Transcript: Motion to depose witnesses introduced in Senate impeachment trial
January 26, 1999
January 27, 1999
WILLIAM REHNQUIST, CHIEF JUSTICE, U.S. SUPREME COURT: The Senate will convene as a court of impeachment. The chaplain will offer a prayer.
REVEREND LLOYD OGILVIE, SENATE CHAPLAIN: Gracious God, you not only guide our steps, you order our stops for quiet times of prayer. We hear your words spoken through the Psalmist, "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth."
Help us absorb the true meaning of these words translating the original Hebrew. You called us to let up, to leave off, to let go, to truly know that you are God. You are in control. We cannot be still inside until we reaffirm that you are in control of us, this nation and this Senate.
We exalt you, El Shadai (ph), all sufficient one, Adenoi (ph) our Lord, Jehovah Ra'ah (ph), our shepherd who guides, Jehovah Ruf'ah (ph), who heals our bodies and our relationships, Jehovah Shema (ph), God who is here, strengthen the senators as they seek to exalt you as these pages of American history are written during this trial, you bless the nation that exalts you.
OGILVIE: You bless the nation that exalts you through him who taught us to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness. Amen.
REHNQUIST: The sergeant at arms will make the proclamation.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Here ye, here ye, here ye. All persons are commanded to keep silent on pain of imprisonment while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against William Jefferson Clinton, president of the United States.
REHNQUIST: If there's no objection, the journal of proceedings of the trial are approved to date. The chair recognizes the majority leader.
U.S. SENATOR TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MAJORITY LEADER: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
LOTT: For the information of all senators, we are now prepared to hear arguments regarding the subpoenaing of witnesses and the taking of their depositions.
I understand the House managers will submit the list and begin their arguments, and the White House counsel will then state their arguments, with the House managers making the final or closing statement.
This period has been limited to four hours instead of the six hours that had been earlier indicated.
I also expect a motion may be offered again to close the session with regard to deliberations by the senators. I need some further consultation with Senator Daschle to confirm that or not. It could be that we could work it out without having to do the recorded vote.
Therefore, though, votes could occur this evening, probably between 4:30 and 5:00 o'clock.
As always, we will expect to take a break after about an hour and a half in the proceedings so that -- and it may be a little bit longer than usual so that if senators were not able to grab a quick bite, they may be able to grab a little something in the cloakroom during that first break. So, it might be a little longer than ordinary, and I expect that would occur sometime around 1:30, approximately.
Before we begin, since I see that there are still a few senators not in the chamber, I would suggest the absence of a quorum, Mr. Chief Justice.
REHNQUIST: The clerk will call the roll.
(CLERK: QUORUM CALL)
LOTT: I ask that the quorum call be dispensed with.
REHNQUIST: Without objection, it's so ordered.
LOTT: And if all senators and counsel and managers would return to their desks, I believe we're ready to begin.
Mr. Chief Justice, again, just for the information of all senators, what happens next is I believe that the manager will be recognized on behalf of the House to present a motion with regard to the subpoenaing of witnesses and then the presentations will begin -- first, by the House managers and then by the White House counsel and then a close by the House managers to be spread over four hours. But that, at approximately 1:30, we will take a break so that we can assess how we can proceed the balance of the day and perhaps even get a bite to eat if senators had not had that opportunity. It won't be an extended break, but it will be a little bit longer than normal. I believe we're ready to proceed, Mr. Chief Justice.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Bryant on behalf of the managers.
The manager will send the motion to the desk and the clerk will read the motion.
CLERK: Motion of the United States House of Representatives for the appearance of witnesses at a deposition and to admit evidence not in the record.
Now comes the United States House of Representatives by and through its duly authorized managers and respectfully submits to the United States Senate its motion for the appearance of witnesses at a deposition and to admit evidence not in the record, in connection with the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton, president of the United States.
The House moves that the Senate authorize and issue subpoenas for the appearance of the following witnesses at a deposition for the purpose of providing testimony related to the impeachment trial:
1. Monica S. Lewinsky.
2. Vernon Jordan; and
3. Sidney Blumenthal.
Further, the House moves that the Senate admit into evidence the following material not currently in the record:
REHNQUIST: One, the affidavit of Barry Ward (ph), law clerk to the honorable Susan Webber Wright, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Two, the sworn declaration of T. Wesley Holmes (ph) and attachments thereto. And three, certain telephone records which document conversations between Monica S. Lewinsky and William Jefferson Clinton, including a 56-minute exchange on December 6, 1997.
Additionally, the House petitions the Senate to request the appearance of William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, at a deposition for the purpose of providing testimony related to the impeachment trial.
Pursuant to Senate Resolution 16, as modified by the order of January 25, the managers on the part of the House of Representatives and the counsel for the president, each have two hours to present their arguments on this motion.
The chair recognizes, is it Mr. Manager Bryant? Mr. Manager McCollum.
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE BILL MCCOLLUM (R-FL): Mr. Chief Justice and members of the Senate, we're here today to argue for the presentation of witnesses, and I want to state at the outset a couple of observations of mine regarding this.
The House managers have always understood the Senate sets the rules on these matters, and we don't question that fact, but I think it's important to set the record clear here today to say at the outset that we have always believed and we still do believe that 10 or 12 witnesses are what we should have and should have been permitted to call to prove our case.
We've estimated this could be done in a matter of two weeks at the outside, including all cross-examination. That's what we think the normal order would have been. It's what we think it should have been.
But we've been told again and again, and we believe it's true, that if we made such a request it would not be approved.
And a few weeks ago, we thought, maybe even a few days ago -- that we could submit a list of maybe five or six witnesses and there would be a reasonable chance for deposition they would be approved, and maybe two or three of them could actually be presented here live on the floor.
Now, we have been led to believe and we think that it's an accurate assessment that in order to get a vote to approve the opportunity to take depositions alone, whether or not anyone's called, that we cannot submit more than two or three witnesses to you and that's what we've done today. We have submitted a motion for simply three witnesses: Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sydney Blumenthal. The two people who know the most about this are Monica Lewinsky and President William Jefferson Clinton.
And while we have not submitted to you today the name of President Clinton in our motion, we strongly urge that if you allow us to have witnesses, which we believe you should, that you in addition or even if you don't, on your own, call President Clinton here to testify.
We think that it is exceedingly important that you have an opportunity, and we have an opportunity for you, to examine him and these other witnesses to get at the truth of this matter and to end all the speculation that is resolved [sic] around this matter and let you draw the proper inferences and conclusions.
I will simply say that I am going to make a brief outline of the matter of why we should have witnesses for you, the three we are asking for, and I'll be followed in order so you can get some sequence to this by Manager Bryant, who will discuss in detail the reason why we think that it's appropriate to call specifically Monica Lewinsky; Manager Hutchinson, who will discuss Mr. Jordan as a witness; and Manager Rogan who will discuss Mr. Blumenthal.
If our motion is granted, I want to make this very, very, very clear, at no point will we ask any questions of Monica Lewinsky about her explicit sexual relations with the president, either in deposition or if we are permitted on the floor of the House.
They will not be asked. That of course assumes that White House counsel does not enter into that discussion and we doubt that they would.
Secondly, we do not see why the entire process of deposing and calling all of these witnesses right here live would have to take more than just a very few days -- two or three, four, five, maybe early next week at the latest. There's no reason why that has to be longer than that. We absolutely reject the argument that some have been making -- and I don't know why they've been making it -- that somehow if we have a single witness out here, it's going to take weeks and weeks of protracted delay in this trial.
That's just not so. And certainly not so with the three witnesses we're asking you to permit us to present today.
