president, but I think you're going to really take the hit for this one, because people are going to really be very critical of you, although you may feel very strongly that you're doing the right thing." Did any of you ever say anything like that to the president, just out of curiosity?

NOLAN: Yes. I said it with respect to a number of pardons, some of which I was right about, some of which I wasn't.

CUMMINGS: When you say you were right about, what do you mean? In other words, you were right about whether there was going to be fallout?

NOLAN: There were some that I suspected would be criticized that weren't, and some that I thought would be criticized that would be.

CUMMINGS: And did he feel comfortable in so-called taking the hit for them?

NOLAN: He fully understood that he might take a hit, and he listened to our recommendations. We had discussions about how things would look and appearances. He didn't always agree with our assessments, and I have to say, my assessments were sometimes quite right on and sometimes not.

CUMMINGS: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: I think the answer is almost the same. I'm not sure. I think I made it clear to the president, as did others, that pardoning Marc Rich would not go down well, that, you know, I was, you know, again, I was opposed to it because he was a fugitive. As others said, he had the ability, if all these arguments that Mr. Quinn were making were correct, he could come back, he could have the RICO claims dismissed, he could present the arguments of the two law professors as to why there was no tax fraud, he could argue that the trading with the enemies involved a company that wasn't subject to U.S. law. He could make all those arguments, and that I did not believe that people would understand why you pardoned a fugitive.

CUMMINGS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURTON: Thank you, Mr. Cummings. Gentleman's time's expired.

Mr. Barr, you have your own time now.

BARR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Going back to the Braswell pardon, did any of you all have any communications or discussions, in person or on the phone, with Mr. Rodham about the Braswell case?

NOLAN: I did not.

LINDSEY: I did not.

BARR: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No.

BARR: Are you are of any conversations that Mr. Rodham had with anybody at the White House concerning the Braswell pardon?

NOLAN: I'm not.

LINDSEY: I'm not personally aware of any. I've read, I think, press reports, but I have no personal knowledge.

BARR: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No, I have no knowledge of that.

BURTON: Would the gentleman yield just briefly?

BARR: Certainly.

BURTON: Do you recall, during the last couple of weeks of the administration, how often Mr. Rodham was there? We've had reports he was there two or three days a week. Was he there continually, or was he there just two or three days a week? Can you give us some information on that?

LINDSEY: I, personally, wouldn't know whether he was there, unless he came by to see me, called me or I ran in to him.

BURTON: You don't know if he was in the residence, any of you?

PODESTA: I'm unaware of--I don't know what his presence was in the residence or at the White House.

BURTON: Thank you.

BARR: With regard, back on the Rich pardon, did any of you all, Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey or Mr. Podesta, have any discussions with either Ms. Denise Rich or Beth Dozoretz about the Marc Rich pardon?

NOLAN: I did not.

LINDSEY: I believe, I've never spoken, I don't think, to Denise Rich. Ms. Dozoretz called me on one occasion and asked me about two pardons, Milken and Marc Rich. It was at a time when I--I'm quite not sure exactly what I indicated to her. I told her I thought the president wasn't going to do Milken, and I hoped he wouldn't do Rich.

BARR: Would this have been in early January?

LINDSEY: Early to mid-January, yes. Again, it's hard for me to place it, but it could have been well within that last week sometime.

BARR: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No, I never talked to either one of them.

BARR: Thank you.

Mr. Quinn, I'd like to give you an opportunity. You and I had a discussion at your last hearing, with regard to a January 10--I think it was January 10--e-mail that had to do with Ms. Dozoretz. And we had a discussion about that. And then there was a subsequent discussion that you have in your testimony on the Senate side, and there seems to be, when you read your two statements, one was much more elaborative and contained a lot more information and background, which was not part of your answer here. And I'd like to give you an opportunity to discuss that, if you would, please.

QUINN: And in fact, as a result of your appearance and Mr. Shays', on a television show, subsequently, and I have gone back and looked pretty carefully at the exchange. And the fact that I testified the way I did in the Senate, I think it's fair to say, was, in some sense, directly related to how this didn't unfold here.

I think, in fairness, if one goes back and looks at the transcript, at least this is the way I read it, I was first asked a question, which I understood to be asking me to express a view as to why the president was making a call to her.

And, as with every other thing that might be in the president's head, I didn't know and tried to explain that I didn't know whether he was calling to discuss the pardons or whether he was calling for some other matter and it came up in the course of that.

Then, you seemed to clarify that you were interested in knowing why she was involved. At which point, I said, "Oh, well," and I began to tell you the facts that I laid out in my Senate testimony. You'll see in the transcript that you interrupted me and then you were interrupted by the chairman and time expired and we went off to another subject.

Now, the principal focus of our discussion in almost nine hours that day was on my dealings with Mr. Holder and, to a lesser degree, with the White House counsel's office. I was certainly impressed after the hearing that it would be important for me to give a more complete presentation of my discussions with Ms. Dozoretz in the Senate testimony that occurred just six days later.

And as I hope you know, I then filed that Senate testimony with the chairman for inclusion in the record of this committee's hearings

BARR: Thank you.

Maybe, Mr. Shays, in your time, if you can give me an opportunity just to ask one quick follow-up question, then?

BURTON: Well, we have to go to Ms. Norton first, and then we'll come back.

Ms. Norton?

NORTON: Mr. Quinn, I'm curious. When one looks at your resourcefulness as an attorney, one can only admire what you've done. Indeed, I think it's what one would expect a splendid lawyer to do given the openings that he had. Let me ask you, do you believe in the adversarial process as a way for discovering truth?

QUINN: Certainly.

NORTON: Given the fact that you've had to appear here now twice for hours on end, and that your client hasn't been made more notorious than he ever was, as one of the 10 most wanted men in the United States, do you think the Congress would be wise to advise a president in the past to make sure that he gets both sides completely of every pardon matter before making a pardon?

I say that not only with respect to the president, now, but I think that your client and you have also taken a tremendous hit because you were too clever by half, perhaps. The resourcefulness, I think, that any lawyer would admire and I say that as a lawyer, but looking back and standing back, where you might have gotten the same result, would it not have been better to have the president fully briefed on both sides--to have the Justice Department have the pardon papers, have the pardon attorney have the papers long before she did so that she wasn't trying to go on the Internet at the last moment to do her work? Hasn't the fall out been a whole lot more than on the president of the United States, but on you and on your client, Mr. Rich, as well?

QUINN: Yes, there's certainly a lot truth to that conclusion. But I would like to make a couple of points that I think are important. You've heard a great deal from the people to my left about the timing of this being put in front of the president and all the other things that were going on. But I'd like to remind you that the application was filed five weeks before the pardon was granted.

NORTON: Filed with who?

QUINN: At the White House. If I may...

NORTON: My question goes to the Justice Department, the pardon attorney...

QUINN: Yes, and I'd like to get to that. I had had a course of dealings with Mr. Holder from 1999 about the Marc Rich indictment.

NORTON: When did the pardon attorney get the papers?

QUINN: The pardon attorney--you mentioned earlier not having been aware of the rules of the pardon attorney's office. Those rules demonstrate quite clearly that this was not the type of pardon that the pardon attorney could move on favorably, because those rules are, in my reading of them, limited to those applicants who have been tried, convicted and spent time in jail. It was clear to me from the beginning that the other people in the chain of command, namely the deputy attorney general, the White House counsel's office, and the president himself, if anyone was going to move on this favorably, it would have to move in those three offices, not in the pardon attorney's office.

NORTON: But I thought you got the papers from the pardon attorney 48 hours before, if I recall correctly.

QUINN: No, that was a different document, Congresswoman. That was my letter of January 10 to Mr. Holder, which apparently was misdirected, not to his office, but to the pardon attorney's office.

But the other thing I'd like to remind you of is that, as far as I was concerned, I very much wanted there to be communication between the White House counsel's office and Mr. Holder, because I had been--and I don't want to overstate this, in fairness to Mr. Holder. I thought that Mr. Holder was sympathetic to the notion that we had reached an absolute impasse with the southern district. I had had a conversation with Mr. Holder, and there are documents in the record that reflect this, which suggested to me, in his words, that he was not personally against this.

"Not personally against," in a circumstance like this, frankly, was...

NORTON: I don't understand why you say, pardon. This was not an instance where the pardon attorney should advise...

QUINN: No, I didn't say, shouldn't advise. What I said was, this was not the type of pardon which the pardon attorney, under those procedures, could have...

NORTON: Well, who was Mr. Holder to rely upon, then? Was he to do his own research on this matter?

QUINN: Mr. Holder could rely on anyone and everyone he wanted to.

NORTON: Well, why shouldn't he rely on the pardon attorney?

QUINN: And he very well may have. I didn't discourage him. I never discouraged him from talking to anybody. And if I may, by the way, knowing we would probably...

NORTON: See, I can understand why...

QUINN: Can I just...

NORTON: ... why, I can understand...

QUINN: ... finish this point, Congresswoman?

NORTON: I can understand why you wouldn't have wanted to go back to the southern district. These are prosecutors. I don't overly rely on the Justice Department, at all, because they are prosecutors. I think the Justice Department is advisory, just like the counsel's office is advisory.

QUINN: Yes.

NORTON: A judgment call has to be made here.

QUINN: Yes.

NORTON: The point I'm trying to make here is that if a principal has the opportunity to set up, in his own mind and in his way, an adversarial system, he can keep himself from making mistakes.

QUINN: I understand.

NORTON: That wasn't your job. But as it turns out, the fallout has been as much on you and your client as it has been on the president.

QUINN: Well, I understand that. I did want to, though, also bring to your attention a document, which during my last appearance here, I didn't have in front of me, which is an e-mail that I wrote on Christmas Day, to the people I was working with here, in which I told them that, "I'm hopeful that Eric Holder will be helpful to us, but we can expect some outreach to New York." So, I thought that ...

NORTON: Did you think that Mr. Holder was reaching out to the pardon attorney?

QUINN: I don't think I thought one way, or the other, whether he would.

NORTON: Because, you know...

QUINN: Generally...

NORTON: ... the reason that I'm asking about the pardon attorney--if I can just finish this, and be gone...

QUINN: All right.

NORTON: ... is that I don't appreciate the fact that, over and over again, Mr. Holder is being made the fall guy here.

QUINN: I'm not trying to do that, at all. I'm just trying to add facts as I know them.

NORTON: You have indicated, from the beginning, that you weren't trying to do that. The way not to do that, of course, is to make sure that the pardon attorney has this, and not to make this a question of jurisdiction...

QUINN: OK, but...

NORTON: ... as you have made it. You're not trying to make him the fall guy. But the fact is that one of the bright stars of the African-American community has had his reputation damaged...

QUINN: And it shouldn't be.

NORTON: And a lot of us do not appreciate it. He has taken full responsibility for it. But I think there was also some very smart lawyering going on here, avoiding the pardon attorney and going around the process. And it's the kind of thing that almost any lawyer, seeing openings, might have done. But the net effect of it is that Eric Holder, the president of the United States, Marc Rich, yes, and even Jack Quinn, have been hurt by the way this process unfolded. And I don't think you can--you should take a lot of credit for it.

But you offered some advice, in response to a question to me before, about the kinds of things that might be done to shore up the process. I thought it was very good advice about an executive order. And the thrust of my question was that, if there were an executive order, to indicate that the president had, within his own context, a sufficiently adversarial process to make an informed and responsible decision that he could defend, might well be something we would want to recommend or that an executive order ought to say.

QUINN: Yes, and I think I told you last time that I thought that was a good idea.

BURTON: The gentlelady's time has expired.

Mr. Shays?

SHAYS: Mr. Barr, you wanted me to yield to you.

BARR: I appreciate the gentleman for yielding.

Looking again at the e-mail of January 10th--and I'm no longer focusing on your testimony here or in the Senate. What I'm looking at is the substance of the e-mail, and your subsequent explanation in the Senate. And if you could, just clarify what Beth Dozoretz was doing here. The e-mail of January 10th indicates that the president takes the initiative and calls her and talks with her about the pending pardon application.

Your explanation--and maybe we are talking about two different things here, I don't know. Your explanation or your discussion before the Senate indicates that you went to Beth to encourage her to intercede on your behalf with the president, which seems very different from the discussion of the--this e-mail description, which the president reached out to her. What was her role in all of this?

QUINN: OK.

BARR: Was she acting as your agent, or as a friend of Denise Rich's, or in some other capacity?

QUINN: I informed Beth Dozoretz sometime around the Thanksgiving holiday that I would be pursuing a pardon for Marc Rich. I did so because she was a friend of mine, because she had a relationship with Denise Rich. She was in much more frequent communication with the president than I was.

I was motivated by two things, principally. One, I was hopeful that she could let the president know that I had or was going to file this, so that he would be aware it was there. And two, she was another person who I hoped might be in a position to give me the kind of information that I, as a lawyer, thought would be useful to me to pursue this effort on behalf of my client, vigorously.

Now, I want to also tell that you that in that conversation I had with her, again, around Thanksgiving time, I cautioned her that it would be very important to make sure that no such conversation was ever connected in any way with any kind of fund-raising activity. She reacted to that by kind of looking at me like, how could I even suggest that? She said to me, "Of course, I would never do that to him."

BURTON: And the reason you brought that up is she is the finance director for the DNC, or was?

QUINN: She had been, OK? And I wanted to be very careful to make sure that no discussions about this ever took place in the context of anything related to fund-raising.

I had a conversation with her, a couple of conversations with her, after the pardon was granted in which I essentially reminded her of that. She had called to congratulate me on Saturday, said: This guy's going to be enormously grateful. He owes you a lot. He owes everybody who was involved in this process a lot.

And I reflected on that conversation after I got off of the phone with her, and I called her back. Initiated a call and said to her: Relating to our earlier conversation, when you say he should be very grateful, I want to be very clear, you're not talking that he should be grateful to the president? And I said: We had a conversation about this a long time ago. I trust that no one ever had a conversation with the president about this matter and connected it in any way to any fund-raising activity.

And she said: Absolutely not. And left me with the impression that my concern that she had been vague about this was misplaced, that she was not talking about that at all.

BURTON: I thank the gentlemen for yielding.

SHAYS: My time has really ended, but let me ask you, what were the other pardons you warned the president about that didn't make the news?

NOLAN: I wasn't...

SHAYS: Don't be shy.

(LAUGHTER)

NOLAN: I was more concerned about some of the independent counsel pardons than I think the press--I don't think that they got the reaction that I expected.

SHAYS: Name me the pardons that you advised him--you have been freed to tell me. You're not breaking a faith here. What were the specific pardons that you told the president? Did you warn the president, for instance, about Susan McDougal?

NOLAN: Yes.

SHAYS: What are some others?

NOLAN: You know, I'm sorry, I was concerned generally about the independent counsel, Starr, Ray, pardons. I just don't remember, right now, which they are.

SHAYS: I'll tell you what. While you have time to think about it, I want you to write down a list, and I'm going to ask you again. And it's a very serious question. I just want to know. And you should know.

NOLAN: But, I can tell you this, Mr. Shays, I just want you to know this now, I will try to come up with a list, but I couldn't tell you who all got pardons right now. I just don't have that in my memory bank.

SHAYS: I'm asking you a specific question. I want to know the pardons you...

NOLAN: I will tell you what I remember, certainly.

SHAYS: OK, and I'll come back. We'll do it another time.

NOLAN: OK.

BURTON: Mr. Shays, your time has expired.

Let's see where we are now. Who is next?

Mr. LaTourette?

LATOURETTE: Thank you for not making a freshman, again, Mr. Chairman, even though Mr. Shays wanted me to be.

SHAYS: I apologize.

LATOURETTE: That's all right.

I'd like to go back to Vignali and hopefully finish this. And Ms. Nolan, I'd ask you: Were you aware that Hugh Rodham was advocating for a petition for Carlos Vignali? Did you know that?

NOLAN: I don't think I knew that, but I may have known that.

LATOURETTE: And Mr. Lindsey, we already heard from you.

Mr. Podesta, did you know that?

PODESTA: No.

LATOURETTE: At any time, did you all in this meeting on the 16th in the Oval Office, or a meeting on the 19th or any time in this, were you ever present at a meeting where the Vignali case was discussed with the president of the United States, Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: Yes, I believe I was, yes.

LATOURETTE: And was Mr. Lindsey there at that meeting?

NOLAN: I don't remember which meeting it was. Mr. Lindsey was generally there. There was one meeting we had where he wasn't. I think he was there, though, yes.

LATOURETTE: OK.

How about you, Mr. Podesta, were you there?

PODESTA: Mr. LaTourette, I can't be specific, but I was engaged in a discussion. I heard the merits of Vignali. I didn't have a strong view about Vignali. I think that was in front of the president, but it is possible that it was a separate meeting that only involved the staff, as opposed to the president.

LATOURETTE: OK, well, it comes to my question, and I'm interested in what took place in front of the president.

In the meeting that you remember, Ms. Nolan, whether these guys were here or they weren't there, was the fact that Hugh Rodham was advocating this petition or was advocating that Mr. Vignali receive a pardon commutation, was that discussed in your presence? Was Hugh Rodham's name invoked to the president of the United States in this meeting?

NOLAN: I don't know, Mr. LaTourette.

LATOURETTE: How about you, Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: I, frankly, don't recall. I don't have a specific memory of mentioning it. I wouldn't have hesitated to mention it, but I just don't recall.

LATOURETTE: You don't remember.

How about you, Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: With the caveat that I gave earlier, in the meeting that I was in where Vignali was discussed, Mr. Rodham's name did not come up.

LATOURETTE: OK.

Going back to the meetings of the 16th and the 19th when you're doing the Rich pardon, as you sat in that meeting--I know the fund-raising wasn't discussed--but as you sat in the meeting in the 16th, Ms. Nolan, were you aware that Denise Rich had contributed $1.2 million to the Democratic National Committee, $75,000 to Senator Clinton's campaign and $450,000 to the Clinton Library? Was that within your knowledge?

NOLAN: I did not know that and don't know that.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Lindsey, how about you?

LINDSEY: The amounts, I had no idea. But I knew she was a supporter of the Democratic Party and had been a supporter of Mrs. Clinton and that she had indicated some level of support to the library, but the dollar amounts, I had no idea.

LATOURETTE: But were you aware that she wasn't someone that came to a clam bake and bought a $35 ticket, that she was a significant contributor to all three of those causes?

LINDSEY: Yes.

LATOURETTE: How about you, Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No, I was not aware of that.

LATOURETTE: You were not aware that she was a contributor to any of those causes.

Do you know, any of you, whether or not the president was aware that she was a participant and a contributor to those three causes?

Of course, Ms. Nolan, I assume no, since you didn't even know that she was one.

NOLAN: I don't know.

LATOURETTE: How about you, Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: Well, I've seen clippings of an event where he is standing on a stage somewhere with her and Mrs. Clinton. So to the extent that she was on the stage with them, yes, I would assume he knew that she was a major supporter.

LATOURETTE: How about you, Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I did not know that--I do not know what the president's knowledge was, which is, I think, the question you asked.

Although, subsequently learned, just to clarify what Mr. Lindsey said--I didn't know this at the time. I subsequently learned, having seen that photo over and over again, that was a benefit concert for the Leukemia Foundation that she is involved with, and that had nothing to go to with the Democratic Party, et cetera.

LINDSEY: You can't believe what you see in the press.

LATOURETTE: I understand that to be a charitable event also, and I think she giving him a saxophone instead of cash on that particular occasion, if I understand the clipping.

How about with Braswell that you were asked by Mr. Barr? Were you aware that Mr. Braswell was being advocated by Mr. Rodham?

NORTON: Yes, I believe I was.

LATOURETTE: And with you, Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: No, I was not.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: No.

LATOURETTE: Did you have a meeting with the president of the United States on the Braswell pardon, Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: Yes.

LATOURETTE: And Mr. Lindsey, were you present at such a meeting?

LINDSEY: I'm not sure we had a meeting on the Braswell...

NOLAN: I think it came up in a meeting. I mean, I don't think we had a meeting on the Braswell pardon.

LATOURETTE: But it came up in a meeting.

LINDSEY: I don't recall Braswell coming up in a meeting.

LATOURETTE: OK, how about you, Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I don't remember Braswell at all, until I heard about it subsequent to January 20.

LATOURETTE: OK, and Ms. Nolan, then, since you're the only one that has a clear recollection of the Braswell matter coming up in a meeting, was Hugh Rodham's name invoked to the president of the United States during the course of that meet as someone who was interested...

NOLAN: I don't believe so, Mr. Latourette. But I'm not positive.

LATOURETTE: I think if we do another round, I'd like to ask you a similar set of questions about Roger Clinton, and then I think I'll be done with this panel.

I thank you.

BURTON: Mr. Davis?

T. DAVIS: Thank you very much. Mr. Quinn, I got some questions for you. I know it's been a long day for you and I appreciate you being here now, twice on your own volition. I just have a few questions that I'm not sure about and I want to clear up. Can you tell me anyone, other than the people who were either paid by Mr. or Mrs. Rich or friends or the objects of their political or charitable beneficence, who are really in favor of this pardon?

QUINN: Well, you know, what I can't do is tell you whether each and every one of the people who wrote letters or spoke up in favor of it were in some ways beneficiaries of their generosity. I just don't know the answer to that.

T. DAVIS: I'd like you to turn to exhibit 79; it's a copy of the agenda for a November 21, 2000, meeting among the Rich legal team. Number seven on the item on the agenda states states, "maximizing use of DR and her friends."

QUINN: Yes, sir.

T. DAVIS: Perfectly understandable. Who were her friends? I mean, what did you mean by that?

QUINN: Mr. Davis, I didn't write this. And my best recollection is that, when I did get together with Mr. Fink and Ms. Behan, I don't believe we went through these items, at least, I don't recall having done so. But, you know, as for what Mr. Fink had in mind, he'll be here sometime later.

T. DAVIS: Okay, let me ask you this. In your Senate testimony, you said that "I expect that Ms. Dozoretz would inquire about the status of our application, and I believe she might provide me with a sense of our progress or lack thereof. As a lawyer, I wanted information from as many sources as I could get about where my petition stood in the White House so I could refocus my efforts and my arguments to achieve the desired result for my client." Did Ms. Dozoretz keep you updated on the status of the application?

QUINN: There were times when I would get phone messages from her, asking me what the status of the matter was. We had a number of conversations. The ones that stick out in my mind as having been meaningful in this regard are that, as I had requested early on in the process, she indicated to the president that I was going to be filing a pardon application.

She left a message for me to the effect that I should meet with or talk to Bruce Lindsey, and I understood, again, thirdhand, that the president had in essence said, "Fine. Quinn's filing a pardon application. He should deal with the White House counsel's office."

The other one that sticks out in my mind is the conversation, which we've talked about here today and a couple of weeks ago, that's reflected in this Avner Azulay e-mail. I don't recall whether she reported that information to me directly at around the same time, but it's entirely possible.

T. DAVIS: How many times to you think you spoke Mrs. Dozoretz about the pardon application?

QUINN: It's quite honestly hard for me to say. I had over the course of a few months a fair number of phone messages with her, some of which no doubt led to conversations, but not all of those conversations would have been about this matter. We have been friends, we're from time to time invited to social events by her and her husband. I was working with her to try to put her together with a start-up company in which I thought the Dozoretzes might want to get involved, and there were conversations and get-togethers in connection with that.

I'm confident that I actually spoke to her far fewer times than the pink message slips in my office might indicate, and I just hesitate to pick a number because...

