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A Sobered Jewell Plans Lawsuits


A tearful, emotional Richard Jewell, cleared in the Olympic Park bombing case, said Monday that he had spent days in constant fear that he would be arrested and charged with "a crime I did not commit."

Jewell's "nightmare" began in late July, when he became a suspect in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing that killed one woman and injured more than 100 other people. The nightmare ended Saturday when the Justice Department delivered a letter to Jewell notifying him he was not a target of the investigation.

Jewell's lawyers have said they plan lawsuits against news organizations including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NBC News because of comments made by anchor Tom Brokaw and, possibly, the federal government.

The immense publicity surrounding the investigation of Jewell, and particularly the fact that his name was leaked to the press, have raised questions about the lengths to which law enforcement and media organizations will go in high-profile investigations.

Jewell was working security at a free concert sponsored by AT&T during the Olympics in the early-morning hours of July 27 when he spotted a knapsack containing the bomb. He was at first hailed as a hero for helping to clear the site, averting further injuries and death. But he was quickly vilified when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution identified him July 30 as the suspect in the bombing.

In a statement Monday, NBC News also defended its reporting of the Olympic bombing case. "We believe any suit brought by Mr. Jewell would be without merit. NBC News and Tom Brokaw accurately reported what we were learning from law enforcement officials: that Mr. Jewell was the prime focus of their investigation. We also reported that holes remained in the case, and that Mr. Jewell was not officially a suspect."

Huang to Face Long Questioning

Los Angeles Times

In a potentially damaging development for the Democratic Party eight days before the presidential election, a federal judge ruled Monday that a reclusive Democratic fund-raiser must face wide-ranging questioning when he testifies Tuesday in a civil suit.

The fund-raiser, John Huang of Los Angeles, has been at the center of a controversy over his solicitation of hundreds of thousands of dollars that may have violated or skirted the prohibition on foreign contributions to American political campaigns.

In a four-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth said that although Huang's testimony will be taken behind closed doors, attorneys for the conservative legal organization pressing the suit may videotape the session and make it public immediately upon its conclusion.

Lamberth's ruling stemmed from a freedom-of-information action filed against the Commerce Department two years ago by Judicial Watch, a nonprofit conservative group seeking documents on overseas missions in which the late Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown and others sought foreign buyers for American goods.

Huang's attorney, John C. Keeney Jr., argued in court that the scheduled deposition was "highly political," as proven by Klayman's intention to videotape the session and immediately make the tape public. Keeney contended that the deposition should be kept confidential until a later trial.

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This story was published on Tuesday.
Volume 116, Number 54.
This story appeared on page 3.

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