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President Clinton’s impeachment trial begins

President Clinton’s impeachment trial begins



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On January 7, 1999, the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, formally charged with lying under oath and obstructing justice, begins in the Senate. As instructed in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was sworn in to preside, and the senators were sworn in as jurors. Congress had only attempted to remove a president on one other occasion: the 1868 impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, who incurred the Republican Party’s wrath after he proposed a conservative Reconstruction plan.

In November 1995, Clinton began an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old unpaid intern. Over a year and a half, the president and Lewinsky had nearly a dozen sexual encounters in the White House. In April 1996, Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon. That summer, she first confided in Pentagon co-worker Linda Tripp about her sexual relationship with the president. In 1997, with the relationship over, Tripp began secretly to record conversations with Lewinsky in which she gave details about the affair.

In December, Lewinsky was subpoenaed by lawyers for Paula Jones, who was suing the president on sexual harassment charges. In January 1998, allegedly under the recommendation of the president, Lewinsky filed an affidavit in which she denied ever having had a sexual relationship with him. Five days later, Tripp contacted the office of Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr to talk about Lewinsky and the tapes she made of their conversations. Tripp, wired by FBI agents working with Starr, met with Lewinsky again, and on January 16, Lewinsky was taken by FBI agents and U.S. attorneys to a hotel room where she was questioned and offered immunity if she cooperated with the prosecution. A few days later, the story broke, and Clinton publicly denied the allegations, saying, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”

READ MORE: What Happens After Impeachment?

In late July, lawyers for Lewinsky and Starr worked out a full-immunity agreement covering both Lewinsky and her parents, all of whom Starr had threatened with prosecution. On August 6, Lewinsky appeared before the grand jury to begin her testimony, and on August 17, President Clinton testified. Contrary to his testimony in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment case, President Clinton acknowledged to prosecutors from the office of the independent counsel that he had had an extramarital affair with Ms. Lewinsky.

In four hours of closed-door testimony, conducted in the Map Room of the White House, Clinton spoke live via closed-circuit television to a grand jury in a nearby federal courthouse. He was the first sitting president ever to testify before a grand jury investigating his conduct. That evening, President Clinton also gave a four-minute televised address to the nation in which he admitted he had an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky. In the brief speech, which was wrought with legalisms, the word “sex” was never spoken, and the word “regret” was used only in reference to his admission that he misled the public and his family.

Less than a month later, on September 9, Kenneth Starr submitted his report and 18 boxes of supporting documents to the House of Representatives. Released to the public two days later, the Starr Report outlined a case for impeaching Clinton on 11 grounds, including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, and abuse of power, and also provided explicit details of the sexual relationship between the president and Ms. Lewinsky.

On October 8, the House authorized a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry, and on December 11, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment. On December 19, after nearly 14 hours of debate, the House approved two articles of impeachment, charging President Clinton with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice.

Clinton, the second president in American history to be impeached, vowed to finish his term. On January 7, 1999, the impeachment trial began. Five weeks later, on February 12, the Senate voted on whether to remove Clinton from office. Clinton was acquitted on both articles of impeachment. The prosecution needed a two-thirds majority to convict but failed to achieve even a bare majority. Rejecting the first charge of perjury, 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted “not guilty,” and on the charge of obstruction of justice the Senate was split 50-50. After the trial concluded, President Clinton said he was “profoundly sorry” for the burden he imposed on Congress and the American people.

READ MORE: How Many Presidents Have Faced Impeachment?


List of efforts to impeach presidents of the United States

The Constitution of the United States gives Congress the authority to remove the president of the United States from office in two separate proceedings. The first one takes place in the House of Representatives, which impeaches the president of The United States of America by approving articles of impeachment through a simple majority vote. The second proceeding, the impeachment trial, takes place in the Senate. There, conviction on any of the articles requires a two-thirds majority vote and would result in the removal from office (if currently sitting), and possible debarment from holding future office. [1]

Three United States presidents have been impeached, although none were convicted: Andrew Johnson was in 1868, Bill Clinton was in 1998, and Donald Trump was impeached two times in both 2019 and 2021. Richard Nixon resigned as a result of the Watergate Scandal in 1974, after the House Judiciary Committee passed articles of impeachment but before the House could vote to impeach.

Many presidents have been subject to demands for impeachment by groups and individuals. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


President Clinton’s impeachment trial begins - HISTORY

June 1995: Monica Lewinsky, 21, comes to the White House as an unpaid intern in the office of Chief of Staff Leon Panetta.

November 1995: Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton begin a sexual relationship, according to audiotapes secretly recorded later by Linda Tripp.

December 1995: Lewinsky moves into a paid position in the Office of Legislative Affairs, handling letters from members of Congress. She frequently ferries mail to the Oval Office.

April 1996: Then-Deputy White House Chief of Staff Evelyn Lieberman transfers Lewinsky to a job as an assistant to Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon. Lieberman told The New York Times the move was due to "inappropriate and immature behavior" and inattention to work. At the Pentagon, Lewinsky meets Tripp, a career government worker.

Summer 1996: Lewinsky begins to tell fellow Pentagon employee Linda Tripp of her alleged relationship with Clinton.

August 1997: Tripp encountered Kathleen Willey coming out of Oval Office "disheveled. Her face red and her lipstick was off." Willey later alleged that Clinton groped her. Clinton's lawyer, Bill Bennett said in the article that Linda Tripp is not to be believed.

Fall 1997: Tripp to begin taping conversations in which Lewinsky details her alleged affair with the president.

October 1997: Tripp meets with Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, Lucianne & Jonah Goldberg at Jonah's apartment in Washington, according to a Newsweek report. The Goldberg's listen to a tape of Tripp/Lewinsky conversations.

Dec. 8: Betty Currie, Clinton's personal secretary, asks presidential pal Vernon Jordan to help Lewinsky find a job in New York.

Dec. 11: Lewinsky meets with Jordan and he refers her to several job leads.

Dec. 17: Lewinsky is subpoenaed by lawyers for Paula Jones, who is suing the president on sexual harassment charges.

Dec. 28: Lewinsky makes her final visit to the White House, according to White House logs, and was signed in by Currie. Lewinsky reportedly met privately with Clinton and he allegedly encouraged her to be "evasive" in her answers in the Jones' lawsuit.

January 1998

Jan. 7, 1998: Lewinsky files an affidavit in the Jones case in which she denies ever having a sexual relationship with President Clinton.

Jan. 9: Tripp delivers the tapes to her lawyer, Jim Moody.

Jan. 12: Linda Tripp contacts the office of Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr to talk about Lewinsky and the tapes she made of their conversations. The tapes allegedly have Lewinsky detailing an affair with Clinton and indicate that Clinton and Clinton friend Vernon Jordan told Lewinsky to lie about the alleged affair under oath.

Jan. 13, 1998: Tripp, wired by FBI agents working with Starr, meets with Lewinsky at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel bar in Pentagon City, Va., and records their conversation.

Jan. 14, 1998: Lewinsky gives Tripp a document headed "Points to make in an affidavit," coaching Tripp on what to tell Jones' lawyers about Kathleen Willey, another former White House staffer. Willey recently had testified about alleged unsolicited sexual advances made by the president in 1993.

Jan. 16, 1998: Starr contacts Attorney General Janet Reno to get permission to expand his probe. Reno agrees and submits the request to a panel of three federal judges. The judges agree to allow Starr to formally investigate the possibility of subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Jones case. Tripp and Lewinsky meet again at the Ritz-Carlton. FBI agents and U.S. attorneys intercede and take Lewinsky to a hotel room, where they question her and offer her immunity. Lewinsky contacts her mother, Marcia Lewis, who travels down from New York City by train. Lewis contacts her ex-husband, who calls attorney William Ginsburg, a family friend. Ginsburg advises her not to accept the immunity deal until he learns more.

Jan. 17, 1998: Ginsburg flies to Washington to represent Lewinsky. Clinton gives his deposition in the Jones lawsuit, in which he denies having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Newsweek magazine decides not to run a story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff on the Lewinsky tapes and the alleged affair.

Jan. 18: Clinton meets with Currie, compares his memory with hers on Lewinsky.

Jan. 19, 1998: Lewinsky's name surfaces in an Internet gossip column, the Drudge Report, which mentions rumors that Newsweek had decided to delay publishing a piece on Lewinsky and the alleged affair.

Jan. 21, 1998: Several news organizations report the alleged sexual relationship between Lewinsky and Clinton. Clinton denies the allegations as the scandal erupts.

Jan. 22, 1998:Clinton reiterates his denial of the relationship and says he never urged Lewinsky to lie. Starr issues subpoenas for a number of people, as well as for White House records. Starr also defends the expansion of his initial Whitewater investigation. Jordan holds a press conference to flatly deny he told Lewinsky to lie. Jordan also says that Lewinsky told him that she did not have a sexual relationship with the president.

Jan. 23, 1998: Clinton assures his Cabinet of his innocence. Judge Susan Webber Wright puts off "indefinitely" a deposition Lewinsky was scheduled to give in the Jones lawsuit. Clinton's personal secretary, Betty Currie, and other aides are subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury. Ginsburg says Lewinsky is being "squeezed" by Starr and is now a target of the Whitewater investigation.

Jan. 24, 1998: Clinton asks former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Harold Ickes and former Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor to return to the White House to help deal with the controversy. Talks continue between Starr and attorneys for Lewinsky over a possible immunity agreement.

Jan. 25, 1998: Ginsburg says Lewinsky will "tell all" in exchange for immunity. Clinton political adviser James Carville says "a war" will be waged between Clinton supporters and Kenneth Starr over Starr's investigation tactics.

Jan. 26, 1998: Clinton forcefully repeats his denial, saying, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." Ginsburg offers Starr a summary of what Lewinsky is prepared to say to the grand jury in exchange for a grant of immunity from the prosecution.

Jan. 27, 1998: Jones' attorney, John Whitehead, answers Starr's subpoena with several documents, possibly including Clinton's deposition in the Jones suit. Currie testifies before the grand jury. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton says in a broadcast interview that a "vast right-wing conspiracy" is behind the charges against her husband. A Portland, Ore., man, Andy Bleiler, alleges he had a five-year affair with Lewinsky, and his lawyer promises to turn over documents and items to Starr's investigators. Clinton delivers his State of the Union address, making no mention of the scandal.

Jan. 29, 1998: The judge in the Paula Jones lawsuit rules that Monica Lewinsky is "not essential to the core issues" of the Jones case, and has ordered that all evidence related to Lewinsky be excluded from the Jones proceedings.

Jan. 31, 1998: Immunity discussions between Monica Lewinsky's attorney, William Ginsburg, and Ken Starr's office appear stalled. Ginsburg says Lewinsky plans to go to California in the coming week to visit her father.

February 1998

Feb. 4, 1998: Word comes that Independent Counsel Ken Starr has rejected the latest written statement by Monica Lewinsky's lawyers seeking immunity from prosecution for her. Their on-again, off-again immunity discussions are off.

Feb. 5, 1998: Ken Starr says his inquiry is "moving very quickly and we've made very significant progress."

Feb. 6, 1998: At a news conference, President Bill Clinton says he would never consider resigning because of the accusations against him. "I would never walk away from the people of this country and the trust they've placed in me," he says.

Feb. 10, 1998: Monica Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, appears before the grand jury. Ken Starr and his investigators suspect Lewis was aware of her daughter's alleged affair with President Bill Clinton.

Feb. 11, 1998: First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton predicts the allegations against her husband "will slowly dissipate over time under the weight of its own insubstantiality." A retired Secret Service uniformed guard, Lewis C. Fox, claims in an interview he saw Monica Lewinsky come to the West Wing on weekends with documents she said were for the president.

