Roger Clinton probed in passport case: report


WASHINGTON, AFP

A Texas entrepreneur has told federal investigators that Roger Clinton, half-brother to ex-president Bill Clinton, promised to provide him with two diplomatic passports in exchange for US$30,000, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Businessman Richard Cayce, who is seeking immunity from prosecution, told authorities that Roger Clinton also said he could arrange a presidential pardon for an acquaintance of Cayce’s facing a prison sentence, according to the daily.

Cayce provided federal investigators with a written account of the meeting, which the Times obtained.

Diplomatic passports are normally issued exclusively to people working for the government and can speed passage through customs.

Lawyers for Roger Clinton and two other associates involved in the alleged deal acknowledged to the daily that US$30,000 changed hands, but said the payment was for their business advice and time, not diplomatic passports, and denied that their clients ever discussed pardons with Cayce.

Neither the passports nor the pardon for Cayce’s acquaintance ever materialized, according to the newspaper.

Cayce’s assertions are a potentially important turn in a federal investigation into 141 pardons granted by Bill Clinton in his last day as president.

Chief among those investigations is the probe into a last-minute pardon for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich.