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Transcript: Senate votes on handling of deposition videotapes
February 4, 1999
February 4, 1999
CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST: The Senate will convene as a court of impeachment. The chaplain will offer a prayer.
CHAPLAIN OGILVIE: Gracious God, these days here in the Senate are filled with crucial issues, differences on solutions, and eventually a vital vote in this impeachment trial.
We begin this day's session with a question that you asked King Solomon, ask what shall I give you? We empathize with Solomon's response. He asked for an understanding heart. We are moved by the more precise translation of the Hebrew words for understanding heart, meaning a hearing heart.
Solomon wanted to hear a word from you, Lord, for the perplexities that he faced. He longed for the gift of wisdom so that he could have answers and directions for his people.
We are moved by your response. "See, I have given you a wise and listening heart." I pray for nothing less as your answer for the women and men of this Senate. Help them to listen to your guidance, and grant them wisdom for their decisions.
All through our history as a nation, you have made good men and women great when they humbled themselves, confessed their need for your wisdom and listened intently to you.
OGILVIE: Speak, Lord, we need to hear your voice. We are listening. Amen.
REHNQUIST: The senators will be seated. The sergeant at arms will make the proclamation.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, all persons are commanded to keep silent on pain of imprisonment while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against William Jefferson Clinton, president of the United States.
REHNQUIST: If there's no objection, the journal of proceedings of the trial are approved to date.
The majority leader is recognized.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER LOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
If I could take just a moment to outline how the proceedings will go this afternoon, I think that would answer any questions that senators may have. We will, of course, continue the consideration of articles of impeachment. I'm not aware of any objections made during the depositions which would require motions to resolve.
Therefore, I believe the House managers are prepared to go forward with a motion that would have three parts. The first would allow for the introduction of the depositions into evidence. The second would call Monica Lewinsky as a witness. And the third part would allow for a presentation period by the parties for not to extend six hours. This motion would be debated by the House managers and the White House counsel for not to exceed two hours.
In addition, it's my understanding that Senator Daschle intends to offer a motion that would provide for going directly to the articles of impeachment for a vote.
SENATE MINORITY LEADER DASCHLE: Would the majority leader ...
LOTT: I'd be glad to yield to Senator Daschle.
DASCHLE: The motion will allow for closing arguments, final deliberations and then the motions on the two articles.
LOTT: Having said that, Mr. Chief Justice, in order the managers to prepare a debate for the motions, I ask unanimous consent that the House managers and the White House counsel be allowed to make reference to oral depositions during their debate on pending motions.
REHNQUIST: Is there any objection? In the absence of objection, it's so ordered.
LOTT: Consequently, four votes then would occur in the 4 p.m. timeframe today with respect to these four motions. We will take at least one break, maybe two between now and then and that will determine exactly when that series of votes would occur.
And once we begin the process of offering and debating the motions, you know, we'll make a determination as exactly when those breaks would occur. In addition, if the motion for addition presentation time is agreed to by the Senate, it would be my intention to adjourn the trial after today's deliberations over until Saturday for the parties to make their preparations, then to present their presentation of evidence on Saturday.
LOTT: The trial would then resume on Monday at 12 noon for the closing arguments of the parties.
Again, I would remind all my colleagues to please remain standing at their desks when the chief justice enters the chamber and leaves the chamber.
I thank my colleagues for their attention and I believe we're ready to proceed, Mr. Chief Justice.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager McCollum.
REP. MCCOLLUM: Mr. Chief Justice, I have a motion to be delivered to the Senate.
REHNQUIST: The clerk will read the motion.
CLERK: "Motion of the United States House of Representatives for the admission of evidence, the appearance of witnesses and the presentation of evidence.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Now comes the United States House of Representatives by and through its duly authorized managers and respectfully submits to the United States Senate its motion for the admission of evidence, the appearance of witnesses and the presentation of evidence in connection with the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton, president of the United States.
The House moves that the transcriptions and videotapes of the oral depositions taken pursuant to Senate Resolution 30, from the point that each witness is sworn to testify under oath to the end of any direct response to the last question posed by a party, be admitted into evidence.
The House further moves that the Senate authorize and issue a subpoena for the appearance of Monica S. Lewinsky before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed eight hours. And in connection with the examination of that witness, the House requests that either party be able to examine the witness as if that witness were declared adverse. That counsel for the president and counsel for the House managers be able to participate in the examination of that witness and that the House be entitled to reserve a portion of its examination time to reexamine the witness following any examination by the president.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: The House further moves that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed a total of six hours, equally divided. All of portions of the parts of the video tapes of the oral depositions of Monica S. Lewinsky, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., and Sidney Blumenthal admitted into evidence. And that the House be entitled to reserve a portion of its' presentation time.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I understand that the pending motion is divisible. And as is my right, I ask that the motion be divided in the following manner. That paragraph -- the first paragraph be considered to be division one. The second paragraph be considered division two. The final paragraph to be considered division three.
REHNQUIST: The motion -- it will be divided in the manner indicated by the majority leader.
LOTT: I yield the floor.
DASCHLE: Mr. Chief Justice, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
REHNQUIST: The clerk will call the roll.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice?
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: I ask the consent that the quorum call be dispensed with.
REHNQUIST: Is there any objection?
LOTT: And ...
REHNQUIST: In the absence of objection, it (OFF-MIKE)
LOTT : ... Mr. Chief Justice, I identified this as the first paragraph to be considered division one. Actually, it should be the second paragraph would be division one, third paragraph division two, and the fourth paragraph would be division three. I want that clarification.
Also, so that both sides will understand, the motion -- there's one motion, but we've divided it into three parts. So there will only be two hours equally divided, one on each side; not two hours equally divided on each one of the three divisions.
We had one clarification, I believe we have cleared up, and I believe now we're ready to hear from the managers, Mr. Chief Justice.
REHNQUIST: Very well. The chair recognizes Mr. Manager McCollum.
MCCOLLUM: Mr. Chief Justice. As the first one up here today, I have to fiddle with the microphone I guess. It's sort of like testing and I apologize.
Mr. Chief Justice and members of the Senate, what we have presented to you today is a three part motion, as Mr. Lott has described it and as you heard read to you.
MCCOLLUM: We would like very much, as we always have, to have all of the witnesses presented here live as we would normally have in a trial, as the House has always believed that it should have.
We came before you a few days recognizing the reality of that and went forward with your procedures to request, not five, not six, not 12, but three witnesses be deposed so that we might be able to, in the discovery process you've allowed us, to gain the depositions of those three witnesses.
Today, we're before you with motions first, to enter those depositions and the video recordings of those depositions, into evidence formally for your consideration because they've now been accomplished.
Secondly, to request that you provide us with the opportunity to examine Monica Lewitness (ph) -- Lewinsky live here as a witness on the floor of the Senate and for you to allow us to present the other two depositions to you in some format.
MCCOLLUM: And if you do not allow us the permission to have Ms. Lewinsky live here to examine as a witness, to allow us to present any or all portions of the depositions of all three of them.
Now, I think that it's imminently fair that we be allowed to present at least one witness live to you, the central witness in the cast of this entire proceeding, and that's Monica Lewinsky. I'm not here to argue all of that, my principal discussion with you is going to be on the part dealing with just admitting these into evidence. And then my colleagues Mr. Bryant and Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Rogan are going to present some complementary discussion about the entire motion as we go through this.
But in the context of all of this, I think we have to recognize a couple of things. One is that live witnesses are preferable whether you have depositions or not. These were discovery depositions. We would have liked to have asked for all of them to be live, but we are recognizing reality by coming down to one today.
MCCOLLUM: And the reasons are fairly straightforward. Some of you have had the privilege, and I'm sure you've availed yourself of the opportunity to look at the videotapes of these depositions. And you see that they are indeed what most depositions are. They are discovery. They have long pauses in them. They're not at all like it would be in a trial itself. You don't have the opportunity to fully see or explore with a witness the demeanor, the temperament, the spontaneity, all of those things that you normally get with an exchange. You have the camera simply focused on the witness. You don't get to have the interaction you get in a courtroom.
And remember again, that we're dealing here first with your determining whether or not the president committed the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice, and then the question of whether or not he should be removed from office.
So I believe and we believe as House managers that you should at least let us have Monica Lewinsky here live for both of those reasons.
I also want to make comments specifically about just admitting these into evidence. There are two obvious reasons why, beyond the question of whether the witness, a witness should appear live, or whether we should use portions of them in whatever fashion to present to you, that they certainly should be part of the record.
MCCOLLUM: It seems self-evident. It is part of what you gave us as the procedure to do. And it would seem to me that it should be a mere formality for me to ask, but I cannot assume anything -- we certainly do not -- that we let these depositions into evidence.
And there are two reasons why. One is the historical basis for this. There has to be a record, not only for you, but for the public and for history, of the entire proceeding. There is evidence in these depositions that needs to be a part of the official record. And that evidence is not just the cold transcript, but is also the videotape, with all of -- the limited, albeit not satisfactory, portion of it that you can see and observe, especially if you were to conclude we weren't going to have any live witness here or were not going to allow us to present these depositions. You certainly should allow the depositions to be part of the record and the videotape part of it.
MCCOLLUM: It's evidence. It's to be examined. It seems self evident. But the second point is, as you're going to hear more from my colleagues in just a moment, there is new evidence in these depositions.
There's new factual record information that needs to be here for you to decide the guilt or innocence question on the perjury and obstruction of justice charges. One illustration I will give you, and I'm sure my colleagues will give you plenty more, one of them deals with the gift question.
