A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President [NOOK Book]

Overview

In A Vast Conspiracy, the best-selling author of The Run of His Life casts an insightful, unbiased eye over the most extraordinary public saga of our time -- the Clinton sex scandals.  A superlative journalist known for the skillfulness of his investigating and the power of his writing, Jeffrey Toobin tells the unlikely story of the events that began over doughnuts in a Little Rock hotel and ended on the floor of the United States Senate, with only the second vote on Presidential removal in American ...
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A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President

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Overview

In A Vast Conspiracy, the best-selling author of The Run of His Life casts an insightful, unbiased eye over the most extraordinary public saga of our time -- the Clinton sex scandals.  A superlative journalist known for the skillfulness of his investigating and the power of his writing, Jeffrey Toobin tells the unlikely story of the events that began over doughnuts in a Little Rock hotel and ended on the floor of the United States Senate, with only the second vote on Presidential removal in American history.  This is an entirely fresh look at the scandal that very nearly brought down a president.

Packed with news-making disclosures and secret documents published here for the first time, Toobin unravels the three strands of a national scandal - those leading from  Paula Jones, Kenneth Starr, and Monica Lewinsky - that created a legal, personal, and political disaster for Bill Clinton.  A Vast Conspiracy is written with the narrative drive of a sensational (if improbable) legal thriller, and Toobin brilliantly explores the high principle and low comedy that were the hallmarks of the story.  From Tripp to Goldberg, Isikoff to Hyde, the complex and tangled motivations behind the scandal are laid bare.

While misguided, outlandish behavior was played out at the very highest level, Toobin analyzes the facts and the key figures with a level of dignity and insight that this story has not yet received. The Clinton scandals will shape forever how we think about the signature issues of our day -- sex and sexual harassment, privacy and perjury, civil rights, and, yes, cigars.  Toobin's book will shape forever how we think about the Clinton scandals.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
His prose is fluent, direct and supple, his assessments pithy and succinct....He uses his legal expertise to assess defense and prosecution strategies, highlight crucial developments and sketch in the background of principle players in such a way that the stories create a mosaic of life.
Adam Cohen
In A Vast Conspiracy, New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin retells the whole tale with gusto.
Time
New York Daily News
An irresistibly readable new overview of the whole ugly case.
USA Today
A well-written, profoundly rational analysis...Toobin's book possesses fresh insights.
Detroit Free Press
Toobin's book is literate, well-researched, penetrating and evenhanded, laying blame where it belongs, offering a reasonable perspective on this shabby case.
Boston Globe
A gripping and colorful account of the crime and trial that captured the world's attention.
San Francisco Chronicle
What makes the book both important and entertaining is the way [Toobin] fills in the gaps left by more partisan authors.
Entertainment Weekly
A real page-turner...blunt, sardonic, often morbidly funny.
Floyd Abrams
Where were you when President Clinton was impeached? Or when he was acquitted? Can you believe that you’ve not only forgotten, but that the whole ugly thing ended just a year ago?Jeffrey Toobin recalls it all, and inA Vast Conspiracy, a superlatively researched and written book, lays it out. There is only one hero in this book–Judge Susan Webber Wright, the jurist who dismissed the Paula Jones case and later held Mr. Clinton in contempt, stands alone as "an isolated beacon of sanity in the darkness." The remainder of the dramatis personae in the impeachment saga are deliciously skewered by Mr. Toobin... Mr. Toobin’s portrayal of the President is far more nuanced than what most commentators have offered.
The New York Observer
Powers
[An] admirably clear, vigorously written, plain-spoken and common-sensical book...Toobin's strength lies in his ability to chart a clear narrative line through tangled cases . . . The main and considerable pleasure of his book comes from watching the astonishing story unfold so it makes sense.
The New York Times Book Review
The Economist
Mr. Toobin's book is a brave one...Clear sightedness is this book's main virtue...Mr. Toobin tells the tale with such pace and clarity that his book is a good read despite itself.
From the Publisher
Thomas Powers The New York Times Book Review An admirably clear, vigorously written, plain-spoken and common-sensical book.

