Denise Rich

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Denise Rich is an infamous donor to the Clinton Presidential Center. Denise Rich is the divorced wife of Marc Rich who was pardoned by President Clinton. She gave the Clinton Foundation a gift of $450,000 in three annual installments (1998-2000) before her former husband's pardon, prompting an inquiry into the affairs of the Foundation by Indiana Representative Dan Burton.

Burton, chairperson of the House Government Reform Committee, questioned whether Denise Rich's donations to the Clinton Foundation, as well as $1.1 million to the Democratic Party and $109,000 to Hillary Clinton's New York Senate campaign had effectively purchased the pardon.

In a February 11, 2001, opinion editorial published in the New York Times, Bill Clinton defended himself saying, "The suggestion that I granted the pardons because Mr. Rich's former wife, Denise, made political contributions and contributed to the Clinton Library Foundation is utterly false. There was absolutely no quid pro quo."

David Kendall, lawyer for the Clinton Foundation initially fought against the release of its donor lists, citing a 1959 case when the NAACP refused to release the names of its donors. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that release of the names could violate the right of free assembly of the nonprofit's donors. Release of names, however, could still be allowed on the grounds of proof of compelling interest. On February 22, 2001, the Foundation agreed to turn over records of Denise Rich's donations under a subpoena issued by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White. On March 5, 2001, the Foundation agreed to turn over to the House Government Reform Committee the names of 120 donors who gave more than $5,000.


  • George M. Eberhart, "Clinton Library Shares Donor List, Wins Case," American Libraries, 32.4 (April 2001): 24-25.
  • Robert Ingrassia, "Clinton Foundation Not Required Under Law to Release Donor List," Daily News, February 28, 2001.
  • Suzi Parker, "Divulging Donors of Clinton Library: A Bad Precedent?" Christian Science Monitor, February 26, 2001.
  • Michael Rogers, "Feds Subpoena Clinton Donors," Library Journal, 126.5 (March 14, 2001): 13-15.
  • Kevin Sack, "Pardon Is Trouble for Clinton Library," New York Times, February 18, 2001.
  • Alexis Simendinger, "Trouble in the Library," National Journal 33.8 (February 24, 2001): 568.

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