I also want to address the argument that's been made by some that witnesses should only be permitted if there is new evidence.
Now, we believe, we managers, that we will present to you new evidence with the witnesses that we have asked to you bring, and let us depose. But think through this with me for one moment.
Under the rules you've set up, if we take depositions, which we are required to do of every one of these witnesses, at the end of the day when those depositions are completed, all the new evidence that we could imagine will certainly be from those three witnesses in those depositions and the argument would then be made, I'm sure, that there's no reason to have a live witness out here at all. That had to be a preconceived notion by somebody who thought of that in the first place if that is the argument.
That should not be the standard. It should be one of the standards, but not the standard, not the sole standard. There's a lot more to a witness and the reason why you need to have a witness out here than simply new evidence.
In real criminal trials, virtually all witnesses are deposed before they're brought to trial, and then the counsel on each side decides which witnesses they'll call. They're called. They're examined. They're cross-examined. And unless a witness is deceased or laid up or there's some other extraordinary reason why that witness isn't there, especially a key witness, then the witness normally is here live.
It's especially true in a case like this, where much of the evidence -- not necessarily all of it, there are quite a bit of direct evidence -- but much of the evidence is circumstantial and requires you to draw, as many finders of fact do all across this country every day, inferences and conclusions that involve the credibility of a witness, that involve the why it's said, that involve inflections and spontaneity of the witness, the exchange between the counsel asking the questions and the witness, and a description that the flavor of which you simply can't get without having the person here to observe.
That's what jurors do all the time. I think it's especially important, as well, because there's conflicting testimony. Now I don't suppose we have a stand here today, but I -- you've got in front of you the credibility of witness instruction, I think we've passed out. We'd like for you to keep it. It's a credibility of witness instruction -- here it is over on this side.
Credibility of witness of instruction is longer than this; I just excerpted a part of it and put it up here on this board. And I know you can't all see that, but you should have this sheet. And if you don't, please ask for it.
This is a jury instruction that's given in the District of Columbia. It's something that's given here as a part of our federal system and it's important, I think, for this particular paragraph to read it, to understand it because it's -- you wouldn't even write this jury instruction if you didn't expect to have live witnesses.
In reaching a conclusion as to the credibility of any witness, you may consider any matter that may have a bearing on the subject. That's part of the instruction.
You may consider the demeanor and the behavior of the witness. I think that's important. It's the third paragraph if you're looking at it. It's a bolded paragraph. You may consider the demeanor and the behavior of the witness on the witness stand; the witness's manner of testifying; whether the witness impresses you as a truthful person; whether the witness impresses you as having an accurate memory and recollection; whether the witness has any motive for not telling the truth; whether the witness had a full opportunity to observe the matters about which he or she has testified; whether the witness has any interest in the outcome of the case or friendship or hostility towards other persons in the case.
Demeanor, manner, truthfulness, how the witness impresses you. If you don't have that witness here, and it's a critical witness, there is no way as a trier of fact you can make those judgments fairly.
There just isn't any way. Now, we think that it is terribly critical, not only that we are permitted to depose these witnesses, but with respect particularly to Monica Lewinsky, and perhaps all three of them, that we be permitted to bring those witnesses here at the end of the day and examine them and let the president's counsel examine them.
The arguments of the president's counsel have been to some extent to you and to me, and I've heard it repeated several times, that somehow circumstantial evidence is not that important. That it is somehow inferior to direct evidence. I didn't pass out a jury instruction on that again. You've already heard us talk about that.
The reality is the jury instructions, if I passed one out today to you, would say exactly what we've seen before: Circumstantial evidence is given the same weight, the same weight as direct evidence. Inferences have to be drawn. I don't know of any case in this country in a criminal matter, or rarely I shouldn't say any, I suppose there's the confession that always you get once in awhile and read about in the paper.
But in almost every criminal case you have to draw inferences, there has to be circumstantial evidence of some sort. And there's nothing wrong with that.
President's counsel has said that somehow the nature of the evidence means you should automatically acquit him. I just don't buy that at all.
What -- what are inferences? Let's put inferences up for a second so you can look at that. Inferences are on this side.
This is another jury instruction. I don't know if you've got this one, but we'll give it to you. This is another one that is given out.
"An inference is a deduction or a conclusion which you as finders of fact are permitted to draw from the facts which have been established by either direct or circumstantial evidence. In drawing inferences you should exercise your common sense. You are permitted to draw from the facts which you find to be proven, such reasonable inferences as would be justified in light of your experience."
A few days ago one of the White House counsel, Mr. Kendall, attempted to make you think it was very difficult to prove a crime by circumstantial evidence.
You may remember, Mr. Kendall told the story about a fellow who came out of his house one morning and he saw his driveway was wet. And he immediately thought it must have rained last night. But Mr. Kendall said, this man noticed right after that, that his neighbor's water sprinkler was dripping, and he thought, well maybe the water sprinkler caused it to be wet. And he used that illustration, ending the story right there, of how difficult circumstantial evidence is and how likely you might draw the wrong conclusion from inferences.
Mr. Kendall didn't allow you to proceed with the next common sense step that shows you how powerful circumstantial evidence might be. Let's suppose the man got up in the morning, he walked out of the house. He saw that his driveway was wet. He thought maybe it had rained. He immediately observed the water sprinkler is dripping.
He thought, well, maybe the water sprinkler cause it and he looked down the street then and looked at, not only his neighbor's sidewalk where it was wet as well as his and the driveway, but he looked at his neighbor's. And he looked at the -- several others, all around in his neighborhood and they were dry. The obvious conclusion from circumstantial evidence is the neighbor's water sprinkler caused his sidewalk and his -- or his driveway to be wet and didn't rain.
It's a kind of a reasonable, common sense, inferential, circumstantial conclusion you're allowed to draw. You're the finders of fact and I think that that suggestion was wrong, but this is why we need witnesses. You need to be able to see the temperament. You need to be able to have the background. You need to be able to have the feel and the flavor to draw those inferences properly.
In the impeachment case before you, you have both direct and circumstantial evidence that the president engaged in a pattern of obstruction, perjury and witness tampering designed to deny the court in the Jones case what Judge Wright had determined that Jones had a right to discover in order to prove her claim.
You have to use your common sense to get at this. Seeing, hearing, observing those live witnesses is important.
If you remember at the outset of this case, at the outset of these proceedings, I tried to draw you and your attention to a nutshell of what this was about. Some have said it's the theory of the case. White House counsel wants to call it speculation.
It's not speculation. It's what from all the evidence, especially once you've heard Monica Lewinsky and Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal, I think, adding the flavor that you need to have, adding the body language you need to observe, adding the credibility you need to establish in this, I think that's the proper inference and the proper conclusion you need to draw.
What was that nutshell? And I won't bore you with going into every detail again, but I want to remind you what the record we think shows that this additional witness presentation would augment and be very important to.
It shows the president had a well thought out scheme. He resented the Jones lawsuit, he was alarmed when Monica Lewinsky's name appeared on the witness list and even more alarmed when Judge Wright issued her order signaling the court would hear the evidence of the relationship.
To keep his relationship with Monica Lewinsky from the court once it was apparent to him he was going to have to testify, he knew he would have to lie to the court. To succeed at this he decided he had to get Monica Lewinsky to file a false affidavit to try to avoid her testifying. He needed to get her a job to make her happy, to make sure she executed the affidavit and then stick with her lies if questioned.
Then the gifts were subpoenaed. He had to have her hide the gifts, the only tangible evidence that could link him to her. She came up with the idea of giving them to Betty Currie, and the president seized on that. Who would think to ask Betty? Then he would be free to lie to the court in the deposition.
