Starr In Little Rock For Final Push Before Grand Jury
By Terry Frieden/CNN
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, April 29) -- Independent Counsel Ken Starr arrived in Little Rock Tuesday night for consultations in advance of a hastily-arranged "extra" session of the grand jury there Wednesday.
The additional two-day grand jury session on Wednesday and Thursday was scheduled after Starr's Whitewater prosecutors arranged a lengthy videotape deposition of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House last Saturday.
Upon arrival in Little Rock, Starr refused to answer any questions about his ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton, Webster Hubbell, and others with ties to the Clintons.
Starr rejected reports that deep differences have surfaced between his Little Rock and Washington staffs on some key issues, including seeking indictments against Whitewater partner Susan McDougal.
"No, we're working very collegially and harmoniously," Starr said at the Little Rock Airport.
In an unusual development, a smattering of applause erupted from onlookers at the Little Rock air terminal. Starr has become accustomed to stinging criticism from most Little Rock residents.
McDougal's attorney Mark Garagos helped fuel speculation the primary, if not sole purpose of this week's grand jury session is for Starr's career prosecutors to show the videotaped deposition of Mrs. Clinton to the grand jurors.
A spokesperson for Garagos says he has "not heard a word" from Starr's office. That appears to put to rest rumors McDougal would be brought back one more time before the grand jurors Wednesday. Her lawyer would have to be accessible to McDougal during any questioning.
McDougal has twice refused to tell the secret panel what she knows about any possible wrongdoing by the Clintons in land deals during the 1980s.
Starr: 'We're trying to move forward very quickly'
Starr and his key Little Rock aides Hickman Ewing and Mark Barrett are expected, as usual, to appear in the grand jury room Wednesday.
When asked if he might also be at the courthouse Wednesday, Starr said "possibly".
Starr gave no hints as to his decision in the anticipated investigation of Whitewater witness David Hale who has been accused by an ex-girlfriend of receiving money from what she claimed is "absolutely" a right-wing conspiracy.
Asked about the timing of a decision Starr told reporters only, "We're trying to move forward very quickly."
Starr will spend only one day huddling with key aides before leaving for Texas. Starr has a speech scheduled Friday in San Antonio. Starr said of the speech, "I think it will have some general relevance to some of our activity."
Starr was smiling, and in a jovial mood as he made small talk with reporters and camera crews, but he has remained especially tight-lipped about his investigation in recent weeks.
After this week the Little Rock grand jurors will conclude two years of service with a three-day session beginning May 5.
This particular grand jury has not yet issued any indictments. Longtime observers of the grand jury believe Hubbell and his associates are possible targets for indictment. The grand jury has five days over two weeks to make a final decision.