Skip to comments.Independent counsel says prosecutors had ample evidence to charge Clinton in Lewinsky scandal
Posted on 03/06/2002 8:03:51 AM PST by OldeconomybuyerEdited on 04/13/2004 2:39:49 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A final report by Independent Counsel Robert Ray concluded Wednesday that prosecutors had ample evidence for criminal charges against President Clinton in the scandal involving former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
"The independent counsel's judgment that sufficient evidence existed to prosecute President Clinton was confirmed by President Clinton's admissions," the report stated. "President Clinton admitted he `knowingly gave evasive and misleading answers"' about his sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
In response to the report, Clinton attorney David Kendall issued a brief statement: "The investigation of President Clinton from 1994 to 2001 was intense, expensive, partisan and long. There's still no Whitewater report, and there's nothing new in this report. It's time to move on."
The criminal investigation of Clinton in the Lewinsky matter began in January 1998. Former White House employee Linda Tripp, a friend of Lewinsky, turned over to Starr secretly taped phone calls in which the ex-intern confided her relationship with Clinton. The tapes contradicted Clinton's sworn testimony in the Jones case, which the president gave just days after Tripp had turned the tapes over to Starr.
The sequence -- first turning over the tapes, then Clinton testifying in the Jones case -- led Clinton and his defenders to accuse Starr's office of setting a perjury trap for the president.
Starr's prosecutors and the FBI looked into whether Clinton had tried to silence Lewinsky by getting presidential friend Vernon Jordan to find a job for her. Besides opening doors for her job-hunting efforts, Jordan arranged to hire a Washington lawyer for Lewinsky so that she could file an affidavit in the Jones case. In the affidavit, she denied having had a sexual relationship with Clinton.
When Lewinsky eventually agreed to cooperate with investigators in the summer of 1998, she turned over a stained blue dress from an encounter with Clinton, making it impossible for the president to deny a sexual relationship. Lab tests showed Clinton's DNA on the garment.
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More than four years after the allegations first emerged that Clinton sought to hide his affair with Lewinsky, a special U.S. appeals court released a lengthy report by independent counsel Robert Ray that was required by law.
"The independent counsel concluded that sufficient evidence existed to prosecute and that such evidence would 'probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction ... by an unbiased trier of fact'," he said in the report.
But Ray said he decided against prosecution on the grounds that "noncriminal alternatives" were sufficient.
Right before he left office in January 2001 Clinton admitted knowingly giving false, evasive statements in a deal with Ray that ended the investigation without any criminal charges being brought.
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