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Introduction - Notes

1. Section 595(c) of Title 28 of the United States Code is part of the Ethics in Government Act. The section provides:

(c) Information relating to impeachment. -- An independent counsel shall advise the House of Representatives of any substantial and credible information which such independent counsel receives, in carrying out the independent counsel's responsibilities under this chapter, that may constitute grounds for an impeachment. Nothing in this chapter or section 49 of this title [concerning the assignment of judges to the Special Division that appoints an independent counsel] shall prevent the Congress or either House thereof from obtaining information in the course of an impeachment proceeding.

2. Ms. Jones also named Arkansas State Trooper Danny Ferguson as a defendant. For a detailed background of the Jones v. Clinton lawsuit, see the accompanying Appendix, Tab C.

3. In 1991, Ms. Jones was an employee of the Arkansas Industrial Development Corporation. Ms. Jones alleged that while at work at a meeting at the Excelsior Hotel that day, she was invited into a hotel room with Governor Clinton, and that once she was there, the Governor exposed his genitals and asked her to perform oral sex on him. Ms. Jones alleged that she suffered various job detriments after refusing Governor Clinton's advances. This Referral expresses no view on the factual or legal merit, or lack thereof, of Ms. Jones's claims.

4. Jones v. Clinton, 117 S. Ct. 1636, 1652 (1997).

5. The purpose of discovery in a civil lawsuit is "to allow a broad search for facts, the names of witnesses, or any other matters which may aid a party in the preparation or presentation of his case." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 advisory committee notes (1946). The discovery process allows the parties to obtain from their respective opponents written answers to interrogatories, oral testimony in depositions under oath, documents, and other tangible items so long as the information sought "appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).

6. 921-DC-00000461 (Dec. 11, 1997 Order at 3). Similarly, in a December 18, 1997 Order, Judge Wright noted that "the issue [was] one of discovery, not admissibility of evidence at trial. Discovery, as all counsel know, by its very nature takes unforeseen twists and turns and goes down numerous paths, and whether those paths lead to the discovery of admissible evidence often simply cannot be predetermined." 1414-DC-00001012-13 (Dec. 18, 1997 Order at 7-8).

7. V002-DC-00000020 (President Clinton's Responses to Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories at 5).

8. V002-DC-00000053 (President Clinton's Supplemental Responses to Plaintiff's Second Set of Interrogatories at 2). During discovery in a civil lawsuit, the parties must answer written questions ("interrogatories") that are served on them by their opponent. Fed. R. Civ. P. 33. The answering party must sign a statement under penalty of perjury attesting to the truthfulness of the answers. Id.

9. For a brief discussion of the scope of the OIC's jurisdiction, see "The Scope of the Referral," below.

10. The full text of the Special Division's Order is set forth in the Appendix, Tab A.

11. Jones v. Clinton, Motion of the United States for Limited Intervention and a Stay of Discovery, at 6. The overlap in the proceedings was significant. Witnesses called before the grand jury in the criminal investigation had been subpoenaed by both parties to the civil case; defendant's counsel had subpoenaed information from the OIC; and the plaintiff's attorneys had subpoenaed documents directly related to the criminal matter.

12. Jones v. Clinton, Order, Jan. 29, 1998, at 2.

13. Id.

14. Id. at 2-3.

15. Id. at 3.

16. Jones v. Clinton, 993 F. Supp. 1217, 1222 (E.D. Ark. 1998) (footnote and emphasis omitted).

17. Jones v. Clinton, 990 F. Supp. 657, 679 (E.D. Ark. 1998).

18. In the course of its investigation, the OIC gathered information from a variety of sources, including the testimony of witnesses before the grand jury. Normally a federal prosecutor is prohibited by Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure from disclosing grand jury material, unless it obtains permission from a court or is otherwise authorized by law to do so. This Office concluded that the statutory obligation of disclosure imposed on an Independent Counsel by 28 U.S.C. §595(c) grants such authority. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, the OIC obtained permission from the Special Division to disclose grand jury material as appropriate in carrying out its statutory duty. A copy of the disclosure order entered by the Special Division is set forth in the Appendix, Tab B. We also advised Chief Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, who supervises the principal grand jury in this matter, of our determination on that issue.

