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Monday, September 21, 1998 Published at 18:18 GMT


Highlights: The video



The following are text excerpts from President Clinton's video testimony in the Monica Lewinsky case.

Mr Clinton's prepared statement

The initial statement

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

These encounters did not consist of sexual intercourse. They did not constitute sexual relations as I understood that term to be defined in my January 17 1998 deposition.

But they did involve inappropriate intimate contact.

These inappropriate encounters ended at my insistence in early 1997.

I also had occasional telephone conversations with Ms Lewinsky that included inappropriate sexual banter.

I regret that what began as a friendship came to include this conduct and I take full responsibility for my actions.

While I will provide the Grand Jury whatever other information I can, because of privacy considerations effecting my family, myself and others, and in an effort to protect the dignity of the office I hold, this is all I will say about the specifics of these particular matters.

I will, however, try to answer to the best of my ability other questions including questions about my relationship with Ms Lewinsky, questions about my understanding of the term of sexual relations as I understood it to be defined at my January 17 1998 deposition, and questions concerning alleged sublimation of perjury, obstruction of justice, and intimidation of witnesses."

Evading the truth?

"I certainly did not want this to come out if I could help it"

Did I want this to come out? No. Was I embarrassed about it? Yes. Did I ask her to lie about it? No. Did I believe there could be a truthful affidavit? Absolutely.

On the definition of sexual relations

Touching and kissing - defining sexual relations

I believe that at the time that [Ms Lewinsky] filled out this affidavit [in the Paula Jones case, in which she said she did not have sexual relations with the president], if she believed that the definition of 'sexual relationship' was two people having intercourse, then she was accurate.

I believe that that is the definition that most ordinary Americans would give.

If you said 'Jane and Harry had a sexual relationship' - and we are not talking about people being drawn into a law-suit and being given definitions and great efforts being made to trip them in some way, but you are just talking about people in ordinary conversation - I bet that the Grand Jurors, if they were talking about two people they knew and said they had a sexual relationship, they meant they were sleeping together, they meant they were having intercourse together.

So I'm not at all sure that this affidavit was not true and was not true in Ms Lewinsky's mind at the time she swore it out.

Closer questioning

"Did Monica Lewinsky perform oral sex on you?"

Oral sex - does it constitute sexual relations?

Question: So your definition of sexual relationship is intercourse only, is that correct?

Answer: No, not necessarily intercourse only, but it would include intercourse. I believe - I believe that the common understanding of the term, if you say two people are having a sexual relationship, most people believe that includes intercourse.

Q: Touching or kissing the breast of another person would fall within the definition?

A: That's correct, sir.

Q: And you testified that you didn't have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky in the Jones deposition, under that definition, correct?

A: That's correct, sir.

Q: If the person being deposed touched the genitalia of another person with the intent to arouse or gratify, as defined in definition one, would that be, under your understanding, then and now, sexual relations?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: So you didn't do any of those three things with Monica Lewinsky?

A: You are free to infer that my testimony is that I did not have sexual relations as I understood this term to be defined.

Was Monica lying?

"If Monica Lewinsky says you touched her breast, would she be lying?"

Q: Would Monica Lewinsky be lying if she testified that you touched her breasts?

A: I refer back to my previous statement.

Q: Would Monica Lewinsky be lying if she testified that you touched her genitals ?

A: I refer back to my previous statement.

Q: Would Monica Lewinsky be lying if she testified that you had phone sex with her?

A: I refer back to my previous statement.

Q: Would Monica Lewinsky be lying if she testified that you used a cigar as a sexual aid with her?

A: I refer back to my previous statement.

Clinton attacks 'political enemies'

"My opponents have tried to take a wrecking ball to me"

My goal in this deposition [the Paula Jones deposition] was to be truthful but not particularly helpful.

I did not wish to do the work of the Jones lawyers. I deplored what they were doing. I deplored the innocent people they were tormenting and traumatising. I deplored their illegal leaking.

I deplored the fact that they knew, once they knew our evidence, that this was a bogus lawsuit, and that because of the funding they had from my political enemies, they were pushing ahead. I deplored it. But I was determined to walk through the minefield of this deposition without violating the law, and I believe I did...

I felt very strongly that Ms Lewinsky and everybody else that didn't know anything about Paula Jones or sexual harassment were themselves being harassed for political purposes in the hope of getting damaging information that the Jones lawyers could unlawfully leak.

I think that what they were trying to do to her was outrageous, just so they could hurt me politically...

It's obvious and I think by your questions you have betrayed that the Paula Jones lawyers' strategy in this case had nothing to do with uncovering or proving sexual harassment...

They knew they had a lousy case on the facts and so their strategy, since they were being funded by my political opponents, was to have this dragnet of discovery.

On Monica

She is basically a good girl. She is a good young woman with a good heart and a good mind. I think she is burdened by some unfortunate conditions of her upbringing...

I knew the minute there was no longer any contact she would talk about this. She would have to. She couldn't help it. It was part of her psyche...

I'm glad you gave her that sweeping immunity. It breaks my heart that she was ever involved in this.

The gifts

"There's nothing improper about giving a woman gifts"

They were Christmas gifts and they were going-away gifts. She was moving to New York, taking a new job, starting a new life and I gave her some gifts....

She had given me a particularly nice book for Christmas - an antique book on presidents.

I do not believe that gifts are incriminating, nor do I believe they are wrong. I think it was a good thing to do.

I'm still not sorry I gave Monica Lewinsky those gifts"





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In this section

Lewinsky testimony - video extracts

Monica Lewinsky's evidence

Impeachment debate: Key quotes

The Monica tapes: Confiding in a friend

Highlights: More evidence

Lewinsky urged Tripp to lie

President's secretary was reluctant witness

Highlights: The video

The infamous dress

Secret meetings with Clinton

Touching moments