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THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
Jan. 14: Rogan on Evidence in the Case

  • More Transcripts From the Trial

  • From the Congressional Record
    Thursday, January 14, 1999

    Mr. Manager ROGAN. Mr. Chief Justice, counsel for the President, Members of the United States Senate, my name is Congressman James E. Rogan. I represent the 27th District of California.

    May I say at the outset that some of the facts and evidence you will hear in my presentation may sound familiar in light of the last presentation. Although at times the facts may appear to be a crossover, the relevance will be presented in a different light.

    Mr. Manager Hutchinson's presentation offered the evidence as it relates to the obstruction of justice charge against the President in article II. I will be inviting this body to view the evidence within the framework of article I, perjury before the grand jury.

    On behalf of the House of Representatives and in the name of the people of the United States, I will be presenting to the Senate evidence against the President to demonstrate he committed perjury before a Federal grand jury as set forth in article I of the articles of impeachment.

    Article I of the impeachment resolution against President Clinton alleges that he committed perjury before the grand jury.

    On August 17, 1998, President Clinton swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The evidence shows that contrary to that oath, the President willfully provided perjurious, false, and misleading statements to the grand jury in four general areas:

    First, he perjured himself when he gave a false accounting to the grand jury about the nature and details of his relationship with a 21-year-old intern, Ms. Monica Lewinsky, who was a subordinate Federal Government employee.

    Second, he perjured himself before the grand jury when he repeated previous perjured answers he gave under oath in a sexual harassment suit, which was a Federal civil rights action brought against him by Paula Jones.

    Third, he perjured himself before the grand jury when he repeated previous perjured answers to justify his attorney's false representations to a Federal judge in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

    Finally, he perjured himself before the grand jury when he testified falsely about his attempts to get other potential grand jury witnesses to tell false stories to the grand jury, and to prevent the discovery of evidence in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

    In a judicial proceeding, a witness has a very solemn obligation to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Perjury is a serious crime because our judicial system can only succeed if citizens are required to tell the truth in court proceedings. If witnesses may lie with impunity for personal or political reasons, 'justice' is no longer the product of the court system, and we descend into chaos. That is why the U.S. Supreme Court has placed a premium on truthful testimony and shows no tolerance for perjury.

    More than 20 years ago, the Supreme Court addressed this very concept of perjury and its dangerous effect on our system of law. Listen to the words of the U.S. Supreme Court:

    In this constitutional process of securing a witness' testimony, perjury simply has no place whatever. Perjured testimony is an obvious and flagrant affront to the basic concepts of judicial proceedings. . . . Congress has made the giving of false answers a criminal act punishable by severe penalties; in no other way can criminal conduct be flushed into the open where the law can deal with it.

       


    That is the framework under which the House of Representatives acted in impeaching the President of the United States, and now respectfully urges this body to call the President to constitutional accountability.

    The key to understanding the facts of this case is to understand why the President was asked, under oath, questions about his private life in the first place.

    Despite the popular spin, it wasn't because Members of Congress or lawyers from the Office of the Independent Counsel, or a gaggle of reporters suddenly decided to invade the President's privacy. No. This all came about because of a claim against the President from when he was the Governor of Arkansas.

    During the discovery phase of the Paula Jones sexual harassment case against the President, Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright ordered him to answer questions under oath relating to any sexual relationship he may have had while Governor and President with subordinate female Government employees. These orders are common in similar cases, and the questions posed to President Clinton are questions routinely posed to defendants in civil rights sexual harassment cases every single day in courthouses throughout the land.

    During the President's deposition in the Paula Jones case, he was asked questions about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The judge allowed these questions because they possibly could lead Mrs. Jones to discover if there was any pattern of conduct to help prove her case. The President repeatedly denied that he had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    A few days later, the story about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky broke in the press. A criminal investigation began to determine whether the President perjured himself in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and obstructed justice by trying to defeat her claim against him by corrupt means.

    On the afternoon of August 17, 1998, President Clinton raised his right hand and took an oath before the grand jury in their criminal investigation.

    (Text of Videotape presentation:)

    William Jefferson Clinton, Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

    Note the incredibly solemn obligation of the oath the President took:

    Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

    When the President made that solemn pledge, he was not obliging himself to tell the grand jury the partial truth, he was not obliging himself to tell the 'I didn't want to be particularly helpful' truth; he was not obliging himself to tell the 'this is embarrassing so I think I'll fudge on it a little bit' truth. He was required to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and he made that pledge in the name of God.

    The attorneys for the Office of the Independent Counsel showed great deference to the President when they questioned him that day. The President's attorneys were allowed to be there with him during the entire proceeding so that he could confer with them at his leisure if he was unsure of how to respond to a question. As a matter of fact, the attorney who questioned the President encouraged him to confer with his lawyers if there arose in the President's mind any reason to hesitate before answering a question.

    The following exchange occurred at the beginning of the President's testimony. The President was told:

    Normally, grand jury witnesses, while not allowed to have attorneys in the grand jury room with them, can stop and consult with their attorneys. Under our arrangement today, your attorneys are here and present for consultation and you can break to consult them as necessary. . . . Do you understand that, sir?

    The President responded: 'I do understand that.'

    As a practical matter, the President had three options as he appeared before the grand jury to testify.

    First, the President could tell the truth about his true relationship with Miss Lewinsky.

    However, the evidence will clearly show that the president rejected the option of telling the truth.

    Second, the President knew he could invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

    The independent counsel's attorney explicitly reminded the President about his right to refuse to answer any question that might tend to incriminate him.

    The President was asked:

    You have a privilege against self-incrimination. If a truthful answer to any question would tend to incriminate you, you can invoke the privilege and that invocation will not be used against you. Do you understand that?

    The President's response was: 'I do.'

    The President knew he had the right to refuse to answer any incriminating questions and that no legal harm would have come to him for doing so.

    But he rejected this option, just as he rejected the option of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    Instead, he selected a third path.

    He continued to lie about corrupt efforts to destroy Paula Jones' civil rights lawsuit against him.

    If a trial is permitted before this body where live witnesses can be called, and where their credibility can be scrutinized, the evidence will show this distinguished body that the course the President charted was a course of perjury.

    Despite the president's unique level of judicial sophistication and expertise, the attorneys at the grand jury were careful to make sure the president understood his responsibilities to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    They did this at the outset of his testimony, before any questions were asked that might tempt the president to lie under oath.

    And they specifically warned him that if he were to lie or intentionally mislead the grand jury, he could face perjury and obstruction of justice charges, both of which are felonies under federal law.

    This exchange occurred before the President's testimony:

    Q: Mr. President, you understand that your testimony here today is under oath?

    A: I do.

    Q: And you understand that because you have sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, that if you were to lie or intentionally mislead the grand jury, you could be prosecuted for perjury and/or obstruction of justice?

    A: I believe that's correct.

    Q: Is there anything that . . . I've stated to you regarding your rights and responsibilities that you would like me to clarify or that you don't understand?

    A: No, sir.

    Despite this ominous warning, the prosecutors continued emphasizing the need for the President to resist lying to the grand jury.

    Still intent on making sure the President understood his obligations, the attorneys further advised him:

    Q: Mr. President, I would like to read for you a portion of Federal Rule of Evidence 603, which discusses the important function the oath has in our judicial system.

    It says that the purpose of the oath is . . . calculated to awaken the witness' conscience and impress the witness' mind with the duty to tell the truth.

    Could you please tell the grand jury what that oath means to you for today's testimony?

    A: I have sworn an oath to tell the grand jury the truth, and that's
    what I intend to do.

    When the President said in that very last answer I just read that he swore an oath to tell the grand jury 'the truth,' the prosecutor immediately followed up with this question. Here is what he was told.

    Question to the President:

    Q: You understand that [the oath] requires you to give the whole truth, that is, a complete answer to each question, sir?

    A: I will answer each question as accurately and fully as I can.

    One would think these repetitive explanations would be enough to warn even the most legally unsophisticated witness about the need to treat a grand jury criminal investigation seriously, and the need to tell the whole truth at any cost.

