Transcript for President Clinton is deposed in Paula Jones case: Part 7
It was the day the president hoped never would come. President Clinton gave sworn testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case. Ms. Jones is asking for over $2 million to settle the case. It was a very big deal that day when the president got deposed. The president of the united States was sitting down under oath to talk about sex. That was unprecedented. Paula Jones arrived in a taxi cab. Paula, how do you feel this morning? It was insane. Come on, come on, come on. It was a day in my life I will never forget. Come on, guys. Come on. Paula Jones said, now my story is going to be told. You nervous, Paula? She knew that the world didn't believe her, and now the president had to tell the truth. Come on! Please! There must have been 500 to 700 people. People were jumping on the hood of cars. Get out of the way! Finally, Bill Clinton shows up to testify. The stakes were very high. Was he going to lie? Was he going to say yes, it's true? This is the videotaped deposition of president William Jefferson Clinton in the matter of Paula Corbin Jones versus -- When you first see him on camera, there's this kind of smug little smile that he has. And he didn't even look at Paula. Mr. President, did you ever expose yourself to Paula Jones? No, I did not. Did you ever ask Paula Jones to kiss your penis? No, I did not. Mr. President -- The president's asked about not just Paula Jones, but all these other women who alleged something or had been alleged to have had some sort of encounter with him. Mr. President, did you at any time have any form of sexual relations with Kathleen willey? No, I didn't. Did you ever have sexual relations with Sheila Laurence? Absolutely not. So, Paula Jones' lawyers know about a couple of other women, but the most prominent ended up being Monica Lewinsky. Do you know a woman named Monica Lewinsky? I do. If you look at his face when they brought up Monica, you can see everything changed. At any time were you and Monica Lewinsky together alone in the oval office? Well, he fumbled. He went back and forth. He tried this, he tried that. She came there as an intern and, as several of them have -- They are asking him so many specifics. Did you give her a gift from Martha's vineyard, did you give her "Leaves of grass"? I give people a lot of gifts and when people are around I give a lot of the things that I have at the white house away. Has Monica Lewinsky ever given you any gifts? Once or twice, I think she's given me a book or two. It freaked him out, because he didn't understand how much they knew. Well, Mr. President, it's my understanding that Monica Lewinsky has made statements to people -- But at one point they asked him the big question, did you have a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky? I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, I never had about affair with her. And to try not to force the president of the united States to use very graphic descriptions. They hand the piece of paper to the president and say, "This is what we mean when we say sexual relations." So, with Clinton's lightning-fast mind, he reads this and thinks, well, she might be arousing me, but I wasn't arousing her. And so, therefore, I wasn't having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. If she told someone that she had a sexual affair with you beginning in November of 1995, would that be a lie? It's certainly not the truth. It would not be the truth. Suddenly, you have to start parsing everything he said like you're a kremlinologist. He knew at that point that he had just stepped in the big muddy. He was a good lawyer, Bill Clinton was, and he knew that he had lied under oath and he knew the consequences might be severe. The president of the united States, a lawyer, lies under oath, which is a felony. Hi, can we have some remarks please? How do you feel about today? I ended up going with Paula Jones and all her lawyers to the old ebbitt grille right across the street and I almost sat perplexed, why were they so excited? And it was all because they knew he had lied. They thought it was game, set, match. So, what do you do with that? Is the punishment for that felony the death sentence for the Clinton presidency? That is the key issue from that moment on. Nobody knew about Monica Lewinsky at that point. All they knew is that Paula Jones had said this and that. And that there was a couple of other women. I woke up the next day, it was a Saturday, and my editor called me, and she says, "There's this crazy rumor out there and we'd like you to kind of chase it for us." We began hearing that something big was about to break and that it had to do with a young woman in the white house who allegedly had a relationship with the president. And it wasn't even just that there was an affair with an intern. It was that this was being investigated. That the independent counsel was investigating the president of the United States for possible obstruction of justice and perjury. That's a huge story. I have to admit, I was a little breathless. We knew that there were at least two other news organizations that were onto the story. We then knew the full chase was on and it was at that moment I realized, oh, this story has really changed. But we have no answers. Oh, god, what have we done here? What's going to happen here? Where is this going to lead? Michael isikoff, myself, and "The Washington post" were all really now trying to nail the story after that deposition. Especially, who is Monica Lewinsky? Michael isikoff of "Newsweek" was ahead of the game. But the editors were nervous. What if Monica Lewinsky was some sort of fantasist? What if she was making all this up to Linda Tripp? He had written a story about the Monica relationship with Bill Clinton, and "Newsweek" was sitting on it. The phone rings and it's isikoff, and he says, "They're not going to run it." And I said, "What reason did they give you?" And he said, "I don't know yet, but they're scared of it and they don't want to run it." He has the story of the century. They refused to run it. Then I get mad. Then I really lost it, and I thought, let me give my friend Matt drudge a call. Matt drudge is a conservative renegade who loves to skewer the liberal elite. Matt drudge was one of the great disrupters of the media environment. He was a scruffy internet entrepreneur. He styled himself with his fedora as a kind of old fashioned gumshoe, Jimmy Olsen at "The daily plan et" type of guy. And he broke this story. Boom, it was on his website and all hell was breaking loose. Matt drudge was able to take his new internet entrepreneurial thing, "The drudge report," and blow this scandal up. We must restore the integrity of the presidency of the united States. If he is guilty, then he must be impeached. Impeachment. Impeachment. If you had an accuser, and we don't have that yet, I think that would create a political momentum that would either lead towards the impeachment proceedings or resignation. And it was then that I went, oh, my god, I had no idea that it was going to be this big. Impeachment? And I thought, it's going to be a very interesting world.
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