Possible Interview Topics
Washington Post Staff
Sunday, January 24, 1999; Page A14
A federal judge yesterday ordered Monica S. Lewinsky to submit to an interview with the House Republican prosecutors in President Clinton's impeachment trial. They have said they want to question her not about the sexual details of her relationship with him but about alleged obstruction of justice.
The White House defense and the prosecutors have highlighted several major issues that Lewinsky could be asked about:
Lewinsky's statement that she was never asked to lie in an affidavit in the Paula Jones case. Clinton attorney David E. Kendall quoted her to this effect no fewer than 17 times in his opening presentation last week: "No one ever asked me to lie and I was never promised a job for my silence." But House prosecutors note that Lewinsky also testified that she assumed Clinton believed she would lie in the Jones case using pre-arranged cover stories.
Betty Currie's retrieval of gifts. Lewinsky testified that Clinton's secretary Currie initiated the pickup of presents under subpoena in the Jones case and that Currie said to her "the president said you have something to give me." Currie denies that Clinton orchestrated the gift retrieval, and at one point testified Lewinsky initiated the retrieval. Prosecutors have butressed their claim that Currie initiated the exchange with phone records indicating a call from her to Lewinsky at 3:22 p.m. on Dec. 28, and said it is logical to conclude Currie acted at Clinton's request. The White House defense has pointed out that Lewinsky testified several times that Currie picked up the gifts at 2 p.m., long before the phone call. Since the phone record was not discovered until after Lewinsky's grand jury testimony, she would be asked about this for the first time.
Clinton's statements about the gifts. The House managers yesterday said they want to resolve a conflict in testimony between Lewinsky and the president on the question of whether he told her she had to turn over the subpoenaed gifts. Clinton testified, "I told her that if they asked for gifts she had to give them." Lewinsky testified that when asked about handing over the gifts or giving them to Currie, Clinton replied, "I don't know' or 'Let me think about it,' or said nothing.
Help from Clinton friend Vernon E. Jordan Jr. The managers cited several conflicts between her testimony and Jordan's, including that Lewinsky "said that she shared with Mr. Jordan some details of the relationship," as Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) put it. "Mr. Jordan said that was not accurate."
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