    No reasonable person could believe at this point that the President did not understand his obligations.

    Yet, just to be sure, the attorneys again impressed on the President his solemn duty to tell the truth:

    Question to the President:

    Q: Now, you took the same oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on January 17th, 1998, in a deposition in the Paula Jones litigation; is that correct, sir?

    A: I did take an oath then.

    Q: Did the oath you took on that occasion mean the same to you then as it does today?

    A: I believed then that I had to answer the questions truthfully. That is correct. . . .

    Q: And it meant the same to you then as it does today?

    A: Well, no one read me a definition then and we didn't go through this exercise then.

    I swore an oath to tell the truth, and I believed I was bound to be truthful and I tried to be.

    Having just received his 'refresher course' on either 'taking the Fifth' and remaining silent, or telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the president acknowledged he was required to tell the truth when he gave answers to questions 8 months earlier in the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil rights lawsuit.

    Question to the President:

    Q: At the Paula Jones deposition, you were represented by Mr. Robert Bennett, your counsel, is that correct?

    A: That is correct.

    Q: He was authorized by you to be your representative there, your attorney, is that correct?

    A: That is correct.

    Q: Your counsel, Mr. Bennett, indicated . . . and I'm quoting, 'The President intends to give full and complete answers as Ms. Jones is entitled to have.'

    My question to you is, do you agree with your counsel that a plaintiff in a sexual harassment case is, to use his words, entitled to have the truth?

    A: I believe that I was bound to give truthful answers, yes, sir.

    Q: But the question is, sir, do you agree with your counsel that a plaintiff in a sexual harassment case is entitled to have the truth?

    A. I believe when a witness is under oath in a civil case, or otherwise under oath, the witness should do everything possible to answer the questions truthfully.

    Thus, the groundwork was laid for the President to testify under oath.

    He knew how the rules worked respecting testimony before the grand jury.

    If a question was vague or ambiguous, the President could ask for a clarification.

    If he was unsure how to answer, or indeed whether to answer a question, he could stop the questioning, take a break, and consult privately with his attorneys who were present with him.

    If giving an answer would tend to incriminate him, he could refuse to answer the question by claiming his Fifth Amendment rights.

    But if, after all of this, he decided to give an answer, the answer he gave was required to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    And it was no different than the obligation when he testified in the Paula Jones deposition--the same oath, the same obligation.

    Let's look at how the President chose to meet his obligation.

    As noted in my opening remarks, the President's grand jury perjury is the basis for article I of the impeachment resolution. The evidence shows, and live witnesses clearly will demonstrate, that the President repeatedly committed perjury before the grand jury when he testified as a defendant in a sexual harassment civil rights lawsuit against him.

    He intentionally failed in his lawful obligation to tell the truth in four general areas. First, the President committed perjury before the grand jury when he testified about the nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old White House intern who, by definition, was a subordinate Government employee.

    On December 5, 1995, Monica Lewinsky's name appeared on the Paula Jones witness list. Later, the President was ordered by Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright to answer questions about Monica Lewinsky because the President was a defendant in a sexual harassment case.

    At his deposition in the Paula Jones case, the President was shown a definition approved by Judge Wright of what constitutes sexual relations. I am going to read the definition that was presented to the President.

    And let me say at the outset that I am going to slightly sanitize it. You have in your materials, Members of this body, a copy of the actual definition that was given to you, so you will be able to understand precisely what was put before the President.

    Definition of sexual relations: 'For the purposes of this deposition, a person engages in sexual relations when the person knowingly engages in or causes contact with the [certain enumerated body parts] of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.'

    Members of the Senate, just for clarification, I did not feel the need to actually relate to this body what those enumerated body parts are.

    After reviewing the deposition, the President then denied that he ever had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. As we have already seen, from the day in January when the President testified in the Jones deposition until the day he appeared in August for his grand jury testimony, he vehemently denied ever having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    Listen to the President addressing the American people on the subject of his credibility. The date is January 26, 1998, 5 days after the Lewinsky story broke in the press.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    'But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again.'

    'I did not have sexual relations with that woman--Miss Lewinsky.'

    'I never told anybody to lie--not a single time. Never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.'

    'Thank you.'

    Beginning in January 1998, the President went on an 8-month campaign, both under oath and in the press, denying any sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky in any way, shape, or form. But 8 months after his deposition testimony and these passionate denials, the tide had turned against his story. By August, Monica Lewinsky was now cooperating with the office of the independent counsel. If she was telling the truth in her sworn testimony, then the President's January denial in the Paula Jones case would have been a clear case of him committing perjury and obstructing justice.

    Why? Because she was describing, in very graphic detail, conduct occurring between her and the President that clearly fit the definition of 'sexual relations' as used in the Paula Jones deposition--conduct that he repeatedly denied under oath.

    So by the time the President sat down for his grand jury testimony to answer these questions under oath, he had put himself in a huge box. He could not continue the outright lie because Ms. Lewinsky had turned over her blue dress for DNA testing, and at the time of his grand jury testimony he didn't know what the results were of that FBI test. Under such circumstances, continuing the lie was too risky of a strategy even for the most accomplished of gamblers. But if he told the truth, his earlier perjury and obstruction of justice would have ended his Presidency. He was sure he would have been driven from office.

    Remember that the President had actually authorized that a poll be taken for him by Dick Morris, and the poll wasn't just taken on whether the American people would forgive him for adultery; the President asked Dick Morris to poll in two other areas. He asked Dick Morris to poll whether the American people would forgive him for perjury and obstruction of justice. When he got the poll results back, he learned that the American people would forgive him for the adultery but they would not forgive him for perjury or for obstruction of justice.

    Once he got the bad news from Dick Morris that his political career was over if he perjured himself, he told Dick Morris, 'We'll just have to win.' So at his grand jury testimony, once the first question was asked about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, the President produced a prepared statement and read from it. This prepared statement he read to the grand jury on August 17, 1998, was the linchpin in his plan to 'win.'

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Q. Mr. President, were you physically intimate with Monica Lewinsky?

    A. Mr. Bittman, I think maybe I can save you and the grand jurors a lot of time if I read a statement, which I think will make it clear what the nature of my relationship with Ms. Lewinsky was and how it related to the testimony I gave, what I was trying to do in that testimony. And I think it will perhaps make it possible for you to ask even more relevant questions from your point of view. And, with your permission, I'd like to read that statement.

    Q. Absolutely. Please, Mr. President.

    A. When I was alone with Ms. Lewinsky on certain occasions in early 1996 and once in early 1997, I engaged in conduct that was wrong. These encounters did not consist of sexual intercourse. They did not constitute sexual relations as I understood that term to be defined at my January 17th, 1998 deposition. But they did involve inappropriate intimate contact.

    These inappropriate encounters ended, at my insistence, in early 1997. I also had occasional telephone conversations with Ms. Lewinsky that included inappropriate sexual banter.

    I regret that what began as a friendship came to include this conduct. I take full responsibility for my actions. While I will provide the grand jury whatever other information I can, because of privacy considerations affecting my family, myself, and others, and in an effort to preserve the dignity of the office I hold, this is all I will say about the specifics of these particular matters.

       


    I will try to answer to the best of my ability other questions, including questions about my relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, questions about my understanding of the term of sexual relations, as I understood it to be defined at my January 17th, 1998, deposition, and questions concerning alleged subordination of perjury, obstruction of justice and intimidation of witnesses.

    That . . . is my statement.

    Beyond that statement, the President generally refused to answer specific questions about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The President used that prepared statement as a substitute answer for specific questions about his conduct with Ms. Lewinsky 19 separate times during his testimony before the grand jury. The purpose of the prepared statement was to avoid answering the types of specific harassment lawsuit questions for which the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Susan Webber Wright had earlier cleared the way. The evidence shows the President used this prepared statement in order to justify the perjurious answers he gave at his deposition which were intended to affect the outcome of the Paula Jones case.

    The fact that this statement was prepared in advance shows his intent to mislead the grand jury in this very area. Ironically, this prepared statement was supposed to inoculate the President from perjury. Instead, it opened him up to 19 more examples of giving perjurious, false, and misleading answers under oath.

