White House Denies Hubbell Report

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Clinton Administration is denying a New York Times report that the Clintons knew Webster Hubbell was facing possible criminal charges when friends started lining up business contacts for him in early 1994. White House spokesman Mike McCurry said the President and Mrs. Clinton were aware of some allegations against Hubbell, but did not know "the full nature and seriousness" of the charges. According to the report, Clinton friend James Blair went to the President in March 1994 to tell him that Hubbell was in trouble and "needed to resign as quickly as possible." Hubbell resigned the No. 3 position at the Justice Department on March 14, 1994. In December, he pleaded guilty to fraud and served an 18-month prison sentence. The report goes to the heart of one of the most perplexing questions about Whitewater -- were White House officials arranging work for Hubbell simply as a favor, or in exchange for Hubbell's silence on Whitewater. The President has always maintained that any work on Hubbell's behalf was done out of friendship.