Summary

Footage Information

ABCNEWS VideoSource
UNITED STATES SENATE 1500 - 1600
01/21/1999
ABC
OSBC9255C
THE SENATE MEETS TO RESUME THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON. CLINTON ATTORNEY DAVID KENDALL SPEAKS 14:59:34 He decided after this interview not to hire Ms. Lewinsky because she felt -- he felt that she was lacking in experience and he also thought that American Express was probably not the right kind of company for her given what she had told him she was interested in at the interview and that she'd probably be better off going to a public relations firm. KENDALL: Now, the decision not to hire her, he told the FBI, was entirely his own. He felt no pressure to either hire or not hire Ms. Lewinsky and never talked to Mr. Jordan at any time during this process. Once again, quid pro quo? No. Now the second company is actually two companies, and it's Young & Rubicam and Burson-Marsteller. Mr. Jordan called Peter Georgescu, the chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam, the large New York advertising agency. Mr. Jordan had no formal connection with the company but he'd been a friend of Mr. Georgescu's for over 20 years. Mr. Georgescu was interviewed by investigators from the Office of Independent Counsel and said that sometime in December, 1997, Mr. Jordan had telephoned him, and had asked him to take a look at a young person from the White House for possible work in the New York area. Mr. Georgescu had responded, we'll take a look at her in the usual way. KENDALL: And he stated that that was kind of a code between he and Mr. Jordan and it meant that if there was an opening for which she was qualified, she would be interviewed and hired, but there would be no special treatment. He testified that Mr. Jordan understood that and he also said that Mr. Jordan did not engage in any kind of sales pitch about Lewinsky. Mr. Georgescu said that he then initiated an interview for the -- on behalf of Ms. Lewinsky, but his own involvement was arms length and that she succeeded or failed totally on her own merits. He recalled that Mr. Jordan had made another similar request on a previous occasion and he said that he and Mr. Jordan frequently exchanged opinions about people in the advertising business on an informal basis. As a result of this telephone call, Ms. Lewinsky was interviewed by another person -- a Ms. Celia Burke (ph), who was the director of -- excuse me, she was the managing director of human resources at Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm that was a division of Young & Rubicam. KENDALL: According to Ms. Burke (ph), this interview was handled by the book, and while the Lewinsky interviews were a little bit accelerated, they went through the normal steps. Ms. Burke (ph) testified that while no one put -- she testified that nobody put any pressure on her, and she said that both she and the director of corporate practice at Burson-Marsteller, Ms. Erin Mills (ph), and another corporate practice associate, Mr. Ziad Tabasi (ph), had all like Ms. Lewinsky and thought she was well qualified. The chairman of the corporate practice group, Mr. Gus Weill (ph), had decided not to hire Lewinsky. Ms. Mills (ph) testified that the procedure under which Ms. Lewinsky was considered involved nothing out of the ordinary. Not a single one of these witnesses testified there was any urgency connected with Mr. Jordan's request. Mr. Mills (ph) -- Ms. Mills (ph) also told the FBI that despite the fact that Ms. Lewinsky had been referred by the chairman of Young & Rubicam (ph), their consideration of her was entirely objective. She thought that Ms. Lewinsky was poised and qualified for an entry- level position, but Mr. Weill (ph) decided to take a pass. KENDALL: Once again, quid pro quo? No. Now, Mr. Jordan was a member of the board of directors of Revlon, a company wholly owned by MacAndrews & Forbes Holding Company, and Mr. Jordan's law firm had done legal work for both of these companies. The corporate structure here is complicated, but I'll be talking basically about two firms, Revlon -- I think we all know what Revlon does -- and its parent company, MacAndrews & Forbes Holding. Now, Mr. Jordan telephoned his old friend, Mr. Richard Halperin, at the holding company on December 11th and said he had an interviewee or he had an applicant that he wanted to recommend, and he gave Mr. Halperin some information about her. Mr. Halperin testified to the grand jury that it wasn't unusual for Mr. Jordan to call him with an employment recommendation. He'd done so on at least three other times that Mr. Halperin could recall. KENDALL: On this occasion, Mr. Jordan told Mr. Halperin on the telephone that Ms. Lewinsky was bright, energetic, enthusiastic, and he encouraged Mr. Halperin to meet with her. Mr. Halperin didn't think there was anything unusual