We've talked about it a lot out here. Do you recall, with regard to the question of the gifts, the issue is did the president obstruct justice? Did he decide, in the Jones case -- in the Jones court, as a part of his course of conduct of trying to keep from the court the nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, to keep the gifts hidden?
There is new information in the deposition relative to what happened on the day those gifts were supposedly exchanged between Monica Lewinsky and Betty Currie about the telephone call.
MCCOLLUM: Again, I'm not going into the details of that. I'll leave that for my colleagues to do, who took the depositions and can tell you about them.
The point is, you could enumerate, and they will, new evidence. There is significant relevant new evidence from the Vernon Jordan deposition and from the Sidney Blumenthal deposition.
So just on the record alone, just to put the depositions into record, there can be nothing complete about this trial if we don't at least do that -- at least do that.
And so with that in mind, having said that and urged you to do that, I will yield to Mr. Bryant at this point in time, to Manager Bryant.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Bryant.
REP. BRYANT: Mr. Chief Justice, distinguished colleagues and senators, I would encourage each of you to consider calling Monica Lewinsky as the one live witnesses -- witness -- in this proceeding.
BRYANT: Ms. Lewinsky continues to be in her own way an impressive witness. As I spoke to you earlier, she does have a story to tell. After all, no one knows more about the majority of the allegations against the president -- other than, of course, the president himself.
At her deposition, she appeared to be a different Monica Lewinsky than the Monica Lewinsky with whom I had met a week earlier. Unlike before, she was not open to discussion or fully responsive to fair inquiry. She didn't volunteer her story. She didn't tell her story. Rather, she was in a -- very guarded in each response and almost protective. Her words were carefully chosen and relatively few.
At times, the concepts that she discussed had the familiar ring of another key witness to these proceedings, such as: it wasn't a lie or wasn't false, it was misleading or incomplete; truth is what one believes it is and may be different for different people; truth depends on the circumstances.
As we progressed through her deposition Monday, I felt more and more like one of the characters in the classic movie "Witness for the Prosecution."
BRYANT: I was Charles Laughton. Ms. Lewinsky was Marlene Dietrich. And the president was Tyrone Power. And if you're familiar with this movie, you'll understand. And if you aren't, you should see the movie.
However, there was and there still remains truth in her testimony. Sometimes though, just like the president and now Ms. Lewinsky, it is the literal truth only -- the most restricted and stretched definition one can reach. And we all know that the law frowns upon the manipulations such as this to avoid telling the complete truth.
Two, her testimony is clearly tinted and some might even say tainted by a mixture of her continued admiration for the president; her desire to protect him; and her own personal views of right and wrong.
BRYANT: And she was well represented in the deposition by some of Washington's finest defense attorneys who had thoroughly prepared her for all questions, as they should have, as well as being present throughout the deposition to assist her.
In fact, the senator in charge of this particular deposition had to worn these counsel not to coach and not to whisper to her while she was attempting to answer the questions.
If you've seen this deposition, you've witnessed an effective effort by a loyal supporter of the president to provide the very minimum of truth in order to be consistent with her own grand jury testimony, which is legally necessary for her to fulfill the terms of her immunity agreement.
On the perjury article of impeachment, she reaffirmed the specific facts which happened between her and the president on more than one occasion, including November 15, 1995, their first encounter when the president's conduct fit squarely within the four corners of the term sexual relationship as defined in the Jones lawsuit.
And this is opposition to the president's own sworn testimony of denial. But this is one of the clearest examples of the president's guilt of this charge of perjury.
Now, it's not about this twisted definition that the president assigned to the term "sexual relations."
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BRYANT: Rather it's his word against her word as to whether this specific conduct occurred.
Even under his own reading of this definition, he agrees that that specific conduct, if it occurred, would make him guilty of sexual relations within that definition. But he simply says, I did not do that. She says, you did do that. A he said/she said case.
But this is why it's important for you to be able to see Ms. Lewinsky in person. In the deposition you will observer her as having to affirm her prior testimony. She had to affirm her prior testimony, because that was what was in the grand jury.
And because of this, she could not back away at all on her testimony, and she couldn't bend it here or there and she couldn't shade it in the president's favor. So what you have is a person whom you may well conclude is still wanting to help the president, having to admit to testimony that would do damage to the president -- a very difficult situation for her. But yet this same difficulty lends this portion of her testimony great credibility.
BRYANT: With respect to the other article of impeachment on obstruction of justice, her credibility is again bolstered by her reluctance to do legal harm to this president.
In the end, though, she does admit that he called her early one morning in December of 1997, actually at 2:00 in the morning, and told her that she was on the witness list, and he told her that she might be able to file an affidavit to avoid testifying. And he told her that she could always use the story that he was -- she was bringing papers to him or coming up to see Ms. Currie.
Now, we know that she did not carry papers to him on these visits other than personal, private notes from her to him. And Ms. Lewinsky indicated in the deposition that she didn't carry him official papers, although she did pass along this cover story of carrying papers to her attorney Mr. Carter.
She testified also that she discussed the draft affidavit with Mr. Jordan; the changes were made.
BRYANT: She offered the president the opportunity to review it. He declined. And according to Ms. Lewinsky, he never suggested any way that she could file a truthful affidavit sufficient to skirt -- avoid having to testify -- this in spite of his answer to this Senate, where he told you that he might have had a way for her to file a truthful affidavit and still avoid testifying in the Jones case.
Yes, you can parse the words and you can use legal gymnastics, but you cannot get around the filing of the false affidavit in an effort to avoid appearing in the Jones case and possibly providing damaging testimony against the president.
Ms. Lewinsky confirmed positively that Ms. Currie initiated the telephone call to her on December the 28th, 1997, stating words, and this is about the gift -- the gifts: "I understand you have something for me."
BRYANT: Then Ms. Currie drove over to Ms. Lewinsky's home and picked up the box of gifts.
Now remember, this occurred on the heels of Ms. Lewinsky's conversation with the president that very morning about what she might do with the gifts. Now the only -- the only explanation that the president -- is that the president is directly involved himself in the obstruction of justice by telling Ms. Currie, who otherwise knew nothing about this earlier conversation, to retrieve these items from Ms. Currie -- from Ms. Lewinsky.
Now Ms. Lewinsky said there was no doubt that Ms. Currie initiated the call to retrieve the gifts. And also recall that the president's testimony from his side was that this conversation occurred earlier in the day with Ms. Lewinsky but that he had told her that she would have to turn over whatsoever -- whatever gifts that she had.
Now, with that advice from the president, it would be totally illogical for Ms. Lewinsky to have then called Ms. Currie that same day and ask her to come pick up and hold these gifts. By calling Ms. Currie, Ms. Lewinsky would have been going against the direct instruction of the president to surrender any and all gifts.
BRYANT: The fact, the logic and common sense tell us all that the president's version is not true, and that he obstructed justice here.
Ms. Lewinsky also testified at the deposition about the job at Revlon and obtaining a job offer within two days of signing the affidavit. She also denied that she was a stalker, as the president had described her in a conversation with Mr. Blumenthal in January of 1998.
She also denied that she threatened the president or attempted to threaten the president into having an affair. She denied that he rebuffed her on the occasion of their first encounter on November 15, 1995.
Again, all false statements that the president made to Mr. Blumenthal about her with knowledge that Mr. Blumenthal would be testifying in a grand jury, thereby obstructing justice.
BRYANT: Now the former lawyers and judges among us are familiar with what is called the best evidence rule. Stated simply, the court always prefers the best available evidence to be used. In-person testimony is better than a video deposition, which itself is better than the written transcript of a deposition.
When all three forms of testimony are available, as they are in this situation, the court will most often require the witness to testify in person, over the video deposition or over the written transcript of the deposition.
In closing, I know we all want to work within the Senate rules and we all want to ensure that these proceedings are concluded in a constitutional fashion by the end of next week.
BRYANT: It is with this in mind that we propose that Ms. Lewinsky be called as a live witness, the only person called to testify in person; and further, that we use the two depositions, the video depositions of Mr. Jordan and Mr. Blumenthal, in lieu of their personal attendance.
In the event the Senate does not call Ms. Lewinsky, we also ask that we be permitted to use all or portions of her deposition just as we would the other two depositions.
And finally, several senators have sent out a letter to the president inviting him to come here and to provide his testimony if he so chooses. In the event he should accept, Ms. Lewinsky likewise should be afforded the same opportunity. They continue to be the two most important and essential witnesses for you and the American people to hear in order to finally -- to finally -- resolve this matter.
BRYANT: Permit us all to return to our districts, and you to your states, and tell our constituents that we considered the full and the complete case, including live witnesses, and in your case, made your votes accordingly.
At this time I would yield to my colleague from Arkansas, Mr. Hutchinson.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, in an effort to be helpful I've asked the pages to distribute to you some exhibits that I'll be referring to as I consider the testimony that we are presenting to you.
There's two aspects to an impeachment trial. There's the truth- seeking responsibility, which is the trial, in my judgment, and then there is the conclusion: The judgment, the verdict, the conviction or the acquittal. And if you look at those two phases of a trial, the latter is totally your responsibility. We leave that completely in your judgment.
HUTCHINSON: And if you look at those two pages of the trial, the latter is totally your responsibility. We leave that completely in your judgment.
But the first responsibility of the fact finding -- of the truth seeking endeavor -- I feel some responsibility in that regard, and that's -- hopefully our presentation is helpful in seeking the truth.
And I know, as Mr. Bryant mentioned, that we all want to bring this matter to a conclusion. We want to see the end of the story. We want to have a final chapter in this national drama.
