Forced to narrow their list of potential witnesses, the House members prosecuting President Clinton settled on three of the most intriguing personalities in the scandal:
SIDNEY BLUMENTHALA friend of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Blumenthal has been a favorite target of conservatives since he abandoned journalism to join the president's staff in 1997. Critics say he peddles rumors about political opponents. He denies the allegations.
The House trial managers are particularly interested in Blumenthal's conversation with the president, soon after the scandal broke publicly, in which Monica Lewinsky was referred to as a "stalker" who pursued the president sexually. Blumenthal testified Clinton told him he had rebuffed Ms. Lewinsky's advances but she had threatened to falsely tell people there was an affair anyway, so she "wouldn't be the stalker anymore." The House managers say Clinton was trying to feed false information to the grand jury through Blumenthal.
Stately, wealthy and discreetly powerful, Jordan handles many sensitive matters for his close friend, the president. House prosecutors are especially interested in one of those missions -- Jordan's efforts to help Ms. Lewinsky land a job just as she was preparing to deny an affair with Clinton in a false affidavit. He also took her to the lawyer who drew up the affidavit. Jordan has acknowledged helping Ms. Lewinsky, saying he aids many young people, but denied that his efforts were meant to buy her silence. Jordan was a civil rights leader before he joined one of Washington's most prominent law firms. As a witness, he would probably be intensely sympathetic to the president.
She is the prosecutors' wild card -- the only one of the three who is no longer a close ally of the president. Ms. Lewinsky could shed new light on the effort to hide gifts Clinton gave her, why she decided to lie about their affair and how much the president knew about her false affidavit in the Paula Jones case.
So far, the woman at the heart of the scandal has been heard only on Linda Tripp's secret tape recordings, and mostly viewed darting in and out of the courthouse or her lawyers' offices. Even if she says nothing new, a credible appearance by Ms. Lewinsky could cast more doubt on aspects of the president's testimony that conflict with her story. House managers promised not to delve into one area of conflict -- the details of their sexual encounters.