Lewinsky's Mother Fails To Quash Subpoena
By Bob Franken/CNN
WASHINGTON (March 25) -- Marcia Lewis, the mother of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, will have to testify again before the Whitewater grand jury despite attempts Wednesday to quash her subpoena.
Lewis and her attorney, Billy Martin, appeared before Judge Norma Holloway Johnson in an effort to quash Lewis' subpoena, six week after she last appeared. She was not successful in the appeal, though, and will be forced to testify regarding sex-and-perjury allegations against President Bill Clinton.
"Unfortunately, nothing changed today. She [Lewis] remains a witness before the grand jury," Martin said.
Martin also indicated Lewis' testimony before the grand jury would
not continue Wednesday. He said Lewis would "look forward to making a
statement that explains her views of this matter," once she has finished testifying.
Arriving at the federal courthouse Wednesday, Lewis seemed nervous. She tripped and fell after going inside the courthouse, dropping her purse.
A Maryland psychiatrist, Dr. Neil Blumberg, also appeared Wednesday to testify to Lewis' emotional state. Blumberg did not give any details as to his testimony and would not say if he was representing Lewis or the independent counsel.
Lewis was questioned before the grand jury last month about conversations she and her daughter had about Lewinsky's alleged sexual relationship with Clinton. Clinton has denied having a relationship with Lewinsky and asking her to lie about it.
After two days of questioning, Lewis left the courthouse visibly upset, and her lawyer described her as "emotionally overwhelmed and distraught."
Also appearing at the courthouse Wednesday was Jodie Torkelson, who was once a top lieutenant of former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. It was Panetta's office where Lewinsky began her White House internship.
A source close to Torkelson told CNN she knows of no relationship,
sexual or otherwise, between the president and Lewinsky. However, she is close to former Deputy Chief of Staff Evelyn Lieberman, another key figure in the investigation.
It was Lieberman who had Lewinsky transferred from the White House to the Pentagon. Lieberman told friends she did not like the way Lewinsky was hanging around the Oval Office, and also she thought Lewinsky dressed too provocatively.
Torkelson is now a top Lieberman deputy at the Voice of America. Lieberman has previously testified.
As director of the White House office of Management and Administration, Torkelson was responsible for White House payroll and other personnel functions. One current White House official says she likely was involved in the paperwork required to transfer Lewinsky to the Pentagon from the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, where Lewinsky worked after her internship.
Starr subpoenas book store records
The independent counsel's investigation was grinding on outside the courthouse too. Independent Counsel Ken Starr has subpoenaed records from a Washington book store of purchases made by Lewinsky since January, including a book about phone sex between a woman and a powerful man, CNN has learned.
News of the latest subpoena brought a scathing response from Lewinsky attorney Bill Ginsburg. "This is an executive of the government out of control," Ginsburg said. "Where does this stop? The government is reaching right into our minds. This is like 'Brave New World' [the 1932 Aldous Huxley novel about a nightmarish future]. It has got to be stopped."
Republicans sound off on executive privilege
Still simmering in the background is the president's claim of executive privilege. He is waiting for a judicial ruling, but Republicans have not waited to criticize Clinton's claim.
House Republican Whip Tom Delay said Wednesday, "I can only wonder what other ways would he [Clinton] use executive privilege? Will he cite executive privilege to avoid explaining his plans to spend the surplus? When people ask him his real thoughts about cutting taxes, will he simply say 'executive privilege'? "
Republican congressional leaders are not merely grousing. They are taking preliminary steps to be ready if the end of Starr's investigation means the beginning of an impeachment process.