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How Starr got permission to expand his investigation

Friday, January 30 1998; Page A19

On Jan. 16, Reno submitted a petition, excerpted below, to the three-judge panel that oversees independent counsel investigations:

The Department of Justice has received information from Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr that Monica Lewinsky, a former White House employee and witness in the civil case Jones v. Clinton, may have submitted a false affidavit and suborned perjury from another witness in the case.

In a taped conversation with a cooperating witness, Ms. Lewinsky states that she intends to lie when deposed. In the same conversation, she urges the cooperating witness to lie in her own upcoming deposition.

I have determined that it would be a conflict of interest for the Department of Justice to investigate Ms. Lewinsky for perjury and suborning perjury as a witness in this civil suit involving the president. . . .

I have also determined that the taped conversation establishes that further investigation of this matter is warranted.

It would be appropriate for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to handle this matter because he is currently investigating similar allegations involving possible efforts to in-fluence witnesses in his own investigation. . . .

The panel granted Reno's request the same day, in a document excerpted here:

The Independent Counsel shall have jurisdiction and authority to investigate to the maximum extent authorized by the Independent Counsel Reauthorization Act of 1994 whether Monica Lewinsky or others suborned perjury, obstructed justice, intimidated witnesses, or otherwise violated federal law . . . in dealing with witnesses, potential witnesses, attorneys, or others concerning the civil case Jones v. Clinton.

The Independent Counsel shall have jurisdiction and authority to investigate related violations of federal criminal law . . . including any person or entity who has engaged in unlawful conspiracy or who has aided or abetted any federal offense, as necessary to resolve the matter described above.

The Independent Counsel shall have jurisdiction and authority to investigate crimes, such as . . . any obstruction of the due administration of justice, or any material false testimony or statement in violation of federal criminal law, arising out of his investigation of the matter described above. . . .

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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