But after this, he realized he had to make sure Betty would lie and cover for him. He got his aides convinced to repeat his 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 cover up and explain away his prior crimes. The president, knowingly, intentionally, 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.
Now, that's the straight-forward case that we've presented. It's there, but it's very important that you recognize this is not speculation, that it is supported by the evidence, but it needs to have the witnesses here.
Now, I'm not going to go into every one of the articles. I'm not going to go over all that again. You've got them in front of you.
But you know there are four provisions -- four different provisions of the perjury article, and there are seven counts in the obstruction article. And in addition to the seven counts, we believe you have the right to consider the lies that the president made in the civil Paula Jones deposition as part of his obstruction of justice as written in the body of that article.
Now, why do I raise what is there on the table? Well, you can find the president guilty of any one of the perjury or obstruction of justice charges in our judgment. If you find him guilty of any one, you can convict him and you can remove him from office.
We think that's appropriate. We think that you should, that every one of them rises to that level.
Now, -- and I want to make a point to you, too. For example, about the first one in perjury, about the nature and details of his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Let's just say for a minute, so you will get this one clear, if I could beg your indulgence.
There were a lot of questions raised out here about particular statements that might be perjurious, some of which may have sounded a little bit stretched to you than others did.
But the body and gravamen of that is they're all grand jury about that relationship. Cumulatively, that's what you're voting on. You're not voting on, you know, is each and every one of these, particularly the singular lie that hangs the president of the United States. And therefore, there are three more in addition to that to look at. So please look at all of them.
We also strongly believe that each of these constitute high crimes and misdemeanors. It's very hard for us to conceive that there's a different standard for impeaching the president and impeaching a judge. We know that's been argued to you out here. But it's very hard for us to conceive of this.
On the other hand, I'm aware that many of you believe -- and I'm sure some of you at least do -- I hope it's not many, but I said many -- that no matter whether or not the president is guilty of the perjury and the obstruction of justice, everything that's in here in great detail, everything we've told you, there are some you that believe none of that rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor and that the president shouldn't be removed from office.
On the other hand, I think that the majority of you do believe that if the president committed all of this, surely it would rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.
How can you leave a man in office who's president of the United States who has so intentionally through his scheme that he's concocted deny the court justice, denied information to a person who is trying to plead their case, gone through it systematically and lied again and again and again, and then went intentionally, calculatingly, and lied to the grand jury about it again? It's very hard to conceive of that.
But I also suspect that most of you, at the end of the day, will question some of these. And as I said earlier, you don't have to conclude that he committed all of them to convict him.
Certainly not to find him guilty of the charges. But somewhere in between, is it 50 percent of them? Is it seven eights of them? Is it -- how many of them does it take? What's the weight for some of you? Each one of you will be judging this differently. But in that process, there is no doubt in my mind that you need to go through the process of looking at and hearing from these witnesses to make that decision. And if you have a doubt, not about -- in your own mind, maybe some of you have no doubt at all that he's guilty of any and all of these crimes, but if you think one of your other colleagues does have that doubt at this moment for gosh sakes let's let the witnesses come here and let us have the chance to erase that doubt in the way you normally would in a trial.
For a few of the criminal charges under articles of impeachment -- under both of them -- it's our judgment that the president's guilt is so clear and convincing and compelling that we don't think that any witnesses are needed to be called in deposition or in person.
First, contrary to the impressions that the White House counsel would like to leave you, it should be clear to anybody reading the record that the president committed perjury before the grand jury when he told them that he never touched certain body parts of Ms. Lewinsky, when touching, the president admitted, would clearly be within the definition of sexual relations in the Jones' case.
Ms. Lewinsky testified that he touched these parts on a number of different occasions in a manner clearly within the president's understanding of that definition. The record contains testimony from at least six different friends and counselors with whom Ms. Lewinsky spoke and described these details contemporaneously as they occurred.
White House counsel has repeatedly tried to dismiss this absolutely clear perjury by claiming that Ms. Lewinsky's testimony is uncorroborated, and therefore, you couldn't prove perjury to the court.
They say, again and again and again, it's a he says/she says situation. This is a gross misstatement of the law.
Even if there were no corroborating witness -- and there are in this case -- a person could be and would be convicted of perjury before any court in this country based on the evidence that's in this record now. We don't have to bring anything else in here and we're not planning to do so to prove that.
The law covering grand jury perjury that's been on the books since 1970 does not require a corroborating witness, does not require corroborating evidence, and there are more than a hundred people serving in federal prison today who have been convicted under this 1970 grand jury statute for perjury where it's one person's word against another, several of them for lies about sexual relations.
All you need to convict is to accept Monica Lewinsky had no motive to lie about this, the president did, and you have to draw the inferences you logically can from the chain of events that are in this record.
But even though you don't need any corroborating testimony, there is corroborating testimony. They're the six people, friends and counselors with whom she talked about this contemporaneously. Again, the White House counselors have tried to persuade you wrongly that you should not consider this. That this would not be admissible, these corroborating witnesses, in any courtroom in the country and that's not true. There are at least three exceptions to the hearsay rule which would in all probability permit those prior inconsistent statements -- or prior consistent statements, I should say, to come in to corroborate that testimony.
So, the bottom line is the perjury of the president in this case is as plain as day on the record and we don't need to call any witnesses on this matter. And we also believe that there are a number of other perjuries in that grand jury, that I'm going into in detail, that are just as plain on the record.
We don't need to call witnesses to prove he perjured himself when he told the grand jury it was his goal to be truthful in the Jones deposition. That's what he told the grand jury; it was his goal to be truthful.
The record is replete with many lies that he told in that deposition, and in the face of telling the grand jury that his goal to be truthful, he committed perjury. Nor do we believe that any witness needs to be called to further establish the president's guilt of the crimes of obstruction of justice and witness tampering in the case where he met Betty Currie on the day after his Jones deposition and suggested to her all those false, declaratory statements that we've been over so many times in here.
Betty Currie's testimony in this matter is undisputed on the record. The White House counsel's argument the president was just refreshing his memory is absurd on its face.
The same is true of the obstruction of justice and perjury charges related to allowing his attorney during the Jones deposition to make false and misleading statements with regard to Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit, and then lying about not even paying attention to the attorney's exchange with the judge on this matter.
The record's clear. You watched the videotape on it. Inferences are perfectly appropriate to be drawn from body language. There you saw it on the videotape. You saw it. No more witnesses are needed.
The president committed these crimes.
On the other hand, we believe that you do need, we need, to bring in witnesses to resolve conflicting testimony, to give you a true picture of the president's scheme to lie and conceal evidence for the other obstruction of justice charges and certainly the last perjury charge.
They are more complex, they are more depending on circumstantial evidence and inferences that you logically have to draw. And that's why you need to hear from Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, Sidney Blumenthal, to tell you about these things themselves.
When you do, you're just plain going to get a different flavor. You're going to feel the sense of this. We believe that you would find at the end of the day once you've done that, even though you don't need to use this standard, that the president is guilty of the entire scheme we presented to you, in every detail, beyond a reasonable doubt.
Remember, you don't need to convict him to find him guilty of all of the crimes we've suggested by any stretch of the imagination. You don't need to use the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. That's not required of you, but we can understand why many of you or some of you might. The reality is that we are in a position, you are in a position where you need though to make these determinations and to make them you need to have the witnesses. Any courtroom where you're going to certainly judge something beyond a reasonable doubt, you need to assess the credibility of the witnesses where you have conflicting testimony.
And one point in that regard, too, is we've heard White House counsel say a number of times that somehow the fact that there is so much conflicting testimony that makes our case weaker.
