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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly
Investigating The President

H. August 16 Meeting

On Saturday, August 16, 1997, Ms. Lewinsky tried, unsuccessfully, to resume her sexual relationship with the President. She visited the White House on that day from 9:02 to 10:20 a.m.(553) The President moved from the Residence to the Oval Office at 9:20 a.m. and remained in the Oval Office until 10:03 a.m.(554) After a one-minute call to Betty Currie at her desk at 9:18 a.m., evidently from the Residence, the President had no calls while Ms. Lewinsky was at the White House.(555) The next day he left for a vacation on Martha's Vineyard.(556)

Ms. Lewinsky testified that she brought birthday gifts for the President (his birthday is August 19):

I had set up in his back office, I had brought an apple square and put a candle and had put his birthday presents out. And after he came back in and I sang happy birthday and he got his presents, I asked him . . . if we could share a birthday kiss in honor of our birthdays, because mine had been just a few weeks before. So, he said that that was okay and we could kind of bend the rules that day. And so . . . we kissed.(557)

Ms. Lewinsky touched the President's genitals through his pants and moved to perform oral sex, but the President rebuffed her.(558) In her recollection: "[H]e said, I'm trying not to do this and I'm trying to be good. . . . [H]e got visibly upset. And so . . . I hugged him and I told him I was sorry and not to be upset."(559) Later, in a draft note to "Handsome," Ms. Lewinsky referred to this visit: "It was awful when I saw you for your birthday in August. You were so distant that I missed you as I was holding you in my arms."(560)

I. Continuing Job Efforts

Ms. Lewinsky and Ms. Scott talked by phone on September 3, 1997, for 47 minutes.(561) According to notes that Ms. Lewinsky wrote to two friends, Ms. Scott told her that the detail slot in her office had been eliminated.(562) Ms. Lewinsky told one friend:

So for now, there isn't any place for me to be detailed. So I should be PATIENT. I told her I was very upset and disappointed (even though I really didn't want to work for her) and then she and I got into it. She didn't understand why I wanted to come back when there were still people there who would give me a hard time and that it isn't the right political climate for me to come back. . . . She asked me why I kept pushing the envelope on coming back there -- after all, I had the experience of being there already. So it's over. I don't know what I will do now but I can't wait any more and I can't go through all of this crap anymore. In some ways I hope I never hear from him again because he'll just lead me on because he doesn't have the balls to tell me the truth.(563)

Ms. Scott testified that "[t]he gist" of Ms. Lewinsky's email message describing the conversation "fits with what I remember telling her."(564)

Ms. Lewinsky expressed her escalating frustration in a note to the President that she drafted (but did not send).(565) She wrote:

I believe the time has finally come for me to throw in the towel. My conversation with Marsha left me disappointed, frustrated, sad and angry. I can't help but wonder if you knew she wouldn't be able to detail me over there when I last saw you. Maybe that would explain your coldness. The only explanation I can reason for your not bringing me back is that you just plain didn't want to enough or care about me enough.

Ms. Lewinsky went on to discuss other women rumored to be involved with the President who enjoy "golden positions," above criticism, "because they have your approval." She continued: "I just loved you -- wanted to spend time with you, kiss you, listen to you laugh -- and I wanted you to love me back." She closed: "As I said in my last letter to you I've waited long enough. You and Marsha win. I give up. You let me down, but I

shouldn't have trusted you in the first place.(566)

Ms. Lewinsky continued trying to discuss her situation with the President. On Friday, September 12, 1997, she arrived at the White House without an appointment, called Ms. Currie, and had a long wait at the gate. When Ms. Currie came to meet her, Ms. Lewinsky was crying. Ms. Currie explained that sometimes the President's hands are tied -- but, she said, she had gotten his authorization to ask John Podesta, the Deputy Chief of Staff, to help Ms. Lewinsky return to work at the White House.(567)