Anthony Lewis The New York Review of Books A superb work of factual and legal analysis....Few novels are as gripping.

People A story as taut and surprising as any thriller....Unimpeachable page-turner.

David Kaiser The Boston Globe An irresistibly readable new overview of the whole ugly case.

The Economist A good read...a brave book.

Floyd Abrams The New York Observer A superlatively researched and written book.

Wayne Woodlief Boston Herald A richly detailed narrative...[and] a fascinating read.

Michael Coffey Publishers Weekly Toobin has risen to the challenge of rendering the chaos of the impeachment, what led up to it and its denouement, in a sharp prose style and in a manner that makes sense of a disastrous phase of American political history.

Sherryl Connelly Daily News Compulsively readable....A Vast Conspiracy delivers new information, provides arresting perspective and is a helluva read for all that.

Chicago Sun-Times A rich and readable reprise of the Clinton scandals by the New Yorker writer who shows brilliantly how the American legal system spun out of control.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307829122
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/14/2012
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 250,378
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Toobin
Jeffrey Toobin has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since January, 1993.

Mr. Toobin is also the legal analyst for ABC News and the author of the books, "A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President" (Random House, 2000), and "The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson" (Random House, 1996).  

Since joining the magazine, Mr. Toobin has covered legal affairs and written articles on such subjects as Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Clinton, the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas,  and the trials of Timothy McVeigh and O.J. Simpson.  His article "An Incendiary Defense," published in the July 25, 1994, issue of the magazine, disclosed for the first time the Simpson defense team's plans to accuse Mark Fuhrman of planting evidence and to play "the race card."

Prior to joining The New Yorker, Mr. Toobin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn, New York.  He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, "Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer's First Case--United States v. Oliver North."  

Mr. Toobin received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1982, and in 1986, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.  In the 1995-96 academic year, he was a fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University.  Mr. Toobin lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.
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Read an Excerpt

For all the condemnation of Clinton's speech in the news media, the prosecution team didn't take any false optimism out of the events of August 17. In his grand jury testimony, the president had been more careful than in his deposition, seven months earlier.

Increasingly, the savvier members of the prosecution staff recognized that their entire case came down to the sex-whether the president had lied about it in his deposition and then in his grand jury testimony. In light of Clinton's refusal to answer certain questions, Bittman and Wisenberg had pinned him down as best they could. Before the grand jury, Clinton had repeated his position that as he understood the definition of sexual relations provided to him on January 18, he had not had such contacts with Lewinsky. Clinton had admitted to "inappropriate intimate contact," which he declined to spell out, but by a sort of process of elimination, he had said he had not "directly" touched Lewinsky's breasts or vagina with his hands or mouth "with intent to arouse" her.

It was a slender basis on which to make a case. Since Clinton had admitted intimate contact, what difference did it make whether he acknowledged precisely how and where he had placed his hands and mouth? A big difference, according to the clear consensus at the Office of Independent Counsel. If they could prove a falsehood-any falsehood-they were going to make a case, regardless of the subject matter. In a United States Attorney's Office, where judges and prosecutors were lied to with regularity, prosecutors would weigh the significance of the false statements and consider whether the government's resources might be better deployed in another way. But in an independent counsel's office, especially this one, this kind of thinking was anathema. As Starr said in one of his curbside news conferences, "Okay, you're taking an oath . . . under God, that you will-'so help me, God, that I will tell the truth.' That's awfully important. Now that means we attach a special importance to it. There's no room for white lies. There's no room for shading. There's only room for truth. . . . You cannot defile the temple of justice."

So Starr would pursue the perjury about sex, and that raised a different issue. In her testimony before the grand jury on August 6, Lewinsky had spoken in a general way about her sexual relationship with the president. Now, in light of how the Starr team wanted to parse Clinton's answers in the grand jury, there would be a need for a great deal more specificity about the mechanics of their encounters. How they chose to conduct that next examination of Lewinsky would itself turn out to be a landmark in the history of American law enforcement.

