- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 26, 2001

Nothing to probe

The Florida Bar had no choice but to rule that Hugh Rodham, brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton, didn't violate ethics rules by lobbying then-President Clinton for clemency for two of his clients convicted of felonies.

The bar's been left in the dark.

Inside the Beltway has obtained the bar's five-page decision submitted to Fairfax attorney J. Christian Adams, who along with several others filed the complaint after it was discovered that Mr. Rodham lobbied his brother-in-law for the presidential pardons.

In the ruling, Barry W. Rigby, the bar's chief disciplinary counsel, wrote that confidentiality laws "do not allow the Justice Department to disclose anything about an investigation, even to the point of confirming if an investigation is ongoing. We attempted to obtain information from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., as well as the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Our requests were declined."

Thus, while a Florida-licensed attorney who engages in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in connection with the practice of law "is subject to discipline under our rules," says Mr. Rigby, "there has been no evidence presented or made available to the Florida Bar."

However, Mr. Rigby notes that the Florida Bar "has a six-year statute of limitations in which to pursue complaints against attorneys. If Mr. Rodham ultimately is found to have violated any laws with regard to these pardons, the Florida Bar will open a new file and seek discipline based on those findings."

Mr. Rodham was forced to return almost $400,000 he was paid to help win the presidential pardons for cocaine dealer Carlos Vignali and money-launderer Almon Glenn Braswell.

Candy from babies

Regarding the would-you-hang-this-sign-in-your-window — "Proud Supporter of Gun Control. This is a gun-free home" — item in yesterday's column, Neal Knox writes:

"Fact is, circa 1967, while I was editor of Gun Week, an anti-gun group in Chappaqua, N.Y. — yes, Hillary and Bill's new home town — did print a letter-sized weatherproof sign proclaiming, 'There Are No Guns In This House.'

"A lot of them were hung on houses," recalls the former editor. "After about a month, the signs all quietly came down as the word went out about the number of those Chappaqua homes being burgled and robbed."

Finally, a legacy

Black T-shirt, with bright yellow lettering, spotted in Washington yesterday: "Clinton/Condit 2004 — End Intern Abuse."

Invisible Meese

One might not see former Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, but rest assured he's there in spirit.

"I'm sure you read last month about the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling that allows schoolchildren to hold meetings of their religious club on school property," says Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner. "Before the Supreme Court heard the case, Heritage's distinguished fellow Ed Meese organized a moot court to prepare the attorney who represented the students."

In fact, over the past few years, Mr. Meese has held moot courts for nine select Supreme Court cases — six of which were won by the attorneys he helped prepare.

Partisan pet

"I don't talk politics with my 7-year-old son, so I can only assume that he picked up a few things listening to my wife and me," writes Wayne Bush of Roaring Spring, Pa.

"Last night I took him to get some fish for the aquarium. On the way home, he asked if he should love his new fish. I tried to tell him, in the simplest of terms, that love is usually a two-way street and since the fish couldn't love him back, he would not need to love the fish.

"He thought about that for a moment and then blurted out, 'Fish are Democrats.' Not knowing quite how to respond to that I asked him, 'What makes you say that?'

"He replied, rather matter-of-factly, 'Well, since we have to feed them and take care of them, they're Democrats.'"

In closing

Every so often, a satirical spoof crosses our desk that's too good to pass up, particularly given our political audience.

"Dear Abby," this one begins.

"My husband is a lying cheat. He tells me he loves me, but he has cheated our entire marriage. He is a good provider and has many friends and supporters. They know he is a lying cheat, but they just avoid the issue. He is a hard worker but many of his co-workers are leery of him. Every time he gets caught, he denies it all. Then he admits that he was wrong and begs me to forgive him. This has been going on for so long, I don't know what to do. (Signed) Frustrated."

"Dear Frustrated: You should dump him. Now that you are a New York senator, you don't need him anymore."

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