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Wednesday, 28 February, 2001, 16:29 GMT
Timeline: Clinton's post-presidential blues
Harlem office complex lobby
Mr Clinton may now rent office space in Harlem
Bill Clinton left the White House in January hoping to be remembered as the US president who brought his country unprecedented economic prosperity. Instead he has been dogged by controversy ever since his departure from office.

20 January Just before leaving office Bill Clinton pardons 140 people and commutes the sentences of 36 more. Beneficiaries include his brother Roger, former business partner Susan McDougal, and Marc Rich, who fled to Switzerland in 1983 while facing more than 50 charges of tax evasion and illegal oil trading.

26 January Congressman Dan Burton raises the first questions about Mr Clinton's pardon of Mr Rich.

3 February The Clintons agree to pay back $86,000, just less than half the amount they received in gifts from high-profile supporters during their last year in the White House. The gifts include two coffee tables and chairs worth more than $7,000 from Denise Rich - Marc's former wife.

8 February The Clintons return $23,000 worth of furnishings they took with them when they left office.

10 February The Washington Post newspaper reveals that Mrs Rich made donations totalling $450,000 to Mr Clinton's presidential library fund between July 1998 and May 2000.

13 February Mr Clinton bows to public pressure and gives up plans to rent office space in an exclusive building in Manhattan partly at the taxpayers' expense. The office would have cost more than those of the last four US presidents combined.

14 February Federal prosecutors begin a criminal investigation into the pardon given to Mr Rich.

18 February Mr Clinton defends the Rich pardon in a New York Times article.

20 February Former US President Jimmy Carter describes the Rich pardon as "disgraceful" and one of Mr Clinton's "most serious mistakes".

21 February Mr Clinton's brother-in-law, Miami lawyer Hugh Rodham, admits accepting almost $400,000 to lobby on behalf of two people who received pardons. The Clintons insist that he returns the money.

22 February It emerges that the president's brother Roger Clinton lobbied for pardons for friends. His pleas were apparently not successful. He denies receiving money for his efforts.

23 February Hillary Clinton denies involvement in her husband's decision to pardon four leaders of a Hasidic Jewish community which voted overwhelmingly for her in her Senate race.

24 February Breaking his silence on the matter, Marc Rich says the original indictment against him was "wrong and intended to hurt me personally". He calls Mr Clinton's pardon a "humanitarian act".

27 February Mr Clinton says he will not invoke executive privilege to prevent former aides from testifying before a House of Representatives committee investigating the Rich pardon.

See also:

20 Jan 01 | Americas
Clinton pardons 100
26 Jan 01 | Americas
Clinton gifts under scrutiny
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