    For example, in that prepared statement, the President said his sexual contact with Ms. Lewinsky began in 1996, and not in 1995, as Ms. Lewinsky had testified. This was not a mere slip of memory over a meaningless timeframe; there is a discrepancy in the dates for a reason. You see, under the President's version, in 1996 Monica Lewinsky was a paid White House employee. Under the facts as testified to by Ms. Lewinsky, when the relationship really began in 1995, she was not a paid employee at the White House, she was a young, 21-year-old White House intern.

    The concept of a President having a sexual relationship in the White House with a young intern less than half his age was a public relations disaster for the President, as everyone vividly remembers. It is clear that the President somehow viewed the concept as less combustible if he could take the 'young intern' phrase out of the public lexicon. Yet, in his deposition testimony, the President admitted he met her and saw her when she was an intern working in the White House in November 1995, during the Government shutdown. Monica Lewinsky confirmed this. In fact, she testified that the first time she ever spoke to the President was on November 15, 1995, during the Government shutdown. And she also said that the very first time that she ever spoke to the President was the same day he invited her back to the Oval Office and began a sexual relationship with her.

    It is obvious that the reference in the President's prepared statement to the grand jury that this relationship began in 1996 was intentionally false.

    The President's statement was intentionally misleading when he described being alone with Ms. Lewinsky only on certain occasions. Actually, they were alone in the White House at least 20 times and had at least 11 sexual encounters at the White House. The President attempted to use language that subtly minimized the number of times they were alone.

    The President's statement was intentionally misleading when he described his telephone conversations with Monica Lewinsky as 'occasional.' In fact, there are at least 55 documented telephone conversations between the President of the United States and the young intern. And, without going into further graphic detail, the evidence shows that, at least on 17 of those occasions, those conversations included much more than mere sexual banter, as the President described it.

    The most unsettling part of that statement was uttered near the close. Listen to what the President said: 'I regret that what began as a friendship came to include this conduct.' 'Friendship.' The very day the President met and spoke with a young White House intern for the first time was the day he invited her back to the Oval Office to perform sex acts on him.

    In fact, Monica Lewinsky said that after their sexual relationship was over a month old, she didn't even think the President knew her name. The President's statement about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky beginning as a friendship is a callous and deceptive mischaracterization of how his relationship with this young woman really began.

    Thus, the President began his deposition testimony by reading a false and misleading statement to the grand jury. He then used that statement as an excuse not to answer specific questions that were directly relevant to allowing the grand jury to complete its criminal investigation. Had he given specific answers to specific questions about the true nature of his relationship, the grand jury would have been able to learn the whole truth about whether the President perjured himself and obstructed justice in the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil rights lawsuit.

    Paula Jones had a legal and constitutional right to learn if the President, while as President or Governor, used his position of power and influence to get sexual favors from subordinate female employees in the workplace or to reward subordinate female employees for granting such favors to him. Instead, the President intentionally provided on 19 separate occasions a misleading statement instead of giving a true characterization of his conduct, as required by his oath.

    He had no legal or constitutional right to refuse to answer such questions without claiming a fifth amendment privilege and then allowing Judge Wright to make a determination as to whether the privilege applied. The President's preliminary statement delivered 19 times was an initial shot across the perjury bow offered by the President throughout his grand jury testimony. It showed a premeditated effort to thwart the grand jury's criminal investigation, to justify his prior wrongdoing, and to deny Paula Jones her constitutional right to bring forward her claim in a court of law.

    The President gave further perjurious, false, and misleading testimony regarding the nature and details of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. One of the ways the

    President tried to justify his perjurious answers in the Jones deposition about his relationship was to deconstruct the English language. Remember, the President was shown a copy of the definition of 'sexual relations' that Judge Wright approved in his January deposition. This definition was directed by Judge Wright to be used as the guide under which the President was to answer questions about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. After carefully reviewing that definition, the President said under oath that it did not apply to his relationship with her.

    It is important to remember that at the time the President testified that he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, this was not a risky perjury strategy. After all, he had successfully used Vernon Jordan to get Monica Lewinsky a good job in New York, despite her questionable qualifications. She had filed a false affidavit in the Jones case denying a sexual relationship with the President. She and the President had previously agreed to comprehensive cover stories to deny the truth of their relationship if anyone ever confronted them about it. And the bevy of gifts the President had given to Monica were now nestled safely under Betty Currie's bed so that they would never be produced to or discovered by Mrs. Jones' attorneys in compliance with their subpoena to have those gifts produced.

    The perjury strategy was a safe bet in January at his deposition, but it soon turned upside-down for the President. By the time of his grand jury testimony in August, the President knew things had changed drastically, but not in his favor. In light of Ms. Lewinsky's cooperation with the independent counsel, the impending FBI report on the DNA testing on the blue dress, and the President's decision not to confess to his crime, the President needed to come up with some excuse. Here is how the President, at his August grand jury appearance, tried to explain away his January deposition denial of engaging in sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.

    (Text of video tape presentation:)

    Q. Did you understand the words in the first portion of the [Jones deposition] exhibit, Mr. President, that is, 'For the purposes of this deposition, a person engages in 'sexual relations' when the person knowingly engages in or causes . . .'?

    Did you understand, do you understand the words there in that phrase?

    A. Yes . . . I can tell you what my understanding of the definition is, if you want . . . My understanding of this definition is it covers contact by the person being deposed with the enumerated areas, if the contact is done with an intent to arouse or gratify. That's my understanding of the definition.

    Q. What did you believe the definition to include and exclude? What kinds of activities?

    A. I thought the definition included any activity by the person being deposed, where the person was the actor and came into contact with those parts of the bodies with the purpose or intent of gratification, and excluded any other activity. For example, kissing's not covered by that, I don't think.

    Q. Did you understand the definition to be limited to sexual activity?

    A. Yes, I understood the definition to be limited to physical contact with those areas of the body with the specific intent to arouse or gratify. That's what I understood it to be.

    Q. What specific acts did the definition include, as you understood the definition on January 17th, 1998?

    A. Any contact with the areas that are mentioned, sir. If you contacted those parts of the body with an intent to arouse or gratify, that is covered.

    Q. What did you understand . . .

    A. The person being deposed. If the person being deposed contacted those parts of another person's body with an intent to arouse or gratify, that was covered.

    If that answer sounds confusing to you, there is a reason for that. It was meant to be.

    What the President now was saying to the grand jury is that during their intimate relationship in the Oval Office, Monica Lewinsky had sexual relations with him; he didn't have sexual relations with her.

    Consider that for a minute.

    The President is asking everyone to believe that between the years 1995 and 1997, while Monica Lewinsky was engaged in a pattern of explicit availability for him as she described in her testimony, the President carefully avoided having any intimate contact with her as described in Judge Wright's very detailed definition.

    And, according to the President, since he never intimately touched her as described in the definition--she only touched him--then he was under no obligation to answer questions in the harassment suit about Monica Lewinsky as Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright ordered him to do under oath.

    Not only does the President's claim strain all boundaries of common sense, it is directly in conflict with Monica Lewinsky's detailed and corroborated accounts of their relationship.

    As if this ridiculous expansion of Judge Wright's definition of what constituted sexual relations wasn't enough, the President then decided to take his interpretation of the judge's definition one step further. He added a new element as to why he claimed the definition didn't apply to him.

    When asked again, at his grand jury testimony, what he thought the definition of sexual relations meant, here is the new twist that the President came up with.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    A. As I remember from the previous discussion this was some kind of definition that had something to do with sexual harassment. So, that implies it's forcing to me. And I--there was never any issue of forcing in the case involving--well, any of these questions they were asking me. They made it clear in this discussion I just reviewed that what they were referring to was intentional sexual conduct, not some sort of forcible abusive behavior.

    So I basically--I don't think I paid any attention to it because it appeared to me that that was something that had no reference to the facts that they admitted they were asking me about.

