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Friday, March 6, 1998 Published at 02:00 GMT

World: Americas

Little by little, Clinton scandal unfolds
image: [ Vernon Jordan: The whole truth and nothing but the truth ]
Vernon Jordan: The whole truth and nothing but the truth

President's Clinton's close friend, Vernon Jordan, has again denied that he ever asked Monica Lewinsky to lie about her alleged sexual relationship with the president.

As he testified for a second day, details leaked out of President Bill Clinton's sworn deposition of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

[ image: Lewinsky: White House intern]
Lewinsky: White House intern
Mr Jordan, a Washington lawyer, spent eight hours testifying to a grand jury investigating the allegations.

Afterwards he acknowleged that he had helped Miss Lewinsky to get another job after she left the White House. But he denied this was in return for her silence.

"That's the truth. That's the whole truth. That's nothing but the truth," Mr Jordan said from the courthouse steps.

The scandal, which broke in January, continues to dog the Clinton presidency. Mr Clinton is alleged to have had an affair with a former White House volunteer and then pressured her to lie about it under oath.

Mr Jordan, a Washington powerbroker, admitted helping Miss Lewinsky get a lawyer and find a job. But he maintains he did not encourage her to lie.

"My efforts to find her a job were not a quid-pro-quo for the affidavit that she signed" denying having had sex with Clinton, he said.

Mr Jordan's testimony was largely eclipsed by a report in The Washington Post newspaper of Mr Clinton's deposition in a lawsuit at the heart of the controversy, the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.

[ image: A special relationship?]
A special relationship?
According to the Post, Mr Clinton flatly denied under oath he had a sexual relationship with Miss Lewinsky.

Mr Clinton acknowledged exchanging gifts with the young woman, said she visited his office on perhaps five occasions and also said they might have been alone together, the newspaper said.

In the five-hour deposition, the president also acknowledged he talked with Mr Jordan about efforts to find a new job for Miss Lewinsky, but said it was his secretary, Betty Currie, who had initiated the career help, the Post reported.

Mr Jordan's lawyer said there was "no question" Ms Currie acted on the president's behalf.

Asked if Mr Jordan knew from the start about Mr Clinton's relationship with Miss Lewinsky, he said: "No, but he did ask the $64,000 question ... The president said no and Jordan believed him."


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