ad info

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards



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

2. Evidence That Contradicts the President's Testimony

In the seven months preceding the President's grand jury testimony on August 17, the OIC gathered substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath in his deposition statements about being alone with Monica Lewinsky.

First, Monica Lewinsky testified before the grand jury that she was alone with the President on numerous occasions(125) and in numerous areas, including the Oval Office,(126) Nancy Hernreich's office,(127) the President's private study,(128) the private bathroom across from the study,(129) and the hallway that leads from the Oval Office to the private dining room.(130) Ms. Lewinsky confirmed that she and the President were alone during sexual activity.(131)

Second, Betty Currie testified that President Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky were alone together in the Oval Office area a number of times.(132) She specifically remembered three occasions when the President and Ms. Lewinsky were alone together: February 28, 1997,(133) early December 1997,(134) and December 28, 1997.(135)

Third, six current or former members of the Secret Service testified that the President and Ms. Lewinsky were alone in the Oval Office area -- Robert Ferguson,(136) Lewis Fox,(138) William Bordley,(139) Nelson Garabito,(140) Gary Byrne,(141) and John Muskett.(142)

Fourth, White House steward Glen Maes testified that on some weekend day after Christmas 1997,(143) the President came out of the Oval Office, saw Ms. Lewinsky with a gift, and escorted her into the Oval Office. Mr. Maes testified that the President and Ms. Lewinsky were alone together for approximately eight minutes, and then Ms. Lewinsky left.(144)

3. The President's Grand Jury Testimony

On August 17, 1998, the President testified to the grand jury and began his testimony by reading a statement admitting that he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky:

When I was alone with Ms. Lewinsky on certain occasions in early 1996 and once in early 1997, I engaged in conduct that was wrong.(145)

The President acknowledged being alone with Ms. Lewinsky on multiple occasions, although he could not pinpoint the precise number.(146) Perhaps most important, the President admitted that he was alone with Ms. Lewinsky on December 28, 1997,(147) less than three weeks before his deposition in the Jones case. Indeed, he acknowledged that he would have to have been an "exhibitionist" for him not to have been alone with Ms. Lewinsky when they were having sexual encounters.(148)

4. Summary

Substantial and credible information demonstrates that the President made three false statements under oath in his civil deposition regarding whether he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky.

First, the President lied when he said "I don't recall" in response to the question whether he had ever been alone with Ms. Lewinsky. The President admitted to the grand jury that he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky. It is not credible that he actually had no memory of this fact six months earlier, particularly given that they were obviously alone when engaging in sexual activity.

Second, when asked whether he had been alone with Ms. Lewinsky in the hallway in the Oval Office, the President answered, "I don't believe so, unless we were walking back to the back dining room with the pizza."(149) That statement, too, was false: Most of the sexual encounters between the President and Ms. Lewinsky occurred in that hallway (and on other occasions, they walked through the hallway to the dining room or study), and it is not credible that the President would have forgotten this fact.

Third, the President suggested at his civil deposition that he had no specific recollection of being alone with Ms. Lewinsky in the Oval Office, but had a general recollection that Ms. Lewinsky may have brought him "papers to sign" on certain occasions when she worked at the Legislative Affairs Office.(150) This statement was false. Ms. Lewinsky did not bring him papers for official purposes. To the contrary, "bringing papers" was one of the sham "cover stories" that the President and Ms. Lewinsky had originally crafted to conceal their sexual relationship.(151) The fact that the President resorted to a previously designed cover story when testifying under oath at the Jones deposition confirms that he made these false denials in a calculated manner with the intent and knowledge that they were false.

The President had an obvious motive to lie in this respect. He knew that it would appear odd for a President to have been alone with a female intern or low-level staffer on so many occasions. Such an admission might persuade Judge Wright to deny any motion by Ms. Lewinsky to quash her deposition subpoena. It also might prompt Ms. Jones's attorneys to oppose efforts by Ms. Lewinsky not to be deposed and to ask specific questions of Ms. Lewinsky about the times she was alone with the President. It also might raise questions publicly if and when the President's deposition became public; at least parts of the deposition were likely to become public at trial, if not at the summary judgment stage.

Because lying about their sexual relationship was insufficient to avoid raising further questions, the President also lied about being alone with Ms. Lewinsky -- or at least feigned lack of memory as to specific occurrences.(152)

B. There is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath in his civil deposition about gifts he exchanged with Monica Lewinsky.

