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Starr's Office Seeks Testimony From Secret Service Officer

Lewinsky arrives back in Washington

starr

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 12) -- Independent Counsel Ken Starr has subpoenaed an active duty uniformed Secret Service officer to testify before the Whitewater grand jury as part of the investigation into the alleged affair between President Bill Clinton and a former White House intern, government sources tell CNN.

Starr's office also has subpoenaed testimony and personnel records of Lewis Fox, the retired uniformed officer who has been quoted in media accounts as recalling visits to the Oval Office area by Monica Lewinsky.

Also in this story:

Fox appeared before the Whitewater grand jury in Washington Thursday for about 30 minutes. He emerged from the court, saying only that he was through for the day.

Sources say Starr also has informed the Treasury Department he may subpoena additional officers and perhaps agents, the plainclothes Secret Service personnel in the president's personal security detail.

fox

Starr raised the prospect of issuing subpoenas to agents at the outset of the Lewinsky probe and has been consulting with government and Secret Service association lawyers because of their objections. But a government source said the independent counsel's office notified the Secret Service, an arm of the Treasury Department, on Wednesday that it would proceed with its plan.

White House lawyers have raised concerns that forcing agents to testify could create tension and affect the president's security. But the White House counsel's office has instructed Treasury and the Justice Department to handle the negotiations and possible legal challenges to Starr's effort.


Justice, Treasury Departments consider legal options

Justice and Treasury Department officials are continuing to consult, but have not yet formulated a legal position on whether members of the Secret Service can be required to testify against the president in a criminal investigation.

"I don't know what the resolution will be," Attorney General Janet Reno said Thursday. "We're trying to review all of the issues, obvious among them is the security and the safety of the president of the United States."

reno

Reno said the Justice and Treasury Departments were "trying to address it in a way that will address law enforcement issues."

Reno said officials examining the issue are trying to reach a "timely" decision, but did not indicate how soon the matter would be resolved.

The Secret Service does not want to release details related to security or allow security personnel to be subpoenaed for fear that it would hamper the ability of the agents to protect the president, according to another government source.

The Secret Service Officers Association says it has contacted Starr to express its concern about any potential subpoena of Secret Service personnel.

Starr maintains that conversations between the president and his close advisors are not covered by executive privilege.

Starr is investigating the president's alleged relationship with Lewinsky and whether or not Clinton urged her to lie in a sworn affidavit taken as part of the sexual harassment case Paula Jones has filed against him. Testimony from agents on the president's protective detail could provide information on any meeting that may have occurred between Clinton and Lewinsky.

This is the first time, officials say, that Secret Service agents have been served with subpoenas requiring them to testify about what they heard a president say, or what they saw him do while they were on the job.

Lewinsky arrives back in Washington

lewinsky

Lewinsky and her attorney Bill Ginsburg flew back to Washington, arriving shortly before 8 p.m. ET.

Leaving the Brentwood home of her father, Dr. Bernard Lewinsky, the driver of their black Lincoln Towncar and a Los Angeles Police Department officer put luggage in the car and then the two were driven to the airport.

Lewinsky and her entourage arrived at Los Angeles International Airport about a half hour later, waiting in the airport police precinct until proceeding to her plane.

Nancy Castles, spokeswoman for the airport, said Lewinsky would be escorted to the plane on the tarmac and would not walk through the airport terminal.

Lewinsky is not being given special treatment, according to Castles. The arrangements were made for public safety reasons, she said.

When Lewinsky arrived in Los Angeles last week, a small child at the airport was bumped into and knocked over by someone with the media, Castles said.


Lewis does not appear for a third day of testimony

Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, did not appear Thursday for a third day of testimony as earlier expected. She left the court house Wednesday looking very distraught.

"As a result of yesterday's proceedings, which were very overwhelming and emotionally draining, she was unable to proceed again today," Billy Martin, Lewis' attorney, said.

lewis

Lewis remains under subpoena and will continue her testimony when a date is set, according to Martin.

Martin indicated his client was using the break from hearings to "regain her balance."

He talked of his client's relationship with her daughter, saying, "Monica and Marcia enjoy a very close mother-daughter relationship. It is a very rich relationship, a lot of love between them. Right now at a time when they could use each other's support, these proceedings cause them to be drawn further apart."

Martin indicated that Lewis wants to make a public statement, but cannot do so until her grand jury testimony is completed.

"We would hope that Marcia Lewis will be able to provide you a statement in the very near future, but in anticipation do not expect any statement prior to Tuesday," Martin said.

Lewis is telling friends she is anguished and fears Starr's inquiry will bankrupt her family because of legal fees, according to two CNN sources.

These sources, both associates of Marcia Lewis, say she is worried legal fees for her and her daughter will run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if the investigation drags on.

One of the sources says Lewis is convinced Starr is out to charge her daughter with perjury, and she is "tormented" by having to testify about her conversations with Lewinsky about her White House work and relationship with the president.

Lewinsky angry over treatment of mother

In a telephone interview earlier Thursday, Ginsburg told CNN Lewinsky is "very angry" about the way her mother "is being treated" by Starr.

"This may be standard prosecutorial conduct," Ginsburg says, "but I still contend it's not nice; it's ugly and all Americans should take notice how far they're going in this prosecution."

Ginsburg says Lewinsky is anxious to see her mother after a week in Los Angeles visiting with her father. Her parents are divorced.

Ginsburg says Dr. Lewinsky has been his daughter's "Rock of Gibraltar," and she's "very sad to leave him." But Ginsburg adds that Lewinsky now believes she "has to spend time with her mom. She needs her."

Lewinsky's appearance before the grand jury has been delayed. No new date has yet been scheduled. She remains under subpoena to appear.

Her lawyers filed a motion Wednesday with the court seeking to enforce what they say is a legally binding immunity agreement from Starr. But Starr denies any such deal exists.

CNN's John King, Pierre Thomas and Wolf Blitzer contributed to this report

In Other News

Thursday February 12, 1998

Groups Ask For New Look Into Ron Brown's Death
Starr's Office Seeks Testimony From Secret Service Agents
Congress Fails To Reach Consensus On Iraq Before Break
U.S. Judge Says Line-item Veto Unconstitutional
Dems Back Clinton Plan To Bolster Social Security With Budget Surplus
Clinton Promotes $1 Minimum Wage Hike
White House Scandal At A Glance

Transcript:
Clinton Talks To Congressional Democrats





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