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Sunday, February 7, 1999 Published at 08:02 GMT

Lewinsky goes public

Ms Lewinksy swears to tell the whole truth in video evidence

Monica Lewinsky - a key witness in the impeachment trial of President Clinton - has been telling her story for the first time in public.

The trial of the president
The 25-year-old former White House volunteer appeared in a series of videotaped extracts which were broadcast around the world as part of the Senate trial.

Clips from video testimonies of two other key witnesses - Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal - were also shown.

Click here to see video extracts from the Lewinsky testimony

Correspondents say the prosecution lawyers edited their presentation cleverly but the showing of the videotapes will have little impact on the outcome of the trial.

White House lawyer Nicole Seligman accused the managers of distorting Ms Lewinsky's evidence by heavily editing the evidence.

Censure motion

With Mr Clinton's survival looking increasingly likely in a final vote at the end of this week, the Democrats are pressing their idea of a censure motion.

The BBC Washington correspondent says the latest draft - aimed at satisfying Republicans - admits Mr Clinton did give false evidence and impede justice.

Full transcripts of the videotapes show Ms Lewinsky testifying that Mr Clinton did not ask her to lie in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case - although she said she and the president did discuss cover stories.

In one video clip, Ms Lewinsky says she told the president's close friend Mr Jordan that she thought of Mr Clinton "more as a man than a president".

Monica Lewinsky to Vernon Jordan: "Frustrated with the president"
She says Mr Jordan replied: "Your problem is that you're in love with the president" and that she probably blushed or giggled.

In the full transcripts, released on Friday, Ms Lewinsky defended her ties to Mr Clinton, telling House prosecutors to stop calling their encounters "salacious".

"I mean, this is my relationship," added Ms Lewinsky, who admitted to "mixed feelings" about Mr Clinton, whom she still admired.

Cover stories

[ image:  ]
Prosecutors say Mr Clinton was at the centre of a conspiracy to cover up the affair because it could be damaging to him in the Paula Jones case.

Much of the evidence focused on whether the president told Ms Lewinsky to lie about their relationship on oath.

Prosecutors questioned her about a 2am phone call when Mr Clinton informed her she was on the witness list in the Jones case, suggested she could file an affidavit to avoid testifying and talked about cover stories they had used to hide the affair.

But Ms Lewinsky said the conversations about the cover stories and the affidavit were separate. She said Mr Clinton told her it ''broke his heart'' she was on the witness list.

But in a video clip played by the White House lawyers, the former White House intern said Mr Clinton and she had never discussed the content of her affidavit.

Gifts and calls

Prosecutors say after Ms Lewinsky was called as a witness in the Jones case, Mr Clinton tried to reclaim gifts he had given her to cover his tracks.

[ image: Mr Jordan was asked to find a job for Ms Lewinsky]
Mr Jordan was asked to find a job for Ms Lewinsky
In her evidence Ms Lewinsky, told how she had asked the president whether she should get rid of his presents or give them to Mr Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie.

She said the president did not give a definite answer but, later that day she received a phone call from Ms Currie. "To the best of my memory she said something like I understand you have something for me,'' she added.

House prosecutors told the senators, who serve as jurors in the impeachment trial, the only way Ms Currie could have known about the gifts was through the president.

Job hunt

Prosecutors also tried to show that Mr Clinton tried to obstruct justice by helping to find Ms Lewinsky employment in New York.

Stephen Hess, of the Brookings Institute, asseses the impact of the videos
In his evidence, the president said he thought Ms Currie had suggested Vernon Jordan meet with Ms Lewinsky to discuss her moving to New York.

But in his video testimony, Mr Jordan said: "Through Betty I was acting on behalf of the president. He (Mr Clinton) asked me to help and asked others to help."

Lewinsky - 'The Stalker'

The Senate also saw evidence from White House aide Sidney Blumenthal who said he now believed the president had lied to him and had tried to portray himself as a victim of Ms Lewinsky.

[ image:  ]
In one video clip, Mr Blumenthal recalled a meeting with Mr Clinton in the Oval Office the day the Lewinsky scandal broke.

"The president said Ms Lewinsky had made a demand for sex, that he had rebuffed her. He said she had threatened him,'' Mr Blumenthal testified.

"He said she said she was called The Stalker by her peers and that she would claim, whether it was true or not, that they had had an affair. The president was very upset. I thought he was a man in anguish."

The prosecutors and the president's lawyers will make their closing arguments on Monday, before Senators begin their final deliberations.

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