Compelled to tell his story to a grand jury, Vernon Jordan spent a full day Tuesday answering prosecutors' questions about his efforts to help Monica Lewinsky and predicted afterwards his "enduring friendship" with President Clinton will survive.
The first of the three major figures in the probe to give testimony, the Washington super lawyer said he had answered all the questions posed to him behind closed doors but was to return Thursday.Jordan, a longtime friend, confidant and golfing companion of the president, declined to say what he told Kenneth W. Starr's investigators about the relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky.
"I answered all of their questions truthfully and completely, to the best of my ability," said Jordan, whose efforts to find Lewinsky a job and a lawyer in late December and early January landed him in the middle of the controversy.
His lawyer, William Hundley, told a reporter that Jordan had been taken through a "slow, step-by-step" interrogation. But he did not elaborate.
Jordan, however, did seek to minimize speculation that the protracted investigation had "cast doubt on my friendship with President Clinton."
"Let me reassure you that ours is an enduring friendship, an enduring friendship based on mutual respect, trust and admiration," he said. "That was true yesterday. That is true today. That will be true tomorrow."
Starr has been moving toward summoning Lewinsky before the grand jury but has made no effort yet to question the president.
Jordan's grand jury appearance had all the trappings of a major Washington media event. He arrived with a police escort to face a throng of cameras and reporters, with whom he would later joke at lunchtime.
Presidential spokesman Mike McCurry told reporters he thought that Jordan, Clinton's close personal friend and unofficial adviser, would "absolutely" give testimony helpful to the president.