Bill Clinton - Impeachment, Presidency and Monica Lewinsky

Bill Clinton - Impeachment, Presidency and Monica Lewinsky


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Bill Clinton (1946-), the 42nd U.S. Prior to that, the Arkansas native and Democrat was governor of his home state. During Clinton’s time in the White House, America enjoyed an era of peace and prosperity, marked by low unemployment, declining crime rates and a budget surplus. Clinton appointed a number of women and minorities to top government posts, including Janet Reno, the first female U.S. attorney general, and Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. secretary of state. In 1998, the House of Representatives impeached Clinton on charges related to a sexual relationship he had with a White House intern. He was acquitted by the Senate. Following his presidency, Clinton remained active in public life.

Bill Clinton: Early Life and Education

Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. He was the only child of Virginia Cassidy Blythe (1923-94) and traveling salesman William Jefferson Blythe Jr. (1918-46), who died in a car accident three months before his son’s birth. In 1950, Virginia Blythe married car dealer Roger Clinton Sr. (1908-67) and the family later moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas. As a teen, Bill Clinton officially adopted his stepfather’s surname. His only sibling, Roger Clinton Jr., was born in 1956.

In 1964, Clinton graduated from Hot Springs High School, where he was a musician and student leader. (In 1963, as part of the American Legion Boys’ Nation program, he went to Washington, D.C., and shook hands with President John Kennedy at the White House, an event he later said inspired him to pursue a career in public service.) Clinton went on to earn a degree from Georgetown University in 1968. Afterward, he attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. In 1973, he received a degree from Yale Law School.

At Yale, Clinton started dating fellow law student Hillary Rodham (1947-). After graduating, the couple moved to Clinton’s home state, where he worked as a law professor at the University of Arkansas. In 1974, Clinton, a Democrat, ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but lost to his Republican opponent.

Bill Clinton: Family, Arkansas Political Career and First Presidential Campaign

On October 11, 1975, Clinton and Rodham were married in a small ceremony at their house in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The following year, Bill Clinton was elected attorney general of Arkansas. In 1978, he was elected governor of the state. The Clintons’ only child, Chelsea, was born in February 1980. That fall, Clinton lost his bid for re-election as governor. Afterward, he joined a Little Rock law firm.

In 1982, he won the governorship again, and would remain in that office through 1992. While serving as Arkansas’ first lady, Hillary Clinton also worked as an attorney.

After winning the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992, Clinton, along with vice-presidential nominee Al Gore (1948-), a U.S. senator from Tennessee, went on to defeat the incumbent, President George H.W. Bush (1924-), by a margin of 370-168 electoral votes and with 43 percent of the popular vote to Bush’s 37.5 percent of the vote. A third-party candidate, Ross Perot (1930-), captured almost 19 percent of the popular vote.

Bill Clinton: First Presidential Term: 1993-1997

Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 at age 46, making him the third-youngest president in history up to that time. During his first term, Clinton enacted a variety of pieces of domestic legislation, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Violence Against Women Act, along with key bills pertaining to crime and gun violence, education, the environment and welfare reform. He put forth measures to reduce the federal budget deficit and also signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, which eliminated trade barriers between the United States, Canada and Mexico. He attempted to enact universal health insurance for all Americans, and appointed first lady Hillary Clinton to head the committee charged with creating the plan. However, the committee’s plan was opposed by conservatives and the health care industry, among others, and Congress ultimately failed to act on it.

Clinton appointed a number of women and minorities to key government posts, including Janet Reno (1938-), who became the first female U.S. attorney general in 1993, and Madeleine Albright (1937-) , who was sworn in as the first female U.S. secretary of state in 1997. He appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-) to the Supreme Court in 1993. She was the second female justice in the court’s history. Clinton’s other Supreme Court nominee, Stephen Breyer (1938-), joined the court in 1994.On the foreign policy front, the Clinton administration helped bring about the 1994 reinstatement of Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide (1953-). In 1995, the administration brokered the Dayton Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia.

