Weird Twist In Whitewater Probe

In a bizarre discovery in the late Vincent Foster's attic, Whitewater prosecutors have landed a second set of Hillary Rodham Clinton's once-elusive law firm billing records, lawyers said Thursday.

The records have fewer handwritten notations and fewer pages but generally contain the same information as the set belatedly found in the White House in 1996, the lawyers said.
Nonetheless, the documents have become a fresh line of inquiry for grand jury questioning in Arkansas, where prosecutors are pressing to wrap up their investigation of the first lady's legal work for a failed savings and loan owned by her Whitewater business partner.

"You're sitting in the grand jury and the prosecutors read you an entry about Mrs. Clinton from one set of billing records, question you about it, then they pick up the other set and read other entries about other meetings," said one recent grand jury witness who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Prosecutors are trying to determine if Mrs. Clinton, while a private Arkansas attorney, assisted a series of fraudulent S&L land transactions in the mid-1980s carried out by her business partner, the late James McDougal.

They're also investigating whether she lied about her work or tried to conceal documents in the Whitewater investigation that was begun during her husband's presidency.

On Thursday, Mrs. Clinton's private lawyer described the second set of billing records, which were found last summer by Foster's widow, Lisa, in the attic of their Arkansas home.

"These Rose Law Firm billing records for Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan, which were discovered by Mrs. Foster at her home in July of 1997, are virtually identical to the records produced by me" to Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr, attorney David Kendall said.

"There are a few additional handwritten notations, and fifteen additional pages, in the set produced two years ago," Kendall said.

Foster and former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell were partners with Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. They directed the firm to print the billing records in 1992 when questions about Whitewater arose during Clinton's first presidential campaign.

But when prosecutors subpoenaed them later on, the records had mysteriously disappeared.

In January 1996, more than two years after they had been first subpoenaed, the records were turned over after a presidential secretary found them on a table in the White House living quarters.

The 100-plus pages of billing records outline Mrs. Clinton's legal work for McDougal's Madison Guaranty S&L, including more than a dozen meetings with Hubbell's father-in-law, Seth Ward, an S&L employee who was paid more than $300,000 in disputed commissions. The first lady and Ward say they recall nothing of the meetings.

Hubbell has testified that Foster was the last one he saw handling the billing records.

Last July, Lisa oster was going through some stored belongings in her attic when she pulled a set of Mrs. Clinton's billing records from a briefcase used by her late husband just before his 1993 suicide.

Mrs. Foster turned the briefcase and the materials over to her lawyer, who provided them to Starr.

Written by Pete Yost
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