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New Legal Team For Lewinsky

Monica Lewinsky hired new lawyers to enter serious negotiations with prosecutor Kenneth Starr, as the criminal investigation of President Clinton seems to be escalating.

CBS Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante reports that the high-powered legal team already has gotten Lewinsky the deal she has been seeking for months: Prosecutors are now willing to offer the former White House intern complete immunity from prosecution in return for her full cooperation. Click here for an explanation of immunity by CBS News Legal Correspondent Kristin Jeannette-Meyers.

Lewinsky's former attorney, William Ginsburg, acknowledged Tuesday that his representation of Lewinsky "didn't get me where I wanted to get, which was an immunity agreement."

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Ginsburg was replaced Tuesday. The California medical malpractice lawyer had pursued an open, running feud with Starr.

Lewinsky appeared Tuesday with her new defense team. Attorney Nathaniel Speights is being joined by two heavyweight Washington criminal attorneys, Jacob Stein and Plato Cacheris.

Also late Tuesday, Starr asked the Supreme Court to clear away the remaining legal hurdles to his obstruction of justice case. Click here for an explanation of the independent counsel law by CBS News Legal Correspondent Kristin Jeannette-Meyers.

He wants the high court to skip the normal appeals process and decide once and for all whether the Secret Service and the president's closest adviser can be forced to testify. Click here for an explanation of executive privilege by CBS News Legal Correspondent Kristin Jeannette-Meyers.

In making the unprecedented request, Starr argued, "The unhappy fact is that...a president is under serious criminal investigation. That unfortunate circumstance is a rare occurrence in our nation's history."

Since January, Starr has been investigating whether the president had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, and whether there was a coverup. Both Mr. Clinton and Lewinsky have said in sworn statements that their relationship was not sexual.

Starr began his request with forceful rhetoric, saying, "By asserting a purported privilege for governmental attorney-client communications, the president of the United States has directly challenged the ability of the federal grand jury to obtain evidence of possible criminal acts by the president and others. This is, save for Nixon, without parallel in the history of the republic."

Carl Bernstein
CBS News Consultant Carl Bernstein said Wednesday on CBS This Morning that the new legal team is likely to bring more order to the proceedings, which have been like a "circus."

Bernstein said the case represents an unusual situation that makes the White House a difficult place for the president to work.

"The White House itself and the Clinton presidency are under siege," Bernstein said.

Alan Dershowitz
Defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who also spoke on CBS This Morning, criticized Mr. Clinton's legal team for the current crisis at the White House.

"It is his own lawyer's fault," he said of the president's attorney, Robert Bennett.

Dershowitz said Bennett should not have had President Clinton swear under oath that he did not have a sexual relationship with Lewinsky "at a time when Bennett couldn't have known whether that were true or not." Dershowitz said that, had Bennett settled or defaulted the case, the White House wouldn't be "under siege."

Click here for an explanation of attorney-client privilege by CBS News Legal Correspondent Kristin Jeannette-Meyers.

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