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Marc Rich, America’s Most Dubious Pardon Recipient, Dies in Switzerland

Justice forever denied, thanks to the sitting Attorney General.

Marc Rich, the trader known as the “King of Commodities” whose controversial 2001 pardon by President Bill Clinton just hours before he left office unleashed a political firestorm of criticism in 2001, died on Wednesday. He was 78.

Rich died of a stroke in a hospital in Lucerne, Switzerland, near to his longtime home, according to the Marc Rich Group. His Israel-based spokesman, Avner Azulay, said Rich would be buried in Israel on Thursday.

Rich fled from the United States to Switzerland in 1983 after he was indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on more than 50 counts of fraud, racketeering, trading with Iran during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis and evading more than $48 million in income taxes – crimes that could have earned him more than 300 years in prison.

Rich remained on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, narrowly escaping capture in Finland, Germany, Britain and Jamaica, until Clinton granted him a pardon on Jan. 20, 2001 – the day he handed over the keys to the White House to George W. Bush.

Possible forgotten fact about the Rich case; the U.S. Attorney who spent his time trying to prosecute Rich, was future New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

So where does Attorney General Eric Holder come into play?

He’s the one as a former Clinton Deputy Attorney General who gave the pardon the green light when it was going through the review process, completely missing all the warning signs the FBI, Interpol and countless law enforcement agencies had put up ahead of time.

Eric Holder, the current U.S. attorney general, was deputy attorney general to Clinton, and recommended Rich’s pardon.

Only weeks later, however, he told the House Government Reform Committee: “Knowing everything that I know now, I would not have recommended to the president that he grant the pardon.”

Boy, that just makes us all appreciative he’s on the job, doesn’t it?

The Rich pardon is often seen as the last of the major Clinton campaign finance scandals, with allegations that Rich’s ex-wife Denise gave heavily to the Clinton Presidential Library Fund, the Democratic National Committee as well as acted as a fund raiser for Hillary Clinton’s first Senate run.

No evidence of wrongdoing was every exposed.

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