about Mr. Jordan's request and he testified that in the telephone call, Mr. Jordan did not ask him to consider Ms. Lewinsky on any particular timetable -- no acceleration of any kind. 15:05:49 Indeed, far from there being some heightened sense of urgency, Mr. Halperin explicitly told the FBI that there was no implied time restraint or requirement for fast action. Now, Ms. Lewinsky came up to New York City and she interviewed with Mr. Halperin on December 18, 1997, and Mr. Halperin described her as follows, "as a typical young capable enthusiastic Washington, DC- type of individual" -- I don't know if that's pejorative or not -- who described her primary interest as being in public relations. He and Ms. Lewinsky talked about the various companies that McAndrews and Forbes (ph) controlled, and Ms. Lewinsky identified Revlon as a company that she would like to be considered at, and Mr. Halperin decided to send her there for an interview. KENDALL: Mr. Halperin sent her resume to another person at the holding company, not at Revlon, at the holding company, to Mr. Jamie Durnan (ph), who is a senior vice president there. He got the resume in mid-December and he decided to interview her in early January. Now, you have at the holding company two sets of interviews of Ms. Lewinsky going on. When he returned in early January, Mr. Durnan (ph) also scheduled an interview and he met with Ms. Lewinsky on January the 8th. His decision was made entirely independently or Mr. Halperin's decision, and he wasn't even aware that Mr. Halperin had seen Ms. Lewinsky when he met with her on January the 8th. Now, Mr. Durnan (ph) met with Ms. Lewinsky in the morning, and he thought -- now this is his view; you're going to get two views of this interview -- Mr. Durnan (ph) thought that she was an impressive applicant for entry-level work. He was impressed with her particularly by her work experience at the Pentagon, he told the FBI. He felt she would fit in with the parent company but there weren't any openings there. KENDALL: Based upon what she had said about what her interests were, he decided to send her resume over to Revlon because it thought it matched up well with her interests. He sent the resume over and he left a message -- and now we're going to come to a Revlon person -- and he left a message with Ms. Ellen Seidman (ph), who was the senior vice president for corporate communications at Revlon. 15:08:28 Now cut to Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Lewinsky had had a very good interview with Mr. Halperin, both she and Mr. Halperin thought. However, for reasons the record don't make clear, the Ms. Lewinsky's impression of the Durnan (ph) interview were dismal. She thought the interview had not gone well. She thought it had gone poorly. She described herself as being upset and distressed. She had no idea of his positive reaction to her, and this is not just a late analysis. He'd already send her resume -- he sent her resume over to Revlon immediately after their interview. But in any event, Ms. Lewinsky was afraid it had gone poorly; that she'd embarrassed Mr. Jordan; so she called up Mr. Jordan and on that same day later, January the 8th, Mr. Jordan spoke by telephone to the CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes, his friend Mr. Ronald Perelman. He mentioned to Mr. Perelman that Ms. Lewinsky had interviewed at MacAndrews & Forbes, but he made no specific request, and he did not ask Mr. Perelman to specifically intervene in any way. KENDALL: Now, later that day, and I know this is complicated, Mr. Durnan happened to speak -- Mr. Durnan is the second interviewer of Ms. Lewinsky -- happened to speak to Mr. Perelman, and Perelman mentioned he had a call from Mr. Jordan about a job candidate. Perelman then said to Durnan, let's see what we can do, and Durnan indicated that he'd already on his own initiative been working on this, had talked to Ms. Lewinsky and sent her resume over to Revlon. Mr. Perelman later that day phoned Mr. Jordan back to say everything is all right, she appeared to be doing a good job. The resume was over at Revlon. Mr. Jordan expressed no urgency, no time constraints. Mr. Perelman didn't say anything out of the ordinary had happened, because it hadn't. Now, later that same day after speaking to Mr. Perelman, Mr. Durnan phones Ms. Seidman at Revlon. He'd sent the resume over earlier in the day. He didn't say that Mr. Perelman had mentioned Ms. Lewinsky to him. He simply said to Ms. Seidman, look, I've sent you a resume, I've met with this young woman. If you think she's good, you should hire her. 15:10:52 KENDALL: According to Mr. Durnan, Mr. Perelman never said or implied that Ms. Lewinsky had to be hired, and indeed Mr. Durnan had already interviewed her and formed a positive impression. According to Ms. Seidman, who's at Revlon, Mr. Durnan