This is Bill McCollum’s summation of the factual case in the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.
McCollum, a Republican congressman from Florida, was one of the House Managers charged with the carriage of the House’s case against Clinton.
House Manager Bill McCollum’s Summation of the Factual Case.
REV. LLOYD OGILVIE, SENATE CHAPLAIN: Holy God, with awe and wonder we accept our responsibilities and our accountability to you. are sovereign of this land. When we commit our complexities to you, really seek your guidance, you direct us. Make us attentive listeners, dedicated to the search for absolute truth. In the cacophony of voices, help us to hear your voice.
Dear Father, your faithfulness never fails. You are consistent, reliable and true. You expect nothing less from us, for your glory and the good of America. To that end, fill this chamber with your presence and the mind of the senators with your gift of discernment.
You are our Lord and savior. Amen.
CHIEF JUSTICE WILLIAM REHNQUIST: 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: The majority leader is recognized.
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MISSISSIPPI): Mr. Chief Justice, there have been a number of inquiries from senators and others about some clarity with regard to the approximate times or the times that we would be meeting on Saturday and Tuesday, and so I’d like to go through — and also how the afternoon will proceed.
So, I would make some unanimous consent requests that would clarify that and give you a brief rundown on what I think the schedule will be this afternoon.
Mr. Chief Justice, as in legislative session, I asked unanimous consent that when the Senate completes its business today it stand in adjournment until 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 16. I further ask that when the Senate reconvenes on Saturday, immediately following the prayer, the Senate resume consideration of the articles of impeachment.
REHNQUIST: Without objection, it is so ordered.
LOTT: I further ask consent that when the Senate completes its business on Saturday it then adjourn over until Tuesday, January 19, at 9:30 a.m. I ask unanimous consent that on Tuesday immediately following the prayer, the general proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed to have expired. And the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use.
I further ask consent that there be a period of morning business until the hour of 11:30 a.m., with 60 minutes under the control of the majority leader or his designee. And 60 minutes under the control of the minority leader or his designee.
I ask unanimous consent that on Tuesday the Senate recess then from the hours of 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. for the weekly policy conferences. And I further ask consent that at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the Senate resume consideration of the articles of impeachment.
REHNQUIST: Without objection, it is so ordered.
LOTT: And Mr. Chief Justice, I ask consent then that on Tuesday following the conclusion of the presentation during the court of impeachment, the Senate recess until the hour of 8:35 p.m. on Tuesday evening. And I ask consent that upon reconvening Tuesday evening, the Senate proceed to the hall of the House of Representatives in order to hear an address by the president regarding the state of the Union.
REHNQUIST: Without objection, it is so ordered.
LOTT: For the information of all my colleagues, then, I understand that today’s presentation is expected to continue to until approximately six p.m.
There will be periodic breaks during the day to allow all members to stand and stretch. I want to remind senators to promptly return to their desk at the expiration of those 15-minute breaks in order that we can continue and complete at the earliest possible hour. And I thank all members for their cooperation.
This afternoon we will have — hear from Congressman McCollum, take a 15-minute break, then hear from Congressmen Gekas and Chabot and Cannon, and then take a break, and then Congressman Barr would complete the afternoon’s presentations.
Mr. Chief Justice, I yield the floor.
REHNQUIST: If there’s no objection, the journal of proceedings of the trial are approved today. Pursuant to the provisions of Senate Resolution 16, the managers for the House of Representatives have eight hours and 56 minutes remaining to make the presentation of their case. The Senate will now hear you. The presiding officer recognizes Mr. Manager McCollum to resume the presentation of the case for the House of Representatives.
REP. BILL MCCOLLUM (R-FLORIDA): (OFF-MIKE) you, Mr. Chief Justice.
Mr. Chief Justice and my colleagues in the Senate, I drove in this morning to this Capitol.
I drove up the George Washington Parkway. And I looked at the magnificent display of ice that was all over the trees, all over the grass, all over the foliage in a beautiful panorama. And just before I got to 14th Street bridge I saw this incredible number of geese, I guess in the hundreds, that were lined up together between the highway and the Potomac River. It looked like they were an invading army. And I thought of the awe of this, the awe, the beauty of it, the awe of Mother Nature, the awe of God.
And I thought also of the awe of the responsibility we have to our children and our grandchildren about what we are commencing today. This is an awesome undertaking for all of us.
I’m here today to summarize for you what you heard yesterday. I don’t want to bore you. I don’t intend to do that. I’m going to be as brief as I can.
I’m also here to help you digest the voluminous quantity of material that you have before you. There’s a huge record out there. And I’m also here to prepare you for the law discussion that’s going to come after me about the law of the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
First of all, I want you to know that I bear no personal animosity towards our president. But I happen to believe that if the president, if any president commits the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice and witness tampering, he should not be allowed to remain in office, for if he is allowed to do so, it would undermine our courts and our system of justice.
But that’s for you to determine in the end, really not me. That’s my opinion, but you are going to have to weigh the evidence. You’re going to have to hear the arguments and ultimately make that decision.
In fact, the first thing you have to determine is whether or not the president committed crimes. It’s only if you determine he committed the crimes of perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, that you ever move on to the question of whether he is removed from office. In fact, no one, none of us would argue to you that the president should be removed from office unless you conclude he committed the crimes that he is alleged to have committed.
Not every one of them necessarily, but certainly a good quantity. And there are a whole bunch of them been charged. And I would like to call your attention to a couple of things.
First of all, I don’t want to be a teacher, a school teacher, I just want to relate my own experience to you so you can understand it. I’ve been involved with this for a lot longer than most you probably have been dealing with the details of it, and I constantly have to refer back to things. And every time I read something, there’s so much detail here I learn something new.
And while I’m going to go over this record today with you and we’re going to summarize the evidence one more time, as you’re deliberating, as you’re thinking about it, I want to call a couple of places to your attention that are the easiest places to refer back and find the facts, the evidence, and so froth.
First of all, there is the report, the official report, that’s in the record, of the House’s consideration of this, the Judiciary Committee report. In that report, right in the first couple of pages, there’s a table of contents. And while a couple of the articles did not come over to you that are listed in here, there are detailed discussions you can get to from this table of contents as to every single count and every single part of these articles so you can figure out what we’re talking about today and remind yourself of that.