Clinton ran for re-election in 1996 and defeated U.S. Senator Bob Dole (1923-) of Kansas by a margin of 379-159 electoral votes and with 49.2 percent of the popular vote to Dole’s 40.7 percent of the vote. (Third-party candidate Ross Perot garnered 8.4 percent of the popular vote.) Clinton’s victory marked the first time since Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) that a Democrat was elected to a second presidential term

Bill Clinton: Second Presidential Term: 1997-2001

During Clinton’s second term, the U.S. economy was healthy, unemployment was low and the nation experienced a major technology boom and the rise of the Internet. In 1998, the United States achieved its first federal budget surplus in three decades (the final two years of Clinton’s presidency also resulted in budget surpluses). In 2000, the president signed legislation establishing permanent normal trade relations with China.

Additionally, the Clinton administration helped broker a peace accord in Northern Ireland in 1998. That same year, America launched air attacks against Iraq ’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. In 1999, the United States led a NATO effort to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

In the midst of these events, Clinton’s second term was marred by scandal. On December 19, 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached him for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with a sexual relationship he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (1973-) between late 1995 and early 1997. On February 12, 1999, the U.S. Senate acquitted the president of the charges and he remained in office. Clinton was the second American president to be impeached. The first, Andrew Johnson (1808-75), was impeached in 1868 and also later acquitted

Bill Clinton: Post-Presidency

After leaving the White House, Clinton remained active in public life, establishing the William J. Clinton Foundation to combat poverty, disease and other global issues.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Arkansas, opened in 2004. That same year, Clinton released his autobiography, “My Life,” which became a best-seller. He also campaigned for his wife, who was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 2000. In 2008, Hillary Clinton ran for the Democratic presidential nomination but lost to Barack Obama (1961-), who named her secretary of state when he became president.


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PHOTO GALLERIES



















Clinton–Lewinsky scandal

A political sex scandal involving 49-year-old US President Bill Clinton and 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky took place in 1998. Their sexual relationship lasted between 1995 and 1997. Clinton ended a televised speech in late January 1998 with the statement that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." Further investigation led to charges of perjury and to the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives. He was subsequently acquitted on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senate trial. [1] Clinton was held in civil contempt of court by Judge Susan Webber Wright for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones case regarding Lewinsky [2] and was also fined $90,000 by Wright. [3] His license to practice law was suspended in Arkansas for five years shortly thereafter, he was disbarred from presenting cases in front of the United States Supreme Court. [4]

Lewinsky was a graduate of Lewis & Clark College. She was hired during Clinton's first term in 1995 as an intern at the White House and was later an employee of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Some [ who? ] believe that Clinton began a personal relationship with her while she worked at the White House, the details of which she later confided to Linda Tripp, her Defense Department co-worker who secretly recorded their telephone conversations. [5]

In January 1998, Tripp discovered that Lewinsky had sworn an affidavit in the Paula Jones case, denying a relationship with Clinton. She delivered tapes to Ken Starr, the independent counsel who was investigating Clinton on other matters, including the Whitewater scandal, the White House FBI files controversy, and the White House travel office controversy. During the grand jury testimony, Clinton's responses were carefully worded, and he argued, "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is," [6] with regard to the truthfulness of his statement that "there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship." [7]

The wide reporting of the scandal led to criticism of the press for over-coverage. [8] [9] [10] This scandal is sometimes referred to as "Monicagate," [11] "Lewinskygate," [12] "Tailgate," [13] "Sexgate," [14] and "Zippergate," [14] following the "-gate" construction that has been used since Watergate.


What happened after Bill Clinton was impeached?

"The day Clinton was impeached by the House was an electric moment in US history," reports Aljazeera.

The Miller Center, a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia, said: "Nothing like this had so captured the attention of the American public since Watergate and Nixon's resignation from office."

The Republican-controlled House impeached the then president after months of controversy over his scandalous relationship with much-younger White House intern Lewinsky.

A Senate trial against Clinton started on January 7, 1999, and continued over four weeks, under Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

At the time, Republicans who were the political opposition to Clinton, controlled a 55-45 majority in the Senate.

The Senate voted 56-44 to seek depositions from Lewinsky and two Clinton aides.


Bill Clinton - Impeachment, Presidency and Monica Lewinsky - HISTORY

WASHINGTON (January 7) -- Sen. Strom Thurmond slammed down the gavel. "A quorum is present," the Senate president pro tempore said. "The sergeant-at-arms will present the House . take your seats or go to the cloak rooms."

