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Starr searching for evidence with more media subpoenas

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Starr searching for evidence with more media subpoenas 02/23/98 ARKANSAS--In early February, the Office of the Independent Counsel served subpoenas…

Starr searching for evidence with more media subpoenas

02/23/98

ARKANSAS–In early February, the Office of the Independent Counsel served subpoenas on two television stations in connection with its investigation of Monica Lewinsky’s ties to President Clinton.

Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr subpoenaed WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla., ordering the station to turn over any videotape it had showing Lewinsky during Clinton’s visit to golfer Greg Norman’s Palm Beach house in March 1996.

The station replied that it had no such tape.

Station manager Bill Peterson told the Palm Beach Daily Business Review that the station had already performed a thorough search for tape of Lewinsky even before receiving Starr’s subpoena. Peterson added, “If we had any tape we would have run it,” he said.

Starr’s office also served a subpoena on WPXI television in Pittsburgh seeking videotape of an interview with retired Secret Service officer Lewis Fox. In the interview, Fox told a reporter that Lewinsky once spent at least 40 minutes alone with Clinton while Fox was posted outside the door of the Oval Office.

Officials at the station told the Washington Post that WPXI turned the videotape over to Starr.

The most recent round of subpoenas are not Starr’s first attempts to obtain information from the media. Starr served a subpoena on ABC in September 1996 for the videotape of a Diane Sawyer interview with Whitewater defendant Susan McDougal. A federal District Court in Little Rock, Ark., in November 1996 refused to quash the subpoena, and ordered the network to release the tape.

In August 1997 Starr subpoenaed the publisher of Webster Hubbell’s forthcoming book in August 1997, seeking notes, rough drafts and financial records. The publisher asked a federal District Court in New York City to quash the subpoena, but before the court could act, the publisher and Starr struck a compromise under which only the financial records would be released.