Blog | Monica Lewinsky's Clinton-era items auctioned

11:02 PM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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You all remember Monica Lewinsky? She was the famous White House intern who dallied with the married President, Bill Clinton, in 1995 and 1996.

Well, if you want her black negligee or any of the other 31 items in the collection being auctioned off by the Nate D. Sanders auction house, you better move quickly. They are Lot #375.

What always amazed me about the whole Lewinsky scandal was the semantics Clinton used. I'll get to that in a minute.

Independent counsel Kenneth Starr was investigating the Whitewater controversy and a separate civil suit at the time broadened the scope to include Clinton's alleged dalliances while he was governor of Arkansas.

Lewinsky's name surfaced during the discovery phase of the civil case as allegedly part of a pattern of behavior by Clinton that involved sexual relationships with other government employees.

In her testimony in the civil case, Lewinsky alleged that between November 1995 and March 1997, she had nine sexual encounters with Clinton that, according to her testimony, involved oral sex and other sexual acts in the Oval Office, but that none of them involved sexual intercourse.

During the investigation, which was led by Starr, it was revealed that Lewinsky was also having an affair with her former high school drama teacher Andy Bleiler.

Why do I mention this? Well, the items being auctioned weren't in Lewinsky's possession any more but were sent to the Bleiler family in the '90s, according to the auction website, and now Andy Bleiler's ex-wife Kate Nason put the items up for auction.

The items include clothing, presidential chocolates and a book of White House matches.

See Lot #375 The Lewinsky Collection

The semantics? While under oath, Clinton denied having had "a sexual affair," "sexual relations" or "a sexual relationship" with Lewinsky.

On Jan. 26, 1998, Clinton claimed "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky" in a nationally televised White House news conference.

Clinton had also said, "there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship" which he defended as truthful on August 17, 1998, hearing because of the use of the present tense, famously arguing "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" -- meaning that he was not, at the time he made that statement, still in a sexual relationship with Lewinsky.

Under pressure from Starr, Clinton stated, "I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate."

He denied having committed perjury because, according to Clinton, the legal definition of oral sex was not encompassed by "sex" per se.

See what I mean about the semantics? 

In 1998, Clinton was impeached, but the Senate later voted to acquit him. As of Tuesday night, the highest bid on the Lewinsky collection was at $6,490. The auction ends at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday...in case you are interested.

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