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Chapter 6. Fun with SPAM > Audience - Pg. 42

Fun with SPAM 42 After months of silence about charges of infidelity and perjury, President Bill Clinton finally ad- dressed the American people about the charges. He delivered his speech live from the White House during prime time on August 17, 1998. What purpose do you think Clinton had for delivering the speech? The text of this speech follows. Good evening. This afternoon in this room, from this chair, I testified before the Office of Inde- pendent Counsel and the grand jury. I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life--questions no American citizen would ever want to answer. Still, I must take complete responsibility for all my actions, both public and private. And that is why I am speaking to you tonight. As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information. In- deed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. But I told the grand jury today, and I say to you now, that at no time did I ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence, or to take any other unlawful action. I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that. I can only tell you I was motivated by many factors: first, by a desire to protect myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct. I was also very concerned about protecting my family. The fact that these questions were being asked in a politically inspired lawsuit which has since been dismissed was a consideration, too. In addition, I had real and serious concerns about an independent counsel investigation that began with private business dealings 20 years ago--dealings, I might add, about which an in- dependent federal agency found no evidence of any wrongdoing by me or my wife over two