    The President now took the position that the definition didn't apply to him because it would only have applied if he forced himself on Monica Lewinsky. Remember the definition. And I will read it again:

    For the purposes of this deposition, a person engages in sexual relations when the person knowingly engages in or causes--

    (1) contact with the [certain enumerated body parts] of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person[.]

    As you can see, this straightforward definition did not include the subject of force or harassment.

    Yet when the independent counsel's attorney tried to clarify the President's newfound position, the President gave no ground. He simply plowed ahead with his new interpretation.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Q. I'm just trying to understand, Mr. President. You indicated that you put the definition in the context of a sexual harassment case . . .

    A. No, no, I think it was not in the context of sexual harassment. I just re-read those four pages, which obviously the grand jury doesn't have. But there was some reference to the fact that this definition apparently bore some--had some connection to some definition in another context and that this was being used not in that context, not necessarily in the context of sexual harassment.

    So I would think that this causes would be--means to force someone to do something. That's what I read it. That's the only point I'm trying to make. Therefore, I did not believe that any one had ever suggested that I had forced anyone to do anything and I did not do that. And so, that could not have had any bearing on any questions relating to Ms. Lewinsky.

    The evidence clearly shows from Monica Lewinsky's sworn testimony that the President deconstructed the English language to deny Paula Jones the opportunity to find out if other witnesses were out there who would help bolster her case against the President, and she was legally entitled to do that under our sexual harassment laws.

    No reasonable interpretation of the President's testimony could be made that he fulfilled his legal obligation to testify to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    His statements were perjurious. They were designed to defeat Paula Jones' right to pursue her sexual harassment civil rights lawsuit against this President.

    And by the way, in his testimony, the President conceded that if Monica Lewinsky's recitation of the facts was true, he would have perjured himself both in his deposition testimony and in repeating his denials before the grand jury. Listen to this.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Q. And you testified that you didn't have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky in the Jones deposition under that definition, correct?

    A. That's correct, sir.

    Q. If the person being deposed touched the genitalia of another person, would that be in--with the intent to arouse the sexual desire, arouse or gratify, as defined in definition one, would that be, under your understanding, then and now, sexual relations?

    A. Yes, sir.

    Q. Yes, it would?

    A. Yes, it would if you had a direct contact with any of these places in the body, if you had direct contact with intent to arouse or gratify, that would fall within the definition.

    Q. So you didn't do any of those three things with Monica Lewinsky?

    A. You are free to infer that my testimony is that I did not have sexual relations as I understood this term to be defined.

    So, who is telling the truth? The only way to really know is to bring forth the witnesses, put them under oath and give each juror, each Member of this body the opportunity to make that determination of credibility, because the record shows that Monica Lewinsky delivered consistent and detailed testimony under oath regarding many specific encounters with the President that clearly fell within the definition of sexual relations from the Jones deposition.

    Monica Lewinsky's memory and accounts of these incidents are amazingly corroborated by her recollection of dates, places and phone calls which correspond with the official White House entrance logs and phone records.

    Monica Lewinsky's testimony is further corroborated through DNA testing and the testimony of her friends and family members, to whom she made near contemporaneous statements about the relationship.

    Most importantly, Monica Lewinsky had every reason to tell the truth to the grand jury. She was under a threat of prosecution for perjury, not only for her grand jury testimony, but also for the false affidavit she filed on behalf of the President in the Jones case.

    She knew then and she knows today that her immunity agreement could be revoked at any time if she lies under oath or if she lied under oath in the past. Truthful testimony was and remains a condition for her immunity from prosecution.

    By way of contrast, the President was under obligation to give complete answers. Instead, he offered false answers that violated his oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And incidentally, during his grand jury testimony, the President actually suggested that he had a right to give less than complete answers.

    Why? Because he questioned the motives of Ms. Jones in bringing her lawsuit.

    If this standard is acceptable, what does that do to the search for the truth when an oath is administered in a courtroom to one who claims to question the 'motives' of their opponent in a trial? This suggestion has no basis in law. And it is destructive to the truth-seeking function of the courts.

    The President's perjurious legal hairsplitting used to bypass the requirement of telling the complete truth denied Paula Jones her constitutional right to have her day in court and an orderly disposition of her claim in the sexual harassment case against the President.

    To dismiss this conduct with a shrug because it is 'just about sex' is to say that the sexual harassment laws protecting women in the workplace do not apply to powerful employers or others in high places of privilege. As one wag recently noted, if this case is 'just about sex,' then robbery is just a disagreement over money.

    Next, the President perjured himself before the grand jury when he repeated previous perjured answers he gave in the deposition of the Paula Jones case. In his grand jury testimony in August, the President admitted he had to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when he testified in the Paula Jones deposition.

    The question to the President:

    Now, you took the same oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on January 17th, 1998, in a deposition in the Paula Jones litigation; is that correct, sir?

    Answer:

    I did take an oath then.

    Question:

    Did the oath you took on that occasion mean the same to you then as it does today?

    Answer:

    I believe then that I had to answer the questions truthfully; that is correct.

    When the President testified in his January deposition, he knew full well that Monica Lewinsky's affidavit she filed in the case stating that they never had sexual relations was false. Yet, when this affidavit was shown to him at the deposition, he testified that her false claim was, in his words, 'absolutely true.'

    He knew that the definition of 'sexual relations' used in the earlier Jones deposition was meant to cover the same activity that was mentioned in Monica Lewinsky's false affidavit. Rather than tell the complete truth, the President lied about the relationship, the cover stories, the affidavit, the subpoena for gifts, and the search for a job for Ms. Lewinsky.

    Later he denied to the grand jury in August that he committed any perjury during his January deposition. This assertion before the grand jury that he testified truthfully in the Jones case is in and of itself perjurious testimony because the record is clear he did not testify truthfully in January in the Paula Jones case. He perjured himself.

    Thus, when the President testified before the grand jury in August, he knew he had given perjurious answers in the January deposition. If the President really thought, as he testified, that he had told the truth in his January deposition testimony, he would not have related a false account of events to his secretary, Betty Currie, whom he knew, by his own admission, might be called as a witness in the Jones case; he would not have repeatedly denied he was unable to recall being alone with Monica Lewinsky; and he would not have told false accounts to his aides whom he knew, by his own admission, were potential witnesses in later proceedings.

    The evidence of perjury and obstruction of justice is overwhelming in this case. He continued to use illegal means to defeat Ms. Jones' constitutional right to bring her harassment case against him.

    Next, the President committed perjury before the grand jury when he testified that he did not allow his attorney to make false representations while referring to Monica Lewinsky's affidavit before the judge in the Jones case, an affidavit that he knew was false.

    Remember, at the Jones deposition in January 1998, Monica Lewinsky previously had filed a false affidavit that said, 'I have never had a sexual relationship with the President' and that she had no relevant information to provide on the subject to Ms. Jones.

    When Ms. Jones' attorneys attempted to question the President about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, the President's attorney, Mr. Bennett, objected to him even being questioned about the relationship.

    Mr. Bennett claimed that in light of Monica Lewinsky's affidavit saying that there was no sexual relationship between the two, and there never had been, that Paula Jones' lawyer had no good faith belief even to question the President about a relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    Listen to what Mr. Bennett told Judge Wright in the deposition.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Mr. Bennett. Your Honor, excuse me, Mr. President, I need some guidance from the Court at this point. I'm going to object to the innuendo. I'm afraid, as I say, that this will leak. I don't question the predicates here. I question the good faith of counsel, the innuendo in the question. Counsel is fully aware that Ms. Jane Doe 6 [Monica Lewinsky] has filed, has an affidavit which they are in possession of saying that there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton, and yet listening to the innuendo in the questions----

    Judge Wright. No, just a minute, let me make my ruling. I do not know whether counsel is basing this question on any affidavit, but I will direct Mr. Bennett not to comment on other evidence that might be pertinent and could be arguably coaching the witness at this juncture. Now, Mr. Fisher is an officer of this court, and I have to assume that he has a good faith basis for asking the question. If in fact he has no good faith basis for asking this question, he could later be sanctioned. If you would like, I will be happy to review in camera any good faith basis he might have.