T. DAVIS: Would it be more than 10 times, possibly?

QUINN: Very unlikely.

T. DAVIS: More than five?

QUINN: Probably. Probably in that neighborhood, five to 10.

T. DAVIS: If I was to ask you how many contacts...

QUINN: At most. At most.

T. DAVIS: ... you had with either Mr. Clinton or his White House staff regarding the pardon, could you put a number on that?

QUINN: I can tell you with certainty the answer to that, as regard to the president, and I can tell you the answer to that as regards Mr. Podesta.

T. DAVIS: OK.

QUINN: Zero in his case.

And as I indicated in my written answers to the committee, I believe that I at one point told the president that I hoped to talk to him, but I don't believe that I said it was about either Rich or a pardon. I had the conversation on the 19th of which you're aware, and then I had this subsequent conversation with him the following week.

T. DAVIS: Let me ask you if you could...

QUINN: I'm sorry, because I do want to be complete. Then, of course, I spoke to Mr. Lindsey definitely once. I don't recall further conversations with him. I communicated with him in writing. And I had a number of conversations with Ms. Nolan, particularly at the end of the process there, but before that as well.

T. DAVIS: Could we turn to exhibit 155 for a second? It's on the Jack Quinn memorandum, the top.

BURTON: We'll let the gentleman finish this question. We'll have another round, if you'd like, Mr. Waxman.

QUINN: Yes, sir?

T. DAVIS: Could you read that to me?

QUINN: It says, "Facts, JQ/POTUS, to Gloria for Beth. Tell Gloria to get this to Beth as soon as possible." OK...

T. DAVIS: I was going to ask you about that one.

QUINN: Yes. This relates to that report from Mr. Azulay, in that the report from Azulay, I believe, follows this.

My recollection is that in one of the conversations I had with Ms. Dozoretz, I told her of the letter I wrote to the president, which I don't have in front of me. It's about a page-and-a-half letter.

Do we know the date?

On January 5. I believe this is the period of time when she was out in Colorado. And upon hearing about the letter I sent, asked if she could have a copy of it. And I believe it was subsequent to getting a copy of that letter that she had a conversation with the president.

T. DAVIS: Thank you very much.

BURTON: Gentleman's time has expired.

Mr. Waxman?

WAXMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I just want to put some things in perspective, and I'm responding to Mr. LaTourette's question of the three people that worked at the White House, whether they knew that Mrs. Rich had given money, and substantial amounts of money, to the Democratic Party, to the president's library.

Now, who's kidding whom? She gave $450,000 to the library. She gave hundreds of thousands to the Democratic Party. The president may not have known specifically what she had given in every instance, but he knew that she was a big financial supporter.

But let's also remember that when the oil and gas interests donated $29 million mostly to Republicans in last year's election, that people thought maybe we ought to have a bill providing subsidies and tax relief provisions worth billions--billions--to the oil and gas interests.

Was there a quid pro quo? Well, I don't know if you can jump to that conclusion. Probably not. But they certainly got their case across.

Now, let's look at another. In 1997, big tobacco companies gave the Republican Party $8.8 million in contributions. And then the Republican leadership snuck into a bill on the Balanced Budget Act, a $50 billion tax credit for the tobacco companies.

In January, Governor President George Bush held a closed-door economic summit with 36 business leaders. And according to the Center for Responsible Politics, the combined contributions of 27 of these business leaders to Republican candidates or the Republican Party was over $1.6 million.

Well, look, what's going on? Big money gets access. And it gets access to both sides, Democrats and Republicans. And it's a spectacle. It's why I supported Mr. Shays and Mr. Meehan and Senator McCain and others, who try to reform the campaign finance system.

But the reality is that those who have a lot of money and a lot of power do get their voices heard. I was pleased that Ms. Eleanor Holmes Norton from the District of Columbia pointed out something that I wasn't even aware of, and you wouldn't know it from what you read in the newspapers, that a large number of the pardons that were granted by President Clinton were to people who were just warehoused in prisons on these mandatory sentences.

Ms. Nolan, maybe you can tell us, did you go over some of those pardons where you felt good about them or did you feel uncomfortable with a lot of those pardons?

NOLAN: No, I very much felt that assisting the president in using his clemency power was one of the most satisfying things I did as his counsel. And it was exactly those kinds of cases that were very rewarding. And there's, obviously, a great deal of controversy, and I think we've all acknowledged understandable controversy about some of the pardons he gave. But there were many pardons and commutations for people who nobody knew who really were looking for justice and mercy from the president and who received it.

WAXMAN: The obvious is that because the president did some good things, it doesn't negate the fact that he did something that most of us think was an improper judgment call on his part to have given the pardon to Marc Rich. I can't see the rationale for it. I know Mr. Quinn has developed this rationale with others who have been in the employ of Mr. Rich, to develop that argument, but when a man is a fugitive from justice, it seems to me that you don't exercise the power of the pardon on his behalf.

But I think we ought to be more honest in this committee with the American people about the fact that there's a lot of big money, powerful interests that do get their case heard and often favorably. That's the way it works. It's unfortunate. And then the issue is, is it criminal? That means, was it an exchange for money?

Now, we know that Mr. Quinn evidently believes his argument of why the pardon should have been granted, but we also know that he works for the client. The president doesn't work for Mr. Rich and the president made his judgment, what he thought was right, and we can disagree with it. There's an investigation by law enforcement to see if there's anything illegal, but I have certainly have heard no evidence, any more than what we in those other examples I cited earlier.

They are not proud moments when big, powerful interests get their way, but it doesn't mean they weren't right and it doesn't mean that when people agree with them that it might be for the best motives.

BURTON: We have a few more questions from a few more members, and we should be able to wrap this up. Counsel has some questions.

So I understand some of you need to take a little bit of a break, so if you like, we will take a quick break and get back and try to wrap this up in the next half hour.

(RECESS)

BURTON: OK, we will resume the questioning with Mr. LaTourette.

BURTON: Mr. LaTourette, you are recognized for five minutes.

LATOURETTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And, Mr. Chairman, I would just observe, during the recess, I was chatting with Mr. Quinn, and I think he's had such a good time he would like to become an ex officio member of the committee. He was indicating he's enjoyed our proceedings very much over the last couple of times.

I'd like to talk, as advertised, about one other relative of the first family, and that would be Roger Clinton and ask each of you in turn, beginning with you, Ms. Nolan, were you aware at the time that these pardons or pardons were being considered at the White House in January of this year, that the president's brother was advocating on behalf of certain individuals?

NOLAN: Again, Mr. LaTourette, I'm not sure what I learned subsequently and what I knew then. I think I probably was.

LATOURETTE: You think you probably were before?

NOLAN: Yes.

LATOURETTE: OK. How about you, Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: No, sir, I don't believe so.

LATOURETTE: How about you, Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I believe I was aware that he had asked for a pardon but I've subsequently heard that it may have been for more than one, but I think I was aware that he had asked for one for a friend of his.

LATOURETTE: OK. Well, let me go back to some of the people we've already been talking about. And, Ms. Nolan, since you seem to have the recollection, were you aware that Roger Clinton was involved at all in the request made on behalf of the Carlos Vignali?

NOLAN: No, I don't think I was.

LATOURETTE: How about Glenn Braswell?

NOLAN: No.

LATOURETTE: How about a fellow by the name of Phillip Young?

NOLAN: No.

LATOURETTE: Mitchell Wood?

NOLAN: I have to say I don't even recognize those names.

LATOURETTE: OK. All right.

NOLAN: I'm not aware that anyone was involved.

(LAUGHTER)

LATOURETTE: Mr. Podesta, since you have some recollection, do you recall who is it that Mr. Roger Clinton might have been interested in?

PODESTA: No. But my recollection was that he had asked for a pardon for a friend of his, and that it was being denied.

LATOURETTE: OK. And that's the only...

PODESTA: Yes, and I didn't know and don't know that he was involved with any of those.

LATOURETTE: OK. Well, then, going, I guess we'll just throw it out there so that we're all squared away, during any of the discussions that you had on the 16th, the 19th or anything else, these waning days of the Clinton administration, was the fact that the president's brother was interested in advocating a position on behalf of anybody discussed in your presence and also the president's presence, Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: I don't recall a discussion about it. I have some sense that I knew, but I don't remember discussing it with the president, particularly.

LATOURETTE: OK.

How about you, Mr. Lindsey, no?

LINDSEY: No. I mean, I had a discussion with the president about a pardon for Roger.

LATOURETTE: Right.

LINDSEY: But other than that, no.

LATOURETTE: I'm speaking specifically about Roger looking for a pardon for somebody else, and you have no recollection of that.

LINDSEY: Right.

LATOURETTE: How about you, Mr. Podesta? I assume not.

PODESTA: Well, I don't remember. I, frankly, don't remember who told me that he had asked for a pardon for a friend of his, but when I heard that it was being denied, I didn't think much about it beyond that.

LATOURETTE: OK.

Mr. Chairman, that really completes anything I was interested in.

I thank the panel very much for their attention.

BURTON: Thank you, Mr. LaTourette.

Mr. Shays?

SHAYS: Thank you.

Ms. Nolan, you've had a chance to look at the list. I'm sorry, you are doing your break, yet we still put you to work. How many names do you have on that list?

NOLAN: I didn't count it.

SHAYS: Why don't you give us the names.

NOLAN: Six.

SHAYS: OK.

NOLAN: Seven.

SHAYS: OK. Why don't you give us the names. These are the pardons that you warned the president about, that didn't seem to make the public's attention.

NOLAN: I don't mean to say they didn't the public's attention. I don't think they got...

SHAYS: The same attention.

NOLAN: ... the same kind of attention that I was concerned that they would get.

SHAYS: OK. Fair enough. What were they?

NOLAN: William Borders, Henry Cisneros, John Deutch, Linda Jones, Jim Lake, Susan McDougal, Jack Williams.

SHAYS: Thank you.

I was most unfriendly, thinking about the president. I basically had this theory that I shared with no one that the president pardoned Marc Rich so we wouldn't pay attention to the pardon of Susan McDougal.

(LAUGHTER)

Cheryl Mills is a trustee of the library, I am told. And I am told that you, Mr. Lindsey, are a consultant to the library. Is that correct?

LINDSEY: That is correct.

SHAYS: What does a consultant do, as it relates to the library?

LINDSEY: I advise with respect to all sorts of decisions. I am one of the main contacts with the architects, with the exhibit designers. I am involved in discussions with the president.

It's a library foundation, and the library foundation serves more than one purpose. The first purpose is to actually build a library, which we then give to the federal government and the federal government maintains. But the library foundation is also the entity through which the president engages in sort of his public policy post-election activities.

So, for example, in addition to building the library and giving it to the government, the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Foundation will be involved in all sorts of public policy activities that the former president will be involved with. And I've been involved in discussions about what those should be and where we're going to go in that direction.

SHAYS: And are you still working with the president, therefore? Since he is no longer president, you're still under his employ through the library or also through his private office?

LINDSEY: Well, I also handle the legal matters in the transition office. So, for example, I'm involved in continuing e-mail reconstruction issues. I'm also the president's representatives to the National Archives, so I'm involved in requests to the archives for information.

SHAYS: I mean, I gather that, like Cheryl Mills, that you are a trusted friend, and, in your case, an employee of the president.

LINDSEY: Again, I'm an employee--I'm a consultant, not an employee...

SHAYS: I understand...

LINDSEY: ... for tax purposes, of the foundation. The president is not a member of the board of the foundation.

SHAYS: I think it's fair to say that you're a trusted friend, someone he respects. And with that, I'd like to ask, I know that Mr. LaTourette asked if you told the president that Hugh Rodham had called you on behalf of Carlos Vignali, and I believe you said that you didn't tell the president.

LINDSEY: I said, I have no recollection of telling him. I think I would have told him in one of the meetings that Ms. Nolan or Mr. Podesta was present, because I think that's the only time I ever discussed Carlos Vignali with the president, at all. And if they neither remember a reference to Hugh Rodham, I would have to accept their judgment that I probably didn't. But I, frankly, didn't know.

SHAYS: But it's so hard for me to imagine that a trusted friend and adviser to the president wouldn't have warned the president that a family member was involved in a pardon that he may ultimately agree to. I mean, it just strikes me that that's like Ethics 101.

LINDSEY: Well, you know, it's interesting. After Mr. Rodham brought Mr. Vignali's application to my attention, we spent a lot of time looking at the merits of the application. Yes, I don't know, if a congressman had called me, and brought an application to my attention, I wouldn't necessarily have mentioned it to the president.

SHAYS: But in the case of Hugh Rodham, he was paid.

LINDSEY: I did not know that at the time, sir.

SHAYS: But now, in the case of the news story--you know, I'm kind of hoping that the stories kind of end, so that we can kind of exit this sordid affair, and that we just now have learned that Tony Rodham's role with Edgar Allen Gregory Jr. and Vanna Joe Gregory, and the pardon involved there. These are business associates that he has. And I'd like to know if you knew, and if the president knew, that Tony Rodham was advocating for these two individuals.

LINDSEY: Yes, I knew, and I believe the president knew.

SHAYS: Did you speak to Tony Rodham about this?

LINDSEY: Yes, Tony Rodham called me, mostly concerned about the fact that the application had been pending over in the Department of Justice, and asking whether I could try to get them to move it along.

SHAYS: And you were aware, from that conversation, that he had spoken to the president about it?

LINDSEY: I don't know if it was that conversation. I think I was aware, at some point in the process, that Tony had spoken to the president about it.

SHAYS: Did the president discuss the Gregory pardon with you?

LINDSEY: Yes.

SHAYS: OK, and what did he say?

LINDSEY: Well, he indicated to me that he understood that the Gregorys were unable to do business in certain states, and that competitors of the Gregorys were raising their conviction, some 17 or 18 years ago, as a basis as to why various states shouldn't do business with them.

BURTON: I'll yield the gentleman my five minutes, so he can conclude.

LINDSEY: He thought that was not fair. I think, in fact, the agriculture commissioner from Florida may have actually brought it also to his attention, or at least we knew that the agriculture commissioner in Florida...

SHAYS: The bottom line, they were involved in two banks that went under, and they gave loans to their friends. There are a lot of people who did that, but they didn't get pardoned.

LINDSEY: Mr. Shays, this was in, again, 1982. The president...

SHAYS: I understand that...

LINDSEY: Let me...

SHAYS: Sure.

LINDSAY: The president's believe on pardons is that if a person makes a mistake--does something illegal or wrong--if they pay the price for that, if they go to jail, or they go on probation, and then they live a good life from that point forward, that they should not be denied the restoration of their rights because of that.

He certainly would believe that a person, 17 years afterwards, shouldn't have a conviction be used to keep them from making a living, and therefore believed that if in fact they had lived a good life, if they had not been in additional trouble from that point...

SHAYS: I hear you, Mr. Lindsey. I hear you. But it's fortuitous, you mentioned the words 17 years. There are parallels.

But the fact is, the Justice Department objected to this pardon. Isn't that correct?

LINDSEY: Yes.

SHAYS: Yes, OK. Now, what I just want to wrestle with, a little bit, is the president knew that in the case of these two individuals, they had a financial relationship with a family member.

LINDSEY: I didn't tell you that, sir. And I don't know that to be a fact.

SHAYS: You didn't know that they did real estate transactions? This is unknown to you? Unknown to the president?

LINDSEY: Again, I don't know what was known to the president. It was unknown to me until I read it in the paper this morning.

SHAYS: OK. So, basically, though, what we have in the books are two family members that advocated for pardons, got them accepted, and they had a financial relationship. One got a payment, others actually had business dealings with them. Doesn't that just strike you as being a bit unethical, that, you know, the family shouldn't be involved in that way?

LINDSEY: Again, I am opposed to success fees or contingency fees in criminal matters, including pardon applications. I'm not sure were I come out on Mr. Rodham, who is an attorney, as to whether or not he should be allowed, be able to represent people before the government, including the White House.

With respect to Mr. Rodham, Tony Rodham, excuse me, I knew that we was a friend of the Gregorys'. I did not know of the financial relationship. I did not believe that those factors were considerations. There were several other people that, for example, Hugh Rodham, expressed interest in, that we didn't grant, you know.

And the fact is, the basis I think is that some we determined were meritorious and others we didn't--on the merits, not on the relationships.

SHAYS: My time is ended, and I just want to thank all four of you.

Mr. Quinn, I would thank you again for appearing a second time. I am going to make a parting comment and say that I don't think it's possible for you to have served Marc Rich faithfully and the president faithfully at the same time, and that's the reason we're here, in my judgment.

BURTON: The gentleman yields back his time?

SHAYS: I yield back.

Further discussion, Mr. Cummings?

CUMMINGS: I wasn't going to say anything, but with what Mr. Shays just said, I've got to say something. And I want to give you an opportunity, Mr. Quinn, to respond, if you want to, to respond to what was just said. Again, I said it many times, I get tired in this committee of people's reputations being tarnished. And then there's no way for them to get their reputation back. We have one life to live, this is no dress rehearsal, this so happens to be that life.

Now, if you want to respond to what Mr. Shays just said, you may, and other than that, I have some questions.

QUINN: We did go over this a few weeks ago. I think Mr. Shays is off base. I don't think that in this context anyone failed to understand that I had a client and I was acting as an advocate.

CUMMINGS: All right. Let ask you this. I listened to the questions of Ms. Eleanor Holmes Norton about a half an hour ago, and she said something that certainly I must revisit. And when she talked about Eric Holder, and I also want to add the name Cheryl Mills.

One of the things that happened with Mr. Holder is he has had an impeccable reputation, I think, with the Congress and he has been just a wonderful public servant. And it's so interesting that as he left office, that all of this seemed to come falling down around him.

And to answer something that was said by Congressman Eleanor Holmes Norton, I think she said that is seems like Mr. Holder seems to be the fall guy or is becoming the fall guy.

You disagree with that, is that right?

QUINN: No, I certainly disagree. Well, that shouldn't be the case.

CUMMINGS: Do you think Mr. Holder acted properly in this instance, with regard to this?

QUINN: Yes, Congressman...

CUMMINGS: I am going to ask the same thing of you, Ms. Nolan.

QUINN: Congressman, I think we've heard an awful lot about circumstances which, in retrospect, all of us regret. But I don't think that makes him or any of these people sitting here with me blameworthy.

This process could have worked an awful lot better. We know that. A lot of things went wrong. But a case was presented on the merits. I happen to believe that the president decided this for reasons with which everybody in the Congress may disagree, but which were wholly appropriate for him to base his decision on.

CUMMINGS: Ms. Nolan?

NOLAN: I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Holder. I worked very closely with him when I was at the Department of Justice and then when I was at the White House. I think that he, like I and others in this, because of the press of affairs and the last-minute look at this again, didn't fully examine the matter. But I think that that is, as he's acknowledged, unfortunate but understandable. And I think it would be ridiculous, and I don't in fact believe it will be true that his reputation is tarnished in the end.

I think he, as many are, is getting a little bump right now, but he's an outstanding person and outstanding lawyer. And I think this country knows that and will know that again.

CUMMINGS: I agree with every syllable you just said.

Let me just leave you with this. You know, when people tune into this, they see parts of it, but one of the things that's clear--I just want to go back to this, to you, Mr. Podesta, to you, Mr. Lindsey and to you, Ms. Nolan--I just want to make sure the record is clear for the person who just tuned in, that during these discussions with the president, there was no, to your knowledge, there was no mention of contributions made by Ms. Rich to the library or to the first lady or to the president of the DNC? I think I got everything there.

PODESTA: That's correct.

CUMMINGS: Is that correct, Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir.

NOLAN: Yes, absolutely no mention.

CUMMINGS: And you all would consider yourselves some of his closest advisers, with regard to this situation, is that right, that is, the pardons?

NOLAN: Yes.

CUMMINGS: Very well. Thank you, very much.

BURTON: Thank you, Mr. Cummings.

Mr. Waxman, do you have anything else?

WAXMAN: If I just might make a concluding comment as well, just to follow up on what Mr. Cummings had to say. When you have a real confusing situation, as it appears the last days of the Clinton administration came to, and a breakdown of the system where ideally the Justice Department, the pardon office, the prosecutors, everybody would have had their opportunity to weigh in and influence the president's decision--when that broke down, it was unfortunate. But I think we would be doing a great deal of harm to people who would think about working for the government of the United States to have reputations tarnished unfairly.

I know Mr. Holder, as well, from the work on this committee and I think he's a man of great integrity. I think the four people before us are people of great integrity. And I don't think that they should be tarnished with a brush because people disagree with the judgment that the president made.

I also think that Cheryl Mills' name has been mentioned, and just because her name has been mentioned that she was at the White House, no one should think there is anything wrong with anything she did, because I haven't heard anything that would lead me to believe that she did anything that anyone could criticize.

So let's keep all of that in perspective. But if we do have people's reputations tarnished easily, which I have seen happen in this committee and in Congress in the past--because it's easy for members of Congress to throw smear-bombs--let's realize that what we really do is harm the whole idea of public service. We ought to encourage people to come in and serve the interests of the nation. They may make mistakes, but who hasn't made a mistake? If there are mistakes that are made, then let's understand the mistakes aren't made by everybody involved, but only by some.

There are some mistakes that are made inadvertently or just in the context. We can look at an isolated issue of these pardons, but so much is going on that the same time that all of think what would happen if we had to be judged based on what was said or done by us at one moment in time which wasn't of consequence to us at that moment, when so many other things were far more important. It would be so unfair, and we ought to keep all of that in perspective.

And the other thing that I want to say, Mr. Chairman, is we've been here with this panel for over six hours, we have another panel to follow. And I know agreed that the staff can ask questions, half hour each side, that means another hour just for this panel. The members have taken four or five rounds.

I'd like to request that the counsel on both sides submit questions in writing to the four members of the panel that are before us right now. If they're not satisfied with their responses, we can always bring them back in. But I can't imagine that there's anything that anybody has to ask any of these four people that has not been asked at least four or five times already.

So I'd like to make that request to you, so that we can get on to the last panel. It's already after 7 o'clock at night. If we take the same amount of time with the next panel that we took with this panel, let's see, that would put us at 1 o'clock in the morning. We ought not to unfairly tarnish people's reputation, nor should we engage in a form of kidnapping by holding them hostage.

(LAUGHTER)

So I would hope that we can move expeditiously.

BURTON: We will try to expedite the counsels' questions as quickly as possible.

Mr. Wilson?

JAMES WILSON, CHIEF COUNSEL, COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM: Your request is being denied.

BURTON: We'll move expeditiously.

WILSON: I don't want to research the kidnapping statutes here. That'll be my break to you all. And I will go as quickly as possible and my role is always the housekeeping role, to try and establish a few things that are not clear on the record.

First of all, Ms. Nolan, did you have a recommendation on the Vignali pardon matter?

NOLAN: You know, Mr. Wilson, I was not enthusiastic about the Vignali pardon, but I really can't remember whether in the end I was opposed or sort of persuaded that, given the large support he had, it was tolerable.

WILSON: Did you give an advise to the president on the Vignali matter?

NOLAN: No, we discussed it, but I really don't know at what point we discussed and what point my discussions were with my staff.

WILSON: Was there any written recommendation at any point on the Vignali matter?

NOLAN: Normally, what went into the president was a chart that would contain the recommended pardons. On some occasions, we sent him a chart without a recommendation for pardons he wanted to consider. That's what I don't remember, whether Vignali went on a chart in which we were making a recommendation. I honestly don't remember. It wasn't a pardon I was particularly involved in.

