FBI Stuns Clinton Campaign With New Document Release

Files relate to controversial 2001 pardon
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2016 12:45 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2016 6:33 AM CDT
FBI Releases Files on Controversial Clinton Pardon
Billionaire Marc Rich was pardoned of tax evasion charges by Bill Clinton in 2001.   (AP Photo/Urs Flueeler, file)

The FBI has followed up its October surprise for Hillary Clinton with another shocker: the release of 129 pages of internal documents related to Bill Clinton's highly controversial pardon of financier Marc Rich. The heavily redacted documents were released Monday and the agency drew attention to them with a tweet on Tuesday, USA Today reports. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon described the timing as "odd" and wondered: "Will the FBI be posting docs on Trump's housing discrimination in '70?" The FBI issued a statement late Tuesday saying the documents had been requested under the Freedom of Information Act and "were posted automatically and electronically to the FBI's public reading room."

Rich, who died in 2013, was pardoned just hours before Bill Clinton left office in 2001. He fled the US for Switzerland in the 1980s to avoid fraud and tax evasion charges, and the fact that his wife had donated to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton Presidential Library, and Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign made the pardon appear very suspicious, NPR notes. The FBI documents offered little new information on the Rich pardon, though they were an unwelcome reminder of the episode for the Clinton campaign and caused renewed accusations that the agency is trying to meddle in the election, the Washington Post reports. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted that the agency had branded itself the "Federal Bureau of Intervention" with the latest release. (More Marc Rich stories.)

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