Time Line (1995-1998)
The Clintons (Larry Morris/The Washington Post)
Back to 1978-1994
Jan. 3, 1995
The Democratic majority on the Senate Banking Committee releases a report finding no laws were broken in the Whitewater matter.
April 22, 1995
Starr interviews the Clintons privately.
July 18, 1995
The Senate Special Whitewater Committee, chaired by Republican Alfonse D'Amato, begins hearings on Whitewater and on Foster's suicide. D'Amato is also a chairman of Republican Bob Dole's presidential campaign. The hearings last 11 months.
Aug. 10, 1995
The House Banking Committee, chaired by Republican Jim Leach of Iowa, finishes its examination and finds no illegalities.
Aug. 17, 1995
A grand jury charges James and Susan McDougal and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker with bank fraud relating to questionable loans.
Oct. 26, 1995
The Senate Whitewater committee issues 49 subpoenas to federal agencies and others involved in the affair.
Dec. 12, 1995
White House associate counsel William H. Kennedy III, who worked at the Rose Law Firm, refuses to release subpoenaed notes of a 1993 meeting between administration officials and the president's lawyers about Whitewater.
Dec. 20, 1995
The Senate votes along party lines to enforce the subpoena. The next day, the White House drops its claim to attorney-client privilege and releases the notes. They prove vague and do not reveal any illegality, but contain the phrase "Vacuum Rose law files WWDC Docs subpoena."
Jan. 4, 1996
Hillary Clinton's billing records from the Rose Law Firm are found on a table in the White House residence book room after two years. Clinton aide Carolyn Huber says she found the bills in August 1995 but didn't realize their significance until coming across them again. The documents include copies of bills for Hillary Clinton's legal work, showing she performed 60 hours of legal work for Madison in 1985 and 1986.
Jan. 8, 1996
In a commentary titled "Blizzard of Lies," New York Times columnist William Safire describes Hillary Clinton as "a congenital liar." White House press secretary Michael McCurry said if Clinton were not president he "would have delivered a more forceful response to that [column] on the bridge of Mr. Safire's nose."
Jan. 15, 1996
Republicans suggest billing documents may have been withheld from their investigation to disguise how much work Hillary Clinton had done for Madison Guaranty. The White House issues a denial.
Jan. 22, 1996
Kenneth Starr subpoenas Hillary Clinton in a criminal probe to determine if records were intentionally withheld. This is the first time a wife of a sitting president has been subpoenaed.
Jan. 26, 1996
Hillary Clinton testifies before a grand jury about the discovery and content of the billing records.
March 4, 1996
Whitewater trial of Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker (D) and the McDougals begins in Little Rock.
April 22, 1996
David Hale, the former owner of a government-funded
lending company who has pleaded guilty to two felonies,
testifies at Whitewater trial that in early 1985 then governor Bill Clinton pressured him to make a fraudulent $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal and asked that his
name be kept out of the transaction.
April 28, 1996
Clinton testifies on videotape as a defense witness for just over four hours. He denies Hale's charge. The tape is played to the Whitewater trial jury on May 9.
May 26, 1996
Gov. Tucker and the McDougals are convicted of nearly all the fraud and conspiracy charges Starr lodged against them 10 months earlier.
May 28, 1996
The White House acknowledges that during four months in late 1993 it wrongly collected FBI background reports on hundreds, including prominent Republicans. Director of personnel security, Craig Livingstone, later takes responsibility.
June 17, 1996
"Second" Whitewater trial begins. Arkansas bankers Herby Branscum Jr. and Robert Hill are accused of illegally using bank funds to reimburse themselves for political contributions, including contributions to Clinton's gubernatorial and presidential campaigns.
June 18, 1996
The Senate Whitewater committee
finishes its investigation. Republicans and Democrats remain divided in their respective reports on whether the Clintons committed any ethical breaches.
July 7, 1996
President Clinton testifies on tape for the second Whitewater trial.
July 15, 1996
Jim Guy Tucker resigns as governor of Arkansas.
July 16 & 17, 1996
Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Branscum-Hill trial, testifies about his role as the treasurer of Clinton's gubernatorial reelection effort in 1990. He says he never sought to conceal from regulators two large cash withdrawals he ordered.
July 18, 1996
President Clinton's videotaped testimony from July 7 is aired at the trial. In it, Clinton
denies naming the two defendants to unsalaried state posts in exchange for contributions to his 1990 gubernatorial campaign.
Aug. 1, 1996
In a major setback for Starr's investigation, Branscum and Hill are cleared on four counts of bank fraud by a federal jury, which deadlocks on seven other charges.
