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Reports: Roger Clinton under investigation on pardons-for-cash allegations

Reports: Roger Clinton under investigation on pardons-for-cash allegations

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NEW YORK (AP) – A man imprisoned for fraud in Texas paid $200,000 to an Arkansas group that promised in 1998 to arrange for a presidential pardon through Roger Clinton, the half brother of then-President Clinton, the man’s lawyer said Sunday.

“They guaranteed it – they didn’t just say, ‘We’ll do the best we can, we’ll try,’ they said, ‘You’re going to get a pardon,’Ý” attorney Edward W. Hayes said.

While the pardon never came through and Garland Lincecum, 67, remains in prison, the case is now part of Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White’s investigation into whether President Clinton issued pardons in exchange for campaign donations and gifts to his presidential library. On his last day in office Jan. 20, Clinton granted 141 pardons.

Roger Clinton, a convicted drug offender, was himself a beneficiary of a last-minute presidential pardon.

According to published reports during the weekend, a Texas entrepreneur named Richard Cayce has told prosecutors he paid $30,000 to the Little Rock business group, called C.L.M., to obtain two diplomatic passports and advised Lincecum that he could obtain a presidential pardon by paying $200,000.

The key figure in both alleged deals was Roger Clinton, the “C” in the group’s name, according to The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

The New York Times said Cayce, who is seeking immunity from prosecution, has given investigators a written account of a meeting with Roger Clinton at which the deals allegedly were discussed.

Cayce never received diplomatic passports, nor was the pardon ever granted.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times earlier this year, Roger Clinton denied soliciting or receiving payments for helping to arrange White House pardons.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times quoted lawyers for Roger Clinton as saying he had no “professional connection” with the Arkansas group and that any money collected was for charity, not for political influence.

A spokesman for White’s office, Marvin Smilon, said on Sunday he could not comment on any aspect of an investigation.

The New York Times said lawyers for Roger Clinton and C.L.M.’s two other principles, George Locke and Dickey Morton, acknowledged that their clients accepted $30,000 from Cayce but said it was payment for business advice on setting up a charity. Neither passports nor pardons were discussed.

Locke, a former Arkansas state senator, was convicted along with Roger Clinton in a 1980s drug case. Morton is a one-time football star at the University of Arkansas.

Former President Clinton has defended his decision to grant the clemencies.

The Los Angeles Times said Lincecum told a grand jury that in 1998, while awaiting prison on the fraud conviction, he met with C.L.M. members at Cayce’s suggestion and was told Roger Clinton could arrange a pardon for $200,000. He said he did not meet Roger Clinton.

According to the paper, Lincecum’s 85-year-old mother, Alberta, and brother Guy, of Roanoke, Texas, each put up $100,000. Alberta Lincecum disputed that it was for charity.

Guy Lincecum also said he never met Roger Clinton but said other C.L.M. members told him “Roger could get anything in the United States or the world, through his contacts with his brother.”

There was no immediate comment Sunday from Cayce, or Guy or Alberta Lincecum; telephone numbers could not be located for them in the Dallas area.

Copyright © 2001, Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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