Starr Hints Hillary Still Not in Clear in Two Investigations

Article excerpt

Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr yesterday left open the possibility of criminal charges against first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in at least two investigations by his office into the Whitewater affair.

Although Mr. Starr exonerated President Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee for impeachable acts in Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate, he confirmed that investigations are continuing into others aspects of Whitewater and Travelgate, and that prosecutorial decisions are due "soon."

Both of those investigations have focused on Mrs. Clinton, particularly statements she made under oath about her role in the legal representation of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association and the firing in 1993 of seven White House Travel Office workers who were replaced by Clinton friends.

In a statement, Mr. Starr said questions remain over Mrs. Clinton's role in the legal representation of a failed Madison real estate venture known as Castle Grande, saying evidence regarding her work - her Rose Law Firm billings records - could not be found. The records, subpoenaed in 1994, were discovered in the White House living quarters in 1996.

"After a thorough investigation, we have found no explanation how the billing records got where they were or why they were not discovered and produced earlier," he said. "It remains a mystery to this day."

Mr. Starr said former Associate Attorney General Webster L. Hubbell, a convicted Whitewater felon now under a new indictment in Mr. Starr's probe, "may have additional information pertaining to Castle Grande . . . that we have been unable to obtain."

He said Mr. Hubbell and Vincent W. Foster Jr. took Rose firm records concerning Madison during the 1992 presidential election. Mr. Foster came to Washington as White House deputy counsel and died in July 1993 in what police have said was a suicide.

The independent counsel noted that a second set of billing records was found in 1997 in Mr. Foster's attic.

A week before the billing records were found, the Resolution Trust Corp. said in a Dec. 28, 1995, report it had little information on Mrs. Clinton's ties to Madison or Castle Grande. After the records' discovery, the RTC concluded that Mrs. Clinton was more involved with the two entities than had been known.

The records show Mrs. Clinton billed Madison for 60 hours of legal work; spoke with Madison officials about Castle Grande on 14 occasions; discussed legal matters with Madison's owners, James or Susan McDougal, 16 times; had 28 meetings with Rose lawyers on Madison; and met with state regulators on Madison twice. …