THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
Feb. 4: Opening Business and Motions for Presentation of Evidence
From the Congressional Record
The Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, offered the following prayer:
Gracious God, these days here in the Senate are filled with crucial issues, differences on solutions, and eventually a vital vote in the impeachment trial. We begin this day's session with the question You asked King Solomon, `Ask! What shall I give You?' We empathize with Solomon's response. He asked for an `understanding heart.' We are moved by the more precise translation of the Hebrew words for `understanding heart,' meaning `a hearing heart.'
Solomon wanted to hear a word from You, Lord, for the perplexities he faced. He longed for the gift of wisdom so he could have answers and direction for his people. We are moved by Your response, `See, I have given you a wise and listening heart.'
I pray for nothing less as Your answer for the women and men of this Senate. Help them to listen to Your guidance and grant them wisdom for their decisions. All through our history as a Nation, You have made good men and women great when they humbled themselves, confessed their need for Your wisdom, and listened intently to You. Speak Lord; we need to hear Your voice. We are listening. Amen.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Senators will be seated. The Sergeant at Arms will make the proclamation.
The Sergeant at Arms, James W. Ziglar, made proclamation as follows:
Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. If there is no objection, the Journal of proceedings of the trial are approved to date.
The majority leader is recognized.
Mr. LOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
ORDER OF PROCEDURE
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, if I could take just a moment to outline how the proceedings will go this afternoon, I think that would answer any questions that Senators may have. We will, of course, continue with the consideration of articles of impeachment. I am not aware of any objections made during the depositions which require motions to resolve. Therefore, I believe the House managers are prepared to go forward with a motion that would have three parts. The first would allow for the introduction of the depositions into evidence. The second would call Monica Lewinsky as a witness. And the third part would allow for a presentation period by the parties for not to extend beyond 6 hours. This motion would be debated by the House managers and the White House counsel for not to exceed 2 hours.
In addition, it is my understanding that Senator Daschle intends to offer a motion that would provide for going directly to the articles of impeachment for a vote.
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. Chief Justice, will the majority leader yield?
Mr. LOTT. I am glad to yield to the minority leader, Senator Daschle.
Mr. DASCHLE. The motion would allow for closing arguments, final deliberations, and then the motions on the two articles.
Mr. LOTT. Having said that, Mr. Chief Justice, in order for the managers to prepare debate for the motions, I ask unanimous consent that the House managers and the White House counsel be allowed to make reference to oral depositions during this debate on pending motions.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Is there any objection? In the absence of objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. LOTT. Consequently, four votes, then, would occur in the 4 p.m. timeframe today with respect to these four motions.
We will take at least one break--maybe two--between now and then, and that would determine exactly when that series of votes would occur--once we begin the process of offering and debating the motions. And we will make a determination as to exactly when those provisions would occur.
In addition, if the motion for additional presentation time is agreed to by the Senate, it would be my intention to adjourn the trial after today's deliberations over until Saturday for the parties to make their preparations, then to present their presentations of evidence on Saturday, and the trial would then resume on Monday at 12 noon for the closing arguments of the parties.
Again, I remind all of my colleagues to please remain standing at their desks when the Chief Justice enters the Chamber and leaves the Chamber.
I thank my colleagues for their attention. I believe we are ready to proceed, Mr. Chief Justice.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager McCollumg.
MOTION FOR ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE, APPEARANCE OF WITNESSES, AND PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE
Mr. Manager McCOLLUM. Mr. Chief Justice, I have a motion to deliver to the Senate.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The clerk will read the motion:
The legislative clerk read as follows:
Motion of the United States House of Representatives for the Admission of Evidence, the Appearance of Witnesses, and the Presentation of Evidence
Now comes the United States House of Representatives, by and through its duly authorized Managers, and respectfully submits to the United States Senate its motion for the admission of evidence, the appearance of witnesses, and the presentation of evidence in connection with the Impeachment Trial of William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.
The House moves that the transcriptions and videotapes of the oral depositions taken pursuant to S. Res. 30, from the point that each witness is sworn to testify under oath to the end of any direct response to the last question posed by a party, be admitted into evidence.
The House further moves that the Senate authorize and issue a subpoena for the appearance of Monica S. Lewinsky before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed eight hours, and in connection with the examination of that witness, the House requests that either party be able to examine the witness as if that witness were declared adverse, that counsel for the President and counsel for the House Managers be able to participate in the examination of that witness, and that the House be entitled to reserve a portion of its examination time to reexamine the witness following any examination by the President.
The House further moves that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate, for a period of time not to exceed a total of six hours, equally divided, all or portions of the parts of the videotapes of the oral depositions of Monica S. Lewinsky, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., and Sidney Blumenthal admitted into evidence, and that the House be entitled to reserve a portion of its presentation time.
Mr. LOTT addressed the Chair.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.
Mr. LOTT. I understand that the pending motion is divisible, and as is my right, I ask that the motion be divided in the following manner: The first paragraph be considered division I; the second paragraph be considered division II; and the final paragraph be considered division III.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. It will be divided in the manner indicated by the majority leader.
Mr. LOTT. I thank the Chair.
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Is there any objection? In the absence of objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I identified this as the first paragraph to be considered division I. Actually, that should be the second paragraph would be division I, the third paragraph division II, and the fourth paragraph would be division III. I want that clarification.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. That will be the order.
Mr. LOTT. Also, so that both sides will understand, the motion--there is one motion, but we have divided it into three parts so there will only be 2 hours equally divided, one on each side; not 2 hours equally divided on each one of the three divisions. We had one clarification I believe we have cleared up, and I believe now we are ready to hear from the managers, Mr. Chief Justice.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Very well. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager McCollum.
Mr. Manager McCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
As the first one up here today, I have to fiddle with the microphone, I guess; it is sort of like testing. I apologize.
Mr. Chief Justice and Members of the Senate, what we have presented to you today is a three-part motion, as Mr. Lott has described it, and as you have heard read to you. We would like very much, as we always have, to have all the witnesses we want presented here live, as we would normally have in a trial, as the House has always believed that it should have.
We came before you a few days ago recognizing the reality of that and went forward with your procedures to request not 5, not 6, not 12, but 3 witnesses be deposed so that we might be able to, in the discovery process you have allowed us, gain the depositions of those three witnesses. Today we are before you with motions, first, to enter those depositions and the video recordings of those depositions into evidence formally for your consideration because they have now been accomplished; secondly, to request that you provide us with the opportunity to examine Monica Lewinsky live here as a witness on the floor of the Senate, and for you to allow us to present the other two depositions to you in some format; and, if you do not allow us the permission to have Ms. Lewinsky live here to examine as a witness, to allow us to present any or all portions of the depositions of all three of them.
Now, I think that it is eminently fair that we be allowed to present at least one witness live to you, the central witness in the cast of this entire proceeding, and that is Monica Lewinsky. I am not here to argue all of that. My principal discussion with you is going to be on the part dealing with just admitting these into evidence, and then my colleagues, Mr. Bryant, Mr. Hutchinson, and Mr. Rogan are going to present some complementary discussion about the entire motion as we go through this.
But in the context of all of this I think we have to recognize a couple of things. One is that live witnesses are preferable whether you have depositions or not. These were discovery depositions. We would have liked to have asked for all of them to be live. We were recognizing reality by coming down to one today, and the reasons are fairly straightforward. Some of you have had the privilege, and I am sure you have availed yourself of the opportunity, to look at the videotapes of these depositions, and you see that they are, indeed, what most depositions are. They are discovery. They have long pauses in them. They are not at all like it would be in a trial itself; you don't have the opportunity to fully see or explore with the witness the demeanor, the temperament, the spontaneity, all of those things that you normally get with an exchange. You have the camera simply focused on the witness. You don't get to have the interaction you get in a courtroom.
