Nicknamed El Matador for his steel nerves and razor-sharp acumen, Mr. Rich pushed the limits of legality and, the government said, broke them. In 1983 he was indicted on 65 criminal counts that included tax fraud and trading with Iran when it was holding American hostages.
Then, on Jan. 20, 2001 — Mr. Clinton’s last day in office — Mr. Rich’s name appeared on the presidential pardon list. It immediately became the most debated White House pardon since President Gerald R. Ford gave one to Richard M. Nixon in 1974, and speculation about Mr. Clinton’s motivation was rampant.
It was soon learned that Mr. Rich’s former wife, Denise Rich, had made large donations to the Democratic Party and the Clinton library, and that Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Barak, had lobbied Mr. Clinton for the pardon. Rabbi Irving Greenberg, chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, also pressed Mr. Rich’s case, on museum stationery.
And it's stories like this that remind me of how much I distrust the Clintons. As a Democrat, I'm all for Hillary in 2016 so long as she is heavily favored to win. (Anything to keep the Republicans out of the White House.) But do I like her as much as, say, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, or Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland? I'm not so sure.