White House Got Secret Briefings on Whitewater

THE White House has acknowledged for the second time that it has received private briefings on a confidential investigation into the failure of an Arkansas bank with ties to President and Mrs. Clinton.

The White House confirmed Wednesday that a pair of meetings were held last fall in which regulators' investigation of the bank failure was discussed. Thursday's Washington Post says the White House was informed by Treasury Department officials that the Clintons had been named as possible beneficiaries of misuse of funds from Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan Association, although neither was accused of wrongdoing. Top Clinton aides told the Post the discussions revolved around public-relations issues and that confidential aspects of the case, including any potential ramifications for the Clintons, were not discussed.

In the first meeting between the Treasury Department's top attorney, Jean Hanson, and White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, held in late September, Mr. Nussbaum was told that the Clintons had been named in a criminal referral prepared by the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC), the S&L cleanup agency. It is not customary to discuss contents of these referrals with anyone named in it, or their associates. The report comes on the heels of criticism of acting RTC head Roger Altman for meeting with White House officials about the Madison case. US `sorry' it mistakenly shot a man

Donald Carlson, critically wounded in a bungled drug raid on his California home, finally got an apology from the federal government.

``This is a very rare tragedy,'' says United States Attorney Alan Bersin. ``It is now abundantly clear that Mr. Carlson was wholly innocent.'' Mr. Carlson, a computer executive who lived alone in a neighborhood of middle-class homes in Poway, Calif., was asleep in his bedroom on Aug. 25, 1992, when federal agents stormed his house. Several police, including officers of the US Customs Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration, battered down Carlson's front door, while others came through the back door with the help of a concussion grenade.

Frightened, Carlson reached for a handgun and fired toward the front door. Officers shot him three times, wounding him critically. Doctors say he suffered permanent physical damage.

Federal officials now admit they had the wrong house. They had paid an informant $2,000 for a tip and presumed Carlson was storing huge quantities of illegal drugs in his garage.

Carlson now lives in Nebraska and has sued the federal government and several agents for $20 million. Federal officials say they will attempt to reach a financial settlement with Carlson.

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