Jack Quinn Again Testifies in Marc Rich Pardon Grand Jury Probe

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DENNIS COOK/AP

In February, Quinn testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee

Jack Quinn, the lawyer and lobbyist who pleaded Marc Rich's case for a last-minute pardon to Bill Clinton, made his third appearance before a Manhattan grand jury in the federal pardons investigation this week, sources tell TIME. Quinn, a former White House counsel who took the pardon request straight to his former boss, has been grilled on the extent and content of his contacts with executive branch officials and others, as well as his fee arrangements with Rich, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White has kept a steady parade of witnesses moving through the courthouse as she probes whether there was a financial quid pro quo or any other illegality in Clinton's grant of clemency to Rich. Beth Dozoretz, a Democratic Party fundraiser who is close to both Clinton and Rich's ex-wife Denise, has had a second session in the grand jury, and former deputy White House counsel Bruce Lindsey, as well as Meredith Cabe, another former White House lawyer, have also appeared, according to people involved in the case. Dozoretz testified without immunity, although she had taken the Fifth in House hearings on the pardons — something she did, said an associate, in order to avoid creating a televised political spectacle. Denise Rich, as first reported by TIME.com, cut an immunity deal with prosecutors some weeks ago to tell her version of events.

White's office has even talked with some who were not so lucky in Clinton's final days, including Michael Milken, the junk-bond pioneer of the high-flying '80s. Milken's patron on the pardon front was Ron Burkle, a generous Democratic donor, but as soon as it became known that Milken, who served nearly two years in prison and paid more than $1 billion in connection with his conviction on six counts of securities fraud, was on the list of potential clemency recipients, loud protests from securities regulators and others apparently doomed the effort. White is presumably trying to establish the methodology by which Clinton decided to mete out pardons and commutations, something that could be important in proving a quid pro quo in the Rich case — if there was one. A spokesman for Milken said neither Milken nor his lawyer would comment.

There are, however, some key witnesses who have not yet heard from White's office, most notably Eric Holder, the former Deputy Attorney General who had some conversations with Quinn about his efforts and is reported not to have protested when it was clear that the White House was seriously considering a pardon for Rich, the global financier who fled the U.S. after he was indicted in 1982. In testimony before Congress, there were some discrepancies between Holder and Quinn regarding their contacts. Quinn's lawyer, Fred Hafetz, wouldn't discuss the grand jury appearances, saying only that Quinn "is cooperating fully, as he did with the congressional investigation," in which he testified at length.

Meanwhile former first half-brother Roger Clinton, who is being investigated for his role in an alleged swindle involving several Arkansas men and a Texas pair who wanted a pardon for a family member, was scheduled to appear Friday before White's other grand jury in the investigation, in White Plains, New York. It's unclear whether he will. Two other men who were involved in the alleged scam, in which the Texans were out more than $200,000, have taken the Fifth in response to subpoenas from White's office, sources tell TIME.