So what was the criminal case against Bill Clinton?

This is inevitably going straight to GD, so it might as well start there. It’s also belated, stemming as it does from an anti-hijack request by MEBuckner.

So, now that there’s been time to adequately study every detail of Bill Clinton’s private life, what exactly was the criminal case against him? It’s still popular among some circles to state simply that he committed perjury, and then go into the pious condemnations we’re all so familiar with - but is that a statement of fact or of some inchoate, self-rationalizing hope for redemption?

So here’s a challenge for any of you legal eagles: What was the evidence that proves a charge of perjury? What lie did he tell under oath, and how does that relate to the legal definition of perjury?

Rule 1: Entries mentioning “I did not have sex with that woman” must be accompanied with the definition of “sex” he was required to use in that deposition.

Rule 2: Entries amounting to “He must be guilty because I hate him, and besides, everyone knows he’s guilty” will be disqualified, and, if coming from a lawyer, will be subject to greatly-added derision.

Rule 3: Entries from lawyers are required to have added commentary on what a judge would say if you, the prosecutor, were to present such a case in court.

All entries remain the property of the Chicago Reader and cannot be returned.

So whaddaya got, folks, be ye lawyers or no?

What he said under oath was ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman.’ And he, like most people, would’ve stuck with it in the absence of undeniable physical evidence. Damn that blue dress. We all learned a valuable lesson there - watch where you point that thing.

For the record, I liked Clinton, would’ve voted for him again if possible, and thought the impeachment was nothing but a transparent and juvenile attempt by republicans to discredit a two term democrat after the sting of a one term republican.

But you have to admit that dress proved that Clinton DID have sexual relations with that woman, unless he had some condition causing him to ejaculate uncontrollably.

When, under oath, or during what deposition did Clinton say this. The only time that I’ve ever heard of him saying this was in that infamous clip that has been shown innumerable times.

Which was not, let me repeat that NOT under any sort of oath, but rather was in response to a question from a reporter, which is quite a different thing then being legally deposed.

Well never mind, then.

Well, from the Starr Report:

Then, later on, on Jan. 18, 1998, the President testifies at a deposition in Little Rock:

So, those two statements, if it was found, as the Starr report appeared to, that Ms. Lewinsky performed oral sex on the President, there are grounds for a perjury charge.

In his grand jury testimony, the President said, in his defense, that as he understood the definition of sexual relations as given above, he did not have sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, but she did with him. Also, in the depositions, the President seems to have misrepresented the amount of time he spent with Ms. Lewinsky, indicating that he only saw her two or three times.

The Starr Report also alledges that the President may have suborned perjury, having conversations both with Ms. Lewinsky and Bettie Curry in which he rather forcibly reminds them of his version of the events. The way this is done seems to suggest the President is “coaching” them to support his statements.

Here’s a copy of the Starr report. The juicy parts are in the narrative section (who had sexual contact with who, etc.), but check oujt the section called “grounds” to see what Mr. Starr felt it was possible to charge the President with, and why he felt that.

Oh, under the Arkansas Criminal Code

Of course, I’m not a lawyer, and this shouldn’t be considered official legal advice.

WSLer said:

Yep, thats true. While Boy Clinton wagged his finger at America and said those words, he never did utter them during his interview with Starr.

Janet Reno is the reason why Boy Clinton never was held accountable. She stonewalled damn near every investigation.

Look at how he allowed Loral Corp. to sell top secret satellite information to the Red Chinese in exchange for for campaign contributions from CEO Bernie Schwartz. China had a hard time even getting a satellite into orbit prior to this, after Lorals help, China is now capable of dropping nukes on several different American cities from a single missile.

Also, look at how that sumbitch Algore went to a buddhist temple and raised money at a fundraiser. This was highly illegal, yet Janet Reno allowed him to get away with it.

And what about the fact that Boy Clinton was renting out the Lincoln bedroom in exchange for campaign money?

good evening friends,

i come not to defend mr. clinton, but to answer the op.

ianal, but i did read pretty extensivly of the analysis of the perjury charge. i do not claim accuracy, but this is how i understood the facts at the time

mr. clinton denied having a sexual relationship with ms. lewinsky during a deposition given in preparation for the paula jones sexual harrassment trial.

as i understand it, to be legal perjury, a statement must meet three tests:

  1. the answer to the question must be an intentional falsehood.
  2. the question and answer must be admissible evidence to the matter at hand (example = lying about what color car you were driving while witnessing a crime is false, but has nothing to do with the facts of the case.)
  3. the answer must affect the outcome of the dispute.

so, with knowledge of the linda tripp recordings, the prosecutor in the paula jones lawsuit asked mr. clinton if he had sex with ms. lewinsky and mr. clinton denied it. did he commit perjury, or merely lie.

