Profile: U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White
(CNN) -- Mary Jo White, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation of President Clinton's last-day-in-office pardon of billionaire financier Marc Rich is the first woman to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx and New York City suburbs.
White announced that her office and the FBI would look into the case because "various questions have been raised concerning the activities and pardons of Marc Rich and Pincus Green [Rich's business partner]."
Sources tell CNN that the probe will focus on whether contributions Rich's former wife, Denise Rich, made to the Democratic Party and to the Clinton Presidential Library fund influenced the pardons.
The Southern District of New York handled the criminal case against Rich, who was indicted in 1983 on charges of tax evasion, fraud and participation in illegal oil deals with Iran. Before he could face trial, he left the country and settled in Switzerland.
White has handled cases that include Wall Street crime, international art theft, organized crime racketeering, drug trafficking, police corruption and terrorism.
She presided over the successful prosecutions in the World Trade Center bombing cases and the terror conspiracy case against Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and others who plotted to blow up various New York City landmarks.
White's office has devoted considerable resources to the embassy bombings case, indicting Saudi exile Osama bin Laden and 20 others in an alleged worldwide plot to kill Americans and destroy U.S. government property. After the embassy bombings in East Africa in August 1998, White's office worked alongside the FBI's anti-terrorism task force to gather evidence in the crime that killed 224 people.
"There is no safe haven for terrorists," White has said of her prosecution team's efforts. She has resolved "to bring to the bar of justice each and every person who participated in these heinous crimes that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent people."
Appointed to her post in 1993, White supervises an office of more than 200 assistant U.S. attorneys. Prior to her appointment, she served as the chief assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn, where she was the lead prosecutor in the case against John Gotti, convicted of murder and racketeering in 1992.
White grew up in northern Virginia and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William & Mary. She earned a master's degree in psychology and then graduated from Columbia Law School in 1974.
White clerked for a federal judge and then worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the office she now runs. She was in private practice for 11 years before returning to public service.
Her husband, John White, is a partner in the New York firm Cravath Swaine & Moore.
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