- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2001

It was all very well for his retired brother and senator sister-in-law to jet south for sun and fun this month, but not Roger Clinton. Someone had to stay behind and attend to what seems to be the Clinton family business. No, not politics, but federal grand juries. This time around, it is Roger Clintons turn to carry on the family tradition and prepare to spend some time in the prosecutors hot seat.

Why? The last time anyone heard from the former president´s half-brother and "California entertainer" was in February, when he told the Los Angeles Times that he was "devastated" because not one of his six "deserving" pals, some of whom he had served with (in jail), had received a pardon from his big brother. "It sort of caused a rift," Roger Clinton said. "My feelings were hurt."

The younger Clinton also told the newspaper that he had taken no money for his efforts to lobby the former president, a statement Bill Clinton´s office later confirmed, so it must be true or at least depend on the meaning of something or other.

End of story? Yes and no. While Roger Clinton´s ham-fisted efforts on behalf of his prison pals would surely make any chief of protocol weep, prosecutors seem to have been left unmoved. In fact, it is an altogether different case that has caused U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White to subpoena the former president´s half-brother to come before a federal grand jury in New York next week. This particular case first came to light at the end of February when a pair of WABC New York radio hosts, John Batchelor and Paul Alexander, went on Sean Hannity´s WABC show to break the story about an alleged swindle involving the life savings of a Texas family who claims to have paid almost a quarter of a million dollars to Mr. Clinton and two business partners in exchange for a presidential pardon for Garland Lincecum, a family relative in jail for fraud.

Clemency never actually came for Garland Lincecum from Bill Clinton´s White House, but it looks as if Roger Clinton´s company banked his family´s money just the same a possibility that seems to have intrigued the U.S. attorney. Roger Clinton, through his lawyer, continues to maintain that "he has not received any money in connection with his efforts to recommend pardons," but veteran Clintonologists should take note: The Texas family has charged that Roger Clinton promised to get a presidential pardon for its relative, but didn´t try to do so. If this charge is true, it might indeed be said that Roger Clinton didn´t receive money in connection with lobbying for pardons if, as is alleged in this case, he never actually did any lobbying.

Meanwhile, no one knows what Roger Clinton will do when he faces the grand jury. According to Time magazine, Mr. Clinton´s lawyer, Bart H. Williams, has asked Ms. White to grant his client more time to decide whether to testify or plead the Fifth Amendment. To testify or not to testify what would his brother and sister-in-law say? No telling. They´re on vacation.

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