Clinton escapes scrutiny of his financial affairs

JANET RENO, the US Attorney-General, yesterday rejected calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate President Bill Clinton's financial dealings when he was governor of Arkansas. She denied that the Justice Department was helping the White House keep documents about the affair secret.

The accusations that the Justice Department is aiding the Clintons to escape scrutiny over their relations with Whitewater Development - the property company under investigation - started after it was revealed that documents being turned over by the White House will be covered by a subpoena that will prevent their contents being disclosed to Congress or the press.

White House officials say openly that they requested the subpoena from the Justice Department because it would make it a crime to leak the documents, and preserve 'the privacy of the process'. In December the Clintons said they were voluntarily turning over all records but did not disclose the restrictive terms under which they were doing so.

The lengths to which the White House is going to keep the Whitewater documents away from journalists and congressmen is fuelling speculation that it would only do so if they contain damaging information. The Clintons' original explanation that they had little knowledge of White water's affairs appears ragged under press investigation.

Although the White House has repeated that no illegality is alleged, a series of disclosures - contradicting the Clintons' claim to be passive shareholders - has brought demands for the appointment of a special prosecutor. Newspapers normally supportive of the administration are sceptical about past explantions.

A further twist to the story comes from California where Susan McDougal, former wife of James McDougal who ran Whitewater and the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, is being charged with embezzling dollars 200,000 (pounds 135,000). Mrs McDougal played an important role in both companies and also received a dollars 300,000 small business loan in 1986 which was never repaid. The owner of the finance company which made the loan says he was pressurised into doing so by then-governor Mr Clinton and Mr McDougal.

Nobody is clear how far the Clintons really have anything to conceal and how far they were trapped by previous cover-stories which pretended that a limited involvement with Mr McDougal was non- existent. The removal of papers from the office of Vince Foster, the White House counsel who committed suicide last July, has also made it appear that Mr Clinton is frightened of what they contain.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Client Relationship Assistant / Business Support

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you willing to give fantastic Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Assistant Document Controller

£11000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Greenwich based firm of Archite...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum