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Huang Seeking Limited Immunity

By Carl Rochelle and Wolf Blitzer/CNN

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 21) -- Two former Clinton Administration officials are taking the Fifth Amendment, refusing to give Congress documents subpoenaed in connection with the investigation of Democratic fund-raising practices.

huang

Clinton friend Webster Hubbell and Democratic fund-raiser John Huang's refusals to turn over the documents could lead to a court battle.

There is some indication, however, that Huang is considering complying with the request from the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, in return for immunity from prosecution.

Committee lawyers say Huang's lawyer has discussed turning over documents on that basis. Huang's lawyer sent a letter to the committee agreeing to turn over some documents and signaling that he wants to cut a deal.

The committee wants documents from Hubbell about payments he allegedly received from Clinton allies while he was being investigated by the Justice Department for fraudulently billing clients of his Little Rock law firm.

hubbell

After resigning as associate attorney general in 1994, Hubbell received payments from a company owned by the family of Mochtar Riady, an Indonesian billionaire and Clinton supporter.

Huang, a former deputy assistant Commerce secretary and later a Democratic party vice chair, was once head of U.S. operations of Lippo, the conglomerate owned by the Riady family.

Meanwhile, under sharp criticism, the White House has put an end to the practice of allowing employees on the payroll of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to work full time at the White House.

The White House says 20 employees on the DNC payroll have worked at various times over the past four years as so-called "volunteers."

Press Secretary Mike McCurry says there are currently five such employees and they will soon go on the White House payroll and end their relationship with the DNC.

justice

McCurry says the decision to end the relationship with the DNC was made by Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. McCurry says the practice was ended because "it wasn't worth the hassle."

The White House released a 1987 Justice Department legal opinion which said: "We see no basis for a determination by this office that persons being paid by national political organizations should necessarily be precluded from being assigned to perform governmental duties in the White House office."

The White House also released a 1982 legal opinion from the Justice Department which reached the opposite conclusion.


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