That's not so. I don't, again, unless the bad guy admits he's guilty, you go to trial in a criminal case, you always have conflicting testimony, at least you certainly have the accused denying it. And very, very frequently, most often, you have a lot of other people who conflict.
The fact there are conflicts are simply something for the triers of fact to resolve, but again resolve by listening to the witnesses, checking their demeanor, watching their body language, determining their credibility, feeling the case flow, seeing how it fits together, watch it.
I'm not going to be the one describing what Monica Lewinsky's going to show you if she comes in here, but I'm want to tell you, even if you depose -- we depose her, having had the opportunity to talk with this intelligent and very impressionable young woman the other day, I can tell you that she herself will convey this story to you in a way that it cannot be conveyed off a piece of paper, it just cannot be.
I suppose that's why the White House counselors are so afraid of our calling any witnesses. They don't want you to have the opportunity to see that; an opportunity you can only get the full flavor of if not only you let us take the depositions, but you let us at least call her live here on the floor, preferably with all three of our -- our other two witnesses as well.
They know that the written record conceals this. There's no way to lift that out. There's no way for you to see the relationship, how she responds to the questions, how she answers, how she conducts herself in making it very apparent what the president's true meaning of intent was. If you remember, a lot of this is his state of mind.
In the not too distant future, Monica Lewinsky is going to be free of the gag order and she's going to go out and she's going to talk to people. And freely, she should. At that point in time, she is going to have the public judging her and they're going to be judging this case, as will history.
And I would suggest that that the public at that point and history as well will be judging you and not judging the Senate well if it doesn't let her come here and testify.
Now, let me briefly turn to the last thing I want to do. I want to describe so you know what it is the three additional pieces of new evidence we'd like admitted in this motion.
First is the affidavit of Barry W. Ward, who's been a law clerk to Judge Wright during the consideration of the Jones case. None of this, I think, should be controversial, but we do have it, and I want to cover it briefly.
In his affidavit he attests to the fact that President Clinton's deposition in the Jones case that Mr. Ward was sitting at the conference table next to Judge Wright, that he was able to observe the colloquy between the judge and Mr. Bennett. If you recall, Mr. Bennett was engaged in this colloquy about the affidavit of Monica Lewinsky, and that's what you saw the film footage of with the president. And the question has been, has the president been observant? Was he watching? Was he keen? And that affidavit goes to that point and is the testimony of Mr. Ward with regard to the fact the president was observant.
Secondly, we have a piece of new evidence, and that is the declaration of the Jones' attorney, T. Wesley Holmes, and the attached copies of the subpoena in that case, the subpoena in that case to Betty Currie dated January 22, 1998, along with proof of service dated January 27th, 1998.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the senator from Vermont.
U.S. SENATOR PATRICK J. LEAHY (D-VT): Mr. Chief Justice, parliamentary inquiry. It's my understanding that Senate Resolution 16 says...
REHNQUIST: The senator from Vermont is advised that it takes unanimous concept to allow a parliamentary inquiry to be stated.
SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT): Well, then, Mr. Chief Justice, I object to the references the manager is making to new information. It is my understanding that Senate Resolution 16, that material outside the record may only be presented in connection with a motion to expand the record.
This new information we have skirted already with the Lewinsky interview this weekend, but now the latest that Mr. -- Manager McCollum states I would say respectfully expands that record and we are not at that point.
REHNQUIST: Yes, I think the motion that the managers have made is motion to authorize presentation of evidence that is not in the record and so, I think that is fair comment. I overrule the objection.
MCCOLLUM: I thank the -- thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.
The attachments to Mr. Holmes' -- the declaration is the proof of the subpoena being issued to Betty Currie in January -- on January 22, 1998, along with service in the Jones case on January 27, 1998 and a copy of the supplemental witness list, including the name of Betty Currie, which was served on January 23, 1998.
And in his declaration Mr. Holmes (ph) explains that Mrs. Currie was subpoenaed because of testimony given by President Clinton in his deposition and because of reliable information which the attorneys have received to this effect that Mrs. Currie was an instrumental person in facilitating Monica Lewinsky's meetings with the president and central to their, quote, "cover story," unquote, as Mr. Holmes (ph) refers to it. He explicitly denies that any Washington Post article played any part in the decision of the Jones attorneys to subpoena Mrs. Currie.
And in the third and final piece of new evidence that we ask you to take in an accept is a declaration and accompanying documents with regard to a telephone conversation showing that a conversation occurred on December the 6th for 56 minutes between the president and Ms. Lewinsky. At least we believe that's what it shows, that obviously the telephone records show the phone records and they state what they are. But we suggest to you that that is relevant information because it confirms what we think the testimony in the record otherwise would lead you to believe.
At this point in time, having given you an overview and having given you this amount of the new evidence we want to, I want to turn the microphone over and yield to my colleague Mr. Bryant the rest of the time.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Bryant.
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ED BRYANT (R-TN): (OFF-MIKE) remaining?
REHNQUIST: Just under 90 minutes.
BRYANT: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, distinguished senators. A recent letter from Manager Hyde to Senator Daschle stated that it's always been the position of the House managers that a trial with the benefit of relevant witnesses is in the best interests of the Senate and the American people.
The defense attorneys for the president, as well as others in this body, have publicly stated that they do not want witnesses.
Through the question and answer session that we have just participated in over the last few days some in this body have made it clear that they would prefer a few sharply-focused witnesses, limited only to the most relevant witnesses. We heard this. And as a result of our submission this morning, you will see that we have proposed three witnesses. Now, as background, we have brought this down from some 15 witnesses that we initially thought we would like to call. We eliminated, obviously, many witnesses that we would still like to call, but with respect for this body and certainly the sensitivity that we feel, we heard that three witnesses would be probably the best situation. I think from the, again, the tone of the question, the directness of many of your questions, we did get that message clearly.
And from these three witnesses we feel that we have the broadest coverage of the two articles of impeachment. Within the obstruction article, there are in essence seven so-called counts, seven instances that we allege, and with these three witnesses we've managed to cover six of those seven, with the one that we don't quite cover being the tampering with Betty Currie. As you will note, she's not on that list. But again, bringing this down to three, we had to eliminate, again, some witnesses we would have preferred to call.
Also, based on what we have read and what we have heard, it is clear that a very few have already determined that even assuming the truth of the articles of impeachment -- and that's perjury and obstruction of justice -- that there are insufficient to convict this president of high crimes and misdemeanors.
And since each of you as senators must consider this matter and vote your own conscience with impartial justice, that is apparently your individual decision, although with all due respect, I would suggest a premature decision before all the proof and all the arguments are made.
One example of not having heard a complete case is Ms. Lewinsky. She is probably the most relevant witness -- that is, aside from the president himself, who so far has indicated through his counsel that he will not testify and, I might add, has not answered the questions that this at least some senators sent to the White House for his answering based on his attorney's statement that he would be willing to answer questions.
So, with that aside, Ms. Lewinsky is probably the most important witness left. And wouldn't you at least like to see and hear from her on this? As triers of fact, wouldn't you want to observe the demeanor of Ms. Lewinsky and test her credibility?
As I say, look into the eyes and test the credibility of these witnesses. Compare her version of the testimony to the contested events. And remember, the president's attorneys in numerous ways in their vigorous defense of the president have challenged Ms. Lewinsky's version of the facts.
I believe the majority of other senators have not yet reached a final determination and it's to you now that I make this further proposition: If there's one witness you and the American people honestly do need to hear, it's Ms. Lewinsky. Now, as you probably read in the newspapers, her lawyers don't want her to testify. They're good lawyers and they don't -- they don't want to have her out here.
