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Clinton Accuser Apparently Granted Plea In Own Case

A FORMER Arkansas judge who said President Clinton is linked to an allegedly questionable loan in the Whitewater affair apparently has reached a plea agreement and will avoid trial.

David Hale - who is under indictment on four felony charges - was to enter a plea today in federal court, said an individual familiar with the case, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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NBC News, which initially reported the agreement Sunday, said the guilty plea is part of a deal in which Judge Hale has agreed to tell a federal grand jury all that he knows about President Clinton's involvement in Whitewater.

Hale is scheduled to go on trial next Monday. He has alleged that he was pressured eight years ago by Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, to make a $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, a business partner of the Clintons in the Whitewater real estate venture.

The federally backed loan went to Mrs. McDougal's public relations company, and Hale says some of the proceeds wound up in Whitewater. Clinton has denied pressuring Hale and says he doesn't recall anything about the loan. A guilty plea by Hale would expedite the Whitewater probe by special prosecutor Robert Fiske Jr., who is examining the Clintons' ties to the failed Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, formerly owned by Mrs. McDougal's husband, James. Clinton taxes reviewed

ONE day after President Clinton said he was unsure if he owes back taxes, the White House said Saturday it was confident his tax returns had been ``correctly done.'' It added, however, that if more money is owed, ``any amounts underpaid will be paid.'' Clinton had told reporters Friday that any mistakes on his and his wife's tax returns ``certainly were not intentional.... I don't think we owe any extra taxes, but I'm not sure yet.''

His comments came amid increasing indications that the Clintons may have underpaid their income taxes over the past 15 years. The records are being scrutinized as part of the special counsel's investigation into the Clintons' investments in the 1980s in the Whitewater Development Corporation in Arkansas.

Asked how she was holding up under the Whitewater allegations, Hillary Rodham Clinton told NBC on Saturday: ``It breaks my heart for people to think that my husband and I would do anything wrong.''

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