Special Reports Personal Collection:
Norris Carden's (www.nuzman.com) e-mail collection of Drudge's Special Reports (5/31/1997 - 1/17/2001.)
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON JULY 27 1998 01:29:59 UTC XXXXX
STARR OFFERS CLOSED-CIRCUIT TV TESTIMONY; CLINTON MAY FOLLOW JEFFERSON AND
DEMAND WRITTEN QUESTIONS
President Bill Clinton is reserving the option to follow the lead of
President Thomas Jefferson by refusing to 'physically testify' before a
federal grand jury, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. A secret meeting among
Clinton's legal team was in progress at the White House late Sunday.
Monday's NEW YORK TIMES is reporting that a major obstacle to any agreement
between the White House and prosecutor Starr is the president's request that
his lawyer, David Kendall, sit in on any testimony.
Starr is unwilling to grant that request, the TIMES reports.
Starr may give ground and not require Clinton to testify at the Federal
Starr may bus the jurors to the White House, or have Clinton testify via
live closed-circuit television.
But the DRUDGE REPORT has learned that a plan was still circulating in elite
halls of the White House over the weekend: Clinton would agree to provide
written answers to written questions submitted by prosecutor Ken Starr --
and nothing more -- citing a historic legal precedent.
Aaron Burr, vice president in Thomas Jefferson's first term as president
(1801-05), was acquitted on a treason charge in 1807, but not before
Jefferson was subpoenaed to testify in the trial -- a subpoena Jefferson
successfully fought on constitutional grounds.
The presiding judge was Chief Justice John Marshall. At the request of the
defense, Marshall issued a subpoena for President Thomas Jefferson to appear
and testify in the case.
Jefferson refused, on the grounds that it violated separation of powers for
a judge to order the President, head of the Executive Branch, to appear in
court. Marshall accepted that refusal, and permitted Jefferson to submit
written answers to written questions.
Smart Clinton/Starr case watchers in Washington have become fixated on the
Burr case since word spread last week that Clinton had actually been hit
with a Starr subpoena.
"No President has ever testified under oath, by compulsion of a court
order," one Supreme Court veteran explains.
Clinton and other presidents have testified, voluntarily, in criminal trials.
But word that Clinton could fight to provide only written answers to written
questions in the Monica Lewinsky mess, exactly as Jefferson did in the Burr
Trial, is likely to leave Starr hitting brick wall.
Starr is demanding live testimony under oath, with the opportunity to
cross-examine, according to case intelligence.
One court watcher explains why Starr may lose that fight: "Though the whole
U.S. Supreme Court has never considered the issue of a subpoena to a sitting
President, no court at that or any other level is going to go against the
precedent set by the greatest Chief Justice of the United States ever to
serve, John Marshall."
Starr's office is likely counting on public pressure to build if Clinton
refused to submit to testimony. Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch told
CBS' FACE THE NATION cameras over the weekend that Clinton has little choice
but to cooperate. "The fact that he would ignore and violate a subpoena
would certainly be grounds to file articles of impeachment," Hatch warned.
A telling mistake by outgoing White House press sec Mike McCurry during his
bull session with reporters last Friday offered a sneak into White House
At one point early in the session, McCurry slipped and said that the
President's lawyers were negotiating to provide the grand jury with the
'testimony' it seeks. McCurry, unprodded, quickly corrected himself by
saying 'the evidence' it seeks.
Few reporters in the room noted McCurry's transition.
Rahm told Russert on Sunday: "The president wants to get the information
that the grand jury needs and has instructed Mr. Kendall to talk to Mr.
Starr to do exactly that."
One well-placed White House staffer e-mailed the DRUDGE REPORT late Friday
night: "The next few weeks could give new meaning to the name William
[Don't bother to trace it, Podesta -- they're using AMERICA ONLINE.]
But Monday's NEW YORK TIMES reports that Senior advisers to President
Clinton have warned that he would jeopardize support from congressional
Democrats if he fights the subpoena to testify.
Comments by Rep. Richard Gephardt, the House minority leader, over the
weekend rang alarm bells at the White House, persuading the president's top
political advisers that he would have to tell it under oath.
