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McDougal Hedges On Clinton Truth

Disputing her lawyer, Susan McDougal says she needs to carefully review President Clinton's testimony before confirming whether he spoke truthfully in denying knowledge of illegal activities.

"I hate to go against my attorney," McDougal told NBC's Meet the Press Sunday in a telephone interview, but "I would have to actually have his testimony in front of me and go through it line by line before I would be willing to put myself up to say he told the truth."

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Last month, her attorney, Mark Geragos, said on the same program that McDougal, who has refused to provide testimony to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, would tell a jury that Mr. Clinton told the truth at her 1996 fraud trial.

"I would want it to be the actual absolute truth before I would do that, and I couldn't do that today," she said about confirming Mr. Clinton's truthfulness.

McDougal served 18 months for civil contempt for refusing to testify to Starr's Whitewater grand jury. That term ended in March, and she began serving a two-year term for fraud in the Whitewater real estate case.

She faces additional charges of criminal contempt after she refused in April to testify before Starr's grand jury in Arkansas.

McDougal also denied statements in a recently published book quoting her late husband Jim McDougal as saying that, at an April 1996 meeting, Mr. Clinton offered him immunity in exchange for his cooperation in the Whitewater probe.

The McDougals were partners with Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Whitewater development when Mr. Clinton was governor of Arkansas.

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