Appeals Court Rules Lindsey Must Testify
White House's 11th-hour appeal sent to Rehnquist
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 3) -- A federal appeals court refused Monday to block prosecutors from questioning presidential confidant Bruce Lindsey, and an emergency request by the Clinton Administration is now before U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Supreme Court officials said Rehnquist could decide the issue himself or send the matter to the full nine-member court.
But even as Clinton aides fought to stop Lindsey, the deputy White House counsel, from having to answer questions, another White House lawyer who has played a key role in the Monica Lewinsky case was subpoenaed to testify Tuesday before the grand jury.
CNN has learned that White House lawyer Lanny Breuer has been subpoenaed to testify Tuesday before the Lewinsky grand jury, and that the White House is also trying to stop -- or at least delay -- his testimony.
The White House would not confirm the Breuer subpoena, but two attorneys familiar with the case say he will appear before the grand jury Tuesday unless the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issues a stay of the subpoena.
Breuer works in the White House counsel's office and is a key, day-to-day figure in damage-control efforts that have focused, of late, on the Lewinsky controversy. Breuer has helped the White House handle subpoenas and document requests in the various investigations involving the Clinton administration.
Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr is investigating whether Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, a former White House intern, and encouraged her to lie about it under oath. Clinton has denied both allegations.
Fight may be over
The fact that Breuer is expected to appear as ordered suggests that the White House's efforts to keep its attorneys from testifying on grounds of attorney-client privilege are nearing an end.
In Lindsey's case, the White House had asked the appeals court to issue a stay that would prevent Lindsey from being called before the grand jury until the Supreme Court decides whether to intervene in the dispute over his testimony.
"The attorney-client privilege is the bedrock principle of our legal system," said White House counsel Charles Ruff earlier Monday. "The confidential nature of the attorney-client relationship is no less important in government than in every other context where it exists."
Clinton speaks to employees at a Maryland hospital about summer job programs
A three-judge appeals court panel ruled last Monday that since Lindsey was a government lawyer and not one of Clinton's private attorneys, he could not claim that his conversations with the president were protected by attorney-client privilege.
Sources say the Clinton team believed the Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold attorney-client privilege in the case of the late Vincent Foster offered the Lindsey appeal some weight. In that ruling, the justices decided Starr could not have access to notes that Foster's attorney made days before Foster's suicide.
But in May, Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ordered Lindsey to testify after applying a test balancing attorney-client confidentiality and the grand jury's need for information in a criminal investigation.
Lindsey, who is currently at home recovering from back surgery, is the president's closest friend and confidant. Their relationship dates back 30 years to Arkansas, and he has been at the center of virtually every investigation of the Clinton administration.
Dress results pending
On another front, Clinton aides are nervously awaiting the results of FBI tests on a stained dress that Lewinsky claims proves she had a sexual relationship with the president.
However, getting the results from the FBI crime lab in Washington may take longer than normal, sources tell CNN.
Because of the nature of the case, the FBI also may have a private lab examine what is described as a definable stain on the dress. It's unclear what the stain is.
The FBI results will go directly to Starr's office. Neither Attorney General Janet Reno nor FBI Director Louis Freeh will be notified in advance, sources say.
The president's lawyers want Starr to make the results available in advance of Clinton's testimony, and some of the president's advisers privately concede they fear the worst.
Publicly, the White House insists the president already has told the truth and is dismissing talk he will recant his earlier denials.
Meanwhile, Lewinsky's grand jury appearance has been postponed until late this week at the earliest. She continues to meet with Starr's prosecutors as she prepares to testify.
Sources say her lawyers are waiting to hear from Starr's office on when she should appear before the grand jury. No final decision has yet been made, but Starr's office has indicated she may be able to complete her testimony in a day.
Clinton is scheduled to submit to questioning about the Lewinsky matter Aug. 17. His testimony will be played live to grand jurors via closed-circuit TV.
Starr under watch
In another development, Starr himself may soon be the subject of an investigation.
The U.S. Court of Appeals announced Monday it had reached a decision on the independent counsel's appeal of Judge Johnson's decision to investigate Starr for allegedly leaking grand jury information to the news media.
The announcement said the decision will remain under seal until at least Wednesday.
Two sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN that the appeals court will let the investigation of Starr continue. However, the president's lawyer, David Kendall, and others who have accused Starr's office of leaking secret information will not be allowed to take depositions from key Starr aides.
At issue is whether Starr and his prosecutors should be held in contempt of court for allegedly leaking the information to reporters. Such leaks would be a felony violation of court rules.
Starr gives speech about Supreme Court
Starr spent part of Monday in Toronto addressing the American Bar Association about the U.S. Supreme Court.
He steered clear of the specifics of the Lewinsky investigation, but he did say that he would show respect for the office of the president.
"One of the things that I want to make clear," he said, "is that it is very important we respect our institutions of government and seek to discharge the duties that we have, that we're charged with carrying on, in a way that is very respectful of the institutions of our government."
Correspondents John King and Wolf Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.