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Lewinsky Questioning Reveals No New Evidence on Clinton

By Richard A. Serrano and Marc Lacey
Los Angeles Times

After questioning Monica S. Lewinsky for four hours Monday, a House Republican prosecutor unearthed no significant new impeachment evidence against President Clinton, while White House lawyers offered her a presidential apology for "what you have had to go through," sources familiar with the session said.

The results in the first of three depositions this week suggested that the prosecution team was unable to buttress its charge that Clinton, in trying to keep secret his affair with Lewinsky, obstructed justice by allegedly trying to influence the former intern's testimony in the Paula Corbin Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

"She was pretty much trying to protect the president," said a House aide who was briefed on Monday's session. "She didn't want to give the managers anything they could use."

Added another House source: "She just reaffirmed her grand jury testimony. There was no wavering from that. My understanding is there was not any considerable new ground broken."

White House lawyers did not question Lewinsky, indicating that no new ground was broken in the case. It prevented the House prosecutor, Rep. Ed Bryant of Tennessee, from posing rebuttal questions.

Instead, Nicole Seligman, a private attorney for Clinton, read a short statement.

Sources said the statement was not a direct apology for anything the president had done but rather expressed regret that Lewinsky had become ensnarled in the scandal. One source in the room at Washington's Mayflower Hotel said Seligman told Lewinsky that Clinton was "sorry for what you have had to go through."

Also Monday, Clinton attorney David E. Kendall went to federal court asking for sanctions against independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr for allegedly leaking information to the news media.

In a statement released Monday, Starr denied any wrongdoing in the matter and said he has launched an investigation "to determine whether anyone in this office improperly disclosed the information."