Cast of Characters
Neal Ainley: The government's star witness in the second Whitewater trial, Ainley was formerly president of Perry Bank and pled guilty to two misdemeanors. He told jurors he saw documents revealing that the defendants, Robert Hill and Herby Branscum, reimbursed themselves for political donations to Clinton's gubernatorial campaign. Defense attorneys dismissed Ainley as a scoundrel simply trying to cut a deal to get a lighter sentence for his own crimes.
Roger Altman: Formerly deputy Treasury secretary, Altman resigned Aug. 29, 1994 following revelations he tipped the White House off to criminal referrals made by Resolution Trust Corp. investigators related to Madison Guaranty. Altman, a college friend of Clinton's, angered both Republican and Democratic senators after giving conflicting testimony about White House-Treasury contacts.
Richard Ben-Veniste:Ben-Veniste was counsel for the Democratic members of the Senate Whitewater Committee.
Herby Branscum, Jr.: A longtime political supporter of Bill Clinton, small-time banker Branscum was one of two defendants in the second Whitewater trial, charged with 11 counts of misusing bank funds for political purposes. The jury acquitted both Branscum and Robert Hill on four charges and deadlocked on the rest. Starr decided not to retry.
James Carville: The Democratic strategist who helped orchestrate Clinton's 1992 campaign, Carville threatened in late 1996 to mount an aggressive campaign to counter what he has termed Starr's "Republican effort to harass the president, the first lady and their friends." Though he backed down a bit, Carville remains the Clintons' preeminent political pit bull and stridently defended the Clintons and attacked Starr during the Monica Lewinsky investigation and subsequent impeachment of the president.
Michael Chertoff: The counsel retained by the Republican side of the Senate Whitewater probe, Chertoff is a New York lawyer specializing in government corruption cases. Democrats cried foul after Chertoff questioned the president's ethics during appearances on behalf of GOP nominee Bob Dole during the presidential campaign.
Bill Clinton: The president has now testified under oath in two Whitewater cases tried by Starr and his team. In the first, Clinton steadfastly contradicted the government's star witness, banker David Hale, who said Clinton had pressured him to make an illegal $300,000 loan. After supporting Clinton's denial, James McDougal is reportedly now corroborating Hale. Starr is also investigating Travelgate (the Clinton Administration's firing of seven longtime travel office workers) and the FBI files flap (the improper collection of some 900 FBI background files). During his presentation before the House Judiciary Committee over the Monica Lewinsky investigation, Starr said that he did not have enough evidence to present reports to Congress on Whitewater, Travelgate and the FBI files affair but that the investigations are continuing.
Hillary Clinton: She made history as the only first lady to appear before a federal grand jury, which she did in January 1996 after being subpoenaed by Starr to help explain the mysterious appearance of her long-sought Whitewater billing records in a book room in the Clintons' White House residence. Mrs. Clinton was reportedly a major focus of Starr's investigation, and figures prominently in Whitewater, Travelgate, and the FBI files flap. Starr's investigations into those matters remains ongoing.
Alfonse D'Amato: Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, the New York Republican senator chaired the $1 million, 14-month Senate Whitewater Committee investigation. The proceeding produced a few fireworks, most notably over the mysterious appearance of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Whitewater legal records, but no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing. He was defeated for re-election in 1998 by Democratic Rep. Chuck Schumer, who was on the House Judiciary Committee during President Bill Clinton's impeachment and became a senator during the 1999 Senate trial.
Lanny Davis: Davis was the White House's pointman for all matters scandalous during his tenure. He took the job over from Mark Fabiani and Jane Sherbourne, who left the administration at the end of Clinton's first term. Davis has since left the administration but often appeared as a television commentator during the Lewinsky scandal.
W. Hickman Ewing, Jr.: The lead prosecuting attorney in the second Whitewater trial, Ewing heads the Little Rock investigation into Whitewater. He testified during Susan McDougal's trial on criminal contempt and obstruction charges relating to her refusal to testify. In his testimony, he said that he wrote a "rough draft indictment" of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton after he doubted her truthfulness in a deposition.