And despite the protestations of the White House and their attorneys during the House hearings that they wanted to hear fact witnesses, we now know absolutely and without a doubt the White House does not want to hear Ms. Lewinsky, does not want you to hear Ms. Lewinsky.
And Ms. Lewinsky, if truth be known, probably does not want to come in here and testify. These are not our witnesses. We didn't get this case in a brown envelope, but we certainly didn't have any choice in selecting the witnesses. The witnesses are all out there are basically White House employees, friends of the White House or former employees.
These are not going to be our friends if they come in and testify. They are not going to be sympathetic to us, although we would anticipate that they would tell the truth. And that certainly would be our belief with Ms. Lewinsky if she were called.
We believe she understands her responsibility, despite any feelings that she might have about the president or the job that he's doing as president, that she understands this responsibility to tell the truth.
And senators, she does have a story to tell, and given the length that she has, that common thread that she is in most of the charges of these articles of impeachment, I would suggest that she should be permitted to testify.
I would go further to say that a closure of this case is somehow necessary, and without the direct presentation by Ms. Lewinsky, we all -- political and public -- would be denied the complete picture that she should be able to give us, to better sort this out.
As Manager Graham said yesterday, please don't leave us all hanging for the answers we so dearly need. Is this good? Is it bad? Or is it ugly? We managers believe that it's bad, ugly and illegal.
You know, we all like to talk about the Constitution. And it's a great document.
The opportunity to confront witnesses is present in that constitution, and it can be argued that this principle of confrontation of witnesses against you should apply to these proceedings. While we realize the confrontation right is one that belongs to a criminal defendant in the Constitution, and in this case apparently any right to confront Ms. Lewinsky and other witnesses is being waived by the president and his lawyers since they don't want to call witnesses in these proceedings, isn't it a time, though, for the rest of us to make that choice, that we do want to see and hear some witnesses?
Her testimony in particular would be extraordinarily enlightening in resolving factual disputes about the very charges for which we ask you to convict the president of the United States for the felonies of perjury and obstruction of justice.
These particular charges go to the very heart of our co- branch of government, the Judiciary. And members of the Senate, in terms of impact on our judicial system and the search for truth, there's no difference between a person lying, which is perjury, and person paying another person to lie, which is bribery. And bribery is in the Constitution and the perjury is not specifically mentioned. And in terms of this proposition of proportionality, is the 106th Senate prepared to have as its record on sexual harassment laws that perjury about sex is not illegal? After all, that's what this whole proportionality argument's about, that if it's about sex, it's OK to lie. Because Senator Bumpers says that upwards of 80 percent of his divorce cases from his Arkansas practice of law involved lying, that does not legitimize perjury nor should it provide any authority for this Senate to somehow legitimize perjury if it's just about sex.
We allege that the president is a reasoned -- in a reasoned and in a calculated manner prevented Paula Jones from attaining -- from obtaining truthful testimony and evidence that might have helped her lawsuit. At that time the president attempted his cover-up efforts, he obviously felt the disclosure of that information in the Paula Jones case would be material and helpful to her.
The president not only committed himself to illegal actions, but he enlisted others to assist, some knowingly and others perhaps unknowingly. And Ms. Lewinsky is one of these who interestingly enough might fit into both categories of knowing and unknowingly at different times, and she would be able to share with this Senate the so-called tone and tenor of her conversations with the president.
I mean, who else -- who else can do that but she or the president? And this -- this tone and tenor and observing her demeanor and listening to her talk about that -- that filing of the affidavit and those things, and how the president talked to her, and how she read what he said, and exactly what he did say -- these are all very important.
Because as we know in Washington and in so many other places where there's a lot of power and prestige and so forth, there are actions that can be prompted without even a direct, specific order. Things can get done even without it even being said to get done, just by the tone and tenor, the gestures, the appearance and so forth of certain things.
Often, these direct words, as I said, are not necessary and Ms. Lewinsky can tell you about some of these occasions. An appropriate examination and an appropriate cross-examination I might add -- let's don't -- let's don't limit the White House attorneys here -- of Ms. Lewinsky on the factual disputes of the affidavit and their cover story.
Wouldn't that be nice to hear that? The concealment of the gifts -- what really happened there? And the job search -- why did she get the job within 48 hours of the affidavit after months of unsuccess?
Wouldn't it be nice to hear Ms. Lewinsky's version of this when it's so important to the overall case of obstruction of justice?
These are just a few examples where the Senate could be helped by her testimony. And it very well, it very well could be dispositive and even -- it's even possible that she could help the president in some ways. But I assure you that she is an impressive young lady, and I suspect that she still very much does admire the president and the work that he is doing for this country, yet she would be a person who in all likelihood would be forthcoming.
If you have not made up your mind, and indeed if you have further interest in resolving many of the facts here, I do commend Ms. Lewinsky for your consideration.
s It would be my intent to lead her through direct examination -- the perjury charge as its alleged with the president -- by having her simply affirm those provisions of her written testimony, which are the ones that are generally referred to as salacious, without specifically mentioning those words.
Beyond, on the more complicated obstruction of justice, the pattern of obstruction of justice, which does not involve these salacious details and matters, they will be addressed more specifically. It would be my intent for the needed clarification and to resolve discrepancies in different inferences from this evidence that have been drawn by House managers and defense counsel for the president to ask her about the December 28 transfer of Ms. Lewinsky's gifts from the president, the transfer to Ms. Currie, particularly the cellular telephone call that has been put into issue by the defense team.
Another about her conversation with the president and her offer to allow him to review this false affidavit before she submitted it to her lawyer and eventually to the court and his comment that he didn't need to review it because he had seen 15 others just like it. Wouldn't you like to know what are we talking about 15 others there? Are they 15 drafts or 15 other type affidavits in other cases?
She would also be asked about her job interviews and her discussions with the president about these job interviews over a period of time, which are very important; her discussions with Vernon Jordan; and specifically why she felt that the interview that she did with Revlon the day after she signed the affidavit -- her impression that it went poorly.
Whereas we've heard not testimony, but statements in the presentation of White House lawyers that in fact it didn't go poorly. It went very well. But she felt it went so poorly that she went immediately out to call Vernon Jordan. Why? Why not hear her come in an tell us why she did that?
There will of course be other matters of record that she can clarify, and certainly being available to the White House defense team, certainly she will be vigorously cross-examined. I'm sure that may also clarify some other matters.
It is my feeling that a fair and comprehensive direct examination without interruption could be conducted of Ms. Lewinsky in two to four hours.
And depending on the length of cross-examination by White House attorneys, we may not need any redirect examination.
While defense counsel for the president and others for the president -- I've heard it so many times I'm not sure exactly who said this, so I don't want to just attribute it to defense counsel. And maybe they haven't even said it, but they have, they have -- has been word out of the White House that if we call one witness, we might as well settle in for the siege here in the Senate. We're going to be here for months and months and months. And I suggest that's an outrageous statement. That we will need that amount of time to pursue this case, if witnesses are called.
We are confident that that basically in its best case is an attempt to discourage you from calling witnesses, and in its worst case, unfortunately, is a veiled threat that they will be dilatory and drag this out for months and months if the Senate would allow.
House managers are establishing a good-faith effort to cut our witnesses, as I said, down to three people, and to commit to reasonable times of examination with the assurance that we will finish as quickly as we can.
And we would hope and, perhaps, the Senate would give similar direction to the White House in their defense team. Witnesses can be called and a fair trial could be accomplished if all concerned would agree.
Would the Senate consider requesting the president's defense team to also select three or fewer witnesses in an effort to move this process along?
