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Whitewater Witness Can't Remember Key Dates

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, April 8) -- Pressed by the defense, Whitewater witness David Hale said today he couldn't remember the dates of meetings that he alleged took place with Whitewater defendants Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and businessman Jim McDougal.

Hale answered "I don't recall" more than 12 times, including when asked when McDougal had pressured him -- according to Hale's testimony -- to make loans to "the political family," a reference Hale believed was to then-Gov. Bill Clinton.

Hale also said he couldn't recall precisely when he, McDougal and Tucker drove in McDougal's Jaguar to the Whitewater real estate project, now being investigated.

McDougal, his ex-wife Susan, Tucker and Hale are defendants in the Whitewater trial that focuses on some $3 million in fraudulent loans. The defense has for the last week sought to discredit Hale as a scoundrel who fabricated charges against the president to win leniency in his own sentence. Hale has already pleaded guilty to defrauding the Small Business Administration and will serve two years in jail and repay $2.04 million to the government.

Along with his other testimony, Hale admitted he had illegally arranged $280,000 in loans to buy a burial insurance company and had not paid taxes on any of the money.

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