- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2000

The White House has in its possession a previously undisclosed computer disk with e-mails by former intern Monica Lewinsky to two grand jury witnesses while her affair with President Clinton was under investigation.
The e-mails are among thousands of messages sought under subpoena between 1996 and 1998 by a federal grand jury and three congressional committees, but never turned over.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, told Monday of the existence of the disk by Justice Department lawyer James J. Gilligan, will decide when and if it will be released and to whom.
The "zip disk," a sophisticated floppylike disk with expanded storage space, was compiled after a manual search of the Lewinsky e-mail file by a Northrop Grumman Corp. contract employee who denied its existence under oath last week before the House Government Reform Committee.
That employee, Robert Haas, gave the disk to the firm's corporate counsel, who passed it on March 17 to Charles C. Easley, security chief for the Executive Office of the President.
On the disk are e-mails Miss Lewinsky sent to Betty Currie, who is Mr. Clinton's personal secretary, and Ashley Raines, who worked in the White House Office of Policy Development Operations.
Mrs. Currie, who facilitated meetings between the president and the intern, and Miss Raines, in whom Miss Lewinsky confided she was having sexual relations with Mr. Clinton, were witnesses before the Lewinsky grand jury.
"EOP has not yet reviewed the contents of the disk, but has been advised by counsel for Northrop Grumman that it contains copies of e-mails from Monica Lewinsky to Betty Currie and Ashley Raines," said Mr. Gilligan, who represents the Executive Office of the President.
He said the White House has "no knowledge or information whatsoever" on the specific contents of the e-mails.
The growing flap over the missing e-mails has spread in recent weeks to a Justice Department investigation and a probe by the House committee, whose chairman, Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican, called this week for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the matter.
The Justice Department's campaign finance task force is probing whether the White House willfully concealed e-mails subpoenaed by the task force, and "threatened" Northrop Grumman employees to keep the messages secret.
Task force chief Robert J. Conrad Jr. told Judge Lamberth last week the e-mail management system had "for some period of time" failed to collect incoming messages, possibly including some "communications related to various criminal investigations."
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said the Justice Department will decide whether to name an outside counsel to probe the missing e-mails, but criticized Mr. Burton for making the request.
"Dan Burton asking for an outside counsel or a special counsel is like the sun coming up in the morning," Mr. Lockhart said.
The White House has acknowledged that thousands of e-mails were not turned over under subpoena during a two-year period ending in 1998, but blamed the problem on a computer glitch.
The e-mails involved Miss Lewinsky; the White House's receipt of secret FBI files; information on the selection of corporate executives for overseas trips; and 1996 campaign finance activities.
The problem was found in May 1998 when Northrop Grumman traced a programming error on one of four White House Lotus Notes e-mail servers back to August 1996. They said the server was mislabeled and a search of e-mails was incomplete.
Last week, five Northrop Grumman employees told the committee they were warned not to discuss the problem. Three of them said they were threatened with jail if they mentioned the missing e-mail messages to anyone.
When the White House was told in 1998 that thousands of e-mails had not been surrendered, a manual search was ordered of messages involving Miss Lewinsky. That assignment went to Mr. Haas, a systems administrator.
According to an impeachment report by independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, Miss Lewinsky confided to Miss Raines some of the most graphic details of her 19-month relationship with Mr. Clinton. The two exchanged a number of e-mail messages about the affair during the two-year period in which the White House has acknowledged that the messages were never turned over.
Miss Raines told the grand jury Miss Lewinsky described her relationship with the president as they occurred. She said she understood the president and Miss Lewinsky engaged in kissing and oral sex, usually in the president's study, and testified that she heard Mr. Clinton's voice on a phone message Miss Lewinsky played for her.
Ironically, Miss Raines' mother manages the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock, Ark., where then-Gov. Clinton was accused in a sexual misconduct lawsuit of exposing himself to and seeking oral sex from Arkansas state employee Paula Jones in May 1991.
Mrs. Currie was involved in ploys to explain Miss Lewinsky's Oval Office presence, including saying she was bringing the president letters or visiting her.
She also retrieved Mr. Clinton's gifts to Miss Lewinsky, which investigators believed was part of a bid by the president and others to obstruct justice in the Jones suit. Mrs. Currie phoned Miss Lewinsky several times at her Watergate apartment at Mr. Clinton's behest to pick up the gifts.
In a Dec. 28, 1997, call after Mr. Clinton learned Miss Lewinsky was on the Jones witness list Mrs. Currie told Miss Lewinsky, "I understand you have something to give me." Mrs. Currie testified she thought Miss Lewinsky called her and could not recall whether Mr. Clinton told her about the gifts.
The White House e-mail question surfaced in recent weeks because of a $90 million suit in the "Filegate" scandal by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm, which has opposed government efforts to have the case postponed because of the Justice Department probe.
Last week, Judge Lamberth ordered the department's campaign finance task force to tell him why he should delay the suit while it investigates the missing e-mails. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for tomorrow.
But the judge questioned the administration's "track record" in conducting investigations into White House scandals, saying prior inquiries turned out to be "bogus." He told Mr. Gilligan he faces "an uphill battle" to convince him the delay is necessary.
Andrew Cain contributed to this report.

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