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Grand Jury Hears From Two First-Time Witnesses

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Two first-time witnesses--a presidential diarist who records the identities of visitors received by President Clinton and a college classmate of former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky--testified Tuesday before a federal grand jury.

Details were sketchy of what the witnesses said behind the closed doors of the grand jury, which is examining evidence of whether Clinton lied under oath or encouraged others to testify falsely in connection with his dealings with Lewinsky and at least one other woman, Kathleen E. Willey.

Clinton has denied under oath that he had intimate relations with Lewinsky or Willey.

According to people familiar with the investigation, independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr summoned Lewinsky’s former college classmate so prosecutors could ask about statements made to her by Lewinsky after she began working at the White House.

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At least four other people, including one who was brought before the grand jury last month, have said Lewinsky told them while she worked at the White House that she had oral sex with the president.

Catherine Allday Davis, the former classmate, testified for several hours Tuesday. Appearing composed and serious as she left the courthouse, Davis, 24, declined to answer questions from reporters.

Davis, along with Lewinsky, attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. Both women majored in psychology and graduated in May 1995, according to records maintained at the college. Lewinsky began an internship at the White House in June 1995 and held a paid position in the White House office of legislative affairs from Nov. 26, 1995 to April 1996.

James A. Bensfield, a lawyer representing Davis, said in a brief interview: “Catherine has been a close friend of Monica Lewinsky’s since college and still considers herself to be a very close friend.” Bensfield declined to characterize his client’s testimony.

The day’s other witness, presidential diarist Ellen W. McCathran, testified for about 30 minutes and may have to return, according to her lawyer, Jeffrey S. Jacobovitz.

McCathran, 46, a civil service employee who has been at the White House since the Gerald R. Ford administration, was unaware of any record of Lewinsky’s visits to the executive mansion, Jacobovitz said.

As presidential diarist, McCathran composes a 24-hour diary of Clinton’s activities, based on telephone, visitation and travel logs maintained by the Secret Service, the White House communications agency and ushers at the executive mansion.

Asked to explain why McCathran would not have observed Lewinsky’s name on any of the logs, Jacobovitz said: “Not every potential meeting--whether it took place or not--shows up on the log.”

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Indeed, officials familiar with records maintained by the Secret Service have said Lewinsky made at least 36 visits to the White House after April 1996, when she was transferred to a public-affairs position at the Pentagon.

Lewinsky last visited with Clinton at the White House on the evening of Dec. 28, 1997, when lawyers representing former Arkansas state employee Paula Corbin Jones in her sexual-harassment lawsuit against the president were seeking to question Lewinsky under oath.

The diary entries of McCathran could prove important as Starr seeks to verify the dates and times that various people, including Willey, visited the president. Willey is a former volunteer who in a television interview Sunday described an unwelcome physical encounter with Clinton at the White House that she said occurred in November 1993.


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