What If Monica Actually Had Taken The Stand?

December 29, 2019   |   by James G. Dalton

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Imagine if Monica Lewinsky had taken the stand as a witness in President Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial. Imagine the drama of the young former White House intern sitting in the well of the Senate recalling how the president encouraged her to sign a false affidavit after learning that she would be a witness against him. It would have been an unforgettable moment. But it didn’t happen for the simple reason that few in the Senate wanted to hear such evidence.

During the Clinton trial, the House impeachment managers were surprised to learn that the upper chamber’s Republican majority agreed with Democratic demands not only to bar live testimony but to limit depositions to three witnesses and take them in private. It was a decision that might have determined the outcome of the trial. Soon the Senate will have to decide whether to replicate the same constraints on the trial of President Donald Trump.

Whether witnesses are required at a presidential impeachment trial is an open question. The 1868 trial of Andrew Johnson resembled a criminal proceeding. The House managers called 25 prosecution witnesses and Johnson’s defense team called 16 witnesses. During the Clinton impeachment, the issue of witnesses came up during House Judiciary Committee hearings. As an expert called to address the constitutional standards, I explained that the Framers didn’t explicitly require witnesses in the House or the Senate but there was likely an expectation — drawn from English impeachments — that witnesses would be called at a Senate trial.

While I favored calling witnesses, the issue wasn’t clear-cut because the underlying investigation into Mr. Clinton had spanned years. Two independent counsels had interviewed dozens of witnesses. Rather than call the same people to testify again, the House decided to rely on the massive record supplied by independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Senate Democrats not only opposed calling witnesses; all but one voted to dismiss both articles without any trial. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – who has demanded that witnesses be called in the Trump impeachment trial – as a freshman in 1999 disdained witness testimony as “political theater.”

In the end, the senators considering whether to remove Mr. Clinton from office heard only excerpts from depositions by three witnesses — and even that was over Democratic objections.

Here is what they — and the public — didn’t hear.

Ms. Lewinsky gave an interview to A&E last year revealing that Mr. Clinton encouraged her in a 2:30 a.m. phone call to submit a false affidavit to the independent counsel.

This raises the possibility that the president committed a variety of crimes, from suborning perjury to witness tampering. Apparently, when Mr. Clinton learned that Ms. Lewinsky was on the witness list in Paula Jones’s sexual-harassment lawsuits, he did what many Democrats have accused Mr. Trump of doing: He called a witness to influence her testimony.

Moreover, Ms. Lewinsky claimed in the interview, she called Vernon Jordan, one of his friends and political allies, and he took her to meet Frank Carter, a lawyer who had her sign an affidavit denying any intimate relationship with the president. She says Mr. Jordan also offered the inexperienced 24-year-old a job with Revlon, where he was a board member.

Ms. Lewinsky said that she was terrified and that the president had assured her that “I could probably sign an affidavit to get out of it.” She also said that Mr. Carter assured her that if she signed the false affidavit, she might avoid being called as a witness. Messrs. Carter and Jordan have denied that they urged Ms. Lewinsky to lie.

Imagine, again, the most riveting moment that never occurred in an impeachment.

Ms. Lewinsky might have taken the stand and told senators that Mr. Clinton not only had an affair with a young intern but also pressured her to lie under oath. She might then have described how her lawyer had allegedly advised her to sign a false affidavit. Even before the GBP MeToo movement, such testimony would have put many Democratic senators in a difficult position.

While one of the articles of impeachment referred to Mr. Clinton’s “encouraging” Ms. Lewinsky‘s false statements, had she publicly testified about what the president said in his early morning phone call, it would have been evidence of subornation, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. It would have destroyed the argument made by his defenders that he did nothing but lie about a personal affair.

Now we are debating again whether to call witnesses at an impeachment trial. While Mr. Schumer has argued that witnesses are essential in a trial, he only means Democratic witnesses. The witnesses that Republicans could be expected to call – like Hunter Biden – would be, says Mr. Schumer, a “distraction.”

Only in an impeachment trial can the jury protect itself from testimony it doesn’t want to hear.

via zerohedge

Recent Comments

  1. Nate-ncp

    Reply
    December 29, 2019 @ 3:06 pm

    She did stand. She standed on Billy’s weewee with her head!!!

  2. Christine

    Reply
    December 29, 2019 @ 4:01 pm

    Hillary probably would have had one of her hit people take Monica out…..

    • Granny

      Reply
      December 30, 2019 @ 8:22 pm

      I am surprised Lewinsky was not taken out. There’s enough evidence that others were taken out. I lived through that nightmare FOR LEWINSKY. At the time I wondered why the media made so much of adult
      consensual relationship. For goodness sake she was what, 20? She was seduced by the President of the USA. How many daughters did any of them have that would not be taken in by that. She was proud, excited, and shared with a ‘good’ friend. I can see that happening right or wrong morally. Please leave the poor woman alone and go after Killary.

