Hillary Clinton accused of 'grave' abuse of power

Hillary Clinton was accused of a "grave" abuse of power by the Republican majority on the Senate Whitewater committee yesterday in covering up her involvement in the protracted controversy. But minority Democrats retorted that the report was a partisan and "despicable" attempt to smear the First Lady in an election year.

With much of the committee's 700-page report leaked, the final exchanges centred on the rediscovery of subpoenaed billing records of Mrs Clinton in the White House private quarters last January. Mrs Clinton had been the most likely person to put them there, the Republicans declared - a matter of "grave legal implication". However, the committee's ranking Democrat, Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, said that "having failed to tarnish the President, the Committee was on a massive witchhunt against Mrs Clinton." Rupert Cornwell - Washington

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