* * * * *

Women who met Starr for the first time often remarked on his courtliness-opening doors, pulling out chairs, and generally behaving as he was taught in San Antonio. He was a good listener, too, and his pet phrase "the deliberative process" almost became a joke around the OIC because things sometimes moved so slowly. But no matter how long it took, Starr believed in hearing everyone out. At the end of the process, though, one thing remained the same in any organization Starr had led: he followed the advice of men.

During the three decades of Starr's career, the legal profession integrated many women into positions of responsibility. This was especially true in criminal law. But in the Justice Department, at Kirkland & Ellis, and in the Office of Independent Counsel, Starr invariably chose deputies who looked and sounded like him. As someone who had benefited enormously from powerful mentors like Warren Burger and William French Smith, Starr, too, had a series of proteges in the law-all young white men. Starr's refusal to delegate power to women was especially striking at the OIC. All of his deputies were men. Twenty-nine prosecutors represented the OIC in the grand jury-twenty-five men and four women. There were 121 sessions with witnesses before the grand jury-and women prosecutors led the questioning six times. There were small slights, too. After the convictions in the Whitewater trial, Starr called all the members of the prosecution team to congratulate them except for the one woman, Amy St. Eve.

Starr's history with women made the OIC's solution to its Lewinsky problem all the more striking. Who would ask Monica Lewinsky about the gory details of the caresses in the presidential study? Mary Anne Wirth and Karin Immergut. Ironically, they were two of the more experienced federal prosecutors in the group, and they had compiled admirable records on opposite sides of the country, Wirth in New York and Immergut in Los Angeles. In light of their accomplishments, it was all the more poignant that they agreed to be used in this manner, because the session they conducted with Lewinsky on August 26 was a disgrace-to the prosecutors themselves, to Starr, to Lewinsky, and, indeed, to the criminal process. It was also a monument to the absurdity of the entire Starr investigation, that an inquiry about a land deal in the 1970s had come down to . . . this.


* * * * *


"We are on the record," Karin Immergut began. "Ms. Lewinsky, could you please state and spell your full name for the record?

It was 12:35 p.m. on August 26. Immergut, Wirth, and Lewinsky were gathered with a female court reporter in a conference room in the independent counsel offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. In light of the questions Lewinsky was going to be asked, the prosecutors thought she would find it easier if they conducted a private deposition rather than confront her in front of the grand jurors. For her earlier grand jury appearances, the prosecutors had prepared a chart listing each of Lewinsky's sexual encounters with the president. On this day, Immergut handed the chart to her and said, "What I would like to do is go through the events that are written in bold, which deal with the private encounters you had with the president."

Immergut started with the first one, the thong-induced intimacies of November 15, 1995. Lewinsky recounted that in the president's study, "I know that we were talking a bit and kissing. I remember-I know that he-I believe I unbuttoned my jacket and he touched my, my breasts with my bra on, and then either-I don't remember if I unhooked my bra or he lifted my bra up, but he-this is embarrassing."

"Then he touched your breasts with his hands?" Immergut offered.
"Yes, he did."
"Did he touch your breast with his mouth?"
"Yes, he did."
"Did he touch your genital area at all that day?"
"Yes," Lewinsky said. "We moved-I believe he took a phone call in his office, and so we moved from the hallway into the back office, and the lights were off. And at that point, he, he put his hand down my pants and stimulated me manually in the genital area."
"And did he bring you to orgasm?"
"Yes, he did."

Immergut was just getting started. She asked, "Was there any discussion during the November seventeenth encounter about sex during the encounter?"
"I don't know exactly what you mean. . . ."
"Well, either about what he wanted or what you wanted, or anything like that, in terms of sex?" Immergut asked.

