Isn’t It Time to Chat with Kyle Sampson Again?

Here’s an exchange between Dick Durbin, Senior Senator from Illinois, and Rove acolyte Kyle Sampson about the firing of Patrick Fitzgerald.

Durbin: Were you ever party to any conversation about the removal of Patrick Fitzgerald from his position as Northern District of Illinois US Attorney?

Sampson: I remember on one occasion in 2006, in discussing the removal of US Attorneys … or, the process of considering some US Attorneys that might be asked to resign, that I was speaking to Harriet Miers and Bill Kelley and I raised Pat Fitzgerald. Immediately after I did it I regretted it. I thought, I knew it was the wrong thing to do. I knew that it was inappropriate. And I remember at the time that Harriet Miers and Bill Kelley said nothing, they just looked at me. I regretted it and I withdrew it at the time and I regret it now.

Durbin: Do you recall what you said at the time about Patrick Fitzgerald?

Sampson: I said, Patrick Fitzgerald could be added to this list.

Durbin: And, there was no response?

Sampson: No. They looked at me like I had said something totally inappropriate, and I had.

Durbin: Why did you do it? Why did you recommend, or at least suggest that he be removed as US Attorney?

Sampson: I’m not sure, I don’t remember. I think it was maybe to get a reaction from them. I don’t think that I, I know that I never seriously considered putting Patrick Fitzgerald on a list and he never did appear on a list.

Now put that exchange together with Rove’s non-denial denial that he was involved in having Patrick Fitzgerald fired:

But Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney, today issued an unequivocal statement about all of this to the Tribune on behalf of Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President Bush, architect of Bush’s presidential campaigns and a private consultant in Washington now.

"Karl has known Kjellander for many years,” Luskin said, "but does not recall him or anyone else arguing for Fitzgerald’s removal. And he (Rove) is very certain that he didn’t take any steps to do that, or have any conversations with anyone in the White House — or in the Justice Department — about doing anything like that.”

Of course, when Rove says "I don’t recall" about an event, it usually means, "I won’t admit it until you show more evidence" about that incident. That is, Rove doesn’t deny that he knew that his close buddy Kjellander discussed firing Fitzgerald. He simply doesn’t recall it. Just like he didn’t recall outing Valerie Plame until his memory got refreshed with hard evidence.

Yet somehow that non-event–Kjellander discussing getting Fitzgerald fired–seemed to reverberate a year later, when Kyle Sampson was putting together his list of US Attorneys to fire. Rove buddy Kjellander, Rove acolyte Sampson. Now perhaps it’s just a coincidence that such close associates of Rove seem to be thinking the same thing. But I don’t think so.

Isn’t it time to ask Sampson whether he ever spoke with Kjellander–or anyone else in Illinois–about firing Fitz?

  1. Leen says:

    Never too late for a “frog march”

    EW last night could not get onto FDL. Were there problems? This seems to be happening more often at the FDL site.

  2. klynn says:

    Go Marcy go!

    Amazing pace you are keeping on this. Since this could be obstruction, why not have the FBI pull him in today?

    Although, I guess there is a benefit for the Senate to re-ask the question. Think one of those “nice” letters might appear today stating, “It appears there may be some additional information you need to supply us?”

    What would it take for the Senate to charge Sampson with perjury? I would imagine the FBI has evidence confirming it now? Can that evidence be turned over to the Senate?

    What’s the best, expedited walk here?

  3. skdadl says:

    Is there anything in Sampson’s answers to questions about communications with Rove that might be worth looking at as well? Long time since I looked at that testimony, so there is much that I don’t recall, as it were.

  4. klynn says:

    bmaz stated in a previous thread that the servers knocked out the new comments tag at the bottom of the post so that we need to refresh our sceens to get new comments correct?

  5. klynn says:


    T Boone Pickens plan becomes clear in the face of US efforts to revive a Cold War and Russia goes along with it……..9Ag01.html

    I will say this, anything we can do to be the world’s energy leader in alternative energies with little to no dependency on petro based fuel would be vital. Not that I support Picken’s plan. I would love to see a movement by ordinary citizens to start a private citizen based alternative energy program which would be bigger than Picken’s plan and the proceeds would fund public health programs. Crazy, I know…

    • JamesJoyce says:

      Check out this I guess if you use solar energy, salt water and radio frequency wave technology (John Kanzius) to produce hydrogen, then burned to operate steam turbine driven electrical generators we would have lots of electrical energy, clean water and a clean environment using sunlight, salt water and brainpower. So much for the scarcity of oil????

