Transcripts from video deposition of Lewinsky, Jordan, and Blumenthal
MR. GRAHAM: I'm assuming, yes, Senator, that the grand jury testimony of Mr. Blumenthal is part of the Senate record. And on June 25th, 1998, on page 21, there's a discussion between Mr. Blumenthal and the Independent Counsel's Office about strategy meetings and other women, and in that testimony, he mentions that "we discussed Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, in our strategy meeting."
And I think the question will not be as ominous as some may think it sounds. I think I can get right to the point pretty quickly about what I'm trying to do with--
SENATOR SPECTER: Well, would you make an offer of proof so that we can see what the scope is that you have in mind?
MR. GRAHAM: Basically, his testimony is that when a press report came about concerning Ms. Jones or Kathleen Willey or a relationship between the President and another woman, they sat down and strategized about how to respond to those press accounts, what to do and what to say--at least that's what his testimony indicates. And I just want to ask him, once the January 21st story about Ms. Lewinsky came out, how they discussed her in relationship to other strategy meetings.
SENATOR SPECTER: Mr. Breuer, how would you respond to Congressman Graham's statement that as he refers to a reference to Ms. Willey in the record?
MR. BREUER: Senator, I haven't seen the one reference, but I may--I would acknowledge that there may be one passing reference to Ms. Willey in the voluminous materials that are before us here in the grand jury, Senator. But it's clearly not germane to this deposition. It's clearly not germane to the proffer made by the Managers about why Mr. Sidney Blumenthal was a witness. It is clearly not germane to the Articles of Impeachment.
And, indeed, in Mr. Lindsey Graham's proffer just now, he said that he wants to go back and ask about the January 21 conversation. It's my view that Kathleen Willey is tangential, at best, and is not germane to this deposition and ought not to be inquired into.
SENATOR EDWARDS: And, Senator Specter, I would ask that we go off the record for this discussion, given the question of whether this is within the scope of the Senate record.
SENATOR SPECTER: We shall go off the record.
THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We're going off the record at 10:20 a.m. [Discussion off the record.]
THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We're going back on the record at 10:48 a.m.
SENATOR SPECTER: Congressman Lindsey, you may proceed.
MR. GRAHAM: Thank you, sir.
BY MR. GRAHAM:
Q. Thank you for your patience, Mr. Blumenthal. I appreciate it.
A. Thank you.
Q. Let's get back to the--we'll approach this topic another way and we'll try to tie it up at the end here.
The January 21st article breaks, and I think it's in The Washington Post, is that correct, the January 21st article about Ms. Lewinsky being on tape, talking about her relationship with the President? Are you familiar with that article?
A. I'm familiar with an article on January 21st in The Washington Post.
Q. And what--what was the essence of that article, as you remember it?
A. If you have it there, I'd be happy to look at it.
Q. Yeah. Let's see if we can find it, what tab that is. Tab 7. [Witness perusing document.]
THE WITNESS: Well--
BY MR. GRAHAM:
Q. If you'd like a chance to read it over, just take your time.
A. Yes. Thank you. [Witness perusing document.]
THE WITNESS: It's a long article.
BY MR. GRAHAM:
Q. Yes, sir, it is, and just--
Q. --just take your time. I'm not going to give you a test on the article. I just wanted--
A. No. I just wanted to read it.
Q. --to refresh your memory. Absolutely, you take your time.
A. I hope you don't mind if I took the time here.
Q. No, sir. Are you--you're okay now?
A. I am.
Q. Okay. In essence, what this article is--is alleging is what we now know, the allegations that Ms. Lewinsky had a relationship with the President, that Mr. Jordan was trying to help her secure counsel, to file an affidavit saying they had no relationship, and the relationship on January 21st was being exposed through some tape recordings, supposedly, the Independent Counsel had access to between Ms. Lewinsky and Ms. Tripp. Is that correct?
A. Well, there are a lot of questions in there.
Q. Okay, yeah, and I'm sorry. This article seems to suggest that Ms. Lewinsky is telling a friend--
Q. --that she has a relationship with the President, a sexual relationship with the President.
Q. You understand that from the article?
Q. This article also alleges that an affidavit was filed by Ms. Lewinsky denying that relationship, and Mr. Jordan sought an attorney for her, a friend of the President. Is that correct?