WILSON: The Justice Department did have a recommendation, did it not? It's my understanding they recommended against the pardon.

NOLAN: I believe they opposed it, yes.

WILSON: What factors did you take from the Vignali matter that led you to reject their recommendation?

NOLAN: Mr. Wilson, I didn't work closely on that matter. I don't have much memory of it, other than, you know, I remember the discussions about what U.S. attorney did or did not support the bishop or archbishop of Los Angeles. I do remember those discussions, so I remember I was aware of it, but it was not one--of course, you know, most of these were not matters that I looked at directly, I just got reports from staff. I know Mr. Lindsey has some conversations about it. I didn't meet with anyone other than my staff.

WILSON: If I can, I'll turn to Mr. Lindsey, then. Mr. Lindsey, did you have the recommendation on the Vignali matter?

LINDSEY: Again, originally, it was probably negative. First of all, it wasn't a pardon, it was a commutation.

But after I received a call from the sheriff of Los Angeles, and our office reached out to the U.S. attorney in the central district of California, in Los Angeles, I decided that, given the community support, and their position, that--into the county in which he would go to live--that they would be aware of the crime situation, if you will, in their community. And if they were not concerned about him coming back into their community, then I thought it was an appropriate commutation.

WILSON: Did you communicate that to the president?

LINDSEY: Yes, sir.

WAXMAN: OK.

BURTON: Let me ask one question. Did you think to possibly contact the prosecuting attorneys who prosecuted the case in Minnesota?

LINDSEY: We had the opinion of the U.S. attorney for Minnesota. He was opposed to it. So, we knew the opinion of the U.S. attorney in Minnesota. We knew--we looked at--I was aware of the amount that was involved. It was $25,000. I was aware of what his role was, if you will.

I mean, if you had listened to the press, Mr. Chairman, now, this is an 800 pound conspiracy going over a number of years. The fact of the matter is, the evidence, and the findings of the court was that he was involved for, I think, less than six months, that he was responsible for five to 15 kilos--11 to 33 pounds, that he was not an organizer, a leader, or a manager of the conspiracy. All of that, we took into consideration. Yes, we took into consideration the recommendation of the U.S. attorney. We also took into consideration the recommendation of the sheriff of Los Angeles, the position of the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, the position of the cardinal, Cardinal Mahoney.

BURTON: Well, we've heard that before. But the fact is, you did not talk to any of the people who were involved in the case, up there. They've been very, very forthcoming. And their sequence of events in what took place is not consistent with what I think you've just told us.

LINDSEY: Well, the pardon attorney had spoken with them, and gave us a written report that included their position on this matter.

WILSON: Turning to the Braswell matter, Ms. Nolan, did you have a recommendation for the president on the Braswell matter?

NOLAN: Yes, I believe I recommended in favor of Braswell.

WILSON: You did?

Mr. Lindsey, did you have a recommendation?

LINDSEY: Based upon what I knew at the time, yes, I recommended in favor of it.

WILSON: OK.

And Ms. Nolan, what principle factors--and if you could be brief--what principle factors did you have to recommend in favor of the Braswell petition?

NOLAN: What I remember about it, Mr. Wilson, is that it looked like the kind of situation that the president was looking for: quite a long time ago, somewhere between 15 and 20 years, I think, a crime with no apparent--to us at the time--further criminal activity of any sort. So it looked like the kind of pardon that the president was looking to do.

WILSON: Did you have a recommendation on the Gregory petitions?

NOLAN: I don't remember. Those weren't done--those were done earlier--the Gregory petitions.

WILSON: I believe they were done in early 2000.

NOLAN: I don't remember what my recommendation was.

WILSON: Mr. Lindsey, do you know whether you had a recommendation on the Gregory petitions?

LINDSEY: Yes, I believed that if they were being financially hurt because of a conviction 17, 18 years ago, and that they had done nothing subsequent to be in trouble with the law, that they were deserving of a pardon.

WILSON: Now, Ms. Nolan, on the Braswell matter, how would you be aware that there was no ongoing criminal activity, or ongoing investigation of Braswell if you didn't check with the Justice Department?

NOLAN: Well, I mean, we did--I think that my staff did do an NCIC check. I don't know--again, with these matters, what I would know, was what was brought to me--the information that was brought to me by my staff.

I was aware of the petition the last week, but I recollected the name and believe we had already had it in process. So I don't think I focused on whether we had gotten full information...

WILSON: I mean, to your knowledge, there was no check with the Department of Justice? It was simply your staff handling the matter on their own?

NOLAN: Well, the staff would check with the Department of Justice to do an NCIC check.

WILSON: So in this case, the staff had the Department of Justice do the NCIC?

NOLAN: Yes, that's correct.

WILSON: And you are aware that that did happen?

NOLAN: I believe it did, yes.

WILSON: Just if we could get the chronology for the late night of the 19th and the early morning of the 20th, when did you first learn--and I will go through this quickly so I just want to get a very brief answer to each question. But when did you first learn? At what time did you first learn that the Rich pardon was not a dead issue?

NOLAN: Well, I had a conversation--I think as I testified earlier, I was told that Mr. Quinn said Mr. Holder still supported it and...

WILSON: Wait, but I am trying to get the time.

NOLAN: Well, according to...

WILSON: Approximately.

NOLAN: ... Mr. Holder's telephone records, it was 6:38 p.m. that I called him.

WILSON: OK, and after...

NOLAN: So it was right about that time that I--I mean I picked up the phone and called him. We went to see the president shortly thereafter, somewhere between 7 and 8 o'clock in the evening.

WILSON: So it's fair to say that somewhere between 7 and 8 you realized that the Rich pardon was not a dead issue and there might be something more to be done.

NOLAN: That's correct.

WILSON: That's fair?

And after than, what was your next step?

NOLAN: My staff, one of my associate counsels--I am not sure who--contacted the Department of Justice to get an NCIC check.

WILSON: OK. And it's my understanding that the result of that NCIC check, among other things, was the information provided to you that there was an issue with arms dealing. Is that correct?

NOLAN: That is the information I got somewhere between 1 and 2 in the morning. That's right.

WILSON: And you called Mr. Quinn next. What time did you call Mr. Quinn?

NOLAN: Somewhere in that time frame of between 1 and 2. I'm not sure. I think it was--I'm putting it in that time frame because I think that I called the president at 2:30. So I'm just, sort of, backing up that...

WILSON: So you had your conversation with Mr. Quinn and I know you did explain that earlier. I won't ask you about that. But was that your last step prior to the final conversation with the president about the Rich matter?

NOLAN: That's correct.

WILSON: And you had a conversation with the president about 2:30. Is that correct?

NOLAN: That's correct.

WILSON: And what did you tell him?

NOLAN: I told him that the NCIC check revealed this arms trading. It did list Mr. Rich as a fugitive, that...

WILSON: Can I just stop you there? Did he reject that? I know we've had Mr. Quinn tell us that he had explained to people that Mr. Rich wasn't a fugitive and Mr. Lindsey had quibbled with the technical aspect of fugitivity. But did the president believe that Mr. Rich was a fugitive?

NOLAN: I don't know the answer to that.

WILSON: Did you ask him?

NOLAN: I don't know whether I asked him. I don't think I asked him. I mean, I think we had a discussion about does it matter whether he's a fugitive or not in terms of my view of--I don't know that it was critical to the president...

WILSON: Did you have a discussion where it because clear whether it was critical to the president? Did he, for example, say, "I don't care that he's a fugitive," or, "I don't believe that he is technically a fugitive"? Did he provide some feedback to you?

NOLAN: I don't believe he said anything like that.

WILSON: OK. So you--did he know that you were doing an NCIC check?

NOLAN: Yes.

WILSON: He did. So when--well, I'm not sure that we had that step then because before you (inaudible) was on, did you tell him earlier in the evening that you were going to do an NCIC check?

NOLAN: I don't know. I don't think so.

WILSON: When did you tell the president that you were going to do an NCIC check?

NOLAN: Oh, I'm sorry.

He knew we did it when I called him at 2:30 in the morning. I don't know. He knew that that's what we were doing with everybody. I don't know that we had a specific discussion about Mr. Rich, but he understood that part of our process was to do an NCIC check.

WILSON: OK. What did the president say about the arms trading matter, if anything?

NOLAN: With respect to both of those matters, that's when I said, "You know, what we have is Jack Quinn's word, that's all we have at this hour." And he said, "Take Mr. Quinn's word," or, "Take Jack's word."

WILSON: So he was the one that signed off on Mr. Quinn as the final authority on that matter?

NOLAN: I suppose that's right.

WILSON: OK. And what happened next?

BURTON: Did he in any way indicate that you ought to call the Justice Department back and find out just how extensive that problem was with the arms trading?

NOLAN: No, sir.

WILSON: What happened next then, if anything?

NOLAN: About an hour and a half later, about 4, I got to go home.

WILSON: OK. I guess we can do it a little more slowly then.

NOLAN: Nothing else happened.

WILSON: How did this conversation between yourself and the president get translated to the ultimate executive grant of clemency? Did you tell somebody after you met with the president about the decision?

NOLAN: Several of my staff lawyers were in the office with me when I talked with the president, so they knew about the conversation I'd had.

WILSON: And who was with you at the time?

NOLAN: Meredith Cabe and Eric Angel (ph), and Cheryl Mills was there. We'd gone out to dinner. She was coming to stay at my house.

WILSON: OK. Was she with you during the telephone conversation you had with Mr. Quinn?

NOLAN: Yes, she was in my office. And I think she talked to Mr. Quinn also.

WILSON: At the same time that you were speaking with Mr. Quinn?

NOLAN: I know I spoke with Mr. Quinn by myself. I don't know if we talked on the phone together or not.

WILSON: OK. At any time during that evening did either yourself or your staff or Ms. Mills or the president suggest that you might reach out to any of the intelligence agencies that would be able to brief you on Mr. Rich?

NOLAN: No.

WILSON: I guess it can't go much further than that. It just wasn't something that was even entertained in your mind?

NOLAN: No.

WILSON: The only reason I ask, is because Mr. Rich had been living out of the United States for 17 years, he was a very well-known man who had traded in metals and various other natural resources all over the world, publicly reported dealings with practically every enemy that we had had over the last 20 years. It's hard for us to understand that somebody wouldn't think, "We could get such and such intelligence resource on the telephone right now and see if they have anything at all to offer us." That just didn't crop up in the Rich situation?

NOLAN: No.

WILSON: Does anybody on the panel know how many times former Prime Minister Barak actually called the president?

Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: Are you referring to how many times he called him or how many times he called him and talked about the Rich matter?

WILSON: That's a good distinction. Sorry about that.

PODESTA: I think that the president talked to Mr. Barak more than the combined number of phone calls of all other foreign leaders during the year 2000.

WILSON: Right. And that's a good point. I'm sorry for that. The number of times they discussed the Rich pardon.

PODESTA: I think two or three. I'm not precise about that.

WILSON: And how do you know that?

PODESTA: Because I was involved in the discussions with Mr. Berger and with the president and the others, Mr. Ross and the others, about those phone calls generally, obviously which were centered on the Middle East peace process. But when Pollard or the Rich matter came up the president would brief us on that. And I think that it came up two or three times, I'm not sure.

WILSON: Does anybody else...

(CROSSTALK)

PODESTA: I'm certain that it came up prior to January 19.

I don't know the first time it came up, and I think it may have been three times that he raised it.

WILSON: OK. I know that because I've seen that in the newspapers, but there have also been reports from Israel that it was only one time.

PODESTA: There was only one time that he raised it? I don't think that's correct.

WILSON: And were just trying to resolve the discrepancy.

PODESTA: I just don't believe that's correct. I think that, again, other people may have a recollection of that, but I believe he raised it--I'm certain he raised it before January 19, at least in one other conversation and he may have raised in two other conversations.

LINDSEY: If I could, the president indicated on the 19th, I believe, that that was the third time at least, I thought it was the third or fourth time, but maybe the third time at least that Barak had mentioned it to him.

WILSON: And he told you that?

LINDSEY: In our meeting when he said that Barak had raised it in his conversation that day, he indicated that that was, I think, the third time that it had been raised by Mr. Barak.

WILSON: Fair enough.

NOLAN: Can I just say I thought he said fourth.

LINDSEY: Well, actually, I thought it was three or four. It could have been four.

WILSON: Ms. Nolan, earlier you mentioned that you first learned about the Rich pardon matter in mid-January, is that correct?

NOLAN: No, I agree with Mr. Quinn that he called me on December 11 to tell me he was submitting a pardon application. I think it was after Christmas, so end of December that I had a chance to look at it.

WILSON: Ms. Nolan, did you have any contacts with Beth Dozoretz regarding the Rich pardon?

NOLAN: No.

WILSON: Mr. Lindsey, did you have any contacts with Beth Dozoretz regarding the Rich pardon?

LINDSEY: Yes, as I testified earlier, she called me one time and asked about two pardons.

WILSON: And that was the one time?

LINDSEY: That's the one time, yes.

WILSON: Thank you.

Mr. Podesta, do you have any...

PODESTA: No.

WILSON: Ms. Nolan, are you aware of any contacts between Beth Dozoretz and the president regarding the Rich pardon?

NOLAN: None.

WILSON: Mr. Lindsey?

LINDSEY: Other than what I've read in Jack's e-mails, no. I mean I have no direct knowledge of any.

WILSON: And those from your subsequent reading the last few weeks.

LINDSEY: Right, exactly.

WILSON: Fair enough.

Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: Same answers as Mr. Lindsey.

WILSON: Mr. Quinn, who suggested that Peter Kadzik be hired to work on the Rich matter?

QUINN: Well, Mr. Kadzik was at a firm that, as I understand it...

WILSON: Had done work for a number of years, but his first billing on the Rich matter was in November...

QUINN: Right, but he's a partner of Michael Green's, who was actively involved. And I believe it was Mike who suggested that he get involved.

WILSON: And is it your understanding that his first involvement was in November of 2000 on the Rich matter?

QUINN: On the pardon, I don't know what past involvement he may have had in Rich matters, but I think that's basically right in terms of the pardon process.

WILSON: Why was Mr. Kadzik brought on to work on this matter?

QUINN: Again, Mr. Green suggested that it would be a good idea to get him involved, that he was well-regarded and trusted by Mr. Podesta, and that he could be a useful person to convey our arguments to Mr. Podesta.

WILSON: Is it fair to characterize then what you said as he was hired because of his access to and friendship with Mr. Podesta?

QUINN: That's not what I said.

WILSON: No, I said is if fair to characterize what you said as that? That's why I mentioned characterize.

QUINN: My impression was that he was being brought in because of the high regard in which Mr. Podesta held him.

WILSON: I'm not sure if I'm quick enough to distinguish between those two things, but it was because of his relationship with Mr. Podesta, correct?

QUINN: Again, it was Mr. Green's suggestion, and I'm not going to try to divine what he was thinking. I'm not going to quibble with your own right to characterize as you see fit.

WILSON: On January 6, Mr. Kadzik billed time for a conference with you.

Was that an in-person meeting?

QUINN: No, I don't believe I ever discussed this matter with Mr. Kadzik in person.

WILSON: Let me...

QUINN: What time of the week was this...

WILSON: I misspoke in asking you that question, but what we have as a billing record indicates Mr. Kadzik billed time for a conference with Mr. Podesta. Did, in fact, Mr. Kadzik meet with you on January 6 about the Rich matter?

PODESTA: If you refer to my opening statement, yes, he did, which I've already testified to.

WILSON: Right.

One of the things that came up in the e-mails that we reviewed a while back, was that there's an indication that you told Mr. Kadzik that you thought Mr. Rich and his lawyers benefited--or quote, "benefited from being under the press radar," unquote. Did you every tell Mr. Kadzik anything to that effect?

PODESTA: No, I don't believe I did.

WILSON: Did you ever discuss with Mr. Kadzik, any benefit obtained from the matter not being prominent, or not being in the public eye?

PODESTA: Well, I don't remember, precisely, the conversation. There was a brief meeting in my office that occurred. But I was certainly--by then, I was--had consulted, I believe, with Ms. Nolan. I was opposed to the pardon. I told Mr. Kadzik I was opposed to the pardon. I wasn't trying to give them any advice about it.

I don't know what Mr. Kadzik may have said to me that transpired in that conversation, which led to his reporting that back. But I don't remember saying that. And whether he raised it with me, or not, I just don't recall.

WILSON: OK, then, I mean, not to do this backwards, but that seems to indicate that you also don't have a recollection that you did not--I mean, you do not have a recollection that that didn't happen. So, it might have happened. You just don't recall. Is that correct?

PODESTA: All I'm saying to you is I don't--well, I think the answer to that is I don't recall. But I was certainly not trying to give them--as the--again, this is a third-hand e-mail. And I don't think I was giving him advice, at that point. I told Mr. Kadzik that I didn't think it was warranted, and I opposed it.

WILSON: If we could put up exhibit number 62 on the screen. And I think you have it in front of you. It's an e-mail dated January 9, three days after the conversation that we were just talking about.

PODESTA: What number is that?

WILSON: Number 62--if you could take a quick look at that.

I don't think we'll be able to go any further. This is not an e-mail that you are a part of, but if you could just take a quick look at that.

And at that the top, there's this very short, "I think we benefited from being under the press radar. Podesta said as much." I think we've covered it fully. But there's nothing here that...

PODESTA: These are from two individuals I never spoke to.

WILSON: No, I understand that. It's OK. Fair enough.

If you were opposed to the pardon, Mr. Podesta, why didn't you direct people to at least obtain the input from the Southern District of New York?

PODESTA: Frankly, Mr. Wilson, I thought the matter was dead. And I thought with all of us being opposed to it, that no real work needed to be done on it, because I thought it was a dead matter. As I said earlier, I think that we would have benefited from having done that, but we didn't. And I take responsibility for that.

WILSON: Mr. Lindsey, did you have any conversations, interaction, with a rock musician, Don Henley, about obtaining a pardon for somebody?

LINDSEY: He--I don't know if I ever spoke to him, or not.

I know he called my office a number of times, and I think I ultimately spoke to an assistant of his. But I don't believe I ever spoke to Don Henley.

WILSON: Do you know the name of the individual for whom he was requesting a pardon?

LINDSEY: Again, it seems to me it was a commutation, not a pardon. I do not remember the name. He was a man who was involved in gambling in California and was now very active in, sort of, Gambling Anonymous and trying to help other people break that. But I don't recall the name.

WILSON: In this matter, do you know whether the Justice Department provided a recommendation regarding this particular commutation request?

LINDSEY: I do not. I do not.

WILSON: Ms. Nolan, are you familiar with the matter that Mr. Lindsey's talking about?

NOLAN: I don't. This is not to say I wasn't familiar with it at the time, but I don't--it doesn't ring any bells.

WILSON: Mr. Podesta?

PODESTA: I have spoken to Mr. Henley about environmental matters, but I don't think I ever spoke to him about a pardon.

BURTON: I just want to make sure I got all of this straight here. This memo that we have before us, this number 62, where it's from Jack Quinn, sent Tuesday, January 9, to Robert Fink. It says: "I think we've benefited from being under the press radar. Podesta said as much."

You do not remember saying anything like that?

PODESTA: I don't remember having this conversation. I certainly didn't speak to these people. I don't know what it's in reference to. So and I don't remember doing it.

know that in the meeting that I had with Mr. Kadzig on the 6th, that I opposed this pardon and I was certainly consistent in that and I was not trying to give them any pointers. So I don't know what this is in reference to.

BURTON: Well, it's a significant statement and if you didn't say it, that's fine, but this is from Mr. Quinn.

Mr. Quinn, do you remember him saying something like that?

QUINN: I am confident I wrote this e-mail, but I am also confident that I never spoke to Mr. Podesta about this...

BURTON: Well, where did you get this information: "I think we've been benefited from being under press radar. Podesta said as much"?

What did Mr. Podesta say that made you think that?

QUINN: I had a report from Mr. Green, who in turn talked to Mr. Kadzig and that was what I understood to have been reported.

BURTON: So it's third hand?

QUINN: Yes, sir.

BURTON: I think our time has expired. Counsel, who are we recognizing?

WILSON: I don't have any questions for the panel, which I'm sure will disappoint you, but Mr. Kanjorski does. So I am going to yield some time to him.

BURTON: Very good.

KANJORSKI: I am just going to a few moments to test Mr. Quinn's kidneys, Mr. Chairman.

(LAUGHTER)

Mr. Quinn, in your testimony the last time before the committee, I remember reading your testimony and then listening to the various oral testimony you gave and I got the distinct impression that, by implication or inference, you had worked from sometime in late 1999 with the many Rich attorneys in town, three of which you had named--Mr. Garment, Mr. Ergenson (ph) and Mr. Libby. And in reading your testimony, particularly on page four, you state that you knew and you respected the reputation and judgment of the current counsel and law firms who had been involved with Rich's defense.

And I implied from that or inferred, as the case may be, that you were saying they agreed with your petition for pardon since they helped you, as I understand, prepared all of the material and it was basically their work product and you were the editor of this work product for the submission and the application.

Is that correct?

QUINN: No, sir. Let me try to straighten that out. First of all the gentlemen with whom worked initially were Mr. Ergenson (ph), Mr. Libby, Mr. Green and Mr. Fink.

Mr. Garment had been involved previously but was not involved with me. As we discussed earlier today, the basis of the pardon application was a series of arguments to the effect that the indictment was flawed. I understand all of them to agree with that, that is to say that the indictment was flawed. But I did not mean to imply that had worked on the pardon itself.

The only other thing I would add, is that--at least according to the New Yorker magazine, Mr. Garment did say, after the fact, that he didn't know why the president granted the pardon, but he agreed with it.

KANJORSKI: Then, as of this moment, you don't know whether they agreed with the pardon, these other lawyers, either.

QUINN: Again, they certainly not only agreed that the indictment was flawed, they explained to me why the indictment was flawed. But I will have to let them speak for themselves.

KANJORSKI: Well, that's on the indictment. What do you know on their feelings of whether or not there was merit here for the pardon?

QUINN: The only thing I know going to the pardon is what I told you about what Mr. Garment was quoted as having said in the New Yorker.

KANJORSKI: So, from the time in October that you worked with these men--in October '99--until some time in mid-January, even though you'd used all their work product, you'd obviously been briefed on their case, their arguments, their positions, you never asked them whether or not they favored the petition for pardon, that it should be granted?

QUINN: No, sir.

KANJORSKI: And you have no idea whether they favored the pardon, or not.

QUINN: But, Congressman, I had an enormously high degree of confidence that they agreed that the indictment was thoroughly flawed.

KANJORSKI: But not sufficiently flawed to support a pardon.

QUINN: They weren't involved at that point.

KANJORSKI: OK, I'm just going to take a moment. I've always had the occasion, over the last eight years, to work with at least two of the three members of the panel. I want to compliment you on your testimony. It was certainly forthright. I think you've been under a great deal of strain. It's very difficult to take a position that you took in private, and confidence, to someone that you worked for, to have a disagreement, and now come publicly and disclose that disagreement. But you've certainly done the honorable thing.

And your testimony, as I understand it today, is that it is your opinion the judgment exercised in granting the pardon was probably faulty, but that you feel there was no wrongdoing, no illegality and no impropriety in the action of the president, in issuing the pardon. Is that correct?

QUINN: That's correct.

NOLAN: That's correct.

PODESTA: That's correct.

KANJORSKI: OK, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

BURTON: Well, I think that concludes our hearing, as far as you're concerned. I want to thank you all for being here. And I hope that your derrieres are not completely asleep, so you can walk out of here. Thank you very much.

