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Arkansas Banker Denies Wrongdoing In Whitewater Trial


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, July 10) -- Arkansas banker Herby Branscum, Jr., testifying on his own behalf, has denied that he diverted money from his bank to make campaign contributions to Bill Clinton's 1990 gubernatorial campaign.

Under defense questioning, Branscum called himself a "country lawyer" and said he was innocent of the charges leveled against him by the Whitewater special prosecutor.

Branscum and Perry County Bank co-owner Robert M. Hill are charged with conspiring to use bank money to reimburse themselves for campaign contributions to Clinton and other Arkansas politicians.

[Herby Branscum]

They also stand charged with concealing from the Internal Revenue Service more than $50,000 in cash withdrawals made by the Clinton campaign.

Clinton himself is not accused of any wrongdoing, but as in the first Whitewater trial, he was called as a defense witness. The president testified on videotape last Sunday at the White House and an edited version of that tape will be played for the Little Rock jury later.

Branscum testified he has had several state government positions, but said there was no quid pro quo connection between contributing to Clinton's campaign and winning state appointments. Branscum was appointed state highway commissioner in January 1991, after Hill delivered $15,000 contributions, according to prosecutors.

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