In a Curious Move, FBI Releases Files on Bill Clinton's 2001 Pardon of Marc Rich

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Just days after the F.B.I announced that there are still more goddamn emails of Hillary Clinton’s to investigate, NPR reports that on Tuesday the file on Bill Clinton’s controversial 2001 pardon of Marc Rich was released to the public — and no one is quite sure why.

Rich was a former hedge-fund manager indicted on multiple counts of tax evasion, racketeering, and wire fraud. When he was pardoned in 2001, on the last day of Bill Clinton’s presidency, he had fled to Switzerland as an international fugitive. Also important to note is that Rich’s ex-wife made substantial donations to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton Presidential Library and Hillary Clinton’s campaign when she ran for senator in New York. What curious timing!

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon rightfully noted that this decision is “odd.”


The documents were released via @FBIRecordsVault, an account that tweets materials pertaining to FOIA requests. The account had laid dormant for over a year until Sunday.

According to CNN, in an official statement regarding this very interesting and curiously timed release of information pertaining to a candidate’s husband who is most certainly not running for president, the FBI said:

“The FBI’s Records Management Division receives thousands of FOIA requests annually which are processed on a first in, first out basis. By law, FOIA materials that have been requested three or more times are posted electronically to the FBI’s public reading room shortly after they are processed. Per the standard procedure for FOIA, these materials became available for release and were posted automatically and electronically to the FBI’s public reading room in accordance with the law and established procedures.”


A representative for the FBI told CNN that the feed is automatic and was down for a year until Sunday when after being “fixed,” it resumed its stream of information. This stream also included the release of tax documents pertaining to Donald Trump’s father, Fred, though it’s not clear if it has anything to do with the housing discrimination lawsuits from the 1970s that have been following Trump around like a babadook, much like he did Clinton in the second debate.

Former chief spokesman for the Justice Department Matt Miller told the Washington Post that this mess does nothing but damage. “Americans now look at the FBI and see a political entity, not a nonpartisan entity,” he said. “It sows disbelief in our system of government and is hugely toxic.”


I’d say that the disbelief in our system he speaks of has been there for a while, but yep, this certainly doesn’t help!

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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In happier news, a woman who was born prior to women being allowed to vote just cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton. It’s pretty incredible to think all that this woman has seen in her lifetime and that she is alive today to not only vote but for the first female presidential candidate.