THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
Jan. 26: Managers Argue for Witnesses
From the Congressional Record
Mr. Manager McCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Mr. Chief Justice and Members of the Senate, we are here today to argue for the presentation of witnesses, and I want to state at the outset a couple of observations of mine regarding this.
The House managers have always understood the Senate's sense of the rules on these matters, and we don't question that fact. But I think it is important, to set the record clear here today, to say at the outset that we have always believed, and we still do believe, that 10 or 12 witnesses are what we should have and should have been permitted to call to prove our case. We have estimated that this could be done in a matter of 2 weeks at the outside, including all cross-examination. That is what we think the normal order would have been; it is what we think it should have been. But we have been told again and again, and we believe it is true, that if we made such a request it would not be approved. And a few weeks ago we thought--maybe even a few days ago--that we could submit a list of maybe five or six witnesses and there would be a reasonable chance that for deposition they would be approved and maybe two or three of them actually could be presented here live in the Chamber.
Now we have been led to believe, and we think it is an accurate assessment, that in order to get a vote to approve the opportunity to take depositions alone, whether or not anyone is called, we cannot submit more than two or three witnesses to you.
That is what we have done today. We have submitted a motion for simply three witnesses: Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, and Sidney Blumenthal.
The two people who know the most about this are Monica Lewinsky and President William Jefferson Clinton, and while we have not submitted to you today the name of President Clinton in our motion, we strongly urge that if you allow us to have witnesses, which we believe you should, that you, in addition--or even if you don't--on your own call President Clinton here to testify. We think that it is exceedingly important that you have an opportunity, we have an opportunity for you to examine him and these other witnesses to get at the truth of this matter and to end all the speculation that would resolve this matter and let you draw the proper inferences and conclusions.
I will simply say that I am going to make a brief outline of the matter of why we should have witnesses for you, the three we are asking for, and I will be followed in order, so you can get some sequence to this, by Manager Bryant, who will discuss in detail the reason why we think it is appropriate to call specifically Monica Lewinsky; Manager Hutchinson, who will discuss Mr. Jordan as a witness; and Manager Rogan, who will discuss Mr. Blumenthal.
If our motion is granted--I want to make this very, very clear--at no point will we ask any questions of Monica Lewinsky about her explicit sexual relations with the President, either in deposition or, if we are permitted, on the floor of the Senate. They will not be asked. That, of course, assumes that White House counsel does not enter into that discussion, and we doubt that they would.
Secondly, we do not see why the entire process of deposing and calling all of these witnesses right here live would have to take more than just a very few days, 2, 3, 4, 5, maybe early next week at the latest. There is no reason why it has to be longer than that. We absolutely reject the argument that some were making--and I do not know why they were making it--that somehow, if we have a single witness out here, it is going to mean weeks and weeks of protracted delay in this trial.
That is not so, and certainly not so with the three witnesses we are asking you today to permit us to present.
I also want to address the argument that has been made by some that witnesses should only be permitted if there is new evidence.
Now, we believe, we managers, that we will present to you new evidence with the witnesses that we have asked you to let us depose, but think through this with me for one moment. Under the rules you have set up, if we take depositions, which we are required to do, of every one of these witnesses, at the end of the day when those depositions are completed, all the new evidence that we could imagine certainly will be--from those three witnesses--in those depositions, and the argument will be made, I am sure, that there is no reason to have a live witness out here at all.
That had to be a preconceived notion by somebody who thought of that in the first place. If that is the argument, that should not be the standard. It should be one of the standards but not the standard, not the sole standard. There is a lot more to a witness, and the reason why you need to have a witness out here, than simply new evidence.
In real criminal trials, virtually all witnesses are deposed before they are brought to trial, and then the counsel on each side decide which witnesses they will call. They are called. They are examined. They are cross-examined. And unless a witness is deceased or laid up or there is some other extraordinary reason why that witness isn't there, especially a key witness, then the witness normally is here live.
It is especially true in a case like this where much of the evidence, not necessarily all of it--there is quite a bit of direct evidence--but much of the evidence is circumstantial and requires you to draw, as many finders of fact do all across this country every day, inferences and conclusions that involve the credibility of the witness, that involve the way it is said, that involve inflections and spontaneity of the witness, the exchange of the counsel asking the question and the witness, and a description and flavor of which you simply can't get without having the person here to observe.
That is what jurors do all the time. I think it is especially important, as well, because there is conflicting testimony.
Now, I do not suppose we have a stand here today, but you have in front of you a credibility of witness instruction I think we passed out. We would like for you to keep it. It is a credibility of witness instruction that--here it is over here on this side. It is a credibility of witness instruction that is longer than that. I just excerpted a part of it and put it up here on this board.
I know you can't all see that but you should have this sheet. If you don't, please ask for it. This is a jury instruction that is given in the District of Columbia. It is something that is given here as a part of our Federal system. And it is important, I think, for this particular paragraph, to read it, to understand it, because you wouldn't even write this jury instruction if you didn't expect to have live witnesses:
In reaching a conclusion as to the credibility of any witness, you may consider any matter that may have a bearing on the subject.
That is part of the instruction.
You may consider the demeanor and behavior of the witness.
I think that is important. It is the third paragraph you looked at, the bottom paragraph.
You may consider the demeanor and the behavior of the witness on the witness stand; the witness' manner of testifying; whether the witness impresses you as a truthful person; whether the witness impresses you as having an accurate memory and recollection; whether the witness has any motive for not telling the truth; whether the witness had a full opportunity to observe the matters about which he or she has testified; whether the witness has any interest in the outcome of this case or friendship or hostility toward other people concerned with this case.
Demeanor, manner, truthfulness, how the witness impresses you--if you don't have that witness here, and it is a critical witness, there is no way as a trier of fact you can make those judgments fairly. There just isn't any way. We think that it is terribly critical, not only that we are permitted to depose these witnesses, but with respect particularly to Monica Lewinsky and perhaps all three of them, that we be permitted to bring those witnesses here at the end of the day and examine them and let the President's counsel examine them.
The arguments of the President's counsel have been, to some extent, to you and to me--and I have heard it repeated several times--that somehow circumstantial evidence is not that important, that it is somehow inferior to direct evidence. I am not going to pass out a jury instruction on that again. You have already heard us talk about that. The reality is the jury instruction, if we passed one out to you today, would say exactly what we said before: Circumstantial evidence is given the same weight, the same weight as direct evidence. Inferences have to be drawn.
I don't know any case in this country in a criminal matter--or rarely; I should not say 'any.' I suppose there is a confession that always you get once in a while and you read about it in the paper. But in almost every criminal case, you have to draw inferences; there has to be circumstantial evidence of some sort. There is nothing wrong with that. President's counsel has said that somehow the nature of the evidence means that you should automatically acquit him. I just don't buy that at all.
What are inferences? Let's put inferences up for a second so you can look at that. Inferences are on this side. This is another jury instruction. I don't know if you have got this one, but we will give it to you. This is another one that is given out:
An inference is a deduction or a conclusion which you . . . as finders of facts--are permitted to draw . . . from the
A few days ago one of the White House counsel, Mr. Kendall, attempted to make you think it was very difficult to prove a crime by circumstantial evidence. You may remember Mr. Kendall told the story about a fellow who came out of his house one morning and he saw his driveway was wet and he immediately thought it must have rained last night. But, Mr. Kendall said, this man noticed right after that that his neighbor's water sprinkler was dripping and he thought, well, maybe the water sprinkler caused it to be wet. And he used that illustration--ended the story right there--of how difficult circumstantial evidence is and how likely you might draw the wrong conclusion from inferences.
Mr. Kendall didn't allow you to proceed with the next commonsense step that shows how powerful circumstantial evidence can be. Let's suppose the man got up in the morning, he walked out of his house, he saw that his driveway was wet, he thought maybe it had rained. He immediately observed the water sprinkler was dripping. He thought, well, maybe the water sprinkler caused it and he looked down the street then and looked at not only his neighbor's sidewalk where it was wet as well as his, and the driveway, but he looked at his neighbor's. And he looked at several others all around his neighborhood and they were dry.
