THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
Jan. 14: Hutchinson on Evidence in the Case
From the Congressional Record
Mr. Manager HUTCHINSON. Mr. Chief Justice, Senators, I am Asa Hutchinson, a Member of Congress from the Third Congressional District of Arkansas. I am grateful for this opportunity, although it comes with deep regret, to be before you. I do want to tell you in advance that we have presented to you, on your tables, a selection of charts that I will be referring to here so everyone will have the advantage of being able to see at least in some fashion the charts to which I will be referring. And we will have the charts here as well.
This is certainly a humbling experience for a smalltown lawyer. I learned to love and to respect the law trying cases in the courtrooms of rural Arkansas. The scene is different in this setting, in this historic Chamber with the Chief Justice presiding and Senators sitting as jurors. But what is at stake remains the same.
In every case heard in every courtroom across this great country, it is the truth, it is justice, it is the law that are at stake. In this journey on Earth, there is nothing of greater consequence for us to devote our energies than to search for the truth, to pursue equal justice and to uphold the law. It is for those reasons that I serve as a manager. And as you, I hope that I can help in some way to bring this matter to a conclusion for our country. This afternoon I will be discussing the evidence and the testimony from witnesses that we do hope to call, and during my presentation I will be focusing on the evidence that demonstrates obstruction of justice under article II.
You might wonder, well, why are we going to article II before we have covered article I on perjury? And the answer is that in a chronological flow, article II, the obstruction facts, precede much of the perjury allegations. And so, following my presentation, Manager Rogan will present article I on perjury.
The presentation I make will be based upon the record, the evidence, the facts that have been accumulated, and I want you to know that I am going to be presenting those facts, and from time to time I will argue those facts. I believe they are well supported in the record, but I urge each of you, if you ever find anything that you question, to search the record and verify the facts, because I do not intend to misrepresent anything to this body. In fact, we will be submitting to each of your offices my presentation with annotations to the record, to the grand jury transcripts which will tie in the facts that I present to you. Again, I believe and trust that you will find that they are well supported.
So let's start with obstruction of justice. Later on, there will be a full discussion of the law on obstruction of justice, but for our purposes, it is simply any corrupt act or attempt to influence or impede the proper functioning of our system of justice. It is a criminal offense, a felony, and it has historically been an impeachable offense.
Let me first say, it is not a crime nor an impeachable offense to engage in inappropriate personal conduct. Nor is it a crime to obstruct or conceal personal embarrassing facts or relationships. It might be offensive, but there are no constitutional consequences. But as we go through the facts of the case, the evidence will show in this case that there was a scheme that was developed to obstruct the administration of justice, and that is illegal. And the obstruction of justice is of great consequence and significance to the integrity of our Nation when committed by anyone, but particularly by the Chief Executive of our land, the President of the United States.
Mr. Bryant took us factually up to a certain point pertaining to the job search. This is chart No. 1 that you have before you. This puts it in perspective a little bit, and just for a brief review. You go back in the calendar, back into October. That is when Ms. Lewinsky sends the President her wish list for a list of jobs. And then shortly after that, Ms. Currie faxes Lewinsky the resume to Ambassador Richardson, and Ambassador Richardson gets involved in the job search.
October 30, the President promised to arrange a meeting between Lewinsky and Jordan. This was set up in November. It was actually November 5. But preceding that, there was a job offer at the United Nations extended to Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Lewinsky decided that she was not interested in a job at the United Nations, she wanted to go into the private sector. And so that was the purpose on November 5 of the meeting between Jordan and Lewinsky. That is when Mr. Jordan says, 'We're in business.' But the facts will show that there was nothing really done in November, and that is when I will get in a little bit more to my presentation, and then I will get into December when some things happened there that picked up speed on this issue.
The obstruction, for our purposes, started on December 5, 1997, and that is when the witness list from the Paula Jones case was faxed to the President's lawyers. At that point, the wheels of obstruction started rolling, and they did not stop until the President successfully blocked the truth from coming out in the civil rights case.
These acts of obstruction included attempts to improperly influence a witness in a civil rights case--that is Monica Lewinsky--the procurement and filing of a false affidavit in the case; unlawful attempts to influence the testimony of a key witness, Betty Currie; the willful concealment of evidence under subpoena in that case, which are the gifts of December 28; and illegally influencing the testimony of witnesses--that is the aides who testified before the grand jury--before the grand jury of the United States. Each of these areas of obstruction will be covered in my presentation today.
As I said, it began on Friday, December 5, when the witness list came from the Paula Jones case. Shortly thereafter, the President learned that the list included Monica Lewinsky. This had to be startling news to the President, because if the truth about his relationship with a subordinate employee was known, the civil rights case against him would be strengthened and it might have totally changed the outcome.
But to compound the problem, less than a week later, Judge Wright, Federal district judge in Arkansas, on December 11, issued an order, and that order directed that the President had to answer questions concerning other relationships that he might have had during a particular timeframe with any State or Federal employee. And when I say 'relationships,' I am speaking of sexual relationships. So Judge Wright entered the order that is not in your stack, but I have it here. It was filed on December 11 in the district court in Arkansas and directs the President that he has to answer those questions within a timeframe, as Mr. Bryant said, which is typical in a civil rights case of this nature.
The White House knew that Monica was on the witness list. The President knew that it was likely that she would be subpoenaed as a witness and that her truthful testimony would hurt his case.
What did the President do? What he had to do was he made sure that Monica Lewinsky was on his team and under control. And then on December 17, the President finally called Ms. Lewinsky to let her know she was on the list. This was a call between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. in the morning.
Now, what happened in the time between the President learning Monica Lewinsky was on the list and when he notified her of that fact on December 17 is very important. The President, during that timeframe, talked to his friend, his confidante and his problem-solver, Vernon Jordan. Mr. Jordan had come to the President's rescue on previous occasions. He was instrumental in securing consulting contracts for Mr. Webb Hubbell while Mr. Hubbell was under investigation by the independent counsel.
Let me parenthetically go to that point, right before Mr. Hubbell announced his resignation from the Justice Department.
During that timeframe, there was a meeting at the White House in which the President, the First Lady and others were present. After that meeting, Vernon Jordan agreed to help obtain financial assistance for Mr. Hubbell. Mr. Jordan then introduced Mr. Hubbell to the 'right people.' The introduction was successful, and Mr. Hubbell obtained a $100,000 contract. The 'right people' that Mr. Jordan contacted happened to be the same right people for both Mr. Hubbell and ultimately for Monica Lewinsky, which is the parent company of Revlon. So the President was aware that Mr. Jordan had the contacts and the track record to be of assistance to the President in delicate matters.
Now let's go back a little. Monica Lewinsky had been looking for a good-paying and high-profile job in New York, since the previous July, as I pointed out.
She had been offered a job at the United Nations, but she wanted to work in the private sector. She was not having much success, and then in early November it was Betty Currie who arranged a meeting with Vernon Jordan, which was ultimately on November 5. At this meeting, Ms. Lewinsky met with Mr. Jordan for about 20 minutes.
