The Starr Report: 3: The role of Clinton's Secretary

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The Independent Online
IN 1997, with the presidential election past, Monica Lewinsky and the President resumed their one-on-one meetings and sexual encounters. The President's secretary, Betty Currie, acted as intermediary.

According to Ms Currie, Ms Lewinsky would often call her and say she wanted to see the President. Ms Currie would ask President Clinton, and, if he agreed, arrange the meeting. She also said it was "not unusual" that Ms Lewinsky would talk by phone with the President and then call Ms Currie to set up a meeting. At times, she placed calls to Ms Lewinsky for Mr Clinton and put him on the line.

When Ms Lewinsky arrived at the White House, Ms Currie would generally be the one to authorise her entry and take her to the West Wing. Ms Currie acknowledged that she would sometimes come to the White House for the sole purpose of having Ms Lewinsky admitted to see the President. She said Ms Lewinsky and the President were alone together in the Oval Office or the study for 15 to 20 minutes on multiple occasions.

Secret Service officers and agents took note of Ms Currie's role. Officer Steven Pape once observed Ms Currie come to the White House for the duration of Ms Lewinsky's visit, then leave. When calling to alert the officer at the West Wing lobby that Ms Lewinsky was en route, Ms Currie would sometimes say, "You know who it is."

Ms Lewinsky also sent over a number of packages - six or eight, Ms Currie estimated. These packages would be addressed to Ms Currie.Evidence indicates that Ms Lewinsky also dropped parcels off with Ms Currie or had a family member do so.

Though Ms Currie generally opened letters and parcels to the President, she did not open those from Ms Lewinsky. She "made the determination not to open" such letters and parcels because "I felt [they were] probably personal". Instead, she would leave any package in the President's box, and "he would pick it up". To the best of her knowledge, she said, such parcels always reached the President.

When the President wanted to talk with Ms Lewinsky, Ms Currie would dial the number herself rather than go through White House operators, who keep logs of presidential calls made through the switchboard. When Ms Lewinsky phoned and Ms Currie put the President on the line, she admitted she would not log the call, even though the standard procedure was to note all calls, personal and professional. According to Secret Service uniformed officers, Ms Currie sometimes tried to persuade them to admit Ms Lewinsky to the White House compound without making a record of it.

In addition, Ms Currie avoided writing down or retaining most messages from Ms Lewinsky to the President. In response to a grand jury subpoena, the White House turned over only one note to the President concerning Ms Lewinsky - whereas evidence indicates that Ms Lewinsky used Ms Currie to convey requests and messages to the President many times.

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