Clearly the move was intended to plug the daily leaks that threaten to wash the President out of office. Indeed, the morning news cycle was dominated by an account of a potentially damaging statement that Clinton secretary Betty Currie gave to Starr's investigators. The story was broken by the New York Times and attributed to those ubiquitous "lawyers familiar with the investigation." For the President, the report added unwanted drama to a morning press conference with his new best friend, British prime minister Tony Blair. "I never asked anybody to do anything but tell the truth," he said, adding: "If someone is leaking unlawfully out of a grand jury proceeding, that's a different story."
But clearly the administration realized that greater countermeasures than that were needed. "I intend to seek judicial relief from these tactics, including contempt sanctions, as soon as practicable," Kendall wrote in the letter to Starr, which came just hours after the President complained that information was "leaking unlawfully" from the investigation. Clinton stopped just short of accusing Starr's office; that's a job for the hit men. Now Kendall has fired the first shot.