gave her a similar account that he gave to the grand jury. He said that he thought she ought to interview Ms. Lewinsky, make her own decision, hire her if she thought she was a good candidate only. The record is crystal clear that Ms. Seidman over at Revlon had no knowledge that Mr. Perelman had ever spoken to anyone about Ms. Lewinsky. Ms. Seidman testified that she made an independent assessment of Ms. Lewinsky. She interviewed her the next day. She told the grand jury that she'd found Ms. Lewinsky to be a talented, enthusiastic, bright young woman who was very eager -- "I like that in my department." At the conclusion of the interview, she intended to make an offer to Ms. Lewinsky, but it was contingent on the opinion of two other people, a Ms. Jenna Sheldon (ph), who was a manager of human resources at Revlon, and Ms. Nancy Risdon (ph), who was manager of public relations for corporate affairs. Ms. Seidman testified that after they had both interviewed Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Risdon (ph) told her that she'd found her very impressive and Ms. Sheldon (ph) had also been very impressed. KENDALL: Ms. Risden (ph) told the FBI that she'd been impressed with Ms. Lewinsky who, although she had no public relations experience, was bright and articulate. On the basis of all this, Ms. Seidman decided to offer Ms. Lewinsky an entry-level job as public relations administrator. The offer was made and Ms. Lewinsky accepted. And I repeat, the record evidence is uncontradicted that the fix was not on at all in this process. This was the third company Ms. Lewinsky had interviewed with and on this series of interviews, she was successful. Nobody at any of these companies suggested there was any quid pro quo link. The only person -- only person in this record who talked about trying to have Ms. Lewinsky use signing of the affidavit as leverage to get a job was none other than Linda Tripp -- that paragon of faithful friendship. On the audiotapes, it's Ms. Tripp who frequently urges Ms. Lewinsky not to sign an affidavit until she had a job in New York. KENDALL: It's not clear if Ms. Tripp knew about the UN job that Ms. Lewinsky had. She, on the audio tape, Ms. Lewinsky sometimes professes agreement with Ms. Tripp's advice, saying that she will not sign an affidavit until she has a job. But as Ms. Lewinsky testified to the grand jury -- and again, Ms. Lewinsky is testifying under the threat of perjury which will blow away her immunity agreement -- she was lying to Ms. Tripp when she said she would wait to sign the affidavit until she got a job. As Ms. Lewinsky testified to the grand jury, her statement to Ms. Tripp about Mr. Jordan assisting her in a quid pro quo sense was not true, she said it only because Ms. Tripp was insisting that she promise her not to do this. But, in fact, the affidavit was already signed when Ms. Lewinsky made that promise. Once again, quid pro quo? No. 15:14:53 That's some of the direct evidence. Now let's look at the circumstantial evidence, the alleged circumstantial evidence. KENDALL: The quid pro quo theory rests on assumptions about why things happen, and on facts about when things happen. The former is -- requires logic, but the second is a matter of fact. I mentioned previously that Article II -- or the subpart 4 here uses the word "intensify." It didn't say that the job search began as an effort to silence Ms. Lewinsky, it only says that it intensified as a result of that process. The original charge made by the independent counsel -- and it's there in the independent counsel's referral, at page 181 -- was an allegation that the president helped Ms. Lewinsky obtain a job in New York at a time when she would have been a witness against him. However, the House committee looked at the evidence, I think, in the five volumes, and even though they haven't referred to it here very much, decided that that theory would not get off the runway. So they revised their claim and gave us a kind of wimpified version alleging, not initiation, but intensification. KENDALL: Now, under the right circumstances it's plain that helping somebody find a job is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. There's nothing wrong with it. Mr. Manager Hutchinson told you that, and I quote here: 15:16:38 There is nothing wrong with helping somebody get a job, but we all know there's one thing forbidden in public office; we must avoid quid pro quo, which is this for that. Now, he went on to assert, that the president's conduct crossed the line, as he put it, when the job search assistance became tied and interconnected -- those are his words, with the president's desire to get a false affidavit -- and then he went on to say you will see -- it's a prediction that Mr. Manager Hutchinson made to you -- you will see that they are totally interconnected, intertwined, interrelated; and that is where the line has crossed into obstruction. 