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Alexander v. Federal Bureau of Investigation

January 24, 2000

CARA LESLIE ALEXANDER, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



97-1288 (RCL)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Royce C. Lamberth United States District Court

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Further Testimony of Larry Potts and for Further Relief as the Court Deems Just and Proper. Upon consideration of this motion, its corresponding oppositions and the reply thereto, and the relevant law, the court will GRANT in part and DENY in part Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Further Testimony of Larry Potts and for Further Relief as the Court Deems Just and Proper, as discussed and ordered below.

I. Background

The underlying allegations in this case arise from what has become popularly known as AFilegate.@ Plaintiffs allege that their privacy interests were violated when the FBI improperly handed over to the White House hundreds of FBI files of former political appointees and government employees under the Reagan and Bush Administrations.

The instant dispute revolves around the deposition of Larry Potts, the former Director of the Criminal Division of the FBI during the time period pertinent to the aforementioned allegations. Potts, who is not a party in this matter, is now a corporate officer of Investigative Group International (IGI), a private investigation firm retained by the President and First Lady in connection with the Office of the Independent Counsel's investigation and the Jones v. Clinton matter. The issues raised by the pending motions and considered in this opinion arise from the intersection of Potts' roles as investigator and former FBI employee.

Plaintiffs previously filed before this court a Motion to Compel Further Testimony of Larry Potts and to Impose Sanctions. In response to that motion, President Clinton filed a motion for leave to intervene in his personal capacity. In his motion, President Clinton sought to protect his attorney-client and work-product privileges to the extent that any information sought might reveal privileged information relating to IGI's retention by the President's counsel. On March 31, 1999, this court entered an order denying the plaintiffs' motion to compel without prejudice due to their failure to comply with Local Rule 108(h) and their violation of a previous court order. See Alexander v. FBI, Civ. No. 96-2123, Memorandum and Order, at 4 (D.D.C. March 31, 1999). This order also granted President Clinton's Motion to Intervene. See id. at 6. Now, after discussions with opposing counsel, plaintiffs renew their motion to compel further testimony from Larry Potts, to which President Clinton again filed a partial opposition.

II. Analysis

Plaintiffs seek to compel testimony on the following questions, to which Potts was instructed not to respond:

1. What contacts has Potts had with individuals or employees of the FBI since he began to work for IGI?

2. Has Potts or IGI been involved in investigating Linda Tripp?

3. Since September 1997, has Potts or anyone else at IGI had contact with Terry Good?

4. Since September 1997, has Potts or anyone else at IGI had contact with James Carville?

5. Since September 1997, has Potts or anyone else at IGI had contact with Jane Mayer?

6. Since September 1997, has Potts or anyone else at IGI had contact with Sidney Blumenthal?

7. Since September 1997, has Potts or anyone else at IGI had contact with Hillary Clinton?

8. Since September 1997, has Potts or anyone else at IGI had contact with President Clinton?

9. From September 1997 to present, has anyone at IGI received any documents ...


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