J. Black Dog Gifts

Before the President had left for vacation, Ms. Lewinsky had sent a note asking if he could bring her a T-shirt from the Black Dog, a popular Vineyard restaurant.(568) In early September, Ms. Currie gave several Black Dog items to Ms. Lewinsky.(569) In an email message to Catherine Davis, Ms. Lewinsky wrote: "Well, I found out from Betty yesterday that he not only brought me a t-shirt, he got me 2 t-shirts, a hat and a dress!!!! Even though he's a big schmuck, that is surprisingly sweet -- even that he remembered!"(570)

K. Lucy Mercer Letter and Involvement of Chief of Staff

A letter dated September 30, 1997, styled as an official memo, was found in Ms. Lewinsky's apartment. According to Ms. Lewinsky, she sent this letter or a similar one to the President.(572) Addressed to "Handsome" and bearing the subject line "The New Deal," the faux memo proposed a visit that evening after "everyone else goes home." Ms. Lewinsky wrote: "You will show me that you will let me visit you sans a crisis, and I will be on my best behavior and not stressed out when I come (to see you, that is)." She closed with an allusion to a woman rumored to have been involved with an earlier President: "Oh, and Handsome, remember FDR would never have turned down a visit with Lucy Mercer!"(573)

Ms. Lewinsky did not visit the White House the night of September 30, but the President called her late the night of September 30 or October 1.(574) According to Ms. Lewinsky, he may have mentioned during this call that he would get Erskine Bowles to help her find a White House job.(575)

At around this time, the President did ask the White House Chief of Staff to help in the job search. Mr. Bowles testified about a conversation with the President in the Oval Office: "He told me that there was a young woman -- her name was Monica Lewinsky -- who used to work at the White House; that Evelyn . . . thought she hung around the Oval Office too much and transferred her to the Pentagon."(576) The President asked Mr. Bowles to try to find Ms. Lewinsky a job in the Old Executive Office Building.(577) Mr. Bowles assigned his deputy, John Podesta, to handle it.(578)

L. News of Job Search Failure

On October 6, 1997, according to Ms. Lewinsky, she was told that she would never work at the White House again. Ms. Tripp conveyed the news, which she indicated had come from a friend on the White House staff. Ms. Lewinsky testified:

Linda Tripp called me at work on October 6th and told me that her friend Kate in the NSC . . . had heard rumors about me and that I would never work in the White House again . . . . [Kate's] advice to me was "get out of town."(579)

For Ms. Lewinsky, who had previously considered moving to New York, this call was the "straw that broke the camel's back."(580) She was enraged.(581)

In a note she drafted (but did not send), Ms. Lewinsky expressed her frustration. She wrote:

Any normal person would have walked away from this and said, "He doesn't call me, he doesn't want to see me -- screw it. It doesn't matter." I can't let go of you. . . . I want to be a source of pleasure and laughter and energy to you. I want to make you smile.

She went on to relate that she had heard second-hand from a White House employee "that I was 'after the President' and would never be allowed to work [in] the complex." Ms. Lewinsky said she could only conclude "that all you have promised me is an empty promise. . . . I am once again totally humiliated. It is very clear that there is no way I am going to be brought back." She closed the note: "I will never do anything to hurt you. I am simply not that kind of person. Moreover, I love you."(582)

When terminating their sexual relationship on May 24, the President had told Ms. Lewinsky that he hoped they would remain friends, for he could do a great deal for her.(583) Now, having learned that he could not (or would not) get her a White House job, Ms. Lewinsky decided to ask him for a job in New York, perhaps at the United Nations -- a possibility that she had mentioned to him in passing over the summer. On the afternoon of October 6, Ms. Lewinsky spoke of this plan to Ms. Currie, who quoted the President as having said earlier: "Oh, that's no problem. We can place her in the UN like that."(584)

In a recorded conversation later on October 6, Ms. Lewinsky said she wanted two things from the President. The first was contrition: He needed to "acknowledge . . . that he helped fuck up my life."(585) The second was a job, one that she could obtain without much effort: "I don't want to have to work for this position . . . . I just want it to be given to me."(586) Ms. Lewinsky decided to write the President a note proposing that the two of them "get together and work on some way that I can come out of this situation not feeling the way I do."(587) After composing the letter, she said: "I want him to feel a little guilty, and I hope that this letter did that."(588)

