To Impeach Or Not To Impeach – The Clinton Impeachment Debate -1998 – Past Daily Reference Room
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As the word Impeachment starts making the ominous rounds, there are reminders of other situations and other times. We all talk about Watergate as unprecedented. But then, we had the 90s where sexual misconduct was considered an impeachable offense, and that too was unprecedented. Seems every time this happens it’s an unprecedented event and the tsunamis of dirty laundry and lascivious behavior on behalf of the Commander-In-Chief come spilling out of hearing rooms for all the public to see.
And today, while events unfold, and as we move closer towards that “unprecedented” issue to Impeach a sitting President, and as the issues and discoveries loom larger and larger, overtaking the day-to-day life of the average person – it’s all reminiscent of situations past; other times where outrage and arrogance consumed the national conversation. The finger-pointing, the unwillingness to acknowledge, the anger and division – as it has always been, as it is happening again today, as he have to withstand one more embarrassing series of incidents.
In 1998 it was President Bill Clinton, a Democrat – The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated on October 8, 1998, when the United States House of Representatives voted to commence impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States, for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, which were subsequently detailed in two articles of impeachment. The specific charges against the president were lying under oath and obstruction of justice, charges that stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones. The catalyst for the move to Impeach Clinton was the Starr Report, a September 1998 report prepared by Independent Counsel Ken Starr for the House Judiciary Committee.
To get an idea and a flavor of the atmosphere for that day in 1998, here is a little under 2-hours worth of proceedings for October 5, 1998 as presented by National Public Radio.
One more time – America watched and waited and argued.