We'll now have the next panel come before us.

We will now welcome our third panel to the witness table: Lewis Libby, Robert Fink and Peter Kadzik.

And I doubt seriously if we're going to be here anywhere near as long as with the first two panels.

Do we have everyone ready for questioning?

Would you all please rise so I can swear you in? Do you swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Be seated.

Do any of you have an opening statement?

FINK: I have no opening statement. I'd be pleased to answer the committee's questions.

BURTON: OK.

Mr. Libby, do you have an opening statement? Proceed.

LIBBY: Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, once again, pursuant to the committee's request, I welcome the opportunity to provide whatever useful information I can about my knowledge of the Marc Rich matter.

I should add that I am here today in my personal capacity and not as a representative of the government or speaking in any way for the government.

I did not represent Mr. Rich in connection with the pardon or the pardon application. However, a brief overview of my past representation of Mr. Rich as a private attorney and my decision not to participate in the effort to obtain a pardon may be useful for you.

In the spring of 1985, Mr. Rich and Mr. Pincus Green asked Mr. Leonard Garment, a Washington attorney, to represent them in connection with an outstanding criminal indictment. At the time, Mr. Rich had already renounced his U.S. citizenship and was living in Switzerland.

Mr. Garment told Mr. Rich and Mr. Green that he would not be able to represent them unless he first determined that they had a sound legal defense.

About this time Mr. Garment asked me to join his firm. Mr. Garment assigned me to help assess whether there were legal defenses to the tax and energy fraud charges to which the Rich companies had already pled guilty. Attorneys from the firm of Milgrim, Thomajan & Lee, including Mr. Robert Fink, and other expert counsel participated in the analysis. We later included notable tax law experts as well.

In August 1987, we presented our analysis of the facts and law to an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. We argued that based on all the information available to defense counsel the Marc Rich companies had properly reported their tax obligations and energy transactions and that these criminal charges should be reexamined.

I wish to emphasize that in approaching the Southern District of New York we were not seeking a pardon, but rather a negotiated settlement of the outstanding indictment. Our efforts were unsuccessful.

In 1989, I resigned from private practice and the representation of Mr. Green and Mr. Rich to join the Defense Department, where I served until 1993. Sometime after my return to private practice I assisted Mr. Fink and Mr. Ergenson (ph), a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and a former official of the Justice Department, in another attempt to open discussions with the Southern District of New York. This effort, somewhere in the 1993 to '95 time frame, also failed. Thereafter, I viewed the matter as largely inactive and I do not recall any significant work on the matter until 1999.

Sometime in 1999, I first learned that Mr. Rich had retained Mr. Jack Quinn. Mr. Quinn said that he planned to ask the Department of Justice to look at the case or persuade the Southern District to do so. I participated in efforts to brief Mr. Quinn about the case and the subsequent effort to prepare yet another request to the Southern District. These efforts also failed.

Immediately thereafter, in roughly the spring of 2000, I was instructed by counsel for Mr. Rich and Mr. Green to stop all work on behalf of them.

In late November of 2000, one of the defense counsels, Mr. Michael Green, called me. Michael Green said that the defense team was planning to approach the White House for a pardon. I was, at the time, spending nearly all my free hours working on the possible transition to a new administration, and determined that participation in a pardon effort would be inconsistent with my time commitments and my role related to the transition and the possible new administration.

I informed Mr. Green that I would not participate in an effort to obtain a pardon. I did not at any time thereafter represent Mr. Rich or Mr. Pincus Green or work on their behalf in connection with the effort to obtain a pardon.

I stand ready to answer any questions you may have.

BURTON: Mr. Kadzig, you do not have an opening statement.

KADZIG: That's correct, Mr. Chairman.

BURTON: Mr. Fink, do you have an opening statement?

FINK: Yes, I do. But in the interest of making the last shuttle in see my family tonight, I think you can accommodate me and I'd be happy to dispense with it.

BURTON: OK.

FINK: Thank you.

BURTON: Well, you can submit it for the record. And we'll use it in the record. And since there are no more opening comments, I'll yield to the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Latourette.

LATOURETTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Kadzig, I'd like to start with you, if I could. Your law firm, as we understand it, represented Marc Rich for a substantial period of time. But your work was not certainly as extensive as that as other members of your firm. Is that an accurate observation?

KADZIG: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: When were you first recruited or asked to participate in the representation of Marc Rich to work on his file?

KADZIG: I was consulted in the late 1980s when Mr. Libby and Mr. Garment were in the process of preparing to approach the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York, because at that time I was representing another client with respect to a matter before the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District.

And they asked me for my thoughts and advice on what kind of approach they should take, what the likelihood of success was, and whether I knew any of the personalities, whose names I don't recall now, that they were going to deal with.

LATOURETTE: When you say personalities, the thinking was that if you had worked previously with someone in the U.S. Attorney's Office that you might be able to give them some advice as to what approach would be successful for this or that person?

KADZIG: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: OK. And subsequent to that, were you then asked to participate in this processing of the pardon application, which is the subject of this hearing?

KADZIG: Well, actually, there was one other contact before that. In 1999, when there was going to be another effort to approach either the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York or the Department of Justice, Mr. Green asked me what I thought about approaching either of those two entities. I told him that I thought that approaching the Justice Department rather than the U.S. Attorney's Office would be more fruitful.

And then subsequent to that was in late November, early December of 2000, with respect to the pardon.

LATOURETTE: OK. And then that specifically was to the pardon application that was being prepared by Mr. Quinn and others?

KADZIG: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: OK. Now, in addition to the work that you might have done for Mr. Rich's concerns, I think I remember as being a member of the committee, that you appeared before this committee as counsel for Mr. Podesta during the White House e-mail hearings. Is my memory correct on this?

KADZIG: I represented Mr. Podesta. He did not appear before the committee. He was interviewed by Mr. Wilson and other members of the staff.

LATOURETTE: That's what I meant, appearing before the committee, appearing before the staff.

And was that your only work for Mr. Podesta?

KADZIG: No, I also represented Mr. Podesta with respect to his appearances before the grand jury in the Monica Lewinsky matter. And then also in connection with the e-mail controversy, he testified in the Alexander case before Judge Royce Lamberth.

LATOURETTE: OK. I think the staff has put before you a book of exhibits and we'll try and show them on the screen as well. And I would like to focus on Exhibit 130, which is a series of Dickstein, Shapiro billing records, and that they indicate, at least as I'm reading them--and if I'm reading them incorrectly, please stop me, and tell me I'm reading them incorrectly--that between December the 12th of last year and January 20 of this year, President Clinton's last day in office, you had seven contacts with either John Podesta, or the White House regarding Marc Rich's pardon application. Am I reading that correctly? Or does that fit with your recollection?

KADZIG: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: OK. Did you contact anyone or have contact with anyone in the White House regarding this pardon application aside from John Podesta?

KADZIG: There were three contacts with administrative assistants and his office and the press office, on, I believe, the 18th, 19th and 20th just to determine whether or not there had been any pardons granted, and if so, whether a list was available.

LATOURETTE: Exhibit 130 shows that, on the 12th of December last year, you contacted JDP, and I assume that that's John D. Podesta.

KADZIG: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: Would you describe, or have you already described--is that the substance of your conversation, whether or not pardons had been granted and whether or not that was available, or was that contact something else?

KADZIK: The contacts I described previously were not with Mr. Podesta. The contact with Mr. Podesta on the 12th was a brief conversation where I asked him if--what the pardon process--the consideration of pardons was going to be like in the White House. He indicated it would be primarily handled by the White House counsel's office. I told him that my law firm represented three individuals who were seeking pardons and he suggested that him a piece of paper, I think as he put it, concerning those three individuals and I did. And that was it.

LATOURETTE: In this phone conversation of December 12, did you identify who those three individuals were?

KADZIK: Yes.

LATOURETTE: And did he express, either upon further conversation or just--and I assume one of them was Marc Rich.

KADZIK: That's correct.

LATOURETTE: Did he have any observation or offer any observation to you about Marc Rich?

KADZIK: No, he did not.

LATOURETTE: And did you have any discomfort as a lawyer--maybe you did or maybe you didn't--but going to another client of yours seeking a pardon from the president of the United States or this representation, did this cause you any concern at all?

KADZIK: I wouldn't say that I was seeking a pardon. I inquired as to whether or not--who in the White House would be considering pardon. He said it would be primarily the White House counsel's office. And it was my understanding that Mr. Quinn had submitted a pardon application to the White House counsel's office.

LATOURETTE: Do you think, just as in the 1980s when your firm asked you to, sort of, pick your brain about who best to approach and, you know, "How should we approach this person and that person?" that perhaps your services were sought in December of last year for the same, sort of, thing, to, sort of, get a feel or the lay of the land over at the White House as to what--how best to get this to where it needed to go? Was that the advice that you were being asked to offer?

KADZIK: I would view it as a process inquiry, yes.

LATOURETTE: OK. There was an article this year, Newsweek, and that indicated that the president's aides, and we've just heard from Mr. Podesta and the others, that they were opposed to the pardon of Marc Rich. But did you hear any of their testimony so that I don't have to go into any of that?

KADZIK: Yes.

LATOURETTE: OK. To you knowledge, did Mr. Podesta indicate to you his position on the pardoning of Marc Rich?

KADZIK: Yes, he said he was opposed to it.

LATOURETTE: And when did he tell you that? Do you remember?

KADZIK: The three subsequent conversations I had with him, which I believe were on January 2, January 6 and January 16.

LATOURETTE: Was it part and parcel of your responsibility as a lawyer for Marc Rich to attempt to influence or change Mr. Podesta's mind as to his position?

KADZIK: No.

LATOURETTE: Did you ever attempt to do that?

KADZIK: No, I didn't. Once he told me he was opposed to it, I knew that I wouldn't be able to change his mind.

LATOURETTE: Did Mr. Podesta provide you any recommendations as to how you might proceed to achieve a successful result on the application that your firm was processing?

KADZIK: No, not at all.

LATOURETTE: Did Mr. Podesta indicate to you at any point in time how the president of the United States felt about this particular pardon application?

KADZIK: No. He simply indicated to me that the decision was the president's.

LATOURETTE: OK. If I could ask you to turn now to exhibit 58, that seems to refer to a call I think of January 2, 2001.

BURTON: Can I interrupt real briefly?

LATOURETTE: Surely.

BURTON: You said you talked to Mr. Podesta and he indicated he was opposed to the pardon, but he further said that the decision was up to the president. Did he indicate in any way what his recommendation was going to be to the president or what--I mean, it just seems like that conversation kind of--there is something missing in between. He said he's opposed to it, but he said that decision is going to be left up to the president.

KADZIK: Well, I think the conversation was that he was opposed to the pardon and that if asked, he was going to say that he was opposed to it. And I think I asked whether or not that mean that the staff was going to veto it, and he said, "The decision is the president's."

BURTON: So he didn't elaborate on what the staff might or might say to the president?

KADZIK: No, he did not.

BURTON: OK, thank you.

LATOURETTE: The--again, exhibit 58. I am sorry, I lost my place for just a second.

KADZIK: Yes.

LATOURETTE: Exhibit 58 I think is a reference to the telephone call that you had with Mr. Podesta on January 2 of this year and it indicates that he told you that the Rich pardon was still in the mix as of that date.

Is that a correct reading of that exhibit? And is that your recollection?

KADZIK: My recollection is that he told me that a decision had not yet been made.

LATOURETTE: OK. Did he use the words, "in the mix," or is that your description of what he indicated to you?

KADZIK: He didn't use those words. And I don't think they're mine, either. I assume they were Mr. Fink's.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Fink's?

KADZIK: Right.

LATOURETTE: Do you--were you unclear at all on this date, January the 2nd, January the 3rd of this year, that Mr. Podesta opposed this pardon application?

KADZIK: No, it was perfectly clear to me that he did oppose it.

LATOURETTE: OK. Now, exhibit number 62. Did you have a conversation, at any time, with Mr. Podesta wherein he indicated to you, that you--and I don't think you personally, but that the Rich pardon application was benefiting by being under the press radar?

KADZIK: No, he did not.

LATOURETTE: And so, again, as you look at exhibit number 62, I guess that's Mr. Fink's interpretation, again, of the conversation. Did you have a conversation with Mr. Fink, regarding what it was you and Mr. Podesta talked about on January the 6th?

KADZIK: I've never spoken to Mr. Fink.

LATOURETTE: OK. Do you have any personal knowledge--and I'm sure we'll ask Mr. Fink, in a minute--but do you have any personal knowledge as to where Mr. Fink would get the information necessary to express that opinion?

KADZIK: The only thing that I can speculate as to, is I spoke to Mr. Green after I talked to Mr. Podesta. I said that he was opposed to the pardon, as was the staff. And I think that Mr. Podesta made an off-hand comment to me that, while there was a lot of controversy in the press about other pardons, such as Mr. Milken, that there had been no press coverage, with respect to Mr. Rich or Mr. Green.

LATOURETTE: And that was seen as a good thing?

KADZIK: It wasn't seen as anything. It was simply a statement of fact.

LATOURETTE: OK. Now, exhibit number 67--it looks like that this is a reference to the telephone call that might have taken place between you and Mr. Podesta on January the 16th. This e-mail, in particular, states that, "Mike Green spoke with Peter"--who I assume is you--"who spoke with Podesta. And that Podesta told Peter, that while the staff are not supportive, they are not in the veto mode."

First of all, did Mr. Podesta communicate that to you on January the 16th?

KADZIK: No.

LATOURETTE: Again...

KADZIK: Again, he told me he was opposed to it, that the staff was opposed to it, but no final decision had been made. And again, the decision was the president's.

LATOURETTE: Do you have--again, this, sort of, chain from Mike Green, to you, to the author of exhibit number 67, do you have any personal knowledge as to how the author of exhibit number 67 would reach the conclusion that the staff was not in the veto mode, if that information didn't come from you, who was the person who had the conversation with Mr. Podesta?

KADZIK: I don't know upon what that was based. I can only speculate that it was because there was no final decision yet.

LATOURETTE: OK. At any point during the contacts that you had with Mr. Podesta did he identify why it was that he was opposed to the Rich pardon, or what concerns that the White House counsel's office had concerning this application?

KADZIK: No, we didn't discuss the merits of it in detail, at all.

LATOURETTE: OK. the final two pages of entries, on exhibit 130, indicate that you continued to have teleconferences with former White House staff after the granting of the pardon on the 19th and 20th of January.

And I'll let you flip to those. And then I have a couple of questions.

KADZIK: Yes, I've got it.

LATOURETTE: OK. And you see those entries?

KADZIK: Yes, I do.

LATOURETTE: Who were you talking to during that period of time, after the granting of the pardon?

KADZIK: My recollection was that I received telephone calls from Karen Tramontano--the former president's current chief of staff--and someone from the press office--I don't recall who--asking me if I'd be willing to do press appearances in defense of the president's decisions with respect to the pardons. And I told them, that given the fact that my firm represented Mr. Rich, that I wouldn't be certainly seen as a neutral observer, and that I wasn't the best person to do that.

LATOURETTE: And is that the sum and substance of all of the contacts that you referenced in that billing statement?

KADZIK: Yes.

LATOURETTE: OK.

Mr. Chairman, how much time do I have, because I want to ask Mr. Kadzik...

BURTON: Six minutes.

LATOURETTE: Well, I don't care. I mean, I'll stop whenever you want me to.

But I would like to ask Mr. Kadzik one more question, because at the beginning of the hearing Mr. Waxman, in his opening remarks, talked about how you got here. And I think that, you know, obviously we had an observation on our side about whether you were supposed to be here or not. Mr. Waxman had an observation during his opening remarks. And I'd like to invite you to take a couple of minutes and express, you know, in your own words how that occurred so we can get that out of the way.

If you'd like to. If you don't want to, that's fine with me, too.

KADZIK: I received a letter from the committee on Monday the 26th, asking me to appear, and I responded on Tuesday saying that I had previous business commitments in California on Thursday. I was in my office until after 9 o'clock on Tuesday night, I heard nothing further, so I went forward with my plans to go to California on Wednesday.

When I got off the airplane in California on Wednesday I was met by a U.S. marshal who served me with a subpoena. I promptly turned around, went back to the counter, and booked myself on the exact same airplane that I flew out on to fly back on and spent less than 45 minutes in San Francisco in order to come back here today. And I'm now scheduled to go back to San Francisco at 9:50 this evening in order to make the second of the two meetings that I had planned.

LATOURETTE: OK. Thank you.

KADZIK: You're welcome.

LATOURETTE: If it's still my opportunity to talk, I'd like to talk to you for a minute, Mr. Fink.

FINK: Sure.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Fink, how long have you known or been associated or represented Marc Rich?

FINK: Two decades.

LATOURETTE: Two decades. Exactly 20 years or is that a...

FINK: It could be 20-1/2, 21. It's around two decades.

LATOURETTE: OK. Did you do work for Mr. Rich when you were associated with the law firm of Milgrim, Thomajan & Lee?

FINK: Yes, I did.

LATOURETTE: And when would that have been, year-wise?

FINK: Starting 1980.

LATOURETTE: We had testimony at the last hearing, I think, from the former assistant United States attorneys, that at some time during the investigation of Mr. Rich there was a steamer trunk or multiple steamer trunks that were attempted to be taken out of the country on a Swissair flight. Are you familiar with that?

FINK: Yes, I am.

LATOURETTE: And is our information correct that it was a paralegal from that firm, Milgrim, Thomajan & Lee, who was responsible for that activity?

FINK: The trunks were in the custody of a paralegal from that firm.

LATOURETTE: OK. At any point, in your knowledge, since Mr. Rich left the country has he returned to the United States?

FINK: Not to my knowledge.

LATOURETTE: I want to talk now about some conversations that we had with Mr. Quinn and a series of e-mails, and I think we talked a little bit about them with the previous panels, but for your information it's exhibit 135.

FINK: Just a moment please.

LATOURETTE: Sure.

FINK: OK, I'm there.

LATOURETTE: OK. Is it a fair observation that during the course of your representation of Mr. Rich on this matter, that being the outstanding criminal indictment, that you have made a number of overtures at a number of different times, either you or people working with you, in an attempt to resolve this in an amicable or less painful way for Mr. Rich?

FINK: I think that's fair.

LATOURETTE: OK. Specifically, the e-mails that occur in exhibit 135 seem to be--I have three of them. The one at the bottom--actually the bottom two seem to indicate that in February of the year 2000 somebody has heard from the Southern District of New York that they're really not interested in sitting down and discussing this while Mr. Rich remains a fugitive.

But I'd like to focus on the top one. That's a notation that's been authored by you. Is that correct?

FINK: Yes, it is correct.

LATOURETTE: OK. And as I understand the import of that, it basically indicates that, sometime during the course of your representation, there have been discussions and there have been offers made both by you and also by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Is that correct?

FINK: Well, I don't know that I would characterize it as you have.

LATOURETTE: OK.

FINK: I would be comfortable saying there were many discussions. I don't know that we ever got to a real offer in any of those discussions.

OK. Specifically, there has been testimony before this committee that the thing that was really the hammer blow, and some people blamed Rudy Giuliani, some people blamed other people, but the thing that really put Mr. Rich to flight was the RICO charge. Do you have that opinion?

FINK: I do not know what put Mr. Rich to flight. To use your phrase, I do know that RICO was perceived to be a huge force that affected the case and the outcome of the case.

LATOURETTE: Looking at exhibit 135, or your recollections from the representation of Marc Rich, is it accurate that at one point you were told that the prosecuting authorities would drop the RICO charge if Marc Rich returned to this country?

FINK: That was something that was discussed with me in at least one meeting I had with the prosecutors.

LATOURETTE: OK. And when you say discussed, the specific words in the e-mails were that, "I was told at one point that they would drop the RICO charge if we wanted Marc to come in."

FINK: Yes.

LATOURETTE: Were you told that?

FINK: It wasn't formalized, it was discussed as a possibility.

LATOURETTE: OK.

FINK: I perceived it to be a serious possibility. But as I understood it the discussion was: If Marc would come in and surrender, we would consider in advance dropping the RICO charge.

LATOURETTE: OK. And likewise, was there consideration in this set of negotiations, or you can tell me if it's another one, that bail would be arranged as well as part of this negotiation so that he wouldn't have to remain incarcerated pending the outcome of the criminal proceeding?

FINK: I think that occurred as part of the very same conversation.

LATOURETTE: And their condition was that they would like to have his passport so he not leave again if he didn't like the way things were going. Is that right?

FINK: That's my best recollection of that conversation, which was probably nine years ago.

LATOURETTE: OK. It goes on to indicate that they would also meet with the lawyers, the professors. And when they say professors, had this report already been done by the professors we've heard so much about that were hired to examine the tax intricacies, Justice Ginsburg's husband and the other? Is that the professors you were talking about?

FINK: Yes. But I think to avoid any misunderstanding that I am now talking about a different conversation.

LATOURETTE: OK. So in one conversation--well, let's break them down. In one conversation they said that they would consider dropping the RICO charge, agree to bail if he'd give up his passport, sit down and negotiate the case. Did you then have additional discussions where they said they will sit down with the lawyers, the professors, and do a full review before proceeding to trying, that they would take a look at the strength of their case and engage in future discussion with you?

FINK: But to be clear, there was not discussion about dropping RICO at the time of this second conversation.

LATOURETTE: OK. Their hangup--as I read the totality of this e-mail, and maybe we're talking about two or three different discussions, but their hangup seemed to be that they didn't want to negotiate, you know, sort of, come up with their best shot and then have Mr. Rich reject it from Switzerland, they wanted to at least have some, if they're going to do a lot of work, to listen to what the professors had to say, evaluate their case, they at least wanted to have some assurance that he was going to submit himself to their jurisdiction, did they not?

FINK: I think your characterization is reasonable. Their exact characterization is an exhibit to the pardon application. It's one of the letters from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

LATOURETTE: OK. Did you ever negotiate this case with a fellow by the name of Gerald Lynch when he was in the U.S. Attorney's Office?

FINK: I would have to say a double negative. No, I don't think I ever negotiated this case with anybody and I do not believe I have ever met Mr. Lynch.

LATOURETTE: And how about Robert Litt?

FINK: No, I'm sure I haven't met him either. I take that back. To the best of my knowledge--how'm I doing?--I haven't met him.

(LAUGHTER)

LATOURETTE: I think you're doing fine.

When did you decide to engage the services of Jack Quinn in this matter?

FINK: In all fairness, the decision wasn't mine, but that decision was made early summer of 1999.

LATOURETTE: And when you say that it wasn't yours, who made the decision, if you know?

FINK: Mr. Rich.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Rich came up with the name of Jack Quinn by himself?

FINK: No, no, no. Maybe I'm being too precise, but I want to be precise here. The person who decided to engage Mr. Quinn was Mr. Rich.

Mr. Rich did not come up with Mr. Quinn's name.

LATOURETTE: OK. The specific pardon application that brings us here...

BURTON: Excuse me, might I interrupt? How did he obtain Mr. Quinn's name? Through what source?

FINK: Through me.

BURTON: Through you. So you knew Mr. Quinn from his professional work and his work in the White House?

FINK: No, I did not.

BURTON: Well, how did you come up with Mr. Quinn's name?

FINK: His name was given to me by Gershon Kekst.

BURTON: And can you tell us the context in which he recommended Mr. Quinn?

