Senate Whitewater Committee Wants More
By Bob Franken and Wolf Blitzer/CNN
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 14) -- The Senate Whitewater Committee, set to issue its final report early next week, cited "new evidence" about a questionable Madison Guaranty loan and wants sworn written testimony from First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The committee would like Mrs. Clinton to answer questions about her involvement in the controversial Castle Grande real estate deal in Arkansas, about the removal of files from her Rose Law Firm, and about her much-subpoenaed and long-missing Rose Law Firm billing records that were mysteriously discovered in the White House residence late last year.
A White House spokesman called the committee's request "bizarre," and says neither the Clintons nor their personal attorney has yet received or reviewed the committee's request.
A statement issued by the committee indicates it received an "interview report" from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Inspector General regarding Mrs. Clinton's involvement in 1986 in the Castle Grande transaction, while she was a partner at the Rose Law Firm.
According to the committee's statement, that report indicates Mrs. Clinton was warned on April 7, 1986 -- by Donald Denton, a loan officer for Madison Guaranty, the S&L owned by Clinton Whitewater partner James McDougal -- that "there would be a problem with the notes" exchanged between Madison and Seth Ward, the straw purchaser of Castle Grande and father-in-law of Webster Hubbell.
Hubbell was also a partner at the Rose Law Firm, and was appointed the Justice Department's number three official by President Clinton. Hubbell is now serving a prison term on fraud charges relating to his Rose Law Firm billing practices.
The Whitewater Committee is asking the first lady to answer questions in writing, under oath and to furnish any information she has concerning the removal of files from Rose Law Firm by Webster Hubbell and Vince Foster, the former Rose Partner and Deputy White House Counsel who committed suicide in 1993.
According to its statement, the committee is also asking Mrs. Clinton to "state any knowledge she may have concerning Rose Law Firm billing records discovered in the White House," specifically her knowledge relating to the disappearance and re-discovery of those records.
Mark Fabiani, special counsel to the president, called the latest request from D'Amato's committee "an act of utter, complete desperation by Senator D'Amato's failed Whitewater committee." He said the President and First Lady's private attorney, David Kendall, offered to have the first lady respond to the committee's questions in writing last February, but the committee never took her up on the offer.
"With three days left in the committee's existence, they now want her to answer detailed and serious questions," Fabiani said. "Why didn't they ask her earlier?" The committee's report is due out Tuesday.
Fabiani says Kendall will review the committee's request when it's received and make a decision on how to respond.
In a related development, Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker has filed an expected appeal of his conspiracy and fraud conviction in the first Whitewater trial.
Tucker, who plans to step down next month, said in court papers that the evidence did not justify the May 28 verdicts and that he should not be held responsible for false information on a loan form on how a $150,000 loan would be used.
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