Feb. 18, 1998: One of President Bill Clinton's closest advisers, Bruce Lindsey, spends the day before the Whitewater grand jury. The hearing is stopped briefly when questions of executive privilege are raised.

Feb. 19, 1998: Ken Starr's chronology shows presidential friend Vernon Jordan began seeking a private-sector job for Monica Lewinsky within 72 hours of her being listed as a potential witness in the Paula Jones civil rights lawsuit against President Bill Clinton.

Feb. 20, 1998: Lewinsky attorney Bill Ginsburg says the former intern met with Vernon Jordan much earlier than was being reported.

Feb. 23, 1998: There is more legal wrangling over when Marcia Lewis, Lewinsky's mother, will resume her grand jury testimony. Her lawyer, Billy Martin, says she is "going through hell."

Feb. 25, 1998: White House lawyers are preparing legal briefs to defend the administration's position that executive privilege should shield several of President Bill Clinton's top aides from certain questions in the Lewinsky investigation.

Feb. 26, 1998: White House senior communications aide Sidney Blumenthal testifies before the grand jury, answering questions about any role he may have played in spreading negative information about investigators in Independent Counsel Ken Starr's office. Fourteen Democrats in the House write Attorney General Janet Reno complaining about subpoenas issued by Starr. A non-profit group that studies women in the workplace says it will contribute $10,000 as seed money for a legal defense fund for Lewinsky.

Feb. 27, 1998: White House communications aide Sidney Blumenthal refused to answer some of the questions posed before the grand jury, citing the controversy over whether the independent counsel can force aides to testify about conversations they had with the president.

March 1998

March 3, 1998: Vernon Jordan Jr. testifies before the grand jury.

March 5, 1998: Lawyers for Monica Lewinsky battle with Ken Starr over whether Lewinsky has a binding immunity agreement.

March 9, 1998: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright rejects a request by Ms. Jones' attorneys to include evidence of a Monica Lewinsky affair during a Jones trial.

March 10, 1998: Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer who accused the president of fondling her, testifies before the grand jury for four hours.

March 11, 1998: The grand jury spends the day listening to audio recordings, which sources say are tapes made by Linda Tripp of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky.

March 16, 1998: Clinton says "nothing improper" happened when he was alone with Kathleen Willey, responding to her accusations aired in an interview on "60 Minutes" the previous night. The White House releases letters Willey sent to the president, signed "Fondly, Kathleen" in an effort to cast doubt on her story.

March 17, 1998: The White House charges that Kathleen Willey tried to sell her story to a book publisher for $300,000. Willey's attorney denies the charges. A friend of Lewinsky and the presidential diarist give grand jury testimony.

March 18, 1998: Julie Steele's affidavit is released. In it she says she lied when she claimed Kathleen Willey had come to her house the night of the encounter and told her about it.

March 20, 1998: President Clinton decides to formally invoke executive privilege.

March 25, 1998: Marcia Lewis, Monica Lewinsky's mother, fails to persuade a federal judge to excuse her from a third day of testimony. Starr subpoenas records from Kramerbooks & Afterwords on Monica Lewinsky's purchases at the store. One of her purchases was reportedly Nicholson Baker's "Vox," a novel about phone sex. Jodie Torkelson testifies.

April 1998

April 1, 1998: Judge Susan Webber Wright dismisses the Paula Jones case.

April 7, 1998: Presidential diarist Janis Kearney testifies before the grand jury. Harolyn Cardozo, daughter of multimillionaire fund-raiser and Clinton pal Nate Landow and a former White House intern, testifies before the grand jury. She is questioned on Kathleen Willey's accusations of unwanted sexual advances made by the president.

April 9, 1998: A second White House steward is called to testify before the grand jury in a supposed effort to learn of meetings between the president and Monica Lewinsky.

April 14, 1998: Kenneth Starr files a sealed motion in U.S. District Court to compel testimony of uniformed Secret Service agents, according to the Wall Street Journal.

April 16, 1998: Ken Starr withdraws from consideration for the deanship at Pepperdine University Law School. Starr said an end to the Whitewater investigation "was not yet in sight." Bernard Lewinsky lashes out at Kenneth Starr, calling the treatment of his daughter "unconscionable." He also asks for help in paying the former intern's legal bills.

April 18, 1998: U.S. News & World Report says retired Secret Service office Louis Fox testified before the grand jury that during a visit by Lewinsky to the White House in the fall of 1995, Clinton told him, "Close the door. She'll be in here for a while."

April 21, 1998: Former President George Bush weighs in, challenging Ken Starr's attempt to get Secret Service officers to testify before the grand jury.

April 28, 1998: Nancy Hernreich, director of Oval Office operations, testifies for the sixth time in the Lewinsky investigation.

April 29, 1998: A federal judge rules that Monica Lewinsky does not have an immunity agreement with Ken Starr.

April 30, 1998: In his first news conference since the Lewinsky scandal broke, the president lashes out at Independent Counsel Ken Starr charging that he heads a "hard, well-financed, vigorous effort" to undercut the president. Clinton repeatedly declines to elaborate on his relationship with Lewinsky.

May 1998

May 5, 1998: Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson rules against President Clinton's claim of executive privilege. Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan testifies for a third time before the grand jury.

May 6, 1998: Clinton's personal attorney, David Kendall, accuses Starr's office of "flagrant leaks," citing a Fox News report that claimed information on Clinton's executive-privilege decision came from the independent counsel's office.

May 8, 1998: Ken Starr and David Kendall quarrel over leaks of grand jury information. Betty Currie testifies before the grand jury for the third time.

May 13, 1998: Ken Starr seeks contempt charges against David Kendall, the president's personal attorney. Starr accuses Kendall of leaking grand jury testimony.

May 14, 1998: Starr argues in federal court that there are no legal grounds for Secret Service agents who guard the president to refuse to testify before the grand jury. Betty Currie, the president's personal secretary, returns for her fourth appearance before the grand jury testimony.

May 21, 1998: Walter Kaye, a retired insurance executive and prominent Democratic contributor, testifies before the grand jury.

May 22, 1998: Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ruled that the Secret Service must testify before the grand jury in the Monica Lewinsky controversy.

May 27, 1998: Monica Lewinsky's lawyer, Bill Ginsburg writes an angry "open letter" to Ken Starr which was published in "California Lawyer." "Congratulations, Mr. Starr! As a result of your callous disregard for cherished constitutional rights, you may have succeeded in unmasking a sexual relationship between two consenting adults." It is reported that death threats were made against Linda Tripp when the Lewinsky scandal first broke in January and she was moved to a safe house.

May 28, 1998: Ken Starr asks the Supreme Court to expedite their ruling on executive privilege. Monica Lewinsky gives handwriting and fingerprints samples to the FBI at Ken Starr's request.

June 1998

June 1, 1998: Clinton's defense team decides to drop the appeal on the executive privilege ruling. But his lawyers will continue to argue for attorney-client privilege to prevent close friend and aide Bruce Lindsey from answering all of Ken Starr's questions.

June 2, 1998: The outspoken Bill Ginsburg is replaced as Monica Lewinsky's lawyer with a team of experienced Washington litigators, Jacob Stein and Plato Cacheris. The split was said to be by "mutual agreement."

June 5, 1998: Appeals court fast tracks attorney-client privilege dispute. Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson rules that while Monica Lewinsky's book purchases did have a bearing on her case, only Kramer Books -- and not Barnes & Noble -- would be required to hand over records of her purchases.

June 8, 1998: The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Ken Starr's attempts to access notes take by the lawyer of late White House deputy counsel Vince Foster nine days after the meeting in question. Foster's lawyer, James Hamilton argued the notes are covered by attorney-client privilege, but Starr's office said the privilege doesn't always extends past death.

June 9, 1998: Presidential friend Vernon Jordan testifies before Ken Starr's grand jury for the fifth time. Lewinsky's new lawyers say they are upset by her photo layout in Vanity Fair magazine.

June 10, 1998: Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes appears before the grand jury to testify about his involvement, if any, in the release of information from Linda Tripp's personnel records.

June 15, 1998: Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey files an appeal of federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's decision to deny him attorney-client privilege in the Lewinsky case.

June 15, 1998: The publication of an article in the new magazine of media criticism, Brill's Content, alleging that Ken Starr leaked information to the media leads Judge Holloway to hold a private meeting with lawyers for both sides of the case to investigate the charges. The magazine's editor and creator, Steven Brill, said Starr admitted to the leaks in a 90-minute interview.

June 16, 1998: Ken Starr releases a 19-page attack on Brill's article, calling the editor "reckless" and "irresponsible" for printing what he called a misinterpretation of their interview.

June 18, 1998: Sources tell CNN that three FBI agents have testified in secret affidavits that a plan to wire Monica Lewinsky and monitor her conversations did exist. The secret testimony refutes Ken Starr's published denial of the plan, but does not specify that the conversations Starr's prosecution wished to tape were with the president or Vernon Jordan.

June 22, 1998: Kramer Books and lawyers for Monica Lewinsky strike a deal in which records of Lewinsky's purchases are submitted to Ken Starr's office by her lawyers and not the book store, thereby allowing the book store to maintain it stood up for the First Amendment.

June 22, 1998: CNN learns that Ken Starr may be willing to make an immunity deal without requiring that Monica Lewinsky plead guilty to some charge against her if they decide that she is cooperating fully with the prosecution.

June 25, 1998: The Supreme Court rules 6-3 that attorney-client privilege extends beyond the grave, exempting Vince Foster's conversations with his lawyers from being called as evidence in Ken Starr's presidential investigations.

June 25, 1998: White House communications aide Sidney Blumenthal testifies before Ken Starr's grand jury for the third time. Blumenthal complains that Starr's inquiry focused on what the White House was saying about his prosecution rather than Blumenthal's conversations with the president.

June 26, 1998: Ken Starr presents arguments to a federal appeals court requesting that Secret Service personnel be required to testify in the Lewinsky case. Linda Tripp is called to appear before the grand jury on Tuesday, June 30.

June 29, 1998: Attorneys for Dale Young confirm that the Lewinsky family friend testified before the grand jury that Monica Lewinsky spoke to her of an intimate relationship between herself and President Clinton. According to Young's testimony, Lewinsky confided in her in 1996, detailing the limitations and rules Clinton had placed upon their relationship.

June 30, 1998: Linda Tripp appears before the grand jury for her first day of testimony, accompanied by her children. She says that she did not trick Monica Lewinsky when she taped conversations with her former friend.

July 1998

July 1, 1998: Linda Tripp makes her second appearance before the grand jury, during which the Lewinsky tapes may have been played.

July 7, 1998: Linda Tripp returns for her third day of testimony before the grand jury, as the Maryland state's attorney opens investigations into Tripp's taping of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky. The investigation is aimed at deciding whether Tripp had broken Maryland state laws that require both parties in a conversation to consent to be taped.

July 7, 1998: The U.S. Court of Appeals rules that Secret Service agents must testify before the grand jury, upholding Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's earlier decision.

July 9, 1998: Monica Lewinsky announces she is prepared to cooperate in the Maryland investigation into the legality of Linda Tripp's tapes of phone conversations as Tripp appears before the grand jury for the fourth time.

July 14, 1998: Ken Starr subpoenas Larry Cockell, head of the president's security detail. The Justice Department, backed by the Secret Service, requests a full panel appeal of the Secret Service testimony decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals.

July 17, 1998: Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist denies an extension of the temporary stay on Secret Service testimony. The subpoenaed Secret Service agents appeared before the grand jury, although only three of them testify. Larry Cockell, who is not one of the agents to testify, spends the afternoon waiting.

