« PreviousContinue »
great deal of attention" to Mr. Bennett when he said this. The President also stated that “I didn't pay any attention to this colloquy that went on.” The videotaped deposition shows the President looking in Mr. Bennett's direction while Mr. Bennett was making the statement about no sex of any kind. The President then argued that when Mr. Bennett made the assertion that there “is no sex of any kind ,” Mr. Bennett was speaking only in the present tense. The President stated, It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.” and that “if it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.” 153 President Clinton's suggestion that he might have engaged in such a parsing of the words at his deposition is at odds with his assertion that the whole argument just passed him by.
f. On Or About January 18 and January 20–21, 1998, The
President Related Å False And Misleading Account Of
mony Of That Witness The record reflects that President Clinton attempted to influence the testimony of Betty Currie, his personal secretary by coaching her to recite inaccurate answers to possible questions that might be asked of her if called to testify in the Jones v. Clinton. The President did this shortly after he was deposed in the case. In his deposition, he invokes Betty Currie's name numerous times. Even though Betty Currie's name was not on the witness list, it is very logical for the President to assume that the plaintiff's lawyers in the Jones v. Clinton would call her as a witness. That is why the President called her about two hours after the completion of his deposition and asked her to come into the office the next day, which was a Sunday. 154 Why would the President be trying to get information from Ms. Currie about false statements or refresh his recollection concerning falsehoods. The evidence supports the conclusion that the President was trying to influence the testimony of a potential witness so that she would repeat his rendition of the facts which were meant to deceive the court.
g. On Or About January 21, 23, And 26, 1998, The President
Made False And Misleading Statements To Potential
And Misleading Information. The record reflects that on the dates in question President Clinton met with a total of five aides who would later be called to testify before the grand jury. The meeting took place shortly after the President's deposition in the Jones v. Clinton case and following a Washington Post story, published on January 21, 1998, which de
153 Id. at 476–77. 154 Request for Admission No. 47.
tailed the relationship between the President and Ms. Lewinsky. During the meetings the President made false and misleading statements to his aides which he knew would be repeated once they were called to testify.
The President submitted the same response to each of seven questions (Nos. 62-68) relating to this topic as set forth in the Committee's Requests for Admission. The President answered by stating that "I did not want my family, friends, or colleagues to know the full nature of my relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. In the days following the January 21, 1998, Washington Post article, I misled people about this relationship.
According to aides who met with the President on the days in question, he insisted unequivocally that he had not indulged in a sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky or otherwise done anything inappropriate. On January 21, 1998, in a conversation with Sydney Blumenthal, Assistant to the President, the President said that he rebuffed Ms. Lewinsky after she “came at me and made a sexual demand on me.' The President also told Mr. Blumenthal, “I haven't done anything wrong.'” 156 Also on January 21, 1998, the President met with Erskine Bowles, his Chief of Staff, and two of Mr. Bowles' Deputies, Sylvia Matthews and John Podesta. The President began the meeting by telling Mr. Bowles that the Washington Post story was not true.157 Further, the President stated that he had not had a sexual relationship with her, and had not asked anyone to lie. 158
Two days later, on January 23, 1998, as he was preparing for his State of the Union address, the President engaged Mr. Podesta in another conversation in which he "was extremely explicit in saying he never had sex with her.” When the OIC attorney asked for greater specificity, Mr. Podesta stated that the President said he had not had oral sex with Ms. Lewinsky, and in fact was “denying any sex in any way, shape or form. “ 159 The President also explained that Ms. Lewinsky's frequent visits to the White House were nothing more than efforts to visit Betty Currie. Ms. Currie was either with the President and Ms. Lewinsky during these "visits,” or she was seated at her desk outside the Oval Office with the door open. 160
Finally, on January 26, 1998, the President met with Harold Ickes, another Deputy Chief of Staff to Mr. Bowles. At the time, the President said that he had not had a sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, had not obstructed justice in the matter, and had not instructed anyone to lie or obstruct justice. 161
By his own admission more than seven months later, the President said that he had told a number of his aides that he did not "have an affair with (Ms. Lewinsky ] or ... have sex with her.” He also admitted that he knew that these aides might be called before the grand jury as witnesses. 162
155 Request for Admissions Nos. 62-68. 156 Grand Jury Testimony of Deposition of Sydney Blumenthal, June 4, 1998, p.49. 157 Grand Jury Testimony of John Podesta, June 16, 1998, p. 85.
159 Id.at 91-3.
(4) Article IV-Perjury Before the House
Using the powers and influence of the office of President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has engaged in conduct that resulted in misuse and abuse of his high office, impaired the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries and contravened the authority of the legislative branch and the truth-seeking purpose of a coordinate investigative proceeding, in that, as President, William Jefferson Clinton refused and failed to respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in response to certain written requests for admission propounded to him as part of the impeachment inquiry authorized by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States. William Jefferson Clinton, in refusing and failing to respond and in making perjurious, false and misleading statements, assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives and exhibited contempt for the inquiry.
In doing this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor,
trust, or profit under the United States. The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of reporting Article IV to the House of Representatives by a vote of 21 to 16 on December 12, 1998. I voted in favor of its passage.