And we think, too, that the depositions, while they are important, if they are solely for the purposes of discovery, I would ask why would the White House need to discover what Vernon Jordan has to say, what Betty Currie has to say, Sidney Blumenthal, John Podesta, any of these witnesses.
They have to take Monica Lewinsky's deposition, I would think, but any other discovery deposition it would seem to me they have complete access to already.
As I close, I want to leave you with some words that have been of some comfort to me -- and I think we've all need some type of comfort at times during these proceedings and they certainly have been comforting to me. And they the -- a part -- and it's a very short quote -- of the opening marks of Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino in 1974. Again in part, he says that, "We know that the very real security of this nation lies in the integrity of its institutions and the informed confidence of its people." Talking about the Nixon hearings. We will -- we will conduct our deliberations in that spirit. It has been said that our country, troubled by too many crises in recent years, is too tired to consider this one.
In the first year of the republic, Thomas Paine wrote: "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
Now, for almost 200 years, back to Peter Rodino, Americans have undergone the stress of preserving their freedom and the Constitution that protects it. It is now our turn.
And ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I would respectfully ask you to permit House managers to call these three named witnesses and add this additional evidence. And I thank you.
And it would bring up Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Hutchinson.
REP. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-ARKANSAS): Mr. Chief justice, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, my responsibility is to address the testimony of Vernon Jordan and the need to call him as a witness in this case.
Before I go into the details of that, let me just reflect for a moment on the Senate trial process. And I said many days ago that I had confidence in the United States Senate and I thought at this particular juncture it might be good if I reassured you that I still have confidence in the United States Senate.
And I think about the trial process that we're going through and I've complimented you on the fact that you structured a bipartisan process. And I think that's important because you gave this process credibility. And so you did the right thing and I for one am pleased with what you're able to accomplish in that endeavor.
Now, whenever you achieve a bipartisan process you have to make compromises along the way.
And the result is a format that is not particularly helpful to the trial managers, the House managers, who wish to call witnesses. And we've struggled through that.
But notwithstanding the present difficulty, I still compliment you and thank you for what you have done in achieving that bipartisan consensus.
But I think back to that meeting that I had early on, and some other managers with the bipartisan group of senators from this body, I look at some from both sides of the aisle, and I went in there with this high-minded thought that we can make a case for witnesses because of what the other managers have described as the tone and demeanor of witnesses.
Well, that was quickly brushed aside by saying, no, no, no, no, we want to hear about what conflicts exist in the testimony. Just tell us what the conflicts are, because that is a strong case for calling witnesses.
Well, that threw me back on my heels. And so I went back and, as you know, in the question-and-answer session I addressed the issue of conflicts, and I think we did a pretty good job of outlining the conflicts between various witnesses.
Well, then I was informed that well, we really are not interested in the conflicts because the conflicts exist in the current transcript. Therefore, really we want to know what new information, what new dynamic these witnesses can add.
Well, that really threw me back for a curve, and so we looked at this again and we tried to make a case. And I'm going to show you what new dynamics and questions can be asked. But ultimately, when you take the depositions, many of those questions are going to be answered.
And so you come back full circle to where we started at the beginning, that ultimately I hope that witnesses are called so that you can evaluate their credibility, determine their demeanor, and make an assessment of the truth in this case. And I think that that is important.
And I -- I know people talk about me as being a former federal prosecutor. Actually, I -- one time, I confess, I represented a defendant in a murder case.
And this gentleman was charged with murder and the prosecution in Logan County, Arkansas, near Senator Bumpers' home town, decided they wanted to handle the key witness -- one of the key witnesses by deposition who was out of state, and I objected.
I objected and because I thought that witness ought to be in the courtroom. And the judge overruled and said, you could go take the deposition and the defense counsel can be there and cross examine. So, we traced off to the other state, took this witness' deposition and she made a lousy witness. I said she wouldn't be believed for anything, the way she appeared.
Well, we brought it back, the transcript, back to the courtroom and the prosecution, over my objection, put the transcript into the record. And all of sudden, that cold transcript was believable, particularly when they had it read by another witness that didn't look anything like the original lady.
And so my client was convicted, but that case was reversed by the Arkansas Supreme Court because the court said it was important that the jury, that the jury look into the eyes of the witness, see the demeanor of that witness, and determine the credibility.
And so ultimately, ultimately we come back to that same point, that somehow you're going to have to resolve the conflicts, and I know of only one way to do it.
We have tried to be extraordinarily helpful, cooperative with the United States Senate. I came in with this idea that if I was going to present this case, 14 to 15 witnesses, that's off the table clearly. We have narrowed this down to three witnesses that it's tough to decide, but we believe represents the basic heart of the obstruction of justice case and gets to at least six of the seven elements so that you can evaluate that. But we want to assist you clearly in getting to the truth, but also to bring this matter to a conclusion in as fairly and expeditiously manner as possible.
Now, let's look to Mr. Vernon Jordan. Should he be called as a witness in this case? His testimony goes on the heart of one of the elements of obstruction of justice. And that is the job search, and the false affidavit, and the connection, the interconnection between those.
I have tried during my presentation of this case, to present portions of his testimony, excerpts if you will, from his testimony. But if you will see, he has testified five times before the federal grand jury. I've read all of this, and I'm not going to ask for a show of hands, but how many of you have read all of this?
And so, have you had to rely upon a trial, an ordeal by lawyers, rather than a trial by witnesses, because I have had to present the testimony of Vernon Jordan in excerpt fashion, limited quotes, here and there, as the defense counsel has done likewise.
Now, that makes it difficult because the problem is, one, you're hearing it from me, but secondly, it's not a story, it is excerpts, and there's no way you can assess the truth because of that.
Now, if you look at the times that Mr. Jordan has testified before the grand jury, March 3 of '98, March 5, May 5, May 28, and June 9, the last time he testified was June 9, 1998. But let's look what has happened since then.
Since Mr. Jordan last testified before the grand jury -- I believe these charts are in front of you -- July 22 Ms. Currie testified before the grand jury. So any of the facts we gained from Ms. Currie was not utilized in the last examination of Vernon Jordan.
August 6 -- what happened on that date? Ms. Lewinsky testified before the grand jury and she revealed some new facts during that time that Mr. Jordan has never had an opportunity to explain, respond or answer.
And I'll go into that. One of them about disposing of notes, the second one about drafting the affidavit. And of course by that time, the DNA on the dress had been revealed.
And the then the next thing that happened was the president's revelation to the nation that this relationship did exist, and then he testified before the grand jury all of the facts revealed from those incidences were not available at the time Vernon Jordan last testified before the grand jury.
So obviously, any lawyer would understand there are naturally questions that would arise from each of those incidences that could be posed to Mr. Jordan. Why has that not been done? Quite frankly, I have talked to, as I mentioned the other day, the attorney for Mr. Jordan. I have not talked to Mr. Jordan personally. I think that clearly the Senate does not want us to do that until we get past this next hurdle.
But those are things that need to be resolved.
Now, let me address briefly about three areas of conflicts in the testimony between Mr. Jordan and Ms. Lewinsky that points up other areas of questioning that would be appropriate, that he should have the opportunity to explain.
I've been accused of being harsh on Mr. Jordan. And I don't mean to be that. There have been certain things that have been stated, by witnesses in this case, that ought to be explained, that ought to be questioned to Mr. Jordan, but he might have good answers to the questions. We need to know those answers.
The first conflict -- let me see what the next one is? And I'm not going to get to that yet. But the first conflict is between Mr. Jordan's testimony and Ms. Lewinsky's testimony about whether Mr. Jordan knew the true nature of the relationship with the president. And in Mr. Jordan's testimony of May 28, he was asked the question, you are saying no one, to your recollection, ever suggested or alleged a sexual relationship prior to the 18th of January, between Monica Lewinsky and the president? The answer, that is correct.
