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Letter Blasting Clinton Used to Discredit RTC

TIMES STAFF WRITER

In a highly unusual attempt to defend President Clinton against Whitewater-related charges, Senate Democrats on Wednesday made public part of a letter in which a government investigator offhandedly accused Clinton of lying when he denied having an affair with Gennifer Flowers.

Democrats on the Senate Whitewater investigating committee produced the letter excerpt in an effort to discredit Jean Lewis, an investigator for the Resolution Trust Corp. who has accused the Administration of trying to stifle the RTC’s Whitewater investigation.

Lewis, in a 20-page letter written to a friend in February, 1992, described Clinton as “a lying bastard.” She was referring to Clinton’s denial of allegations by Flowers, an Arkansas state employee, that she had had an affair with the then-governor of Arkansas.

Democrats argued that Lewis’ remark showed her bias against Clinton when she pursued an investigation of financial transactions related to a real estate development known as Whitewater. Her inquiry spawned charges that have dogged Clinton ever since.

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In Lewis’ defense, Republicans said that the remark was irrelevant to her investigation, which eventually led to criminal indictments of a number of Clinton’s political allies in Arkansas.

Democrats repeatedly assailed Lewis during her testimony before the Senate Whitewater Committee. After nearly six hours of harsh questioning, Lewis felt faint at the witness table and a doctor was summoned to treat her, ending the day’s proceedings.


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