During his civil deposition, the President also was asked several questions about gifts he and Monica Lewinsky had exchanged. The evidence demonstrates that he answered the questions falsely. As with the questions about being alone, truthful answers to these questions would have raised questions about the nature of the relationship. Such answers also would have been inconsistent with the understanding of the President and Ms. Lewinsky that, in response to her subpoena, Ms. Lewinsky would not produce all of the gifts she had received from the President (an issue discussed more fully in Ground V).

1. The President's Civil Deposition Testimony About His Gifts to Monica Lewinsky

During the President's deposition in the Jones case, Ms. Jones's attorneys asked several questions about whether he had given gifts to Monica Lewinsky.

Q: Well, have you ever given any gifts to Monica Lewinsky?

WJC: I don't recall. Do you know what they were?

Q: A hat pin?

WJC: I don't, I don't remember. But I certainly, I could have.

Q: A book about Walt Whitman?

WJC: I give -- let me just say, I give people a lot of gifts, and when people are around I give a lot of things I have at the White House away, so I could have given her a gift, but I don't remember a specific gift.

Q: Do you remember giving her a gold broach?

WJC: No.(153)

2. Evidence that Contradicts the President's Civil Deposition Testimony

(i) Just three weeks before the President's deposition, on December 28, 1997, President Clinton gave Ms. Lewinsky a number of gifts, the largest number he had ever given her.(154) They included a large Rockettes blanket, a pin of the New York skyline, a marble-like bear's head from Vancouver, a pair of sunglasses, a small box of cherry chocolates, a canvas bag from the Black Dog, and a stuffed animal wearing a T-shirt from the Black Dog.(155) Ms. Lewinsky produced the Rockettes blanket, the bear's head, the Black Dog canvas bag, the Black Dog stuffed animal, and the sunglasses to the OIC on July 29, 1998.(156)

(ii) The evidence also demonstrates that the President gave Ms. Lewinsky a hat pin as a belated Christmas gift on February 28, 1997.(157) The President and Ms. Lewinsky discussed the hatpin on December 28, 1997, after Ms. Lewinsky received a subpoena calling for her to produce all gifts from the President, including any hat pins.(158) In her meeting with the President on December 28, 1997, according to Ms. Lewinsky, "I mentioned that I had been concerned about the hat pin being on the subpoena and he said that that had sort of concerned him also and asked me if I had told anyone that he had given me this hat pin and I said no."(159) The President's secretary Betty Currie also testified that she had previously discussed the hat pin with the President.(160)

(iii) Ms. Lewinsky testified that the President gave her additional gifts over the course of their relationship, such as a brooch,(162) the book Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman,(163) an Annie Lennox compact disk,(166) and a cigar.(167)

3. President's Civil Deposition Testimony About Gifts from Monica Lewinsky to the President

When asked at his civil deposition in the Jones case whether Monica Lewinsky had ever given him gifts, President Clinton testified as follows:

Q: Has Monica Lewinsky ever given you any gifts?

WJC: Once or twice. I think she's given me a book or two.

Q: Did she give you a silver cigar box?

WJC: No.

Q: Did she give you a tie?

WJC: Yes, she has given me a tie before. I believe that's right. Now, as I said, let me remind you, normally when I get these ties, I get ties, you know, together, and then they're given to me later, but I believe that she has given me a tie.(168)


4. Evidence that Contradicts the President's Testimony

(i) Monica Lewinsky's Testimony

The evidence reveals that Ms. Lewinsky gave the President approximately 38 gifts; she says she almost always brought a gift or two when she visited.(170)

a. Ms. Lewinsky testified before the grand jury that she gave the President six neckties.(171)

b. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she gave the President a pair of sunglasses on approximately October 22, 1997.(172) The President's attorney, David E. Kendall, stated in a letter on March 16, 1998: "We believe that Ms. Lewinsky might have given the President a few additional items, such as ties and a pair of sunglasses, but we have not been able to locate these items."(173)

c. On November 13, 1997, Ms. Lewinsky gave the President an antique paperweight that depicted the White House.(174) Ms. Lewinsky testified that on December 6, 1997, and possibly again on December 28, 1997, she saw this paperweight in the dining room, where the President keeps many items of political memorabilia.(175) The President turned over the paperweight to the OIC in response to a second subpoena calling for it.(176)

d. Ms. Lewinsky gave the President at least seven books:

The Presidents of the United States, on January 4, 1998;(177)

