Starr Won't Present Interim Report, Spokesman Says
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 5) -- Independent counsel Ken Starr will not present a partial or interim report to the House of Representatives before completing his investigation into allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice against President Bill Clinton, Starr spokesman Charles Bakaly said Sunday.
Bakaly also confirmed published reports that Clinton has refused six requests to voluntarily testify before Starr's grand jury. While no decision has been made to subpoena the president, Bakaly told NBC's "Meet The Press" that "we believe that there is law out there to support that."
Bakaly had said previously that an interim report was one possibility being considered. But Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition," he said "that's not the view now."
And Bakaly said Starr will issue a report to the House only if he finds "substantial and credible information" of possible impeachable offenses, as called for under the independent counsel act. No decision has been made as to whether that threshold has been met, Bakaly said.
"Once Ken Starr believes he has a duty under the act to provide that information to Congress so that they can exercise their constitutional obligations regarding impeachment, then he's going to do it. And that will be his report," Bakaly said.
The independent counsel's spokesman also said it would be "very difficult" to predict how long it might be before Starr wraps up his investigation and indicated that it could possibly drag into the fall. "I hope not," Bakaly said.
In his interview on "Meet The Press," Bakaly also indicated that the focus of the investigation may be narrowing down to three people who have refused to cooperate with Starr -- Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and presidential confidant Bruce Lindsey.
He said the point is approaching "where we have received all the information we're going to get from the people who are available to us."
"The people who are not available to us at the moment are Ms. Lewinsky, the president and Mr. Lindsey. Mr. Lindsey's matter is involved in litigation, and the president has, through his people, indicated that he is not prepared to provide his information. So we will have to see what Ms. Lewinsky's position is, and then we'll have to make some decisions," Bakaly said.
Lewinsky is the former White House intern who allegedly told a former friend, Linda Tripp, and others that she had a sexual relationship with Clinton, then denied it under oath in a deposition taken during Paula Jones' unsuccessful sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton.
The president also denied under oath that he had an affair with Lewinsky. Her attorneys have been negotiating with Starr's office on an immunity deal on possible perjury and obstruction of justice charges.
Lindsey, a government attorney who is a close friend of Clinton's, is fighting his subpoena to testify before the grand jury on the grounds of attorney-client privilege. The case is now before a federal appeals court.
Bakaly would not characterize the state of negotiations between Starr's prosecutors and Lewinsky's defense attorneys, other than to say that no decision has been made to grant her immunity. But he did say that Starr is still insisting on a face-to-face meeting with Lewinsky before extending an immunity offer.
"The reason is, as with any individual, you want to be able to have the opportunity to test the credibility of the individual -- to ask the questions, to not have there be some kind of predetermined limit on how far or what extent of their information they're willing to give you," Bakaly said on "Meet The Press."