Susan McDougal Awaits Starr's Subpoena
Tucker appears before grand jury again
By Terry Frieden/CNN
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (April 21) -- Convicted Whitewater figure Susan McDougal is awaiting, but has not yet received a subpoena to testify before the Whitewater grand jury meeting this week in Little Rock.
McDougal's attorney Mark Geragos has vowed a legal attempt to stop
McDougal from being called before the grand jury controlled by Independent Counsel Ken Starr.
Geragos cannot move until McDougal has received a subpoena to appear. Anticipating such an order, Geragos has tentatively scheduled a Wednesday news conference in Little Rock to discuss his client's plans.
McDougal's fiance Pat Harris appeared briefly at the federal courthouse Tuesday where McDougal would be transported by federal marshals if she is ordered to appear Thursday.
McDougal remains in a California jail, awaiting a trial on embezzlement charges. She has been an outspoken critic of Starr, and insisted she will never cooperate with his investigators.
Her refusal to testify nearly two years ago resulted in an 18-month
sentence for civil contempt ordered by Judge Susan Webber Wright, the same judge who on April 1 threw out the lawsuit brought against President Bill Clinton by Paula Jones.
In contrast to McDougal's determination not to cooperate with Starr,
another convicted Whitewater figure, former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker is cooperating. He testified before the grand jury Tuesday afternoon, and indicated he will issue a brief statement after he has completed his testimony.
Tucker was found guilty in 1996 of two felony counts on charges connected to Whitewater. That conviction, coming at the same time as that of the McDougals, forced Tucker to give up the governorship he assumed when Clinton was elected president.
Tucker also pleaded guilty in February to charges unrelated to the
Whitewater land deal probe. In a plea agreement in that most recent case, Tucker began cooperating with Starr's prosecutors. Tucker's appearance is his second since agreeing to tell what he knows about the roles of Bill and Hillary Clinton in the Whitewater dealings of the 1980's.
Starr spent Tuesday in Little Rock consulting with his staff, as the
long-running grand jury entered its final stages. The present grand jury of 23 Arkansans is scheduled to expire May 7, after two years of hearing testimony.
Starr has been tight-lipped about the progress of his Little Rock grand jury. However, some witnesses who appeared before the secret panel have said the investigation appears to center on questions involving the roles of former Rose Law Firm partners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Webster Hubbell in financial transactions dating back to the 80's.
Hubbell pleaded guilty and served 18 months for stealing nearly a half million dollars from his law firm and clients. Hubbell's father-in-law Seth Ward was a key figure in Starr's investigation of Castle Grande, a property owned by the late James McDougal, the president's one-time Whitewater partner.