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Clinton Brother-in-Law Was Paid $400,000 to Help Win Clemencies

Connections: Hugh Rodham has returned the money given for his roles in the Vignali, Braswell cases at the urging of the Clintons, who said they were 'deeply disturbed' by the report.

February 22, 2001|RICHARD A. SERRANO and STEPHEN BRAUN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Over the last two weeks, several sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Times that Rodham's name had surfaced in connection with Horacio Vignali's pursuit of a commutation for his son. It is not know how Rodham was paid, but Vignali often paid in cash.

Several calls to Vignali's office went unreturned Wednesday night, but in an earlier interview, he denied knowing anything about Rodham's role in the commutation lobbying.

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), who chairs the House Government Reform Committee and is investigating Clinton's pardon of fugitive commodities broker Marc Rich, said of the Braswell connection to Rodham: "This news is deeply troubling.

"We intend to look into this. We intend to ask Mr. Rodham to give us all the details of whom he represented and how much he was paid."

Burton sent out three letters late Wednesday--to Rodham and the two Vignalis--seeking information on how they sought the commutation and what kind of money was being paid or spent to secure the young man's release from prison.

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Times staff writers Janet Hook and Alan C. Miller contributed to this story.

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