Magazine article Newsweek

An End in Sight (Maybe)

Magazine article Newsweek

An End in Sight (Maybe)

Article excerpt

THE WHITEWATER SCANDAL OCCUPIED key committees in both the House and Senate last week--a two-ring circus whose single goal seemed to be causing maximum embarrassment to Bill and Hillary Clinton and their friends. In the House, a low-level government banking investigator named Jean Lewis told the story of how she tried for nearly two years to get higher-ups in Washington to take the matter seriously. In the Senate, former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum took the stand to defend his conduct during the investigation of Vince Foster's 1993 suicide. Nussbaum denied there had been a cover-up. He insisted he made "the right calls" in the confusion after Foster's death and said he would do it "essentially the same way" again.

Whether or not this assault by the congressional GOP is influencing the voters is anybody's guess. The real action, as both sides know, lies with independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who has been quietly investigating the Whitewater affair for a year. Like any prosecutor, Starr and his staff have the legal authority to bring criminal charges. They have already sent Webster Hubbell, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton's oldest friends, to jail, and they have indicted Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker for fraud and conspiracy. Starr's probe will be the final word on whether Whitewater becomes a danger to Clinton's chances for re-election--or whether, as many Democrats believe, it is much ado about nothing much.

NEWSWEEK has learned that Starr is pushing to make all the key decisions in his $11 million investigation within the next few weeks--possibly as early as Labor Day. …

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