Clinton: I Am Not a Crook, Part 2

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WASHINGTON: In a rare confluence of the White House's legal and political agendas, Mike McCurry sounded the retreat Monday on one of its most controversial stall tactics and announced that "the President will not appeal the district court's ruling on executive privilege."

"Clinton was tired of the comparisons to Nixon," says TIME White House correspondent Karen Tumulty. "It was a loser all along, just a delaying tactic, and it was beginning to take its toll on his image."

Special Report Instead, the White House legal team is letting it all ride on what they think is a better horse: attorney-client privilege. "The lawyers think they found something in Judge Johnson's decision last week that overrules the 8th Circuit decision which ruled that the privilege doesn't apply to government lawyers working on criminal cases involving public officials," says Tumulty. The upshot: The White House will let Sidney Blumenthal testify and is circling the legal wagons around the man who almost certainly knows all there is to know -- Bruce Lindsey. The White House says Lindsey is Clinton's lawyer first and a government employee second; Starr would have it the other way around. The Supreme Court will make the call.