Updated 7-4-97

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A Starr-Crossed Investigation The three-year, $30 million probe of a small-time Arkansas land deal has taken some troubling turns. (6/30/97)

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Timeline

¤ 1979-1992 ¤ 1993-1995 ¤ 1996 ¤ 1997 ¤

Nov. 11, 1996 -- Jim McDougal's sentencing delayed until Feb. 24, 1997, while he cooperates with Whitewater lawyers.

Dec. 3, 1996 -- Democratic strategist James Carville announces on national TV his intention to launch a campaign against Starr.

Jan. 30, 1997 -- Arousing speculation that payments to Webster Hubbell from Clinton allies are being investigated, Starr subpoenas the White House for documents on 14 people and six companies with connections to the wealthy Riady family, which controls the Indonesia-based Lippo Group.

Feb. 6, 1997 -- Sources say Starr's team is assembling a memo to review the evidence assembled against key figures including the president and first lady. "Evaluation time is here," a lawyer tells The Associated Press.

Feb. 9, 1997 -- The New Yorker magazine reports Jim McDougal has reversed himself, and will now testify Clinton did engage in a conversation about an illegal $300,000 loan.

Feb. 12, 1997 -- From his jail cell in Texarkana, Texas, David Hale tells The Associated Press he has only told investigators "a small, small part" of the whole Whitewater saga, and that "a lot more information will come out by the time this investigation is all over."

Feb. 17, 1997 -- Provoking speculation over the future of the Whitewater probe, officials of the Pepperdine University School of Law announce that Kenneth Starr will become dean of the school effective Aug. 1, 1997.

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Feb. 22, 1997 -- After intense criticism, Starr flip flops and announces he will stay on the Whitewater investigation until any resulting prosecutions are "substantially completed."

Feb. 23, 1997 -- The Los Angeles Times reports that Starr has concluded Vincent Foster's death was a suicide.

March 5, 1997 -- News reports about earlier White House subpoenas show that Starr is investigating some $400,000 in payments from Clinton allies to Webster Hubbell for unspecified legal work in 1994 before he went on trial. The White House acknowledges on March 11 that the president was aware some of his friends had hired Hubbell. Linking the Whitewater inquiry to the flap over Democratic fund-raising, reports surface that $100,000 came from James Riady, an Indonesian businessman and longtime associate of the Clintons.

March 24, 1997 -- Starr asks a federal judge to reduce David Hale's prison sentence, saying that Hale "continues to provide information material to the grand jury's ongoing investigation into highly complex financial arrangements."

April 2, 1997 -- The White House acknowledges that Erskine Bowles and Mack McLarty contacted associates in March 1994 in an effort to get work for Webster Hubbell.

April 14, 1997 -- Jim McDougal is sentenced to three years in prison, one year in house arrest, and fined $10,000 for his Whitewater crimes. McDougal had faced as many as 84 years in prison before he decided to cooperate with Starr, who described the former Clinton business partner as at the "epicenter" of his case. McDougal claimed last year his testimony absolved the Clintons of Whitewater wrongdoing, but asked by a reporter if that was still the case, McDougal said, "I wouldn't go to the bank on that."

April 15, 1997 -- White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles testfies for about seven hours before the Whitewater grand jury in Little Rock, Ark. regarding efforts he made in 1994 to help Webster Hubbell find work.

April 22, 1997 -- At Kenneth Starr's request, a federal judge extends the term of the Little Rock federal grand jury by six months. Starr cites "extensive evidence" of possible obstruction of justice provided by Jim McDougal and other sources. The night before, McDougal repeats his claim on CNN's "Larry King Live" that Bill Clinton had discussed an illegal loan, and suggests Hillary Clinton has perjured herself. (Transcript of King show).

May 2, 1997 -- The White House indicates it will appeal to the Supreme Court a lower court's ruling that Hillary Clinton must turn over to Starr notes taken by former White House deputy counsel Jane Sherburne on Jan. 26, 1996, after the first lady's testimony before a federal grand jury in Washington.