The obvious conclusion from circumstantial evidence is the neighbor's water sprinkler caused his sidewalk or his driveway to be wet and it didn't rain. It is a kind of a reasonable, commonsense, inferential, circumstantial conclusion you are allowed to draw. You are the finders of fact, and I think that that suggestion was wrong.
But this is why we need witnesses. You need to be able to see the temperament, you need to be able to have the background, you need to be able to have the feel or the flavor to draw those inferences properly.
In the impeachment case before you, you have both direct and circumstantial evidence that the President engaged in a pattern of obstruction, perjury, and witness tampering designed to deny the court in the Jones case what Judge Wright had determined that Jones had a right to discover in order to prove her claim. You have to use your common sense to get at this. Seeing, hearing, observing those live witnesses is important.
If you remember at the outset of this case, at the outset of these proceedings, I tried to draw your attention to what this was about in a nutshell. Some have said it is a theory of the case. The White House wants to call it speculation. It is not speculation. It is what, from all the evidence--especially once you have heard Monica Lewinsky and Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal, I think adding the flavor that you need to have, adding the body language you need to observe, adding the credibility that you need to establish in this--I think that is the proper inference and the proper conclusion you need to draw.
What was that nutshell? I won't bore you with going into every detail again, but I want to remind you what the record, we think, shows that this additional witness presentation would augment and be very important to. It shows the President had a
well-thought-out scheme. He resented the Jones lawsuit. He was alarmed when Monica Lewinsky's name appeared on the witness list and even more alarmed when Judge Wright issued her order signaling the court would hear the evidence of the relationship.
To keep his relationship with Monica Lewinsky from the court once it was apparent to him he was going to have to testify, he knew he would have to lie to the court. To succeed at this, he decided he had to get Monica Lewinsky to file a false affidavit to try to avoid her testifying. He needed to get her a job to make her happy, to make sure she executed the affidavit and then stick with her lies if questioned.
Then the gifts were subpoenaed. He had to have her hide the gifts, the only tangible evidence that could link him to her. She came up with the idea of giving them to Betty Currie and the President seized on that. Who would think to ask Betty? Then he would be free to lie to the court in the deposition. But after this, he realized he had to make sure Betty would lie and cover for him. He got his aides convinced to repeat his lies to the grand jury and the public, and all this worked until the dress showed up. Then he lied to the grand jury to try to cover up and explain away his prior crimes.
The President knowingly, intentionally, willfully set out on a course of conduct in December 1997 to lie to the Jones court, to hide his relationship, and to encourage others to lie and hide evidence to conceal the relationship with Monica Lewinsky from the court.
That is the straightforward case that we presented. It is there. But it is very important that you recognize this is not speculation but it is supported by the evidence. But it needs to have the witnesses here.
I am not going to go into every one of the articles. I am not going to go over all that again. You have them in front of you. But you know there are four provisions, four different provisions of the perjury article, and there are seven counts in the obstruction article. And, in addition to the seven counts, we believe you have the right to consider the lies the President made in the civil Paula Jones deposition as a part of his obstruction of justice, as written in the body of that article.
Why do I raise what is there on the table? Well, you can find the President guilty of any one of the perjury or obstruction of justice charges. In our judgment, if you find him guilty of any one, you can convict him and you can remove him from office. We think that is appropriate. We think that you should, that every one of them rises to that level.
I want to make a point to you, too, for example, about the first one in the perjury, about the nature and details of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Let's just say for a minute, so you will get this one clear, if I could beg your indulgence, there were a lot of questions raised out here about particular statements that might be perjurious, some of which may have sounded a little bit more stretched to you than others did. But the body and the gravamen of that is that they are all grand jury perjury about that relationship. Cumulatively, that is what you are voting on. You are not voting on each and every one of these; particularly 'the' singular lie that hangs the President of the United States. And there are four--there are three more in addition to that to look at. So, please, look at all of them.
We also strongly believe that each of these constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors. It is very hard for us to conceive that there is a different standard for impeaching the President and impeaching a judge. We know that has been argued to you out here, but it is very hard for us to conceive of this. On the other hand, I am aware that many of you believe, and I am sure some of you at least do--I hope it is not many, but I said many--that no matter whether or not the President is guilty of the perjury and obstruction of justice, everything that is in here in great detail, everything we have told you, there are some of you who believe that none of that rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor and that the President should not be removed from office.
On the other hand, I think that the majority of you do believe that, if the President committed all of this, surely it would rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. How can you leave a man in office who is President of the United States who has so intentionally, through his scheme that he has concocted to deny the court justice, deny information to a person who is trying to plead their case, gone through it systematically and lied again and again and again and then went intentionally, calculatingly, and lied to the grand jury about it again?
It is very hard to conceive of that. But I also suspect that most of you at the end of the day will question some of these and, as I said earlier, you don't have to conclude that he committed all of them to convict him, certainly not to find him guilty of the charges, but somewhere in between. Is it 50 percent of them? Is it seven-eighths of them? How many of them does it take? What is the weight for some of you? Each one of you will be judging this differently.
But in that process, there is no doubt in my mind that you need to go through the process of looking and hearing from these witnesses to make that decision, and if you have a doubt, not in your own mind, maybe some of you have no doubt at all that he is guilty of any and all of these crimes, but if you think one of your other colleagues does have that doubt at this moment, for gosh sakes, let's let the witnesses come here and let us have the chance to erase that doubt in the way you normally do in a trial.
For a few of the criminal charges under the articles of impeachment, under both of them, it is our judgment that the President's guilt is so clear and convincing and compelling that we don't think that any witnesses are needed to be called in deposition or in person.
First, contrary to the impressions that the White House counsel would like to leave you, it should be clear to anybody reading the record that the President committed perjury before the grand jury when he told that he never touched certain body parts of Ms. Lewinsky, which touching the President admitted would clearly be within the definition of sexual relations in the Jones case.
Ms. Lewinsky testified that he touched these parts on a number of different occasions in a manner clearly within the President's understanding of that definition. The record contains testimony from at least six different friends and counselors with whom Ms. Lewinsky spoke and described these details contemporaneously as they occurred.
White House counsel has repeatedly tried to dismiss this absolutely clear perjury by claiming that Ms. Lewinsky's testimony is uncorroborated and, therefore, you couldn't prove perjury to the court. They say again and again and again, it is a 'he says-she says' situation.
This is a gross misstatement of the law. Even if there were no corroborating witnesses--and there are in this case--a person could be and would be convicted of perjury before any court in this country based on the evidence that is in this record now. We don't have to bring anything else in here, and we are not planning to do so to prove that.
The law covering grand jury perjury, which has been on the books since 1970, does not require a corroborating witness and does not require corroborating evidence. There are more than 100 people serving in Federal prison today who have been convicted under this 1970 grand jury statute for perjury where it is one person's word against another, several of them for lies about sexual relations.
All you need to convict is to accept Monica Lewinsky had no motive to lie about this, the President did, and you have to draw the inferences you logically can from the chain of events that are in this record. But even though you don't need any corroborating testimony, there is corroborating testimony. There are the six people--friends and counselors--with whom she talked about this contemporaneously. Again, the White House
counselors have tried to persuade you, wrongly, that you should not consider this, that this would not be admissible, these corroborating witnesses in any courtroom in the country, they say, and that is not true.
There are at least three exceptions to the hearsay rule which would, in all probability, permit those prior consistent statements to come in and corroborate that testimony.
The bottom line is the perjury of the President in this case is as plain as day on the record, and we don't need to call any witnesses on this matter. And we also believe there are a number of other perjuries in that grand jury, that I am not going to go into detail about, that are just as plain on the record. We don't need to call witnesses that he perjured himself when he told the grand jury it was his goal to be truthful in the Jones deposition. That is what he told the grand jury. It was his goal to be truthful.
The record is replete with many lies that he told in that deposition and, in the face of telling the grand jury that his goal was to be truthful, he committed perjury.