Now, let's refer to Mr. Vernon Jordan's grand jury testimony on that meeting that occurred on November 5. And you have that, and it should be your chart No. 2, or exhibit 2.
As Mr. Jordan testified before the Federal grand jury on March 3, 1998, in reference to the November 5 meeting, he testifies:
I have no recollection of an early November meeting with Ms. Monica Lewinsky. I have absolutely no recollection of it and I have no record of it.
He goes on to testify, at page 76 of the grand jury testimony. Question:
Is it fair to say that back in November getting Monica Lewinsky a job on any fast pace was not any priority of yours?
I think that's fair to say.
Now, let's stop there for a moment. What happened as a result of this meeting? No action followed whatsoever. No job interviews were arranged and there were no further contacts with Mr. Jordan. Mr. Jordan made no effort to find a job for Ms. Lewinsky for over a month. Indeed, it was so unimportant to him that he 'had no recollection of an early November meeting,' and, in fact, he testified finding her a job was not a priority. And then you will see that during this timeframe the President's attitude was exactly the same.
And so look at the same exhibit 2, the last item on that chart, where it refers to Monica Lewinsky's grand jury testimony. And there she is referring to a December 6 meeting with the President.
I think I said that . . . I was supposed to get in touch with Mr. Jordan the previous week and that things did not work out and that nothing had really happened yet [on the job front].
And the question was:
Did the President say what he was going to do?
I think he said he would--you know, this was sort of typical of him, to sort of say, 'Oh I'll talk to him. I'll get on it.'
So you can see from that that it was not a high priority for the President, either. It was: Sure, I'll get to that. I will do that.
It was clear from Monica Lewinsky that nothing was happening.
But then the President's attitude suddenly changed. What started out as a favor for Betty Currie dramatically changed after Ms. Lewinsky became a witness, and the judge's order was issued, again, on December 11. And at that time, the President talked personally--personally--to Mr. Jordan and requested his help in getting Ms. Lewinsky a job. And that would be, again, back on exhibit 2 on that chart, the third item of testimony there; back to Mr. Jordan, his grand jury testimony, May 5, 1998.
The question is:
But what is also clear is that as of this date, December 11th, you are clear that at that point you had made a decision that you would try to make some calls to help get her a job.
There is no question about that.
And so what triggered--let's look at the chain of events. The witness list came in. The judge's order came in. That triggered the President to action. And the President triggered Vernon Jordan into action. That chain reaction here is what moved the job search along.
Now, if we had Mr. Jordan on the witness stand--which I hope to be able to call Mr. Jordan--you would need to probe where his loyalties lie, listen to the tone of his voice, look into his eyes and determine the truthfulness of his statements. You must decide whether he is telling the truth or withholding information.
And so let's go to exhibit 3 in your booklet. Again, recalling Mr. Jordan, he testifies about that meeting. He testifies, in his March 3, 1998, grand jury testimony:
I am certain after the 11th that I had a conversation with the President and as a part of that conversation I said to him that Betty Currie had called me about Monica Lewinsky. And the conversation was that he knew about her situation which was that she was pushed out of the White House, that she wanted to go to New York and he thanked me for helping her.
Remember what else happened on that day, again, the same day that Judge Wright ruled that the questions about other relationships could be asked by the Jones' attorneys.
Now, let's go back again to Mr. Jordan's testimony. What does he say about the involvement of the President of the United
States in regard to these jobs? You look at exhibit 4. That is in your booklet. This is, again, Vernon Jordan's grand jury transcript of June 9, 1998.
Now, the question is on a different issue. The question is about why did he tell the White House that Frank Carter--Frank Carter was the attorney for Monica Lewinsky that Vernon Jordan arranged and introduced to Monica Lewinsky. He was hired. And at whatever point he was terminated, then Vernon Jordan notified the President. So the question relates to that:
Why are you trying to tell someone at the White House that this has happened, [Carter had been fired]?
Thought they had a right to know.
And here is the answer that is critical for my point:
The President asked me to get Monica Lewinsky a job. I got her a lawyer. The Drudge Report is out and she has new counsel. I thought that was information that they ought to have. . . .
'The President asked me to get Monica Lewinsky a job.' Clear, straightforward testimony; no doubt about it.
Then go on down to page 58 of his grand jury testimony of June 9.
Why did you think the President needed to know that Frank Carter had been replaced?
Information. He knew that I had gotten her a job, he knew that I had gotten her a lawyer. Information. He was interested in this matter. He is the source of it coming to my attention in the first place.
'He is the source of it coming to my attention in the first place.' Remember he had already met with Betty Currie. Nothing was happening in the November timeframe. Nothing was happening. Vernon Jordan--it was not a priority. Then the President of the United States called him, and it became a priority. And that is who he was acting for in trying to get Monica Lewinsky a job.
At this point we do not know all that the President was telling Vernon Jordan, but we do know that there were numerous calls back and forth between Mr. Jordan and the President. There were numerous calls being made by Mr. Jordan on behalf of Monica Lewinsky searching for a job, and that despite the fact that Monica Lewinsky did not know that she was witnessed--she did not know she was a witness--the President knew that she was a witness during his intensified efforts to get her a job.
Now, the President's counselors have made a defense that the job search started before Monica Lewinsky was a witness and there was nothing wrong with that. My response to that is, it is true there is nothing wrong with a public official, under the right circumstances, helping someone get a job. And what might have started out being innocent, if you accept that argument, crossed the line--crossed the line--whenever it was tied and interconnected with the President's desire to get a false affidavit from Monica Lewinsky, and whenever the job is out there and preparing the false affidavit, you will see that they are totally interconnected, intertwined, interrelated; and that is where the line has crossed into obstruction.
For example, when the President was waiting on Ms. Lewinsky to sign the false affidavit in the Jones case during the critical time in January a problem developed. The job interviews were unproductive, despite the numerous calls by Mr. Jordan. On one particular day, Monica called Mr. Jordan and said the interview with Revlon did not go well. Mr. Jordan, what did he do? He picked up the phone to the CEO of--the president of the company, Mr. Perlman, to, as Vernon Jordan testified, 'make things happen--if they could happen.' That is the request from Mr. Jordan to the CEO of a company, after a job interview with Monica Lewinsky did not go well.
What happened? Things happened. He did, he made things happen. Monica Lewinsky got a job. The affidavit was signed and the President was informed by Mr. Jordan, through Betty Currie, that the mission was accomplished.
The question here is not why did the President do a favor for an ex-intern, but why did he use the influence of his office to make sure it happened? The answer is that he was willing to obstruct, impede justice by improperly influencing a witness in order to protect himself in a civil rights case.
The next step in the obstruction is the false affidavit. This is directly related to the job mission. The President needed the signature of Monica Lewinsky on the false affidavit, and that was assured by the efforts to secure her a job. Again, the President brought Ms. Lewinsky into the loop on December 17. Over 10 days after the witness list was received by the President, the President was ready to tell Monica the news.