"No," said Lewinsky. "I mean, I think that there were always things being said, but not necessarily in a conversational form. Does that make sense?"
Both Lewinsky and Immergut were kind of struggling at this point. "Okay," the prosecutor resumed. "And when you say there were always things being said, do you mean kind of chatting while you were having sex, or things that felt good? I don't mean that. I mean-"
"Okay," Lewinsky said, trying to rescue the floundering prosecutor.
"-trying either implicitly giving you direction about what he wanted, or why he wouldn't ejaculate, anything like that?"

"I believe why he wouldn't ejaculate was discussed again," Lewinsky said.
As the prosecutor and witness continued their desultory march through the "encounters," certain themes emerged. Lewinsky was defensive about the brevity of the trysts. (She generally removed her underwear before going to the Oval Office, which moved things along.) About the third one, Immergut asked, "Do you know how long that sexual encounter . . . lasted . . . ?"
"Maybe ten minutes. Not, not very long. We would always spend quite a bit of time kissing. So."
"And kissing and talking and just . . . being affectionate?" Immergut interjected helpfully.
"Yes."

Lewinsky was also baffled by the president's insistence on not ejaculating. "The two excuses he always used were, one, that he didn't know me well enough or he didn't trust me yet," she said. "So that it sort of seemed to be some bizarre issue for him."
As this surreal proceeding continued, Immergut at times sounded more like a sex therapist than a prosecutor. "On that occasion," she said at one point, "you mentioned that he did not touch your genitals at all. Was there any discussion about that?"

"No," said Lewinsky.
And:
"At that point, sex was sort of the more dominant part of the relationship?"
"Yes."
"Rather than as it became-" Immergut continued.
"There was always a lot of joking going on between us," Lewinsky said. "And so we, you know, I mean, it was fun. . . . We were very compatible sexually. And I've always felt that he was sort of my sexual soul mate, and that I just felt very connected to him when it came to those kinds of things."

Always, though, Immergut returned to the sweaty minutiae. "And again, just with respect with bringing you to an orgasm, did he touch you directly on your skin on your genitals, or was it through underwear?"
"First it was through underwear, and then it was directly touching my genitals," said Lewinsky, who did display remarkable recall.

Immergut kept after Lewinsky for nearly two hours, and like any drama, this inquisition built, as it were, to a climax. On February 28, 1997, Clinton and Lewinsky had not been alone together in nearly eleven months, but after attending his Saturday radio address, she wangled an invitation to his study. There, she testified, "I was pestering him to kiss me." One thing led to another, and then, "I continued to perform oral sex and then he pushed me away, kind of as he always did before he came, and then I stood up and I said, you know, I really, I care about you so much; I really, I don't understand why you won't let me, you know, make you come; it's important to me; I mean, it just doesn't feel complete, it doesn't seem right.

"And so he-we hugged. And, you know, he said he didn't want to get addicted to me, and he didn't want me to get addicted to him. And we were just sort of looking at each other and then, you know, he sort of, he looked at me, he said, okay. And so then I finished."

"How did the meeting then end, or the encounter?" Immergut asked.
"We, well, we kissed after-"
"The ejaculation?" asked the prosecutor.
"Yes. . . ."
There was really only one more important question.
"The dress that you were wearing on this occasion, is that the blue dress from the Gap?"
Monica Lewinsky's sigh was almost audible on the transcript. "Unfortunately, yes," she said.

Kenneth Starr's case for impeachment of the president was ready to go to Congress.
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Table of Contents

Cast of Characters xi
Chronology xvii
Prologue: "This Is Danny" 3
1. What the Bubbas Wrought 10
2. "Isn't That What Happened?" 29
3. Party Girl 48
4. "I Love This Man" 61
5. A Really Big Crush 79
6. "Joan Dean" 95
7. Their Tabloid Hearts 115
8. "Good Strong Christian Men" 134
9. "Draw the Penis for Me" 150
10. Consensual Sex 168
11. Revenge of the "Peace Corps" 185
12. The Definition of Sex--and L-E-W-I-N-S-K-Y 207
13. The Richard Jewell File 228
14. "I Guess That Will Teach Them" 246
15. "Words of Assent" 264
16. "Eighteenth-Hand" Rumors 284
17. "I Don't Care If I'm Impeached ..." 305
18. Winning by Losing 326
19. Mr. Genitalia and the Perjury Ladies 345
20. These Culture Wars 369
Epilogue: Private and Public 393
Acknowledgments 401
Source Notes and Bibliography 403
Index 407
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First Chapter