Nor do we believe that any witness needs to be called to further establish the President's guilt of the crime that is obstruction of justice and witness tampering in the case where he met Betty Currie on the day after his Jones deposition and suggested to her all those false declaratory statements that we have been over so many times in here.
Betty Currie's testimony in this matter is undisputed on the record. The White House counsel's argument that the President was just refreshing his memory is absurd on its face.
The same is true of the obstruction of justice and perjury charges related to allowing his attorney during the Jones deposition to make false and misleading statements with regard to Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit and then lying about not even paying attention to the attorneys' exchange with the judge on this matter. The record is clear. You watched the videotape on it. Inferences are perfectly appropriate to be drawn from body language. You saw it on the videotape. You saw it. No more witnesses are needed. The President committed these crimes.
On the other hand, we believe that you do need--we need to bring in witnesses to resolve conflicting testimony to give you a true picture of the President's scheme to lie and conceal evidence for the other obstruction of justice charges and certainly for the last perjury charge. They are more complex. They are more dependent on circumstantial evidence and inferences you logically have to draw. And that is why you need to hear from Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal, to tell you about these things themselves.
When you do, you are just plain going to get a different flavor; you are going to feel the sense of this. We believe you will find at the end of the day, once you have done that, even though you don't need to use this standard, that the President is guilty of the entire scheme we presented to you in every detail beyond a reasonable doubt.
Remember, you don't need to convict him to find him guilty of all of the crimes we have suggested by any stretch of the imagination. You don't need to use the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. That is not required of you. But we can understand why many of you or some of you might.
The reality is that we are in a position--you are in a position--where you need, though, to make these determinations, and to make them you need to have the witnesses. In any courtroom where you are going to certainly judge something beyond a reasonable doubt, you need to assess the credibility of the witnesses where you have conflicting testimony.
One point in that regard, too, is, we have heard White House counsel say a number of times that somehow the fact that there is so much conflicting testimony makes our case weaker. That is not so. Again, unless the bad guy admits he is guilty, when you go to trial in a criminal case you always have conflicting testimony, at least you certainly have the accused denying it, and very, very frequently, most often, you have a lot of other people who are conflicting.
The fact that there is conflict is something for the triers of fact to resolve, but, again, resolve by listening to the witnesses, checking their demeanor, watching their body language, determining their credibility, feeling the case-flow, seeing how it fits together, watching.
I am not going to be the one describing what Monica Lewinsky is going to show you if she comes in here. I am going to tell you, even if we depose her, having had the opportunity to talk with this intelligent and very impressionable young woman the other day, I can tell you that she herself will convey this story to you in a way that it cannot be conveyed off a piece of paper. It just cannot be.
I suppose that is why the White House counselors are so afraid of our calling any witnesses. They don't want you to have the opportunity to see that, an opportunity you can only get the full flavor of if not only you let us take the depositions, but you at least let us call her live here on the floor, preferably with our other two witnesses as well.
They know that the written record conceals this. There is no way to lift that out. There is no way for you to see the relationship, how she responds to the questions, how she answers, how she conducts herself in making it very apparent what the President's true meaning and intent was.
If you remember, a lot of this is his state of mind. In the not too distant future, Monica Lewinsky is going to be free of the gag order and is going to go out and talk to people freely. She should. At that point in time, she is going to have the public judging her, and they are going to be judging this case, as will history, and I suggest that the public at that point in history as well will be judging you and not judging the Senate well if it doesn't let her come here and testify.
Let me briefly turn to the last thing I want to do. I want to describe, so you know what it is, the three additional pieces of new evidence we would like admitted in this motion.
First is the affidavit of Barry W. Ward who had been a law clerk to Judge Wright during the consideration of the Jones case. None of this, I think, should be controversial, but we do have it, and I want to cover it briefly. In his affidavit, he attests to the fact that at President Clinton's deposition in the Jones case, that he, Mr. Ward, was sitting at the conference table next to Judge Wright, that he was able to observe the colloquy between the judge and Mr. Bennett.
You recall, Mr. Bennett was engaged in this colloquy about the affidavit of Monica Lewinsky. And that is what you saw, the film footage of the President and the questions. Was the President observant? Was he watching? Was he keen? And that affidavit goes to that point. And it is the testimony of Mr. Ward with regard to the fact that the President was observant.
Secondly, we have a piece of new evidence, and that is the declaration of the Jones attorney, T. Wesley Holmes, and the attached copies of the subpoena in that case, the subpoena in that case to Betty Currie, dated January 22, 1998, along with proof of service, dated January 27, 1998.
Mr. LEAHY addressed the Chair.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the Senator from Vermont.
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry. It is my understanding that Senate Resolution 16 says----
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Senator from Vermont is advised it takes unanimous consent to allow a parliamentary inquiry in the proceeding.
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. Chief Justice, I object to the references the manager is making to new information. It is my understanding that from Senate Resolution 16, the material outside the record may only be presented in connection with a motion to expand the record. This new information--we have skirted it already with the Lewinsky interview this weekend, but now the latest that Mr. Manager McCollum states, I would say respectfully, expands that record and, indeed, we are not at that point.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Yes. I think the motion that the managers have made is a motion to authorize the presentation of evidence that is not in the record. And so I think that is a fair comment. I overrule the objection.
Mr. LEAHY. I thank the Chief Justice.
Mr. Manager McCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
The attachments to Mr. Holmes' declaration is the proof of the subpoena being issued to Betty Currie in January, on January 22, 1998, along with service in the Jones case on January 27, 1998, and a copy of the supplemental witness list, including the name of Betty Currie, which was served on January 23, 1998. And in his declaration, Mr. Holmes explains that Ms. Currie was subpoenaed because of testimony given by President Clinton in his deposition and because of reliable information which the attorneys had received to this effect--that Ms. Currie was an instrumental person in facilitating Monica Lewinsky's meetings with the President and central to their 'cover story,' as Mr. Holmes refers to it. He explicitly denies that any 'Washington Post' article played any part in the decision of the Jones attorneys to subpoena Ms. Currie.
And in the third and final piece of new evidence that we ask you to take in and accept is a declaration and accompanying documents with regard to a telephone conversation showing that a conversation occurred on December 6 for 56 minutes between the
President and Ms. Lewinsky, which we believe that is what it shows. Obviously, the phone records show the phone records. And they state what they are. But we suggest to you that that is relevant information because it confirms what we think the testimony in the record otherwise would lead you to believe.
At this point in time, having given you an overview and having given you this amount of new evidence, I want to turn the microphone over and yield to my colleague, Mr. Bryant, the rest of the time.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Bryant.
Mr. Manager BRYANT. Mr. Chief Justice, may I inquire as to our time remaining?
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Just under 90 minutes.
Mr. Manager BRYANT. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Distinguished Senators, a recent letter from Manager Hyde to Senator Daschle stated that it has always been the position of the House managers that a trial with the benefit of relevant witnesses is in the best interest of the Senate and the American people. The defense attorneys for the President, as well as others in this body, have publicly stated that they do not want witnesses.
Through the question-and-answer session that we have just participated in over the last few days, some in this body have made it clear that they would prefer a few sharply focused witnesses limited only to the most relevant witnesses. We heard this. And as a result of our submission this morning, you will see that we have proposed three witnesses.
Now, as background, we have brought this down from some 15 witnesses that we initially thought we would like to call. We eliminated, obviously, many witnesses that we would still like to call. But with respect for this body, and certainly the sensitivity that we feel, we heard that three witnesses would be probably the best situation.
I think from, again, the tone of the questions, the directness of many of the questions, we did get that message clearly. And from these three witnesses we feel that we have the broadest coverage of the two articles of impeachment.
Within the obstruction article, there are in essence seven so-called counts, seven instances that we allege. And with these three witnesses, we managed to cover six of those seven, with the one that we don't quite cover being the tampering with Betty Currie. As you will note she is not on that list. But, again, bringing this down to three, we had to eliminate, again, some witnesses we would have preferred to call.