  • Our Patriotic President: His Life in Pictures, Anecdotes, Sayings, Principles and Biography,(179) on December 6, 1997;(180)

  • an antique book on Peter the Great, on August 16, 1997;(181)

The Notebook, on August 16, 1997;(182)

  • Oy Vey, in early 1997;(183)

  • a small golf book, in early 1997;(185) and

her personal copy of Vox, a novel about phone sex, on March 29, 1997.(187)

e. Ms. Lewinsky gave the President an antique cigar holder, on December 6, 1997.(188)

f. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she gave the President a number of additional gifts.(189) >

5. Grand Jury Testimony of the President and Ms. Currie

When he testified to the grand jury, President Clinton acknowledged giving Monica Lewinsky several gifts, stating that "it was a right thing to do to give her gifts back."(190) He acknowledged giving her gifts on December 28, 1997,(191) just three weeks before the civil deposition.

During the criminal investigation, the President has produced seven gifts that Ms. Lewinsky gave him. He testified to the grand jury that Ms. Lewinsky had given him "a tie, a coffee cup, a number of other things I had."(192) In addition, the President acknowledged that "there were some things that had been in my possession that I no longer had, I believe."(193)

Betty Currie testified that Ms. Lewinsky sent a number of packages for the President -- six or eight, she estimated.(194) Ms. Lewinsky also sometimes dropped parcels off or had family members do so.(195) When the packages came to the White House, Ms. Currie would leave the packages from Ms. Lewinsky in the President's box outside the Oval Office, and "[h]e would pick [them] up."(196) To the best of her knowledge, such parcels always reached the President: "The President got everything anyone sent him."(197) Ms. Currie testified that to her knowledge, no one delivered packages or something as many times as Ms. Lewinsky did.(198)

6. Summary

The President stated in his civil deposition that he could not recall whether he had ever given any gifts to Ms. Lewinsky;(199) that he could not remember whether he had given her a hat pin although "certainly, I could have"; and that he had received a gift from Ms. Lewinsky only "once or twice."(200) In fact, the evidence demonstrates that they exchanged numerous gifts of various kinds at many points over a lengthy period of time. Indeed, on December 28, only three weeks before the deposition, they had discussed the hat pin. Also on December 28, the President had given Ms. Lewinsky a number of gifts, more than he had ever given her before.

A truthful answer to the questions about gifts at the Jones deposition would have raised further questions about the President's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The number itself would raise questions about the relationship and prompt further questions about specific gifts; some of the specific gifts (such as Vox and Leaves of Grass) would raise questions whether the relationship was sexual and whether the President had lied in denying that their relationship was sexual. Ms. Lewinsky explained the point: Had they admitted the gifts, it would "at least prompt [the Jones attorneys] to want to question me about what kind of friendship I had with the President and they would want to speculate and they'd leak it and my name would be trashed and he [the President] would be in trouble."(201)

A truthful answer about the gifts to Ms. Lewinsky also would have raised the question of where they were. Ms. Lewinsky had been subpoenaed for gifts, as the President knew. The President knew also from his conversation with Ms. Lewinsky on December 28, 1997 (an issue discussed more fully in Ground V) that Ms. Lewinsky would not produce all of the gifts she had received from the President.

For those reasons, the President had a clear motive when testifying under oath to lie about the gifts.

IV. There is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath during his civil deposition concerning conversations he had with Monica Lewinsky about her involvement in the Jones case.

President Clinton was asked during his civil deposition whether he had discussed with Ms. Lewinsky the possibility of her testifying in the Jones case. He also was asked whether he knew that she had been subpoenaed at the time he last had spoken to her.

There is substantial and credible information that the President lied under oath in answering these questions. A false statement about these conversations was necessary in order to avoid raising questions whether the President had tampered with a prospective witness in the civil lawsuit against him.

A. Conversations with Ms. Lewinsky Regarding the Possibility of Her Testifying in the Jones Case >

1. President Clinton's Testimony in His Deposition

In the President's civil deposition, he was asked about any discussions he might have had with Monica Lewinsky about the Jones case:

Q: Have you ever talked to Monica Lewinsky about the possibility that she might be asked to testify in this lawsuit?

