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Congressmen Ask Clinton Not To Pardon Ex-Associates

Tue., Oct. 1, 1996

Nearly all the House’s Republican members, joined by three Democrats, have asked President Clinton to promise he won’t grant pardons to his former associates convicted in the Whitewater affair.

White House spokesman Mark Fabiani had no comment Monday on the letter sent Friday by Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., 219 other Republicans and the Democrats.

The lawmakers asked Clinton for his “assurance” that the Whitewater figures “will not receive presidential pardons of any sort.”

The issue arose last week when the president was asked on PBS’ “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” if he would consider pardoning former associates Jim and Susan McDougal, and former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker. Clinton was noncommittal, saying he would review pardon requests “after there’s an evaluation done by the Justice Department.”

“We are shocked and alarmed by several of your recent statements about … the possibility that several of the figures involved in the Whitewater affair might receive presidential pardons,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter was signed by 220 of the House’s 235 Republicans and Democratic Reps. Pete Geren and Ralph Hall of Texas and Gene Taylor of Mississippi.


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