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White House subpoenaed for Hubbell-related documents

March 5, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Probing payments to Whitewater figure Webster Hubbell, prosecutors have subpoenaed the White House for all documents about a wealthy Indonesian family which hired the long-time friend of the Clintons, administration officials disclosed Tuesday.

White House counsel Chuck Ruff sent a memo dated March 5 to all presidential aides saying that the subpoena seeks all documents relating to 14 people and six companies with ties to the Riady family of Indonesia.

Among those named in Ruff’s memo were the Lippo Insurance Group, Steven Riady and Little Rock, Ark., businessmen Mark Grobmyer and Joe Giroir.

The subpoena was issued Jan. 30. Ruff’s memo is the final step in ensuring that everyone in the White House complies with the subpoena, an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday.

``This is all about the money to Hubbell,″ said a lawyer familiar with the Whitewater investigation and with the subpoena.

Whitewater prosecutors and Republicans on Capitol Hill are delving into financial payments to Hubbell over the past 2 1/2 years by Clinton allies, including the Riadys.

Hubbell’s vague answers to many central questions in the Whitewater investigation over the past two years have frustrated investigators’ efforts to learn about the role of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the business dealings.

Hubbell, associate attorney general the first year of Clinton’s presidency, and Mrs. Clinton were law partners in the mid-1980s when their firm was representing the failing savings and loan at the center of the Whitewater investigation.

Hubbell, who pleaded guilty in December 1994 to tax evasion and mail fraud, says he doesn’t recall many of those events, which revolve around loans by the S&L to his father-in-law, prominent Little Rock businessman Seth Ward.

After leaving the Justice Department in 1994 and while he was under criminal investigation by Whitewater prosecutors, Hubbell received money from a company controlled by the Riadys. Hubbell testified to a Whitewater grand jury in Little Rock in November about the payments.

But late last month, Hubbell said through his attorney that he would not cooperate with a congressional probe into the payments, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Hubbell has refused to say publicly how much he was paid by the Riady business interests or what work he performed for the money.

The head of a House investigation, meanwhile, announced the issuance of new subpoenas for White House and Democratic National Committee records relating to former Democratic fund-raiser John Huang and others. Huang was an executive for Riady-owned banks before joining the Clinton administration and later the DNC.

Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., also said the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, was seeking documents on a White House request for information about a Justice Department investigation into allegations the Chinese Embassy funneled donations to the Democrats.

The White House says it has only received routine intelligence from the Justice Department.