19. U.S. Const., art. I, § 2, cl. 5; art. I, § 3, cl. 6.

20. 28 U.S.C. § 594(a).

21. Before the grand jury, the President refused to answer certain questions about his conduct with Ms. Lewinsky on the ground that he believed the inquiries were unnecessary "and . . . I think, frankly, go too far in trying to criminalize my private life." Clinton 8/17/98 GJ at 94.

Others have argued that alleged "lies about sex" have nothing to do with the President's performance in office, and thus, are inconsequential. Former White House Counsel Jack Quinn articulated this view:

This is a matter of sex between consenting adults, and the question of whether or not one or the other was truthful about it. . . . This doesn't go to the question of his conduct in office. And, in that sense, it's trivial.

John F. Harris, "In Political Washington, A Confession Consensus," Washington Post, Aug. 4, 1998, at A1 (quoting Quinn's statement on CBS's "Face the Nation").

The President echoed this theme in his address to the Nation on August 17, 1998, following his grand jury testimony:

. . . I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It's nobody's business but ours. Even Presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.

Testing of a President: In His Own Words, Last Night's Address, The New York Times, Aug. 18, 1998, at A12.

22. Clinton 1/17/98 Depo. at 9. As two commentators have noted: "[T]o the extent that discovery is permitted with respect to the sexual activities of either the complainant or the alleged harasser, courts likely will freely entertain motions to limit the availability of such information to the parties and their counsel and to prohibit general dissemination of such sensitive data to third parties." See Barbara Lindeman & David D. Kadue, Sexual Harassment in Employment Law 563 (1992).

23. A sexual harassment case can sometimes boil down to a credibility battle between the parties, in which "the existence of corroborative evidence or the lack thereof is likely to be crucial." Henson v. City of Dundee, 682 F.2d 897, 912 n.25 (11th Cir. 1982). If there are no eyewitnesses, it can be critical for a plaintiff to learn in discovery whether the defendant has committed the same kind of acts before or since. Thus, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explained in a 1990 policy statement that the plaintiff's allegations of an incident of sexual harassment "would be further buttressed if other employees testified that the supervisor propositioned them as well." EEOC Policy Guidance (1990). The rules of evidence establish that such corroboration may be used to show the defendant's "motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident." Fed. R. Evid. 404(b). In short, a defendant's sexual history, at least with respect to other employees, is ordinarily discoverable in a sexual harassment suit.

24. United States v. Mandujano, 425 U.S. 564, 576 (1975) (plurality opinion).

25. ABF Freight Sys., Inc. v. NLRB, 510 U.S. 317, 323 (1994).

26. United States v. Norris, 300 U.S. 564, 574 (1937). There is occasional misunderstanding to the effect that perjury is somehow distinct from "obstruction of justice." While the crimes are distinct, they are in fact variations on a single theme: preventing a court, the parties, and the public from discovering the truth. Perjury, subornation of perjury, concealment of subpoenaed documents, and witness tampering are all forms of obstruction of justice.

27. See Eugene Lyons, Herbert Hoover: A Biography 337 (1964) (quoting Hoover).

28. U.S. Const., art. II, § 1, cl. 8.

29. U.S. Const., art. II, § 3; see also George Washington, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1793:

Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.

Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States, H.R. Doc. No. 82-540, at 4 (1954).

30. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 653-54 (Jackson, J., concurring).

31. Jordan, House Testimony, 7/24/97, at 46.

32. From April through November 1994, 17 different persons or entities retained Mr. Hubbell as a consultant. In 1994, he collected $450,010 for this work. In 1995, he collected $91,750, despite beginning a 28-month prison term in August of that year.

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