Grounds for Impeachment
There is Substantial and Credible Information that
Pursuant to Section 595(c) of Title 28, the Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) hereby submits substantial and credible information that President Clinton obstructed justice during the Jones v. Clinton sexual harassment lawsuit by lying under oath and concealing evidence of his relationship with a young White House intern and federal employee, Monica Lewinsky. After a federal criminal investigation of the President's actions began in January 1998, the President lied under oath to the grand jury and obstructed justice during the grand jury investigation. There also is substantial and credible information that the President's actions with respect to Monica Lewinsky constitute an abuse of authority inconsistent with the President's constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws.
There is substantial and credible information supporting the following eleven possible grounds for impeachment:
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.
2. President Clinton lied under oath to the grand jury about his sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky.
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.
4. President Clinton lied under oath in his civil deposition about his discussions with Ms. Lewinsky concerning her involvement in the Jones case.
5. During the Jones case, the President obstructed justice and had an understanding with Ms. Lewinsky to jointly conceal the truth about their relationship by concealing gifts subpoenaed by Ms. Jones's attorneys.
6. During the Jones case, the President obstructed justice and had an understanding with Ms. Lewinsky to jointly conceal the truth of their relationship from the judicial process by a scheme that included the following means: (i) Both the President and Ms. Lewinsky understood that they would lie under oath in the Jones case about their sexual relationship; (ii) the President suggested to Ms. Lewinsky that she prepare an affidavit that, for the President's purposes, would memorialize her testimony under oath and could be used to prevent questioning of both of them about their relationship; (iii) Ms. Lewinsky signed and filed the false affidavit; (iv) the President used Ms. Lewinsky's false affidavit at his deposition in an attempt to head off questions about Ms. Lewinsky; and (v) when that failed, the President lied under oath at his civil deposition about the relationship with Ms. Lewinsky.
7. President Clinton endeavored to obstruct justice by helping Ms. Lewinsky obtain a job in New York at a time when she would have been a witness harmful to him were she to tell the truth in the Jones case.
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.
9. The President improperly tampered with a potential witness by attempting to corruptly influence the testimony of his personal secretary, Betty Currie, in the days after his civil deposition.
10. President Clinton endeavored to obstruct justice during the grand jury investigation by refusing to testify for seven months and lying to senior White House aides with knowledge that they would relay the President's false statements to the grand jury -- and did thereby deceive, obstruct, and impede the grand jury.
11. President Clinton abused his constitutional authority by (i) lying to the public and the Congress in January 1998 about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky; (ii) promising at that time to cooperate fully with the grand jury investigation; (iii) later refusing six invitations to testify voluntarily to the grand jury; (iv) invoking Executive Privilege; (v) lying to the grand jury in August 1998; and (vi) lying again to the public and Congress on August 17, 1998 -- all as part of an effort to hinder, impede, and deflect possible inquiry by the Congress of the United States.
The first two possible grounds for impeachment concern the President's lying under oath about the nature of his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. The details associated with those grounds are, by their nature, explicit. The President's testimony unfortunately has rendered the details essential with respect to those two grounds, as will be explained in those grounds.
On May 6, 1994, former Arkansas state employee Paula Corbin Jones filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against President Clinton claiming that he had sexually harassed her on May 8, 1991, by requesting her to perform oral sex on him in a suite at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock. Throughout the pretrial discovery process in Jones v. Clinton, United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled, over the President's objections, that Ms. Jones's lawyers could seek various categories of information, including information about women who had worked as government employees under Governor or President Clinton and allegedly had sexual activity with him. Judge Wright's rulings followed the prevailing law in sexual harassment cases: The defendant's sexual relationships with others in the workplace, including consensual relationships, are a standard subject of inquiry during the discovery process. Judge Wright recognized the commonplace nature of her discovery rulings and stated that she was following a "meticulous standard of materiality" in allowing such questioning.
At a hearing on January 12, 1998, Judge Wright required Ms. Jones to list potential trial witnesses. Ms. Jones's list included several "Jane Does."(1) Ms. Jones's attorneys said they intended to call a Jane Doe named Monica Lewinsky as a witness to support Ms. Jones's claims. Under Ms. Jones's legal theory, women who had sexual relationships with the President received job benefits because of the sexual relationship, but women who resisted the President's sexual advances were denied such benefits.(2)
On January 17, 1998, Ms. Jones's lawyers deposed President Clinton under oath with Judge Wright present and presiding over the deposition. Federal law requires a witness testifying under oath to provide truthful answers. The intentional failure to provide truthful answers is a crime punishable by imprisonment
and fine.(3) At the outset of his deposition, the President took an oath administered by Judge Wright: "Do you swear or affirm . . . that the testimony you are about to give in the matter before the court is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" The President replied: "I do."(4) At the beginning of their questioning, Ms. Jones's attorneys asked the President: "And your testimony is subject to the penalty of perjury; do you understand that, sir?" The President responded, "I do."(5)
Based on the witness list received in December 1997 (which included Ms. Lewinsky) and the January 12, 1998, hearing, the President and his attorneys were aware that Ms. Jones's attorneys likely would question the President at his deposition about Ms. Lewinsky and the other "Jane Does." In fact, the attorneys for Ms. Jones did ask numerous questions about "Jane Does," including Ms. Lewinsky.
There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton lied under oath in answering those questions.
During pretrial discovery, Paula Jones's attorneys served the President with written interrogatories.(6) One stated in relevant part:
Please state the name, address, and telephone number of each and every [federal employee] with whom you had sexual relations when you [were] . . . President of the United States.(7)
The interrogatory did not define the term "sexual relations." Judge Wright ordered the President to answer the interrogatory, and on December 23, 1997, under penalty of perjury, President Clinton answered "None."(8)
At the January 17, 1998, deposition of the President, Ms. Jones's attorneys asked the President specific questions about possible sexual activity with Monica Lewinsky. The attorneys used various terms in their questions, including "sexual affair," "sexual relationship," and "sexual relations." The terms "sexual affair" and "sexual relationship" were not specially defined by Ms. Jones's attorneys. The term "sexual relations" was defined:
For the purposes of this deposition, 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. . . . "Contact" means intentional touching, either directly or through clothing.(9)
President Clinton answered a series of questions about Ms. Lewinsky, including:
Q: Did you have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky?
Q: If she told someone that she had a sexual affair with you beginning in November of 1995, would that be a lie?
WJC: It's certainly not the truth. It would not be the truth.
Q: I think I used the term "sexual affair." And so the record is completely clear, have you ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, as that term is defined in Deposition Exhibit 1, as modified by the Court?
I object because I don't know that he can remember --
Well, it's real short. He can -- I will permit the question and you may show the witness definition number one.
WJC: I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an affair with her.(11)
President Clinton reiterated his denial under questioning by his own attorney:
Q: In paragraph eight of [Ms. Lewinsky's] 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 rejecting a sexual relationship." Is that a true and accurate statement as far as you know it?
WJC: That is absolutely true.(12)
Monica Lewinsky testified under oath before the grand jury that, beginning in November 1995, when she was a 22-year-old White House intern, she had a lengthy relationship with the President that included substantial sexual activity. She testified in detail about the times, dates, and nature of ten sexual encounters that involved some form of genital contact. As explained in the Narrative section of this Referral, White House records corroborate Ms. Lewinsky's testimony in that the President was in the Oval Office area during the encounters. The records of White House entry and exit are incomplete for employees, but they do show her presence in the White House on eight of those occasions.(13)
The ten incidents are recounted here because they are necessary to assess whether the President lied under oath, both in his civil deposition, where he denied any sexual relationship at all, and in his grand jury testimony, where he acknowledged an "inappropriate intimate contact" but denied any sexual contact with Ms. Lewinsky's breasts or genitalia. When reading the following descriptions, the President's denials under oath should be kept in mind.
Unfortunately, the nature of the President's denials requires that the contrary evidence be set forth in detail. If the President, in his grand jury appearance, had admitted the sexual activity recounted by Ms. Lewinsky and conceded that he had lied under oath in his civil deposition, these particular descriptions would be superfluous. Indeed, we refrained from questioning Ms. Lewinsky under oath about particular details until after the President's August 17 testimony made that questioning necessary. But in view of (i) the President's denials, (ii) his continued contention that his civil deposition testimony was legally accurate under the terms and definitions employed, and (iii) his refusal to answer related questions, the detail is critical. The detail provides credibility and corroboration to Ms. Lewinsky's testimony. It also demonstrates with clarity that the Pres ident lied under oath both in his civil deposition and to the federal grand jury.(14) There is substantial and credible information that the President's lies about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky were abundant and calculating. >
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she had her first sexual contact with the President on the evening of Wednesday, November 15, 1995, while she was an intern at the White House. Two times that evening, the President invited Ms. Lewinsky to meet him near the Oval Office.(15) On the first occasion, the President took Ms. Lewinsky back into the Oval Office study, and they kissed.(16) On the second, she performed oral sex on the President in the hallway outside the Oval Office study.(17) During this encounter, the President directly touched and kissed Ms. Lewinsky's bare breasts.(18) In addition, the President put his hand down Ms. Lewinsky's pants and directly stimulated her genitalia (acts clearly within the definition of "sexual relations" used at the Jones deposition).(19)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she met with the President again two days later, on Friday, November 17, 1995.(20) During that encounter, Ms. Lewinsky stated, she performed oral sex on the President in the private bathroom outside the Oval Office study.(21) The President initiated the oral sex by unzipping his pants and exposing his genitals. Ms. Lewinsky understood the President's actions to be a sign that he wanted her to perform oral sex on him.(22) During this encounter, the President also fondled Ms. Lewinsky's bare breasts with his hands and kissed her breasts.(23)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she met with the President on New Year's Eve, Sunday, December 31, 1995, after the President invited her to the Oval Office.(24) Once there, the President lifted Ms. Lewinsky's sweater, fondled her bare breasts with his hands, and kissed her breasts. She stated that she performed oral sex on the President in the hallway outside the Oval Office study.(25)
Monica Lewinsky testified that she performed oral sex on the President in the bathroom outside the Oval Office study during the late afternoon on Sunday, January 7, 1996.(26) The President arranged this encounter by calling Ms. Lewinsky at home and inviting her to visit.(27) On that occasion, the President and Ms. Lewinsky went into the bathroom, where he fondled her bare breasts with his hands and mouth. During this encounter, the President stated that he wanted to perform oral sex on Ms. Lewinsky, but she stopped him for a physical reason.(28)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President had a sexual encounter on the afternoon of Sunday, January 21, 1996, after he invited her to the Oval Office.(29) The President lifted Ms. Lewinsky's top and fondled her bare breasts.(30) The President unzipped his pants and exposed his genitals, and she performed oral sex on him in the hallway outside the Oval Office study.(31)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President had sexual contact in the Oval Office study and in the adjacent hallway on the afternoon of Sunday, February 4, 1996.(32) That day, the President had called Ms. Lewinsky.(33) During their encounter, the President partially removed Ms. Lewinsky's dress and bra and touched her bare breasts with his mouth and hands. He also directly touched her genitalia.(34) Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on the President.(35)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President had sexual contact in the hallway outside the Oval Office study during the late afternoon of Sunday, March 31, 1996.(36) The President arranged this encounter by calling Ms. Lewinsky and inviting her to the Oval Office. During this encounter, Ms. Lewinsky did not perform oral sex on the President. The President fondled Ms. Lewinsky's bare breasts with his hands and mouth and fondled her genitalia directly by pulling her underwear out of the way. In addition, the President inserted a cigar into Ms. Lewinsky's vagina.(37)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President had sexual contact on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1996, in the hallway outside the Oval Office study and in the study itself.(38) On that occasion, the President touched Ms. Lewinsky's breasts, both through her clothing and directly. After the President unzipped his pants, Ms. Lewinsky also performed oral sex on him.(39)
This was their last in-person sexual encounter for over nine months.
Ms. Lewinsky testified that her next sexual encounter with the President occurred on Friday, February 28, 1997, in the early evening.(40) The President initiated this encounter by having his secretary Betty Currie call Ms. Lewinsky to invite her to the White House for a radio address. After the address, Ms. Lewinsky and the President kissed by the bathroom. The President unbuttoned her dress and fondled her breasts, first with her bra on and then directly. He touched her genitalia through her clothes, but not directly, on this occasion. Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on him.(41) On this day, Ms. Lewinsky was wearing a blue dress that forensic tests have conclusively shown was stained with the President's semen.(42)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President had sexual contact on the afternoon of March 29, 1997, in the Oval Office study.(43) On that occasion, the President unbuttoned Ms. Lewinsky's blouse and touched her breasts through her bra, but not directly. He also put his hands inside Ms. Lewinsky's pants and stimulated her genitalia.(44) Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on him, and they also had brief, direct genital-to-genital contact.(45)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she met with President Clinton in the Oval Office study on the morning of Saturday, August 16, 1997. They kissed, and Ms. Lewinsky touched the President's genitals through his clothing, but he rebuffed her efforts to perform oral sex. No other sexual acts occurred during this encounter.(46)
On Sunday, December 28, 1997, three weeks before the President's civil deposition in the Jones case, the President and Ms. Lewinsky met in the Oval Office. In addition to discussing a number of issues that are analyzed below, they engaged in "passionate" kissing -- she said, "I don't call it a brief kiss." No other sexual contact occurred.(47)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President engaged in "phone sex" approximately fifteen times. The President initiated each phone sex encounter by telephoning Ms. Lewinsky.(48)
>Ms. Lewinsky produced to OIC investigators a dress she wore during the encounter on February 28, 1997, which she believed might be stained with the President's semen. At the request of the OIC, the FBI Laboratory examined the dress and found semen stains.(49) At that point, the OIC requested a DNA sample from the President. On August 3, 1998, two weeks before the President's grand jury testimony, a White House physician drew blood from the President in the presence of a senior OIC attorney and a FBI special agent.(50) Through the most sensitive DNA testing, RFLP testing, the FBI Laboratory determined conclusively that the semen on Ms. Lewinsky's dress was, in fact, the President's.(51) The chance that the semen is not the President's is one in 7.87 trillion.(52)
During her relationship with the President, Monica Lewinsky spoke contemporaneously to several friends, family members, and counselors about the relationship. Their testimony corroborates many of the details of the sexual activity provided by Ms. Lewinsky to the OIC.
Catherine Allday Davis, a college friend of Monica Lewinsky's,(53) testified that Ms. Lewinsky told her in late 1995 or early 1996 about Ms. Lewinsky's sexual relationship with the President.(54) According to Ms. Davis, Ms. Lewinsky told her that the relationship included mutual kissing and hugging, as well as oral sex performed by Ms. Lewinsky on the President. She also stated that the President touched Monica "on her breasts and on her vagina."(55) Ms. Davis also described the cigar incident discussed above.(56) Ms. Davis added that Monica said that she had "phone sex" with the President five to ten times in 1996 or 1997.(57)
Neysa Erbland, a high school friend of Ms. Lewinsky's,(58) testified that Ms. Lewinsky told her in 1995 that she was having an affair with President Clinton.(59) According to Ms. Erbland, Ms. Lewinsky said that the sexual relationship began when Ms. Lewinsky was an intern.(60) Ms. Lewinsky told Ms. Erbland that the sexual contact included oral sex, kissing, and fondling.(61) On occasion, as Ms. Erbland described it, the President put his face in Ms. Lewinsky's bare chest.(62) Ms. Erbland also said that Ms. Lewinsky described the cigar incident discussed above.(63) Ms. Erbland also understood from Ms. Lewinsky that she and the President engaged in phone sex, normally after midnight.(64)
Ms. Lewinsky told another high school friend, Natalie Rose Ungvari,(65) of her sexual relationship with the President. Ms. Lewinsky first informed Ms. Ungvari of the sexual relationship on November 23, 1995. Ms. Ungvari specifically remembers the date because it was her birthday.(66) Ms. Ungvari recalled that Ms. Lewinsky said that she performed oral sex on the President and that he fondled her breasts.(67) Ms. Lewinsky told Ms. Ungvari that the President sometimes telephoned Ms. Lewinsky late at night and would ask her to engage in phone sex.(68)
Ashley Raines, a friend of Ms. Lewinsky who worked in the White House Office of Policy Development Operations,(69) testified that Ms. Lewinsky described the sexual relationship with the President. Ms. Raines testified that Ms. Lewinsky told her that the relationship began around the time of the government furlough in late 1995.(70) Ms. Raines understood that the President and Ms. Lewinsky engaged in kissing and oral sex, usually in the President's study.(71) Ms. Lewinsky also told Ms. Raines that she and the President had engaged in phone sex on several occasions.(72)
In late 1995, Monica Lewinsky told Andrew Bleiler, a former boyfriend, that she was having an affair with a high official at the White House.(73) According to Mr. Bleiler, Ms. Lewinsky said that the relationship did not include sexual intercourse, but did include oral sex. She also told Mr. Bleiler about the cigar incident discussed above, and sexual activity in which the man touched Ms. Lewinsky's genitals and caused her to have an orgasm.(74)
Dr. Irene Kassorla counseled Ms. Lewinsky from 1992 through 1997.(75) Ms. Lewinsky told her of the sexual relationship with the President. Ms. Lewinsky said she performed oral sex on the President in a room adjacent to the Oval Office, that the President touched Ms. Lewinsky causing her to have orgasms, and that they engaged in fondling and touching of one another.(76) The President was in charge of scheduling their sexual encounters and "became Lewinsky's life."(77)
When she worked at the Pentagon, Ms. Lewinsky told a co-worker, Linda Tripp, that she had a sexual relationship with President Clinton.(78) Ms. Tripp stated that Ms. Lewinsky first told her about the relationship in September or October 1996. Ms. Lewinsky told Ms. Tripp that the first sexual encounter with the President had occurred on November 15, 1995, when Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on him. Ms. Lewinsky told Ms. Tripp that, during the course of this sexual relationship, she performed oral sex on the President, the President fondled Ms. Lewinsky's breasts, the President touched Ms. Lewinsky's genitalia, and they engaged in phone sex.(79)
Ms. Lewinsky's aunt, Debra Finerman, testified that Monica told her about her sexual relationship with President Clinton.(80) Ms. Finerman testified that Ms. Lewinsky described a particular sexual encounter with the President.(81) Ms. Finerman otherwise did not ask and was not told the specifics of the sexual activity between the President and Ms. Lewinsky.(82)
Dale Young, a family friend, testified that Ms. Lewinsky told her that she had engaged in oral sex with President Clinton.(83)
Kathleen Estep, a counselor for Ms. Lewinsky,(84) met with Ms. Lewinsky on three occasions in November 1996.(85) Based on her limited interaction with Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Estep stated that she considered Ms. Lewinsky to be credible.(86) During their second session, Ms. Lewinsky told Ms. Estep about her sexual relationship with President Clinton.(87) Ms. Lewinsky told Ms. Estep that the physical part of the relationship involved kissing, Ms. Lewinsky performing oral sex on the President, and the President fondling her breasts.(88)
The detailed testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, her corroborating prior consistent statements to her friends, family members, and counselors, and the evidence of the President's semen on Ms. Lewinsky's dress establish that Ms. Lewinsky and the President engaged in substantial sexual activity between November 15, 1995, and December 28, 1997.(89)
The President, however, testified under oath in the civil case -- both in his deposition and in a written answer to an interrogatory -- that he did not have a "sexual relationship" or a "sexual affair" or "sexual relations" with Ms. Lewinsky. In addition, he denied engaging in activity covered by a more specific definition of "sexual relations" used at the deposition.(90)
In his civil case, the President made five different false statements related to the sexual relationship. For four of the five statements, the President asserts a semantic defense: The President argues that the terms used in the Jones deposition to cover sexual activity did not cover the sexual activity in which he engaged with Ms. Lewinsky. For his other false statements, the President's response is factual -- namely, he disputes Ms. Lewinsky's account that he ever touched her breasts or genitalia during sexual activity.(91)
The President's denials -- semantic and factual -- do not withstand scrutiny.
