White House Mulls Response To Starr Move
By John King/CNN
WASHINGTON (May 29) -- White House lawyers met Friday to debate whether to oppose Independent Counsel Ken Starr's request for an expedited Supreme Court review of the dispute over executive privilege in the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
The high court has given the White House a Monday deadline to respond to Starr's request. White House sources said a final decision was not likely to be made until Monday, but said some lawyers involved in the discussions want to oppose the Starr request even though doing so is likely to lead to charges the White House is trying to delay Starr's inquiry.
At the Friday meeting, sources say White House Counsel
Charles Ruff said it would make a bad precedent to bypass the Circuit Court of Appeals and take the executive privilege arguments directly to the Supreme Court. But the sources said the discussions were to continue throughout the weekend.
Clinton has claimed that executive privilege protects his conversations with White House Deputy Counsel Bruce Lindsey and communications adviser Sidney Blumenthal. Earlier this week, though, Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ordered the two aides to testify before Starr's grand jury.
The grand jury is looking into reports that Clinton lied under oath about a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, a former White House intern, and asked her to do the same. The president has denied the allegations.