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Wednesday, June 3, 1998 Published at 02:35 GMT 03:35 UK

World: Americas

Lewinsky replaces her lawyer

Miss Lewinsky with one of her new lawyers, Jacob Stein, on her right in Washington

The former White House worker accused of having a sexual relationship with President Clinton has replaced one of her lawyers.

[ image: Ginsburg: rumours of a stand-off with Starr]
Ginsburg: rumours of a stand-off with Starr
Monica Lewinsky has swapped the high-profile William Ginsburg - who had represented her since investigations began - for two prominent Washington lawyers experienced in political prosecutions.

Mr Ginsburg, an attorney from California, had no criminal law background.

Miss Lewinsky wasted no time in appearing in public with her new legal team, led by Jacob Stein and Plato Cacheris.

Both are well versed in the ways of Washington politics. Mr Stein is a former independent prosecutor who investigated a senior official in the Reagan White House in the 1980s.

Miss Lewinsky, a former White House intern, is at the centre of investigations by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr into allegations that she had an affair with President Clinton which he then tried to cover up.

The BBC Washington Correspondent, Stephen Sackur, says that in recent weeks relations between Mr Starr and Mr Ginsburg had broken down, leading to speculation about the possible indictment of Miss Lewinsky.

He says the change in lawyers might mean a resumption of efforts to negotiate an immunity deal for Miss Lewinsky in return for her testimony. Legal analysts expect the new legal team to begin a new round of private discussions with Mr Starr about such a deal.

'Colourful character'

[ image: Kenneth Starr: his investigation continues apace]
Kenneth Starr: his investigation continues apace
The correspondent says Mr Ginsburg is a colourful character and a self-proclaimed Lewinsky family friend, but he had virtually no criminal law experience.

Critics accused him of being out of his depth in his dealings with Mr Starr. His parting from the Lewinsky defence team was said to be by mutual consent.

Investigation goes on

[ image: President Clinton: could face new challenge if Lewinsky wins immunity]
President Clinton: could face new challenge if Lewinsky wins immunity
On other fronts, the Starr investigation continues apace.

President Clinton has dropped the claims of executive privilege he had invoked to stop two of his aides from testifying in the investigation.

Instead, his lawyers filed a motion based on attorney-client privilege to block the testimony of White House counsel, Bruce Lindsey.

Both Mr Lindsey and communications adviser Sidney Blumenthal had been subpoenaed to testify in the investigation.

Mr Clinton had argued the aides should not have to testify because his conversations with them were protected under executive privilege, which protects private conversations between presidents and their staff.

But last month a federal judge rejected his claim, saying that Mr Starr's criminal investigation and the public's "need to know" outweighed Mr Clinton's claim for privacy.

On Monday Mr Clinton's lawyers filed papers saying they would not appeal the judgement.

Mr Starr has also ordered Miss Lewinsky to provide voice and handwriting samples and fingerprints.

President Clinton and Miss Lewinsky have both denied under oath that they ever had a sexual relationship.

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