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Jewish World Review June 21, 2001 / 30 Sivan, 5761

Michael Kelly

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Consumer Reports

The humble beauty
of Roger Clinton -- ROGER Clinton's beauty is not of the gaudy or showy sort. It is the beauty of a Platonic ideal who knows he is ideal and is content to be just that. Roger's brother, Bill, has always been a hopeless lily-gilder. He could have been like Roger, as perfect a flowering of the culture of Hot Springs that there ever was, but he wanted to be 14 other things at the same time. Roger is the pure one, the type realized, the type defined.

It is a type you have always known. You have sat next to him in a hundred airport bars, waiting for a connection between Atlanta and Memphis, or Atlanta and Little Rock, or Atlanta and hell (a puddle-jumper).

He would like to buy you a drink or three. He would like to be your friend. He would like to relieve you from the burdens that are slowing you down on the path to joy - if you are a male, the contents of your savings account; if a female, any unnecessary undergarments you might have about you. If you decline his drink, his friendship, his eager generosity to let you in on a mighty nice little piece of bidness, his hand upon your knee - why, no hard feelings.

The New York Times reported this week that one day in August of 1998, someone came and sat down with Roger Clinton and a couple of bidness buds of his in an Embassy Suites Hotel in Dallas. Richard Cayce, a Texas entrepreneur, needed a couple favors. The first and most vital was a presidential pardon for one of Cayce's own bidness buds; the second was a brace of diplomatic passports, which are good to have if you want to, say, leave the country in a hurry.

According to the Times, Cayce has described in written detail his dealings with Roger Clinton and his two Arkansas associates, Dickey Morton and George Locke, to Mary Jo White, the federal prosecutor who is heading the investigation into some of the more interesting circumstances involving Bill Clinton's great pardon fire sale on his last day in office.

On that day in Dallas, Cayce reportedly wrote, Clinton, Morton and Locke got quickly to the point. "The first question that they asked was if I had brought the $30,000 in cash," Cayce told prosecutors. He had, and he forked it over.

Cayce has told federal investigators that the family of his friend Garland Lincecum, a 67-year-old man convicted of fraud and sentenced to seven years in prison, paid more than $200,000 to Morton and Locke, two gentlemen from Arkansas who in 1998 had formed a company called C.L.M. Cayce says the payments were intended to buy the diplomatic passports and, more importantly, a presidential pardon for Lincecum - a brotherly boon that Cayce says Locke and Morton promised Roger Clinton could deliver.

Lincecum entered prison on April 15, 1999. The pardon, not to mention the passports, did not arrive. Cayce says he confronted Locke and Morton in Roger Clinton's presence and that they assured him - with Roger standing by - that he could "take it to the bank" that the pardon would soon arrive.

Lawyers for Clinton, Locke and Morton admit their clients met with Cayce and that Cayce gave them $30,000 at the Dallas meeting that included Roger Clinton. They say the meeting concerned Cayce's interest in hiring Roger as a front man for a charity he was trying to establish and that the $30,000 was a proper remuneration for Roger's time and advice. The lawyers further assert that nobody ever said nothing to nobody about no pardons.

Roger Clinton eventually asked his brother to pardon six pals, but Bill said no. Lincecum never even made Roger's little list, and he remains in prison, complaining to the prosecutors.

Roger is expected to plead the fifth. Maybe this will suffice, maybe not. In the meantime, he will no doubt be out and about, drumming up bidness. You can find him anytime, in the Cheers bar on Concourse C. He'll buy you a drink.

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