Clinton Denies Wrongdoing In Whitewater
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 29) -- In videotaped testimony at the White House, President Bill Clinton has denied that he pressured an Arkansas lender to make a $300,000 loan to one of Clinton's Whitewater business partners.
Although Clinton's Sunday afternoon testimony has been sealed for 30 days and a Whitewater jury in Little Rock won't see it for at least a week, a source told Associated Press that Clinton reiterated his previous denials during 3 1/2 hours of questions and answers.
The key prosecution witness in the case, David Hale, has claimed that Clinton pressured him to make a $300,000 loan to Mrs. McDougal.
Clinton, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, was called as a defense witness in the tangled Whitewater case. He was subpoenaed by lawyers for James and Susan McDougal, his partners in the 1980s Whitewater land deal. The McDougals and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker are accused of misusing $3 million in government-backed loans and face a 21-count indictment.
"I'm very satisfied with the proceedings today," McDougal told AP, as he left the White House after sitting in on the closed-door proceedings.
U.S. District Judge George Howard viewed the proceedings from Little Rock via satellite, the video signal scrambled to prevent an intercept by TV news crews or others.
The administration says it has no objection to a transcript of Clinton's testimony being made public, but does not believe the videotape should become grist for Republican campaign commercials. One Republican strategist, however, has talked about going to court to force release of the tape.
Clinton is not the first sitting president to testify in a criminal trial. Former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter both did so.
Meanwhile, Newsweek magazine has reported that the FBI has found Hillary Rodham Clinton's fingerprints on a set of Rose law firm billing records that were missing for two years.
The papers were found in the White House last summer after congressional investigators had looked for them for several months.
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