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A Parade of Witnesses

By Susan Glasser
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 2, 1998

Major Figures | White House Officials | Stewards and Secret Service
Others | Friends of Lewinsky

Since Jan. 27, independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr has brought more than 55 witnesses before three different grand juries -- two in the District and one in Alexandria -- to give testimony in the Monica S. Lewinsky investigation. Linda R. Tripp set the inquiry in motion when she brought Starr more than 20 hours of secretly made tape recordings of her then-friend Lewinsky talking about a purported affair with President Clinton. With the close of Tripp's eight full days of testimony last week, the grand jury phase is almost over. Lewinsky, who cut an immunity deal last week, is expected to appear as early as this week; the president will testify, from the White House, on Aug. 17.

Those who have provided evidence to the grand jury fall into several categories: Some, like Tripp and Clinton confidant Vernon E. Jordan Jr., are central characters who can provide direct testimony about the allegations that the president lied under oath in the Paula Jones lawsuit about his relationship with Lewinsky and urged her to do so as well. Others, such as various friends of Lewinsky, were called to corroborate that she also told them about her dealings with Clinton. By far the largest category of witnesses who have testified are current and former White House aides: at least 30, including the current and former chiefs of staff.


Betty Currie – Jan. 27

The president's personal secretary was the leadoff witness; she cleared in Lewinsky for many of the 37 visits to the White House she made after being sent to work at the Pentagon. Lewinsky also returned presidential gifts, which had been subpoenaed in the Jones case, to Currie. Sources say Lewinsky is now prepared to testify that the president himself discussed ways of avoiding turning over the gifts. Currie was also the contact for Lewinsky with Jordan, enlisting him to help her find a job in New York and a lawyer in the Jones case. Currie returned to testify four times, finishing on July 22.

Marcia K. Lewis – Feb. 10

Lewinsky's mother is by all accounts a close friend of her daughter's. The two shared a Watergate apartment and the Tripp tapes reportedly make clear that Lewinsky confided in her mother details of her relationship with Clinton. When Starr called Lewis to the grand jury in February, it was one of his most controversial moves -- a clearly distraught Lewis emerged from the courthouse on her second day of testifying and her lawyers said she was too upset to continue. Last week, she secured full immunity, along with her daughter, as reports emerged that Lewinsky had secreted a dress allegedly containing physical evidence with her mother.

Vernon E. Jordan Jr. – March 3

The Washington power lawyer and presidential golfing friend helped Lewinsky find a lawyer and a New York job after she was subpoenaed Dec. 17 in the Jones case, saying he was enlisted to help by Currie. Jordan has said that he kept the president apprised of his activities. When he finished his testimony on June 9, Jordan told reporters on the courthouse steps, "When I came here in March . . . I said that I helped Ms. Lewinsky get a lawyer, I helped her get a job, I had assurances that there was no sexual relationship, and I did not tell her to lie. That was the truth then and that is the truth today. And I have testified five times, over and over again, to those truths."

Francis D. Carter – June 18

After losing two court battles to preserve his attorney-client privilege, Lewinsky's first lawyer was forced to testify about how Jordan brought Lewinsky to him when she was subpoenaed in the Jones case and what she told him as he prepared the sworn statement in which she denied a sexual affair with the president -- a statement Lewinsky is now prepared to testify was false. Carter, in an interview after his testimony, told The Washington Post that his client withheld important details from him, such as receiving gifts from Clinton and job help from Jordan.

Linda R. Tripp – June 30

The woman who sparked the investigation and has been Starr's central cooperating witness spent more than 100 hours with the independent counsel's staff preparing before her testimony began. As a media horde of 300 looked on, she entered the courthouse flanked by her son and daughter but said nothing until last week, when she finished her eighth full day of testifying and told a bank of television cameras that "I have been vilified for taking the path of truth." Tripp, a Pentagon public affairs official, befriended her younger colleague Lewinsky after she was transferred there in 1996 from the White House; she began taping her last fall.


Evelyn S. Lieberman – Jan. 30

The former White House deputy chief of staff, Lieberman reportedly played a key role in the ouster of Lewinsky from the White House correspondence clerk job she wanted to keep. In April 1996, Lieberman ordered Lewinsky transferred to the Pentagon after expressing concern that she was hanging around the West Wing too much.

John D. Podesta – Feb. 5

The fight over Clinton's assertion of executive privilege to shield some aides from testifying began as Podesta, the White House deputy chief of staff, was summoned. Last October, Podesta played a role in setting up a job interview for Lewinsky, who wanted to move to New York, with then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson. Richardson offered Lewinsky the job after meeting with her at the Watergate, but she turned it down. Podesta didn't return to finish his testimony until June 23, after Clinton lost a court ruling on executive privilege and decided to drop the fight.

Bruce R. Lindsey – Feb. 18

The Clinton team has fought longest and hardest to shield Lindsey, the deputy White House counsel who has been Clinton's closest aide since Arkansas, from testifying. Invoking both executive privilege and attorney-client privilege, the administration said Starr should not question Lindsey. In his Jones case deposition, Clinton said Lindsey was the one who informed him that Lewinsky was on the witness list.

