A judge threw out four charges each against Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and Susan McDougal in the Whitewater trial Monday, but let stand all 19 counts against James McDougal.
Tucker and the McDougals, who were President and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s former partners in the Whitewater land development, were indicted last August on 21 fraud and conspiracy charges for allegedly misusing $3 million in federally backed loans obtained before Tucker became governor in 1992.
Tucker still faces seven felonies, including a government claim that he conspired with McDougal in arranging the loans. Susan McDougal was cleared of the conspiracy charge but still faces four felonies.
U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. said a reasonable jury would not be able to convict Susan McDougal of the conspiracy. He also rejected two wire fraud charges against her and another one that said she lied to the Small Business Administration about a loan with which Tucker bought a sewer-and-water utility.
The judge said Tucker could not be held accountable for four charges regarding a $65,000 loan made to a business associate. Stephen Smith admitted using the loan to pay off a real estate note he held with Tucker and McDougal, rather than for his communications consulting company, as listed on loan documents.
Assistant Independent Counsel W. Ray Jahn said prosecutors weren’t terribly surprised by the ruling.
Sam Heuer, Jim McDougal’s lawyer, said he won’t show the videotaped testimony of President Clinton on Tuesday, when the defense begins presenting its case. He said he might show it on Wednesday.