Robert Fiske: The first Whitewater independent prosecutor, Fiske, a New York attorney with a reputation for even-handedness, was appointed in January 1994. His investigation, which critics called lackluster, focused on longtime Clinton associate and White House counsel Vincent Foster's July 1993 death, which Fiske ruled a suicide.
Vincent Foster: A longtime Arkansas associate of the Clintons, Foster came to Washington in 1992 to become White House counsel. In July 1993, he committed suicide, an event which sparked new and intense interest in Whitewater. Critics of the administration suspected Foster was depressed over legal issues dogging the Clintons, including Whitewater and Travelgate. What Foster may have done with the Clintons' legal records, and whether documents were removed from his office in the hours following his death, has been the source of intense speculation.
Mark Geragos: Geragos was Susan McDougal's defense attorney during her 1998 trial in which she was acquitted on charges that she embezzled her former employers, conductor Zubin Mehta and his wife, Nancy. Geragos also defended McDougal during her latest trial on criminal contempt and obstruction charges.
David Hale: -- The government's star witness in the first Whitewater trial, Arkansas banker David Hale made the salacious claim that Clinton, in the 1980s, conspired with him and Whitewater partner Jim McDougal on an illegal $300,000 loan. Then-Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and James and Susan McDougal were convicted in that trial. Hale himself pleaded guilty to two felony counts of defrauding the Small Business Administration and served 21 months of a 28-month sentence. He once predicted that Starr would indict Hillary Clinton, and once told an interviewer he had 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." In 1999, Hale was sentenced to 21 days in prison after pleading guilty of lying to state regulators about the solvency of his insurance company.
Robert Hill: Along with co-defendant Herby Branscum Jr., Hill was charged with 11 counts of misusing bank funds for political purposes in the second Whitewater trial. Prosecutors suggested Clinton rewarded Hill with a plum Arkansas state job in return for political donations. The jury acquitted both Branscum and Robert Hill on four charges and deadlocked on the rest. Starr decided not to retry.
Webster Hubbell: A former Rose Law Firm partner of Hillary Rodham Clinton and a golfing buddy to Bill, Hubbell was Starr's first prey, pleading guilty in late 1994 to bilking the Rose firm of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent billings. The former No. 3 person at the Justice Department, Hubbell recently completed an 18-month jail sentence, but has frequently been summoned to testify before Whitewater federal grand juries or Capitol Hill committees, though he has frequently cited memory lapses on key issues. Senate Whitewater investigators believe Hubbell lied about his involvement with a deal called Castle Grande, and referred him to Ken Starr for possible criminal investigation. Tax evasion charges filed by Starr were dismissed by a federal judge who concluded that the tax evasion case went beyond Starr's mandate to investigate the Whitewater land deal. But Starr appealed and a federal appeals court ruled that the judge overreached his authority when he threw out the charges. In November 1998, Starr got a third indictment alleging that Hubbell lied to federal regulators about the work he and Mrs. Clinton did for a failed Arkansas savings and loan association owned by the Clintons' Whitewater partner, James McDougal. The indictment also alleges that he committed perjury while testifying before the House Banking Committee during nationally televised Whitewater hearings.
Carolyn Huber: Practically family to the Clintons, this diminutive longtime aide discovered HillaryClinton's long-sought Whitewater billing records in a book room off the Clintons' White House residence. Not realizing their importance, she told investigators, she initially filed them away. After realizing their sought-after-status, she turned them over to White House lawyers who, in turn, delivered them to Whitewater investigators.
Harold Ickes: Formerly deputy chief of staff, Ickes was referred to Ken Starr for possible criminal investigation by Senate Whitewater investigators, who believed he misled them about the statute of limitations for pursuing possible crimes committed by the Rose Law Firm. Ickes also participated in a phone conversation with George Stephanopoulos and Roger Altman protesting the selection of Republican lawyer Jay Stephens to head the RTC investigation of Madison. Forced out of office at the behest of incoming chief of staff Erskine Bowles, Ickes was asked initially to head the White House Whitewater response team.