"I don't know what [Starr] gets out of this deposition from Clinton other
than a repeat of the Paula Jones deposition, with a couple of updates,"
Lanny Davis tells the TIMES.
FOOTNOTE: Bill Safire on Monday is bound to shake the intelligentsia with
his op-ed: GRAND OBSTRUCTION. Safire suggests that Starr's report may run
"a couple of hundred pages long" and "public reaction to its startling
contents should be 'if we had only known ...'" "What if the seemingly
obsessive pursuit of false denial in the Lewinsky-Tripp-Willey matter turns
out to illuminate a much broader landscape of witness-tampering and
suppression of evidence?" Safire asks. "Assume for unconventional
argument's sake that a distinct pattern can be shown -- both in the cast of
characters and the technique of payoff employed -- of possibly hushing up
Webster Hubbell on Whitewater and possibly buying Monica Lewinsky's
cooperation in giving a witness 'talking points' to mislead a jury... dots
can be connected among the use of the office of White House counsel to
transmit false information to a grand jury about the first lady's
involvement in Travelgate firings, the removal and concealment of Rose Law
Firm files long under subpoena and the improper use of White House counsel
to coordinate and influence the testimony of witnesses and avoid subpoenas
in subsequent criminal investigations."
X X X X X
SPIELBERG DOESN'T KNOW
By Sunday morning, Steven Spielberg was one of the few people left in the
movie business who were unaware that SAVING PRIVATE RYAN had earned the best
reviews of the year and was a box-office success, taking in more than $30
million in its opening weekend, a record for a war movie.
"Executives at DREAMWORKS, said that the director of the movie was at his
home in East Hampton, N.Y., and had told his staff in recent days not to
read him any newspaper or magazine reviews or inform him of its
opening-weekend box-office take, reveals Bernie Weinraub.
But what Spielberg doesn't know can't hurt him -- it will only make him
richer. The LOS ANGELES TIMES revealed over the weekend that 35 cents of
every dollar earned on the film would go to Spielberg and star Tom Hanks.
The two took only minimal fees up front.
X X X X X
5TH AVENUE SHOPPING COMING TO WEB
In the Year of Our Lord Dow Jones 9000, comes The 5th Avenue Channel -- live
Shoppers for truffles, Champagne and other darling things will soon be able
to buy them through their computer monitors, reports Monday's NEW YORK TIMES.
Ivana Trump plans to start an Internet venture this fall offering "luxury
lifestyles and shopping opportunities."
"We're looking for that couple from Kansas City who come to New York once a
year and go into Tiffany's to buy something special," says a spokesman.
Pre-crash fantasies now loading: http://www.5thavenuechannel.com
X X X X X
CNN BREAKING NEWS 15:48 PM ET
July 24, 1998
BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, thank you, John Holliman. As you can
see the east Capitol plaza of the United States Capitol building is very
calm. This was not the picture a little over an hour ago when shortly past
3:30 Eastern time this afternoon a lone gunman...
He opened fire and the upshot was as we look at this videotape, two Capitol
Hill police officers wounded, one suffering a wound to the eye lid. The
other officer is I'm told right now undergoing emergency treatment at one of
the local hospitals...
SHAW: Michael Bowen is a spokesman for George Washington University
Hospital. He is live on the telephone now. Mr. Bowen, what can you tell us?
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: The gunman, whose name will be withheld, has died of
multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. Reports said that he was angry that
his radio was broken; he couldn't listen to Howard Stern.
SHAW: Oh my goodness. We were just victims of a hoax. My sincerest apology
to you our viewers. Sometimes during live coverage, we have idiots who
penetrate telephone systems and our system was just penetrated. That was not
a spokesman from George Washington University Hospital... That was a hoax.
All I can do is put my palms up and apologize to you. If there was a way to
prevent it, believe me, you would not experience what we just experienced.
Well, that was awful, and I hope that person -- well, I shouldn't say that,
that wouldn't be polite, would it?
X X X X X
Confucius say: Don't be far away from computer for next few weeks. Or miss
Filed by Matt Drudge
The REPORT is issued when circumstances warrant
http://www.drudgereport.com for breaks and steaks
(c)DRUDGE REPORT 1998
Not for reproduction without permission of the author