Secondly, I’d like to bring to your attention that there is the Starr report, and I know that’s been maligned, you know, by some people, maligned by them. But this thing is so dog-eared I got. I’ve underlined it. I’ve torn it apart practically. I’ve done all kinds of things with it. It’s a good reference source. You can go find from the footnotes in here where else to check it out. And then there are two parts — I won’t bring them both up here. These are the appendices to that.
In the first part, you can find the transcript of all the key depositions, all the key testimony, all of the evidence that we’re talking about and read it for yourselves. So I don’t want to leave here today having summarized this evidence, as long as I may take — and I don’t want to take a long time, but I’m going to take a little while — and have you go away and think, gosh, you know, what all did McCollum say or Hutchinson or Rogan or Bryant yesterday or whatever. You can find and refresh yourself through that and through whatever other information, the trial briefs and all that you have.
Now let’s look at what the record shows. President Clinton was sued by Paula Jones in a sexual harassment civil rights lawsuit.
To bolster her case, she was trying to show that the president engaged in a pattern of illicit relations with women in his employment where he rewarded those who became involved with him and disadvantaged those who rejected him, as Paula Jones did.
Whatever the merits of that approach, on May 27, 1997 the United States Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that like every other citizen — and that’s a quote: “like every other citizen” — Paula Jones has a right to an orderly disposition of her claims.
Then on December the 11th of 1997, Judge Susan Webber Wright issued an order that said Paula Jones was entitled to information regarding any state or federal employee with whom the president had sexual relations, proposed sexual relations or sought to have sexual relations.
The record shows that President Clinton was determined to hide his relationship with Monica Lewinsky from the Jones court.
His lawyers will argue to you next week, I’m sure, that he did everything to keep the relationship hidden and he did it in a legal way. They’ll say that he may have split a few hairs, evaded answers, given misleading answers, but that it was all within the framework of responses and actions that any good lawyer would advise his client to do.
They’ll also say that if he crossed the line technically somewhere, he didn’t do it knowingly or intentionally. Oh, how I wish that were true. We wouldn’t be here today. But alas, that is not so.
If you believe the sworn testimony of Monica Lewinsky, if you believe her testimony that’s in the record — and she’s very credible. The president knowingly, intentionally, and willfully set out on a course of conduct in December, 1997 to lie to the Jones court, to hide his relationship and to encourage others to lie and hide evidence. And to conceal the relationship with Monica Lewinsky from the court.
He engaged in a pattern of obstruction of justice, perjury, and witness tampering designed to deny the court what Susan Webber Wright, the judge in that court, had determined Paula Jones had the right to discover in order to prove her claim.
If you believe the testimony of Monica Lewinsky, you cannot believe the president or accept the argument of his lawyers, you simply can’t. The record is so clear on this that if you have any significant doubt about Monica Lewinsky’s credibility or testimony you should bring her in here and let us examine her face to face so you can judge her credibility for yourself.
As you will hear explained later this afternoon, the same acts can constitute both the crimes of obstruction of justice and perjury, the same acts.
And that the same acts should constitute the crimes of obstruction of justice and witness tampering. They’re all cut from the same cloth. They’re all crimes that obstruct the administration of justice and keep our courts from being able to get the evidence that they need to decide cases.
Such obstruction is so detrimental to our system of justice that the federal sentencing guidelines provide for a greater punishment for perjury and obstruction of justice than they do for bribery. And I want to show that to you. I know that everybody can’t see these charts, but I think you’ve got a handout of them. If you don’t, we’ll certainly get them to you.
I’m not going to show many charts today. But this is simply one about the sentencing guidelines. The guidelines rate these things in number sequence. The most serious sentencing is a higher number. The lower number is the lower sentence. Plain old vanilla bribery ranks at a 10. Some other things are an 8, a 7, a 4. You get down to murder or something, it’s way on up there in the numbers, much higher.
But you will see that witness tampering is a 12, not a 10.
Obstruction of justice is a 12, not a 10. Perjury is a 12, not a 10. All of them are the same. And interesting enough, though, I didn’t put it on this chart, bribing a witness, which is different from plain vanilla bribery — in other words, if you go out and try to bribe somebody to do something in a business deal, that’s one kind of bribery. You go out and bribe a witness, that’s another.
Bribing a witness is also a 12. And I want to point that out right up front to you, because the most important point that makes is that when you read the phrase in the Constitution that what’s impeachable is treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors, bribery is not considered by our court system — pure bribery — plain old bribery is not considered as serious in sentencing as perjury, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and, of course, bribing a witness.
And they’re all of the same cloth.
Why? Because that interferes with the administration of justice. Because we can’t have justice if people block the courts from getting at the truth. And if you go about doing it intentionally, you’ve committed these crimes.
It should be pointed out that lies under oath in a court proceeding, whether or not they rise to the level of crimes of perjury can be obstruction of justice. So when the president lied in the Jones deposition, in the Jones deposition, this was part of the obstruction of justice charged under Article II that is before you today, even though there is no separate count.
And he lied a lot in that deposition. We’ll talk about that a little bit later. The fact that the House did not send you the article of impeachment for perjury in the Jones deposition, does not keep you from considering the lies in that deposition as an obstruction of justice crime under Article II that is before you. And you know that it’s also incorporated in Article I, because it’s one of the four items specifically listed as the perjury that he lied about lying in the deposition.
Now, having said that, think about all of this as one big obstruction, because perjury can be obstruction, just plain lying can be obstruction, witness tampering.
By the way, witness tampering we talk about as a separate crime because it’s titled that way, but it’s one of two separate obstruction of justice sections in the United States criminal code, it’s just another version of obstruction of justice. So don’t be confused, witness tampering is obstruction of justice literally, figuratively, and in every other way. But people think about it separately because it has a separate element, a lesser element of proof actually, than obstruction of justice. But it’s all part of the same fabric again.
To put the essence of all of this in a nutshell for you, think back on the evidence presented yesterday. I would suggest that President Clinton thought his scheme out well. He sentenced the Jones lawsuit.
He was alarmed with Monica Lewinsky’s name when it appeared on the witness list. And he was even more alarmed when Judge Wright issued her orders signaling that the court would hear the evidence of other relationships. To keep his relationship with Monica Lewinsky from the court, once Judge Wright issued her ruling he knew he would have to lie to the court. To succeed at this, he decided that he had to get Monica Lewinsky to file a false affidavit, to try to avoid having her testify. And he needed to get her a job to make her happy. To make sure she executed that false affidavit, and then stick with her lies when she was questioned about it.
