First Lady faces new attack

AS Hillary Clinton's chief aides testified before a federal grand jury here yesterday, House Republicans opened a new front against the embattled First Lady by demanding a probe into whether she improperly traded in health care stocks, when she was already heading the President's task force on health-care reform.

More than 80 Republican Congressmen have asked the government's ethics office to investigate Mrs Clinton's stake in Valuepartners, a Little Rock investment group which took short positions in several health care stocks in early 1993 - in other words betting that the share prices would fall. The White House has denied any impropriety, saying that Hillary Clinton knew nothing of Valuepartners' activities after 1992.

But the Clinton's financial assets of around dollars 500,000 ( pounds 340,000) were not put into the automatic 'blind trust' customary for a Presidential family until July 1993.

The move increases the pressure on Mrs Clinton to explain publicly her involvement in the Whitewater controversy, a tangled skein that has not only enveloped the Clintons' links with the Whitewater real estate venture and the failed Madison Guaranty bank, but all their Arkansas financial dealings.

Yesterday there were signs of a change of heart by the White House. After a week of stonewalling and media criticism that Mrs Clinton, whose Whitewater role was greater than her husband's, was evading scrutiny, Officials are said to be considering a television appearance by the First Couple to take questions on Whitewater.

Though physically absent, Mrs Clinton was present in spirit at the yesterday's opening grand jury proceedings, in the same courthouse through which once trooped witnesses in the previous causes celebres of Watergate and Iran-Contra. Maggie Williams, her Chief of Staff, and her press secretary, Lisa Caputo, were the first of 10 subpoenaed White House and Treasury officials to be questioned by special counsel, Robert Fiske.

Ms Williams helped the White House counsel, Bernard Nussbaum, remove Whitewater documents from the office of Vince Foster, a close friend of the Clintons and Mr Nussbaum's deputy until his apparent suicide last July.

Mr Foster's death has been an enduring mystery and source of rumours. Whether Ms William's testimony yesterday covered the episode in Mr Foster's office was unclear. But it did deal with the meetings between White House and Treasury officials on the progress of a federal probe into Madison's failure. Ms Williams took part in one of the sessions, last month. Their disclosure a week ago transformed an Arkansas financial imbroglio into a full- fledged White House scandal. A key issue is to what extent she informed, or was instructed by, Mrs Clinton.

For all the media uproar, the public is still unconvinced by Whitewater. According to one poll, only 16 per cent think the President did something illegal, compared to 34 per cent who consider Whitewater little more than Republican mischiefmaking. But the positive ratings of both Clintons has slipped from 55 per cent to below 50 per cent.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
fashion
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Travel
travel
News
people
Voices
Jules and Delaney
voices
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

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

English Teacher- Manchester

£19200 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes