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Vernon Jordan Tells His Story

Presidential confidante Vernon Jordan said Tuesday he had testified "truthfully and completely" before a grand jury probing the White House sex scandal. Jordan also reaffirmed his friendship with President Clinton.

"In response to a subpoena from the independent counsel, I testified before the grand jury today. I answered all of their questions truthfully and completely to the best of my ability," Jordan said outside the courthouse where the panel is meeting.

Starr's grand jury is investigating allegations that Clinton had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and, in concert with Jordan, tried to cover it up by encouraging the young woman to lie under oath.

Disputing reports that he is distancing himself from Clinton, a friend of more than 20 years, Jordan said he and the president enjoyed "an enduring friendship."

Jordan said he would return for more testimony on Thursday.

The first of three major figures in the controversy to testify, Jordan spent the day being questioned by prosecutors in Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr's office.

Starr has been moving toward summoning Lewinsky before the grand jury but has made no effort yet to question the president in the Lewinsky matter.

Jordan, a prominent Washington lawyer whose effort to find Lewinsky a job and an attorney landed him in the middle of controversy, joked briefly with reporters at lunchtime as the White House anxiously awaited the completion of his appearance.

Mr. Clinton has been under siege for six weeks, ever since allegations surfaced that he had an affair with Lewinsky and then tried to cover it up by encouraging her to lie under oath about it in the Paula Jones lawsuit. In a sworn affidavit, Lewinsky denied having an affair with Mr. Clinton.

CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Scott Pelley reports that on the day after Lewinsky gave the affidavit in the Jones case, Jordan called billionaire Ronald Perelman and found an entry level job for Lewinsky at Perelman's Revlon Corporation.

Pelley said that in secretly tape-recorded conversations between Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, Lewinsky said she would not sign the affidavit until she had the job.

Jordan's contacts with Lewinsky included four face-to-face meetings, a ride in a chauffer-driven car and about 10 phone calls.

Jordan has said that his assistance in finding Lewinsky a job began before he knew she had been subpoenaed in the Jones case and that he helped her find a lawyer only after she had assured him she did not have a sexual relationship with Clinton.

Prosecutors are trying to determine whether Jordan's assistance may have been part of a broader effort to encourage Lewinsky's silence in the Jones case.

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