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From the Starr Referral:
Clinton's Grand Jury Testimony, Part 3

The following material was submitted by independent counsel Kenneth Starr with his report to the House on President Clinton. This document provided by Federal News Service. Editor's Note: Some of the language in these documents is sexually explicit.

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Therefore, interns were assigned to all offices. And I believe it was her last week as an intern. Anyway, she worked in the Chief of Staff's Office. One night she brought me some pizza. We had some remarks.

Now, the next time I remember seeing her alone was on a couple of occasions when she was working in the Legislative Affairs Office as a full-time employee. I remember specifically, I have a specific recollection of two times. I don't remember when they were, but I remember twice when, on Sunday afternoon, she brought papers down to me, stayed, and we were alone. And I am frankly quite sure – although I have no specific memory, I am quite sure there were a couple of more times, probably two times more, three times more. That's what I would say. That's what I can remember. But I do not remember when they were, or at what time of day they were, or what the facts were. But I have a general memory that would say I certainly saw her more than twice during that period between January and April of 1996, when she worked there.

Q: So, if I could summarize your testimony, approximately five times you saw her before she left the White House, and approximately nine times after she left the employment of the White House?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I know there were several times in '97. I've told you that I've looked at my calendar and I tell you what I think the outer limits are. I would think that would sound about right. There could be, in that first four-month period, there, maybe there's one or two more, maybe there's one less. I just don't know. I don't remember. I didn't keep records.

But I'm giving you what I specifically remember and then what I generally remember. I'm doing the best to be helpful to you.

Q: Have you reviewed the records for December 28th, 1997, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Yes, sir, I have.

Q: Do you believe that Me. Lewinsky was at the White House and saw you on December 28th, 19977

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Yes, sir, I do.

Q: And do you remember talking with Ms. Lewinsky about her subpoena that she received for the Paula Jones case on that day?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I remember talking with Ms. Lewinsky about her testimony, or about the prospect that she might have to give testimony. And she, she talked to me about that. I remember that.

Q: And you also gave her Christmas gifts, is that not correct, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: That is correct. They were Christmas gifts and they were going-away gifts. She was moving to New York taking a new job, starting a new life. And I gave her some gifts.

Q: And you actually requested this meeting, is that not correct?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I don't remember that, Mr. Bittman, but it's quite possible that I invited her to come by before she left town. But usually when we met, she requested the meetings. And my recollection is, in 1997 she asked to meet with me several times when I could not meet with her and did not do so. But it's quite possible that I – that because she had given me a Christmas gift, and because she was leaving, that I invited her to come by the White House and get a couple of gifts before she left town. I don't remember who requested the meeting though. I'm sorry, I don't.

Q: You were alone with her on December 28, 1997, is that –

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Yes, sir.

Q: – right?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I was.

Q: The gifts that you gave her were a canvas bag from The Black Dog restaurant at Martha's vineyard, is that right?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, that was just, that was just something I had in the place to, to contain the gifts. But I believe that the gifts I gave her were – I put them in that bag. That's what I had there, and I knew she liked things from The Black Dog. So, I gave her – I think that's what I put the presents in. I remember what the presents were. I don't remember what the bag was I gave them in.

Q: Did you also give her a marble bear's head carving from Vancouver, Canada?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I did do that. I remember that.

Q: And you also gave her a Rockettes blanket; that is, the famous Rockettes from New York?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I did do that. I had that, I had had that in my possession for a couple of years but had never used it, and she was going to New York. So, I thought it would be a nice thing to give her.

Q: You gave her a box of cherry chocolates, is that right?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I don't remember that, sir. I mean, there could have been. I, I just don't remember. I remember giving the bear and the throw. I don't remember what else. And it seems to me like there was one other thing in that bag. I didn't remember the cherry chocolates.

Q: How about a pin of the New York skyline? Did you give –

PRESIDENT CLINTON: That –

Q: – her that?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: That could have been in there. I seem to remember I gave her some kind of pin.

Q: What about a pair of joke sunglasses?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I don't remember that. I'm not denying it. I just – I'm telling you what I remember and what I don't.

Q: You had given Ms. Lewinsky gifts on other occasions though, is that right, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Yes, I had.

Q: This, though, was – you gave her the most gifts that you had ever given her in a single day, is that right?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, that's probably true. It was sort of like a going-away present and a Christmas present as well. And she had given me a particularly nice book for Christmas, an antique book on Presidents. She knew that I collected old books and it was a very nice thing. And I just thought I ought to get up a few things and give them to her before she left.

   

Q: You mentioned that you discussed her subpoena in the Paula Jones case. Tell us specifically, what did you discuss?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: No, sir, that's not what I said. I said, my recollection is I knew by then, of course, that she had gotten a subpoena. And I knew that she was, therefore, was slated to testify. And she mentioned to me – and I believe it was at this meeting. She mentioned – I remember a conversation about the possibility of her testifying. I believe it must have occurred on the 28th. She mentioned to me that she did not want to testify. So, that's how it came up. Not in the context of, I heard you have a subpoena, let's talk about it. She raised the issue with me in the context of her desire to avoid testifying, which I certainly understood; not only because there were some embarrassing facts about our relationship that were inappropriate, but also because a whole lot of innocent people were being traumatized and dragged through the mud by these Jones lawyers with their dragnet strategy. They –

    Q: So –

PRESIDENT CLINTON: And so I – and since she didn't know Paula Jones and knew nothing about sexual harassment, and certainly had no experience with that, I, I clearly understood why she didn't want to be a part of it.

