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around as Ms. Currie testified, by pointing to a cell phone record (billed at one minute) which reflects a phone call from Ms. Currie to Ms. Lewinsky's number at 3:32 p.m. on December 28th. Aside from the fact that this cell phone record (of a “rounded-up” oneminute phone call) proves absolutely nothing about the content of that conversation (or even whether a conversation actually occurred), the Majority fails to note that, according to Ms. Lewinsky's testimony, Ms. Currie came and picked up the gifts at 2:00 p.m. on that day. It seems obvious that a call at 3:32 p.m. was not the call to arrange a pick-up that occurred an hour-and-a-half earlier. The Majority, however, refuses to acknowledge any contradictions between Ms. Lewinsky's account and other evidence. 201
Ms. Lewinsky, of course, recalled that Ms. Currie initiated the conversation that resulted in the transfer of the gifts.202 In effect, this article of impeachment is based on an answer to an ambiguous leading question to a witness who acknowledges, as any truthful witness might, the possibility that she “might be wrong.”
Given the weight that the Independent Counsel attaches to Ms. Currie's supposed concession, it is surprising to find that the transcript of Ms. Currie's testimony does not support his characterization of what was said. The transcript reveals that when Currie spoke the words on which the OIC relies so heavily, she was not talking about who initiated the call to transfer the gifts, but apparently whether, after she picked the gifts up, she informed the President of that fact. The actual transcript reads as follows:
Q. What about the President's knowledge about Monica
A. I don't know.
A. Then she may remember better than I. I don't remember. 203 Read in its full context, in the entire transcript, this highly ambiguous line of questioning is best understood to be inquiring about the President's knowledge after the fact that the gifts had actually been transferred. Had the prosecutor been able to support his point directly, he would have relied on the answer to a question like: “Did the President know, in advance, that Monica intended to turn the gifts over to you?" Or, more appropriately, the answer to a question like "Did the President tell you to retrieve the gifts from Monica?” could have been cited in the Referral. The problem is that when those questions were asked, Ms. Currie made quite clear that Ms. Lewinsky initiated the transfer.204
In an attempt to bridge the gap between the answers it wanted and the ones Ms. Currie gave, the Referral makes a further unsupported suggestion: because Ms. Currie went to Ms. Lewinsky's apartment to pick up the gifts, she must have initiated the contact because "the person making the extra effort . . . is ordinarily the person requesting the favor." 205 Beyond its facial implausibility, the argument fails for a simple reason: there was no “extra effort" made; Ms. Lewinsky's apartment was directly along a convenient route that Ms. Currie could take to get home from work. Ms. Currie testified that she stopped at Ms. Lewinsky's apartment on her way home.206 Ms. Currie lives in Arlington, Virginia, and anyone familiar with the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area knows that the entrances to both Highways 66 and 50, which provide ready access to Ms. Currie's residence in Arlington, are both within blocks of Ms. Lewinsky's Watergate apartment. 207 This absence of "extra effort” demonstrates a repeated problem with the Referralwhen it confronts large gaps in the evidence, it fills the void with illogical and unsupported leaps. Such unsubstantiated assumptions should be no basis for an article of impeachment. 3. The President did not Assist Ms. Lewinsky in Obtaining a Job
201 Lewinsky 7/27/98 302 at 8. 202 Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 154. 203 Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 125–26.
204 Currie 1/27/98 GJ at 57–58; Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 105–06. The President similarly denied asking Currie to retrieve any gifts. Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 114-15.
in New York in Order to Influence her Testimony in the Jones
Case The Committee has approved an article of impeachment concerning the President's alleged attempts to find Ms. Lewinsky a job in New York at a time when she may have been a witness against him in the Jones case.208 The evidence, however, shows that the President's attempt to help Ms. Lewinsky find a job in New York had nothing to do with buying her silence or obstructing a legal proceeding.
The article alleges 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.” 209 This conclusion does not flow from the abundant evidence, which makes clear that Ms. Lewinsky's job search began long before she was identified as a witness in the Jones case. On April 5, 1996, Ms. Lewinsky's supervisor at the White House told her that she would need to leave her position in the Legislative Affairs office, and that a job at the Pentagon was available for her.210 Distraught, she met with the President two days later, and he allegedly promised that he would bring her back to the White House after the November elections.211 It was common knowledge at the White House that Ms. Lewinsky was transferred because she was deemed to spend too much time in the West Wing.
