Photo of the Day

Lewinsky, who has kept out of the public eye for a decade, photographed at her Los Angeles apartment. Photo Vanity Fair

The Stained Blue Dress 

In November 1997, Monica Lewinsky told her confidant and supposed friend, Linda Tripp, that she had in her possession a blue Gap dress that still bore the semen stain that resulted from her administering oral sex to President Clinton in February of that year.

Tripp called her literary agent, and fellow Clinton-hater, Lucianne Goldberg to report the news that evidence existed in Lewinsky’s closet that could prove a sexual relationship between Monica and the President. Goldberg and Tripp, according to published reports in both Time and Newsweek, discussed stealing the dress and turning it over to investigators. Goldberg admitted having such a discussion with Tripp, calling it a “Nancy Drew fantasy.”

In late November, Lewinsky mentioned to Tripp that she intended to have the dress, which she had been saving a souvenir, dry-cleaned for a family event. Tripp, anxious to preserve the dress to nail the President, discouraged her from doing so. “I would tell my own daughter,” Tripp told her, that she should save the dress “for your own ultimate protection” should she later be accused of lying about the affair with Clinton. When Lewinsky expressed skepticism that it would ever come to that, Tripp told her that the dress made her look “really fat” and she shouldn’t wear it again in public.

In 1999, for only the second time in United States history, the Senate conducted an impeachment trial of a President. The acquittal of William Jefferson Clinton on February 12 came as no great surprise, given the near party-line vote on impeachment charges in the House of Representatives leading to the trial.

Despite its predictable outcome, the impeachment trial of President Clinton is well worth studying, both for what it says about the failure of the judiciary and political institutions to respond adequately to an unprecedented situation, and what it tells us about the failures of Bill Clinton, the occupant of the nation’s highest office. The trial also raises fascinating questions about the distinction between public morality and private morality.

Within hours of gaining approval to expand his investigation to the Lewinsky matter, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and his deputies arranged to have Linda Tripp bait a trap for Monica Lewinsky. Tripp invited Lewinsky to lunch at the food court of the Pentagon City Mall in Washington, where she was seized by FBI agents working for the OIC and taken to room 1012 of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

There she met six deputy IOC prosecutors, ready to go to work on her with hardball tactics. She also was met by her supposed friend, Linda Tripp, who she immediately understood had set her up. “Make her stay and watch,” Lewinsky told the prosecutors, “I want that treacherous bitch to see what she has done to me.”

The IOC had rented Tripp a room at the hotel, to better enable her to tell lawyers for Jones, who would depose President Clinton the next day, what happened during Lewinsky’s interrogation.

At the time Starr’s Office approached Lewinsky she had a lawyer who was working with her on preparing her (false) affidavit for the Jones case. Department of Justice regulations prohibit prosecutors from approaching a criminal suspect known to have a lawyer, but the IOC would later content Lewinsky was not a “represented party” within the meaning of the regulations because she hired her lawyer to help in a civil, not criminal, matter.

Monica Lewinsky Run Has Racers In Blue Dresses

Deputy Prosecutor Michael Emmick told Lewinsky that the OIC was ready to charge her with a list of federal crimes that included perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. Emrick warned her that, if convicted, she could face up to 27 years in prison. The IOC even had a basis for charging his mother with a crime, Emrick maintained. All this could be avoided, he said, but only if Lewinsky agreed to cooperate with the OIC and wore a body wire for monitoring of future conversations between her and Clinton, Betty Currie, and Vernon Jordan.

In fact, the OIC prosecutors greatly exaggerated the punishment that Lewinsky might face–two years would be a much better estimate than 27.

Moreover, the most serious charge Lewinsky might face concerned the filing of a perjurious affidavit in the Jones case (denying her sexual relationship with the President), and at the time she was seized that affidavit had not yet been filed in the court in Little Rock. She still had time to call her lawyer who could have called FedEx to cancel delivery of the affidavit–if only the OIC had given her the chance to do so.

When Lewinsky, sobbing and shaking from the shattering events, asked to call her lawyer, Frank Carter, she was rebuffed. Carter, they said, was a civil lawyer (in fact, he had been a public defender for six years) and she needed a criminal attorney. Not only did they want to the leverage that a perjury charge would give them, but OIC prosecutors also were determined to prevent Clinton from learning that Lewinsky’s story had been exposed. They wanted him to lie the next morning in his deposition. Despite Lewinsky’s early request, no call was placed to the law office of Frank Carter until 5:23 p.m., after the office had closed for the three-day Martin Luther King weekend.

For eleven hours, OIC prosecutors continued to press Lewinsky to accept a body wire and tape conversations with the President, but she refused to give in to their demand. Her decision not to cooperate with the OIC that night, many commentators believe, saved the Clinton Presidency.