15:17:27 Now, Mr. Manager Hutchinson pointed to a critical event for their quid pro quo theory and that's the entry on December 11th, 1997, by Judge Wright, who was the judge in the Paula Jones case, of an order pertaining to discover in the Paula Jones case. KENDALL: This is the critical event, according to the managers. But let's look closely at this so-called critical event, because it's the only claim, only factual claim, the managers make of some causal relationship between the job search and the Jones case, and that claim is dead wrong and it's demonstrably dead wrong. The managers have argued that what brought Mr. Johnson (ph) into action to help Ms. Lewinsky find a job, what really jump started the process, was Judge Wright's December 11 order. And that order concerned discovery of relationships that president had allegedly had during a certain period of time with women who were state or federal employees. In the House, Chief Counsel Schippers powerfully made the point about how important this December 11 order was. "Why the sudden interest," he asked, "why the total change in focus and effort? Nobody but Betty Currie really cared about helping Ms. Lewinsky throughout November, even after the president learned that her name was on this prospective witness list. Did something happen to move the job search from a low to a high priority on that day? Oh, yes, something happened. KENDALL: On the morning of December 11, 1997 Judge Susan Webber Wright ordered that Paula Jones was entitled to information regarding these other women. Now, Mr. Manager Hutchinson again emphasized that the impact of this December 11th order was dramatic. He stood here and told you that the president's attitude suddenly changed, and what started out as a favor for Betty Currie in finding Ms. Lewinsky a job dramatically changed into something sinister after Ms. Lewinsky became a witness. 15:20:02 And so, Mr. Manager Hutchinson says, what triggered -- let's look at the chain of events: the judge, the witness list came in, the judge's order came in -- that triggered the president into action. And the president triggered Vernon Jordan into action. That chain reaction here is what moved the job search along. Remember what else happened on that day December 11th -- again, that was the same day that Judge Wright ruled that the questions about other relationships could be asked by the Jones attorneys. 15:20:39 KENDALL: Mr. Manager Hutchinson presented in his very polished and able presentation, a chart to you. It was exhibit 1. And I've taken the liberty of borrowing it for our own purposes. But you see that he has outlined in detail what happened on December 11th here. The very first item is that Judge Susan Webber Wright issued order allowing testimony of Lewinsky. Then second meeting between Lewinsky and Jordan, leads provided, recommendation calls placed, and then later, the president and Jordan talk about a job for Lewinsky. Well, that's what the chart says, but when you look at the uncontested facts, this isn't even smoke and mirrors. It's worse. 15:21:20 First of all, Ms. Lewinsky entered Mr. Jordan's buildin their meeting at 12:57 on December 11th, as we see here from the chart, the entry chart of Mr. Jordan's law firm. 15:21:51 Ms. Lewinsky's name is misspelled, but she identified this as her entry into the law firm. KENDALL: But this did not spring from, magically, the entry of the judge's ordered. It was scheduled three days earlier, on December 8, and even that telephone call was pursuant to an agreement made between Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Jordan two weeks before that. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the judge's order. Indeed after her first meeting with Mr. Jordan, on November 5, Mister -- Ms. Lewinsky testified that she had a follow-up conversation by telephone with Mr. Jordan around Thanksgiving, and he advised her he was working on the job search as he had time for it; he asked her to call him back in early December. Mr. Jordan testified that he was out of the country from the day after Thanksgiving until December 4th. He also testified that, on December 5th -- this is before the witness list -- Ms. Currie called and reminded him that Ms. Lewinsky was expecting his call. He asked Ms. Currie to have Ms. Lewinsky call him, and she did so on December 8th, and they agreed to meet at Mr. Jordan's office on December 11. So this meeting -- this sinister meeting was arranged by three people who had no knowledge whatsoever about the Paula Jones witness list at the time they acted. KENDALL: Now, Ms. Lewinsky herself was also out of Washington for most of the period from Thanksgiving to December the 4th, first in Los Angeles and then overseas. Inexplicably, but I think significantly because it says something about the strength of the case, the House managers ignore this key piece of testimony about when the meeting was set up. It's uncontradicted. The point is that the contact between Mr. Jordan and Ms. Lewinsky resumed in early -- or in December, not because of something having to do with the order, but because they had agreed it would. The gap is attributable, the gap in timing, to Mr. Jordan's travel schedule. Now, let's look at when this discovery order was entered. It was in fact entered late in the day of December 11, after the conclusion of a conference call among all the counsel in the Paula Jones case. We have here on the chart a blow-up of the clerk's minutes. 