Nancy Hernreich – Feb. 25

The director of Oval Office operations, Hernreich shares an office with Currie just outside the president's that gives her access to virtually all of Clinton's comings and goings. She testified five times -- the last was on June 16 -- making her one of the most frequent witnesses before the grand jury.

Sidney Blumenthal – Feb. 26

The former journalist, now an adviser to the president, was called by an outraged Starr to the grand jury after a spate of news reports citing negative information about some of Starr's prosecutors. The independent counsel demanded to know if Blumenthal was the source of those reports. Aside from contacts with reporters, Starr wanted to question Blumenthal about White House meetings in the early days after the Lewinsky story broke; Clinton invoked executive privilege to stop that, but when he dropped the claim in June Blumenthal returned to testify.


Bayani Nelvis – Jan. 27

A White House steward assigned to the pantry outside the Oval Office, career Navy employee Nelvis has a firsthand view of much of what goes on in the president's suite. He befriended Lewinsky when she worked at the White House as an intern. Sources have said the two dined together and exchanged gifts. Called on the first day of the grand jury -- though his appearance wasn't known until later -- he returned on February 4 and March 12. Other stewards who testified included Glen Maes.

Lewis C. Fox – Feb. 17

Fox, a retired Secret Service uniformed officer, is the only one of the president's protectors to say publicly that he witnessed Lewinsky enter the Oval Office when the president was alone. He said she did so on a weekend afternoon in the fall of 1995 -- around the time when Lewinsky allegedly said her affair with Clinton began -- and that she was still in the office when Fox's shift ended 40 minutes later. When Lewinsky entered, Fox said he told the grand jury, Clinton told him and a plainclothes agent also on duty to "close the door" because "she'll be in here for a while."

Several Secret Service officers; Larry L. Cockell – July 17

At four minutes to noon, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist ended the months-long legal battle over Secret Service testimony by refusing to intervene; Starr quickly brought several officers in to testify about what they had seen or heard while guarding the president. About 15 uniformed officers and plainclothes agents have been subpoenaed -- as many as seven testified last Thursday. Most publicized was the appearance of the head of Clinton's security detail, Larry L. Cockell, but he testified for only an hour.


Terry F. Lenzner – Feb. 24

A private investigator whose firm Investigative Group International was hired by Clinton's attorneys to, among other things according to sources, look into Lewinsky's background, Lenzner was summoned to the courthouse when the inquiry took one of its many twists. Faced with a number of news reports citing negative information about the backgrounds of several of his prosecutors, Starr reacted by summoning Lenzner and White House aide Sidney Blumenthal to ask if they were the source of that information. The White House initially would not confirm the hiring of Lenzner's firm, saying only that no private investigators were looking into prosecutors, reporters or Clinton critics. But Lenzner then confirmed his hiring a day later and, while not discussing his work, said there would be nothing wrong if he was investigating prosecutors.

Kathleen E. Willey – March 10

A former White House volunteer, Willey went to Clinton on Nov. 27, 1993, seeking a paid job. Instead, she has alleged, he kissed and groped her in a hallway in the Oval Office suite. Willey, a witness in the Jones lawsuit, kept silent about her story until days after her grand jury testimony, when she gave a "60 Minutes" interview recounting the encounter with Clinton, which he denied.

Julie Hiatt Steele – June 11

A former friend of Willey, Steele signed an affidavit saying she had lied to Newsweek to back up Willey when the magazine first published a story about the Clinton-Willey incident. Called by Starr to testify, Steele used the occasion to announce she had filed a lawsuit that same day against reporter Michael Isikoff.

Kenneth H. Bacon – July 15

In one of the many subplots of the Starr inquiry, Bacon has acknowledged authorizing the leak to the New Yorker magazine of information from Tripp's Pentagon personnel file. Starr opened a separate Alexandria grand jury to hear testimony on whether that was an attempt by the Clinton administration to tarnish Tripp's credibility, and he has heard from Bacon, the chief Pentagon spokesman, as well as several other witnesses.


Ashley Raines – Jan. 29

A close friend of Lewinsky's from the White House, Raines works in the office of administration and appears to have been brought in by Starr to show that Lewinsky discussed her alleged affair with Clinton with other friends as well as Tripp.

Neysa DeMann Erbland – Feb. 12

A high school friend of Lewinsky's from Beverly Hills.

Catherine Allday Davis – March 17

Davis, who has known Lewinsky since she was in college at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Ore., was flown in from Tokyo, where she now lives, to testify. The two reportedly exchanged e-mails during the period of Lewinsky's alleged affair with the president.

Dale Young – June 23

A friend of the Lewinsky family, the Scarsdale businesswoman said publicly that she testified about two long conversations -- one of them a hike in the Catskills -- in which Lewinsky confided details of her relationship with Clinton.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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