July 21, 1998: The U.S. Court of Appeals holds a hearing on alleged leaks of grand jury information to the media by Ken Starr's office. The hearings center on Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's secret sanctions against Starr and his subsequent appeal. The sanctions would require Starr to turn over documents and other evidence related to the alleged leaks.

July 25, 1998: Word emerges that Independent Counsel Ken Starr has served President Clinton with a subpoena that calls for his testimony before the Lewinsky grand jury next week. Negotiations are underway on the scope, timing and format of Clinton's testimony.

July 27, 1998: The U.S. Court of Appeals rules that attorney-client privilege does not protect presidential confidant Bruce Lindsey from answering all questions put to him before the Lewinsky grand jury.

July 28, 1998: In a dramatic breakthrough, lawyers for Lewinsky and Starr work out a full immunity agreement covering both Lewinsky and her parents, Marcia Lewis and Dr. Bernard Lewinsky.

July 29, 1998: President Bill Clinton agrees to testify voluntarily and Starr's office withdraws the subpoena. Clinton's testimony is set for August 17 at the White House.

July 30, 1998: Sources say that as part of her immunity agreement, Lewinsky has handed over to prosecutors a dark blue dress that she alleges may contain physical evidence of a sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton. The dress is turned over to the FBI lab for testing.

August 1998

August 6, 1998: Monica Lewinsky appears before the grand jury to begin her testimony.

August 7, 1998: A federal appeals court lets an investigation of alleged news leaks from Ken Starr's office continue.

August 11, 1998: Hollywood producer and Clinton friend Harry Thomason testifies before the grand jury.

August 17, 1998: President Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting president to testify before a grand jury investigating his conduct. After the questioning at the White House is finished, Clinton goes on national TV to admit he had an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton's speech in its entirety (8-17-98) Windows Media 28K | 56K

August 18, 1998: Former Clinton political advisor Dick Morris testifies before the grand jury.

August 19, 1998: Word that Starr has requested and received a sample of Clinton's DNA becomes public.

August 20, 1998: Monica Lewinsky testifies before the grand jury for a second time.

September 1998

September 9, 1998: Independent Counsel Ken Starr submits his report and 18 boxes of supporting documents to the House of Representatives.

September 11, 1998: The House of Representative votes to receive the Starr report. The House Judiciary Committee takes possession of the 18 boxes of materials and promptly releases the first 445 pages to the public.

September 18, 1998: Over Democrats' objections, the House Judiciary Committee agrees to release President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony and more than 3,000 pages of supporting material from the Starr report, including sexually explicit testimony from Monica Lewinsky.

September 21, 1998: The Judiciary Committee releases and many television networks immediately broadcast more than four hours of President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony. Along with the videotape, the Judiciary Committee also releases the appendix to the Starr's report which includes 3,183 pages of testimony and other evidence, including a photograph of Lewinsky's semen-stained dress.

September 24, 1998: The House Judiciary Committee announces the committee will consider a resolution to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Clinton in an open session on October 5 or October 6.

October 1998

October 2, 1998: The House Judiciary Committee releases another 4,610 pages of supporting material from Ken Starr's investigation, including transcripts of grand jury testimony and transcripts of the Linda Tripp-Monica Lewinsky tapes.

October 5, 1998: On a 21-16 vote, the House Judiciary Committee recommends a full impeachment inquiry.

Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Robert Wexler (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Bob Barr (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Maxine Waters (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Barney Frank (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee opening statements on impeachment inquiry (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Chief Democratic Investigator presents case to Judiciary Committee (10-5-98) Windows Media28K | 56K
Chief GOP Investigator presents case to Judiciary Committee (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Robert Wexler (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Bob Barr (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Maxine Waters (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee impeachment debate, Rep. Barney Frank (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Judiciary Committee opening statements on impeachment inquiry (10-5-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K

October 8, 1998: The House of Representatives authorizes a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry of President Clinton on a 258-176 vote. Thirty-one Democrats join Republicans in supporting the investigation.

October 28, 1998: In the final week of the 1998 campaign, Republicans shift gears and begin pummeling the Democrats in TV ads about Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

November 1998

November 3, 1998: Democrats pick up five seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, and held off a Republican super-majority in the Senate.

November 5, 1998: Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde sends a list of questions to President Clinton, asking him to "admit or deny" the major facts outlined in Independent Counsel Ken Starr's report to Congress.

November 9, 1998: A House subcommittee hears from legal experts on whether President Clinton's behavior in the Lewinsky affair rises to the level of an impeachable offense.

November 13, 1998: After fighting Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit for four years, Clinton agreed to pay Jones $850,000 to drop the case. But the deal included no apology from the president.

November 19, 1998: In a marathon session, Independent Counsel Ken Starr outlines his case against President Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee, saying Clinton repeatedly "chose deception." Democrats grill Starr about his investigative methods.

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Ken Starr answers questions from Republican committee counsel David Schippers (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Ken Starr answers questions from attorney David Kendall (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Ken Starr answers questions from Congressman Bob Barr (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Democratic party investigator Abbe Lowell asks Starr about his interaction with Monica Lewinsky (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Democratic party investigator Abbe Lowell asks Starr about his interaction with Monica Lewinsky (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Democratic party investigator Abbe Lowell asks Starr about Linda Tripp's role (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Ken Starr answers questions from Congressman Barney Frank (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Ken Starr testifies before the House Judiciary Committee (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Chairman Henry Hyde's opening statement (11-19-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K

November 28, 1998 Republicans express disappointment and outrage at what some describe as President Clinton's evasive and legalistic answers to the Judiciary Committee's questions.

December 1998

December 1, 1998: On a party-line vote, the House Judiciary Committee expands its impeachment inquiry to include alleged campaign finance abuses, approving subpoenas for Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI Director Louis Freeh and federal prosecutor Charles LaBella.

December 3, 1998: After two staffers look at internal Justice Department memos, Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde tells Republicans that campaign fund-raising will not be part of the impeachment debate.

December 4, 1998: Lawyers for President Bill Clinton ask the House Judiciary Committee for three to four days to make their defense presentation.

December 6, 1998: President Clinton's attorneys are granted 30 hours over two days to make his defense case before the Judiciary Committee.

December 8, 1998: In a daylong session, President Clinton's lawyers and three panels of witnesses testify on the president's behalf, saying Clinton's behavior does not warrant impeachment.

December 11, 1998: The House Judiciary Committee approves three articles of impeachment, alleging that President Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice. The action comes despite another apology from Clinton.

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Clinton 'profoundly sorry,' ready to bear consequences (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Rep. Barney Frank argues against the charge of impeachment (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Democratic and Republican members debate semantics (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Rep. Robert Wexler's opening statement (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Ranking John Conyers' opening statement (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Chairman Henry Hyde's opening statement (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Rep. Lindsey Graham's opening statements (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Rep. Bob Barr's opening statements (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee's opening statements (12-11-98) Windows Media: 28K | 56K

December 12, 1998: The House Judiciary Committee approves a fourth and final article of impeachment against President Clinton, accusing him of making false statements in his answers to written questions from Congress. A Democratic proposal to censure Clinton instead goes down to defeat.

December 15, 1998: In a blow to White House hopes, 11 moderate House Republicans announce they will vote to impeach the president.

December 16, 1998: In a coordinated strike, U.S. and British forces attack Iraq in retaliation for its failure to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. Because of the military action, House Republican leaders delay a planned impeachment debate and vote set to begin Thursday, December 17.

December 17, 1998: Republicans reschedule the impeachment debate for December 18 over Democratic objections. Republican Speaker-elect Bob Livingston is forced to admit his own marital indiscretions, but says unlike President Clinton, they were not with a staff member and he was never asked to testify under oath about them.

December 18, 1998: The House of Representatives engages in a fierce, daylong debate whether to impeach President Clinton. A CNN survey suggests there are enough votes to approve one or more articles of impeachment.

December 19, 1998: After 13 1/2 hours of debate over two days, the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment, charging President Clinton with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. Clinton vows to fill out his term and appeals for a bipartisan compromise in the Senate.

January 1999

January 5, 1999: Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott announces President Clinton's trial will begin January 7, but senators continue to wrangle over how long the trial should be and whether to call witnesses.

January 7, 1999: With ceremonial flourishes, the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of President Bill Clinton begins in the Senate, with the swearing in of Chief Justice William Rehnquist to preside and the senators as jurors.

January 8, 1999: The Senate unanimously agrees on a process for continuing the trial, but puts off a decision on a key sticking point -- whether to call witnesses.

January 11, 1999: President Clinton's defense team denies the charges against the president in a 13-page answer to a Senate summons. House prosecutors submit a pre-trial memo outlining their case.

January 13, 1999: President Clinton's lawyers file their pre-trial brief, outlining the case for the president's acquittal. Clinton tells reporters he wants to focus on the nation's business, not the trial. "They have their job to do in the Senate, and I have mine," Clinton says."And I intend to do it."

January 14, 1999: Thirteen House prosecutors begin a three-day opening statement, laying out the case for the Senate to convict President Clinton and remove him from office.

January 19, 1999: President Clinton's legal team begins a three-day defense of the president.

January 22, 1999: Senators begin two days of questioning of the prosecution and defense teams, passing written queries through Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

January 23, 1999: A judge orders Monica Lewinsky to cooperate with House prosecutors Lewinsky returns to Washington, D.C., from California.

January 24, 1999: Monica Lewinsky submits to a nearly two-hour interview with House prosecutors they call the session "productive" but Lewinsky's lawyer says it added nothing new to the record.

January 25, 1999: Senators hear arguments about dismissing the charges against President Clinton and then deliberate in secret.

January 26, 1999: Senators hear arguments about seeking depositions from three witnesses -- Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal -- and then deliberate in secret.

January 27, 1999: In twin, 56-44 votes, the Senate refuses to dismiss the charges against President Clinton and agrees to seek depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal.

January 28, 1999: In a party-line vote, the Senate OKs a Republican plan for the impeachment trial's deposition phase, and sets February 12 as a target date for the trial's end.

February 1999

February 1, 1999: House prosecutors question Monica Lewinsky in a closed-door deposition Clinton's lawyer reads a statement to her expressing the president's "regret" over what Lewinsky has gone through, but asks no questions.

February 2, 1999: House prosecutors question presidential friend Vernon Jordan for three hours in a closed-door deposition.

February 3, 1999: House prosecutors question White House aide Sidney Blumenthal in a closed-door deposition.

February 4, 1999: On a 70-30 vote, the Senate decides not to call Monica Lewinsky to testify in person at the trial, but clears the way for House prosecutors to present excerpts of videotaped depositions.

February 6, 1999: Americans get a chance to see and hear Monica Lewinsky as House prosecutors and White House lawyers play video excerpts of her testimony in their final summations.

February 8, 1999: House prosecutors and Clinton's lawyer offer closing arguments.

February 9, 1999: Senate begins closed-door deliberations on President Clinton's fate, after rejecting a "sunshine" proposal to open the proceedings to the public.

February 12, 1999: President Clinton is acquitted of the two articles of impeachment. Rejecting the first charge of perjury, 10 Republicans and all 45 Democrats vote "not guilty." On the charge of obstruction of justice, the Senate is split 50-50. Afterward, Clinton says he is "profoundly sorry" for the burden he imposed on the Congress and the American people.

March 18, 1999: Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing testifies at the Susan McDougal trial that he had written a "rough draft indictment" of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton after he doubted her truthfulness in a deposition.

April 12, 1999: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright finds President Bill Clinton in civil contempt of court for his "willful failure" to obey her repeated orders to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones case. Wright also orders Clinton to pay Jones "any reasonable expenses including attorneys' fees caused by his willful failure to obey this court's discovery orders," directing Jones' lawyers to submit an accounting of their expenses and fees. She also rules Clinton must reimburse the court $1,202 for the judge's travel expenses. Wright traveled to Washington at Clinton's request to preside over what she now calls "his tainted deposition."

