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|Tuesday, March 06, 2001, updated at 09:32(GMT+8)|
Clinton Rejects US Senate Meeting on PardonsFormer US President Bill Clinton will not meet with U.S. Senate investigators to answer questions on his pardon of billionaire Marc Rich, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Last week, Republican Senator Arlen Specter invited Clinton to a private meeting to answer questions about the pardon, which has sparked criminal and congressional investigations of a possible link between the pardon and political donations by Rich's ex-wife Denise.
"It's not anything we're inclined to do," Clinton spokeswoman Julia Payne said of Specter's invitation. Specter is now leading a probe into the pardon by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Meanwhile, the House Government Reform Committee and federal criminal investigators also are looking into charges that Denise Rich's donations of more than 1 million U.S. dollars to Democrats and 450,000 dollars to the Clinton library played a role in the pardon.
On January 20, Clinton pardoned 140 people and commuted sentences for some 36 others before leaving the White House.
But the pardon controversy does not end with Rich.
Clinton's decision to pardon businessman Glenn Braswell and reduce the sentence of drug trafficker Carlos Vignali -- both advocated by Clinton's brother-in-law Hugh Rodham, who received 400,000 dollars in exchange for his intervention -- have also come under fire.
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