FINK: We were having lunch, and I asked him if he could recommend someone who I called the "white head man." It's an expression.

BURTON: Does that mean someone that has connections with the White House?

FINK: No, no, it did not at all.

BURTON: So, you weren't looking for someone who had a connection with the president or anybody at the White House?

FINK: Certainly not as you would describe it. We were looking for someone who understood the entire political process.

And I shouldn't say we. I was the one who raised this, and I was wondering if he knew someone who I honestly expected then and still believe today, does not exist, who understands the whole political process. Because I was convinced, at least highly frustrated, with efforts to approach this simply as an attorney, and wondered if there was some other aspect to the way our government works that would allow us to get an opportunity to have Mr. Rich's case heard without him having to surrender. That was my goal in asking that question of Mr. Kekst.

LATOURETTE: That was very delicately put. And I think what that means...

FINK: Thank you. I think it's also accurate.

LATOURETTE: I do, too. But, how I interpret it is sort of like Mr. Waxman was indicating before, that your best lawyering didn't seem to get the job done and so we need to go another way, and that is to find someone who has access to whomever.

FINK: Well, actually, that is not true. At least it wasn't in my mind. And I understand that you're going to look at everything I say and all of the e-mails with the advantage, or in my view disadvantage, of all that's happened.

But, I represented this to you. I'm under oath. I am not Washington wise. In fact, quite to the contrary. And I was looking for someone who had an overview of the entire political process. I didn't have the White House in mind. I didn't have anything in mind. In fact, you could have read my mind very quickly.

LATOURETTE: OK. Well, that would have been in 1999, when Mr. Quinn was first retained.

FINK: Actually, I'm not exactly sure when my conversation with Mr. Kekst was. It could have been late 1988, early 1999. I wasn't fast on this process. There wasn't urgency behind it.

LATOURETTE: Mr. Quinn testified before the committee that, in fact, he wasn't first retained to work on a pardon, he was retained to work on the case. But when would you say that the focus of the representation of Marc Rich before the government shifted to the notion of a pardon?

FINK: In October 2000.

LATOURETTE: OK. And did you ever have any contact with the White House, White House staff, White House counsel's office, on behalf of this pardon application, or was that left to others?

FINK: That is a multifaceted question. I think the answers to each and every one of them is no.

LATOURETTE: OK. There was an agenda set for a meeting on the Rich pardon and it's Exhibit 79. You want to take a minute to find it?

FINK: I'm there.

LATOURETTE: OK. That, among things, item 5a on the agenda is, "the need for secrecy." Do you see that?

FINK: 5a? I see it.

LATOURETTE: Were you at that meeting on November the 21st?

FINK: Well, respectfully, I prepared this agenda in anticipation of a meeting that was supposed to occur on November 21. I mean, I...

LATOURETTE: OK.

FINK: Well, this meeting didn't occur.

LATOURETTE: OK, but you prepared exhibit number 79.

FINK: Yes, I did.

LATOURETTE: And in preparing for a meeting that didn't occur, your thought was to have 5a--"need for secrecy." That was your thought, as one of the items that should be discussed at the meeting, should it occur.

FINK: Yes, I definitely wanted to discuss that at this meeting, which didn't occur. But if it had, I would have raised it.

LATOURETTE: OK, can you tell us, or explain, what it is that you meant by "need for secrecy," during the course of a meeting on the Marc Rich pardon?

FINK: Well, I can give you my best guess. Recollections aren't that easy to come by for me. But my best guess--and I believe this is a reasonably good guess, because I would have felt this way--is that Marc Rich has been victimized by the press and publicity, and that, if the press learned about this, that victimization would continue.

LATOURETTE: Did you have a similar concern--and it goes to another e-mail that we talked about, with other witnesses, about benefiting by being under the press radar, which I think, ties into what you just said. But was there a concern among your group, that not only would the press find out, but that the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York would find out what you all were up to?

FINK: Can I pause?

LATOURETTE: You can do you whatever you want.

FINK: No, I just want to be good here. I don't believe I wrote any e-mail about Mr. Podesta's suggestion about being under the radar.

LATOURETTE: OK.

FINK: I'll volunteer that I don't remember such a conversation. And as to your second question, no, this was about press publicity...

LATOURETTE: OK.

FINK: ... only.

LATOURETTE: You don't recall any discussion? And the reason I ask it. I'm not a tricky guy. The reason I ask you, was Mr. Quinn was...

FINK: No, I see your point. I'm comfortable...

LATOURETTE: When Mr. Quinn was before, he indicated that he would rather have the advice given, or the OK given, or the whatever given, by Justice Washington, as opposed to the justice of the Southern District of New York. He, sort of, indicated that there was a discussion, or a feeling that, "Maybe we don't need to tell Mary Jo White and her folks what we're up to, and we'll just leave it to, you know, Janet Reno and Eric Holder, and the folks in Washington." Do you remember any of that?

FINK: I remember being of similar mind.

LATOURETTE: OK.

FINK: I mean, it would have been my preference, had I had some power...

LATOURETTE: Right.

FINK: ... to at least have the issue start in the Justice Department.

But in fairness, you know, we're talking about this now, after the pardon application, and the pardon being granted. When I wrote this agenda that we're referring to, I didn't know very much...

LATOURETTE: Got you.

FINK: ... about the process, or what would happen.

LATOURETTE: OK.

BURTON: The gentleman's time has expired.

Mr. Waxman?

WAXMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank the three witnesses for being here at this late hour.

Mr. Libby, I want to ask some questions of you, because you've had a long involvement with Mr. Rich, and probably better than any other witness that we've had before us, would understand the merits of the case that Mr. Rich was offering in his defense.

The president of the United States wrote an op-ed in the New York Times. And in that op-ed, he said--or implied that you had advocated for a pardon. And I understand that's wrong. And you've stated you had no involvement in the effort for a pardon. Is that correct?

LIBBY: It's correct that it's wrong, sir.

WAXMAN: OK. The first--but the president gave other reasons. And the first reason the president gave was, and I quote, "I understood that the other oil companies that had structured transactions like those in which Mr. Rich and Mr. Green were indicted, were instead sued civilly by the government," end quote. Was the president right about this statement?

LIBBY: Yes, sir. There were other companies which had similar transactions. And to the best of my knowledge, those were generally handled civilly.

WAXMAN: The second reason the president gave, was--and then I quote again from him--"I was informed that in 1985, in a related case against a trading partner of Mr. Rich and Mr. Green, the Energy Department, which was responsible for enforcing the governing law, found that the manner in which the Rich-Green companies had accounted for these transactions was proper."

Was the president right about this statement?

LIBBY: Yes, sir, I believe he was. And that would be the Arco proposed remedial order, issued by the Department of Energy.

WAXMAN: The third reason the president gave was, quote, "two highly regarded tax experts, Bernard Wolfman of Harvard Law School, and Martin Ginsberg of Georgetown University Law Center, reviewed the transactions in question, and concluded that the companies were correct in their U.S. income tax treatment of all of the items in question, and that there was no unreported federal income, or additional tax liability attributable to any of the challenged transactions," end quote. Was the president correct about this?

LIBBY: Yes, sir.

WAXMAN: The fourth reason the president gave, was, quote, "in order to settle the government's case against them, the two men's companies had paid approximately $200 million in fines, penalties and taxes, most of which might not even have been warranted under the Wolfman-Ginsberg analysis that the companies had followed the law, and correctly reported their income," end quote. Was the president correct on this statement?

LIBBY: Yes sir.

WAXMAN: The fifth reason the president gave was, quote, "The Justice Department, in 1989, rejected the use of racketeering statutes in tax cases like this one," end quote. Was the president right about this?

LIBBY: That's my understanding of the Justice Department manual.

WAXMAN: Well, Mr. Libby, it appears that you agree with most of the points that the president made. Let me ask you the bottom-line question.

President Clinton apparently concluded that Mr. Rich had not committed the crimes he had been accused of. Do you agree with this? Do you think that Mr. Rich is a tax fraud and a criminal, or do you agree with President Clinton's assessments of the merits of the case?

LIBBY: I believe, sir, that based on all of the evidence available to defense counsel, the best interpretation of the evidence is that they did not any civil--any tax, even as a civil matter. That would be the interpretation given by the two tax professors.

WAXMAN: And therefore, that there should not have been a criminal liability.

LIBBY: Based on the evidence available to the defense, that would be correct, sir.

WAXMAN: Mr. Libby, according to several press accounts, there was discussion in the Bush administration about whether or not the Rich pardon was invalid, because of lack of service. On January 28, 2001, Vice President Cheney said that Justice Department lawyers may be looking at this issue. The next day, President Bush announced that he had decided against acting on lawyers' ideas for revoking the pardon.

Are you aware of any discussions in the White House or in the Department of Justice about whether or not the Rich pardon was invalid?

LIBBY: No, sir. I recused myself immediately from anything having to do with Mr. Rich, or any matter having to do with Mr. Rich. And I did not participate in any such discussions. I've seen the press stories, as you have, I suppose.

WAXMAN: So, you were not involved in them, and you were not aware of them.

LIBBY: That's correct, sir.

WAXMAN: Mr. Libby, I believe I asked you earlier, when you concluded your representation of Mr. Rich--I think you've testified, that was--tell me again, when did you end your representation of Mr. Rich?

LIBBY: My best recollection is that I stopped work sometime in the spring of 2000.

WAXMAN: The spring of 2000.

LIBBY: Right. And anything active for Mr. Rich, I probably put away some files after that, but that would be the last bit of work for them.

WAXMAN: You were asked in November of 2000 to participate in the pardon. What happened at that point?

LIBBY: As I testified in my statement, sir, I declined to participate in the pardon.

WAXMAN: And when did you have your last conversation with Mr. Rich, before joining the vice president's staff?

LIBBY: I am not really sure--1999, 2000, something like that.

WAXMAN: Mr. Libby, I'd like to read to you the opening line of a story that The Washington Post is reporting today. "A top aide to Marc Rich alluded more than a year ago to seeking a presidential pardon for the fugitive financier, in correspondence with Rich's attorneys, calling it 'the unconventional approach, which has not been tried, and which I have been proposing all along,' according to one of dozens of documents made public today."

The e-mail that The Post quotes was written on February 10, 2000. It's exhibit 135 in the book in front of you.

Mr. Libby, were you representing Mr. Rich at the time that e-mail was written, February 2000?

LIBBY: It was still during the course of our efforts with the Southern District of New York, sir.

WAXMAN: Are you familiar with the unconventional approach that the e-mail refers to? It's exhibit 135.

LIBBY: I don't believe that I've ever seen this e-mail before, sir, and I don't know particularly what it's speaking about.

WAXMAN: Could you repeat that?

LIBBY: I don't believe I've ever seen this e-mail before and I'm not sure what he's speaking about.

WAXMAN: Well, it's interesting. Earlier today Mr. Quinn didn't know about that e-mail either and he was given a pretty hard time about it. And I guess the conclusion I think I can reach is that, even if you're a lawyer, you may not be familiar with this particular e-mail and that's your testimony and it was his testimony.

LIBBY: Yes, sir.

WAXMAN: In November of 2000 you were called into some discussion, either by phone, one--well, let me ask you specifically--you said you were contacted in November of 2000 about the idea of a pardon. Was it a meeting or a telephone conversation?

LIBBY: Telephone call, sir.

WAXMAN: And that was a telephone conversation between you and who else?

LIBBY: Mr. Michael Green (ph), as I mentioned in my opening statement.

WAXMAN: And did he discuss the grounds for the pardon or strategy for the pardon?

LIBBY: No, sir.

WAXMAN: What did he tell you?

LIBBY: He told me that--it was a confused conversation because I didn't quite understand what it was talking about at first. And them he said that they were going for a pardon, going to the White House for a pardon, something like that. And I said that I could not participate in that.

WAXMAN: Let me take you back to the administration of former President Bush. Was there any effort at that time to get a pardon for Mr. Rich?

LIBBY: Not that I recall, sir.

WAXMAN: And if I asked you whether you contacted anybody who was part of the Bush administration to advocate the pardon, your answer would be...

LIBBY: Not that I recall.

WAXMAN: Mr. Libby, according to press reports, you called Mr. Rich on January 22 of this year. Is that accurate?

LIBBY: That's correct, sir. I believe that January 22 is right.

WAXMAN: And where you when you called him?

LIBBY: At home.

WAXMAN: And why did you call him?

LIBBY: He had spoken to Mr. Green (ph), who is a good friend of mine, and he had told Mr. Green (ph), he thanked Mr. Green (ph) for all the work Mr. Green (ph) had done on his case over the years and that he also wished to thank me for the work I had done prior to the pardon on his matters over the years, but that he didn't know if it would be OK for him to call me. He did not want to get me in any trouble by calling me.

And so I thanked Mr. Green (ph) for telling me that and I said I would call Mr. Rich to say it was OK. And I called Mr. Rich and he thanked me for my work on the case. And I congratulated him on having reached a result that he had sought for a long time.

WAXMAN: Have you have any other contact with Mr. Rich since you've joined Vice President Cheney's staff?

LIBBY: No.

WAXMAN: Have you had any contact with Mr. Rich's attorneys since joining Vice President Cheney's staff?

LIBBY: Mr. Green (ph) is a good friend of mine and I've had contact with him.

WAXMAN: And what kind of contact have you had with him?

LIBBY: Well, he and his wife were good enough to take our kids to the inaugural parade, which, in a rainstorm, was an act of heroism on his part. And we met up with them there and watched the parade together. I showed him my office. You know, social contact.

WAXMAN: Social contacts, not about Mr. Rich?

LIBBY: Well, he told me that they had received the pardon. He showed me a list from the Internet, things like that. No substance about it.

WAXMAN: Since joining Vice President Cheney's staff, have you had any conversations with anybody within the administration about the Marc Rich matter?

LIBBY: Yes, sir.

WAXMAN: Could you tell us about that?

LIBBY: Yes, as soon as this became public, I went to the general counsel for the vice president and told him that I had--about my representation in the past and that I was recusing myself to anything that might come up about it.

I subsequently went to the president's general counsel and told him about my participation in it and said I was recusing myself. And I went to my deputy to be sure he would know, in case there was any paper flow that I shouldn't see, to say I was recusing myself from anything having to do with the Marc Rich matter.

People in the corridor have expressed regret that I had to come up here and testify. I suppose that qualifies as being about the Marc Rich matter.

WAXMAN: Well, I appreciate that. And let me commend you, because I think you took the absolutely correct response, in joining the government, to recuse yourself on this matter.

LIBBY: Thank you, sir.

WAXMAN: Since joining Vice President Cheney's staff, have you had any conversations with anybody outside the administration about the Marc Rich matter?

LIBBY: Yes, I had conversations--the answer is certainly yes. Trying to go through all of that list might take me a bit, but yes.

WAXMAN: A recent article--you might give it some thought, and we might come back to it. A recent article in The New Yorker discusses several attorneys that Mr. Rich hired to advocate his case. And according to this article, Leonard Garment, former White House counsel in the Nixon administration, said the following about President Clinton's pardoning of Marc Rich, quote, "I don't know why he did it, but I think Clinton did the right thing," end quote. Mr. Libby, do you believe that Mr. Rich should have been granted a pardon?

LIBBY: Sir, I have recused myself, as I mentioned, from anything having to do with the Marc Rich case, and from any communication with anybody on the White House staff, directly or indirectly about whether it was a good idea or a bad idea. Your question puts me in an odd spot, since this is being televised. And people from the White House would hear my view of the pardon, if I were to give it. So I...

WAXMAN: Well, it's not--you're not, in any way involving yourself in the case. I'm only asking your personal views of the result of this case. Did you think it was the right result?

LIBBY: Sir, I would not give my personal view of the result to anyone on the White House staff, directly, or have a conversation in their presence, about my view of the result. I believe that would push the envelope a little bit on keeping my recusal. If you wish me to answer the question I will, but I think you're taking us into areas where the safest ethical position would be just not to speak on it.

WAXMAN: Well, you've already answered questions on the merits of the arguments the president made for granting this pardon. You seem to agree with the president's views on each of those points. Why would you not agree with his conclusions?

LIBBY: Those were underlying statements about the merits of the case, not about the wisdom or lack of wisdom of the pardon. If you wish me to answer the question, I will, sir.

WAXMAN: Well, the determination of the wisdom of the pardon could be a political evaluation as well as one on the merits. But if you separated a political evaluation of whether such a decision should have been reached by this, or any other president, strictly on the merits, do you think the president reached the right conclusions?

LIBBY: Again, sir, you're asking me a portion of the decision about the--about whether it related--how it relates to the pardon, and I would prefer not to answer that. I will answer it if you wish me to.

WAXMAN: I'd like you to.

LIBBY: I would not know. I know the evidence available to the defense team. Based on the evidence available to the defense team, as I expressed before, I believe the correct interpretation of the law and the facts would be that there was no tax owed. But I do not know what was in the pardon application. I do not know what information might have been possessed by the government.

WAXMAN: You know, you were his lawyer for many years. You have a good understanding of the facts, probably a better understanding of the facts than anybody else that's appeared before us. And certainly many people have commented on the issue. It just seems to me that, knowing the facts as you know them, should this man have been held to answer for these charges, or should those charges in the indictment be resolved by presidential action to dismiss them through a pardon?

LIBBY: Well, I know only the facts available to the defense team. Based on the facts available to the defense team, I believe that the case should have been resolved by the southern district of New York, listening to our approaches, looking at the facts in evidence, and we would have been done with it, back at the southern district of New York.

WAXMAN: And that would also mean, based on all the information that you know, and only what you know, and you know quite a bit, would that have led you to the conclusion that either the southern district of New York should have resolved this issue, or failing that, that a presidential pardon resolving the issue was justified?

LIBBY: I believe the Southern District of New York should have resolved the issue with us back at that point. Whether a presidential pardon is justified would, again, depend on what evidence the Southern District of New York might have and what other factors the president might consider in the course of a pardon. The presidential pardon power if virtually unfettered.

KANJORSKI: Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. Libby, this is a pretty simple question. You were an attorney for Mr. Rich. You helped brief Mr. Quinn. You know all the facts from that side of the case. You're not expected to know the facts of the Southern District of New York. You feel that they should have stopped the prosecution because it was unwarranted with the facts you knew, but they didn't.

Now as a lawyer and prior to your assuming the office of chief of staff for the vice president, are you telling this committee that you don't know whether with everything that you know, and nothing more than you don't know, you have an opinion or not, whether or not the pardon should have been issued?

LIBBY: Correct, sir. I...

KANJORSKI: What's that opinion?

LIBBY: No, no, correct I am telling the committee that I don't know whether it should...

KANJORSKI: You have no opinion?

LIBBY: I have the opinion based on...

KANJORSKI: Do you have an opinion honestly? Let's start there. Do you have an opinion?

LIBBY: Do I have an opinion as to whether...

KANJORSKI: Do you have an opinion on whether this pardon was justified under the facts as you know them?

LIBBY: Sir, I do not have--I have never seen the application. I do have the facts available to...

KANJORSKI: I am not asking about the application, Mr. Libby. I am asking about the facts that you know of your own knowledge as a lawyer representing Mr. Rich over those several years. Do you have an opinion as to whether or not those facts warrant the issue of this pardon? That's a simple question.

LIBBY: No, sir.

KANJORSKI: You have no opinion.

LIBBY: I have no opinion because I would not be able to render an opinion without the full record before me. I do not have that record before me.

KANJORSKI: So when you worked on this case with Mr. Quinn, you didn't have the facts, you didn't have the information as an attorney?

LIBBY: I did not have the facts available to the government and I did not have the other materials...

KANJORSKI: Nobody has the facts available to the government. I'm not asking you to render an opinion on what facts the government may have. I'm asking you to render an opinion on what fact you have and had at the time. That's very simply. You ought to have an opinion yes, or you have an opinion, no.

LIBBY: I...

KANJORSKI: And you're trying to parcel this down and not give us an opinion. And in fairness as a lawyer and a member of the bar and having worked for this client, did you represent a crook that stole money from the United States government, was a fugitive and should never have been given or granted a pardon by the facts that you know?

Is that what we should conclude from your statement?

LIBBY: No, sir. I believe in all of the evidence I know that there was no tax liability.

KANJORSKI: And do you believe, as a result, the pardon would be warranted insofar as there are no facts that you know of that supports the criminality charged against your former client?

LIBBY: There are no facts that I know of that support the criminality of the client based on the tax returns you've been discussing.

KANJORSKI: So that on all of the facts that you know, is the pardon issued by the president justified?

LIBBY: I cannot say whether the pardon is justified because I don't have those facts and that application form.

KANJORSKI: Mr. Libby, I'm not asking to take any other facts than the facts that you have. And we're pretty able up here to understand as a lawyer for a couple of years working for a very wealthy guy and you come to the conclusion with Harvard law professors and Georgetown law professors about a lot of things. And we're going to accept all of what you know, accept nothing of what anybody else knows because obviously you don't know. We're asking an opinion.

I mean I like to see a guy hedge, but that's unreasonable. You either have an opinion or you don't have an opinion. If you don't have an opinion, tell us you don't have an opinion and therefore your client may have been a crook, should have gone to trail, was a fugitive, or do you have a opinion he wasn't?

Do you have an opinion he was a fugitive?

LIBBY: In every common sense term of it, yes, he was a fugitive.

KANJORSKI: OK, do you think he was a fugitive on justifiable charges or was he a fugitive because there was a mistake of the interpretation of the law by the Southern District of New York?

LIBBY: I believe that the Southern District of New York misconstrued the facts in the law, and that looking from all of the evidence available to the defense, he had not violated the tax laws.

KANJORSKI: And was not a fugitive?

LIBBY: No, he was. In every common sense term of the word, he was a fugitive.

WAXMAN: How about in a legal sense?

LIBBY: There is a fugitivity statute which is very complicated. I haven't looked at it in years. It has to do generally with avoiding state process. It wasn't a state process. A very technical matters--I don't recall them after so many years now.

WAXMAN: Without knowing all of the details, it sounds like you would even dispute whether legally he was a fugitive even though the common definition of the word, he was a fugitive.

LIBBY: No, I think, you know, you would have to say he's a fugitive, but I don't know what the term when you say legally, the question is what statute or what provision are you talking about.

I don't have any of those in front of me. It's been years since I looked at it. I believe he was a fugitive in any common sense meaning of the term.

WAXMAN: Let me, before I yield further, of course, you know only knew the information as a defense lawyer for many years, but you knew everything the prosecutors had to say about Mr. Rich and Mr. Green. You've heard their arguments. I assume you also followed the hearing we had three weeks ago, because we had the two prosecutors in here. I know you're busy but you might have read in the newspaper their arguments.

You disagree with them, don't you?

LIBBY: From everything I know, yes, sir.

WAXMAN: At the hearing this committee had several weeks ago, there was considerable discussion about the merits of the Rich case. And I want to read to you some of the statements that were made and ask you about them.

Let me read to you what Representative Shays said at the hearing. Quote: "There are some who believe, and I am one of them, that former President Clinton appears to have pardoned two traitors to their country."

Do you agree with that statement?

LIBBY: As I recall from the snippets I've heard, he was referring to a series of trades that they may have made or business engagements that they may have had, one of which was with Iran, one of which was with Iraq if I recall, South Africa maybe, Russia, something like that.

WAXMAN: Whatever. Do you think that...

LIBBY: I don't have any knowledge about any of those other items. The only one that I've heard about was the transactions with Iran and that was one of the claims in the indictment.

WAXMAN: Well, and you thought the indictment was not justified.