It was 10 a.m. ET, Thursday, January 7, 1999. The historic Senate impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton was under way.

Sen. Strom Thurmond calls the
Senate to order

As Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota huddled with some of their Senate colleagues on the floor of the Senate chamber, the 96-year-old Thurmond proclaimed, "The managers will be received and escorted to the well of the Senate."

And so the walk of the House managers began. It was something out of a movie, images that even the producers of "Wag the Dog" could not have predicted.

The last time the Senate held an impeachment trial of a president was 131 years ago. Democratic President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House for going against the Congress and firing his secretary of war. The underlying issue was the Republican Party's opposition to Johnson's attempt to bring the South back into the Union after the Civil War. In 1868, Johnson was acquitted by just one vote.

The all white-male group of 13 House "managers," led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde of Illinois, made its way from the House chamber through the halls of the Capitol to stand before the Senate. The walk looked like a funeral procession: everyone glum, walking slowly. The House members were all in dark suites. Even their aides were in dark clothes. No smiles would have been acceptable.

How times have changed. Halfway into their walk 100 bulbs flashed as cameras attempted to record the moment. One hundred thirty-one years ago there were only sketch artists. No still photographers. And certainly no television cameras. This time all the major television news networks were taking the proceedings live their cameras had been in place since well before the sun came up. And Web sites were streaming live video.

The only close-to-real images we have of the proceedings 131 years ago are in the 1942 MGM movie "Tennessee Johnson." Still, Hollywood took liberties with history. The black-and-white movie depicts the Republicans as the villains and Johnson as the hero. In the movie, Johnson made a speech at his own trial. In reality that never happened.

But Thursday there was no questioning reality. The first day of the Senate impeachment trial was being recorded for the history books. Exactly one year ago, the central character in the sex-turned-impeachment drama, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, signed an affidavit for the Paula Jones sexual harassment case denying a sexual relationship with Clinton.

As the House managers walked in and stood in the well of the Senate just after 10:05 a.m. ET, the sergeant-at-arms, James Ziglar said, "Here yea, here yea . All persons remain silent under penalty of imprisonment."

Hyde reads the articles of impeachment

A solemn Hyde said, "With the permission of the Senate, I will now read the articles of impeachment." The chamber was silent. He read Article I:

Rep. Henry Hyde reads the
articles of impeachment

". Resolved, that William Jefferson Clinton, president of the United States . in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and manipulated them judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration," Hyde read.

"In doing this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the presidency, has betrayed his trust as president, and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States," Hyde read before beginning Article II.

A little over five minutes later Hyde concluded, "William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States. Passed the House of Representatives December 19, 1998 . "

There was complete silence in the Senate chamber. Two minutes later Thurmond thanked Hyde and he and the House "managers" departed the chamber as stoically as they had entered. The Senate adjourned until 12:45 p.m. ET. The three broadcast networks went back to their regular programming, as CNN, MSNBC and FOX News continued covering the unfolding events.

CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno, co-anchoring CNN's coverage, remarked to his colleagues about how a "few minutes of business" were so powerful. But the news continued.

Rehnquist, senators sworn in

At 12:35 p.m. ET, William Rehnquist, the chief justice of the United States, was dropped off in a black limousine at the entrance to the Senate side of the Capitol. Ten minutes later Lott asked for a quorum call to bring all of the senators back to the chamber.

All senators rose like a courtroom when the judge walks in. This time the judge was the highest judge in the nation. Six senators representing both parties escorted Rehnquist into the chamber.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist is
sworn in

Shortly after 1 p.m. ET Rehnquist, who is constitutionally designated to preside over the trial, was sworn in.

"I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God," Thurmond read to Rehnquist as he raised his right hand. The chief justice, clad in a long black robe, said, "I do."

The procedures for an impeachment trial have been in place since the 1800s, part laws of the colonies, part from Thomas Jefferson's manual. One difference between 1999 and the last trial in 1868 is that senators are now popularly elected.

The chief justice, asking all 100 senators to raise their right hand, administered the oath.

