'Heartbroken' Hillary Clinton shocked by brother on pardons

A "heartbroken" Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed shock her brother Mr Hugh Rodham got $400,000 for urging clemency for…

A "heartbroken" Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed shock her brother Mr Hugh Rodham got $400,000 for urging clemency for two felons who were pardoned by her husband Mr Bill Clinton.

Senator Hillary
Rodham Clinton

But the former first lady said she was unaware of the payments to Mr Rodham, which have subsequently been returned. Indeed she said she knew nothing about the payments until Monday evening and still had not spoken to her brother.

"I was very disappointed and saddened by this whole matter," Senator Clinton (Democrat,New York) told a crush of reporters yesterday on Capitol Hill.

"It came as a surprise to me and it was very disturbing." She added she was "heartbroken and shocked."


Asked if she blamed political enemies for the controversies dogging her since being sworn in as New York's junior senator last month, she said: "Not at all."

But when asked specifically whom she did blame, Senator Clinton replied: "I think my brother made a terrible misjudgment."

In response to pointed questions about the alleged desertion of fellow Democrats after the last-minute pardons and other post-White House controversies, the senator said she did not find this to be the case.

But she acknowledged a certain level of unwelcome focus on her and her husband, and defended the Clinton administration.

"Look, I think that we are apparently . . . people who attract a lot of attention, and that's both good and bad," she said.

"The two terms that my husband had as president were good for this country. I think, even standing here today, he did a good job for America. And we had a lot of good, positive things happening."

Former President Clinton on Wednesday disclosed two felons to whom he granted clemency on his last day in office paid legal fees to his brother-in-law.

He denied he had prior knowledge of the payments and insisted the money be returned.

In response to questions about the latest uproar over the presidential pardons Senator Clinton said: "I did not have any involvement in the pardons that were granted or not granted and I'm just very disappointed about my brother's involvement."

Mr Rodham's lawyer Ms Nancy Luque said in a statement her client never told the Clintons he was involved in the pardon requests. He returned the money because his family asked him to, Ms Luque said.