In this letter, which was sent via courier on October 7, Ms. Lewinsky said she understood that she would never be given a White House job, and she asked for a prompt meeting to discuss her job situation.(589) She went on to advance a specific request:

I'd like to ask you to help me secure a position in NY beginning 1 December. I would be very grateful, and I am hoping this is a solution for both of us. I want you to know that it has always been and remains more important to me to have you in my life than to come back. . . . Please don't let me down.(590)

IX. October-November 1997:

United Nations' Job Offer

Having learned that she would not be able to return to the White House, Ms. Lewinsky sought the President's help in finding a job in New York City. The President offered to place her at the United Nations. After initial enthusiasm, Ms. Lewinsky cooled on the idea of working at the U.N., and she prodded the President to get her a job in the private sector.

A. October 10: Telephone Conversation

According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President telephoned her at approximately 2:00 to 2:30 a.m. on Friday, October 10.(591) They spent much of the hour-and-a-half call arguing. "[H]e got so mad at me, he must have been purple," she later recalled.(592)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President said: "If I had known what kind of person you really were, I wouldn't have gotten involved with you."(593) He reminded Ms. Lewinsky that she had earlier promised, "[i]f you just want to stop doing this, I'll

. . . be no trouble."(594) Ms. Lewinsky said she challenged the President: "[T]ell me . . . when I've caused you trouble."(595) The President responded, "I've never worried about you. I've never been worried you would do something to hurt me."(596)

When the conversation shifted to her job search, Ms. Lewinsky complained that the President had not done enough to help her. He responded that, on the contrary, he was eager to help.(597) The President said that he regretted Ms. Lewinsky's transfer to the Pentagon and assured her that he would not have permitted it had he foreseen the difficulty in returning her to the White House.(598) Ms. Lewinsky told him that she wanted a job in New York by the end of October, and the President promised to do what he could.(599)

B. October 11 Meeting

At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 11, according to Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie called and told her that the President wished to see her.(600) Ms. Lewinsky entered the White House at 9:36 a.m. and departed at 10:54 a.m.(601) The President entered the Oval Office at 9:52 a.m.(602)

Ms. Lewinsky met with the President in the study, and they discussed her job search.(603) Ms. Lewinsky told the President that she wanted to pursue jobs in the private sector, and he told her to prepare a list of New York companies that interested her.(604) Ms. Lewinsky asked the President whether Vernon Jordan, a well-known Washington attorney who she knew was a close friend of the President and had many business contacts, might help her find a job.(605) According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President was receptive to the idea.(606)

In a recorded conversation, Ms. Lewinsky said that, at the end of the October 11 meeting, she and the President joined Ms. Currie in the Oval Office. The President grabbed Ms. Lewinsky's arm and kissed her on the forehead.(607) He told her: "I talked to Erskine [Bowles] about . . . trying to get John Hilley to give you . . . a good recommendation for your work here."(608)

Later, Ms. Lewinsky and Ms. Tripp discussed their concerns about the President's involvement in Ms. Lewinsky's job search. Specifically, Ms. Lewinsky was nervous about involving the President's Chief of Staff:

Ms. Lewinsky: Well, see, I don't really think -- I'm going to tell him that I don't think Erskine should have anything to do with this. I don't think anybody who works there should.

Ms. Tripp: I don't see how that's -- how that's a problem.

Ms. Lewinsky: Because look at what happened with Webb Hubbell.(609)

Ms. Lewinsky preferred that Vernon Jordan assist her in her job search:

Ms. Tripp: Well, I don't remember during the Webb Hubbell thing, was Vernon mentioned?

