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Documents show 'special master' is probing alleged Starr leaks

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Court papers released Friday confirmed that U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson has appointed a special investigator to look into allegations that Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr and his staff may have leaked secret grand jury information to the media.

Judge Johnson, in a September ruling, cited six media reports that constitute "prima facie violations" of her court's order prohibiting disclosure of Starr's grand jury investigation.

Johnson noted 18 other media reports to be reviewed by the court-appointed investigator, or "Special Master" as it is known.

Early this past summer, lawyers for President Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky and two White House aides asked the court to investigate media leaks by Starr or his staff.

Because the judge has now found that, on the surface, there appear to be violations of the court rules against disclosure of grand jury information, Starr and his staff must disprove the charges.

Judge Johnson has asked that the investigation, begun in late September, be concluded by the end of November. A progress report was to be given to the court by Friday.


RELATED STORIES

White House forced to respond to testimony leaks (08-22-98)

Appeals court lets leaks investigation continue (08-07-98)



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Friday, October 30, 1998

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