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When the Clintons left Washington, they took with them gifts from two furniture makers who claim they actually had given furnishings to help redecorate the White House—an endeavor that cost $396,000. Among other gifts the Clintons left town with are a kitchen table and four chairs ($3650), a sofa ($2843), lamps ($1170), and a needlepoint rug ($1000). All of these gifts were slated for the redecoration project.

Despite the Clintons' promise to pay for half of the controversial gifts they removed from the White House and the ex-president's assertion that he would use funds from his library project to pay for half of the $650,000 yearly lease for an office on Manhattan's West Side, the fallout from their departure continues to rain down on the capital.

Last Friday, The Washington Post revealed that Clinton had pulled a trick to keep his friend Ronald I. Dozoretz, the health-care magnate, on as a member of the Kennedy Center board. First, Dozoretz, whose term had one year to run, quit the board, and then he was reappointed for a six-year stint by Clinton—a maneuver that raised eyebrows even in Washington's world of small-time socialites. Dozoretz and his wife, Beth, are big Clinton supporters. Last weekend the Clintons announced they would repay $7000—the value of a dining table, server, and golf club, which the Dozoretzes had given them. The Dozoretzes gave about $13,000 to Hillary's Senate campaign, and ponied up $10,000 for the Clinton Legal Defense Fund and $30,000 to Democratic candidates and committees. Beth Dozoretz served as finance chair of the DNC for nine months. Clinton is the godfather of the couple's daughter, and the Dozoretzes have been the Clintons' hosts on Martha's Vineyard.

Meanwhile, U.S. News reported Glenn Braswell, one of the people Clinton pardoned—who had been convicted in 1983 of mail fraud, perjury, and tax evasion—was under investigation for possible new illegalities. Braswell initially was convicted in connection with the sale of herbal supplements that, among other things, purportedly helped bald men grow hair and increased the size of women's breasts. He served seven months in jail. The Justice Department was not consulted before the president pardoned Braswell. He is currently under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the IRS, and several state attorneys general. U.S. News claims that sources "say he is also the target of a federal grand jury in Los Angeles investigating what a former Justice Department official called 'massive money laundering' and tax evasion."

The Clintons' decision to repay about half the gift list included gifts valued at $9683 from Walter Kaye and his wife. Kaye had originally introduced Monica Lewinsky to the White House. Among the gifts: a travel humidor, china cabinet, chandelier, and a copy of President Lincoln's Cooper Union speech. Not included in the repayment list was a pair of boxing gloves from Sylvester Stallone valued at $300. (For a full list of gifts see The $190,027 Haul)

Funeralgate

Sometime this year President Bush may be forced to testify in the Texas funeralgate influence-buying scandal. A whistle-blower suit claims that after Bush got campaign contributions from a big Texas undertaking outfit, he sought to block an investigation of the company, which was charged with ducking accepted standards and hiring improperly licensed embalmers, reports the Austin Chronicle.


Additional reporting: Rouven Gueissaz and Adam Gray


See Also:

The $190,027 Haul
What the Clintons Got
by James Ridgeway

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