Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mrs. Clinton Opposed Whitewater Inquiry, Notes Show

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mrs. Clinton Opposed Whitewater Inquiry, Notes Show

Article excerpt

An anxious group of White House insiders - including Hillary Rodham Clinton - discussed how to avoid an independent Whitewater investigation, according to notes disclosed Thursday.

The notes, made by White House aide Mark Gearan in a series of meetings in January 1994, indicate that Mrs. Clinton was adamantly opposed to letting a special prosecutor investigate Whitewater, resisting entreaties by her husband and others that it was unavoidable.

According to the notes - read at a Senate Whitewater Committee hearing - White House chief of staff Mack McLarty said during a Jan. 5, 1994, meeting, `Let's get off whether we'll have special prosecutor or counsel - HRC (Mrs. Clinton) and BC (the president) don't want it."

Within five days of that meeting, President Bill Clinton bowed to the inevitability of a Whitewater prosecutor - but not Mrs. Clinton. "To try to reopen it (discussions about having a special prosecutor) is impossible," deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes is recorded as saying on Jan. 7.

POTUS And FLOTUS

The notes added, "POTUS (president of the United States) can't (convince Mrs. Clinton). Staff can't. (Secretary of State Warren) Christopher to talk to FLOTUS (first lady of the United States)."

Mrs. Clinton's anxiety over the appointment of a special Whitewater prosecutor was shared by others at the White House, the notes show. White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum worried, "Badhearted guy goes in and decides a smell of corruption and can show some things of those people close to the principal (President Clinton)."

Even with a "good hearted guy" appointed, "you'll have a three- or four-year investigation. Lives will be under the microscope," Nussbaum added.

The notes seem to give a sharper focus than ever before to the scrambling that took place inside the White House as Whitewater boiled over in early 1994, after disclosures that federal regulators were investigating related matters and that White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster had Whitewater files in his office at the time of his suicide.

Mrs. Clinton personally attended meetings on the topic, Gearan's notes reveal.

Nussbaum appeared to be especially concerned about where a prosecutor could take an investigation of Whitewater. …

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