  3. Alfredo

    Reply
    December 29, 2019 @ 4:44 pm

    Mr. Prior owns this quotation that foretold today’s enigma:
    ‘Be to Her Virtuous Very Kind,
    ‘Be to Her Faults a Little Blind’

    Woodrow Wilson’s short quote to the National Press Club is also thought provoking:
    ‘I have a single-track mind’

    I doubt CNN and Ms Pelosi are capable in deciphering what these 2 quotations alluded to!
    Alfredo

  4. George

    Reply
    December 29, 2019 @ 5:50 pm

    If only we had a fair and just system. If only there was equal laws for everybody. If only the fbi doj were honest and true law enforcement. But here in america the land of keep your mouth shut or will make up a crime and destroy you. As the guilty are on tv telling you the exact opposite of what you are seeing with your own eyes. And the american public suck it up. I have never been able to figure out if its pure god dam stupidity. Or if its total shock that we have the most corrupt goverment the world has or will ever see. They have destroyed everything world wide. All the termoil you see around the world was done by america. Now look what they are doing here. Its all in the plan. Once civil unrest comes about here then the new world order takes affect. Its coming there is no stopping it. Population control is already well underway. Civil unrest has already begun. This is all part of the plan. Its coming. My hell its right in front of your face. Just wake up and look. Its not hard to see. You just have to wake your ass up. Its actually pretty dam discusting. Them an the media have been leading americans like sheep for years. You here freedom of the press then explain how the just take the media right off the air if tells the truth. Alex johns for one example. He must of had something right cuase they took him right off. Wake the hell up pull your head out of the sand. Or keep it there the outcome will be the same ether way. Does not matter to me how you look at it. Its coming and you cannot and will not stop it. So in the end ya its all a show its all a game just shut up and do what the fake media tells you to do. Have a great day america. Its still better then anywere else on this planet.

    • Dale Hammond

      Reply
      December 30, 2019 @ 1:05 am

      George, you stated, “We have the most corrupt government the world has or will ever see.” Very few are still alive today who personally survived Hitler’s Germany. The American government is REALLY worse than that???
      “All the turmoil you see around the world was done by America. They have destroyed everything world wide.” Are you enjoying the FREEDOMS that you have here in this great country. Thank God and millions of American military people, and milliions of common ordinary people just like you and me. Millions of people in many other countries are thankfull for the continuous American government!
      “Pull your head out of the sand. Or keep it there the outcome will be the same either way. Does not matter to me how you look at it.” George, where does so much PESSIMISM come from? It sounds like you want to live in a perfect world. You will not do that in THIS earthly life. The ONLY way you can live in a perfect world is to GO TO JESUS for the forgiveness of your sins! He paid the penalty for OUR sin! That penalty was, and continues to be SPIRITUAL DEATH: seperation from God (who DOES LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH, GEORGE!
      “So in the end its all a game just shut up…” George, I don’t know if you know ABOUT this TRUTH but, “God loved GEORGE so much, that he gave his only Sin, that if GEORGE will believe in him, GEORGE will not die spiritually, but GEORGE will have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn GEORGE, but in order that GEORGE might be saved through Jesus’ sacrifice for you, GEORGE!!!”
      I PRAY that you will have a very better attitude, outlook, and UPLOOK in 2020!!

  5. John Day

    Reply
    December 29, 2019 @ 5:57 pm

    President Horndog is not the first to dishonor the Oval Office of the White House nor will he be the last. He is also considered to be royalty in the serial sex sleeze community on the level of Epstein, his buddy, taking abusive advantage of every female within their area of influence, even the underaged. …Now that would be a cool investigation, yet his wife is worse, having broken the law numerous times while under the trust and employ of the American people. How would you like those two to be your party’s honored dynasty? They are an excellent reason to reinstate the use of firing squads.

  6. Yeah, and if she would have swallowed instead of slobbering, the "evidence" would never have appeared on that "blue dress".

    Reply
    December 29, 2019 @ 6:46 pm

    Yeah and if she would have swallowed instead of slobbering, the “evidence” would never have appeared on that “blue dress”.

  7. Nolan Raborn

    Reply
    December 30, 2019 @ 5:38 am

    Unfortunately, if she had been scheduled to testify against Slick she would have been arkancided like so many others!

  8. W.Sue Bradshaw

    Reply
    December 30, 2019 @ 11:45 pm

    Stop judging. Turn the mirror upon yourself. Let the Judge of the Universe settle that case. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will be the Final JUDGE, and His verdict will be FAIR and FINAL, and FOREVER. He is GOD INCARNATE!

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