A. It says she filed an affidavit, and I'm just looking for where it says that Jordan had secured the attorney.
Q. The very first paragraph, let me read it. "The Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr has expanded his investigation of President Clinton to examine whether Clinton and his close friend, Vernon Jordan, encouraged a 24-year- old"--
Q. --"former White House intern to lie to lawyers for Paula Jones about whether the intern had an affair with the President, sources close to the investigation said yesterday."
Q. So I guess that first paragraph kind of sums up the accusation.
A. I think--
Q. What type reaction did the White House have when this-- as you recall--when this article came to light?
A. I--I think the White House was overwhelmed with press inquiries.
Q. Was there a sense of alarm that this was a bad story?
Q. And wasn't there a sense of reassurance by the President himself that this was an untrue story?
A. The President did make a public statement that afternoon.
Q. And I believe White House officials on his behalf denied the essence of this story; is that correct?
Q. And basically, you were passing along what somebody you trust and admire told you to be the case, and from the White House point of view, that was the response to this story, that we deny these allegations.
MR. McDANIEL: Senator, I really object to the question where we mix "you" and "we" and the "White House." I'd like, if possible, for the question--if they want to know what Mr. Blumenthal did, to ask him what he did, and questions about what the White House did and what we and you did.
MR. GRAHAM: That's fair enough.
MR. McDANIEL: Okay, we thank you.
SENATOR SPECTER: We think that's well-founded.
MR. GRAHAM: Yes, and I agree. I agree that is well-founded.
BY MR. GRAHAM:
Q. Did you have any discussions with White House press people about the nature of this relationship after this article broke?
Q. Did you have any discussions with White House lawyers after this article broke about the nature of the relationship?
Q. After you had the conversation with the President, sometime the week of the 21st--I believe that's your testimony--shortly after the news story broke, this 30-minute conversation where he tells you about--
A. There's not a question.
Q. Okay. Is that correct? When did you have this conversation with the President? Do you recall?
A. Yes. It was in the early evening of January 21st.
Q. Early evening of January 21st?
Q. The same day the story was reported?
Q. Okay. So, from your point of view, this was something that needed to be addressed?
MR. McDANIEL: Your Honor, I--Senator, I object to the question about "this" is something that needs to be addressed. I don't understand what the "this" is, exactly, that the question refers to. Does it refer to the story? Does it refer to the President's statement to Mr. Blumenthal?
SENATOR SPECTER: Well, we think--Senator Edwards and I concur that the witness can answer the question. If he does not understand it, he can say so and then can have the question rephrased.
BY MR. GRAHAM:
Q. You have a conversation with the President on the same day the article comes out, and the conversation includes a discussion about the relationship between him and Ms. Lewinsky. Is that correct?
Q. Okay. So it was certainly on people's minds, including the President, is that correct, the essence of this story?
MR. McDANIEL: I object to the question about whether it's on people's minds. I think he can answer about what he knew or about what he learned from people who spoke to him, but the question goes far beyond that.
BY MR. GRAHAM:
Q. Well, let me ask you this. We know it was on the President's mind.
SENATOR SPECTER: Senator Edwards and I think that, technically, that's correct, and perhaps you can avoid it by just pinpointing it just a little more.
MR. GRAHAM: Yes. We'll try to be laser-like in these questions.
BY MR. GRAHAM:
Q. You had a conversation with the President of the United States about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky on the same day The Washington Post article came out. That's correct? Yes or no?
A. That--I--I--that's right.
Q. Okay. During that period of time, that day or any day thereafter, were you involved in any meeting with White House lawyers or press people where the conversation--or where the topic of Ms. Lewinsky's allegations or the--Ken Starr's allegations about Ms. Lewinsky came up?
Friday, February 5, 1999
Transcript highlights from the witness depositions
Bipartisan group moves to open Senate deliberations
Straw poll focuses attention on potential women candidates
Secret Service concerned over Chelsea Clinton cover story
GOP told to develop post-impeachment message
Starr lawyers discuss impeachment
President to establish race relations office
Is Chelsea Clinton a valid journalistic subject?