That timeframe is important. He gets the witness list. He could have called Monica Lewinsky immediately, but he needed 7 days because he needed to make sure the job situation was in gear. And in fact, the day after, if you look back on exhibit 1, you will see that the day after the December 17 timeframe that she was informed that she was on the witness list, the next day she already had lined up job interviews for her. So she felt confident. But she was notified on December 17. Between 2 and 2:30 a.m., her phone rang. It was the President of the United States. The President said that he had seen the witness list in the case and her name was on it. Ms. Lewinsky asked what she should do if subpoenaed, and the President responded, 'Well, maybe you can sign an affidavit.'
Well, how would this work? Both parties knew that the affidavit would need to be false and misleading in order to accomplish the desired result. Clearly, truthful testimony by Monica Lewinsky would make her a witness, would not keep her away from testifying. Only a false affidavit would avoid the deposition.
So look at what I have marked as exhibit 4.1, which is just a review of the key dates on this job search. Again, November 5 was the first meeting between Jordan and Ms. Lewinsky. In November nothing happened. According to Jordan, 'not a high priority.' December 5, the President receives the witness list. The 11th, things intensify with Judge Wright's order. The 11th, the President talks to Mr. Jordan about the job for Monica. He gets into action. On the 17th, they are ready to tell Monica that she is on the witness list. And then, on the 19th, she is actually served with a subpoena. Again, remember, after she was finally notified, it was the next day that she had the job interviews.
Now, still we will spend some time on the December 17 conversation, the day that Monica Lewinsky was notified that she was on the witness list. During that conversation, the President had a very pointed suggestion for Ms. Lewinsky in a suggestion that left no doubt about his purpose and the intended consequences. He did not say specifically, 'Go in and lie.' This is something that you will hear, and Monica Lewinsky testified in her grand jury testimony: 'The President never told me to lie.'
How do you tell people to lie? You can tell them the facts that they can use that would, in substance, be a false statement; or you can say, 'Go in and lie and make up your own false testimony.' The President chose to give her the ideas as to what she could testify to that would be false, but he never said the words, 'You need to go in and lie.' So what he did say to her was, 'You know, you can always say you were coming to see Betty or that you were bringing me letters.'
That, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, is a false representation, is a false statement that he is telling Ms. Lewinsky to utter. Remember, at this point the President knows she is a witness, and what does he do? As evidenced by the testimony of Monica Lewinsky, he encourages her to lie, to say, 'You can always say you were coming to see Betty or that you were bringing me letters.'
It should also be remembered that the President, when questioned about encouraging Monica Lewinsky to lie, has denied these allegations, and therefore there is certainly a conflict in the testimony. It is our belief that Ms. Lewinsky's testimony is credible and she has the motive to tell the truth because of her immunity agreement with the independent counsel, where she gets in trouble only if she lies; whereas the President has the motive to cover up and to testify falsely.
In order to understand the significance of this statement made by the President, it is necessary to recall the cover stories that the President and Ms. Lewinsky had previously concocted in order to deceive those people who might inquire. It was to deceive those people that they worked with. The difference in the initial cover stories, though, to protect the President and Monica from an embarrassing personal relationship, from friends and coworkers and the media, now it is in a different arena, with the pending civil rights case and Ms. Lewinsky being on the witness list.
Despite the legal responsibilities, the President made the decision to continue the pattern of lying which ultimately became an obstruction of the administration of justice. We are still on December 17, when the President called Monica at 2 a.m. on that particular day to tell her she was on the witness list,
to remind her of the cover stories. Monica Lewinsky testified, when the President brought up the cover story, she understood that the two of them would continue their preexisting pattern of deception and it became clear that the President had no intention of making his relationship with a subordinate Federal employee an issue in that civil rights case, no matter what the Federal courts told him he needed to answer. And he used lies, deceit, and deception to carry out that purpose.
It is interesting to note that the President, when he was asked by the grand jury whether he remembered calling Monica Lewinsky at 2 a.m. on that December 17th day, responded, 'No, sir, I don't, but it is quite possible that that happened.' When he was asked whether he encouraged Monica Lewinsky to continue the cover stories of coming to see Betty or bringing letters, he answered, 'I don't remember exactly what I told her that night.'
This is not a denial, and therefore I believe you should accept the testimony of Monica Lewinsky. If you say in your mind, well, I'm not going to believe her, then you should first give us the opportunity to present this witness so that you as jurors can fairly and honestly determine her credibility.
As expected, 2 days later, on December 19, Ms. Lewinsky received a subpoena to testify in the Jones case. This sets about an immediate flurry of activity. There are a series of telephone calls between Ms. Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, the President, and his staff. You will see this pattern of telephone calls repeated and generated at any point in time when it appears that the truth may be told in the civil rights case.
Now, let's look at exhibit 5, which is the activity on Friday, December 19. This is the day that Monica Lewinsky is served with a subpoena. Now, after Mr. Jordan is notified that Monica Lewinsky is served with a subpoena, what does he do? In the 3:51-3:52 notation, Jordan telephones the President and talks to Debra Schiff, his assistant. The subpoena is issued. Monica calls Jordan and Jordan immediately calls the President. 'Lewinsky meets with Jordan and requests that Jordan notify the President about her subpoena'--this is at 4:47 p.m.
Presumably in the middle of that meeting, at 5:01 p.m., the President of the United States telephones Mr. Jordan and Jordan notifies the President about Ms. Lewinsky's subpoena.
Then that is whenever he arranged for Ms. Lewinsky's attorney--'Jordan telephones attorney Carter'--for representation, and that night, Vernon Jordan goes to the White House to meet privately with the President on these particular issues.
Now, in that meeting--and I am speaking of the meeting that happened late that night at the White House--Mr. Jordan told the President again that Ms. Lewinsky had been subpoenaed and related to the President the substance and details of his meeting with Ms. Lewinsky. It wasn't a casual consideration; the details were discussed, including her fascination with the President and other such issues.
This led Mr. Jordan to ask the President about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, and the response by the President of the United States was the first of many denials to his friends and aides. The President stated in his deposition that he does not recall that meeting.
But you should remind yourselves of the testimony and the description provided by Vernon Jordan when he said, 'The President has an extraordinary memory.' In fact, we all know that he is world famous for that memory.
Now, the subpoena had been delivered, but the testimony of Monica Lewinsky was not scheduled until January 23, and the President's deposition, which was even more critical, was not scheduled until January 17. So the President and his team had some time to work. The work was not the business of the Nation, it was the distraction and self-preservation in the civil rights case.
Under the plan, Mr. Jordan would be the buffer; he would obtain an attorney--Mr. Carter--and that attorney would keep Mr. Jordan informed on the progress of the representation, including reviewing any copy of the affidavit, knowing about the motion to quash, and the general progress of the representation. All along the way, when Mr. Jordan gets information, what does he do with that? Mr. Jordan keeps the President informed both about the affidavit and the prospects of the job in New York, for which Ms. Lewinsky was totally dependent on the help of her friends in high places.