David Kendall:Kendall is the Clintons' personal lawyer for Whitewater matters. A Rhodes scholar and Yale law school graduate, just like Clinton, Kendall practiced civil rights law before joining the elite Washington, D.C., firm of Williams & Connolly. His biggest triumph there was in a case defending The Washington Post against libel charges filed by Mobil Oil. The judge who wrote the decision was a young U.S. Court of Appeals judge named Ken Starr. Representing the Clintons, Kendall has been forced into a more public posture than is customary for a Williams & Connolly lawyer; in June 1996, he derided Sen. Alfonse D'Amato's Senate Whitewater committee as "a partisan kangaroo court." He was thrust into an even more public role when he successfully defended the president during the impeachment trial in the Senate. He also questioned the independent counsel during Starr's appreance before the House Judciary Committee in late 1998 before Clinton was impeached.
William Kennedy: Starr may be investigating Kennedy, formerly a White House counsel, on allegations he improperly used the FBI to trump up charges against the White House travel office staff. In the FBI files matter, Kennedy took responsibility for hiring Craig Livingstone, the former White House security office head who oversaw the improper collection of some 900 background files.
Jim Leach: Leach, an Iowa House Republican, accused the RTC of stonewalling on Whitewater documents in March 1994 during a floor speech. In July 1995, as the new chairman of the House Banking committee, Leach led a new set of House hearings into White House-Treasury contacts which featured Jean Lewis' dramatic allegations of administration interference.
Jean Lewis: Formerly on the Resolution Trust Corporation team investigating Whitewater and Madison, Lewis resigned after telling House lawmakers there was "a concerted effort to obstruct, hamper, and manipulate the results of our investigation of Madison" by top RTC officials. Testifying under oath, Lewis said her superiors at RTC altered criminal referrals she prepared.
Bruce Lindsey: A longtime Arkansas associate, Lindsey attended Georgetown University with Bill Clinton and came to the White House where he has functioned a top if somewhat inconspicuous political advisor. He became noticed more after Starr named him an unindicted co-conspirator in the second Whitewater trial, on allegations Lindsey arranged meetings between then-Gov. Clinton and Arkansas banker Robert Hill, one of the defendants.
James McDougal: Bill and Hillary Clinton Whitewater partner, McDougal was convicted in the first Whitewater trial of essentially using his now-defunct savings and loan, Madison Guaranty, as a piggy bank for his various business schemes, among them the Whitewater land development. After being convicted on 18 felony counts, McDougal began to cooperate with Starr's investigation in August 1996 in exchange for a reduced prison sentence. Initially facing 84 years, he was sentenced to a three-year term. McDougal died March 8, 1998 of an apparent heart attack while incarerated at a Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
Susan McDougal: She was convicted along with her former husband James and former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker in the original Whitewater case. But before she began serving her two-year sentence, she was slapped with another 18 months' worth of jail time for contempt of court after refusing to testify before Starr 's Little Rock federal grand jury. In 1998, a federal judge, citing medical reasons, reduced her two-year sentence to time served and she was released from prison. She was acquitted in November 1998 of charges that she embezzled from her former employer, conductor Zubin Mehta. In numerous jailhouse interviews, Mrs. McDougal has said Starr is unscrupulously pursuing Clinton for partisan ends.Before her 1999 trial on criminal contempt and obstruction charges, she said Starr was on a "personal vendetta" against her.
Mack McLarty: Former White House chief of staff, McLarty denied Hillary Clinton was behind the firing of the White House travel office staff, though his notes cited "HRC pressure" regarding Travelgate. In a letter to Ken Starr, House Government Reform and Oversight chairman William Clinger (now retired) said McLarty may have committed perjury regarding Travelgate and the FBI files matter. McLarty was later named by President Clinton as special envoy to the Americas. He left the administration in June 1998.