And I understand that and agree with that, but let's not, because we're in a hurry to get to the judgment phase, let's not let that detract, let's not let that shortchange nor diminish the importance of the presentation and consideration of the facts.
And that's what, I think, is very important as we consider this motion that's before us.
Now, it's my responsibility to talk about Mr. Vernon Jordan and the need for your consideration of his testimony that we have simply -- we have recently deposed.
REP. HUTCHINSON: I deposed Mr. Vernon Jordan, Jr. and I would recommend that that be received into evidence as part of the Senate record. I took this deposition under the able guidance of Senator Thompson and Senator Dodd. The questioning took place over almost three hours, with numerous and extraneous objections on behalf of the president's lawyers, most of which were resolved.
I believe that the testimony of Mr. Jordan goes to the key element in the obstruction of justice article. And even though it's just one element that we're dealing with, it is a very important element because it goes to the connection between the job search, the benefit provided to a witness, and the solicited false testimony from that witness.
HUTCHINSON: I believe the testimony of Mr. Jordan is dramatic in that it shows the control and direction of the president of the United States in the effort to obstruct justice.
I believe the testimony of Mr. Jordan provides new evidence supporting the charges of obstruction and verifying the credibility of Ms. Lewinsky.
The testimony, in addition, is the most clear discussion of the facts reflecting Mr. Jordan's actions in behalf of the president, and the president's direction and control of the activities of Mr. Jordan, and therefore they support the allegations under the articles of impeachment.
Now let me make the case for you. If you have the president of the United States personally directing the effort to obtain a job for Ms. Lewinsky, which is a benefit to a witness, and simultaneously, Ms. Lewinsky is under subpoena as witness in the case; and thirdly, in addition, the president is suggesting means to that witness to avoid truthful testimony, as evidenced by the December 17 conversation and the suggestion of the affidavit, then the collusion that you have a corrupt attempt to impede the administration of justice and the seeking of truth and the facts in a civil rights case.
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HUTCHINSON: Now, let me go to the testimony of Mr. Jordan. And has that been distributed now? Good.
And let me give a caveat here, particularly to my colleagues, the counselors for the president, that this summary of the portions of the testimony of Mr. Jordan are based upon my handwritten notes, and so please don't blow it up in a chart if there is some discrepancy. I believe this is in good faith, accurate, but I do not have a copy of the transcript.
HUTCHINSON: I was required to go to a Senate chamber and actually take notes in order to prepare this.
But there's a number of areas that I think are relevant and are new information and are very important for your consideration, but let me just touch upon five areas.
The first one is the job search and Mr. Jordan being an agent of the president. And in the deposition, Mr. Jordan testified that there is no question but that through Betty Currie, I was acting on behalf of the president to get Ms. Lewinsky a job.
He goes on to say, I interpreted the request -- referring from Betty Currie -- as a request from the president.
And then he testified that there was no question that he asked me to help -- referring to the president. And that he asked others to help, and I think that is clear from everybody's grand jury testimony.
And so, the question as to whether the information and the request came from Betty Currie, or whether it came directly from the president, there is no question but that Mr. Jordan was acting at the request of the president of the United States and no one else.
HUTCHINSON: In fact, he goes on to say that the fact is, "I was running the job search, not Ms. Lewinsky. And therefore, the companies that she brought or listed were not of interest to me. I knew where I would need to call."
And this is very important. There's been reference, well, he was simply getting a job referral; making a referral for routine employment interview by this person, Ms. Lewinsky. But in fact, it's clear that Mr. Jordan knew who he wanted to contact. He was running the job search as he testified to.
And then he testified, question: You're acting on behalf of the president when you are trying to get Ms. Lewinsky a job and you were in control of the job search?
The answer is yes.
And now -- so that's one area and it's important to establish that he was an agent for the president. Secondly, there was the witness list that came out December 5.
HUTCHINSON: The president knew about it, at the latest, on December 6. And yet, he had two meetings with Mr. Jordan on the December 7 and on December 11, and in neither one of those meetings was it disclosed to Mr. Jordan that Monica Lewinsky was a witness.
And I'm referring to the second page of the exhibits I've handed from you.
Then which, Mr. Jordan testified to that effect.
Question: And on either of these conversations I have referenced that you had with the president after the witness list came out, your conversation on December 7 and your conversation sometime after the 11th, did the president tell you that Ms. Monica Lewinsky was on the witness list in the Jones case?
Answer: He did not.
Question: Would you have expected the president to tell you if he had reason to believe that Ms. Lewinsky would be called as a witness in the Paula Jones case?
Answer: That would have been helpful.
Question: So, it would have been helpful and it was something you would have expected?
And even though it would have been helpful, he would have expected the president to tell him that information.
HUTCHINSON: It was not disclosed to him. And the -- the materiality, the relevance of that, is that you have the president controlling a job search, knowing that this is a witness in which we're trying to provide a benefit for, and yet the person that he's directing to get the job for Ms. Lewinsky, he fails to tell Mr. Jordan a key fact, that she is in fact a witness, an adverse witness, in that case.
And so I think that's an important area of his testimony.
The third area: keeping the president informed. Very clear testimony about the development of the job search, the Lewinsky affidavit that was being prepared and the fact that it was signed.
On the third page that I've provided to you, Mr. Jordan's testimony: "I was keeping him, the president, informed about what was going on, and so I told him."
He goes on further to say: "He" -- referring to the president -- "was obviously interested in it."
And then the question I believe was: What did you tell the president when the affidavit was signed?
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HUTCHINSON: And his answer, "Mr. President, she signed the affidavit. She signed the affidavit."
And so was there any connection between the job benefit that was provided and the affidavit that was signed in reference to her testimony? Clearly, it was something -- the president not only directed the job search, but he was clearly interested, obviously concerned, receiving regular reports about the affidavit.
And then the fourth area is the information at the Park Hyatt that was developed. Now, to lay the stage for this -- and I'll do this very briefly -- if you look at page four, you see the previous testimony of Mr. Jordan before the grand jury in March. And that time, the question was asked to him, "Did you ever have breakfast or any meal for that matter with Monica Lewinsky at the Park Hyatt?" His answer was no. It was not equivocal, it was indubitably no.
And he was further asked, you know, he testified "I have never had breakfast with Monica Lewinsky."
HUTCHINSON: And then on page five, he goes on in the May 28th grand jury testimony: "Did you at any time have any kind of a meal at the Park Hyatt with Monica Lewinsky?" His answer is "no."
And so that sets the stage because in Ms. Lewinsky's testimony, as evidenced by page six of your exhibits, she testified in August, after the last time Mr. Jordan testified, very clearly about this meeting on December 31st at the Park Hyatt with Mr. Jordan where they had breakfast.
And the discussion was about Linda Tripp. And then the discussion went to the notes from the president, and she said "no, it was notes from me to the president." And Mr. Jordan told her, according to her testimony, "go home and make sure they're not there." That is Ms. Lewinsky's testimony.
It was important to ask Mr. Jordan about this, and I assumed that we would of course get simply a denial, sticking with the previous grand jury testimony that unequivocally no, that meeting never happened; we never had breakfast at the Hyatt.
HUTCHINSON: On page seven, you will notice that Ms. Lewinsky, in her testimony, specifically identified even what they had for breakfast. And so, the investigation required us to go out and get the receipt at the Park Hyatt, which is page eight.
And the receipt showed that there was a charge on December 31 by Mr. Jordan that included every item for breakfast that corroborated the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky as to her memory; that is, the omelet they had for breakfast.
And so, it's tightening here. The evidence is becoming more clear, unequivocal but that this meeting occurred. And so, we had to ask this to Mr. Jordan, and this is page nine.
And of course I presented the Park Hyatt receipt. I presented the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky and his testimony, which is page nine: "It is clear, based on the evidence here, that I was at the Park Hyatt on December 31st, so I do not deny, despite my testimony before the grand jury, that on December 31st, that I was there with Ms. Lewinsky. But I did testify before the grand jury that I did not remember having a breakfast with her on that date, and that was the truth."
HUTCHINSON: But what amazed me was as you go through the questions with him, all of a sudden, he remembered the breakfast, but all of a sudden he remembered the conversation in which he, before said it never happened at all. And his testimony was, when asked about the notes, "I am certain that Ms. Lewinsky talked to me about the notes."
And so I think there's a number of relevant points here. First of all, you reflect back on the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky in this same deposition, in which she was asked the question: Getting Mr. Jordan's approval was basically the same as getting the president's approval.
HUTCHINSON: Her answer: "Yes."
And so that's how Ms. Lewinsky viewed this, and this is what was told to her at this meeting on Park Hyatt. And it goes to the credibility, it goes to what happened, it goes to the obstruction of justice, it is extraordinarily relevant, it is new information, it is what was developed because this Senate granted us the opportunity to take this further deposition of Mr. Jordan and the other witnesses.
And there's other, you know, the fifth point is that it goes to -- the testimony goes to the interconnection between the job help and the testimony that was being solicited from Ms. Lewinsky.
And so why is the presentation necessary? Some of you might even think: Well, thank you very much for that explanation you've given to us, now we have all the facts, let's go on and vote.
Well, I do think that there is some -- first of all, that this is not all. There's much more there. I just have a moment to develop a portion of Mr. Jordan's testimony that I believe is helpful.
HUTCHINSON: But secondly, it tells a story that's never been told before.
Now, I went and saw the videotape, and I was underwhelmed by my questioning, because it's just not the same. I thought we had a dynamic exchange. But then when I saw it on videotape, and I'm nowhere to be found, you get to look at Mr. Jordan, a distinguished gentleman. But it's still helpful, notwithstanding the difficulty of a video presentation.