First, in his civil deposition, the President denied a "sexual affair" with Ms. Lewinsky (the term was not defined). The President's response to lying under oath on this point rests on his definition of "sexual affair" -- namely, that it requires sexual intercourse, no matter how extensive the sexual activities might otherwise be. According to the President, a man could regularly engage in oral sex and fondling of breasts and genitals with a woman and yet not have a "sexual affair" with her.
Second, in his civil deposition, the President also denied a "sexual relationship" with Ms. Lewinsky (the term was not defined). The President's response to lying under oath on this point similarly rests on his definition of "sexual relationship" -- namely, that it requires sexual intercourse. Once again, under the President's theory, a man could regularly engage in oral sex and fondling of breasts and genitals with a woman, yet not have a "sexual relationship" with her.
The President's claim as to his interpretation of "sexual relationship" is belied by the fact that the President's own lawyer -- earlier at that same deposition -- equated the term "sexual relationship" with "sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form." The President's lawyer offered that interpretation when requesting Judge Wright to limit the questioning to prevent further inquiries with respect to Monica Lewinsky. As the videotape of the deposition reveals, the President was present and apparently looking in the direction of his attorney when his attorney offered that statement.(92) The President gave no indication that he disagreed with his attorney's straightforward interpretation that the term "sexual relationship" means "sex of any kind in any manner, shape, or form." Nor did the President thereafter take any steps to correct the attorney's statement.
Third, in an answer to an interrogatory submitted before his deposition, the President denied having "sexual relations" with Ms. Lewinsky (the term was not defined). Yet again, the President's apparent rejoinder to lying under oath on this point rests on his definition of "sexual relations" -- that it, too, requires sexual intercourse. According to President Clinton, oral sex does not constitute sexual relations.
Fourth, in his civil deposition, the President denied committing any acts that fell within the specific definition of "sexual relations" that was in effect for purposes of that deposition. Under that specific definition, sexual relations occurs "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."(93) Thus, the President denied engaging in or causing contact with the genitalia, breasts, or anus of "any person" with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of "any person."
Concerning oral sex, the President's sole answer to the charge that he lied under oath at the deposition focused on his interpretation of "any person" in the definition. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she performed oral sex on the President on nine occasions. The President said that by receiving oral sex, he would not "engage in" or "cause"(94) contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of "any person" because "any person" really means "any other person." The President further testified before the grand jury: "[I]f the deponent is the person who has oral sex performed on him, then the contact is with -- not with anything on that list, but with the lips of another person."(95)
The President's linguistic parsing is unreasonable. Under the President's interpretation (which he says he followed at his deposition), in an oral sex encounter, one person is engaged in sexual relations, but the other person is not engaged in sexual relations.(96)
Even assuming that the definitional language can be manipulated to exclude the deponent's receipt of oral sex, the President is still left with the difficulty that reasonable persons would not have understood it that way. And in context, the President's semantics become even weaker: The Jones suit rested on the allegation that the President sought to have Ms. Jones perform oral sex on him. Yet the President now claims that the expansive definition devised for deposition questioning should be interpreted to exclude that very act.
Fifth, by denying at his civil deposition that he had engaged in any acts falling within the specific definition of "sexual relations," the President denied engaging in or causing contact with the breasts or genitalia of Ms. Lewinsky with an intent to arouse or gratify one's sexual desire. In contrast to his explanations of the four preceding false statements under oath, the President's defense to lying under oath in this instance is purely factual.
As discussed above, Ms. Lewinsky testified credibly that the President touched and kissed her bare breasts on nine occasions, and that he stimulated her genitals on four occasions.(97) She also testified about a cigar incident, which is discussed above. In addition, a deleted computer file from Ms. Lewinsky's home computer contained an apparent draft letter to the President that explicitly referred to an incident in which the President's "mouth [was] on [her] breast" and implicitly referred to direct contact with her genitalia.(98) This draft letter further corroborates Ms. Lewinsky's testimony.
Ms. Lewinsky's prior consistent statements to various friends, family members, and counselors -- made when the relationship was ongoing -- likewise corroborate her testimony on the nature of the President's touching of her body. Ms. Lewinsky had no apparent motive to lie to her friends, family members, and counselors. Ms. Lewinsky especially had no reason to lie to Dr. Kassorla and Ms. Estep, to whom she related the facts in the course of a professional relationship. And Ms. Lewinsky's statements to some that she did not have intercourse with the President, even though she wanted to do so, enhances the credibility of her statements. Moreover, the precise nature of the sexual activity only became relevant after the President interposed his semantic defense regarding oral sex on August 17, 1998.
By contrast, the President's testimony strains credulity. His apparent "hands-off" scenario -- in which he would have received oral sex on nine occasions from Ms. Lewinsky but never made direct contact with Ms. Lewinsky's breasts or genitalia -- is not credible. The President's claim seems to be that he maintained a hands-off policy in ongoing sexual encounters with Ms. Lewinsky, which coincidentally happened to permit him to truthfully deny "sexual relations" with her at a deposition occurring a few years in the future. As Ms. Lewinsky noted, it suggests some kind of "service contract -- that all I did was perform oral sex on him and that that's all this relationship was."(99)
The President also had strong personal, political, and legal motives to lie in the Jones deposition: He did not want to admit that he had committed extramarital sex acts with a young intern in the Oval Office area of the White House. Such an admission could support Ms. Jones's theory of liability and would embarrass him. Indeed, the President admitted that during the relationship he did what he could to keep the relationship secret, including "misleading" members of his family and Cabinet.(100) The President testified, moreover, that he "hoped that this relationship would never become public."(101)
At the time of his civil deposition, the President also could have presumed that he could lie under oath without risk because -- as he knew -- Ms. Lewinsky had already filed a false affidavit denying a sexual relationship with the President. Indeed, they had an understanding that each would lie under oath (explained more fully in Ground VI below). So the President might have expected that he could lie without consequence on the belief that no one could ever successfully challenge his denial of a sexual relationship with her.
In sum, based on all of the evidence and considering the President's various responses, there is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath in his civil deposition and his interrogatory answer in denying a sexual relationship, a sexual affair, or sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky.(102)
>In January 1998, upon application of the Attorney General, the Special Division of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit expanded the OIC's jurisdiction to investigate, among other matters, whether Monica Lewinsky and the President obstructed justice in the Jones case. The criminal investigation was triggered by specific and credible evidence that Monica Lewinsky denied her relationship with President Clinton in a false affidavit in the Jones case, that she had spoken to the President and Vernon Jordan about her testimony, and that she may have been influenced to lie by the President through the assistance of Vernon Jordan and others in finding her a job. After the President, in his January 17 deposition, denied any sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and otherwise minimized his overall relationship with her, the President's testimony became an additional subject of the OIC investigation.
The threshold factual question was whether the President and Monica Lewinsky in fact had a sexual relationship. If they did, the President would have committed perjury in his civil deposition and interrogatory answer: The President, as noted in Ground I above, had denied a sexual affair, sexual relationship, or sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, including any direct contact with her breasts or genitalia. The answer to the preliminary factual question also could alter the interpretation of several possibly obstructionist acts by the President -- the employment assistance for Ms. Lewinsky, the concealment of gifts he had given to Ms. Lewinsky, the discussion between the President and Ms. Lewinsky of her testimony or affidavit, the President's post-deposition communications with Betty Currie, and the President's emphatic denials of a relationship to his aides who later testified before the grand jury.
During the investigation, the OIC gathered a substantial body of information that established that the President and Monica Lewinsky did, in fact, have a sexual relationship. That information is outlined in Ground I above. In particular, the information includes: (i) the detailed and credible testimony of Ms. Lewinsky regarding the 10 sexual encounters; (ii) the President's semen stain on Ms. Lewinsky's dress; and (iii) the testimony of friends, family members, and counselors to whom she made near-contemporaneous statements about the relationship. All of this evidence pointed to a single conclusion -- that she and the President did have a sexual relationship.
The President was largely aware of that extensive body of evidence before he testified to the grand jury on August 17, 1998. Not only did the President know that Ms. Lewinsky had reached an immunity agreement with this Office in exchange for her truthful testimony, but the President knew from public reports and his own knowledge that his semen might be on one of Ms. Lewinsky's dresses. The OIC had asked him for a blood sample on August 3, 1998 (two weeks before his grand jury testimony) and assured his counsel that there was a substantial predicate for the request, which reasonably implied that there was semen on the dress.
As a result, the President had three apparent choices in his testimony to the grand jury. First, the President could adhere to his previous testimony in his civil case, as well as in his public statements, and deny any sexual relationship. But he knew (or at least, had reason to know) that the contrary evidence was overwhelming, particularly if his semen were in fact on Ms. Lewinsky's dress. Second, the President could admit a sexual relationship, which would cause him also to simultaneously admit that he lied under oath in the Jones case. Third, the President could invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination.
Confronting those three options, the President attempted to avoid them altogether. The President admitted to an "inappropriate intimate" relationship, but he maintained that he had not committed perjury in the Jones case when he denied having a sexual relationship, sexual affair, or sexual relations with her.(103) The President contended that he had believed his various statements in the Jones case to be legally accurate.(104) He also testified that the inappropriate relationship began not in November 1995 when Ms. Lewinsky was an intern, as Ms. Lewinsky and other witnesses have testified, but in 1996.
During his grand jury testimony, the President was asked whether Monica Lewinsky performed oral sex on him and, if so, whether he had committed perjury in his civil deposition by denying a sexual relationship, sexual affair, or sexual relations with her. The President refused to say whether he had oral sex. Instead, the President said (i) that the undefined terms "sexual affair," "sexual relationship," and "sexual relations" necessarily require sexual intercourse, (ii) that he had not engaged in intercourse with Ms. Lewinsky, and (iii) that he therefore had not committed perjury in denying a sexual relationship, sexual affair, or sexual relations.(105)
A more specific definition of "sexual relations" had also been used at the civil deposition. As to that definition, the President said to the grand jury that he does not and did not believe oral sex was covered.
Q: [I]s oral sex performed on you within that definition as you understood it, the definition in the Jones --
A: As I understood it, it was not; no.(106)
The President thus contended that he had not committed perjury on that question in the Jones deposition -- even assuming that Monica Lewinsky performed oral sex on him.
There still was the question of his contact with Ms. Lewinsky's breasts and genitalia, which the President conceded would fall within the Jones definition of sexual relations. The President denied that he had engaged in such activity and said, in effect, that Monica Lewinsky was lying:
Q: The question is, if Monica Lewinsky says that while you were in the Oval Office area you touched her breasts would she by lying?
A: 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. . . . My, my statement is that I did not have sexual relations as defined by that.
Q: If she says that you kissed her breasts, would she be lying?
A: I'm going to revert to my former statement [that is, the prepared statement denying "sexual relations"].
Q: Okay. If Monica Lewinsky says that while you were in the Oval Office area you touched her genitalia, would she be lying? And that calls for a yes, no, or reverting to your former statement.
A: I will revert to my former statement on that.(107)
The President elaborated that he considered kissing or touching breasts or genitalia during sexual activity to be covered by the Jones definition, but he denied that he had ever engaged in such conduct with Ms. Lewinsky:
Q: So touching, in your view then and now -- the person being deposed touching or kissing the breast of another person would fall within the definition?
A: That's correct, sir.
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 -- and with the intent to arouse the sexual desire, arouse or gratify, as defined in definition (1), would that be, under your understanding then and now --
A: Yes, sir.
Q: -- 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 --
A: You --
Q: -- 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.
Q: Including touching her breast, kissing her breast, touching her genitalia?
A: That's correct.(108)
In the foregoing testimony to the grand jury, the President lied under oath three times.
1. The President testified that he believed oral sex was not covered by any of the terms and definitions for sexual activity used at the Jones deposition. That testimony is not credible: At the Jones deposition, the President could not have believed that he was telling "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" in denying a sexual relationship, sexual relations, or a sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky.
2. In all events, even putting aside his definitional defense, the President made a second false statement to the grand jury. The President's grand jury testimony contradicts Ms. Lewinsky's grand jury testimony on the question whether the President touched Ms. Lewinsky's breasts or genitalia during their sexual activity. There can be no contention that one of them has a lack of memory or is mistaken. On this issue, either Monica Lewinsky lied to the grand jury, or President Clinton lied to the grand jury. Under any rational view of the evidence, the President lied to the grand jury.
First, Ms. Lewinsky's testimony about these encounters is detailed and specific. She described with precision nine incidents of sexual activity in which the President touched and kissed her breasts and four incidents involving contacts with her genitalia.
Second, Ms. Lewinsky has stated repeatedly that she does not want to hurt the President by her testimony.(109) Thus, if she had exaggerated in her many prior statements, she presumably would have said as much, rather than adhering to those statements. She has confirmed those details, however, even though it clearly has been painful for her to testify to the details of her relationship with the President.
Third, the testimony of many of her friends, family members, and counselors corroborate her testimony in important detail. Many testified that Ms. Lewinsky had told them that the President had touched her breasts and genitalia during sexual activity. These statements were made well before the President's grand jury testimony rendered these precise details important. Ms. Lewinsky had no motive to lie to these individuals (and obviously not to counselors). Indeed, she pointed out to many of them that she was upset that sexual intercourse had not occurred, an unlikely admission if she were exaggerating the sexual aspects of their relationship.
Fourth, a computer file obtained from Ms. Lewinsky's home computer contained a draft letter that referred in one place to their sexual relationship. The draft explicitly refers to "watching your mouth on my breast" and implicitly refers to direct contact with Ms. Lewinsky's genitalia.(110) This draft letter further corroborates Ms. Lewinsky's testimony and indicates that the President's grand jury testimony is false.
Fifth, as noted above, the President's "hands-off" scenario -- in which he would have received oral sex on nine occasions from Ms. Lewinsky but never made direct contact with Ms. Lewinsky's breasts or genitalia -- is implausible. As Ms. Lewinsky herself testified, it suggests that she and the President had some kind of "service contract -- that all I did was perform oral sex on him and that that's all this relationship was."(111) But as the above descriptions and the Narrative explain, the nature of the relationship, including the sexual relationship, was far more than that.
Sixth, in the grand jury, the President had a motive to lie by denying he had fondled Ms. Lewinsky in intimate ways. The President clearly sought to deny any acts that would show that he committed perjury in his civil case (implying that the President understood how seriously the public and the courts would view perjury in a civil case). To do that, the President had to deny touching Ms. Lewinsky's breasts or genitalia -- no matter how implausible his testimony to that effect might be.
Seventh, the President refused to answer specific questions before the grand jury about what activity he did engage in (as opposed to what activity he did not engage in) -- even though at the Jones deposition only seven months before, his attorney stated that he was willing to answer specific questions when there was a sufficient factual predicate.(112) The President's failure in the grand jury to answer specific follow-up questions suggests that he could not supply responses in a consistent or credible manner.
3. Finally, the President made a third false statement to the grand jury about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. He contended that the intimate contact did not begin until 1996. Ms. Lewinsky has testified that it began November 15, 1995, during the government shutdown -- testimony corroborated by statements she made to friends at the time.(113) A White House photograph of the evening shows the President and Ms. Lewinsky eating pizza.(114) White House records show that Ms. Lewinsky did not depart the White House until 12:18 a.m. and show that the President was in the Oval Office area until 12:35 a.m.(115)
Ms. Lewinsky was still an intern when she says the President began receiving oral sex from her, whereas she was a full-time employee by the time that the President admits they began an "inappropriate intimate" relationship. The motive for the President to make a false statement about the date on which the sexual relationship started appears to have been that the President was unwilling to admit sexual activity with a young 22-year-old White House intern in the Oval Office area. Indeed, Ms. Lewinsky testified that, at that first encounter, the President tugged at her intern pass. He said that "this" may be a problem; Ms. Lewinsky interpreted that statement to reflect his awareness that there would be a problem with her obtaining access to the West Wing.(116)
For all these reasons, there is substantial and credible information that the President lied to the grand jury about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.(117)
III. There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton lied under oath during his civil deposition when he stated that he could not recall being alone with Monica Lewinsky and when he minimized the number of gifts they had exchanged.
>The President testified to the grand jury and stated to the Nation on August 17 that his testimony in his civil deposition had been "legally accurate." Even apart from his answers about the sexual relationship, the President's deposition testimony was inaccurate on several other points.
During President Clinton's deposition in the Jones case, Ms. Jones's attorneys asked the President many detailed questions about the nature of his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, apart from whether the relationship was sexual. The questions included: (i) whether the President had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky in the White House and, if so, how many times; and (ii) whether he and Ms. Lewinsky exchanged gifts.(118) Both issues were important in determining the nature of the relationship.(119)
There is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath about those subjects.
President Clinton was asked at his deposition whether he had ever been alone with Ms. Lewinsky. He testified as follows:
Q: . . . At any time were you and Monica Lewinsky together alone in the Oval Office?
[videotape shows approximately five-second pause before answer]
WJC: I don't recall, but as I said, when she worked at the legislative affairs office, they always had somebody there on the weekends. I typically worked some on the weekends. Sometimes they'd bring me things on the weekends. She -- it seems to me she brought things to me once or twice on the weekends. In that case, whatever time she would be in there, drop it off, exchange a few words and go, she was there. I don't have any specific recollections of what the issues were, what was going on, but when the Congress is there, we're working all the time, and typically I would do some work on one of the days of the weekends in the afternoon.
Q: So I understand, your testimony is that it was possible, then, that you were alone with her, but you have no specific recollection of that ever happening?
WJC: Yes, that's correct. It's possible that she, in, while she was working there, brought something to me and that at the time she brought it to me, she was the only person there. That's possible.(120)
The President also was asked whether he had ever been alone with Ms. Lewinsky in the hallway that runs from the Oval Office, past the study, to the dining room and kitchen area.(121)
Q: At any time were you and Monica Lewinsky alone in the hallway between the Oval Office and this kitchen area?
The President was then asked about any times he may have been alone in any room with Ms. Lewinsky:
Q: At any time have you and Monica Lewinsky ever been alone together in any room of the White House?
WJC: I think I testified to that earlier. I think that there is a, it is -- 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, something on the weekend. That's -- I have a general memory of that.(124)
In the seven months preceding the President's grand jury testimony on August 17, the OIC gathered substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath in his deposition statements about being alone with Monica Lewinsky.
First, Monica Lewinsky testified before the grand jury that she was alone with the President on numerous occasions(125) and in numerous areas, including the Oval Office,(126) Nancy Hernreich's office,(127) the President's private study,(128) the private bathroom across from the study,(129) and the hallway that leads from the Oval Office to the private dining room.(130) Ms. Lewinsky confirmed that she and the President were alone during sexual activity.(131)
Second, Betty Currie testified that President Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky were alone together in the Oval Office area a number of times.(132) She specifically remembered three occasions when the President and Ms. Lewinsky were alone together: February 28, 1997,(133) early December 1997,(134) and December 28, 1997.(135)
Third, six current or former members of the Secret Service testified that the President and Ms. Lewinsky were alone in the Oval Office area -- Robert Ferguson,(136) Lewis Fox,(138) William Bordley,(139) Nelson Garabito,(140) Gary Byrne,(141) and John Muskett.(142)
Fourth, White House steward Glen Maes testified that on some weekend day after Christmas 1997,(143) the President came out of the Oval Office, saw Ms. Lewinsky with a gift, and escorted her into the Oval Office. Mr. Maes testified that the President and Ms. Lewinsky were alone together for approximately eight minutes, and then Ms. Lewinsky left.(144)
On August 17, 1998, the President testified to the grand jury and began his testimony by reading a statement admitting that he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky:
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.(145)
The President acknowledged being alone with Ms. Lewinsky on multiple occasions, although he could not pinpoint the precise number.(146) Perhaps most important, the President admitted that he was alone with Ms. Lewinsky on December 28, 1997,(147) less than three weeks before his deposition in the Jones case. Indeed, he acknowledged that he would have to have been an "exhibitionist" for him not to have been alone with Ms. Lewinsky when they were having sexual encounters.(148)
Substantial and credible information demonstrates that the President made three false statements under oath in his civil deposition regarding whether he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky.
