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Whitewater Prosecutor Says Information Being Withheld

DETROIT (AllPolitics, Nov. 12) -- In rare public comments, independent Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr said on Monday his ongoing probe has been thwarted because information is being withheld.


"The difficulty with this investigation has been getting at the truth as promptly as I would like," Starr told an audience at the Economic Club of Detroit. "The more forthcoming and the more cooperative individuals who have relevant information are with this investigation, the sooner the investigation will be over."

He was not suggesting, Starr insisted, that the White House had not been cooperative.

Now over two years old, Starr's investigation has yielded guilty convictions of three former business associates of President Bill Clinton. Former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and Jim and Susan McDougal were convicted in a jury trial of bank fraud last May.

All three were sentenced to jail time, though a judge kept Tucker out of prison because of his failing health, while Jim McDougal's sentence has been stayed while he cooperates with the prosecution. Susan McDougal has been held in contempt of court for refusing to testify before Starr's grand jury and is now serving 18 months jail time for that, on top of her two year prison sentence.

The cost of Starr's inquiry so far: $9 million. "It is time-consuming and therefore expensive to investigate," Starr said, dismissing as "utterly wrong" the allegation, repeated by the president, that he's out to get the Clintons.

Separately, a lawsuit related to the death of former White House counsel Vincent Foster, a key Whitewater figure, will be made public today.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Patrick Knowlton says the FBI and 26 other people were part of a conspiracy to muzzle his eyewitness accounts of Foster's suicide. Knowlton says the FBI falsely reported his statements while others harassed him after his account became public.

Two investigations of Foster's death concluded the former counsel died of self-inflicted bullet wounds in a Virginia park. Knowlton alleges he saw a "suspicious-looking man" in a parked car. He says he saw another car nearby with Arkansas license plates. The FBI incorrectly reported, according to Knowlton, that he identified the car with Arkansas plates as Foster's and that he would be unable to identify the suspicious individual.

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