Arrow-right Camera


Hubbell, Huang May Face Charges Ex-Administration Officials Won’t Obey House Subpoenas

Sat., Feb. 22, 1997

The chairman of a House panel investigating Democratic Party fund raising said Friday that he would seek contempt citations against two former Clinton administration officials for refusing to hand over subpoenaed documents.

The chairman, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., said he would ask the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee to consider contempt of Congress charges against Webster L. Hubbell, the former associate attorney general convicted of fraud, and John Huang, the former Commerce Department official who became a Democratic National Committee vice chairman.

Both men have said they will not turn over documents subpoenaed by the committee.

The committee wants Hubbell to document precisely what he did to earn a retainer of more than $100,000 from the Lippo Group, a company owned by the Riady family, Indonesian billionaires and longtime political allies of President Clinton.

Hubbell received the retainer in 1994, after resigning from the Justice Department while under criminal investigation for defrauding clients of the law firm in Little Rock, Ark., where he and Hillary Rodham Clinton once were partners.

The committee also wants Huang, the Riadys’ senior American executive before joining the Commerce Department in 1994, to document his work as a Democratic Party fundraiser in 1995 and 1996. Huang raised $1.2 million in questionable campaign contributions, money the Democratic National Committee has returned.

Through a lawyer, Huang has said he might invoke his Fifth Amendment right against involuntary self-incrimination.

Strains within Burton’s committee are showing. Its ranking Democrat, Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California, Friday released a letter to Burton saying the chairman had arrogated subpoena power for himself.

Waxman disputed his colleague’s “right to issue subpoenas unilaterally,” calling it “an extraordinary assertion of power” that went beyond the committee’s rules.

Click here to comment on this story »