And remember, again, that we are dealing here first with your determining whether or not the President committed the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice and then the question of whether or not he should be removed from office. So I believe and we believe as House managers that you should at least let us have Monica Lewinsky here live for both of those reasons.
I also want to make comments specifically about just admitting these into evidence. There are two obvious reasons why, beyond the question of whether a witness should appear live or whether we should use portions of them in whatever fashion to present to you, they certainly should be part of the record. It seems self-evident. It is part of what you gave us as the procedure to do, and it would seem to me that it should be a mere formality for me to ask, but I cannot assume anything--we certainly do not--that we let these depositions into evidence, and there are two reasons why.
One is the historical basis for this. There has to be a record, not only for you but for the public and for history, of the entire proceeding. There is evidence in these depositions that needs to be a part of the official record, and that evidence is not just the cold transcript, but it is also the videotape with all of the limited, albeit not satisfactory, portion of it that you can see and observe. Especially if you were to conclude we weren't going to have any live witness here or were not going to allow us to present these depositions, you certainly should allow the depositions to be part of the record and the videotape part of it. It is evidence. It is to be examined. It seems self-evident.
But the second point is, as you are going to hear more from my colleagues in just a moment, there is new evidence in these depositions. There is new factual record information that needs to be here for you to decide the guilt or innocence question of the perjury and obstruction of justice charge.
One illustration I would give you--and I am sure my colleagues will give you plenty more--one of them deals with the gift question. We have talked about it a lot out here. If you recall with regard to the question of the gifts, the issue is did the President obstruct justice? Did he decide in the Jones case, in the Jones Court, as a part of his course of conduct of trying to keep from the Court the nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky to keep the gifts hidden?
There is new information in the deposition relative to what happened on the day those gifts were supposedly exchanged between Monica Lewinsky and Betty Currie, about the telephone call. Again, I am not going into the details of that. I will leave that for my colleagues who took the depositions. They can tell you about it. The point is you could enumerate--and they will--new evidence. There is significant relevant new evidence from the Vernon Jordan deposition and from the Sidney Blumenthal deposition. So just on the record alone, just to put the depositions into the Record, there can be nothing complete about this trial if we don't at least do that. At least do that.
And so with that in mind, having said that and urging you to do that, I will yield to Mr. Manager Bryant at this point in time.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Bryant.
Mr. Manager BRYANT. Mr. Chief Justice, distinguished colleagues and Senators, I would encourage each of you to consider calling Monica Lewinsky as the one live witness in this proceeding. Ms. Lewinsky continues to be, in her own way, an impressive witness. As I spoke to you earlier, she does have a story to tell. After all, no one knows more about the majority of the allegations against the President other than, of course, the President himself.
At her deposition, she appeared to be a different Monica Lewinsky than the Monica Lewinsky whom I had met a week earlier. Unlike before, she was not open to discussion or fully responsive to fair inquiry. She didn't volunteer her story. She didn't tell her story. Rather, she was very guarded in each response and almost protective. Her words were carefully chosen and relatively few. At times, the concepts that she discussed had the familiar ring of another key witness to these proceedings, such as `it wasn't a lie' or `wasn't false,' it was `misleading or incomplete.' `Truth is what one believes it is and may be different for different people.' `Truth depends on the circumstances.'
As we progressed through her deposition Monday, I felt more and more like one of the characters in the classic movie `Witness For The Prosecution.' I was Charles Laughton. Ms. Lewinsky was Marlene Dietrich. And the President was Tyrone Power. If you are familiar with this movie, you will understand, and if you aren't, you should see the movie.
However, there was and there still remains truth in her testimony. Sometimes, though, just like the President, and now Ms. Lewinsky, it is the literal truth only, the most restricted and stretched definition one could reach. And we all know that the law frowns upon manipulations such as this to avoid telling the complete truth. Her testimony is clearly tinted, some might even say tainted, by a mixture of her continued admiration for the President, her desire to protect him, and her own personal views of right and wrong.
And she was well represented in the deposition by some of Washington's finest defense attorneys who had thoroughly prepared her for all questions, as they should have, as well as being present throughout the deposition to assist her. In fact, the Senator in charge of this particular deposition had to warn these counsel not to coach and not to whisper to her while she was attempting to answer the questions.
If you have seen this deposition, you have witnessed an effective effort by a loyal supporter of the President to provide the very minimum of truth in order to be consistent with her own grand jury testimony, which is legally necessary for her to fulfill the terms of her immunity agreement.
On the perjury article of impeachment, she reaffirmed the specific facts which happened between her and the President on more than one occasion, including November 15, 1995, their first encounter, when the President's conduct fit squarely within the four corners of the term `sexual relationship' as defined in the Jones lawsuit, and this is in opposition to the President's own sworn testimony of denial. But this is one of the clearest examples of the President's guilt of this charge of perjury. It is not about this twisted definition the President assigned to the term `sexual relations.' Rather, it is his word against her word as to whether this specific conduct occurred. Even under his own reading of this definition, he agrees that that specific conduct, if it occurred, would make him guilty of sexual relations within that definition. But he simply says I did not do that; she says you did do that--a `he said/she said' case.
But this is why it is important for you to be able to see Ms. Lewinsky in person. In the deposition you will observe her as having to affirm her prior testimony. She had to affirm her prior testimony because that was what was in the grand jury, and because of this, she could not back away at all on her testimony. She couldn't bend it here or there, she couldn't
shade it in the President's favor. So what you have is a person, who you may well conclude is still wanting to help the President, having to admit to testimony that would do damage to the President, a very difficult situation for her. But, yet, this same difficulty lends this portion of her testimony great credibility.
With respect to the other article of impeachment on obstruction of justice, her credibility is again bolstered by her reluctance to do legal harm to this President. In the end, though, she does admit that he called her early one morning in December of 1997--actually it was 2 o'clock in the morning--and told her that she was on the witness list. And he told her that she might be able to file an affidavit to avoid testifying. And he told her that she could always use the story that she was bringing papers to him, or coming up to see Ms. Currie.
Now, we know that she did not carry papers to him on these visits other than personal, private notes from her to him. And Ms. Lewinsky indicated in the deposition that she didn't carry him official papers, although she did pass along this cover story --of carrying papers--to her attorney, Mr. Carter. She testified also that she discussed the draft affidavit with Mr. Jordan, changes were made, she offered the President the opportunity to review it, he declined, and, according to Ms. Lewinsky, he never suggested any way that she could file a truthful affidavit, sufficient to skirt--avoid having to testify. This, in spite of his answer to this Senate where he told you that he might have had a way for her to file a truthful affidavit and still avoid testifying in the Jones case.
Yes, you can parse the words and you can use legal gymnastics, but you cannot get around the filing of a false affidavit in an effort to avoid appearing in the Jones case and possibly providing damaging testimony against the President.
Ms. Lewinsky confirmed positively that Ms. Currie initiated a telephone call to her on December 28, 1997, stating words--and this is about the gifts--`I understand you have something for me.' Then Ms. Currie drove over to Ms. Lewinsky's home and picked up the box of gifts.