Q: And you didn't want her to testify, did you? You didn't want her to disclose these embarrassing facts of this inappropriate intimate relationship that you had, is that correct?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, I did not want her to have to testify and go through that. And, of course, I didn't want her to do that, of course not.

Q: Did you want those facts, not only the fact that she would testify, but did you want the facts that she had about your embarrassing inappropriate intimate relationship to be disclosed?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Not there, but not in any context. However, I, I never had any high confidence that they wouldn't be.

Q: Did anyone, as far as you knew, know about your embarrassing inappropriate intimate relationship that you had with Ms. Lewinsky?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: At that time, I was unaware that she had told anyone else about it. But if, if I had known that, it would not have surprised me.

Q: Had you told anyone?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Absolutely not.

Q: Had you tried, in fact, not to let anyone else know about this relationship?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, of course.

Q: What did you do?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, I never said anything about it, for one thing. And I did what people do when they do the wrong thing. I tried to do it where nobody else was looking at it.

Q: How many times did you do that?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, if you go back to my statement, I remember there were a few times in '96, I can't say with any certainty. There was once in early '97. After she left the White House, I do not believe I ever had any inappropriate contact with her in the rest of '96. There was one occasion in '97 when, regrettably, that we were together for a few minutes, I think about 20 minutes, and there was inappropriate contact. And after that, to the best of my memory and belief it did not occur again.

Q: Did you tell her in the conversation about her being subpoenaed – she was upset about it, you acknowledge that?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: (Witness nodded indicating an affirmative response.)

Q: I'm sorry, you have to respond for the record. Yes or no? Do you agree that she was upset about being subpoenaed?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Oh, yes, sir, she was upset. She – well, she – we – she didn't – we didn't talk about a subpoena. But she was upset. She said, I don't want to testify; I know nothing about this; I certainly know nothing about sexual harassment; why do they want me to testify. And I explained to her why they were doing this, and why all these women were on these lists, people that they knew good and well had nothing to do with any sexual harassment. I explained to her that it was a political lawsuit. They wanted to get whatever they could under oath that was damaging to me, and then they wanted to leak it in violation of the Judge's orders, and turn up their nose and say, well, you can't prove we did it. Now, that was ~their strategy. And that they were very frustrated because everything they leaked so far was old news. So, they desperately were trying to validate this massive amount of money they'd spent by finding some new news. And –

Q: You were familiar –

PRESIDENT CLINTON: – she didn't want to be caught up in that, and I didn't blame her.

Q: You were familiar, weren't you, Mr. President, that she had received a subpoena. You've already acknowledged that.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Yes, sir, I was.

Q: And Mr. Jordan informed you of that, is that right?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: No, sir. I believe – and I believe I testified to this in my deposition. I think the first person who told me that she had been subpoenaed was Bruce Lindsey. I think the first – and I was – in this deposition, it's a little bit cloudy, but I was trying to remember who the first person who told me was, because the question was, again as I remember it – could we go to that in the deposition, since you asked me that?

Q: Actually, I think you're – with all respect, I think you may be confusing when Mr. Lindsey – well, perhaps Mr. Lindsey did tell you she was subpoenaed, I don't know. But in your deposition, you were referring to Mr. Lindsey notifying you that she had been identified as a witness.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Where is that, sir? I don't want to get – I just want – what page is that?

Q: Well, actually –

PRESIDENT CLINTON: No, it had to be, because I saw a witness list much earlier than that.

Q: Much earlier that December 28?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Oh, sure. And it had been earlier than – she would – I believe Monica –

MR. KENDALL: Page 69.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I believe Monica Lewinsky's name was on a witness list earlier than she was subpoenaed.

BY MR. BITTMAN:

Q: Yes.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: So, I believe when I was answering this question, at least I thought I was answering when I found out – yes. See, there's – on page 68, "Did anyone other than your attorneys ever tell you that Monica Lewinsky had been served with a subpoena in this case?" Then I said, "I don't think so." Then I (sic) said, "Did you ever talk" to Monica "about the possibility that she might be asked to testify in this case?" Then I gave an answer that was nonresponsive, that really tried to finish the answer above. I said, "Bruce Lindsey, I think Bruce Lindsey told me that she was, I think maybe that's the first person told me she was. I want to be as accurate as I can."

And that – I believe that Bruce is the first person who told me that Monica had gotten a subpoena.

