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THE NATION

5 More Cases Added to Probe of Roger Clinton

June 29, 2001|RICHARD A. SERRANO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In asking about his "relationship with the Gambino family," the committee sought links between Roger Clinton and Rosario Gambino of Cherry Hill, N.J. He was convicted in 1984 for his part in selling 2 pounds of heroin to undercover agents and is serving a 45-year prison sentence.

The committee's letter said that in September 1999 Anna Gambino wrote a check for $50,000 to Roger Clinton's company, Odgie Music, and that Clinton deposited the check three days later.

"Why did Ms. Gambino pay you this money?" the committee asked.

Investigators said Clinton's credit card records indicate that in March 1999 he traveled to Washington with Thomas Gambino (also known as Tommaso Gambino), Rosario Gambino's son.

"Did this trip occur, and if so, what was the purpose of the trip?" the committee asked.

The committee then advised Roger Clinton that Clinton White House records indicate that the counsel's office "considered requesting an NCIC [criminal] background check relating to the consideration of a possible grant of clemency to Rosario Gambino."

The committee asked Roger Clinton, "Did you ever discuss a grant of clemency for Rosario Gambino with anyone in the White House?

"Was the payment of $50,000 from Anna Gambino related to any actions taken by you for the benefit of Rosario Gambino?"

Authorities have said that Rosario Gambino is a distant cousin of the late mob boss Carlo Gambino and a member of the Gambino organized crime family.

The letter also sought answers about Roger Clinton's receipt of $250,000 in a series of traveler's checks in 1998 and 1999 from Taiwan and Venezuela. But Williams, Roger Clinton's lawyer, told investigators they were going too far afield in reviewing bank records and other material, especially if their mission is to review the ex-president's policy on pardons.

"None of the persons whom he recommended for pardons received one, and he took no money in return for making a pardon recommendation," Williams said of Roger Clinton.

Williams also noted that no one on the new list of five individuals received a pardon, adding: "Mr. Clinton respectfully declines the committee's invitation to respond to the questions posed in your letter."

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