June 30, 1999: At the stroke of midnight, the Independent Counsel law expires. But Independent Counsel Ken Starr says there are still two ongoing aspects of his investigation.

July 29, 1999: U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright orders President Bill Clinton to pay $90,686 for giving false testimony in the civil sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by Paula Jones.

August 18, 1999: The federal court panel that appointed Independent Counsel Ken Starr splits over whether to end the five-year independent counsel investigation, voting 2-1 to keep it alive. Judge Richard D. Cudahy dissents from his fellow judges, saying that with President Bill Clinton already impeached and acquitted, and no prosecutions pending against others, "this is a natural and logical point for termination." CNN also learns that Starr has been involved in "theoretical discussions" about stepping aside as independent counsel.

October 18, 1999: Robert Ray is sworn in as the successor to Independent Counsel Ken Starr, inheriting a highly controversial investigation and the duty to write the special prosecutor's final report.

March 13, 2000: Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray begins filing a series of final reports that detail the office's six-year investigation of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

March 16, 2000: Independent Counsel Robert Ray's office files a report stating there is "no substantial and credible evidence" that President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton sought confidential FBI background checks of former GOP White House personnel.

April 24, 2000: CNN learns that in the previous week Independent Counsel Robert Ray has subpoenaed records from the National Archives in an attempt to determine whether the White House deliberately withheld electronic mail messages in an attempt to stymie investigations pertaining to the Monica Lewinsky affair and other Clinton Administration controversies.

June 30, 2000: An Arkansas Supreme Court panel files suit to strip Bill Clinton of his license to practice law. The Arkansas State Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct recommended in May that Clinton's Arkansas law license be withdrawn, in the wake of accusations he gave misleading testimony under oath in the Paula Jones case. Clinton has 30 days to respond.

July 13, 2000: Charles Bakaly, the former spokesman for then Independent Counsel Ken Starr, goes to trial on charges that he misled a judge about news leaks during the Monica Lewinsky investigation.

July 28, 2000: The final report on the so-called "filegate" scandal is unsealed by a federal appeals court, and Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray said the report shows no evidence of misconduct by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton or former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum.

August 17, 2000: CNN learns that in July Independent Counsel Robert Ray impaneled a new grand jury as part of an investigation into the scandal involving President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.


HISTORY, Jan. 7: Clinton impeachment trial begins in 1999

Today is Monday, Jan. 7, the seventh day of 2019. There are 358 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 7, 1999, for the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate. President Bill Clinton faced charges of perjury and obstruction of justice he was acquitted.

In 1789, America held its first presidential election as voters chose electors who, a month later, selected George Washington to be the nation's first chief executive.

In 1904, the Marconi International Marine Communication Company of London announced that the telegraphed letters "CQD" would serve as a maritime distress call (it was later replaced with "SOS").

In 1927, commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.

In 1942, Japanese forces began besieging American and Filipino troops in Bataan during World War II. (The fall of Bataan three months later was followed by the notorious Death March.)

In 1953, President Truman announced in his State of the Union message to Congress that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.

In 1959, the United States recognized the new government of Cuba, six days after Fidel Castro led the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.

In 1963, the U.S. Post Office raised the cost of a first-class stamp from 4 to 5 cents.

In 1972, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and William H. Rehnquist were sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.

In 1989, Emperor Hirohito of Japan died in Tokyo at age 87 he was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.

In 2004, President George W. Bush proposed legal status, at least temporarily, for millions of immigrants improperly working in the U.S.

In 2015, masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper that had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, methodically killing 12 people before escaping. (Two suspects were killed two days later.) Actor Rod Taylor 82, died in Los Angeles.

Ten years ago: President-elect Barack Obama met at the White House with America's four living presidents: George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Russia shut off all its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine in a price and payment dispute the cutoff lasted nearly two weeks.

Five years ago: Brutal polar air that made the Midwest shiver over the past few days spread to the East and the Deep South, shattering records that in some cases had stood for more than a century. A U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in a coastal area of eastern England during a training mission, killing all four crew members aboard.

One year ago: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" was the top film at the Golden Globe Awards, winning as best drama and taking home awards for stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell and for writer-director Martin McDonagh. The Golden Globes ceremony became an expression of female empowerment in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, capped by a speech in which Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Oprah Winfrey said of men who use their power to abuse women, "Their time is up!" The arctic air that engulfed parts of the East Coast broke cold temperature records from Maine to West Virginia.

Today's Birthdays: Magazine publisher Jann Wenner is 73. Singer Kenny Loggins is 71. Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman is 70. Actress Erin Gray is 69. Actor Sammo Hung is 67. Actress Jodi Long is 65. Actor David Caruso is 63. Talk show host Katie Couric is 62. Country singer David Lee Murphy is 60. Rock musician Kathy Valentine is 60. Actor David Marciano is 59. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is 58. Actress Hallie Todd is 57. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is 56. Actor Nicolas Cage is 55. Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik (on-DRAH'-sik) (Five for Fighting) is 54. Actor Rex Lee is 50. Actor Doug E. Doug is 49. Actor Kevin Rahm is 48. Actor Jeremy Renner is 48. Country singer-musician John Rich is 45. Actor Dustin Diamond is 42. Actor Reggie Austin is 40. Singer-rapper Aloe Blacc is 40. Actress Lauren Cohan is 37. Actor Brett Dalton is 36. Actor Robert Ri'chard is 36. Actress Lyndsy Fonseca is 32. Actor Liam Aiken is 29. Actress Camryn Grimes is 29. Actor Max Morrow is 28. Actor Marcus Scribner is 19.

Thought for Today: "Nothing in science has any value to society if it is not communicated, and scientists are beginning to learn their social obligations." — Anne Roe Simpson, American psychologist (1904-1991).


Contents

In 1994, Paula Jones filed a lawsuit accusing Clinton of sexual harassment when he was governor of Arkansas. [5] Clinton attempted to delay a trial until after he left office, but in May 1997 the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Clinton's claim that the Constitution immunized him from civil lawsuits, and shortly thereafter the pre-trial discovery process commenced. [6]

Separate from this, in January 1994, Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Robert B. Fiske as an Independent counsel to investigate the Whitewater controversy. [7] In August of that year, Ken Starr is appointed to replace Fiske in this role. [7]

In 1997, the first effort in congress to start an impeachment against Clinton was launched Republican congressman Bob Barr. [8]

Jones's attorneys wanted to prove Clinton had engaged in a pattern of behavior with women who supported her claims. In late 1997, Linda Tripp began secretly recording conversations with her friend Monica Lewinsky, a former intern and Department of Defense employee. In those recordings, Lewinsky divulged that she had a sexual relationship with Clinton. Tripp shared this information with Jones's lawyers, who added Lewinsky to their witness list in December 1997. According to the Starr Report, a U.S. federal government report written by appointed Independent Counsel Ken Starr on his investigation of President Clinton, after Lewinsky appeared on the witness list Clinton began taking steps to conceal their relationship. Some of the steps he took included suggesting to Lewinsky that she file a false affidavit to misdirect the investigation, encouraging her to use cover stories, concealing gifts he had given her, and attempting to help her find gainful employment to try to influence her testimony. [ citation needed ]

In a January 17, 1998 sworn deposition, Clinton denied having a "sexual relationship", "sexual affair", or "sexual relations" with Lewinsky. [9] His lawyer, Robert S. Bennett, stated with Clinton present that Lewinsky's affidavit showed there was no sex in any manner, shape or form between Clinton and Lewinsky. The Starr Report states that the following day, Clinton "coached" his secretary Betty Currie into repeating his denials should she be called to testify.

After rumors of the scandal reached the news, Clinton publicly said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." [10] But months later, Clinton admitted his relationship with Lewinsky was "wrong" and "not appropriate". Lewinsky engaged in oral sex with Clinton several times. [11] [12]

The judge in the Jones case later ruled the Lewinsky matter immaterial, and threw out the case in April 1998 on the grounds that Jones had failed to show any damages. After Jones appealed, Clinton agreed in November 1998 to settle the case for $850,000 while still admitting no wrongdoing. [13]

The Starr Report was released to congress on September 9, 1998 and to the public on September 11. [7] [14] In the report, Starr argued that there were eleven possible grounds for impeachment of Clinton, including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and abuse of power. The report also detailed explicit and graphic details of the sexual relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky. [7] [15]

The charges arose from an investigation by Ken Starr, an Independent Counsel. [16] With the approval of United States Attorney General Janet Reno, Starr conducted a wide-ranging investigation of alleged abuses, including the Whitewater controversy, the firing of White House travel agents, and the alleged misuse of FBI files. On January 12, 1998, Linda Tripp, who had been working with Jones's lawyers, informed Starr that Lewinsky was preparing to commit perjury in the Jones case and had asked Tripp to do the same. She also said Clinton's friend Vernon Jordan was assisting Lewinsky. Based on the connection to Jordan, who was under scrutiny in the Whitewater probe, Starr obtained approval from Reno to expand his investigation into whether Lewinsky and others were breaking the law.

A much-quoted statement from Clinton's grand jury testimony showed him questioning the precise use of the word "is". Contending his statement that "there's nothing going on between us" had been truthful because he had no ongoing relationship with Lewinsky at the time he was questioned, Clinton said, "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the—if he—if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement." [17] Starr obtained further evidence of inappropriate behavior by seizing the computer hard drive and email records of Monica Lewinsky. Based on the president's conflicting testimony, Starr concluded that Clinton had committed perjury. Starr submitted his findings to Congress in a lengthy document, the Starr Report, which was released to the public via the Internet a few days later and included descriptions of encounters between Clinton and Lewinsky. [18] Starr was criticized by Democrats for spending $70 million on the investigation. [19] Critics of Starr also contend that his investigation was highly politicized because it regularly leaked tidbits of information to the press in violation of legal ethics, and because his report included lengthy descriptions which were humiliating and irrelevant to the legal case. [20] [21]

On October 8, 1998 the United States House of Representatives voted to authorize a broad impeachment inquiry, thereby initiating the impeachment process. [22] The Republican controlled House of Representatives had decided this with a bipartisan vote of 258–176, with 31 Democrats joining Republicans. [23] Since Ken Starr had already completed an extensive investigation, the House Judiciary Committee conducted no investigations of its own into Clinton's alleged wrongdoing and held no serious impeachment-related hearings before the 1998 midterm elections. [ citation needed ] Impeachment was one of the major issues in those elections. [ citation needed ]

In the November 1998 House elections, the Democrats picked up five seats in the House, but the Republicans still maintained majority control. The results went against what House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted, who, before the election, had been reassured by private polling that Clinton's scandal would result in Republican gains of up to thirty House seats. Shortly after the elections, Gingrich, who had been one of the leading advocates for impeachment, announced he would resign from Congress as soon as he was able to find somebody to fill his vacant seat [24] [25] Gingrich fulfilled this pledge, and officially resigned from Congress on January 3, 1999. [26]

Impeachment proceedings were held during the post-election, "lame duck" session of the outgoing 105th United States Congress. Unlike the case of the 1974 impeachment process against Richard Nixon, the committee hearings were perfunctory but the floor debate in the whole House was spirited on both sides. The Speaker-designate, Representative Bob Livingston, chosen by the Republican Party Conference to replace Gingrich as House Speaker, announced the end of his candidacy for Speaker and his resignation from Congress from the floor of the House after his own marital infidelity came to light. [27] In the same speech, Livingston also encouraged Clinton to resign. Clinton chose to remain in office and urged Livingston to reconsider his resignation. [28] Many other prominent Republican members of Congress (including Dan Burton, [27] Helen Chenoweth, [27] and Henry Hyde, [27] the chief House manager of Clinton's trial in the Senate) had infidelities exposed about this time, all of whom voted for impeachment. Publisher Larry Flynt offered a reward for such information, and many supporters of Clinton accused Republicans of hypocrisy. [27]