Then the gifts were subpoenaed. And he had to have her hide the gifts — the only tangible evidence of his relationship with her that would trigger questions. She came up with the idea of giving them to Betty Currie, and the president seized on it.
Who would think Betty Currie should be called to produce the gifts? Nobody would. Then he’d be free to lie in his deposition and that’s of course what he did.
But after he did this, he realized he had to make sure that Betty would lie and cover for him. He got his aides convinced to repeat the lies to the grand jury and to the public, and all of this worked until the dress showed up. Then he lied to the grand jury to try to cover up and explain away his prior crimes.
That’s the case in a nutshell. That’s why we’re here today. That’s what this evidence in the record shows, I believe in a compelling, exceptionally compelling way.
Now let’s review what happened. And as we do, I ask you to think back on what Mr. Bryant said to you yesterday. Always ask yourself: What are the results of the act, and who benefited?
And I think you’ll find each time it’s the president who benefited.
Now we’re going to go over the facts. On December the 5th, 1997, a year ago, about a week before Judge Wright issued her order making it clear that the president’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky was relevant to the Jones case, Ms. Lewinsky’s name appeared on the Jones witness list.
The president learned this fact the next day, December the 6th. The president telephoned Monica Lewinsky at about 2 a.m. on December the 17th and informed her about her name being on the witness list. That was about ten days after he learned about it and about five days after Judge Wright’s order, the order that made it clear that his relationship with Monica was discoverable by the Jones attorneys in that case.
Long before this, though, long before the president was called to give a deposition or Monica Lewinsky was named on the witness list in the Jones case, the evidence shows that she and the president had concocted cover stories, that they had an understanding that she would lie about the relationship and so would he if anybody asked about it.
During the telephone conversation on the 17th of December, the president told Monica that she might be called as a witness. And he at that time, suggested that she might file an affidavit to avoid being called as a witness to testify in person in that case.
In the same conversation, they reviewed these cover stories that they had concocted to conceal their relationship. He brought them up, they went over them, again. Why do you think they did that?
In her grand jury testimony, Monica Lewinsky says the president didn’t tell her to lie. But because of their previous understanding, she assumed that they both expected that she would lie in that affidavit.
In this context, the evidence is compelling that the president commit both the crimes of obstruction of justice and witness tampering right then and there on December 17th.
Now, Monica Lewinsky’s testimony is so clear about this, so clear about this, that the president’s lawyers probably won’t spend a lot of time with you on this. They didn’t in the Judiciary Committee. I could be wrong. I am saying this out here today, so they probably will just to show me I am.
But I want us to look at this. I want us to specifically look at her testimony together, because it is so compelling. On pages 123 and 124 of her testimony — and you can find it in Appendix A, Part One to the Starr report. I know you can’t see all of this that well back there, but you should have the charts here. And I pointed out on in red on this chart the most important part of it.
This is where she describes the December 17 telephone conversation. I’m going to read you part of it.
She says right here — and this is what I’ve highlighted in red: “At some point in the conversation, I don’t know if it was before or after the subject of the affidavit came up, he sort of said, ‘You know, you can always say we were coming to see Betty or that you were bringing me letters,’ which I understood was really a reminder of things which we had discussed before.”
Question: “So when you say things you had discussed, sort of ruses that you’d developed?
Monica Lewinsky: “Right. I mean, this was — this was something that — that was instantly familiar to me.”
Answer: “And I knew exactly what that meant.”
And I knew exactly what that meant.
“Had you talked with him earlier?” the questioner asks, about these false explanations about what you were doing visiting him on several occasions? Monica Lewinsky answers down here: “Several occasions throughout the entire relationship, yes, it was a pattern of the relationship to sort of conceal it,” she says.
Now let’s look at another chart, Monica Lewinsky’s grand jury, August 6th grand jury testimony, pages 233 and 234. Both of these are the August the 6th grand jury testimony, where in the context of her affidavit she makes the now-famous statement, “no one asked or encouraged me to lie.” She did say that.
But let’s look how she said it. “For me, the best way to explain it,” she says, “for me the best way to explain how I feel what happened was, you know, no one asked or encouraged me to lie, but no one discouraged me, either.” But no one discouraged me, either. I don’t know how many times anybody’s said that to you when they’ve made the arguments. But that’s what she said and the context in which she said it.
Then later on down here she says in her testimony right there on those same pages, “It wasn’t as if the president called me and said, ‘You know, Monica, you’re on the witness list. This is going to be really hard for us. We’re going to have to tell the truth and be humiliated in front of the entire world about what we’ve done,’ which I would have fought him on, probably, that was different. And by him not calling me and saying that, you know, I knew what he meant. I knew what he meant.”
Question: “Did you understand all along that he would deny the relationship also?”
And she answers, “Mmm, yes.”
“And,” questioner says, “and when you say you understood what it meant when he didn’t say, ‘Oh, you know, you must tell the truth,’ what did you understand that to mean?”
Monica Lewinsky: “That — that — that is we had on every other occasion and every other instance of this relationship we would deny it.”
After reading this, if you believe Monica Lewinsky, can there be any doubt that the president was suggesting that she file an affidavit that contains lies and falsehoods that might keep her from every having to testify in the Jones case and give the president the kind of protection that he needed when he testified?
And of course, in that same December 17 conversation, the president encouraged Monica to use cover stories and tell the same lies that he expected her to do in the affidavit if she was called to testify live and in person.
Both of those would be obstruction of justice and witness tampering. And together, the encouraging her to file this false affidavit that she clearly describes here. And the encouraging of her to lie if she’s ever called as a witness. Both of them are counts one and two of the obstruction of justice charge.
If I don’t leave you with any other impression walking away from here today, I want you to think about this. This is the clearest, boldest, most significant obstruction of justice charge. I don’t see how anybody can walk away from it, explain it out. And it is the beginning of this whole obstruction. It is a pattern. It shouldn’t be looked at in isolation, but think about it. It’s the kick-off to what really happened. It’s why we got involved in this in the first place. The president had a scheme and he went through this process.
And it all ties together the rest of it. Two days later, Monica Lewinsky was subpoenaed and contacted Vernon Jordan, who put her in touch with attorney Frank Carter. That’s the attorney he picked out. As we all know, this very false affidavit that Frank Carter prepared, not of course knowing it was false when he prepared it, but Monica knew it and the president knew it, was filed just before the president’s deposition in the Jones case on January 17th.