Now, remember, this occurred on the heels of Ms. Lewinsky's conversation with the President that very morning about what she might do with the gifts. Now, the only--the only explanation is that the President is directly involved, himself, in the obstruction of justice by telling Ms. Currie, who otherwise knew nothing about this earlier conversation, to retrieve these items from Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Lewinsky said there was no doubt that Ms. Currie initiated the call to retrieve the gifts.
Also recall that the President's testimony from his side was that this conversation occurred earlier in the day with Ms. Lewinsky but that he had told her she would have to turn over whatever gifts that she had. Now, with that advice from the President, it would be totally illogical for Ms. Lewinsky to have then called Ms. Currie that same day and ask her to come pick up and hold these gifts. By calling Ms. Currie, Ms. Lewinsky would have been going against the direct instruction of the President to surrender any and all gifts. The facts, the logic, and common sense tell us all that the President's version is not true and that he obstructed justice here.
Ms. Lewinsky also testified at the deposition about the job at Revlon and obtaining a job offer within 2 days of signing the affidavit. She also denied that she was a stalker, as the President had described her in a conversation with Mr. Blumenthal in January of 1998. She also denied that she threatened the President or attempted to threaten the President into having an affair. She denied that he rebuffed her on the occasion of their first encounter on November 15, 1995. Again, all false statements that the President made to Mr. Blumenthal about her, with knowledge that Mr. Blumenthal would be testifying in a grand jury, thereby obstructing justice.
Now, the former lawyers and judges among us are familiar with what is called the best evidence rule. Stated simply, the court always prefers the best available evidence to be used. In-person testimony is better than a video deposition, which itself is better than the written transcript of a deposition. When all three forms of testimony are available, as they are in this situation, the court will most often require the witness to testify in person over the video deposition or over the written transcript of the deposition.
In closing, I know we all want to work within the Senate rules and we all want to ensure that these proceedings are concluded in a constitutional fashion by the end of next week. It is with this in mind that we propose that Ms. Lewinsky be called as a live witness, the only person called to testify in person, and, further, that we use the two depositions, the video depositions of Mr. Jordan and Mr. Blumenthal, in lieu of their personal attendance. In the event the Senate does not call Ms. Lewinsky, we also ask that we be permitted to use all or portions of her deposition, just as we would the other two depositions.
And finally, several Senators have sent out a letter to the President inviting him to come here and to provide his testimony, if he so chooses. In the event he should accept, Ms. Lewinsky, likewise, should be afforded the same opportunity. They continue to be the two most important and essential witnesses for you and the American people to hear in order to finally--finally--resolve this matter.
Permit us all to return to our districts, and you to your States, and tell our constituents that we considered the full and complete case, including live witnesses and, in your case, made your vote accordingly.
At this time, I yield to my colleague from Arkansas, Mr. Hutchinson.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
Mr. Manager HUTCHINSON. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, in an effort to be helpful, I have asked the pages to distribute to you some exhibits that I will be referring to as I consider the testimony that we are presenting to you.
There are two aspects to an impeachment trial. There is the truth-seeking responsibility, which is the trial, in my judgment, and then there is the conclusion, the judgment, the verdict, the conviction or the acquittal. If you look at those two phases of a trial, the latter is totally your responsibility. We leave that completely in your judgment.
But the first responsibility of the factfinding of the truth-seeking endeavor, I feel some responsibility in that regard. Hopefully, our presentation is helpful in seeking the truth. I know, as Mr. Bryant mentioned, that we all want to bring this matter to a conclusion. We want to see the end of this story. We want to have a final chapter in this national drama. I understand that and agree with that. But let's not, because we are in a hurry to get to the judgment phase, let's not let that detract, let's not let that shortchange, nor diminish the importance of the presentation and consideration of the facts, and that is what I think is very important as we consider this motion that is before us.
It is my responsibility to talk about Mr. Vernon Jordan--and the need for your consideration of his testimony--whom we recently deposed. I deposed Mr. Vernon Jordan, Jr., and I recommend that that be received in evidence as part of the Senate record.
I took this deposition under the able guidance of Senator Thompson and Senator Dodd. The questioning took place over almost 3 hours with numerous and extraneous objections on behalf of the President's lawyers, most of which were resolved.
I believe that the testimony of Mr. Jordan goes to the key element in the obstruction of justice article, and even though it is just one element that we are dealing with, it is a very important element because it goes to the connection between the job search, the benefit provided to a witness, and the solicited false testimony from that witness.
I believe the testimony of Mr. Jordan is dramatic in that it shows the control and direction of the President of the United States in the effort to obstruct justice. I believe the testimony of Mr. Jordan provides new evidence supporting the charges of obstruction and verifying the credibility of Ms. Lewinsky.
The testimony, in addition, is the most clear discussion of the facts reflecting Mr. Jordan's actions in behalf of the President and the President's direction and control of the activities of Mr. Jordan, and therefore they support the allegations under the articles of impeachment. Let me make the case for you.
If you have the President of the United States personally directing the effort to obtain a job for Ms. Lewinsky, which is a benefit to a witness, and simultaneously Ms. Lewinsky is under subpoena as a witness in the case, and thirdly, in addition, the President is suggesting means to that witness to avoid truthful testimony, as evidenced by the December 17 conversation and the suggestion of the affidavit, the conclusion is that you have a corrupt attempt to impede the administration of justice and the seeking of truth and the facts in the civil rights case.
Now, let me go to the testimony of Mr. Jordan. Has that been distributed now? Good. Let me give a caveat here, particularly to my colleagues, the counselors for the President, that this summary of the portions of the testimony of Mr. Jordan are based upon my handwritten notes. So, please don't blow it up in a chart if there is some discrepancy. I believe this is, in good faith, accurate, but I did not have a copy of the transcript. I was required to go to the Senate Chamber and actually take notes in order to prepare this.
There are a number of areas that I think are relevant and new information and are very important for your consideration. Let me just touch upon five areas.
The first one is the job search and Mr. Jordan being an agent of the President. In the deposition, Mr. Jordan testified that:
There is no question but that through Betty Currie I
He goes on to say:
I interpreted [the request, referring from Betty Currie] it as a request from the President.
Then he testified:
There was no question that he asked me to help [referring to the President] and that he asked others to help. I think that is clear from everybody's grand jury testimony.
So the question is as to whether the information, the request, came from Betty Currie or whether it came directly from the President, there is no question but that Mr. Jordan was acting at the request of the President of the United States and no one else. In fact, he goes on to say:
The fact is I was running the job search, not Ms. Lewinsky, and therefore, the companies that she brought or listed were not of interest to me. I knew where I would need to call.
This is very important. There has been a reference, `Well, he was simply getting a job referral, making a referral for routine employment interview by this person, Ms. Lewinsky.' But, in fact, it is clear that Mr. Jordan knew whom he wanted to contact. He was running the job search as he testified to.
Then he testified:
Question: You're acting in behalf of the President when you are trying to get Ms. Lewinsky a job and you were in control of the job search?
The answer is:
So that is one area, and it is important to establish that he was an agent for the President.
Secondly, there was a witness list that came out December 5. The President knew about it, at the latest, on December 6, and yet he had two meetings with Mr. Jordan, on December 7 and December 11. In neither one of those meetings was it disclosed to Mr. Jordan that Monica Lewinsky was a witness. I am referring to the second page of the exhibits I have handed you in which Mr. Jordan testified to that effect:
Question: And on either of these conversations that I've referenced, that you had with the President after the witness list came out, your conversation on 12/7 and your conversation sometime after the 11th, did the President tell you that Ms. Monica Lewinsky was on the witness list in the Jones case?
