LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) –
Independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s
prosecutors rested their case against
Whitewater figure Susan McDougal
Thursday after a week of testimony
aimed at proving she broke the law by
not talking to a grand jury.
McDougal’s lawyers were set to begin
their case to the jury later in the day,
calling as their first witness Starr’s chief
deputy in Arkansas.
McDougal, 44, was charged with obstructing justice and criminal
contempt of court for refusing to answer questions from a Starr
grand jury investigating past financial dealings in Arkansas by
President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
McDougal’s attorney subpoenaed Starr deputy Hickman Ewing
Wednesday to appear as the first witness for the defense, which
argues that McDougal kept silent because she believed Starr
would twist her testimony to hurt Clinton.
Starr responded by filing a motion early Thursday challenging the
subpoena, saying it did not provide enough detail about what
Ewing would be asked.
Judge George Howard ordered the defense to provide more
details. The two sides then reached an agreement in the judge’s
chambers that allowed the defense to proceed as planned.
“I want to confirm what I think we’ve already established, that the
grand jury wasn’t getting the full truth” about the investigation,
McDougal’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said about why he wanted
to question Ewing.
Prosecutors started wrapping up their case Wednesday with
testimony by former grand jurors aimed at bolstering their case
that the Whitewater investigation was seeking legitimate
information and not trying to persecute the Clintons.
Susan and James McDougal, her late former husband, invested in
the Whitewater land deal with Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton in
the late 1970s. Clinton was the Arkansas attorney general at the
The real estate venture failed and questions about the financing for
the Whitewater deal resulted in Starr’s investigation of the
Both McDougals were convicted of fraud in 1996 in a
Whitewater-related case. James McDougal died in jail last year.