The “perjury trap” set for the President by the IOC has been criticized even by a respected federal judge, and Reagan appointee, Richard A. Posner. In his book, An Affair of State: The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton, Posner writes: “To conduct a sting operation against the President of the United States, in concert with the President’s partisan enemies, is certainly questionable as a matter of sound enforcement policy. It is also a potent argument against the independent counsel law, without which such a scheme would be unthinkable.”

Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.

One of the most common criticisms of the Starr Report was that it had too much sex in it–far more than necessary to serve legitimate prosecutorial goals.

Without a doubt, some discussion of the sexual nature of the relationship between President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky was needed to establish that Clinton had lied in his deposition in the Paula Jones case and in his subsequent grand jury testimony. In both instances, Clinton denied under oath that he touched Lewinsky erotically. To expose these lies, Starr could have simply listed sexual encounters by date and place, including a brief description of the sexual content, such as “Lewinsky fellated the President” or the “President touched Lewinsky’s breasts.”

The Starr Report, however, went far beyond establishing that the President lied when he denied having sexual relations with Lewinsky, and included sexual details of various encounters that suggest the Report also had as its purpose to embarrass Clinton and thus limit his effectiveness as President. Perhaps no detail revealed in the Starr Report better illustrates this prosecutorial overkill than the decision to include a description of Clinton putting a cigar in Lewinsky’s vagina, then putting it in his own mouth and saying that it “tastes good” (3-31-96). The cigar incident would inspire countless jokes by late-night comics and greatly weakened the ability of the President to ever again be seen as “presidential.” The same is said of the Starr Report’s description of the President masturbating in a sink in his bathroom, its description of Clinton taking calls from members of Congress while receiving oral sex, or its mention of a more traditional form of “phone sex” between Lewinsky and the President.

The impeachment saga of President Clinton has its origins in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought in Arkansas in May, 1994 by Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee. In her suit, Jones alleged that on May 8, 1991, while she helped to staff a state-sponsored management conference at the Excelsior Hotel in Little Rock, a state trooper and member of Governor Clinton’s security detail, Danny Ferguson, approached her and told her that the Governor would like to meet her in his hotel suite….

Photo Vanity Fair

The complete story of Monica Lewinsky’s navy-blue cocktail dress is included in the report that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr turned over to Congress.
FBI agents began searching for that dress, mentioned in taped conversations Monica Lewinsky had with Linda Tripp, in January when the Whitewater investigation began to focus on President Clinton’s relationship with Lewinsky, a former White House intern.

Several dresses were seized by agents from Lewinsky apartment in January and sent to labs for analysis, but none turned up any evidence linking the president to Lewinsky.

After reaching an immunity and cooperation agreement with the Office of Independent Counsel on July 28, 1998, Lewinsky turned over a blue dress that she said she had worn during a sexual encounter with the president on Feb. 28, 1997. She allegedly had given it to her mother for safekeeping.
According to the Starr report Lewinsky noticed stains on the garment the next time she took it from the closet. She surmised that the stains were the president’s semen, but she wasn’t sure. Deep in the footnotes of the Starr report is this fascinating tidbit:
According to her grand jury testimony, Lewinsky testified that she did not keep the soiled dress as a souvenir. She said she does not ordinarily clean her clothes until she is ready to wear them again She had dined out after meeting with the president, “so it could be spinach dip or something.” 

Sadly for Mr Clinton, DNA analysis showed that the stains were not food.

During her grand jury testimony, Lewinsky was asked whether the stains on the dress were semen. She replied: “I wore the dress out to dinner that night, which is why I’m not sure that that’s what it is.”

Initial tests, the report said, revealed that the stains were semen. Based on that result, the Office of the Independent Counsel asked the president for a blood sample.
After the prosecutors assured the president that they had an evidentiary basis for making the requests, the president agreed to provide a blood sample.
It was taken in the White House map room on Aug. 3. The White House physician drew a vial of blood from the president in the presence of an FBI agent and an attorney from the Office of Independent Counsel.

According to the report, an analysis of the samples by an FBI laboratory concluded that the president was the source of the DNA found in a stain on the dress.

Photo Vanity Fair

Lewinsky’s blue dress led to positive proof of an inappropriate sexual relationship between herself and the president, an assertion that Clinton previously denied under oath. He ultimately admitted the truth on Aug.17, 1998, in a nationally televised address.

The fallout from the Lewinsky scandal, alternately called Monicagate, Lewinskygate and Zippergate by the U.S. media, resulted in perjury charges against the president. For civil contempt of court, Clinton paid a $90,000 fine and received a five-year suspension from practicing law in Arkansas.

Additionally, the government viewed his actions under oath as crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice, which are impeachable offenses. After the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed Articles of Impeachment in December 1998, the U.S. Senate held a 21-day trial to confirm or acquit the charges. The House ultimately acquitted him on both charges, and he finished out his second term in office.

When asked in an interview what she would do with the dress if she ever got it back, Miss Lewinsky replied: “I’d burn it.”

Sex museum: The Las Vegas Erotic Heritage Museum’s executive director, Victoria Hartmann, offered Lewinsky the increased sum of $1million for the dress via letter. Above, the museum in Industrial Road.

