Double Hubbell Trouble

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Operating on the theory that if Web Hubbell didn't talk after the first jail term, maybe he would if faced with the threat of a second, Ken Starr got another indictment Thursday for the former No. 3 man at the Justice Department. The Whitewater grand jury handed down a 10-count indictment of Hubbell, his wife and two others on tax fraud charges. The allegations were that Hubbell cheated the federal government out of more than $800,000 in back taxes. But the subtext is that Starr is still looking to flip Hubbell as a way to get his investigation closer to the Oval Office. Hubbell lawyer John Nields said as much, telling reporters that Starr was sticking his client with a trumped-up tax fraud charge out of a desire to punish Hubbell for not giving him more on Clinton.

What Starr wants to hear from Hubbell is some confirmation of his suspicion that the more than $700,000 in consulting fees paid to Hubbell by presidential supporters (including Time Warner) after he left Justice amounted to hush money designed to buy his silence on Whitewater. "Certainly, this reopens the question of whether there was something there," says TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan. "But there's certainly nothing wrong with helping a friend, and Hubbell was a powerful guy with connections to the President. And no one so far has been able to make the direct charge that there was any sort of quid pro quo for Hubbell."

So for Hubbell, the squeeze is back on, this time with the added burden of his wife to think about. Whether he has anything left to tell Starr is still very much up in the air.