For all the condemnation of Clinton's speech in the news media, the prosecution team didn't take any false optimism out of the events of August 17. In his grand jury testimony, the president had been more careful than in his deposition, seven months earlier.

Increasingly, the savvier members of the prosecution staff recognized that their entire case came down to the sex-whether the president had lied about it in his deposition and then in his grand jury testimony. In light of Clinton's refusal to answer certain questions, Bittman and Wisenberg had pinned him down as best they could. Before the grand jury, Clinton had repeated his position that as he understood the definition of sexual relations provided to him on January 18, he had not had such contacts with Lewinsky. Clinton had admitted to "inappropriate intimate contact," which he declined to spell out, but by a sort of process of elimination, he had said he had not "directly" touched Lewinsky's breasts or vagina with his hands or mouth "with intent to arouse" her.

It was a slender basis on which to make a case. Since Clinton had admitted intimate contact, what difference did it make whether he acknowledged precisely how and where he had placed his hands and mouth? A big difference, according to the clear consensus at the Office of Independent Counsel. If they could prove a falsehood-any falsehood-they were going to make a case, regardless of the subject matter. In a United States Attorney's Office, where judges and prosecutors were lied to with regularity, prosecutors would weigh the significance of the false statements and consider whether the government's resources might be better deployed in another way. But in an independent counsel's office, especially this one, this kind of thinking was anathema. As Starr said in one of his curbside news conferences, "Okay, you're taking an oath...under God, that you will-'so help me, God, that I will tell the truth.' That's awfully important. Now that means we attach a special importance to it. There's no room for white lies. There's no room for shading. There's only room for truth....You cannot defile the temple of justice."

So Starr would pursue the perjury about sex, and that raised a different issue. In her testimony before the grand jury on August 6, Lewinsky had spoken in a general way about her sexual relationship with the president. Now, in light of how the Starr team wanted to parse Clinton's answers in the grand jury, there would be a need for a great deal more specificity about the mechanics of their encounters. How they chose to conduct that next examination of Lewinsky would itself turn out to be a landmark in the history of American law enforcement.

* * * * *

Women who met Starr for the first time often remarked on his courtliness-opening doors, pulling out chairs, and generally behaving as he was taught in San Antonio. He was a good listener, too, and his pet phrase "the deliberative process" almost became a joke around the OIC because things sometimes moved so slowly. But no matter how long it took, Starr believed in hearing everyone out. At the end of the process, though, one thing remained the same in any organization Starr had led: he followed the advice of men.

During the three decades of Starr's career, the legal profession integrated many women into positions of responsibility. This was especially true in criminal law. But in the Justice Department, at Kirkland & Ellis, and in the Office of Independent Counsel, Starr invariably chose deputies who looked and sounded like him. As someone who had benefited enormously from powerful mentors like Warren Burger and William French Smith, Starr, too, had a series of proteges in the law-all young white men. Starr's refusal to delegate power to women was especially striking at the OIC. All of his deputies were men. Twenty-nine prosecutors represented the OIC in the grand jury-twenty-five men and four women. There were 121 sessions with witnesses before the grand jury-and women prosecutors led the questioning six times. There were small slights, too. After the convictions in the Whitewater trial, Starr called all the members of the prosecution team to congratulate them except for the one woman, Amy St. Eve.