First, the President lied when he said "I don't recall" in response to the question whether he had ever been alone with Ms. Lewinsky. The President admitted to the grand jury that he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky. It is not credible that he actually had no memory of this fact six months earlier, particularly given that they were obviously alone when engaging in sexual activity.
Second, when asked whether he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky in the hallway in the Oval Office, the President answered, "I don't believe so, unless we were walking back to the back dining room with the pizza."(149) That statement, too, was false: Most of the sexual encounters between the President and Ms. Lewinsky occurred in that hallway (and on other occasions, they walked through the hallway to the dining room or study), and it is not credible that the President would have forgotten this fact.
Third, the President suggested at his civil deposition that he had no specific recollection of being alone with Ms. Lewinsky in the Oval Office, but had a general recollection that Ms. Lewinsky may have brought him "papers to sign" on certain occasions when she worked at the Legislative Affairs Office.(150) This statement was false. Ms. Lewinsky did not bring him papers for official purposes. To the contrary, "bringing papers" was one of the sham "cover stories" that the President and Ms. Lewinsky had originally crafted to conceal their sexual relationship.(151) The fact that the President resorted to a previously designed cover story when testifying under oath at the Jones deposition confirms that he made these false denials in a calculated manner with the intent and knowledge that they were false.
The President had an obvious motive to lie in this respect. He knew that it would appear odd for a President to have been alone with a female intern or low-level staffer on so many occasions. Such an admission might persuade Judge Wright to deny any motion by Ms. Lewinsky to quash her deposition subpoena. It also might prompt Ms. Jones's attorneys to oppose efforts by Ms. Lewinsky not to be deposed and to ask specific questions of Ms. Lewinsky about the times she was alone with the President. It also might raise questions publicly if and when the President's deposition became public; at least parts of the deposition were likely to become public at trial, if not at the summary judgment stage.
Because lying about their sexual relationship was insufficient to avoid raising further questions, the President also lied about being alone with Ms. Lewinsky -- or at least feigned lack of memory as to specific occurrences.(152)
During his civil deposition, the President also was asked several questions about gifts he and Monica Lewinsky had exchanged. The evidence demonstrates that he answered the questions falsely. As with the questions about being alone, truthful answers to these questions would have raised questions about the nature of the relationship. Such answers also would have been inconsistent with the understanding of the President and Ms. Lewinsky that, in response to her subpoena, Ms. Lewinsky would not produce all of the gifts she had received from the President (an issue discussed more fully in Ground V).
During the President's deposition in the Jones case, Ms. Jones's attorneys asked several questions about whether he had given gifts to Monica Lewinsky.
Q: Well, have you ever given any gifts to Monica Lewinsky?
WJC: I don't recall. Do you know what they were?
Q: A hat pin?
WJC: I don't, I don't remember. But I certainly, I could have.
Q: A book about Walt Whitman?
WJC: I give -- let me just say, I give people a lot of gifts, and 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, but I don't remember a specific gift.
Q: Do you remember giving her a gold broach?
(i) Just three weeks before the President's deposition, on December 28, 1997, President Clinton gave Ms. Lewinsky a number of gifts, the largest number he had ever given her.(154) They included a large Rockettes blanket, a pin of the New York skyline, a marble-like bear's head from Vancouver, a pair of sunglasses, a small box of cherry chocolates, a canvas bag from the Black Dog, and a stuffed animal wearing a T-shirt from the Black Dog.(155) Ms. Lewinsky produced the Rockettes blanket, the bear's head, the Black Dog canvas bag, the Black Dog stuffed animal, and the sunglasses to the OIC on July 29, 1998.(156)
(ii) The evidence also demonstrates that the President gave Ms. Lewinsky a hat pin as a belated Christmas gift on February 28, 1997.(157) The President and Ms. Lewinsky discussed the hatpin on December 28, 1997, after Ms. Lewinsky received a subpoena calling for her to produce all gifts from the President, including any hat pins.(158) In her meeting with the President on December 28, 1997, according to Ms. Lewinsky, "I mentioned that I had been concerned about the hat pin being on the subpoena and he said that that had sort of concerned him also and asked me if I had told anyone that he had given me this hat pin and I said no."(159) The President's secretary Betty Currie also testified that she had previously discussed the hat pin with the President.(160)
(iii) Ms. Lewinsky testified that the President gave her additional gifts over the course of their relationship, such as a brooch,(162) the book Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman,(163) an Annie Lennox compact disk,(166) and a cigar.(167)
When asked at his civil deposition in the Jones case whether Monica Lewinsky had ever given him gifts, President Clinton testified as follows:
Q: Has Monica Lewinsky ever given you any gifts?
WJC: Once or twice. I think she's given me a book or two.
Q: Did she give you a silver cigar box?
Q: Did she give you a tie?
WJC: Yes, she has given me a tie before. I believe that's right. Now, as I said, let me remind you, normally when I get these ties, I get ties, you know, together, and then they're given to me later, but I believe that she has given me a tie.(168)
The evidence reveals that Ms. Lewinsky gave the President approximately 38 gifts; she says she almost always brought a gift or two when she visited.(170)
a. Ms. Lewinsky testified before the grand jury that she gave the President six neckties.(171)
b. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she gave the President a pair of sunglasses on approximately October 22, 1997.(172) The President's attorney, David E. Kendall, stated in a letter on March 16, 1998: "We believe that Ms. Lewinsky might have given the President a few additional items, such as ties and a pair of sunglasses, but we have not been able to locate these items."(173)
c. On November 13, 1997, Ms. Lewinsky gave the President an antique paperweight that depicted the White House.(174) Ms. Lewinsky testified that on December 6, 1997, and possibly again on December 28, 1997, she saw this paperweight in the dining room, where the President keeps many items of political memorabilia.(175) The President turned over the paperweight to the OIC in response to a second subpoena calling for it.(176)
d. Ms. Lewinsky gave the President at least seven books:
The Presidents of the United States, on January 4, 1998;(177)
The Notebook, on August 16, 1997;(182)
her personal copy of Vox, a novel about phone sex, on March 29, 1997.(187)
e. Ms. Lewinsky gave the President an antique cigar holder, on December 6, 1997.(188)
f. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she gave the President a number of additional gifts.(189) >
When he testified to the grand jury, President Clinton acknowledged giving Monica Lewinsky several gifts, stating that "it was a right thing to do to give her gifts back."(190) He acknowledged giving her gifts on December 28, 1997,(191) just three weeks before the civil deposition.
During the criminal investigation, the President has produced seven gifts that Ms. Lewinsky gave him. He testified to the grand jury that Ms. Lewinsky had given him "a tie, a coffee cup, a number of other things I had."(192) In addition, the President acknowledged that "there were some things that had been in my possession that I no longer had, I believe."(193)
Betty Currie testified that Ms. Lewinsky sent a number of packages for the President -- six or eight, she estimated.(194) Ms. Lewinsky also sometimes dropped parcels off or had family members do so.(195) When the packages came to the White House, Ms. Currie would leave the packages from Ms. Lewinsky in the President's box outside the Oval Office, and "[h]e would pick [them] up."(196) To the best of her knowledge, such parcels always reached the President: "The President got everything anyone sent him."(197) Ms. Currie testified that to her knowledge, no one delivered packages or something as many times as Ms. Lewinsky did.(198)
The President stated in his civil deposition that he could not recall whether he had ever given any gifts to Ms. Lewinsky;(199) that he could not remember whether he had given her a hat pin although "certainly, I could have"; and that he had received a gift from Ms. Lewinsky only "once or twice."(200) In fact, the evidence demonstrates that they exchanged numerous gifts of various kinds at many points over a lengthy period of time. Indeed, on December 28, only three weeks before the deposition, they had discussed the hat pin. Also on December 28, the President had given Ms. Lewinsky a number of gifts, more than he had ever given her before.
A truthful answer to the questions about gifts at the Jones deposition would have raised further questions about the President's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The number itself would raise questions about the relationship and prompt further questions about specific gifts; some of the specific gifts (such as Vox and Leaves of Grass) would raise questions whether the relationship was sexual and whether the President had lied in denying that their relationship was sexual. Ms. Lewinsky explained the point: Had they admitted the gifts, it would "at least prompt [the Jones attorneys] to want to question me about what kind of friendship I had with the President and they would want to speculate and they'd leak it and my name would be trashed and he [the President] would be in trouble."(201)
A truthful answer about the gifts to Ms. Lewinsky also would have raised the question of where they were. Ms. Lewinsky had been subpoenaed for gifts, as the President knew. The President knew also from his conversation with Ms. Lewinsky on December 28, 1997 (an issue discussed more fully in Ground V) that Ms. Lewinsky would not produce all of the gifts she had received from the President.
For those reasons, the President had a clear motive when testifying under oath to lie about the gifts.
IV. There is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath during his civil deposition concerning conversations he had with Monica Lewinsky about her involvement in the Jones case.
President Clinton was asked during his civil deposition whether he had discussed with Ms. Lewinsky the possibility of her testifying in the Jones case. He also was asked whether he knew that she had been subpoenaed at the time he last had spoken to her.
There is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath in answering these questions. A false statement about these conversations was necessary in order to avoid raising questions whether the President had tampered with a prospective witness in the civil lawsuit against him.
In the President's civil deposition, he was asked about any discussions he might have had with Monica Lewinsky about the Jones case:
Q: Have you ever talked to Monica Lewinsky about the possibility that she might be asked to testify in this lawsuit?
[videotape indicates an approximately 14-second pause before answer]
WJC: I'm not sure, and let me tell you why I'm not sure. It seems to me the, the, the -- I want to be as accurate as I can here. Seems to me the last time she was there to see Betty before Christmas we were joking about how you-all [Ms. Jones's attorneys], 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 [Ms. Lewinsky] would qualify, or something like that. I don't, I don't think we ever had more of a conversation than that about it, but 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, but I think that was after all this had happened. I might have said something like that, so I don't want to say for sure I didn't, because I might have said something like that.
* * * *
Q: What, if anything, did Monica Lewinsky say in response?
WJC: Nothing that I remember. Whatever she said, I don't remember. Probably just some predictable thing.(202)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she spoke three times to President Clinton about the prospect of testifying in the Jones lawsuit -- once (December 17, 1997) after she was on the witness list and twice more (December 28, 1997, and January 5, 1998) after she had been subpoenaed.
a. December 17, 1997, Call. Ms. Lewinsky testified that President Clinton called her at about 2:00 a.m. on December 17, 1997. First, he told her that Ms. Currie's brother had died; then he told Ms. Lewinsky that she was on the witness list in the Jones case. According to Ms. Lewinsky, "[h]e told me that it didn't necessarily mean that I would be subpoenaed, but that that was a possibility, and if I were to be subpoenaed, that I should contact Betty and let Betty know that I had received the subpoena."(203) Ms. Lewinsky said that the President told her that she might be able to sign an affidavit to avoid being deposed.(204) According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President also told her, "You know, you can always say you were coming to see Betty or that you were bringing me letters."(205) Ms. Lewinsky took that statement to be a reminder of the false "cover stories" that they had used earlier in the relationship.(206)
b. December 28, 1997, Visit. Ms. Lewinsky was subpoenaed on December 19. At her request, Vernon Jordan told the President that Ms. Lewinsky had been subpoenaed.(207) She then met with President Clinton nine days later on December 28, less than three weeks before the President was deposed.
According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President discussed the Jones lawsuit and how the Jones lawyers might have learned about her. Ms. Lewinsky said they also discussed the subpoena's requirement that she produce gifts she had received from the President, including specifically a "hat pin."(208)
Because of their mutual concern about the subpoena, Ms. Lewinsky testified that she asked the President if she should put the gifts away somewhere.(209) The President responded "I don't know" or "Hmm" or "Let me think about it."(210) Later that day, according to Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie called to pick up the gifts, which she then stored under her bed in her home in Virginia.(211) (This issue will be discussed more fully in Ground V below.)
c. January 5, 1998, Call. Ms. Lewinsky also testified that she spoke to the President by telephone on January 5, 1998, and they continued to discuss her role in the Jones case. Ms. Lewinsky expressed concern that, if she were deposed, she might have a difficult time explaining the circumstances of her transfer from the White House to the Pentagon. According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President suggested that she answer by explaining that people in the White House Legislative Affairs office had helped her get the Pentagon job -- which Ms. Lewinsky understood to be a misleading answer because she in fact had been transferred as a result of her being around the Oval Office too much.(212)
When the President testified to the grand jury, the President admitted that Ms. Lewinsky visited him on December 28, 1997,(214) and that during that visit, they discussed her involvement in the Jones case:
WJC: . . . I remember a conversation about the possibility of her testifying. I believe it must have occurred on the 28th.
She mentioned to me that she did not want to testify. So, that's how it came up. Not in the context of, I heard you have a subpoena, let's talk about it.
She raised the issue with me in the context of her desire to avoid testifying, which I certainly understood; not only because there were some embarrassing facts about our relationship that were inappropriate, but also because a whole lot of innocent people were being traumatized and dragged through the mud by these Jones lawyers with their dragnet strategy. . . .(215)
* * * *
Q: . . . Do you agree that she was upset about being subpoenaed?
WJC: Oh, yes, sir, she was upset. She -- well, she-- we -- she didn't -- we didn't talk about a subpoena. But she was upset. She said, I don't want to testify; I know nothing about this; I certainly know nothing about sexual harassment; why do they want me to testify. And I explained to her why they were doing this, and why all these women were on these lists, people that they knew good and well had nothing to do with any sexual harassment.(216)
There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton lied under oath in his civil deposition in answering "I'm not sure" when asked whether he had talked to Ms. Lewinsky about the prospect of her testifying. In fact, he had talked to Ms. Lewinsky about it on three occasions in the month preceding his civil deposition, as Ms. Lewinsky's testimony makes clear.
The President's motive to lie in his civil deposition on this point is evident. Had he admitted talking to Ms. Lewinsky about the possibility that she might be asked to testify, that would have raised the specter of witness tampering. Such an admission likely would have led Ms. Jones's attorneys to inquire further into that subject with both the President and Ms. Lewinsky. Furthermore, had the President admitted talking to Ms. Lewinsky about her testifying, that conversation would have attracted public inquiry into the conversation and the general relationship between the President and Ms. Lewinsky.
B. There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton lied under oath in his civil deposition when he denied knowing that Ms. Lewinsky had received her subpoena at the time he had last talked to her.
In his civil deposition, President Clinton testified that the last time he had spoken to Ms. Lewinsky was in December 1997 (the month before the deposition), "[p]robably sometime before Christmas."(217) The President was asked:
Q: Did [Ms. Lewinsky] tell you she had been served with a subpoena in this case?
WJC: No. I don't know if she had been.(218)
Vernon Jordan testified that he had told the President about the subpoena on December 19, 1997, after he had talked to Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Lewinsky confirmed that Mr. Jordan had told her on December 22, 1997, that he (Mr. Jordan) had told the President of her subpoena.(219)
When he testified to the grand jury, the President stated that in his conversation with Ms. Lewinsky on December 28, 1997, "my recollection is I knew by then, of course, that she had gotten a subpoena. And I knew that she was, therefore, . . . slated to testify."(220)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President had two conversations after she was subpoenaed: the December 28, 1997, meeting and a January 5, 1998, phone conversation.(221)
There is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath in his civil deposition by answering "I don't know if she had been" subpoenaed when describing his last conversation with Ms. Lewinsky. In fact, he knew that she had been subpoenaed. Given that the conversation with Ms. Lewinsky occurred in the few weeks immediately before the President's civil deposition, he could not have forgotten the conversation. As a result, there is no plausible conclusion except that the President intentionally lied in this answer.
During the civil deposition, the President also falsely dated his last conversation with Ms. Lewinsky as "probably sometime before Christmas," which implied that it might have been before the December 19 subpoena. Because Ms. Lewinsky had been subpoenaed on December 19, that false statement about the date of the conversation was a corollary to his other false statement (that he did not know she had been subpoenaed at the time of their last conversation).
The President's motive to lie in his civil deposition on the subpoena issue is evident. Had he admitted talking to Ms. Lewinsky after her subpoena, that would have raised the specter of witness tampering, which could have triggered legal and public scrutiny of the President.
V. There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton endeavored to obstruct justice by engaging in a pattern of activity to conceal evidence regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky from the judicial process in the Jones case. The pattern included:
From the beginning, President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky hoped and expected that their relationship would remain secret. They took active steps, when necessary, to conceal the relationship. The President testified that "I hoped that this relationship would never become public."(222)
Once the discovery process in the Jones case became an issue (particularly after the Supreme Court's unanimous decision on May 27, 1997, that ordered the case to go forward), their continuing efforts to conceal the relationship took on added legal significance. The risks to the President of disclosure of the relationship dramatically increased.
An effort to obstruct justice by withholding the truth from the legal process -- whether by lying under oath, concealing documents, or improperly influencing a witness's testimony -- is a federal crime.(223) There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton engaged in such efforts to prevent the truth of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky from being revealed in the Jones case.