15:24:37 Now, it's a great accommodation to lawyers when in a case judges will have conference telephone calls because it means you don't have to travel to the same city. KENDALL: And there were a number of these held in the Jones case. This is a conference call that began as the clerk's minutes indicate, at 5:33 p.m. Little Rock time in the afternoon. That would be 6:33 in Washington, D.C., and it ended at 6:50 p.m. in Little Rock, or 7:50 in Washington, D.C. Now quite late in the conference call, Judge Wright took up other matters and advised counsel that an order on the plaintiff's motion to compel testimony had been filed, and Barry (ph) -- that's Barry Ward (ph), the judge's clerk -- will fax a copy of that order on the motion to compel to counsel. 15:25:34 So sometime after 7:50 p.m., counsel get the witness list. Notice that this proceeding is so late in the day -- I don't know if you can see it, but when the clerk's minutes are filed, they're filed not on December the 11th, but on December 12th. Finally, while we don't even have evidence of a telephone call between the president and Mr. Jordan. KENDALL: We're back now to Mr. Hutchinson's -- Mr. Manager Hutchinson's chart number one. We don't have any evidence that the president in fact ever placed a call to Mr. Jordan on this date. The president was out of the city. But if the call occurred, it must have occurred by 5:55 p.m. Now, let's -- again, look at this chart. December 11th is so important that the managers have put it on the chart twice. It's the only date on any of the chart that appears -- any of this chart that appears twice. The president and Jordan talk about a job for Lewinsky. Clearly what they're telling you is that first you get the order, that energizes, that jump-starts the process, and then the president talks to Vernon Jordan. Well, as I said, if a call occurred on that day, the earliest you could have had any knowledge of the order would have been 7:50 p.m.. There is a problem, though, when you think that maybe the president and Vernon Jordan talked on this date, even if we don't have evidence of it. And the problem is that at 7:50 p.m., Mr. Vernon Jordan was high over the Atlantic Ocean in an airplane. 15:27:35 KENDALL: He was on his way to Amsterdam. He testified that "I left on United Flight 946 at 5:55 from Dulles Airport." That is where Mr. Jordan was on the evening of December 11. He'd taken off even before the conference call. This makes no sense. The managers' theory just makes no sense. His meeting with Ms. Lewinsky and his calls on her behalf had taken place earlier in the day. The president could not have spoken to him about the entry of Judge Wright's discovery order. The entry of that order had nothing whatsoever to do with Mr. Jordan's assistance to Ms. Lewinsky. This claim of a causal relation totally collapses when you look at the evidence. Now, the other chart purporting to show causation are also riddled with errors. I only want to show a few of them. And, again, we've borrowed a chart from Mr. Manager Hutchinson, his charter number 7. Now, he showed you this chart and it purports to be an account of what happened on January the 5th, 1998. 15:29:00 KENDALL: You see how the president and Ms. Lewinsky appear to be conferring about the affidavit that she's going to be filing in the Jones case. But when you look at the real fact the chart becomes a fiction. Mr. Manager Hutchinson told you, and I quote, "Let's go to January 5th, this is a sort of summary -- this chart is a sort of summary of what happened on that day. Ms. Lewinsky meets with her attorney, Mr. Carter, for an hour. Carter drafts the affidavit from Ms. Lewinsky. Just a few minutes later," and Mr. Manager Hutchinson continued, "Frank Carter drafts the affidavit, she is so concerned about it. She calls the president. The president returns Ms. Lewinsky's phone call." Now, the suggestion here, and this our old circumstantial evidence problem, the suggestion from this fact pattern is that Ms. Lewinsky obtained a draft affidavit from her lawyer, Mr. Carter, on January 5. Then, in a call with the president later that