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Whitewater Trials and Impeachment of a President: 1994-99 - Hubbell "performed Little Or No Work"

starr indictment charges district

Just before McDougal's indictment, on April 30, Webster Hubbell—out of prison after serving 16 months of his three-year sentence and in home confinement since January 7, 1997—faced a new barrage of fraud and tax evasion charges by Kenneth Starr. In a 10-count indictment of Hubbell; his wife, Suzanna; his lawyer, Charles C. Owen; and his accountant, Michael C. Schaufele, the independent counsel alleged that Hubbell "performed little or no work" for the legal and consulting fees he was paid in 1994 by friends of the president—a time during which Hubbell was being investigated. The indictment also charged that all four defendants attempted "to evade and defeat the payment of back taxes, interest, and penalties amounting to more than $894,000 for 1989-1992, 1994, and 1995.

District Judge James Robertson, dismissing the charges on July 1, observed that Starr had been on "the quintessential fishing expedition." The judge noted that Hubbell had given Starr his financial records under an immunity agreement and Starr had then used those records as evidence against him. He also ruled that Starr had overstepped his authority in going after Hubbell without first obtaining approval from Attorney General Janet Reno. Starr filed an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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