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Bill Clinton is struggling to survive the most serious crisis of his career.
Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who had been investigating Clinton one way or the other for more than four years, on September 9 delivered to Congress an extraordinary, sexually graphic 453-page document, suggesting 11 possible grounds for impeachment related to Clinton's attempts to cover up his relationship with former intern Monica Lewinsky.
Clinton, under oath in a January 17 deposition for the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, denied that he had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. And he repeated his denial in public statements for the next seven months.
It wasn't until August 17, first in testimony to Starr's grand jury and then in a televised address, that he acknowledged that his relationship with Lewinsky was "inappropriate."
Clinton issued a series of apologies for his conduct in September, but he continues to deny that he ever told Lewinsky or anyone else to lie or hide or destroy evidence. And, relying on an exceedingly technical and highly suspect definition of sex, he continues to insist that he did not lie under oath.
Clinton's lead attorney on Lewinsky matters has been David Kendall. Among the key witnesses in the case: Clinton's personal secretary Betty Currie, who called Clinton friend Vernon E. Jordan Jr. to ask him to help find Lewinsky a job.
The evidence-gathering for the Jones case also revived earlier allegations regarding Clinton's sex life. Jones's lawyers subpoenaed former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey, who told them that Clinton groped her during a visit to the Oval Office. And in his deposition, Clinton reportedly confirmed that he once had an affair with Gennifer Flowers.
Clinton has gotten staunch support from Vice President Gore and, most significantly, from first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has remained committed to her husband and attacked Starr as being part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" out to get him.
Clinton Decries Attempt to 'Set Me Up' (Sept. 22, 1998)
(Updated October 2, 1998)
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