10/08/97 - 09:13 PM ET - Click reload often for latest version

Notes: Friends tried to help Hubbell

WASHINGTON - The presidential friends were ready to help Webster Hubbell. Jotted down on a piece of paper by then-White House chief of staff Mack McLarty, they were "Truman Arnold" and "B Rapoport" and "Vernon."

Released at the start of House hearings into campaign fund-raising abuses Wednesday, McLarty's notes on a single sheet of paper from March 1994 outline the early days of the White House plan to help the disgraced associate attorney general, who resigned and eventually pleaded guilty to two felonies.

Whitewater prosecutors are investigating whether payments from Clinton's friends, most of them major donors, were designed to limit Hubbell's cooperation with investigators looking into possible wrongdoing by the first couple.

One entry in McLarty's notes documents Hubbell's problem: "Law firms reluctant to touch him." At the time of McLarty's notetaking, Hubbell was under investigation for bilking his law firm and its clients. Vernon is an apparent reference to longtime Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan, who helped line up work for Hubbell. Bernard Rapoport of Waco, Texas, is a wealthy businessman and Clinton supporter. Truman Arnold of Texarkana, Ark., is a successful businessman and former Democratic National Committee official.

House Republicans released another piece of information about another Hubbell helper - the Riady family of Indonesia. Long-time supporters of Clinton from his days as Arkansas governor, the Riadys gave office space to Hubbell in addition to paying him for still undisclosed legal work. The giving of office space was disclosed in a summary of testimony that two admitted felons, Gene and Nora Lum, will give the House fund-raising investigation if the Lums are given immunity from further prosecution.

By The Associated Press

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