By Steve Barnes Essay, Research Paper
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) -Independent counsel Kenneth Starr’sprosecutors rested their case againstWhitewater figure Susan McDougalThursday after a week of testimonyaimed at proving she broke the law bynot talking to a grand jury.
McDougal’s lawyers were set to begintheir case to the jury later in the day,calling as their first witness Starr’s chiefdeputy in Arkansas.
McDougal, 44, was charged with obstructing justice and criminalcontempt of court for refusing to answer questions from a Starrgrand jury investigating past financial dealings in Arkansas byPresident Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
McDougal’s attorney subpoenaed Starr deputy Hickman EwingWednesday to appear as the first witness for the defense, whichargues that McDougal kept silent because she believed Starrwould twist her testimony to hurt Clinton.
Starr responded by filing a motion early Thursday challenging thesubpoena, saying it did not provide enough detail about whatEwing would be asked.
Judge George Howard ordered the defense to provide moredetails. The two sides then reached an agreement in the judge’schambers that allowed the defense to proceed as planned.
“I want to confirm what I think we’ve already established, that thegrand jury wasn’t getting the full truth” about the investigation,McDougal’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said about why he wantedto question Ewing.
Prosecutors started wrapping up their case Wednesday withtestimony by former grand jurors aimed at bolstering their casethat the Whitewater investigation was seeking legitimateinformation and not trying to persecute the Clintons.
Susan and James McDougal, her late former husband, invested inthe Whitewater land deal with Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton inthe late 1970s. Clinton was the Arkansas attorney general at thetime.
The real estate venture failed and questions about the financing forthe Whitewater deal resulted in Starr’s investigation of theClintons.
Both McDougals were convicted of fraud in 1996 in aWhitewater-related case. James McDougal died in jail last year.