The record shows the president was kept abreast of this participation by Vernon Jordan, and all of its contents. Jordan advised the president that when Monica signed the affidavit on January 7, he advised the president of that fact. Two days before, Monica says in a conversation, she asked the president if he wanted to see the draft affidavit.
And he replied, you recall from yesterday, he replied that he didn’t need to see it, because he’d already seen 15 others. I doubt seriously he was talking about 15 other affidavits of somebody else and he doesn’t like looking at affidavits anymore. I suspect and I would suggest to you he was talking about 15 other drafts of this proposed affidavit, since it had been around the horn with a lot of drafting.
The circumstantial evidence makes it clear the president knew the content of the Lewinsky affidavit, and he knew it was false.
During the president’s deposition in the Jones case on January 17th, his attorney, Robert Bennett, at one point tried to stop the Jones lawyers from asking the president about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky by pointing out the affidavit she’d signed. I think we all remember that, because there was a lot of that on TV up here yesterday.
Mr. Bennett asserted at the time that the affidavit indicated, quote, “there is no sex of any kind, manner, shape or form.”
That’s what he said.
After a warning from Judge Wright, Mr. Bennett stated, “I’m not coaching the witness in preparation of the witness for this deposition, the witness is fully aware of Ms. Lewinsky’s affidavit. So I have not told him a single thing he doesn’t know.”
The president did not say anything to correct Mr. Bennett, even though he knew the affidavit was false. The judge allowed the questioning to proceed and later Mr. Bennett read to the president a portion of paragraph eight of Monica Lewinsky’s affidavit in which she denied having a sexual relationship with the president and asked him if Ms. Lewinsky’s statement was true and accurate, to which the president responded, “That is absolutely true.” Now, I’m not going back over, putting that up on the screen again, but I do want to put up here for you what you have in front of you, paragraph eight of Monica Lewinsky’s affidavit. Paragraph eight of her affidavit was absolutely false and the president knew it.
I want to go over that a little bit. What it says up here at the beginning of it is, “I have never had a sexual relationship with the president. He did not propose that we have a sexual relationship,” and so on. And we’ve heard a lot about that. But look what’s down at the end of this — what’s down at the end of this — and you have got it in front of you.
It says down here, “the occasions that I saw the president after I left my employment at the White House in April, 1996, were official receptions, formal functions or events related to the U.S. Department of Defense, where I was working at the time. There were other people present on those occasions.”
I just want to point out to you that paragraph eight, which was the subject of a lot of discussion which the president certainly was fully aware of, which you watched him intensely responding to with regard to Mr. Bennett yesterday in that deposition didn’t just contain a lie about a sexual relationship where you can quibble over the words. It is a full-fledged lie — cover story about this. None of that is true.
Monica Lewinsky saw him a lot of other times, and the president certainly knew that.
They weren’t all official events or anything else. This is a complete falsehood, paragraph eight, and the president knew it.
At that point in time, when he allowed his attorney on the day of the deposition, to make a false and misleading statement to the judge — the attorney didn’t know that, but it was a false and misleading statement to the judge characterizing this affidavit — he knew better. And the president at that point in time committed the crime of obstruction of justice, and that is count five of Article II.
Now, the president’s lawyers are going to argue that he sat silent because he wasn’t paying attention, that he didn’t hear or appreciate what Mr. Bennett was saying.
You’ve already seen the video. And you know that he was looking, he was looking so intently. Remember he was intensely following the conversation with his eyes. I don’t know if you watched that — I’m sure you did, yesterday, observed that, it was played twice.
I don’t know how anybody can say this man wasn’t paying attention. He certainly wasn’t thinking about anything else. And that was very obvious from looking at that video.
The president’s other defense also falls apart in his face. During his grand jury testimony, the president argued that when Mr. Bennett characterized the Lewinsky affidavit as indicating there was no sex of any kind, in any manner, shape, or form, that it was a completely true statement.
Because at that particular time, at that moment that the statement was being made on January 17, 1998, there was no sex going on. That’s when the president made his famous utterance to the jury. It depends on the meaning of the word, what the word “is” is. That’s when he said that.
Of course, the president knew perfectly well the context of Mr. Bennett’s discussion with the judge the context of Mr. Bennett’s discussion with the judge and that characterization of the Lewinsky affidavit was referring to the denial in paragraph eight of the affidavit that there had never been any sexual relationship at any time, not that there was no sex or sexual relationship going on on January 17th, day of the deposition.
I implore you not to get hung up on some of the details in this. It’s absurd, some of the arguments that are being made and have been made by the president and his attorneys to try to explain this stuff. This is a perfect example of that. We start looking around at this. You can’t see the forest sometimes for the trees.
The big picture’s what you need to keep in mind, not the compartmentalizations. There will be a lot of effort, I’m sure, to try to go and pick at one thing or another, but that is extraordinarily good example of how an argument fails when you put it in that situation, and we shouldn’t play word games.
When Monica Lewinsky was subpoenaed to testify, she was also subpoenaed to produce gifts that the president had given her.
When she met with Vernon Jordan the day she received the subpoena, she told him of her concerns about the gifts and she asked him to tell the president about the subpoena.
Early in the morning on December the 28th, near the end of the year, they met, the president and Monica, in his office and they exchanged gifts and discussed the gifts being subpoenaed. According to Ms. Lewinsky, she suggested that maybe she should put the gifts away outside of her house somewhere, give them to somebody like Betty Currie. She says he responded — the president responded with, “I don’t know” or “Let me think about that.”
She’s very clear: At no point did he ever give her the impression that she should turn the gifts over to the Jones attorneys. And that’s important for a couple of reasons, the one right here and later in the perjury where the count discusses his lying to the grand jury.
Consistent with their cover stories and all the plans for denying the relationship, her testimony in this regard is very believable.
On the other hand, the president’s testimony in front of the grand jury that encouraged her to turn over all the gifts to the Jones attorneys is not believable. How can anybody believe that? When he said that to the grand jury, he committed perjury. When a few hours later, according to Monica Lewinsky, Betty Currie called her on the telephone and said “I understand you have something to give me” or maybe she said “the president said you have something to give me,” and Betty Currie came over and got the gifts and took them back and hid them under her bed — at that moment the president’s crime of obstruction of justice as described in Count 3 of Article II was complete.