And I would respectfully request this body to develop the facts fully, to hear the testimony of Mr. Jordan, to allow him to explain this. It tells a story start to finish on this one aspect of obstruction of justice that is critical to your determination. And so, I would ask your concurrence in the approval of the motion that's been offered to you.
And at this time I'd yield to Manager Rogan.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Rogan.
REP. ROGAN: Mr. Chief Justice. Members of the Senate, yesterday along with Mr. Manager Graham, I had the privilege of conducting the deposition of Sidney Blumenthal, assistant to the president.
ROGAN: That deposition was presided over by the senior senator from Pennsylvania and the junior senator from North Carolina and on behalf of the House managers, and I'm also sure, White House counsel. We thank them for the able job that they did.
This deposition must be played for members of the United States Senate. And if one senator has failed to personally sit through this deposition and every deposition, that senator is not equipped to render a verdict on the impeachment trial of the president of the United States.
Now, I will address very briefly just a couple of the reasons why I believe that Mr. Blumenthal's deposition warrants being played before this body. But to do it, it needs to be put in perspective.
Remember what the president of the United States testified to on the day he was sworn in as a witness before the grand jury.
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ROGAN: He said that in dealing with his aides he knew that there was a potential that they could become witnesses before the grand jury and that is why he told them the truth. That is the president's own word, the truth.
Mr. Blumenthal's deposition paints a totally different picture and gives a terribly different interpretation of what the president was doing in passing along false stories to his aides.
Now, we've been treated to a number of euphemisms by the distinguished White House counsel during this presentation as to what the president was doing during his grand jury. They have described his testimony as maddening. They've described his testimony as misleading and unfortunate.
ROGAN: But the one thing they've never described it as is a lie. Mr. Blumenthal gave a totally different take on that, because he testified under oath that upon reflection, he believes the president was not maddening to him. The president lied to him. And he testified so for a very good reason.
Remember Sidney Blumenthal testified three times before the grand jury in 1998. He testified in February and twice in June. But that testimony was in a vacuum because each time he testified before the grand jury, we were still in a national state of at least presumptorily believing that the president had told the truth. The president had made an emphatic denial as to the Monica Lewinsky story. There was no physical evidence presented to the FBI lab at the time Mr. Blumenthal testified. And Monica Lewinsky was not cooperating with the grand jury.
So we know that certain questions were not asked of him during his grand jury testimony because of the status of the facts as we thought they were.
ROGAN: But Mr. Blumenthal shed some incredible new light on the testimony that we received yesterday from him. He said, first of all, after I was subpoenaed, but before I testified before the grand jury, once in February and twice in June, with the president knowing he was about to be a witness before the grand jury, a criminal grand jury investigation, the president never came to him and said, Mr. Blumenthal, before you go and provide information in a criminal grand jury investigation, I need to recant the false stories I told you about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
ROGAN: And he testified about those false stories. He corroborated his own testimony from earlier proceedings. You will recall from the record that the day the Monica Lewinsky story broke in the national press, Mr. Blumenthal was called to the Oval Office by the president.
The door was closed. They were alone. And this is what the president told Sidney Blumenthal about the revelations that were breaking that day on the national press wires. He said that Monica Lewinsky came at me and made a sexual demand on me.
ROGAN: The president said he rebuffed her. He said I've gone down that road before. I've caused pain for a lot of people. I'm not going to do that again. The president said Monica Lewinsky threatened him.
She said she would tell people they had an affair. That she was known as the stalker among her colleagues and that she hated it. And if she had an affair or said she had an affair, then she wouldn't be the stalker anymore. And the testimony goes on. You're all familiar with it at this point.
The president of the United States allowed his aide to appear three times before a federal grand jury conducting a criminal investigation and never once did the president of the United States inform that aide before providing that information to the investigatory body, never once asked the aide -- or told the aide that that was false information.
Mr. Blumenthal's testimony demonstrates that the president of the United States used a White House aide as a conduit for false information before the grand jury in a criminal investigation.
I just want to make one other brief point before I close this presentation, because I think it needs to be said. I am in no position to lecture any of the distinguished members of this body on what the founders intended in drafting the Constitution.
ROGAN: I believe all of us in this room have an abiding respect for that. But there are a couple of points that need to be made. I believe there is a reason the founders drafted a document that allows us the opportunity in every trial proceeding in America to confront and cross-examine live witnesses. It is because that gives the trier of fact the opportunity to gauge the credibility and the demeanor of the witnesses.
We've discussed that at length during these proceedings. But one thing we haven't discussed and one thing that I think is important, not from the House managers' perspective, but from the perspective of history and the history that will be written on the ultimate verdict in this case. And that is the idea of open trials.
There is a reason why the founders looked askance on the concept of secret trials and closed trials. There is a reason why in every courtroom across the land, trials are open. They are open -- it is an open process. The light of truth is allowed to be shown on the courtroom and from the courtroom because we don't trust the credibility of a verdict if it's done in secret.
What will be the verdict on this proceeding if the judgment of this body is based upon testimony and witnesses on videotapes locked in a room somewhere, available only to the triers of fact, without the public being privy to what was made available?
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I would urge you not for the sake of the managers and not for the sake of the presentation of the case, but for the sake of this body and for the verdict of history that will be written, to please allow this to be a public trial in the real sense. If the witnesses will not be brought here live before the Senate, please allow the doors of the Senate to be open so that the testimony upon which each of you must base your verdict will be made available not only to all 100 senators, but will be made available to those who will make the ultimate judgment as to the appropriateness of the verdict -- the American people.
Mr. Chief Justice, at this time I yield to Mr. Manager Graham.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Graham.
REP. GRAHAM: Mr. Chief Justice, how much time do we have remaining?
REHNQUIST: You've consumed 37 minutes. You -- your colleagues have, yes.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, not a whole lot to add, but I would like to recognize this thought, that we've learned a great deal in these depositions, and thank you for letting us have them. We didn't get everything we wanted, I think that's a fair statement, but who does in life?
But we do appreciate you giving us the opportunity to explore the testimony of these witnesses, because I think it will be helpful in setting the historical record straight.
Mr. Blumenthal, to his credit, said the president of the United States lied to him, the president of the United States did lie to him. The president of the United States in his grand jury testimony denied ever lying to an aide. That will be historically significant, it should be legally significant.
Mr. Blumenthal, to his credit, said that the president of the United States tried to paint himself as a victim of Ms. Lewinsky. That will be legally and historically relevant and it will mean a lot in our arguments and it will be something you should consider.
This has been a good exercise. Thank you very much for letting us depose these witnesses.
I was not at the other two depositions, but I was at Mr. Blumenthal's deposition, and I can assure you we know more now about what the truth is than before we started this process.
GRAHAM: And I hope at the end of the day it is our desire to get to the truth that guides us all.
We're asking for one live witness, Ms. Lewinsky. And let me tell you, I know how difficult it is to want this to go on, given where everybody is at in the country. Trust me. I want this to end as much as you do.
However, there's a signal we're going to send if we don't watch it. We're going to make the independent counsel report the impeachment trial, and I'm not so sure that's what the statute was written for.
The key difference between the House and the Senate is that the White House never disputed the facts over in the House. They never disputed the facts. They call 15 witnesses to talk about process and about the interpretations that you would want to put on those facts. In their presentation to the Senate, everything is in dispute. It is totally a different ball game here. That's why we need witnesses, ladies and gentlemen, to clarify who said what, who's being honest, who's not, and what really did happen in this sordid tale.
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GRAHAM: Ms. Lewinsky comes before us because the allegations arise that the president of the United States, with an intern, had an inappropriate, workplace sexual relationship that was discovered in a lawsuit where he was a defendant.
This was not us or anyone else trying to look into the president's private life for political reasons or any other reason. It was a defendant in a lawsuit asking to look at the behavior of the defendant in the workplace, something that goes on every day in courtrooms throughout the country.
And is it uncomfortable?
GRAHAM: Yes, it is uncomfortable. If you've ever tried a sexual harassment case, an assault case, or a rape case, it is very much uncomfortable to have to listen to these things. But the reason that people are asked to do what you're asked to do by the House managers is that the folks that are involved represent themselves much better than lawyers talking about what happened.
And if you find it uncomfortable listening to Ms. Lewinsky, think how juries feel; think how the victims feel; think how somebody like Ms. Jones must feel not to be able to tell the story of the person they're suing.
That is a signal that's going to be sent here that would be a devastatingly bad signal.
GRAHAM: If we can't stomach to listen to inappropriate sexual conduct, why do we put that burden on anyone else? Give us this witness. We will do it in a professional manner. We will focus on the obstruction. We will try to do it in a way not to demean the Senate. We will try to do it in a way not to demean Ms. Lewinsky. We will try to do it in a way to get to the truth. Please give us a chance to present our case in a persuasive fashion. Because unlike the House, everything is in dispute here.
Thank you very much.
I yield back and reserve the balance of my time.
REHNQUIST: The House managers reserve the balance of their time.
The chair recognizes counsel for the president, Mr. Craig.
WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL CRAIG: Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I've divided my presentation into three parts that fortunately correspond to the three parts of the motion that is before you today.
I'd like first to argue against admitting videotape evidence into the record of this trial.
CRAIG: Second, I'd like to argue against calling live witnesses to this trial. And thirdly, I'd like to argue against the proposed presentation of videotape and deposition testimony for Saturday.
I sound rather negative. I don't mean to be negative, but we don't find much to recommend the three proposals that the House managers have brought before you today.
Let me begin by saying that we support the idea of admitting written transcripts of the deposition testimony of these three witnesses into the record of this trial, but we believe that it would be a terrible mistake and wholly redundant to put the videotape testimony into that record as well, particularly if that means releasing any of this videotaped material to the public.