Also, based on what we have read and what we have heard, it is clear that a very few have already determined that even assuming the truth of the articles of impeachment--the perjury and obstruction of justice--that they are insufficient to convict this President of high crimes and misdemeanors. Since each of you, as Senators, must consider this matter and vote your own conscience with impartial justice, that is apparently your individual decision, although with all due respect, I would suggest a premature decision before all the proof and all the arguments are made.
One example of not having heard a complete case is Ms. Lewinsky. She is probably the most relevant witness, that is, aside from the President himself who so far has indicated through his counsel that he will not testify; and I might add also has not answered the questions that at least some Senators
sent to the White House for his answering, based on his attorney's statement that he would be willing to answer questions.
So with that aside, Ms. Lewinsky is probably the most important witness left. And wouldn't you at least like to see and hear from her on this? As the triers of fact, wouldn't you want to observe the demeanor of Ms. Lewinsky and test her credibility--as I say, look into the eyes and test the credibility of these witnesses? Compare her version of the testimony to the contested events. And remember, the President's attorneys, in numerous ways, in their vigorous defense of the President, have challenged Ms. Lewinsky's version of the facts.
I believe the majority of other Senators have not yet reached a final determination, and it is to you now that I make this further proposition. If there is one witness you and the American people honestly do need to hear, it is Ms. Lewinsky. As you probably read in the newspapers, her lawyers don't want her to testify. They are good lawyers, and they don't want to have her out here.
And despite the protestations of the White House and their attorneys during the House hearings that they wanted to hear fact witnesses, we now know absolutely and without a doubt the White House does not want to hear Ms. Lewinsky--does not want you to hear Ms. Lewinsky. And Ms. Lewinsky, if the truth be known, probably does not want to come in here and testify.
These are not our witnesses. We didn't get this case in a brown envelope. We sort of didn't have any choice in selecting the witnesses. The witnesses are all out there--basically White House employees, friends of the White House, or former employees. These are not going to be our friends if they come in and testify. They are not going to be sympathetic to us, although we can anticipate that they would tell the truth. And that certainly would be our belief with Ms. Lewinsky if she were called.
We believe she understands her responsibility, despite any feelings that she might have about the President, or the job that he is doing as President, that she understands the responsibility to tell the truth.
And Senators, she does have a story to tell. And given the link that she has, that common thread that she has in most of the charges of these articles of impeachment, I would suggest that she should be permitted to testify.
I would go further to say that a closure of this case is somehow necessary, and without the direct presentation by Ms. Lewinsky, we all--political and public--would be denied the complete picture that she should be able to give us to better sort this out. As Manager Graham said yesterday, please don't leave us all hanging for the answers we so dearly need.
Is this good, is it bad or is it ugly? We managers believe that it is bad, ugly and illegal. We all like to talk about the Constitution, and it is a great document. The opportunity to confront witnesses is present in that Constitution, and it can be argued that this principle of confrontation of witnesses against you should apply to these proceedings. While we realize that confrontational right is one that belongs to the criminal defendant in the Constitution, in this case apparently any right to confront Ms. Lewinsky and other witnesses is being waived by the President and his lawyers since they don't want to call witnesses in these proceedings.
Isn't it time, though, for the rest of us to make that choice that we do want to see and hear some witnesses? Her testimony, in particular, would be extraordinarily enlightening in resolving factual disputes about the very charges for which we ask you to convict the President of the United States for the felonies of perjury and obstruction of justice. These particular charges go to the very heart of our cobranch of government, the Judiciary. And Members of the Senate, in terms of the impact on our judicial system in the search for truth, there is no difference between a person lying, which is perjury, and a person paying another person to lie, which is bribery. The bribery is in the Constitution and the perjury is not specifically mentioned.
In terms of this proposition of proportionality, is the 106th Senate prepared to have as its record of sexual harassment laws that perjury about sex is not illegal? After all, that is what this whole proportionality argument is about, that if it is about sex it is OK to lie. Because Senator Bumpers said that upwards of 80 percent of his divorce cases from his Arkansas practice of law involve lying, that does not legitimize perjury, nor should it provide any authority for this Senate to somehow legitimize perjury if it is just about sex.
We allege that the President, in a reasoned and in a calculated manner, prevented Paula Jones from obtaining truthful testimony and evidence that might have helped her lawsuit. At the time the President attempted his coverup efforts, he, obviously, felt the disclosure of that information in the Paula Jones case would be material and helpful to her. The President not only committed himself to illegal actions, but he enlisted others to assist, some knowingly, and others, perhaps, unknowingly.
Ms. Lewinsky is one of these who, interestingly enough, might fit into both categories of knowing and unknowingly at different times. She would be able to share with this Senate the so-called tone and tenor of her conversations with the President. Who else can do that but she or the President?
This tone and tenor and observing her demeanor and listening to her talk about that filing of the affidavit and those things, and how the President talked to her and how she read what he said and exactly what he did say, these are all very important, because as we know in Washington, and so many other places where there is a lot of power and prestige and so forth, there are actions that can be prompted without even a
direct specific order. Things can get done even without it being said just by the tone and tenor, the gestures, the appearance and so forth of certain things. Often these direct words, as I said, are not necessary. And Ms. Lewinsky can tell you about some of these occasions.
An appropriate examination--and an appropriate cross-examination, I might add; let's don't limit the White House attorneys here--of Ms. Lewinsky on the factual disputes of the affidavit and their cover story, wouldn't that be nice to hear? The concealment of gifts--what really happened there and the job search--why did she get the job within 48 hours of the affidavit, after months of unsuccess? Wouldn't it be nice to hear Ms. Lewinsky's version of this when it is so important to the overall case of obstruction of justice?
These are just a few examples where the Senate could be helped by her testimony, and it very well could be dispositive, and it is even possible that she could help the President in some ways. But I assure you that she is an impressive young lady, and I suspect that she still very much does admire the President and the work that he is doing for this country. Yet, she would be a person who in all likelihood would be forthcoming.
If you have not made up your mind, and, indeed, if you have further interest in resolving many of the facts here, I do commend Ms. Lewinsky for your consideration. It would be my intent to lead her through direct examination, the perjury charge, as it is alleged with the President, by having her simply affirm those provisions of her written testimony which are the ones that are generally referred to as salacious, without specifically mentioning those words.
On the more complicated obstruction of justice, the pattern of obstruction of justice which does not involve these salacious details and matters, they will be addressed more specifically. It would be my intent for immediate clarification and to dissolve discrepancies and different inferences that have been drawn by House managers and defense counsel for the President, to ask her about the December 28 transfer of Ms. Lewinsky's gifts from the President--transfer to Ms. Currie, particularly the cellular telephone call that has been put into issue by the defense team, about her conversation with the President and her offer to allow him to review this false affidavit before she submitted it to her lawyer and eventually to the court, and his comment that he didn't need to review it because he had seen 15 others just like it. Wouldn't you like to know what are we talking about--15 others? Fifteen drafts or 15 other type of affidavits in other cases?
She would also be asked about her job interviews and her discussions with the President about these job interviews over a period of time, which are very important, her discussions with Vernon Jordan, and specifically why she felt that the interview that she did with Revlon the day after she signed the affidavit, her impression that it went poorly, whereas we heard--not testimony, but statements in the presentation of White House lawyers that, in fact, it didn't go poorly, it went very well, but she felt it went so poorly that she went immediately out to call Vernon Jordan. Why? Why not hear her come in and tell us why she did that?
There will, of course, be other matters of record that she can clarify, and certainly being available to the White House defense team she will be vigorously cross-examined. I am sure that might also clarify other matters.
It is my feeling that a fair and comprehensive examination without interruption could be conducted of Ms. Lewinsky in 2 to 4 hours, and depending on the length of cross-examination by White House attorneys, we may not need any redirect examination.
While defense counsel for the President and others for the President--I heard it so many times, I am not sure exactly who said this so I don't want to attribute to defense counsel, and maybe they haven't even said it, but there has been word out of the White House that if we call one witness, we might as well settle into a siege here in the Senate; we will be here for months and months and months. I suggest that is an outrageous statement, that we will need that amount of time to pursue this case if witnesses are called.
