On Janet Reno's Secret Service

  • Share
  • Read Later
They're sworn to protect the President; now Janet Reno is set to step into the ring to protect them from testifying. The Secret Service got a boost late Monday when the Justice Department filed a brief notice of intent to appeal last month's ruling from Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, which compelled Secret Service agents to testify in Ken Starr's Lewinsky probe. While that doesn't guarantee a DOJ appeal, it does leave the door open for Reno to challenge her own independent counsel in the courts.

While that would fly in the face of unanimous advice from the AG's four predecessors, Reno is more likely to listen to Secret Service director Lewis Merletti -- who has vowed to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. Merletti, who has spent the last few months issuing dark warnings of a future presidential assassination if Starr gets his way, wants to create a new kind of executive privilege for his agents. Another privilege battle -- just what Starr needs right now.