CRAIG: We can only call the Senate's attention to section 206 of Senate Resolution 30, which instructs the secretary of the Senate, quote "to maintain the videotaped and transcribed records of the depositions as confidential proceedings of the Senate." That was the intention of the Senate when they first passed -- when you first passed Senate Resolution 30.
If this decision that's proposed today will result in overruling that rule; if there is any risk or danger of a wholesale, unconditional, and unlimited release of these videotapes to the public through the national media, just as was done by the House of Representatives when it released all the Starr materials, we think it's a bad idea.
In retrospect, most people believe that it was a mistake for the House to release those materials then, and those materials included videotapes of grand jury testimony. And we believe it would be a mistake for the Senate, at the request of the House managers, to do the same thing with these videotape materials now.
CRAIG: To release these videotapes generally to the public, which will happen if they're put into the record, inevitably will surely cause consternation among those members of the public, particularly parents who do not choose to spend one more moment, much less hours and even days, thinking about the president's relationship with Monica Lewinsky and explaining it yet again to their children.
Placing these videotapes into the formal record of this trial will be one step closer to releasing the tapes to the public for immediate broadcast. And if that release occurs, it will produce an avalanche of unwelcomed deposition testimony into the public domain.
The videotaped testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan and Mr. Blumenthal will be forced hour after hour, unbidden and uninvited into the living rooms and family rooms of the nation.
CRAIG: Make no mistake about what will happen, we've seen it before. We can expect to see the networks play these tapes wall-to- wall, nonstop, and without interruption over the airwaves. And as I say, this would be a repeat of what happened when the case first came to the House of Representatives.
For the Senate to decide to include the videotapes of this deposition testimony as opposed to the written transcripts in the formal record of this trial would have the same effect and could result in this kind of release. The pictures, the voices and the words on these tapes would flow directly and irreversibly into the life of the nation.
In addition, these videotapes will no doubt be edited and excerpted and cut and spliced, and the materials will not be only overused, they will also be inevitably abused.
To take advantage of these witnesses, I submit to you, in this way is wrong, whether in the context of the grand jury proceeding where confidentiality is promised or whether testifying under subpoena in an impeachment trial in the Senate.
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CRAIG: It's unfair to the witnesses, unfair to the public, unfair to the Senate and we submit, unfair to the president as well. We do not object to the release of the written transcripts of this testimony. We support that release.
And we believe that that satisfies any reasonable requirement for public access to the information. The public's right to know and to understand what is happening in this impeachment trial would be respected.
But we should learn a lesson from America's experience in the House of Representatives, more is not always better. It is not -- wise nor right for the House or the Senate to perform the function of a mere conveyor belt simply and automatically transmitting unfiltered evidence into the public domain.
It is not -- wise or right to suspend judgment and turn over, for public viewing, the videotaped testimony of private witnesses who were forced to appear and to testify under compulsion.
CRAIG: And it is simply wrong to release videotapes of such testimony for cable news networks or for friends or foes to use as they want. And this, I submit, is profoundly unfair to the witnesses.
One can only ask: Who really benefits from this kind of practice? Is it really in the public interest for the Senate to issue and serve a subpoena on private individuals like Monica Lewinsky or Vernon Jordan, to summon these citizens before the Senate, to compel their testimony before video cameras, and then to take that videotaped testimony, without any consideration or thought about the legitimate personal concerns or interests of those witnesses, to release those videotapes of that testimony to the national media?
Is it really in Ms. Lewinsky's interest to do this? Is it in the interest of her family or of her future? Is it fair to Mr. Jordan or to his family to subject him to this kind of treatment? Is it really in the Senate's interest? Is it in the interest of the Constitution or the presidency or of the American people to have videotape of Monica Lewinsky readily available for all the world to see and to hear?
And what about those individuals who are in fact truly innocent, but who will surely suffer if these videotapes are released to the public for permanent residence in the public domain?
CRAIG: What about the members of the president's immediate family? How can the Senate contemplate releasing Ms. Lewinsky's video tape testimony discussing her relationship with the president without giving at least some thought to the impact that this might have on the members of the family?
You can be sure that the release of this testimony and of this video tape will only add to the agony, to the embarrassment, and to the humiliation. And I'd only hope that those who purport to be concerned about the moral damage that can be attributed to the president's conduct and the president's example are equally mindful of the hurt that will be inflicted on innocent people by the mere broadcasting of these video tapes and their existence in perpetuity in the public record and the public domain.
We think it has been perfectly appropriate and no doubt helpful to many senators and staffers to be able to watch the deposition testimony of these three witnesses on video tape as part of the Senate's trial proceeding. But that function has now been satisfied.
CRAIG: There is no need for these tapes to be broadcast to the public. And the public knows better than anyone.
It is for that precise reason, one suspects, that three-quarters of those polled, according to a survey reported in yesterday's New York Times, oppose releasing the videotaped testimony of Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Jordan and Mr. Blumenthal to the public.
I would urge you, do not vote to place these materials into the record of this trial without giving careful consideration to these interests and to these concerns. These are not just the interests and concerns of the president and the members of his family; they are not just the interests and concerns of these three witnesses and the members of their families. I think they're also the interests and concerns of the American people as well.
The bottom line, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, is simple: You do not need for these videotapes released to do your constitutional duty, and the people we all work for do not want these videotapes released either.
CRAIG: Please draw the line.
Now, as for the issue of witnesses. We believe that there is no useful purpose served by calling live witnesses to testify before the Senate in this trial. Live witnesses will not advance the factual record. We have known the facts for many months.
Nor will live witnesses give us new insight into the witnesses themselves. Sidney Blumenthal's fourth appearance, Vernon Jordan's seventh appearance, and Monica Lewinsky's 23rd appearance told us really very little that was new. I take issue with the presentation of the managers.
Why should we expect Mr. Blumenthal's fifth appearance, Mr. Jordan's eighth appearance and Ms. Lewinsky's 24th appearance to add anything more?
Live witnesses will simply not serve the interest of fairness. They will not serve the interest of the American people. And they will not serve the interest of the Senate.
CRAIG: In fact, live witness -- live testimony from these three individuals or from Ms. Lewinsky alone will be worse than an exercise in redundancy. It will be an exercise in excess. It will only postpone the end of a trial that nobody wants anymore and no one wants to prolong any longer.
There's every reason, finally and at long last, to bring the trial to a close, and calling live witness I submit will not be quick and it will not be easy. It will prevent the Senate from keeping its pledge to bring this trial to a conclusion by February 12th.
Because live witnesses are unnecessary to the resolution of this matter, perhaps the most important question for the Senate to consider and to resolve for itself is whether calling live witnesses might in fact tarnish the Senate as an institution.
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CRAIG: This is a question that only you can resolve, the members of the Senate, and you certainly need not take instruction from me or from any of us at this table on that subject.
But the question is worth asking: Will the public's respect for the Senate and for the members of this body be enhanced by calling live witnesses? Does the Senate really feel a need or an obligation or some requirement to bring Ms. Lewinsky to sit here and to testify in the well of this historic chamber?
Now, the managers first argued that live witnesses were necessary to resolve conflicts in testimony, that the only way to reconcile disparities and differences was to bring in live witnesses. Today, we know that is not true.
You gave the managers an opportunity to resolve those conflicts and to find new facts. But most of the critical conflicts that existed a week ago still exist today. Calling Monica Lewinsky to testify a fourth -- a 24th time is not likely to resolve those conflicts.
CRAIG: Then we are told that we must look into the eyes of the witnesses and observe their demeanor to make a judgment as to credibility. But you now have had the opportunity to observe almost every major witness as he or she testifies. Precious little is left to the imagination or to guesswork or to questions of credibility. And you certainly have a better chance of observing demeanor through the videotape than you do with a witness sitting in the floor of the Senate.
We are now given a third reason why live witnesses are absolutely necessary for this trial to go forward. That is, quote, "to validate," unquote, the testimony of these witnesses. According to Mr. Manager Hyde, the depositions have been successful, but, quote, "What we need now is to validate the record that already exists under oath about obstruction of justice and perjury."
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, we on this side of the House have never challenged that record.
CRAIG: We have always agreed that the witnesses said what the record says they said. And that record needs no further validation through the live testimony of individual witnesses.
Those of us who have made a career out of being lawyers and trying cases probably understand better than anyone else why the House managers are so adamant in their desire to call live witnesses. It keeps the door open, if only to a few more days.
As Mr. Kendall observed last week, like Mr. Micawber from David Copperfield, they hope against hope that something may turn up.
As an abstract proposition, the importance of live witnesses cannot be disputed. They are important to prosecutors who are trying to make a case. They are important to defense lawyers who are trying to defend a case. Trial lawyers know better than anyone that live witnesses can make all the difference in a trial. There's just no disputing that point.
But that abstract question is not the real live question that the Senate has before it today.
CRAIG: The issue before the Senate today is different. It is more specifically whether these three witnesses, each one of whom has testified on multiple occasions under oath before the federal grand jury, or been interviewed on multiple occasions by lawyers and law enforcement officers, would have anything whatsoever to add to this trial if they were to appear before you in person.
The answer to that question is clearly no. The answer is no, not because Ms. Lewinsky has already been interviewed so many times and has testified so many times; not because she was just interviewed a few weekends ago; and not because she appeared and answered the House managers' questions under oath for many hours just four days ago.
The answer is not because if you watch the videotape of her testimony and if you look at the videotape of the testimony of Mr. Jordan and Mr. Blumenthal, you realize and you know deep in your bones that calling these witnesses to testify personally before you in the Senate in detail would simply be a massive waste of this Senate's time.
