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Keeping Score In the Lewinsky Matter

What do we know, and how do we know it, in the Monica Lewinsky matter?

Updated: 01-31-98

"Gossip, innuendo and hearsay are being passed off as fact. Allegations by unnamed sources are claimed to be credible."

-- Bob Bennett, Bill Clinton's personal attorney

The story of the alleged affair between President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky exploded with a torrent of information -- facts, unproven statements and outrageous rumors.

Here's a guide to help you discern fact from fiction, as well as what falls somewhere in between, and judge for yourself the credibility of some of the information that has surfaced since news of the alleged affair broke.

In evaluating the veracity of reports and allegations, journalists consider the sources: how they got the information, whether they have a motive for passing it on and whether they have been reliable in the past. And that's what we've attempted to do here.

FACTS

What we know

After starting at the White House in June 1995 as an unpaid intern, Lewinsky moved to a paid White House position handling mail, then went to the Pentagon in April 1996. She left her job with the Pentagon in December 1997.

----- Clinton/Lewinsky hug

Linda Tripp, a former White House staffer, taped more than 20 hours of conversations with Lewinsky, who claimed on tape to have had an affair with the president and suggested that the president and Vernon Jordan, his friend and advisor, encouraged her to lie about it.

-----

The team led by Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr wired Tripp, questioned Lewinsky about her statements on the tape, and attempted to get her to cooperate with their investigation.

-----

Starr asked Attorney General Janet Reno to ask a three-judge panel from the federal Court of Appeals to permit him to expand the scope of the investigation to examine allegations of perjury, subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice. Reno agreed, and the panel agreed.

-----
Tripp
Tripp  

Word of the taped allegations and investigation broke in newspapers on Jan. 21. Clinton denied the allegations. Jordan acknowledged he helped Lewinsky find a job and a lawyer but denied he told her to lie when she was questioned by Paula Jones' attorneys.

-----

The Washington, D.C., Whitewater grand jury convened to evaluate the most recent allegations.

------
Bennett
Bennett  

Clinton lawyer Bob Bennett requested that the Paula Jones suit be tried sooner rather than later.

-----

Attorneys for Lewinsky gave investigators an oral summary of what she would be willing to testify about in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

-------

Before moving to Washington, Lewinsky had an affair with Andy Bleiler, a former high school drama teacher. Bleiler agreed to turn over to prosecutors souvenirs, photographs and documents Lewinsky sent to him and his wife while Lewinsky was a White House intern.

----

Revlon cosmetics offered Lewinsky a public relations job at the recommendation of Vernon Jordan but later withdrew the offer.

-----

Judge Susan Webber Wright, presiding over the Paula Jones' lawsuit against the president, ruled Jan. 29 that Lewinsky is "not essential to the core issues" of the Jones case, and has ordered that all evidence related to Lewinsky be excluded from the Jones proceedings.

------
Richardson
Richardson  

U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson's office received a subpoena from Kenneth Starr asking for records relating to Lewinsky.

-----

REPORTS

What we believe to be true, as confirmed by reliable sources

In a sworn affidavit in the Paula Jones suit, Lewinsky denied she had a sexual relationship with the president.

-----
Lewinsky
Lewinsky  

Lewinsky met privately with the president at the White House in December after receiving a subpoena in the Paula Jones lawsuit.

--------

Officials pushed to have Lewinsky transferred from the White House because of an infatuation with the president.

------

During a deposition in the Paula Jones suit, Clinton denied any sexual relationship with Lewinsky.

-----
Starr
Starr  

FBI agents assigned to Starr served subpoenas on Pentagon workers, requesting all e-mail and other correspondence to or from Lewinsky and/or co-worker Linda Tripp. Agents also seized hard drives from computers used by Tripp and Lewinsky.

-----

President Clinton's personal secretary, Betty Currie, authorized access to the White House for Lewinsky.

-----

U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson offered Lewinsky a job based on a White House recommendation. She turned it down.

------

FBI agents are checking clothing taken from Lewinsky's apartment to see if there are any stains or other residue that might link her sexually to the president.