LIBBY: Yes, sir. That was not my portion of the case, but I've always understood from the experts that handled that portion of the case that the Rich companies were allowed to trade with--the Swiss-based Rich companies were allowed to...

WAXMAN: Do you agree with the statement that these two gentlemen were two traitors to this country?

LIBBY: I can understand someone using those terms, sir.

WAXMAN: Do you agree with them?

LIBBY: Their companies engaged in trades with Iran...

WAXMAN: Traitors, not traders.

LIBBY: No, I'm sorry, sir. I was just trying to finish. Trades with Iran during a period when hostages were held, and that was an act that you could consider an act of a traitor.

WAXMAN: That somebody else could consider, but you don't consider it.

LIBBY: I could consider that also, sir.

WAXMAN: You could.

LIBBY: Yes. I did not condone it. I didn't advise it. I don't admire it.

WAXMAN: At the first committee hearing on this pardon a few weeks ago, two of the former federal prosecutors who pursued Mr. Rich, Morris Weinberg and Martin Auerbach, testified. Mr. Auerbach said, "The merits in the Rich case were unquestionably in the government's favor." Do you agree with that statement?

LIBBY: Not from what I know, sir.

WAXMAN: In their joint written testimonies to the committee, the prosecutors stated that in December 1981 it was apparent that they had uncovered, at that time, the biggest tax fraud in history. Do you agree with that statement?

LIBBY: Not from what I know, sir.

WAXMAN: I mentioned earlier an analysis done by two distinguished law professors, Bernard Wolfman and Martin Ginsburg, which defended Mr. Rich's companies from charges of tax evasion. Some people have implied that this analysis was flawed because it was based on biased information. At our last hearing, former prosecutor Martin Auerbach said that the professors admitted, quote, "making no independent verification of the facts, but accepting the statements thereof made to us by Mr. Rich and Mr. Green's attorneys," end quote.

Mr. Libby, can you tell me, where did you get the information for the Wolfman-Ginsburg analysis? Where did it come from?

LIBBY: We got the basic trading documents and summaries of those documents as to how the trades occurred. Some of the documents were provided to me from the files of the law firms that had been engaged in defending Mr. Rich during the period when he was under investigation through the criminal indictment. Some of the documents were documents provided by the prosecution.

WAXMAN: Do you believe that information was accurate?

LIBBY: The information provided to me?

WAXMAN: Provided to Mr. Ginsburg and Mr. Wolfman.

LIBBY: Yes, sir.

WAXMAN: Let me yield to Mr. Cummings.

CUMMINGS: I just have a few questions and I'll yield back.

Mr. Libby, I'm not going to ask you whether you thought the pardon should be granted because I think you pretty much answered it already. I mean, I'm just listening to what you said. But let me ask you these questions.

Do you believe that crimes were committed by these two gentlemen?

LIBBY: Sir, I only know the facts related to this particular indictment.

CUMMINGS: Yes. I'm talking about with regard to this indictment, which is the subject of this pardon.

LIBBY: I do not believe that these two gentlemen, based on all the evidence available to me, were guilty of the charges for which they were indicted.

CUMMINGS: Which would mean that, and I'm just limiting myself to the scope of the indictment, so you don't believe--and you would have to--I guess you would--you can tell me--you had a pretty good bit of information about these cases, did you not; that is, the subject of the indictments?

LIBBY: I endeavored to get all the information I could, sir.

CUMMINGS: Now, let me ask you this. Do you think that the Southern District of New York treated these gentlemen unfairly?

LIBBY: I believe that in some aspects, the use of RICO, the Southern District of New York was quite vigorous. I would also say it was largely the fault of the defense. The defense never went to the government and presented their case in that period. They, instead, chose to play hardball, if you will, and refused to cooperate with the government.

I believe if they had cooperated with the government, laid out the case, how the transactions worked and what they were, that the Southern District of New York would have reached the same conclusions about the trades that the Department of Energy reached when the Department of Energy looked at these trades and said that, in fact, the domestic transactions and the foreign transactions were linked, and what follows from that is that no tax obligation was owed that was not paid.

CUMMINGS: You answered the question with regard to the fugitive status. Let me ask you this. Do you believe if a person is a fugitive that that should automatically rule them out of being pardoned? And I'm just talking generally now.

LIBBY: Sir, I never studied the pardon power, never looked at cases referring to the pardon power. I'm not a student of how it has actually been employed. My general position would be that the Constitution leaves the power of the pardon unfettered, virtually unfettered by the president, and I would be loath to sit here and second guess the founding fathers.

CUMMINGS: I yield whatever time I may have to the gentleman.

WAXMAN: I'd just ask one last question on that point. While you're avoiding saying whether the pardon would be appropriate, the fact that they were fugitives, and everything you know about this case, would it lead you to conclude that if the Southern District court of New York decided to drop the charges that it would be inappropriate? Or do you think it would have been appropriate?

LIBBY: I thought from everything known to me, they should have.

WAXMAN: So you think it's appropriate for the prosecutor to drop the charges, but you're not sure whether it was appropriate for the president to use the power to resolve a prosecution by dismissing it.

LIBBY: It would be appropriate if the president knew what the Southern District knew and looked at the entire case and made a decision on it.

WAXMAN: If he knew what you knew, could he reach that conclusion, that the case ought to be dismissed...

LIBBY: Well, the president can reach any...

WAXMAN: ... and pursue it as a civil matter, not a criminal matter?

LIBBY: The president can reach any conclusion he wants to reach on a pardon, as I understand it.

WAXMAN: And what would you have concluded?

LIBBY: Excuse me?

WAXMAN: If you called you up and asked you, what would you tell him?

LIBBY: I'd have recused myself.

BURTON: The gentleman's time has expired.

Mr. Libby...

WAXMAN: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Kadzik has to catch a flight. Do we know whether there are questions that we need to pursue with him?

BURTON: Well, let's stop the clock here. Do we have other questions for Mr. Kadzik?

WAXMAN: I mean, we did bring him back from California.

BURTON: Do we have more questions for Mr. Kadzik?

Well, while we're checking on that, let me go ahead and ask some questions of Mr. Libby.

Mr. Libby, did you talk to or have access to the witnesses in the case for the prosecution?

LIBBY: I do not know who all the witnesses for the prosecution were, sir. I had access to some witnesses whom the prosecution have interviewed.

BURTON: But the fact of the matter is you only saw the defense side of the equation. Isn't that correct?

LIBBY: That is correct, sir. I only had the information available to defense counsel.

BURTON: Now, the Marc Rich companies paid $200 million in fines and penalties when they pled guilty, and they pled guilty in open court, and their attorneys were Peter Fleming, Boris Kostalance (ph), Peter Zimroth and John Tigh (ph). I think those are pretty prominent attorneys nationwide, are they not?

LIBBY: Yes, sir.

BURTON: Do you think that they would plead guilty and pay a $200 million fine if they thought they didn't have a problem with the case?

LIBBY: I think they would plead guilty, sir, if their clients told them they should plead guilty. I assume their clients, at that point, felt they wanted to plead guilty and have...

BURTON: And pay $200 million.

LIBBY: And pay $200 million rather than continue the case, yes, sir.

BURTON: So what you're saying is the judgment that you have here that these gentlemen didn't break any laws is your judgment, it may not be the judgment of others who had more knowledge of the case than maybe you did when they had all the prosecuting witnesses before them?

LIBBY: That's correct, sir. That's my...

BURTON: Well, I think that's very important, because my colleagues on the Democrat side, who have said that they condemn the president for this pardon, have been making the case that the president should have pardoned him. But the fact of the matter is the gentleman fled the country, was a fugitive for 17 years, paid a $200 million fine, dealt with every enemy of the United States, including those who were holding our Americans hostage with the threat of death hanging over their heads. He tried to smuggle documents out of the country that were relevant to the case. And Mr. Fink, one of the interns, I guess, or people--associates with one of the firms with which you were working, was involved in trying to help get those out of the country on a Swiss airplane, if I'm correct. Am I correct on that?

FINK: You are correct, but your description is not.

BURTON: Well, were they trying to get the documents out of the country?

FINK: The documents were on an airplane that was going to Switzerland, but they weren't being smuggled.

BURTON: Well, were they being taken out of the country and were they documents that the government wanted?

FINK: Yes.

BURTON: OK. Well, that's all I need to know. But the fact of the matter is this: My colleagues can't have it both ways. They can't condemn President Clinton, as they have roundly, for pardoning Marc Rich, and then have you, as the vice president's chief counsel here, and try to make you justify the pardon. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Rich was a fugitive from justice. He renounced his citizenship and for 17 years has been trying every way he could to get pardoned.

Now, you may disagree with the outcome, Mr. Libby, you were a defense attorney and you were working on this and I understand that. Just like Jack Quinn was working on that as well. But the fact of the matter is those who knew the case very well, prominent attorneys, advised Mr. Rich, a billionaire, that he probably ought to pay $200 million and get this thing behind him and they did. All of his companies pled. And then when he thought he was going to face criminal charges, he fled the country. He took off. He went to Switzerland.

Now, most people, if they think they're not guilty and there's an indictment against them, they will come back and they will stand trial. And they even offered, our Justice Department offered to drop, or at least, consider dropping the RICO charges against him and he still didn't want to come back. They offered to give him bail, just take his passport so he would stand trial, and he still wouldn't come back.

And so for those to try to say that Mr. Rich was not guilty and try to make you, who were working on the defense side, say that he was not guilty and justify that, just astound me, because they've been condemning, like we have, the pardon of Mr. Rich in the waning hours of this administration.

So I'm disappointed that we've taken this turn today because I don't think it's justified, number one. And, number two, I don't think it's justified to ask you, who were working on the defense side, to start making a judgment and to try to put you on the spot simply because you're working for the vice president of the United States and you may have more credibility in this particular case.

I'll be happy to yield my...

WAXMAN: Mr. Chairman?

BURTON: Excuse me. Mr. Kadzik, do we have any more questions for--Mr. Kadzik, you can catch a plane, if you like.

KADZIK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your accommodation.

BURTON: Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. We appreciate it.

Do either of you have any response to my remarks?

LIBBY: No, sir.

BURTON: Who's next on your side?

Mr. Kanjorski?

WAXMAN: I just want to point out for the record that we're asking Mr. Libby, who was the defense counsel, who knew more about this case than anybody else, his views of it, and we're not asking him because he works for the vice president, we're asking him because he's a knowledgeable person about this whole matter. And I can't understand the chairman's outburst out it because Mr. Quinn was asked these questions over and over again, and I think we're entitled to ask someone who has been an attorney for so many years.

Thank you.

KANJORSKI: Mr. Chairman, I want to reiterate for the record, those of us that know the facts that we know, would not agree or exercise the judgment as the president had, but that's not the questions we're asking Mr. Libby. We have a witness here that is not only an expert, but has probably more information in regard to this case than anybody that's testified before the committee.

And I'm not going to try and--I think in fairness, if you want to express an opinion on the pardon, I'll give you an opportunity to do that. If you decide you don't want to, Mr. Libby, I won't press that. You'd rather not go further on that?

LIBBY: Thank you, sir.

KANJORSKI: OK. But you did say something that I want to go back, and let me get this in context now. You represented Mr. Rich from what period of time until which period of time?

LIBBY: From spring of 1985 until fall probably or end of summer of 1989. Not continuously, of course, but periodically. And from 1993, after leaving the government, some period after leaving the government, you know, with the matter that was under consideration, until about 1995. It was then inactive. And I represented him again in connection with Mr. Quinn's approach to the Southern District and the Department of Justice sometime in 1999, and that effort ended sometime around spring of 2000.

KANJORSKI: '99 until the end of 2000 approximately.

Now, at what period of time and what information that came to your attention that you made the conclusion, both legally and otherwise, that he was a traitor?

LIBBY: Sir, what I said is that I can understand someone viewing the evidence that he traded with Iran as a traitor.

KANJORSKI: The question wasn't put that way, Mr. Libby.

LIBBY: I'm sorry.

KANJORSKI: The question was, do you consider Mr. Rich a traitor?

LIBBY: On that trade, I can understand that, yes, sir.

KANJORSKI: No, I didn't ask you if you can understand.

LIBBY: Yes, sir, I do not condone...

KANJORSKI: Mr. Libby, do you consider him a traitor or don't you? I mean, it's just very straightforward. If you don't consider him a traitor, say you don't. If you do, say you do.

LIBBY: I would not have made that trade. You could apply the traitor to it.

KANJORSKI: Fine. Do you consider him, for having made that trade, a traitor?

LIBBY: Sir, it's not a word I would use, but I accept it.

KANJORSKI: You can't be half-pregnant, Mr. Libby, he is or he isn't. It seems to be very simple. Is he or isn't he? You said before you consider him a traitor. Is that correct, what I heard?

LIBBY: I would say yes.

KANJORSKI: Right. And what I'm interested in is when did you consider him a traitor? When did you get that information, become aware of that information to draw that conclusion personally?

LIBBY: The information is in the indictment which was issued in 1983, something like that.

KANJORSKI: So for this period, the last 17 years, you've considered this client of yours a traitor.

LIBBY: Sir, my understanding is that the conduct in which he engaged was not illegal, but I agree with the description that you could consider him a traitor for trading with Iran during that period.

KANJORSKI: Not that I could consider him. Do you consider him a traitor?

LIBBY: Yes.

KANJORSKI: How many traitors to this country do you call up in your official capacity?

LIBBY: I called none, sir.

KANJORSKI: You did on January 22 when the new administration took office and you were chief of staff to the vice president of the United States.

LIBBY: Not in my official capacity, sir.

KANJORSKI: Oh, but you do call traitors in your unofficial capacity.

LIBBY: No, sir. I called Mr. Rich to respond to his request.

KANJORSKI: Why would you call a traitor, somebody you consider a traitor, after he got a pardon that was a hullabaloo in this country? You can't tell me you didn't know about the reaction to the pardon. So you knew that there was a hullabaloo in the country about the pardon. You, in your own mind, consider him a traitor. Why did you call him?

LIBBY: Mr. Rich is a former client. I believed he was not guilty of those things of which he was charged, based on the evidence available to me. He had called Mr. Green to say that he wished to call me and thank me for my services. I had always taken his calls when he was a client of mine. He had been pardoned by the president for those very trades. And so I called him.

KANJORSKI: Would you call another traitor in the country again? Would you ever do that?

LIBBY: Don't believe I know any other traitors.

KANJORSKI: Stick around this committee long enough you may learn something.

BARR: Time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. Fink, drawing your attention, please, to exhibit 135 we were looking at earlier and the e-mail in the middle of that page from Mr. Azulay to you dated February 10 of 2000. The operative phrase there that we're concerned with is "the unconventional approach." What did you take that phrase to mean, "the unconventional approach."

FINK: I have no recollection of this particular e-mail. I do not know what Mr. Azulay meant on February 10, 2000. But I do know that I don't believe it was a pardon application.

BARR: You replied to him, and you don't address it expressly in your reply, you provide some level of detail regarding the background of the steps that the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York at various times had said they were willing to consider. And then you say, quote, "As for your other question, to the best of my knowledge, other than the negative answer, all other matters remain the same," close quote. To what were you referring there and what does that sentence mean?

FINK: I do not remember.

BARR: It's a rather unusual e-mail that Mr. Azulay sends. His use of the term "the unconventional approach," did that give you some pause at the time, did you wonder what he was talking about?

FINK: I may have actually known what he was talking about at the time, I just do not recall now what he might have been talking about.

BARR: You have no reason to have any thoughts whatsoever or can't draw any conclusion looking at this e-mail as you sit there?

FINK: That's correct.

BARR: And with regard to your e-mail, the one at 10:29 a.m., you don't know as you sit here what you were referring to in that one sentence that I read.

FINK: "All other matters remain the same"?

BARR: Well, the whole sentence: "As for your other question, to the best of my knowledge, other than the negative answer, all other matters remain the same." Were you replying to his notion of an unconventional approach?

FINK: I read this e-mail almost as you do. I do not recall it and I do not recall what Mr. Azulay was talking about. I did volunteer, because I thought I should, that I have every reason to believe he was not talking about a pardon, because I think I would recalled any serious discussion about a pardon at this time, and I do not.

BARR: I mean, to be honest with you, I have no idea what he's talking about. I don't know that he is necessarily talking about a pardon.

FINK: I thought that's what you suggested earlier. If you didn't...

BARR: No, I haven't asked any questions. No, I was just wondering here if you could enlighten us as to what it is that he's talking about. He might have had something completely different in mind, I don't know.

FINK: I do not know.

BARR: Mr. Libby, the very next exhibit, 136, from Mr. Fink to Marc Rich, and along about the middle of that e-mail it mentions your name. It says that, "All agree that we should try to approach the DOJ tax lawyers even without the SDNY--Southern District of New York--if necessary. I know that Scooter always felt this was our fallback position."

Could you explain briefly what that fallback position was?

LIBBY: Sir, as I understand it, the Department of Justice has the right to review any decisions made by a U.S. attorney for any particular district.

BARR: On tax matters.

LIBBY: On tax matters. I think on all matters, but you would have to consult someone who does more of this than I do. My feeling was that the Southern District of New York--I actually don't recognize this sentiment particularly, but I believe that if the Southern District of New York did not give us a satisfactory answer the only recourse was the Department of Justice.

BARR: I don't want to put words in your mouth. Were you basically saying that, given your understanding of the position of the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, the best approach might be to take the merits of the case and argue them directly to main Justice?

LIBBY: If we could get main Justice to listen to us, the tax lawyers at main Justice, we would have welcomed the opportunity to, yes, sir.

BARR: Which is essentially the conclusion Jack Quinn reached, I think.

LIBBY: That's correct, sir.

BARR: Thank you.

The gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Cummings.

CUMMINGS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I just want to go back to something that Chairman Burton said a few minutes ago that really disturbed me. And I want to make sure we're very clear on this, Mr. Libby, because I want to be very fair to you.

We on this side, Mr. Burton is correct, have major problems with the judgment of the president with regard to these pardons. As to trying to get you to say that the pardons should have been granted, I don't think that's the case. What we're trying to do, though, is get to the truth.

I mean, when we're talking about pardons, we're basically talking about forgiveness of criminal activity. And we've already had Ms. Nolan, Mr. Lindsey, Mr. Podesta come in here and testify that they had a problem with the granting of the pardons. And there was no effort on our part to, you know, tear up their testimony. As a matter of fact, we took time out on this side to applaud them for coming in, and I heard Mr. Waxman say it over and over again, applauding them for coming in and making public what had previously been private and being something that was advice given to the president that the president did not adhere to. And so it's not about trying to get you to say that the president should have pardoned Mr. Rich.

However, as Mr. Waxman has said, and Mr. Kanjorski has said, you are a person who has spent many years--years--dealing with this matter. As a matter of fact, you are without question probably one of the most knowledgeable people about this case. And so it would seem to me--it does not matter to me whether you are the chief of staff for Vice President Cheney or not, to me that's irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is that you have facts with regard to this case.

And what the media has sort of zeroed in on is the whole question of what, if any justification did the president have for granting these pardons, was it bad judgment, was there criminal activity. And you have come and you've said something that's very interesting. And I'll be very frank with you, I did not expect it but I'm very pleased to hear it, that you do not believe that these two gentlemen, the subjects of this pardon situation that we're discussing, you do not believe, based upon the information that you have, or had, that they've committed any crimes. I mean, that to me says a whole lot.

And I think it's not about--I mean, and so if you've got a pardon apparatus which is supposed to forgive, be about the business of forgiving criminal activity, but if there are those who are most familiar with the case that have come to the conclusion that there was no criminal activity, then it seems to me that one could make a reasonable argument that perhaps the president at least had some rational basis for doing what he did.

I did hear your testimony with regard to some questions that Mr. Waxman asked you earlier when he went through very carefully the justifications given in the New York Times piece with regard to President Clinton's justification for what he did, and it seems to me--now, I'm not sure, because I was not in the room at the moment, but as I listen to it--that you agree with the various points that President Clinton made as the basis for his opinion.

I'm not dealing with whether you agree with whether he should have pardoned, but at least the basis. Was that correct?

LIBBY: Yes, sir, based on the information available to defense counsel.

CUMMINGS: Very well.

Now, let me ask you this. You keep saying that. And I mean I just want to, you know, be real clear on this. I don't want the public to get the information that defense counsel lacks a whole lot of information about a case. Usually you have a pretty good idea what the other is presenting, and that's how you prepare your defense. Is that correct? I mean, most times the defense counsel have a pretty good idea of what is being offered on the other side, and apparently there had been some talk of negotiations, so you had a pretty good idea, would you guess, about what the prosecution had?

LIBBY: It's very true in civil litigation, sir, that the defense usually has a very good idea of what the plaintiff has, because civil cases we're allowed to discover every bit of relevant evidence. As you may know, in criminal cases the government does not share its cards with the defense, they hold them close to their chest, except for certain things they're required by the court to hand over. We didn't reach all of the phases of the case where that would have been turned over.

So I've been very careful, as best as I can, sir, to help the committee, to say I do not know what evidence the government may have claimed they had. All I knew was the evidence available to defense counsel.

CUMMINGS: One last question, Mr. Chairman.

You had dealings with the government, did you not?

LIBBY: I had two meetings with the government in 1987, sir.

CUMMINGS: And during those times they didn't reveal to you what they had, anything of what they had?

LIBBY: No, sir. They made some statements. In fact, Mr. Auerbach said to us that there was evidence that we did not know.

CUMMINGS: Very well.

Thank you.

BARR: Thank you.

The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Shays, is recognized for five minutes.

SHAYS: Thank you, Mr. Libby. And thank you, Mr. Fink. You stayed around a while. It's a late night and I appreciate it.

And I will confess, Mr. Libby, that this is a little awkward for me, because I consider you a person in a very powerful position working for someone I have tremendous respect for, who I consider one of the most powerful people in the United States, and you're before the committee, and thank you for being here.

But what I wrestle with is just not doing what I've been critical of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle for doing, and that is not asking the questions you really want to ask of maybe your friends, and I consider you and obviously this administration, I hold you up to the highest esteem. But I do want to ask my questions.

The first thing I want to say, though, is that it's my understanding that you in no way were involved in this pardon process.

LIBBY: Correct, sir.

SHAYS: And that the purpose for you being invited to this committee was that when you weren't working for the government you represented Mr. Rich over periods of a number of years.

LIBBY: Correct, sir.

SHAYS: It's also my understanding that attorneys can represent people, one, they think are guilty, and, two, they may not like, but everybody's entitled to their defense.

LIBBY: That is correct, sir.

SHAYS: Now, it seems to me that you have some affection for this client that you had and you believed in his cause.

LIBBY: That is correct, sir. Well, I believe that all the evidence available to me indicated that his companies were not guilty of the crimes for which they had been indicted.

SHAYS: They may have been guilty of other crimes, but not these crimes.

LIBBY: I only represented him with respect to these crimes, sir.

SHAYS: Now, Joe DiGenova, when he commented about the Marc Rich pardon, said, "The bottom line is that Mr. Rich, while never subjecting himself to the jurisdiction of the United States, got a pardon under circumstances which are so apparently corrupt by the appearances, large donations by his former wife to the Democratic Party, gifts to the Clinton family, the refusal of the president to talk to the Justice Department about the case." That was said on "The Today Show" January 30.

He also said that, "Rich was indicted and he was a fugitive, which makes him a highly unusual case in that it is rare for someone who has sought to evade the criminal justice system by becoming a fugitive to be pardoned; in fact, I think it's unprecedented." That was said on the "McLaughlin" on January 26.