Ms. Lewinsky testified that in the early morning of December 17, at roughly 2:00 or 2:30 a.m., she received a call from the President.(224) Among other subjects, the President mentioned that he had Christmas presents for her.(225)
On December 19, 1997, Monica Lewinsky was served with a subpoena in connection with the Jones v. Clinton litigation. The subpoena required her to testify at a deposition on January 23, 1998.(226) The subpoena also required Ms. Lewinsky to produce "each and every gift including, but not limited to, any and all dresses, accessories, and jewelry, and/or hat pins given to you by, or on behalf of, Defendant Clinton."(227) After being served with the subpoena, Ms. Lewinsky became concerned because the list of gifts included the hat pin, which "screamed out at me because that was the first gift that the President had given me."(228)
Later that same day, December 19, 1997, Ms. Lewinsky met with Vernon Jordan and told him of her concern about the gifts, including the hat pin.(229) During that meeting, Ms. Lewinsky asked Mr. Jordan to inform the President that she had been subpoenaed.(230) Mr. Jordan acknowledged that Ms. Lewinsky "was concerned about the subpoena and I think for her the subpoena ipso facto meant trouble."(231)
Shortly after Christmas, Ms. Lewinsky called Ms. Currie and said that the President had mentioned that he had presents for her.(232) Ms. Currie called back and told her to come to the White House at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 28, 1997.(233) On December 28, Ms. Lewinsky and the President met in the Oval Office. According to her testimony, Ms. Lewinsky "mentioned that [she] had been concerned about the hat pin being on the subpoena and he said that that had sort of concerned him also and asked [her] if [she] had told anyone that he had given [her] this hat pin and [she] said no."(234) According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President discussed the possibility of moving some of the gifts out of her possession:
[A]t some point I said to him, "Well, you know, should 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 [we] left that topic.(235)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she was never under the impression from anything the President said that she should turn over to Ms. Jones's attorneys all the gifts that he had given her.(236)
On the 28th, the President also gave Ms. Lewinsky several Christmas gifts. When asked why the President gave her more gifts on December 28 when he understood she was under an obligation to produce gifts in response to the subpoena, Ms. Lewinsky stated:
You know, I can't answer what [the President] was thinking, but to me, it was -- there 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 all these gifts, it would at least prompt [the Jones attorneys] to want to question me about what kind of friendship I had with the President and they would want to speculate and they'd leak it and my name would be trashed and he [the President] would be in trouble.(237)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that a few hours after their meeting on December 28, 1997, Ms. Currie called her.(238) According to Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie said: "'I understand you have something to give me.' Or, 'The President said you have something to give me' -- [Something] [a]long those lines."(239) In her February 1 handwritten statement to the OIC, which Ms. Lewinsky has testified was truthful, she stated: "Ms. Currie called Ms. L later that afternoon a[nd] said that the Pres. had told her [that] Ms. L wanted her to hold onto something for her. Ms. L boxed up most of the gifts she had received and gave them to Ms. Currie."(240)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she understood that Ms. Currie was referring to gifts from the President when she mentioned "something for me."(241) Ms. Lewinsky testified that she was not surprised to receive the call, given her earlier discussion with the President.(242)
Ms. Currie testified that Ms. Lewinsky, not Ms. Currie, placed the call and raised the subject of transferring the gifts. In Ms. Currie's account, Ms. Lewinsky said that she (Ms. Lewinsky) was uncomfortable retaining the gifts herself because "people were asking questions about the stuff she had gotten."(243) Ms. Currie also testified that she did not remember the President telling her that Ms. Lewinsky wanted her to hold some items, and she did not remember later telling the President that she was holding the gifts for Ms. Lewinsky.(244) When asked if a contrary statement by Ms. Lewinsky -- indicating that Ms. Currie had in fact spoken to the President about the gift transfer -- would be false, Ms. Currie replied: "Then she may remember better than I. I don't remember."(245)
According to both Ms. Currie and Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie drove to Ms. Lewinsky's home later on December 28 for only the second time in her life.(246) Ms. Lewinsky gave her a sealed box that contained several gifts Ms. Lewinsky had received from the President, including the hat pin and one of the gifts he had given her that very morning.(247) Ms. Lewinsky wrote "Please do not throw away" on the box.(248) Ms. Currie then took the box and placed it in her home under her bed. Ms. Currie understood that the box contained gifts from the President, although she did not know the specific contents.(249) Ms. Lewinsky said that Ms. Currie did not seem at all confused when Ms. Lewinsky handed over the box of gifts(250) and never asked about the contents.(251)
When Ms. Currie later produced the box to the OIC in response to a subpoena, the box contained a hat pin, two brooches, an inscribed official copy of the 1996 State of the Union Address, a photograph of the President in the Oval Office, an inscribed photograph of the President and Ms. Lewinsky, a sun dress, two t-shirts, and a baseball cap with a Black Dog logo.(252)
President Clinton testified that he had spoken to Ms. Lewinsky about gifts he had given her, but said the conversation may have occurred before she received the subpoena on December 19. He testified:
I did have a conversation with Ms. Lewinsky at some time about gifts, the gifts I'd given her. I do not know whether it occurred on the 28th, or whether it occurred earlier. I do not know whether it occurred in person or whether it occurred on the telephone. I have searched my memory for this, because I know it's an important issue. . . . The reason I'm not sure it happened on the 28th is that my recollection is that Ms. Lewinsky said something to me like, what if they ask me about the gifts you've given me. That's the memory I have. That's why I question whether it happened on the 28th, because she had a subpoena with her, request for production. And I told her that if they asked her for gifts, she'd have to give them whatever she had, that that's what the law was.(253)
The President denied that he had asked Betty Currie to pick up a box of gifts from Ms. Lewinsky:
Q: 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 --
WJC: No, sir, I didn't do that.
Q: -- to give to Ms. Currie?
WJC: I did not do that.(254)
* * * *
Q: [D]id you ever have a conversation with Betty Currie about gifts, or picking something up from Monica Lewinsky?
WJC: I don't believe I did, sir. No.
Q: You never told her anything to this effect, that Monica has something to give you?
WJC: No, sir.(255)
The uncontroverted evidence demonstrates that the President had given gifts to Ms. Lewinsky before December 28, 1997; that the President told Ms. Lewinsky on the phone on December 17, 1997, that he had more gifts for her; that Ms. Lewinsky met with the President at the White House on December 28; that on the 28th, Ms. Lewinsky was concerned about retaining possession of the gifts the President had previously given her because they were under subpoena; that on the 28th, the President gave several Christmas gifts to Ms. Lewinsky; and that after that meeting, Ms. Lewinsky transferred some gifts (including one of the new gifts) to the President's personal secretary, Ms. Currie, who stored them under her bed in her home.
Ms. Lewinsky testified that she spoke to the President on December 28 about the gifts called for by the subpoena -- in particular, the hat pin. The President agreed that they talked about gifts, but suggested that the conversation might have taken place before Ms. Lewinsky was subpoenaed on December 19. The President said, however, that his memory is unclear on the timing.(256)
The testimony conflicts as to what happened when Ms. Lewinsky raised the subject of gifts with the President and what happened later that day. The President testified that he told Ms. Lewinsky that "you have to give them whatever you have."(257) According to Ms. Lewinsky, she raised the possibility of hiding the gifts, and the President offered a somewhat neutral response.
Ms. Lewinsky testified that Betty Currie called her to retrieve the gifts soon after Ms. Lewinsky's conversation with the President. Ms. Currie says that she believes that Ms. Lewinsky called her about the gifts, but she says she has a dim memory of the events.(258)
The central factual question is whether the President orchestrated or approved the concealment of the gifts. The reasonable inference from the evidence is that he did.
1. The witnesses disagree about whether Ms. Currie called Ms. Lewinsky or Ms. Lewinsky called Ms. Currie. That issue is relevant because Ms. Currie would not have called Ms. Lewinsky about the gifts unless the President directed her to do so. Indeed, because she did not know of the gifts issue, there is no other way that Ms. Currie could have known to make such a call unless the President told her to do so.
Ms. Lewinsky's testimony on the issue is consistent and unequivocal. In her February 1, 1998, handwritten statement, she wrote: "Ms. Currie called Ms. L later that afternoon a[nd] said that the Pres. had told her Ms. L wanted her to hold onto something for her."(259) In her grand jury testimony, Ms. Lewinsky said that several hours after she left the White House, Ms. Currie called and said something along the lines of "The President said you have something to give me."(260)
Ms. Currie's testimony is contrary but less clear. Ms. Currie has stated that Ms. Lewinsky called her, but her memory of the conversation, in contrast to Ms. Lewinsky's, generally has been hazy and uncertain. As to whether she had talked to the President about the gifts, for example, Ms. Currie initially said she had not, but then said that Ms. Lewinsky (who said that Ms. Currie had talked to the President) "may remember better than I. I don't remember."(261)
Ms. Lewinsky's testimony makes more sense than Ms. Currie's testimony. First, Ms. Lewinsky stated that if Ms. Currie had not called, Ms. Lewinsky simply would have kept the gifts (and perhaps thrown them away).(262) She would not have produced the gifts to Ms. Jones's attorneys. And she would not have given them to a friend or mother because she did not want to get anyone else involved.(263) She was not looking for someone else to take them.(264)
Also, Ms. Currie drove to Ms. Lewinsky's house to pick up the gifts. That was only the second time that Ms. Currie had ever gone there.(265) More generally, the person making the extra effort (in this case, Ms. Currie) is ordinarily the person requesting the favor.
2. Even if Ms. Lewinsky is mistaken and she did call Ms. Currie first, the evidence still leads clearly to the conclusion that the President orchestrated this transfer.
First, it is unlikely that Ms. Lewinsky would have involved Ms. Currie in this matter unless the President had indicated his assent when Ms. Lewinsky raised the issue with him earlier in the day. Indeed, there is a logical flaw in the President's story: If the President had truly suggested that Ms. Lewinsky produce the gifts to Ms. Jones's attorneys, Ms. Lewinsky obviously would not have turned around and called the President's personal secretary to give the gifts to her, in direct contravention of the President's instruction.
Second, it also is unlikely that Ms. Currie would have driven to Ms. Lewinsky's home, retrieved the gifts from Ms. Lewinsky, and stored them under her bed at home without being asked to do so by the President -- at least, without checking with him. It would have been out of character for Ms. Currie to have taken such an action without the President's approval. For example, when helping Ms. Lewinsky in her job search, Ms. Currie said that she told the President of her plans and agreed that she "would not have tried to get Ms. Lewinsky a job if . . . [I] thought the President didn't want [me] to."(266)
3. Even if the President did not orchestrate the transfer to Ms. Currie, there is still substantial evidence that he encouraged the concealment and non-production of the gifts by Ms. Lewinsky. The President "hoped that this relationship would never become public."(267) The President gave Ms. Lewinsky new gifts on December 28, 1997. Given his desire to conceal the relationship, it makes no sense that the President would have given Ms. Lewinsky more gifts on the 28th unless he and Ms. Lewinsky understood that she would not produce all of her gifts in response to her subpoena.
4. The President had a motive to orchestrate the concealment of gifts, whether accomplished through Ms. Currie indirectly or through Ms. Lewinsky directly. The President knew that Ms. Lewinsky was concerned about the subpoena. Both of them were concerned that the gifts might raise questions about the relationship. By confirming that the gifts would not be produced, the President ensured that these questions would not arise.
The concealment of the gifts also ensured that the President could provide false and misleading statements about the gifts under oath at his deposition (as he did) without being concerned that Ms. Lewinsky might have produced gifts that the President was denying (or minimizing the number of). If Ms. Lewinsky had produced to Ms. Jones's attorneys all of the gifts that she had given to Ms. Currie, then the President could not plausibly have said "I don't recall" in response to the question, "[H]ave you ever given any gifts to Monica Lewinsky?" He could not have said, "I don't remember a specific gift."(268) Indeed, unless the President knew that Ms. Lewinsky had not complied with the subpoena, it is unlikely he would have risked lying about the number and nature of the gifts he had given her.
In analyzing the evidence on this issue, it also bears mention that President Clinton likely operated no differently with respect to the gifts than he did with respect to testimony. It is clear that he lied under oath and that Ms. Lewinsky filed a false affidavit after the President suggested she file an affidavit. So there is little reason that he would not have attempted to ensure (whether directly or subtly) that Ms. Lewinsky conceal the gifts as a corollary to their mutual lies under oath. (Also, it was the President's pattern to use Ms. Currie as an intermediary in dealing with Ms. Lewinsky.(269))
The President's apparent response to all of this is that Ms. Lewinsky on her own contacted Ms. Currie and involved her in this endeavor to hide subpoenaed evidence, and that Ms. Currie complied without checking with the President. Based on the testimony and behavior of both Ms. Currie and Ms. Lewinsky, those inferences fall outside the range of reasonable possibility.
There is substantial and credible information, therefore, that the President endeavored to obstruct justice by participating in the concealment of subpoenaed evidence.
On December 16, 1997, the President was served by Ms. Jones's attorneys with a request for production of documents, including documents relating to "Monica Lewisky" [sic]. The request placed upon the President a continuing obligation to preserve and produce responsive documents. Notes and letters from Ms. Lewinsky were responsive and relevant.
On January 4, 1998, Ms. Lewinsky left a book for the President with Ms. Currie.(270) Ms. Lewinsky had enclosed in the book a romantic note that she had written, inspired by a recent viewing of the movie Titanic.(271) In the note, Ms. Lewinsky told the President that she wanted to have sexual intercourse with him, at least once.(272)
On January 5, in the course of discussing her affidavit and possible testimony in a phone conversation with the President, Ms. Lewinsky says she told the President, "I shouldn't have written some of those things in the note."(273) According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President said that he agreed and that she should not write those kinds of things on paper.(274)
On January 15, President Clinton served responses to Ms. Jones's second set of document requests, which again asked for documents that related to "Monica Lewisky." The President stated that he had "no documents" responsive to this request.(275)
>The President remembered the book Ms. Lewinsky had given him about the Presidents and testified that he "did like it a lot."(276) President Clinton testified that he did not recall a romantic note enclosed in the book or when he had received it.(277)
The request for production of documents that the President received from Ms. Jones's attorneys called for all documents reflecting communications between him and Ms. Lewinsky. The note given to him by Ms. Lewinsky on January 5, 1998, fell within that category and would have been revealing about the relationship. Indeed, had the note been produced, the President might have been foreclosed from denying a sexual relationship at his deposition. Based on Ms. Lewinsky's testimony, there is substantial and credible information that the President concealed or destroyed this note at a time when such documents were called for by the request for production of documents.(278)
(ii) President Clinton endeavored to obstruct justice by suggesting that Ms. Lewinsky file an affidavit so that she would not be deposed, she would not contradict his testimony, and he could attempt to avoid questions about Ms. Lewinsky at his deposition.
Based on their conversations and their past practice, both the President and Ms. Lewinsky understood that they would lie under oath in the Jones case about their sexual relationship, as part of a scheme to obstruct justice in the Jones case. In pursuing this effort:
the President suggested that Monica Lewinsky file an affidavit, which he knew would be false;
the President had an interest in Ms. Lewinsky's false affidavit because it would "lock in" her testimony, allowing the President to deny the sexual relationship under oath without fear of contradiction;
Ms. Lewinsky signed and, on January 16, sent to the Court the false affidavit denying a sexual relationship with the President as part of a motion to quash her deposition subpoena;
the President's attorney used the affidavit to object to questions about Ms. Lewinsky at his January 17 deposition; and
when that failed, the President also lied under oath about the relationship with Ms. Lewinsky at his civil deposition, including by the use of "cover stories" that he and Ms. Lewinsky had devised.
Monica Lewinsky testified that President Clinton called her at around 2:00 or 2:30 a.m. on December 17, 1997,(279) and told her that her name was on the Jones case witness list.(280) As noted in her February 1 handwritten statement: "When asked what to do if she was subpoenaed, the Pres. suggested she could sign an affidavit . . . ."(281) Ms. Lewinsky said she is "100% sure" that the President suggested that she might want to sign an affidavit.(282)
Ms. Lewinsky understood the President's advice to mean that she might be able to execute an affidavit that would not disclose the true nature of their relationship. In order "to prevent me from being deposed," she said she would need an affidavit that "could range from anywhere between maybe just somehow mentioning, you know, innocuous things or going as far as maybe having to deny any kind of relationship."(283)
Ms. Lewinsky has stated that the President never explicitly told her to lie. Instead, as she explained, they both understood from their conversations that they would continue their pattern of covering up and lying about the relationship. In that regard, the President never said they must now tell the truth under oath; to the contrary, as Ms. Lewinsky stated:
[I]t wasn't as if the President called me and said, "You know, Monica, you're on the witness list, this is going to be really hard for us, we're going to have to tell the truth and be humiliated in front of the entire world about what we've done," which I would have fought him on probably. That was different. And by him not calling me and saying that, you know, I knew what that meant.(284)
Ms. Jones's lawyers served Ms. Lewinsky with a subpoena on December 19, 1997. Ms. Lewinsky contacted Vernon Jordan, who in turn put her in contact with attorney Frank Carter.(285) Based on the information that Ms. Lewinsky provided, Mr. Carter prepared an affidavit which stated: "I have never had a sexual relationship with the President."(286)
After Mr. Carter drafted the affidavit, Ms. Lewinsky spoke to the President by phone on January 5th.(287) She asked the President if he wanted to see the draft affidavit. According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President replied that he did not need to see it because he had already "seen 15 others."(288)
Mr. Jordan confirmed that President Clinton knew that Ms. Lewinsky planned to execute an affidavit denying a sexual relationship.(289) Mr. Jordan further testified that he informed President Clinton when Ms. Lewinsky signed the affidavit.(290) Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit was sent to the federal court in Arkansas on January 16, 1998 -- the day before the President's deposition -- as part of her motion to quash the deposition subpoena.
Two days before the President's deposition, his lawyer, Robert Bennett, obtained a copy of Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit from Mr. Carter.(291) At the President's deposition, Ms. Jones's counsel asked questions about the President's relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. Mr. Bennett objected to the "innuendo" of the questions, noting that Ms. Lewinsky had signed an affidavit denying a sexual relationship, which according to Mr. Bennett, indicated that "there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form."(292) Mr. Bennett said that the President was "fully aware of Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit."(293) Mr. Bennett affirmatively used the affidavit in an effort to cut off questioning. The President said nothing -- even though, as he knew, the affidavit was false. Judge Wright overruled the objection and allowed the questioning to continue.
Later, Mr. Bennett read Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit denying a "sexual relationship" to the President and asked him: "Is that a true and accurate statement as far as you know it?" The President answered: "That is absolutely true."(294)
The President told the grand jury: "[D]id I hope [Ms. Lewinsky would] be able to get out of testifying on an affidavit? Absolutely. Did I want her to execute a false affidavit? No, I did not."(295) The President did not explain how a full and truthful affidavit -- for example, an affidavit admitting that they engaged in oral sex and that Vernon Jordan had been involved, at the President's request, in late 1997 and early 1998 in obtaining Ms. Lewinsky a job -- would have helped her avoid a deposition.
When questioned about his phone conversation with Ms. Lewinsky on December 17, 1997 -- during which the President suggested filing an affidavit -- the President testified that he did not remember exactly what he had said.(296) The President also maintained that Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit, as it ultimately was filed denying a "sexual relationship," was not necessarily inaccurate. He testified that, depending on Ms. Lewinsky's state of mind, her statement denying a sexual relationship could have been true.
I believe at the time that she filled out this affidavit, if she believed that the definition of sexual relationship was two people having intercourse, then this is accurate. And I believe that is the definition that most ordinary Americans would give it.(297)
At his grand jury appearance, the President also was asked about his counsel's statement to Judge Wright that Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit denying a "sexual relationship" was equivalent to saying "there is absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form" with President Clinton. Given the President's interpretation of the term "sexual relationship" to require sexual intercourse, the President was asked how he lawfully could have sat silent while his attorney -- in the President's presence and on his behalf -- made a false statement to a United States District Judge in an effort to forestall further questioning. The President offered several responses.
First, the President maintained that he was not paying "much attention" when Mr. Bennett said that there is "absolutely no sex of any kind" between the President and Ms. Lewinsky."(298) The President further stated: "That moment, that whole argument just passed me by. I was a witness."(299) The President's explanation is difficult to reconcile with the videotape of the deposition, which shows that the President was looking in Mr. Bennett's direction when his counsel made this statement.
Alternatively, the President contended that when Mr. Bennett said that "there is absolutely no sex of any kind," Mr. Bennett was speaking only in the present tense and thus was making a completely true statement. The President further stated: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is,"(300) and that "actually, in the present tense that is an accurate statement."(301) Before the grand jury, counsel for the OIC then asked the President: "Do you mean today that because you were not engaging in sexual activity with Ms. Lewinsky during the deposition that the statement of Mr. Bennett might be literally true?"(302) The President responded: "No, sir. I mean that at the time of the deposition, it had been -- that was well beyond any point of improper contact between me and Ms. Lewinsky."(303) The President's suggestion that he might have engaged in such a detailed parsing of the words at his deposition is at odds with his assertion that the "whole argument passed me by."
Finally, the President took issue with the notion that he had any duty to prevent his attorney from making a false statement to Judge Wright: "Mr. Bennett was representing me. I wasn't representing him."(304) That is a truism. Yet when a witness is knowingly responsible for a misstatement of fact to a federal judge that misleads the Court and attempts to prevent questioning on a relevant subject, that conduct rises to the level of an obstruction of justice.