We are confident that that, basically in its best case, is an attempt to discourage you from calling witnesses; and in its worst case, unfortunately, is a veiled threat that they will be dilatory and drag this out for months and months if the Senate would allow.
House managers are establishing a good-faith effort to cut our witnesses, as I said, down to three people, and to commit to reasonable times of examination with the assurance that we will finish this as quickly as we can and we will hope and perhaps the Senate their defense team.
Witnesses can be called and a fair trial could be accomplished if all concerned would agree. Would the Senate consider requesting the President's defense team to also select 3 or fewer witnesses in an effort to move this process along? And we think, too, that the depositions, while they are important, if they are solely for the purpose of discovery, I ask, why would the White House need to discover what Vernon Jordan has to say, what Betty Currie has to say, or Sidney Blumenthal, or John Podesta--any of these witnesses? They would have to take Monica Lewinsky's deposition, but any other discovery deposition, it seems to me, they have complete access to already.
As I close, I want to leave you with some words that have been of some comfort to me, and I think we have all needed some comfort at times during these proceedings. It is a very short quote of the opening remarks of Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino in 1974. Again, in part, he says:
We know that the very real security of this Nation lies in the integrity of its institutions and the informed confidence of its people.
He talked about the Nixon hearings.
We will conduct our deliberations in that spirit. It has been said that our country, troubled by too many crises in recent years, is too tired to consider this one. In the first year of the Republic, Thomas Paine wrote, 'Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.'
Back to Rodino:
Now for almost 200 years, Americans have undergone the stress of preserving their freedom and the Constitution that protects it. It is now our turn.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I respectfully ask you to permit the House managers to call these 3 named witnesses and add this additional evidence. I thank you. I yield to Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
Mr. Manager HUTCHINSON. Mr. Chief Justice, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, my responsibility is to address the testimony of Vernon Jordan and the need to call him as a witness in this case.
Before I go into the details of that, let me just reflect for a moment on the Senate trial process. I said many days ago that I had confidence in the United States Senate, and I thought that at this particular juncture it might be good if I reassured you that I still had confidence in the United States Senate. When I think about the trial process that we are going through, I have to compliment you on the fact that you have structured a bipartisan process. I think that is important because you gave this process credibility. So you did the right thing, and I, for one, am pleased with what you were able to accomplish in that endeavor.
Now, whenever you achieve a bipartisan process, you have to make compromises along the way. And the result is a format that is not particularly helpful to the trial managers, the House managers, who wish to call witnesses. We have struggled through that. But notwithstanding the present difficulty, I still compliment you and thank you for what you have done in achieving that bipartisan consensus. I think back to that meeting that I had early on, and some other managers, with the bipartisan group
of Senators from this body--and I now look at some from both sides of the aisle--and I went in there with this high-minded thought that we could make a case for witnesses because of what the other managers have described as the tone and demeanor of witnesses. Well, that was quickly brushed aside by them saying, 'No, no, no, we want to hear about what conflicts exist in the testimony; just tell us what the conflicts are because that is a strong case for calling witnesses.' Well, that threw me back on my heels. So I went back and, as you know, in the question and answer session I addressed the question of conflicts. I think we did a good job of outlining the conflicts between various witnesses.
Well, then I was informed that, 'We really are not as interested in the conflicts because the conflicts exist in the current transcript. Therefore, really, we want to know what new information and what dynamic these witnesses can add.' That threw me back for a curve. So we looked at this again and we tried to make a case.
I'm going to show you what new dynamics and questions can be asked. Ultimately, when you take the depositions, many of those questions are going to be answered. So you come back full circle to where we started in the beginning--that ultimately I hope witnesses are called so you can evaluate their credibility, determine their demeanor, and assess the truth in this case. I think that is important. I know people talk about me as being a former Federal prosecutor. Actually, at one time, I confess, I represented a defendant in a murder case. This gentleman was charged with murder, and the prosecution in Logan County, Arkansas --near Senator Bumpers' hometown--decided they wanted to handle one of the key witnesses by deposition, as that person was out of State. I objected and objected, because I thought that witness ought to be in the courtroom. The judge overruled me and said, 'You can go take the deposition and the defense counsel will be there to cross-examination.' So we traipsed off to the other State and took this witness' deposition, and she made a lousy witness. I said she would not be believed for anything because of the way she appeared. Well, we brought the transcript back to the courtroom. The prosecution, over my objection, put the transcript into the record and, all of a sudden, that cold transcript was believable --particularly when they had it read by another witness that didn't look anything like the original lady. My client was convicted, but that case was reversed in the Arkansas supreme court because the court said it was important that the jury look into the eyes of the witness, see the demeanor of that witness and determine the credibility.
So ultimately, we come back to that same point--that somehow you are going to have to resolve the conflicts. I know of only one way to do it. We have tried to be extraordinarily helpful and cooperative with the United States Senate. I came in with this idea that we were going to present this case with 14 or 15 witnesses. Clearly, that is off the table. We have narrowed this down to 3 witnesses; that is tough to decide, but we believe that represents the basic heart of the obstruction of justice case and gets to at least 6 of the 7 elements, so that you can evaluate that. But we want to assist you, clearly, in getting to the truth, but also to bring this matter to a conclusion fairly and as expeditiously as possible.
Now, let's look to Mr. Vernon Jordan. Should he be called as a witness in this case? His testimony goes to the heart of one of the elements of obstruction of justice--that is, the job search and the false affidavit, and the interconnection between those. I have tried, during my presentation of this case, to present portions of his testimony--excerpts, if you will, from his testimony. But you will see that he has testified 5 times before the Federal grand jury. I have read all of this. I am not going to ask for a show of hands, but how many of you have read all of this? And so you have had to rely upon a trial--an ordeal by lawyers, rather than a trial by witnesses
because I have had to present the testimony of Vernon Jordan in excerpt fashion with limited quotes here and there--as the defense counsel has done likewise. That makes it difficult because the problem is, one, you are hearing it from her, but, second, it is not a story, it is excerpts, and there is no way you can assess the truth because of that.
If you look at the times that Mr. Jordan has testified before the grand jury: March 3, 1998; March 5, 1998; May 28, and June 9; the last time he ever testified was June 9, 1998--let's look at what has happened since then, since Mr. Jordan last testified before the grand jury. I believe these charts are in front of you.
July 22, Ms. Currie testified before the grand jury. So any of the facts we gain from Ms. Currie were not utilized in the last examination of Vernon Jordan.
August 6, what happened on that date? Ms. Lewinsky testified before the grand jury and she revealed some new facts during that time that Mr. Jordan has never had an opportunity to explain, respond to, or answer. I will go into that. One of them is about disposing of notes. The second one is about drafting the affidavit. And, of course, by that time the DNA on the dress had been revealed.
Then the next thing that happened was the President's revelation to the Nation that this relationship did exist. And then he testified before the grand jury. All of the facts revealed from those instances were not revealed at the time Vernon Jordan last testified before the grand jury.
Obviously, any lawyer would understand there are naturally questions that arise from each of those incidents that could be posed to Mr. Jordan. Why has that not been done? Quite frankly, I have talked to, as I mentioned the other day, the attorney for Mr. Jordan. I have not talked to Mr. Jordan personally. I think that clearly the Senate does not want us to do that until we get past this next hurdle. But those are the things that need to be resolved.
Let me address briefly three areas of conflicts and testimony between Mr. Jordan and Ms. Lewinsky that point up other areas of questioning that would be appropriate that he should have the opportunity to explain.
I have been accused of being harsh to Mr. Jordan, and I don't mean to be that way. There have been certain things that have been stated by witnesses in this case that ought to be explained, that ought to be questioned of Mr. Jordan. But we need to have good answers to these questions. We need to know those answers.
The first conflict--I will get to that--is between Mr. Jordan's testimony and Ms. Lewinsky's testimony about whether Mr. Jordan knew the true nature of the relationship with the President.
