---------- From: Nathan Newman Sent: Sunday, February 07, 1999 9:31 AM To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com Subject: Hitchens Turns GOP stool pigeon
Okay, Hitchens is way off my list of credible sources. If folks like Hitchens turn over sources to prosecutors, then the whole First Amendment shield for journalists is going to disappear.
Frankly, if Hitchens is becoming a stool pigeon to try to throw Blumenthal in jail for the benefit of the GOP who hates him, Hitchens is basically a rat in my book.
Hitchens has been irritating me for a while, but this is truly disgusting.
February 7, 1999 THE AIDE Journalist Submits Affidavit Naming Aide as a Source
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---- By ALISON MITCHELL
WASHINGTON -- A free-lance journalist who has been critical of President Clinton throughout the Lewinsky scandal has provided an affidavit to House investigators saying that Sidney Blumenthal, a White House aide, provided him with information disparaging Monica S. Lewinsky.
The affidavit by the journalist, Christopher Hitchens, contradicts the sworn testimony of Blumenthal, who has maintained that he was not a source of damaging comments about Ms. Lewinsky, the former White House intern.
During questioning by House prosecutors earlier this week, Blumenthal, a senior White House communications aide, said that Clinton had described Ms. Lewinsky to him as a "stalker." But Blumenthal denied that he had repeated that description of her to reporters. Asked about the source of such characterizations in news reports, he said, "I have no idea how anything came to be attributed to a White House source."
William McDaniel, Blumenthal's lawyer, has also said that his client "didn't peddle it, he didn't urge people to write about it, he didn't tell people about it." McDaniel previously said that if journalists felt bound to protect Blumenthal's identity as a source, "they're released."
An official of the House Judiciary Committee said investigators received a call after Blumenthal's deposition, either late Thursday or early Friday, saying the committee might want to talk to Hitchens, a British journalist working in Washington who writes for Vanity Fair and The Nation magazine.
Hitchens was contacted on Friday by committee investigators who took an affidavit from him. In the affidavit, Hitchens said that during lunch last March at the Occidental Grill, a restaurant near the White House, Blumenthal had said several times that Ms. Lewinsky was a "stalker" and that the President was the "victim" of an unstable young woman.
The affidavit was circulating on Capitol Hill tonight and was made available by a Congressional official sympathetic to the House case against Clinton.
Tonight, Blumenthal said in a statement, "My testimony to the Senate was truthful. If someone is saying it was not they are mistaken." Hitchens could not be reached for comment.
Hitchens also said in the affidavit that Blumenthal had told him that polling showed that Kathleen E. Willey, a White House volunteer who said the President made a sexual advance to her near the Oval Office, had high approval ratings but that those numbers would not look as good in several days.
The affidavit, which was signed by Hitchens and dated Feb. 5, was turned over to Senate leaders today. The Senate would have to hold a vote if it wanted to enter the document in the impeachment record.
The affidavit contradicts Blumenthal's deposition and his testimony before the grand jury. A Republican aide to the House prosecutors, who insisted on anonymity, said the affidavit "raises the specter of perjury by one of the President's chief defenders," and that it added to the House case of obstruction of justice.
Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, said that the Justice Department could investigate false testimony, but that the statement by Hitchens was "collateral at best" to the case against the President.
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