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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Lady 'Happy' to Face Grand Jury

WASHINGTON -- Declaring she is ready to tell "everything I know," Hillary Rodham Clinton went to a federal courthouse Friday to offer her explanation why her law firm records turned up inside the White House living quarters two years after they were subpoenaed.


She is the first wife of a U.S. president ever compelled to testify before a grand jury.


Smiling and waving, she walked up the front steps of the same courthouse where previous grand juries have investigated the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals. "I am happy to answer the grand jury's questions and look forward to telling them everything I know with the hope that it will help them in their investigation," she said, as she paused before a bank of microphones.


She was wearing a long black coat as she emerged from a White House car.


Across the street, a throng of observers gathered, many carrying signs. One supporter's sign declared: "We're with you, Hillary." Others read, "Liar, liar, pants on fire" and "shred no more."


The appearance culminated more than two weeks of revelations about Clinton's roles in both Whitewater and the White House travel office firings that have taken a political toll as her husband prepares for his re-election campaign.


The White House said Mrs. Clinton spent part of this morning with the president. "The president reassured her, told her that he loves her, that she would do a good job," spokesman Mike McCurry said.


On Thursday, the first lady said "it will be a relief" to answer prosecutors' questions but quipped it was "not a first that I'm particularly pleased about."


She faced questions about the mysterious reappearance of long-sought billing records outlining her work for the failed Arkansas savings and loan at the center of the Whitewater criminal investigation. Republicans question whether the records were hidden to obstruct the investigation. Clinton said she had nothing to do with the mysterious reappearance of the documents this month.


Friday's grilling by Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr before a 23-member grand jury was occurring behind closed doors.


About an hour before the arrival, White House officials rotated the bank of microphones set up by reporters to a position where the courthouse would not be in the background as she spoke.


Questions have cascaded down on the Clinton White House since the Jan. 5 disclosure that Clinton's billing records' still existed for the work she did in 1985 and 1986 on Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. The questions increased with the revelation that the records had been in the book room of the White House family residence last August.


The aide who found them, Carolyn Huber, said they had not been there several days earlier. Not realizing what they were, she said, she had them boxed and taken to her office, not examining them until Jan. 4. They had dropped from sight after the 1992 presidential campaign.


Clinton said she did not know how the records suddenly appeared, but that she was "glad they're out ... because they support what I've been saying for the last four years." She said she did not do much work for Madison, which was owned by the Clintons' Whitewater partners, James and Susan McDougal.


The records show Clinton did about 60 hours of work for the thrift over 15 months -- reflecting 21 contacts with thrift executives and lawyers at her Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, on a proposal for Madison Guaranty to issue preferred stock.