The affidavit was not the only part of the scheme in which both the President and Ms. Lewinsky would lie under oath. Ms. Lewinsky testified that, as part of their mutual concealment efforts, she and President Clinton formulated "cover stories" to explain Ms. Lewinsky's presence in the West Wing and Oval Office. When Ms. Lewinsky worked at the White House, she and the President agreed that Ms. Lewinsky would tell people that she was coming to the Oval Office to deliver papers or to have papers signed, when in truth she was going to the Oval Office to have a sexual encounter with the President.(305)
While employed at the White House, Ms. Lewinsky used this cover story on several occasions.(306) It worked: Several Secret Service officers testified that they understood that Ms. Lewinsky was at the Oval Office to deliver or to pick up papers.(307) In fact, however, Ms. Lewinsky stated that her White House job never required her to deliver papers or obtain the President's signature, although she carried papers as a prop.(308)
After she was transferred to the Pentagon, Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President formulated a second "cover story": that Ms. Lewinsky was going to the White House to visit Betty Currie rather than the President. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President discussed how "Betty always needed to be the one to clear me in so that, you know, I could always say I was coming to see Betty."(309) Ms. Lewinsky testified that she met with the President privately on ten occasions after she left her job at the White House.(310) Ms. Currie signed her in for each of those private visits.(311)
Ms. Lewinsky has stated that her true purpose in visiting the White House on these occasions was to see President Clinton, not Ms. Currie.(312) President Clinton agreed that "just about every time" that Ms. Lewinsky came to see Ms. Currie when he was there, Ms. Lewinsky saw him as well.(313)
Ms. Lewinsky testified that President Clinton encouraged her to continue to use the cover stories to conceal their relationship after her name appeared on the witness list in the Jones case. In her early-morning phone conversation with President Clinton on December 17, 1997 -- the same conversation in which the President told her that her name was on the witness list and suggested that she file an affidavit if subpoenaed(314) -- Ms. Lewinsky discussed cover stories with the President:
ML: At some point in the conversation, and I don't know if it was before or after the subject of the affidavit came up, he sort of said, "You know, you can always say you were coming to see Betty or that you were bringing me letters." Which I understood was really a reminder of things that we had discussed before.
Q: So when you say things you had discussed, sort of ruses that you had developed.
ML: Right. I mean, this was -- this was something that -- that was instantly familiar to me.
ML: And I knew exactly what he meant.
Q: Had you talked with him earlier about these false explanations about what you were doing visiting him on several occasions?
ML: Several occasions throughout the entire relationship. Yes. It was the pattern of the relationship, to sort of conceal it.(315)
President Clinton used those same deceptive cover stories during his deposition in the Jones case. In the civil deposition, when asked if he had met with Ms. Lewinsky "several times" while she worked at the White House, the President responded that he had seen her on two or three occasions during the government shutdown, "and then when she worked at the White House, I think there was one or two other times when she brought some documents to me."(316) When asked if he was ever alone with Ms. Lewinsky in the Oval Office, the President stated:
[W]hen she worked at the legislative affairs office, they always had somebody there on the weekends. . . . Sometimes they'd bring me things on the weekends. In that case, whatever time she would be in there, drop it off, exchange a few words and go, she was there. . . . It's possible that she, in, while she was working there, brought something to me and that at the time she brought it to me, she was the only person there, That's possible.(317)
The pattern of devising cover stories in an effort to forestall an inquiry into the relationship continued even after Ms. Lewinsky was subpoenaed to testify. On January 5, 1998, she met with her attorney, Frank Carter, and discussed questions that she might be asked at a deposition. One of the questions was how she had obtained her Pentagon job. Ms. Lewinsky worried that if the Jones lawyers checked with the White House about the transfer, some at the White House would say unflattering things about why she had been terminated.(318) Ms. Lewinsky spoke to President Clinton on the phone that evening and asked for advice on how to answer the question. Ms. Lewinsky testified that the President responded, "[Y]ou could always say that the people in Legislative Affairs got it for you or helped you get it" -- a story that Ms. Lewinsky stated was misleading because Ms. Lewinsky in fact had been transferred because she was around the Oval Office too much.(319) President Clinton knew the truth.
The President testified that before he knew that Ms. Lewinsky was a witness in the Jones case, he "might well" have told Ms. Lewinsky that she could offer the cover stories if questioned about her presence in the West Wing and Oval Office:
Q: Did you ever say anything like that, you can always say that you were coming to see Betty or bringing me letters? Was that part of any kind of a, anything you said to her or a cover story, before you had any idea she was going to be part of Paula Jones?
WJC: I might well have said that.
WJC: Because I certainly didn't want this to come out, if I could help it. And I was concerned about that. I was embarrassed about it. I knew it was wrong.(320)
However, no doubt aware of the significance of the question, the President testified that he did not remember whether he had discussed the cover stories with Ms. Lewinsky during the December 17, 1997, conversation,(321) or at any time after Ms. Lewinsky's name appeared on the Jones witness list:
Q: Did you tell [Ms. Lewinsky] anytime in December something to that effect: You know, you can always say that you were coming to see Betty or you were bringing me letters? Did you say that, or anything like that, in December '97 or January '98, to Monica Lewinsky?
WJC: Well, that's a very broad question. I do not recall saying anything like that in connection with her testimony. I could tell you what I do remember saying, if you want to know. But I don't -- we might have talked about what to do in a nonlegal context at some point in the past, but I have no specific memory of that conversation.
I do remember what I said to her about the possible testimony.
* * * *
Q: Did you say anything like [the cover stories] once you knew or thought she might be a witness in the Jones case? Did you repeat the statement, or something like it to her?
WJC: Well, again, I don't recall, and I don't recall whether I might have done something like that, for example, if somebody says, what if the reporters ask me this, that or the other thing. I can tell you this: In the context of whether she could be a witness, I have a recollection that she asked me, well, what do I do if I get called as a witness, and I said, you have to get a lawyer. And that's all I said. And I never asked her to lie.
Q: Did you tell her to tell the truth?
WJC: Well, I think the implication was she would tell the truth.(322)
There is substantial and credible information that the President and Ms. Lewinsky reached an understanding that both of them would lie under oath when asked whether they had a sexual relationship (a conspiracy to obstruct justice or to commit perjury, in criminal law terms). Indeed, a tacit or express agreement to make false statements would have been an essential part of their December and January discussions, lest one of the two testify truthfully in the Jones case and thereby incriminate the other as a perjurer.
There also is substantial and credible information that President Clinton endeavored to obstruct justice by suggesting that Ms. Lewinsky file an affidavit to avoid her deposition, which would "lock in" her testimony under oath, and to attempt to avoid questions at his own deposition -- all to impede the gathering of discoverable evidence in the Jones v. Clinton litigation.(323)
During the course of their relationship, the President and Ms. Lewinsky also discussed and used cover stories to justify her presence in and around the Oval Office area. The evidence indicates -- given Ms. Lewinsky's unambiguous testimony and the President's lack of memory, as well as the fact that they both planned to lie under oath -- that the President suggested the continued use of the cover stories even after Ms. Lewinsky was named as a potential witness in the Jones litigation. At no time did the President tell Ms. Lewinsky to abandon these stories and to tell the truth about her visits, nor did he ever indicate to her that she should tell the truth under oath about the relationship. While the President testified that he could not remember such conversations about the cover stories, he had repeated the substance of the cover stories in his Jones deposition. The President's use of false cover stories in testimony under oath in his Jones deposition strongly corroborates Ms. Lewinsky's testimony that he suggested them to her on December 17 as a means of avoiding disclosure of the truth of their relationship.
VII. There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton endeavored to obstruct justice by helping Ms. Lewinsky obtain a job in New York at a time when she would have been a witness against him were she to tell the truth during the Jones case.
The President had an incentive to keep Ms. Lewinsky from jeopardizing the secrecy of the relationship. That incentive grew once the Supreme Court unanimously decided in May 1997 that the case and discovery process were to go forward.
At various times during the Jones discovery process, the President and those working on his behalf devoted substantial time and attention to help Ms. Lewinsky obtain a job in the private sector.
The entire saga of Ms. Lewinsky's job search and the President's assistance in that search is discussed in detail in the Narrative section of this Referral. We summarize and analyze the key events and dates here.
Ms. Lewinsky first mentioned her desire to move to New York in a letter to the President on July 3, 1997. The letter recounted her frustration that she had not received an offer to return to work at the White House.(324)
On October 1, the President was served with interrogatories asking about his sexual relationships with women other than Mrs. Clinton.(325) On October 7, 1997, Ms. Lewinsky couriered a letter expressing dissatisfaction with her job search to the President.(326) In response, Ms. Lewinsky said she received a late-night call from President Clinton on October 9, 1997. She said that the President told her he would start helping her find a job in New York.(327)
The following Saturday, October 11, 1997, Ms. Lewinsky met with President Clinton alone in the Oval Office dining room from 9:36 a.m. until about 10:54 a.m. In that meeting, she furnished the President a list of New York jobs in which she was interested.(328) Ms. Lewinsky mentioned to the President that she would need a reference from someone in the White House; the President said he would take care of it.(329) Ms. Lewinsky also suggested to the President that Vernon Jordan might be able to help her, and President Clinton agreed.(330) Immediately after the meeting, President Clinton spoke with Mr. Jordan by telephone.(331)
According to White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, at some time in the summer or fall of 1997, President Clinton raised the subject of Monica Lewinsky and stated that "she was unhappy where she was working and wanted to come back and work at the OEOB [Old Executive Office Building]; and could we take a look."(332) Mr. Bowles referred the matter to Deputy Chief of Staff John Podesta.(333)
Mr. Podesta said he asked Betty Currie to have Ms. Lewinsky call him, but heard nothing until about October 1997, when Ms. Currie told him that Ms. Lewinsky was looking for opportunities in New York.(334) The Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, said that Mr. Podesta told him that Ms. Currie had a friend looking for a position in New York.(335)
According to Ms. Lewinsky, Ambassador Richardson called her on October 21, 1997,(336) and interviewed her soon thereafter. She was then offered a position at the UN.(337) Ms. Lewinsky was unenthusiastic.(338) During the latter part of October 1997, the President and Ms. Lewinsky discussed enlisting Vernon Jordan to aid in pursuing private-sector possibilities.(339)
On November 5, 1997, Ms. Lewinsky met Mr. Jordan in his law office. Mr. Jordan told Ms. Lewinsky that she came "highly recommended."(340) Ms. Lewinsky explained that she hoped to move to New York, and went over her list of possible employers.(341) Mr. Jordan telephoned President Clinton shortly after the meeting.(342)
Ms. Lewinsky had no contact with the President or Mr. Jordan for another month.(343) On December 5, 1997, however, the parties in the Jones case exchanged witness lists. Ms. Jones's attorneys listed Ms. Lewinsky as a potential witness. The President testified that he learned that Ms. Lewinsky was on the list late in the day on December 6.(344)
The effort to obtain a job for Ms. Lewinsky then intensified. On December 7, President Clinton met with Mr. Jordan at the White House.(345) Ms. Lewinsky met with Mr. Jordan on December 11 to discuss specific job contacts in New York. Mr. Jordan gave her the names of some of his business contacts.(346) He then made calls to contacts at MacAndrews & Forbes (the parent corporation of Revlon), American Express, and Young & Rubicam.(347)
Mr. Jordan also telephoned President Clinton to keep him informed of the efforts to help Ms. Lewinsky. Mr. Jordan testified that President Clinton was aware that people were trying to get jobs for her, that Mr. Podesta was trying to help her, that Bill Richardson was trying to help her, but that she wanted to work in the private sector.(348)
On the same day of Ms. Lewinsky's meeting with Mr. Jordan, December 11, Judge Wright ordered President Clinton, over his objection, to answer certain written interrogatories as part of the discovery process in Jones. Those interrogatories required, among other things, the President to identify any government employees since 1986 with whom he had engaged in sexual relations (a term undefined for purposes of the interrogatory).(349) On December 16, the President's attorneys received a request for production of documents that mentioned Monica Lewinsky by name.
On December 17, 1997, according to Ms. Lewinsky, President Clinton called her in the early morning and told her that she was on the witness list, and they discussed their cover stories.(350) On December 18 and December 23, she interviewed for jobs with New York-based companies that had been contacted by Mr. Jordan.(351) On December 19, Ms. Lewinsky was served with a deposition subpoena by Ms. Jones's lawyers.(352) On December 22, 1997, Mr. Jordan took her to her new attorney; she and Mr. Jordan discussed the subpoena, the Jones case, and her job search during the course of the ride.(353)
The President answered the "other women" interrogatory on December 23, 1997, by declaring under oath: "None."(354)
On Sunday, December 28, 1997, Monica Lewinsky and the President met in the Oval Office.(355) During that meeting, the President and Ms. Lewinsky discussed both her move to New York and her involvement in the Jones suit.(356)
On January 5, 1998, Ms. Lewinsky declined the United Nations offer.(357) On January 7, 1998, Ms. Lewinsky signed the affidavit denying the relationship with President Clinton (she had talked on the phone to the President on January 5 about it).(358) Mr. Jordan informed the President of her action.(359)
The next day, on January 8, 1998, Ms. Lewinsky interviewed in New York with MacAndrews & Forbes, a company recommended by Vernon Jordan. The interview went poorly. Mr. Jordan then called Ronald Perelman, the Chairman of the Board at MacAndrews & Forbes. Mr. Perelman said Ms. Lewinsky should not worry, and that someone would call her back for another interview. Mr. Jordan relayed this message to Ms. Lewinsky, and someone called back that day.(360)
Ms. Lewinsky interviewed again the next morning, and a few hours later received an informal offer for a position.(361) She told Mr. Jordan of the offer, and Mr. Jordan then notified President Clinton with the news: "Mission accomplished."(362)
On January 12, 1998, Ms. Jones's attorneys informed Judge Wright that they might call Monica Lewinsky as a trial witness.(363) Judge Wright stated that she would allow witnesses with whom the President had worked, such as Ms. Lewinsky, to be trial witnesses.(364)
In a call on January 13, 1998, a Revlon employee formalized the job offer, and asked Ms. Lewinsky to provide references.(365) Either that day or the next, President Clinton told Erskine Bowles that Ms. Lewinsky "had found a job in the . . . private sector, and she had listed John Hilley as a reference, and could we see if he could recommend her, if asked."(366) Thereafter, Mr. Bowles took the President's request to Deputy Chief of Staff John Podesta, who in turn spoke to Mr. Hilley about writing a letter of recommendation. After speaking with Mr. Podesta, Mr. Hilley agreed to write such a letter, but cautioned it would be a "generic" one.(367) On January 14, at approximately 11:17 a.m., Ms. Lewinsky faxed her letter of acceptance to Revlon and listed Mr. Hilley as a reference.(368)
On January 15, the President responded to the December 15 request for production of documents relating to Monica Lewinsky by answering "none." On January 16, Ms. Lewinsky's attorney sent to the District Court in the Jones case her affidavit denying a "sexual relationship" with the President.(369) The next day, on January 17, the President was deposed and his attorney used her affidavit as the President similarly denied a "sexual relationship."
When a party in a lawsuit (or investigation) provides job or financial assistance to a witness, a question arises as to possible witness tampering. The critical question centers on the intent of the party providing the assistance. Direct evidence of that intent often is unavailable. Indeed, in some cases, the witness receiving the job assistance may not even know that the party providing the assistance was motivated by a desire to stay on good terms with the witness during the pending legal proceeding.(370) Similarly, others who are enlisted in the party's effort to influence the witness's testimony by providing job assistance may not be aware of the party's motivation and intent.
One can draw inferences about the party's intent from circumstantial evidence. In this case, the President assisted Ms. Lewinsky in her job search in late 1997, at a time when she would have become a witness harmful to him in the Jones case were she to testify truthfully. The President did not act half-heartedly. His assistance led to the involvement of the Ambassador to the United Nations, one of the country's leading business figures (Mr. Perelman), and one of the country's leading attorneys (Vernon Jordan).
The question, therefore, is whether the President's efforts in obtaining a job for Ms. Lewinsky were to influence her testimony(371) or simply to help an ex-intimate without concern for her testimony. Three key facts are essential in analyzing his actions: (i) the chronology of events, (ii) the fact that the President and Ms. Lewinsky both intended to lie under oath about the relationship, and (iii) the fact that it was critical for the President that Ms. Lewinsky lie under oath.
There is substantial and credible information that the President assisted Ms. Lewinsky in her job search motivated at least in part by his desire to keep her "on the team" in the Jones litigation.
President Clinton was asked during his civil deposition whether he had talked to Mr. Jordan about Ms. Lewinsky's involvement in the Jones case. The President stated that he knew Mr. Jordan had talked to Ms. Lewinsky about her move to New York, but stated that he did not recall whether Mr. Jordan had talked to Ms. Lewinsky about her involvement in the Jones case. The testimony was false. A lie under oath about these conversations was necessary to avoid inquiry into whether Ms. Lewinsky's job and her testimony were improperly related.
The President was questioned in his civil deposition about his conversations with Vernon Jordan regarding Ms. Lewinsky and her role in the Jones case. Beforehand, the President was asked a general question:
Q: Did anyone other than your attorneys ever tell you that Monica Lewinsky had been served with a subpoena in this case?
WJC: I don't think so.(372)
The President later testified in more detail about conversations he may have had with Mr. Jordan concerning Ms. Lewinsky's role in the case:
Q: Excluding conversations that you may have had with Mr. Bennett or any of your attorneys in this case, within the past two weeks has anyone reported to you that they had had a conversation with Monica Lewinsky concerning this lawsuit?
WJC: I don't believe so. I'm sorry, I just don't believe so.
* * * *
Q. Has it ever been reported to you that [Vernon Jordan] met with Monica Lewinsky and talked about this case?
WJC: 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.(373)
Vernon Jordan testified that his conversations with the President about Ms. Lewinsky's subpoena were, in fact, "a continuing dialogue."(374) When asked if he had kept the President informed about Ms. Lewinsky's status in the Jones case in addition to her job search, Mr. Jordan responded: "The two -- absolutely."(375)
On December 19, Ms. Lewinsky phoned Mr. Jordan and told him that she had been subpoenaed in the Jones case.(376) Following that call, Mr. Jordan telephoned the President to inform him "that Monica Lewinsky was coming to see me, and that she had a subpoena"(377) -- but the President was unavailable.(378) Later that day, at 5:01 p.m., Mr. Jordan had a seven-minute telephone conversation with the President:(379)
I said to the President, "Monica Lewinsky called me up. She's upset. She's gotten a subpoena. She is coming to see me about this subpoena. I'm confident that she needs a lawyer, and I will try to get her a lawyer."(380)
Later on December 19, after meeting with Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan went to the White House and met with the President alone in the Residence.(381) Mr. Jordan testified: "I told him that Monica Lewinsky had been subpoenaed, came to me with a subpoena."(382) According to Mr. Jordan, the President "thanked me for my efforts to get her a job and thanked me for getting her a lawyer."(383)
According to Mr. Jordan, on January 7, 1998, Ms. Lewinsky showed him a copy of her signed affidavit denying any sexual relationship with the President.(384) He testified that he told the President about the affidavit, probably in one of his two logged calls to the White House that day:(385)
Q: [W]alk us through what exactly you would have said on the portion of the conversation that related to Ms. Lewinsky and the affidavit.
VJ: Monica Lewinsky signed the affidavit.
* * * *
Q: [L]et's say if it was January 7th, or whenever it was that you informed him that she signed the affidavit,(386) is it accurate that based on the conversations you had with him already, you didn't have to explain to him what the affidavit was?
VJ: I think that's a reasonable assumption.
Q: So that it would have made sense that you would have just said, "She signed the affidavit," because both you and he knew what the affidavit was?
VJ: I think that's a reasonable assumption.
Q: All right. When you indicated to the President that she had signed the affidavit, what, if anything, did he tell you?
