Useless Victory For White House

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: This is how bad it is for Bill Clinton right now: Even when he does look good in court, he can't use it to his advantage. Newly-released court documents show that the president's attorneys are beating back Ken Starr in Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's investigation into alleged grand jury leaks. But though legal victories have been few and far between for the White House lately, don't expect its spokesmen -- or Janet Reno, Starr's nominal boss -- to do any crowing about this one.

Special Report Starr's guilt as to the leaks are already something of an open secret in Washington. "They're blatant," says TIME Washington correspondent Elaine Shannon, "But he's already offending everybody from prosecutors to the public. Any attack on him now would only give him the moral high ground." Certainly Reno, though she could technically fire Starr if a leaks verdict reflected "moral turpitude," is too embroiled in her conflict-of-interest fight with Dan Burton to ever discipline Starr. As for the White House, the time for spinning against Starr is over; now it's keep quiet and cross your fingers. Only results can save or damn the independent counsel now.