Arkansas Lawyer Says He Arranged Lippo Work For Hubbell
By Brooks Jackson/CNN
WASHINGTON (Dec. 10) -- A Little Rock lawyer has testified that he and not anyone at the White House lined up a legal fee from the Indonesian Lippo Group for former Clinton Administration official Webster Hubbell.
The newly released testimony undercuts a theory that Hubbell's payments from Lippo were "hush money" aimed at keeping the former Justice Department official silent about the Whitewater affair.
Lawyer Douglas Buford testified that Hubbell called him in June 1994 and "asked me if I thought the Lippo Group would be able to use him." Lippo was then a client of Buford.
Buford said he passed the request on to John Huang, who was then working for Lippo. But Buford said he made clear to Huang the request came from Hubbell, and not from anyone at the White House.
Years earlier Buford had been a law partner of presidential aide Bruce Lindsey and, briefly, of Bill Clinton as well. Buford said, "I wanted to make sure that, because of the frequent contact I had with Lindsey and with the president and other people, that nobody would confuse the message. ... Webb called me as a friend, and ... I was passing on information as a friend."
Hubbell soon received a $100,000 check from Lippo but has refused to discuss what work he did for the money, citing attorney-client confidentiality.
Buford gave his testimony Oct. 23; the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee released a transcript Tuesday.
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