PROSECUTORS WANT TO QUESTION former Associate Attorney General
Webster Hubbell about the possibility of political interference in
the Whitewater affair, two lawyers familiar with the investigation
Obtaining Hubbell's cooperation "on this and other matters has
been the plan from the start," said one lawyer familiar with
Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation.
Another lawyer said Starr was almost certain to delve into any
conversations that Hubbell, as the No. 3 Justice Department
official, might have had about two criminal cases handled by
federal prosecutors in Little Rock, Ark. That source suggested that
prosecutors might use telephone records and calendars during
Hubbell's Justice Department tenure as a road map to studying the
Clinton administration's actions. Hubbell resigned in March.
The White House has repeatedly denied that there was any
political interference in inquiries of Whitewater.
The sources said Starr's office is interested in how the U.S.
attorney's office in Little Rock handled two criminal matters that
touched on President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton. They
Criminal allegations by the Resolution Trust Corp., the
government's savings and loan cleanup agency, about the failed
Madison Guaranty, an Arkansas savings and loan once owned by the
Clintons' Whitewater business partners.
The case against former Municipal Judge David Hale, who
repeatedly told prosecutors that he had information linking
President Clinton to an improper federally backed loan.
Both matters were being handled last year by the office of
Paula Casey, a former campaign worker whom Clinton appointed U.S.
attorney in Little Rock before a special prosecutor was named to
handle the Whitewater affair.
For Whitewater investigators, Hubbell offers an intriguing
prospect because of his access to President Clinton and the White
House inner circle.
Hubbell has agreed to admit to mail fraud and tax evasion, a
source close to the investigation told The Associated Press on
Thursday. The charges appear to stem from allegations that he
overbilled clients and his former firm as a private lawyer. As part
of a plea bargain, defendants routinely agree to cooperate with
The fall of a close friend is yet another blow to a Clinton
administration already sure to face a Whitewater onslaught from
Capitol Hill when Republicans take over Congress in January.
Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, said Friday that the news about Hubbell
"underscores the seriousness of the Whitewater investigation. …