House Releases More Documents

The House released a final batch of evidence from independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation Friday that includes transcripts of telephone calls in which Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp trade fears and advice regarding Lewinsky's relationship with the president and its consequences.

In the 20 hours of secretly recorded telephone conversations between Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, Tripp can be heard coaching her younger friend about how to tell the president she doesn't want a job at the United Nations offered by Ambassador Bill Richardson.

"It's just too, it's too much for one person," Lewinsky said of the situation she found herself in.

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"Oh, it is too much for one person," Tripp agreed. "... So, Monica, I'm just saying we have to at least consider the possibility that he is going to call you tonight."

Tripp counseled her young friend: "Well, when you do speak to him, and he tries to snow you about the U.N., I think you just have to say 'I really don't want to be seen as unappreciative. That's not the case. But I...I cannot work for the government anymore. It is no longer an option for me'."

On another topic, Ms. Lewinsky told Mrs. Tripp she was being urged to be untruthful in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against the president and promised a reward to Mrs. Tripp if she would also be untruthful.

"I would be indebted to you for life. ... I would write you a check for the entire portion" of a condominium "I own in Australia," Ms. Lewinsky told her friend.

Tripp expressed fears about acquiescing to Lewinsky's requests.

"Monica, there's so much at stake here," said Tripp. "My job is at stake, my life..."

Documents released Friday also show that Lewinsky insisted that presidential secretary Betty Currie use the codename "K" when they communicated, according to grand jury testimony.

Lewinsky suggested the codename, probably around December 1997, Currie testified. At that time, Lewinsky had been subpoenaed to testify about her relationship with Mr. Clinton for a lawsuit.

The bound, three-volume set of documents included transcripts of Tripp's secretly taped conversations with Lewinsky, as well as grand jury testimony by Currie, Clinton friend Vernon Jordan, and numerous White House staffers.

One of them was Debi Schiff, who told the gand jury that she had complained to Evelyn Leiberman about Lewinsky's short skirts and low-cut tops. Schiff, a former campaign plane stewardess who was then a West Wing receptionist, said Lewinsky was the only intern she reported to Leiberman, although she did hav general complaints about inappropriate dress.

Currie testified under considerable prodding, often saying she couldn't remember details of events. At one point in her Jan. 27 appearance, prosecutors repeatedly pressed her to confirm that Lewinsky had told her, "As long as no one saw us, and no one did, then nothing happened."

Without answering, Currie asked if she could step outside for a moment, and the jury's foreperson told her, "You are reminded you are under oath."

When Currie returned, she said, "My memory is a little better, but not much." She continued, "If that was said, I would have said, 'Stop, stop, I don't want to hear anymore'."

As the questioning continued, Currie said flatly, "I believe Lewinsky said that."

The material was released as House Democrats proposed a narrowly focused impeachment inquiry that would end by Nov. 25 and provide the option of censuring Mr. Clinton for misconduct in the Lewinsky matter.

The Democratic plan is headed for certain defeat in the House Judiciary Committee, which meets Monday to either reject an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Clinton's conduct or recommend such an investigation to the House.

"Without a date certain, this proceeding could turn into a yearlong, two years, politicized fishing expedition of enormous expense," said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, senior Judiciary Committee Democrat.

Rep. James Rogan, R-Calif., said "There is a coterie on the other side who want Watergate-style hearings without Watergate-style results."

While Democrats know their plan will fail, they clearly hope to sway public opinion to their side.