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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX TUESDAY AUGUST 20, 2002 13:03:27 ET XXXXX
POLITICAL MOTIVATIONS DENIED IN MARTHA STEWART PROBE; 'SEX LIFE' OF NO INTEREST
Republican lawmakers probing Martha Stewart strongly deny there are political motivations driving congressional investigations. But some Democrats have privately cautioned their colleagues not to appear 'heavy-handed' in their dealings with the billionaire business woman.
As first reported in this space, Stewart is said to see a political conspiracy behind the deepening probe into her questionable stock trades.
"Martha really believes it is the Republicans who are behind this -- and they are chasing her for purely political reasons," a Stewart intimate told the DRUDGE REPORT.
"Martha told me that she believes they are doing the very same thing to her, they did to President Clinton. What Ken Starr did. She believes it is nothing short of a witch hunt! They are even digging into her private e-mails! They are demanding to know who she's dated. Martha said to me,'Can you believe they want to know who I'm dating?' Republicans on Capitol Hill are probing her sex life!"
The spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee blasted the charge. "Frankly, we could care less about her sex life. I don't want to hear about it from her...," spokesman Ken Johnson told CNN.
Meanwhile, several Democrats have cautioned their Republican counterparts to avoid the appearance of a political witch hunt, according to Hill sources.
"The fact is, Martha Stewart has been very generous to us Democrats," one top congressional source said on Tuesday. "She's been a generous supporter of Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Torricelli, Bayh, Schumer and others... We must treat her fairly, pursue the facts, not single her out or punish her because she has been a leading fundraiser for one party of the other."
Hill investigators set a 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday deadline for Stewart's lawyers to furnish detailed documents explaining her sale of Imclone stock a day before its value plummeted.
Filed By Matt Drudge
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