Let me go back again. There is nothing wrong with helping somebody get a job. But we all know there is one thing forbidden in public office: We must avoid quid pro quo, which is: This is for that. But Vernon Jordan testified he kept the President informed on the status of the false affidavit, the job search, and the status of Ms. Lewinsky's representation. Why? Is this just idle chatter with the President of the United States, or are these matters the President is vitally interested in and, in fact, coordinated? Mr. Jordan answers this question himself on page 25 of his grand jury testimony, where he testified, 'I knew the President was concerned about the affidavit and whether or not it was signed. He was obviously.' That was his March 5, 1998, grand jury testimony. The President was concerned not just about the affidavit but specifically about whether it was signed.
The President knew that Monica Lewinsky was going to make a false affidavit. He was so certain of the contents that when Monica Lewinsky asked if he wanted to see it, he told her no, that he had seen 15 of them. Besides, the President had suggested the affidavit himself, and he trusted Mr. Jordan to be certain to keep things under control. In fact, that was one of the main purposes of Mr. Jordan's continued communication with Monica Lewinsky's attorney, Frank Carter.
Even though Mr. Jordan testifies at one point he never had any substantive discussions on the representation with Mr. Carter, he contradicts himself in his March 3 grand jury testimony where he states: 'Mr. Carter at some point told me--this is after January--that she had signed the affidavit, that he had filed a motion to quash her subpoena and that--I mean, there was no reason for accountability, but he reassured me that he had things under control.'
Mr. Jordan was aware of the substance of the drafting of the affidavit, the representation, the motion to quash, and even had a part in the redrafting. This was clearly important to Mr. Jordan and clearly important to the President.
Now, let's go to the time when the false affidavit was actually signed, January 5, 1998. These will be exhibits 7, 8, and 9 in front of you. Let's go to January 5. This is sort of a summary of what happened on that day. Ms. Lewinsky meets with
her attorney, Mr. Carter, for an hour. Carter drafts the affidavit for Ms. Lewinsky on the deposition. In the second paragraph, Ms. Lewinsky telephones Betty Currie, stating that she needs to speak to the President, that this is about an important matter; specifically, that she was anxious about something she needed to sign--an affidavit. Frank Carter drafts the affidavit she is concerned about. She calls the President. The President returns Ms. Lewinsky's call.
Big question: Should the President return Ms. Lewinsky's call? He does, that day, quickly. Ms. Lewinsky mentions the affidavit she is signing and offers to show it to the President. That is where he says no, he had seen 15 others.
Let's go to the next day. The next exhibit is January 6. On this particular day, Ms. Lewinsky picks up the draft affidavit. At 2:08 to 2:10 p.m., she delivers that affidavit. To whom? Mr. Jordan. That is after she got it. She delivers it to Jordan. And then, at 3:26 p.m., Mr. Jordan telephones Mr. Carter. At 3:38, Mr. Jordan telephones Nancy Hernreich of the White House. At 3:48, he telephones Ms. Lewinsky about the draft affidavit, and, at 3:49, you will see in red that both agree to delete a portion of the affidavit that created some implication that maybe she had been alone with the President.
So Mr. Jordan was very involved in drafting the affidavit and the contents of that.
And then at 4:19, presumably in response to some of the calls by Jordan earlier in the day, the President telephones Mr. Jordan and they have a discussion. And then Mr. Jordan telephones Carter and the conversations go back and forth. At the end of the day, Mr. Jordan telephones the White House. So the affidavit is still in the drafting process.
Let's go to the next day, exhibit 9. Monica signs the affidavit here. At 10 a.m., Ms. Lewinsky signs a false affidavit in Mr. Carter's office. Then she delivers the signed affidavit to Mr. Jordan. And then what does he do? The usual. At 11:58, Mr. Jordan telephones the White House. At 5:46, Mr. Jordan telephones the White House. At 6:50, Mr. Jordan telephones the White House and tells the President that Ms. Lewinsky signed the affidavit.
Is this important information for the President, to know he was vitally interested in it?
The next day, exhibit 10, January 8. After it is signed, what is important the next day? It was the other part of the arrangement, that she has the job interview with MacAndrews in New York. She had that job interview. The only problem was that it went poorly, very poorly. So at 4:48 p.m. on this particular day, Ms. Lewinsky telephones Jordan and advises that the New York interview went 'very poorly.'
What does Mr. Jordan do? He telephones Ron Perelman, the CEO of Revlon, the subsidiary of MFH, to make things happen if they could happen. What does he do next? Jordan telephones Ms. Lewinsky, saying, 'I'm doing the best I can to help you out.' And they set up another interview for the next day. Jordan telephones the White House Counsel's Office, and, in the evening, Revlon in New York telephones Ms. Lewinsky to set up a follow-up interview. They said the first interview didn't go well, but because Mr. Jordan intercedes--and why? Because the false affidavit has been signed and he wants to make sure this is carried out. At 9:02 p.m., Ms. Lewinsky telephones Jordan about the Revlon interview in New York, and presumably it went better on that particular day.
Then on January 9--exhibit 11--Monica is confirmed that she has the job. Lewinsky is offered the Revlon job in New York, and accepts.
Lewinsky telephones Jordan. And then, at 4:14, Jordan notifies Currie, calls Betty Currie, and says 'Mission accomplished,' and requests that she tell the President. Jordan notifies the President of Lewinsky's job offer, and says, 'Thank you, very much, Mr. President.' And then, that evening, the President telephones Currie, and so on. But the President is notified that the job has been secured, 'mission accomplished.'
Let me ask you a question, after I have gone through these exhibits. Would Mr. Jordan have pushed for a second interview without cooperation on the affidavit? Would Monica Lewinsky have received the support and secured the job if she had said 'I don't want to sign an affidavit; I am just going to go in there and tell the truth; whatever they ask me, I am going to answer; I am going to tell the truth?' Does anyone in this room believe that she would have been granted the job--if Mr. Jordan had made that call to get that second interview--that she would ever have had the help from her friend in high places? Now the affidavit has been signed. The job is secure. Monica Lewinsky is on the team, and the President of the United States is armed for the deposition.
So let's move there.
Just how important was Monica Lewinsky's false affidavit to the President's deposition? Let's look. What did the President's attorney, Robert Bennett, say about that affidavit to the Federal judge during the deposition? That false affidavit allowed Mr. Bennett, the attorney for Mr. Clinton, when talking about the question of whether the relationship between the President and Ms. Lewinsky--it allowed him to assert that ' . . . there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form with President Clinton * * *.'
That is a statement of Robert Bennett--his representation to the court about that relationship. It is a representation that he had to later, probably based upon his own professional embarrassment, withdraw, and to correct that inaccurate part of the record.
When questioned by his own attorney in the deposition, the President stated specifically the key paragraph of Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit was 'absolutely true.'
Paragraph 8 of her affidavit states:
I have never had a sexual relationship with the President. . . .
If it enters your mind at this point as to what was meant by 'sexual relationship,' please remember that this affidavit was drafted upon a common understanding of that phrase at that point, and not based upon any definition used in the deposition of the President.
