Sources: Lewinsky Sent Gifts Back To White House
Her lawyer says he has 'no knowledge' of e-mail
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 15) -- As Monica Lewinsky was deciding how to respond to a subpoena in the Paula Jones case, she used a courier service to return several gifts she said were from President Bill Clinton to the White House, CNN has learned.
Sources close to the White House legal team tell CNN that a package with the gifts was sent from Lewinsky's office at the Pentagon to Betty Currie, the president's personal secretary, with instructions that Currie hang on to the items.
At the time, Lewinsky had received a subpoena from Jones' attorneys that specifically asked her to produce any gifts from the president. Jones is suing Clinton for sexual harassment.
Currie later gave the gifts, including a brooch and a hatpin, to investigators from independent counsel Ken Starr's office.
Two sources familiar with Currie's interviews with Starr's team say Currie said she believed that Lewinsky sent the gifts on her own and that she was not aware of any pressure from Clinton or others to get Lewinsky to surrender the gifts.
Sources tell CNN that during negotiations between Lewinsky's attorneys and Starr for an immunity agreement, Lewinsky offered to testify that Clinton told her she could not be forced to surrender any gifts if she did not have them in her possession.
Ginsburg 'doubts' Lewinsky source of e-mail
Starr is investigating charges that Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, 24, a former White House intern, and then asked her to lie about it under oath. Clinton has denied both charges.
On Sunday, Lewinsky's lead attorney, Bill Ginsburg, told CNN that he had "no knowledge" of e-mail in which Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, a friend from Lewinsky's days working at the Pentagon, reportedly discussed her alleged affair with Clinton.
Newsweek magazine, in its latest issue, is reporting that Lewinsky sent Tripp computer e-mails and that Tripp turned over hard copies of the messages to Starr, who is studying them as "potentially important" evidence.
"I have no knowledge of any such e-mail, particularly hard copy of such e-mail, and (I) assume it came from Linda Tripp," Ginsburg said.
"I would like to cross-examine Linda Tripp on how she just happened to have hard copies of e-mail and who in fact did create that e-mail. I doubt very much that it was Monica Lewinsky," Ginsburg added.
Computers used by Lewinsky and Tripp at their Pentagon offices have been removed from the offices for analysis, Newsweek also reported.
Tripp also taped conversations in which Lewinsky allegedly said Clinton and his friend Vernon Jordan asked her to lie under oath about her relationship with the president.
Newsweek says it obtained four of the alleged e-mail messages from a source who had access to Lewinsky's e-mail.
The messages, all from last year, reportedly refer to two neckties Lewinsky said she gave the president, and complained that the "big creep didn't even try to call me on V-Day (Valentine's Day)."
Newsweek said in one message, the young woman expressed hope "the creep will call and say 'Thank you for my love note. I love you. Will you run away with me?'"
The magazine suggested the message referred to a personal advertisement Lewinsky allegedly placed with the Washington Post this time last year. It was addressed to "Handsome."
No date set for Lewinsky's testimony
Ginsburg told CNN that no date has been set for Lewinsky to testify before a grand jury investigating the matter, and he said there have been no more negotiations with Starr's office for an immunity deal.
"We contend that we have that immunity agreement. We contend that Mr. Starr and his staff have reneged on that immunity agreement and that is something that is still pending," he said.
Starr's office contends it has no deal with Lewinsky.
Ginsburg also reiterated his criticism of potential leaks to the media from Starr's office.
"This particular investigative group under Mr. Starr have managed to trample, and I mean totally trample, on Ms. Lewinsky's Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights," he said. "The e-mail issue being leaked to Newsweek ... that's just more of the same. A complete and total destruction of her constitutional rights."
Ginsburg said his client is growing angry over the process.
"I think she is becoming angry because she is seeing this process unfold and she herself, as an intelligent lady, is saying, 'How much more of this do I have to take? How much more of this will be heaped on me before this will be over?'" Ginsburg said.
"I suspect that she is going to make a very strong client when it comes time to do what we have to do," he added.
CNN Correspondents John King, Wolf Blitzer and Kathleen Koch contributed to this report.