Clinton Accused Special Report
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Starr Report

Clinton's Aug. 17 Grand Jury Testimony

Clinton's Jan. 17 Paula Jones Deposition

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Clinton Perjury Allegations

By Peter Baker
Thursday, September 24, 1998; Page A14

Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's report to Congress alleged that President Clinton committed perjury, obstructed justice, tampered with witnesses and abused power. Of the 11 counts laid out by Starr, five allege that Clinton lied under oath in his Jan. 17 deposition in the Paula Jones case and again in his Aug. 17 grand jury testimony.

1. "President Clinton lied under oath in his civil case when he denied a sexual affair, a sexual relationship or sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky." 1. "Did you have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky?"

2. "If she told someone that she had a sexual affair with you beginning in November of 1995, would that be a lie?"

3. "Have you ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, as that term is defined in Deposition Exhibit 1, as modified by the court?"

1. "No."

2. "It's certainly not the truth. It would not be the truth."

3. "I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an affair with her."

Lewinsky testified she had 10 sexual encounters with Clinton, including mutual fondling and oral sex. Her account is corroborated to an extent by testimony from friends and family she told about her encounters, by Secret Service officers who saw her come and go, and by White House entry logs and phone records. In his August grand jury appearance, Clinton admitted an "inappropriate intimate relationship" with Lewinsky. Clinton asserted his answers were technically accurate. He considered an affair to mean intercourse and interpreted "sexual relations" not to include oral sex performed on him. "Sexual relations" was defined as follows: "A person engages in 'sexual relations' when the person knowingly engages in or causes contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person."
2. "President Clinton lied under oath to the grand jury about his sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky." "If Monica Lewinsky says that while you were in the Oval Office area you touched her breasts would she be lying?" "That is not my recollection. My recollection is that I did not have sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky and I'm staying on my former statement about that [and how it would be interpreted]." Lewinsky testified their affair began in November 1995 and that Clinton touched her breasts and other private parts, which she told friends and family at the time. Starr asserted Clinton lied when he said he did not consider oral sex to count as sexual relations, when he testified he never touched Lewinsky's breasts or other private parts and when he said their affair did not begin until 1996. Clinton's lawyers said the dispute over whether oral sex counts as "sexual relations" was a difference of interpretation that would not constitute perjury. They said there was not evidence that Clinton "knowingly and intentionally" testified falsely by denying fondling Lewinsky. As for the disagreement about when the affair began, they maintain it was an irrelevant detail.
3. "In his civil deposition, to support his false statement about the sexual relationship, President Clinton also lied under oath about being alone with Ms. Lewinsky and about the many gifts exchanged between Ms. Lewinsky and him." 1. "At any time were you and Monica Lewinsky alone in the hallway between the Oval Office and this kitchen area?"

2. "At any time have you and Monica Lewinsky ever been alone together in any room of the White House?"

3. "Have you ever given any gifts to Monica Lewinsky?"

4. "Has Monica Lewinsky ever given you any gifts?"

1. "I don't believe so, unless were walking back to the back dining room with the pizza. I just, I don't remember. I don't believe we were alone in the hallway, no."

2. "I have no specific recollection, but it seems to me that she was on duty on a couple of occasions working for the legislative affairs office and brought me some things to sign."

3. "I don't recall. ... When people are around I give a lot of things I have at the White House away, so I could have given her a gift."

4. "Once or twice. I think she's given me a book or two."

Lewinsky testified they were alone for sexual encounters on 10 occasions in the Oval Office suite and usually in the private study or the hallway. Presidential secretary Betty Currie, a White House steward and six Secret Service officers testified they saw Clinton and Lewinsky alone. And in his grand jury testimony, Clinton acknowledged, "I was alone with Ms. Lewinsky on certain occasions" for sex. Lewinsky testified that she brought papers with her only as a "cover story" and not as part of her actual duties. Clinton gave Lewinsky 18 gifts. She gave him 30 gifts. The president's lawyers maintain that Clinton's testimony was truthful, if not completely forthcoming. He did not deny being alone with Lewinsky or exchanging gifts with her. Read as a whole, the lawyers said, Clinton's statements in fact made clear that they had been alone and exchanged gifts. Jones's lawyers did not follow up what Clinton's camp admitted were "incomplete or unresponsive answers" with more precise questions to pinpoint that in more detail. Clinton, his lawyers said, had no obligation to help them by volunteering more than he was asked.
4. "President Clinton lied under oath in his civil deposition about his discussions with Ms. Lewinsky concerning her involvement in the Jones case." 1. "Have you ever talked to Monica Lewinsky about the possibility that she might be asked to testify in this lawsuit?"

2. "What if anything did Monica Lewinsky say in response?"

1. "I'm not sure. ... Seems to me the last time she was there to see Betty before Christmas we were joking about how you all, with the help of the Rutherford institute, were going to call every woman I'd ever talked to ... and ask them that, and so I said, 'You would qualify.' I might have mentioned something to her about it, because when I saw how long the witness list was, or I heard about it, before I saw, but actually by the time I saw it her name was on it.

2. "Nothing that I remember. Whatever she said, I don't remember. Probably just some predictable thing."

Lewinsky testified that Clinton called her at 2 a.m. on Dec. 17 to tell her that she was on the witness list in the Jones case, two days before she was served with a subpoena. She said he told her she might be able to avoid being interviewed by filing an affidavit and that she could say she was coming to visit Betty or bringing him letters. Lewinsky testified they discussed the Jones case during their Dec. 28 meeting and during a Jan. 5 telephone call. In his grand jury testimony, Clinton acknowledged "a conversation about the possibility of her testifying," probably on Dec. 28, recalling that Lewinsky told him, "I don't want to testify." Clinton's recollection of the joking conversation was accurate and referred to a conversation that took place before he knew she appeared on the Dec. 5 witness list, according to his lawyers. They said his uncertainty in answers such as, "I'm not sure," is not inconsistent with the greater detail he provided the grand jury seven months later because he was talking about different conversations. The fact that Lewinsky remembered additional discussions does not mean the president did when asked about it.
8. "President Clinton lied under oath in his civil deposition about his discussions with Vernon Jordan concerning Ms. Lewinsky's involvement in the Jones case." 1. "Did anyone other than your attorneys ever tell you that Monica Lewinsky had been served with a subpoena in this case?"

2. "Has it ever been reported to you that [Vernon Jordan] met with Monica Lewinsky and talked about this case?"

1. "I don't think so."

2. "I knew that he met with her. I think Betty suggested that he meet with her. Anyway, he met with her. I, I thought that he talked to her about something else. I didn't know that-I thought he had given her some advice about her move to New York. Seems like that's what Betty said."

Jordan testified that after Lewinsky called him Dec. 19 to tell him she had been subpoenaed, he spoke with Clinton by telephone and said, "Monica Lewinsky called me up. She's upset. She's gotten a subpoena. She is coming to see me about this subpoena." Jordan testified that he regularly apprised Clinton as Lewinsky drafted an affidavit denying the affair and signed it. Clinton's lawyers maintain he left open the possibility that he discussed the subpoena with Jordan by later testifying that aide Bruce Lindsey was "the first person" who told him about it. The Jones lawyers failed to ask logical follow-up questions, according to the Clinton camp. The president, they argued, said he knew Lewinsky and Jordan met to discuss her job prospects and never directly denied knowing they also met on the subpoena.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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