Sources: Clinton Gave DNA Sample To Starr's Office
(Editor's Note: This story contains explicit language.)
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 19) -- The Office of Independent Counsel has received a sample of President Bill Clinton's DNA, sources told CNN Wednesday.
Presumably, the sample will be compared with samples taken from a dress Monica Lewinsky reportedly told investigators contained evidence of a physical relationship with the president. The FBI's crime laboratory has the garment.
In an address televised to the nation Monday night, Clinton acknowledged a relationship with Lewinsky that he said was "not appropriate."
Jim Kennedy, spokesman for the White House counsel's office, refused to confirm the reports.
"On Monday night, the president acknowledged an improper relationship and apologized," Kennedy said. "The president also said it's time to reclaim his privacy, and we're going to respect that and not comment on every leak that comes out of the investigation."
Republicans sharpen their attacks
As explicit new details of Clinton's historic grand jury testimony emerged Wednesday, the fallout from his admission of a sexual relationship with Lewinsky continued, and Republican leaders were sharpening their attacks on the president.
Majority Whip Tom DeLay became the highest ranking Republican yet to call for Clinton's resignation, saying Clinton had lied so much that the nation could no longer trust him.
Meanwhile, Independent Counsel Ken Starr is charging ahead with his investigation and plans to recall Lewinsky to the grand jury Thursday.
Lewinsky's second day of testimony follows the president's four hours of questioning Monday. CNN has learned that the subjects brought up by prosecutors with the president included the types of sex acts that occurred between Clinton and Lewinsky, her infamous stained dress and presidential accuser Kathleen Willey.
Ken Starr leaves the White House Monday
A highly reliable source with knowledge of Clinton's grand jury testimony told CNN the president was asked about the now famous blue dress that Lewinsky turned over to investigators, but the president was not given any information about FBI test results.
"He was asked a series of questions," said this source, "about the dress, the exact nature of his relationship with Lewinsky, the gifts," and also, "about Kathleen Willey." Willey is the White House volunteer who accused Clinton of groping her.
These questions were often met, the source said, with responses from Clinton that were "hostile and defiant."
In addition, according to the source, the "president was asked about a matter that was not public" and reacted in a "surprised and hostile" manner.
In response to a question, Clinton did acknowledge that Lewinsky performed oral sex on him, but he refused to say whether he performed any sexual acts on her, sources tell CNN.
The president and his lawyers regarded those questions as humiliating. Sources familiar with Lewinsky's testimony say she testified that they engaged in oral, manual and phone sex.
While the president did not acknowledge the specifics of his activities with Lewinsky in his speech to the American public on Monday night, he did describe his relationship as "not appropriate."
Presidential advisers tell CNN the president believes his grand jury testimony does not conflict with his January deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit.
In his Monday address to the nation, the president said his answers in the January deposition were "legally accurate." Sources familiar with the president's testimony say he and his attorneys believe the definition of sexual relations used in the January deposition did not cover oral sex performed on him.
A source familiar with the conversations Starr had with members of his staff following the president's testimony, described Starr as "unhappy" with the president's description of his relationship with Lewinsky as "not appropriate."
Starr was described as telling colleagues that he personally believes, the relationship with Lewinsky "is far worse" than Clinton's account in both his four-hour testimony and public statement and may issue a subpoena to the president.
But Clinton's attorneys said they are ready to fight any attempt to subpoena the president.
"If they want to fight, we'll fight," says one of the president's advisers. "But I honestly don't believe he [Starr] wants to push that one. I could be wrong."
The president himself "drew the line" on giving specifics.
The president's lawyers were surprised by how explicit Starr's prosecutors were in those questions. Clinton's attorneys had thought, incorrectly, that once the president conceded there was a sexual relationship, prosecutors would have been more restrained in their questions. That did not turn out to be the case.
The sources say there was no question the president directly confirmed he did engage in sex with Lewinsky, even though in his public statement he spoke only of a relationship that was "not appropriate."
DeLay (R-Texas) told CNN Wednesday, "I just think that, if the president wants to put this behind him, then he ought to do the honorable thing, and that is to resign."
Rep. Tom DeLay
"We're talking about something that's very dangerous, when the American people have lost the trust and respect of the president of the United States," DeLay said. "If he's lied on inhaling, on his draft record, on Gennifer Flowers, on Kathleen Willey, on Paula Jones, on other things, then how can he stand before the American people and the American people trust what he has to say."
His remarks echoed a theme sounded by House Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey who accused Clinton of bringing "shame" to the presidency and doing "immeasurable harm to the fabric of our national discourse" when he confessed to having an improper relationship with Lewinsky.
Armey said Clinton's remarks Monday were "a concession, not an apology, that appeared to be a cold calculation designed to protect himself..."
Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.), a potential presidential contender, also renewed his call for Clinton to resign.
"His speech Monday marked the effective end of the Clinton presidency," Ashcroft said. "Statements by both Republicans and Democrats make it increasingly clear that this president has lost his moral authority to govern."
Lawmaker reaction to Clinton's confession so far has fallen into three general groups:
Democrats, while condemning his conduct, said the nation should move on. Many in the Republican leadership, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and House Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde, said Congress should wait for Starr's report.
A number of potential Republican presidential candidates, including Dan Quayle, Steve Forbes and Ashcroft, all called on Clinton to quit.
Despite the increasing number of calls for resignation, White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said Wednesday said Clinton "has a significant amount of work that needs to be done for the American people and plans do it."
Clinton on Aug. 6, the day Lewinsky testified before the federal grand jury
At a briefing with reporters McCurry had a one word answer, "No!", when
asked if Clinton had considered resigning during the last two or three weeks. McCurry also denied the president's credibility had been harmed by the controversy.
Asked if the scandal has affected Clinton's role as commander in chief of the Armed Forces, McCurry again answered, "No."
McCurry said he was not aware of any phone calls to or from members of Congress to the president Wednesday.
Concerning the reports about the president wearing a tie given him by the former White House intern at an event in the Rose Garden the day she testified before the grand jury, McCurry declined to discuss it.
Asked how the American people can now know whether the president is
telling them the truth when he talks to them McCurry said, "He spoke to them
very directly and told them the truth."
The Clintons are on Martha's Vineyard and McCurry said the first family slept late Wednesday morning, had breakfast together, then went for a walk on the compound where they are spending their vacation.
McCurry says the Clintons was to go to Vernon Jordan's house on the island to celebrate the President's 52nd birthday Wednesday night. McCurry said only the two families would be there.
The press secretary would not say what birthday presents the president received, saying that was news for Thursday's briefing.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Bob Franken contributed to this report.