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Investigating the President

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Jordan Believes Testimony Will Not Hurt Clinton

Ginsburg confirms Lewinsky and Clinton met alone

By Wolf Blitzer and John King/CNN

WASHINGTON (March 2) -- Vernon Jordan has told close associates he does not believe his grand jury testimony today in the Monica Lewinsky case will be damaging to President Bill Clinton, sources tell CNN.

Meanwhile, Lewinsky's lawyer Bill Ginsburg confirmed the former intern met "a couple or so" times alone with the president in the White House but said those occasions were "very brief" and other people were nearby. He insists there was nothing "salacious" going on.

An associate familiar with Jordan's version of events say he is prepared to testify he was unaware when he began helping Lewinsky line up a private sector job that she was a potential witness in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.

Jordan, a longtime Clinton friend, will also testify he was assured by both the president and Lewinsky that there was no sexual relationship, and that he referred Lewinsky to Washington attorney Frank Carter after she told him she had been subpoenaed in the Jones case, but that he never told her to lie.

The grand jury is looking into reports that Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, a former White House intern, and encouraged her to lie about it under oath. Clinton has denied both accusations.

A timeline assembled by investigators, and not disputed by White House sources, shows Lewinsky and Jordan met at least four times in December and that he was pushing to help her get a job in New York, ultimately lining up a public relations job with the parent company of Revlon cosmetics.

But Lewinsky's lawyer said the two first met in early November, a month before Lewinsky was added to the witness list in the Jones case.

Clinton last saw Jordan 10 days ago, during half time at a basketball game. Aides concede they speak less frequently now and are careful not to discuss the investigation. But senior aides and Jordan associates play down talk of a rift, suggesting the friendship will survive any short-term friction caused by the Lewinsky controversy.

"They are very good friends, remain very good friends and look forward to the day when they can be less circumspect with each other," said Press Secretary Mike McCurry.

Said former Democratic National Committee Chairman Charles Manatt, "Vernon will give his testimony tomorrow [Tuesday]. It will be consistent with what he said already and I don't see any wedge that should or could be driven between him and the White House."

Lawyer: Lewinsky and Clinton met alone

While confirming that Lewinsky and Clinton had met together in the White House, Ginsburg tells CNN that Lewinsky continues to stick by her sworn affidavit in the Paula Jones case that she had "no sexual relationship" with the president.

Previously, Ginsburg has described Lewinsky's relationship with the president as that of "colleagues."

White House records show Lewinsky visited the White House 37 times after she left her low-level legislative affairs job at the White House in 1996 to begin a public affairs job at the Pentagon. Ginsburg says her encounters with the president were almost always in the presence of other aides or secret service personnel.

Ginsburg says there's been no change in Lewinsky's status with Starr's office, meaning she has not received any date when to appear before his grand jury.

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