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Burton May Seek Contempt Citation

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The chairman of a House committee investigating the Marc Rich pardon said Monday he might seek a contempt citation against the head of former President Clinton’s library foundation if it doesn't provide a full list of donors.

In response to a subpoena from the House Government Reform Committee the foundation and its president, Skip Rutherford, agreed to release only records that directly deal with Rich, his family or his ex-wife Denise.

``I am prepared to consider requesting a vote to hold the Clinton Library and Mr. Rutherford in contempt for failing to provide these records to the committee,'' said chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind.

The committee is investigating whether Clinton's pardons of the fugitive financier and others on his final day in office might be connected to donations to the library, the Democratic Party or Democratic candidates. Clinton has denied any connection.

Burton also offered a compromise Monday. He suggested that the committee would be satisfied for now if its lawyers could just look at the list of donors.

Burton said his staff could then eliminate any name they didn't need and restrict the panel's request to more specific information.

``It seems that this step would be a reasonable way of fulfilling the committee's legitimate investigative needs while protecting the privacy interests of Clinton Library donors,'' Burton said.

Rutherford said Monday that he would discuss Burton's offer with the foundation's board.

Rich has lived in Switzerland since just before he was indicted in New York on federal charges in 1983. When pardoned by Clinton, he was wanted by the Justice Department on charges of tax evasion, fraud and participation in illegal oil deals with Iran.

Rich's former wife, Denise, has contributed an estimated $450,000 to the Clinton library, more than $1.1 million to the Democratic Party and at least $109,000 to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate campaign.

The committee's subpoena also seeks records involving Beth Dozoretz, a Rich friend and former Democratic National Committee official. She also pledged to raise $1 million for the library.

Rutherford is to appear in front of Burton's committee on Thursday to answer questions about the library. The foundation's lawyer, David Kendall, has contended that its list of donors is private.

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