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Starr’s Office Asserts Error by Post, Mrs. Clinton

May 23, 1996

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who has prompted one newspaper to correct a Whitewater trial article, has asserted error by another and Hillary Rodham Clinton, a figure in his probe.

Starr focused on a May 16 Washington Post article that said Assistant Independent Counsel Ray Jahn described his chief Whitewater trial witness David Hale as a ``notorious thief, a notorious crook, a notorious liar.″

The independent counsel’s statement also referred to Mrs. Clinton’s remark Monday night on Cable News Network’s ``Larry King Live″ that Jahn had called Hale ``a notorious liar.″

``In fact, Mr. Jahn made neither statement,″ Starr said in the two-paragraph statement issued Tuesday.

In trial transcript, Jahn said: ``Who else is on the defense as far as the defendants were concerned? David Hale. By their own words from the defendants, a notorious thief, a notorious crook, a notorious liar.″

This ``unequivocally establishes, that Mr. Jahn only acknowledged that the defense characterized David Hale in that manner,″ Starr said.

White House spokesman Mark Fabiani said Mrs. Clinton relied on the Post.

The Post said it was reviewing the matter.

The Los Angeles Times published a correction Saturday after Starr took issue with a story that said one of his deputies said the trial’s chief purpose was to gather evidence against President Clinton.

Starr spokeswoman Debbie Gershman said Starr has overlooked many errors in news reports, but moves to correct them if the errors are repeated.

Defendants in the 12-week-old trial are Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and the Clintons’ former Whitewater real estate partners, James McDougal and his ex-wife Susan.

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