Kramerbooks declares victory in subpoena battle

Tuesday, June 23, 1998

Owners of Kramerbooks & afterwords say they won’t be forced to turn over Monica Lewinsky’s purchase records to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr because attorneys for the former White House intern plan to provide them.

“Mr. Starr recognizes the information he sought was available elsewhere, and now will obtain that information directly from Ms. Lewinsky and her legal team,” said Bill Kramer, co-owner of the bookstore.

Kramerbooks and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression plan to hold a press conference today at 11 a.m. EDT at the bookstore.

Kramer said his store did not request the defense lawyers to cooperate with Starr, adding that he would have continued to fight the subpoena.

The agreement comes two weeks after a federal judge ruled that records from a Washington, D.C., Barnes & Noble bookstore were irrelevant to Starr’s investigation of President Clinton.

Norma Holloway ...
Norma Holloway Johnson

U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson said she wouldn’t force the bookstore to turn over records to Starr because “the court finds that none of the material submitted by Barnes & Noble falls within the zone of compelling interest.”

Until the agreement, Starr continued to seek records from Kramerbooks.

Starr is investigating allegations that Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and then, with the help of others, tried to cover it up. He argued he needed Lewinsky’s purchase records from two Washington bookstores because Clinton testified in the Paula Jones lawsuit that Lewinsky gave him “a book or two.”

According to sources familiar with Starr’s investigation, prosecutors are trying to determine if Lewinsky’s purchases included Nicholson Baker’s novel about phone sex, Vox. Lewinsky received a copy of poet Walt Whitman’s classic book Leaves of Grass from Clinton.

–The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related stories:

  • Kramerbooks declares victory in subpoena battle 6.22.98
  • Starr subpoena lifted from 1 of 2 bookstores in Lewinsky case 6.8.98
  • Judge: Lewinsky book purchases are fair game for Starr 6.4.98