May 5, 1997 -- The New York Times reports the Clintons were warned by their friend Jim Blair in March 1994 about the gravity of Webster Hubbell's legal problems, and that their personal attorney David Kendall was also aware. The White House denies the report undermines previous assertions by both Clintons that neither they nor any others at the White House were aware of the extent of Hubbell's woes at the time business calls were made on his behalf.

May 6, 1997 -- Starr defies a Los Angeles Superior Court judge's order to appear in his court to testify on why Susan McDougal is being held in jail.

May 6, 1997 -- In documents released by the federal judge in Little Rock, Independent Counsel Starr "candidly states ... Mrs. Clinton's testimony on several issues under investigation 'has changed over time or differs from that of other witnesses' and that she is a 'central figure' in his investigation."

May 12, 1997 -- White House lawyers petition the Supreme Court to protect the secrecy of conversations that Hillary Rodham Clinton had with former White House Deputy Counsel Jane Sherburne on Jan. 26, 1996, and with administration attorneys on July 11, 1995. Earlier, a federal appeals court ruled the attorney-client privilege does not exist for government lawyers, and that the notes had to be turned over to a Whitewater grand jury. In rare public comments, Starr says the administration is "duty-bound" to turn the notes over, while the White House accuses Starr of engaging in a "fishing expedition." Starr also says Susan McDougal, in demanding immunity from perjury charges as a precondition to testifying, is seeking a "license to lie."

May 15, 1997 -- A Washington-based federal grand jury investigating Whitewater is dismissed. On May 17, Whitewater investigators disclosed they are using another federal grand jury in Washington to on their probe.

May 18, 1997 -- ABC-TV reports that John Bates, an aide to Kenneth Starr, told an appeals judge that "we certainly are investigating individuals, and those individuals -- including Mrs. Clinton -- could be indicted."

May 19, 1997 -- A federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., rules that Jim McDougal must report to jail to begin serving his three-year sentence. Four days before reporting to prison, McDougal predicts Hillary Clinton may join him there.

May 29, 1997 -- In a 30-page brief, Starr objects to the White House appeal to the Supreme Court to deny his investigation access to Hillary Clinton's Whitewater notes taken by former deputy White House counsel Jane Sherburne. "What the case presents, at bottom, is a bold assertion of a governmental privilege against a federal grand jury's interest in securing relevant evidence," Starr said.

June 3, 1997 -- David Kendall, the Clintons' Whitewater lawyer, accuses Starr's office of violating grand jury secrecy rules to inflict "leak-and-smear damage" on his clients. In a letter to Starr, Kendall says a news article that quoted unnamed prosecutors on Starr's staff contained "plain violations of grand jury secrecy" rules. "The comments of you and persons in your office directly and indirectly quoted in the magazine article flout all these obligations," Kendall wrote. "...Grand jury secrecy rules are aimed at preventing precisely this kind of leak-and-smear damage." Starr later says that since the comments were made in court proceedings, they were proper.

June 7, 1997 -- In court papers, Starr suggests that the president might urge Susan McDougal to testify.

June 16, 1997 -- Jim McDougal reports to prison to begin his three-year sentence. Ever theatrical, he predicts Hillary Clinton may join him there.

June 20, 1997 -- Starr adds four seasoned prosecutors to his team.

June 23, 1997 -- The Supreme Court without comment refuses to consider a White House appeal of a lower court's ruling that Whitewater notes taken by government attorneys for Hillary Clinton are not protected by attorney-client privilege and must be turned over to Starr.

June 25, 1997 -- The Washington Post reports that Starr's team has questioned Arkansas state troopers about possible affairs Clinton may have had while governor of Arkansas. Democrats cry foul while Starr defends the interviews as standard prosecutorial procedure.

¤ 1979-1992 ¤ 1993-1995 ¤ 1996 ¤ 1997 ¤
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