White House long-distance records confirm Clinton calls to donors

A. C. Szul mack97 at EROLS.COM
Thu Oct 23 22:57:03 MDT 1997

White House long-distance records confirm Clinton calls to donors

10/23/97 07:35:03 PM

By JOHN SOLOMON Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In fresh evidence that President Clinton made
fund-raising calls from the White House, presidential aides have found
long-distance billing records for calls to six donors from his private
living quarters and one Oval Office call to a group of fund-raisers.

In the latter, a memo shows Clinton had been asked to call a group of
New York fund-raisers in October 1995 to ``ask for their help'' and
thank them for organizing a major fund-raiser for his re-election

``New York has the potential to raise more money than any other city in
this country and the hard work of the co-chairs for the next six days is
critical to achieving that,'' Clinton-Gore fund-raiser Terence McAuliffe
wrote in an Oct. 30, 1995, memo stamped ``the president has seen.''

The memo stated the call's purpose was to ``thank the New York co-chairs
for their efforts and ask for their help in the final six days.''

Presidential aides said they believe the call was made from the Oval
Office but that it lasted only three minutes and Clinton only thanked
the fund-raisers and did not ask for help.

``We are confident that all of the president's fund-raising activities,
including any calls he may have made, were proper and legal,'' White
House special counsel Lanny Davis said Thursday.

Federal law generally bars federal officials from soliciting donations
on federal property, although the White House argues it does not believe
that law applies to calls made from an office to a donor outside.

Since the controversy erupted earlier this year, Clinton has said he
cannot remember making any phone solicitations but that it was possible.
Vice President Al Gore has admitted making such calls from his office.

The Justice Department is conducting formal investigations of both
Clinton and Gore to determine if their calls warrant appointment of a
special prosecutor.

The evidence of calls from the residence portion of the White House are
unlikely to sway Justice lawyers who believe the residence does not
constitute a federal office covered by the law.

The evidence, however, of calls from White House offices, where Gore
admits making his fund-raising calls, is being reviewed.

In addition to the Oval Office call disclosed Thursday, White House
officials said last July that Clinton may also have made another Oval
Office call in 1996 to a donor after being sent a memo saying a
presidential call was needed to ``clinch'' his donations. The White
House, again, says it believes Clinton only thanked the donor for his
support and did not solicit.

In response to a request from Justice Department investigators, the
White House located long-distance records indicating Clinton contacted
six donors from his living quarters on Oct. 18, 1994 -- the same day he
was asked by Democratic Party officials to ask the donors for money.

While Clinton has said he doesn't recall making any calls, White House
logs show he was in the residence at the time the calls were made.

White House officials said the calls ranged in length from six to 18
minutes and went to paper company executive Howard Gilman, insurance
executive Bernard Rapoport, Indian tribal chief Richard Hayward, union
leader Dennis Rivera, IVAX Corp. Chairman Philip Frost and investment
banker Richard Jenrette.

Federal Election Commission records show that within a week of the calls
Frost donated $5,000 to the Democrats, Jenrette and his companies gave
$50,000, and Hayward's tribe gave $50,000.

Jenrette acknowledged in a weekend interview with Newsweek that he got a
call from Clinton asking for help and responded within a week.

But even before Jenrette's acknowledgement, there was strong documentary
evidence Clinton made fund-raising calls as early as 1994. The
Associated Press reported in July that an aide's 1994 notes wrote, ``BC
made 15-20 calls, raised $500K.''

In an interview Thursday, Rapoport confirmed he had a telephone
conversation with the president on Oct. 18, 1994, but could not recall
what the discussion was about other than he was certain it was not about

``He never had to call me. I've always given him money long before he
needed it,'' said Rapoport, a longtime presidential supporter and

Other donors Clinton contacted did not immediately return calls at their

AP-CS-10-23-97 2034EDT


Slowly, but surely, it's happening.  How far will it go?  How high will
it go?


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