      • bmaz says:

        You know, you have to hand it to Kanzius; he took a rudimentary technology, and by the application he was able to make of it, may drive all kinds of wonderful things. It makes one wonder what else blindingly simple we are overlooking in our constant struggle to throw huge money at giant corporation research and stuff.

  6. Quzi says:

    Yes, it’s about time they asked that question. There is no coincidence here.

    If ever I’ve smelled a bold-face lie, here it is:

    I’m not sure, I don’t remember. I think it was maybe to get a reaction from them. I don’t think that I, I know that I never seriously considered putting Patrick Fitzgerald on a list and he never did appear on a list.

    I always thought that the DOJ scandals would bring this administration down. I was shocked that there was not more outrage form the msms or gerneral public.

    • MarieRoget says:

      MSM sat on the USA firing story by failing to explain its ramifications- DoJ corrupted & co-opted from top to bottom by WH/Rovian interference, what that could mean on a state level in fed prosecutions or lack thereof, & never looked for the trail from DoJ toward the underlying WH power grab through politicization of other Fed Depts. MSMedia skimmed the surface, did some interviews, then let the story fade to grey after Fredo’s departure.

      (”Just a buncha attorneys, they already got other jobs, whatza big deal, served at the pleasure of the president, Clinton did it too.” etc etc)

      Personally, I’d love to see Kyle Sampson back in both SJC & HJC for hearings. Or would MiniKarl jump on board w/all the other EP boys & girls? Why shouldn’t he give it a try; there seems to be zero penalty for not showing up to testify, no matter how specious the EP claim.

  7. SaltinWound says:

    Has the Senate Judiciary Committee ever questioned the staffer who “slipped in” the clause about being able to replace US Attorneys without approval? They lose some credibility when they won’t look at their own role in this.

  8. Citizen92 says:

    EW – Great post yesterday. Comments had me locked out until this morning but I did want to pose a possible scenario that has been bugging me for a while.

    I’m wondering if Bob Kjellander was conveniently “used” by Rove? Serendipitous timing? Bear with me…

    Bob Kjellander was part of the Illinois GOP power structure that also included Bill Cellini and Stuart Levine. Cellini and Kjellander ran Springfield, and their political patron of the day was Governor George Ryan. But Governor Ryan was in serious trouble in late 2002 and 2003 for the various scandals beginning to envelop him. Having Ryan and the GOP chucked out of office would have been bad for Kjellander, Cellini et al. US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was running the case against Ryan. Kjellander and crowd had a “Fitzgerald problem”.

    I think a timeline can best express the rest.

    2002/2003 – Illinois Governor George Ryan case being built by Fitzgerald.

    12/03/2003 – Kjellander, Levine, Cellini, Rezko attend a White House Christmas party. Invite was arranged by Kjellander, apparently through Rove.

    12/17/2003Governor Ryan indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald

    12/30/2003 – Ascroft recuses himself from the Plame investigation and Jim Comey appoints Patrick Fitzgerald.

    12/30/2003 onward – Rove now has a personal “Fitzgerald problem” by virtue of Comey’s appointment of Fitz to the case (taking the issue out of the White House ’sphere of control’ at Main Justice).

    Can I be so bold to speculate that Kjellander had been discussing his Governor Ryan “Fitzgerald problem” with Rove? That maybe Rove, Kjellander et al discussed the subject in person at the White House with Rove at the party? Maybe a (naieve) last ditch effort to see if they could save Ryan from Fitzgerald’s grasp?

    Did Kjellander, unwittingly, provide cover for Karl – whose own “Fitgerald problem” would crop up about 16 days later?

    Remember, Rove (thru Luskin) asserted:

    [Luskin] said, Rove was “frequently” approached about canning Fitzgerald: “a number of people approached Karl and suggested that Fitzgerald be removed because of the alleged politicization of the investigation, but he never took any follow-up steps.

