Former Attorneys General Warn Reno Against Secret Service Appeal
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 27) -- Four former attorneys general have written a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno urging her not to appeal a federal judge's decision forcing Secret Service personnel to testify before the grand jury in the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
"It is the collective view of the former Attorneys General that the
decision of Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson was legally and historically well-founded," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley wrote on behalf of former attorneys general William Barr, Griffin Bell, Ed Meese and Richard Thornburgh.
"Any appeal would likely result in an opinion that would only magnify the precedential damage to the Executive Branch," Turley wrote.
The Secret Service had attempted to invoke a "protective function privilege," arguing the possibility of testimony could force the president to distance himself from his protectors.
Last week, Judge Johnson ruled the Secret Service could not invoke such a privilege to prevent its agents from testifying before the grand jury investigating allegations that President Bill Clinton urged Lewinsky, a former White House intern, to lie under oath about a sexual affair.
At that time a Justice Department official told CNN the administration would make no immediate decision whether to appeal the ruling.