McDougal’s Lawyer Puts ‘Mockery’ Label on Senate Hearings
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Calling the Senate Whitewater Committee’s work ``the biggest mockery since the McCarthy era,″ the lawyer for President and Mrs. Clinton’s former Whitewater partner Tuesday refused to be questioned by Republican investigators on the panel.
Chief counsel Robert Giuffra sought to interview attorney Sam Heuer about all his contacts concerning David Hale, a former Little Rock judge who has made allegations against President Clinton.
Heuer, who represents former Arkansas savings and loan owner James McDougal, told the committee he is preparing for McDougal’s Whitewater trial in January.
``Anything that I have knowledge of is either privileged or part of my work product,″ Heuer wrote Giuffra. Hale will be the prosecution’s chief witness at the trial of McDougal and his ex-wife and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker.
The Senate committee is examining who White House aides talked with about the investigation of Hale, who said he was pressured by Clinton to make an improper $300,000 federally backed loan to McDougal’s wife.
Giuffra’s letter Monday said the questioning would deal with anyone Heuer spoke to from the day that Hale came under criminal investigation in 1993 until the U.S. attorney in the case, Paula Casey, a Clinton appointee, withdrew from the matter six months later.
Heuer wrote that if the panel issues a subpoena requiring him to appear, ``I must point out that duck season begins November 24 and I certainly feel that this sporting event is much more important than the business currently being investigated by the Committee.″
``This is the biggest mockery since the McCarthy era,″ Heuer added in an interview, referring to the early 1950s investigations led by the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy into alleged communists in the government.
The committee ``has not yet received Mr. Heuer’s response to this letter,″ said Giuffra. ``The procedure is that we make requests for voluntary appearances by witnesses. If the request is denied, the committee may seek a subpoena.″