day, she offered it to him for his review. Possible? Yes. True? No. This is -- the facts here, simply, do not bear out this chart. Why is that? 15:30:27 KENDALL: Well, it's because Mr. Carter's (ph) grand jury testimony is very clear that he drafted the affidavit on the morning of January 6 and he even billed for it on that morning. He did not draft it and Ms. Lewinsky did not have it on January 5th. There's no causation here; no linkage. The theory on this chart doesn't stand up and if I may take something else from the House managers, not simply their chart, but borrow Mr. Manager Bryant's expression, that dog won't hunt. Ms. Lewinsky could not have offered to show the president a draft affidavit she herself could not have had on January 5th. The idea that the telephone call on that day is about that affidavit is sheer, unsupported speculation, and even worse, it's speculation demolished by fact. Let's kick the tires of another exhibit. Chart number eight, which was shown to you by Mr. Manager Hutchinson, purports to describe the events of January the 6th, and again it sets forth a chain of events which makes it look at though Mr. Jordan was himself intimately involved in drafting Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit. 15:31:54 KENDALL: Mr. Manager Hutchinson told you when he showed you this chart -- and I want to quote his exact words -- "The next exhibit is January 6. On this particular day, Ms. Lewinsky picks up the draft affidavit. At 2:08 to 2:10 p.m. she delivers that affidavit. To whom? Mr. Jordan. At 3:48, he telephones Ms. Lewinsky about the draft affidavit. And at 3:49 -- you will see in red -- both agree to complete a portion of the affidavit that created some implication that maybe she had been alone with the president. So Mr. Jordan was very involved in the drafting of the affidavit and the contents of that." That's the theory proposed by the chart, that's the hypothesis which they offer on the basis of the circumstantial evidence, but there are problems that absolutely destroy it. Because when we look beyond the suggested juxtapositions and consider material overlooked by the managers, a very different picture emerges. 15:33:01 KENDALL: The key fact that chart 8 tries to establish is the statement that at 3:49, Mr. Jordan telephoned Ms. Lewinsky to discuss the draft affidavit, and they allegedly agreed to delete implication that she had been alone with the president. There's a very serious difficulty with this theory. The chart blithely states that both agreed to delete the implications that she had been alone with the president. But that's not what the evidence shows. Ms. Lewinsky testified that she spoke to Mr. Jordan because she had concerns about the draft affidavit. According to her testimony, when asked whether Mr. Jordan agreed with what were clearly Ms. Lewinsky's ideas about changes in the affidavit, Ms. Lewinsky said, yes, I believe so. Now Mr. Jordan recalled a conversation in which Ms. Lewinsky raised the subject of her draft affidavit. He remembered her saying that she had some questions about the draft of the affidavit. But his testimony was emphatic that he was not interested in the details, that the problems she had with what had been drafted for her signature were for her to work out with her counsel, and that she would have to talk to her lawyer about it. KENDALL: And Ms. Lewinsky did talk to her lawyer about it. The record is perfectly clear about that. Indeed, it couldn't be clearer, although you wouldn't know this from chart eight that the idea of deleting the reference to her being alone with the president came from her own lawyer, Mr. Carter (ph). He testified to the grand jury -- this is the lawyer who'd actually drafted the affidavit -- that -- and he was referring to the passage about her being alone with the president -- he said: Paragraph six has in its draft form as the last part of that last sentence and would not have been a private meeting -- that is, not behind closed doors. 15:35:03 According to Mr. Carter, this paragraph was modified when we sat down in my office on January 7th, the day after the events described on chart eight. Mr. Carter further testified that before the meeting on the seventh -- before the meeting -- it was my opinion that I did not want to give Paula Jones' attorney any kind of a hint of a one-on- one meeting. What I told Monica was, if they ask you about it, you will tell them about it, but I'm not putting it in the affidavit. I was not going to give them that lead to go after in the affidavit, because my objective is not to have you be deposed. KENDALL: It's clearly Mr. Carter who de leted the reference to being alone with the president. The bottom line is that the insinuations on that chart just don't survive scrutiny. 