Excerpts from NBC interview of Ginsburg

January 26, 1998|By FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE

Here are excerpts from the interview of William H. Ginsburg, attorney for Monica Lewinsky, on NBC's "Meet The Press" by Tim Russert.

Russert: You've been having discussions with independent counsel Kenneth Starr's office. What are the state of those discussions?

Ginsburg: They are still open. As the saying goes, the ball is still in the air. We are having cordial discussions. We've been together by telephone, and I'm very hopeful that we'll continue those today.

Russert: If Monica Lewinsky agrees with Kenneth Starr to cooperate, is granted immunity, will she tell all?

Ginsburg: Yes. We are delighted, we are dying to tell the story, but we cannot. We are frozen in place. We want to cooperate. We have indicated that we will cooperate to the extent that I will remain in Washington as long as it takes to see that the truth in every detail, wherever it may fall, comes out.

Russert: Kenneth Starr is concerned that his relationships with Web Hubbell and Susan McDougall, where people promised to cooperate, and then they go south. Will Monica Lewinsky give him all the information that she knows about the situation?

Ginsburg: Yes.

Russert: Absolutely?

Ginsburg: Absolutely, unequivocally, and there's no part of yes that is equivocal.

Russert: Mr. Starr and his people went to Monica Lewinsky's apartment on Thursday and did a search. What did they find?

Ginsburg: First of all, it was a consensual search. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday and delayed, for administrative reasons, until Thursday. They found exactly what they told us they were looking for. We hid nothing -- some hatpins, some hats, some T- shirts, all of which were normal materials that she received in her course and scope of employment as a White House intern.

Russert: There are reports that there may be some dresses or a dress with DNA evidence. Were any dresses taken?

Ginsburg: That's a salacious comment. It's a salacious comment because I would assume that if Monica Lewinsky had a dress that was sullied or dirtied, she would have had it cleaned. I know of no such dress.

Russert: If no deal is arranged with Ken Starr, we have reported Monica Lewinsky is due Tuesday to testify before a grand jury here in Washington. That is also the date of the State of the Union. Would you be prepared to postpone her testimony out of respect for the State of the Union?

Ginsburg: Yes. In fact, if, indeed, we are required to go forward -- and you know I'm not permitted to comment on any grand jury proceedings --

Russert: Understood.

Ginsburg: -- but if these rumors are correct, that the grand jury proceeding is set for Tuesday, I'm sure it was done inadvertently. I must feel that way.

You know, Tim, this is my country, just like it's yours, and I think the State of the Union address should go forward unfettered and this should not interfere with the State of the Union address.

Russert: The Washington Post reports today that the White House is waiting for Monica Lewinsky to make her decision, and if, in fact, she cooperates with Kenneth Starr and testifies under oath she had a sexual relationship with the president of the United States, they are prepared to attack her as being unstable.

Ginsburg: It's a viable approach and defense, if it's true. I think as your lead-in to this show indicated it's foolish. How could they have put her in a position of such trustworthiness and concern? How could they have helped her get jobs, including with responsible companies, large companies, if she was so unstable?

You would think over the time she was in government service, they would have noted this prior to today.

Russert: Her job at the White House, the Pentagon, job offers at the United Nations, and she was called "impressive" by Vernon Jordan.

Ginsburg: She is impressive. She's a very bright young lady.

Russert: Do you believe that Kenneth Starr is out to get the president of the United States?

Ginsburg: Oh, I don't take a position on that. I represent a client. I represent a young girl. My job is to relieve her from the jeopardy that she's in, not to take political positions, and I don't take political positions and I don't ascribe motive to anyone.

Russert: Do you believe the president of the United States is in trouble?

Ginsburg: Yes. I'm right in there in that poll that you used in your lead-in. I'm consistent with the majority of the American public.

Russert: Newsweek magazine reports today that he will be forced to admit a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Ginsburg: I haven't read Newsweek magazine yet this week, and I don't know what he'll be forced to admit. That would be up to him.

Russert: Does it influence you, affect you in any way to know that the fate of the country, the fate of Bill Clinton, is, in effect, in your hands and in Monica Lewinsky's hands?

Ginsburg: In addition to the fact that I don't believe that the government of the United States is in Monica Lewinsky's hands or in my hands, short of that, you betcha it scares me.

It scares me that my country could be in this kind of a crisis. I'm not political, but I am a citizen of this country, and I do respect the president.

Pub Date: 1/26/98

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