One by one, each senator was called up to sign the oath book. "Mr. Abraham, Mr. Ashcroft. " The names were read and the senators filed up to the well of the chamber to sign the book. Reflecting the tone of the day, almost all of the senators also wore dark attire. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was the lone exception, wearing a bright red suit. The blue carpet on the floor of the Senate chamber was the brightest and cheeriest thing in the room.

Keeping the pens each used to sign the book, the senators quietly filed back to their seats. They now had a momento from the historic day.

The visitors' gallery was nearly full except for about 80 empty seats in the tourist section during the administration of the oaths. The doorkeepers had rotated people in and out during the quorum call, and during the actual swearing in many of the tourist seats were vacant. Outside the chamber there was a long line of people waiting to get in.

Shortly after 1:40 p.m. Lott asked Rehnquist to recess the trial. There were no objections. The Senate was in recess.

The major broadcast networks again resumed their coverage, offering analysis. ABC's Chief White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson could not have summarized the day's event better. Noting that it had been said that the Lewinsky story was "all about sex . Today you had the impression that it was all about the Constitution." Indeed, it was about process, but as history was being made, even this journalist felt it looked surreal!


Slow Burn Season 2

A few weeks ago, I read a 2017 essay by Stella Bugbee titled “Being on the Right Side of History in 1998 Sucked.” It’s about how frustrated and isolated Bugbee felt being the only person she knew who thought Bill Clinton was a creep and Monica Lewinsky was a victim. “Oh, fuck you, Bill,” she remembers saying to the television when Clinton declared he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” All she could think about, Bugbee wrote, “was that Lewinsky’s dumb affair with Bill Clinton was going to ruin her life. She would become the most reviled woman in the Western Hemisphere, by liberals and conservatives alike. It wasn’t right.”

It’s my sense that a lot of people who didn’t live through the 1990s, or who weren’t old enough at the time to really process what was happening, feel certain that they would’ve sided with Bugbee 20 years ago. It seems obvious now that Clinton’s behavior was wrong and indefensible, and it seems like it should’ve been obvious to everyone back then.

Many of us have spent the past several years re-evaluating the Clinton presidency, and if we’re of a certain age, looking back on our reactions to the scandal that almost ended it. But even people who were fully sentient during the impeachment saga—I was in eighth grade—tend to have only hazy memories of how the whole thing played out. We remember Clinton talking about the meaning of the word is. (He was making a distinction between is and was.) We remember Monica Lewinsky’s stained blue dress. (She didn’t get it cleaned because it didn’t fit, so it seemed pointless.) Maybe we remember that some number of Republican lawmakers pushing for Clinton’s impeachment turned out to have been adulterers themselves. (The number was at least three.) But there are a lot of things we don’t remember—subplots, details, and peripheral characters—that were crucial to how events played out, and should be crucial to how we think about Clinton’s impeachment now.

There’s a quote I think about a lot when I’m writing about the past: “You know what the mayor of memory lane understands? The truth is in what happened, how it happened not how it felt not how it feels.” It’s a powerful mantra that has served me well. But when it comes to the Clinton presidency and the scandal that engulfed it, “how it felt” was an essential driver of “what happened.” At every step in the Clinton saga, going back to when he was first elected in 1992, people made decisions and had reactions that now seem inexplicable. (Did Katie Couric really float the idea that Monica Lewinsky was a “predatory girl who set her sights on the president”? Yes, she did.) With the benefit of hindsight, it can be easy to condemn those decisions and reactions. But it’s more fruitful—and more exciting—to try to understand them. What were all these people thinking and feeling when they said what they said and did what they did?

In the first season of Slate’s podcast series Slow Burn, we examined what it was like to live through Watergate in real time. As we embarked on that project, our animating impulse was a desire to know whether the country had ever been through anything resembling what it’s going through now. (The short answer turned out to be yes.) Now, over the course of eight episodes—and eight extras available only to Slate Plus members—we’ll retrace the long, bumpy road toward Clinton’s impeachment. For the next two months, we’ll put you inside the minds of people who went on that journey not knowing what was waiting for them at the end, and who formulated their views on Clinton based on events that many of us no longer remember.

Insofar as our retelling of the Clinton story has a thesis, it’s that it’s hard to know, in the moment, how history will judge us down the line, or what ideas, beliefs, and biases will seem embarrassingly blinkered when we look back at them decades later. This isn’t just true about the Democrats and feminists who sided with Clinton and put down the women unlucky enough to cross paths with him. It’s also true about the Republicans who waged war on Clinton, the journalists who wrote about him, and the prosecutors who built a case against him.

