Lewinsky's three dozen white house visits

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The hue and cry over President Bill Clinton's alleged relationship with the White House trainee, Monica Lewinsky, had subsided sufficiently yesterday for Ms Lewinsky and her lawyer, William Ginsburg, finally to leave Washington for California. But new evidence about the extent of contacts between the President and the trainee he had referred to as "that woman" in his televised denial last week indicated that his difficulties were far from over.

In a front-page report, the New York Times said that Ms Lewinsky visited the White House more than three dozen times after being transferred from her job in the legislative affairs department there to the Pentagon in April 1996. Officials at the Pentagon said that her visits were not connected to her work.

Quoting White House logs (which its reporters had been told of, but had not seen), the New York Times said Ms Lewinsky was cleared for entry - no easy feat - on 37 occasions between April 1996 and December 1997. The last recorded time was on 28 December. Mostly, clearance had been given by Mr Clinton's personal secretary, Betty Currie.

Ms Currie's desk is just outside the Oval office, and she acted effectively as gatekeeper, granting or denying access and screening telephone calls. Ms Currie was called to testify last week in the investigation into the Lewinsky case being conducted by the independent prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, but volunteered no information about what she said.

- Mary Dejevsky, Washington