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Grand Jury Hears Hillary Clinton's Videotaped Testimony

Kendall says she refused to answer two questions

By Terry Frieden/CNN

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (April 29) -- The Whitewater grand jury saw videotaped testimony by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton Wednesday in a hastily-arranged extra session of the panel.

The additional two-day session on Wednesday and Thursday was scheduled after Whitewater prosecutors arranged a taped deposition of Mrs. Clinton at the White House last Saturday.

Independent Counsel Ken Starr came to the courthouse complex about noon for a lunchtime meeting with Hickman Ewing and Mark Barrett, two members of his Little Rock prosecuting team. Starr refused to answer any questions about his ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton, Webster Hubbell and other people with ties to the Clintons.

In Washington, the president's attorney, David Kendall, said Mrs. Clinton answered questions for five hours about matters concerning the Rose Law Firm's legal representation of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.

"During this lengthy testimony, she appropriately declined to answer two questions which inquired into conversations she may have had with her husband, conversations that plainly fell under the long-established Common Law privilege for marital communications," Kendall said.

Mrs. Clinton's testimony focused on her work at the Rose Law Firm for the Arkansas savings and loan owned by the Clintons' Whitewater business partners, Jim and Susan McDougal.

Starr has rejected reports that deep differences have surfaced between his Little Rock and Washington staffs on some key issues, including seeking indictments against Susan McDougal. "No, we're working very collegially and harmoniously," Starr said at the Little Rock Airport Tuesday.

McDougal's attorney Mark Geragos helped fuel speculation that the primary, if not sole, purpose of this week's grand jury session is for Starr's prosecutors to show Mrs. Clinton's videotaped deposition to the grand jurors.

A spokesman for Geragos says he has not heard a word from Starr's office. That appears to put to rest rumors McDougal would be brought back one more time before the grand jurors Wednesday. Her lawyer would have to be accessible to McDougal during any questioning.

McDougal has twice refused to tell the secret panel what she knows about any possible wrongdoing by the Clintons in 1980s land deals.

Starr will spend only one day huddling with key aides before leaving for Texas. Starr has a speech scheduled Friday in San Antonio. "I think it will have some general relevance to some of our activity," Starr said of the speech.

After this week, the Little Rock grand jurors will conclude two years of service with a three-day session May 5-7.

The Little Rock grand jury has not yet issued any indictments. Longtime observers of the grand jury believe Hubbell and his associates are possible targets for indictment. The grand jury has five days over two weeks to make a final decision.

CNN's Bob Franken contributed to this report.

In Other News

Wednesday, April 29, 1998

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Grand Jury Hears Hillary Clinton's Videotaped Testimony
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Starr In Little Rock For Final Push Before Grand Jury

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