VJ: I think he -- his judgment was consistent with mine that that was -- the signing of the affidavit was consistent with the truth.(387)
Mr. Jordan testified that "I knew that the President was concerned about the affidavit and whether or not it was signed. He was, obviously."(388) When asked why he believed the President was concerned, Mr. Jordan testified:
Here is a friend of his who is being called as a witness in another case and with whom I had gotten a lawyer, I told him about that, and told him I was looking for a job for her. He knew about all of that. And it was just a matter of course that he would be concerned as to whether or not she had signed an affidavit foreswearing what I told you the other day, that there was no sexual relationship.(389)
Mr. Jordan summarized his contacts with the President about Monica Lewinsky and her involvement in the Jones litigation as follows:
I made arrangements for a lawyer and I told the President that. When she signed the affidavit, I told the President that the affidavit had been signed and when Frank Carter told me that he had filed a motion to quash, as I did in the course of everything else, I said to the President that I saw Frank Carter and he had informed me that he was filing a motion to quash. It was as a simple information flow, absent a substantive discussion about her defense, about which I was not involved.(390)
The President himself testified in the grand jury that he talked to Mr. Jordan about Ms. Lewinsky's involvement in the case. Despite his earlier statements at the deposition, the President testified to the grand jury that he had no reason to doubt that he had talked to Mr. Jordan about Ms. Lewinsky's subpoena, her lawyer, and her affidavit.(391)
In his civil deposition, the President stated that he had talked to Vernon Jordan about Ms. Lewinsky's job. But as the testimony of Mr. Jordan reveals, and as the President as much as conceded in his subsequent grand jury appearance,(392) the President did talk to Mr. Jordan about Ms. Lewinsky's involvement in the Jones case -- including that she had been subpoenaed, that Mr. Jordan had helped her obtain a lawyer, and that she had signed an affidavit denying a sexual relationship with the President. Given their several communications in the weeks before the deposition, it is not credible that the President forgot the subject of their conversations during his civil deposition. His statements "seems like that's what Betty said" and "I didn't know that" were more than mere omissions; they were affirmative misstatements.
The President's motive for making false and misleading statements about this subject in his civil deposition was straightforward. If the President admitted that he had talked with Vernon Jordan both about Monica Lewinsky's involvement in the Jones case and about her job, questions would inevitably arise about whether Ms. Lewinsky's testimony and her future job were connected. Such an admission by the President in his civil deposition likely would have prompted Ms. Jones's attorneys to inquire further into the subject. And such an admission in his deposition would have triggered public scrutiny when the deposition became public.
At the time of his deposition, moreover, the President was aware of the potential problems in admitting any possible link between those two subjects. A criminal investigation and substantial public attention had focused in 1997 on job assistance and payments made to Webster Hubbell in 1994. The jobs and money paid to Mr. Hubbell by friends and contributors to the President had raised serious questions about whether such assistance was designed to influence Mr. Hubbell's testimony about Madison-related matters.(393) Some of Mr. Hubbell's jobs, moreover, had been arranged by Vernon Jordan, which was likely a further deterrent to the President raising both Ms. Lewinsky's job and her affidavit in connection with Vernon Jordan.
In a meeting with Betty Currie on the day after his deposition and in a separate conversation a few days later, President Clinton made statements to her that he knew were false. The contents of the statements and the context in which they were made indicate that President Clinton was attempting to influence the testimony that Ms. Currie might have been required to give in the Jones case or in a grand jury investigation.(394)
President Clinton's deposition in Jones v. Clinton occurred on Saturday, January 17, 1998. In that deposition, the President testified that he could not recall being alone with Monica Lewinsky and that he had not had sexual relations, a sexual affair, or a sexual relationship with her. During his testimony, the President referred several times to Betty Currie and to her relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. He stated, for example, that the last time he had seen Ms. Lewinsky was when she had come to the White House to see Ms. Currie;(395) that Ms. Currie was present when the President had made a joking reference about the Jones case to Ms. Lewinsky;(396) that Ms. Currie was his source of information about Vernon Jordan's assistance to Ms. Lewinsky;(397) and that Ms. Currie had helped set up the meetings between Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Jordan regarding her move to New York.(398)
At the deposition, Judge Wright imposed a protective order that prevented the parties from discussing their testimony with anyone else. "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 . . . ."(399)
Because the President referred so often to Ms. Currie, it was foreseeable that she might become a witness in the Jones matter, particularly if specific allegations of the President's relationship with Ms. Lewinsky came to light.(400) Indeed, according to Ms. Currie, President Clinton at some point may have told her that she might be asked about Monica Lewinsky.(401)
Shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 17, 1998, two and a half hours after he returned from the deposition, President Clinton called Ms. Currie at home(402) and asked her to come to the White House the next day.(403) Ms. Currie testified that "[i]t's rare for [President Clinton] to ask me to come in on Sunday."(404)
At about 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 18, Ms. Currie went to meet with President Clinton at the White House. She 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.(405)
According to Ms. Currie, the President then said to her in succession:(406)
"You were always there when she was there, right? We were never really alone."(407)
"You could see and hear everything."(408)
"Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right?"(409)
"She wanted to have sex with me, and I can't do that."(410)
Ms. Currie indicated that these remarks were "more like statements than questions."(411) Ms. Currie concluded that the President wanted her to agree with him.(412) She based that conclusion on the way he made most of the statements and on his demeanor.(413) Ms. Currie also said that she felt the President made these remarks to see her reaction.(414)
Ms. Currie said that she indicated her agreement with each of the President's statements,(415) although she knew that the President and Ms. Lewinsky had in fact been alone in the Oval Office and in the President's study.(416) Ms. Currie also knew that she could not or did not in fact hear or see the President and Ms. Lewinsky while they were alone.(417)
In the context of this conversation, President Clinton appeared to be "concerned," according to Ms. Currie.(418)
The President's concern over the questions asked at the civil deposition about Ms. Lewinsky also manifested itself in substantial efforts to contact Monica Lewinsky over the next two days. Shortly after her meeting with the President, Ms. Currie made several attempts to contact Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Currie testified it was "possible" she did so at the President's suggestion, and said "he may have asked me to call [Ms. Lewinsky] to see what she knew or where she was or what was happening."(419) Later that same night, at 11:01 p.m., the President again called Ms. Currie at home.(420) Ms. Currie could not recall the substance but suggested that the President had called to ask whether she had spoken to Ms. Lewinsky.(421) The next day, January 19, 1998, which was a holiday, Ms. Currie made seven unsuccessful attempts to contact Monica Lewinsky, by pager, between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.(422) The President called Ms. Currie at home twice, and Ms. Currie called the President at the White House once that day.(423)
On either Tuesday, January 20 or Wednesday, January 21 of that week, the President again met with Ms. Currie and discussed the Monica Lewinsky matter. Ms. Currie testified as follows:
BC: It was Tuesday or Wednesday. I don't remember which one this was, either. But the best I remember, when he called me in the Oval Office, it was sort of a recap[it]ulation of what we had talked about on Sunday -- you know, "I was never alone with her" -- that sort of thing.
Q: Did he pretty much list the same --
BC: To my recollection, sir, yes.
Q: And did he say it in sort of the same tone and demeanor that he used the first time he told you on Sunday?
BC: The best I remember, sir, yes.
* * * *
Q: And the President called you into the Oval Office specifically to list these things?
BC: I don't know if that's specifically what he called me in for, but once I got inside, that's what he --
Q: That's what he told you?
The President was asked why he might have said to Ms. Currie in their meeting on Sunday, January 18, 1998, "we were never alone together, right?" and "you could see and hear everything." 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.(425)
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:
WJC: . . . . [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.
Q: So, when you said to Mrs. Currie that, I was never alone with her, right, you just meant that you and Ms. Lewinsky would be somewhere perhaps in the Oval Office or many times in your back study, is that correct?
WJC: That's right. We were in the back study.
Q: And then --
WJC: Keep in mind, sir, I just want to make it -- I was talking about 1997. I was never, ever trying to get Betty Currie to claim that on the occasions when Monica Lewinsky was there when she wasn't anywhere around, that she was. I would never have done that to her, and I don't think she thought about that. I don't think she thought I was referring to that.
Q: Did you put a date restriction? Did you make it clear to Mrs. Currie that you were only asking her whether you were never alone with her after 1997?
WJC: Well, I don't recall whether I did or not, but I assumed -- if I didn't, I assumed she knew what I was talking about, because it was the point at which Ms. Lewinsky was out of the White House and had to have someone WAVE her in, in order to get in the White House. And I do not believe to this day that I was -- in 1997, that she was ever there and that I ever saw her unless Betty Currie was there. I don't believe she was.(426)
With respect to the word "alone," the President also stated that "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."(427)
The President was also 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:
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. You've already -- . . .
WJC: . . . 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.(428)
The President then testified that when he made the comment to Ms. Currie about her being able to hear everything, he again was referring to only a limited period of time:
Q: . . . .you would not have engaged in those physically intimate acts if you knew that Mrs. Currie could see or hear that, is that correct?
WJC: That's correct. But keep in mind, sir, I was talking about 1997. That occurred, to the -- and I believe that occurred only once in February of 1997. I stopped it. I never should have started it, and I certainly shouldn't have started it back after I resolved not to in 1996. And I was referring to 1997.
And I -- what -- as I say, I do not know -- her memory and mine may be somewhat different. I do not know whether I was asking her about a particular time when Monica was upset and I asked her to stand, stay back in the dining area. Or whether I was, had reference to the fact that if she kept the door open to the Oval Office, because it was always -- the door to the hallway was always somewhat open, that she would always be able to hear something if anything went on that was, you know, too loud, or whatever.
I do not know what I meant. I'm just trying to reconcile the two statements as best I can, without being sure.(429)
The President was also asked about his comment to Ms. Currie that Ms. Lewinsky had "come on" to him, but that he had "never touched her":
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?
WJC: Now, I've testified about that. And that's one of those questions that I believe is answered by the statement that I made.(430)
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?
WJC: 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.(431)
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.(432)
The President referred to Ms. Currie on multiple occasions in his civil deposition when describing his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. As he himself recognized, a large number of questions about Ms. Lewinsky were likely to be asked in the very near future. The President thus could foresee that Ms. Currie either might be deposed or questioned or might need to prepare an affidavit.
The President called her shortly after the deposition and met with Ms. Currie the next day. The President appeared "concerned," according to Ms. Currie. He then informed Ms. Currie that questions about Ms. Lewinsky had been asked at the deposition.
The statements the President made to her on January 18 and again on January 20 or 21 -- that he was never alone with Ms. Lewinsky, that Ms. Currie could always hear or see them, and that he never touched Ms. Lewinsky -- were false, but consistent with the testimony that the President provided under oath at his deposition. The President knew that the statements were false at the time he made them to Ms. Currie. The President's suggestion that he was simply trying to refresh his memory when talking to Ms. Currie conflicts with common sense: Ms. Currie's confirmation of false statements could not in any way remind the President of the facts. Thus, it is not plausible that he was trying to refresh his recollection.
The President's grand jury testimony reinforces that conclusion. He testified that in asking questions of Ms. Currie such as "We were never alone, right" and "Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right," he intended a date restriction on the questions. But he did not articulate a date restriction in his conversations with Ms. Currie. Moreover, with respect to some aspects of this incident, the President was unable to devise any innocent explanation, testifying that he did not know why he had asked Ms. Currie some questions and admitting that he was "just trying to reconcile the two statements as best [he could]." On the other hand, if the most reasonable inference from the President's conduct is drawn -- that he was attempting to enlist a witness to back up his false testimony from the day before -- his behavior with Ms. Currie makes complete sense.
The content of the President's statements and the context in which those statements were made provide substantial and credible information that President Clinton sought improperly to influence Ms. Currie's testimony. Such actions constitute an obstruction of justice and improper influence on a witness.
X. There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton endeavored to obstruct justice during the federal grand jury investigation. While refusing to testify for seven months, he simultaneously lied to potential grand jury witnesses knowing that they would relay the falsehoods to the grand jury.
The President's grand jury testimony followed seven months of investigation in which he had refused six invitations to testify before the grand jury. During this period, there was no indication that the President would admit any sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. To the contrary, the President vehemently denied the allegations.
Rather than lie to the grand jury himself, the President lied about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky to senior aides, and those aides then conveyed the President's false story to the grand jury.(433)
In this case, the President lied to, among others, three current senior aides -- John Podesta, Erskine Bowles, and Sidney Blumenthal -- and one former senior aide, Harold Ickes. The President denied any kind of sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky; said that Ms. Lewinsky had made a sexual demand on him; and denied multiple telephone conversations with Monica Lewinsky. The President, by his own later admission, was aware that his aides were likely to convey the President's version of events to the grand jury.
The President's aides took the President at his word when he made these statements. Each aide then testified to the nature of the relationship between Monica Lewinsky and the President based on those statements -- without knowing that they were calculated falsehoods by the President designed to perpetuate the false statements that the President made during his deposition in the Jones case.
The aides' testimony provided the grand jury a false account of the relationship between the President and Ms. Lewinsky. Their testimony thus had the potential to affect the investigation -- including decisions by the OIC and grand jury about how to conduct the investigation (for example, whether to subpoena Secret Service agents) and whether to indict particular individuals.
John Podesta, Deputy Chief of Staff,(434) testified that on several occasions shortly after the media first began reporting the Lewinsky allegations, the President either denied having a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky or otherwise minimized his involvement with her.
Mr. Podesta described a meeting with the President, Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, and Deputy Chief of Staff Sylvia Matthews, in the morning of January 21, 1998.(435) During that meeting, the President stated: "Erskine, I want you to know that this story is not true."(436) Mr. Podesta further recalled that the President said "that he had not had a sexual relationship with her, and that he never asked anybody to lie."(437)
Several days later, on January 23, 1998, the President more adamantly told Mr. Podesta that he had not engaged in sex of any "kind, shape or manner" with Ms. Lewinsky. Mr. Podesta recalled:
JP: [H]e said to me that he had never had sex with her, and that -- and that he never asked -- you know, he repeated the denial, but he was extremely explicit in saying he never had sex with her.
Q: How do you mean?
JP: Just what I said.
Q: Okay. Not explicit, in the sense that he got more specific than sex, than the word "sex."
JP: Yes, he was more specific than that.
Q: Okay. Share that with us.
JP: Well, I think he said -- he said that -- there was some spate of, you know, what sex acts were counted, and he said that he had never had sex with her in any way whatsoever --
JP: --that they had not had oral sex.(438)
Later, possibly that same day,(439) the President made a further statement to Mr. Podesta regarding his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. Mr. Podesta testified that the President "said to me that after [Monica] left [her job at the White House], that when she had come by, she came by to see Betty, and that he -- when she was there, either Betty was with them -- either that she was with Betty when he saw her or that he saw her in the Oval Office with the door open and Betty was around -- and Betty was out at her desk."(440) The President relayed to Mr. Podesta one of the false "cover stories" that the President and Ms. Lewinsky had agreed to use.
Both the President and Mr. Podesta knew that Mr. Podesta was likely to be a witness in the ongoing grand jury criminal investigation.(441) Nonetheless, Mr. Podesta recalled that the President "volunteered" to provide information about Ms. Lewinsky to him(443) even though Mr. Podesta had not asked for these details.(444)
Mr. Podesta "believe[d]" the President, and testified that it was important to him that the President denied the affair.(445) Mr. Podesta repeated to the grand jury the false and misleading statements that the President told him.
Mr. Bowles, the White House Chief of Staff,(446) confirmed Mr. Podesta's account of the President's January 21, 1998, statement in which the President denied having a sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. Mr. Bowles testified:
EB: And this was the day this huge story breaks. And the three of us walked in together -- Sylvia Matthews, John Podesta, and me -- into the Oval Office, and the President was standing behind his desk.
Q: About what time of day is this?
EB: This is approximately 9:00 in the morning, or something -- you know, in that area. And he looked up at us and he said the same thing he said to the American people. He said, "I want you to know I did not have sexual relationships [sic] with this woman Monica Lewinsky. I did not ask anybody to lie. And when the facts come out, you'll understand."(447)
Mr. Bowles testified that he took the President's statements seriously: "All I can tell you is: This guy who I've worked for looked me in the eye and said he did not have sexual relationships with her. And if I didn't believe him, I couldn't stay. So I believe him."(448) Mr. Bowles repeated the President's false and misleading statement to the grand jury.
Sidney Blumenthal, an Assistant to the President,(449) similarly testified that the President made statements to him denying the Lewinsky allegations shortly after the first media report.
Mr. Blumenthal stated that he spoke to Mrs. Clinton on the afternoon of January 21, 1998, and to the President early that evening. During those conversations, both the President and Mrs. Clinton offered an explanation for the President's meetings with Ms. Lewinsky, and President Clinton offered an explanation for Ms. Lewinsky's allegations of a sexual relationship.(450)
Testifying before the grand jury, Mr. Blumenthal related his discussion with President Clinton:
I said to the President, "What have you done wrong?" And he said, "Nothing. I haven't done anything wrong."
. . . And it was at that point that he gave his account of what had happened to me and he said that Monica -- and it came very fast. He said, "Monica Lewinsky came at me and made a sexual demand on me." He rebuffed her. He said, "I've gone down that road before, I've caused pain for a lot of people and I'm not going to do that again."
She threatened him. She said that she would tell people they'd had an affair, that she was known as the stalker among her peers, and that she hated it and if she had an affair or said she had an affair then she wouldn't be the stalker any more.(452)
Mr. Blumenthal testified that the President appeared "upset" during this conversation.(453)
Finally, Mr. Blumenthal asked the President to explain alleged answering machine messages (a detail mentioned in press reports).
He said that he remembered calling her when Betty Currie's brother died and that he left a message on her voice machine that Betty's brother had died and he said she was close to Betty and had been very kind to Betty. And that's what he recalled.(454)
According to Mr. Blumenthal, the President said that the call he made to Ms. Lewinsky relating to Betty's brother was the "only one he could remember."(455) That was false: The President and Ms. Lewinsky talked often on the phone, and the subject matter of the calls was memorable.
A grand juror asked Mr. Blumenthal whether the President had said that his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky included any kind of sexual activity. Mr. Blumenthal testified that the President's response was "the opposite. He told me that she came on to him and that he had told her he couldn't have sexual relations with her and that she threatened him. That is what he told me."(456)
Mr. Blumenthal testified that after the President relayed this information to him, he "certainly believed his story. It was a very heartfelt story, he was pouring out his heart, and I believed him."(457) Mr. Blumenthal repeated to the grand jury the false statements that the President made to him.
Mr. Ickes, a former Deputy Chief of Staff,(458) also related to the grand jury a conversation that he had with the President on the morning of January 26, 1998,(460) during which the President denied the Lewinsky allegations.
Regarding that conversation, Mr. Ickes testified: "The two things that I recall, the two things that he again repeated in public -- had already said publicly and repeated in public that same Monday morning was that he had not had -- he did not have a -- or he had not had a sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky and that he had done nothing -- now I'm paraphrasing -- had done nothing to ask anybody to change their story or suborn perjury or obstruct justice."(461)
Mr. Ickes recalled that the President probably volunteered this information.(462) Mr. Ickes repeated the President's false statements to the grand jury.
The President admitted to the grand jury that, after the allegations were publicly reported, he made "misleading" statements to particular aides whom he knew would likely be
called to testify before the grand jury. The President testified as follows:
Q: Do you recall denying any sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky to the following people: Harry Thomasson, Erskine Bowles, Harold Ickes, Mr. Podesta, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Jordan, Ms. Betty Currie? Do you recall denying any sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky to those individuals?
WJC: I recall telling a number of those people that I didn't have, either I didn't have an affair with Monica Lewinsky or didn't have sex with her. And I believe, sir, that -- you'll have to ask them what they thought. But I was using those terms in the normal way people use them. You'll have to ask them what they thought I was saying.
