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GOP Senators Target Clinton Associates


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 21) -- Ten Republicans on the Senate Whitewater Committee have asked independent counsel Kenneth Starr to review the testimony of three associates of the president and Mrs. Clinton, saying they might have violated the law in their Capitol Hill testimony.

The subjects of the committee's criminal referral are White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell and lawyer Susan Thomases, a close adviser and friend of Mrs. Clinton.


In their letter to Starr, the GOP senators cited what they called "a disturbing pattern of contradictory, incomplete or inaccurate testimony" from a number of witnesses. The White House brushed off the GOP move as partisan maneuvering.

Meanwhile, in another development, a lawyer said he might call Hillary Clinton as a defense witness in the second Whitewater trial underway in Little Rock.

With the start of testimony, government prosecutors began building a case against two bankers accused of siphoning money from their own financial institution to finance political contributions to then-Gov. Bill Clinton.

[Mrs. Clinton]

But the big news was defense attorney Dan Guthrie's suggestion that he might call Mrs. Clinton as a defense witness. "I don't know of any protection that the law affords her," the trial judge said.

In testimony, bank vice president Joe Carter said Herby Branscum Jr. and his relatives wrote six $500 checks to the Clinton for Governor campaign during a five-day period in December 1990. In the same week, Branscum received a $3,000 expense check from the bank, Carter said.

While the political contributions were legal and Clinton is not accused of wrongdoing, prosecutors allege Branscum's expense report was false and that the money illegally financed the contributions.

As he did in the first Whitewater trial, President Clinton is expected to testify for the defense via videotape July 7. One of Clinton's aides, Bruce Lindsey, was treasurer of Clinton's gubernatorial campaign, and he is expected to be named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

In the first Whitewater trial last month, a jury found former Clinton business partners James and Susan McDougal and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker guilty of most of the charges against them.

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