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White House Wants Starr Probe Over

March 1, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A White House aide said Sunday it’s time for Kenneth Starr to end his investigation of President Clinton, and a former administration lawyer said Attorney General Janet Reno should fire ``this particular out-of-control prosecutor, Mr. Starr.″

``This is not about seeking the truth. This is a partisan political pursuit of the president, and it’s time for Ken Starr to start wrapping up pieces of his investigation and get to the bottom of it,″ said White House adviser Rahm Emanuel on CBS’ ``Face the Nation.″

Sen. Patrick Leahy took the attack a step further, declaring that the prosecutor was out to oust the president.

``The fact of the matter is that ... Starr has gotten totally out of control. He has this fixation of trying to topple the president of the United States. He’s doing everything possible to do it,″ Leahy, D-Vt., said on NBC’s ``Meet the Press.″

But Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch came to Starr’s defense, contending the prosecutor has ``done a very good job.″

``There’s no question that he has to sit there like a punching bag and take really unfair punches thrown at him,″ Hatch, R-Utah, said on ``Meet the Press.″ Later, he said: ``His reputation has always been sterling until he’s been bashed this badly.″

In another development, Newsweek reports in its edition on newsstands Monday that Kathleen Willey, who has testified under oath of an alleged sexual encounter with Clinton, amended her deposition in the Paula Jones case Feb. 10. That was 30 days after she testified, the last day under the law she could have changed it without fear of a perjury charge.

Newsweek said Willey initially testified she had talked only to her lawyers about her testimony. But the magazine said her revised deposition reported that she talked to Democratic contributor Nathan Landow about it but gave no details. Landow told the magazine he had seen or spoken to Willey a ``half-dozen times,″ as recently as a few weeks ago.

In another previously unreported detail about Willey’s alleged encounter with the president, Newsweek reported from sources close to her that when she and Clinton were together in a small private study off the Oval Office, she heard a knock on the door. The sources said a voice called out, ``Mr. President! Mr. President!″ Willey believed the person at the door was Andrew Friendly, the president’s personal aide, the magazine said, and added that as she departed, she reportedly saw Lloyd Bentsen, then the Treasury secretary, waiting to enter the Oval Office.

Newsweek also reported that Starr will soon subpoena Vernon Jordan’s chauffeur, Aaron Green, who drove Jordan and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky to meet her first lawyer. A prominent Washington lawyer and close friend of the president, Jordan is to go before Starr’s grand jury Tuesday to testify on his role in the Lewinsky affair.

Time magazine, quoting lawyers on the case, said Jordan first met with Ms. Lewinsky to discuss job prospects last Nov. 5, a month before she learned she would be subpoenaed in the Jones case.

Lanny Davis, a former White House lawyer hired to respond to queries about sensitive issues including campaign fund raising, said Starr’s subpoena of presidential adviser Sidney Blumenthal ``constitutes blatant prosecutorial misconduct.″ Blumenthal was called for testimony about Starr’s suspicions that the White House was trying to sidetrack his investigation by releasing derogatory information about his agents.

``I think Janet Reno should consider a for-cause dismissal of this man (Starr),″ Davis said on ``Fox News Sunday.″ He said the president hasn’t told his side of the story because ``no defense lawyer ... would put a client out in the cross hairs of this particular out-of-control prosecutor, Mr. Starr.″

Asked whether Starr should resign, Emanuel said: ``Politically, that’s ridiculous for us to say so.″

But Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., said on CBS’ ``Face the Nation″: ``I would predict in the next couple of weeks you’re going to see Janet Reno rein him in.″

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who has been critical of Starr before, admitted on the same show the prosecutor ``went too far″ in subpoenaing Blumenthal. He said, however: ``I do not think it’s a disqualifier, and obviously ... Reno doesn’t either because she hasn’t acted here.″

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