[videotape indicates an approximately 14-second pause before answer]

WJC: I'm not sure, and let me tell you why I'm not sure. It seems to me the, the, the -- I want to be as accurate as I can here. Seems to me the last time she was there to see Betty before Christmas we were joking about how you-all [Ms. Jones's attorneys], with the help of the Rutherford Institute, were going to call every woman I'd ever talked to . . . and ask them that, and so I said you [Ms. Lewinsky] would qualify, or something like that. I don't, I don't think we ever had more of a conversation than that about it, but I might have mentioned something to her about it, because when I saw how long the witness list was, or I heard about it, before I saw, but actually by the time I saw it her name was on it, but I think that was after all this had happened. I might have said something like that, so I don't want to say for sure I didn't, because I might have said something like that.

* * * *

Q: What, if anything, did Monica Lewinsky say in response?

WJC: Nothing that I remember. Whatever she said, I don't remember. Probably just some predictable thing.(202)

2. Evidence that Contradicts the President's Civil Deposition Testimony

(i) Ms. Lewinsky's Testimony

Ms. Lewinsky testified that she spoke three times to President Clinton about the prospect of testifying in the Jones lawsuit -- once (December 17, 1997) after she was on the witness list and twice more (December 28, 1997, and January 5, 1998) after she had been subpoenaed.

a. December 17, 1997, Call. Ms. Lewinsky testified that President Clinton called her at about 2:00 a.m. on December 17, 1997. First, he told her that Ms. Currie's brother had died; then he told Ms. Lewinsky that she was on the witness list in the Jones case. According to Ms. Lewinsky, "[h]e told me that it didn't necessarily mean that I would be subpoenaed, but that that was a possibility, and if I were to be subpoenaed, that I should contact Betty and let Betty know that I had received the subpoena."(203) Ms. Lewinsky said that the President told her that she might be able to sign an affidavit to avoid being deposed.(204) According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President also told her, "You know, you can always say you were coming to see Betty or that you were bringing me letters."(205) Ms. Lewinsky took that statement to be a reminder of the false "cover stories" that they had used earlier in the relationship.(206)

b. December 28, 1997, Visit. Ms. Lewinsky was subpoenaed on December 19. At her request, Vernon Jordan told the President that Ms. Lewinsky had been subpoenaed.(207) She then met with President Clinton nine days later on December 28, less than three weeks before the President was deposed.

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President discussed the Jones lawsuit and how the Jones lawyers might have learned about her. Ms. Lewinsky said they also discussed the subpoena's requirement that she produce gifts she had received from the President, including specifically a "hat pin."(208)

Because of their mutual concern about the subpoena, Ms. Lewinsky testified that she asked the President if she should put the gifts away somewhere.(209) The President responded "I don't know" or "Hmm" or "Let me think about it."(210) Later that day, according to Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie called to pick up the gifts, which she then stored under her bed in her home in Virginia.(211) (This issue will be discussed more fully in Ground V below.)

c. January 5, 1998, Call. Ms. Lewinsky also testified that she spoke to the President by telephone on January 5, 1998, and they continued to discuss her role in the Jones case. Ms. Lewinsky expressed concern that, if she were deposed, she might have a difficult time explaining the circumstances of her transfer from the White House to the Pentagon. According to Ms. Lewinsky, the President suggested that she answer by explaining that people in the White House Legislative Affairs office had helped her get the Pentagon job -- which Ms. Lewinsky understood to be a misleading answer because she in fact had been transferred as a result of her being around the Oval Office too much.(212)

(ii) The President's Grand Jury Testimony

When the President testified to the grand jury, the President admitted that Ms. Lewinsky visited him on December 28, 1997,(214) and that during that visit, they discussed her involvement in the Jones case:

WJC: . . . I remember a conversation about the possibility of her testifying. I believe it must have occurred on the 28th.

She mentioned to me that she did not want to testify. So, that's how it came up. Not in the context of, I heard you have a subpoena, let's talk about it.

She raised the issue with me in the context of her desire to avoid testifying, which I certainly understood; not only because there were some embarrassing facts about our relationship that were inappropriate, but also because a whole lot of innocent people were being traumatized and dragged through the mud by these Jones lawyers with their dragnet strategy. . . .(215)

* * * *

Q: . . . Do you agree that she was upset about being subpoenaed?

WJC: Oh, yes, sir, she was upset. She -- well, she-- we -- she didn't -- we didn't talk about a subpoena. But she was upset. She said, I don't want to testify; I know nothing about this; I certainly know nothing about sexual harassment; why do they want me to testify. And I explained to her why they were doing this, and why all these women were on these lists, people that they knew good and well had nothing to do with any sexual harassment.(216)

Previous   Next

© 1998 Cable News Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.
Who we are.