What and When the Clintons Knew about Hubbell

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 7, 1997 | Go to article overview

What and When the Clintons Knew about Hubbell


Once again, the Clinton version of events surrounding their murkier politico-financial operations has failed to stand up to objective reality.

This time, it's the Clintons' explanation of why the $500,000 (and counting) their friends and political supporters arranged for disgraced Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell after he was forced to resign was not hush money. The story has been that it couldn't have been hush money, paid to keep Hubbell from sharing his vast Whitewater knowledge with independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, because: (a) there was nothing to hush up -Mrs. Clinton's favorite dismissal of the issue; and (b) no one knew Hubbell had actually committed a crime and thus had anything to fear from Mr. Starr.

It's worth reviewing the president's quite unequivocal statement on the subject, just one month ago: "Let me remind you of the critical fact," demanded Mr. Clinton on April 3. "At the time that it was done, no one had any idea about whether any - what the nature of the allegations were against Mr. Hubbell or whether they were true. Everybody thought there was some sort of billing dispute with his law firm. And that's all anybody knew about it."

That was hard enough to swallow. At the very least, one had to wonder, would not Hillary Clinton's former Rose colleagues have warned her that the man her husband had appointed to the No. 3 position in the U.S. Justice Department was about to be exposed as a liar and a thief? And would she, as a savvy political wife, not have passed the warning along to the president? (And would the president really have forced the man he has described as his closest friend to resign over something so insignificant as a resolvable billing dispute?)

Well, now along come the New York Times' Jeff Gerth and Stephen Labaton to make the Clinton version really impossible to accept - by revealing that both the first couple's old friend, Arkansas attorney Jim Blair, and their personal lawyer, David Kendall, knew the truth long before the Lippo Group and other rich Clinton supporters arranged to keep Hubbell in the style he was accustomed to as he awaited his fate (16 months in jail). …

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