May 18, 1997 in Nation/World

First Lady Indictment Possible? Abc Reports Starr Deputy Told Court Hillary Clinton Indictable

Associated Press
 

A Whitewater prosecutor told an appeals court that first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton could be indicted, ABC News reported Saturday.

In the past, Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth Starr has stopped short of saying that he had evidence sufficient to indict the first lady. But during a closed-door session in a federal appeals court in St. Louis, a Starr deputy said an indictment was possible, according to an audio tape of the purported discussion obtained by ABC News.

“We certainly are investigating individuals, and those individuals - including Mrs. Clinton - could be indicted,” Deputy Independent Counsel John Bates told the court.

Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, said Saturday he could not comment on the contents of a sealed transcript. But he said: “To say Mrs. Clinton is the subject of investigation is obvious, but to imply there is any real basis for it is ridiculous.”

ABC did not say how it obtained the tape recording, a portion of which it played in its Saturday evening newscast. Any kind of recording except by court stenographers is barred in all federal courts.

The network said Bates made the comment while in court to obtain notes involving Clinton’s Whitewater conversations with government lawyers.

Overruling Clinton’s claim that the conversations are protected by attorney-client privilege, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis ruled that the notes must be turned over to a federal grand jury.

The White House has appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

The notes in question involve Clinton’s conversations with White House lawyers concerning her actions after the death of Vincent Foster, former deputy White House counsel, and the mysterious reappearance of her law firm billing records - two key focuses of the Whitewater investigation.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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