Switching Fronts in the War on Starr

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WASHINGTON: At this point, says TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan, the White House has resigned itself to letting the Secret Service talk. "Starr has said he will not ask about overheard conversations between Lindsey and the President," he says. "He just wants them to corroborate certain points of the Tripp tapes, and the White House is done trying to stop the testimony." But on Tuesday in the well-trafficked courthouse, there was another battle being waged: the one over Leakgate.

Special Report Lawyers for both the President and Monica Lewinsky met Ken Starr in an appeals court to blame the independent counsel for improperly leaking, well, just about all the things that have kept a nation of political journalists busy since February. "Don't forget that in principle, everything should be off the record," says Branegan. "We shouldn't even know Monica Lewinsky's name." And since on Tuesday it was Starr who was seeking to overturn a sealed ruling by Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, it would seem that the ruling points the finger directly at Starr. On that subject, of course, Starr's spokesmen have been noticeably silent.