    Mr. Bennett. Well, Your Honor, with all due respect, I would like to know the proffer. I'm not coaching the witness. In preparation of the witness for this deposition, the witness is fully aware of Ms. Jane Doe 6's (Monica Lewinsky's) affidavit, so I have not told him a single thing he doesn't know, but I think when he asks questions like this where he's sitting on an affidavit from the witness, he should at least have a good faith proffer.

    Judge Wright. Now, I agree with you that he needs to have a good faith basis for asking the question.

    Mr. Bennett. May we ask what it is, Your Honor?

    Judge Wright. And I'm assuming that he does, and I will be willing to review this in camera if he does not want to reveal it to counsel.

    Mr. Bennett. Fine.

    Mr. Fisher. I would welcome an opportunity to explain to the Court what our good faith basis is in an in camera hearing.

    Judge Wright. All right.

    Mr. Fisher. I would prefer that we not take the time to do that now, but I can tell the Court I am very confident there is substantial basis.

    Judge Wright. All right, I'm going to permit the question. He's an officer of the Court, and as you know, Mr. Bennett, this Court has ruled on prior occasions that a good faith basis can exist notwithstanding the testimony of the witness, of the deponent, and the other party.

    May I say as an aside that by presenting that, I am in no way questioning the quality or the integrity of the President's attorney, Mr. Bennett, on that day. Mr. Bennett was doing his job as the President's lawyer. He had an affidavit from Monica Lewinsky that said none of this ever happened. And so I hope that none of you will assume that by my showing this deposition tape today that I am trying to draw any unfair inference against the President's attorney on that date. But you can tell from what you have just observed that Mr. Bennett was using Monica Lewinsky's false affidavit in an attempt to stop questioning of the President about Ms. Lewinsky.

       


    What did the President do during that exchange? He sat mute. He did not say anything to correct Mr. Bennett, even though the President knew that the affidavit upon which Mr. Bennett was relying was utterly false.

    Judge Wright overruled Mr. Bennett's objection and allowed the questioning about Monica Lewinsky to proceed.

    Later in the deposition, Mr. Bennett read to the President the portion of Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit in which she denied having a sexual relationship with the President. Mr. Bennett then asked the President, who was under oath, if Ms. Lewinsky's statement that they never had a sexual relationship was true and accurate.

    Listen to the President as he responds.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Q: In paragraph eight of her affidavit, she says this, 'I have never had a sexual relationship with the President, he did not propose that we have a sexual relationship, he did not offer me employment or other benefits in exchange for a sexual relationship, he did not deny me employment or other benefits for reflecting a sexual relationship.'

    Is this a true and accurate statement as far as you know it?

    A: That is absolutely true.

    The President's answer: 'That is absolutely true.'

    When President Clinton was asked during his grand jury testimony 8 months later how he could have sat silently at his earlier deposition while his attorney made the false statement that 'there is no sex of any kind,' in any manner, shape, or form, to Judge Wright, the President first said that he was not paying 'a great deal of attention' to Mr. Bennett's comments.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Q. Mr. President, I want to--before I go into a new subject area, briefly go over something you were talking about with Mr. Bittman. The statement of your attorney, Mr. Bennett, at the Paula Jones deposition--counsel is fully aware--it's page 54, line 5. 'Counsel is fully aware that Ms. Lewinsky is filing, has an affidavit, which they were in possession of, saying that there was absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form with President Clinton.' That statement was made by your attorney in front of Judge Susan Webber Wright.

    A. That's correct.

    Q. Your--that statement is a completely false statement. Whether or not Mr. Bennett knew of your relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, the statement that there was 'no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form with President Clinton' was an utterly false statement. Is that correct?

    A. It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' means. If 'is' means is, and never has been, that's one thing. If it means, there is none, that was a completely true statement. But as I have testified--I'd like to testify again--this is --it is somewhat unusual for a client to be asked about his lawyer's statements instead of the other way around. I was not paying a great deal of attention to this exchange. I was focusing on my own testimony.

    The President added to this explanation he was giving to the attorney questioning him. This is what the President said: 'And I'm not sure . . . as I sit here today that I sat there and followed all these interchanges between the lawyers. I'm quite sure that I didn't follow all the interchanges between the lawyers all that carefully. And I don't really believe, therefore, that I can say Mr. Bennett's testimony or statement is testimony and is imputable to me. I didn't--I don't know that I was really paying attention, paying that much attention to him.'

    This denial of the President while his attorney was proffering a false statement to Judge Wright in an effort to keep the Paula Jones lawyers from even questioning the President about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky simply does not withstand the test of truth. The videotape of the President's January deposition shows the President paying very close attention to Mr. Bennett when Mr. Bennett was making the statement about 'no sex of any kind.'

    View again the video clip of the President during Mr. Bennett's argument that the Jones lawyers have no right to ask questions about Monica Lewinsky, only this time watch the President as he focuses on his lawyer speaking about one of the most important subjects he has ever faced in his entire life--the survival of his Presidency.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Mr. Bennett. Your Honor, excuse me, Mr. President, I need some guidance from the Court at this point. I'm going to object to the innuendo. I'm afraid, as I say, that this will leak. I don't question the predicates here. I question the good faith of counsel, the innuendo in the question. Counsel is fully aware that Ms. Jane Doe 6 [Monica Lewinsky] has filed, has an affidavit which they are in possession of saying that there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton, and yet listening to the innuendo in the questions----

    Judge Wright. No, just a minute, let me make my ruling. I do not know whether counsel is basing this question an any affidavit, but I will direct Mr. Bennett not to comment on other evidence that might be pertinent and could be arguably coaching the witness at this juncture. Now, I Mr. Fisher is as officer of this court, and I have to assume that he has a good faith basis for asking the question. If in fact he has no good faith basis for asking this question, he could later be sanctioned. If you would like, I will be happy to review in camera any good faith basis he might have.

    Mr. Bennett. Well, Your Honor, with all due respect, I would like to know the proffer. I'm not coaching the witness. In preparation of the witness for this deposition, the witness is fully aware of Ms. Jane Doe 6's (Monica Lewinsky's) affidavit, so I have not told him a single thing he doesn't know, but I think when he asks questions like this where he's sitting on an affidavit from the witness, he should at least have a good faith proffer.

    Judge Wright. Now, I agree with you that he needs to have a good faith basis for asking the question.

    Mr. Bennett. May we ask what it is, Your Honor?

    Judge Wright. And I'm assuming that he does, and I will be willing to review this in camera if he does not want to reveal it to counsel.

    Mr. Bennett. Fine.

    Mr. Fisher. I would welcome an opportunity to explain to the Court what our good faith basis is in an in camera hearing.

    Judge Wright. All right.

    Mr. Fisher. I would prefer that we not take the time to do that now, but I can tell the Court I am very confident there is substantial basis.

    Judge Wright. All right, I'm going to permit the question. He's an officer of the Court, and as you know, Mr. Bennett, this Court has ruled on prior occasions that a good faith basis can exist notwithstanding the testimony of the witness, of the deponent, and the other party.

    By the way, lest there be any doubt in the minds of any Member of this body as to whom the President was looking at and focusing at, we are fully prepared to bring in a witness for you who was present at the deposition and who will draw a map for every Member of this body and show the location of the President and every other person around the table.

    Just in case the President's 'I wasn't paying any attention' excuse didn't fly, the President, in his grand jury testimony, decided to try another argument on for size. He suggested that when Mr. Bennett made his statement about 'there is no sex of any kind,' the President was focusing on the meaning of the word 'is.'

    He then said that when Mr. Bennett made the assertion that 'there is no sex of any kind,' Mr. Bennett was speaking only in the present tense, as if the President understood that to mean 'there is no sex' because there was no sex occurring at the time Mr. Bennett's remark was made.

    The President stated, 'It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.'

    And that if it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. Listen and watch again to the same video clip from the President's grand jury testimony that we saw a few moments ago. Only this time, pay close attention to the President's excuse as to why he did not have to comply with the truth, because in his mind there is some question as to what the meaning of the word 'is' is.