Answer: He did not.
Question: Would you have expected the President to tell you if he had any reason to believe that Ms. Lewinsky would be called as a witness in the Paula Jones case?
Answer: That would have been helpful.
Question: So it would have been helpful and it was something you would have expected?
Even though it would have been helpful, he would have expected the President to tell him the information, it was not disclosed to him. The materiality, the relevance, of that is that you have the President controlling a job search, knowing this is a witness in which we are trying to provide a benefit for, and yet the person he is directing to get the job for Ms. Lewinsky, he fails to tell Mr. Jordan the key fact that she is, in fact, a witness, an adverse witness in that case. I think that is an important area of his testimony.
The third area, keeping the President informed--very clear testimony about the development of the job search, the Lewinsky affidavit that was being prepared, and the fact that it was signed. On the third page I have provided to you, Mr. Jordan's testimony:
I was keeping him [the President] informed about what was going on and so I told him.
He goes on further to say:
He [referring to the President] was obviously interested in it.
Then the question, I believe, was:
What did you tell the President when the affidavit was signed?
And his answer:
Mr. President, she signed the affidavit, she signed the affidavit.
So was there any connection between the job benefit that was provided and the affidavit that was signed in reference to her testimony? Clearly, it was something the President not only directed the job search, but he was clearly interested, obviously concerned, receiving regular reports about the affidavit.
Then the fourth area is the information at the Park Hyatt that was developed. To lay the stage for this--and I will do this very briefly--if you look at page 4, you see the previous testimony of Mr. Jordan before the grand jury in March. At that time, the question was asked of him:
Did you ever have breakfast or any meal, for that matter, with Monica Lewinsky at the Park Hyatt?
His answer was:
It was not equivocally, it was indubitably no.
And he was further asked, and he testified:
I've never had breakfast with Monica Lewinsky.
And then on page 5 he goes on, in the May 28 grand jury testimony:
Did you at any time have any kind of a meal at the Park Hyatt with Monica Lewinsky?
His answer was:
So that sets the stage, because in Ms. Lewinsky's testimony, as evidenced by page 6 of your exhibits, she testified in August, after the last time Mr. Jordan testified, very clearly about this meeting on December 31 at the Park Hyatt with Mr. Jordan where they had breakfast. And the discussion was about Linda Tripp. And then the discussion went to the notes from the President, and she said, `No, [it was] notes from me to the President.' And Mr. Jordan told her, according to her testimony, `Go home and make sure they're not there.' That is Ms. Lewinsky's testimony.
It was important to ask Mr. Jordan about this. And I assumed that we, of course, would get simply a denial, sticking with the previous grand jury testimony, that unequivocally, no, that meeting never happened: we never had breakfast at the Hyatt.
On page 7, you will notice that Ms. Lewinsky, in her testimony, specifically identified even what they had for breakfast. And so the investigation required us to go out and get the receipt at the Park Hyatt, which is page 8. And the receipt showed that there was a charge on December 31 by Mr. Jordan that included every item for breakfast, that corroborated the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky as to her memory; that is, the omelette they had for breakfast.
And so it is tightening here. The evidence is becoming more clear, unequivocally, that this meeting occurred. And so we had to ask this of Mr. Jordan. And this is page 9. And, of course, I presented the Park Hyatt receipt, I presented the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, and his testimony, which is page 9:
It is clear, based on the evidence here, that I was at the Park Hyatt on Dec 31st. So I do not deny, despite my testimony before the grand jury, that on [December] 31 that I was there with Ms. Lewinsky, but I did testify before the Grand Jury that I did not remember having a breakfast with her on that date and that was the truth.
But what amazed me was, as you go through the questions with him, all of a sudden he remembered the breakfast but all of a sudden he remembered the conversation in which he before said it never happened at all. And his testimony was, when asked about the notes:
I am certain that Ms. Lewinsky talked to me about [the] notes.
And so I think there are a number of relevant points here. First of all, you reflect back on the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky in this same deposition in which she was asked the question, getting Mr. Jordan's approval was basically the same as getting the President's approval? Her answer: Yes.
And so that is how Ms. Lewinsky viewed this. And this is what was told to her at this meeting at the Park Hyatt. It goes to credibility, it goes to what happened, it goes to the obstruction of justice. It is extraordinarily relevant. It is new information. It is what was developed because this Senate granted us the opportunity to take this further deposition of Mr. Jordan and the other witnesses.
And there are other, you know--the fifth point is that the testimony goes to the interconnection between the job help and the testimony that was being solicited from Ms. Lewinsky.
So why is the presentation necessary? Some of you might even think, `Well, thank you very much for that explanation you have given to us. Now we have all the facts. Let's go on and vote.' Well, I do think there is some merit. First of all, this is not all. There is much more there. I just have a moment to develop a portion of Mr. Jordan's testimony that I believe is helpful, but, secondly, it tells a story that has never been told before.
Now, I went and saw the videotape and I was underwhelmed by my questioning, because it is just not the same. I thought we had a dynamic exchange. But then I saw it on videotape and I am nowhere to be found. You get to look at Mr. Jordan, a distinguished gentleman. But it is still helpful not withstanding the difficulty of a video presentation. I respectfully request this body to develop the facts fully, to hear the testimony of Mr. Jordan, to allow him to explain this that tells the story, start to finish, on this one aspect of obstruction of justice that is critical to your determination. And so I would ask your concurrence in the approval of the motion that has been offered to you, and at this time I yield to Manager Rogan.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Rogan.
Mr. Manager ROGAN. Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the Senate, yesterday, along with Mr. Manager Graham, I had the privilege of conducting the deposition of Sidney Blumenthal, assistant to the President. That deposition was presided over
by the senior Senator from Pennsylvania and the junior Senator from North Carolina. And on behalf of the House managers, and I am also sure the White House counsel, we thank them for the able job that they did.
This deposition must be played for Members of the U.S. Senate, and if one Senator has failed to personally sit through this deposition--and every deposition--that Senator is not equipped to render a verdict on the impeachment trial of the President of the United States.
Now, I will address very briefly just a couple of the reasons why I believe Mr. Blumenthal's deposition warrants being played before this body. But to do it, it needs to be put in perspective. Remember what the President of the United States testified to on the day he was sworn in as a witness before the grand jury. He said that in dealing with his aides, he knew there was a potential that they could become witnesses before the grand jury, and that is why he told them the truth. That is the President's own word: the `truth.' Mr. Blumenthal's deposition paints a totally different picture and gives a terribly different interpretation of what the President was doing in passing along false stories to his aides.
Now, we have been treated to a number of euphemisms by the distinguished White House counsel during their presentation as to what the President was doing during his grand jury. They described his testimony as `maddening.' They have described his testimony as `misleading' and `unfortunate.' But the one thing they have never described it as is a lie.
Mr. Blumenthal gave a totally different take on that. Because he testified under oath that, upon reflection, he believes the President was not maddening to him, the President lied to him. And he testified so for a very good reason.
Remember, Sidney Blumenthal testified three times before the grand jury in 1998. He testified in February and twice in June. But that testimony was in a vacuum because each time he testified before the grand jury we were still in a national state of, at least presumptively, believing that the President had told the truth. The President had made an emphatic denial as to the Monica Lewinsky story. There was no physical evidence presented to the FBI lab at the time Mr. Blumenthal testified. And Monica Lewinsky was not cooperating with the grand jury. So we know that certain questions were not asked of him during his grand jury testimony because of the status of the facts as we thought they were. But Mr. Blumenthal shed some incredible new light on the testimony that we received yesterday from him.
