February 28, 1996
Web posted at: 5:15 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Over objections by Democrats, the Senate Banking Committee voted Wednesday to extend its Whitewater investigation indefinitely.
Republicans said the committee needs more time because key witnesses will not be available until the former business partners of President Clinton and his wife are prosecuted in Arkansas.
By a 9-7 party-line vote, the panel approved a resolution to provide $600,000 more for the investigation and leave the completion date open. However, Democrats, charging that an unlimited extension is unprecedented, planned to filibuster and block the proposed $600,000 appropriation -- which would make Thursday the final day for the committee.
If the protest fails, the Whitewater investigation could continue well into the presidential campaign. Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse D'Amato, R-New York, said key witnesses will only be available for questioning after the March 4 trial of Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and Jim and Susan McDougal (See next story).
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton's former Whitewater partner, James McDougal, filed a motion in U.S. District Court Tuesday asking that Clinton testify in person at McDougal's criminal trial. The trial is set to begin next Monday in Little Rock.
McDougal, his ex-wife Susan, and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker are accused of illegally arranging $3 million in loans from a lending company and the McDougals' now-defunct Madison Guaranty savings and loan.
The court earlier ruled that the president should testify but left open the possibility that he could do so via videotape or satellite.
McDougal and his lawyers believe the president's personal appearance would be more effective on their behalf. The White House says the president wants to cooperate but prefers not to appear in person.
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