I am sure it was the President's hope and belief that the false affidavit used in the deposition to bolster his own testimony would be the end of the matter. But that was not the case. We know in life that one lie leads to another. And so it is when we attempt to thwart the administration of justice--one obstruction leads to another.
Now we move to another key witness, Betty Currie.
By the time the President concluded his deposition, he knew there were too many details out about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. He knew that the only person who would probably be talking was Ms. Lewinsky herself. He knew the cover story that he had carefully created and that was converted into false statements in the affidavit was now in jeopardy and had to be backed at this point by the key witnesses, Monica Lewinsky and Betty Currie. After the deposition, the President needed to do two things: He had to contact Ms. Lewinsky to see if she was still on the team, but he also had to make sure that his secretary, Betty Currie was lying to protect him. So let's look at how the concern became a frenzied and concerted effort to keep the holes plugged in the dike.
Let's look at exhibits 12 and 13.
What happened on the day the deposition--really the night of the deposition--on January 17. The President finishes testifying in the deposition around 4 p.m. At 5:38 p.m., the President telephones Mr. Jordan at home. And then, at 7:13, the President telephones Ms. Currie at home. At 7:02, the President places a call to Mr. Jordan's office. And then, at 7:13, he gets Ms. Currie at home finally, and asks her to meet with him on Sunday. It is vitally important that he meet with Ms. Currie at this point because he knows his whole operation is coming unglued.
So the next day, on January 18, which is exhibit 13, there is a whole flurry of activity here.
I am not going to go through all of them. You can see the frantic pace at the White House because at 6:11 in the morning, the President had some more bad news. The Drudge Report was released. And that created a greater flurry. Then between 11:49 and 2:55 p.m., two phone calls were made between Mr. Jordan and the President.
Then, at 5 p.m., we see the meetings. That is on the second page. At 5 p.m., Ms. Currie meets with the President.
And the President then tells Ms. Currie to find Monica Lewinsky. The telephone calls were generated, and there was no success in that.
Then, that evening the President calls Ms. Currie at home to try once again to see if she had found Monica.
But it was on that day that there was that critical meeting on that Sunday in the Oval Office between Betty Currie and the President of the United States.
For that reason, we need next to hear from Betty Currie, the President's personal secretary, as to what occurred during that most unusual meeting on Sunday following the deposition.
Betty Currie testified in the grand jury that the President said that he had just been deposed and that the attorneys had asked several questions about Monica Lewinsky. This is a violation of the judge's gag order. And the President, you know, made some comments that were not in line. But he had some choices to make, and he made the wrong choices.
But let's look at exhibit 14, which covers the series of statements made to Ms. Currie. At this point there is the testimony of Betty Currie. She is reciting to the grand jury each of the statements the President made to her after his grand jury testimony.
The first: 'I was never really alone with Monica, right?'
Second: 'You were always there when Monica was there, right?'
'Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right?'
I am not going to read each one of those. You can read them. You have heard those as well.
But the President is making those simple declaratory statements to her.
There are three areas that are covered.
First of all, the President makes a case that he was never alone with Monica Lewinsky.
Second, he is making a point to her that 'she was the aggressor, not me.'
The third point he is making, 'I did nothing wrong.'
Those are the basic three points of those five statements that the President made to Betty Currie.
During Betty Currie's grand jury testimony she was asked whether she believed that the President wished her to agree to the statements.
Let's look at Betty Currie for a second. She is the classical reluctant witness. Where are her loyalties? How would you examine her testimony? Where is she uncomfortable in her testimony when she is asked the question? How does she shift in the chair? Those are the kind of ways you have to evaluate the truthfulness of the testimony, where their loyalties lie, and their demeanor.
During the questioning she was clearly reluctant.
She was asked a series of questions, and she finally acknowledges that the President was intending for her to agree with the statements that were made. She says, 'That is correct.' And that is page 74 of Betty Currie's grand jury testimony.
When the President testified in the August 17 grand jury, he was questioned about his intentions when he made those five statements to Ms. Currie in his office on that Sunday. And the President's explanation is as follows to the grand jury:
. . . I thought we were going to be deluged by the press comments. And I was trying to refresh my memory about what the facts were.
Then he goes on to testify:
So, I was not trying to get Betty Currie to say something that was untruthful. I was trying to get as much information as quickly as I could.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, you have to determine what the purpose of those five statements to Betty Currie were. Were they to get information, or were they to get her to falsely testify when she was called as a witness? Logic tells us that the President's argument was that he was just trying to refresh his memory. Well, so much of a novel legal defense argument.
First, consider the President's options after he left the deposition.
He could have abided by the judge's gag order and not say anything.
Second, he could have called Betty Currie in and asked her an open-ended question: Ms. Currie, or Betty, what do you remember happened?
The third option was to call her in and to make these declaratory statements, violate the judge's order, and tamper with the anticipated testimony of Betty Currie.
That is the course that the President chose. He made sure it was a face-to-face meeting, not a telephone call. He made sure that no one else was present. He made sure that the meeting was on his territory and in his office where he could feel comfortable and he could utilize the power and prestige of his office to have the greatest influence on her future testimony.
After Ms. Currie was in the President's office, he made short, clear, understandable, declarative statements telling Ms. Currie what the story was. He was not interested in what she knew. Why? Because he knew the truth, but he did not want Ms. Currie to tell the truth. The only way to ensure that was by telling her what to say, not asking her what she remembered. You do not refresh someone's memory by telling that person what he or she remembers, and you certainly do not make the declarative statements to someone regarding factual scenarios of which the listener was unaware.
The statements that were made to her, Betty Currie could not have any possible knowledge about as to whether they were ever alone, as to whether she came on to him. No. This was not any attempt for the President to refresh his recollection. It was witness tampering, pure and simple.
Understanding the seriousness of the President's attempting to influence the testimony of Ms. Currie, his attorneys have tried to argue that those statements could not constitute obstruction of justice because she had not been subpoenaed and the President did not know that she was a potential witness at this time. Well, the argument is refuted by both the law and the facts.
The law is clear that a person may be convicted of obstructing justice if he corruptly influenced the testimony of a prospective witness. The witness does not actually have to give testimony. The witness does not have to be under any subpoena. The witness does not have to be on any witness list. And so the law is clear.
Secondly, let's examine the defense in light of the facts. The President himself brought Ms. Currie into the civil rights case as a corroborating witness when he repeatedly used her name in the deposition, and just as significantly the President had to be concerned about a looming perjury charge against him in light of his false testimony in the deposition. At least six times in that deposition the President challenged the plaintiff's attorneys to question Ms. Currie about the particular issue.
You don't have it in front of you, but you will see it when we distribute the copies of my remarks. I will go through those six times.
At page 58 of the deposition, the President, when asked whether he was alone with Ms. Lewinsky said that he was not alone with her or that Betty Currie was there with Monica.
At page 70, when asked about the last time the President saw Ms. Lewinsky, he falsely testified he only recalled that she was there to see Betty.
