Archive for December 19th, 2009
In Washington, rivalries between federal law enforcement agencies aren’t all that unusual. This certainly won’t help.By PETER BAKER New York Times
WASHINGTON — A former director of the Secret Service said Friday that the F.B.I. had engaged in an “abuse of power” by trying to pressure him to “give us the president” during the investigation of President Bill Clinton’s interactions with Monica Lewinsky a decade ago.
The official, Lewis C. Merletti, who headed the former president’s protective detail and later became the agency’s director, said in an interview that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had grilled him just days before Mr. Clinton left office in a last-ditch effort to prove that his agents had covered up and even facilitated extramarital flings.
Mr. Merletti said that the F.B.I. alleged that he and Mr. Clinton had concocted this deal: in exchange for Mr. Merletti’s stonewalling questions about Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Clinton would not only appoint him director of the Secret Service but would also provide him women for sexual encounters.
“They said to me, ‘You’re the last person who can give us the president, and you’re going to give him to us,’ ” Mr. Merletti recalled. He called it “disgraceful” and said of the F.B.I., “They became involved in a political game, and in the end they tarnished themselves beyond belief.”