Perjury about exchanging gifts

During his deposition in the Jones case, Clinton was asked if Monica Lewinsky had ever given him any gifts. "Once or twice," he answered. "I think she's given me a book or two." Clinton was also asked if he had given any gifts to Ms. Lewinksy. "I don't recall" he answered. "Do you know what they were?"

Later, prosecutors learned that Ms. Lewinsky had given him about 38 gifts — over the years. And he had given her a few gifts just three weeks before the deposition, including a Rockettes blanket, sunglasses and a pin of the New York City skyline.

Did the president commit perjury, or did he merely forget? This is almost impossible to prove, because there are over 200 interns in the White House, not to mention even more staff and White House visitors, who regularly exchange an enormous number of gifts with the president. And certainly the leader of the free world has more on his mind than counting and remembering gifts.

But the president did not deny he had exchanged gifts. Indeed, his question to the Jones lawyers — "Do you what they were?" — shows that he did not deny giving gifts, simply that he did not recall what they were. Proving that the president intended to lie, rather than he simply forgot, is an insurmountable problem for prosecutors. They have offered no evidence that clarifies the question.

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