Remember by their nature, obstruction of justice charges and crimes are most frequently proven by circumstantial evidence. As somebody said here the other day: We don’t tell people we’re going go out under the elm tree and lie and obstruct things.
Usually it’s a lot more circuitous than that.
In the context of all that was going on at the time and the general truthfulness, though, of Monica Lewinsky’s testimony in other respects, how can anyone come to any other conclusion than that the president collaborated with Monica and Betty to hide these gifts on December 28? How can you? The sequence is there.
Now, the president’s lawyers may spend a lot of time attacking this particular obstruction of justice charge. They may question why the president would have given Monica Lewinsky more gifts on December 28 if he was expecting her to hide the gifts. Monica’s explanation in her testimony is, quote, “From everything he said to me” he expected her to conceal the gifts, including the ones being given that day.
When Mrs. Currie’s call came, wasn’t it the logical thing, wasn’t it the logical thing for Monica to conclude that this was the result of the president’s having thought about what to do with the gifts, which he said he was going to do, according to her, and deciding to have Mrs. Currie hide them. That’s the logical thing.
The president’s attorneys no doubt will also question the veracity of As. Lewinsky with regard to who made the phone call.
Since Mrs. Currie’s recollection is not very good, and she at first says that she recalls that Monica made it. And of course, the phone records indicate that Mrs. Currie called Ms. Lewinsky. And that’s the much more logical consequence and sequence.
Also, it doesn’t make sense that the president’s secretary, who is so close to him, think about this for a minute. It doesn’t make sense that she would have taken these gifts and would have hidden them under her bed and never talked with the president about doing so before or after she did so. That just doesn’t make sense.
It’s also noteworthy that the president did everything he could in his January 17 deposition to conceal the true nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. This is consistent with the arguments that he never intended the gifts to be kept from the Jones attorneys. He never intended them to be given to the Jones attorneys.
You know, if he had intended to give these gifts to the Jones attorneys, or have them given, why would he have gone to this elaborate series of lies in that deposition?
Common sense tells us that if he knew these gifts were revealed, that questions would be raised and the relationship revealed. So all the logic is there. I don’t know how you refute it.
Another obstruction count the president’s attorneys are likely to spend time on is one concerning the job search. There’s no question that Monica Lewinsky was looking for a job in New York a long time before we get to December 1997 when the affidavit and all of this took place. Long before the president had reason to be concerned that she would have to testify or he’d have to testify in the case. There’s no question about that.
The question — that is not — that’s not the issue. The question is whether or not the president intensified his efforts to get her a job and made sure she got one after it became clear to him that he would need her to lie, sign a false affidavit and stick with her lies in any questioning.
That’s what counts. That’s what’s important. Did he intensify his efforts and really go after it? Was it part of that pattern I described to you earlier that Mr. Hutchinson described yesterday? That’s what’s important.
In other words, as count four of Article II alleges, did he make sure she was rewarded for sticking with him in his scheme of concealment in anticipation that this reward would keep her happy and keep her from turning on him?
Did the president make sure Monica Lewinsky signed the false affidavit by getting her a job? The record shows that while she did get some interviews from earlier contacts, including one involving a job with the United States ambassador to the UN, no one of real influence around the president put on a full-court press to get her a job and she hadn’t had any success as of December the 6th.
She had not been able to get in touch with Vernon Jordan in her recent efforts. He had met with her once in November. But as you recall from yesterday’s discussions, something he didn’t even have a good memory of, he certainly wasn’t very focused on it and she wasn’t getting where she wanted to get.
And so, on December the 6th, she mentioned that fact to the president. Remember, that’s one day after she was named on the witness list. In fact, that’s the day that he learned, or may have learned — we know he learned of her being on that witness list.
The president met with Vernon Jordan the next day, but he apparently didn’t mention Ms. Lewinsky, according to Mr. Jordan’s testimony. The record shows that not until December the 11th did Mr. Jordan act to help Ms. Lewinsky find a job, when he met with her and gave her a list of contact names on December the 11th.
Mr. Jordan, that same day, made calls to contacts at McAndrews & Forbes, the parent corporation of Revlon, and two other New York companies. He also telephoned the president to keep him informed of his efforts. Keep in mind, that on this day, this very same day, December the 11th, Judge Wright issued her order in the Jones case entitling Jones’ lawyers to discover the president’s sexual relations.
Is that a mere coincidence?
Later, in December, Monica Lewinsky interviewed with New York- based companies that had been contacted by Mr. Jordan. She discussed her move to New York with the president during their meeting on December 28. On January the 5th, she declined a United Nations offer.
On January the 7th, Ms. Lewinsky signed the false affidavit. The next day, on January the 8th, she interview in New York with McAndrews & Forbes, but the interview went very poorly.
Learning of this, Vernon Jordan that very day called Ronald Perlman (ph), the chairman of the board of McAndrews & Forbes. She was interviewed the next morning again, and a few hours later she received an informal offer. She told Jordan about it. He immediately told Betty Currie about it. And he personally told the president about it later.
On January 13th her job offer at Revlon was formalized, and within a day or so President Clinton told Erskine Bowles that Ms. Lewinsky found a job in the private sector. It was a big relief to him.
Then her false affidavit was filed, and on January 17th, the president gave his deposition relying on the false affidavit and using the cover stories to conceal the relationship. Was this full court press in December and early January to ensure Monica Lewinsky had a job a coincidence? Logical common sense says no.
The president needed her to continue to cooperate in his scheme to hide their relationship. Keeping her happy so he could control her and she — he would be assured that she’d file this false affidavit and testify untruthfully if she was called. It’s the only plausible rationale for this stepped-up job assistance effort at this particular time.
In doing so, the president committed the crimes of obstruction of justice and witness tampering, as set forth in count 4 of Article II.
Well, we’ve gone through quite a few of these, and I’m trying to be brief with you on it. But I think each one of them is important. Each one of them entangles the president further in a web that fits together, and it’s kind of sticky, just like the spider weaves.
During his deposition in the Jones’ case, the president referred to Betty Currie several times. And suggested that she might have answers to some of the questions. He used the cover stories — the same ones he and Monica talked about — and he talked about Betty Currie a good deal because she was a part of those cover stories.
asked her to come to his office the next day and talk with him. Betty Currie told the grand jury when she came in the next day, the president raised his deposition with her and said there were several things he wanted to know.