-----

ALLEGATIONS

Unconfirmed or in dispute, with sources of the information noted

Lewinsky said she had oral sex with the president in the White House and "telephone" sex late at night.

Source: Tripp-Lewinsky tapes, reviewed by Newsweek

------

While he was Arkansas governor, Clinton told his security people that oral sex was not adultery.

Source: The American Spectator, interviewing a former Arkansas state trooper

-----
Hillary Clinton
Mrs. Clinton in New York last week  

Charges of a sexual affair and cover-up by the president are part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Source: Hillary Clinton in a television interview

-----

The president acknowledged to his inner circle a "special" relationship with Lewinsky but denied a sexual relationship. The White House disputes the report.

Source: The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources

-----

Clinton frequently called Lewinsky and sent her flowers.

Source: Fellow White House interns citing claims by Lewinsky

-----

Lewinsky was known in the White House West Wing as "the stalker" for the way she shadowed Clinton as he went about his daily business.

Source: A White House official who did not work for the administration at the time Lewinsky served as an intern

-----

Clinton, according to Lewinsky, asked her to lie about an alleged affair if questioned by attorneys in the Jones case.

Source: Tripp-Lewinsky tapes, reviewed by Newsweek

-----
Jordan
Jordan  

According to Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan tried to convince her to lie about any sexual relationship that she had with the president.

Source: Tripp-Lewinsky tapes, reviewed by Newsweek. No specific reference made to Jordan, although those who have heard the tapes believe she is referring to him. Jordan denies the charge.

-----

Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr planned to "wire" Lewinsky in an attempt to tape conversations with Vernon Jordan and the president.

Source: unidentified sources. Starr has disputed the claim.

-----

Clinton made unwanted sexual advances toward White House staffer Kathleen Willey.

Source: Linda Tripp. Initially denied, but Willey reportedly confirmed the incident when deposed by Paula Jones' lawyers.

-----
Flowers
Flowers  

In the Jones case deposition, Clinton acknowledged he had a sexual relationship with Gennifer Flowers, who had long claimed they had a 12-year affair.

Source: unidentified sources

-----

Lewinsky is a "sex-obsessed" young woman who has a tendency for "twisting facts" to enhance her self-importance.

Source: Terry Giles, lawyer for Andy and Kathy Bleiler. Andy Bleiler had a five-year affair with Lewinsky.

-----

During a State of the Union address, Clinton wore a tie Lewinsky gave him.

Source: Lewinsky in casual conversation to reporters. Claim was disputed by Clinton contributor Walter Kaye, who said he gave Clinton the tie. Kaye helped Lewinsky land the White House internship.

-----

Hillary Rodham Clinton wants the Lewinsky case reassigned to lawyer and friend David Kendall. She thinks Bob Bennett should have settled the Paula Jones suit.

Source: unidentified sources

-----

According to Lewinsky, Clinton urged her to be evasive about their relationship when he met with her on Dec. 28 at the White House.

Source: The New York Times, citing unidentified sources.

-----

Linda Tripp claimed she overheard Monica Lewinsky talking on the phone with Clinton. The claim was contradicted by Lewinsky's attorney.

Source: Uncorroborated statement released by Linda Tripp to reporters

-----

Lewinsky gave Tripp a document labeled "talking points," ostensibly to guide Tripp in preparing for deposition in the Jones lawsuit.

Source: Tripp handed such a document over to prosecutors and also showed it to Newsweek. The document's origin is unclear.

-----

RETRACTED

Reporting that didn't hold up

A Secret Service agent saw Clinton and Lewinsky in a "compromising" encounter in the White House.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, citing a long-time Washington lawyer familiar with the case, though not a member of Starr's staff. Story later retracted by the newspaper.

In Other News

Saturday Jan. 31, 1998

Lewinsky's Lawyer: Tripp Wasn't Privy To Any Clinton Call
Keeping Score In the Lewinsky Matter
Clinton Plays Golf Near Presidential Retreat
Forbes Wins A Straw Poll
Ken Starr's Law Firm Subpoenaed By Clinton Lawyers
Goldberg Says She May Release Tapes Of Conversations With Tripp





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