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Whitewater Witness Implicates Clinton

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, April 2) -- President Bill Clinton's accuser in the Whitewater trial, former municipal judge David Hale, testified today he loaned then-governor Clinton and his Whitewater partner James McDougal $300,000 in secret during the mid-1980s.

Hale said the three met to review a plan to loan $150,000 to Susan McDougal, McDougal's wife at the time, before diverting the money to Clinton. "My name can't show up on this," Clinton said, according to Hale, with McDougal responding "I've already taken care of that." Hale said McDougal later instructed him to up the amount to $300,000.

Hale, a former municipal judge, previously alleged that Clinton pressured him to make a $300,000 loan. The president has called the accusation "a bunch of bull" and is scheduled to give videotaped testimony later this month. The other defendants and their attorneys have all sought to discredit the former Arkansas businessman, who has already pleaded guilty to fraud and been convicted. Hale is the principal witness for prosecuting attorneys, who have said he is a credible witness. For cooperating, Hale is receiving more lenient treatment.

Monday, Hale recreated an alleged conspiracy involving Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, Jim and Susan McDougal and himself. Hale testified McDougal told him he needed money "to clean up some members of the political family." Hale did not explain the meaning behind "clean up," but said he thought McDougal was referring to Clinton "and maybe some of his aides, and some of Jim's associates, and Jim Guy Tucker."


Together with Tucker, McDougal and Hale concocted a scheme to funnel $500,000 from Madison Guarantee into Hale's company, Hale told jurors. They knew, Hale alleged, that they had to repay the loans. "If we didn't pay it," he testified, "you would have regulators coming in and examiners coming in and we would all go to jail."

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