- People involved in the events around President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment shared their memories with the New York Times.
- Former first lady Hillary Clinton recalled the final words she said to Bill before his TV appearance admitting to having lied about his affair.
- In 1999, Bill was eventually acquitted by the Senate of impeachment articles filed against him.
Twenty years after the independent counsel investigation into allegations that President Bill Clinton lied under oath and obstructed justice surrounding an extramarital affair with an intern, the people involved spoke to The New York Times remembering the day of Clinton’s grand jury testimony in August 1998.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton shared the words she expressed to her husband after his testimony, as he prepared to give a speech to the American people admitting to previously being dishonest about the nature of his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
“I finally said, ‘Well, Bill, this is your speech. You’re the one who got yourself into this mess, and only you can decide what to say about it.’ Then Chelsea and I left the room,” she remembers telling him in her memoirs.
In his testimony, the president admitted to lying about the affair in a previous sworn deposition, but denied offering Lewinsky incentives to stay quiet.
The House of Representatives impeached him in December 1998 for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” specifically perjury and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted, however, by the Senate, which requires a two-thirds vote to pass articles of impeachment.
Comparisons have been drawn between those events and the current political situation with the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. In both cases, a president found himself facing a highly publicized special counsel investigation before congressional midterm elections. In 1998, the Democrats picked up an extra five seats in the House of Representatives despite the Clinton impeachment scandal.