    I suppose you could consider an encounter with 4 people at a party “a number of people.” I also suppose that Rove probably realized “no follow up steps” could reasonably be taken on the George Ryan issue.

    Speculation (as usual) on my part, but awfully convenient timing. I think it’s very possible Rove could be hiding behind Kjellander.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think that’s possible–though I haven’t followed the Chicago timeline as closely as some. One thing I’d add to your timeline is Comey’s nomination approval, which is around that same time (I’m remembering December 17, but it might be December 11). Since Ashcroft had been saying for months he couldn’t recuse bc there was no DAG, Comey’s swearing in really changed the landscape.

      • Citizen92 says:

        Thanks, I’ll factor that one in!

        What really stymies me is the incredible staying power of Kjellander and his cronies with the Blagojevich administration. As the Chicago trial pointed out, they didn’t miss a beat in getting in with Blago.

        All the same, I’ve wondered about Blago and ties to things GOP. A giveaway, at least to me, was that he was having his Washington, DC events covered by Reflections Photography – the same one that did all of the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign photography and most RNC causes. They were also the ones that deleted the photographs of Jack Abramoff and Bush. No other Democrat seems to have come within miles of this outfit.

        Also a little o/t but I read that Kjellander is the Vice Chairman of the 2008 GOP Convention Committee in Minneapolis. The CEO of the event is Jeff Larson, head of the DCI/FLS group. Larson was recently caught giving free rent to Sen. Norm Coleman in the basement apartment of his DC townhouse. Convention host committees are unique animals – the FEC allows them to organize as nonprofits and accept corporate $$. I certainly wouldn’t trust Larson or Kjellander with corporate dollars and a nonprofit knowing their pasts.

  9. LS says:

    ” I was speaking to Harriet Miers and Bill Kelley and I raised Pat Fitzgerald. Immediately after I did it I regretted it. I thought, I knew it was the wrong thing to do. I knew that it was inappropriate. And I remember at the time that Harriet Miers and Bill Kelley said nothing, they just looked at me. I regretted it and I withdrew it at the time and I regret it now.

    Durbin: Do you recall what you said at the time about Patrick Fitzgerald?

    Sampson: I said, Patrick Fitzgerald could be added to this list.

    Durbin: And, there was no response?

    Sampson: No. They looked at me like I had said something totally inappropriate, and I had. “

    The same thing struck me today when I read that testimony, as it did at the time. I wonder if they thought they were being bugged..hence the silent reaction…as well as his guilt and immediate realization that what he “said” was inappropriate….you would think the reaction would have been to “say” to him that it was inappropriate because of an ongoing investigation… strikes me as telling for some reason that they remained verbally silent. Even Durbin thought it was strange that there was no response.

    Or else he’s lying. Perhaps that isn’t what happened. Perhaps they didn’t look at him that way…perhaps their real reaction was silent agreement or acknowledgment, and his story is B.S….

    • brendanx says:

      The latter. He’s lying, and laying it on thick. The “And I remember at the time…” from someone who lied about his recollections all through his testimony is the giveaway. They didn’t remain silent because Sampson didn’t initiate the conversation(s).

      • JTMinIA says:

        Agreed. The reason that he feels safe telling this lie is because he’s taking for fall for them. They’re not about to argue the point when Sampson is willing to say that he brought Fitz up first.

  10. MarieRoget says:

    OT, except not very- Just a reminder that Meet the Bloggers will be on @ 10 a.m. PT this morning. Guests include EW, Arianna Huffington, Liliana Segura, & Baratunde Thurston discussing “Karl Rove: In Contempt.”
    Happily for me, I’ll be able to catch it.

  11. Tross says:

    I know that I never seriously considered putting Patrick Fitzgerald on a list and he never did appear on a list.

    How is it that he literally testified to recommending the removal of Patrick Fitzgerald by explaining that he never seriously considered the removal of Patrick Fitzgerald?

    Someone should’ve asked whether he routinely makes outlandish suggestions just for shock value.

    If they do have him back for questioning, they should give EW 5 minutes of somebody’s time. I have little hope in the investigative ability of most of the senators.