Q: If they testified that you denied sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, or if they told us that you denied that, do you have any reason to doubt them, in the days after the story broke; do you have any reason to doubt them?
The President then was specifically asked whether he knew that his aides were likely to be called before the grand jury.
Q: It may have been misleading, sir, and you knew though, after January 21st when the Post article broke and said that Judge Starr was looking into this, you knew that they might be witnesses. You knew that they might be called into a grand jury, didn't you?
WJC: That's right. I think I was quite careful what I said after that. I may have said something to all these people to that effect, but I'll also -- whenever anybody asked me any details, I said, look, I don't want you to be a witness or I turn you into a witness or give you information that would get you in trouble. I just wouldn't talk. I, by and large, didn't talk to people about this.
Q: If all of these people -- let's leave out Mrs. Currie for a minute. Vernon Jordan, Sid Blumenthal, John Podesta, Harold Ickes, Erskine Bowles, Harry Thomasson, after the story broke, after Judge Starr's involvement was known on January 21st, have said that you denied a sexual relationship with them. Are you denying that?
Q: And you've told us that you --
WJC: I'm just telling you what I meant by it. I told you what I meant by it when they started this deposition.
Q: You've told us now that you were being careful, but that it might have been misleading. Is that correct?
WJC: It might have been. . . . So, what I was trying to do was to give them something they could -- that would be true, even if misleading in the context of this deposition, and keep them out of trouble, and let's deal -- and deal with what I thought was the almost ludicrous suggestion that I had urged someone to lie or tried to suborn perjury, in other words.(463)
The President made the following misleading statements to his aides:
The President told Mr. Podesta that he had not engaged in sex "in any way whatsoever" with Ms. Lewinsky, "including oral sex".
The President told Mr. Podesta, Mr. Bowles, and Mr. Ickes that he did not have a "sexual relationship" with Ms. Lewinsky.
The President told Mr. Podesta that "when [Ms. Lewinsky] came by, she came by to see Betty [Currie]."
The President told Mr. Blumenthal that Ms. Lewinsky "came on to him and that he had told her he couldn't have sexual relations with her and that she threatened him."
The President told Mr. Blumenthal that he couldn't remember making any calls to Ms. Lewinsky other than once when he left a message on her answering machine.
During the President's grand jury testimony, the President admitted that his statements to aides denying a sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky "may have been misleading."(464) The President also knew his aides likely would be called to testify regarding any communications with him about Ms. Lewinsky. And he presumably expected his aides to repeat his statements regarding Ms. Lewinsky to all questioners, including to the grand jury. Finally, he himself refused to testify for many months. The combination of the President's silence and his deception of his aides had the effect of presenting a false view of events to the grand jury.
The President says that at the time he spoke to his aides, he chose his words with great care so that, in his view, his statements would be literally true because he was referring only to intercourse. That explanation is undermined by the President's testimony before the grand jury that his denials "may have been misleading" and by the contradictory testimony by the aides themselves -- particularly John Podesta, who says that the President specifically denied oral sex with Ms. Lewinsky. Moreover, on January 24, 1998, the White House issued talking points for its staff, and those talking points refute the President's literal truth argument: The talking points state as the President's view the belief that a relationship that includes oral sex is "of course" a "sexual relationship."(465)
For all of these reasons, there is substantial and credible information that the President improperly tampered with witnesses during the grand jury investigation.
XI. There is substantial and credible information that President Clinton's actions since January 17, 1998, regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky have been inconsistent with the President's constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws.
Before, during, and after his January 17, 1998, civil deposition, the President attempted to conceal the truth about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky from the judicial process in the Jones case. Furthermore, the President has since lied under oath to the grand jury and facilitated the provision of false information to the grand jury by others.
The President also misled the American people and the Congress in his public statement of January 26, 1998, in which he denied "sexual relations" with Ms. Lewinsky. The President misled his Cabinet and his senior aides by denying the relationship to them. The Cabinet and senior aides in turn misled the American people and the Congress by conveying the President's denials and professing their belief in the credibility of those denials.
The President promised in January 1998 to cooperate fully with the grand jury investigation and to provide "more rather than less, sooner rather than later." At that time, the OIC was conducting a criminal investigation and was obligated to report to Congress any substantial and credible information that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.
The President's conduct delayed the grand jury investigation (and thereby delayed any potential congressional proceedings). He asserted, appealed, withdrew, and reasserted Executive Privilege (and asserted other governmental privileges never before applied in federal criminal proceedings against the government). The President asserted these privileges concerning the investigation of factual questions about which the President already knew the answers. The President refused six invitations to testify voluntarily before the grand jury. At the same time, the President's aides and surrogates argued publicly that the entire matter was frivolous and that any investigation of it should cease.
After being subpoenaed in July, the President made false statements to the grand jury on August 17, 1998. That night, the President again made false statements to the American people and Congress, contending that his answers in his civil deposition had been "legally accurate." The President then made an implicit plea for Congress to take no action: "Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long."(466)
The President has pursued a strategy of (i) deceiving the American people and Congress in January 1998, (ii) delaying and impeding the criminal investigation for seven months, and (iii) deceiving the American people and Congress again in August 1998.
On January 21, 1998, the day the Washington Post first reported the Lewinsky matter, the President talked to his long-time advisor Dick Morris. With the President's approval, Mr. Morris commissioned a poll that evening. The results indicated that voters were willing to forgive the President for adultery but not for perjury or obstruction of justice.(467) When the President telephoned him that evening, Mr. Morris explained that the President thus should not go public with a confession or explanation.(468) According to Mr. Morris, the President replied, "Well, we just have to win, then."(469)
The next evening, the President dissuaded Mr. Morris from any plan to "blast Monica Lewinsky 'out of the water.'" The President indicated that "there's some slight chance that she may not be cooperating with Starr and we don't want to alienate her."(470)
The President himself spoke publicly about the matter several times in the initial days after the story broke. On January 26, the President was definitive: "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."(471)
The President's emphatic denial to the American people was false. And his statement was not an impromptu comment in the heat of a press conference. To the contrary, it was an intentional and calculated falsehood to deceive the Congress and the American people.(472)
After the President lied to the American people, the President's associates argued that the allegations against the President were false and even scurrilous.
Mrs. Clinton forcefully denied the allegations on January 27, 1998, one day after the President's public denial. She admitted that the American people "should certainly be concerned" if a President had an affair and lied to cover it up. She acknowledged that it would be a "very serious offense." But she emphasized that the allegations were false -- a "pretty bad" smear. She noted that the President "has denied these allegations on all counts, unequivocally." And Mrs. Clinton shifted the focus away from the President, indicated that "this is a battle" and stated that "some folks are going to have a lot to answer for" when the facts come out.(473)
The most senior officials in the Executive Branch served as additional (albeit unwitting) agents of the President's deception. The Cabinet and White House aides stated emphatically that the allegations were false. For example, White House spokesperson Michael McCurry was asked whether the President's denial covered all forms of sexual contact, and Mr. McCurry stated that "I think every American that heard him knows exactly what he meant."(474) So, too, White House Communications Director Ann Lewis said on January 26, 1998: "I can say with absolute assurance the President of the United States did not have a sexual relationship because I have heard the President of the United States say so. He has said it, he could not be more clear. He could not have been more direct."(475) She added: "Sex is sex, even in Washington. I've been assured."(476)
After a Cabinet meeting on January 23, 1998, in which the President offered denials, several members of the Cabinet appeared outside the White House. Secretary of State Albright stated: "I believe that the allegations are completely untrue."(477) Coupled with the President's firm denial, the united front of the President's closest advisors helped shape perception of the issue.
When the allegations about Ms. Lewinsky first arose, the President informed the American people that he would cooperate fully. He told Jim Lehrer that "we are doing our best to cooperate here."(478) He told National Public Radio that "I have told people that I would cooperate in the investigation, and I expect to cooperate with it. . . . I'm going to do my best to cooperate with the investigation."(479) He told Roll Call "I'm going to cooperate with this investigation. . . . And I'll cooperate."(480)
Such cooperation did not occur. The White House's approach to the constitutionally based principle of Executive Privilege most clearly exposed the non-cooperation. In 1994, White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler issued an opinion that the Clinton Administration would not invoke Executive Privilege for cases involving personal wrongdoing by any government official.(481) By 1998, however, the President had blended the official and personal dimensions to the degree that the President's private counsel stated in a legal brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: "In a very real and significant way, the objectives of William J. Clinton, the person, and his Administration (the Clinton White House) are one and the same."(482)
After the Monica Lewinsky investigation began, the President invoked Executive Privilege for the testimony of five witnesses: Bruce Lindsey, Cheryl Mills, Nancy Hernreich, Sidney Blumenthal, and Lanny Breuer. These claims were patently groundless. Even for official communications within the scope of the privilege, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 1974 in United States v. Nixon(483) that the Executive Privilege gives way in the face of the compelling need for evidence in criminal proceedings.
The President's assertion of Executive Privilege for Ms. Hernreich, an assistant who manages the secretarial work for the Oval Office,(484) was frivolous. At the time that the President was asserting Executive Privilege for one assistant, the President's other assistant (Betty Currie) had already testified extensively.
Based on Nixon, the OIC filed a motion to compel the testimony of Hernreich, Lindsey, and Blumenthal. The United States District Court held a hearing on March 20. Just before the hearing, the White House -- without explanation -- dropped its Executive Privilege claim as to Ms. Hernreich.(485)
On May 4, 1998, Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ruled against the President on the Executive Privilege issue.(486) After the White House filed a notice of appeal, the OIC filed an expedited petition for certiorari before judgment in the Supreme Court. The President thereupon dropped his claim of Executive Privilege.
The tactics employed by the White House have not been confined to the judicial process. On March 24, while the President was traveling in Africa, he was asked about the assertion of Executive Privilege. He responded, "You should ask someone who knows." He also stated "I haven't discussed that with the lawyers. I don't know."(487)
This was untrue. Unbeknownst to the public, in a declaration filed in District Court on March 17 (seven days before the President's public expression of ignorance), White House Counsel Charles F.C. Ruff informed Chief Judge Johnson that he "ha[d] discussed" the matter with the President, who had directed the assertion of Executive Privilege.(488)
The deception has continued. Because the President withdrew his Executive Privilege claim while the case was pending in the Supreme Court of the United States, it was assumed that the President would no longer assert Executive Privilege. But that assumption proved incorrect. White House attorney Lanny Breuer appeared before the grand jury on August 4, 1998, and invoked Executive Privilege. He would not answer, for example, whether the President had told him about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky and whether they had discussed the gifts he had given to Monica Lewinsky.(489) On August 11, 1998, Chief Judge Johnson denied the Executive Privilege claim as a basis for refusing to testify, and ordered Mr. Breuer to testify.(490)
On August 11, 1998, Deputy White House Counsel Cheryl Mills testified and repeatedly asserted Executive Privilege at the President's direction.(491) The breadth of the claim was striking: The privilege was asserted not only for Ms. Mills's communications with the President, senior staff, and staff members of the White House Counsel's Office -- but also for Ms. Mills's communications with private lawyers for the President, private lawyers for grand jury witnesses, and Betty Currie.(492)
On August 17, the President testified before the grand jury. At the request of a grand juror, the OIC asked the President about his assertions of Executive Privilege and why he had withdrawn the claim before the Supreme Court. The President replied that "I didn't really want to advance an executive privilege claim in this case beyond having it litigated, so that we, we had not given up on principal [sic] this matter, without having some judge rule on it. . . . I strongly felt we should not appeal your victory on the executive privilege issue."(493)
Four days after this sworn statement, on August 21, 1998, the President filed a notice of appeal with respect to the Executive Privilege claim for Lanny Breuer that Chief Judge Johnson had denied ten days earlier (and six days before the President's testimony). In addition, Bruce Lindsey appeared again before the grand jury on August 28, 1998, and the President again asserted Executive Privilege with respect to his testimony -- even though the President had dropped the claim of Executive Privilege for Mr. Lindsey while the case was pending before the Supreme Court of the United States in June.(494)
The Executive Privilege was not the only claim of privilege interposed to prevent the grand jury from gathering relevant information. The President also acquiesced in the Secret Service's attempt to have the Judiciary craft a new protective function privilege (rejecting requests by this Office that the President order the Secret Service officers to testify). The District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the privilege claim. The litigation was disruptive to the Secret Service and to the grand jury. The frivolity of the claim is evidenced by the Chief Justice's decision to reject the Secret Service's request for a stay without even referring the matter to the full Court. All of that litigation would have been unnecessary had the President testified in February instead of August, or had he taken the position that relevant facts should be fully available to the grand jury.
D. The President refused six invitations to testify to the grand jury, thereby delaying expeditious resolution of this matter, and then refused to answer relevant questions before the grand jury when he testified in August 1998.
>This Office extended six separate invitations to the President to testify before the grand jury. The first invitation was issued on January 28, 1998. The OIC repeated the invitations on behalf of the grand jury on February 4, February 9, February 21, March 2, and March 13. The President declined each invitation. His refusals substantially delayed this Office's investigation.
Finally, in the face of the President's actions, this Office asked the grand jury to consider issuing a subpoena to the President. The grand jury deliberated and approved the issuance of a subpoena. On July 17, 1998, the OIC served the subpoena, in accordance with the grand jury's action, on the President's private counsel. The subpoena required the President to appear on July 28.
The President sought to delay his testimony.(495) Shortly after a hearing before the District Court on the President's motion for a continuance, the President and the OIC reached an agreement by which the President would testify on August 17 via live video feed to the grand jury. In a Rose Garden ceremony on July 31, 1998, the President stated to the country: "I'm looking forward to the opportunity . . . of testifying. I will do so completely and truthfully."(496)
At the outset of his grand jury appearance, the President similarly stated: "I will answer each question as accurately and fully as I can."(497) The President then read a prepared statement in which he admitted "inappropriate intimate contact" with Ms. Lewinsky.(498) Despite his statement that he would answer each question, the President refused to answer specific questions about that contact (other than to indicate that it was not intercourse and did not involve the direct touching of Ms. Lewinsky's breasts or genitals).(499)
E. The President misled the American people and the Congress in his public statement on August 17, 1998, when he stated that his answers at his civil deposition in January had been "legally accurate."
The President addressed the Nation on the evening of August 17, 1998, after his grand jury appearance. The President did not tell the truth. He stated: "As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information."(500) As this Referral has demonstrated, the President's statements in his civil deposition were not "legally accurate," and he could not reasonably have thought they were. They were deliberate falsehoods designed to conceal the truth of the President's sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
The President's claim that his testimony during the civil deposition was legally accurate -- which he made to the grand jury and to the American people on August 17 -- perpetuates the deception and concealment that has accompanied his relationship with Monica Lewinsky since his first sexual encounter with her on November 15, 1995.
In this case, the President made and caused to be made false statements to the American people about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. He also made false statements about whether he had lied under oath or otherwise obstructed justice in his civil case. By publicly and emphatically stating in January 1998 that "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and these "allegations are false," the President also effectively delayed a possible congressional inquiry, and then he further delayed it by asserting Executive Privilege and refusing to testify for six months during the Independent Counsel investigation. This represents substantial and credible information that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.
3. Sections 1621 and 1623 of Title 18 (perjury) carry a penalty of imprisonment of not more than five years for knowingly making a false, material statement under oath, including in any ancillary court proceeding. An "ancillary proceeding" includes a deposition in a civil case. United States v. McAfee, 8 F.3d 1010, 1013 (5th Cir. 1993); United States v. Scott, 682 F.2d 695, 698 (8th Cir. 1982). The perjury statutes apply to statements made during civil proceedings. As one United States Court of Appeals recently stated, "we categorically reject any suggestion, implicit or otherwise, that perjury is somehow less serious when made in a civil proceeding. Perjury, regardless of the setting, is a serious offense that results in incalculable harm to the functioning and integrity of the legal system as well as to private individuals." United States v. Holland, 22 F.3d 1040, 1047 (11th Cir. 1994); see also United States v. Wilkinson, 137 F.3d 214, 225 (4th Cir. 1998).
6. Written interrogatories are a common discovery device in federal civil cases by which a party serves written questions on the opposing party. The rules require that they be answered under oath and therefore under penalty of perjury. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 33.
7. V002-DC-00000016-32 (Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories, see Interrogatory no. 10). The interrogatory in the text reflects Judge Wright's order, dated December 11, 1997, limiting the scope of the question to cover only women who were state or federal employees at the relevant times.
17. Id. at 8. Ms. Lewinsky stated that the hallway outside the Oval Office study was more suitable for their encounters than the Oval Office because the hallway had no windows. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 34-35.
29. Id. at 21-22. This was shortly after their first phone sex encounter, which occurred on January 16, 1996. Id. at 22; Lewinsky 7/30/98 Int. at 9. Phone sex occurs when one or both parties masturbate while one or both parties talk in a sexually explicit manner on the telephone.
48. Lewinsky 7/30/98 Int. at 11-16; Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 24. The summary chart of contacts between the President and Ms. Lewinsky, GJ Exhibit ML-7, which is based on information provided by Ms. Lewinsky, lists 17 separate phone sex calls. Id. at 27-28. Ms. Lewinsky also gave the President Vox, a novel about phone sex. Id.
While phone sex may not itself constitute a "sexual relationship," it adds detail to Ms. Lewinsky's testimony and underscores the sexual and intimate nature of the relationship between the President and Ms. Lewinsky.
Ms. Lewinsky also said that the President left a few messages on her home answering machine (although he told her he did not like to leave messages). Ms. Lewinsky provided four microcassettes of four messages to the OIC on July 29, 1998. FBI Receipt for Property Received, dated 7/29/98.
53. Catherine Davis 3/17/98 GJ at 9-10. Ms. Catherine Davis talked to Ms. Lewinsky by telephone an average of once a week until April 1997 when Ms. Davis moved to Tokyo; thereafter she and Ms. Lewinsky remained in touch through e-mail. Id. at 14, 27.
61. Id. at 26 ("She told me that she had given him [oral sex] and that she had had all of her clothes off, but that he only had his shirt off and that she had given him oral sex and they kissed and fondled each other and that they didn't have sex. That was kind of a little bit of a letdown for her."); id. at 29 ("He put his face in her chest. And, you know, just oral sex on her part, you know, to him.").
77. Id. at 2-3. Dr. Kassorla advised Ms. Lewinsky against the relationship, stating that she was an employee having an office romance with a superior and that the relationship would cost Ms. Lewinsky her job. Id. at 2.
81. She testified that the encounter concluded with the President masturbating into a bathroom sink. Id. at 30-31. Ms. Finerman indicated that "it was something I didn't want to talk about," and Ms. Lewinsky "sort of clammed up" thereafter. Id. at 35. See also Lewinsky 8/26/98 Depo. at 18.
89. The President and Ms. Lewinsky had ten sexual encounters that included direct contact with the genitalia of at least one party, and two other encounters that included kissing. On nine of the ten occasions, Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on the President. On nine occasions, the President touched and kissed Ms. Lewinsky's bare breasts. On four occasions, the President also touched her genitalia. On one occasion, the President inserted a cigar into her vagina to stimulate her. The President and Ms. Lewinsky also had phone sex on at least fifteen occasions.
92. Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and Judge Susan Webber Wright, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, each has one copy of the videotape, and the Congress may see fit to seek the videotape from either court. The videotape is valuable in facilitating a proper assessment of the facts and evidence presented in this Referral.
96. The definition used at the President's deposition also covers acts in which the deponent "cause[d] contact" with the genitalia or anus of "any person." When he testified to the grand jury, the President said that this aspect of the definition still does not cover his receiving oral sex. The President said that the word "cause" implies "forcing to me" and "forcible abusive behavior." Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 17. And thus the President said that he did not lie under oath in denying that he "caused" contact with the genitalia of any person because his activity with Ms. Lewinsky did not include any nonconsensual behavior. Id. at 18.
