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Investigating The President

D. February 28 Sexual Encounter

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President had a sexual encounter on Thursday, February 28 -- their first in nearly 11 months. White House records show that Ms. Lewinsky attended the taping of the President's weekly radio address on February 28.(425) She was at the White House from 5:48 to 7:07 p.m.(426) The President was in the Roosevelt Room (where the radio address was taped) from 6:29 to 6:36 p.m., then moved to the Oval Office, where he remained until 7:24 p.m.(427) He had no telephone calls while Ms. Lewinsky was in the White House.(428)

Wearing a navy blue dress from the Gap, Ms. Lewinsky attended the radio address at the President's invitation (relayed by Ms. Currie), then had her photo taken with the President.(429) Ms. Lewinsky had not been alone with the President since she had worked at the White House, and, she testified, "I was really nervous."(430) President Clinton told her to see Ms. Currie after the photo was taken because he wanted to give her something.(431) "So I waited a little while for him and then Betty and the President and I went into the back office," Ms. Lewinsky testified.(432) (She later learned that the reason Ms. Currie accompanied them was that Stephen Goodin did not want the President to be alone with Ms. Lewinsky, a view that Mr. Goodin expressed to the President and Ms. Currie.(433)) Once they had passed from the Oval Office toward the private study, Ms. Currie said, "I'll be right back," and walked on to the back pantry or the dining room, where, according to Ms. Currie, she waited for 15 to 20 minutes while the President and Ms. Lewinsky were in the study.(434) Ms. Currie (who said she acted on her own initiative) testified that she accompanied the President and Ms. Lewinsky out of the Oval Office because "I didn't want any perceptions, him being alone with someone."(435)

In the study, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President "started to say something to me and I was pestering him to kiss me, because . . . it had been a long time since we had been alone."(436) The President told her to wait a moment, as he had presents for her.(437) As belated Christmas gifts, he gave her a hat pin and a special edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.(438)

Ms. Lewinsky described the Whitman book as "the most sentimental gift he had given me . . . it's beautiful and it meant a lot to me."(439) During this visit, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President said he had seen her Valentine's Day message in the Washington Post, and he talked about his fondness for "Romeo and Juliet."(440)

Ms. Lewinsky testified that after the President gave her the gifts, they had a sexual encounter:

[W]e went back over by the bathroom in the hallway, and we kissed. We were kissing and he unbuttoned my dress and fondled my breasts with my bra on, and then took them out of my bra and was kissing them and touching them with his hands and with his mouth.

And then I think I was touching him in his genital area through his pants, and I think I unbuttoned his shirt and was kissing his chest. And then . . . I wanted to perform oral sex on him . . . and so I did. And then . . . I think he heard something, or he heard someone in the office. So, we moved into the bathroom.

And I continued to perform oral sex and then he pushed me away, kind of as he always did before he came, and then I stood up and I said . . . I care about you so much; . . . I don't understand why you won't let me . . . make you come; it's important to me; I mean, it just doesn't feel complete, it doesn't seem right.(441)

Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and the President hugged, and "he said he didn't want to get addicted to me, and he didn't want me to get addicted to him." They looked at each other for a moment.(442) Then, saying that "I don't want to disappoint you," the President consented.(443) For the first time, she performed oral sex through completion.(444)

When Ms. Lewinsky next took the navy blue Gap dress from her closet to wear it, she noticed stains near one hip and on the chest.(445) FBI Laboratory tests revealed that the stains are the President's semen.(446)

In his grand jury testimony, the President -- who, because the OIC had asked him for a blood sample (and had represented that it had ample evidentiary justification for making such a request), had reason to suspect that Ms. Lewinsky's dress might bear traces of his semen -- indicated that he and Ms. Lewinsky had had sexual contact on the day of the radio address. He testified:

I was sick after it was over and I, I was pleased at that time that it had been nearly a year since any inappropriate contact had occurred with Ms. Lewinsky. I promised myself it wasn't going to happen again. The facts are complicated about what did happen and how it happened. But, nonetheless, I'm responsible for it.(447)

Later the President added, referring to the evening of the radio address: "I do believe that I was alone with her from 15 to 20 minutes. I do believe that things happened then which were inappropriate."(448) He said of the intimate relationship with Ms. Lewinsky: "I never should have started it, and I certainly shouldn't have started it back after I resolved not to in 1996."(449)