In Mr. Jordan's testimony of May 28, he was asked a question, 'You're saying no one to your recollection ever suggested or alleged a sexual relationship prior to the 18th of January between Monica Lewinsky and the President.' The answer: 'That is correct.'
That was on May 28. Ms. Lewinsky was asked the same series of questions months later--in August of 1998--and she indicated, she testified, 'And I remarked that I really didn't look at him as the President'--that, 'I saw him more as a man and reacted to him more as a man and got angry at him like a man and just a regular person. Mr. Jordan asked me what I got angry
at the President about. So I told him when he doesn't call me enough or see me enough.'
And so after we had the conversation I was just talking about with Mr. Jordan, he said to me, 'Well, you know what your problem is,' and I said, 'What?' He said, 'Don't deny it,' and he said, 'You're in love. That's what your problem is.'
This is Monica Lewinsky referring to what Mr. Jordan had said.
So clearly those are relevant questions that need to be readdressed to Mr. Jordan because they were raised by Ms. Lewinsky in subsequent testimony that have never been asked to him in that fashion.
There is a conflict in the testimony between Mr. Jordan and Ms. Lewinsky about whether the subpoena was discussed at the December 22 meeting. Mr. Jordan testified in March that, 'We did not talk about the subpoena. She wanted to know about her job. That was the purpose of her coming.' And the question was, 'Anything beyond that?' The answer was, 'No.'
And that is March 6 of 1998. Ms. Lewinsky testified contrary.
Let's turn our attention then to December 22, which is the day she met with Frank Carter. 'And I think you said you were going to meet with Mr. Jordan.' Answer: 'So I came to see Mr. Jordan earlier, and I also wanted to find out if he had in fact told the President that I had been subpoenaed.'
That was her testimony which is in direct conflict--that the subpoena was discussed on the same day that she went to see Mr. Carter about the representation.
Where is the relevance in this?
If you recall, Mr. Jordan said it didn't take an Einstein to figure out that, whenever you combine whenever she got the subpoena, that it changed the circumstances.
Here you have three problems. You have a job search, you have a witness in court, and if you combine that with the knowledge of a relationship, those are three dynamite issues combining together that should cause anyone--not just one change of circumstances but it elevates it to a higher level of danger because of the correlation between each of those three separate facts--each of these conflicts, and the testimony of Monica Lewinsky goes to those key fundamental issues. And Mr. Jordan has never been asked sufficiently about those areas.
The third conflict--this is key--is the testimony of Monica Lewinsky. Mr. Jordan testified that he never talked to Ms. Lewinsky about Linda Tripp. That is his March 5, 1998, testimony. But Ms. Lewinsky testifies in her August 6 testimony about a meeting with Mr. Jordan on December 31.
This is the third exhibit. I will read that:
And I met Mr. Jordan for breakfast on . . . the morning of [December] 31st, at the Park Hyatt Hotel. And in the course of the conversation I told him that I had had this friend, Linda Tripp . . . and I was a little bit concerned because she had spent the night at my home a few times and I thought--I told Mr. Jordan, I said, well, maybe she's heard some--you know--I mean, maybe she saw some notes lying around. And Mr. Jordan said, 'Notes from the President to you?' And I said, 'No, notes from me to the President.' And he said, 'Go home and make sure they're not there.'
This is Ms. Lewinsky's testimony of August 6 before the grand jury.
And before anything is said, I am not accusing anyone of anything. But let me tell you, it would be significant if Mr. Jordan is asked a question if that is a true statement and he says yes. It is significant to the case. If he says no, that is significant because there is a clear conflict in the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky. And her testimony goes to the heart of the issue. If he says, 'I don't remember,' which is a third alternative--by the way, I hate giving these prospective witnesses all my questions--but if he says, 'I don't remember,' that does not put the issue in dispute with Ms. Lewinsky and establishes really her recollection of the incident.
So I could go through more. I could go through more conflict with Ms. Lewinsky about whether Mr. Jordan saw the unsigned draft copy of her affidavit, a key issue in this case. Ms. Lewinsky testifies one way. Mr. Jordan did not have the benefit of Ms. Lewinsky's testimony when he was asked earlier in the grand jury. So that needs to be addressed with him.
There is a conflict with Ms. Lewinsky on whether they discussed the contents of the affidavit--not just whether they saw the signed affidavit, but whether the contents were discussed. The question to Mr. Jordan was, 'Did you ever discuss with Ms. Lewinsky what she was going to include in the affidavit?' Answer: 'I was not Ms. Lewinsky's lawyer. The answer to that is no.'
But he goes on and elaborates on that. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and Jordan did have a conversation about deleting a certain sentence in the affidavit and reworking that.
That is what I just covered on the contents of the affidavit.
Let me just go to one other on the conflict where the affidavit was discussed at their last meeting. Mr. Jordan testified in March that she came into the office:
She gave me a tie. I said, 'Monica, I am really busy, thank you.' And she thanked me, and she is gone.
'Any subsequent conversation?' The answer: 'No.'
Ms. Lewinsky's testimony is:
I stopped in to see him for five minutes to thank him for giving me the job, and I gave him a tie.
She further testified,
I believe I showed him a copy of the affidavit.
Clear conflict, very important, once again showing a connection between the job, the false affidavit, and, of course, if you tie in the other aspect about the relationship, it gets very significant and something that needs to be further inquired about.
So there are some of the conflicts between the testimony, and an area that we need to inquire of Mr. Jordan about.
The notes to the President that Ms. Lewinsky said she had a conversation with him about, that has never been addressed to Mr. Jordan whatsoever.
The December 19 meeting we need to explore more with Mr. Jordan. This is the meeting when Ms. Lewinsky was subpoenaed. She called Mr. Jordan. He says, 'Come over.' She goes over there to meet with Mr. Jordan, and during that meeting, according to the telephone logs, Mr. Jordan received a call from the President of the United States. Mr. Jordan has testified that he told the President that Ms. Lewinsky got subpoenaed.
That appears to be exactly during the meeting--the conversation he is having with Ms. Lewinsky.
I think appropriate questions to Mr. Jordan are: Did you excuse Ms. Lewinsky from the meeting? Did you have a private conversation with the President about the subject that you were talking to Ms. Lewinsky about? And when you renewed your conversation with Ms. Lewinsky, did you in fact tell her about your conversation with the President? If Ms. Lewinsky was not told about that conversation, I think there is some significance there, that things were going on that people were compartmentalizing and not sharing with the other interested parties, and I think that is significant and that needs to be explored. His involvement with reviewing the affidavit needs to be developed, and the conflicts, his knowledge of the nature of the relationship with Ms. Lewinsky.
So all of these need to be further explored. There are a number of unanswered questions.
One final area. I obviously have a number, but I don't want to belabor this point. There was testimony I mentioned about Mr. Isikoff and how Betty Currie felt compelled to go see Mr. Jordan about Mr. Isikoff inquiring about the courier records on the gifts from Ms. Lewinsky to the President. There is some indication that that information might have been shared with Mr. Frank Carter because Ms. Lewinsky testified that she received a page from Mr. Carter, her attorney, about the Isikoff call, the Isikoff request. How did that information get to Mr. Carter? I think there are some legitimate questions that should be asked there.
So we would respectfully ask the Senate to permit us to call Mr. Jordan as a witness, to depose him. But, further, we hope we will be able to call him so that you can evaluate the conflicts that I am sure exist now, that very likely will exist later on as well. The story needs to be told. The truth should be determined. Justice should be accomplished. That is done not through lawyers up here talking, it is not done through transcripts, but through witnesses. Edmund Burke said that to fail to hear the evidence is to fail to hear the cause. I know that you have transcripts, but I would contend to you that to fail to hear these witnesses is in essence to fail to hear the cause.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, could I inquire about the balance of the time remaining for the House managers?
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Yes. The managers have 52 minutes remaining.
Mr. LOTT. Do they intend to use more of their time now?