He then rattled off what you heard yesterday in succession. You were always there when she was there, right? We never were really alone. You could see and hear everything. Monica came on to me and I never touched her, right? She wanted to have sex with me and I can’t do that. All of those weren’t true. They were all falsehoods. They were all declaratory statements.
They weren’t questions. It’s clear from the record that Mrs. Currie always tried her best to be loyal to the president, her boss. That’s normal. That’s natural. In answering the questions in her testimony, she tried to portray the events and the president’s assertions in the light most favorable to him.
Even so, she acknowledges that she couldn’t hear and see everything that went on between Monica and the president, and that she wasn’t actually present in the same room with them on any number of occasions. So they were alone. And she couldn’t say what they might have been doing or saying.
On January 20th and 21st, the president again met with Mrs. Currie, and according to her, recapitulated what he’d said on Sunday, a day or two before, right after the deposition.
In the context of everything, it seems abundantly clear that the president was trying to make sure that Betty Currie corroborated his lies and cover stories from the deposition if she were ever called to testify in the Jones case or before the grand jury or in any other court proceeding. That’s what he was doing. In doing so, the president committed the crimes of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
Later, the president testified rather disingenuously in my judgment that he was simply trying to refresh his memory when he was talking to Ms. Currie.
Mrs. Currie’s confirmation of false statements that the president made in his deposition could not in any way remind him of the facts; they were patently untrue. That was — that the idea was that he was trying to refresh his recollection is implausible.
Recognizing the weakness of their client’s case on this, the president’s attorneys have suggested that he was worried about what Mrs. Currie might say if the press really got after this; that’s what we heard at least over in the Judiciary Committee.
Of course, it’s possible that the president was worried about the press. I would suspect so. But common sense says he was much more worried about what Betty Currie might say to a court after he just named her several times and talked about her if she was called as a witness in that.
As those who follow me will tell you in the arguments by the president’s lawyers that Betty Currie wasn’t on the Jones witness list at the time, and the window of opportunity to call her as a witness in that case closed shortly thereafter, is irrelevant. They’re going to argue, probably — they argued to us — that Betty Currie’s name wasn’t on the witness list, so that’s a big deal, they say, they say.
But it’s irrelevant, it doesn’t matter. Witness tampering law doesn’t even require that a pending judicial proceeding be going on for it to be a crime. So whether her name was on the witness list or not makes no difference. Remember, there are two types of obstruction of justice. One of them does require a pending proceeding. I submit that you’ll hear more about this later, in the law, that this instance the president committed both of them.
He certainly should have anticipated that she would be called in the pending proceeding that was going on in the Jones case. But even if there was no pending proceeding — and you’ll again hear more about this later — under — for witness tampering part of the obstruction of justice, there doesn’t require to have even been an ongoing judicial proceeding.
Within four or five days of this Jones deposition, the president not only explicitly denied the true nature of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky to key White House aides, he also embellished the story when he talked to Sidney Blumenthal. To Sidney Blumenthal he portrayed Monica Lewinsky as the aggressor, attacked her reputation by portraying her as a stalker, and presented himself as the innocent victim being attacked by the forces of evil.
Certainly he wanted his denial and his assertions to be spread to the public by these aides, but at the same time he knew that the Office of Independent Counsel recently been appointed to investigate the Monica Lewinsky matter. He knew that at the time. In the context of everything else that he was doing to hide his relationship, it seems readily apparent his false and misleading statements to these staff members, whom he knew were potential witnesses before any grand jury proceeding, were designed in part to corruptly influence their testimony as witnesses.
In fact, the president actually acknowledged this in his grand jury testimony that he knew his aides might be called before the grand jury. And one of the aides testified he expected to be called.
Sure enough, they were. And they repeated the false and misleading information he’d given them. In this, the president committed the crimes of witness tampering and obstruction of justice as set forth in count 7 of Article II. Now that’s the obstruction of justice.
Let’s briefly review the grand jury perjury for a minute. If you believe Monica Lewinsky, the president lied to the grand jury and committed perjury. If you believe her. And I think this one is very important.
Not that they all aren’t. There was the web of the obstruction, that I have just described.
And then, there’s the grand jury perjury on top of it. And I told you earlier perjury, and just plain lying, can be all obstruction of justice, as well.
But the grand jury part is much later. It’s after the president had time to really reflect on all of this, a long time later. If you believe Monica Lewinsky, the president lied to the grand jury and committed perjury in denying he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Even if you accept his interpretation of the Jones court definition of sexual relations.
That’s really important. There isn’t anything clearer in the whole darn matter than that. Just look at the president’s grand jury testimony. And I’m not going to go over all of that. But it’s on pages 93 and 96, of his grand jury testimony. It’s laid out in this chart, which you have in front of you. And I encourage you to read every page of it carefully.
Specifically, I call your attention to the fact that — again, I’m not going to read all this — but they asked him about touching certain parts of the body that were defined in the definition, that you’ve had repeated many times public and otherwise.
And two of those body parts he acknowledges — the breasts and genitalia — were in fact part of the definition.
And at the end of this — and I think this is very important — and I’m going to read it because it’s part of his testimony — he answers the question that is the compelling bottom line crime. This is where he perjured himself above all else.
“You are free to infer that my testimony is that I did not have sexual relations as I understood this term to be defined.”
Question: “Including touching her breasts, kissing her breasts or touching her genitalia?
Answer: “That’s correct.”
In her sworn testimony, Monica Lewinsky described nine incidents of which the president touched and kissed her breasts and four incidents involving contact with her genitalia.
On these matters, Lewinsky’s testimony is corroborated by the sworn testimony of at least six friends and counselors to whom she related these incidences (sic) contemporaneously.
Again, if you believe the testimony of Monica Lewinsky, and it’s certainly credible here — I think it’s credible throughout — but it is certainly credible with all of the corroboration you’ve got in the record.
There is nothing clearer in all of this, in all of this you have before you, than that the president committed the crime of perjury in testifying before the grand jury regarding the nature and details of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
On the other hand, there’s plenty here to indicate the president cleverly created his own narrow definition of sexual relations to include only sexual intercourse, absent the explicit definition in the court, after had already lied in responding to the interrogatories and other pleadings and perhaps even in the deposition itself in the Jones case.