He said, first of all: After I was subpoenaed, but before I testified before the grand jury, once in February and twice in June--with the President knowing he was about to become a witness before the grand jury, a criminal grand jury investigation--the President never came to him and said, `Mr. Blumenthal, before you go and provide information in a criminal grand jury investigation, I need to recant the false stories I told you about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky.'
And he testified about those false stories. He corroborated his own testimony from earlier proceedings. You will recall from the record that the day the Monica Lewinsky story broke in the national press Mr. Blumenthal was called to the Oval Office by the President. The door was closed. They were alone. And this is what the President told Sidney Blumenthal about the revelations that were breaking that day on the national press wire:
He said, `Monica Lewinsky came at me and made a sexual demand on me.'
The President said 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.
The President said Monica Lewinsky threatened him:
She said that she would tell people they'd had an affair, that she was known as the stalker among her [colleagues],
And the testimony goes on. You are all familiar with it at this point.
The President of the United States allowed his aide to appear three times before a Federal grand jury conducting a criminal investigation, and never once did the President of the United States inform that aide before providing that information to the investigatory body--never once--asked or told the aide that that was false information. Mr. Blumenthal's testimony demonstrates that the President of the United States used a White House aide as a conduit for false information before the grand jury in a criminal investigation.
I just want to make one other brief point before I close this presentation because I think it needs to be said. I am in no position to lecture any of the distinguished Members of this body on what the founders intended in drafting the Constitution. I believe all of us in this room have an abiding respect for that. But there are a couple of points that need to be made. I believe there is a reason the founders drafted a document that allows us the opportunity in every trial proceeding in America to confront and cross-examine live witnesses. It is because that gives the trier of fact the opportunity to gauge the credibility and the demeanor of the witnesses. We have discussed that at length during these proceedings.
But one thing we haven't discussed and one thing that I think is important--not from the House managers' perspective, but from the perspective of history and the history that will be written on the ultimate verdict in this case--and that is the idea of open trials. There is a reason why the founders looked askance on the concept of secret trials and closed trials. There is a reason why in every courtroom across the land trials are open. They are open. It is an open process. The light of truth is allowed to be shown on the courtroom and from the courtroom because we don't trust the credibility of a verdict if it is done in secret. What would be the verdict on this proceeding if the judgment of this body is based upon testimony and witnesses, on videotapes, locked in a room somewhere, available only to the triers of fact without the public being privy to what was made available?
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I would urge you, not for the sake of the managers and not for the sake of the presentation of the case, but for the sake of this body and for the verdict of history that will be written, to please allow this to be a public trial in the real sense. If the witnesses will not be brought here live before the Senate, please allow the doors of the Senate to be open so that the testimony upon which each of you must base your verdict will be made available not only to all 100 Senators, but will be made available to those who will make the ultimate judgment as to the appropriateness of the verdict, the American people.
Mr. Chief Justice, I yield to Mr. Manager Graham.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Graham.
Mr. Manager GRAHAM. Mr. Chief Justice, how much time?
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Your colleagues have consumed 37 minutes.
Mr. Manager GRAHAM. Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, not a whole lot to add, but I would like to recognize this thought: That we have learned a great deal in these depositions. Thank you for letting us have them. We didn't get everything we wanted--and I think that is a fair statement--but who does in life? But we do appreciate you giving us the opportunity to explore the testimony of these witnesses because I think it would be helpful in setting the historical record straight.
Mr. Blumenthal, to his credit, said the President of the United States lied to him. The President of the United States did lie to him. The President of the United States, in his grand jury testimony, denied ever lying to me. That should be historically significant and should be legally significant. Mr. Blumenthal, to his credit, said the President of the United States tried to paint himself as a victim to Ms. Lewinsky. That would be legally and historically relevant and it will mean a lot in our arguments and it will be something you should consider.
This has been a good exercise. Thank you very much for letting us depose these witnesses.
I was not at the other two depositions, but I was at Mr. Blumenthal's deposition, and I can assure you we know more now about what the truth is than before we started this process. I hope at the end of the day it is our desire to get to the truth that guides us all. We are asking for one live witness, Ms. Lewinsky.
Let me tell you, I know how difficult it is to want this to go on given where everybody is at in the country. Trust me, I want this to end as much as you do. However, there is a signal we will send if we don't watch it. We will make the independent counsel report the impeachment trial, and I am not so sure that is what the statute was written for.
The key difference between the House and the Senate is that
the White House never disputed the facts over in the House. They never disputed the facts. They called 15 witnesses to talk about process and about the interpretations that you would want to put on those facts. In their motion to the Senate, everything is in dispute. It is a totally different ball game here. That is why we need witnesses, ladies and gentlemen, to clarify who said what, who is being honest, who is not, and what really did happen in this sordid tale.
Ms. Lewinsky comes before us because the allegations arise that the President of the United States, with an intern, had an inappropriate workplace sexual relationship that was discovered in a lawsuit where he was a defendant. This was not us or anyone else trying to look into the President's private life for political reasons or any other reason. It was a defendant in a lawsuit asking to look at the behavior of that defendant in the workplace, something that goes on every day in courtrooms throughout the country.
And is it uncomfortable? Yes, it is uncomfortable. If you have ever tried a sexual harassment case, an assault case, or a rape case, it is very much uncomfortable to have to listen to these things. But the reason that people are asked to do what you are asked to do by the House managers is that the folks that are involved represented themselves much better than lawyers talking about what happened. And if you find it uncomfortable listening to Ms. Lewinsky, think how juries feel, think how the victims feel, think how somebody like Ms. Jones must feel not to be able to tell the story of the person they are suing.
That is a signal that is going to be sent here that will be a devastating and bad signal. If we can't stomach it, if we can't stomach listening to inappropriate sexual conduct, why do we put that burden on anyone else?
Give us this witness. We will do it in a professional manner. We will focus on the obstruction. We will try to do it in a way not to demean the Senate. We will try to do it in a way not to demean Ms. Lewinsky. We will try to do it in a way to get to the truth. Please give us a chance to present our case in a persuasive fashion, because unlike the House, everything is in dispute here.
Thank you very much. I reserve the balance of my time.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The House managers reserve the balance of their time.
The Chair recognizes Counsel Craig.
Mr. Counsel CRAIG. Mr. Chief Justice, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I have divided my presentation into three parts that fortunately correspond to the three parts of the motion that is before you today.
I would like, first, to argue against admitting videotape evidence into the record of this trial. Secondly, I would like to argue against calling live witnesses to this trial. And thirdly, I would like to argue against the proposed presentation of videotape and deposition testimony for Saturday.
I sound rather negative. I don't mean to be negative. But we don't find much to recommend the three proposals that the House managers have brought before you today.
Let me begin by saying that we support the idea of admitting written transcripts of deposition testimony of these three witnesses into the record of this trial. But we believe that it would be a terrible mistake and wholly redundant to put the videotape testimony into that record as well, particularly if that means releasing any of this videotaped material to the public.
We can only call the Senate's attention to section 206 of Senate Resolution 30, which instructs the Secretary of the Senate `to maintain the videotaped and transcribed records of the deposition as confidential proceedings of the Senate.'