Aug. 19, 1996
Former governor Tucker receives a suspended four-year sentence after his doctor testifies that he would likely die of liver disease if imprisoned. Tucker is placed under home detention and fined $319,000.
Aug. 20, 1996
Susan McDougal is sentenced to two years in prison for her role in obtaining an illegal loan for the Whitewater venture.
Sept. 4, 1996
Susan McDougal, who had considered cooperating with prosecutors, says she doesn't trust them. She enters jail for contempt of court rather than testify in front of a grand jury.
Sept. 23, 1996
An FDIC inspector general's report concludes Hillary Clinton drafted a real estate document that Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan used to "deceive" federal regulators in 1986.
Sept. 30, 1996
The General Accounting Office reports that independent counsels investigating President Clinton and his administration have spent more than $25 million. Starr alone has spent more than $17 million.
Nov. 24, 1996
Clinton's former campaign strategist for the 1992 election, James Carville, announces plans to attack Starr as a partisan hatchet man with a right-wing agenda.
Feb. 17, 1997
Starr unexpectedly announces he will leave his post as independent counsel in August to become the dean of Pepperdine University Law School in California. After much criticism, Starr reverses his decision four days later and resolves to keep his post until after the investigation is completed.
April 10, 1997
On a radio talk show, Hillary Clinton denies that hush money was arranged for former law partner Webster L. Hubbell. She says Whitewater reminds her "of some people's obsession with UFOs and the Hale-Bopp comet some days."
April 14, 1997
James B. McDougal is sentenced to three years in prison for his conviction on 18 fraud and conspiracy charges. Starr requested a reduced sentence for McDougal for assisting the prosecution.
April 22, 1997
The U.S. District Court extends the Whitewater grand jury's term six more months, until Nov. 7, after Starr says he has "extensive evidence" of possible obstruction of justice.
April 25, 1997
8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, overruling a lower court, says the White House must turn over subpoenaed notes to Starr. The notes, for which the White House claimed attorney-client privilege, were taken by White House lawyers when investigators questioned the First Lady.
May 2, 1997
The White House announces that it will appeal the decision on the subpoenaed notes to the Supreme Court.
June 23, 1997
The Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal, and the White House turns over the notes.
June 25, 1997
The Washington Post reports that Whitewater prosecutors have been questioning Arkansas state troopers about President Clinton's personal life, including possible extramarital affairs he may have had while Arkansas governor.
July 15, 1997
Starr's office concludes that Vincent Foster's death in 1993 was a suicide.
July 30, 1997
Susan McDougal, being detained for contempt of court, is moved into a federal detention facility after seven months in two Los Angeles jails, much of which she spent locked in a windowless cell 23 hours a day. The move comes a week after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit alleging that McDougal was being held, at Starr's request, in "barbaric" conditions in an attempt to coerce her to testify.
Sept. 30, 1997
The General Accounting Office announces that Starr had spent over $25 million on his investigation as of March 1997.
January 16, 1998
Starr receives permission to expand his investigation into whether Clinton and his close friend Vernon E. Jordan Jr. encouraged a 24-year-old former White House intern to lie under oath about her alleged affair with the president.
March 8, 1998
James McDougal dies just months before he hoped to be released from prison.
April 1, 1998
The General Accounting Office announces that Starr had spent nearly $30 million on his investigation as of September 1997.
April 16, 1998
Starr says there is no end in sight to his investigation, and officially declines the Pepperdine job, which was being held open for him.
April 23, 1998
Susan McDougal, finally serving her two-year fraud sentence after completing her 18-month contempt of court sentence, refuses yet again to testify before Starr's Little Rock grand jury.
April 25, 1998
Starr and deputies question Hillary Rodham Clinton about Whitewater for nearly five hours at the White House. The testimony is videotaped for the Little Rock grand jury.
April 30, 1998
A new set of tax evasion and fraud charges is brought against
May 4, 1998
Susan McDougal is indicted on charges of criminal contempt and obstruction.
April 30, 1998
A federal judge dismisses the tax and fraud charges against
Hubbell and criticizes Starr for going on "the quintessential fishing expedition."
Nov. 13, 1998
Starr brings a third indictment against Hubbell, this one alleging lies to Congress and federal banking regulators.
Nov. 19, 1998
During the first day of impeachment hearings, Starr clears Clinton in relation to the firing of White House travel office workers in 1993
and the improper collection of FBI files revealed in 1996. He also says his office drafted an impeachment referral stemming from Whitewater in 1997, but decided not to send it because the evidence was insufficient.
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