WHITE HOUSE: AIDES HELPED HUBBELL GET JOB.
Two of President Clinton's most trusted aides, Mack McLarty and Erskine Bowles, made efforts to find work for fallen presidential confidant Webster Hubbell in the days after he resigned from the Justice Department in 1994, the White House disclosed Tuesday.
The efforts followed a March 1994 meeting at the White House between the Clintons and senior aides at which Hubbell's impending resignation came up. McLarty privately told first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton he might try to ``be supportive'' of Hubbell, officials said.
The disclosure brings the controversy over efforts to secure financial assistance for Hubbell, a key Whitewater figure, inside the president's inner circle for the first time.
Whitewater prosecutors, frustrated by Hubbell's memory lapses in the probe of the Clintons' finances, are now investigating whether the assistance offered to Hubbell was designed to improperly influence his cooperation.
White House special counsel Lanny Davis said the president and first lady ``may have been generally aware that other mutual friends were attempting to be supportive of Mr. Hubbell'' but never asked Bowles, McLarty or anyone else to help.
Davis said McLarty and Bowles were acting out of concern for the welfare of Hubbell and his family and at the time believed he had resigned only to resolve an old billing dispute at the Arkansas law firm where he and Hillary Clinton were partners.
He said they were not aware that around the time of his resignation from the No. 3 job at the Justice Department, Hubbell also had come under criminal investigation by Whitewater prosecutors.
Bowles, then head of the Small Business Administration and now the president's chief of staff, made calls to three businessmen he knew to see if they would be interested in hiring Hubbell, Davis said.