  1. from reading as much of the starr report as i could tolerate, the clinton/lewinsky affair did not progress to full intercourse. there was quite a bit of heavy petting and oral sex, but there was never an insertion of tab “a” into slot “b.” it is possible to semantically answer the question no.

  2. i am not sure of the admissablilty of another sexual encounter with regards to the matter of a sexual harrassment claim from the past. i can hear a lawyer in trial stating: “i object, your honor! a present sexual relationship with another woman has no bearing on whether or not mr clinton sexually harrassed ms. jones five years ago!”

2a. the recording made by ms. tripp was made without ms. lewinsky’s knowledge, and constituted an illegal wire tap. i do not believe that it is possible to get information from an illegal wire tap admitted into evidence.

  1. the admissablity of the questions regarding mr. clinton’s relationship with ms. lewinsky would possible render the whole line of questioning null, thereby having no affect on the outcome of the trial.

did mr. clinton commit perjury? imho, no.

did mr. clinton mislead the entire country, and lie about his relationship with ms. lewinsky? imho, yes.

again, only my opinion, but this makes mr. clinton a liar, but not a perjuror.

Well, no, under the definition of “sexual relationship” used in the deposition, actions other than sexual intercourse fit the definition.

But, what you mentioned, Longhair, might serve as a defense against perjury, but might not stop a perjury charge from being brought.

He also killed Vince Foster, you there is that as well.

Doesn’t the definition of perjury include something about the lie being material to the case at hand?

While the ultimate ruling in court may be that the question is improper, discovery rules of evidence are different. In a deposition, a question does not necessarily have to be relevant itself, but must merely be reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant evidence. A person giving a deposition is not permitted to make an independent judgement of the ultimate admissibility of the issue, but must answer truthfully (or object) to all questions.

Even if you were correct about the illegality of the wiretap, an accused cannot vicariously claim another’s constitutional rights. For example, if I give you a plastic bag full of cocaine and my distribution notebook, and it’s discovered during an illegal search of your home, it cannot be used as evidence against you. But it can be used as evidence against me, since I have no Fourth Amendment standing to object to illegal searches of your home.

Regardless, the wiretap information most probably constiutes hearsay, and would be inadmissible against Clinton for that reason. It was not, however, necessary to convict him. If Ms. Lewinsky’s subsequent testimony to the grand jury is believed, then Clinton committed perjury. Her testimony was consistent with the physical evidence. The wiretap recording would not be required as evidence in the case-in-chief against Clinton for perjury.

  • Rick
  1. the admissablity of the questions regarding mr. clinton’s relationship with ms. lewinsky would possible render the whole line of questioning null, thereby having no affect on the outcome of the trial.

did mr. clinton commit perjury? imho, no.

did mr. clinton mislead the entire country, and lie about his relationship with ms. lewinsky? imho, yes.

again, only my opinion, but this makes mr. clinton a liar, but not a perjuror. **

friend captain,

you are right.

Uh huh.

Tell me when the shuttle lands, will you please?

Just reading Captain Amazing posts, it seems to me Clinton clearly committed perjury. He gives the definition of perjury, and then supports the facts underlying the charge with cites. Were I you Elvis, I’d dump the pretentious and condescending tone in the OP, and give the Captain the praise he deserves.

Heh heh. So much for objective credibility.

You may want to check the lawbooks on that. From what I’ve read, it’s perfectly legal to record a phone conversation (or any conversation for that matter) as long as one person in the conversation is aware of it, and it’s also admissable as evidence.

friend zwaldd,

you could be correct. i have no detailed legal knowledge, just recall that there was an investigation into the legality of that taped conversation with a possible prosecution of ms. tripp for violating the wire tap laws.

friend bricker,

your point is well made. my imperfect understanding of the rules of evidence led me to believe that illegally obtained evidence is always inadmissable.

How about some facts to back this up? China has been doing international commercial satellite launches since the mid-1980’s if not earlier.

Where to start?

Loral may or may not have sold top “secret” satellite information to China. However, do you really think that Bill Clinton authorized or knew that this was going to happen and sat back doing nothing with his hand out for bribe from Bernie Schwartz?

The term “Red China” is quite outdated for reasons that should be obvious.

China has had a successful international satellite launch program from the 1980’s.