Arkansas Business' 25 Clintonites (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

He returned to his home state in 2002 to work at his old law firm (the "Lindsey" in the name is for his father) and is also CEO of the Clinton Foundation.

And if Lindsey ever decided to write a tell-all that really told all, we guarantee it would shoot straight to the top of the bestseller lists.

12. Jim McDougal
McDougal is in some ways a tragic figure, though he participated in, even courted, his own downfall. As much as anyone, McDougal sparked the investigation that consumed the Clinton presidency and, in its voracious way, ultimately led to Clinton's impeachment.

Raised in Bradford in White County, McDougal was a politico. He met Bill Clinton while both worked for Sen. J. William Fulbright. He served on Clinton's staff during the governor's first term, during which he persuaded the Clintons to enter a little Marion County real estate venture with him and his wife, Susan. It was called Whitewater, and it never made a dime. In fact, it lost money.

McDougal left politics to invest in more real estate and buy a bank and then an S&L, Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan. Its collapse in the late '80s brought federal fraud charges against McDougal, but he was acquitted.

Apparently feeling abandoned as Clinton pursued his presidential ambitions in 1992, McDougal went to Clinton rival Sheffield Nelson. Nelson referred McDougal to a New York Times reporter. The storyline that will not die, one provided by a man diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disease, was born.

In 1996, in the first of the Whitewater trials, McDougal was convicted of multiple fraud counts tied to Madison Guaranty. He brought down his ex-wife, Susan McDougal, and Gov. Jim Guy Tucker with him.

McDougal died in 1998, while serving prison time in Texas. He was 57.

13. Susan McDougal
"The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk" confounded Kenneth Starr's investigators. Caught up with her ex-husband in Whitewater, Susan McDougal being led from the federal courthouse in a miniskirt, handcuffs and shackles provided one of the most enduring images of the investigation.

It was September 1996 and McDougal had refused to testify before the grand jury investigating Whitewater. She claimed that the investigators wanted her to lie in order to implicate the Clintons in illegal acts and that she knew of no wrongdoing. Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright found McDougal in contempt of court and sent her to jail.

She'd been convicted, in May, of four felonies tied to loans from David Hale and sentenced to two years in prison.

One of her lawyers, Bobby McDaniel of Jonesboro, said in court filings that McDougal's Belgian mother "indicated that if she could stand up to the Nazis and Hitler, Susan could stand up to Kenneth Starr. Susan has elected to not testify and has not, and will not, change her mind."



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