Just A Sex Cover-Up?: High Crimes? Or Just A Sex Cover-Up?

Starr shows all the ways Clinton tried to keep Monica quiet. It's not Watergate

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The next day Jordan applied a little of what he calls the "Jordan magic" to close the deal on Lewinsky's job. On that day Lewinsky interviewed in New York City with a top executive of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., billionaire Ron Perelman's umbrella company, but the executive decided she was unsuited for any opening. (Jordan is on the board of Revlon, a MacAndrews subsidiary.) Lewinsky reported to Jordan that the interview went "very poorly." So Jordan called Perelman. "I have spent a good part of my life learning institutions and people, and in that process, I have learned how to make things happen," he explained to the grand jury. "And the call to Ronald Perelman was a call to make things happen, if they could happen." (He also made three calls to the White House that day.) According to Perelman, Jordan touted Lewinsky as a "bright young girl who I think is terrific." It was the first time in the 12 years Jordan had served as a Revlon director that he had called to recommend someone for a job.

By the end of the day, Revlon called Lewinsky for an interview. On Jan. 9, she met with one executive from MacAndrews and two from Revlon. Within hours, Lewinsky was informally offered a job. She informally accepted and reported the news to Jordan. He immediately informed Currie and Clinton: "Mission accomplished." But Lewinsky still needed references, and Clinton reached down into the White House staff to make sure Lewinsky would get a favorable one. In the end, Revlon withdrew the job offer after the scandal broke.

During his Jones deposition on Jan. 17, Clinton was barraged with questions about Lewinsky. After the interrogation was finished, he called Currie and summoned her to the White House the following day, a Sunday. In the meeting, Currie testified, Clinton made a series of statements about himself and Lewinsky. "You were always there when she was there, right? We were never really alone. Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right?"

None of them were right, but Currie felt "the President wanted her to agree with them," the report says. Starr charges that Clinton, worried Currie might be called for a deposition, was engaging in witness tampering. Clinton lawyer David Kendall rejects the charge, arguing that Currie was not a witness in any proceeding at the time (she was never called in the Jones matter). Clinton, in his August grand-jury testimony, conceded that Currie "may have felt some ambivalence about how to react" to his words. He said he had always tried to prevent her from learning of the affair. "[I] did what people do when they do the wrong thing," he said. "I tried to do it where nobody else was looking at it."

Three days later the scandal broke. That day Clinton got a call from Dick Morris, his longtime consultant, who'd resigned in disgrace amid his own sex scandal in 1996. "You poor son of a b____," Morris said consolingly. The consultant testified that he assured the President that "there's a great capacity for forgiveness in this country, and you should consider tapping into it."

"But what about the legal thing?" Morris says Clinton replied. "You know, Starr and perjury and all?" Clinton had already denied the affair in his Jones deposition, but, Morris says, the President admitted to him that "with this girl I just slipped up."

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