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William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (b. William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, in Hope, AR) was the 42nd president of the United States. He served from 1993 to 2001.
Clinton was the second president to be impeached,
on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a scandal involving a White House intern.
However, he was acquitted by the Senate and served his complete term of office.
Clinton was born in Hope, Arkansas.
His father, William Jefferson Blythe, died in a car accident before his son’s birth. His mother, Virginia Blythe, earned a nursing degree in 1950 in order to support him. She married Roger Clinton later that year. Clinton attended a Baptist church and gained an interest in the saxophone while growing up. He changed his name from Blythe to Clinton, the last name of his step-father.
Roger Clinton developed a drinking problem and was abusive toward Blythe, leading her to divorce him in 1962. Clinton attended a segregated, all-white school, Hot Springs High School.
As a representative of the American Legion’s Boys Nation , Clinton met President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
During his first two years at Georgetown University, he served as class president.
bill clinton won a Rhodes Scholarship after graduating from Georgetown, but initially his studies were cut short when he received his draft notice.
He joined the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas but instead resumed his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University.
president clinton also resubmitted his name to the draft board but was not selected to serve during the Vietnam War.
After finishing his time at Oxford, he attended Yale Law School, where he met Hillary Rodham.
The couple moved to Arkansas upon graduation and married in 1975.
Bill Clinton impeachment
In January 1998, news broke that President Clinton had engaged in an affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. This story was political dynamite, not just because it was a sex scandal, but also because it had dire legal implications. Kenneth Starr’s vast investigations into the Whitewater land transaction had stalled , with several prospective witnesses being uncooperative.
Starr thought the White House was involved in efforts to buy silence. When a disgruntled White House employee, Linda Tripp, approached Starr’s investigators with evidence of the President’s hidden relationship with Lewinsky, Starr believed he saw the pattern being repeated once again: Lewinsky was protecting Clinton because she was being bought off with promises of employment.
Thus Starr expanded the investigations to include not just the President’s financial affairs but also his sexual behavior. Starr’s investigators questioned Clinton under oath about his relationship with Lewinsky.
This testimony—and subsequent efforts by the White House to deal with Lewinsky-related evidence,
which bore some signs of tampering—formed the basis for Starr’s subsequent charge of illegal conduct by Clinton and were thus at the core of Clinton’s impeachment. Starr was convinced that Clinton had lied in trying to cover up the affair, and that he had instructed others to obstruct justice by lying on his behalf. To many observers, impeachment or resignation seemed to be the only resolution.
The next seven
The next seven months found the American public consumed by the Lewinsky affair,
following every nuance of the investigation by Starr and debating the merits of the case. Nothing like this had so captured the attention of the American public since Watergate and Nixon’s resignation from office. Startling revelations came out, including taped interviews in which Lewinsky described details of the affair as well as a dress that contained samples of the President’s DNA.
On August 17, 1998, following his testimony before a federal grand jury on the matter, Clinton acknowledged in a televised address to the nation his “inappropriate” conduct with Lewinsky and admitted that he had misled the nation and embarrassed his family.
But he did not admit to having lied, having instructed anyone else to lie, or orchestrating a cover-up involving anyone else.
Starr then sent his report to the House of Representatives alleging that there were grounds for impeaching Clinton for lying under oath, obstruction of justice, abuse of powers, and other offenses.
After a vitriolic series of televised House hearings and the release of thousands of documents—many in graphic detail—the House Judiciary Committee, on a strictly partisan vote, recommended that an impeachment inquiry commence.
The House adopted two articles of impeachment, charging the President with perjury in his grand jury testimony and obstructing justice in his dealings with various potential witnesses.
The Senate, charged under the Constitution with judging the evidence, opened its trial in mid-January 1999.
Those voting against
Those voting against impeachment argued that the President’s actions constituted “low” and tawdry actions involving private matters, not “high crimes and misdemeanors” amounting to offenses against the state. people who voting against Clinton argued that even in private matters, a President who commits perjury and obstructs justice is subverting the rule of law, and that subversion becomes a “high crime.””
Clinton was acquitted on both counts on February 12, 1999. On the first, 45 Republican senators voted to convict while 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted for acquittal.
In the process of pursuing an impeachment of the president, the Republicans had seriously overplayed their hand. An indication of what lay ahead came when the party actually lost five seats in the House while gaining no Senate seats in the November 1998 elections conducted just prior to the impeachment vote.
Traditionally, the opposition party registers significant gains in the off-year elections of a President’s second term,
and so the Republican loss was virtually unprecedented.
As the impeachment process unfolded, Clinton’s ratings in public opinion polls were at an all-time high, hovering at close to 70 percent. Most Americans gave Clinton low marks for character and honesty.But, they gave him high marks for performance and wanted him censured and condemned for his conduct, but not impeached and removed.
Many viewed key Republican attackers as mean-spirited extremists willing to use a personal scandal for partisan goals. In the end, voters were happy with Clinton’s handling of the White House,
the economy, and most matters of public life. Hillary Clinton’s public opinion poll ratings actually exceeded the President’s, in large measure because of her dignified demeanor during those trying personal times, thus lifting her popularity to among the highest ever for a First Lady.
Independent counsel investigation
The charges arose from an investigation by Ken Starr, an Independent Counsel.
With the approval 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 on 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.” 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.
Starr was criticized by Democrats for spending $70 million on the investigation.
Over what !?
Clinton was impeached for lying under oath and obstructing justice to cover up an Oval Office affair with Monica Lewinsky, an intern. Clinton’s affair and its cover-up was investigated as part of a four-year probe led by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.
In November 1995, Clinton began an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old unpaid intern.
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.
How many presidents have been impeached!?
Only three U.S. presidents have been formally impeached by Congress—Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. One of those presidents, Donald Trump, was impeached twice during his single term. No U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment.
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