Podesta Recalled Before Lewinsky Grand Jury
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 23) -- Deputy White House chief of staff John Podesta testified once again Tuesday before Independent Counsel Ken Starr's grand jury.
Leaving the federal courthouse in the early afternoon with Podesta, his lawyer, Peter Kadzik, told reporters that Podesta's "testimony fully supported the president's forceful denials of any improper conduct."
The senior White House aide, who is being recalled after briefly appearing before the panel early in the investigation, runs the day-to-day damage control operation at the White House, among other things.
It was also Podesta who asked U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson to interview the former White House intern about a job. Podesta's attorney said his activities before January on this matter took all of "15 minutes."
The former White House deputy counsel had declined to answer all of Starr's questions during his previous grand jury appearance, but is expected to testify fully during this round.
Podesta's return to the grand jury is expected to kick off a likely stretch of appearances by high-profile figures in the Monica Lewinsky case.
CNN is told that Linda Tripp is among those on notice to be called as early as this week. Also on tap: White House aide Sidney Blumenthal and presidential secretary Betty Currie.
Blumenthal and Currie also have testified previously, several times in Currie's case. It was Tripp who secretly recorded Lewinsky discussing her alleged relationship with the president; she has been cooperating with investigators but has not yet appeared before the grand jury.
The sources suggest the grand jury phase of the Lewinsky investigation is winding down, except for outstanding questions over the testimony of presidential confidante Bruce Lindsey and Secret Service officers. Those issues are being argued before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and could go to the Supreme Court after that.
The grand jury is investigating allegations that President Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, and asked the former White House intern to lie about it. Clinton has denied both charges.