On December 11, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee agreed to send three articles of impeachment to the full House for consideration. The vote on two articles, grand jury perjury and obstruction of justice, was 21–17, both along party lines. On the third, perjury in the Paula Jones case, the committee voted 20–18, with Republican Lindsey Graham joining with Democrats, in order to give President Clinton "the legal benefit of the doubt". [29] The next day, December 12, the committee agreed to send a fourth and final article, for abuse of power, to the full House by a 21–17 vote, again, along party lines. [30]

Although proceedings were delayed due to the bombing of Iraq, on the passage of H. Res. 611, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, on grounds of perjury to a grand jury (first article, 228–206) [31] and obstruction of justice (third article, 221–212). [32] The two other articles were rejected, the count of perjury in the Jones case (second article, 205–229) [33] and abuse of power (fourth article, 148–285). [34] Clinton thus became the second U.S. president to be impeached the first, Andrew Johnson, was impeached in 1868. [35] [36] The only other previous U.S. president to be the subject of formal House impeachment proceedings was Richard Nixon in 1973–74. The Judiciary Committee agreed to a resolution containing three articles of impeachment in July 1974, but Nixon resigned from office soon thereafter, before the House took up the resolution. [37]

H. Res. 611 – Impeaching President Bill Clinton
December 19, 1998
First article
(perjury / grand jury)
Party Total votes [31]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea Y 00 5 223 00 0 228
Nay 200 00 5 00 1 206
Second article
(perjury / Jones case)
Party Total votes [33]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea 00 5 200 00 0 205
Nay Y 200 0 28 00 1 229
Third article
(obstruction of justice)
Party Total votes [32]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea Y 00 5 216 00 0 221
Nay 199 0 12 00 1 212
Fourth article
(abuse of power)
Party Total votes [34]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea 00 1 147 00 0 148
Nay Y 203 0 81 00 1 285

Five Democrats (Virgil Goode, Ralph Hall, Paul McHale, Charles Stenholm and Gene Taylor) voted in favor of three of the four articles of impeachment, but only Taylor voted for the abuse of power charge. Five Republicans (Amo Houghton, Peter King, Connie Morella, Chris Shays and Mark Souder) voted against the first perjury charge. Eight more Republicans (Sherwood Boehlert, Michael Castle, Phil English, Nancy Johnson, Jay Kim, Jim Leach, John McHugh and Ralph Regula), but not Souder, voted against the obstruction charge. Twenty-eight Republicans voted against the second perjury charge, sending it to defeat, and eighty-one voted against the abuse of power charge.

Article I, charging Clinton with perjury, alleged in part that:

  1. the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate government employee
  2. prior perjurious, false and misleading testimony he gave in a federal civil rights action brought against him
  3. prior false and misleading statements he allowed his attorney to make to a federal judge in that civil rights action and
  4. his corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence in that civil rights action. [38][39]

Article II, charging Clinton with obstruction of justice alleged in part that:

  1. . corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to execute a sworn affidavit in that proceeding that he knew to be perjurious, false and misleading.
  2. . corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to give perjurious, false and misleading testimony if and when called to testify personally in that proceeding.
  3. . corruptly engaged in, encouraged, or supported a scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in a Federal civil rights action brought against him.
  4. . intensified and succeeded in an effort to secure job assistance to a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him in order to corruptly prevent the truthful testimony of that witness in that proceeding at a time when the truthful testimony of that witness would have been harmful to him.
  5. . at his deposition in a Federal civil rights action brought against him, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and misleading statements to a Federal judge characterizing an affidavit, in order to prevent questioning deemed relevant by the judge. Such false and misleading statements were subsequently acknowledged by his attorney in a communication to that judge.
  6. . related a false and misleading account of events relevant to a Federal civil rights action brought against him to a potential witness in that proceeding, in order to corruptly influence the testimony of that witness.
  7. . made false and misleading statements to potential witnesses in a Federal grand jury proceeding in order to corruptly influence the testimony of those witnesses. The false and misleading statements made by William Jefferson Clinton were repeated by the witnesses to the grand jury, causing the grand jury to receive false and misleading information. [38][40]

Preparation Edit

Between December 20 and January 5, Republican and Democratic Senate leaders negotiated about the pending trial. [41] There was some discussion about the possibility of censuring Clinton instead of holding a trial. [41] Disagreement arose as to whether to call witnesses. This decision would ultimately not be made until after the opening arguments from the House impeachment managers and the White House defense team. [41] On January 5, Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Republican, announced that the trial would start on January 7. [41]

Officers Edit

Process and schedule Edit

The Senate trial began on January 7, 1999, with Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist presiding. The first day consisted of formal presentation of the charges against Clinton, and of Rehnquist swearing in all senators. [41]

A resolution on rules and procedure for the trial was adopted unanimously on the following day [44] however, senators tabled the question of whether to call witnesses in the trial. The trial remained in recess while briefs were filed by the House (January 11) and Clinton (January 13). [45] [46]

The managers presented their case over three days, from January 14 to 16, with discussion of the facts and background of the case detailed cases for both articles of impeachment (including excerpts from videotaped grand jury testimony that Clinton had made the previous August) matters of interpretation and application of the laws governing perjury and obstruction of justice and argument that the evidence and precedents justified removal of the President from office by virtue of "willful, premeditated, deliberate corruption of the nation's system of justice through perjury and obstruction of justice". [47] The defense presentation took place January 19–21. Clinton's defense counsel argued that Clinton's grand jury testimony had too many inconsistencies to be a clear case of perjury, that the investigation and impeachment had been tainted by partisan political bias, that the President's approval rating of more than 70 percent indicated his ability to govern had not been impaired by the scandal, and that the managers had ultimately presented "an unsubstantiated, circumstantial case that does not meet the constitutional standard to remove the President from office". [47] January 22 and 23 were devoted to questions from members of the Senate to the House managers and Clinton's defense counsel. Under the rules, all questions (over 150) were to be written down and given to Rehnquist to read to the party being questioned. [41] [48] [49]

On January 25, Senator Robert Byrd moved for dismissals of both articles of impeachment. On the following day, Representative Bryant moved to call witnesses to the trial, a question the Senate had scrupulously avoided to that point. In both cases, the Senate voted to deliberate on the question in private session, rather than public, televised procedure. On January 27, the Senate voted on both motions in public session the motion to dismiss failed on a nearly party line vote of 56–44, while the motion to depose witnesses passed by the same margin. A day later, the Senate voted down motions to move directly to a vote on the articles of impeachment and to suppress videotaped depositions of the witnesses from public release, Senator Russ Feingold again voting with the Republicans.

Over three days, February 1–3, House managers took videotaped closed-door depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Clinton's friend Vernon Jordan, and White House aide Sidney Blumenthal. [50] On February 4, however, the Senate voted 70–30 that excerpting these videotapes would suffice as testimony, rather than calling live witnesses to appear at trial. The videos were played in the Senate on February 6, featuring 30 excerpts of Lewinsky discussing her affidavit in the Paula Jones case, the hiding of small gifts Clinton had given her, and his involvement in procurement of a job for Lewinsky.

On February 8, closing arguments were presented with each side allotted a three-hour time slot. On the President's behalf, White House Counsel Charles Ruff declared:

There is only one question before you, albeit a difficult one, one that is a question of fact and law and constitutional theory. Would it put at risk the liberties of the people to retain the President in office? Putting aside partisan animus, if you can honestly say that it would not, that those liberties are safe in his hands, then you must vote to acquit. [47]

Chief Prosecutor Henry Hyde countered:

A failure to convict will make the statement that lying under oath, while unpleasant and to be avoided, is not all that serious . We have reduced lying under oath to a breach of etiquette, but only if you are the President . And now let us all take our place in history on the side of honor, and, oh, yes, let right be done. [47]

Acquittal Edit

On February 9, after voting against a public deliberation on the verdict, the Senate began closed-door deliberations instead. On February 12, the Senate emerged from its closed deliberations and voted on the articles of impeachment. A two-thirds vote, 67 votes, would have been necessary to convict on either charge and remove the President from office. The perjury charge was defeated with 45 votes for conviction and 55 against, and the obstruction of justice charge was defeated with 50 for conviction and 50 against. [3] [51] [52] Senator Arlen Specter voted "not proved" [b] for both charges, [53] which was considered by Chief Justice Rehnquist to constitute a vote of "not guilty". All 45 Democrats in the Senate voted "not guilty" on both charges, as did five Republicans they were joined by five additional Republicans in voting "not guilty" on the perjury charge. [3] [51] [52]


Contents

Under the U.S. Constitution, the House has the sole power of impeachment (Article I, Section 2, Clause 5), and after that action has been taken, the Senate has the sole power to hold the trial for all impeachments (Article I, Section 3, Clause 6). Clinton was the second U.S. president to face a Senate impeachment trial, after Andrew Johnson. [1]

An impeachment inquiry was opened into Clinton on October 8, 1998. He was formally impeached by the House on two charges (perjury and obstruction of justice) on December 19, 1998. [2] The specific charges against Clinton were lying under oath and obstruction of justice. These charges stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones and from Clinton's testimony denying that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The catalyst for the president's impeachment was the Starr Report, a September 1998 report prepared by Independent Counsel Ken Starr for the House Judiciary Committee. [3]

Planning for the trial Edit

Between December 20 and January 5, Republican and Democratic Senate leaders negotiated about the pending trial. [4] There was some discussion about the possibility of censuring Clinton instead of holding a trial. [4] Disagreement arose as to whether to call witnesses. This decision would ultimately not be made until after the opening arguments from the House impeachment managers and the White House defense team. [4] On January 5, Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Republican, announced that the trial would start on January 7. [4]

Presiding officer Edit

The Chief Justice of the United States is cited in Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the United States Constitution as the presiding officer in an impeachment trial of the President. [5] As such, Chief Justice William Rehnquist assumed that role.