E. March 29 Sexual Encounter

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she had what proved to be her final sexual encounter with the President on Saturday, March 29, 1997. Records show that she was at the White House from 2:03 to 3:16 p.m., admitted by Ms. Currie.(450) The President was in the Oval Office during this period (he left shortly after Ms. Lewinsky did, at 3:24 p.m.), and he did not have any phone calls during her White House visit.(451)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie arranged the meeting after the President said by telephone that he had something important to tell her. At the White House, Ms. Currie took her to the study to await the President. He came in on crutches, the result of a knee injury in Florida two weeks earlier.(452)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, their sexual encounter began with a sudden kiss: "[T]his was another one of those occasions when I was babbling on about something, and he just kissed me, kind of to shut me up, I think."(453) The President unbuttoned her blouse and touched her breasts without removing her bra.(454) "[H]e went to go put his hand down my pants, and then I unzipped them because it was easier. And I didn't have any panties on. And so he manually stimulated me."(455) According to Ms. Lewinsky, "I wanted him to touch my genitals with his genitals," and he did so, lightly and without penetration.(456) Then Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on him, again until he ejaculated.(457)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President had a lengthy conversation that day. He told her that he suspected that a foreign embassy (he did not specify which one) was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories. If ever questioned, she should say that the two of them were just friends. If anyone ever asked about their phone sex, she should say that they knew their calls were being monitored all along, and the phone sex was just a put-on.(458)

In his grand jury testimony, the President implicitly denied this encounter. He acknowledged "inappropriate intimate contact" with Ms. Lewinsky "on certain occasions in early 1996 and once in early 1997."(459) The President indicated that "the one occasion in 1997" was the radio address.(460)

F. Continuing Job Efforts

With the 1996 election past, meanwhile, Ms. Lewinsky had continued striving to get a job at the White House. She testified that she first broached the issue in a telephone call with the President in January 1997, and he said he would speak to Bob Nash, Director of Presidential Personnel.(461) She understood that Mr. Nash was supposed to "find a position for me to come back to the White House."(462)

Over the months that followed, Ms. Lewinsky repeatedly asked the President to get her a White House job. In her recollection, the President replied that various staff members were working on it, including Mr. Nash and Marsha Scott, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for Presidential Personnel.(463) According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President told her:

"Bob Nash is handling it," "Marsha's going to handle it" and "We just sort of need to be careful." You know, and . . . he would always sort of . . . validate what I was feeling by telling me something that I don't necessarily know is true. "Oh, I'll talk to her," "I'll -- you know, I'll see blah, blah, blah," and it was just "I'll do," "I'll do," "I'll do." And didn't, didn't, didn't.(464)

Ms. Lewinsky came to wonder if she was being "strung along."(465)

Testifying before the grand jury, the President acknowledged that Ms. Lewinsky had complained to him about her job situation:

You know, she tried for months and months to get a job back in the White House, not so much in the West Wing but somewhere in the White House complex, including the Old Executive Office Building. . . . She very much wanted to come back. And she interviewed for some jobs but never got one. She was, from time to time, upset about it.(466)

VII. May 1997: Termination of Sexual Relationship

In May 1997, amid indications that Ms. Lewinsky had been indiscreet, President Clinton terminated the sexual relationship.

A. Questions about Ms. Lewinsky's Discretion

In April or May 1997, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President asked if she had told her mother about their intimate relationship. She responded: "No. Of course not."(468) (In truth, she had told her mother.(469)) The President indicated that Ms. Lewinsky's mother possibly had said something about the nature of the relationship to Walter Kaye, who had mentioned it to Marsha Scott, who in turn had alerted the President.(470)

Corroborating Ms. Lewinsky's account, Mr. Kaye testified that he told Ms. Lewinsky's aunt, Debra Finerman, that he understood that "her niece was very aggressive," a remark that angered Ms. Finerman. Ms. Finerman told Mr. Kaye that the President was the true aggressor: He was telephoning Ms. Lewinsky late at night. Ms. Finerman, in Mr. Kaye's recollection, attributed this information to Marcia Lewis, Ms. Lewinsky's mother (and Ms. Finerman's sister). Mr. Kaye -- who had disbelieved stories he had heard from Democratic National Committee people about an affair between Ms. Lewinsky and the President -- testified that he was "shocked" to hear of the late-night phone calls.(471)

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