That was the intention of the Senate when you first passed Resolution 30. If this decision as proposed today will result in overruling that rule, if there is any risk or danger of a wholesale, unconditional, and unlimited release of these videotapes for the public through the national media, just as was done by the House of Representatives when it released all the Starr materials, we think it is a bad idea.
In retrospect, most people believe that it was a mistake for the House to release those materials--and those materials included videotaped grand jury testimony--and we believe it would be a mistake for the Senate, at the request of the House managers, to do the same thing with these videotaped materials now. To release these videotapes generally to the public--which will happen if they are put into the record--inevitably will surely cause consternation among those members of the public, particularly parents who do not choose to spend one more moment, much less hours and even days, thinking about the President's relationship with Monica Lewinsky and explaining it again to the children. Placing these videotapes in the formal record of this trial will be one step closer to releasing the tapes to the public for immediate broadcast. And if that release occurs, it will produce an avalanche of unwelcome deposition testimony into the public domain.
The videotaped testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan, and Mr. Blumenthal will be forced, hour after hour, unbidden and uninvited, into the living rooms and family rooms of the Nation. Make no mistake about what would happen; we have seen it before. We can expect to see the networks play these tapes, wall-to-wall, nonstop, and without interruption, over the airwaves. This would be a repeat of what happened when the case first came to the House of Representatives. For the Senate to decide to include the videotapes of this deposition testimony, as opposed to the written transcripts in the formal record of this trial, would have the same effect and could result in this kind of release. The picture, voices, and words on these tapes would flow directly and irreversibly into the life of the Nation. In addition, these videotapes will, no doubt, be edited and excerpted and cut and spliced, and the materials will not only be overused, they will also be inevitably abused.
To take advantage of these witnesses, I submit to you, in this way is wrong--whether in the context of the grand jury proceeding where confidentiality is promised, or whether testifying under subpoena in an impeachment trial in the Senate. It is unfair to the witnesses, unfair to the public, unfair to the Senate and, we submit, unfair to the President as well.
We do not object to release of the written transcripts of this testimony; we support that release. And we believe that that satisfies any reasonable requirement of public access to the information. The public's right to know and understand what is happening in this impeachment trial would be respected. But we should learn a lesson from America's experience in the House of Representatives: More is not always better.
It is not wise or right for the House or the Senate to perform the function of a mere conveyor belt simply and automatically transmitting unfiltered evidence into the public domain. It is not wise or right to suspend judgment and turn over for public viewing the videotaped testimony of private witnesses who are forced to appear and testify under compulsion. It is simply wrong to release videotapes of such testimony for cable news networks or for friends or foes to use as they want.
This, I submit, is profoundly unfair to the witnesses.
One can only ask, who really benefits from this kind of practice? Is it really in the public interest for the Senate to issue and serve a subpoena on private individuals like Monica Lewinsky, or Vernon Jordan, to summon these citizens before the Senate to compel their testimony before video cameras and then to take that videotaped testimony, without any consideration or thought about the legitimate personal concerns or interests of those witnesses, and release those videotapes of that testimony for the national media? Is it really in Ms. Lewinsky's interest to do this, or in the interest of her family or her future? Is it fair to Mr. Jordan or to his family to subject him to this kind of treatment? Is it really in the Senate's interest? Is it in the interest of the Constitution, or the Presidency, or of the American people to have a videotape of Monica Lewinsky readily available for all the world to see and to hear?
What about those individuals who are, in fact, truly innocent but who will surely suffer if these videotapes are released to the public for permanent residence in the public domain? What about the members of the President's immediate family? How can the Senate contemplate releasing Ms. Lewinsky's videotaped testimony, discussing her relationship with the President, without giving at least some thought to the impact that this might have on the members of that family? You can be sure that the release of this testimony and of this videotape will only add to their agony, embarrassment, and humiliation.
I only hope that those who purport to be concerned about the moral damage that can be attributed to the President's conduct and example are equally mindful of the hurt that will be inflicted on innocent people by the mere broadcasting of these videotapes and of their existence in perpetuity in the public record and the public domain.
We think it is perfectly appropriate and, no doubt, helpful to many Senators and staffers to be able to watch the deposition testimony of these three witnesses on videotape as part of the Senate's trial proceeding, but that function has now been satisfied. There is no need for these tapes to be broadcast to the public. And the public knows better than anyone. It is for that precise reason that one suspects that three-quarters of those polled, according to a survey reported in yesterday's New York Times, oppose releasing the videotaped testimony of Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Jordan and Mr. Blumenthal to the public.
I urge you to not vote to place these materials into the record of this trial without giving careful consideration to these interests and to these concerns. These are not just the interests and concerns of the President and the members of his family. They are not just the interests and concerns of these three witnesses and the members of their families. I think they are also the interests and concerns of the American people as well.
The bottom line, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, is simple: You do not need these videotapes released to do your constitutional duty, and the people we all work for do not want these videotapes released to them. Please draw the line.
As for the issue of witnesses, we believe that there is no useful purpose served by calling live witnesses to testify before the Senate in this trial. Live witnesses will not advance the factual record. We have known the facts for many months. Nor will live witnesses give us new insight into the witnesses themselves. Sidney Blumenthal's fourth appearance, Vernon Jordan's seventh appearance, and Monica Lewinsky's twenty-third appearance told us really very little that was new. I take issue with the presentation of the managers. Why should we expect Mr. Blumenthal's fifth appearance, Mr. Jordan's eighth appearance, and Ms. Lewinsky's twenty-fourth appearance to add anything more? Live witnesses will simply not serve the interests of fairness. They will not serve the interests of the American people, and they will not serve the interests of the Senate. In fact, live testimony from these three individuals--or from Ms. Lewinsky alone--will be worse than an exercise in redundancy and will be an exercise in excess.
It will only postpone the end of the trial that nobody wants anymore and that no one wants to prolong any longer. There is every reason, finally and at long last, to bring the trial to a close. And calling live witnesses, I submit, will not be quick, and it will not be easy. It will prevent the Senate from keeping its pledge to bring this trial to a conclusion by February 12.
Because live witnesses are unnecessary for the resolution of this matter, perhaps the most important question for the Senate to consider and resolve itself is whether calling live witnesses might, in fact, tarnish the Senate as an institution. This is a question that only you can resolve, the Members of the Senate. And you certainly need not take instructions from me or from any of us at this table on that subject. But the question is worth asking: Will the public's respect for the Senate and for the Members of this body be enhanced by calling live witnesses? Does the Senate really feel a need or an obligation or some requirement to bring Ms. Lewinsky to sit here and testify in the well of this historic Chamber?
The managers first argued that live witnesses were necessary to resolve conflicts of testimony, that the only way to reconcile disparities and differences in testimony was to bring in live witnesses. Today we know that is not true. You gave the managers an opportunity to resolve those conflicts and find new facts. But most of the critical conflicts that existed a week ago still exist today.
Calling Monica Lewinsky to testify a 24th time is not likely to resolve those conflicts. Then we were told that we must look into the eyes of the witnesses and observe their demeanor to make a judgment as to credibility. But you now have the opportunity to observe almost every major witness as he or she testifies. Precious little is left to the imagination or to guess or to question the credibility, and you certainly have a better chance of observing demeanor through the videotape than you do with a witness here on the floor of the Senate.
We are now given a third reason why live witnesses are absolutely necessary to this trial to go forward; that is to `validate' the testimony of these witnesses.
According to Mr. Manager Hyde, the depositions have been successful, but `what we need now is to validate the record that already exists under oath about obstruction of justice and perjury.'
