President Clinton Impeached

President Clinton

President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives in a straight party-line vote. The President was accused of lying to a Grand Jury and giving false testimony in his deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Paula Jones accused the President of improper advances while he was governor of Arkansas, and the President was accused of lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. When the case went to the Senate, the Senate voted to acquit on a vote of 50 to 50; 66 votes were needed to find the President guilty.

When President Clinton had been Governor of Arkansas, he and his wife had invested money in the project called the Whitewater Development Corporation. The Clintons lost their money in that investment. That investment ultimately led to the collapse of a local bank -The Madison Guarantee. A subsequent investigation of the matter showed that Mames McCougal had been Clinton’s partner was the prime mover behind all the actions, and the Clintons were just passive investors.

The New York Times reported on the story in March 1992. Eventually, the Justice Department decided to open an investigation into the account. President Clinton requested that the Attorney General appoint a special counsel to investigate the matter. She appointed Robert Fiske who began an investigation. After Congress had reenacted the Special Counsel Law, a three-judge panel appointed Kenneth Starr to become the new Special Counsel in August 1994. Four years later when Starr issued his report, he had found no basis to charge the Clinton with any crimes relating to Whitewater.

On the other hand what Starr had found was that on an unrelated to his initial investigation. What he did find was that President Clinton had lied under oath about an affair he was having with a White House intern.

It all began with a lawsuit that Paul Jones filed against President Clinton alleging sexual harassment when he was governor of Arkansas. Clinton had tried to have the case be put on hold until he was out of office, but the Supreme Court ruled that the case could go forward.

Monica Lewinsky was a White House intern with whom Clinton had engaged in a sexual liaison. Lewinsky had by this time (1998) moved from the Defense Department and told her co-worker Linda Tripp about her relationship with Clinton. Tripp began secretly taping her conversation. When Clinton was forced to give testimony as part of the Paula Jones case her lawyers trying to establish a pattern asked Clinton whether he had a relationship with Lewinsky. He denied under oath having a relationship with Lewinsky. His later defense was that it was accurate. When he was giving testimony, he was no longer having a relationship with Lewinsky,

On September 11, 1998, Special Counsel Kenneth Starr issued his report called the Starr Report. In it, he accused Clinton of being guilty of perjury during his deposition. The report was presented to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The House waited until after the midterm election in which the Republicans had lost five seats but maintained control to begin the impeachment process. There was a lively debate, in which the house leader resigned when it became known that he was having an extramarital affair. Four articles of impeachment were presented the first perjury to a Grand Jury by a 228-206 vote, the second obstruction of justice passed 221-212, the house did not pass the other two related charges. On December 19, 1998, the House voted to impeach President Clinton.

The Senate then took up the charges, and on February 12 after a trial, it voted 45 for and 55 against the charge of perjury, while voting 50 to 50 on obstruction of justice. The 50/50 vote falling short of the 2/3 required to convict a President.