Well, Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that we take a 30-minute break at this point.
There being no objection, at 1:22 p.m., the Senate recessed until 1:59 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 have a unanimous consent request to propound. We have discussed this with Senator Daschle and it has been cleared.
I ask unanimous consent that following the conclusion of the arguments by the managers and the White House counsel today on the motion to subpoena witnesses, it be in order at that point only for Senator Harkin or Senator Wellstone to make a motion to open that debate pursuant to his motion timely filed, and that the Senate proceed immediately to the vote, pursuant to the impeachment rules.
I further ask that following that vote, if defeated, it be in order to move to close the session for deliberations on the motion to subpoena witnesses, as provided under the impeachment rules of the Senate and proceed to immediate vote.
If we have any change in either one of these, certainly we would have to ask for consent on that and would notify Members to that effect.
I further ask that if the Senate votes to proceed to closed session, those deliberations be limited to 3 hours equally divided between the two leaders, notwithstanding the 5-minute allocation of time under the impeachment rule.
I further ask unanimous consent that when the Senate concludes its business today, it stand in adjournment until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27.
Finally, I ask unanimous consent that pursuant to S. Res. 16, the votes occur immediately upon convening on Wednesday, first on the motion to dismiss, and if defeated, the motion to subpoena witnesses without intervening action or debate.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. In the absence of objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. LOTT. I believe, Mr. Chief Justice, we are ready to proceed with White House counsel.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Counsel Kendall.
Mr. Manager ROGAN. Mr. Chief Justice, we reserve our time.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Very well.
You are going to use it now? You have 52 minutes remaining. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Rogan.
Mr. Manager ROGAN. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the Senate. When I was a trial judge back in California, there was something I had to do in every single case, whether it was a criminal or civil case, and that was to advise the triers of fact --in that particular case, the jury--that what the lawyers say is not evidence. This is a universal warning that is given in courtrooms throughout the country to the triers of fact, because the law prefers that those people who have to make the determination as to what the facts are make that determination based not only on interpretation of the evidence, but based upon what the evidence actually is. And that has been the underpinning of our argument before this body from the very first day as to why witnesses are needed--not to accommodate us, but for the Senate to be able to make the ultimate conclusion as to what is the truth.
A perfect example of why the evidence should come from witnesses rather than lawyers can be seen from the fact that throughout these proceedings lawyers on both sides have tried to characterize what is the evidence and tried to characterize the interpretation that this body should adopt.
I am reminded when we were before the Judiciary Committee, just before we voted articles of impeachment, White House counsel suggested to our committee, as they do before this body, that the President's state of mind during his various statements under oath were intended to mislead people but to be truthful. They say the President didn't lie. Instead, they say he carefully crafted these hypertechnical definitions to protect himself from any perjury charge.
We believe the evidence will show that by so doing, Paula Jones was denied the information a Federal judge said she was entitled to have and, thereby, perjury and obstruction of justice lie.
Before the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Ruff reaffirmed this was the President's strategy. This is what Mr. Ruff told our committee:
Question to Mr. Ruff:
I do want to make sure I understand your position. From the beginning, the President has taken the position that he never lied to the American people or lied while giving testimony under oath. Essentially claims he simply misled [them] with a different definition, and he was sending the same message both to the American people and the court.
Answer by Mr. Ruff:
I think that is fair, Congressman. Yes.
And he did that intentionally, because in his own mind he drew a distinction between the technical definition of 'sexual relations' and the definition of 'improper relationship,' or something along those lines, which is how he now characterizes his relationship with Monica Lewinsky?
Answer by Mr. Ruff:
Yes, I think that's correct.
You suggested earlier in your testimony this
Answer by Mr. Ruff:
In determining whether the President either perjured himself or lied under oath in this matter, you are asking the committee to look to his state of mind from the beginning of this whole episode and make that determination?
Members of this body, we suggest that the evidence has shown, and the evidence will further show by the calling of the witnesses that we propose, that the President denied under oath specific facts that were relevant to the case, relevant to the Jones case, relevant to the perjury and obstruction investigation by the grand jury, and, in so doing, among the other lies that my colleagues have pointed out, we will show that he lied to his aides.
This is important, because he, the President, admitted he knew that his aides were potential witnesses in a criminal investigation before the grand jury. This is the portion of the grand jury transcript where the President testified about his conversations with key aides once the Monica Lewinsky story became public.
Question to the President:
Did you deny it to them or not, Mr. President?
Answer: . . .I did not want to mislead my friends, but I wanted to find language where I could say that. I also, frankly, did not want to turn any of them into witnesses, because I--and, sure enough, they all became witnesses.
Question: Well, you knew they might be witnesses, didn't you?
Answer: And so I said to them things that were true about this relationship. That I used--in the language I used, I said, there's nothing going on between us. That was true. I said, I have not had sex with her as I defined it. That was true. And did I hope that I would never have to be here on this day giving this testimony? Of course. But I also didn't want to do anything to complicate this matter further. So, I said things that were true. . ..
The President's position is they were misleading, but they were true. No lies, and that is precisely what Mr. Ruff told the Judiciary Committee, and that is the position that White House counsel takes before this body.
Remember, the grand jury was conducting a criminal investigation. They were seeking evidence of possible perjury and obstruction of justice, and the White House contends before this body that the President did nothing to obstruct their investigation. The evidence shows that he did. One of those witnesses who will demonstrate that to this body is the President's own aide, Sidney Blumenthal. That is why we request this body to allow Mr. Blumenthal to be deposed, and, further, we hope that you will allow him the opportunity to testify before you so that you can gauge his credibility and his demeanor as he presents the answers that we expect he will give.
Mr. Blumenthal's testimony puts him in direct conflict with the claims of the President and shatters the myth of the President's truthful but misleading answers given under oath.
Just for a quick way of background, Mr. Blumenthal, on
January 21, 1998, was an assistant to the President. That was the day the Monica Lewinsky story broke in the national press through the Washington Post. That story broke in the morning.
Later the same day, Mr. Blumenthal met both with the First Lady and then with the President to discuss these news revelations. One month later, Mr. Blumenthal was called to testify before the grand jury. His testimony was not particularly helpful during that time because, through most of the questioning that involved conversations that he had at the White House, Mr. Blumenthal claimed executive privilege.
That issue was apparently litigated, and then he returned in June to testify before the grand jury twice, on June 4 and on June 25, 1998.
When Mr. Blumenthal was free to share his recollections of the events, this is how Mr. Blumenthal characterized his meetings with President and Mrs. Clinton before the grand jury. It is interesting to note, by the way, that there was a dual lie going on here from the President. The President was lying to his wife, who could never be called as a witness against him, but he was also lying to his aides whom he admitted could be called.
This is from Mr. Blumenthal's testimony on June 4.
The First Lady said that she was distressed that the President was being attacked, in her view, for political motives, for his ministry of a troubled person. She said that the President ministers to troubled people all the time. . .and he does so out of religious conviction and personal temperament.
* * * * *
And the First Lady said he had done this dozens if not hundreds of times with people, the President came from a broken home and this was very hard to prevent him from trying to minister to these troubled people.
So I related that conversation to the President. . .. And I said to him that I understand that you. . .want to minister to troubled people, that you feel compassionate, but that part of the problem with troubled people is that they're. . .troubled. . ..
I said, 'However, you're President and these troubled people can just get you in incredible messes. . .you have to cut yourself off from them.'
And he said, [meaning the President, he said,] 'It's very difficult for me to do that, given how I am. I want to help people.'
Then Mr. Blumenthal testified that the President said Dick Morris suggested that the President go on television and admit in a national address whatever he may have done wrong.
Once again Mr. Blumenthal testified:
And I said to the President, 'What have you done wrong?' And he said, 'Nothing. I haven't done anything wrong.' [And] I said, 'Well, then, that's one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard. Why would you do that if you've done nothing wrong?'
And it was at that point that he gave his account of 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.'
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 anymore.