    (Text of videotape presentation:)

    Q. Mr. President, I want to, before I go into a new subject area, briefly go over something you were talking about with Mr. Bittman. The statement of your attorney, Mr. Bennett, at the Paula Jones deposition 'counsel is fully aware'--it's page 54 line 5: 'counsel is fully aware that Ms. Lewinsky has filed, has an affidavit which they were in possession of saying that there is no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton?' That statement is made by your attorney in front of Judge Susan Webber Wright, correct?

    A. That's correct.

    Q. That statement is a completely false statement. Whether or not Mr. Bennett knew of your relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, the statement that there was 'no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form, with President Clinton,' was an utterly false statement. Is that correct?

    A. It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If 'is' means is, and never has been, that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. But, as I have testified, and I'd like to testify again, this is--it is somewhat unusual for a client to be asked about his lawyer's statements, instead of the other way around. I was not paying a great deal of attention to this exchange. I was focusing on my own testimony.

    In essence, here is what the President says in his own defense: I wasn't paying any attention to what my lawyer was saying when he offered the false affidavit on my behalf to the judge. However, if I was paying attention, I was focusing on the very narrow definition of what the word 'is' is and the tense in which that was presented.

    Now, I am a former prosecutor, and that is like the murderer who says: I have an ironclad alibi. I wasn't at the crime scene, I was home with my mother eating apple pie. But if I was there, it is a clear case of self-defense.

    The President now asks this body of lawmakers to give acceptance to these ludicrous definitions of ordinary words and phrases. He asks you to believe this is what he really thought when he was asked if he ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, and when he was asked about her false affidavit.

    By the way, as to the President's 'tense' argument that he presented about what the meaning of the word 'is' is, this fails to take into account another important fact. The false affidavit of Monica Lewinsky that Mr. Bennett was waiving that day before the judge made no such distinction. Her affidavit never said in the present tense, 'I am not now having a sexual relationship with the President.' Her affidavit said, 'I have never had a sexual relationship with the President.'

    The President perjured himself when he said that Mr. Bennett's statement that there was no sex of any kind was 'absolutely true,' depending on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.

    The President did not admit to the grand jury that Mr. Bennett's statement was false, because to do so would have been to admit that the term 'sexual relations' as used in Ms.

    Lewinsky's affidavit meant 'no sex of any kind.' Admitting that would be to admit that he perjured himself previously in his grand jury testimony and in his deposition.

    Now, interestingly, Ms. Lewinsky doesn't bother attempting to match the President's linguistic deconstructions of the English language. After she was granted immunity, Monica Lewinsky testified under oath that the part of her affidavit denying a sexual relationship with the President was a lie.

    I read from page 204 of Ms. Lewinsky's testimony:

    Question: Let me ask you a straightforward question. Paragraph 8--

    Referring to her affidavit--
    at the start says, 'I have never had a sexual relationship with the President.' Is that true?

    Answer: No.

    Thus, the President engaged in an evolving series of lies during his sworn testimony in order to cover previous lies he told in sworn testimony, and to conceal his conduct that obstructed justice in the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit against him. He did this to deny Paula Jones her constitutional right to bring a case of sexual harassment against him, and to sidetrack the investigation of the Office of Independent Counsel into his misconduct.

    Finally, the President committed perjury before the grand jury when he testified falsely about his blatant attempts to influence the testimony of potential witnesses and his involvement in a plan to hide evidence that had lawfully been subpoenaed in the civil rights action brought against him.

    This perjurious testimony breaks down into four categories:

    First, he made false and misleading statements to the grand jury concerning his knowledge of Monica Lewinsky's false affidavit.

    Second, he made false and misleading statements to the grand jury when he related a false account of his interaction with his secretary, Betty Currie, when he reasonably knew she might later be called before the grand jury to testify.

    Third, he made perjurious and misleading statements to the grand jury when he denied engaging in a plan to hide evidence that had been subpoenaed in the Jones civil rights case against him.

    Finally, he made perjurious and misleading statements to the grand jury concerning statements he made to his aides about Monica Lewinsky when he reasonably knew these aides might be called later to testify.

    Let's look briefly at the first area.

    The President made false and misleading statements before the grand jury regarding his knowledge of the contents of Monica Lewinsky's affidavit.

    As we now know conclusively, Monica Lewinsky filed an affidavit in the Jones case in which she denied ever having a sexual relationship with the President, and that was a lie when it was filed.

    Remember--during his deposition in the Jones case, the President said that Ms. Lewinsky's denial of ever having a sexual relationship was 'absolutely true.'

    Monica Lewinsky later testified that she is '100 percent sure' that the President suggested she might want to sign an affidavit to avoid testifying in the case of Jones versus Clinton. In fact, the President gave the following testimony before the grand jury:

    And did I hope she'd be able to get out of testifying on an affidavit? Absolutely. Did I want her to execute a false affidavit? No, I did not.

    This testimony is false because it could not be possible that Monica Lewinsky could have filed a truthful affidavit in the Jones case, an affidavit acknowledging a sexual relationship with the President, that would have helped her to avoid having to appear as a witness in the Paula Jones case.

    The attorneys for Paula Jones were seeking evidence of sexual relationships with the President, and ones that the President might have had with other State or Federal employees.

    This information was legally obliged to be produced by the President to Paula Jones in her sexual harassment lawsuit against him to help prove her claim.

    Judge Susan Webber Wright had already ruled that Paula Jones was entitled to this information from the President for purposes of discovery.

    If Monica Lewinsky had filed a truthful affidavit that acknowledged a sexual relationship with the President, then she certainly could not have avoided having to testify in a deposition.

    The President knew this.

    His grand jury testimony on this subject is perjury.

    Next, the President provided false testimony concerning his conversations with his personal secretary Betty Currie about Monica after he testified in the Jones deposition.

       


    Recall Mr. Manager Hutchinson's presentation a short time ago. The President had just testified on January 17, 1998, in the Paula Jones deposition. He said he could not recall being alone with Monica Lewinsky and that he did not have a sexual relationship with her.

    After his testimony, on the very next day and in a separate conversation with her a few days later, President Clinton made statements to Ms. Currie that he knew were false.

    He made them to coach Ms. Currie and to influence her potential future testimony.

    He coached her by reciting inaccurate answers to possible questions that she might be asked if she were called to testify in the Paula Jones case.

    By the way: the President discussed his deposition testimony with Ms. Currie in direct violation of Judge Wright's order that he not discuss his testimony with anyone. Judge Wright warned the President at the deposition:

    Before he leaves, I want to remind him, as the witness in this matter, . . . that this case is subject to a Protective Order regarding all discovery, . . . [A]ll parties present, including . . . the witness are not to say anything whatsoever about the questions they were asked, the substance of the deposition, . . ., any details . . .

    After he coached her, the President wanted Betty Currie to be a witness.

    During his deposition testimony, the President did everything he could to suggest to the Jones lawyers they needed to depose Betty Currie. He did this by referring to her over and over again as the one with the information they need for information about him and Monica Lewinsky.

    He stated to the Jones lawyer in his deposition, for example, that:
    . . . the last time he had seen Ms. Lewinsky was when she had come to the White House to see Ms. Currie; that Ms. Currie was present when the President had made a joking reference about the Jones case to Ms. Lewinsky; that Ms. Currie was his source of information about Vernon Jordan's assistance to Ms. Lewinsky; and that Ms. Currie had helped set up the meetings between Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Jordan regarding her move to New York.

    Because the President referred so often to Ms. Currie, it is obvious he wanted her to become a witness in the Jones matter, particularly if specific allegations of the President's relationship with Ms. Lewinsky came to light.

    According to Ms. Currie, President Clinton even told her at some point that she might be asked about Monica Lewinsky.

    Two and a half hours after he returned from the Paula Jones deposition, President Clinton called Ms. Currie at home and asked her to come to the White House the next day, a Sunday.

    Ms. Currie testified that it was rare for the President to ask her to come in on a Sunday.

    At about 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 18, Ms. Currie went to meet with President Clinton at the White House.

