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Rodham says he has repaid fees for clemency cases

Hugh Rodham  

CORAL GABLES, Florida (CNN) -- Hugh Rodham, brother-in-law of former President Bill Clinton, said Saturday he has repaid all of the $400,000 in fees he received to represent the two convicted felons that Clinton granted clemency to on his last day in office.

Rodham also expressed frustration about reporters' efforts to prompt him into revealing more details about his relationship with Carlos Vignali, whose sentence was commuted, and Glenn Braswell, who received a presidential pardon.

A report in Saturday's New York Post quoted unnamed sources as saying Rodham had only repaid "roughly $300,000" due to "a cash flow problem."

On Thursday, his lawyer said Rodham had returned "most" of the fees to both clemency clients.

On Saturday, Rodham was asked if he had returned the fees. "Absolutely," he told a reporter camped outside his two-story house. "Everything I had."

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    "All of it?" the reporter asked.

    "You know that that's true," Rodham said.

    Rodham's sister, U.S. Sen. and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, confirmed that Rodham accepted about $400,000 in contingency fees. "I knew nothing about my brother's involvement in these pardons," the New York Democrat said during a Thursday news conference. "I knew nothing about his taking money for his involvement. I had no knowledge of that whatsoever. I'm very disappointed and I'm very disturbed."

    She said she had insisted to her brother that he return the money.

    Braswell was pardoned for his 1983 convictions on fraud, perjury and tax evasion charges involving a product promoted as a treatment for baldness. Vignali was convicted on drug-related charges.

    Rodham said he had nothing to add to the story about his efforts in securing clemency for the two men. "I keep telling you guys that, but I guess that's just not enough for you," he said. Asked why not, he said, "Because it's not in anybody's best interest to do so."

    Rodham expressed frustration at efforts by members of the news media to coax him into elaborating about the role he played in securing the pardons. He said a reporter had called, told him his mother was having a heart attack and left a number for him to call back.

    "That was really fun, and if I wouldn't have been talking to her five minutes before that call came in, it probably would have really hurt me," Rodham said. "That's what you people have done to me in the last four days."

    Prior to entering his two-story house, Rodham added, "So that's all I have to say. Any more flower deliveries or phone calls about deaths in the family, I'm going to have to ignore them, even though they might be true, OK?"

    An attorney for Rodham, Nancy Luque, contends her client did nothing wrong.

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    Senate Judiciary Committee
    U.S. Department of Justice

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    4:30pm ET, 4/16

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