  12. brendanx says:


    This whole Brandenburg Gate story is really smelly. Instead of giving a speech in front of an emblem of European unification Obama’s relegated to some monument to Bismarck’s conquests, at the behest of Bush. I bet emptywheel finds the “quid” here.

    • chetnolian says:

      Wrong! Here in Europe the Brandenburg Gate has immense resonance. I recall standing in front of it looking through to the Alexanderplatz in East berlin when you couldn’t get through. I’ve never been back to Berlin, but if I get there one of my major ambitions is to walk straight through.

      • MarieRoget says:

        Agreed, chetnolian. Standing there & walking straight through was truly remarkable.
        BO going for some “Gateway to Freedom” symbolism perhaps. IMO he couldn’t pick a more evocative place in Berlin.

      • brendanx says:

        The “Victory Monument” is the monument to Bismarck I’m referring to. He’s not going to be speaking at the Brandenburg Gate (via TPM).

        • MarieRoget says:

          Thanks for the TPM link. Got it straight now.
          That’s a damned shame- he belongs in front of the Brandenburg Gate for that speech. Though I’m betting what will dwarf the whole kerfuffle over the where of Obama’s speech will be the what- a massive, enthusiastic crowd that will show up to hear him.

  13. Neil says:

    Isn’t it time to ask Sampson whether he ever spoke with Kjellander–or anyone else in Illinois–about firing Fitz?

    It’s apparent, no? Sampson is lying. Maybe its time to ask Sampson the same questions Durbin asked him before and see if maybe he’d like to get ahead of this.

    • emptywheel says:

      One of the things that’s interesting, too, is that the whole claim that there were earlier conversations with David Iglesias about his performance (putting the date when DOJ first didn’t like what he was doing in Spring 2006, not October 2006) was an apparent attempt to shift the focus away from the timeframe that was most dangerous (because it was tied to the refusal to indict Manny Aragon and because it involved Bush).

      I’ve been wondering if this was similar–a limited hangout.

      Durbin: Did you try to fire Fitz?
      Sampson: Sure, briefing in 2006. (That is, not in 2005, before the Libby indictment, and pursuant to Kjellander’s attempts to get Rove fired.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    No one is better than Karl Rove in parsing an English sentence. He is more Orwellian than Orwell. He makes Churchill sound like Bush, Clinton like McCain. One example among the many in the short passage from Luskin: When Karl says that he was certain that he did not,

    have any conversations with anyone in the White House — or in the Justice Department –

    he gives himself, though not the ordinary writer or speaker of English or government minister, at least four outs:

    1. It is Luskin speaking, not Rove. If necessary, Luskin will admit that he was mistaken or could have misheard his instructions. That’s why Rove’s backers pay him so much.

    2. Rove did not have conversations with anyone who worked in the two institutions known as the White House or the Department of Justice. Where that places Cheney only the Barnacle would know.

    3. Rove did not speak to anyone in the two buildings known as the White House or Department of Justice. That leaves the Rose Garden, the Old Executive Office Building, the rest of NW Washington, for starters.

    4. When other person(s) raised the topic of firing Fitzgerald, Rove expressed himself only in body language: “Will you rid me of this priest?” Nod, nod, wink, wink.

    Would that we once again have a White House, Congress and Department of Justice that understands this is not just a game in which there are no fouls, no risk of being ejected or going to jail for for punching the referee, kneecapping an opponent or throwing the game. These men are playing with our lives, our treasure, our daily bread; our working week and our weekend rest. Would that they remove the shackles on freedom applied by this White House, and revert to its original meaning, which applies even, especially, during wartime:

    In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

    The first is freedom of speech and expression –

    The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way –

    The third is freedom from want, which…means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants –

    The fourth is freedom from fear, which…means…that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

    That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

    Dictators come in all shapes and sizes. We used to think that they spoke only in Russian or Spanish, or an Arabic or African dialect. We now know that a drawl or twang will do just as well. They all seek executive authority unbound by law or their citizens’ rights, which they deem expendable commodities, like soldiers’ bodies, in their search for personal Sekuritaet.

