And now some fresh pickings off Special Report's "Political Grapevine."

More pardon flap for the former first lady

The New York Post reports that Clinton White House files at the National Archives contain a memo implicating Hugh Rodham and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the controversial pardon of convicted drug trafficker Carlos Vignali.

The note is handwritten on White House stationery and is part of former White House counsel Bruce Lindsey's papers.  It says, "Hugh says this is very important to him and the first lady as well as others."

Hillary Clinton claimed after the pardon that she knew nothing about her brother's involvement, and her office is standing by those earlier remarks.  Hugh Rodham's attorney says she seriously doubts her client ever said the pardon was important to the former first lady.

Seven years and $65 million later, the investigation ends

Meanwhile, the independent counsel investigation of the Clintons has ended.  The seven-year investigation cost taxpayers $65 million.  Robert Ray, the third independent counsel to handle the probe, notified Congress last week that the investigation was over and that it technically ended on Bill Clinton's last full day in office.

Ray may stay on until next spring, however, to tie up loose ends.  He says the investigation is over, but the office has not yet shut down.

Exploring his executive options

The Reverend Al Sharpton tells The New York Daily News that he's planning an elaborate Bill Clinton-style return to Harlem next week after he gets released from federal prison for protesting naval bombing exercises on Vieques Island.

Then, three days later, he'll announce the creation of a presidential exploratory committee in Washington.  Sharpton says he believes he has as much a chance of a successful candidacy as any Democrat and he has "both guns blazing."

Rent free but not cheap

Florida's Broward County school board now says it will allow the Boy Scouts to meet in local public schools, but it will cost them.  In  November, the school board voted to ban Scouts because of the organization's opposition to gay troop leaders.

But, in March, a federal judge ruled the district's move was illegal.   Then the board proposed charging the Scouts rent, only to back off again.  Now it says the Scouts are welcome but only if they pay the light bill.

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