Hubbell Back on the Stand

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WASHINGTON, D. C.: Former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell took time out from the 21 month prison term he's serving for Whitewater-related fraud to go before the Senate Whitewater Committee for the third time on Wednesday. Hubbell denied that he intentionally misled federal regulators in their inquiry two years ago into a possible conflict of interest in the Rose law firm where he and Hillary Clinton were both partners. Hubbell's testimony was prompted by the discovery last month in the Clinton residence of Rose law firm billing records that had been missing under subpoena for 18 months. The documents show the firm did some 60 hours of work on the Castle Grande land transaction that regulators say was a sham deal for the failed Madison Guaranty savings and loan at the center of the Whitewater controversy. In testimony before federal regulators two years ago, Hubbell did not mention that Rose lawyers, including Mrs. Clinton, had done work on the deal. Relying on evidence then available, federal regulators cleared the law firm of any conflict of interest. Wednesday, Hubbell acknowledged that he, like Mrs. Clinton, had in fact spoken frequently to his father-in-law Seth Ward, a Castle Grande principal, about the deal. Hubbell said he did not mention this work during his previous testimony, because he assumed that regulators had already seen the missing billing records. As for the strange reappearance of the records in the White House, Hubbell said he reviewed the records during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and had "no idea" what happened to them after that.