What does the granting of an immunity deal mean to former White House intern Monica Lewinsky? CBS News Legal Correspondent Kristin Jeannette-Meyers explained the latest development in the Clinton investigation in an interview with CBS News Anchor Dan Rather.
Jeannette-Meyers said that the blanket immunity received Tuesday from prosecutors is a coup for Lewinsky's legal team, as well as for independent counsel Kenneth Starr.
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"Lewinsky is vulnerable to prosecution in at least two areas," Jeannette-Meyers said.
First, Jeannette-Meyers explained, Lewinsky had said in a sworn statement she did not have a sexual relationship with the President, and said on tapes secretly recorded by former White House staffer Linda Tripp that she did have an affair.
Tripp's tapes sparked the grand jury investigation into whether President Clinton had an affair with Lewinsky, encouraged her to lie about it, then himself lied about it under oath.
President Clinton denied the allegations against him, under oath, in testimony given for the Paula Jones sexual harrasment case.
Without blanket immunity, Lewinsky could have been prosecuted for perjury if Starr proved that the affair occurred.
She was also vulnerable because, on the tape made by Starr's office, Lewinsky allegedly encouraged Tripp to lie in her deposition. Lewinsky gave Tripp a document with "talking points" to make when contradicting her previous public statements.
"That could be suborning perjury," Jeannette-Meyers said.
With full transactional immunity, Lewinsky can be charged only if prosecutors believe she has committed perjury by failing to testify fully and truthfully.
Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, was granted the same level of protection from prosecution, according to her lawyer, Billy Martin. The mother spoke with her daughter on the phone frequently about Lewinsky's relationship with Mr. Clinton.
The new turn in events puts even more pressure on the president and his lawyers to decide how he will offer testimony to the grand jury. Mr. Clinton's legal team is negotiating with prosecutors to allow the president to offer his testimony from the White House instead of at the courthouse, and with a lawyer present. These allowances are not granted to regular citizens.
"It's definitely trouble for President Clinton, because now someone on record is saying that what he said in his sworn deposition is not true," Jeannette-Meyers said.
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