At page 64, he told the Jones lawyers to 'ask Betty' whether Lewinsky was alone with him in the White House or not or with Betty in the White House between the late hours.
At page 65 of the deposition, the President was asked whether Ms. Lewinsky sent packages to him, and he stated that Betty handled the packages.
At page 72, the President was asked whether he may have assisted in any way with a job search. He said he thought Betty suggested Vernon Jordan talk to her.
At page 74, he said Monica asked Betty to ask someone to talk to Ambassador Richardson. He asserted Betty as a corroborating witness at least six times in the deposition.
There is no question that Ms. Currie was a prospective witness, and the President clearly wanted her to be deposed as a witness as his 'ask Betty' testimony demonstrates.
But there is another fact that, thus far, has been overlooked, and let me draw your attention to this.
Two days before the President's deposition, Betty Currie receives a call from Michael Isikoff, a reporter with Newsweek magazine, inquiring about the records, the courier records of gifts going from Ms. Lewinsky to the President.
You've got a news reporter for a national publication two days before the President's deposition talking to the President's secretary, saying, 'I need to see the courier records at the White House.' What does Betty Currie do? She testified that she probably told the President this. Then she tells Bruce Lindsey, but she also goes to see Vernon Jordan. Why? Why would the secretary go see Vernon Jordan because she had a press inquiry? The reason is, as we see later on, remember, this is January 15th. What happened on December 28th that we will get to a little bit later? December 28th Betty Currie went and put those gifts under her bed. Why is she nervous? Because Mike Isikoff is calling about the gifts that are presently under her bed, and she is nervous. I would be nervous. And so she goes to see Bruce Lindsey. She goes to see Vernon Jordan. 'I need help. What do I do?' And she probably told the President.
It is all breaking loose, the house of cards is falling down, and she is either going to report to Mr. Jordan or to seek advice from him. Either way, she knows it is serious, and it all has legal consequences. And she is a witness to it all.
And not only does Betty Currie's testimony talk about this call from Michael Isikoff and going to see Vernon Jordan, but Vernon Jordan's testimony confirms the visit as well.
The President claims he called Ms. Currie in to work on that Sunday night only to find out what she knew, but the President knew the truth about the relationship, and if he told the truth in deposition the day before, he would have had no reason to be refreshed by Betty Currie.
More importantly, the President's demeanor, Ms. Currie's reaction and the suggested lies clearly prove that the President was not merely interviewing Ms. Currie. Rather, he was looking for corroboration for his false coverup, and that is why he coached her. He needed a witness for him, not against him.
Now, let's go to exhibit 5, Betty Currie's testimony--excuse me, exhibit 15.
This is Betty Currie's testimony before the grand jury on January 27, 1998. And Betty Currie is asked about this. Now, remember, it was on a Sunday that Betty Currie was first called
into the White House to go through these five statements, this coaching by the President. And then she testified to the grand jury:
Question: Did there come a time after that that you had another conversation with the President about some other news about what was going on? That would have been Tuesday or Wednesday--when he called you into the Oval Office?
Betty Currie's answer:
It was Tuesday or Wednesday. I don't remember which one this was, either. But the best I remember, when he called me in the Oval Office, it was sort of a recapitulation of what we had talked about on Sunday--you know, 'I was never alone with her'--that sort of thing.
Question: Did he pretty much list the same----
Answer: To my recollection, sir, yes.
Question: And did he say it in sort of the same tone and demeanor that he used the first time he told you on Sunday?
Answer: The best I remember, yes, sir.
And this needs to be emphasized. Not only was that witness coaching taking place on Sunday, but it took place a couple days later. It was twice repeated by the President to Betty Currie. He needed to have her good and in line.
This is more than witness tampering. It is witness compulsion of false testimony by an employer to a subordinate employee. This has nothing to do with facts, nothing to do with media inquiries. It has to do with keeping his team on board, keeping the ship from sinking, and hiding the facts that are important. At this point we are not talking about hiding personal facts from inquiring minds but an effort to impede the legitimate and necessary functioning of our court system.
And now let's go to the Martin Luther King holiday, almost exactly a year ago, Monday, January 19. Again, you will see the example of the frantic search for Monica Lewinsky did continue.
Exhibit 16. I am not going to go through all of this, but I just want to briefly show the frantic activity on this particular day.
First of all, you will see Betty Currie is trying to fulfill her responsibility to get ahold of Ms. Lewinsky. She uses the pager system, and she says, 'Please call Kay at home.' Now 'Kay' is the code name that is used for Betty Currie. That is the agreed upon signal. And she uses three messages: 'Please call Kay. Please call Kay. Please call Kay.'
Then she starts using different techniques to get her attention. 'It's a social call.' And then she later uses it's a 'family emergency.' Then she later uses it's 'good news.' She is using every means possible to get the attention of Monica Lewinsky. And then at 8:50 a.m. the President telephones Currie at home. At 8:56 a.m. the President telephones Jordan at home.
Go on down to 10:56 a.m. 'The President telephones Jordan at his office.' And so what is going on here? They are nervous; they are afraid; it is all breaking loose. They are trying to get ahold of Monica Lewinsky to find out what is going on, who she is talking to.
Later that day things continued to destabilize for the President. At 4:54 p.m. Mr. Jordan learned from the attorney, Frank Carter, that he no longer represented Ms. Lewinsky, and so Mr. Jordan's link had been cut off. Mr. Jordan continued to attempt to reach the President or someone at the White House. Between 4:58 and 5:22 p.m., he made six calls trying to get ahold of someone at the White House, the President.
When Mr. Jordan was asked about why he was urgently trying to get ahold of the White House, he responded, 'Because the President asked me to get Monica Lewinsky a job'
and he thought it was 'information they ought to have.' Jordan finally reaches the President about 6 p.m. and tells him that [Mr.] Carter had been fired.
Why this flurry of activity? It shows how important it was for the President of the United States to find Ms. Lewinsky. Betty Currie was in charge of contacting Monica, and it could not happen, it did not happen. Ms. Lewinsky was a co-conspirator in hiding this relationship from the Federal court and he was losing control over her. In fact, she ultimately agreed to testify truthfully, under penalty of perjury, in this matter. This was trouble for the President.
And, so, now let's continue; let's continue exploring the web of obstruction. But to do this, we have to backtrack to what I have already referred to, and that was the incident on December 28, the episode with the gifts.
On December 28, another brick in the wall of obstruction was laid. It was the concealment of evidence. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she discussed with the President the fact that she had been subpoenaed and that the subpoena called for her to produce gifts. And this is what Ms. Lewinsky was telling the President at the meeting with him on December 28. She testified before the grand jury that she recalled telling the President that the subpoena in question had requested a hatpin and other items, and this concerned her--the specificity of it. And the President responded it 'bothered' him, too.
Well, let's look at the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, which is exhibit 17. This is Lewinsky testifying about the meeting.
And then at some point I said to him [the President], 'Well, you know, should I--maybe I should put the gifts away outside my house somewhere or give them to someone, maybe Betty.' And he sort of said--I think he responded, 'I don't know,' or, 'Let me think about that,' and left that topic.