House managers Edit

Thirteen House Republicans from the House Judiciary Committee served as "managers", the equivalent of prosecutors. [6] They were designated to be the House impeachment managers the say day that the two articles of impeachment were approved (December 19, 1998). [4] They were named by a House resolution which was approved by a vote of 228–190. [7] [8]

Clinton's counsel Edit

The Senate trial began on January 7, 1999. Chair of the House impeachment manager team Henry Hyde led a procession of the House impeachment managers carrying the articles of impeachment across the Capitol Rotunda into the Senate chamber, where Hyde then read the articles aloud. [4]

Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court William Rehnquist, who would preside over the trial, then was escorted into the chamber by senators by a bipartisan escort committee consisting of Robert Byrd, Orrin Hatch, Patrick Leahy, Barbara Mikulski, Olympia Snowe, Ted Stevens. [11] Rehnquist then swore-in the senators. [11]

On January 8, during a closed-door meeting, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution on rules and procedure for the trial. [4] [12] [13] However, senators tabled the question of whether to call witnesses in the trial. [4] The resolution allotted the House impeachment managers and the president's defense team, each, 24 hours, spread out over several days, to present their cases. [4] It also allotted senators 16 hours to present questions to both the house impeachment managers and the president's defense team. After this, the senate would be able to hold a vote on whether to dismiss the case or to continue with it and call witnesses. [4]

The trial remained in recess while briefs were filed by the House (on January 11) and Clinton (on January 13). [14] [15] Additionally, on January 11, Clinton's defense team denied the charges made against Clinton in a thirteen page response to a Senate summons. [4]

On January 13, the same day that his lawyers filed their pretrial brief, Clinton told reporters that he wanted to focus on the business of the nation rather than the trial, remarking, "They have their job to do in the Senate, and I have mine." [4]

Impeachment managers' presentation (January 14–16) Edit

The managers presented their case over three days, from January 14 to 16, [4] [16] with discussion of the facts and background of the case detailed cases for both articles of impeachment (including excerpts from videotaped grand jury testimony that Clinton had made the previous August) matters of interpretation and application of the laws governing perjury and obstruction of justice and argument that the evidence and precedents justified removal of the President from office by virtue of "willful, premeditated, deliberate corruption of the nation's system of justice through perjury and obstruction of justice". [16]

Defense's presentation (January 19–21) Edit

The defense's presentation took place January 19–21. [4] [16] Clinton's defense counsel argued that Clinton's grand jury testimony had too many inconsistencies to be a clear case of perjury, that the investigation and impeachment had been tainted by partisan political bias, that the President's approval rating of more than 70 percent indicated his ability to govern had not been impaired by the scandal, and that the managers had ultimately presented "an unsubstantiated, circumstantial case that does not meet the constitutional standard to remove the President from office". [16]

Questioning by members of the Senate (January 22–23) Edit

January 22 and 23 were devoted to questions from members of the Senate to the House managers and Clinton's defense counsel. Under the rules, all questions (over 150) were to be written down and given to Rehnquist to read to the party being questioned. [4] [17] [18]

House impeachment managers' interview of Monica Lewinsky (January 24) Edit

On January 23, a judge had ordered Monica Lewinsky (who Clinton had allegedly perjured about a sexual relation with) to cooperate with the House impeachment managers, forcing her to travel from California back to Washington, D.C. [4] On January 24, she submitted to a nearly two-hour interview with the House impeachment managers, who remarked after the interview that Lewinsky was, "impressive", "personable" and, "would be a very helpful witness" if called. [4] Lewinsky's own lawyers claimed that no new information had been produced in the interview. [4]

Debate and votes on motion to dismiss and motion to call witnesses (January 25–27) Edit

On January 25, Senator Robert Byrd (a Democrat) moved for dismissals of both articles of impeachment. [19] [20] This motion would only require a majority vote to pass. [21] That day, senators heard arguments from the managers against dismissal, and from the president's defense team in support of dismissal, before then deliberating behind closed-doors. [4] [17]

On January 26, House impeachment manager Ed Bryant motioned to call witnesses to the trial, a question the Senate had avoided up to that point. He requested depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Clinton's friend Vernon Jordan, and White House aide Sidney Blumenthal. [4] [22] The House impeachment managers presented arguments in favor of allowing witnesses, then the president's legal team presented arguments against allowing witnesses. [17] Democrat Tom Harkin motioned to suspend the rules and hold open debate, rather than closed debate, on the motion to allow witnesses. The senators voted 58–41 against Harkin's motion, with Democrat Barbara Mikulski being absent due to illness. The senate, thus, voted to deliberate on the question in private session, rather than public, televised procedure, and such deliberation was held that day. [23]

On January 27, the Senate voted on both motions in public session the motion to dismiss failed on a nearly party line vote of 56–44, while the motion to depose witnesses passed by the same margin. Russ Feingold was the only Democrat to vote with Republicans against dismissing the charges and in support of deposing witnesses. [4] [24] [25]

Depositions Edit

Votes on procedures for witnesses (January 28) Edit

On January 28, the Senate voted against motions to dismiss the charges against Clinton and to suppress videotaped depositions of the witnesses from public release, with Democratic Senator Russ Feingold again voting with Republicans against both motions. Absent from the chamber, and therefore unable to vote, were Republican Wayne Allard and Democrat Barbara Mikulski, the latter of whom was absent due to illness. [26] [27] [28]

Taping of closed-door depositions (February 1–3) Edit

Over three days, February 1–3, House managers took videotaped closed-door depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, Sidney Blumenthal. Lewinsky was deposed on February 1, Jordan on February 2, and Blumenthal on February 3. [4] [17] [29]

Motions on presentation of evidence (February 4) Edit

On February 4, the Senate voted 70–30 that excerpting the videotaped depositions would suffice as testimony, rather than calling live witnesses to appear at trial. [4] House impeachment managers had wanted to call Lewinsky to testify in-person. [4]

Playing of excerpts from closed-door depositions (February 6) Edit

Exceprts of the videotaped depositions were played by the House impeachment managers to the Senate on February 6. [30] These included excerpts of Lewinsky discussing such topics as her affidavit in the Paula Jones case, the hiding of small gifts Clinton had given her, and his involvement in procurement of a job for Lewinsky. [30] [31] The showing of video on large screens was seen as a large departure in the use of electronics by the Senate, which has often disallowed electronics to be utilized. [4]

Closing arguments (February 8) Edit

On February 8, closing arguments were presented with each side allotted a three-hour time slot. On the President's behalf, Charles Ruff, counsel to Clinton declared:

There is only one question before you, albeit a difficult one, one that is a question of fact and law and constitutional theory. Would it put at risk the liberties of the people to retain the President in office? Putting aside partisan animus, if you can honestly say that it would not, that those liberties are safe in his hands, then you must vote to acquit. [16]

Chief Prosecutor Henry Hyde countered:

A failure to convict will make the statement that lying under oath, while unpleasant and to be avoided, is not all that serious . We have reduced lying under oath to a breach of etiquette, but only if you are the President . And now let us all take our place in history on the side of honor, and, oh, yes, let right be done. [16]

Failed motion for unanimous consent to investigate possible perjury by Sidney Blumenthal (February 9) Edit

On February 9, Arlen Specter (a Republican) asked for unanimous consent for parties to take additional discovery, including additional testimony on oral deposition by Christopher Hitchens, Carol Blue, Scott Armstrong, and Sidney Blumenthal in order to investigate possible perjury by Blumenthal. Tom Daschle (a Democrat) voiced objection. [32]

Closed door deliberations (February 9–12) Edit

On February 9, a motion to suspend the rules and conduct open deliberations, introduced by Trent Lott (a Republican) were defeated 59–51. [17] [33] Lott then motioned to begin holding closed-door deliberations, which was approved 53–47. [17] [34]

On February 12, the Senate emerged from its closed deliberations and voted on the articles of impeachment. A two-thirds vote, 67 votes, would have been necessary to convict on either charge and remove the President from office. The perjury charge was defeated with 45 votes for conviction and 55 against, and the obstruction of justice charge was defeated with 50 for conviction and 50 against. [35] [36] [37] Senator Arlen Specter voted "not proved" [a] for both charges, [38] which was considered by Chief Justice Rehnquist to constitute a vote of "not guilty". All 45 Democrats in the Senate voted "not guilty" on both charges, as did five Republicans they were joined by five additional Republicans in voting "not guilty" on the perjury charge. [35] [36] [37]

Per Pew Research Center polling, the impeachment process against Clinton was generally unpopular. [44]

Polls conducted during 1998 and early 1999 showed that only about one-third of Americans supported Clinton's impeachment or conviction. However, one year later, when it was clear that impeachment would not lead to the ousting of the President, half of Americans said in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll that they supported impeachment, 57% approved of the Senate's decision to keep him in office, and two-thirds of those polled said the impeachment was harmful to the country. [45]

Contempt of court citation Edit

In April 1999, about two months after being acquitted by the Senate, Clinton was cited by federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright for civil contempt of court for his "willful failure" to obey her orders to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit. For this, Clinton was assessed a $90,000 fine and the matter was referred to the Arkansas Supreme Court to see if disciplinary action would be appropriate. [46]

Regarding Clinton's January 17, 1998, deposition where he was placed under oath, Webber Wright wrote:

Simply put, the president's deposition testimony regarding whether he had ever been alone with Ms. (Monica) Lewinsky was intentionally false, and his statements regarding whether he had ever engaged in sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky likewise were intentionally false. [46]

On the day before leaving office on January 20, 2001, Clinton, in what amounted to a plea bargain, agreed to a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license and to pay a $25,000 fine as part of an agreement with independent counsel Robert Ray to end the investigation without the filing of any criminal charges for perjury or obstruction of justice. [47] [48] Clinton was automatically suspended from the United States Supreme Court bar as a result of his law license suspension. However, as is customary, he was allowed 40 days to appeal the otherwise automatic disbarment. Clinton resigned from the Supreme Court bar during the 40-day appeals period. [49]

Political ramifications Edit

While Clinton's job approval rating rose during the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment, his poll numbers with regard to questions of honesty, integrity and moral character declined. [50] As a result, "moral character" and "honesty" weighed heavily in the next presidential election. According to The Daily Princetonian, after the 2000 presidential election, "post-election polls found that, in the wake of Clinton-era scandals, the single most significant reason people voted for Bush was for his moral character." [51] [52] [53] According to an analysis of the election by Stanford University:

A more political explanation is the belief in Gore campaign circles that disapproval of President Clinton's personal behavior was a serious threat to the vice president's prospects. Going into the election the one negative element in the public's perception of the state of the nation was the belief that the country was morally on the wrong track, whatever the state of the economy or world affairs. According to some insiders, anything done to raise the association between Gore and Clinton would have produced a net loss of support—the impact of Clinton's personal negatives would outweigh the positive impact of his job performance on support for Gore. Thus, hypothesis four suggests that a previously unexamined variable played a major role in 2000—the retiring president's personal approval. [54]

The Stanford analysis, however, presented different theories and mainly argued that Gore had lost because he decided to distance himself from Clinton during the campaign. The writers of it concluded: [54]

We find that Gore's oft-criticized personality was not a cause of his under-performance. Rather, the major cause was his failure to receive a historically normal amount of credit for the performance of the Clinton administration . [and] failure to get normal credit reflected Gore's peculiar campaign which in turn reflected fear of association with Clinton's behavior. [54]

According to the America's Future Foundation:

In the wake of the Clinton scandals, independents warmed to Bush's promise to 'restore honor and dignity to the White House'. According to Voter News Service, the personal quality that mattered most to voters was 'honesty'. Voters who chose 'honesty' preferred Bush over Gore by over a margin of five to one. Forty four percent of Americans said the Clinton scandals were important to their vote. Of these, Bush reeled in three out of every four. [55]

Political commentators have argued that Gore's refusal to have Clinton campaign with him was a bigger liability to Gore than Clinton's scandals. [54] [56] [57] [58] [59] The 2000 U.S. Congressional election also saw the Democrats gain more seats in Congress. [60] As a result of this gain, control of the Senate was split 50–50 between both parties, [61] and Democrats would gain control over the Senate after Republican Senator Jim Jeffords defected from his party in early 2001 and agreed to caucus with the Democrats. [62]

Al Gore reportedly confronted Clinton after the election, and "tried to explain that keeping Clinton under wraps [during the campaign] was a rational response to polls showing swing voters were still mad as hell over the Year of Monica". According to the AP, "during the one-on-one meeting at the White House, which lasted more than an hour, Gore used uncommonly blunt language to tell Clinton that his sex scandal and low personal approval ratings were a hurdle he could not surmount in his campaign . [with] the core of the dispute was Clinton's lies to Gore and the nation about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky." [63] [64] [65] Clinton, however, was unconvinced by Gore's argument and insisted to Gore that he would have won the election if he had embraced the administration and its good economic record. [63] [64] [65]


Jan. 7th, 1999: President Clinton's impeachment trial begins

It was the first presidential impeachment trial in 130 years, and only the second in U.S. history.

On January 7th, 1999, the trial began to decide whether President Bill Clinton should be removed from office -- less than one month after he was impeached by the House of Representatives. Later that same day, the president unveiled a new education plan without making reference to the trial.

