Excerpt from A Vast Conspiracy by Jeffrey Toobin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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A Vast Conspiracy

The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President

by Jeffrey Toobin

A Vast Conspiracy
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  • First Published:
    Dec 1999, 352 pages
    Oct 2000, 496 pages

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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.

Copyright Jeffrey Toobin 1999. Published with the permission of the publisher - Random House.

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