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Grand Jury Hears Kathleen Willey

Kathleen Willey, a former White House aide who allegedly was fondled by President Clinton, was appearing Tuesday before the federal grand jury investigating the White House sex scandal.

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Willey was expected to be asked by prosecutors about reports she was urged to change her account of a 1993 incident. Willey reportedly has said in a deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case that Mr. Clinton groped her when she went to his office in November 1993 seeking a full-time job.

Former White House aide Linda Tripp, who helped launch Starr's investigation into whether Mr. Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and urged the former intern to lie about it under oath, also was involved in the Willey allegations.

Tripp said in a sworn statement in the Jones case that Willey, outside the Oval Office with her clothing disheveled and her makeup smeared, told her about the advance right after it allegedly happened on Nov. 23, 1993.

According to The Washington Post, Clinton in his Jan. 17 sworn statement in the Jones case remembered meeting with Willey, but denied making a sexual advance. Clinton also has denied having an affair with Lewinsky or asking her to cover it up.

Meanwhile, CBS Senior White House Correspondent Scott Pelley reports that the garnd jury investigation may hamper the president as he presses for high taxes on cigarettes, with a view to keeping teen-agers from smoking and pay for new programs in child care and health care.

At least one Republican leader is raising the possibility that Mr. Clinton's efforts are doomed, as long as the Lewinsky and Jones cases go on.

"It is a distraction," says Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. "It's becoming a problem, and I think it needs to be dealt with now."

Pelley also reports that the House Judiciary Committee, which would take up part of the tobacco bill, is the same committee that would consider evidence in Mr. Clinton's obstruction of justice investigation.

©1998 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report