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Starr in New High Court Plea

Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to intervene in his dispute with the Clinton administration over the testimony of three Secret Service employees in the Monica Lewinsky investigation.

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Starr added the Secret Service to his earlier request for the high court to intervene on an emergency basis in his effort to compel testimony from presidential confidant Bruce Lindsey.

In a filing Tuesday, Starr said he "has reason to believe that the 'privileged' observations that Secret Service is currently withholding from the grand jury would constitute important evidence" in determining whether federal crimes have been committed in the Lewinsky case.

Starr also asked the court to take the Lindsey matter even though President Clinton had dropped his claim of executive privilege.

The White House originally tried to block Lindsey's testimony on attorney-client and executive privilege grounds but on Monday dropped the executive privilege claim and urged the justices not to bypass the normal appeals process as Starr had requested.

Starr wants the two matters to be argued together on June 29 before the justices leave for summer recess. His filing scoffed at the White House claim on Monday that there was no reason to expedite the matter.

"The president's response treats this as a matter-of-fact investigation. But the unhappy fact is that, at the determination of the attorney general herself, a president is under serious criminal investigation. That unfortunate circumstance is a rare occurrence in our nation's history," Starr wrote.

A federal judge has already ruled in Starr's favor on both issues, ordering the Secret Service to make the employees available for questioning and ordering Lindsey and another aide to answer grand jury questions they previously refused.

"We will be blunt: the nation has a compelling interest that this criminal investigation of the president of the United States conclude as quickly as possible -- that indictments be brought, possible reports for impeachment proceedings issued, and non-prosecution decisions announced. This court's immediate review would powerfully serve that vital goal," Starr wrote.

On the Secret Service matter, Starr said the fact that "Secret Service personnel have evidence highly relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation of the president and others is itself sufficient to bring the dispute" to the Supreme Court without going through the normal appeals court process.

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