First cycle of Whitewater wash starts: Congress told that Whitewater showed only bad judgement
Wednesday 27 July 1994
Addressing the House Banking Committee, Mr Cutler firmly denied Republican suggestions that the officials had tried to influence a probe by the Resolution Trust Corporation, the Treasury-controlled regulatory agency, into Madison. Among the audience in the woodpanelled hearing room was Jim McDougal, owner of Madison and co-partner with the Clintons in the Whitewater real estate venture.
Mr Cutler acknowledged there had been much loose talk at the White House, 'too many people having too many discussions about too many sensitive matters' which should have been left to the White House counsel's office. But 'nothing happened as a result of the contacts. They had no impact on the real world of RTC activity.'
Mr Cutler's testimony marks only the beginning of what could be months of on- and-off hearings on Capitol Hill into the Whitewater affair, parts of which are still under investigation by the special prosecutor, Robert Fiske. In PR terms, it could be critical.
A venerable Washington insider and one-time counsel to President Jimmy Carter, Mr Cutler, 76, only returned to the White House in March as Mr Clinton cast around for an experienced figure to contain a controversy which had forced the resignation of former Counsel Bernard Nussbaum and threatened to consume both himself and the entire administration.
'I am not a special pleader for the President of the United States, I did not ask for this job,' he told a Republican questioner, adding that he had issued a set of guidelines to ensure that any future contacts between the White House and law enforcement agencies would be 'beyond reasonable challenge'.
Challenge, however, was the watchword for the Republican minority on the committee, led by Iowa Congressman Jim Leach. Whitewater, said Mr Leach, was not Watergate, it was a mere 'bump on the landscape of political scandal'. But its handling was a case study in the 'arrogance of power'.
On a strict party line vote the committee's Democrat majority beat off a Republican attempt to extend the hearing to cover the 1993 suicide of the White House deputy counsel, Vincent Foster. As a result, this first phase of hearings will be confined to the White House-Treasury contacts.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
£35k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...
£50k - 60k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...
£50k - 70k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...
£50k - 55k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An exciting opportunity ...