If you remember those years, this season of Slow Burn will remind you of everything you’ve forgotten. And if you don’t, then it’ll make you think about how you would have processed it all—whose side you would have taken, whom you would have blamed, and how you would have felt when Clinton was impeached.

To engage with these questions, it’s necessary to go back to the origins of the scandal, and to revisit the turning points that brought it about. One of those turning points came on Jan. 16, 1998, the day Monica Lewinsky was confronted by the Office of the Independent Counsel and threatened with 27 years in prison unless she agreed to help Kenneth Starr catch the president in a crime. It was a day that Lewinsky will never forget. You won’t either once you hear the first episode of our new season.

Podcast produced by Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons. Research assistance from Madeline Kaplan.

Leon Neyfakh, a former Slate staff writer, is the host of the podcast Fiasco.


Commentary By

The “striking” difference between the Bill Clinton and Donald Trump impeachments, argue MSNBC hosts and others in the media, was not only the willingness of Clinton to “show contrition,” but the willingness of his supporters to acknowledge that the president had done something wrong.

Let’s not let liberals rewrite history.

In the real world, Clinton, with help from the entire Democratic Party, kept earnestly lying to anyone who would listen—the media, the American people, a grand jury—until physical evidence compelled him to admit what he had done.

His subsequent “contrition,” as impeachment picked up steam, was a matter of political survival. The notion that Trump engaged in “bribery” is debatable. The notion that Clinton perjured himself is not.

If it hadn’t been for the Drudge Report bypassing the institutional media, in fact, Newsweek, still an influential magazine in 1998, would likely have sat on the Monica Lewinsky story until after the Clinton presidency had ended. This was probably the first time that online alternative media exposed corrupt coverage, and it certainly wasn’t the last.

Then again, even after Drudge reported on Lewinsky’s semen-stained blue dress, Clinton still lied about his affair to the country, famously saying, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” His wife, Hillary, who almost surely knew the truth, told Matt Lauer that a “vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president” was responsible for the charges. Sounds familiar.

If it hadn’t been for Linda Tripp recording her calls, Lewinsky would doubtlessly have been smeared by the Clinton janissaries like so many other women before her.

These were the virtuous days before Trump hit Washington, when the White House was running a “nuts or sluts” operation to protect the president, led by James Carville, who said that Clinton accuser Paula Jones was the kind of person you found “if you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park.”

It wasn’t until Tripp had handed Lewinsky’s blue dress to investigator Ken Starr, who then concluded that the president had lied during sworn testimony, that Clinton finally admitted to the affair. And really, what else was Clinton going to do? Argue that it was acceptable to lie under oath and carry on sexual relationships with 23-year-old interns in the White House—sometimes while your wife and daughter and world leaders mingled in the other rooms?

More significantly, what liberals ignore is that Clinton’s Starr-induced penitence was largely beside the point. Clinton wasn’t impeached for acting like a dog he was impeached for perjuring himself and obstructing justice—on 11 very specific criminal actions—in a sexual harassment case.

And any perfunctory willingness by his allies to admit wrongdoing was quickly overwhelmed by a Democratic Party rallying around the notion that Clinton had actually been the victim of “sexual McCarthyism,” a vacuous term that would be repeated endlessly on television by his supporters. Alan Dershowitz, then a Clinton defender, wrote an entire book titled “Sexual McCarthyism.”

Worse, the entire country was soon plunged into an insufferably stupid debate over whether being fellated by an intern in the Oval Office should even be considered a sexual encounter. John Conyers’ testimony defending Clinton’s perjury on these grounds on the House floor makes some of today’s defenses of Trump sound like the Catiline orations.

Then again, Democrats largely offered the same arguments then that the GOP does today. “The Republican right wing in this country doesn’t like it when we say coup d’etat,” said Rep. Jose E. Serrano, D-N.Y. “So I’ll make it easier for them. Golpe de estado. That’s Spanish for overthrowing a government.”

“Not all coups are accompanied by the sound of marching boots and rolling tanks,” said Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y.

