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D’Amato Tries For Whitewater Extension

Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., wants to extend his Whitewater probe as far as July - prompting White House charges of “nakedly partisan” election-year motives.

The Senate may begin debate Tuesday on D’Amato’s request to extend hearings beyond the committee’s current Thursday deadline.

A D’Amato spokeswoman, Lisette McSoud, said: “We want to move it as fast as possible” and end the hearings before summer.

But she said the panel wants to call several witnesses who won’t be available until after the Whitewater trial of former Clinton partners Jim and Susan McDougal and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker.

D’Amato has said he hoped to wind up by July, or sooner “if we could do it sooner.”

White House Whitewater spokesman Mark Fabiani denounced the extension request.

He said campaigning by D’Amato and other GOP panel members for Bob Dole “make it clear that these hearings are all about inflicting political damage on the president during this election year.”

Senate Democrats were considering offering an alternative to give D’Amato an extension of about a month. It was doubtful the GOP majority would go along.


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