Ms. Currie, who had befriended Ms. Lewinsky, believed that Ms. Lewinsky had been “wronged” by her transfer.212 As a result, Ms. Currie took it upon herself to try to find Ms. Lewinsky another job at the White House. Ms. Currie contacted White House Deputy Director of Personnel Marsha Scott and asked Ms. Scott to meet with Ms. Lewinsky, but nothing came of the meeting. 213 When Novem
205 Referral at 170. 206 Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 108, 113. 207 Id. at 116. 208 Referral at 181. 209 Id. at 185. 210 Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 61. 211 Id. at 63. 212 Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 45. 213 Id. at 38.
ber passed and no White House job materialized, she began to complain to Ms. Currie and ask why the President didn't just order that she be returned.214 When it became clear that she would never receive another White House job, Ms. Lewinsky decided to move to New York City, where her mother had recently taken up residence. Ms. Lewinsky told the President on July 3, 1997, of her decision. 215
In October 1997, Ms. Currie contacted White House Deputy Chief of Staff John Podesta, with whom she had a longstanding friendship, to see whether he could assist Ms. Lewinsky in finding a job in New York.216 She did so after the President requested only that she do what she could to help Ms. Lewinsky.217 Some months earlier, in the summer or fall of 1997, White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, in response to a similar request from the President, also mentioned Ms. Lewinsky's name to Mr. Podesta and asked whether any jobs might be available for her at the White House.218 While efforts to find a White House job failed, Mr. Podesta succeeded in arranging an interview for Ms. Lewinsky with United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson. Ultimately, Mr. Richardson offered her a position that she declined.
These efforts to find Ms. Lewinsky a job started far too early to have anything to do with the Jones case. Moreover, the Majority repeatedly fails to acknowledge an innocent and highly plausible explanation for the President's actions: he wished to help the woman he was involved with, cared for, and felt guilty about hurting. Instead, the Majority relies on a concocted theory of obstruction without the facts to support it.
The OIC—and presumably the Majority-makes much of the assistance provided to Ms. Lewinsky by White House personnel. But Mr. Podesta made clear in his testimony before the grand jury that there was nothing unusual about these efforts.219 The Majority also relies heavily on the job-search assistance provided by Vernon Jordan. However, Ms. Lewinsky made clear in her testimony that she and not the President—first suggested enlisting Mr. Jordan's help.220 And, as it turns out, the idea for obtaining Mr. Jordan's assistance first arose in a conversation between Ms. Lewinsky and her former friend, Linda Tripp, when one of them-most likely Mrs. Tripp-suggested that Mr. Jordan might be able to help Lewinsky.221 In response to Ms. Lewinsky's request, the President suggested that she give him a list of New York jobs in which she might be interested.222 On her own, Ms. Currie also asked Mr. Jordan to assist Ms. Lewinsky.223 She and Mr. Jordan were old friends, and she was concerned because Ms. Lewinsky was "frantic” to find a job.224
214 Id. at 160. 215 Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 67–69. 216 Currie 1/24/98 OIC 302 at 4. 217 Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 170. 218 Bowles 4/2/98 GJ at 70. 219 Podesta 2/5/98 GJ at 27–29, 39, 41-42; Podesta 6/16/98 GJ at 22. 220 Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 103–04. 221 Id.; Lewinsky 8/20/98 GJ at 23; Lewinsky 7/27/98 OIC 302 at 5. 222 Lewinsky 8/6/98 GJ at 104. 223 Currie 5/6/98 GJ at 176. 224 Id. at 172.
