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Grand Jury Forewoman Now Silent

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  • Forewoman Would Have Voted to Indict Clinton (March 26)

  • The Associated Press
    Saturday, March 27, 1999; Page A3

    After breaking her silence, the forewoman of the federal grand jury that investigated President Clinton's affair with Monica S. Lewinsky abruptly announced yesterday that she will not speak any more about the case.

    Freda Alexander made the announcement through her lawyers, who said she made her comments Thursday without their knowledge to several news outlets.

    The federal grand jury process is designed by law to be conducted in secret, and grand jurors rarely talk about their activities.

    There are indications that Chief U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, who oversaw the Lewinsky grand jury, might be upset over Alexander's comments.

    Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr met privately with the judge about the matter yesterday, according to a source familiar with the meeting who would not be identified by name.

    Alexander said Thursday that she believed President Clinton behaved badly in his personal life, and she would have voted to indict him for perjury if prosecutors had asked her to.

    She also expressed sympathy with Clinton and believed his personal failings should not have become public or led to his impeachment.

    "It was personal and of a civil nature," Alexander said. "He didn't do anything that I can see that took away my liberty or was a crime against the state."

    Alexander's lawyers, Douglas B. Huron and Richard A. Salzman, said in a statement, "On our advice, she will not be responding to further media inquiries."

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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