CRAIG: You already know the facts. You have already read what they have had to say on many different occasions. And you have already seen and read their most recent testimony under oath.
It simply can no longer be credibly argued that you need testimony from these witnesses to flesh out the factual record or to resolve conflicts or to fill in the evidentiary gaps or to look the witnesses in the eyes and assess their credibility.
All that has been done many times before by many lawyers before and by many law enforcement officers many months ago. And then it was done just recently again by House managers as they took deposition testimony last week.
The Senate has given the managers every opportunity to persuade the Senate and the nation to see this case the same way they see it.
CRAIG: And the managers have run a vigorous and energetic campaign aimed at capturing the Senate and at changing American public opinion.
How many trials do you know of where the prosecutors base their case on a multi-million-dollar criminal investigation involving multiple interrogations of witnesses, producing 60,000 pages of documents, generating 19 boxes of evidence, where the prosecutors are allowed to go back to those witnesses again and again and again in an effort, maybe somehow, maybe some way, to make their case, cover the same territory, present the same evidence, hour after hour?
In fact, in our view, the Senate has indulged the managers. And despite the misgivings of many senators, the Senate has leaned over backwards to accommodate the managers. We believe it is time for the Senate to say it's time to vote.
CRAIG: Given the state of the record compiled by the Office of Independent Counsel, given the to the managers, the evidence is as it is, and it's not likely to change in any significant way.
The moment of truth can no longer be avoided, and the Senate should move to make its decision.
President Clinton is not guilty of having committed high crimes and misdemeanors. He should not be removed from office. The Senate must act now to end this impeachment trial finally and for all time.
Now, finally, as to the proposed proceeding for Saturday, Senate Resolution 30 gives the House managers and White House counsel an opportunity to, quote, "make a presentation to the Senate employing all or portions of the videotape of the deposition testimony."
And the final portion of the motion involves a request that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed a total of six hours equally divided, all or portions of the parts of the videotapes of the oral depositions of Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal that have been admitted into evidence.
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CRAIG: We are convinced that such a presentation would provide no new information to the Senate and would only serve to delay this trial and further burden the service of the Senate. We also believe that there's a potential for unfairness that lurks in the process of excerpting and presenting portions of videotaped testimony out of context. We remain committed to the notion that to be fair to all sides, the videotapes, if they're used, must be shown in their entirety or shown not at all. And above all, we do not believe these videotapes should be released to the public in any form, which would of course occur if they were used as part of the presentation on Saturday.
CRAIG: Senators have themselves been reviewing the videotaped deposition testimony of the three witnesses at great length and in great detail over the past four days.
It appears to us that the Senate has been very conscientious in carrying out this assignment. And within a matter of days, senators will listen to final arguments from each side. Is there really a need for an intermediate stage involving the playing of videotaped testimony of the very same evidence?
After being conscientious in reviewing the videotaped testimony and reading the transcripts of that testimony, should senators now be required to sit, watch and listen to more of the same? Such an exercise would only be cumulative and causes us to ask what the point would be.
We just don't think that additional presentations of the same evidence that senators have been reviewing over the past few days will be that helpful to the process.
CRAIG: Presumably, the House managers seek to present a collection of snippets, the greatest hits from the deposition testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan, and Mr. Blumenthal. This would be unfortunately because it would require a full response from the White House, presumably our own collection of snippets aimed at putting the managers excerpts into some kind of context.
This would be a duel of snippets and excerpts, and presumably each side in the course of the presentation would conduct a guided tour for the Senate through that evidence. Although I must say that the language of the motion leaves that open to some doubt. The language of the motion provides no opportunity for argument, no opportunity for explanation, and simply talks about playing a total of six hours, equally divided, all or portions of the parts of the videotapes.
CRAIG: Is this the kind of way that your time is best used in this enterprise?
We fully understand the House managers' desire, and we even share it to highlight and explain the importance of certain testimony that came out of the depositions of the past few days.
But in truth, there are no bombshells in that testimony. There is no dynamite, there are no explosions. We believe that highlighting, explaining and calling attention to those parts of that testimony that is important can be done with the transcripts, and the transcripts more than satisfy the requirement that we see or the need to conduct that function, or to carry out that function. That's what ordinary lawyers do when they are trying cases or arguing in front of a jury.
To the extent that the managers wish to call attention to various aspects of the testimony, we think they will have ample time to do so in the course of their final argument.
CRAIG: Traditionally, that is the time to do that -- during closing argument.
The time for advocates in a trial to marshal their evidence, to summarize and to comment on that evidence, and to allow the managers to go through the deposition testimony first would be tantamount to giving the managers two closing arguments.
In summary, Mr. Chief Justice, I have a parliamentary -- a point of parliamentary inquiry that I would like to address to the chair, having to do with the first paragraph, the first section of the proposed motion submitted by the House managers.
Is there any way that the Senate can deal first with the question -- that the first question be bifurcated?
CRAIG: Is there any way that the Senate can bifurcate this first question, and that a separate vote be taken first on including the transcripts of the deposition testimony in the record of the trial? And second, on whether the videotapes should also be included in the record?
UNIDENTIFIED: A preemptive motion to that effect could be made by any senator.
REHNQUIST: A preemptive motion to that effect could be made by any senator.
CRAIG: Thank you.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice...
REHNQUIST: The majority leader is recognized.
LOTT: ... I ask consent that we take a 15-minute recess, and I think maybe we can address this question during that recess.
REHNQUIST: In the absence of objection, it's so ordered.
REHNQUIST: The Senate will be in order. The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I believe that there is time remaining for arguments by the White House counsel and then a conclusion by the House managers. After that, I will make an attempt to explain to the Senate exactly what is in the motions, because there seem to be some degree of question about that. And then we'd be prepared to have a series of votes at that time. I still believe that we should be able to start that around 4:00.
I yield the floor.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Craig.
CRAIG: Since we've completed our presentation, thank you.
REHNQUIST: The House managers have 19 minutes remaining. Chair recognizes Mr. Bryant.
BRYANT: Mr. Chief Justice, I will respond briefly and then be followed by Mr. Manager McCollum, who will be followed by Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
BRYANT: Let me talk first quickly about Mr. Craig's first argument about disagreeing on the admission of the video depositions. He cited the House proceedings, and we want to be clear as to our belief of our position in the House in this process.
As the accusatory branch of the government of this process, and I think that's the case because we vote by majority vote, we chose to bring forward the case that we felt established the allegations of impeachment.
There was no conflict of evidence brought forward from those House proceedings. This evidence was not challenged until we came to this body, the appropriate body for resolving the evidence and trying the case as you will.
And that's evidenced by the Constitution requirement that you must vote for conviction based on two-thirds of your body.
BRYANT: But the actual conflict was not presented until we arrived here in the Senate, and by allowing us to have this procedure of taking depositions, we have focused more clearly on resolving those particular conflicts.
I might add also, in response to Mr. Craig's statement that the Starr report was released out to the public, and as a result of that, there may be danger here in releasing these video depositions. Well, let me tell you about the House vote on the Starr report. Seventy percent of the Democrats supported the release of those documents. One hundred percent of the Democrat leadership in the House supported the release of those documents. So, it was not just one party over the other party that threw these out to the public, it was a decision that was a bipartisan decision on the part of the House.
*** Elapsed Time 01:43, Eastern Time 14:47 ***
BRYANT: And I might add, that is not our interest in doing this with video depositions. We're open to your process. But we -- we must conclude by those who would argue that perhaps you should open your debate to the public, we don't see the consistency in trying to take a very important part of the evidence in this case and not opening that to the public.
So we are -- we are at your wishes. It's our desire to make the presentation using all or portions of these video depositions and to use those as fully as we would any other evidence.
And with that said, I would ask Mr. Manager McCollum to follow me.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager McCollum.
MCCOLLUM: Thank you very much, Mr. Chief Justice.
If you listen to the White House counsel, the simple fact is they don't want a public display in any form of any testimony here in front of the Senate. They don't want the public to have an opportunity to have a public trial.
MCCOLLUM: Now, maybe an impeachment trial is not exactly the same as any other trial, but in the history of the Senate, it has been a basically open process, except for the voting. It has been an opportunity for witnesses to come before you.
It's been an opportunity for people to be heard. It's been an opportunity for the public to hear the people who want to speak. White House counsel didn't just say we don't want live witnesses here, they said we don't want you to be able to admit, even into evidence, the videotape that might become public and we don't want you to be able to show any portion, or all even, of the videotapes of the depositions that have been taken.
Now, if a Republican had gotten up and said that, we would have probably gotten hung on some political (OFF-MIKE) for that. The reality is the public has business here. This is a trial, I would suggest and submit to you. We need, you need the opportunity to hear these witnesses one way or the other, preferably, Monica Lewinsky live.
MCCOLLUM: We need to bring closure to this matter. How can the public come to closure? How can those who feel so emotionally, as we know they do around the country come to closure on this, which we need for them to do as much as you need to resolve and we need to have you resolve the questions before you. How can they come to closure? How can we all come to closure without an opportunity for the public to participate in one way or another in seeing the credibility, judging the witnesses, judging the truth of this?
Let me remind you, there is nothing in these depositions that contains any salacious material. So, it's been constrained, very delicately, nothing at all that would be offensive to anybody.
In addition, think about this for a minute when it comes to calling Monica Lewinsky live, when it comes to letting the depositions be presented.
