Accuracy in Media

Henry Hyde, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee apparently intends to broaden the impeachment inquiry. Both The New York Times and the Associated Press reported on November 17 that Hyde was planning to go beyond the charges submitted by Independent Counsel Ken Starr. Starr confined the charges he submitted to the committee to matters relating to the Monica Lewinsky affair. A senior Republican Congressional aide told The New York Times that Hyde would ask the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee to take testimony from John Huang.

Huang is the former employee of the Indonesian Lippo Group, who was so successful in raising money for the Democratic National Committee that he was given a top job at the Commerce Department by President Clinton. While at Commerce, he appears to have continued to stay in close touch with his former bosses at Lippo, Mochtar Riady and his son James. He was later moved to a senior post with the Democratic National Committee, where he was freer to use his fund-raising skills.

It was recently reported that Ken Starr had given limited immunity to Huang in exchange for his testimony. He is reported to have said that he knew of no work that Clinton’s close friend Webster Hubbell had done for the $100,000 that the Lippo Group paid him in a lump sum in June 1994. That payment was made after Hubbell was forced to resign as Associate Attorney General because his former law firm was bringing charges against him for the theft of nearly a half million dollars from the firm and its clients.

It has been suspected for nearly two years that Bill and Hillary Clinton arranged for this and other large payments to Hubbell to induce him not to cooperate with Starr, who had assumed the prosecutorial role in the Hubbell case.

The New York Times reported in May 1997 that there was proof that both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton had lied when they denied knowing that Hubbell was in serious legal trouble when he resigned his Justice Department post. The Times saw this as a strong indication that the Clintons were behind the arrangement of payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars by their friends and large Democratic contributors to Hubbell. These payments were supposed to be fees for legal work, but Hubbell has refused to tell what work, if any he did for Lippo or other contributors.

It was reported last April that the total paid to Hubbell came to $720,000. Tapes of Hubbell’s phone conversations with his wife when he was in prison contained a virtual admission that the Clinton’s had bought his silence.

Hubbell said he guessed he would have to roll over one more time for the Clintons. That was when the White House was pressuring him to drop plans to sue the Rose Law Firm. It seems obvious that the payments were hush money and the White House was behind it. Starr should have included this in his list of impeachable offenses, but the senior Congressional aide told The Times, “We can’t really count on Starr. He’s not being very helpful.”

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