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treatment by Arkansas state regulators, including one, Beverly Basset Schaffer, who was appointed by Clinton. That line of pursuit could also produce questions for Hillary, who as an attorney represented Madison in its bid to launch an adventurous stock scheme at a time when Clinton was Governor. More trouble may come from Capitol Hill. For months Representative Henry Gonzalez, the Texas Democrat who is chairman of the House Banking Committee, has been resisting calls to step up a laggard investigation of Madison by his committee. But last week's disclosures provide ammunition for Jim Leach of Iowa, the committee's ranking Republican, who has been pushing for a more vigorous investigation. Says Newt Gingrich, House minority whip: ''If we had a Republican President, there would be full-blown committee hearings in January. What you're seeing here is Democrats banding together to cover up, ignore and minimize.'' In the Senate, Alfonse D'Amato of New York, ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, has called for hearings as well. But so far the committee's Democratic chairman, Donald Riegle of Michigan, has said he would rather let the Justice Department's investigation run its course. In the same vein, Attorney General Janet Reno rejected calls last week for her to appoint a special counsel to take over her department's investigations into Guaranty. She explained that since anyone appointed by her would still be seen as her operative, it would be better for experienced department investigators to carry on. With Reno's blessing, Justice officials picked a prosecutor with impeccable Republican credentials -- Donald Mackay, a fraud-section lawyer who was once a Nixon-appointed U.S. attorney -- to direct the criminal investigation of Madison and Whitewater. Which of these scandals will dog the President? Perhaps not the sexual imbroglio -- Americans knew Clinton had sinned but elected him anyway. Says William E. Leuchtenburg, professor of history at the University of North Carolina: ''It's one question if this sort of thing arises during a campaign, and we have to wonder what sort of President this person will be. It's another thing entirely now that he's President, and we know the job he's doing.'' However, the financial morass surrounding Madison Guaranty may be considered far more pertinent because it shows how Clinton runs a government. And in Little Rock in the roaring 1980s, the environment was apparently clubby and murky enough to keep investigators busy for some time to come.
CHART: NOT AVAILABLE CREDIT: NO CREDIT CAPTION: THE DUBIOUS VENTURE During the 1980s, the Clintons were involved in an Arkansas real estate partnership with a crash-and-burn thrift-operator whose collapsed institution cost taxpayers $47 million. The Clintons deny any wrongdoing, but many mysteries endure, including how much they knew about their partner's activities and whether any of the S&L funds were diverted into the Governor's campaign coffers.
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