Friday, August 21, 1998

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

CONTACT: Prof. Ron Carlson, (706) 542-5186 (O)


ATHENS, Ga. - Monica Lewinsky's second testimony before a federal grand jury yesterday opened two major rifts between her account and the President's of the sexual relationship they shared, making it "inevitable" that independent prosecutor Ken Starr will call President Clinton back to the stand, says UGA criminal law professor Ron Carlson.

Carlson says Clinton's refusals to answer Starr's questions about the nature of his participation in the sexual episodes and the possible manipulation of the gifts he gave to Lewinsky leave the independent prosecutor no choice: "To complete the investigation, Starr will have to subpoena the President to come back in, even if it precipitates a constitutional crisis," says Carlson. "I believe Starr will go like a heat-seeking missile to these two topics during the next grand jury session, and yes, I believe the President will be placed under subpoena for that. We're heading perhaps for the most cataclysmic clash in this whole episode shortly."

Carlson predicts the President's mandated return to the grand jury will not be as lengthy as before - perhaps an hour at most - because the areas of inquiry are well-defined. But, he says, the responses provided by the President could have disastrous effects if it is determined that he lied about the nature of the sexual relationship in his deposition given in the Paula Jones case or that he tampered with evidence by ordering that gifts presented to Lewinsky be retrieved.

"If that occurred, that would be a situation in which one witness tampered with another in terms of producing items which were under court subpoena, and that raises serious obstruction of justice potential," says Carlson. "My view is that there will be definitely some spillover effect into the Paula Jones case of the President's concessions regarding Lewinsky. It will have a negative effect - a deleterious effect - on the President's defense of the appeal in the Paula Jones case."

Carlson predicts that the President will be ordered to testify in the near future -- "after the dust settles" from the retaliatory bombing of suspected terrorist training grounds in Afghanistan and Sudan -- in order to facilitate completion of Starr's investigative report by the end of September.

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. He may be reached for further contact at (706) 542-5186 (O) or (706) 548-6771 (H).