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Judge Strips Lewinsky Material From Jones Case

Lewinsky: Clinton urged evasion

lewinsky

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 29) -- The judge in Paula Jones' lawsuit against the president has ruled that former White House intern Monica Lewinsky is "not essential to the core issues" of the Jones case, and has ordered that all evidence related to Lewinsky be excluded from the Jones proceedings.

In Little Rock, Ark., Federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright turned down Independent Counsel Ken Starr's request that fact-finding in Jones' civil-rights lawsuit be shut down entirely, and instead ordered that all Lewinsky-related material be stripped out of Jones' case.

"Monica Lewinsky is not essential to the core issues in this case," Wright wrote. "Some of the evidence would be inadmissible."

"Admitting any evidence of the Lewinsky matter would frustrate the timely resolution of this case and would undoubtedly cause undue expense, cost and delay," Wright said.

Also in this story:

Jones attorney Donovan Campbell says he will appeal Wright's decision. He said it was "clearly erroneous and represents plain error and an abuse of discretion."

Also, the orders allowing Starr to expand his inquiry were made public (click for full text).

Meanwhile, Lewinsky is now alleging that President Bill Clinton urged her to be "evasive" about their relationship when he met with her privately on Dec. 28 at the White House, sources tell CNN. The meeting allegedly took place only 11 days after she was subpoenaed to give a deposition in Paula Jones' lawsuit against the president.

Since the crisis erupted last week, Clinton has flatly denied that he told anyone to lie under oath.

Sources also confirm that Lewinsky claims that during the December meeting, Clinton suggested that she move to New York where it would be more difficult for Jones' lawyers to get her deposition.

mccurry

According to sources, Lewinsky was signed into the White House on the evening of Dec. 28 by the president's private secretary, Betty Currie. Currie appeared earlier this week before a federal grand jury in Washington investigating the allegations.

White House officials refuse to disclose details of Lewinsky's visits. But several sources familiar with the emerging White House strategy say Clinton will make the case that he spoke to her only after getting word from Currie that Lewinsky was anguished or despondent at being drawn into the Jones case.

Sources say Lewinsky could be expected to flatly contradict the president's denials of sexual relations if she is granted immunity. This would represent a reversal of her earlier sworn statement denying she had a sexual relationship with the president.

At Thursday's press briefing, reporters peppered White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry with questions about reports of the December 28th meeting. "I'm not going to respond piecemeal to those stories," he said.

The Whitewater grand jury resumed its investigation Thursday into allegations the president had an affair with Lewinsky and urged her to lie about it.


Immunity talks show little progress

ginsburg

On CNN's "Larry King Live" Wednesday, Lewinsky attorney William Ginsburg said he is still attempting to win immunity from prosecution for the 24-year-old from Starr, because "we would love her to tell the truth."

Lewinsky's lawyers met for around 45 minutes Thursday morning with Starr. Lewinsky was seen leaving the Watergate apartments shortly after noon ET with her attorneys.

"I have no comment on the content of the talks," Ginsburg said after the meeting. "We are preparing a defense for Monica." Despite Ginsburg's tough talk, well-placed sources say both sides are leaving open the possibility of further talks and deny the talks have broken down.

"If they do not want to give her complete immunity," Ginsburg said Wednesday night, "we are prepared to defend the case. The bottom line on all of this is that we would love immunity, we would love her to tell the truth. If they don't want to give it, we're not begging for it. That's the best result from my client. If they don't want to give it, we are prepared to try this case. We don't think the American public will convict her." (320K wav sound)

Ginsburg said he hoped to know within two to three days whether he can strike a deal with Starr.

Starr sends attorneys to Oregon

bleiler

Starr sent two attorneys to Portland, Ore., Wednesday to talk to a man who says he was Lewinsky's longtime lover.

Andy Bleiler, who said he had a five-year affair with Lewinsky, talked to lawyers from Starr's office Wednesday and turned over documents sent to him by Lewinsky. Bleiler and his wife, Kathy, met with attorneys from Starr's office for four hours.

Bleiler's attorney, Terry Giles, said his clients have described Lewinsky as a "sex-obsessed" young woman who has a problem with telling the truth.

FBI searches for forensic evidence

Meanwhile, the FBI is carefully going through Lewinsky's dresses, pant suits and other clothing from her Watergate apartment to see if there any stains or other residue that might link her sexually to the president, according to sources.

So far the FBI agents have not found any solid forensic evidence but are continuing their search, sources say.

AllPolitics' Sue Hoye and Thomas H. Moore and CNN's Wolf Blitzer and John King contributed to this report.
In Other News

Thursday Jan. 29, 1998

Judge Strips Lewinsky Material From Jones Case
Babbitt Forcefully Denies Wrongdoing In Casino Decision
Indictment Against Trie Outlines Fraud, Obstruction
Starr's Subpoena Carefully Crafted, For A Reason
White House Scandal At A Glance
Court Order Expanding Starr's Probe Released

Poll:
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