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Whitewater, Part 2

Posted by ESC on March 17, 2004

In Reply to: Whitewater, Part 2 posted by ACME on March 17, 2004

: : : : : : Hi, who can help me with the expression: Whitewater charges.Because of the Martha trial in the USA, she was convicted for whitewater charges. What does it mean?

: : : : : Infoplease at In part, it says:

: : : : : Whitewater, popular name for a failed 1970s Arkansas real estate venture by the Whitewater Development Corp., in which Governor (later President) Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, were partners; the name is also used for the political ramifications of this scheme.

: : : : : Whitewater was backed by the Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, which went bankrupt in 1989. The controlling partners in both the land deal and the bank were friends of the Clintons, James and Susan McDougal... Although nothing conclusive concerning the Clintons' involvement in the Whitewater deal was proved in the congressional or special prosecutor's inquiries, Republicans charged Hillary Clinton with having sought to suppress politically damaging information and accused Clinton administration officials of lying under oath.

: : : : : In early 1998, Starr won authorization to expand his investigation to include the Lewinsky scandal, and questions about Monica Lewinsky's relationship with Clinton quickly overshadowed Whitewater matters. However, in late 1998, when Starr presented his case for impeachment of the president for his attempts to conceal the Lewinsky affair, he indicated that his office had no impeachable evidence in the Whitewater matters. Starr resigned in Oct., 1999, and was succeeded by Robert W. Ray, the senior litigation counsel in Starr's office. In Sept., 2000, Ray ended the Whitewater inquiry, stating there was insufficient evidence to prove that President Clinton or his wife had committed any crime in connection with the failed real estate venture or the independent counsel's investigation into it; the final report was issued 18 months later. Susan McDougal was pardoned by President Clinton in Jan., 2001, shortly before he left office.
: : : : : See J. B. Stewart, Blood Sport: The President and His Adversaries ; M. Isikoff, Uncovering Clinton ."

: : : : Part 2, also from InfoPlease:

: : : : "Susan McDougal...After serving 18 months in prison for refusing to answer questions about President and Mrs. Clinton before the Whitewater grand jury, McDougal immediately began a 90-day detention at home for fraud in the Whitewater dealings..."

: : : : Someone more politically aware and articulate needs to pull all this together. But my thinking is that a comparison is being made between Martha Stewart and Susan McDougal. They couldn't bring them down on more substantial charges. So Susan went to jail for refusing to testify and Martha for lying.

: : : They got Al Capone for tax evasion, and Ollie North for accepting a home security system free of charge. I wonder what they would get me for, if I got on the wrong side of the wrong people.

: : What I mean is, if a government prosecutor wants to get you, they'll get you. "Whitewater" was supposed to have been a big scandal that could potentially bring down the Clinton presidency. But all they got was a relative nobody named Susan McDougal on a technicality. But a cloud hung of the Clintons, with vague rumors about boxes full of Rose Law Firm documents disappearing mysteriously, etc. The vast right-wing conspiracy (Rush, Drudge, et al) never allowed anyone to forget it. Martha Stewart was supposed to have been involved in a big insider trading scandal, but they only got her for lying to investigators. Martha Stewart resigned as head of the company she founded, and they are now taking her name of the flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine (so I hear). So she spends a litle time in jail or pays a fine, but is ruined. People will not remember what she got convicted for, but they'll remember that she got convicted.

: : I don't think there's any Lewinsky-type stuff in Martha's closet, but if there was, it would only serve to rehabilitate her image in today's world!

: : So I think ESC is right, Martha is being compared to Susan McDougal as a little fish caught in a big net.

: :::Martha sold a lot of stock (about $ 250,000 if I recall) based on some information she had from her broker that was not public information. The people who purchased that stock lost about half its value the next day. If that does not represent a situation where Martha took over $100,000 out of other peoples pockets, I don't know what it is. The feds couldn't meet the test of insider trading, so they got her for lying. In my opinion she IS a felon, and is getting what she deserved.

There is a good story in the current New Yorker about how it all went wrong for Mrs. Stewart.