Independent Counsel Plans to Hire More Advisers on Clinton Probe

By Price, Joyce Howard | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 20, 2000 | Go to article overview

Independent Counsel Plans to Hire More Advisers on Clinton Probe


Price, Joyce Howard, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Independent Counsel Robert Ray says he is hiring more investigators to help him decide whether to prosecute President Clinton, and he expects to finish his work this year.

"There is - as the public is well aware - a matter involving the president of the United States in connection with the [Monica] Lewinsky investigation," Mr. Ray said yesterday on ABC's "This Week."

It was Mr. Ray's "first interview" since succeeding Kenneth W. Starr as independent counsel last fall, according to show co-host Sam Donaldson.

"I am anticipating making judgments about whether or not it is appropriate to bring prosecutions. I intend to have the assistance of experienced people, experienced prosecutors, to help me make those judgments," Mr. Ray said.

"The country went through the matter of impeachment. The judgment was made by the country that it was not appropriate to remove the president from office. It is now my task as a prosecutor, with a very limited and narrow focus, to determine again whether crimes have been committed and whether . . . it is appropriate to bring charges."

Last April, U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright in Little Rock, Ark., found the president in civil contempt for giving false and misleading testimony about his relationship with Miss Lewinsky in a deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit.

Mr. Ray said yesterday he has hired two additional prosecutors for his office and plans to add others to assist with the Lewinsky probe and other unfinished business. "There will be the addition of several experienced agents, both from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal agencies," he said on ABC.

Of the Lewinsky case, he said, "It is my intention to thoroughly and fairly address that issue. That is not and should not be seen as a partisan issue."

"No person, including the president of the United States, is above the law. I intend . . . to vindicate that principle," he said. "This is not a right-wing matter. …

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