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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Affidavit seems to dispute Blumenthal's sworn testimony

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, February 6) -- Capitol Hill sources have provided CNN with a document they say indicates White House aide Sidney Blumenthal may have lied to the Senate during his sworn deposition earlier this week.

The document is a sworn affadavit from free-lance journalist Christopher Hitchens in which he appears to dispute Blumenthal's assertion that he was not a source for negative comments about Monica Lewinsky, including the assertion that she was a "stalker."

In his deposition Wednesday, Blumenthal testified that he had no knowledge or involvement in spreading derogatory information about Lewinsky to the media.

"I have no idea how anything came to be attributed to a White House source," he said.

Sidney Blumenthal  

In the affidavit, dated February 5, Hitchens described a March 19 lunch with Blumenthal and Hitchens' associate, Carol Blue.

"Mr. Blumenthal stated that Monica Lewinsky had been a 'stalker' and that the president was 'the victim' of a predatory and unstable sexually demanding young woman," Hitchens statement reads. "Referring to Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Blumenthal used the word 'stalker' several times."

Hitchens went on to say, "I have personal knowledge that Mr. Blumenthal recounted to other people in the journalistic community the same story about Monica Lewinsky that he told to me and Carol Blue."

Hitchens also suggests Blumenthal may have been involved in a campaign to discredit the allegations of Kathleen Willey, the White House volunteer who claims President Bill Clinton made unwanted sexual advances toward her.

"... Mr.Blumenthal stated that Kathleen Willey's poll numbers were high but would fall and would not look so good in a few days, " Hitchens' affidavit reads.

Rep. Lindsey Graham  

During his deposition, over objections of a White House attorney, Blumenthal was asked whether there had been strategy sessions regarding Willey in the wake of her "60 Minutes" interview in which she alleged unwelcome sexual advances by the president.

Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) asked, "Did anyone ever discuss the fact that Ms. Willey may have had a checkered past?"

"No. Absolutely not. We never discussed the personal lives of any woman in those meetings," Blumenthal responded.

"Did it ever come up as to, 'Well, here's what we know about Kathleen Willey and the president,' or 'Let's go see what we can find out about Kathleen Willey and the president?'" Graham questioned.

"No," Blumenthal answered.

Capitol Hill sources told CNN that Hitchens contacted House Judiciary Committee investigators through his lawyer after seeing media accounts about Blumenthal deposition.

CNN's repeated calls to Hitchens have not been answered.

Blumenthal referred CNN to White House spokesman Jim Kennedy, who said he would look into the matter but had no immediate comment.

The affidavit, sources say, is in the possession of both senators and members of the House Judiciary Committee. Senate GOP leadership sources say they are deciding whether to investigate.

While sources say that this raises questions about Blumenthal's credibility, they say, for now, it is "tangential" to the case against the president.

CNN's Bob Franken, Jonathan Karl, John King and Frank Sesno contributed to this report.

Investigating the President


Saturday, February 6, 1999

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