Report: Denise Rich gets immunity deal with federal prosecutor

Saturday, April 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Democratic donor Denise Rich has struck an immunity deal with prosecutors investigating Bill Clinton's pardon of her ex-husband, fugitive financier Marc Rich, Time magazine reported on its Web site Saturday.

In addition, U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White has subpoenaed the former president's brother, Roger Clinton, to appear before a grand jury this week to discuss his role in an alleged pardon swindle.

Denise Rich, who had argued in her ex-husband's favor despite their divorce, has been bargaining with prosecutors for weeks in an attempt to work out an immunity deal, the magazine reported, citing lawyers close to the investigation.

That means any information she gives authorities about the pardon could not be used to prosecute her.

Marc Rich has been living in exile in Switzerland since a 1983 indictment charged him with tax evasion, racketeering and violating trade sanctions with Iran. He was pardoned by Clinton just before the president left office in January, despite objections from White House lawyers.

Clinton's pardons of Rich and others are being investigated by White, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.

Investigators have been questioning witnesses about whether Clinton pardoned Marc Rich in exchange for contributions from Denise Rich to the ex-president's library in Arkansas, the Democratic Party or other political causes, and whether the money might have come from the financier.

A spokesman for White's office did not immediately return a call for comment. Denise Rich also could not immediately be reached.

Roger Clinton is to appear before a grand jury on Friday, lawyers close to the probe told the magazine. He has denied that he received any money from people on whose behalf he requested clemency from his brother _ who denied them all.

Two Texans claim they were swindled after being asked to pay more than $200,000 to a group that included Roger Clinton; they say he promised to secure a pardon, but did not try to do so.

Roger Clinton's attorney, Bart Williams, told Time he didn't know whether his client would testify or claim his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.