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Starr Sought to Bar Clinton Subpoena of His Law Firm

Associated Press
Wednesday, October 28, 1998; Page A06

LITTLE ROCK, Oct. 27—Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr asked the judge in the Paula Jones case to block a subpoena by President Clinton's lawyers served on the law firm where Starr's compensation has topped $1 million a year, documents show.

According to federal court documents released Monday, U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright said the subpoena last December should stand so Clinton could attempt to show any bias. Clinton was seeking possible links among Starr, Starr's colleagues and Jones.

Starr's office did not immediately return phone calls today.

Wright dismissed Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit April 1.

Starr's intervention came at the same time he sought to limit the Clinton camp's access to Monica S. Lewinsky during Starr's probe of possible perjury and obstruction of justice in the Jones case regarding Clinton's relationship with the former White House intern.

Clinton and his lawyers sought any documents linking the Kirkland & Ellis law firm of Chicago with lawyers or witnesses from the Paula Jones case. The law firm objected to the subpoena, saying information sought was irrelevant or protected by attorney-client privilege.

During a Jan. 29 telephone conference with lawyers, Wright said information pertaining to Lewinsky would not be used in Jones's trial. The judge also took up Starr's request then "to intervene in the underlying action for purposes of requesting . . . a stay of discovery."

In arguing to a Washington federal court to compel Kirkland & Ellis to comply with the subpoena, Clinton's lawyers cited Wright's ruling that Clinton was entitled to subpoena the law firm "to show bias or motive on the part of the plaintiff Paula Jones," the documents show.

In a letter to Clinton's lawyers, Kirkland & Ellis acknowledged working for a women's group opposed to Clinton's claim that he should be immune from lawsuits while president. It said that unless Clinton's lawyers could point to a specific document they wanted, they should withdraw the subpoena.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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