    [Foregoing excerpt adapted from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Annual Message to the Congress, January 6, 1941.]…..cade01.htm…..eedoms.htm

    • bobschacht says:

      When Karl says that he was certain that he did not,

      have any conversations with anyone in the White House — or in the Justice Department –

      Does an e-mail or text message or hand-written note count as a “conversation”? To an expert parser like Rove, such distinctions can be important.

      Of course, they’ll blame it all on Bill Clinton, who had to point out, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

      Bob in HI

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That’s a fifth out. “Conversation” is oral. An exchange of e-mails or text messages is a) no longer on the White House/RNC server, and b) a text exchange, not a conversation. Even more Rovian, a “conversation” would be in person; otherwise, it would be, say, a “telephone conversation”. Ad nauseum.

        • sailmaker says:

          ‘any type of communication, printed, handwritten, or signed (sign language), oral, audio, whether analog or digital’ maybe the words that have to included in sternly written letters and whatever else they serve up to Karl.

  15. AZ Matt says:

    Good Morning EW!

    OT but DOJ from NPR this morning:

    Bush Shuns Advice to Fire Special Counsel, July 18, 2008

    The White House overruled an internal recommendation to fire the man in charge of representing government whistleblowers, NPR has learned.

    Special Counsel Scott Bloch has been under increasing pressure from inside and outside his office to step down, but President Bush apparently has yet to ask for his resignation despite recommendations by senior executive branch officials that he do so.

    Clay Johnson, the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, advised the White House to dismiss Bloch, and the White House refused, according to sources familiar with the conversations. Johnson’s office denied the report. Spokeswoman Jane Lee said in an e-mail: “Mr. Johnson has not given or been asked for a recommendation regarding Scott Bloch.” The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

    People who have talked with Johnson say he is “pained” by the situation at the Office of Special Counsel.

    • Citizen92 says:

      FYI (also OT), Clay Johnson was Bush’s Yale roommate.. and then his Chief of Staff while he was Governor of Texas… and then the head of Presidential Personnel at the White House.

      In other words, not some functionary who couldn’t be heard. It Bush said no to Bloch’s firing, then that’s a big deal. Or maybe “The White House” referenced in the article that “overruled” and “refused” to fire Bloch was someone other than the President.

      • brendanx says:

        From the NYT, May:

        As a result of the raids, Ms. Katz said, the F.B.I. has “essentially shut down his office and made it impossible for the office to carry out its function.”

        That seems like a benefit of keeping him.

      • brendanx says:

        Perhaps Johnson’s “recommendation” was pro forma, for the benefit of the morale of OMB subordinates “familiar with the conversations”. Some of them are pissed off enough at Bloch’s not being fired that they’ve publicized those conversations.

        • Hmmm says:

          I know that I never seriously considered putting Patrick Fitzgerald on a list and he never did appear on a list.

          Just struck me that this is not the same as KylerBoy saying he knows that any other people never seriously considered putting Patrick Fitzgerald on a list. They may have tried but failed.

    • skdadl says:

      I thought so too. You have great presence and clarity, EW. I forgot to check — are they going to archive these shows so that people who miss them can catch up?

      • emptywheel says:

        If I have either of those things (or lips that are at all noticeable) it’s due to Jane and one other person who gave me some media training last year, trying to pound it into my head makeup was okay, but gum was not.

  16. PetePierce says:

    The lobbyist, a major GOP fundraiser called Stephen Payne, this week was asked to resign from a Department of Homeland Security advisory panel after he was surreptitiously videotaped by the London Sunday Times. In excerpts of the tape posted by the newspaper, Payne offers to arrange meetings for an exiled former president of Kazakhstan with senior U.S. administration officials in return for a six-figure fee, including a quarter-million-dollar donation to the $200 million fundraising effort for the George W. Bush presidential library and museum.

    Yikes Yogi if it ain’t shades of deja vu!

    Ex-Wife of Pardoned Financier Pledged Money to Clinton Library

    How much do it cost for a pardon? –pardons apps at the lil botique pardon office @ DOJ be backed up from the Clinton years. Lots of celebs with money to burn on lawyuhs to make a pardon application an eighth grader could write’cept for the letters of rec from the well heeled and uber Beltway connected.

    Back way back to Feb. 9, 2001

    The Congressional committee looking into former President Bill Clinton’s last-minute pardon of the financier Marc Rich was told today that Mr. Rich’s former wife, Denise, had pledged ”an enormous sum of money” for Mr. Clinton’s presidential library.

