Election officials have dismissed a complaint accusing Democratic fund-raiser Denise Rich of donating campaign money and furniture to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in exchange for President Clinton’s pardon of Rich’s ex-husband.
The Federal Election Commission made the decision last month and disclosed it Wednesday.
The government watchdog group Judicial Watch accused Denise Rich of making excessive donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2000 campaign totaling at least $70,000 and of giving her furniture worth $7,375 in return for the president’s pardon of Marc Rich.
Under the campaign law then in effect, individual donors could donate only $1,000 per candidate for a particular election.
Commission lawyers said it appeared Denise Rich’s contributions were legal. They included $2,000 to her campaign — $1,000 for the primary and $1,000 for the general election — and $70,000 to New York Senate 2000’s soft money account, which wasn’t subject to the law’s donation limits.
The complaint gave no evidence that the furniture, including two coffee tables and two chairs, that Rich gave to the Clintons were used in connection with Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate campaign, FEC attorneys found.
The commission lawyers said the allegations that the Clintons, Rich and others were involved in exchanging money or political support for pardons amounted to bribery allegations that the FEC has no jurisdiction to handle.
The commissioners agreed, voting 6-0 to find no reason to believe any campaign finance laws were broken in the matter and to dismiss the complaint.