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Kramerbooks is now fighting its Starr subpoena.

Related Links
_ Ken Starr's Reading List (Reliable Source, March 26)

_ Starr: Leaving No Tome Unturned (Reliable Source, March 25)


Bookstores Read Starr the Riot Act

By Annie Groer and Ann Gerhart
From "The Reliable Source"
Thursday, April 2, 1998

Independent counsel Ken Starr has slapped a subpoena on a second local bookstore, the Barnes & Noble in Georgetown, demanding "all documents and things relating to purchases by Monica Lewinsky" over a 28-month period. But Barnes & Noble and Kramerbooks, which was subpoenaed last week, are fighting back.

Starr's demand that Kramerbooks produce records of Lewinsky's purchases brought a storm of righteous indignation from publishing and free-speech groups, which argued that Starr's subpoena had corrupted every reader's privacy. Last week an attorney for the independent bookseller in Dupont Circle said it would cooperate, citing cost and the store's obligation to "not obstruct an ongoing federal investigation." But yesterday, the store went to U.S. District Court to quash the subpoena. The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will help fund the legal fight, the group's president said.

The Barnes & Noble subpoena was served directly at the chain's corporate offices in New York, which vowed yesterday to file a motion to dismiss and lashed out at Starr's tactics.

"The subpoena raises the issue of whether the government has the right to pry into the reading preferences of every individual," store officials said in a statement. "We believe that the First Amendment is sacrosanct and that it protects our customers' right to privacy and their right to obtain and receive information without public disclosure."

Goldberg's Groupies
Sitting in the sun outside the Oval Room the other day, Lucianne Goldberg recited all the people who want her for a book agent. "The nut cases, every paranoid, every black-helicopter conspiracist, people who are suing the government, anybody with a cause," said the woman who urged Linda Tripp to secretly tape Monica Lewinsky's purported tales of sex with President Clinton.

But she doesn't want to be their agent. "Truly, there is not an income stream that comes from this kind of notoriety," Goldberg said of her latest brush with fame. (Earlier flashes came with her unmasking as a paid spy for Richard Nixon in George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign and in a 1983 breach-of-contract suit filed by former client Kitty Kelley, who won a $60,000 jury award that the judge cut to just over $41,000.)

Goldberg thinks only two current scandal figures could write potential bestsellers: Lewinsky, if she tells the whole truth, and Newsweek reporter Mike "Spiky" Isikoff, whom she nicknamed "because two of his stories were spiked" by the magazine.

In fact, they weren't killed, just held until Isikoff developed more solid info about Lewinsky and Kathleen Willey, who alleges Clinton kissed and groped her without permission. But somehow "Holdy" lacks the oomph of "Spiky."

Now You Know . . .

  • Several diners at the Palm restaurant burst into applause last night when an elated Bob Bennett walked in -- no, veritably glided in -- to celebrate the biggest dismissal of his life.

    President Clinton's lawyer and his wife, Ellen, accepted a lot of tableside congratulations (Paul Begala's among them) and shook a lot of hands. "He was really happy," said Palm general manager Tommy Jacomo, so happy that when a fellow diner in a suit approached and started cursing and screaming, Bennett never flinched. After Palm staff escorted the guy out onto 19th Street, where he continued spewing political diatribes, the Bennetts returned to sipping Dom Perignon, on the house.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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