“I rise in strong opposition to this attempt at a bloodless coup d’etat, this attempt to overturn two national elections,” explained Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y.

“This partisan coup d’etat will go down in infamy in the history of this nation,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said. And on and on it went in the House.

In the end, there would not be a single patriotic Democratic senator who was brave enough to stand up for the American justice system, for women, or for decency. Every single one of them chose partisan interests over their country and the cult of Clinton over the Constitution. (That’s how it’s done, right?)

Now, just as it’s debatable whether Trump’s Ukrainian call rises to the level of an impeachable offense, it was debatable whether Clinton’s actions warranted it. (I tend to think not.) There’s no debate, however, that Clinton had an affair with a subordinate in the White House and then lied about that affair under oath.

His partisan allies did whatever they needed to save him because the notion that rank partisanship was discovered in 2016 is nothing but revisionism.


Bill Clinton - Impeachment, Presidency and Monica Lewinsky - HISTORY

Monica Lewinsky's Affidavit
January 7, 1998

(Below is the full text of Monica S. Lewinsky's affidavit, signed on January 7, 1998, and submitted to lawyers for Paula Jones on January 16, 1998.)

Note: Attorneys for Jones refered to Lewinsky as a "Jane Doe"

1. My name is Jane Doe # . I am 24 years old and I currently reside at 700 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037.

2. On December 19, 1997, I was served with a subpoena from the plaintiff to give a deposition and to produce documents in the lawsuit filed by Paula Corbin Jones against President William Jefferson Clinton and Danny Ferguson.

3. I can not fathom any reason that the plaintiff would seek information from me for her case.

4. I have never met Ms. Jones, nor do I have any information regarding the events she alleges occurred at the Excelsior Hotel on May 8, 1991 or any other information concerning any of the allegations in her case.

5. I worked at the White House in the summer of 1995 as a White House intern. Beginning in December, 1995, I worked in the Office of Legislative Affairs as a staff assistant for correspondence. In April, 1996, I accepted a job as assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense. I maintained that job until December 26, 1997. I am currently unemployed but seeking a new job.

6. In the course of my employment at the White House I met President Clinton several times. I also saw the President at a number of social functions held at the White House. When I worked as an intern, he appeared at occasional functions attended by me and several other interns. The correspondence I drafted while I worked at the Office of Legislative Affairs was seen and edited by supervisors who either had the President's signature affixed by mechanism or, I believe, had the President sign the correspondence itself.

7. I have the utmost respect for the President who has always behaved appropriately in my presence.

8. I have never had a sexual relationship with the President, he did not propose that we have a sexual relationship, he did not offer me employment or other benefits in exchange for a sexual relationship, he did not deny me employment or other benefits for rejecting a sexual relationship. I do not know of any other person who had a sexual relationship with the President, was offered employment or other benefits in exchange for a sexual relationship, or was denied employment or other benefits for rejecting a sexual relationship. The occasions that I saw the President after I left employment at the White House in April, 1996, were official receptions, formal functions or events related to the U.S. Department of Defense, where I was working at the time. There were other people present on those occasions.

9. Since I do not possess any information that could possibly be relevant to the allegations made by Paula Jones or lead to possible admissible evidence in this case, I asked my attorney to provide this affidavit to plaintiff's counsel. Requiring my disposition in this matter would cause disruption to my life, especially since I am looking for employment, unwarranted attorney's fees and costs, and constitute an invasion of my right to privacy.

I declare under the penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

(signed)
Monica S. Lewinsky

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Bill Clinton's Impeachment Trial Began 16 Years Ago Today

On Jan. 7, 1999, for only the second time in U.S. history, the Senate began impeachment proceedings against a sitting president: Bill Clinton.

The drama began when 21-year-old Monica Lewinsky started an unpaid internship at the White House in June 1995. By November, Lewinsky and Clinton had entered into a sexual relationship, according to audio recordings Linda Tripp, a White House secretary, secretly made. In the spring of 1996, Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon to work as an assistant to Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon. Lewinsky confided in Tripp about her relationship with the president while they both worked at the Pentagon in the summer of 1996.

The public bore witness to Clinton’s denial and subsequent admission to the affair.

