Bush Daughters to Face Family After Alcohol Citations

ByABC News

W A S H I N G T O N, June 1, 2001 -- It could be a chilly weekend at Camp David.

After being cited by Texas police for underage drinking Thursday, President Bush's 19-year-old twin daughters are heading to the presidential retreat in Maryland for what could be an awkward weekend with their family.

Texas police issued citations on misdemeanor charges to the first daughters on Thursday for a night out at an Austin restaurant earlier this week.

Jenna, who less than a month ago pleaded "no contest" to possession of alcohol charges, was cited for showing another person's identification to buy drinks. Barbara, along with a 20-year-old friend who was with them, was cited for possession of alcohol. The Austin Police Department said today a hearing had been scheduled for June 12.

Grandma Bush: 'Pretty Hard to Believe'

The Bush daughters may also have to face some questioning from their grandmother.

"I've learned a long, long time ago that until you talk to the child, or if you weren't there, it's pretty hard to believe everything you read or hear," former first lady Barbara Bush told WDIV-TV in Detroit Thursday.

Mrs. Bush will have the chance to talk to her granddaughters at Camp David this weekend. Also scheduled to attend the previously planned family reunion are former President George Bush, the president and first lady Laura Bush. It will be the first daughters' first face-to-face meeting with their family since their trouble with the law began.

The citations were issued after police investigated an incident Tuesday night, when Austin police were called to a Tex-Mexican restaurant in south Austin. The manager had called to report that minors were trying to buy alcohol.

"This stemmed from a call the Austin Police Department received about 10:30 on Tuesday night at Chuy's on Barton Springs Restaurant," assistant police chief James Chapman explained Thursday. "We had a call to go in there based off of people that may have been drinking underage, and representing themselves to be 21 when they are not."

The legal drinking age in Texas is 21.

Family Matters

The president was trying to keep the embarrassing family incident private. Bush has told his daughters that he loves them, and reminded them he and first lady Laura Bush would work hard to keep the teenage girls out of the public eye.

But with the very public incident this week, the family is quoted as saying advice from parent to child is going to remain private.

Under repeated questioning, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer refused to elaborate on the president's conversations with his daughters.

"I think the American people agree with the president that it is his purview, even as president of the United States to have private moments with his family," Fleischer said. "That includes his two 19-year-old daughters. And like any parent raising a child, they expect the right to talk privately with their children no matter what position they hold in life."

A senior administration official confirmed Wednesday that the president, traveling in California, had called Jenna to talk about the incident. The official would not characterize the call but published reports described him as "not happy."

In late April, Jenna pleaded no contest to a charge of possessing alcohol under age at an Austin nightclub.

She was ordered to pay $51.25 in court costs, serve eight hours of community service and attend six hours of alcohol awareness classes.

If Jenna is convicted, both this incident and the earlier incident would remain on her permanent record. If convicted of alcohol offenses two more times under Texas law, Jenna faces fines up to $2,000 and possible jail time.

Barbara attends Yale University. Jenna studies at the University of Texas in Austin.

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