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Starr Probe Darkens Vineyard Vacation

President Clinton is expected to fly back to his vacationing family on Martha's Vineyard Friday afternoon after completing emergency work at White House in the wake of U.S. air strikes on terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan.

CBS News Correspondent Bill Plante reports there was no holiday Friday either for special prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

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With the testimony of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky in hand, Starr is in the process of putting final touches on a report to Congress that could form the basis for a vote on impeachment proceedings.

Democrats on Capitol Hill feel believe if any report to Congress by Starr focuses on sex, there will be no chance for impeachment proceedings against the president.

But if the independent counsel sends to Congress strong evidence that the president tried to obstruct justice, Mr. Clinton will have much more difficult problems, many of the Democrats say.

Alleged gifts are an important element in Starr's probe of possible obstruction in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against the president. Starr has been trying to determine whether Mr. Clinton suggested that Lewinsky get rid of items she received from him so that she wouldn't have to turn them over to lawyers in the Jones case, where the gifts would raise questions about their relationship.

Lewinsky testified she and Mr. Clinton agreed she should hand over the gifts to his secretary, Betty Currie, sources familiar with her account have said.

Mr. Clinton told the grand jury he never instructed Currie to retrieve them, didn't know she had them and "didn't consider them a big deal," said a Clinton adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president suggested that he and Lewinsky agreed to keep the affair secret from the beginning. "It was a normal let's-not-shout-this-from-the-rooftops type of thing," said the source. Mr. Clinton misled friend Vernon Jordan about the nature of the relationship, the source said; prosecutors now want to know if Jordan's efforts to find Lewinsky a job were part of an attempt to get her to deny the affair under oath.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, awaited results run on DNA material submitted by Mr. Clinton. They want to link the president to a stain on a dress Lewinsky turned over to them.

Mr. Clinton's advisers have said since Tuesday that he will not answer any more questions for Starr. If the prosecutor issues another subpoena, Mr. Clinton would almost certainly fight it, they say.

Lewinsky wants to go about "rebuilding her life," family spokeswoman Judy Smith said after Leinsky left the courthouse Thursday after her second (and probably last) appearance. The grand jury is apparently not finished with its work, and more witnesses may be called next week.

Friends and associates say Lewinsky was hurt by what she thought was the president's dismissive characterization of their relationship. Believing their affair was rooted in strong emotional ties, Lewinsky was upset that Mr. Clinton "made it out to be just a sexual relationship," said one associate.
As Lewinsky finished her testimony, the president was announcing a military strike against what he said were terrorist sites in Afghanistan and Sudan, and live television coverage switched to the attack rather than the now-familiar footage of the federal courthouse where the grand jury is meeting.

"I don't think that the president or the White House has been particularly following her business today," presidential spokesman Mike McCurry told reporters in Martha's Vineyard.