Starr Subpoenas Stephanopulous
Source says Clinton did not flatly deny December meeting with Lewinsky
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics Feb. 1) -- Former White House aide George Stephanopoulos has been subpoenaed by Independent Counsel Ken Starr to appear before the grand jury in Washington, CNN learned Monday.
Sources told CNN that Stephanopoulos, now a news analyst for ABC News, is scheduled to appear at the court house at 1:30 p.m. ET Tuesday. Starr is looking into allegations that President Bill Clinton had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and tried to cover it up.
Meanwhile, in response to a Newsweek magazine story stating that President Bill Clinton testified in his Paula Jones lawsuit deposition that he had never met alone with Lewinsky after she left her White House job in April 1996, a source who was present at the deposition says Clinton did not flatly deny meeting the young woman without others present.
The source told CNN, "It [Clinton's testimony] was grayer than that."
The source went on to discuss a Dec. 28 meeting which Clinton at first claimed not to recall in his deposition. But, said the source, Clinton eventually confirmed Lewinsky's presence at the White House. "Clinton admitted," said the source, "that Monica Lewinsky came to the White House shortly after Christmas to meet with Betty Currie [Clinton's personal secretary]."
The source said that during the deposition, Clinton said something like, "I stuck my head out to say, 'Hi.'"
CNN has previously reported sources confirming the Dec. 28 meeting,
and one White House source told CNN he was not aware that anybody had been present for the encounter besides Clinton and Lewinsky.
Further, the sort of casual greeting allegedly described by the president in his deposition seems at odds with comments Lewinsky made during recorded conversations with onetime friend Linda Tripp. Sources who have heard tapes made by Tripp say Lewinsky describes a substantive discussion, during that Dec. 28 White House meeting, of how Lewinsky should answer when questioned by lawyers for Jones.
Meanwhile, Clinton on Monday unveiled a 1999 fiscal year budget proposal, featuring a projected $9.5 billion surplus. Aides hope that will keep the public's mind off allegations of an affair with Lewinsky, and keep public opinion focused against Starr.
Along with the varying accounts of that Dec. 28 meeting, Starr's team also may be looking at the timing of efforts by the president's friend, Vernon Jordan, who called cosmetics firm Revlon and got Lewinsky a job interview just two days after that meeting.
Three days after the interview, she was formally offered a Revlon job, and it was only then that Lewinsky's lawyer filed the affidavit in the Jones case categorically denying a sexual relationship with the president.
Starr is moving quickly, with Stephanopulous slated to testify before his Washington grand jury Tuesday and Jordan expected to do the same sometime this week.
Meanwhile, Lewinsky's attorney, William Ginsburg, made the round of Sunday talk shows, but drew criticism from some criminal defense attorneys for comments undermining Lewinsky's credibility.
At one point, Ginsburg said, "All 24-year-olds tend to embellish," He also said Clinton had given Lewinsky a long T-shirt, not a dress, as was widely reported.
On CBS' "Face The Nation," Ginsburg said his client would be willing to submit to a polygraph test if she is granted immunity.
"If she is given full immunity ... in order to verify that she's telling the truth, which I'm sure she is, I would be happy to submit her to a polygraph examination," Ginsburg said. "Lie detector's not a good word because they can't detect lies."
Clinton Administration lawyers want to meet with the Whitewater prosecutors this week to discuss Starr's subpoenas. The White House has turned over some documents, but some officials believe that Starr's requests are too broad and ambiguous.
University of California, Los Angeles, student Dennis Lytton, who worked at the Pentagon last summer, says Lewinsky told him that she had a sexual relationship with the president, according to a UCLA Daily Bruin story Monday.
Lewinsky and Lytton, who met at the Pentagon, often lunched together and briefly dated. Lytton said that Lewinsky said she and Clinton had had sex.
Lytton told The Associated Press that the information and quotes in the Daily Bruin report were "accurate" and "That's all I want to say at this time." According to the UCLA paper, the fourth-year student went public because he wanted to document his story in case Lewinsky told Starr that she had "told me more than she really did."
Lytton, 24, worked as an unpaid intern for Joe McMillan, the acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and threat reduction, from June 23, 1997, until Aug. 29, 1997, according to Pentagon spokesman Col. Richard Bridges.