Title

LEWINSKY'S MOM'S TESTIMONY IS 'MANNA FROM HEAVEN' FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, SAYS UGA LAW PROFESSOR

Abstract

Thursday, February 19, 1998

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Ronald L. Carlson, (706) 542-5186

LEWINSKY'S MOM'S TESTIMONY IS 'MANNA FROM HEAVEN' FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, SAYS UGA LAW PROFESSOR

ATHENS, Ga. -- The testimony of Monica Lewinsky's mother Marcia Lewis, who was granted a reprieve today from further grand jury testimony due to emotional duress, is like "manna from heaven" for Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, says Professor Ron Carlson, a criminal law expert at the University of Georgia. Starr's strategy is obvious, says Carlson: drill the mother on all the important points of the case and have a loaded gun trained on Lewinsky.

"And it will all be set when Monica comes before that grand jury," said Carlson. "She will have virtually no wiggle room. To have the mother come in before the key witness to lay this kind of groundwork, it will form for Starr a superb template on which to then proceed with the Monica Lewinsky interrogation."

Carlson expects Lewinsky to appear before the grand jury next week, and he predicts that she will be granted use immunity -- not a free pass from ever being prosecuted, but protection from criminal charges stemming from her grand jury testimony. Carlson says the success of Starr's case hinges on the talking points memo, "the most important single piece of evidence in the case so far."

However, current secret service agents should not be coerced to testify against the president, says Carlson. He believes executive privilege should be invoked to protect him.

"It's very unwise policy to dragoon secret service agents before tribunals such as grand juries," said Carlson. "They are sworn to protect the president. These kinds of efforts compromise, it seems to me, that duty to a certain extent in the sense that requiring them to go to court or to grand juries and to reveal disclosures they overheard because of their private position with the president will cause the president to avoid having secret service around all the time, particularly when he's looking at having very confidential discussions with foreign leaders."

Carlson, a nationally recognized expert in evidence, trial practice and criminal procedure, has litigated many cases and has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He has written numerous books on trial techniques and provided extensive commentary for the national media in high-profile trials.

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