15:36:04 I want to say a final thing about all the charts involving circumstantial evidence. You remember how many telephone calls were up on those charts? I'm going to let you in on a little secret. It's a secret that a lot of you who are lawyers know. It's pretty easy to get telephone call records and to identify telephone calls. But it's a common trick to put them up, even though you don't know what's going on in the telephone calls, and ask people to assume some insidious relationship between events and the telephone call. No matter how many telephone calls are listed on a chart, you don't know, without testimony, what was happening in that phone call unless the mere existence -- and there are cases where the mere existence of a phone call is probative, but not in these cases. KENDALL: Here they're trying to weave a web, and no particular call is of significant importance. The uncontroverted evidence shows that in fact Mr. Jordan spoke to the president on many, many, many occasions. He was a friend of -- he's been a friend of the president since 1973, and a call between them was a common occurrence. When asked in the grand jury if he believed -- he, Mr. Jordan, believed that the pattern of telephone calls to the president was striking, Mr. Jordan replied: "It depends on your point of view. I talk to the president of the United States all the time, so it's not striking to me." Mr. Jordan also testified that he had never had a telephone conversation with the president in which Ms. Lewinsky was the only topic. The House managers ask you to believe simply on faith that if two things happen on the same day, they are related. But in fact this relation is logical but not necessarily factual. To take -- I just want to make this point with a couple telephone calls. Let's take Mr. Manager Hutchinson's chart for December 17, 1998, the day of the president's deposition in the Jones case. 15:38:23 This chart suggests there are two calls between Mr. Jordan and the president after the president had concluded his deposition. One call is at 5:38, the other is at 7:02. KENDALL: The chart does not tell you several important things. First these two calls, each lasted two minutes. Second, and more significantly, Mr. Jordan testified to the grand jury as to both telephone conversations. On Saturday the 17th, he said, in the two conversation I had with the president of the United States, we did not talk about Monica Lewinsky or the deposition. Mr. Jordan was asked or the questions asked him in the deposition and he replied, "that is correct." 15:39:19 In another exchange with the prosecutors they asked Mr. Jordan "did the president ever indicate to you in these two telephone conversations that Ms. Lewinsky was one of the topics that came up? Mr. Jordan replied, "he did not." Finally the prosecutors asked did the president ever indicate to you in these two conversation that your name had come up in the deposition as it related to Ms. Lewinsky and Mr. Jordan answered, "He did not." KENDALL: The managers, in the absence of evidence that anyone endeavored to obtain Ms. Lewinsky a job in exchange for her silence -- indeed, in the face of direct testimony that all of those involve that it didn't happen -- ask you to simply speculate. They ask you to speculate that since they've thrown a lot of telephone calls up there, they must have some sinister meaning; and they ask you to speculate that a lot of those phone calls must have been about Ms. Lewinsky. And they ask you to speculate further that in one of those identified, unknown phone calls, somebody must have said: Let's get Ms. Lewinsky a job in exchange for her silence. There is no evidence for that; it's not there; it's just a theory. 15:40:54 With regard to all this evidence about the job search, when you look at the dates of various events, when you have the right chronology in mind, and when you look at the relevant and uncontested facts -- these facts are there, they don't have to be discovered -- there's just no evidence of wrong doing of any kind in connection with Miss Lewinsky's job search efforts in New York. Now, this is not a case of the managers presentation resting on even circumstantial, as opposed to direct evidence; they don't even have circumstantial evidence here. KENDALL: All they have is a theory about what happened which isn't based on any evidence either direct or circumstantial. Nothing in this evidence is really contested when you get right down to it. Strictly as a matter of who said what to whom or when. When lawyers ask you to keep your eye on the big picture, when they ask you, don't lose the forest for the trees, don't get lost in the details, that's usually because the details, those stubborn facts, refute and contradict the big picture. And so it is here. You can keep adding zero to zero to zero for a very long time, indeed forever, and you'll still have zero. The big picture