In other words, you’re free to deduce that he knew full-well what most people would include as sexual relations, oral sex and the other intimate activities that he was engaged in with Ms. Lewinsky before he contrived his own definition. In that case, you don’t even have to rely on Monica Lewinsky’s testimony to conclude that he committed the crime of perjury in testifying before the grand jury on the nature of his relationship with her.
There are other perjurious lies the president’s grand jury testimony contains regarding the nature and details of his relationship with her. I’m not going to outline all of those. I want to call your attention to one.
The president’s prepared statement given under oath said, “I reget — regret that what began as a friendship came to include this conduct.” You may remember that from Mr. Rogan, I think, yesterday.
“I regret what began as a friendship came to include this conduct.” That’s what he said in the grand jury. The evidence indicates that he lied.
As Ms. Lewinsky testified, her relationship with the president began with flirting, including Ms. Lewinsky showing the president her underwear. And a couple of hours later they were kissing and engaging in intimacies. That’s a little bit more than friendship. He lied when he said that to the grand jury.
Before the grand jury, the president swore that he testified truthfully at his deposition. Remember, I told you I was going to come back to this. It’s important because the grand jury — I mean, the Paula Jones deposition testimony is relevant to obstruction of justice, but it’s also relevant to the perjury here, because one of the portions of the perjury article that you have before us includes this issue of lying in the deposition.
The perjury in this case is not the lying in the deposition. It’s the lying to the grand jury about whether he lied in the deposition.
He didn’t have to have committed perjury, we didn’t send you the perjury count over from the deposition, but if he lied — lying can be less than perjury — if he lied in the deposition and then he told the grand jury that he didn’t lie, he committed perjury in front of the grand jury.
The evidence indicates that he — he did lie. He testified before the grand jury that, quote, “My goal in this deposition was to be truthful but not particularly helpful. I was determined to walk through the mine field of this deposition without violating the law and I believe I did.”
Contrary to this testimony, the president was alone with Ms. Lewinsky when she was not delivering papers, which he even conceded in his grand jury statement, so he lied in the deposition then when he said he wasn’t alone with her.
In the deposition, the president swore that he could not recall ever being in the Oval Office hallway with Ms. Lewinsky except perhaps when she was delivering pizza. The evidence indicates that he lied.
The president swore in the Jones deposition that he could not recall gifts exchanged between Monica Lewinsky and himself. The evidence indicates that he lied.
He swore in the deposition that he did not know whether Monica Lewinsky had been served a subpoena to testify in the Jones case at the last time that he saw her in December of 1997. The evidence indicates that he lied.
In his deposition, the president swore that the last time he spoke to Monica Lewinsky was when she stopped by before Christmas 1997 to see Betty Currie at a Christmas party. The evidence indicates that he lied.
In his deposition in the Jones case, the president swore that he didn’t know that his personal friend Vernon Jordan had met with Monica Lewinsky and talked about the case. The evidence indicates that he lied.
The president in his Paula Jones’s deposition indicated that he was, quote, “not sure,” unquote, whether he ever talked to Monica Lewinsky about the possibility that she might be asked to testify in the Jones case. Can anybody doubt the evidence indicates that he lied?
The president in his deposition swore that the contents of the affidavit executed by Monica Lewinsky in the Jones case in which she denied they had a sexual relationship were absolutely true. The evidence indicates that he lied.
In other words, when the president swore in the grand jury testimony that his goal in the Jones deposition was to be truthful, but not particularly helpful, the evidence is clear that he lied and committed the crime of perjury, inasmuch as he had quite intentionally lied on numerous occasions in his deposition testimony in the Jones case.
His intention in that deposition was to be untruthful. That’s what it was all about — to be untruthful. And so he committed the crime of perjury in front of the grand jury big time.
The third part of Article I concerning grand jury perjury relates to his not telling the truth about false and misleading statements his attorney, Robert Bennett — unintentionally, Mr. Bennett, by the way — but nonetheless false and misleading statements Robert Bennett made to Judge Wright during the president’s Jones case deposition. Now, we’ve been over that a lot, and I don’t want to bore you with going all those details again, but this is the third part of the perjury count, as well as an obstruction of justice count. During the president’s deposition in the Jones case, Mr. Bennett, however unintentional on his part, misled the court when he said, quote “counsel” — counselor to Mrs. Jones — “is fully aware that Ms. Lewinsky has filed — has an affidavit which they are in possession of saying that there is no sex of any kind, of any manner, shape or form with President Clinton.”
Judge Wright, as you recall again, interrupted Mr. Bennett, expressed her concern that he might be coaching the president. To which Mr. Bennett responded, quote, “in preparation of the witness for this deposition, the witness is fully aware of Ms. Lewinsky’s affidavit. So, I have not told him a single thing he doesn’t know.”
In his grand jury testimony about these statements by Mr. Bennett to the judge in the Jones case, the president testified, quote, “I’m not even sure I paid attention to what he was saying. I didn’t pay much attention to this conversation, which is why, when you started asking me about this I asked to see the deposition. I don’t believe I ever even focused on what Mr. Bennett said in the exact words he did until I started reading this transcript carefully at this hearing. That moment, the whole argument just passed me by.” Unquote.
And so testifying before the grand jury, the president lied and committed the crime of perjury.
As you saw yesterday in the video, during this portion of that deposition when Mr. Bennett was discussing this matter with Judge Wright, the president directly looked at Mr. Bennett, paying close attention to his argument to Judge Wright. He lied about that to the grand jury, he committed perjury when he said that he wasn’t paying attention and he didn’t know what Mr. Bennett was saying.
Several of the most blatant examples of grand jury perjury found in that portion of his testimony cited in the fourth part, the last part of Article I, which goes to his efforts, the president’s efforts, to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence in the Jones case. The president swore during the grand jury testimony that he told Ms. Lewinsky that if the Jones lawyers requested the gifts exchanged between them, she should provide them. If you believe Monica Lewinsky’s testimony, the president lied and committee perjury.
In her grand jury testimony, Ms. Lewinsky discussed in detail their December 28 meeting where the gifts were discussed, which preceded by a couple of hours Ms. Currie’s coming to her apartment and taking the gifts and hiding them under a bed. As you will recall, she said she raised with the president the idea of removing her gifts from her house and giving them to somebody like Betty Currie.
And that his response to the effect, let me think about that.
She went on to say that from everything he said to her, they were not going to do anything but keep these gifts private. In a separate sworn statement she testified she was never under the impression from anything the president said that she should turn over the gifts to the Jones’ attorneys. And obviously she didn’t have the idea she should do that, because she gave them all to Betty Currie to hide under the bed.