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, we on this side of the House have never challenged that record. We have always agreed that the witnesses said what the record says they said, and that record needs no further validation through the live testimony of individual witnesses.
Those of us who have made a career of being lawyers and trying cases probably understand better than anyone else why the House managers are so adamant in their desire to call live witnesses. It keeps the door open if only for a few more days. As Mr. Kendall observed last week, like Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield, they hope against hope that something may turn up.
As an abstract proposition, the importance of live witnesses cannot be disputed. They are important to prosecutors who are trying to make a case. They are important to defense lawyers who are trying to defend a case. Trial lawyers know better than anyone that live witnesses can make all the difference in a trial. There is just no disputing that point.
But that abstract question is not the real live question that the Senate has before it today. The issue before the Senate today is different. It is more specifically whether these three witnesses, each one of whom has testified on multiple occasions under oath before the Federal grand jury, or have been interviewed on multiple occasions by lawyers and law enforcement officers, would have anything whatsoever to add to this trial if they were to appear before you in person. The answer to that question is clearly no.
The answer is no--not because Ms. Lewinsky has already been interviewed so many times and has testified so many times, not because she was just interviewed a few weekends ago, and not because she appeared and answered the House managers' questions under oath for many hours just 4 days ago. The answer is no because if you watch the videotape of her testimony, and if you look at the videotape of the testimony of Mr. Jordan and Mr. Blumenthal, you realize and you know deep in your bones that calling these witnesses to testify personally before you in the Senate in detail would simply be a massive waste of this Senate's time.
You already know the facts. You have already read what they have had to say on many different occasions. And you have already seen and read their most recent testimony under oath. It simply can no longer be credibly argued that you need testimony from these witnesses to `flesh' out the factual record or to resolve conflicts or to fill in the evidentiary gaps or to look the witnesses in the eye and assess their credibility. All that has been done many times before by many lawyers before and by many law enforcement officers many months ago. And then it was done just recently again by House managers as they took
their deposition testimony last week.
The Senate has given the managers every opportunity to persuade the Senate and the Nation to see this case the same way they see it. And the managers have run a vigorous and energetic campaign aimed at capturing the Senate and changing American public opinion. How many times do you know of where the prosecutors base their case on a multimillion-dollar criminal investigation involving multiple interrogations of witnesses, producing 60,000 pages of documents, generating 19 boxes of evidence, when the prosecutors are allowed to go back to those witnesses again and again and again in an effort to maybe--somehow maybe--in some way to make their case, covering the same territory, presenting the same evidence, hour after hour? In fact, in our view, the Senate has indulged the managers. And despite the misgivings of many Senators, the Senate has leaned over backwards to accommodate the managers.
We believe it is time for the Senate to say it is time to vote. Given the state of the record compiled by the Office of Independent Counsel, given the discovery that has already been given to the managers, the evidence is as it is, and it is not likely to change in any significant way. The moment of truth can no longer be avoided, and the Senate should move to make the decision.
President Clinton is not guilty of having committed high crimes and misdemeanors. He should not be removed from office. The Senate must act now to end this impeachment trial finally and for all time.
Finally, as to the proposed proceedings for Saturday, Senate Resolution 30 gives the House managers and White House counsel an opportunity to `make a presentation' to the Senate employing all or portions of the videotape of the deposition testimony. And the final portion of the motion involves a request that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed a total of 6 hours equally divided all or portions of the parts of the videotapes of the oral depositions of Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan, and Sidney Blumenthal that have been admitted into evidence.
We are convinced that such a presentation would provide no new information to the Senate and would only serve to delay this trial and further burden the service of the Senate.
We also believe that there is a potential for unfairness that lurks in the process of excerpting and presenting portions of individual videotape testimony out of context. We remain committed to the notion that to be fair to all sides, the videotapes, if they are used, must be shown in their entirety or shown not at all. And, above all, we do not believe these videotapes should be released to the public in any form which would of course occur if they were used as part of the presentation on Saturday.
Senators have themselves been reviewing the videotaped deposition testimony of the witnesses at great length and in great detail over the past 4 days. It appears to us that the Senate has been very conscientious in carrying out this assignment. And within a matter of days, Senators will listen to final arguments from each side.
Is there really a need for an intermediate stage involving the playing of videotape testimony of the very same evidence? After conscientiously reviewing the videotape testimony and reading the transcripts of that testimony, should Senators now be required to sit and watch and listen to more of the same? Such an exercise would only be cumulative and causes us to ask what the point would be. We just do not think that additional presentations of the same evidence that Senators have been reviewing over the past few days will be that helpful to the process.
Presumably, the House managers seek to present a collection of snippets--the greatest hits from the deposition testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan, and Mr. Blumenthal. This would be unfortunate because it would require a full response from the White House--presumably our own collection of snippets aimed at putting the managers' excerpts into some kind of context. This would be a dual of snippets and excerpts, and presumably each side in the course of the presentation would conduct a guided tour for the Senate through that evidence, although I must say that the language of the motion leaves that open to some doubt.
The language of the motion provides no opportunity for argument, no opportunity for explanation, and simply talks about playing a total of 6 hours equally divided, all or portions of the parts of the videotapes.
Is this the kind of way that your time is best used in this enterprise? We fully understand the House managers' desire--and even share it--to highlight and explain the importance of certain testimony that came out of the depositions over the past few days.
But in truth, there are no bombshells in that testimony. There is no dynamite. There are no explosions. We believe that highlighting, explaining, and calling attention to those parts of that testimony that are important can be done with the transcripts, and the transcripts more than satisfy the requirement that we see, or the need to conduct that function, carry out that function. That is what ordinary lawyers do when they are trying cases or arguing in front of a jury.
To the extent that the managers wish to call attention to various aspects of the testimony, we think they will have ample time to do so in the course of their final argument. Traditionally, that is the time to do that, during closing arguments, the time for advocates in a trial to marshal their evidence, to summarize and comment on that evidence; and to allow the managers to go through the deposition testimony first would be tantamount to giving the managers two closing arguments.
In summary, Mr. Chief Justice, I have a point of parliamentary inquiry I would direct to the Chair having to do with the first paragraph, the first section of the proposed motion submitted by the House managers. Is there any way that the Senate can deal first with the question, the first question being bifurcated? Is there any way the Senate can bifurcate this first question and a separate vote be taken first on including the transcripts of the deposition testimony in the record of the trial and, second, whether the videotapes should also be included in the record?
The CHIEF JUSTICE. A preemptive motion to that effect could be made by any Senator.
Mr. Counsel CRAIG. Thank you.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that we take a 15-minute recess. I think we can address that question during this recess.
There being no objection, at 2:22 p.m. the Senate recessed until 2:44 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 that there is time remaining for arguments by the White House counsel, and then at their conclusion, by the House managers. After that, I will make an attempt to explain to the Senate exactly what is in the motions, because there seems to be some degree of question about that. Then we will be prepared to have a series of votes at that time. I still believe we should be able to start that around 4 o'clock. I yield the floor.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Craig.
Mr. Counsel CRAIG. Mr. Chief Justice, we have completed our presentation. Thank you.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The House managers have 19 minutes remaining.
The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Bryant.
Mr. Manager BRYANT. Mr. Chief Justice, I will respond briefly, to be followed by Mr. Manager McCollum, who will be followed by Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
Let me first talk quickly about Mr. Craig's argument about disagreeing on the admission of the video depositions. He cited the House proceedings, and we want to be clear as to our belief of our position in the House in this process, as the accusatory branch of the Government in this process, and I think that is the case because we vote by a majority vote, we chose to bring forward the case that we felt established the allegations of impeachment.