MCCOLLUM: If you believe that the president did not break the law -- we're not talking about whether he should be removed from office -- if you believe he did not break the law; that he did not commit the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice; that means you must have concluded that Monica Lewinsky's not telling the truth when she said, about the false affidavit, "I knew what he meant"; when she said about the concealment of the gifts, "Betty called me"; when she says about the nature of the relationship, "it began the night we met." And many other things.
You, I would submit, my colleagues in the Senate, have a moral obligation to allow Monica Lewinsky to come here and be judged on her credibility, not just by you, but by the public -- by all of us -- as a live witness
And certainly barring that, you have an obligation to have the credibility on the issues of guilt or innocence of these crimes be judged by everybody -- at the very least by the presentation of these videos in a public open format here in the Senate before everybody. And I think it's a powerful question you have to resolve.
MCCOLLUM: And I'd submit one last point. For those of you who do believe the president is guilty of these crimes, you have an obligation to let the showing of these depositions or the presentation preferably of Monica Lewinsky live to be here so those who maybe don't think the same way you do have an opportunity for that credibility to be judged. Only if the witness is present can they be judged that way.
The most remarkable thing about the White House presentation may have been, just a moment ago, the admission that normally in trials this is exactly what happens.
MCCOLLUM: And I present to you the suggestion, this is exactly what should happen here today. I yield to Manager Hutchinson.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Manager Hutchinson.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Very briefly, I was asked to respond to the last argument by the counsel for the president in regard to their objections on the evidentiary presentation of six hours and a motion which would be, I believe, on Saturday.
After six days of opening statement in this trial and after two days of question and answers and then we had, I believe, two days of motion arguments, you've heard from all the lawyers more than you ever wanted to hear, and I don't think that it is too much to ask for six hours of discussion of the evidentiary record that was developed from the deposition testimony. I think that's reasonable.
It's been argued that, well, you know, it's going to be snippets, it's going to be a battle of snippets.
HUTCHINSON: It's, if this motion is passed, would be introduced into evidence, and then each side will have an opportunity to discuss that evidence, to contrast it with other individuals' testimony and to present it in a fashion that is most understandable.
It is equally divided. Therefore, both sides can present the case. That is how it is traditionally done. There is nothing unusual about that. And certainly the White House defense lawyers will be very vigilant in making sure that it is fairly presented.
There was objection that was made -- and this is overlapping a little bit -- as to the public release of the video. Our motion really goes to introducing into evidence. It is up to you as to how that evidence is handled. Customarily in a trial when something is entered into evidence, that is released.
But there was concern expressed about the witnesses, about Mr. Jordan, and the fact that he has testified and now it would be made public. I recall the White House defense lawyers on this screen over here put Mr. Jordan's video up there for the world to see.
HUTCHINSON: I believe they also brought in other witnesses in video that was put out there for the whole world to see. And so I think it's a little bit late to come in and say that that should not be subject to public discussion.
And so I think that the motion that is presented is reasonable, that it's fair. They say that there's nothing of dynamite or there's nothing explosive. Well, then, if that's the case there should be any objection to discussion and a fair playing of that evidence.
But in fact much of this is new because it was not developed after the president made his grand jury appearance. Many of these witnesses testified early. They were not able to testify again after the president's grand jury testimony. And so I think there's new areas that have certainly been developed.
And with that, Mr. Chief Justice, I yield back.
REHNQUIST: Will the House managers yield back?
(UNKNOWN): Yes, Mr. Chief Justice.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, then all time has been yielded back on both sides?
LOTT: We had expected that this would take a little bit longer.
Mr. Chief Justice, I believe that it would be of interest to the senators that we give just a brief explanation of the motions. I believe Senator Daschle may have an additional motion that he would like to offer. So that we can make sure he's had the time to prepare that and how we would go into the voting procedure, I observe the absence of a quorum.
REHNQUIST: The clerk will call the roll.
LOTT: Would the senators take their seats, please.
I think we're ready to begin. Would senators return to their desks?
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I ask consent the quorum call be dispensed with.
REHNQUIST: In the absence of an objection, it's so ordered.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, just very briefly, I believe that Senator Daschle or one of his senators will have a peremptory motion that they would offer and then it would be read by the clerk.
And then following -- and then a vote on that and then a vote on the three divisions that have been identified, the three motions, three votes of the one motion.
And then I believe Senator Daschle would also have a motion that would go straight to debate and closing arguments and a vote on the articles of impeachment.
LOTT: Is that correct recitation? I would yield to Senator Daschle.
DASCHLE: Mr. Chief Justice, I appreciate the senator yielding. As I understand it, Senator Murray's motion will relate to the third motion, which would -- which is as I understand it, the motion that allows for video excerpts to be used.
Her motion would restrict both managers to transcripts, written transcripts. So I'm not sure in which order her motion should be offered, but since it relates to the third one, perhaps it would be in concert with that motion.
REHNQUIST: This is a motion to basically divide the third motion.
DASCHLE: That is correct, Mr. Chief Justice.
LOTT: So Mr. Chief Justice, then we would vote on the -- the first paragraph, the second paragraph, then there would be a motion at that point by Senator Murray, then a vote on that, and a vote then on the third division, and then a vote on the articles of impeachment itself.
REHNQUIST: The question is on the division one.
REHNQUIST: Should the clerk read the division, read the thing?
The clerk will read division one.
CLERK: The House moves that the transcriptions and videotapes of the oral depositions taken pursuant to Senate Resolution 30 from the point that each witness is sworn to testify under oath to the end of any direct response to the last question posed by a party be admitted into evidence.
REHNQUIST: The yeas and nays are required. The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK CALLS THE ROLL)
REHNQUIST: OK, on this vote, the ayes are 100, the nays are 0. Division one of the motion is agreed to.
The next vote will be on division two of the motion. The clerk will division two of the motion.
CLERK: Division two, the House further moves that the Senate authorize and issue a subpoena for the appearance of Monica S. Lewinsky before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed eight hours and in connection with the examination of that witness, the House requests that either party be able to examine the witness as if the witness were declared adverse.
That counsel for the president and counsel for the House managers be able to participate in the examination of that witness and that the House be entitled to reserve a portion of its examination time to reexamine the witness following any examination by the president.
REHNQUIST: The ayes and nays are automatic. The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK CALLS THE ROLL)
REHNQUIST: The Senate will be in order. On this vote, the yeas are 30; the nays are 70. Division two of the motion is not agreed to.
The chair recognizes the senator from Washington, Ms. Murray.
SEN. MURRAY: Mr. Chief Justice, I send a substitute for division three to the desk.
REHNQUIST: The clerk will report.
CLERK: The senator from Washington, Mrs. Murray, moves that the following shall be substituted.
REHNQUIST: The Senate will be in order.
CLERK: That the following shall be substituted for division three: A move that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed a total of six hours, equally divided, all portions -- all or portions of the parts of the written transcriptions of the depositions of Monica S. Lewinsky, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., and Sidney Blumenthal.
REHNQUIST: On this -- on this motion?
(OFF-MIKE) is that (OFF-MIKE).
Well, the parliamentarian advises me that there are two hours of argument on this motion. Who -- who's the proponent?
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chief Justice?
(UNKNOWN): I'd ask unanimous consent that the motions be yielded -- or the time be yielded back.
REHNQUIST: Without objection, it's so ordered. Should the -- I think the clerk should read division three, having read the proposed substitute.
CLERK: The House further moves that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed a total of six hours equally divided, all or portions of the parts of the videotapes of the oral depositions of Monica S. Lewinsky, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., and Sidney Blumenthal admitted into evidence and that the House be entitled to reserve a portion of its presentation time.
REHNQUIST: (OFF-MIKE) will read the substitute again.
CLERK: "I move that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed a total of six hours equally divided all or portions of the parts of the written transcriptions of the depositions of Monica S. Lewinsky, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., and Sidney Blumenthal."
REHNQUIST: The yeas and nays are automatic. The question's on the substitute. The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK CALLS THE ROLL)
*** Eastern Time 15:44 ***
REHNQUIST: On this vote, the yeas are 27, the nays are 73, and the motion is not agreed to.
The vote is now on division three of the motion. The clerk will read division three.
CLERK: Division three: "The House further moves that the parties be permitted to present before the Senate for a period of time not to exceed a total of six hours equally divided all or portions of the parts of the videotapes of the oral depositions of Monica S. Lewinsky, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., and Sidney Blumenthal admitted into evidence and that the House be entitled to reserve a portion of its presentation time."
REHNQUIST: The yeas and nays are automatic. The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK CALLS THE ROLL)
SEN. FEINSTEIN: Mr. Chief Justice?
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the senator from California.
FEINSTEIN: I voted in error. I wish to change my vote to a "no."
REHNQUIST: Very well. In the absence of objection, it is so ordered.
CLERK: Mrs. Feinstein, no.
REHNQUIST: On this vote, the yeas are 62, the nays are 38, division three of the motion is agreed to.
The chair recognizes the minority leader.
The clerk will report the motion.
CLERK: The senator from South Dakota, Mr. Daschle, moves that the Senate now proceed to closing arguments, that there be two hours for the White House counsel, followed by two hours for the House managers, and that at the conclusion of this time the Senate proceed to vote on each of the articles without intervening action, motion or debate, except for deliberations, if so decided by the Senate.
DASCHLE: Mr. Chief Justice?
REHNQUIST: The minority leader.
DASCHLE: I ask unanimous consent that all time be yielded back.
REHNQUIST: In the absence of objection, it is so ordered.
The yeas and nays are automatic. The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK CALLS THE ROLL)
motion is not agreed to.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I believe that was the last of the motions that had been offered. I'm ready to go to the closing script unless there's some other motion pending or to be offered.
