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FBI Agent Called Lewinsky’s Lawyer

December 5, 1998 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ After bouts of sobbing last Jan. 16, Monica Lewinsky asked to see her lawyer. She says prosecutors working for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr told her no. They say they told her OK.

Newly released court documents indicate one of Starr’s FBI agents did telephone the office of Washington lawyer Frank Carter on Ms. Lewinsky’s behalf as prosecutors sought her cooperation in the investigation of President Clinton.

The material is from a behind-the-scenes court battle last spring when Carter was seeking to quash grand jury subpoenas for his testimony and documents in the Lewinsky matter. Carter ended up testifying and providing the documents.

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In an April 28 ruling, U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson said ``it appears to the court″ that none of the prosecutors or FBI agents who interviewed Ms. Lewinsky that day ``disrupted the attorney-client relationship between Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Carter.″

Prosecutor Michael Emmick filed a declaration in the court battle stating that Ms. Lewinsky around 3 p.m. that afternoon said, ``What if I want to call my attorney?″ Emmick said he ``immediately told Ms. Lewinsky that she was free to call her attorney if she wanted. However, I recommended that she finish hearing us out before making any decisions.″

Emmick said FBI agent Steve Irons told Ms. Lewinsky that if she called Carter, he might tell ``the subjects of our investigation or their attorneys,″ rendering Ms. Lewinsky unable to engage in any undercover contacts if she decided to cooperate in the probe.

``I became a little worried that Agent Irons might say some things that could be interpreted as being critical of Mr. Carter _ and this would be, in my view, too `close to the line,‴ Emmick said. ``So I broke into the conversation and steered the discussion in another direction. The subject of Mr. Carter did not come up again until later in the afternoon.″

FBI agent Patrick Fallon said that ``shortly after 5 p.m., Ms. Lewinsky expressed concern that she would not be able to reach Frank Carter if she decided that she wished to contact him.″ Fallon stated that ``on her behalf, I called Mr. Carter ... from the hotel room″ and ``I was informed by a person at that number that Mr. Carter had left the office. I requested a forwarding number, but this person was either unable or unwilling to give me one.″

The newly unsealed documents show a receipt for Fallon’s phone call to Carter’s office from the hotel room Starr’s prosecutors were using to meet with Ms. Lewinsky.

Ms. Lewinsky spent about 11 hours with Starr’s investigators beginning at 1 that afternoon, and she ended up contacting her father who hired California attorney William Ginsburg for her. Starr’s office and Ms. Lewinsky eventually reached an immunity deal when she hired new lawyers.

The court battle concerned Ms. Lewinsky’s declaration that ``I informed the government officials, including Mr. Emmick, that Mr. Carter was my attorney and requested permission to contact him. I was informed that I could contact any other attorney, but I could not contact Mr. Carter.″

Ms. Lewinsky testified that when she told the investigators she wanted to consult her mother before deciding whether to cooperate, prosecutor Jackie Bennett told her, ``You’re 24, you’re smart, you’re old enough, you don’t need to call your mommy.″ She said Bennett told her, ``You have to make a decision″ about whether to cooperate.