January 9, 1999 – Usually a Saturday with not much going on, but this particular Saturday in January had more than its fair share of drama and intrigues. The FAA announced a problem with in-flight engine shutdowns and ordered all pilots to suitably warm up their jet engines and to make sure there are no oil leaks before takeoff. Fog was the big issue at Washington D.C.‘s Reagan Airport on this day, forcing a shut-down and grounding all planes until the fog lifted. When it would lift was anyone’s guess.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate had the framework to proceed with the Impeachment of President Clinton. It provided for 24 hours of arguments each for House prosecutors and White House Defense lawyers. Defense was optimistic and confident that, once the Senators saw and heard the defense in the opening phase of the trial, they would conclude that that articles did not justify or warrant conviction or removal from office. Under the summons delivered to the White House the day before by the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, the President, through his lawyers, would have to answer the impeachment charges against him by noon the coming Monday. It would be a written brief and it would, in effect, say the President was not guilty of the charges against him, and it would inform the Senate that the President did in fact intend to present a vigorous defense of his position to the Senate, after the House Prosecutors give their arguments the coming Thursday. Both Democrats and Republicans were hailing the compromise plan for the Clinton impeachment trial. Each side put the best face on the plan, which was truly bi-partisan and in marked contrast to the political circus atmosphere that had prevailed in the House.
All that, and much-much more including President Clinton’s Saturday Address, along with CBS Hourly News for January 9, 1999.