By Peter Baker and Lena H. Sun
Starr directed Jones's law firm to turn over depositions, affidavits and other documents "obtained directly or indirectly" from Dolly Kyle Browning, Beth Coulson, Marilyn Jo Jenkins and Juanita M. Broaddrick, each of whom was contacted by the Jones legal team in an effort to determine if they had any sexual encounters with Clinton.
The subpoena is the latest twist in the investigation into whether Clinton urged former White House aide Monica S. Lewinsky to lie in the Jones case about a sexual relationship with him. In the last two months, Starr has expanded his obstruction of justice probe to examine whether anyone tried to influence the testimony of another ex-aide deposed by Jones's lawyers, Kathleen E. Willey, who alleged under oath that the president groped her against her will.
Yet it was not clear that the latest subpoena indicated a broader focus for Starr. It could amount to an effort simply to obtain documentary evidence even tangentially connected to his case. It could not be determined, for example, whether any of the four women had been ordered to testify before a grand jury, as both Lewinsky and Willey have.
The women mentioned in yesterday's subpoena either declined to comment or could not be reached, but all of them except Browning reportedly have denied in the Jones case any sexual contact with Clinton.
Starr previously subpoenaed depositions from all anonymous "Jane Doe" women interviewed by the Jones team during the evidence-gathering stage for its sexual harassment lawsuit. But this is the first known attempt on the independent counsel's part to seek information on specific, named women other than Lewinsky and Willey, and there was no explanation for why he targeted these four yesterday. The new subpoena seeks documents beyond just depositions and includes Browning, who was not covered by the previous Starr subpoena because she was not designated as a "Jane Doe."
Jones's attorneys alleged in court papers filed this month that Clinton and his allies have engaged in a "vast enterprise" to silence possible witnesses against him. Donovan Campbell Jr., her lead attorney, said yesterday that he assumed Starr is interested in the four women to see whether there is any evidence of perjury or witness tampering "since that's exactly what the three-judge panel expanded his mandate to do" after Lewinsky came to the prosecutor's attention in January.
Lewinsky remained the major focus of proceedings in Washington yesterday as her mother, Marcia K. Lewis, returned to the federal courthouse six weeks after her last, teary-eyed grand jury appearance. After a closed hearing attended by a psychiatrist, Lewis failed in her bid to be excused from further testimony in the investigation into whether her daughter was involved in covering up an affair with Clinton.
Later in the day, the grand jury heard from Jodie Torkelson, a former White House administrator who had knowledge of the decision to transfer Lewinsky to the Pentagon in April 1996, which came after a senior official concluded that she was spending too much time in the West Wing where Clinton works.
The new Starr subpoena came in what otherwise has shaped up as a relatively slow week in the investigation. With Clinton traveling in Africa and few witnesses showing up at the grand jury, the investigation has entered into a quieter phase, at least temporarily.
While the subpoena again testified to how interconnected the Starr and Jones cases have become, the Dallas-based lawyers representing the former Arkansas state worker said they did not tip off the independent counsel to the particular women he expressed interest in yesterday.
"We haven't had any conversations with them other than they'll call us to say, 'Hey, we're sending you a subpoena,' and we'll work out logistics," said T. Wesley Holmes, another Jones attorney.
Clinton's attorneys did not return telephone messages yesterday.
Of the four women named yesterday, Broaddrick is the only one who has not been mentioned previously in public documents in the Jones case and little is known about what connection, if any, she has with Clinton. Indeed, Starr's office misspelled her name on its subpoena, which asked for documents related to "Juanita Broderick."
Broaddrick, 45, lives in Van Buren, Ark., and she and her husband, David, own several businesses, including Brownwood Manor, a long-term care facility for the elderly, and Brownwood Life Care Center, a facility for children with disabilities. She denied in the Jones case any sexual contact with Clinton, according to sources familiar with her statement. Contacted at home last night, she said, "I don't have any comment about it." The president was not asked about Broaddrick during his Jan. 17 deposition in the Jones case.
Browning, a childhood friend of Clinton's, has said she had an off-and-on love affair with him that spanned three decades, an assertion he has denied. Browning and Clinton ran into each other at a high school reunion in 1994 but later gave different versions under oath of their conversation that night about her plans to publicize their relationship. Browning also alleged in the Jones case that Clinton friends, including White House deputy counsel Bruce R. Lindsey, threatened to "destroy her" if she told her story during the 1992 campaign.
Coulson and Clinton both denied any sexual relations in their separate depositions. As governor of Arkansas, Clinton made Coulson an appeals court judge and the president testified that he paid about five daytime visits to her home when her husband was not around.
Jenkins, an Arkansas utility company official, visited Clinton at the governor's mansion at least four times between the 1992 presidential election and his inauguration, including once at 5:15 a.m. the day he left Little Rock, according to the testimony of a former Clinton bodyguard. Jenkins and Clinton in their sworn statements characterized the visits as innocent.
At the Washington courthouse yesterday, Lewis appeared for a two-hour hearing before Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, but her efforts to avoid further testimony did not meet with immediate success.
"As you all know, Marcia Lewis walked into the courthouse as a witness before the grand jury," her lawyer, Billy Martin, told reporters after the hearing. "Unfortunately, nothing changed today. She remains a witness before the grand jury."
Lewis and her daughter share an apartment at the Watergate and are confidantes. After her second day of testimony last month, she was so overcome by emotion that the courthouse nurse was briefly summoned and she was unable to continue answering questions. Yesterday Lewis, 49, appeared tense when she walked into the courthouse shortly before 10 a.m., at one point slipping and falling.
Among those in yesterday's hearing was Neil Blumberg, a Maryland psychiatrist who left after about 45 minutes.
Blumberg, who said the judge ordered him to say nothing about the case, has offered his expert opinion in several major local court cases, including the current murder-for-hire trial of Ruthann Aron and last year's trial of convicted CIA headquarters killer Mir Aimal Kasi.
The grand jury heard about three hours of testimony from Torkelson, the former head of the management and administration office at the White House.
According to Newsweek, Torkelson sent an e-mail message after Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon demanding to be notified if the ousted aide tried to get another White House job.
Torkelson's attorney, Steve Braga, said afterward that his client "fully answered the questions to the best of her ability."
While the legal proceedings in the Lewinsky case went on inside the courthouse, comic relief was occurring outside as four clowns in yellow and orange wigs handed out fake subpoenas to passersby to promote the visiting Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Staff writers Susan Schmidt and Lorraine Adams and staff researcher Alice Crites contributed to this report.
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