Monica Lewinsky's mother returned for a second day of grand jury testimony Wednesday about her daughter's alleged affair with President Clinton as a retired Secret Service officer was quoted saying he saw the former White House intern alone with the president in the Oval Office.
According to Wednesday's editions of The Washington Post, Lewis C. Fox said Lewinsky spent at least 40 minutes alone with Clinton on a weekend afternoon in September, October or November 1995.The newspaper reported that Fox, a retired uniformed officer who was posted outside the Oval Office door, said Lewinsky arrived with papers for the president to review and Clinton instructed Fox to usher her into his office.
Fox, who now lives in Waynesburg, Pa., told WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh last week that he saw Lewinsky in the White House.
Fox's account to the Post is the first time someone has come forward publicly to say that the president and Lewinsky were alone together.
A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the information from Fox in the Post account "is at odds with the common standard procedure, where White House staff make decisions on access to the Oval Office, not security officers."
A Secret Service officer giving someone access "would be a real deviation from standard practice," the official said.
The White House was taking a wait-and-see attitude on the new developments.
"I don't think this will evaporate, but . . . I just want to continue to advise people to take a deep breath," Hillary Clinton told reporters Wednesdsay at the White House.
Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, spent nearly three hours before a grand jury Tuesday and was back Wednesday morning for more questioning.
William Ginsburg, the former White House intern's attorney, said his client would testify if compelled to do so by a court order.
"She will not defy either a federal court order or a subpoena," Ginsburg said in Los Angeles, where Lewinsky was visiting her father.
Ginsburg emphasized the close relationship between mother and daughter, saying that "she's going home to live with her mother in Washington. . . . They're pals."
Lewinsky's anticipated arrival was Friday. She was scheduled to testify to the grand jury Thursday, but Ginsburg was expected to file secret court motions seeking to put off any appearance. Ginsburg insists that Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr go through with a deal to grant Lewinsky total immunity from prosecution.
But instead of granting full immunity, prosecutors may obtain a court order compelling Lewinsky to testify or face jail if she refuses.
Meanwhile, in Little Rock, Ark., U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright turned down a request Tuesday by Clinton's attorney to move up the scheduled May 27 date of the Jones sexual harassment trial, saying the March date sought by presidential lawyers could hinder preparation for the case by Jones' attorneys.