The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 28, 1998 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 28, 1998
Page 6
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A6 THURSDAY, MAY 28, 1998 NATION THE SAUNA JOURNAL 3? PRESIDENTIAL SCANDAL i.' President rejects calls to testify Court documents show aides ordered to make testimony to grand jury By The Associated Press .WASHINGTON — President Clinton has rebuffed prosecutors' requests to voluntarily testify in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. Separately, a judge ordered two top presidential aides to tell a grand jury what they know on grounds that it could lead to "relevant and important evidence," according to documents and interviews Wednesday. Four months ago Clinton vowed to present the facts about his relationship with Lewinsky, saying then it was not sexual. But since February, however, he has declined as many as four or five invitations from Whitewater prosecutors to testify in the investigation, The Associated Press learned Wednesday. Clinton's lawyers have given va&pus explanations in rejecting requests for him to give testimony^ranging from a busy schedule to White House distrust of prose- cuwrs, said sources , speaking onf| on condition of anonymity, be president has not been j^oenaed in the Lewinsky mat- but on several past occasions las answered prosecutors' itions on other Whitewater |ers without a subpoena, ^anwhile, a federal court reed documents Wednesday de- iing a judge's decision earlier month directing two presidential aides to testify before a fediral grand jury despite Clin- tonts claim of executive privilege. V OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING Fortier sentenced to 12 years Witness says he never thought plan 'would bear such rotten fruit' By The Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY — After Michael Fortier haltingly and with tears in his eyes apologized to Oklahomans for failing to notify anyone of the federal building bombing plot, a judge sentenced him Wednesday to 12 years in prison. "This is a case unparalleled in the history of the American justice system," U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Van Bebber said. "This renders the balance of cooperation with the government and justice extremely difficult to administer. I believe it is important that the victims of this crime not be forgotten." Fortier, the government's star witness against bombing conspirators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, was sentenced for failing to notify au- FORTIER VAN BEBBER thorities of the bombing plot, lying to FBI agents, hiding evidence and trafficking in guns the government says were stolen to finance the bombing. "Dear people of Oklahoma, I offer my apology and ask that you forgive me," Fortier told the courtroom, his voice wavering, before the sentencing. His wife, Lori, wept on a courtroom bench surrounded by survivors of the bombing. "I shamefully admit I've broken many laws. My actions and inactions have hurt many people," Fortier said. Fortier said again Wednesday that he was asked in the fall of 1994 by McVeigh, an old Army buddy, to help blow up a building. "I considered it an outlandish request," he said. But he admitted that in the December 1994 he conspired to transport and did transport stolen weapons later used to finance the bombing. Fortier said he never thought McVeigh's plan "would bear such rotten fruit." "I deeply regret not taking the information that I had to the police," he said. Fortier described his actions as self-centered and cowardly. "I put myself first in spite of the sea of grief and sorrow experienced by bombing victims," he said. "I am so completely ashamed that I did not come forward with my knowledge right away," Fortier said. Van Bebber gave Fortier credit for almost three years of time served, reducing the amount of time he must serve to just over nine years. 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