Starr's history with women made the OIC's solution to its Lewinsky problem all the more striking. Who would ask Monica Lewinsky about the gory details of the caresses in the presidential study? Mary Anne Wirth and Karin Immergut. Ironically, they were two of the more experienced federal prosecutors in the group, and they had compiled admirable records on opposite sides of the country, Wirth in New York and Immergut in Los Angeles. In light of their accomplishments, it was all the more poignant that they agreed to be used in this manner, because the session they conducted with Lewinsky on August 26 was a disgrace-to the prosecutors themselves, to Starr, to Lewinsky, and, indeed, to the criminal process. It was also a monument to the absurdity of the entire Starr investigation, that an inquiry about a land deal in the 1970s had come down to...this.

* * * * *

"We are on the record," Karin Immergut began. "Ms. Lewinsky, could you please state and spell your full name for the record?

It was 12:35 p.m. on August 26. Immergut, Wirth, and Lewinsky were gathered with a female court reporter in a conference room in the independent counsel offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. In light of the questions Lewinsky was going to be asked, the prosecutors thought she would find it easier if they conducted a private deposition rather than confront her in front of the grand jurors. For her earlier grand jury appearances, the prosecutors had prepared a chart listing each of Lewinsky's sexual encounters with the president. On this day, Immergut handed the chart to her and said, "What I would like to do is go through the events that are written in bold, which deal with the private encounters you had with the president."

Immergut started with the first one, the thong-induced intimacies of November 15, 1995. Lewinsky recounted that in the president's study, "I know that we were talking a bit and kissing. I remember-I know that he-I believe I unbuttoned my jacket and he touched my, my breasts with my bra on, and then either-I don't remember if I unhooked my bra or he lifted my bra up, but he-this is embarrassing."

"Then he touched your breasts with his hands?" Immergut offered.

"Yes, he did."

"Did he touch your breast with his mouth?"

"Yes, he did."

"Did he touch your genital area at all that day?"

"Yes," Lewinsky said. "We moved-I believe he took a phone call in his office, and so we moved from the hallway into the back office, and the lights were off. And at that point, he, he put his hand down my pants and stimulated me manually in the genital area."

"And did he bring you to orgasm?"

"Yes, he did."

Immergut was just getting started. She asked, "Was there any discussion during the November seventeenth encounter about sex during the encounter?"

"I don't know exactly what you mean...."

"Well, either about what he wanted or what you wanted, or anything like that, in terms of sex?" Immergut asked.

"No," said Lewinsky. "I mean, I think that there were always things being said, but not necessarily in a conversational form. Does that make sense?"

Both Lewinsky and Immergut were kind of struggling at this point. "Okay," the prosecutor resumed. "And when you say there were always things being said, do you mean kind of chatting while you were having sex, or things that felt good? I don't mean that. I mean-"

"Okay," Lewinsky said, trying to rescue the floundering prosecutor.

"-trying either implicitly giving you direction about what he wanted, or why he wouldn't ejaculate, anything like that?"

"I believe why he wouldn't ejaculate was discussed again," Lewinsky said.

As the prosecutor and witness continued their desultory march through the "encounters," certain themes emerged. Lewinsky was defensive about the brevity of the trysts. (She generally removed her underwear before going to the Oval Office, which moved things along.) About the third one, Immergut asked, "Do you know how long that sexual encounter...lasted...?"

"Maybe ten minutes. Not, not very long. We would always spend quite a bit of time kissing. So."

"And kissing and talking and just...being affectionate?" Immergut interjected helpfully.

"Yes."

Lewinsky was also baffled by the president's insistence on not ejaculating. "The two excuses he always used were, one, that he didn't know me well enough or he didn't trust me yet," she said. "So that it sort of seemed to be some bizarre issue for him."

As this surreal proceeding continued, Immergut at times sounded more like a sex therapist than a prosecutor. "On that occasion," she said at one point, "you mentioned that he did not touch your genitals at all. Was there any discussion about that?"

"No," said Lewinsky.

And:

"At that point, sex was sort of the more dominant part of the relationship?"

"Yes."

"Rather than as it became-" Immergut continued.

