Landow Denies Authorizing Probe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 31, 1999; Page A22
Democratic fund-raiser Nathan Landow said yesterday that his longtime personal lawyer hired a private investigator to obtain former White House volunteer Kathleen E. Willey's telephone records, but the lawyer did so without authorization.
Landow confirmed that investigator Jared Stern was hired by attorney Saul Schwartzbach to obtain the phone records. Landow insisted that he had "no knowledge" that Schwartzbach was hiring Stern. Two sources close to Landow said Schwartzbach used the phone records to prepare a chronology of Willey's activities that was shown to Landow.
Stern said yesterday that independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's office has twice summoned him before an Alexandria grand jury investigating whether there were efforts to intimidate Willey or chill her testimony in Paula Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton. Willey has said that Clinton made an unwanted sexual advance toward her when she visited him in the Oval Office in 1993 to seek a paid position at the White House.
Stern declined to discuss the scope of the work he was hired to do by Schwartzbach or say when it took place, but he said he appeared before the grand jury more than a month ago. Stern's lawyer, Edouard Bouquet, told ABC News in an interview televised Friday night that Stern was so uneasy about unspecified work he was asked to do on Willey that he called her and, using an alias, warned her someone was out to do her harm.
Schwartzbach did not return calls seeking comment.
Stern, who works for Prudential Associates Inc., an investigative firm in Rockville, has told investigators he was hired by Schwartzbach at a clandestine nighttime meeting in a parking garage, said a source familiar with his account. Stern has told investigators that Schwartzbach knew Robert L. Miller, the late head of Prudential, and got in touch with Stern through him, the source said, adding that no paperwork was created for the engagement.
Stern said he has reason to believe Willey's report of having been approached last January by a stranger jogging near her Richmond home shortly before she was to testify in the Jones lawsuit. Willey has said the man inquired about her children and referred to her missing cat and vandalized car. "Don't you get the message?" she said the man asked.
A source close to Landow said Schwartzbach hired Stern last March while Starr was investigating Willey's claim that Landow had sought to influence her testimony in the Jones case. Schwartzbach, according to the Landow associate, sought the phone records to prove that Willey was contacting Landow, not the other way around.
Landow, who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Clinton-Gore campaigns, knew Willey socially through his daughter, who worked with her as a White House volunteer.
Landow has refused to testify before the grand jury, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. He has publicly stated that he never attempted to influence Willey in the Jones case.
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