Clinton Attorney Turns Over Presidential Library Documents
July 7, 2008 - 8:27 PM
(CNSNews.com) - David Kendall, attorney for former President Bill Clinton, struck a compromise Tuesday with the chairman of the House Government Reform Committee to turn in all requested Clinton Presidential Foundation documents in connection with the Marc Rich pardon.
"We did identify, however, significant constitutional and institutional concerns about wholesale production to the Committee of donor and pledge lists. You have proposed a compromise which is basically acceptable, and will, I believe, both accommodate our concerns and allow the Committee to proceed with its legitimate legislative purposes," the letter said.
In the letter, Kendall requested that only Burton and Ranking Minority Member Congressman Henry A. Waxman review the presidential library donor and pledge lists to "provide an additional safeguard against unauthorized disclosure."
The letter said it will "help afford the Foundation the type of confidentiality mandated by law for other 501(c)(3) institutions like the Foundation."
Furthermore, the letter stated that if both Burton and Waxman decide that someone on the list is relevant to the pardon investigation, the Foundation will produce all documents relating to that name.
Burton and Waxman will be able to review every name of those who donated or pledged over $5000, the letter said, but if there is a particular name that is relevant to the Committee's investigation, Kendall promised to provide that information "as an intermediate step before providing all records relating to such name.
"This compromise procedure, in addition to the Foundation's earlier production to the Committee of all Marc or Denise Rich related documents and our full cooperation with a federal grand jury, should lay to rest any questions about the planned Library and the Clinton Presidential Foundation. I should observe that the Foundation has received over 35,000 donations of $5000 and under supporting development of the Clinton Library," the letter said.
In a reply letter to Kendall, Burton wrote "I believe that we will be able to reach a compromise which allows the Committee to obtain the information it needs for its investigation, and protects the privacy concerns asserted by the Clinton Foundation."
Burton had two questions, though: Who will be reviewing the records? And by what process will the Committee receive the records after the review has been completed?
Burton's letter stated that he and Waxman will review the donor lists along with two staff members from the majority and minority side. "This step will facilitate the analysis needed to determine the relevance of contributors to the Committee's investigation, without compromising the privacy of donors."
The Committee reserves the rights to pursue the subpoenaed records, Burton wrote.
"While I hope that after the review, the Foundation, the majority and the minority will all agree which records are needed, such agreement may not occur.
"If I determine that a particular name is relevant to the Committee's investigation, and if you or the Ranking Minority Members disagrees, I expect that the name will be turned over to the Committee," Burton wrote. "If you refuse to provide records which I continue to request after the review, the Committee will reserve its rights to hold the Foundation in contempt for the failure to provide the requested records."
In addition, the Committee will continue to reserve its rights to subpoena the Foundation's banks to obtain the names of donors, the letter said.
Burton also told Kendall that the initial review of the donor and pledge lists must take place before the Committee's hearing on Thursday.