Now, that was on May 28. Ms. Lewinsky was asked the same series of questions, months later, in August of 1998, and she indicated -- she testified, "and I remarked that I didn't really look at him as the president; that I saw him more as a man and reacted to him more as a man and got angry at him like a man, and just a regular person. And Mr. Jordan asked me what I got angry at the president about, so I told him, when he doesn't call me enough to see me enough."
The answer -- another statement -- "and so after we had the conversation, I was just talking about, with Mr. Jordan, he said to me 'well you know what your problem is.' And I said 'what'? He said 'don't deny it.' And I said -- 'you're in love; that's what your problem is." This is Monica Lewinsky referring to what Mr. Jordan had said.
And so clearly, there -- those are relevant questions that need to be readdressed to Mr. Jordan because they were raised by Ms. Lewinsky in a subsequent testimony that have never been asked to him in that fashion.
There's a conflict in the testimony between Mr. Jordan and Ms. Lewinsky about whether the subpoena was discussed at the December 22nd meeting. Mr. Jordan testified in March that we did not talk about the subpoena, she wanted to know about her job. That was the purpose of her coming. And the question was, anything beyond that? The answer was no. That's in march 3 of 1998.
But Ms. Lewinsky, contrary, testified:
"Question: Let's turn attention, then, to December 22, which is the day that you met with Frank Carter and I think that you said you were going to meet with Mr. Jordan.
"Answer: So I came to see Mr. Jordan earlier, and I also wanted to find out if he had in fact told the president that I had been subpoenaed."
And so that was her testimony, which is in direct conflict that the subpoena was discussed on the same day that she went to see Mr. Carter about the representation.
end where is the relevance in this? If you recall, Mr. Jordan said it didn't take an Einstein to figure out whenever you combined whenever she got the subpoena, that it changed the circumstances.
Here you've got three problems. You've got a job search. You've got a witness in court. And if you combine that with knowledge of a relationship, those are three dynamite issues combining together that should cause anyone not just one change of circumstances, but it elevates it to a higher level of danger because the correlation between each of those three separate facts.
And each of these conflicts in the testimony of Monica Lewinsky goes to those key fundamental issues and Mr. Jordan has never been asked sufficiently about those areas.
The third conflict is -- and this is key, and that is that chart there on the gifts -- is the testimony of Monica Lewinsky. Mr. Jordan testified that he never talked to Ms. Lewinsky about Linda Tripp. That's his March 5, '98 testimony.
But Ms. Lewinsky testifies in her August 6 testimony about a meeting with Mr. Jordan on December 31. This is the third exhibit.
And I'll just read that. "And I met Mr. Jordan for breakfast on the morning of December 31 at the Park Hyatt Hotel. And in the course of the conversation, I told him that I had this friend, Linda Tripp, and I was a little bit concerned because she had spent the night at my home a few times. And I thought I told Mr. Jordan, I said, well, maybe she's heard some -- I mean, maybe she saw some notes lying around. And Mr. Jordan said, notes from the president to you? And I said, notes from me to the president. And he said, go home and make sure they're not there."
This is Ms. Lewinsky's testimony of August 6 before the grand jury. And before anything is said, I'm not accusing anyone of anything. But let me tell you, it would be significant if Mr. Jordan is asked the question, if that is a true statement, and he says yes, it is significant to the case.
If he says no, that's significant, because there's a clear conflict in the testimony of Ms. Lewinsky, and her testimony goes to the heart of the issue.
If he says, I don't remember, which is a third alternative -- and by the way, I hate giving these prospective witnesses all my questions. But if he says I don't remember, that does not put the issue in dispute with Ms. Lewinsky and establishes really her recollection of the incident.
And so I could go through more. I could go through more. The conflict with Ms. Lewinsky about whether Mr. Jordan saw the unsigned draft copy of her affidavit. A key issue in this case. Ms. Lewinsky testifies one way. Mr. Jordan did not have the benefit of Ms. Lewinsky's testimony when he was asked earlier in the grand jury, and so that needs to be readdressed with him.
There's a conflict with Ms. Lewinsky on whether they discussed the contents of the affidavit, not just whether they saw the signed affidavit, whether the contents were discussed.
The question to Mr. Jordan was: "Did you ever discuss with Ms. Lewinsky what she was going to include in the affidavit?" Answer: "I was not Ms. Lewinsky's lawyer. The answer to that is 'no'." But -- and he goes on and elaborates on that. But Ms. Lewinsky testified that she and Jordan did have a conversation about deleting a certain sentence of the affidavit and reworking that.
And that's the -- what I just covered on the contents of the affidavit.
And let me just go to one other -- on the conflict where the affidavit was discussed at their last meeting. Mr. Jordan testified in March that she came to the office; she gave me a tie; I said, "Monica, I'm real busy, thank you." She thanked me and said she's gone.
Any substantive conversation? The answer was no.
Ms. Lewinsky's testimony is: "I stopped in to see him for five minutes to thank him for getting me the job, to thank him for getting me a job, and I gave him a tie and a pocket."
Answer: "And I" -- she further testified -- "I believe I showed him a copy of the affidavit." Clear conflict, very important, once again showing a connection between the job, the false affidavit. And of course if you tie in the other aspect about the relationship it gets very significant and something that needs to be further inquired about.
And so there are some of the conflicts between he testimony.
What new areas do we need to inquire to Mr. Jordan about? The notes to the president that Ms. Lewinsky said she had a conversation with him about and that has never been addressed to Mr. Jordan whatsoever.
The December 19 meeting we need to explore more with Mr. Jordan. This is the meeting when Ms. Lewinsky was subpoenaed, she called Mr. Jordan. He says, come over.
She goes over there with Mr. Jordan. And during that meeting, according to the telephone logs, Mr. Jordan received a call from the president of the United States.
Mr. Jordan has testified that he told the president that Ms. Lewinsky got subpoenaed. Now, that appears to be exactly during the meeting, the conversation he is having with Ms. Lewinsky. I think appropriate questions to Mr. Jordan is, did you excuse Ms. Lewinsky from the meeting? Did you have the private conversation of the president about the subject that you were talking to Ms. Lewinsky about? And when you renewed your conversation with Ms. Lewinsky, did you in fact tell her about your conversation with the president?
If Ms. Lewinsky was not told about that conversation, I think there's some significance there that things were going on that people were compartmentalizing and not sharing with the other interested parties.
And I think that's significant and that needs to be explored.
His involvement with reviewing the affidavit needs to be developed and the conflicts. His knowledge of the nature of the relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. And so all of these needs to be further explored, there are a number of unanswered questions.
One final area -- I obviously have a number, but I don't want to belabor this point. There was testimony, I had mentioned, about Mr. Isikoff and how Betty Currie felt compelled to go see Mr. Jordan about Mr. Isikoff inquiring about the courier records on the gifts from Ms. Lewinsky to the president.
There is some indication that that information might have been shared with Mr. Frank Carter because Mr. Lewinsky testified that she received a page from Mr. Carter, her attorney, about the Isikoff call -- the Isikoff request.
How did that information get to Mr. Carter? I think there's some legitimate questions that should be asked there.
And so we would respectfully ask the Senate to permit us to call Mr. Jordan as a witness, to depose him. But further, we hope that we'll be able to call him so that you can evaluate the conflicts that I'm sure exist now, but very likely will exist later on as well.
The story needs to be told. The truth should be determined. Justice should be accomplished. That is done not through lawyers up here talking, but it's done not through transcripts, but through witnesses.