    [Huh? A lil socialite lady who done wrote songs for Patti Lebelle and shows up at the Puff Daddy of many babies’ parties on Long Island regularly, and she done refused to testify to da Congress.]

    But little else emerged about the pledge because Ms. Rich refused to testify, citing her constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

    Today’s confrontational hearing also focused on questions about whether the senior Justice Department official who weighed in on the Rich pardon had been influenced by conversations he had with Mr. Rich’s lawyer about becoming attorney general in a Gore administration.

    The official, Eric H. Holder Jr., deputy attorney general, said he had twice told colleagues he was ”neutral” on the pardon issue. But it was unclear whether some of these discussions had taken place before the outcome of the election had been determined.

    The committee’s chairman, Representative Dan Burton, Republican of Indiana, pointedly raised the possibility of a ”quid pro quo” by asking Mr. Holder whether he had ever sought the help of Mr. Quinn, a longtime close adviser to former Vice President Al Gore, in becoming attorney general in a Gore administration.

    ”You wanted something from Mr. Quinn — the attorney general’s job,” Mr. Burton said. ”And he wanted something from you — a pardon for Marc Rich. That’s a quid pro quo.”

    Mr. Holder acknowledged having made mistakes but said, ”My actions in this matter were in no way determined by my desire to become A.G.”

    That’d be Obama’s Holder now.

    And more deja and more vu:

    After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton

    Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.

    Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

    Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

    Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.


    The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

    Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

    Mr. Clinton’s Kazakhstan visit, the only one of his post-presidency, appears to have been arranged hastily. The United States Embassy got last-minute notice that the president would be making “a private visit,” said a State Department official, who said he was not authorized to speak on the record.

    Indeed, in December 2005, Mr. Nazarbayev won another election, which the security organization itself said was marred by an “atmosphere of intimidation” and “ballot-box stuffing.”

    After Mr. Nazarbayev won with 91 percent of the vote, Mr. Clinton sent his congratulations. “Recognizing that your work has received an excellent grade is one of the most important rewards in life,” Mr. Clinton wrote in a letter released by the Kazakh embassy. Last September, just weeks after Kazakhstan held an election that once again failed to meet international standards, Mr. Clinton honored Mr. Nazarbayev by inviting him to his annual philanthropic conference.

    Within 48 hours of Mr. Clinton’s departure from Almaty on Sept. 7, Mr. Giustra got his deal. UrAsia signed two memorandums of understanding that paved the way for the company to become partners with Kazatomprom in three mines.

    A Profitable Sale

    Records show that Mr. Giustra donated the $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in the months that followed in 2006, but neither he nor a spokesman for Mr. Clinton would say exactly when.

    In September 2006, Mr. Giustra co-produced a gala 60th birthday for Mr. Clinton that featured stars like Jon Bon Jovi and raised about $21 million for the Clinton Foundation.

    In February 2007, a company called Uranium One agreed to pay $3.1 billion to acquire UrAsia. Mr. Giustra, a director and major shareholder in UrAsia, would be paid $7.05 per share for a company that just two years earlier was trading at 10 cents per share.

    Both Mr. Clinton and Mr. Giustra at first denied that any such meeting occurred. Mr. Giustra also denied ever arranging for Kazakh officials to meet with Mr. Clinton. Wednesday, after The Times told them that others said a meeting, in Mr. Clinton’s home, had in fact taken place, both men acknowledged it.

    “You are correct that I asked the president to meet with the head of Kazatomprom,” Mr. Giustra said. “Mr. Dzhakishev asked me in February 2007 to set up a meeting with former President Clinton to discuss the future of the nuclear energy industry.” Mr. Giustra said the meeting “escaped my memory until you raised it.”

    Wednesday, Mr. Clinton’s spokesman, Ben Yarrow, issued what he called a “correction,” saying: “Today, Mr. Giustra told our office that in February 2007, he brought Mr. Dzhakishev from Kazatomprom to meet with President Clinton to discuss the future of nuclear energy.”

    Bush Library; Clinton Library; Clinton Foundation. Dirty Money is the source.