Lawyer: Reported Jordan Timeline Wrong
Monica's father "can't imagine" his daughter made up affair story
By Wolf Blitzer/CNN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 20) -- Monica Lewinsky's attorney, Bill Ginsburg, tells CNN
that the former intern met with President Bill Clinton's friend, Washington lawyer Vernon Jordan, much earlier than recently reported.
In a brief interview, Ginsburg took issue with reports that Lewinsky's first meeting with Jordan came on Dec. 11, three days after the president's lawyers were notified that she was a potential witness in the Paula Jones lawsuit against Clinton.
Sources close to the Lewinsky defense team say her first meeting with Jordan occurred Nov. 5 in his Washington office.
"Monica Lewinsksy met with Vernon Jordan substantially before the dates that have been reported and certainly long before there was any talk of a Paula Jones witness list, subpoenas or depositions," Ginsburg said. "The implication of any quid pro quo regarding Vernon Jordan is simply false."
Ginsburg is also taking issue with a report that Lewinsky is heard on a secretly recorded conversation with Linda Tripp boasting that Lewinsky "stole" a document from Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon's desk while she worked for him last year.
Sources independent of the investigation, who took notes while listening to the tapes, told CNN that Lewinsky tells her onetime friend Tripp that she stole what she described as "talking points" for the trip to try to position herself to go along. "He'll [Bacon] never notice," Lewinsky says on the tapes.
"Monica Lewinsky is not someone who would take or steal anything, and I am certain that this report is just plain incorrect," Ginsburg responded.
Clinton is considering a claim of executive privilege if a compromise can't be reached with Independent Counsel Ken Starr over questioning Bruce Lindsey and other top aides about White House strategy sessions to deal with the Lewinsky controversy.
The White House says those talks are off limits.
"The grand jury is trying to get facts, evaluate facts. I can't comment on whether a privilege has been invoked but a privilege is a legal right that may be subject of litigation if one is invoked," Starr said while leaving his house Friday morning.
While he is willing to litigate the matter, Starr said such proceedings would hold up his investigation. "We're really trying to move very quickly to gather facts and I think it's in the national interest for us to move as quickly as we can," he said.
In his first public statement on the tempest surrounding his daughter, Dr. Bernard Lewinsky said he "can't imagine" that Monica would make up a story of a presidential affair and criticized Starr for his "McCarthy-era" tactics.
"I can't imagine her making that up," Lewinsky told Barbara Walters during an interview with ABC's "20/20." The show airs Friday night.
Dr. Lewinsky also urged Starr to "lay off" his daughter. "What is going on, and what Ken Starr has brought upon her, is unconscionable in my mind," he said.
Denouncing Starr for forcing his ex-wife Marcia Lewis to testify before the grand jury, Lewinsky said, "To pit a mother against her daughter, to coerce her to talk -- to me it's reminiscent of the McCarthy era, of the Inquisition, and even, you know, you could stretch it and say the Hitler era."
The controversy would not oust Clinton from office, Lewinsky predicted. "I can't imagine that this incident is going to erode the confidence of the people of this country with the job that he is doing," he said. "And I think it would be a sad day if something like this were to bring down a presidency."