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Hubbell to plead guilty in deal with Starr

By Bob Franken/CNN

June 28, 1999
Web posted at: 5:45 p.m. EDT (2145 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics,June 28) -- In a plea agreement with Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, former associate attorney general and presidential friend Webster Hubbell has agreed to plead guilty to charges of tax evasion and lying about a failed Arkansas land development, CNN has learned.

As part of the plea agreement, Hubbell will receive no jail time, according to sources. CNN also has learned he does not have to cooperate with the independent counsel's investigation of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. And charges against his wife and attorneys will also be dropped.

Hubbell
Webster Hubbell  

Hubbell refused to comment, as the deal is not yet official.

The charges were two of 15 counts for which Hubbell was scheduled to stand trial Aug. 9. Mrs. Clinton was listed on the prosecution's witness list although it was unclear whether she would have been called to testify.

Instead, Hubbell will plead guilty to the felony charge of concealing material from federal regulators relating to billing records of the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas. Hubbell and Mrs. Clinton both worked at Rose before coming to Washington.

The charges and subsequent deal stem from legal work Hubbell performed in the 1980s on the Castle Grande land development in Arkansas, a project that has become part of the Whitewater investigation headed by Starr.

In addition, Hubbell is pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of not reporting income that came from consulting jobs he performed prior to his fraud conviction in 1994.

Starr's prosecutors have investigated whether the Clinton White House arranged that work for Hubbell as "hush money" payments to keep him quiet in Starr's investigation.

The pending Hubbell trial was a cloud over Mrs. Clinton as she pondered a run for the U.S. Senate. The Hubbell plea also signals to many that Starr may be wrapping up his investigation.

In its five-year existence it has expanded significantly. Starr's probe of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was a national preoccupation that created political turmoil for more than a year.

Now there are no indictments pending. One source connected with Starr tells CNN that does not mean his investigation is complete. In addition, the independent counsel must now complete a written report of his finding for the court.


RELATED STORIES

Starr puts first lady on witness list for Hubbell trial (6-23-99)

Federal judge may order investigation into Hubbell indictment (3-2-99)

Judge rejects Hubbell's motions to dismiss six charges (2-17-99)

Hubbell 'disappointed' by appeals court decision (1-26-99)

Hubbell pleads innocent to latest Whitewater charges (11-23-98)

Justice Department supports Hubbell against Starr (9-29-98)


RELATED SITES

Justice Department Web site


MESSAGE BOARD

The Independent Counsel



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Monday, June 28, 1999

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