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Reno Petition to Starr Released

From the AP
Text of Reno's statement on the Lewinsky probe.
By Larry Margasak
Associated Press Writer
Thursday, January 29, 1998; 5:09 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Janet Reno told a federal court two weeks ago that an investigation of President Clinton should be expanded to include the Lewinsky matter, in part because the former White House intern was recorded saying that she would ask a witness to lie.

``In a taped conversation with a cooperating witness, Ms. Lewinsky states that she intends to lie when deposed'' in Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against President Clinton, Reno said in court papers released Thursday. ``In the same conversation, she urges the cooperating witness to lie in her own upcoming deposition.''

The court papers confirm that subornation of perjury -- asking someone to lie under oath -- was a key justification for Reno to seek expansion of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation. Reno's justification for seeking expanded authority was submitted to a three-judge federal court Jan. 16 and granted the same day.

In tape-recorded conversations, Lewinsky told her friend Linda Tripp she had a sexual affair with Clinton, stated her intention to lie about it in the Jones case and encouraged Tripp to lie as well, according to sources.

``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,'' Reno wrote in her petition to the court.

In conversations taped by Tripp, Lewinsky asked her friend to deny the affair, but Tripp said she would not do so -- even if their friendship ended as a result.

Clinton has strongly denied having a sexual affair with Lewinsky and telling her to lie about it.

The court, in granting the expanded authority, said the independent counsel now has jurisdiction to investigate:

  • Whether 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.''

  • Related violations including any person or entity who has engaged in unlawful conspiracy or who has aided or abetted any federal offense.

  • Any material false testimony or statement.

    © Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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