UNIDENTIFIED: May I ask, Mr. Chief Justice, for indulgence for just a couple of minutes to consult with my colleagues?
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I observe the absence of a quorum.
REHNQUIST: The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK CALLS THE ROLL)
REHNQUIST: The Senate will be in order.
The majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I ask the quorum call be dispensed with.
REHNQUIST: Without objection, it's so ordered.
RUFF: Mr. Chief Justice, I believe that the -- it is in order for White Counsel to offer a motion at this point, and if they wish to do so, then I believe they could, and then we would vote on that motion.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. White House Counsel Ruff.
RUFF: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Majority Leader.
I'd like to hand up to the desk a brief motion dealing with the presentation of videotape evidence on Saturday pursuant to the motion that has just been voted on by the Senate.
And if I may hand it up to the clerk.
REHNQUIST: The clerk will read the motion.
CLERK: No later than 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 5, 1999, the managers shall provide written notice to counsel for the president indicating the precise page and line designations of any video excerpts from the depositions of Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, or Sydney Blumenthal, that they plan to use during their three-hour presentation on Saturday or during their closing argument.
REHNQUIST: Yes, there are two hours equally divided on the motion.
WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL RUFF: Mr. Chief Justice, we won't use but a small percentage of that. And I'll turn the matter over, if I may, to my colleague Mr. Kendall.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Counsel Kendall.
CLINTON LAWYER KENDALL: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, House managers, I'll be brief. This is simply a procedural motion which I think will make for a fairer hearing and a more efficient use of the Senate's time on Saturday.
Fascinating though these depositions are, I don't think there's any need to inflict them on you repeatedly. What we're asking in this motion is simply a procedure that would be normal in a civil trial, and that is by a fair time tomorrow for the House managers to designate the portions of the three depositions that they intend to use.
KENDALL: That will allow us not to repeat those portions and it will give us some fair chance to organize our responsive presentation.
The burden is on the House managers. This is not an extensive set of transcripts. I think it can be easily done. You've all -- many of you watched the depositions this week, read the transcripts. So I think if we can simply have this designation by two o'clock tomorrow, it will enable Saturday to perhaps be a shorter proceeding.
REHNQUIST: Counsel for House managers? The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Rogan.
ROGAN: Mr. Chief Justice, thank you. I will imitate my colleague at the bar, Mr. Kendall's, brevity, if not his eloquence. I would simply suggest that this is somewhat of a unique opportunity that counsel is inviting the House managers to engage in; to give counsel notice of page and line transcripts for the presentation of evidence that we are going to make.
ROGAN: It is our prerogative to put on our evidence. It is White House counsel's opportunity to put on their evidence. And asking us to choreograph that for them and with them is something that I am unfamiliar with, except for one time.
I remember during my days as a judge in California that a similar request was made to me, and a law clerk pointed out to me language from one of the late, great justices of the California Supreme Court, Otto Couse (ph). Apparently a similar request was made to Justice Couse to do the same thing in a case, and Justice Couse looked at the lawyer making the request and he said, "I believe the appropriate legal response to your request is that it is none of your damn business what the other side is going to put on."
With that, Mr. Chief Justice, we'll yield back the balance of our time.
REHNQUIST: Mr. Kendall.
KENDALL: That philosophy might want to be emulated at some point by the drafters of the federal civil rules, but it is not in every federal civil trial this procedure is followed -- the designation, identifying and designating of deposition experts -- excerpts.
KENDALL: Again, I think it will make for a far and more efficient proceeding. I don't think trial by surprise has a place here.
REHNQUIST: Very well.
The vote is on the motion?
The vote is on the motion. The clerk will read the motion.
CLERK: Mr. Ruff moves that no later...
REHNQUIST: The Senate will be in order.
CLERK: ... no later than 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 5, 1999, the managers shall provide written notice to counsel for the president indicating the precise page and line designations of any video excerpts from the depositions of Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, or Sydney Blumenthal that they plan to use during their three-hour presentation on Saturday or during their closing argument.
(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chief Justice, may we have order in the Senate?
REHNQUIST: Yes, I fully agree with the Senator from (OFF-MIKE).
(UNKNOWN): So we can hear. And would the clerk read that again?
REHNQUIST: Let the clerk the -- and let the Senate remain in order.
CLERK: Mr. Counsel Ruff moves that no later than 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 5, 1999, the managers shall provide written notice to counsel for the present indicating the precise page and line designations of any video excerpts from the depositions of Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan or Sidney Blumenthal that they plan to use during their three-hour presentation on Saturday or during their closing argument.
REHNQUIST: The yeas and nays are automatic. The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK CALLS THE ROLL)
REHNQUIST: On this vote, the yeas are 46, the nays are 54, and the motion is not agreed to.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: I think now that completes all the motions, and therefore I ask unanimous consent that when the Senate completes its business today it stands in adjournment until 10 a.m. on Saturday, February the Sixth, and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, immediately following the prayer, the Senate resume consideration of the articles of impeachment.
I further ask consent that on Saturday there be six hours equally divided between the House managers and White House counsel for presentations.
I further ask consent that following those presentations on Saturday the Senate then adjourn until one p.m. on Monday, February the Eight.
I finally ask consent that on Monday, immediately following the prayer, the Senate resume consideration of the articles of impeachment and there be six hours equally divided between the House managers and the White House counsel for final arguments.
SEN. LEAHY: Yes, it's reserving the right to object (OFF-MIKE). Could I ask the distinguished leader, we have had exhibits handed out today to be put in the Congressional Record referring to depositions which I understand in rule 26 are still -- are still confidential.
LOTT: Rule 29 (OFF-MIKE).
LEAHY: Are those to be put in the record?
LOTT: I will ask consent that the transcripts of the depositions be printed in the record of today's date.
LEAHY: The exhibits that were handed out today in debate, were they handed out under the rule 26 or have they been ... ?
LOTT: I believe we -- we asked that -- we got approval that they be used in the oral presentations at the beginning of the session today.
LEAHY: Withdraw any objections.
SEN. KERRY: Mr. Chief Justice?
REHNQUIST: Objection is heard.
LOTT: A reservation, Mr. Chief Justice, I believe.
REHNQUIST: The senator from Massachusetts.
KERRY: Reserving the right to object. I'd simply like to ask the majority leader: Is there an assumption that if White House counsel were to want sufficient time on Saturday in order to be able to present video testimony countering whatever surprise video -- may or may not be a surprise -- would they have that time to be able to provide that on Saturday? Not to carry over, but merely if they wanted to choose to, to do that on Saturday?
LOTT: I'm not sure I understand the question, except that we will come in at 10 and we will have six hours equally divided.
LOTT: And I presume that the House would make a presentation first and then the Senate and then close, and they would have -- there would be time during that six-hour period for the White House to use it as they see fit.
Are you asking if there would be some sort of break so that they would be able to consider that?
UNIDENTIFIED: Clearly, the purpose of the trial and the purpose of this effort is to have a fair presentation of evidence.
The Senate now having denied notice to White House counsel of what areas may be the subject of video, it might be that the voice of the witness themselves is the best response to whatever it is that the House were to present.
If they were to decide on Saturday...
REHNQUIST: The regular order has been called for. There's a unanimous consent request pending.
LOTT: Well, Mr. Chief Justice, if I could be heard just briefly further on behalf of my unanimous consent and briefly in response to the question, we have all worked hard and bent over backward to try to be fair, and I'm sure that if there's something that would be needed on Saturday it would be carefully considered by both sides.
KERRY: Mr. Chief Justice, I suggest the options of a quorum.
REHNQUIST. The majority leader has the floor.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I believe that it would be appropriate if we could go ahead and get this unanimous consent request. We will continue to work with both sides and try to make sure that there's a fair way to proceed on Saturday. We'll have the balance of today and tomorrow to work on that.
And so I would like to renew my unanimous consent request.
REHNQUIST: Is there objection --
MALE SPEAKER: Mr. Chief Justice, observing the right to object, may I inquire of the majority leader if that Saturday time schedule gives both parties time adequate time to prepare for the presentation of the evidence? Have both sides agreed that they will be prepared?
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, as best I could respond to that, I would say that hopefully both sides would have more than adequate time allocated on Saturday. And we were -- one of the reasons why we are doing it this way, Saturday instead of tomorrow, so both side will have an opportunity to review everything and hopefully communicate with each other and do that during the day Friday so that an orderly presentation could be made on both sides on Saturday.
LOTT: I believe that we're seeking a problem here where there may not be one. But if one develops, certainly we would take that into consideration.
I renew my request.
REHNQUIST: Is there objection? In the absence of objection, it's so ordered.
LOTT: Now, Mr. Chief Justice, I ask consent that those parts of the transcripts of the depositions submitted into evidence be printed in the Congressional Record, today's date.
I further ask consent that the deposition transcripts of Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal and the videotapes thereof be immediately released to the managers on the part of the House and the counsel to the president for the purpose of preparing their presentations; provided, however, that such copies shall remain at all times under the supervision of the sergeant-at-arms to ensure compliance with the confidentiality provisions of S. Res. 30.
REHNQUIST: In the absence of objection, it's so ordered.
LOTT: Under the order just granted, then, the Senate will meet again as a court of impeachment on Saturday.
On Saturday the Senate will hear the presentations from the House managers and the White House counsel for not to exceed six hours. Those presentations, after those presentations, the Senate will resume its business on Monday for six hours beginning at 1 p.m.
I now ask the Senate to stand in adjournment under previous order and ask that all senators remain at their desk until the chief justice departs the chamber.
In the absence -- what?
In the absence of objection, it is so ordered.
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