White House officials braced for a new blast of damaging revelations from the scheduled release Monday of President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony and reams of graphic material involving his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
The volumes of such sexually explicit minutiae, a Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee said, ``will send America into a fury.'But in sharp contrast to the elaborate, two-part rebuttal the White House issued to the first round of disclosures from independent counsel Ken Starr, Clinton's damage-control team was preparing no major counterattack Monday. White House officials were hoping instead for the new burst of material to blow up in the hands of House Republicans who engineered its speedy release.
As both parties tried to stake out the high ground, Martin Meehan, a House Judiciary Committee member from Massachusetts, echoed Saturday many fellow Democrats and White House officials in criticizing the release of another round of provocative material.
The Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee is expected to vote by early October to recommend launching a full impeachment inquiry of Clinton on 11 allegations of perjury, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and abuse of the power of his office.
``Frankly, I don't think people need this kind of detail,' Meehan said of the sexually explicit material that is scheduled to be unsealed. ``It could conceivably backfire on the Republicans for releasing it so quickly, particularly without even reviewing all of it first.'
The spectacle is scheduled to start Monday at 9 a.m., as several television networks begin airing an unedited, four-hour videotape of Clinton's testimony before Starr's prosecutors. The session is expected to show Clinton as the public has never seen him, in a testy encounter marked by anger, profanity, and, Starr alleges, perjury.
Starr's deputies will be seen asking Clinton intimate details about his liaisons with Lewinsky in a hallway and bathroom near the Oval Office, and about his alleged attempts to cover up the adulterous affair.
House Republican leaders continued to come under fire Saturday for scheduling the videotape's release on the Jewish New Year and on the day Clinton delivers his annual address to the United Nations.
In addition to the videotape,2,800 pages of supporting documents are scheduled to be released Monday, including transcripts of Lewinsky's grand jury testimony and her interviews with the FBI, which provide extremely explicit details of her sexual episodes with Clinton in the White House and in telephone conversations. The material is expected to be distributed on the Internet as well.
``I hope parents will exercise parental guidance,' said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who serves on the Judiciary Committee. ``We made a good-faith effort to try to eliminate the public disclosure of the most salacious material, but there are a few exceptions we deemed necessary because they go to substantiating Starr's report.'
The material to be released Monday also includes Secret Service records of Clinton's and Lewinsky's White House movements, telephone records, Lewinsky's computer messages, and her written notes. It also includes documents on efforts by Vernon Jordan, a prominent Washington lawyer and Clinton confidant, to help Lewinsky find a job in New York as part of the president's alleged attempt to cover up the affair.
In addition, the documents are said to include transcripts of Clinton's phone messages to Lewinsky, a list of items the FBI seized from Lewinsky's apartment, and FBI lab reports on Clinton's blood and on Lewinsky's blue dress.
Employees at the Government Printing Office were working through the night to print the 2,800-page volume for the 535 members of Congress, hundreds of news media outlets, and the public.
The Judiciary Committee blacked out about 120 sections of the material they considered sexually explicit and irrelevant, possibly damaging to individual reputations, or vital to national security.
But some members, including Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., a dogged Clinton foe, won support from the GOP majority to make public several of the censored sections involving crude details of the sexual relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky. ``If Americans have a problem with the detail,' Barr said, ``then they have a problem with the activity the president is engaged in.'
Clinton avoided public comment on the matter Saturday as he mingled with House members who attended his weekly radio address in the Oval Office. But several Democratic lawmakers spoke out after the session.
Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said the highly partisan, preliminary review of Starr's allegations provides scant evidence that ``we're going to have a fair process.'
Watt said he hoped the public reacts to the Clinton videotape ``with outrage at the notion that we have undermined our most serious constitutional obligation ... to protect individual rights.'
The material to be released Monday is part of the 18 boxes that Starr recently delivered to the House. Remaining in the other boxes is the grand jury testimony of other witnesses, including Jordan; Lewinsky's former friend, Linda Tripp; and Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie.
Under a House resolution, all the material must be released by Sept. 28, except sections that are blacked out or withheld by the Judiciary Committee.
The panel has yet to schedule a meeting to discuss additional releases.