by RICHARD S. DUNHAM; Amy Borrus | Feb 25 '02

Republicans may be holding their fire in the Global Crossing debacle, but they're rolling out the heavy artillery in the Enron scandal. Top GOP operatives, smarting from allegations that the Bushies did favors for Enron Corp., have uncovered more than a dozen examples of financial goodies the Clinton Administration gave Enron.

Senate Finance Committee documents indicate Enron got more than $650 million in loans and other backing for international projects from the U.S. Export-Import Bank in 1993-2000. That's just some of the Clinton-era support of Enron, which showered soft money on both parties. ``People think getting calls returned from the Bush Administration is the only help Enron got,'' says a staffer to Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee's ranking Republican.

While Clintonites regularly went to bat for U.S. companies competing around the world, Enron seems to have done better than most. Enron execs took part in at least 11 trade missions with the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and Trade & Development Agency officials.

Republicans are scouring Enron's payroll for Clintonites who hired on there. Among them is Linda L. Robertson, a top deputy to former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. Robertson was later hired as an Enron lobbyist in Washington. Rubin, now chairman of Citigroup's Executive Committee, drew criticism for a call he made to Treasury last fall wondering if anything could be done to save the credit rating of Enron, a major client of Citi.
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