Meanwhile, Back in the White House

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WASHINGTON: Like a bruised boxer coming back for more, the Clinton camp is taking on Ken Starr for another round in the Supreme Court. The issue, once again, is attorney-client privilege; the attorney, once again, is White House deputy counsel Bruce Lindsey. But here's the twist: Back in June, the threat of impending impeachment -- which Lindsey invoked as the reason why all his conversations with the President turn into private, lawyerly ones -- was said by Starr to be "too remote" a possiblity. Yet we now know the independent counsel declared his intention to send a report to Congress just three days after he made that argument. Good enough for an appeal, right?

You can almost see the Justices raising a skeptical eyebrow at that one. And fear of losing again is why the White House consistently keeps more than one front open against the OIC. Right now, David Kendall is ploughing the more fertile furrows of Starr's initial submission to Janet Reno. What was his connection to Linda Tripp at the time? Had FBI agents wired her already, without the Attorney General's knowledge? And will she release Starr's original request to investigate the Lewinsky affair? Promising lines of attack -- but since Reno's relations with the White House are somewhat tepid at the moment, Kendall could be letting himself in for another sucker punch.