Hillary Rodham Clinton wanted a convicted cocaine dealer sprung from prison, and it was "very important" to her, the former first lady's brother told the White House, according to a bombshell memo obtained by The Post.
The handwritten note, on White House stationery, appears to contradict Clinton's repeated claims that she knew nothing about brother Hugh Rodham's pardon-for-pay work to get her husband to free drug trafficker Carlos Vignali.
"Hugh says this is very important to him and the first lady as well as others," says the note, which investigators said is from a file on the Vignali matter kept by Bruce Lindsey, who was former President Bill Clinton's closest White House aide.
Bill Clinton freed Vignali on Jan. 20, over angry objections from the U.S. attorney's office, after Vignali had served only six years of a 15-year prison term for conspiring to sell more than 800 pounds of coke.
The note, from last December or January, is in the National Archives files for the Clinton White House and bears the stamp "Clinton library photocopy."
The memo is unsigned, but appears to be addressed to Lindsey and written by someone who knows the Clintons and their family, since it refers to Sen. Clinton's brother by his first name.
It suggests either Rodham lied to the Clinton White House, or Hillary Clinton lied when she later denied knowing anything about the pardon, for which her brother was paid $204,000 by Vignali's family.
Rodham was living with the Clintons on the third floor of the White House when Bill Clinton issued his controversial slew of 11th-hour pardons and sentence commutations, including Vignali's.
Sen. Clinton insisted at a news conference last February: "I did not know my brother was involved in any way in any of this."
Her spokeswoman, Karen Dunn, last night, said only: "We have nothing to add to what's already been said."
Rodham's lawyer, Nancy Luque, said he didn't speak to Sen. Clinton about Vignali.
"I seriously doubt whether he ever said that it was important to her," Luque said.
The House Government Reform Committee, which is probing the pardons, has written Rodham, asking him to explain "why you informed anyone on the White House staff that the Vignali matter was ‘very important' to you and the first lady."
The committee notes in its letter that Luque had told the House panel that Rodham "had no contact with President Clinton or Sen. Clinton" regarding Vignali.
Both Clintons have denied knowing Rodham was being paid by Vignali's family, but Bill Clinton has never explained why he pardoned Vignali.