By Susan Schmidt
The first lady was deposed by prosecutors for nearly five hours at the White House Saturday on matters relating to her work in the 1980s at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm and for Madison Guaranty, the now-defunct savings and loan owned by the Clintons' former business partners, Susan McDougal and her late ex-husband, James B. McDougal.
During her testimony -- the sixth sworn session she has had with prosecutors in the four-year investigation -- Hillary Clinton refused to answer two questions related to conversations she had with President Clinton, her lawyer David E. Kendall said yesterday.
"She appropriately declined to answer two questions which inquired into conversations she may have had with her husband, conversations that plainly fell under the long-established common law privilege for marital communications," Kendall said in a statement. The marital privilege prevents spouses from having to testify against one another.
The Little Rock grand jury is scheduled to disband May 7, and Starr has indicated that he will let it lapse without convening a new grand jury in Arkansas. Starr has another grand jury sitting in Washington, but several lawyers who have followed the proceedings said any charges against Hillary Clinton would likely be brought in Little Rock rather than in Washington. White House aides have said privately that they believe the Saturday session was merely an exit interview by Starr and his legal staff to clear up outstanding questions, not a prelude to an indictment.
Starr has been examining whether Hillary Clinton has been truthful about her work for Madison, particularly on a large real estate project the S&L financed called Castle Grande. The McDougals and former Arkansas governor Jim Guy Tucker (D) were convicted of fraud in a prosecution by Starr's office in 1996, in part in connection with transactions at Castle Grande.
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