Whitewater Case Heads to a Grand Jury

WITH a million documents to gather and hundreds of witnesses to interview, prosecutor Robert Fiske persuaded a federal judge to create a special grand jury to investigate the Clinton's Whitewater real estate venture.

Mr. Fiske spelled out the scope of his probe Wednesday, saying his office next month will prosecute Arkansas businessman David Hale, who has contended that, as governor, President Clinton pressured him to make a $300,000 loan backed by the Small Business Administration.

Mr. Hale, a former municipal judge, is accused of defrauding the SBA for numerous loans.

Fiske also said he would prosecute any new indictment against James McDougal, former owner of the Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. He was acquitted of bank fraud charges in 1990. Fiske is investigating whether money of Madison depositors was used to pay off campaign debts of Arkansas politicians, including Mr. Clinton when governor.

Clinton, in a radio interview, said yesterday Whitewater was ``a simple straightforward thing, and it'll be shown to be. I'm absolutely comfortable with that.''

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