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Lewinsky Hires Two New Lawyers

Monica Lewinsky parted Tuesday with her flamboyant lead attorney William Ginsburg and hired two scandal-tested criminal lawyers as she presses for an elusive deal to escape prosecution.

Lewinsky's switch came after Ginsburg last week caused a final uproar by publishing a letter urging that Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr be fired and suggesting that she and the president may have had a consensual sexual relationship.

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Lewinsky issued a statement saying that she and Ginsburg had parted "through mutual agreement." Ginsburg said he was not fired, but that his strained relations with Starr played a role.

"In light of the present status of the matter and the fact that an indictment may be imminent, as well as the strained nature of my dealings with Mr. Starr and my strong feelings about the impropriety of his approach ... both Monica and I mutually felt it would be in her best interest if a change was made," he said.

Lewinsky is replacing a family friend and California medical malpractice attorney unfamiliar with the ways of Washington with two high-power criminal defense lawyers, Plato Cacheris and Jacob Stein.

It is unusual for even high-profile Washington defendants to have two lawyers of the caliber of Stein and Cacheris.

"We hope we have a lot to bring to the table," Cacheris said in a brief appearance with the former White House intern on the sidewalk outside his law offices.

Cacheris once represented Fawn Hall, Oliver North's paper-shredding secretary, in the Iran-Contra investigation. His other high-profile clients included former attorney general John Mitchell during Watergate and convicted spies Aldridge Ames and Harold J. Nicholson.

Stein is a former independent prosecutor who investigated former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese and represented former Sen. Bob Packwood during a Senate inquiry into his sexual conduct.

Lewinsky's first lawyer, former federal prosecutor Nathanial Speights, remains part of her legal team.

Ginsburg's exit is expected to bring a dramatic change in the former White House intern's defense. Ginsburg had mounted a high-profile media campaign without success in securing an agreement to provide her with immunity from prosecution.

Experienced defense lawyers for months have questioned Ginsburg's stream of sometimes contradictory statements and talk show appearances, saying they hurt Lewinsky's defense.

On Tuesday, Ginsburg said he had no regrets except that "my strategy didn't get me where I wanted to get which was an immunity agreement."

Prosecutors are tryin to determine whether President Clinton lied under oath about an alleged affair with Lewinsky, and whether the president and others asked her to lie about it.

©1998 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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