Edmund Burke said that "to fail to hear the evidence is to fail to hear the cause." And I know that you have transcripts, but I would contend to you that to fail to hear the testimony is in essence to fail to hear the cause.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, could I inquire about the balance of the time remaining for the House managers?
REHNQUIST: Yes, the managers have 52 minutes remaining.
LOTT: Do they intend to use more of their time now? I -- well, Mr. Chief Justice, I ask consent that we take a 30 minute break at this point.
REHNQUIST: In the absence of objection, it's so ordered.
REHNQUIST: The Senate will be in order. The chair recognizes the majority leader.
LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I have a unanimous consent request to propound. We have discussed this with Senator Daschle, and it's been cleared. And I ask unanimous consent that following the conclusion of the arguments by the managers and the White House counsel today on the motion to subpoena witnesses, it be in order at that point only for Senator Harkin or Senator Wellstone to make a motion to open that debate, pursuant to his motion, timely filed, and that the Senate proceed immediately to the vote pursuant to the impeachment rules.
LOTT: I further ask that following that vote, if defeated, it be in order to move to close the session for deliberations on the motion to subpoena witnesses as provided under the impeachment rules in the Senate, and proceed to an immediate vote.
If we have any change in either one of these, certainly we would have to ask for consent on that and would notify members to that effect.
I further ask that if the Senate votes to proceed to closed session, those deliberations be limited to three hours equally divided between the two leaders, notwithstanding the five-minute allocation of time under the impeachment rule.
I further ask unanimous consent that when the Senate concludes its business today, it stand in adjournment until 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27th.
LOTT: And finally, I ask unanimous consent that pursuant to Rule S -- to S. Res. 16, the votes occur immediately upon convening on Wednesday, first on the motion to dismiss and, if defeated, the motion to subpoena witnesses without intervening action or debate.
REHNQUIST: In the absence of objection, it is so ordered.
LOTT: And I believe, Mr. Chief Justice, we are ready to proceed with White House counsel.
REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes Mr. Counsel Kendall. Oh, I'm -- yes?
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE JAMES E. ROGAN (R-CA): (OFF-MIKE)
REHNQUIST: Very well. Thank you, Mr. Rogan. Mr. Kendall? Oh, you -- you're going to use it now? Very well. You have 52 minutes remaining.
The chair recognizes Mr. Manager Rogan.
ROGAN: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the Senate.
When I was a trial judge back in California, there was something I had to do in every single case, whether it was a civil or criminal case, and that was to advise the triers of fact -- in that particular case the jury -- that what the lawyers say is not evidence.
This is a universal warning that is given in courtrooms throughout the country to the triers of fact, because the law prefers that those people who have to make the determination as to what the facts are make that determination based not on the interpretation of the evidence, but based upon what the evidence actually is.
And that has been the underpinning of our argument before this body from the very first day as to why witnesses are needed not to accommodate us, but for the Senate to be able to make the ultimate conclusion as to what is the truth.
A perfect example of why the evidence should come from witnesses rather than lawyers can be seen from the fact that throughout these proceedings lawyers on both sides have tried to characterize what is the evidence and try to characterize the interpretation that this body should adopt.
I'm reminded of when we were before the Judiciary Committee, just before we voted articles of impeachment, White House counsel suggested to our committee, as they do before this body, that the president's state of mind during his various statements under oath were intended to mislead people but to be truthful. They say the president didn't lie.
Instead, they say he carefully crafted these hyper-technical definitions to protect himself from any perjury charge. We believe the evidence will show that by so doing, Paula Jones was denied the information a federal judge said she was entitled to have, and thereby, perjury and obstruction of justice lie.
Before the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Ruff reaffirmed this was the president's strategy.
This is what Mr. Ruff told our committee. Question to Mr. Ruff: "I do want to make sure I understand your position. From the beginning, the president takes the position that he never lied to the American people or while giving testimony under oath. Essentially, he simply misled them with a different definition, and he was sending the same message both to the American people and to the court." Answer by Mr. Ruff: "I think that is fair, congressman. Yes."
Question: "And he did that intentionally because in his own mind, he drew a distinction between the technical definition of 'sexual relations,' and the definition of 'improper relationship' or something along those lines, which is how he now characterizes his relationship with Monica Lewinsky." Answer by Mr. Ruff: "Yes, I think that's correct."
Question: "You suggested earlier in your testimony this is a distinction that he has drawn since the Jones deposition.
"My notes indicate you said the definitions are ones that he held in his mind in January and in August and he has so testified."
Answer by Mr. Ruff: "Yes."
Question: "In determining whether the president either perjured himself or lied under oath in this matter, you are asking this committee to look at his state of mind from the beginning of this whole episode and made that determination."
Members of this body, we suggest that the evidence has shown and the evidence will further show by the calling of the witnesses that we propose that the president denied under oath specific facts that were relevant to the case, relevant to the Jones case, relevant to perjury and obstruction, the perjury and obstruction investigation of the grand jury, and in so doing, among the other lies that my colleagues have pointed out, we will show that he lied to his aides.
And this is important. Because he admitted he knew -- the president admitted he knew -- that his aides were potential witnesses in a criminal investigation before the grand jury. This is the portion of the grand jury transcript where the president testified about his conversations with key aides once the Monica Lewinsky story became public.
Question to the president: "Did you deny to them or not, Mr. President?"
Answer: "I did not want to mislead my friends, but I wanted to find language where I can say that. I also, frankly, do not want to turn any of them into witnesses, because I..."
And sure enough, they call became witnesses.
Question: "Well, you knew they might be witnesses, didn't you?"
Answer: "And so I said to them things that were true about this relationship, that I used in the language I used. I said there is nothing go on between us. That was true. I said I have not had sex with her as I defined it. That was true. And did I hope that I would never have to be here on this day giving this testimony? Of course. But I also didn't want to say -- to do anything to complicate the matter further, so I said things that were true."
The president's position is they were misleading but they were true. No lies. And that is precisely what Mr. Ruff told the Judiciary Committee and that is the position that White House counsel takes before this body.
Now, remember, the grand jury was conducting a criminal investigation. They were seeking evidence of possible perjury and obstruction of justice.
And the White House contends before this body that the president did nothing to obstruct their investigation. The evidence shows that he did, and one of those witnesses who will demonstrate that to this body is the president's own aide, Sidney Blumenthal.
And that is why we request this body allow Mr. Blumenthal to be deposed, and further we hope that you will allow him the opportunity to testify before you so that you can gauge his credibility and his demeanor as he presents the answers that we expect he will give. Mr. Blumenthal's testimony puts him in direct conflict with the claims of the president and shatters the myth of the president's truthful, but misleading answers given under oath.
Now just for a quick way of background, Mr. Blumenthal on January 21, 1998 was an assistant to the president. That was the day the Monica Lewinsky story broke in the national press through The Washington Post.
That story broke in the morning. Later the same day, Mr. Blumenthal met both with the first lady and then with the president to discussion these news revelations.
One month later, Mr. Blumenthal was called the testify before the grand jury. His testimony was not particularly helpful during that time, because to most of the questions that involved conversations that he had the White House, Mr. Blumenthal claimed executive privilege.
That issue was apparently litigated, and then he returned in June to testify before the grand jury twice -- on June 4th and on June 25th, 1998.
When Mr. Blumenthal was free to share his recollections of the events, this is how Mr. Blumenthal characterized his meetings with President and Mrs. Clinton before the grand jury. And it's interesting to note, by the way, that there was a dual lie going on here from the president. The president was lying to his wife, who could never be called as a witness against him, but he was also lying to his aides, whom he admitted he knew could be called.