And I repeated to the President that he really needed never to be near people who were troubled like this, that it was just--he needed not to be near troubled people like this. And I said, 'You need to find some sure footing here, some solid ground.'
And he said, 'I feel like a character in a novel. I feel like somebody who is surrounded by an oppressive force that is creating a lie about me and I can't get the truth out. I feel like the character in the novel Darkness at Noon.'
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.'
I said, 'You know, there are press reports that you made phone calls to her and that there's voice mail. Did you make phone calls to her?"
He said that he remembered calling her when Betty Currie's brother died and that he left a message on her voice
And then in his June 24 deposition, Mr. Blumenthal expanded on this thinking. He was asked the question:
In your conversation with the President when he stated that Monica Lewinsky threatened to disclose an affair, or fabricate an affair in a public disclosure, did you understand him to be saying that if the President didn't concede or didn't agree to have some [type] of sexual contact with her, that she would report an affair?
Answer: My understanding was that she demanded to have sexual relations. He rejected her. And she said that--this is --I recall him saying--that, 'They called me the Stalker.' That's what Lewinsky said. 'And if I can say we had an affair, then they won't call me that,' something like that.
Question: Now, you previously characterized Ms. Lewinsky's comments to the President as a threat, if you will?
Answer: Right, yeah, I would interpret--that's my understanding.
Then Mr. Blumenthal told the grand jury about the impact the President's emphatic denials had upon his state of mind-- the mind of a potential grand jury witness.
Question: In response to my question how you responded to the President's story about a threat or discussion about a threat from Ms. Lewinsky, you mentioned you didn't recall specifically. Do you recall generally the nature of your response to the President?
Answer by Mr. Blumenthal:
It was generally sympathetic to the President. And I certainly believed his story. It was a very heartfelt story, he was pouring out his heart, and I believed him.
* * * * *
Question: Did the President explain to you what Monica Lewinsky's trouble was that he was helping?
Question: And you never asked him?
Question: Did anyone else, including the First Lady, tell you what Monica Lewinsky's trouble was that the President was ministering about?
* * * * *
Question: What did you understand the President to mean by, he had done nothing wrong?
Answer: My understanding was that the accusation against him, which appeared in the press that day, was false, that he had not done anything wrong.
Question: That he had not had any sort of sexual relationship?
Answer: He had not had a sexual relationship with her and had not sought to obstruct justice or suborn perjury.
Mr. Blumenthal then went on to say he then asked the President about some of these reports that there were phone calls between him and Monica Lewinsky.
Question: Did the President say anything to you about telephone calls with Monica Lewinsky?
Answer: As I testified, I had said to him that there were reports that his voice was on her voice mail, her tape machine at home to take message--message machine. And he said
Question: Did he suggest to you that that was the only call he had ever made to Monica Lewinsky?
Answer: That's the only one he told me about.
Question: Did you ask him if there were any more calls than that?
Answer: He said that's the only one he could remember.
Well, we now know certainly from White House logs that 'the only one the President remembered' isn't quite true, that in fact I believe it was over 50 telephone conversations between the President and Monica Lewinsky. And it begs the question: Why was the President, on the day this story broke, pulling his aides in to relay information that the President knew was patently false when he knew that they were potential witnesses before the grand jury?
Now, it is important to remember that this testimony from Mr. Blumenthal was given 1 month before Monica Lewinsky decided to opt to cooperate with the Office of Independent Counsel. Thus, these questions were asked of him in a vacuum without the benefit of Ms. Lewinsky's extensive testimony, as well as the President's own grand jury testimony. And the House managers agree that these and other areas need to be more fully explored with the gentleman under oath in light of the later revelations that occurred surrounding this case.
Now, we know a couple of things. We know that the Monica Lewinsky story broke on January 21. We know that the President spoke to Sidney Blumenthal the very same day. We know that the President said he knew his aides could be potential witnesses before the grand jury. And we also know that Mr. Blumenthal was called three times before the grand jury--once in February, twice in June.
There is an important question that was never asked Mr. Blumenthal during his testimony. It could not have been asked because at the time he testified, the revelation that the President shared with America in August and Monica Lewinsky's revelation had not yet been aired. If the President knew that Mr. Blumenthal was going to be a witness, a potential witness before the grand jury, if 6 months after this story broke the President presumably knew that his aide had gone down, not once but twice, to the grand jury, I would like to know from Mr. Blumenthal: Did the President ever come up to you and say something to you? Did he ever say to you: Do you remember that story I told you back in January? Well, now that you're actually going to be a witness, I know that you're going down to testify before the grand jury, I don't want you to give the grand jury a false impression. I don't want you to give false information to the grand jury. I don't want you to be a cog in the wheel of an obstruction of giving the grand jury the opportunity to hear the truth. I need to recant for you what I told you.
There is no evidence of that. And we would like to find that out. And the only way we can do that is by deposing Mr. Blumenthal and hopefully bringing him in and sharing that information with this body.
Another area we would like to inquire about is the area of a potential plan to destroy Monica Lewinsky if she ever decided to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. Mr. Blumenthal told the grand jury that, following the Monica Lewinsky news revelations, White House aides held twice-a-day staff briefings, at 8:30 in the morning and at 6:45 in the evening, every day to discuss, among other topics, the media impact of the Lewinsky scandal and how to deal with it in the press.
Mr. Blumenthal testified that the primary purpose of these meetings was to discuss press strategy.
In making his presentation to the Judiciary Committee last month, chief investigative counsel, David Schippers, related some of the quotes that emanated in the press following the Lewinsky story. I want to read a few paragraphs from Mr. Schippers' presentation:
Worst of all, in order to win, it was necessary to convince the public, and hopefully, those grand jurors who read the newspapers, that Monica Lewinsky was unworthy of belief. If the account given by Monica to Linda Tripp was believed, then there would be a tawdry affair in and near the oval office. Moreover, the President's own perjury and that of Monica Lewinsky would surface. How do you do this? Congressman Graham showed you. You employ the full power and credibility of the White House and the press corps of the White House to destroy the witness.
Mr. Schippers then quoted from several news sources. Now, this is just a few days after the President told Mr. Blumenthal that Monica was known as 'the stalker.'
Inside the White House, the debate goes on about the best way to destroy 'that woman' as President Clinton called Monica Lewinsky. Should they paint her as a friendly fanaticist or as a malicious stalker?
Again, January 30th:
It's always very easy to take a mirror's eye view of this thing, look at this thing from a completely different direction and take the same evidence and posit a totally innocent relationship in which the President was a victim of someone, rather like the woman who followed David Letterman around.
From another source, 'One White House aide called reporters. . .'
One White House aide called reporters to offer information about Monica Lewinsky's past, her weight problem, and what the aide said was her nickname 'the stalker.'
Just hours after the story broke, one White House source made unsolicited calls offering that Lewinsky was the troubled product of divorced parents.
And the reference goes on and on. You can find the complete reference in the committee report.
Now the question is, Was this a mere coincidence that the President's false statements to Mr. Blumenthal about Monica Lewinsky being a 'stalker' quickly found their way into press accounts, even though those accounts are attributed by the press to sources inside the White House? The answer to the question is, yes, it is a coincidence, according to White House counsel. And we heard that from them just 3 days ago. Mr. Ruff said in his presentation, and I am quoting:
The White House, the President, the President's agents, the President's spokespersons, no one has ever trashed, threatened, maligned, or done anything else to Monica Lewinsky. No one.
Mr. Blumenthal needs to be questioned now under the light of the facts as we now know them. All we have from Mr. Blumenthal are the facts as he testified before the revelations saw the light of day, and he needs to be questioned for the benefit of those who must make a determination of credibility and the determination of guilt or innocence. This is the reason we have included Mr. Blumenthal on our proposed list. He is just one example of several aides whose testimony is already before you in the record. But we feel it would be beneficial
not only for the body to hear him, but certainly to question him in light of the revelations that occurred following his grand jury testimony.
Mr. Chief Justice, with that, we reserve the balance of our time.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Very well, the Chair recognizes Mr. Counsel Kendall for the White House.
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