Q: Did you, in fact, have a conversation with Mr. Jordan on the evening of December 19, 1997, in which he talked to you about Monica being in Mr. Jordan's office, having a copy of the subpoena, and being upset about being subpoenaed?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I remembered that Mr. Jordan was in the White House on December 19th and for an event of some kind. That he came up to the Residence floor and told me that he had, that Monica had gotten a subpoena and, or that Monica was going to have to testify. And I think he told me he recommended a lawyer for her. I believe that's what happened. But it was a very brief conversation. He was there for some other reason.

Q: And if Mr. Jordan testified that he had also spoken to you at around 5 p.m., and the White House phone logs reflect this, that he called you at around the time he met with Ms. Lewinsky and informed you then that she had been subpoenaed, is that consistent with your memory? Also on the 19th?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I had a lot of phone conversations with Vernon about this. I didn't keep records of them. I now have some records. My memory is not clear and my testimony on that was not clear. I just knew that I talked to Vernon at some time, but I thought that Bruce was the first person who told me.

Q: But Mr. Jordan had also told you, is that right?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Yes. I now know I had a conversation with Mr. Jordan about it where he said something to me about that.

Q: And that was probably on the 19th, December 19th?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Well, I know I saw him on the 19th. So, I'm quite sure. And if he says he talked to me on the 19th, I believe he would have better records and I certainly think he's a truthful person.

Q: Getting back to your meeting with Ms. Lewinsky on December 28, you are aware that she's been subpoenaed. You are aware, are you not, Mr. President, that the subpoena called for the production of, among other things, all the gifts that you had given Ms. Lewinsky? You were aware of that on December 28th, weren't you?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I'm not sure. And I understand this is an important question. I did have a conversation with Ms. Lewinsky at some time about gifts, the gifts I'd given her. I do not know whether it occurred on the 28th, or whether it occurred earlier. I do not know whether it occurred in person or whether it occurred on the telephone. I have searched my memory for this, because I know it's an important issue.

Perhaps if you – I can tell you what I remember about the conversation and you can see why I'm having trouble placing the date.

Q: Please.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: The reason I'm not sure it happened on the 28th is that my recollection is that Ms. Lewinsky said something to me like, what if they ask me about the gifts you've given me. That's the memory I have. That's why I question whether it happened on the 28th, because she had a subpoena with her, request for production. And I told her that if they asked her for gifts, she'd have to give them whatever she had, that that's what the law was. And let me also tell you, Mr. Bittman, if you go back and look at my testimony here, I actually asked the Jones lawyers for help on one occasion, when they were asking me what gifts I had given her, so they could – I was never hung up about this gift issue. Maybe it's because I have a different experience. But, you know, the President gets hundreds of gifts a year, maybe more. I have always given a lot of gifts to people, especially if they give me gifts.

And this was no big deal to me. I mean, it's nice. I enjoy it. I gave dozens of personal gifts to people last Christmas. I give gifts to people all the time. Friends of mine give me gifts all the mime, give me ties, give me books, give me other things. So, it was just not a big deal. And I told Ms. Lewinsky that, just – I said, you know, if they ask you for this, you'll have to give them whatever you have. And I think, Mr. Bittman, it must have happened before then, because – either that, or Ms. Lewinsky didn't want to tell me that she had the subpoena, because that was the language I remember her using.

Q: Well, didn't she tell you, Mr. President, that the subpoena specifically called for a hat pin that you had produced, pardon me, that you had given her?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: I don't remember that. I remember – sir, I've told you what I remember. That doesn't mean that my memory is accurate. A lot of things have happened in the last several months, and a lot of things were happening then. But my memory is she asked me a general question about gifts. And my memory is she asked me in the hypothetical. So, it's possible that I had a conversation with her before she got a subpoena. Or it's possible she didn't want to tell me that was part of the subpoena. I don't know. But she may have been worried about this gift business.

But it didn't bother me. My experience was totally different. I told her, I said, look, the way these things work is, when a person get a subpoena, you have to give them whatever you have; that's what's the rule, that's what the law is. And when I was asked about this in my deposition, even though I was not trying to be helpful particularly to these people that I thought were not well-motivated, or being honest or even lawful in their conduct vis-a-vis me, that is, the Jones legal team, I did ask them specifically to enumerate the gifts. I asked them to help me because I couldn't remember the specifics. So, all I'm saying is, it didn't – I wasn't troubled by this gift issue.

Q: And your testimony is that Ms. Lewinsky was concerned about her turning over any gifts that you had given her, and that your recommendation to her was, absolutely, Monica, you have to produce everything that I have given you. Is that your testimony?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: My testimony is what I have said, and let me reiterate it. I don't want to agree to a characterization of it. I want to just say what it was.

My testimony is that my memory is that on some day in December, and I'm sorry I don't remember when it was, she said, well, what if they ask me about the gifts you have given me. And I said, well, if you get a request to produce those, you have to give them whatever you have. And it just, to me, it – I don't – I didn't then, I don't now see this as a problem. And if she thought it was a problem, I think it – it must have been from a, really, misapprehension of the circumstances. I certainly never encouraged her not to, to comply lawfully with a subpoena.

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Copyright © 1998 by Federal News Service, Inc. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's original duties. Transcripts of other events may be found at the Federal News Service Web site, located at www.fnsg.com.

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