A private investigator whose ties to the Clinton administration are under scrutiny by prosecutors visited the White House half a dozen times, one of them to discuss potential investigative work with a top deputy to the president, Secret Service entry logs show.
In addition, investigator Terry F. Lenzner’s firm was awarded a no-bid grant from the State Department in 1994, shortly after the president’s private lawyers retained him to do work in the Whitewater and Paula Corbin Jones cases, records show.
Lenzner’s lawyer says none of his White House visits nor the grant had anything to do with his work for Clinton’s lawyers.
Lenzner has already been questioned before a federal grand jury about whether he dug up any of the information about Starr’s office that made its way to reporters since the inquiry involving former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky began. On Thursday, two former Arkansas state troopers, Tommy Goodwin and O. H. “Bill” Mullenax, who operated a private investigation business, also were subpoenaed.
Mullenax said his firm was hired in November 1996 by a Grand Rapids, Mich., client to do photo surveillance on a woman in Little Rock, Ark. He met with Whitewater prosecutors in Little Rock on Friday and will testify Tuesday before a grand jury.
An individual familiar with the National Enquirer, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the tabloid hired the Michigan firm, which ended up hiring the Arkansas investigators to check out rumors about Starr. The paper never published a story.
Enquirer Editor Steve Cos declined to discuss the matter or where the tabloid first heard the Starr rumor. He said, however, that Clinton lawyer David E. Kendall, who also works for the tabloid, had nothing to do with the matter. “There is zero crossover,” he said.
Cos said his tabloid had not been subpoenaed.
Starr spokeswoman Deborah Gershman declined to comment.
The Secret Service logs show Lenzner was cleared into the White House four times in April and May 1996 to see then-Deputy Chief of Staff Harold M. Ickes, and actually arrived twice.
Lenzner’s lawyer, Howard Shapiro, said the investigator met once with Ickes. He said the meeting was to discuss potential investigative work for Lenzner’s company, the Investigative Group Inc., that “eventually never materialized.”
Shapiro declined to describe the nature of the potential work.
Shapiro said the rest of Lenzner’s visits to the White House over four years included two tours, a public event for Mexico’s president and a lunch with former White House drug czar Lee P. Brown. He said Lenzner never met Clinton personally.
Documents also show that in the summer of 1994, Lenzner’s firm received a grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from the State Department. The money allowed the firm to send its president, former New York City Police Chief Raymond Kelly, to train Haitian police and supervise international police monitoring in the Caribbean nation after a military crisis there.
State officials said the grant was made to IGI because the company was Kelly’s employer at the time and it was not put up for competitive bidding because it was urgent to get a top lawman to Haiti to supervise the transition of power to local police between September 1994 and March 1995.