    Listen to what Betty Currie told the grand jury:

    He said that he had had his deposition yesterday, and they had asked several questions about Monica Lewinsky. And I was a little shocked by that or--(shrugging). And he said--I don't know if he said--I think he may have said, 'There are several things you may want to know,' or 'There are things--' He asked me some questions.

    According to Ms. Currie, the President then said to her in rapid succession:

    You were always there when she was there, right? We were never really alone.

    You could see and hear everything.

    Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right?

    She wanted to have sex with me, and I can't do that.

    Ms. Currie indicated that these remarks were 'more like statements than questions.'

    Ms. Currie concluded that the President wanted her to agree with him.

    Ms. Currie also said that she felt the President made these remarks to see her reaction.

    Ms. Currie said that she indicated her agreement with each of the President's statements, although she knew that the President and Ms. Lewinsky had in fact been alone in the Oval Office and in the President's study.

    Ms. Currie also knew that she could not, and did not hear or see the President and Ms. Lewinsky while they were alone.

    Ms. Currie testified that two or three days after her conversation with the President at the White House, he again called her into the Oval Office to discuss this.

    She described their conversation as, quote, 'sort of a recapitulation of what we had talked about on Sunday--you know, I was never alone with her'--that sort of thing.'

    Q: [To Ms. Currie] Did he pretty much list the same?

    A. To my recollection, sir, yes.

    In his grand jury testimony, the president was asked why he might have said to Ms. Currie in their meeting on that Sunday 'we were never alone together, right?' and 'you could see and hear everything.'

    Here is how the President testified:

    [W]hat I was trying to determine was whether my recollection was right and that she was always in the office complex when Monica was there, and whether she thought she could hear any conversations we had, or did she hear any--I was trying to--I knew . . . to a reasonable certainty that I was going to be asked more questions about this. I didn't really expect you to be in the Jones case at the time. I thought what would happen is that it would break in the press, and I was trying to get the facts down. I was trying to understand what the facts were.

    The President told the grand jury that he was putting those questions to Betty Currie on that Sunday to refresh his recollection and trying to pin down what the facts were.

    Later, the President stated that he was referring to a larger area than simply the room where he and Ms. Lewinsky were located. He also testified that his statements to Ms. Currie were intended to cover a limited range of dates.

    Listen to the President's answer.

    A. [W]hen I said, we were never alone, right, I think I also asked her a number of other questions, because there were several times, as I'm sure she would acknowledge, when I either asked her to be around. I remember once in particular when I was talking with Ms. Lewinsky when I asked Betty to be in the, actually, in the next room in the dining room, and, as I testified earlier, once in her own office. But I meant that she was always in the Oval Office complex, in that complex, while Monica was there. And I believe that this was part of a series of questions I asked her to try to quickly refresh my memory. So, I wasn't trying to get her to say something that wasn't so. And, in fact, I think she would recall that I told her to just relax, go in the grand jury and tell the truth when she had been called as a witness.

    Now the President was treating the grand jury to his construction of what the word 'alone' means to him.

    When asked he answered:

    it depends on how you define alone, and 'there were a lot of times when we were alone, but I never really thought we were.

    The President also was asked about his specific statement to Betty Currie that 'you could see and hear everything.' He testified that he was uncertain what he intended by that comment:

    Question to the President:

    Q: When you said to Mrs. Currie, you could see and hear everything, that wasn't true either, was it, as far as you knew. . . .

    A. My memory of that was that, that she had the ability to hear what was going on if she came in the Oval Office from her office. And a lot of times, you know, when I was in the Oval Office, she just had the door open to her office. Then there was--the door was never completely closed to the hall. So I think there was--I'm not entirely sure what I meant by that, but I could have meant that she generally would be able to hear conversations, even if she couldn't see them. And I think that's what I meant.

    The President also was asked about his comment to Ms. Currie that Ms. Lewinsky had 'come on' to him, but that he had 'never touched her.'

    Question to the President:

    Q: [I]f [Ms. Currie] testified that you told her, Monica came on to me and I never touched her, you did, in fact, of course, touch Ms. Lewinsky, isn't that right, in a physically intimate way?

    A. Now, I've testified about that. And that's one of those questions that I believe is answered by the statement that I made.

    Q: What was your purpose in making these statements to Mrs.
    Currie, if it weren't for the purpose to try to suggest to her what she should say if ever asked?

    A. Now, Mr. Bittman, I told you, the only thing I remember is when all this stuff blew up, I was trying to figure out what the facts were. I was trying to remember. I was trying to remember every time I had seen Ms. Lewinsky. . . . I knew this was all going to come out. . . . I did not know [at the time] that the Office of Independent Counsel was involved. And I was trying to get the facts and try to think of the best defense we could construct in the face of what I thought was going to be a media onslaught.

    Finally, the President was asked why he would have called Ms. Currie into his office a few days after the Sunday meeting and repeated the statements about Ms. Lewinsky to her.

    The President testified that although he would not dispute Ms. Currie's testimony to the contrary, he did not remember having a second conversation with her along these lines.

    Thus, the president referred to Ms. Currie many times in his deposition when describing his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky.

    He himself admitted that a large number of questions about Ms. Lewinsky were likely to be asked in the very near future.

    The President reasonably could foresee that Ms. Currie either might be deposed or questioned, or might need to prepare an affidavit.

    When he testified he was only making statements to Ms. Currie to 'ascertain what the facts were, trying to ascertain what Betty's perception was,' this statement was false, and it was perjurious.

    We know it was perjury, because the President called Ms. Currie into the White House the day after his deposition to tell her--not ask her, to tell her--that he was never alone with Ms. Lewinsky;

    to tell her that Ms. Currie could always hear or see them

    and to tell her that he never touched Ms. Lewinsky.

    These were false statements, and he knew that the statements were false at the time he made them to Betty Currie.

    The President's suggestion that he was simply trying to refresh his memory when talking to Betty Currie is nonsense.

    What if Ms. Currie had confirmed these statements--statements the president knew were false? It could not in any way remind the President of what really happened in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky

    because the President already knew he was alone with Monica Lewinsky. The President already knew that obviously Ms. Currie could not always see him back in the Oval Office area with Monica Lewinsky. And the President already knew that he had an intimate sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    There is no logical way to justify his claim that he made these statements to Ms. Currie to refresh his recollection.

    The only reasonable inference from the President's conduct is that he tried to enlist a potential witness to back up his perjury from the day before at the deposition.

    The circumstances surrounding the president's statements clearly show, clearly show that he improperly sought to influence Ms. Currie's potential future testimony.

    His actions were an obstruction of justice, and a blatant attempt to illegally influence the truthful testimony of a potential witness.

    And his later denials about it under oath were perjurious.

    Next, the President gave perjurious, false and misleading testimony before the grand jury when he denied he was engaged in a plot to hide evidence that had been subpoenaed in the Paula Jones case.

    On December 19, 1997, Monica Lewinsky was served with a subpoena in the Paula Jones case.

    The subpoena required her to testify at a deposition in January, and the subpoena required her to produce each and every gift President Clinton had given her.

    Nine days after she received this subpoena, Ms. Lewinsky met with the President for about 45 minutes in the Oval Office.

    By this time, President Clinton knew that she had been subpoenaed in the case.

    At this meeting they discussed the fact that the gifts that he had given Monica Lewinsky had been subpoenaed, including a hat pin--the first gift the president had ever given Ms. Lewinsky.

    Monica Lewinsky testified that at some point in this meeting she said to the President,

    Well, you know, I--maybe I should put the gifts away outside my house somewhere or give them to someone, maybe Betty.

    And he sort of said--I think he responded, 'I don't know' or 'Let me think about that.' And left that topic.

    President Clinton provided the following explanation to the grand jury and to the House Judiciary Committee regarding this conversation:

    Ms. Lewinsky said something to me like, 'what if they ask me about the gifts you've given me,' but I do not know whether that conversation occurred on December 28, 1997, or earlier.

    Whenever this conversation occurred, I testified, I told her 'that if they [the Jones Lawyers] asked her for gifts, she'd have to give them whatever she had. . . .'

    I simply was not concerned about the fact that I had given her gifts. Indeed, I gave her additional gifts on December 28, 1997.

