Talking About Monica

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WASHINGTON: Bill won't talk, but Bruce and Sidney must. That's the latest from the battle over executive privilege in the Lewinsky case. Judge Norma Holloway Johnson declared Clinton aides Bruce Lindsey and Sidney Blumenthal are required to spill the beans on chats with their boss about the former White House intern. "If there were instructions from the President to obstruct justice or efforts to suborn perjury," Johnson wrote, "such actions likely took the form of conversations involving the President's closest advisers." Flush with that success, Ken Starr is doing an end-run round a Clinton appeal -- by taking the entire executive privilege case to the Supreme Court.

Special ReportOne privilege Clinton still retains, and has apparently exercised as many as five times, is the right to resist appearing before the grand jury himself. The White House has offered a couple of excuses: The President is too busy; the President distrusts questions from Ken Starr. The real reason for his reticence, if William Ginsburg is to be believed, may be little more than embarassment. In an open letter to California Lawyer magazine , the Lewinsky attorney congratulated Starr on doing nothing more than "unmasking a sexual relationship between two consenting adults." Whether that's the independent counsel's privilege has yet to be decided.