Sen. Clinton's Brother Will Also Be Investigated

W A S H I N G T O N, Feb. 23, 2001 -- ABCNEWS has learned the Florida Bar Association will soon begin investigating Hugh Rodham, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother, for possible ethics violations over his accepting money for his efforts to obtain pardons.

He emerged in Florida today for the first time since the uproar over his role in securing pardons from his brother-in-law.

There was no sign of former President Clinton's brother, Roger, at his California home. His role in obtaining pardons has also been questioned.

From the start of the Clinton years, the president's aides worried Roger, a convicted drug offender, would be a major embarrassment. But he saw no reason to follow White House warnings to get out of the limelight.

In July of 1993, Roger Clinton told Larry King, "You know, I'm not much for being told what to do by a structure, you know? I don't listen to what buildings tell me, you know?"

Just last weekend Roger was booked on a drunk driving charge.

Later, the FBI reportedly investigated two separate allegations that he tried to sell his influence with his brother's administration. But the FBI decided it is not illegal for a private citizen to peddle influence.

Even Hillary's Brothers Known to Peddle Influence

Roger proved to be less of an embarrassment to the Clintons than Hillary's brothers, Tony and Hugh, who were scolded for interfering with foreign policy. Hoping to make a killing exporting hazelnuts, they cozied up to officials in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Alarmed White House officials ordered them to end the deal.

Hugh also raised eyebrows when he joined a team of high-priced lawyers in their multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the tobacco industry. Critics said other lawyers took him on only because his brother-in-law was president.

Former Clinton aide David Gergen says no one should be surprised that the Clintons are plagued by their relatives: "Unless the president of the United States sets high standards and demands those of his relatives, as well as his staff, then you are going to have all sorts of ethical violations on the periphery."

For a long time, the Clintons' aides sympathized with them, saying you can't choose your relatives. But sympathy for them is in short supply now, even from their friends.