Presidential confidant Vernon Jordan returned to the grand jury Thursday to resume testifying about his assistance to Monica Lewinsky as new details of President Clinton's own account of the controversy emerged.
Jordan arrived at the federal courthouse Thursday morning and headed for the grand jury room without making any public comment.Trying to put to rest suggestions that he is protecting himself at the president's expense, Jordan previously said his relationship with Clinton "is an enduring friendship based on mutual respect, trust and admiration."
After spending all day Tuesday trying to explain why he helped Lewinsky find a job and a lawyer, Jordan returned for more questioning Thursday before a grand jury investigating allegations Clinton had an affair with Lewinsky and that the president and Jordan urged her to lie about it.
Jordan arranged for Lewinsky to find a job in New York and introduced her to a lawyer when she became a witness in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case against the president. Jordan denies there was anything untoward about helping Lewinsky, whose status in the Jones case held the potential of creating huge problems for the president, depending on what her story was. He also has denied telling her to lie.
The affidavit Lewinsky filed denying a sexual relationship with Clinton is at the center of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation of the president.
Meanwhile, two individuals familiar with Clinton's Jan. 17 deposition in Jones' case confirmed a Washington Post report that the president acknowledged under oath that he and Jordan had discussed efforts to find Lewinsky a job.
But Clinton testified that the job-seeking effort on behalf of the former intern was initiated by his personal secretary, Betty Currie, the individuals said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The president's attorneys were expected Thursday to ask the judge in the Jones case, U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, to order an FBI investigation of how the Post got hold of Clinton's deposition despite a court seal, said a person familiar with Clinton's legal strategy.
Presidential press secretary Mike McCurry said he believed there was only one copy of the transcript at the White House and that no one there leaked it.
Clinton also said in the deposition that he had spoken with Lewinsky about the likelihood that she would be asked to testify in the Jones case about the nature of their relationship. But Clinton described it as a quick, casual exchange in the presence of Currie, the Post said.