In 2015, Monica Lewinsky has reportedly been offered a whopping $1million for her ‘DNA-stained’ blue dress. She has been offered the enormous sum of money by the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas, which had previously tried to pay her a smaller $250,000 for the infamous GAP dress.

The museum, situated in Industrial Road, Las Vegas, apparently wishes to include the item in an exhibition ‘examining the private relationships of people in power, gender dynamics [and] politics’.

And if Lewinsky’s remarks are anything to go by, she could be tempted by the offer.

In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine in 2014, she spoke of her desire to move beyond her affair with Clinton, saying: ‘It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.’

She added:  “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.” She also says: “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”

After 10 years of virtual silence (“So silent, in fact,” she writes, “that the buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out? I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth”), Lewinsky, 40, says it is time to stop “tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”

Lewinsky wrote that, perhaps by sharing her story, she might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?” She also says that, when news of her affair with Clinton broke in 1998, not only was she arguably the most humiliated person in the world, but, “thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.” Her current goal, she says, “is to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

She also revealed that her decade-long silence over the affair had come at a cost – as she had turned down offers amounting to $10million because she ‘didn’t feel like the right thing to do’.

And she claimed she was made a ‘scapegoat in order to protect [Clinton’s] powerful position’.

Gennifer Flowers, 67 an actress and model, born in Oklahoma, shot to fame after revealing she had engaged in sexual relations with Clinton – something he admitted to under oath in January 1998.

However, the former president declared they had such relations on only one encounter.

Danney Williams has long claimed that his prostitute mother met Clinton when she was working on the streets of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Fast forward to 2016, Danney Williams, 30, who claims to be the biological son of Bill Clinton has appealed to borrow Monica Lewinsky’s notorious stained dress to conduct DNA testing. Williams has since 1992 claimed that he is the son of Clinton who met his prostitute mother, Bobbie Ann, while she was working on the streets of Little Rock, Arkansas. But a DNA test had proved that Williams could not be Clinton’s son but there were questions regarding the test. Now Williams hopes to be able to borrow Lewinsky’s dress to compare his DNA to that of Clinton, the Daily Mail reported.

He said that it’s ‘unfair’ that Clinton has not welcomed him into his life, but that their relationship was ‘common knowledge’ as he grew up in Arkansas.

‘I have no doubt that I am Bill Clinton’s son,’ he said. ‘It was common knowledge, everyone in Arkansas knew.

‘Everywhere I went, they pointed out: ‘It’s Bill Clinton’s son right there. You look like him, don’t you? The ears, the mouth, the chin, the teeth, the eyes, the nose’. I see him in me.

‘You can see a black Bill Clinton. When I’m brushing my hair I can see Bill Clinton with waves in his hair.

Williams said he got no help from the Clintons during his upbringing, but at another he says his mother regularly got ‘seven $100 bills’ placed in her mailbox and he received Christmas presents from the former first family.

‘They were delivered to my home by state troopers. So I felt he was trying to be a part of my life. And then when he became president, everything stopped.’

He said that in 1999 the tabloid magazine Star published a report saying that he had failed a DNA test, but he says no such test was ever taken. ‘I would love a DNA test to be done,’ he said.

In August 2016, Donald Trump taunted Bill and Hillary Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Trump asked the crowd at his rally in Fairfield, Connecticut if they remember Bill Clinton’s claim that he never had sex with “that woman.”

“I’m so glad they kept that dress,” Trump said of Monica Lewinsky’s semen-stained blue dress that she wore during an oral sex encounter with Bill Clinton.

“It shows what the Hell they are,” Trump said.

Trump Taunts the Clintons: I’m Glad Monica Kept the Blue Dress

Bill Clinton’s ‘love child’ wants Monica Lewinsky’s dress for DNA

Man who claims to be Bill Clinton’s secret son shows off his potential …

Documents from Independent Counsel Ken Starr*

Volume II: Appendix

Volume III: Document Supplement, Part A, William J. Clinton Statement

Volume III: Document Supplement, Part A, William J. Clinton Statement

Volume IV: Document Supplement, Part B, Monica S. Lewinsky Statement

Volume V: Document Supplement, Part C, Documents Cited in Referral: Tabs 1-46

Volume VI: Document Supplement, Part D, Documents Cited in Referral: Tabs 47-83, Bates Numbers 812-968

Volume VII: Document Supplement, Part E, Documents Cited in Referral: Bates Numbers 1000-V006

Letters of Note: I feel disposable, used and insignificant

Monica Lewinsky Writes About Her Affair with President Clinton

From Monica to “Handsome” or “Mr. P” – Famous Trials

Monica Lewinsky scandal – Wikipedia

The Starr Report Disrobed – Page 128 – Google Books Result

[PDF]Letter of Notification of Presidential Records Release (Clinton)

High Crimes? Or Just a Sex Cover-Up? – TIME

 


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