Clinton was ultimately acquitted of two articles of impeachment. He was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. The five-week trial ended Feb. 12, 1999 when Clinton was found not guilty on both charges.

Read the entire timeline of the Clinton impeachment trial here.

Watch a video highlighting key moments of the trial above.


3. Bill Clinton’s saxophone solo on The Arsenio Hall Show was controversial at the time.

Though President Clinton's saxophone became famous on the campaign trail in 1992, he did pick it up occasionally while in office, as seen in this photo from musician Lionel Hampton's birthday celebration in 1998. Karen Cooper/Getty Images

Clinton famously donned dark sunglasses and played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone during an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show in June 1992, just one day after winning the California primary. Younger voters—whom Clinton was clearly trying to reach—were impressed, but longtime political observers felt it was in poor taste, with Barbara Walters saying, " There's something about a presidential candidate with shades on, playing the saxophone that's endearing on the one hand, but not very dignified." Conservative columnist George Will said it “coarsened” political conversation.


President Bill Clinton's Impeachment and Ties to Monica Lewinsky, Explained

Twenty years ago, news broke that President Bill Clinton had had a relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The story dominated news cycles for months, and oftentimes, headlines sensationalized Lewinsky’s sexuality and age before the president’s suspicious behavior, which led to an impeachment process.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. By the time the story broke, in January 1998, President Clinton was already under investigation for the Whitewater controversy.

The Office of Independent Counsel was formed through the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 as a response to the Watergate scandal. The role of the independent counsel included “someone independent of the executive branch to lead an investigation of the government's upper echelons,” according to Frontline. The statute that established the office expired on June 30, 1999.

Former U.S. solicitor general Kenneth Starr — a Republican — was appointed to the Office of Independent Counsel in August 1994 to investigate President Clinton’s involvement with the Whitewater Development Corporation, a failed real estate venture. Prior to Bill Clinton's election as Arkansas governor, Bill and Hillary Clinton borrowed $203,000 from James B. and Susan McDougal to purchase 220 acres of land in the Ozark Mountains and form the Whitewater Development Corporation in 1978. According to The Washington Post, James McDougal engaged in fraudulent activity with a small savings and loan association, as well as a small business investment firm, which cost taxpayers $73 million. Whether the Clintons were involved with the fraudulent activity or not is still debated today.

Starr’s investigation would be published in September 1998 as a full account called The Starr Report, and the focus of this case would take a back seat to the details he reported on Clinton and Lewinsky’s relationship, which took place from 1995 to 1997.

2. While Starr was investigating Whitewater, the president was accused of sexual harassment by a woman named Paula Jones.

In the U.S. Supreme Court case Clinton v. Jones, former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones had filed a sexual harassment complaint in 1994 against President Clinton, alleging that when he was governor, heɽ made several sexual advances toward her. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, to decide whether a sitting president could be sued for incidents prior to taking office. According to The New York Times, two other women — a former White House volunteer, Kathleen Willey, and an Arkansas nursing home owner, Juanita Broaddrick — came forward to say that the president had groped and harassed them too.

On May 27, 1997, the Supreme Court unanimously decided that a president doesn’t have immunity from litigation, even for incidents that occurred prior to their being sworn in to executive office, so the lawsuit by Jones against President Clinton was allowed to proceed. In December 1997, Lewinsky was subpoenaed as a witness for the Jones suit. White House staffer Linda Tripp had met Lewinsky at the Pentagon, and she briefed Starr and Jones’s lawyers on her recorded phone conversations with Lewinsky, in which Lewinsky admitted to engaging in sexual activity with President Clinton she also told Tripp that she was still in possession of a dress stained with the president’s semen.

Lewinsky was 21 when she started working at the White House as an unpaid intern to Chief of Staff Leon Panetta in 1995, the same year she and the president became involved. She was transferred to work in the Pentagon the following year, and by 1997, she was removed from that position. In December 1997, she was subpoenaed as a witness for the Jones lawsuit, and on January 7, 1998, in an affidavit, she denied having a sexual relationship with President Clinton.

Five days after Lewinsky's affidavit denying relations, Tripp tipped off Kenneth Starr's office about her taped conversations with Lewinsky revealing Lewinsky and Clinton's relationship, and of Lewinsky's conversations with Clinton in which she said heɽ encouraged her to deny their affair. On January 16, Starr then got permission from the Department of Justice to expand his investigation into the allegations from the information provided by Tripp. The next day, Clinton gave his own deposition in the Jones lawsuit, denying "sexual relations" with Lewinsky.