Clinton had been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in connection to his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

In January of 1998, Clinton had been deposed in a lawsuit against him involving alleged misconduct with another woman, Paula Corbin Jones. Lewinsky was a witness in that case, after admitting in secretly taped conversations that she'd had "sexual relations" with the president.

President Clinton denied a sexual relationship with Lewinsky in his testimony, followed days later by a press conference in which he infamously declared: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." He also denied other accusations that he urged Lewinsky to lie about the affair.

As part of a separate investigation, the president later admitted to having a relationship with Lewinsky. This prompted the Republican-led House of Representatives to impeach him on December 19th, 1998. He was acquitted by the Senate within two months, on February 12th, 1999.

Trending News

Of course, the past doesn't always stay in the past.

Clinton's wife Hillary Clinton is now running for president, and Bill Clinton has recently hit the campaign trail to support her. Republican front runner Donald Trump has wasted little time bringing the Lewinsky scandal to the forefront as a campaign tactic.

Trump said the former president has a "penchant for sexism" and called him "one of the great abusers of the world," before comparing Clinton to Bill Cosby.

First published on January 7, 2016 / 3:20 PM

© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Cydney Adams is a senior manager of social media for CBS News. She is also a digital producer focusing on culture and social issues.


Impeachment trial begins for third time in U.S. History

The impeachment of President Trump did not come as a surprise to many, as it had been the talk of the country for some time. With Democrats threatening a formal impeachment and Republicans refuting evidence, everyone knew it had to come to a head at some point. That point came on Dec. 18, 2019 when the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the House of Representatives approved articles of impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

There have been three presidents in the history of the United States who have been impeached: Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. However, no president has ever been removed from office. President Nixon faced impeachment after attempting to block evidence being brought forth for his case, but stepped down before the House could vote.

The impeachment process is a two-part process, one part taking place in the House of Representatives. The second part takes place in the Senate, where the senators act as jurors, and a trial is held where evidence is brought forth. If the evidence is convincing enough, the President will be found guilty, and removed from office. If not, the President will be acquitted and allowed to finish out his term.

The second part of the impeachment process is currently underway in the Senate. Trump took to Twitter on Jan. 27 to say, “Senate hearing on the Impeachment Hoax starts today at 1:00 p.m.”

According to Daniel Bennett, political science professor at John Brown University, it’s unlikely Trump will leave office.

“It’s very, very likely he’ll be acquitted just like President Clinton was,” Bennett said, “It takes two-thirds of the Senate to vote to remove a president, and right now, there’s just not two-thirds vote to remove.”

No matter the outcome, the trial could have rippling effects in the upcoming election. Teague Broquard, a political science major at JBU, believes that the impeachment should absolutely affect the 2020 election. “Ideally it will drive more people to the polls. I don’t think higher voter turn-out is ever a bad thing,” Broquard said.

The impeachment trial could also further increase the political divide within the US. “Well, it’s currently not bringing anyone together,” Bennett said of the impeachment process. “This certainly won’t help the situation. It might not make it worse, but it’s definitely not a wake-up call to either party.”

It’s yet to be seen what side the trial will affect more in the coming election. “It’s a great way for the GOP to capitalize on being ‘attacked’ and get people to the polls and protect the President,” Broquard said, “Democrats need voters to prove that their impeachment process wasn’t for nothing. Either way, we should all be awaiting February 3 eagerly for the Iowa caucuses.”


Contents

The term "Whitewater" is sometimes used to include other controversies from the Bill Clinton administration, especially Travelgate, Filegate, and the circumstances surrounding Vince Foster's death, that were also investigated by the Whitewater Independent Counsel. [8]

But Whitewater proper refers only to the matters stemming from the Whitewater Development Corporation and subsequent developments.

Origins of Whitewater Development Corporation Edit

Bill Clinton had known Arkansas businessman and political figure Jim McDougal since 1968, and had made a previous real estate investment with him in 1977. [10] The Clintons were seeking ways of supplementing their income: Bill Clinton's salary was $26,500 as Arkansas Attorney General (which would rise to $35,000 if his campaign for Governor of Arkansas succeeded) and Hillary Clinton's salary was $24,500 as a Rose Law Firm associate [11] [12] for a combined income in 1978 of $51,173, [13] equivalent to $203,000 in 2020.

In spring of 1978, McDougal proposed that the Clintons join him and his wife, Susan, in buying 230 acres (93 ha) of undeveloped land along the south bank of the White River near Flippin, Arkansas, in the Ozark Mountains. The goal was to subdivide the site into lots for vacation homes, intended for the many people coming south from Chicago and Detroit who were interested in low property taxes, fishing, rafting, and mountain scenery. The plan was to hold the property for a few years and then sell the lots at a profit. [10]

The four borrowed $203,000 to buy land, and subsequently transferred ownership of the land to the newly created Whitewater Development Corporation, in which all four participants had equal shares. [10] Susan McDougal chose the name "Whitewater Estates" and their sales pitch was, "One weekend here and you'll never want to live anywhere else." [12] [14] [15] The business was incorporated on June 18, 1979.

Failure of Whitewater Development Corporation and Castle Grande Edit

By the time the Whitewater lots were surveyed and available for sale at the end of 1979, interest rates had climbed to near 20%. Prospective buyers could no longer afford to buy vacation homes. Rather than take a loss on the venture, the four decided to build a model home and wait for better economic conditions. [10]

Following the land purchase, Jim McDougal asked the Clintons for additional funds for interest payments on the loan and other expenses the Clintons later claimed to have no knowledge of how these contributions were used. [10] [16] When Bill Clinton failed to win re-election in 1980, Jim McDougal lost his job as the governor's economic aide and decided to go into banking. [12] He acquired the Bank of Kingston in 1980 and the Woodruff Savings & Loan in 1982, [17] renaming them the Madison Bank & Trust and the Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan, respectively. [14]

In spring 1985, McDougal held a fundraiser at Madison Guaranty's office in Little Rock that paid off Clinton's 1984 gubernatorial campaign debt of $50,000. McDougal raised $35,000 $12,000 of that was in Madison Guaranty cashier's checks. [18] [19]

In 1985, Jim McDougal invested in a local construction project called Castle Grande. The 1,000 acres (400 ha), located south of Little Rock, [14] were priced at about $1.75 million, more than McDougal could afford on his own. According to then current law, McDougal could borrow only $600,000 from his own savings and loan, Madison Guaranty. Therefore, McDougal involved others to raise the additional funds. Among these was Seth Ward, an employee of the bank, who helped funnel the additional $1.15 million required. To avoid potential investigations, the money was moved back and forth among several other investors and intermediaries. Hillary Clinton, then an attorney at Rose Law Firm (which is based in Little Rock) provided legal services to Castle Grande.

In 1986, federal regulators realized that all of the necessary funds for this real estate venture had come from Madison Guaranty regulators called Castle Grande a sham. In July of that year, McDougal resigned from Madison Guaranty. Seth Ward fell under investigation, along with the lawyer who helped him draft the agreement. Castle Grande earned $2 million in commissions and fees for McDougal's business associates, as well as an unknown amount in legal fees for Rose Law Firm, but in 1989, it collapsed, at a cost to the government of $4 million. [20] This in turn helped trigger the 1989 collapse of Madison Guaranty, which federal regulators then had to take over. [20] Taking place in the midst of the nationwide savings and loan crisis, the failure of Madison Guaranty cost the United States $73 million. [21]

The Clintons lost between $37,000 and $69,000 on their Whitewater investment this was less than the McDougals lost. [22] The reasons for the unequal capital contributions by the Clintons and McDougals are unknown but the President's critics cited the discrepancy as evidence that then-Governor Clinton was to contribute to the project in other ways. [16]

The White House and the President's supporters claimed that they were exonerated by the Pillsbury Report. This was a $3 million study done for the Resolution Trust Corporation by the Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro law firm at the time that Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan was dissolved. The report concluded that James McDougal, who had set up the deal, was the managing partner, and Bill Clinton was a passive investor in the venture the Associated Press characterized it as "generally support[ing] the Clintons' description of their involvement in Whitewater." [23] [24] However, Charles Patterson, the attorney who supervised the report, "refused . to call it a vindication" of the Clintons, stating in testimony before the Senate Whitewater Committee that "it was not our purpose to vindicate, castigate, exculpate." [24]

Bill Clinton's first run for president Edit

During Bill Clinton's first bid for the presidency in 1992, he was asked by New York Times reporters about the failure of the Whitewater development. [25] The subsequent New York Times article, by reporter Jeff Gerth, appeared on March 8, 1992. [1]

Removal of documents Edit

Within hours of the death of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster in July 1993, chief White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum removed documents, some of them concerning the Whitewater Development Corporation, from Foster's office and gave them to Maggie Williams, Chief of Staff to the First Lady. According to the New York Times, Williams placed the documents in a safe in the Clinton residence on the third floor of the White House for five days before turning them over to the Clinton family lawyer. [26]

Subpoena of the president and his wife Edit

As a result of the exposé in the New York Times, the Justice Department opened an investigation into the failed Whitewater deal. Media pressure continued to build, and on April 22, 1994, Hillary Clinton gave an unusual press conference under a portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the State Dining Room of the White House, to address questions on both Whitewater and the cattle futures controversy it was broadcast live on several networks. In it, she claimed that the Clintons had a passive role in the Whitewater venture and had committed no wrongdoing, but admitted that her explanations had been vague. She said that she no longer opposed appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the matter. Afterwards, she won media praise for the manner in which she conducted herself during the press conference [16] Time called her "open, candid, but above all unflappable. the real message was her attitude and her poise. The confiding tone and relaxed body language. immediately drew approving reviews". [28] By that time there was growing backlash from Democrats and other members of the political left against the press' investigations of Whitewater. The New York Times was criticized by Gene Lyons of Harper's Magazine, who felt its reporters were exaggerating the significance and possible impropriety of what they were uncovering. [29]

At Clinton's request, Attorney General Janet Reno appointed a special prosecutor, Robert B. Fiske, to investigate the legality of the Whitewater transactions in 1994. Two allegations surfaced: 1) that Clinton had exerted pressure on an Arkansas businessman, David Hale, to make a loan that would benefit him and the owners of Madison Guaranty 2) that an Arkansas bank had concealed transactions involving Clinton's gubernatorial campaign in 1990. In May 1994, Fiske issued a grand jury subpoena to the President and his wife for all documents relating to Madison Guaranty, with a deadline of 30 days. They were reported as missing by the Clintons. Almost two years later, the subpoenaed billing records of the Rose Law Firm were discovered in the Clintons' private residence in the White House, with fingerprints of Hillary Clinton, among others. [30]

The Kenneth Starr investigation Edit

In August 1994, Republican Kenneth Starr [31] was appointed by a three-judge panel to continue the Whitewater investigation, replacing Republican Robert B. Fiske, who had been specially appointed by US attorney general Janet Reno, prior to the re-enactment of the Independent Counsel law. Fiske was replaced because he had been chosen and appointed by Janet Reno, Clinton's attorney general, creating the appearance of a conflict of interest.

David Hale Edit

The key witness against President Clinton in Starr's Whitewater investigation, was banker David Hale who alleged in November 1992 that Clinton, while governor of Arkansas, pressured him to provide an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the partner of the Clintons in the Whitewater deal. [3]

Hale's defense strategy, as proposed by attorney Randy Coleman, was to present himself as the victim of high-powered politicians who forced him to give away all of the money. [32] This self-caricature was undermined by testimony from November 1989, wherein FBI agents investigating the failure of Madison Guaranty had questioned Hale about his dealings with Jim and Susan McDougal, including the $300,000 loan. According to the agents' official memorandum of that interview, Hale described in some detail his dealings with Jim Guy Tucker (then an attorney in private practice, later Bill Clinton's lieutenant governor), both McDougals, and several others, but never mentioned Governor Bill Clinton.

