No date set for making decision on Clinton charges, prosecutors say
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The special prosecutor considering criminal charges against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky case probably will decide within a few weeks of the end of Clinton's term whether to seek an indictment of the outgoing president, a top prosecutor's aide said Friday.
"We will decide shortly after the president leaves office, probably in a few weeks. There is no date certain," Deputy Independent Counsel Keith Ausbrook said.
His comments are similar to previous statements from the office. In earlier interviews, Independent Counsel Robert Ray has told CNN that a decision whether to prosecute Clinton for his conduct in the Lewinsky scandal would come "very shortly" after the president's term ends January 20.
Clinton was impeached over charges he lied under oath in a 1998 deposition and later to a grand jury when questioned about a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, a former White House intern. The Senate acquitted him in 1999.
The deposition stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones. The case was settled out of court.
Ray, who took over the Lewinsky investigation from Kenneth Starr in October 1999, is considering whether to bring federal criminal charges against Clinton once he leaves office. The legal questions are whether Clinton committed perjury or obstructed justice when he denied having an affair with Lewinsky in sworn testimony in the Paula Jones case.
In a December interview with CBS News, Clinton said he would "stand and fight" if Ray attempted to bring criminal charges against him. But he said, "I don't have any control over that and I don't spend much time thinking about it."