He said on "McLaughlin" on the 26th, "What is striking about the one pardon that didn't happen was the president did not pardon the American spy Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel. It is clear that Pollard's people did not give enough money to the DNC or the president and that they had the wrong lawyer, Alan Dershowitz. So that there's a lesson there for people seeking a pardon. Hopefully, from no future president the way this president uses pardons."

Obviously, Joe DiGenova believes that this was a pretty sad affair, but he's representing Jack Quinn who is entitled to his defense and he believes that Jack Quinn had every right to lobby the way he did.

What I'm interested in knowing is, would you have ever sought to lobby either this administration or the other administration for a pardon for Marc Rich?

LIBBY: You mean...

SHAYS: You didn't seek, you didn't try to, but I'm asking you, if you had been paid to do so and you were a private sector, would you have sought to get a pardon for this man?

LIBBY: Were I not involved in the government and still in private practice, would I have participated in an attempt to get a pardon for Mr. Rich?

SHAYS: Right.

LIBBY: Quite possibly, if the client wished us to get a pardon and I did not see any problem with it. I don't see any technical problem with going for a pardon if a client wants to.

SHAYS: Let me ask you this: Would you, in your capacity today, advocate, first, advocate that a pardon be granted without making sure that it had been properly vetted?

LIBBY: No, sir.

SHAYS: You would, in other words, make sure that it was properly vetted.

LIBBY: If you're asking me...

SHAYS: Properly vetted. You would make sure...

LIBBY: Correct. I would want...

SHAYS: What would, in your judgment, what would that involve?

LIBBY: Proper vetting by the White House of a pardon application?

SHAYS: Yes. What would that mean?

LIBBY: I assume they should gather all relevant information about the person.

Let me say that the president's pardon is unfettered--the president's power to pardon is unfettered, so technically it would be proper for him to do it without consulting with anyone and it would be not questioned. I believe...

SHAYS: Again, I know my red light's on, but when you guys do this to me it just blows my mind. Having an absolute power, if anything, means, doesn't it, that they should do an even more thorough job to make sure they have vetted it properly?

LIBBY: Yes, sir. I was about to finish by saying...

SHAYS: I'm sorry.

LIBBY: ... while he has that absolute power, it would seem to me he should exercise it by bringing in all the possible information that would be relevant to him and thereby have a process which would be fair and have very high standards.

SHAYS: Including...

WAXMAN: Mr. Chairman, the time has expired.

BARR: The time of the gentleman has expired.

WAXMAN: If I might be recognized?

BARR: The gentleman from California is recognized for five minutes.

WAXMAN: Mr. Libby, you just answered what you would advise if you were advising the administration on how to handle this sort of thing. But you were for many years the counsel for Mr. Rich, and can you tell us how much money you might have received or your firm received in that capacity?

LIBBY: I received none. The firm would receive the fees. I don't know offhand how much it would be.

WAXMAN: Over $100,000? Over $500,000? Over $1 million?

LIBBY: Oh, certainly, sir.

WAXMAN: Over $2 million?

LIBBY: It's probably in that ballpark, I would guess.

WAXMAN: Now, as a good lawyer...

LIBBY: Different firms, I was in different firms over this period, received...

WAXMAN: But you had Mr. Rich as your client in the different firms?

LIBBY: Yes.

WAXMAN: Now, as the defense counsel for Mr. Rich, you heard what he had to tell you, but wouldn't you make an investigation as to what the case might be on the other side to try to prepare for your client's best interest?

LIBBY: Certainly, sir.

WAXMAN: And when Mr. Wolfman and Ginsburg had the information before them to make their report did they get all the documents that they needed to get, in your opinion, to give a sound judgment on their part?

LIBBY: All the documents available to us were available to them.

WAXMAN: OK. And you think that they had the documents that would have given them the information they needed to reach the conclusions they reached?

LIBBY: Yes. They had the information that they needed, to the extent that we had it, to reach their conclusions.

WAXMAN: Well, a lot of people try to discredit their analysis by saying they didn't have valuable and accurate analysis of the situation. You're not critical of them, you think that they had valid information.

LIBBY: I believe they had the best information that they could have.

WAXMAN: And you had the best information you could have, although no one has all the information, but you've told us that based on all the information you had you didn't think that Mr. Rich was--or his companies were guilty of the crimes for which they were charged.

LIBBY: Based on the information available to us, yes, sir.

WAXMAN: You don't want to say whether the president can give a pardon or not, you don't want to reach the conclusion on that issue. But would the president of the United States have to be corrupt, would the president of the United States have to take a bribe to reach a conclusion, in his mind, on the merits that perhaps Mr. Rich and Mr. Green were not guilty of the charges brought against them?

LIBBY: Would he have to take a bribe? No, sir.

WAXMAN: Would somebody have to take a bribe to reach that conclusion or do you think somebody, on their view of the merits, could agree that these charges shouldn't have been brought and that a pardon would resolve the matter just as the prosecutor dropping the case would resolve the matter?

LIBBY: I don't know what was going through the president's mind when he made his decision...

WAXMAN: Of course you don't know, and I don't know either. But would a reasonable man, reaching the conclusion that he reached, only come to that conclusion if he were corrupt or could he have the view of the merits that you seem to have also had, that the charges weren't justified?

LIBBY: I believe it would have been more reasonable for the president to have received fuller information, from what I understand.

WAXMAN: Oh, I think so, too. I feel very critical that he didn't get more information. But based on what he had, it's not unthinkable that he could reach this conclusion that he reached. You reached the same conclusion, that the charges brought against Mr. Rich and Mr. Green were not justified.

LIBBY: Correct, sir. I reached the conclusion that based on the evidence available to us, he was not guilty of the crimes for which he had been indicted.

WAXMAN: Now, I don't want to belabor the point about your view that they might be traitors, I don't know what the legal ethics are for representing people you consider to be traitors for 17 years, it's a little puzzling you would call a traitor up and congratulate him on a pardon.

And then I think there were technical issues, maybe you were involved in them, but whether the subsidiaries, who were foreign subsidiaries, whether they're parent companies or sister companies. Do you think that there's a legal argument that perhaps they weren't traitors to the country of the United States?

LIBBY: There's a legal argument that the trade that was engaged in was a legal trade, as I understand it.

WAXMAN: And if it were a legal trade would they be traitors to the country, this country?

LIBBY: Well, you can take the view that it what they were doing, while legal, was not in the country's best interests, and that's...

(CROSSTALK)

WAXMAN: It may not be in the country's best interests, but that doesn't make you a traitor. A traitor is a legal matter.

Mr. Fink, do you think that Mr. Rich and Mr. Green were traitors to this country? You know a lot about this whole case.

FINK: That was never my perception.

WAXMAN: Thank you.

BARR: Mr. Libby, in the editorial published by the New York Times we've discussed earlier today, President Clinton wrote, quote, "The applications were reviewed and advocated not only by my former White House counsel, Jack Quinn, but also by three distinguished Republican attorneys, Leonard Garment, a former Nixon White House official, William Bradford Reynolds, a former high-ranking official in the Reagan Justice Department, and Lewis Libby, now Vice President Cheney's chief of staff," close quote. That was not an accurate statement that the president made, was it?

LIBBY: That's correct. It was inaccurate.

BARR: The fact of the matter is that you've never reviewed the pardon application, have you?

LIBBY: Even to this day, sir.

BARR: And you have never advocated on behalf of the pardon application, have you?

LIBBY: That's correct, sir.

BARR: Do you know where Mr. Clinton got this wrong information?

LIBBY: I have no idea, sir.

BARR: Thank you.

I yield to the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Shays.

SHAYS: Mr. Libby, interrupted you when I asked you about absolute power because I anticipated an answer that I had no right to anticipate. It was your testimony that an absolute power, because it's an absolute power, needs to be exercised more carefully.

LIBBY: I would agree with that statement, sir.

SHAYS: And the question I now wonder, because one of the issues that this committee does is we look at waste, fraud and abuse, and we don't legislate, we don't appropriate, but what we do do is recommend changes. Now, obviously an absolute power can be exercised by this president any way he chooses to, but one of the hopes that I have is that this committee will recommend to this administration that they don't do all the stupid things that we heard happened in today's testimony. And I would make the assumption that your people are looking at what happened in the last few months and are hopefully saying, "We're not going to do the same thing."

LIBBY: President Bush has stated, sir, that he believes that the power is a virtually unfettered power but that he would exercise it fairly and with high standards.

SHAYS: It's also my understanding that we need to look at the revolving-door process. And Mr. Kadzik is an individual who was hired, frankly, to lobby Mr. Podesta. He knew him. He was a client, Mr. Podesta was a client. And I'm not trying to say something, since he's not here to defend himself. That's pretty much factual, and I'll leave it at that.

LIBBY: No, sir.

CUMMINGS: And it was a case, I take it, from just based upon what you've told us, that you felt that your client would have had a reasonable, if he had gone to try, if they had gone to trial, would have had a reasonable shot, because you never can tell what a jury's going to do, but would have had a reasonable shot at being successful. Is that right?

LIBBY: Based on all of the evidence available to the defense, that's right, sir.

CUMMINGS: So when Mr. Shays talks about you not having all the facts, I mean, we understand that, but we also understand that you had quite a bit of information, as you testified to a little bit earlier.

Let me just go back to something that you said that I'm just curious about. You said that Mr. Rich called you and you all had a discussion with regard to the fact that he had been pardoned?

LIBBY: Essentially correct, sir. He called Mr. Green, left a message with Mr. Green, in effect, that he would like to speak to me.

CUMMINGS: And you did speak to him.

LIBBY: And I did speak to him, yes, sir.

CUMMINGS: Can you tell us about that conversation?

LIBBY: Sure. I called him from my home very early in the morning. He's in Switzerland and so there's a time difference. It was a very brief conversation. By the time he got on the phone, it might have been only a minute or so or a two-minute conversation, it was quite brief. He said that he appreciated what I had gone for him over the years of working for him, of course prior to the pardon, and I congratulated him on having reached a goal that he had sought for a long time.

Of course, none of these issues had arisen at that point in time, I had no idea what had gone on in the pardon process, even a newspaper reader's idea of what had gone on in the pardon process. This all came up later.

CUMMINGS: And we fully understand that you were not a part of actually trying to get this pardon, we understand that. But when he thanked you, I take it that--I mean, if you can shed some light on this I'd appreciate it--that he was thanking you because you basically were the architect over the years for putting together enough information and, I mean, through your efforts--you said somewhere in the area of $2 million worth of work, that's quite a bit of work--but you were the architect for putting together a lot of the information that was probably used in Mr. Quinn's arguments and in the justification that the president gave in the article that has been referenced so much here in the New York Times. Is that correct?

I'm not saying that you did it with the pardon intent, effort, but basically a lot of that information was probably used. Is that correct?

LIBBY: The defense team divided up the issues, sir. I worked primarily on the tax issue and I worked some on the energy issue. Mr. Fink's firm had experts in energy law and export controls and things like that, so his firm led that portion of the case. So it was a team effort in which my prime responsibility had to do with the tax side of the case.

CUMMINGS: Let me just say this. I do agree with Mr. Shays on this, that I think we've all learned a lot from this. And I'm glad that you are where you are in the administration because I think that there's nothing like going through a process like this that teaches us more. I mean, a lot of people can tell us, but once we go through this process I think it is a very tough lesson about trying to make sure that, you know, we can see how things can be dealt with in a proper fashion in the future. And I appreciate your comments in response to Mr. Shays' questions about, you know, the administration and President Bush and how he intends to handle these matters. And I do appreciate your testimony.

LIBBY: Thank you, sir.

LATOURETTE: I thank the gentleman from Maryland for his excellent questions.

And, fellows, when they ask me to chair the hearing it means we're almost done, I can guarantee you that.

And it's now time for the counsel on each side to ask questions, and we'll yield to the counsel for the majority, Mr. Wilson.

SHAYS: Mr. Chairman, if I could just inquire. We should feel free. I don't want to give up my right to ask more questions.

LATOURETTE: You've surrendered no right.

SHAYS: I may not have any, but I just would like to. And Mr. Cummings may want to stay as well.

LATOURETTE: If you have questions, Mr. Shays, just let me now. And we'll go to Mr. Wilson.

If you want to interrupt him or you want time in your right let us know.

WILSON: And I will try and move quickly through this, and I'm glad we're not talking about kidnapping statutes this time either.

Mr. Libby, just for the record, we've had a lot of discussion about what you've known, what you didn't know, and you've been very careful, you've said based on evidence available to the defense or based on the evidence available to me. And I wanted to just make sure we have a full understanding of that, because when we had prosecutors testify before us they spoke of dozens of witnesses that they were prepared to put on in the trial. And is it fair to say that you did not know what those witnesses would have said at trial?

LIBBY: It would depend which witnesses. Well, it's true I did not have any idea what they would say at trial. Some of the witnesses we had interviewed and some of the witness we may have seen previous testimony from. Those people we had at least some notion of what they might say at trial. But I do not know who their dozens of witnesses would have been. To the extent that I know of their witnesses and who they are, then we had some sense of what they would say. With almost all of them we had a good sense of what they would say.

WILSON: I think that goes to my point, that you knew some of what the government had, but you didn't know everything and you didn't know all of the witnesses that would be made available and you were not aware of everything that would be said. Is that correct?

LIBBY: That's correct, sir.

WILSON: And, for example, this is somewhat hypothetical because we don't know, but if there were witnesses that would have testified that information had been destroyed or documents had disappeared, that would have had an impact on the overall case, would it not?

LIBBY: Probably not on the tax analysis. It would have had an impact on how the jury might have viewed them, it might have had an impact on an obstruction of justice charge. The tax analysis has to do with the transactions that occurred and what motivated those transactions. Intent is really not all that important for it and destruction of documents might not be so important for it. But it might well color how a jury perceived what went on.

WILSON: But in addition, without the full knowledge of what the facts of the case were, and it's entirely possible that there were facts that were unavailable to the tax analysis, indeed, this is what the prosecutors told us a few weeks ago, that there was information that was significant for the tax analysis, it's not your position today that there could have been no additional information that would have been germane to the tax analysis, is it?

LIBBY: Correct. It's my contention that there may have been, although I don't know what it would be.

WILSON: Fair enough.

Mr. Fink, when Mr. Quinn left Arnold & Porter--and I believe that was at the end of 1999--did you--I should back up, because we're starting a new subject.

When Mr. Quinn was at Arnold & Porter he had a retainer agreement whereby Mr. Rich paid, I believe, $55,000 per month to his former law firm, Arnold & Porter. When he left his law firm, did you discuss with him the possibility of signing a new retainer agreement to compensate him for the work that he would be for Mr. Rich?

FINK: The precise answer, I think, is no. We did have a conversation about the fact that we did not have a fee arrangement, but we didn't talk about a retainer agreement, to the best of my recollection, after he left Arnold & Porter.

WILSON: Why was there no fee arrangement?

FINK: The work that had been done while he was at Arnold & Porter ended in early 2000. I think everybody felt there wasn't any need to provide additional compensation for that work and it did not appear at all certain that there would be additional work in the future.

WILSON: And that might explain why a retainer wouldn't be signed, but as Mr. Quinn did additional work was it ever contemplated that he would be compensated for the work he was doing?

FINK: It was contemplated by me.

WILSON: And what were you thinking about Mr. Quinn's compensation?

FINK: I personally thought that we should try and come up with a retainer agreement to cover Mr. Quinn going forward, but we did not.

WILSON: And was there a reason for not coming to some type of arrangement? The general perception of lawyers is they're not benevolent societies and they do need to pay their bills.

FINK: I understand.

WILSON: And we're just wondering why there was not an arrangement agreed to.

FINK: It was not an issue that was pursued by anybody. There was very little activity from the spring of 2000 to the fall of 2000.

WILSON: When Mr. Quinn began pursuing the pardon, the prospect of a pardon, did you anticipate compensating him for that work?

FINK: I anticipated that he would be compensated for that work by Mr. Rich.

WILSON: And if you could, tell us what you were thinking.

FINK: Actually, I don't know that I was thinking anything other than that he was entitled to some fair fee, the exact parameters of which I did not have in mind.

I believed, I told Mr. Quinn, when we started to discuss the pardon, that we would find a fair fee arrangement for him consistent with whatever his fee arrangements were. I did not know how he was handling fee arrangements.

WILSON: Did you discuss with Mr. Rich compensating Mr. Quinn?

FINK: Could you excuse me just one moment?

WILSON: Certainly.

FINK: The answer is yes, I did. I communicated thought I had to Mr. Rich, with which he did not disagree.

WILSON: And what did you communicate to him?

FINK: I actually communicated to him what I had told Mr. Quinn.

WILSON: And what was that?

FINK: That we would come to a fair fee arrangement with him that was consistent with his normal fee arrangements.

WILSON: So you had communicated to Mr. Quinn that you would come to an arrangement with him to compensate him?

FINK: Yes.

WILSON: And when was that?

FINK: The precise date I do not know, but it was most likely early November 2000.

WILSON: And when did you stop thinking that that was going to be the case?

FINK: I stopped thinking that that was going to be the case during the first hearings of this committee.

WILSON: When I was asking Mr. Quinn about his compensation?

FINK: I believe you were the questioner.

WILSON: Quite sure where to go after that.

(CROSSTALK)

WILSON: But you had not had a conversation with Mr. Quinn during which you had discussed the prospect of him not being compensated up until at least the time of our last hearing, is that correct?

FINK: It was always my contemplation. I mean, not that I reflected on this frequently, but if you would stop me at any point in time and said, "Would you expect that Mr. Quinn would be compensated for his work?" I would have thought that he would be.

WILSON: And it was also his expectation, correct?

FINK: I can't speak for his expectation. I can only tell you that we had this very brief, honestly, very brief--it wasn't even a conversation, it was my comment to him. I do not remember his response to me. And that was the entire exchange on fees.

WILSON: Did you ever hire an individual named Neil Katyall (ph).

SHAYS: Before the gentleman proceeds on that question I would just like to interrupt and ask, would it have been unethical for Mr. Rich or you to have Jack Quinn get a contingency based on whether or not a pardon was approved or not?

FINK: I do not know, but I would have been leery of such a proposal.

SHAYS: Because you would have thought it was unethical?

FINK: I do not know if it's unethical. I just would have been leery of a proposal like that. I was leery. I would not have agreed to that.

SHAYS: And you would not have done that?

FINK: I would not have.

SHAYS: And you can testify before this committee that Mr. Quinn will not get some payment in the near future or the distant future because of the pardon?

FINK: I cannot testify to that. I can just tell you that there was no contingency fee agreement with Mr. Quinn in which I participated or of which I know.

SHAYS: But the bottom line is, now that there's a pardon granted, Mr. Rich is free to travel throughout Europe where before he couldn't and evidently can come into the United States. Is that correct?

FINK: It calls for a legal conclusion. The answer...

(CROSSTALK)

FINK: Well, I'm not qualified to answer that. But I would have the same assumption you do.

SHAYS: And so the bottom line is the work that Mr. Quinn did is huge. I mean, he spent literally millions hiring other attorneys, and in the end he's got a pardon in large measure because of what Mr. Quinn has done. Isn't that true?

FINK: I credit Mr. Quinn for a lot of the success.

SHAYS: Thank you.

Thank you.

WILSON: Congressman Shays, calling me gentleman was the first thing that's been said to me this month. Thank you very much.

Mr. Fink, did you ever hire at any point an individual named Neil Katyall (ph), who I believe worked in the deputy attorney general's office, to work on the Rich matter?

FINK: No.

WILSON: No? OK. Do you know where Mr. Katyall (ph) works now?

FINK: No.

WILSON: What was Michael Steinhart's role in the pardon process, if there was any role?

FINK: I hesitate only because the word "role" can have many meanings to different people. He wrote a letter. He may have encouraged others to do so. That's all I can recall.

WILSON: What is Mr. Steinhart's relationship to Marc Rich?

FINK: My perception is that they're friends.

WILSON: Fair enough. If you could take a look at exhibit 69, please, which should be in the book in front of you.

FINK: Sixty-nine?

WILSON: Sixty-nine, correct. This is an e-mail from you, apparently, to Mr. Azulay, Mr. Green and Ms. Behan. And the text, it's an e-mail, and it says, "I just spoke to Jack. He has not heard from the president but agreed to call him as soon as he gets to a hard line phone. He was in the car. He said that the SEC knows of the request and for some reason opposed it, but not like they opposed Milken. He does not know how they learned of it. He found out when the head of the SEC gave one of his partners a hard time about Marc yesterday. We agree it is not good and that maybe the SDNY knows too, but we have no information on it. No other pardons have been announced yet, as far as we know. Bob."

Was it, in your opinion, a bad thing for the Securities and Exchange Commission to know about the Rich pardon application?

FINK: Not in an of itself.

WILSON: But that was not a concern of yours, that the SEC would learn?

FINK: I never was concerned that the SEC would learn about it.

WILSON: But there was a concern?

FINK: No, no.

WILSON: OK.

FINK: The concern that I had was one I enunciated earlier. I was always concerned that the pardon application would become a matter of public record and create a press reaction such as that I had seen in the early '80s, and I feel that would not be helpful for a thoughtful review of the pardon application.

WILSON: Fair enough. I'd like to just return for one moment to the fees question. If you could take a look at exhibit 70, which fortunately should be the very next one in your exhibit book.

FINK: Seventy?

WILSON: Correct. This is an e-mail from Mr. Quinn dated January 22, 2001. It's to Mr. Fink, subject: re. pardon document, and the text is, "Re. press calls, the question of fee might come up. As I think you know, Marc is not obligated to pay me anything. Whether he will or not, I do no know and have never discussed it with him. Anything he might later choose to pay is voluntary. I felt he had paid me well in 1999 and that I had an obligation to see this through to the end."

When you got this e-mail from Mr. Quinn, what were you thinking?

FINK: I do not remember what I was thinking precisely. It seemed to me that he was reminding me that we had never agreed on a fee, that he had never suggested one.

WILSON: Did it strike you as odd that the context for this communication was regarding press calls?

FINK: I do not remember. On Monday, January 22, this fact that someone was concerned about press inquiry did not strike me as odd. That's what we were dealing with, press inquiry.

WILSON: Right. But specifically regarding the compensation aspect, I mean one would expect him to have been compensated. That would be a fairly normal arrangement. Here he had not been. So did it strike you as odd that in the context of press inquiries there was a concern about compensation?

FINK: I don't remember, but I don't believe that I was surprised that the press was asking him questions about compensation. I had already been asked questions about compensation by that point, I believe.

WILSON: Did you follow this e-mail up with any communication, verbal communication? Maybe a better way to ask that is, what happened after you read this e-mail?

FINK: I don't believe--well, that's not true. I was going to say I don't believe Jack and I talked about fees after that, but I think we did, and the subject was that his fee arrangement had never been fixed and it still wasn't. And I believe I told him that I realized that and that I intended to discuss it with Mr. Rich.

WILSON: Thank you. Let's move on the last subject that I'll cover today, and it involves Denise Rich.

Mr. Fink, how long have you known Denise Rich?

FINK: My best recollection is that I met Denise Rich circa 1985.

WILSON: And do you know how much money she received in her divorce settlement with Mr. Rich?

FINK: Just a moment please.

I apologize for the delay. The answer to your question is, to the best of my recollection I do know, but the amount would cause me to reveal an attorney confidence; the attorney-client confidence.

