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Some questions for Monica

Today’s the big day.

House impeachment trial managers will depose Monica Lewinsky under
oath before video cameras as they search for new information so
explosive, so persuasive, so compelling that at least 11 Democratic
senators who have already voted to dismiss the case against President
Clinton will now be forced to convict him of high crimes and

Rep. Ed Bryant, R-TN, will do the grilling in a session that could
last up to eight hours. Bryant reportedly gets the nod because Lewinsky
felt most comfortable with him during earlier sessions. The point is to
elicit information from the former White House intern to bolster charges
that Clinton lied under oath and obstructed justice while trying to
cover up their affair.

It won’t be easy.

But there are some possibilities. Believe it or not, there are some
questions Lewinsky has never been asked by Independent Counsel Kenneth
Starr’s investigators or grand jurors — including some real basics.

For instance, my sources say that when Lewinsky visited Clinton while
a Pentagon employee that she sometimes had Marine officers escort her to
the White House. Military sources also tell me that this highly unusual
practice could only be accomplished at the express request of the office
of the president.

Marine officers don’t make a habit of chauffeuring young Defense
Department gofers, which, despite her top-secret security clearance,
Lewinsky was. Marine officers are more likely to be chauffeured

But, imagine a call comes from the White House requesting, I don’t
know, certain top-secret documents needed by the president. Because of
their “importance,” only a trusted Marine officer can be assigned the
task of bringing them over immediately. Oh yeah, and by the way, the
Marine officer is to sign in, but Ms. Lewinsky is to bring the documents
to the president.

Such a covert operation may have actually facilitated more than the
11 reported visits by Lewinsky to the White House during her stint at
the Pentagon.

Why wouldn’t Lewinsky have mentioned this before to investigators?
Probably because she wasn’t asked — or, perhaps, didn’t even think it
was an important detail. Witnesses are, after all, coached by attorneys
not to offer information beyond the scope of specific questions asked.

Yet, I think it would make a big difference to the American people if
they realized the extent of government resources, time, personnel and
taxpayer funds employed by Clinton to carry on his secretive affair with
a subordinate employee. It might even move some of those seemingly
intransigent senators who, despite swearing to carry out their
constitutional duty and objectively weigh the evidence in the
president’s trial, have allowed partisan political considerations to
make up their minds for them.

I can tell you this: It is of interest to House managers. And I
expect they will ask Lewinsky about how she got to the White House from
her job in the Defense Department. Until now, the presumption has been
that she drove herself and logged into the White House like any other

That may not be the case, at least on some of her visits.

So, the key questions are:

How did you get to the White House on your visits while working at
the Pentagon?

Did you drive your own car on each occasion?

Did anyone ever accompany you on those trips?

Were you ever summoned to the White House, or were those visits all

Were any of your superiors at the Defense Department aware of your
visits to the White House? Did any help facilitate those trips in any

Were you always logged in by name on those visits?

There may be a little reluctance to ask such questions in the
deposition today because House managers don’t know the answers. Lawyers
don’t like to ask questions in such proceedings unless they know what to
expect. But the hour is late. Time is running out. And this may well be
the last opportunity for the American people to get to the full truth
about this whole sordid affair and the extent of Bill Clinton’s misuse
of federal personnel and procedures.