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White House subpoenaed for Lippo, Riady documents

March 5, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ With a subpoena to the White House, prosecutors are delving into whether the files of presidential aides hold any evidence regarding payments by Clinton allies to Whitewater figure Webster Hubbell.

Administration officials disclosed Tuesday that Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr subpoenaed documents relating to 14 people and six companies with ties to the Riadys, a wealthy Indonesian family long supportive of the Clintons.

Hubbell received an undisclosed amount of money from a Riady-controlled company while the former associate attorney general was under criminal investigation by Whitewater prosecutors in 1994.

He later pleaded guilty to two felonies and promised to cooperate with investigators, but his memory lapses regarding activities involving first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, a former law partner, have frustrated efforts to get to the bottom of Whitewater.

White House counsel Chuck Ruff sent a memo dated March 5 to all presidential aides saying they must comply with the subpoena by March 14. The subpoena was issued Jan. 30.

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

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

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.

While at the DNC in February 1996, Huang met with Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Mass., about delays in Federal Reserve approval of a Taiwanese government-owned bank’s application to open a bank in southern California, The Washington Post reported in today’s editions.

Kennedy, a member of the House Banking Committee, said he had an aide make a perfunctory call to the Federal Reserve, but then dropped the matter. The application was approved almost a year later, the newspaper said.