97. She testified that she had orgasms on three of the four occasions. We note that fact because (i) the definition referred to direct contact with the genitalia with the "intent to arouse or gratify" and (ii) the President has denied such contact. Ms. Lewinsky also testified that on one occasion, the President put his hand over her mouth during a sexual encounter to keep her quiet. Lewinsky 7/31/98 Int. at 3.
102. Following the President's public admission of an inappropriate relationship, Judge Wright stated sua sponte in an order issued on September 1, 1998: "Although the Court has concerns about the nature of the President's January 17, 1998 deposition testimony given his recent public statements, the Court makes no findings at this time regarding whether the President may be in contempt." Jones v. Clinton, No. LR-C-94-290 (September 1, 1998), Unpublished Order at 7 n.5.
104. Id. at 9-10. See also Excerpt from President Clinton's Televised Address to the American People, 8/17/98, reprinted in The Washington Post, at A5 (8/18/98) ("In a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.").
117. The President contended that he had only one encounter in 1997 with Ms. Lewinsky, whereas she says that there were two. The motive for making a false statement on that issue is less clear, except that perhaps the President wanted to portray the 1997 relationship as an isolated incident.
118. Ms. Jones's attorneys had earlier served President Clinton with a document request that sought documents reflecting "any communications, meetings or visits involving" President Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky. 1414-DC-00001534-46.
119. Throughout the Jones case, Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that Ms. Jones was entitled to discover information regarding the nature of President Clinton's relationship with government employees, including Monica Lewinsky, a federal employee at the time. See, e.g., 921-DC-00000459-66; 920-DC-00000517-25; 1414-DC-00001006-14; 921-DC-00000736-44; 921-DC-00000751-52; 1414-DC-00001188-92.
122. The President had earlier testified that during the government shutdown in November 1995, Ms. Lewinsky was working as an intern in the Chief of Staff's Office, and had brought the President and others some pizza. Clinton 1/17/98 Depo. at 58.
132. Currie 1/27/98 GJ at 32-33. See also Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 98. The Oval Office area includes the study, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and hallway connecting the area. See Appendix, Exhibit D (diagram of Oval Office area).
133. Currie 1/27/98 GJ at 34-35 (recalling that after the President's radio address, the President told Ms. Lewinsky he wanted to show her his collection of political buttons and took her into the Oval Office study for 15 to 20 minutes while Ms. Currie waited nearby, in the pantry or the dining room).
135. Currie 1/27/98 GJ at 35-36 (testifying that Ms. Lewinsky and the President were in the Oval Office for "[p]erhaps 30 minutes."). Again, Ms. Currie testified that she believes no one else was present. See also Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 103-105.
136. Ferguson 7/17/98 GJ at 23-35 (alone for approximately 45 minutes); Ferguson 7/23/98 GJ at 18-24.(137)
152. In criminal law, a feigned lack of memory is sufficient for a perjury conviction. See, e.g., United States v. Chapin, 515 F.2d 1274 (D.C. Cir. 1975); Behrle v. United States, 100 F.2d 174 (D.C. Cir. 1938).
158. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 151. Ms. Lewinsky's subpoena directed in part: "Please produce each and every gift including, but not limited to, any and all dresses, accessories, and jewelry, and/or hat pins given to you by, or on behalf of, Defendant Clinton." 902-DC-00000135-38.
159. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 33, 152. See also Lewinsky 2/1/98 Statement at 7. In fact, Ms. Lewinsky had told Ms. Tripp about it. Ms. Lewinsky had also discussed the hat pin and the subpoena's request for the hat pin with Mr. Jordan. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 132, 140.
160. Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 142 (relating incident where the President asks Ms. Currie about the hat pin he gave to Ms. Lewinsky). After this criminal investigation started, Ms. Currie turned over a box of items -- including a hat pin -- that had been given to her by Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Currie understood from Ms. Lewinsky that the box did contain gifts from the President.(161)
162. Ms. Lewinsky testified that the President had given her a gold brooch, and she made near-contemporaneous statements to Ms. Erbland, Ms. Raines, Ms. Ungvari, and Ms. Tripp regarding the gift. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 26-28; GJ Exhibit ML-7; Erbland 2/12/98 GJ at 41; Raines 1/29/98 GJ at 53-55; Ungvari 3/19/98 GJ at 44; Tripp 7/29/98 GJ at 105.
163. Ms. Lewinsky testified that Leaves of Grass was "the most sentimental gift he had given me."(164)
164. Lewinsky GJ, Aug. 6, 1998, at 156. - (165)
165. Davis GJ 30-31; Erbland GJ 40-41; Finerman depo 15-16; Marcia Lewis GJ 2/10/98 at 51-52; Lewis GJ 2/11/98 at 10 ("[S]he liked the book of poetry very much."). Raines GJ 53-55. At the deposition, the President was asked if he had given Ms. Lewinsky a book about Walt Whitman rather than by him. WJC depo at 75-76. - - - - -
168. Clinton 1/17/98 Depo. at 76-77 (emphasis added). (169)
177. V002-DC-00000471. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she bought and gave the President that book in early January 1998, and that when she talked to him on January 5, 1998, he acknowledged that he had received the book.(178)
183. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 27-28, 182-183; GJ Exhibit ML-7. Ms. Lewinsky saw a copy of the book in the President's study in November 1997. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 183. White House records list Oy Vey and Vox on an October 10, 1997, catalog of books in the West Wing.(184)
185. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 27-28, 183-84; Lewinsky 7/27/98 Int. at 13; GJ Exhibit ML-7. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she had seen the book in the President's study in November 1997.(186)
189. These included a Sherlock Holmes game sometime after Christmas 1996; a golf ball and tees on February 28, 1997; after the President injured his leg in March 1997, a care package filled with whimsical gifts, such as a magnet with the Presidential seal for his metal crutches, a license plate with "Bill" for his wheelchair, and knee pads with the Presidential seal; a Banana Republic casual shirt and a puzzle on golf mysteries on May 24, 1997; the card game "Royalty" in mid-August 1997; shortly before Halloween of 1997, a package filled with Halloween-related items, such as a pumpkin lapel pin, a wooden letter opener with a frog on the handle, and a plastic pumpkin filled with candy; and on December 6, 1997, a Starbucks Santa Monica mug and a Hugs and Kisses box. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 27-28; GJ Exhibit ML-7; Lewinsky 7/27/97 Int. at 12-15.
199. In his grand jury testimony, the President said that this question at his civil deposition confused him and that he thought that the questioner was asking whether he could list specific gifts he had given her rather than whether he had ever given Ms. Lewinsky a gift. Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 51-52. Even if that explanation were credited, the President's answer to the hat pin question is inaccurate, particularly because he had discussed it with Ms. Lewinsky on December 28, according to her testimony.
204. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 123-24; Lewinsky 2/1/98 Statement at 4 ("When asked what to do if she was subpoenaed, the Pres. suggested she could sign an affidavit to try to satisfy their inquiry and not be deposed.").
205. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 123 (emphasis added); Lewinsky 2/1/98 Statement at 4 ("In general, Ms. L. should say she visited the WH to see Ms. Currie and, on occasion when working at the WH, she brought him letters when no one else was around.").
213. Although Vernon Jordan is an attorney, he has clearly stated that "I have never represented William Jefferson Clinton as an attorney." Jordan GJ, March 3, 1998, at 8. Thus, the questions that excluded the President's lawyers from their scope did not exclude Vernon Jordan.
235. Id. at 152. In a later grand jury appearance, Ms. Lewinsky again described the conversation, and said "I don't remember his response. I think it was something like, 'I don't know,' or 'Hmm' or -- there really was no response." Lewinsky 8/20/98 GJ at 66.
264. Id. In addition, under her immunity agreement, Ms. Lewinsky has no apparent motive to shift blame on this issue. In fact, just the opposite. If the truth were that she had called Ms. Currie, she could have said as much, and it would not have affected Ms. Lewinsky's legal rights or obligations at all. Moreover, she stated that does not want to harm the President with her truthful testimony. Lewinsky 8/26/98 Depo. at 69.
269. Lewinsky 8/20/98 GJ at 5 (Ms. Lewinsky could not visit the President unless Ms. Currie cleared her in); see also Lewinsky 7/31/98 Int. at 4-5 (Currie was "in the loop" when it came to keeping Lewinsky's relationship with the President discreet); Currie GJ 5/6/98 at 14-15, 57-58, 97-98.
287. Ms. Lewinsky spoke to one of her friends, Catherine Allday Davis in early January. Ms. Lewinsky informed her of her situation. Ms. Davis said that "I was very scared for her" and "I didn't want to see her being like Susan McDougal." Catherine Davis 3/17/98 GJ at 80. Ms. Davis said that she did not want Monica "to lie to protect the President." Id. at 173.
307. Householder 8/13/98 GJ at 11; Byrne 7/30/98 GJ at 9, 16, 30, 37; Garabito 7/30/98 GJ at 17. Other Secret Service officers testified that they saw Ms. Lewinsky in the West Wing carrying paperwork. Moore 7/30/98 GJ at 25-26; Overstreet 8/11/98 GJ at 7; Wilson 7/23/98 GJ at 32.
310. Id. at 27-28; GJ Exhibit ML-7. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she met with the President in private after she left her position at the White House on eleven dates in 1997: February 28 (following the radio address), March 29, May 24, July 4, July 14, July 24, August 16, October 11, November 13, December 6, and December 28.
321. Id. at 117. According to Ms. Lewinsky, this was the conversation in which the President told her that her name was on the Jones witness list, and in which she and the President discussed her filing an affidavit and the continued use of cover stories. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 121-23.
322. Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 118, 119-20 (emphasis added). The President repeated at several other points in his testimony that he did not remember what he said to Ms. Lewinsky in the phone conversation on December 17. See id. at 117 ("I don't remember exactly what I told her that night."); id. at 118-19 ("you are trying to get me to characterize something [the cover stories] that I'm -- that I don't know if I said or not").
326. Ms. Lewinsky said that on October 6, 1997, she had been told by Linda Tripp that a friend of Tripp's at the National Security Council had reported that Lewinsky would not be getting a White House job. Ms. Lewinsky said that at that point she finally decided to move to New York. Lewinsky 7/31/98 Int. at 9-10.
336. Lewinsky 7/31/98 Int. at 12. Ms. Lewinsky said that she spoke to President Clinton about the phone call on October 23, during which she suggested to the President that she was interested in some job other than at the United Nations. Id. According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President replied that he just wanted her to have some options. Id.
Ms. Lewinsky said that she spoke to the President again on October 30 about the interview, in which she expressed anxiety about meeting with the Ambassador. Ms. Lewinsky said that the President told her to call Betty Currie after the interview so he would know how the interview went. Id. at 13.
343. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 26-27 and GJ Exhibit ML-7. Ms. Lewinsky stated that just before Thanksgiving, 1997, she called Betty Currie and asked her to contact Vernon Jordan and prod him along in the job search. Lewinsky 8/4/98 Int. at 8. It was Ms. Lewinsky's understanding that Jordan was helping her at the request of the President and Ms. Currie. Id.
356. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 151-52; Lewinsky 7/27/98 Int. at 7. This was the same meeting where the President and Ms. Lewinsky discussed their concerns over the Lewinsky subpoena and its demand for the production of gifts.
Mr. Fisher: They would include . . . Monica Lewinsky
Judge Wright: Can you tell me who she is?
Mr. Fisher: Yes, your Honor.
Judge Wright: I never heard of her.
Mr. Fisher: She's the young woman who worked in the White House for a period of time and was later transferred to a job in the Pentagon.
370. The arrangement may not be explicitly spelled out. In this case, for example, there is no evidence that Ms. Lewinsky received an explicit proposal where someone said, "I'll give you a job if you lie under oath."
371. In a recorded conversation, Ms. Lewinsky discussed the job assistance various individuals, including Vernon Jordan, gave Webster Hubbell, and she expressed her concern that someone could similarly consider the assistance she was provided as improper in some manner: "I think somebody could construe, okay? Somebody could construe or say, 'Well, they gave her a job to shut her up. They made her happy.'" T2 at 11.
373. Id. at 72 (emphasis added). See also id. at 73 ("[m]y understanding was . . . that she was going to move to New York and that she was looking for some advice [from Jordan] about what she should do when she got there").
376. 833-DC-0017890 (Pentagon phone records). See also Jordan 3/3/98 GJ at 92-93 (testifying that Ms. Lewinsky called him up and she was "very upset" about "being served with a subpoena in the Paula Jones case").
378. Id. at 133-34. Mr. Jordan had told Ms. Lewinsky to come see him at 5:00 p.m. Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 129. See also Jordan 5/5/98 GJ at 144 (relating why he wanted to tell the President about Ms. Lewinsky's subpoena).
381. Jordan 3/3/98 GJ at 167-69. White House records indicate that Mr. Jordan was scheduled to arrive at 8:00 p.m., and actually arrived at 8:15 p.m. See 1178-DC-00000026 (WAVES record). Mr. Jordan testified, however, that he is certain that he did not arrive at the White House until after 10 p.m. Jordan 5/5/98 GJ at 164.
394. Under the federal witness tampering and obstruction of justice statutes, it is a crime to attempt to corruptly persuade another person with intent to influence the person's testimony in an official proceeding. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512.
401. Currie 1/24/98 Int. at 8 ("CURRIE advised CLINTON may have mentioned that CURRIE might be asked about LEWINSKY"); Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 118 (Q: "Didn't the President talk to you about Monica's name coming up in those cases [Whitewater or Jones v. Clinton]?" BC: "I have a vague recollection of him saying that her name may come up. Either he told me, somebody told me, but I don't know how it would come up.").
402. Currie 5/7/98 GJ at 80-81; GJ Exhibit BC 3-10, 1248-DC-00000307 (Presidential Call Log, Jan. 17, 1998). The White House call log indicates that the President called Ms. Currie at 7:02 p.m., they talked at 7:13 p.m., and the call ended at 7:14 p.m.
The President returned to the White House from the deposition at 4:26 p.m. 1248-DC-00000288 (Kearney's logs).
403. Currie 1/27/98 GJ at 65-66. The President confirmed that he called Betty Currie shortly after his deposition, and that he asked her to come in on Sunday, her day off. Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 148-49.
The next day at 1:11 p.m., the President again called Ms. Currie at home. Currie 5/7/98 GJ at 85. GJ Exhibit BC 3-11, 1248-DC-00000311 (Presidential Call Log, Jan. 18, 1998). Ms. Currie could not recall the content of the second call, stating: "He may have called me on Sunday at 1:00 after church to see what time I can actually come in. I don't know. That's the best I can recollect." Id. at 89.
407. Currie 1/27/98 GJ at 71, 73-74. At different points in the grand jury testimony, there are minor variations in the wording used or agreed to by Ms. Currie in recounting the President's statements. Compare id. at 71 ("You were always there when Monica was there." (Currie statement)) with id. at 74 (Q: "'You were always there when she was there, right?' Is that the way you remember the President stating it to you?" BC: "That's how I remember him stating it to me.").
423. V006-DC-00002069; V006-DC-00002070 (White House telephone records). Ms. Currie testified that she probably called the President to tell him that she had not yet spoken to Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Currie does not remember the substance of the conversations with the President for either of the calls that he made to her. Currie 5/7/98 GJ at 106-07. The phone calls from the President were approximately one and two minutes in length. That Monday, January 19, was a holiday, and Ms. Currie was not at work.
425. Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 56-57 (emphasis added). See also id. at 131-32 (Q: "You said that you spoke to her in an attempt to refresh your own recollection about the events involving Monica Lewinsky, is that right?" WJC: "Yes.").
433. Two federal criminal statutes, Sections 1512 and 1503 of Title 18 of the United States Code, prohibit misleading potential witnesses with the intent to influence their grand jury testimony. Section 1512 provides that whoever "corruptly . . . engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to -- (1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both." 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b). It is no defense to a charge of witness tampering that the official proceeding had not yet begun, nor is it a defense that the testimony sought to be influenced turned out to be inadmissible or subject to a claim of privilege. 18 U.S.C. § 1512(e).
Section 1503 provides that whoever "corruptly or by threats or force . . . influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due administration of justice" has committed a felony. 18 U.S.C. § 1503(a)-(b).
The Governor of Guam was convicted of witness tampering for lying to a potential witness "intending that [the witness] would offer [the Governor's] explanation concerning the [illegally used] funds to the FBI." United States v. Bordallo, 857 F.2d 519, 525 (9th Cir. 1988), amended on other grounds, 872 F.2d 334 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 818 (1989).
434. Podesta 2/5/98 GJ at 13. Mr. Podesta has served as Deputy Chief of Staff since January 1997, and previously served as Staff Secretary for the Clinton Administration from 1993 through 1995. Podesta 2/5/98 GJ at 9-10.
441. Mr. Podesta testified that he was "sensitive about not exchanging information because I knew I was a potential witness."(442)
450. Blumenthal 6/4/98 GJ at 46-53. (451)
457. Blumenthal 6/25/98 GJ at 17. See also Blumenthal 6/25/98 GJ at 26 ("My understanding was that the accusations against him which appeared in the press that day were false, that he had not done anything wrong").
458. Ickes 7/23/98 GJ at 8. Mr. Ickes worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for President Clinton from early 1994 through January 1997.(459)
461. Ickes 6/10/98 GJ at 73 (emphasis added). See also Ickes 8/5/98 GJ at 88 ("[H]e denied to me that he had had a sexual relationship. I don't know the exact phrase, but the word 'sexual' was there. And he denied any obstruction of justice").
First, Ms. Lewinsky lost her job at the White House in April 1996 and was transferred to the Pentagon. Under oath, Ms. Lewinsky was asked: "Do you believe that if you hadn't had a sexual relationship with the President that you would have kept your job at the White House?" She answered: "Yes." Lewinsky 8/26/98 Depo. at 60.
Second, Ms. Lewinsky was asked, "Do you believe that your difficulty or inability to return to employment at the White House was because of your sexual relationship with him?" She answered: "Yes. Or the issues that, or that the problems that people perceived that really were based in truth because I had a relationship with the President." Lewinsky 8/26/98 Depo. at 60.
Third, in late 1997, the President saw to it that Ms. Lewinsky received extraordinary job assistance. Such assistance might have been tied to her involvement in the Jones case, as discussed earlier, as well as a benefit to an ex-paramour. If the latter was a factor, then the President's actions discriminated against all of those interns and employees who did not receive the same benefit.
485. Even though the White House later withdrew the claim, the mere assertion of Executive Privilege as to Ms. Hernreich is important. Such an invocation causes a needless, but substantial, expenditure of litigation resources and delays and impedes the grand jury process. The overuse of Executive Privilege against the United States in the criminal process thus ultimately hinders the faithful execution of the laws -- as the Supreme Court unanimously recognized twenty-four years ago in United States v. Nixon.
494. Lindsey 8/28/98 GJ at 58. The President's use and withdrawal of Executive Privilege was not new to this Office. In August 1996, the White House invoked Executive Privilege to prevent White House attorneys from producing documents regarding their communications with Hillary Rodham Clinton. After the OIC filed a motion to compel in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the claim was withdrawn, and the White House relied solely on a claim of government attorney-client privilege, which the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejected. The public never knew at that time of the President's assertion of Executive Privilege in that case.
In 1997, the President again asserted Executive Privilege -- this time to prevent Thomas "Mack" McLarty from testifying fully. The conversations in question related in part to Mr. McLarty's efforts to find employment for Webster Hubbell as Mr. Hubbell was resigning his position as Associate Attorney General. The President withdrew the assertion before the OIC filed a motion to compel.
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