Not exactly the response you would hope for or expect from the President. But the answer led to action. Later that day Ms. Lewinsky got a call from Ms. Currie, who said, 'I understand you have something to give to me,' or, according to Ms. Lewinsky, 'The President said you have something to give me.' She wasn't exactly sure of the phrase but it was either, 'I understand you have something to give me,' what Betty Currie said, or Betty Currie said, 'The President said you have something to give to me.'
And so, ladies and gentlemen, if you accept the testimony of Monica Lewinsky on that point, you must conclude that the directive to retrieve the gifts came from the President. I will concede that there is a conflict in the testimony on this point with the testimony of Betty Currie. Ms. Currie, in her grand jury testimony, had a fuzzy memory, a little different recollection. She testified that, 'the best she can remember,' Ms. Lewinsky called her. But whenever she was asked further, she said that maybe Ms. Lewinsky's memory is better than hers on that issue. But there is helpful evidence to clear up this discrepancy, or this inconsistency. Monica, you will recall, in her deposition said she thought that Betty had called her and she thought that the call came from her cell phone number.
Well, it was not known at the time of the questioning of Monica Lewinsky, but since then the cell phone record was retrieved. And you don't have it in front of you, but it will be available. The cell phone record was retrieved that showed, on Betty Currie's cell phone calls, that a call was made at 3:32, from Betty Currie to Monica Lewinsky. And this confirms the testimony of Monica Lewinsky that the followup to get the gifts came from Betty Currie. The only way she would know about it is if the President directed her to go retrieve the gifts, as was discussed with Monica earlier.
Now, the President will argue that Monica's timeline does not fit with the time of the cell phone call. But remember, the cell phone record was retrieved subsequent to both the testimony of Monica Lewinsky and Betty Currie before the grand jury, and therefore the record was not available to refresh the recollection or to make inquiry with him about that. Monica Lewinsky's time estimates as to when Betty Currie arrived to pick up the gifts was based upon her memory without the benefit of records.
The questions raised by the President on this issue are legitimate and demonstrate the need to call the key witnesses to a trial of this case and to assess which version of the events is believable and substantiated by the corroborating evidence. This is certainly an area of testimony where the juror needs to hear from Betty Currie and Monica Lewinsky and to examine all of the circumstantial evidence and documentary evidence to determine the truth. It is my belief, based upon common sense and based upon the documentary evidence, that the testimony of Monica Lewinsky is supported in the record and it leads to the conclusion that it was the President who initiated this retrieval of the gifts and the concealment of the evidence.
Now, there are many lawyers here in this room, and you know that in Federal cases all across this country judges instruct juries on circumstantial evidence. We have presented to you a great amount of direct evidence, grand jury testimony, eyewitness testimony, documentary evidence. But juries can use
circumstantial evidence as well. And a typical line from the instruction that is given in Federal courts to Federal juries all across the land:
The law makes absolutely no distinction between the weight or value to be given either to direct or circumstantial evidence. Nor is a greater degree of certainty required of circumstantial evidence than of direct evidence.
So I think it is incumbent upon you to evaluate the circumstances very carefully in addition to the testimony.
Now, let's examine the key question for a moment. Why did Betty Currie pick up the gifts from Monica Lewinsky? Monica Lewinsky states that she did not request this and the retrieval was initiated by the call from Betty Currie. This was after the meeting with the President. Monica Lewinsky's version is corroborated by the cell phone record and the pattern of conduct on the part of Betty Currie. What do I mean by that? As a loyal secretary to the President, it is inconceivable that she would go to retrieve gifts that she knows the President is very concerned about and could bring down the whole house. Betty Currie, a subordinate employee, would not engage in such activity on such a sensitive matter without the approval and direction of the President himself.
In addition, let's look further to the actions of Betty Currie. It becomes clear that she understands the significance of these gifts, their evidentiary value in a civil rights case, and the fact that they are under subpoena. She retrieves these items, and where does she place them? She hides them under her bed--significantly, a place of concealment.
Now, let's look at the President's defense. The President stated in his response to questions 24 and 25, that were submitted from the House to the President, he said he was not concerned about the gifts. In fact, he recalled telling Monica that if the Jones lawyers request the gifts, she should just turn them over to them. The President testified he is 'not sure' if he knew the subpoena asked for gifts.
Now, why in the world would Monica and the President discuss turning over gifts to the Jones lawyer if Ms. Lewinsky had not told him that the subpoena asked for gifts? On the other hand, if he knew the subpoena requested gifts, why would he give Monica more gifts on December 28? This seems odd. But Ms. Lewinsky's testimony reveals the answer. She said that she never questioned 'that we were ever going to do anything but keep this private,' and that means to take 'whatever appropriate steps need to be taken.' That is from Monica's grand jury testimony of August 6.
Why would the President even meet with Monica Lewinsky on December 28 when their relationship was in question and he had a deposition coming up? Certainly he knew he would be questioned about it. Certainly if Monica became a witness she would be questioned about the relationship, that she would be asked when was the last time you met with the President, and now they have to say December 28, if they were going to tell the truth.
The answer is, the President knew that he had to keep Monica Lewinsky on the team and he was willing to take more risks so that she would continue to be a part of the conspiracy to obstruct the legitimate functions of the Federal court in a civil rights case.
It should be remembered that the President has denied each and every allegation of the two articles of impeachment, he has denied each element of the obstruction of justice charges, including this allegation that he encouraged a scheme to conceal evidence in a civil rights case. This straightforward denial illustrates the dispute in the evidence and testimony. It sets the credibility of Monica Lewinsky, the credibility of Betty Currie, the credibility of Vernon Jordan, and others against the credibility of the President of the United States.
How can you, as jurors, determine who is telling the truth? I have pointed to the corroborating evidence, the circumstantial evidence, as well as common sense supporting the testimony of Monica Lewinsky. But let me ask you two questions: Can you convict the President of the United States without hearing personally the testimony of one of the key witnesses? The second question is: Can you dismiss the charges under this strong set of facts and circumstances without hearing and evaluating the credibility of key witnesses?
Let me take this a step further and evaluate the credibility of the President. Let's first look back at his testimony on the December 28 meeting that he gave in his deposition. In that case, he seriously misrepresented the nature of his meeting with Ms. Lewinsky, and that was the gift exchange. First he was asked:
Question: Did she tell you that she had been served with a subpoena in this case?
The President answered flatly, 'No. I don't know if she had been.'
Again, this is his testimony in the deposition. He was also asked in the deposition if he 'ever talked to Monica Lewinsky about the possibility of her testifying.' His answer: 'I'm not sure * * *,' he said. He then added that he may have joked that the Jones lawyers might subpoena every woman he has ever spoken to, and that 'I don't think we ever had more of a conversation than that about it * * *.'
Not only does Monica Lewinsky directly contradict his testimony, but the President later had to answer questions in the grand jury about these same set of circumstances and the President directly contradicted himself. Speaking of this December 28 meeting, he said that he 'knew by then, of course, that she had gotten a subpoena' and they had a 'conversation about the possibility of her testifying.'
