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Whitewater Panel Probes Hillary Records

[Webster Hubbell]

WASHINGTON (CNN, Feb. 7) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's former law partner Webster Hubbell testified before the Senate Whitewater Committee today, answering questions as to what might have happened to the First Lady's legal billing records that mysteriously appeared last month.

When Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) asked Hubbell where the records were kept from February 1992 until they were found, Hubbell said he "had no idea." (116K AIFF sound or 116K WAV sound) He said he believed the records were kept at the Rose Law Firm, but Hubbell said he did not know when the records disappeared from the firm.

[Richard Shelby]

Michael Chertoff, the lawyer for committee Republicans, said Hubbell's description "is not ... accurate." Responding to Chertoff, Hubbell defended his description to federal regulators of Rose's work, saying he told them everything he could recall.

Chertoff pressed him, pointing out that Hubbell had examined the billing records during the 1992 presidential campaign. Hubbell acknowledged that was so, that he and Vincent Foster, the deputy White House counsel who committed suicide in 1993, examined the records during the presidential campaign. Foster had custody of the records at that time, according to Hubbell.

Hubbell said he assumed the regulators had copies of the billing records when they interviewed him. Hubbell's testimony came about as a result of the sudden appearance of the billing records outlining the firm's and Hillary's work for the troubled Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan.

Madison is at the center of the tangled Whitewater affair. The S&L's head, James McDougal, and his wife were partners with the Clintons in the money-losing vacation development. Mrs. Clinton has said her work for Madison was minimal, but the records appear to show that she did considerable work on questionable real estate activities by Madison.

Hubbell, Foster and the aide who discovered the files, Carolyn Huber, came from the Rose firm to Washington with the Clintons. Hubbell is serving a prison term for defrauding clients.

Asked for his reaction to the discovery of the records, Hubbell said, "I kind of smiled." He said he knew Huber and was not surprised that it was Huber who found them.

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