Michael Isikoff

A Friend In Need

BILL CLINTON NEEDED MONEY. IN the fall of 1990, a blistering round of Republican attack ads calling Clinton a ""raise and spend'' governor had devastated his re-election campaign.

'Violations Of Privacy'

IT WAS CALLED THE ""Up-date Project.'' The bland name was appropriate for what seemed to be a routine bit of bureaucratic housekeeping by the Clinton administration: a 1993 attempt to compile FBI background reports on the thousands of employees holding White House passes.

Whitewater Comes Due

SEATED IN A CHIPPENDALE CHAIR IN the White House Map Room, Bill Clinton answered a prosecutor's questions on Whitewater for more than two hours. But for the fact that the president of the United States was a witness in a criminal case, his videotaped testimony was remarkably undramatic.

Damaging Damage Control

EMBARRASSING RECORDS LONG UNDER subpoena have been popping up all over the White House. Consider what just happened to the candid, sometimes profane notes of a pair of top Clinton aides who were on the administration's Whitewater "response team" when the scandal began heating up in January 1994.

Upstairs At The White House

IT'S A ROOM THAT'S DEFINITELY NOT ON the White House tour. High on the third floor of the family quarters, the "Book Room" is a cozy hideaway, open to the First Family, staffers and the president's houseguests.

Lost In Whitewater

This wasn't why Maggie Williams came to the White House. The depositions, the hearings and the crushing lawyers' bills weren't part of the deal. She became chief of staff for Hillary Clinton, an old friend from the Children's Defense Fund, hoping to transform years of liberal think-tank lobbying into executive action.

With Friends Like Hillary

No One Doubts Her Status As A Very special friend of Bill and Hillary--or that Susan Thomases, a brash New York securities lawyer who has known both Clintons since the 1970s, played an important unofficial role in the confusion after Vince Foster's suicide.

Out Of The Line Of Fire

Read the plaque outside the department of Veterans Affairs' Washington office, and you'd think the agency's mission one of the more ennobling in government: it's ""to care for him who shall have borne the battle.'' But walk into room 433A at the VA Medical Center in Beckley, W.Va., and you meet Gregory Walker, 29, who's never been anywhere near battle.

To Be Or Not To Be

Congressman Mark Souder is a loyal foot soldier in Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's army -- a freshman from Indiana who is committed to slashing the federal budget.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Ben Chavis had no idea what he was getting into when he crossed Mary E. Stansel. Friends say the 49-year-old former aide to Sen. Howell Heflin is a "woman of great commitment" who fights for what she believes.

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