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McDougal Likens Clintons To 'Tornadoes'

Convicted Whitewater defendant talks to NBC's 'Dateline'

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WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 15) -- In an interview to be broadcast tonight, convicted Whitewater defendant James McDougal said a big factor in his decision to cooperate with prosecutor Kenneth Starr was President Bill Clinton's failure to pardon his ex-wife, Susan.

"I wasn't so much concerned he [Clinton] had abandoned me," McDougal told NBC's "Dateline." "I felt he had abandoned Susan.

"I just got sick and tired of lying for the fellow, you know ... " McDougal added.

McDougal was sentenced Monday to three years in prison on 18 fraud and conspiracy felonies. But he said he believes his ex-wife was "totally innocent" of the Whitewater-related charges she was convicted of last year.

"I really thought he [Clinton] would pardon her," McDougal said. "That was a big factor in my decision." His ex-wife remains in prison for refusing to answer questions before a grand jury and she faces unrelated embezzlement charges in Los Angeles.

susan mcdougal

McDougal declined to talk about what information he has provided Starr's investigators. He said he did not believe he had betrayed the Clintons by cooperating with Starr, who McDougal called "a good fellow for a Republican, really."

"I think the Clintons are really sort of like tornadoes moving through people's lives ... I'm just one of the people left in the wake of their passing by," he said.

On Monday, Whitewater prosecutor Ray Jahn said McDougal "provided some unique information that was unknown prior to his cooperation."


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