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The President never asked Ms. Currie to seek Mr. Jordan's assistance and, although Ms. Currie kept the President advised of her efforts, she—and not the President—was the one actively trying to assist Ms. Lewinsky.225 Mr Jordan confirms that Ms. Lewinsky was referred to him by Ms. Currie, although he acknowledges that he, too, kept the President updated on his efforts.226 Mr. Jordan routinely tried to assist young people with their careers. 227 Indeed, Mr. Jordan recalled another occasion on which he telephoned Ron Perelman, Chairman of the Board of McAndrews & Forbes Holding Incorporated (the parent company of Revlon, which eventually offered Lewinsky an entry-level position), on behalf of a young lawyer who worked at Mr. Jordan's law firm.228
Mr. Jordan also testified, and both Ms. Lewinsky and the President confirmed, that neither told him of their relationship.229 After her initial meeting with Mr. Jordan in early November 1997, Ms. Lewinsky complained that he was not doing anything to help her find work.230 Indeed, Ms. Lewinsky contacted Ms. Currie and asked her to speak with Mr. Jordan about why there had been no movement on the job front.231 Mr. Jordan's conduct is wholly inconsistent with the allegation that he was trying to silence a potentially damaging witness. Mr. Jordan did not exert any pressure on his private sector contacts regarding a job for Ms. Lewinsky 232
The Referral unfairly minimizes the job-search efforts of White House personnel that preceded Ms. Lewinsky's December 5 appearance on the witness list in the Jones case, and unfairly emphasizes the efforts following that date. A review of the entire record sent to Congress makes clear that efforts to help Ms. Lewinsky began as soon as she was transferred to the Pentagon. In context, the evidence demonstrates that the President himself did little to assist Ms. Lewinsky, and that the efforts he undertook were motivated by a desire to help a person with whom he had been intimate. Indeed, as the President testified, if he had really felt obligated to get her a job, he certainly could have accomplished it.233 The President also testified that he knew that sooner or later his inappropriate contacts with Ms. Lewinsky would become public knowledge. 234 And still he did not get her a job at the White House. Moreover, the President has connections in New York that he never used to get Ms. Lewinsky a job there.235
With respect to Ms. Currie, who took a more active role in assisting Ms. Lewinsky, the evidence indicates that she was motivated by a belief that Ms. Lewinsky had been unfairly transferred from her White House position. Finally, the record makes abundantly clear that Mr. Jordan became involved after Ms. Tripp suggested and Ms. Lewinsky concluded that Ms. Lewinsky should ask for Mr. Jordan's assistance.
225 Id. at 176, 179.
232 Fairbarn 1/29/98 302 at 1; Halperin 3/27/98 302 at 2.
233 The President said that he did not order Ms. Lewinsky to be hired at the White House. "I could have done so. I wouldn't do it. She tried for months to get in. She was angry." Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 123.
234 Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 135.
For her part, Ms. Lewinsky told the grand jury and the Independent Counsel's investigators that "[no one ever asked me to lie and I was never promised a job for my silence.” 236 It also bears emphasis that Ms. Lewinsky's grand jury testimony on this key point was elicited not by one of the Independent Counsel's prosecutors, but by a grand juror who asked, “Monica, is there anything that you would like to add to your prior testimony[?]' 237 The OIC's failure to elicit that crucial piece of exculpatory testimony is important for Committee members to consider in determining the overall credibility of the investigation and the scope of their own review. 4. The President Did Not Commit an Impeachable Offense When
His Counsel Characterized Ms. Lewinsky's Affidavit to the Pre
siding Judge During the Jones Deposition This subparagraph is indistinguishable from the allegation contained in subparagraph 3 of Article I. The Minority views on why these allegations do not establish an impeachable offense are fully set forth, supra. 5. The President Did Not Relate to Ms. Currie A False And Mislead
ing Account of Events Relevant to the Jones Suit With an Intent
to Influence Her Testimony In Any Legal Proceeding It is undisputed that the President met with Ms. Currie at the White House the day after his deposition in the Jones case. Ms. Currie testified that she and the President also spoke a few days after the deposition-but before the fact of the OIC's grand jury investigation was revealed—about the President's contacts with Ms. Lewinsky.238 Majority counsel has argued to the Committee that “Ms. Currie was a prospective witness” in the Jones case at the time the President spoke to her, and that by referring to Ms. Currie during his deposition, the President indicated that he "clearly wanted her to be deposed as a witness" in the case.239 The Majority's allegations find no basis in the record, and are a transparent effort to cast perfectly understandable and lawful conduct in the most sinister light possible.240
The simple truth is that the President's actions did not obstruct justice because Ms. Currie was not a witness in any proceeding when they spoke, and the President had no expectation that she would be 241 Even Mr. Starr acknowledged during his appearance before the Committee that "[t]he evidence is not that she was on a witness list, and we have never said that she was.” 242 Nor is it persuasive for the Majority to argue that the President's deposition
236 Lewinsky 8/20/98 GJ at 105; Lewinsky 7/27/98 OIC 302 at 10.
240 It is worth noting that at least one court has concluded that an obstruction of justice charge cannot be predicated on conduct arising in the context of a civil lawsuit. Richmark Corp. v. Timber Falling Consultants, 730 F.Supp. 1525 (D. Or. 1990).
241 Under federal law, an obstruction of justice charge does not lie unless the defendant knew the witness in question to be involved in a legal proceeding. 2 Leonard B. Sand, John S. Siffert, Walter P. Loughlin, and Steven A. Reiss, Modern Federal Jury Instructions I 46.01 at 46–14 (1997).
242 11/19/98 Tr. at 192.