He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves
all its good dispositions.163 Pursuant to House Resolution 581, on November 5, 1998, the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the President seeking his cooperation in the impeachment investigation. The letter asked the President to answer 81 questions, under oath, utilizing an enclosed affidavit.
163 Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr (August 19, 1785).
The President provided false and misleading statements under oath in response to the written requests for admissions. Specifically, the President did not answer completely and honestly request for admissions numbers: 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 34, 42, 43, 52, and 53. Failure to answer the questions completely and honestly represents a violation of his duty to cooperate with the congressional committee exercising the impeachment power.
I will briefly discuss the pertinent requests for admissions one at a time.
Question 19. Do you admit or deny that on or about December 17, 1997, you suggested to Monica Lewinsky that she could say to anyone inquiring about her relationship with you that her visits to the Oval Office were for the purpose of visiting with Betty Currie or to deliver papers to you?
Answer Provided. The President responded that such cover stories were only in a non-legal context: [I] "may have talked about what to do in a non-legal context at some point in the past, but I have no specific memory of that conversation.” The President maintained that any such conversation was not in the context of the Jones v. Clinton case.
Facts as Provided in Referral: Under oath Ms. Lewinsky testified that she had a conversation with the President about her affidavit, and that at some point the President suggested the cover story: "[Y]ou can always say you were coming to see Betty or that you were bringing me letters."
Question 20. Do you admit or deny that you gave false and misleading testimony under oath when you stated during your deposition in the case of Jones v. Clinton on January 17, 1998, that you did not know if Monica Lewinsky had been subpoenaed to testify in that case?
Answer Provided. The President contradicted his deposition testimony. In the answer to request No. 20 the President stated that he did know that Ms. Lewinsky had been subpoenaed.
Facts As Provided In Referral: In the deposition he stated that he did not know about the subpoena, and did not speak with anyone besides his attorneys regarding the subpoena. This question and answer demonstrates a direct contradiction. Thus, it demonstrates an intent to mislead either at the time of the deposition, or in answering the requests for admissions.
Question 24. Do you admit or deny that on or about December 28, 1997, you had a discussion with Monica Lewinsky at the White House regarding gifts you had given to Ms. Lewinsky that were subpoenaed in the case of Jones v. Clinton?
Answer Provided. The President stated that when Ms. Lewinsky inquired about the subpoena covering the gifts, he told her if subpoenaed she would have to turn over the gifts.
Facts As Provided In Referral: Ms. Lewinsky testified that she expressed her concern about the Jones case, and suggested that the gifts be put away. According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President responded that he would think about it or consider it. Thus, in the requests for admission the President states that he told her she would have to follow the law. The testimony of Ms. Lewinsky contradicts such assertions.
Question 26. Do you admit or deny that on or about December 28, 1997, you discussed with Betty Currie gifts previously given by you to Monica Lewinsky?
Answer. The President responded that he did not recall any conversation with Ms. Currie regarding the gifts. Further, he answered that he did not instruct Ms. Currie to retrieve the gifts.
Facts As Provided In Referral: According to Ms. Lewinsky's testimony, Betty Currie called her on the telephone and stated that she understood Ms. Lewinsky had something to give her. Phone record indicate that Ms. Currie initiated the phone call. Thus, the evidence shows that the President was attempting to avert the whole truth and nothing but the truth as to this question.
Question 27. Do you admit or deny that on or about December 28, 1998, you requested, instructed, suggested to or otherwise discussed with Betty Currie that she take possession of gifts previously given to Monica Lewinsky by you?
Answer. The President responded that he could not recall an such conversation. He further stated that he did not instruct Ms. Currie to take possession of the gifts. The evidence as to these matters is discussed in regard to Question 26, supra.
Question 34. Do you admit or deny that you had knowledge that any facts or assertions contained in the affidavit executed by Monica Lewinsky on January 7, 1998, in the case Jones v. Clinton were not true?
Answer. As to paragraph 8 pertaining to sexual relations, the President maintained that his deposition answer attesting to Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit was true. In paragraph 8 of Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit she stated that she had not engaged in sexual relations. In the deposition the President affirmed the truthfulness of Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit. In the request for admission answer the President persists in stating that he was truthful because he understood her interpretation of sexual relations to only include sexual intercourse. Such a response is yet another attempt to evade the truth and mislead the Committee.
Question 42. Do you admit or deny that when asked on January 17, 1998, in your deposition in the case of Jones v. Clinton if you had ever given gifts to Monica Lewinsky, you stated that you did not recall, even though you actually had knowledge of giving her gifts in addition to gifts from the “Black Dog?”
Answer. The President stated that his response at the deposition was “I don't recall. Do you know what they were?” The President maintains that by responding in such a manner he did not mean that he could not remember giving her gifts, only that he could not remember what they were.
Facts As Provided In Referral: The evidence shows that only three weeks earlier the President and Ms. Lewinsky had a discussion about the hat pin which was under subpoena. The evidence further shows that both parties expressed concern about that particular gift under subpoena. The President's lawyer, Mr. Ruff, vouched that the President has an impeccable memory. Given that the discussion of gifts was only three weeks earlier, it is highly unlikely that the President could not remember the hat pin in particular. The President's answers were therefore evasive and less than truthful.