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Saturday, August 1, 1998 Published at 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK

World: Americas

Clinton to give evidence 'live'

The Clintons: business as usual

Reports from Washington say President Clinton is to give his evidence in the Monica Lewinsky case via a live television link.

Washington correspondent Bridget Kendall: 'Bitter arguments behind the scenes'
It had been thought he would record his testimony for the grand jury hearing.

The live link means the jury will be able to question the president when he testifies before them later this month.

President Clinton is trying to carry on with business as usual and appear confident and at ease.

In his weekly radio address to the nation, broadcast live, he made no mention of the scandal. Instead he spoke of the importance of getting the Republican-controlled Congress to pass a "patients bill of rights".

The rest of his weekend was devoted to relaxing at the home of the movie producer-director Steven Spielberg, golfing, and attending fund-raisers projected to generate some $2 million for the Democratic Party.

On Friday, in his first public comments since agreeing to give testimony, Mr Clinton said he was looking forward to telling his side of the story. He has always denied allegations that he had a sexual relationship with the former White House worker and then got her to lie about it.

Promising his testimony would be complete and truthful, he said he could make no further comments until he appeared before the grand jury.

Popularity holds up

The BBC's Stephen Sackur: Clinton not concentrating on presidency
Opinion polls in the United States show the scandal is doing little to dent his popularity.

Polls show that more than 60% of Americans believe that he did have an affair.

The same number, however, said that it did not really matter anyway.

His popularity rating is still well over 60%, helped by the good shape of the American economy, which he speaks about at every opportunity.

Blast from the past

However, President Clinton could be facing problems from another scandal from the past.

Lawyers representing Paula Jones, the woman who lost a case of sexual harassment against the president, say they have applied for the case to be reinstated.

[ image: Lewinsky: eagerly awaited testimony]
Lewinsky: eagerly awaited testimony
Miss Jones' case triggered the investigation into allegations that the president had a sexual relationship with Miss Lewinsky.

Meanwhile a member of the House of Representatives judiciary committee, Asa Hutchinson, has said the committee is expecting to receive a report from independent investigator Kenneth Starr by September.

The committee will then call its own witnesses, possibly including Miss Lewinsky and the president, before deciding whether the case merits impeachment.

But the BBC Washington Correspondent, Tom Carver, says that despite the current media frenzy, hardly anyone on Capitol Hill views impeachment as a likely outcome to this saga.

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