LITTLE ROCK: A federal court clerk Tuesday signed U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr.'s subpoena ordering President Clinton to testify in next month's trial of James and Susan McDougal and prepared to send it to the White House. Lawyers for the President say they will advise Clinton to give his testimony on videotape or via a satellite conference call. The McDougal lawyers, meanwhile, are still trying to have Clinton appear in person. The critical question prosecutor Kenneth Starr would explore with the President: whether he pressured former municipal judge David Hale to approve a $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the Clinton's Whitewater business partner. Clinton has in the past called the charges 'a bunch of bull.' "In a way, this is good for Clinton," says TIME's J.F.O. McAllister. "He'll get a chance to confront David Hale's allegations in court." In any event, McAllister says that Clinton won't testify anytime soon: "The Clintons would like to get this over with today, if possible, and put Whitewater all behind them before the election campaign heats up. But the McDougals' lawyers will not want Clinton to testify until after Hale has given his testimony," meaning that any presidential testimony is unlikely to occur until well after the McDougal trial begins on March 4.