Author Claims Starr's Office Source Of Leaks
By Bob Franken/CNN
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 26) -- New allegations are resurrecting the charge that Independent Counsel Ken Starr's office leaks confidential information to the press.
"The OIC [Office of Independent Counsel] freely provides non-public information on an off-the-record basis to reporters and book reviewers who are personally approved by Kenneth Starr and whose work is in sync with the OIC's positions on key issues," claims Washington writer Dan Moldea.
According to Moldea, Starr's chief deputy Hickman Ewing told him leaks from the independent counsel's office were calculated.
"Ewing told me that one, prior to anything being published, the OIC freely talks to reporters and book reviewers and gives them the OIC's position on controversial issues along with occasionally providing information that is not on the public record," Moldea said.
Moldea, an investigative author who freely admits his fondness for the Clintons, was finishing up a book last December when he talked to Ewing.
On Jan. 16, Starr won permission to expand his probe into allegations the president had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern, and then tried to get her to lie about the alleged affair. Since then, sealed information about the proceedings of Starr's Washington-based grand jury has been routinely leaked to the news media.
Ewing, who runs the Whitewater investigation in Little Rock, declined to be interviewed about Moldea's charge. But Starr spokesman Charles Bakaly says Ewing's recollection is different.
"He [Ewing] did not say there was an approved list or that we favor different reporters," Bakaly told CNN.
Bakaly acknowledged "we do provide information," but insisted the information is not related to grand jury or sealed court proceedings.
Earlier this year, David Kendall, the president's personal attorney, filed for court action charging the independent counsel's office does leak information under seal.
That led Starr to initiate an internal investigation, which is continuing, CNN has been told.
Although Kendall declined comment on Moldea's charges, he has denounced the leaks as making "a mockery of the traditional rules of grand jury secrecy."
Moldea says he is willing to give a sworn statement if necessary. Starr's spokesman suggests it could be a misunderstanding. The president's lawyers may want to find out for themselves.