Marceca Mum on Filegate

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the 'Filegate' snafu opened with a mini-bombshell when Anthony Marceca, the army staffer at the center of the controversy, invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify. "His apparent reason for pleading the Fifth was an article in the Friday Wall Street Journal," says TIME White House correspondent James Carney. "It says that despite federal rules, Marceca was able to inspect his FBI file in Craig Livingstone's office after he was dismissed over a problem in his FBI background report." Marceca read allegations against him given to the FBI by two women, whom he later sued for slander. Marceca's plea comes as a further embarrassment to a Clinton Administration trying to quietly put the whole files fiasco to rest. "This is the first indication that the FBI files were misused," says Carney. "There may not be a sinister motive, but gross incompetence is not something to dismiss." Carney reports that Senator Arlen Specter may look into the option of granting Marceca immunity for additional testimony. But Carney notes the real fireworks, if any, won't surface until independent counsel Kenneth Starr completes his investigation, meaning that Filegate could haunt Clinton throughout the campaign season. -->