There was no conflict of evidence brought forward from those House proceedings. This evidence was not challenged until we came to this body, the appropriate body, for resolving the evidence and trying the case, as you will. That is evidenced by the constitutional requirement that you must vote conviction based on two-thirds of your body. But the actual conflict was not presented until we arrived here in the Senate. By allowing us to have this procedure of taking depositions, we have focused more clearly on resolving those particular conflicts.
I might add also in response to Mr. Craig's statement that the Starr Report was released out to the public and, as a result of that, there may be danger here in releasing these video depositions. But let me tell you about the House vote on the Starr Report. Seventy percent of the Democrats supported the release of those documents; 100 percent of the Democratic leadership in the House supported the release of those documents. So it was not just one party over the other party that threw these out to the public. It was a decision that was a bipartisan decision on the part of the House.
I might add, that is not our interest in doing this with video depositions. We are open to your process, but we must conclude by those who would argue that perhaps you should open your debate to the public, we don't see the consistency in trying to take a very important part of the evidence in this case and not opening that to the public. So we are at your wishes. It is our desire to make the presentation using all or portions of these video depositions and to use those as fully as we would any other evidence.
With that said, I ask Mr. Manager McCollum to follow me.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager McCollum.
Mr. Manager McCOLLUM. Thank you very much, Mr. Chief Justice.
If you listen to the White House counsel, the simple fact is, they don't want a public display in any form of any testimony here in front of the Senate. They don't want the public to have an opportunity to have a public trial.
Now, maybe an impeachment trial is not exactly the same as any other trial, but in the history of the Senate, it has been a basically open process, except for the voting. It has been an opportunity for witnesses to come before you. It has been an opportunity for people to be heard. It has been an opportunity for the public to hear the people who want to speak.
White House counsel didn't just say, `We don't want live witnesses here.' They said, `We don't want you to be able to admit even into evidence the videotape that might become public, and we don't want you to be able to show any portion, or all even, of the videotapes of the depositions that have been taken.'
If a Republican had gotten up and said that, we would have probably gotten hung on some political petard for that. The reality is, the public has a business here. This is a trial. I suggest and submit to you, we need--you need--the opportunity to hear these witnesses one way or the other--preferably Monica Lewinsky live. We need to bring closure in this matter.
How can the public come to closure? How can those who feel so emotionally, as we know they do, around the country come to closure on this--which we need for them to do as much as you need to resolve and we need to have you resolve the questions before you--how can they come to closure? How can we all come to closure without an opportunity for the public to participate, in one way or another, in seeing the credibility, judging the witnesses, judging the truth of this?
Let me remind you, there is nothing in these depositions that contains any salacious material, so it has been constrained very delicately--nothing at all that would be offensive to anybody.
In addition, think about this for a minute. When it comes to calling Monica Lewinsky live, when it comes to letting the deposition be presented, if you believe that the President did not break the law--not talking about whether he should be removed from office--if you believe he did not break the law, that he did not commit the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice, that means you must have concluded that Monica Lewinsky was not telling the truth when she said about the false affidavit, `I knew what he meant,' when she said about the concealment of the gifts, `Betty called me,' when she said about the nature of their relationship, `It began the night we met,' and many other things.
You, I would submit, my colleagues in the Senate, have a moral obligation to allow Monica Lewinsky to come here and be judged on her credibility, not just by you but by the public, by all of us, as a live witness. And certainly, barring that, you have an obligation to have the credibility on the issues of guilt or innocence of these crimes be judged by everybody, at the very least, by the presentation of these videos in a public, open format here in the Senate before everybody. And I think it is a powerful question you have to resolve.
And I would submit one last point. For those of you who do believe the President is guilty of these crimes, you have an obligation to let the showing of these depositions, or the presentation preferably of Monica Lewinsky live, so those who maybe don't think the same way you do have an opportunity for that credibility to be judged. Only if the witnesses are present can they be judged that way.
The most remarkable thing about the White House presentation may have been, just a moment ago, the admission that normally in trials this is exactly what happens. And I present to you the suggestion, this is exactly what should happen here today.
I yield to Manager Hutchinson.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Manager Hutchinson.
Mr. Manager HUTCHINSON. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Very briefly, I was asked to respond to the last argument by counsel for the President in regard to their objections on the evidentiary presentation of 6 hours under the motion, which would be, I believe, on Saturday. After 6 days of opening statements in this trial, and after 2 days of questions and answers, and then we had, I believe, 2 days of motion arguments, you have heard from all the lawyers more than you ever wanted to hear. And I don't think that it is too much to ask for 6 hours of discussion of the evidentiary record that was developed from the deposition testimony. I think that is reasonable.
It's been argued that, well, you know, it is going to be
snippets, it is going to be a battle of snippets.
If this motion is passed, it will be introduced into evidence, and each side will have an opportunity to discuss that evidence, to contrast it with other individuals' testimony, and to present it in a fashion that is most understandable. It is equally divided; therefore, both sides can present their case. That is how it is traditionally done. There is nothing unusual about that. And certainly the White House defense lawyers will be very vigilant in making sure that it is fairly presented.
There was objection that was made--and this is overlapping a little bit--as to the public release of the video. Our motion really goes to introducing into evidence. It is up to you as to how that evidence is handled. Customarily in a trial, when something is entered into evidence, that is released. But there was concern expressed about the witnesses, about Mr. Jordan and the fact that he has testified and now it would be made public. I recall the White House defense lawyers, on this screen over here, put Mr. Jordan's video up there for the world to see. I believe they also brought in other witnesses on video that was put out there for the whole world to see. And so I think it is a little bit late to come in and say that that should not be subject to public discussion.
And so I think that the motion that is presented is reasonable, it is fair. They say there is nothing of dynamite or there is nothing explosive. Then if that is the case, there should not be any objection to the discussion and the fair playing of that evidence. But in fact much of this is due because it was not developed after the President made his grand jury appearance. Many of these witnesses testified early. They were not able to testify again after the President's grand jury testimony. So I think there are new areas that have certainly been developed.
With that, Mr. Chief Justice, I yield back.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Will the House managers yield back?
Mr. Manager HUTCHINSON. Yes, Mr. Chief Justice.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, then all time has been yielded back on both sides?
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Yes.
Mr. LOTT. We had expected this would take a little bit longer. (Laughter.)
Mr. Chief Justice, I believe it would be of interest to the Senators that we give just a brief explanation of the motions. I believe Senator Daschle may have an additional motion that he would like to offer. So that we can make sure he has had the time to prepare that, and how we would go into the voting procedure, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. The clerk will call the roll.
The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Without objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, very briefly, I believe that Senator Daschle, or one of his Senators, will have a peremptory motion that they will offer, and it will be read by the clerk; then there will be a vote on that. And then there will be a vote on the 3 divisions that have been identified--the 3 votes on the one motion--and then I believe Senator Daschle will also have a motion that will go straight to debate and closing arguments and the vote on the articles of impeachment. Is that a correct recitation?
I yield to Senator Daschle.
Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. Chief Justice, I appreciate the Senator yielding. As I understand it, Senator Murray's motion will relate to the third motion, which is, as I understand it, the motion that allows for video excerpts to be used. Her motion would restrict both managers to transcripts, written transcripts. I am not sure in which order her motion should be offered, but since it relates to the third one, perhaps it would be in concert with that motion.
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