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E-mail From Washington

From: Bob Franken/CNN
In: Washington, D.C.
Posted: 4-22-97

Subject: Middleton Denies Immunity Deal With Starr

Former White House aide Mark Middleton, who was top assistant to then-Chief of Staff Mack McClarty, emphatically denies an unattributed Washington Post story this morning that he is seeking immunity in exchange for cooperation with investigators.

In a written release, Middleton calls the story "...false, reckless and irresponsible".

Middleton left the White House in 1995. Since then he has been developing various Asian business deals, and is frequently named in reports about Democratic fund-raising.

The Post story says Middleton is seeking immunity from Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, in return for information about a 1995 dinner he attended with former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell, Hubbell's wife and long-time Clinton friend Bernard Rappaport, in which there were discussions about work and money for Hubbell. The dinner allegedly took place in the time period after Hubbell resigned from his top Justice Department position and before he went to prison.

Investigators are trying to determine if the $400,000 worth of employment Hubbell got from Clinton friends and supporters amounted to illegal Whitewater "hush-money." According to the Post article, Starr turned down the immunity offer. As usual, Starr refuses comment.

But Middleton's statement, released by a Washington public relations company states, "I have engaged in no conduct that would require immunity and there is no deal."

What the statement does not say is that Middleton or his attorney never discussed a deal. Asked about the omission, Middleton's representatives said, "There has been no discussion of immunity."

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