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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Clinton Appeals Whitewater Ruling to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON -- The White House has told the U.S. Supreme Court that it should not be forced to turn over notes of conversations between government lawyers and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton about the Whitewater affair.


Lawyers representing the office of the presidency asked the justices to overturn a U.S. appeals court ruling that the attorney-client privilege does not apply to the notes subpoenaed by Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr.


The appeal sets the stage for a legal confrontation before the nation's highest court over the authority of the White House to withhold certain information demanded as part of Starr's criminal investigation. U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, have not been accused of any wrongdoing in Starr's long-running investigation into the Whitewater affair, a complex web of Arkansas business deals involving the Clintons and allegations of coverup.


One set of notes was based on what Hillary Clinton told White House lawyers about her grand jury testimony on Jan. 26, 1996, when she said she did not know how Whitewater-related legal billing records ended up in the White House residence.


Another set of notes, dated July 11, 1995, concerned her activities immediately after the July 1993 suicide of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, who worked with her at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock when her husband was governor of Arkansas.


The Supreme Court justices are expected to decide by the end of next month whether to grant or deny the appeal. If the appeal is granted, arguments would be scheduled during the court term that begins in October.


The White House asserted in the appeal that the long-standing legal doctrine of attorney-client privilege applied to the conversations that Hillary Clinton had with a team of government and private lawyers.