    The President's statement that he told Ms. Lewinsky that if the attorneys for Paula Jones asked for the gifts, then she had to provide them, is perjurious.

    It strains all logic to believe the President would encourage Monica Lewinsky to turn over the gifts. To do so would have raised questions about their relationship and would go against all of their other efforts to conceal the relationship, including filing a false affidavit about their relationship. The fact that the President gave Monica Lewinsky additional gifts on December 28, 1998, doesn't exonerate the President. It demonstrates that the President never believed that Monica Lewinsky in light of all of their relationship, all of the cover stories, all of the plans that they had put forward, her willingness to subject herself to a perjury prosecution by filing a false affidavit, all of that was because he knew that Monica Lewinsky would never turn those gifts over pursuant to the subpoena. And as Ms. Lewinsky testified, she never questioned, as she said, 'that we were ever going to do anything but keep this quiet.'

    This meant that they would take, in her words, 'whatever steps needed to be taken' to keep it quiet.

    By giving more gifts to Monica Lewinsky after she received a subpoena to appear in the Jones case, the President believed that Monica Lewinsky would never testify truthfully about their relationship.

    Additionally, Ms. Lewinsky said she could not answer why the President would give her more gifts on the 28th when he knew she had to produce gifts in response to the subpoena. She did testify, however, that----

    To me it was never a question in my mind and I--from everything he said to me, I never questioned him, that we were never going to do anything but keep this private, so that meant deny it and that meant do--take whatever appropriate steps needed to be taken, you know, for that to happen. . . . So by turning over these gifts, it would at least prompt [the Jones attorneys] to question me about what kind of friendship I had with the President. . . .

    After this meeting on the morning of December 28, Betty Currie called Monica Lewinsky and made arrangements to pick up gifts the President had given to Ms. Lewinsky.

    Monica Lewinsky testified under oath before the grand jury that a few hours after meeting with the President on December 28, 1997, where they discussed what to do about the gifts he gave to her, Betty Currie called Monica Lewinsky.

    Monica Lewinsky explained it to the grand jury as follows:

    Question: What did [Betty Currie] say?

    Answer: She said, 'I understand you have something to give me.' Or, 'The President said you have something to give me.' Along those lines. . . .

    Question: When she said something along the lines of 'I understand you have something to give me,' or 'The President says you have something for me,' what did you understand her to mean?

    Answer: The gifts.

    Later in the day on December 28, Ms. Currie drove to Monica Lewinsky's home.

    Ms. Lewinsky gave Ms. Currie a sealed box that contained several gifts Ms. Lewinsky had received from the President, including the hat pin that was specifically named in the Jones subpoena.

    As further corroboration, Monica Lewinsky had told the FBI earlier that when Betty Currie called her about these gifts, it sounded like Betty Currie was calling on her cell phone. Ms. Lewinsky gave her best guess on the time of day the call came on December 28.

    Although Ms. Lewinsky's guess on the hour the call came was a bit off, phone records were later produced revealing that Betty Currie in fact called Monica Lewinsky on her cell phone, just as Ms. Lewinsky had described it. The only logical conclusion is that Betty Currie called Monica Lewinsky about retrieving the President's gifts. There would have been no reason for Betty Currie, out of the blue, to return gifts unless instructed to do so by the President. Betty Currie didn't know about the gift issue ahead of time. Only the President and Monica Lewinsky had discussed it. There is no other way Ms. Currie could have known to call Monica Lewinsky about the gifts unless the President told her to do it.

    President Clinton perjured himself when he testified before the grand jury on this issue and reiterated to the House Judiciary Committee that he did not recall any conversation with Ms. Currie around December 28. He also perjured himself when he testified before the grand jury that he did not tell Betty Currie to take possession of the gifts that he had given Ms. Lewinsky.

    Question to the President:

    After you gave her the gifts on December 28th, did you speak with your secretary, Ms. Currie, and ask her to pick up a box of gifts that were some compilation of gifts that Ms. Lewinsky would have----

    Answer: No, sir, I didn't do that.

    Question: --to give to Ms. Currie?

    Answer: I did not do that.

    The President had a motive to conceal the gifts because both he and Ms. Lewinsky were concerned that the gifts might raise questions about their relationship. By confirming that the gifts would not be produced, the President ensured that these questions would never arise. The concealment of these gifts from Paula Jones' attorneys allowed the President to provide perjurious statements about the gifts at his deposition in the Jones case.

    Finally, the President gave perjurious testimony to the grand jury concerning statements he gave to his top aides regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Here is a portion of his grand jury transcript, when the President testified about his conversation with key aides, once the Monica Lewinsky story became public.

    Question to the President:

    Question: Did you deny to them or not, Mr. President?

    Answer: . . . I did not want to mislead my friends, but I want to define language where I can say that. I also, frankly, do 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 is nothing go[ing] 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. They may have been misleading, and if they were, I have to take responsibility for it, and I'm sorry.

    The President's testimony that day that he said things that were true to his aides is clearly perjurious. Just as the President predicted, several of the President's top aides were later called to testify before the grand jury as to what the President told them. And when they testified before the grand jury they passed along the President's false account, just as the President intended them to do.

    I will not belabor the point any further with the Members of this body because I think Mr. Manager Hutchinson ably presented that testimony.

    But we know from the evidence that Erskine Bowles, John Podesta, Sidney Blumenthal, all came before the grand jury. They all provided testimony to the grand jury establishing that the President's comments to them were the truth. The President had them go in. The President gave them that information so false information would be shared with the grand jury so that the grand jury would never be armed with the truth. And when witnesses are called to come before this body, you will have an opportunity to make that determination.

    Mr. Chief Justice and Members of the United States Senate, posterity looks to this body to defend in a courageous way the public trust and take care that the basis of our Government is not undermined. On January 17, 1998, President Clinton, while a defendant in a civil rights sexual harassment lawsuit, gave sworn testimony in a deposition presided over by a Federal judge. In this deposition he raised his hand and he swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    On August 17th, President Clinton testified before a Federal grand jury in a criminal investigation. At this appearance he raised his hand and he swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The evidence conclusively shows that the President rejected his obligations under oath on both occasions. He engaged in a serial pattern of perjury and obstruction of justice. These corrupt acts were done so he could deny a U.S. citizen, Mrs. Paula Jones, her constitutional right to bring her claim against him in a court of law. In so doing, he intentionally violated his oath of office, his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and his solemn obligation to respect Mrs. Jones' rights by providing truthful testimony under oath.

    The evidence reviewed by the House of Representatives and relied upon by our body in bringing articles of impeachment against the President was not political. It was overwhelming. He has denied all allegations set forth in these articles. Who is telling the truth? There is only one way to find out.

    On behalf of the House of Representatives, we urge this body to bring forth the witnesses and place them all under oath. If the witnesses can make the case against the President, if the witnesses that make the case against the President who, incidentally, are his employees, his top aides, his former interns, and his close friends--if all of these people in the President's universe are lying, then the President has been done a grave disservice. He deserves not just an acquittal, he deserves the most profound of apologies.

    But, if they are not lying, if the evidence is true, if the Chief Executive Officer of our Nation used his power and his influence to corruptly destroy a lone woman's right to bring forth her case in a court of law, then there must be constitutional accountability, and by that I mean the kind of accountability the framers of the Constitution intended for such conduct and not the type of accountability that satisfies the temporary mood of the moment.

    Our Founders bequeathed to us a Nation of laws, not of polls, not of focus groups, and not of talk show habitues. America is strong enough to absorb the truth about their leaders when those leaders act in a manner destructive to their oath of office. God help our country's future if we ever decide otherwise.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.

    ADJOURNMENT

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that the court stand in adjournment until 1 p.m. tomorrow, and that all Members remain standing at their desks as the Chief Justice departs the Chamber. I further ask that after the court adjourns in a moment, the Senate will, while in legislative session, stand in recess subject to the call of the Chair.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Thereupon, at 6:59 p.m., the Senate, sitting as a Court of Impeachment, adjourned.

    Copyright © 1999 The Washington Post Company

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