A look at legal tangle around White House

June 23, 1996|By the Knight-Ridder Washington bureau.

WASHINGTON -- It's not easy keeping track of the different investigations, trials and hearings into controversies touching the Clinton White House. Here's a look at some of the major ones:

* Independent Counsel -- Kennth W. Starr has already obtained convictions of Clinton's former business associates and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker. Last week, a trial started in Arkansas of owners of an Arkansas bank on charges they illegally used bank money for contributions to then-Gov. Bill Clinton's 1990 re-election campaign. The case also names top ++ White House aide and Clinton confidant Bruce Lindsey as an unindicted co-conspirator, saying he tried to hide campaign bank withdrawals from the Internal Revenue Service.

Attorney General Janet Reno is also recommending that Starr be given authority to investigate the White House use of FBI files on Republicans. Starr is already looking into the White House dismissal of the former travel office director, Billy Dale, and charges that the White House used the FBI to smear Dale, later cleared of wrongdoing.

* FBI Files -- The Senate Judiciary Committee started hearings last week on the White House use of FBI background files on more than 400 people, most of them appointees from the Reagan and Bush administrations. The FBI has said the White House should not have had the files; the White House says it was a mistake.

* Travel Office -- The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee has been investigating the Clinton administration's dismissal of Billy Dale, former White House travel office director. In the course of that investigation, the committee discovered that the White House had obtained the FBI files, including the one on Dale. Also investigating the use of the FBI files. U.S. District Court in Arkansas

* Sex Harassment -- In a lawsuit, a former Arkansas state $H employee, Paula Jones, accuses Clinton of sexually harassing her while he was governor. Clinton denies it, and his claim that he should not have to deal with the lawsuit until after he leaves office is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

* Whitewater -- The Senate Whitewater Committee concluded its 13-month inquiry last week with the Republican report criticizing Hillary Rodham Clinton, suggesting she has not been forthcoming with investigators. The Democratic report exonerated both the president and the first lady.

Pub Date: 06/23/96

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