When the president told the grand jurors that he was simply trying to refresh his recollection when he made a series of statements to Betty Currie the day after his deposition, he lied and committed perjury.
As I’ve already pointed out to you, today the evidence is compelling that those statements such as, “I was never really alone with Monica, right,” were made to try to influence Betty Currie’s possible testimony so she would corroborate him, his cover stories and his other false statements and lies that he’d given the previous day in the Jones deposition, if she were called as a witness.
If you conclude that these series of statements constituted witness tampering and obstruction of justice, then you must also conclude that the president committed perjury when he asserted that the sole purpose of these statements to Betty Currie were to refresh his recollection.
You have to.
Even if you were to buy the president’s counsel’s suggestion these statements might have been made to influence her in order to corro — for him to corroborate not an actual testimony in a court case, but for the press, which they’ve said again to us — I don’t know if they’ll say it to you. You would still conclude that he was lying when he said that this was simply to refresh his own recollection.
In the context of all of this, the idea that he was refreshing his recollection by firing off these declarative statements doesn’t make sense, it just doesn’t make sense. If you read the statements and think about them on the face, they’re inherently inconsistent with refreshing his recollection.
Also, the president told the grand jury that the things he told his top aides about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky may have been misleading, but they were true. If you believe the aides testified truthfully to the grand jury about what the president told them about his relationship, the president told them many falsehoods, absolute falsehoods.
So when the president described them under oath to the grand jury as truths, he lied and committed the crime of perjury.
One example of this comes from Deputy Chief John Podesta — his testimony before the grand jury on January the 23rd that the president explicitly told him that he and Monica Lewinsky had not had oral sex. Another is Sidney Blumenthal. His testimony on January 23rd — was that on January 23rd the president told him that Monica Lewinsky quote “came at me and made a sexual demand on me,” unquote, and that he rebuffed her. And also Blumenthal’s testimony that the president told him that Lewinsky threatened him and said she would tell people that they’d had an affair, that and she was known as a stalker among her peers.
In short, the president lied numerous times before the grand jury. My colleagues, he lied numerous times under oath last August the 17th. He committed perjury numerous times under oath. He certainly wasn’t caught by surprise by any of this — by any of the questions that were asked of him during the grand jury appearance, and he was given a lot of latitude. He was given latitude normally that grand jury witnesses don’t have to give a prepared statement, to have his counsel present, to refuse to answer questions without taking the Fifth Amendment.
It’s hard to imagine a case where it’s clearer that the lies meet the threshold of the crime of perjury. But I’ll leave the discussion of the elements of law to the next group that’s going to come up here.
The facts are clear that the president lied about having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, even under his understanding of the definition of the Jones case if you believe Monica.
He lied when he said he gave truthful testimony in his Jones deposition. He lied when he said he wasn’t paying attention to his attorney’s discussion of Monica Lewinsky’s false affidavit during his deposition in the Jones case.
He lied when he said he told Monica Lewinsky she should turn over the gifts to the Jones lawyers if they asked for them. He lied when he told the grand jury that he made the declaratory statements to Betty Currie to refresh his recollection.
And he lied when he told the grand jury that he only told the truth to his White House aides, such as John Podesta. who testified the president told him he had not had oral sex with Lewinsky, and to Sidney Blumenthal, who testified he told him very exaggerated and highly untrue characterizations of Monica Lewinsky’s role in all of this.
These impeachment proceedings aren’t before you because of one or two lies about a sexual relationship.
This is not about sex. This is about obstruction of justice. This is about a pattern. This is about a scheme. This is about a lot of lies. This is about a lot of perjury.
They’re before you because the president lied again and again in a perjurious fashion to a grand jury and tried to get a number of people — other people — to lie under oath to the Jones lawsuit and to the grand jury and encourage the concealment of evidence. Now, in a couple of days, the president’s lawyers are going to have chance to talk to you, and I suspect they’re going to try to get you to focus on ten, or 15 or 20 or 30, or maybe even a 100 specific little details.
They’re going to argue that these details don’t square with some of the facts about this presentation. But I would encourage you never to lose sight of the totality of this scheme to lie and obstruct justice. Never lose sight of the big picture. Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.
It’s easy to do because there are a lot of facts in this case. I would is suggest you avoid considering any of this stuff in isolation and treating them separately. The evidence and the testimony needs to be viewed as a whole. The weight — we call it in the law — and you’re going to hear that in a few minutes — the weight of the evidence in this case is very great — it’s huge in its volume, that the president engaged in a scheme starting in December 1997 to conceal from the court in the Jones case his true relationship with Monica Lewinsky and then cover up his acts of concealment which he had to know by that time were serious crimes.
The case against the president rests, to a great extent, on whether or not you believe Monica Lewinsky. But it’s also based on the sworn testimony of Vernon Jordan, Betty Currie, Sidney Blumenthal, John Podesta, the corroborating witnesses. Time and again the president says one thing and they say something entire different. Time and again, somebody is not telling the truth. And time and again, an analysis in the context and the motivation and all of the testimony taken together, with common sense, says it’s the president who is not telling the truth.
But, if you have serious doubts about the truthfulness of any of these witnesses, I again, as all of my colleagues do, encourage you to bring them in here.
Let’s examine Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, Betty Currie and the other key witnesses. Let’s you examine the testimony. Invite the president to come, judge for yourself their credibility.
But on the record, the weight of the evidence, taken from what we have given you today, what you can read in all of these books back here, everything taken together is huge that the president lied.
It’s refutable, but it’s not refutable if somebody doesn’t come in here besides just making an argument. I don’t know what the witnesses will say. But I assume if they’re consistent, they’ll say the same thing that’s in here. But you’ve got a chance to determine whether they’re telling the truth.
The only way you’ll ever know that other than just accepting it, if you think the evidence and the weight is that huge — and it may be — is by looking them in the eye and determining their credibility.
I believe that when you finish hearing and weighing all of the evidence, you’ll conclude, as I have, that William Jefferson Clinton committed the crimes of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and perjury; that these in this case are high crimes and misdemeanors; that he has done grave damage to our system of justice and leaving him in office would do more. And that he should be removed from office as president of the United States.
Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that there now be a recess of the proceedings for 15 minutes. Please return to your positions within 15 minutes.
REHNQUIST: In the absence of objections it is so ordered.