Seven days that shook presidency

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The Independent Online
Friday, 24 July

President Bill Clinton, his wife, daughter and dog set off for quiet weekend at the presidential retreat of Camp David in the Maryland hills.

As they depart, the White House spokesman, Mike McCurry, discloses that lawyers for Mr Clinton and the independent prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, have been discussing the possibility that Mr Clinton might testify in the Monica Lewinsky inquiry.

No sooner have the Clintons arrived at Camp David than news breaks of a shooting inside the Capitol. Two police have been shot dead, the presumed gunman is in hospital.

Saturday, 25 July

Day of heartsearching and mourning in Washington following the shootings.

Clintons hold surprise birthday party for President's brother at Camp David.

Late evening reports, subsequently confirmed by prosecutor's office, that Mr Clinton has been subpoenaed to give evidence in the Lewinsky case: he is first incumbent president to be required to testify to a grand jury in his own defence.

Sunday, 26 July

Television talkshows mull over the Capitol shootings and the presidential subpoena, now confirmed by Mr Starr's office, but not by the White House.

Monday, 27 July

Mr Clinton in New Mexico for forum on state pensions.

His friend and deputy White House counsel loses claim that his conversations with Mr Clinton are covered by lawyer-client confidentiality and must testify in Monica Lewinsky case.

Reports confirmed that Ms Lewinsky has concluded meeting with prosecutors about immunity deal.

Tuesday, 28 July

Mr Clinton delivers oration at Capitol memorial service for dead policemen.

Ms Lewinsky's lawyers announce that she has reached agreement with prosecutors: she will give "full and truthful" testimony to the grand jury in return for full immunity from prosecution.

Wednesday, 29 July

Mr Clinton and his wife, Hillary, address separate meetings at the White House: he on education, she on combating breast cancer. Mr Clinton's lawyer announces that the President will testify voluntarily to the grand jury on videotape. This decision allows the subpoena to be withdrawn. He will answer questions from the White House on Monday, 17 August, just before he goes on holiday. The White House confirms for the first time that a subpoena was served - on 17 July.

Linda Tripp, the woman who taped Ms Lewinsky's confessions, completes eight days of evidence before the grand jury.

Thursday, 30 July

Mr Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore go to North Carolina to launch "save rivers" environmental project. First Capitol policeman buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The prosecutor's office confirms that it is in possession of "that dress" and has sent it to FBI laboratories to be tested for semen stains. Media reports Ms Lewinsky has handed over tapes with messages from Mr Clinton from her answer-machine.

Friday, 31 July

Business as usual: Mr Clinton answers questions about the second quarter GDP figures, then departs for fund-raising weekend in the Hamptons.

Second policeman buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Clinton camp tries to minimise damage, friendly lawyers say the dress has no stains and the telephone messages are nothing special.

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