I submit to this body that the inconsistencies of the President's own testimony, as well as common sense, seriously diminish his credibility on this issue.
Now let's go forward, once again, to the time period in which the President gave his deposition in the Paula Jones case. The President testified under oath on January 17, and immediately thereafter, remember, he brought Betty Currie in to present a set of false facts to her, seeking her agreement and coaching her.
But the President is fully convinced that he can get by with his false denials because no one will be able to prove what did or did not happen in the Oval Office. There were no witnesses, and it boils down to a 'he said, she said' scenario, and as long as that is the case, he believes he can win. If the President can simply destroy Monica Lewinsky's credibility in public and before the grand jury, then he will escape the consequences for his false statements under oath and obstruction in the civil rights case. Now, remember, this viewpoint, though, is all before the DNA tests were performed on the blue dress, forcing the President to acknowledge certain items.
In order to carry out this coverup and obstruction, the President needed to go further. He needed not only Betty Currie to repeat his false statements, but also other witnesses who would assuredly be called before the Federal grand jury and who would be questioned by the news media in public forums. And this brings us to the false statements that the President made to his White House staff and Presidential aides.
Let's call Sydney Blumenthal and John Podesta to the witness stand. I concede they would be adverse witnesses. This is referred to in exhibit 18 that you have in front of you.
First, the testimony of Sydney Blumenthal. Mr. Blumenthal, to put this in perspective, is testifying about his conversations when the President called him in to go through these facts of what happened. So Mr. Blumenthal testified that 'it was at that point that he'--referring to the President--'gave his account as to what happened to me and he said that Monica--and it came very fast. He said, 'Monica Lewinsky came at me and made a sexual demand on me.' He rebuffed her. He said, 'I've gone down that road before, I've caused pain for a lot of people and I'm not going to do that again.'
Look at this next line. 'She threatened him. She said that she would tell people they'd had an affair, that she was known as the stalker among her peers, and that she hated it and if she had an affair or said she had an affair then she wouldn't be the stalker any more.'
He talks about this character in a novel, and I haven't
read that book. But the last line: 'And I said to him, I said, 'When this happened with Monica Lewinsky, were you alone?' He said, 'Well, I was within eyesight or earshot of someone.'
Let's go to John Podesta's testimony where he was called in the same fashion. The President talked to him about what is happening:
Question: Okay. Share that with us.
Answer: Well, I think he said--he said that--there was some spate of, you know, what sex acts were counted, and he said that he had never had sex with her in any way whatsoever.
Answer: --that they had not had oral sex.
Very briefly, Dick Morris. You have heard this. I will refer to the last line: 'They're just not ready for it,' meaning the voters. And he [The President] said, 'Well, we just have to win, then.'
As the President testified before the grand jury, he knew these witnesses would be called before the grand jury. At page 106 of the President's testimony before the grand jury--I just want to confirm this point because it is important--he testified--the question was: 'You know that they'--and this is referring to John Podesta, Sydney Blumenthal and his aides-- 'that they might be witnesses, you knew they might be called into the grand jury, didn't you?'
His answer: 'That's right.'
So there is no question these were witnesses going to testify before the grand jury. He was giving them false information, and he did not limit it to that. The false statements to them constitute witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
I think there are two significant points in the statements the President made to his aides.
First of all, the President who wants to do away with the politics of personal destruction indicates a willingness to destroy the credibility and reputation of a young person who worked in his office for what reason? In order to preserve not only his Presidency but, more significantly, to defeat the civil rights case against him. It is not a matter of saying he didn't do it, because he could have simply uttered a denial, but he engaged in character assassination that he knew would be repeated to the Federal grand jury and throughout the public--she was a stalker, she threatened me, she came on to me, and it was--it was repeated.
Secondly, he makes it clear in his statements to John Podesta that he denies any sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, including oral sex. There is no quibbling about definitions in this statement. It clearly reflects an attempt to deceive, lie and obstruct our system of justice.
In this case, at every turn, he used whatever means available to evade the truth, destroy evidence, tamper with witnesses and took any other action required to prevent evidence from coming forward in a civil rights case that would prove a truth contrary to the President's interest. He had obstructed the administration of justice before the U.S. district court in a civil rights case and before the Federal grand jury. But as we move toward a conclusion, let's not focus just on the supporting cast we talked about, but we need to look at the direct and personal actions of the President.
I want to look at exhibit 20. This just summarizes the seven pillars of obstruction. What did the President do that constitutes evidence of obstruction?
No. 1, he personally encouraged a witness, Monica Lewinsky, to provide false testimony.
No. 2, the President had direct involvement in assuring a job for a witness--underlining direct involvement. He made the calls, Vernon Jordan did, and it is connected with the filing of the false affidavit by that witness.
No. 3, the President personally, with corrupt intentions, tampered with the testimony of a prospective witness, Betty Currie.
No. 4, the President personally provided false statements under oath before a Federal grand jury.
No. 5, by direct and circumstantial evidence the President personally directed the concealment of evidence under subpoena in a judicial proceeding.
No. 6, the President personally allowed false representations to be made by his attorney, Robert Bennett, to a Federal district judge on January 17.
No. 7, the President intentionally provided false information to witnesses before a Federal grand jury knowing that those statements would be repeated with the intent to obstruct the proceedings before that grand jury and that is the statements that he made to the aides.
The seven pillars of this obstruction case were personally constructed by the President of the United States. It was done with the intent that the truth and evidence would be suppressed in a civil rights case pending against him.
The goal was to win, and he was not going to let the judicial system stand in his way.
At the beginning of my presentation, I tried to put this case into perspective for myself by saying that this proceeding is the same as to what takes place in every courtroom in America--the pursuit of truth, seeking equal justice, and upholding the law. All of that is true. But we know there is even more at stake in this trial. What happens here affects the workings of our Constitution, it will affect the Presidency in future decades, and it will have an impact on a whole generation of Americans. What is at stake is our Constitution and the principle of equal justice for all.
I have faith in the Constitution of the United States, but the checks and balances of the Constitution are carried out by individuals--individuals who are entrusted under oath with upholding the trust given to us by the people of this great land. If I believe in the Constitution, that it will work, then I must believe in you.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I trust the Constitution of the United States. But today it is most important that I believe in you. I have faith in the U.S. Senate. You have earned the trust of the American people, and I trust each of you to make the right decision for our country.
Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that we take another 15-minute break in the proceedings. And I urge the Senators to return promptly to the Chamber so we can begin after the 15-minute break.
There being no objection, at 4:51 p.m., the Senate recessed until 5:10 p.m.; whereupon, the Senate reassembled when called to order by the Chief Justice.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I believe we are ready to resume final presentation of the afternoon. Several Senators have inquired what will happen the balance of the day. I believe the presentation by Congressman Rogan will be the last of the day. It is anticipated we will complete today's presentation around 6:30 or 6:45.
I yield the floor.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Rogan.
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