Clinton denied that he pressured Hale to approve the loan to Susan McDougal. By this time, Hale had already pleaded guilty to two felonies and secured a reduction in his sentence in exchange for his testimony against Bill Clinton. Charges were made by Clinton supporters that Hale had received numerous cash payments from representatives of the so-called Arkansas Project, a $2.4 million campaign established to assist in Hale's defense strategy, and to investigate Clinton and his associates between 1993 and 1997. [3]

These charges were the topic of a separate investigation by former Department of Justice investigator, Michael E. Shaheen Jr. [33] Shaheen filed his report in July 1999 to Starr, who stated that the allegations that Hale had been paid in hopes of influencing his testimony were "unsubstantiated or, in some cases, untrue". No further charges were brought against Hale or the Arkansas Project outlet, The American Spectator, [34] though Hale later pled guilty in the Whitewater case to two felonies and served 21 months of a 28-month sentence. [35] Writers from Salon have complained that the full, 168-page report had not been made public, a complaint still being reiterated by Salon as of 2001. [36]

State prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Hale in early July 1996, charging that Hale had misrepresented the solvency of his insurance company, National Savings Life, to the state insurance commission. The prosecutors also alleged in court papers that Hale had made those misrepresentations to conceal the fact that he had looted the insurance company. Hale said that any infraction was a technicality and that no one had lost any money. [37] In March 1999, Hale was convicted of the first charge, with the jury recommending a 21-day jail sentence. [37]

Starr drafted an impeachment referral to the House of Representatives in the fall of 1997, alleging that there was "substantial and credible evidence" that Bill Clinton had committed perjury regarding Hale's allegations. Hale pleaded guilty in the Whitewater case to two felonies and served 21 months of a 28-month sentence. [35]

Webster Hubbell Edit

Theodore B. Olson, who with several associates, launched the plan that later became known as the "Arkansas Project", wrote several essays for The American Spectator, accusing Clinton and many of his associates of wrongdoing. The first of those pieces appeared in February 1994, alleging a wide variety of criminal offenses by the Clintons and others, including Webster Hubbell. These allegations led to the discovery that Hubbell, a friend and former Rose Law Firm partner of Hillary Clinton, had committed multiple frauds, mostly against his own firm. Hillary Clinton, instead of being complicit in Hubbell's crimes, had been among his victims. In December 1994, one week after Hubbell pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion, Associate White House Counsel, Jane C. Sherburne, created a "Task List" which included a reference to monitoring Hubbell's cooperation with Starr. Hubbell was later recorded in prison saying "I need to roll over one more time" regarding the Rose Law firm lawsuit. In his next court appearance, he pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination (see United States v. Hubbell).

In February 1997, Starr announced he would leave the investigation to pursue a position at the Pepperdine University School of Law. However, he "flip flopped" in the face of "intense criticism" by conservatives, and new evidence of sexual misconduct, [31] diverted to some degree by the burgeoning Clinton–Lewinsky scandal, Starr's investigations in Arkansas were winding down, with his Little Rock grand jury about to expire. [20]

Susan McDougal Edit

Hubbell, Jim Guy Tucker, and Susan McDougal had all refused to cooperate with Starr. [20] Tucker and McDougal were later pardoned by President Clinton. When the Arkansas grand jury did conclude its work in May 1998, after 30 months in panel, it came up with only a contempt indictment against Susan McDougal. [33] Although she refused to testify under oath regarding the Clintons' involvement in Whitewater, Susan McDougal did make the case in the media that the Clintons had been truthful in their account of the loan, and had cast doubt on her former husband's motives for cooperating with Starr. She also claimed that James McDougal felt abandoned by Clinton, and told her "he was going to pay back the Clintons". She said to the press, again not under oath, that her husband had told her that Republican activist and Little Rock lawyer, Sheffield Nelson, was willing to "pay him some money" for talking to the New York Times about Bill Clinton, and in 1992, he told her that one of Clinton's political enemies was paying him to tell the New York Times about Whitewater.

From the beginning, Susan McDougal charged that Starr had offered her "global immunity" from other charges if she would cooperate with the Whitewater investigation. McDougal told the jury that refusing to answer questions about the Clintons and Whitewater wasn't easy for her, or her family. "It's been a long road, a very long road. and it was not an easy decision to make", McDougal told the court. McDougal refused to answer any questions while under oath, leading to her being imprisoned by the judge for civil contempt of court for the maximum 18 months, including eight months in isolation. Starr's subsequent indictment of McDougal for criminal contempt of court charges resulted in a jury hung 7-5, in favor of acquittal. President Clinton later pardoned her, shortly before leaving office (see list of people pardoned by Bill Clinton).

Starr Whitewater Report Edit

In September 1998, Independent Counsel Starr released the Starr Report, concerning offenses alleged to have been committed by President Clinton, as part of the Lewinsky scandal. The report mentioned Whitewater only in passing Clinton friend and advisor, Vernon Jordan, had tried to help Webster Hubbell financially with "no-show" consulting contracts while he was under pressure to cooperate with the Whitewater investigations. [33] Indeed, it was on this basis that Starr took on the Lewinsky investigation, under the umbrella of the Whitewater Independent Counsel mandate. [33]

There was much acrimony from the most fervent critics of the Clintons, after the release of the Starr report on the Foster matter and after Starr's departure and return to the case. The death of Foster had been the source of many conspiracy theories. Christopher Ruddy, a reporter for Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and later CEO of Newsmax, helped fuel much of this speculation with claims that Starr had not pursued this line of inquiry far enough. [38]

Reaction of the Clintons Edit

On January 26, 1996, Hillary Clinton testified before a grand jury concerning her investments in Whitewater. This was the first time in American history that a first lady had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. She testified that they never borrowed any money from the bank, and denied having caused anyone to borrow money on their behalf.

Reaction of Congress Edit

Parallel to the Independent Counsel track, both houses of the United States Congress had been investigating Whitewater and holding hearings on it. The House Committee on Financial Services had been scheduled to begin hearings in late March 1994, but they were postponed after an unusually angry, written communication from Democratic Banking Committee chair Henry B. Gonzalez to Republican Jim Leach. Gonzalez called Leach "obstinate", "obdurate", "in willful disregard" of House etiquette, and "premeditatedly" plotting a "judicial adventure". [39] The House Banking Committee began its hearings in late July 1994. [40]

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee also began hearings on Whitewater in July 1994. [41] These hearings intensified in May 1995, following the Republican gain of control, when the Republican Banking Committee chairman Al D'Amato also became chair of the newly formed Special Whitewater Committee. The Whitewater committee's hearings were much more extensive than those held previously by the Democrats, running for 300 hours over 60 sessions across 13 months, and taking over 10,000 pages of testimony and 35,000 pages of depositions from almost 250 people. [42] The hearings' testimony and senatorial lines of investigation mostly followed partisan lines, with Republicans investigating the President and the Democrats defending him. [42] The Senate Special Whitewater Committee issued an 800-page majority report on June 18, 1996, which only hinted at one possible improper action by President Clinton, but spoke of the Clinton Administration as "an American presidency [that] misused its power, circumvented the limits on its authority and attempted to manipulate the truth". The first lady came in for much stronger criticism, as she was "the central figure" in all aspects of the alleged wrongdoings. [43] The Democratic minority on the Committee called these findings "a legislative travesty", "a witch hunt", and "a political game". [43]

On November 19, 1998, Independent Counsel Starr testified before the House Judiciary Committee in connection with the Impeachment of Bill Clinton over charges related to the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal. Starr said that in late 1997, he had considered preparing an impeachment report regarding the fraudulent $300,000 loan to Susan McDougall and the question of whether the President had testified truthfully regarding the loan. [44] Starr said that he held back the charges because he was not sure that the two major witnesses had told the truth, [45] but that the investigation was still ongoing.

Regarding the reappearance of Hillary Clinton's Rose Law Firm billing records in the White House residential section, Starr said the investigation had found no explanation for the disappearance or the reappearance. "After a thorough investigation, we have found no explanation how the billing records got where they were or why they were not discovered and produced earlier. It remains a mystery to this day." [45] Starr also chose this occasion to completely exonerate President Clinton of any wrongdoing in the Travelgate and Filegate matters [44] Democrats on the committee immediately criticized Starr for withholding these findings, as well as the Whitewater one, until after the 1998 Congressional elections. [45]

The Clintons were never charged with any crime. Fifteen other people were convicted of more than 40 crimes, including Jim Guy Tucker, who resigned from office. [46]

    : Governor of Arkansas at the time, resigned (fraud, 3 counts) : attorney for Jim Guy Tucker (tax evasion)
  • William J. Marks Sr.: Jim Guy Tucker's business partner (conspiracy) : former Governor Clinton aide (conspiracy to misapply funds). Bill Clinton pardoned. : Clinton political supporter U.S. Associate Attorney General Rose Law Firm partner (embezzlement, fraud) : banker, Clinton political supporter: (18 felonies, varied) : Clinton political supporter (multiple frauds). Bill Clinton pardoned. : banker, self-proclaimed Clinton political supporter: (conspiracy, fraud)
  • Neal Ainley: Perry County Bank president (embezzled bank funds for Clinton campaign) : Whitewater real estate broker (multiple loan fraud). Bill Clinton pardoned.
  • Larry Kuca: Madison real estate agent (multiple loan fraud) : Madison appraiser (conspiracy). Bill Clinton pardoned. : Madison Bank CEO (bank fraud) : Whitewater defendant (multiple bribery)
  • Charles Matthews: Whitewater defendant (bribery)

In March 1992, during his presidential campaign, the Clintons acknowledged that on their 1984 and 1985 tax returns, they had claimed improper tax deductions for interest payments made by the Whitewater Development Company. [47] Due to the age of the mistake, the Clintons were not obligated to make good the error, but Bill Clinton announced that they would nonetheless do so. [47]

Deputy White House counsel Vince Foster looked into this matter, but did not take any action before his death. [47] On December 28, 1993, almost two years after the original announcement, the Clintons did make a reimbursement payment, for $4,900, to the Internal Revenue Service. This was done just before Justice Department investigators started seeking the Clintons' Whitewater files. The payment was made without filing an amended return (possibly because the three-year period for amended return filing had passed), but did include full interest on the amount of the error, including the additional two-year delay. [47] The Whitewater files in question, publicly released in August 1995, cast some doubt on the Clintons' assertions in the matter, as they showed that the couple was aware that the interest payments in question were paid by the Whitewater corporation, and not them personally. [47]

Kenneth Starr's successor as Independent Counsel, Robert Ray, released a report in September 2000, that stated "This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct." [25] Nevertheless, Ray criticized the White House saying that delays in the production of evidence and "unmeritorious litigation" by the president's lawyers severely impeded the investigation's progress, leading to a total cost of nearly $60 million. Ray's report effectively closed the Whitewater investigation. [6]

Bill and Hillary Clinton never visited the actual Whitewater property. In May 1985, Jim McDougal sold the remaining lots of the failed Whitewater Development Corporation to local realtor, Chris Wade. By 1993, there were a few occupied houses on the site, but most of the properties were still for sale. One owner, tired of the many reporters who visited the site, hung a sign saying "Go Home, Idiots." [48] By 2007, there were about 12 houses in the subdivision, with the last lot up for sale by son, Chris Wade Jr., for $25,000. In Flippin, Arkansas, Jim McDougal's savings and loan bank had been replaced by a variety of small businesses, most recently a barbershop. [49]

The length, expense, and results of the Whitewater investigations turned the public against the Office of the Independent Counsel even Kenneth Starr was opposed to it. [50] The Independent Counsel law was allowed to expire in 1999. [50]