"There was always a lot of joking going on between us," Lewinsky said. "And so we, you know, I mean, it was fun....We were very compatible sexually. And I've always felt that he was sort of my sexual soul mate, and that I just felt very connected to him when it came to those kinds of things."

Always, though, Immergut returned to the sweaty minutiae. "And again, just with respect with bringing you to an orgasm, did he touch you directly on your skin on your genitals, or was it through underwear?"

"First it was through underwear, and then it was directly touching my genitals," said Lewinsky, who did display remarkable recall.

Immergut kept after Lewinsky for nearly two hours, and like any drama, this inquisition built, as it were, to a climax. On February 28, 1997, Clinton and Lewinsky had not been alone together in nearly eleven months, but after attending his Saturday radio address, she wangled an invitation to his study. There, she testified, "I was pestering him to kiss me." One thing led to another, and then, "I continued to perform oral sex and then he pushed me away, kind of as he always did before he came, and then I stood up and I said, you know, I really, I care about you so much; I really, I don't understand why you won't let me, you know, make you come; it's important to me; I mean, it just doesn't feel complete, it doesn't seem right.

"And so he-we hugged. And, you know, he said he didn't want to get addicted to me, and he didn't want me to get addicted to him. And we were just sort of looking at each other and then, you know, he sort of, he looked at me, he said, okay. And so then I finished."

"How did the meeting then end, or the encounter?" Immergut asked.

"We, well, we kissed after-"

"The ejaculation?" asked the prosecutor.

"Yes...."

There was really only one more important question.

"The dress that you were wearing on this occasion, is that the blue dress from the Gap?"

Monica Lewinsky's sigh was almost audible on the transcript. "Unfortunately, yes," she said.

Kenneth Starr's case for impeachment of the president was ready to go to Congress.

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    Finally, a non-bias account

    Finally, a non-bias account of the whole Clinton saga. Toobin's legal expertise comes in handy when describing the tactics and issues of the Paula Jones Sexual Harrassment lawsuit and the Impeachment trial.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2000

    ABC's Legal Analyst Toobin Digs Deep

    Mr.Toobin's 'A Vast Conspiracy' is so well-written I had a hard time putting it down. Thought I was tired of the Clinton saga but found much useful info in this book. The sequence of events, the people, etc. A class act book with a touch of humor.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2000

    The truth, finally.

    Mr Toobin did what most of the media failed to do: he wrote the truth about what happened.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2000

    An Incredible Story

    Although the title may suggest otherwise, this book is actually a very objective, well-balanced, and thoroughly researched telling of a story that has just left the front page. What is incredible to me, is that, in spite of the massive amount of media attention and countless hours of news reporting, this amazing story of lust, greed, power, and possible redemption played out right before our eyes without any of us understanding its' context or causes, to say nothing of the facts. In writing this book, Mr. Toobin has done a great service to journalism and to history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2000

    Awful People

    The cast of characters in this book would more likely be found in a satiric novel than a non-fiction book about modern politics: so many of them are just so awful that they are comical. You really do not expect actual people to be so greedy, shallow and self-absorbed. And the best is that the vice is so well balanced; both sides in the impeachment affair have more than their share or despicable characters. The book would be more enjoyable if one did not remember from time to time that this is the present state of American politics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2000

    The definitive book on the whole stupid mess

    A very thorough and interesting look at every angle of the Clinton scandal. Anyone interested in a gripping account of how power is won and lost in modern day America needs to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2000

    Salem Redux

    This book is a must read to understand the current mindset in Washington. We have had a cycle of legal violence in this country since the Independent Counsel law was enacted. Democrats went after republicans. After Clinton was elected the republicans turned the tables around and went after him, his wife and anybody he has shaken hands with his entire adult life. The media love this. For them it is nothing more than theater. It is good for their ratings, circulation and there is always the prospect of book deals. The involvement of Michael Isikoff in this story is deplorable. Journalists are supposed to report facts. He did more than that, he agressively manipulated various players to push the story forward in order to land a book deal. I worry about our democracy because the events of the past year amounted to a botched coup. It proved how fragile our democracy is. Our democracy survived not because the press acted as a guardian of democracy or the politicians acted responsibly, but because the American People stayed level headed. Next time they may not. First came Salem, then the McCarthy era, then the Starr Chamber.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2000

    'The thinking man's guide to the Clinton scandal'...

