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Vol. 17  No. 21 Final Edition
Clovis Free Press

New Clinton Charges
Grand jury has been convened to hear evidence against
William Clinton over obstruction of justice counts

BBC News Service

   LOS ANGELES -- Clinton recently said he was still rebuilding his life A new grand jury is reported to have been convened to hear the evidence against Mr. Clinton over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
    Legal sources said independent counsel Robert Ray had convened the jury to decide whether the president should face charges after he leaves the White House at the end of his term in January 2000. The jury would investigate whether Mr Clinton committed perjury or obstructed justice by denying his affair with the White House intern during sworn testimony.
    Reports of the fresh investigation into Mr Clinton's conduct are threatening to overshadow Vice-President Al Gore's keynote speech accepting the Democratic Party's nomination as its candidate for the presidential race later on Thursday.
    The White House was quick to denounce the independent counsel's office over the reports. White House spokesman Jake Siewert said he could not confirm the story, but added: "The timing of this leak reeks to high heaven, but given the record of the office of the independent counsel, it's not surprising."
    The BBC's Rob Watson in Los Angeles, where the Democratic Convention is taking place, says the leak represents a disastrous start to what had been billed as Mr Gore's big day.
    Mr Gore had been hoping that his speech - possibly the most important of his political career - would give a much needed boost to his presidential campaign. He has consistently been trailing Republican rival George W Bush in the opinion polls.
    Impeached. Mr Clinton was impeached by the US House of Representatives in December 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from his affair with Ms Lewinsky. However, he was acquitted after a trial in the Senate in February 1999 allowing him to serve out his term.
    The trial followed a lengthy investigation into the president's conduct by Mr Ray's predecessor Kenneth Starr. After repeatedly denying an inappropriate relationship with Ms Lewinsky, the president finally acknowledged the affair in a televised speech, before becoming only the second president in US history to be impeached.
    Two years on from the scandal, Mr Clinton remains a popular president with an approval rating of about 60%. His farewell speech at the Democratic Convention was given a rapturous reception by delegates.
    The president recently admitted that he was still trying to rebuild his life in the aftermath of the scandal.
      In a speech to evangelical Christian ministers he also tried to distance Mr Gore from the affair, saying no fair-minded person could link the Democratic presidential candidate to what he himself had done.

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