Ms. Lewinsky: Yeah, but there's a big difference. I think somebody could construe, okay? Somebody could construe or say, "Well, they gave her a job to shut her up. They made her happy. . . . And he [Mr. Bowles] works for the government and shouldn't have done that." And with the other one [Mr. Jordan] you can't say that.(610)

C. October 16-17: The "Wish List"

On October 16, Ms. Lewinsky sent the President a packet, which included what she called a "wish list" describing the types of jobs that interested her in New York City.(611) The note began: My dream had been to work in Communications or Strategic Planning at the White House. I am open to any suggestions that you may have on work that is similar to that or may intrigue me. The most important things to me are that I am engaged and interested in my work, I am not someone's administrative/ executive assistant, and my salary can provide me a comfortable living in NY.(612)

She identified five public relations firms where she would like to work.(613) Ms. Lewinsky concluded by saying of the United Nations:

I do not have any interest in working there. As a result of what happened in April '96, I have already spent a year and a half at an agency in which I have no interest. I want a job where I feel challenged, engaged, and interested. I don't think the UN is the right place for me.(614)

In a recorded conversation, Ms. Lewinsky said she wanted the President to take her list seriously and not ask her to settle for a U.N. job.(615) She said she hoped "that if he starts to pick a bone with me and the U.N., he sure as hell doesn't do it on the phone. . . . I don't want to start getting into a screaming match with him on the phone."(616)

In addition to the "wish list," Ms. Lewinsky said she enclosed in the packet a pair of sunglasses and "a lot of things in a little envelope," including some jokes, a card, and a postcard.(617) She said that she had written on the card: "Wasn't I right that my hugs are better in person than in cards?"(618) The postcard featured a "very erotic" Egon Schiele painting.(619) Ms. Lewinsky also enclosed a note with her thoughts on education reform.(620)

Ms. Lewinsky testified that she felt that the President owed her a job for several reasons: Her relationship with him was the reason she had been transferred out of the White House; he had promised her a job and so far had done nothing to help her find one; and she had left the White House "quietly," without making an issue of her relationship with the President.(623)

D. The President Creates Options

At some point around this time in the fall of 1997, Ms. Currie asked John Podesta, the Deputy Chief of Staff, to help Ms. Lewinsky find a job in New York.(624) Mr. Podesta testified that, during a Presidential trip to Latin America, he approached then-U.N. Ambassador William Richardson while aboard Air Force One and asked the Ambassador to consider a former White House intern for a position at the U.N.(626) At the time, Mr. Podesta could not recall the intern's name.(627) Ambassador Richardson and the President both testified that they never discussed Ms. Lewinsky with each other.(628)

Ambassador Richardson returned from Latin America on Sunday, October 19.(629) Within a few days, his Executive Assistant, Isabelle Watkins, called Mr. Podesta's secretary and asked whether "she knew anything about a resume that John was going to send us."(630) Mr. Podesta's secretary knew nothing about it and asked Mr. Podesta what to do; he instructed her to call Ms. Currie.(631) At 3:09 p.m. on October 21, Ms. Currie faxed Ms. Lewinsky's resume to the United Nations.(632)

At 7:01 p.m., a six-minute call was placed to Ms. Lewinsky's apartment from a U.N. telephone number identified in State Department records as "Ambassador Richardson's line."(633) Ms. Lewinsky testified that she spoke to Ambassador Richardson. A woman called, Ms. Lewinsky testified, and said, "[H]old for Ambassador Richardson."(634) Then the Ambassador himself came on the line: "I remember, because I was shocked and I was . . . very nervous."(635) The purpose of the call was to schedule a job interview at a Watergate apartment the following week.(636) At odds with Ms. Lewinsky, the Ambassador and Ms. Watkins both testified that Ms. Watkins, not the Ambassador, spoke with Ms. Lewinsky.(637)

A few days later, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President called her. She had been upset because no one at the White House had prepared her for the Ambassador's recent call and because she did not want the White House to railroad her into taking the U.N. job.(638) She reiterated that she was eager to pursue other opportunities, especially in the private sector.(639) The President reassured her, promising that a U.N. position was just one of many options.(640)

Ms. Lewinsky spoke to the President again one week later. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she told Ms. Currie to ask the President to call her to assuage her nervousness before the U.N. interview.(641)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, on October 30, the night before the interview, the President did call. She characterized the conversation as a "pep talk": "[H]e was trying to kind of build my confidence and reassure me."(642) The President told her to call Ms. Currie after the interview.(644) In his Jones deposition, the President indicated that he learned of her interview with Ambassador Richardson not from Ms. Lewinsky herself but from Ms. Currie.(645)

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