here just doesn't exist, and no matter how many times the House managers keep making the assertion, there is just no evidence of any kind. I realize that it has taken a good bit of time and painstaking, perhaps even painful attention, for each one of you to walk through these facts in a lawyerly manner. KENDALL: I am also keenly aware of the old saying that, "When all is said and done with a lawyer, there's more often said then done." But we needed to take a look carefully and specifically at this evidentiary material with regard to these five grounds -- in the same way that Ms. Mills took you through, very specifically yesterday, with regard to the other two grounds -- to try and dispel the popular misconception that we were either unwilling or unable to rebut the facts. We have rebutted the facts. The simple fact is that there is no evidence in the record to support the allegation that the president obstructed justice in his December 17th telephone call with Ms. Lewinsky, in his statements to his aides, and his statements to Betty Currie with relation to gifts or the job search. 15:44:11 KENDALL: It's sometimes been claimed by the managers that we have adopted a "so what" defense, trying to take lightly or to justify the improper actions which are at the root of this case. Well, senators with all respect, that argument is easy to assert, but it's false. It's a straw man asserted only to be knocked down. We've tried in our presentations the last two days and today to treat the evidence in a fair and a candid and a realistic way about the facts as the record reveals them. We've tried to show you that the core charges of obstruction of justice and perjury cannot be proven. We're not saying that the alleged conduct doesn't matter. We're saying that perjury didn't occur and obstruction justice didn't happen. We haven't tried to sugar coat or excuse conduct that is wrong. I think that Mr. Manager Buyer used the right phrase when he referred to self-inflicted wounds. KENDALL: There is no doubt that there are self-inflicted wounds here, wounds that are very real and very painful and very public. There's just no question about that. The question before you is whether these self-inflicted wounds rise to such a level of lawless and unconstitutional conduct that they leave you no alternative, no choice but to assume the awesome responsibility for reversing the results of two national elections. On that question, what the situation demands is not eloquence, which the very able managers have in abundance, but rather a relentless focus on the facts, the law, and the Constitution, all of which are on the side of the president. It's a great honor for me to stand here. This body has been called the anchor of the Republic. 15:46:52 KENDALL: And it's that constitutional stability, that political sanity that is needed now. There's a story which is perhaps apocryphal that when Thomas Jefferson returned from France where he'd served as ambassador while his colleagues were writing the Constitution, that he met with George Washington, and he asked Washington why they had found it necessary to create the Senate. Washington is said to have silently removed the saucer from his teacup and poured the tea into the saucer and told Jefferson that like the act he had just performed, the Senate would be designed to cool the passions of the moment. Historically, this place has been really a haven of sanity, balance, wisdom. You've debated controversial issues which have been passionately felt with candor, with courage and civility. And so, once again, I think it is your responsibility, and yours alone, committed to you by the Constitution, to make a very somber judgment. 15:48:26 KENDALL: The president has spoken powerfully and personally of his remorse for what he's done. Others have pointed out that the poisonous partisanship led the other body to send you articles of impeachment on the narrowest partisan vote in it's history. I think that the bipartisan manner, however, you've conducted this impeachment trial is a welcome change from the events of the last year. We ask only that you give this case, and give this country, the constitutional stability and the political sanity which this country deserves. The president did not commit perjury, he did not obstruct justice, and there are no grounds to remove him from office. Thank you. 15:49:30 REHNQUIST: The chair recognizes the majority leader. 15:49:35 LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I ask you now to consent to recess the proceedings for 15 minutes, but senators be prepared to resume at five minutes after 4:00, because we have to hear the eloquence of one of our former colleagues. 15:49:46 REHNQUIST: Without objection, it's so ordered. 15:49:58 ***** RECESS ************************
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