Bernard Nussbaum: Hillary Clinton's former boss on the Senate Watergate Committee, Nussbaum joined the Clinton Administration as White House counsel. He reluctantly resigned over allegations of improper contact with officials investigating the Clinton's involvement with the failed Madison Guaranty. Nussbaum was subsequently ensnared in the FBI files flap, and Starr was following up on a Republican congressional report which said Nussbaum may have perjured himself to hide an "aggressive damage-control operation" that obscured the involvement of top adminstration officials.
Charles C. F.Ruff: -- Becoming President Clinton's fifth White House counsel in January, Ruff, a former Watergate prosecutor, took over the job from Jack Quinn who resigned in December 1996. Ruff defended the Clintons throughout the Whitewater scandal and was one of President Clinton's main defense attorneys when he was impeached by the House of Representatives for the Monica Lewinsky affair. He also helped successfully defend the president against conviction in the Senate.
Paul Sarbanes: A Democratic senator from Maryland, Sarbanes was the ranking member of the Senate Whitewater Committee. He and his Democratic colleagues concluded the Clintons and their associates had not engaged in any wrongdoing.
Ken Starr: Formerly the solicitor general for President George Bush, Starr replaced New York attorney Robert Fiske as independent counsel in August 1994. Though he has had a reputation for fairness, Starr, a Republican, has been pounded by critics who say he is motivated by politics. Starr may not have helped his image by maintaining private clients with interests opposed to the Clinton Administration, and by addressing conservative groups. Perhaps even more damaging was his flip-flop over a possible departure from the Office of the Independent Counsel in 1997. After word leaked he had accepted the deanship of Pepperdine law school, Starr reversed himself four days later and promised to remain with the investigation. His investigations of Clinton were expanded in January 1998 to cover the Monica Lewinsky affair. After nearly a year of investigation, Starr turned in a referral to Congress on his probe, which led to the impeachent of the president by the House of Representatives. Clinton was acquitted of the impeachment charges in the subsequent Senate trial.
Julie Hiatt Steele: Steele testified in Susan McDougal's criminal contempt and obstruction trial because she also is under indictment by Starr and claims, like McDougal, that Starr's prosecutors wanted her to lie. Steele became involved in Starr's investigation into the Monica Lewinsky affair after she initially backed allegations by White House volunteer Kathleen Willey that President Bill Clinton made an unwanted sexual advance toward Willey. But Steele later retracted her story in an affidavit filed in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit and during testimony before two federal grand juries. She was then indicted by Starr and has pleaded innocent to three counts of obstruction of justice and one count of making a false statement.
Josh Steiner: Formerly Treasury chief of staff at the tender age of 28, Steiner essentially told Senate investigars he had lied to his diary, which said Clinton "was furious" at Roger Altman's decision to recuse himself. "Persuaded George [Stephanopoulos] that firing him [the RTC investigator] would be incredibly stupid and improper," the notes read. "I wish that my diary was more accurate," Steiner told incredulous Republicans and sympathetic Democrats.
Susan Thomases: A close friend and former Children's Defense Fund colleague of Hillary Clinton, Thomases, a New York corporate attorney, was brought on to help the Clintons respond to Whitewater inquiries in 1992. Senate Whitewater investigators grilled her on the handling of the contents of Vincent Foster's office immediately following his death, and, citing 184 instances where she claimed memory lapse, referred Thomases to Ken Starr for possible criminal prosecution.
Jim Guy Tucker:
Convicted of bank fraud in the first Whitewater trial, Tucker resigned as Arkansas governor shortly after the verdict came down May 28, 1996. He was sentenced to four years' probation and probably escaped jail time because of his failing liver. But he got a transplanted liver in December 1996. Tucker then plead guilty Feburay 1998 to not disclosing the sale of a Florida cable television business when filing for bankruptcy in Texas in the 1980s in a case brought by Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr.
Maggie Williams: Formerly the first lady's chief of staff, Williams was grilled by Senate Whitewater investigators on whether she shepherded documents out of Vincent Foster's office the night he died. Williams volunteered for and passed two lie detector tests backing up her statements, and though Senate Whitewater investigators were suspicious, they did not refer Williams to Ken Starr for possible criminal investigation.