Lewinsky's testimony submitted to special prosecutor Starr Proffer includes deal to grant her immunity

January 27, 1998|By Ellen Gamerman | Ellen Gamerman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Monica Lewinsky might be close to receiving immunity from prosecution after her lawyer submitted to federal investigators yesterday a written account detailing her alleged affair with President Clinton and a purported effort to cover it up.

Lewinsky's scheduled appearance before a federal grand jury today appeared likely to be postponed to provide time to help secure a deal for her full story.

William Ginsburg, Lewinsky's lawyer, who has been seeking her protection from perjury charges, told reporters yesterday that he made an offer to the special prosecutor, Kenneth W. Starr. In that summary, or "proffer," Ginsburg described exactly what Lewinsky would say about her relationship with Clinton.

"The ball is totally in Judge Starr's court," Ginsburg said after meeting with Lewinsky for most of yesterday. "Judge Starr has to tell us what he wants to do."

Lewinsky, 24, appeared for the first time publicly several hours earlier, as Ginsburg whisked her off in a black sedan to meet with his legal team. Lewinsky had been holed up in her mother's apartment at the tony Watergate hotel since her allegations surfaced last week that Clinton and his confidant Vernon E. Jordan Jr. urged her to lie under oath about their purported affair.

Speaking to Lewinsky's state of mind, Ginsburg told reporters: "She is getting stronger. She does not like being isolated. We've kept her under wraps at the Watergate, as you all know. We intend to continue to keep her under wraps" to shield her from reporters.

Any deal that Ginsburg brokers with Starr is regarded as a blow to Clinton, because her detailed testimony could offer specifics damaging to the president's defense.

Starr, who had summoned Lewinsky to appear before the grand jury, wants the former White House intern to address two conflicting versions of her relationship with Clinton. In conversations secretly recorded by a co-worker, Linda R. Tripp, Lewinsky describes a year-and-a-half-long sexual relationship with Clinton. But in an affidavit in the Paula Jones sexual misconduct case against the president, Lewinsky denied the affair.

Ginsburg had been seeking a delay in the grand jury proceedings, hoping in the interim to spare Lewinsky from prosecution. An appearance before Jones' lawyers, in which Lewinsky was again to detail her relationship with Clinton, was delayed last week.

Pub Date: 1/27/98

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