Is Lewinsky a Legal 'Target?'
Lewinsky and Ginsburg
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 28) -- Conflicting accounts
have surfaced over a matter of enormous legal significance in
the investigation involving Monica Lewinsky, the former White
Lewinsky's lawyer, Bill Ginsburg, said independent counsel
Ken Starr formally has notified Lewinsky that she is a target
of his grand jury investigation. Ginsburg said "the target
letter" was received five weeks ago.
But a source familiar with the deliberations told CNN that
Ginsburg -- a malpractice lawyer, not a criminal attorney --
may be using the term "target" loosely - and that no target
letter was sent to Lewinsky.
The conflicting accounts surfaced Friday. This dispute is
critical, because of the legal significance of the term.
A former Justice Department official told CNN: "The purpose
of a target letter is to put someone on notice that the grand
jury may indeed indict them."
The federal grand jury is looking into reports that President
Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and
encouraged her to lie about it under oath. Clinton has denied
In other news Saturday, lawyers close to the case told CNN
that Washington lobbyist and Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan
has been called to appear Tuesday before the grand jury.
Ginsberg: letter listed crimes
Ginsburg said the letter listed four possible crimes:
perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and
But the Justice official said target letters are rarely
specific, as Ginsburg is claiming.
"The description of matters of investigation in a target
letter are only of the most general significance," the
official said. "They don't circumscribe what the prosecutor
could charge that individual with."
This isn't the first time Ginsburg's account of the case has
been called into question. He said Starr's office entered
into a signed immunity agreement with Lewinsky, but sources
close to the independent counsel say that's not true.
Contacted Friday night, Ginsburg said he is the one telling
the truth in this controversy, and that not only has Monica
Lewinsky received a target letter, but he has been told
orally by the independent counsel's office that she is a
target of the investigation.
Lewinsky defense fund established
Meanwhile, Lewinsky's parents selected the Los Angeles
accounting firm Tanner, Mainstain and Hoffer to establish and
administer a legal defense fund for her legal expenses
related to Starr's investigation.
Sources told CNN the family moved quickly to establish a
legitimate fund, after a New York woman announced plans to
establish a legal defense fund for Lewinsky.
The official fund is incorporated as the "Monica Lewinsky
Defense Trust Fund."
Correspondent John King contributed to this report.