WILSON: OK. Do you know whether Denise Rich has any bank accounts or had at any time in the past year, any bank accounts or trust funds to which she and Marc Rich have joint control or access?

FINK: I do not.

WILSON: To your knowledge, has Ms. Rich received any money from Marc Rich since her divorce settlement, other than anything that was contemplated in the settlement itself?

FINK: I have no knowledge of any such thing.

SHAYS: Are you aware of any request for a revision of the settlement or increased funds for her children?

FINK: No, I am not.

WILSON: As has been reported recently, Ms. Rich gave over $1.2 million to the Democratic Party...

FINK: I'm sorry, I missed what you said.

WILSON: As has been reported, Ms. Rich gave $1.2 million, just a little over $1.2 million to the Democratic Party and gave $450,000 for the Clinton library. Do you have any knowledge as to whether these contributions were all made with her own money or whether they were not made with her own money?

FINK: Other than the fact that there are press reports about this, I have no knowledge of the contributions at all. That is meant to include your question.

WILSON: Right. Do you know whether Marc Rich or anyone acting on Marc Rich's behalf suggested that Ms. Rich make any contributions to any political causes?

FINK: I do not.

WILSON: To the Clinton library?

FINK: I do not.

WILSON: Prior to November of 2000, which is the ballpark time for the pardon process commencing, had you ever attempted to involve Denise Rich in any of the strategy that went towards solving Mr. Rich's legal problems?

FINK: I think the answer to your question is no, I had not.

WILSON: Were you part of any contemplation to bring her in in any way to play a part in the resolution of Mr. Rich's legal problems?

FINK: Could you pardon me for one moment?

The answer would call for confidential information. My answer to your question would require me to reveal confidential information.

WILSON: Now, confidential information, it's a privilege that involved in this?

FINK: Yes, there's a privilege involved here.

WILSON: Perhaps you might share with us what the privilege is.

FINK: Just one moment, OK? It's unfortunate, I mean I find it hard as a lawyer her to testify, approach this whole thing with some dread because of this problem, so bear with me for one moment.

I believe, and I've been advised that it's both attorney-client and work product privileges are involved here. My opinion is consistent with the advice I'm receiving.

WILSON: OK. If you could take a look, please, at exhibit 137 in the book that's in front of you. There appear to be two e-mail communications here. The lower one is dated March 18, 2000. It is from Avner Azulay. And it appears to be to you, Mr. Fink. And while you're looking I'll just read the text.

"I had a long talk with JQ and Michael. I explained why there's no way the MOJ is going to initiate a call to EH, a minister calling a second-level bureaucrat who's proved to be a weak link. We are reverting to the idea discussed with Abe, which is to send DR on a 'personal' mission to Number One with a well-prepared script."

There are a few questions that flow from this, but could you tell us what was contemplated by sending DR on a personal mission to Number One?

FINK: I cannot, and it's not because of privilege, it's because I do not know. I may have known, but I certainly do not remember from reading this e-mail.

WILSON: I know the shorthand that's used in the e-mails, there is a lot of shorthand, initials are used.

FINK: Yes, and I think...

WILSON: But is Number One the president?

FINK: It was not a code that we had, but I read it as you do. And I also read it as Number One, although it could be read different. I mean, I read it as you do.

WILSON: And DR in the context of the e-mails we've reviewed is Denise Rich.

FINK: That would be my assumption as well.

WILSON: And I don't know if I can get more out of this, but here in the text we have "send DR on a 'personal' mission to Number One," and the "personal" is in quotation marks. What does "personal" mean in this context?

FINK: I do not know. I would only be speculating entirely. I have no idea.

WILSON: This may be more puzzling to us now than it was to you then, but do you recall whether upon receiving this e-mail you contacted Mr. Azulay in any manner to try and figure out what he was talking about?

FINK: I have no recollection. It looks like I responded by my e-mail above, and that does not help refresh my recollection either. Candidly, I looked at this e-mail earlier today when you guys were discussing to see if I could remember it and I did not.

WILSON: Now, the date of this e-mail is March 18, which is quite a bit in advance of the pardon process starting in November 2000. Do you recall anything about Denise Rich's involvement in any of the legal problems Mr. Rich had prior to November of 2000?

FINK: That is, not to be critical, a very broad question. The answer, considering it's so broad, would have to be yes, but it would--I'm sorry, the answer's yes. I'll let you ask your next question.

WILSON: It was purposely broad, because then we'll try and narrow it a little bit. Just staying within the bounds of the year 2000, if you could tell us anything you know about involving Denise Rich.

FINK: I have no recollection of any involvement with Ms. Denise Rich during this period of time in 2000. I do know that there was involvement later in 2000. I actually participated in some of that.

WILSON: But in response to my very broad question you indicated there was involvement. Is it fair to characterize there was involvement, you just don't remember what it was, is it...

FINK: No, no, no. I have an imperfect memory, so I'll be careful. I believe, as I sit here, that there was no involvement by Denise Rich in Mr. Rich's problems during this period of time. I have absolutely no recollection that she became involved in any way.

WILSON: The conclusion to the e-mail--I read almost all of it. I didn't read the conclusion of the e-mail. The last couple of sentences are: "If it doesn't work"--this is the personal mission to number one with a well-prepared script--"If it doesn't work, we didn't lose the present opportunity until NOV"--which I assume to be November--"which shall not repeat itself. If it doesn't, then, probably, Gershon's course of action shall be the one left option to start all over again. This is only for your info. Regards, AA."

Do you recall what Gershon this refers--I believe to Gershon Kekst--is the publicist in New York. Do you know what Gershon's course of action was?

FINK: Well, I do not know what Mr. Azulay was trying to say in this sentence.

WILSON: Just based on your knowledge of who was doing what at the time, do you have any sense of what he was trying to communicate or what is attempted to be communicated here?

FINK: One second please.

WILSON: Certainly.

FINK: As you can tell, this is not written as well as people might like for clear discourse, but I suspect that he is talking about an application for pardon here.

WILSON: Thank you very much.

Thank you, Mr. Libby.

BURTON: The counsel's time has expired.

It is now time for counsel for the minority to ask whatever questions you would choose to, and you have 30 minutes.

BARNETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'm Phil Barnett, the counsel for the minority.

FINK: Good evening.

BARNETT: Good evening. It definitely is well into the evening.

Mr. Libby, I have a few questions for you.

LIBBY: Yes, sir.

BARNETT: I think you said earlier that you would asked by Mr. Green (ph), in November of 2000, "Did you want to work on the pardon application?" And you had said, if I remember right, you were tied up in the transition and you didn't have time and didn't think it was appropriate for you to do that. You didn't participate in the pardon application because you were busy with the transition. My understanding is, that was your testimony.

LIBBY: Just for the record, I could not hear the first part of your question.

BARNETT: I was trying to recall your testimony earlier this evening about--and I was beginning with a call you received from Mr. Green (ph), who had asked whether you wanted to participate in the pardon application, whether you wanted to represent Mr. Rich in the pardon process. And my recollection is that your answer was you didn't have time to do it, you were wrapped up in the transition, you had those duties and you didn't have time and it wouldn't have been appropriate for you to represent Mr. Rich in the pardon.

LIBBY: Correct.

BARNETT: It wasn't because you had a view that it would have been inappropriate to be a lawyer seeking a pardon for Mr. Rich?

LIBBY: That is correct. A pardon is a legitimate activity for a lawyer to engage in.

BARNETT: In fact, I think Mr. Shays actually asked you that question, "If you had a client who wanted a pardon, would you file a pardon application?" And your answer was, if the client wanted that, you would do that.

LIBBY: Assuming all of the circumstances were such that I was comfortable with, yes.

BARNETT: That's what Mr. Quinn, Jack Quinn, did in this case. He came on the case, I understand, in 1999, spent considerable amount of time with you understanding the merits of the case.

And he tried first at the Justice Department to get meetings and to get the case dismissed on the merits. When that failed, and there was a decision to seek a pardon, he took that on.

And he's testified in front of our committee for many, many hours. And boiling down his position, as I understood it, he said people might disagree about the pardon, but he thought it was defensible on the merits. And he was comfortable arguing for the pardon, because he thought it was defensive on the merits.

If you were taking this case on, would you make the same argument, as Mr. Quinn did?

LIBBY: I don't know. I don't know the details of what Mr. Quinn argued.

BARNETT: You know the detail of Mr. Rich's case, probably better than Mr. Quinn. And if you were Mr. Rich's pardon attorney, seeking a pardon, what kind of argument would you make?

LIBBY: I assume I would argue that and I might argue other aspects of the case, as well. It's pretty hard to, sort of, say what arguments I would make in an abstract pardon application, not before me, for a client I'm not aware of.

BARNETT: If we made it more concrete with Mr. Rich as the client and the facts as you know them, facts as they were available to the defense counsel, what argument would you make?

LIBBY: Generally, I would argue the facts of the case, as I assume Mr. Quinn did. I would argue other good deeds that may have been done by the accused, as I assume Mr. Quinn would have done. He might also talk about activities of the government, if there were any.

BARNETT: Would you make any argument that you thought was not defensible?

LIBBY: No.

BARNETT: These arguments that you would make in this case are arguments that you would think would be defensible arguments, and a defensible basis for the pardon.

LIBBY: If I were engaged in a pardon, I would only make defensible arguments.

BARNETT: Well, I guess the question I'm trying to ask is, is the pardon defensible on its merits?

LIBBY: I have no idea, sir.

BARNETT: Well, if you...

LIBBY: You've asked me if Mr. Quinn would make defensible arguments; I assume he would make defensible arguments. That's different from the decision to grant the pardon. I don't know about the decision to grant the pardon. I don't have the evidence that was before the president when he made his decision.

BARNETT: I don't know if you watched much of the hearing we had today, this afternoon. It was a long hearing, and you probably have lots of other responsibilities. As the scenario or the picture that came across, as I understood it, it was a broken-down process, particularly with regard to Mr. Rich's pardon.

It had come up, I think on January 16 in a meeting that the president was at along with Mr. Podesta and Mr. Lindsey and Ms. Nolan, and they had come away with the impression that the pardon wasn't going to go any place. They viewed it was inappropriate, and they didn't think the president was going to pursue it. As a result, they didn't seek out information from the CIA and the National Security Agency and others. I think they said it as a lot going on at the time. They thought it was a dead issue, so they just didn't pursue it.

Then they come to the evening before the transition. And the president's gotten a call from Prime Minister Barak, and all of a sudden he wants to revisit it. And there's really no time at that point to get additional information at that point. Essentially, all that's presented there is the evidence that's understood to the defense.

In that situation, is the granting a pardon unreasonable?

LIBBY: I don't know, sir. I don't know what evidence the president had before him or could have had before him or...

BARNETT: Well, there's one option he would have, the president, which I think, if I understood what many members have said, they might have preferred, which is to say, well, he doesn't have all the information, so he shouldn't go forward. He doesn't really have an opportunity to get more information, because he won't have the power to issue a pardon after noon the next day. So that would have been one option, presumably a reasonable option.

The other option he has is to make a decision.

And if he had the information that you had, information that was available to the defense, is it unreasonable for him to make the decision this case warrants a pardon?

LIBBY: I didn't hear all the testimony, the way you probably did today and other days, but I thought I heard some questioning of the witnesses which said, "If you had time to make one phone call, why didn't you make another phone call?" So it seems to me there is a third logical possibility to what you're saying, which is to pick up the phone and call other people to get other information.

I don't know what was done or what could have been done, but in what you have described there is a third possibility which would have allowed the president to get more information.

BARNETT: In law school they had the reasonable man test, if I remember law school, and I guess my question is going somewhat to that concept. There's a third option, I hadn't thought of a third option, that might have been the best option. But was it unreasonable to do the pardon option?

LIBBY: To me, it would be more reasonable to take the third option and call for more information, but I wasn't there at 2 o'clock in the morning or whenever it was.

BARNETT: You've testified earlier today that the charges weren't justified. You looked at them and Congressman Waxman read through the different elements of the charges and the president's rationale and you agreed with those. So the charges aren't justified. It was an indictment brought that you think didn't have a sound foundation. That's based on the information you know.

LIBBY: Based on the information available to me and to defense team the charges--there was a compelling defense to the charges for which they had been indicted, that's right. But it seems to me that the president doesn't have to rely on that, he can ask for more information.

BARNETT: Right.

LIBBY: So if you're asking me what the reasonable man would do, I presume the reasonable man would ask for more information.

BARNETT: I know there are lots of members on both sides, I think, if I've listened to them over the days we've had, the time we've had the hearing, who take that view, that that would have been the best thing to do. But I'm asking really was it unreasonable, was it indefensible for him at that time, believing, if he did, that the indictment was improper, to issue the pardon.

LIBBY: Maybe it's just late, maybe it's that we've been here for five hours, but I did not have any participation in this pardon. I'm not quite sure what I can bring to your own judgments of what's reasonable or unreasonable. You know more about it than I know about it. I didn't participate in it, so I'm unclear what it is you think I bring to this discussion.

As I've said, I believe, if it were me, I would have made the calls or recommended the calls rather than just acting in the way it was acted.

BARNETT: The reason I'm asking the question is that I think the reason we've been holding the hearings is there have been allegations that there was illegal conduct or corrupt conduct or quid pro quos, and that has to be the explanation. There's not an explanation that this was just simply bad judgment. It's not an explanation that the president could have reasonably but reached a wrong judgment.

And because of your expertise and experience in the matter, I was asking the questions to help make that assessment, is the only option here that former President Clinton was acting in an illegal manner for illegal and improper motives.

LIBBY: I have no firsthand knowledge of whether he acted for illegal motives or legal motives. As I've said, the information available to the defense team was sufficient to create a compelling defense that Mr. Rich and Mr. Green's companies had not committed the crimes for which they were indicted.

BARNETT: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Schiliro, who is the minority staff director, would like to ask questions for about another five minutes or so, if that's permissible.

SHAYS: I have absolutely no problem with you gentlemen having your 30 minutes. I just will want to ask a question or two, not many, when you're done.

And I'll respect the fact that you don't have a member on your side to counter it. I just will make some...

SCHILIRO: I'd be happy to give you my time, because I won't take it all.

LATOURETTE: You have 18 minutes. Knock yourself out.

SCHILIRO: OK, Mr. Libby, let me try to do this as quickly as I can so we can get out of here.

I think part of the problem is we're seeking something, and you're trying to avoid, for good reason, getting us what we're seeking. And maybe it's because we disagree or maybe just because we're not communicating. And the reason we're interested in what you think is you're one of the smartest lawyers in Washington. You're probably one of the smartest people in Washington. It's a complicated case; you understand the case much better than I do.

LIBBY: That's the first thing said tonight with which I take strong disagreement, actually.

SCHILIRO: Well, I mean sincerely. I don't know you personally, but you have a terrific reputation. You made a lot of money on this case--I think you said earlier it was more than $2 million--which means to me, because you're a terrific lawyer, you learned the details of the case, you learned the intricacies of the case. You knew more about this case than probably anyone else in the world.

The threshold question for this committee in our first hearing was, as Mr. Barnett was saying, is there any plausible explanation for this pardon on a legal case? And the answer from a lot of members of the committee was that there wasn't. So you become very relevant, because you have expertise in this matter.

If you were handling the case, and I know you don't want to deal in hypotheticals, but let's just assume for a second that you were continuing Mr. Rich as a client. If you were handling the case, knowing everything you know about the case, do you think you could have put together a good legal argument for a pardon?

LIBBY: If I were handling the case, I probably would not have asked for a pardon.

SCHILIRO: You would not have?

LIBBY: Probably not.

SCHILIRO: Even when you hit a dead end with the U.S. Attorney's Office?

LIBBY: That's correct.

SCHILIRO: And explain that to me, why you wouldn't have asked for a pardon.

LIBBY: I would have sought to have the Justice Department ordered to reopen the case and look at the merits of the case.

SCHILIRO: And I think when you did your transition with Mr. Quinn, you fully apprised him of all the details of the case.

LIBBY: Correct.

SCHILIRO: On both the legal arguments and the situation surrounding the case?

LIBBY: This was the fall of '99 and a little bit into 2000, yes.

SCHILIRO: And they tried to make headway with the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York and they got nowhere.

LIBBY: Correct.

SCHILIRO: You stayed on the case, maybe not in an as active way as you had been previously, but Mr. Quinn joined you and other people working on this. The lawyers reached the conclusion that they were making no headway. There was no other alternative but to seek a pardon.

LIBBY: I was not...

SCHILIRO: You were not part of that...

LIBBY: ... participating in that, no.

SCHILIRO: ... but that's my understanding of what the lawyers decided. And I assume you agree with that based on the facts as we know them?

LIBBY: I take your point.

SCHILIRO: That's the testimony we've received from the lawyers.

LIBBY: I'll accept that.

SCHILIRO: So, when we asked you before about November of 2000, when you were approached, it didn't sound to me at that point that you declined because you thought it was an inappropriate act to seek a pardon in this case. It sounded as if you declined because of circumstances.

LIBBY: That's correct.

SCHILIRO: Let me make sure I don't misunderstand it then. If you hadn't been in those circumstances, would you have entertained a pardon in this case?

LIBBY: I would have considered going for asking for a pardon, yes.

SCHILIRO: And so, if we're in that situation, it doesn't sound to me that's exactly what you said before when you wouldn't have sought a pardon in this case.

LIBBY: It is fully consistent with what I said before. I would've considered a pardon, I would've considered other routes. And I think in the end, the course that I think would've best served the client was not to go for a pardon but to get the Department of Justice to look at the merits of the case.

SCHILIRO: Right. But your client has paid you more than $2 million. Your client has gotten no relief, wants to come back to the United States feels the indictment was flawed. You know the case, and your client is saying to you, "This is what I think is my only alternative." At that point, you've entertained it. Is your testimony that you would've said no to your client at that point?

LIBBY: At that point I would've presented to the client the options. What I am saying is there is another option besides going for a pardon. There's an option to try and get the Department of Justice to look at the merits of the case.

SCHILIRO: Right, and that's failed. So now...

LIBBY: No...

SCHILIRO: Well, I think that's the conclusion the other attorneys on the case reached in 2000.

LIBBY: Well, the Department of Justice, in the post-indictment stage, never looked at the merits of the case.

SCHILIRO: I think the conclusion of the lawyers who were working on this case is the Justice Department was not going to do that. That's why they sought a pardon.

LIBBY: I was not present when they made that conclusion. I understand that that was their conclusion.

SCHILIRO: Let me try it one last way. And I think I'm not going to get any further, but I'll try it one more time.

If you were in a position where the decision had been made--and you were part of the team--that a pardon was going to be pursued--so it wasn't a question of different options, a pardon was going to be pursued, knowing everything you know about this case, do you think you could put together a good legal case for a pardon?

I'm not asking you if it's the best option.

LIBBY: Yes.

SCHILIRO: And if you did that, and you brought it to the president, do you think that would have been a defensible case? I'm not asking from the other side, the prosecution side, I'm talking from the defense side.

LIBBY: Yes.

SCHILIRO: The last question I have on that is, again, because you know this case much better than I do. You've evaluated, I think, all of the arguments the U.S. attorney made through the years because you had to to know your case. In doing that, I assume, the conclusion you reached was your case was stronger than their case which is why you think the case should have been dismissed.

LIBBY: Yes, and I believe everyone on this panel could now repeat what I am about to say: Based on all of the evidence available to the defense, that's correct.

SCHILIRO: But just on that phrase--and we all can repeat that phrase--is because you're a terrific lawyer, I think you probably tried the prosecution 20 times in your head. You went through. You tried to figure out every piece of evidence the prosecution had. You examined every legal theory the prosecution had. And I think you've reached the conclusion, because you're acting honorably--and it's because, I think, it's your testimony that that case didn't hold up.

LIBBY: Yes, and I'm afraid though you speak, though, in the course of your question--I examined every argument that we knew of that the prosecution had. There is a saying in the intelligence world: You don't know what you don't know.

We know only what we knew. We knew that the prosecutor had said he had evidence of which we were not aware. I will take him at his word. I'm not convinced that evidence would have persuaded me. But we had been told there were things we did not know.

SCHILIRO: Did you see any of our first hearing on the pardon? Did you see when the prosecutors testified?

LIBBY: I had seen some of the transcript. I did not watch it.

SCHILIRO: Was there anything in their testimony that was new to you?

LIBBY: No, sir, but, of course, their testimony was somewhat abbreviated. There were allusions in their testimony that I thought I could guess what they meant, but, you know, I don't know for sure.

I have been convinced that if I sat down with them and they laid their cards out and we laid our cards out, that we would win, but I don't know.

SCHILIRO: But so I understand, had you been in the position where you were pursuing the pardon, based on everything you know in this case, you think you could have put together a good strong case for a pardon and a defensible case if the president so issued, based on what you know?

LIBBY: Yes.

SCHILIRO: Thank you.

I apologize for using more than the five minutes, but...

LATOURETTE: You want to yield back the rest?

I thank you very much. And before yielding to Mr. Shays to wrap things up, I can just remember that when I practiced law and we'd try a case and I'd go first, I always thought, "Man, am I doing good," until the other side showed up, and all of a sudden, we had to rethink some things.

Mr. Shays, I'd be happy to yield to you for five minutes.

SHAYS: I don't know if I'm getting a second wind, but I actually enjoyed the questions our attorneys asked on both sides of the aisle, and I appreciate the responses.

LATOURETTE: I don't know if that's a second wind or vapors, Mr. Shays.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAYS: I do think it's fairly clear that if you are a lawyer, you are an advocate for one side, and you are going to emphasize the strengths of your case and, obviously, minimize the weaknesses that may involve your case.

I meant no real disrespect to Jack Quinn in pointing out that I said he couldn't adequately serve both his client and the president properly, because I think in the process of serving his client well, he didn't serve his president well, someone he had worked for.

And I look at you, Mr. Libby, and say, you know, why are you here? You should be here and I appreciate your being here and I appreciate your not complaining about being here. You represented Marc Rich with the prosecution. You developed and brought in people with expertise to determine, in your judgment, that he did not owe taxes. And I would tend to believe that you could find experts to take any position, and you found two that made persuasive arguments to you. But you didn't lobby the White House for the pardons, and that's really what we're looking at.

And, in my judgment, we got a pretty disappointing view of why these pardons were granted. There was a rush to complete them. There wasn't the proper vetting and so on.

But you're here, as, now, a government official, and I just want to ask you this question, and I hope I like the answer, but I may not. I want to know if you left the administration, would you come back to lobby your boss, Dick Cheney, or the president of the United States on behalf of a client, given the unique relationship that you have as the chief of staff of the vice president?

LIBBY: I doubt it. I can't be sure, but I doubt it.

SHAYS: Would you concur that if you were looking to lobby the White House, and you were hired to represent a certain interest, that your position would be to present that interest as forcefully as you could, even if it meant not disclosing information that might be helpful for the person making that judgment?

LIBBY: If I understood your question properly--I think I missed part of it--I do not believe I would every appear before Vice President Cheney or President Bush, under terms in which I would withhold any information from them.

SHAYS: Thank you.

Thank you very much.

LATOURETTE: Thank you, Mr. Shays. And I think that that exhausts any question that anybody could possibly have.

I want to thank you, Mr. Libby, and you, Mr. Fink for your patience and your forthrightness with the committee. You were both excellent representatives. Vice President Cheney is lucky, and Mr. Rich is lucky. And we thank you very much.

And this hearing is adjourned.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company


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