    A well-written, common-sensed look at this unusually spectacular non-event in American history. For good or bad, Watergate seems to have shaped the media of our generation, and in so doing has established the prevailing no-holds-barred paranoia that so often finds its way into the press. Mr. Toodin expertly applies his rational approach to a not so uncommon set of human events that have been spun wildly out of control by the prevailing winds of the MEDIA. A great read on the subject.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2000

    'The bigger the stakes the smaller they acted.'

    Finally, a comprehensive, evenhanded and excellently sourced account of the five year long witch hunt to bring down a duly elected president. Toobin connects the dots from Cliff Jackson to Brock, Paula Jones,Anne Coulter's and her 'elves' to Isikoff, Tripp, Aldrich, Lewinsky to Ken Starr and all the dots in between. His narrative is packed with disclosures and secret documents that never made it to the hysterical tabloid-like, sex obsessed, 'main street press.' The same press that chose to minimize, even over look the RTC findings that the Clinton's had done nothing wrong in Whitewater; which should have ended Ken Starr's wasteful investigation. Yet the OIC languished endlessly until finally years later Linda Tripp, her book deal fizzling, called them with her illegal tapes of Monica Lewinsky. Toobin's narrative exposes the motives behind the scandal and even recounts some very funny moments behind the scenes in this sad chapter in modern American politics. There are no heroes in the saga but in Toobin's own words 'the most astonishing fact may be this one: in spite of his consistently reprehensible behavior, Clinton was, by comparison, the good guy in this struggle. The president's adversaries appeared literally consumed with hatred for him; the bigger the stakes, the smaller they acted. They were willing to trample all standards of fairness--not to mention the Constitution--in their effort to drive him from office.' Excellent reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2000

    A Republican who LOVES this book!!!!

    I have always thought that this so-called scandal was going to backfire on the Republican party but now I am convinced it will. As a moderate Republican, I have seen my party overrun by extremists, fundamentalist wackos, and right-wing illiterates. The facts presented in this book only serve to prove that we are losing ground - FAST. The book was thoroughly interesting, and frightening to read. (We can be the next VICTIMS of a similar unjust witchunt that Bill Clinton endured). I am not a big Clinton fan...but I think he has been a better-than-average President, who will grow in staure as the years pass and we can see CLEARLY again. Buy this book and read about the other facts...so often ignored the past few years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2000

    an excellent research with honest fact finding results

    A book giving true picture of a historical events showing both the week and strong charectors. A book, well balanced on the two party political system of this country.Revealing poltical might of an Opposition Party. Truly justifying president CLINTONS' behavior that was caught between a rock and hard truth. Also portraying those 4 important charectors playing a role to make money and to exploite the human tragedy.One important aspect, I feel, was to be mentioned that how Monica Luwinsky was raised in a high income, professional family of a dentist, that father did not know what his daughter was upto, until a press release. The whole affairis a tragedy!!Jeffrey Tobbin has proved to be a good lawyer and an honest journalist, a true reporter. My congradulations on publishing such an epic on the President.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2000

    The Final Word on the Clinton Haters

    The President has been very lucky in his enemies over the years, and Toobin's masterful work will endure as the diffinitive text on how a small band of determined right-wing operatives used the warped levers of media and the judiciary to perform the ultimate high-tech lynching. Read this book to find out how a President and a family were smeared. If you read one book about the Clinton 'scandals' this should be it. Bravo to Mr. Toobin, who will be owed a debt by a grateful nation many years from now for making it all so crystal clear. Give a copy to your neigbors, your co-workers, and most of all to your children.

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