Court OKs New Role for Starr: He'll Undertake FBI Files Probe
Scarborough, Rowan, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
An appeals court panel yesterday approved Attorney General Janet Reno's request to allow independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr to investigate how the White House improperly obtained sensitive FBI background reports on hundreds of former Republican officeholders.
The order put to rest a back-and-forth jurisdictional question between the Justice Department and Mr. Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel, who now has a mandate to probe even deeper into the inner workings of the Clinton White House.
A panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia specifically mentioned Anthony Marceca for possible criminal wrongdoing. The judges said Mr. Starr should discern whether administration officials committed perjury or obstructed justice.
Mr. Marceca, an Army criminal investigator and Democratic Party activist, requested more than 400 FBI files beginning in December 1993 while a temporary detailee in the White House personnel security office.
He justified his request for FBI files by stating the subjects were seeking White House building passes. But most on the list were former Republican government officials who had no intention of joining a Democratic administration.
In seeking expanded jurisdiction for the independent counsel, Miss Reno said in a memorandum to the court that "some of the request forms completed by Mr. Marceca and sent to the FBI, insofar as they stated that the named individual required access to the White House, were false."
"I have concluded that further investigation is warranted to determine whether the inaccurate request forms were knowing and willful false statements," she wrote.
Mr. Marceca has testified before a federal grand jury. He presumably repeated public statements that he dispatched request forms to the FBI based on an outdated Secret Service list.
But that assertion was directly rebutted on Thursday by Richard Miller, the Secret Service's assistant director for protective operations. Mr. Miller told the Senate Judiciary Committee his agency has never produced a list that remotely matches the 407 files that ended up at the White House.
"I've asked our computer people where a list like this would have come from," Mr. Miller testified. "And, I mean, we've run the whole gamut. . . . We have no idea. We really have no idea where this list came from." Former White House employees say most of the 407 names - in alphabetic order from A to G - were political appointees from the Reagan and Bush administrations. …