We truth-seekers continue with our search to find whether Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s fourteen-month-long investigation into Donald Trump and the president’s possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election has gone on too long. Should it be “wrapped up” as Rudy and Fox Vox demands? To discover the answer we return to our method of comparing Treasongate’s duration to another presidential scandal that rocked the nation. Today we go back to Bill Clinton’s impeachment and the sex circus of the late 1990s.
8. THE CLINTON IMPEACHMENT
Americans love a good sex scandal, and Bill Clinton, always ready to serve the people, saw that they got a tasty one. But it didn’t start out that way. Actually, the big tuna got hooked and cooked in the carnal soup after a lengthy fishing expedition by conservative legal terrier Kenneth Starr. Starr took over in August 1994 as an independent counsel investigating a corrupt land deal to which the Clintons were a party. Turns out the Clintons were innocent and lost 40 grand in the so-called Whitewater deal. But Starr, backed by an angry Congressional Republican majority long frustrated by the skill of “Slick Willie” (as they called him) at finessing them in the give-and-take of politics, shifted his attention to a softer target: Bill’s “women troubles.”
The president’s eighteen-month affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky didn’t begin until November of 1995, but Starr, even before the Whitewater trial ended in May 18, 1996, was on the new and sordid trail, rife with titillating details. Lewinsky became a witness in Paula Jones’ civil case (first filed in 1994) of sexual harassment against Bill Clinton. Before you could say Don Juan, other paramours from the president’s past popped up to add spice to the tabloid stew. I won’t offend you with a rehash of the salacious details, except to say word of Monica’s fellate-and-tell tales spread like an STD through an Army base. (No mention of any muff-diving reciprocity.)
The upshot? Bill denied. Then lied. Not prudent.
On October 8, 1998 the House of Representatives voted to begin the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton; a week later House Judiciary Committee chair Henry Hyde, a self-appointed general in the eternal war on sin, fixed Congressional focus on two charges: obstruction of justice and lying under oath. In a predictable act of political piling on, Republicans added campaign finance law violations and abuse of power over the next two months.
On February12, 1999 Clinton, tarnished to be sure, was acquitted of all charges; in the Senate trial 50 (all of them Republicans) voted to expel Clinton from office on obstruction of justice, 45 of them voted “aye” on perjury charges. All Democrat senators voted against conviction. For the second time in American history, the impeachment of a president fell short of the two-thirds Senate vote needed for expulsion from office.
No surprise that the forward-thinking nations of the world expressed open amusement at the salty spectacle and our fixation on the sexual misconduct of a political leader. An Australian journalist summed it up best: “Thank God we got the criminals and America got the Puritans.”
In a sense, the humiliation of Clinton proved a Pyrrhic victory for the GOP. In a spate of lurid revelations and forced admissions that followed, the seedy Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, resigned; his would-be successor as Speaker, Bob Livingstone, declined that powerful position and then resigned from Congress, admitting that he, too, had been unfaithful in his marriage; Henry Hyde, chief prosecutor in Clinton’s trial, likewise had to confirm he had had a young dolly on the side for five years. One could go on with the roll of the randy...Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth, Congressman Dan Burton...and so on. But those were the least of GOP losses. In an off-year election in which they were projected to pick up many seats in the House of Representatives, they actually yielded a total of six to the Democrats—the first time an out-of-president party failed to gain seats in an off-year election since 1934. Some numbers!
Now it’s time do our own math in pursuit of the truth and in service to history. Let’s see, the legal hunt of Clinton began with Whitewater in January 1994 and extended to Impeachment acquittal in February of 1999...why, that’s more than five years. Five plus years! Write that down. Show it to Rudy and his skulk of Foxes. No, Mueller shouldn’t wrap it up. He’s got promises to keep, and many miles to go before he sleeps.
One must ponder and shudder at what punishment the future may bring the convicted. If nine White House blowjobs will get you impeached, just imagine what betraying your country to Russia will get you. Picture being drawn and quartered in a four-way tractor pull on the palm-studded grounds of Mar-a-Lago.