3. Clinton was the first U.S. president to testify as the subject of a grand jury investigation, in August 1998, after Starr's inquiry into obstruction of justice and perjury after the president also denied having sexual relations with Lewinsky while under oath.

The Starr Report identified 11 possible examples of grounds for impeachment, including the several times the president lied under oath about his relationship with Lewinsky. As a result, the House of Representatives initiated President Clinton’s impeachment process on December 19, 1998. The first charges to be presented included perjury — intentionally lying under oath — and obstruction of justice, which failed to pass the Senate. Though lawmakers called for his impeachment, and the House of Representatives voted to do so, President Clinton was not removed from office, after the trial went to the Senate, which voted to acquit him, on February 12, 1999.

4. This was the first major news story be sensationalized on the Internet.

Right-wing news outlet The Drudge Report, founded by Matt Drudge, was the first news organization to break the news of President Clinton’s relationship with Lewinsky, on January 17, 1998. The first story did not name Lewinsky, calling her instead “a young woman, 23, sexually involved with the love of her life,” and it led with the headline “NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN . . . BLOCKBUSTER REPORT: 23-YEAR OLD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN, SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT.”

“I noticed that the story details were quite explicit — in fact, I don’t recall a national story being so, well, prurient — and that the nation was enthralled by it,” journalist Debra Utacia Krol, who was in college at the time, tells Teen Vogue. “We had always heard about President Clinton’s proclivities before, but they managed to stay in the background until the Lewinsky story broke.”

By 1998, 20% of Americans consumed news from the Internet at least once a week, according to Pew Research Center. The same year, as a result of CD-ROM mailers, AOL membership doubled from 8 million to 16 million.

Undoubtedly, the story’s explosion forced the U.S. government to conduct a closer investigation of President Clinton and Lewinsky’s interactions, which would also be broadcast in detail to the American public.

“It seemed like the story went on for months and months, it was the lead for a long time, and I was amazed that so much editorial space was allocated to what seemed to me to be a private family matter,” Krol added.

5. Lewinsky was one of the first women to face public humiliation in the new era of digital media.

Then only 24 years old when the story broke on Drudge, Lewinsky quickly became the narrative’s protagonist in one of the Internet’s first viral news stories. As a result, she was vulnerable on a brand-new platform, ripe for harassment. Through emails, Web pages, and comments sections, Lewinsky faced a new kind of public humiliation without any way to fight back, which is, unfortunately, still a prevalent situation today.

When The Starr Report was released to the public, on September 11, 1998, publishers prefaced it with warnings prior to the investigation's text, including The Washington Post, which noted that “some material in these unedited texts is inappropriate for children and younger readers, and some of the material will be offensive to some adults.”

Since The Starr Report included such sexually explicit details, it enabled news organizations to spread disproved gossip on the details of Lewinsky’s private sex life. An October 1998 analysis by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, led by journalist Jim Doyle, found that The Drudge Report first reported on a rumor that the president had used a cigar as a sex toy during an encounter with Lewinsky.

“Monica Lewinsky has been vilified for decades, and as she was incredibly young during the scandal and was manipulated by some of the most powerful people in politics and law in the late ➐s, she absolutely deserves our sympathy,” media critic and Alternet managing editor Liz Posner tells Teen Vogue.

“There's no doubt that among both left- and right-wing media, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was a big money earner,” Posner says.“So it makes total sense that they would harp on about details within the case that trigger emotion — the image of a blue dress stained with Clinton's semen, even a mental image, rouses strong feelings. It's a tangible piece of evidence that I'm not surprised editors wanted to feed to their readers. But it's been utterly destructive as it's been used to turn Lewinsky into a Jezebel figure and to slut-shame her, when the public's focus really should have been on Bill Clinton, as well as the handful of women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.”

Lewinsky has since spoken out about the “culture of humiliation” she experienced, including through a TED Talk, Vanity Fair stories, and an anti-bullying campaign.


Watch the video: The impeachment of Bill Clinton -- original news coverage