The lawyer who Hillary Rodham Clinton says arranged for her Rose Law Firm to begin representing the failed savings and loan that is at the heart of the Whitewater affair will testify today before a Senate committee.
Under previous questioning by federal regulators, Richard Massey, a partner in Rose, has twice said he was unable to recall the origins of the Little Rock law firm’s business with Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan.
The question is an important one for the Senate Whitewater Committee, which is trying to determine whether Hillary Clinton told the truth when she pointed to Massey as the one who brought Madison’s business into the law firm. The Clintons’ partner in the Whitewater real estate venture, James McDougal, owned Madison.
“To the best of my recollection, the president of Madison Guaranty, John Latham, who was a friend of an associate at the Rose Law Firm, Richard Massey, became interested in having Madison Guaranty issue some kind of preferred stock to raise capital,” the first lady said in sworn answers last May.
“Latham had spoken to Massey about doing the related legal work” and Massey “came to see me” because some Rose lawyers wanted the S&L; to pay off an old debt to Rose and to require Madison to prepay the law firm once a month, Hillary Clinton added.
She provided the written responses to the Resolution Trust Corp., which was overseeing the cleanup of the S&L; industry.
Massey told federal investigators on Oct. 4, 1994, that he “does not know how or why Madison selected the firm to represent them” before state securities regulators.
And last April 25, Massey said in a written statement to the RTC that “I do not recall after the passage of 10 years precisely how Rose was retained by Madison Guaranty.”
The Associated Press reviewed Massey’s written statement and the Oct. 4 interview summary prepared by investigators for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s office of inspector general. Neither document has been publicly released.
On Wednesday, Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., complained that the White House is withholding critical material documents from the panel: electronic mail, a briefing book used to prepare Hillary Clinton for an April 1994 Whitewater news conference and some notes, apparent chronologies compiled by then-associate White House counsel Neil Eggleston detailing key Whitewater dates.
White House spokesman Mark Fabiani said the administration thinks the Senate Whitewater Committee that D’Amato chairs should foot the cost of retrieving the e-mail. Fabiani also said the White House is willing to sit down with the panel to go over the briefing book.