Starr sends more material to Judiciary Committee
New evidence involves Kathleen Willey
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, November 13) -- Independent Counsel Ken Starr sent the House Judiciary Committee two boxes of evidence relating to Kathleen Willey's allegations that President Clinton made an unwanted sexual advance to her when she was a White House volunteer, sources tell CNN.
Both the Judiciary Committee and the Office of the Independent Counsel emphasized that the new material is not a new referral by Starr alleging any new impeachable offenses but rather a shipment of additional information Starr's office believed might be relevant to the committee's impeachment debate.
Three sources said committee investigators were reviewing the material Friday afternoon. One, a Democratic source, said senior committee aides said the new evidence "does not move the story or impeachment debate in any significant way."
Willey alleges the president fondled her breast and made other unwanted sexual advances during an Oval Office encounter. Clinton has forcefully denied her allegations, including under oath during his August 17 grand jury testimony.
Sources have told CNN Starr has continued to investigate the Willey matter, focusing not only on the president's sworn denials but also on whether Democratic fund-raiser Nathan Landow tried to influence Willey's testimony and whether the president had any role in efforts to cover up Willey's story.
Starr alerted the committee Friday that the new material would be sent. The independent counsel's surprise move was in response to an October 2 letter to Starr from Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde and ranking Democrat John Conyers requesting "further information gathered as part of your ongoing investigation."
The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin impeachment hearings on November 19, with Starr as the headline witness. The panel must decide if the president should be impeached because of his efforts to conceal and cover up his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
White House aides reacted angrily to Starr's delivery of more evidentiary material. "Once again, the Independent Counsel has seen fit to turn secret Grand Jury material over to the House, but we certainly have not seen this material and have no way to respond to what is in it," said White House Special Counsel James Kennedy.
One administration official called it a public relations move, saying "clearly this is part of his effort to push stuff out the door in advance of his appearance before the committee," and that the "timing raises questions about his intentions."
Starr has been accused by Democrats of withholding exculpatory evidence from his September referral.
The president was grilled about the Willey's allegation during his August 17 grand jury testimony. During that session, prosecutors asked: "Mr. President in fact on that date did you make sexual advances on Kathleen Willey. Is that not correct?
"That's false," the president testified.
"You did grab her breast, as she said?" the prosecutor asked.
"I did not," Clinton replied. Becoming unhappy with the explicit questions in regard to this incident, the president later said, "I didn't do any of that and the questions you're asking, I think, betray the bias of this operation (Starr's investigation) that has troubled me for a long time."
One Clinton Administration official called Starr's latest document dump on the committee a public relations move, saying "clearly this is part of his effort to push stuff out the door in advance of his appearance before the committee," and that the "timing raises questions about his intentions."
In related news, Hyde wrote a sharply worded letter accusing ranking Democrat John Conyers of wanting to turn the impeachment process into a "rush to judgment."
Hyde's letter was a response to a request from Conyers for a quick vote on whether the charges against Clinton -- even if true -- would warrant impeachment.
"It appears that you have already made up your mind and that you believe a rush to judgment is appropriate without the airing of the facts or thoughtful consideration of the evidence," Hyde wrote.
"You seem inclined to view this impeachment inquiry in any context except a factual one," Hyde wrote to Conyers. "You cite your views of what the polls mean and the views of some scholars."
Hyde's three-page letter quotes extensively from scholars who argued at Monday's hearing that the allegations against Clinton do rise to the level of an impeachable offense. Hyde argues the committee's duty is to first assess whether or not the charges are true.
"I have pledged to try to finish this inquiry by the end of the year," Hyde wrote. "However, if we continue to revisit this issue over and over again, the Committee may be delayed in completing its important work."
There has been no response so far from Conyers' office.
CNN's Bob Franken, John King and Eileen O'Connor contributed to this report.
Friday, November 13, 1998
Jones v. Clinton finally settled
Hubbell faces new indictment for alleged perjury, fraud
Starr sends more material to Judiciary Committee
House welcomes its incoming frosh
Clinton signs bill with stiffer gun-related penalties
South Carolinian GOP likes Strom
Few Democrat elections contested
After-school programs get $60 million
Democratic convention: Boston, Denver, L.A.
Officer probed for Clinton bashing
At new governors conference, a call for bipartisanship
Clinton asks Army if Teddy Roosevelt deserves Medal of Honor
Treasury to hold poster contest
Federal witness policy changed