President Bill Clinton Impeachment
The story of Bill Clinton's impeachment is a long one and this timeline is simply meant to be that: a timeline. Even with that, it is nearly 6300 words, a "few" more than the 300 guides to effective blog entries suggest. Nonetheless, it is, I think, a thorough overview of the historic event. It was only the second time in American history that a president had been impeached. In addition to President Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky leading to the trial, there was also an ongoing investigation into the a land investment company know as the Whitewater Development Corporation. There were, of course, many many other things happening during Clinton's presidency, but this entry will concentrate on those events related to Monica Lewinsky especially and Whitewater somewhat.
Clinton candidacy and election
October 2, 1991: Bill Clinton announced he would seek the 1992 Democratic nomination for President. July 16, 1992: In New York City, Clinton accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention. Al Gore is his running mate. November 3, 1992: Clinton elected the 42nd President of the United States. January 20, 1993: Clinton inaugurated.
1994 Whitewater begins
December 19, 1994: the Whitewater scandal investigation began in Washington, DC. The investigation concerned the real estate investments of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates, Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, in the Whitewater Development Corporation, a failed business venture in the 1970s and 1980s. (Whitewater, see January 12, 1998 below)
1995 Monica Lewinsky arrives
In June 1995: Monica Lewinsky, 21, came to the White House as an unpaid intern in the office of Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. In November 1995: Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton began a sexual relationship, according to audiotapes later secretly recorded later (fall of 1997) by a Linda Tripp. In December 1995: Monica Lewinsky moved into a paid position in the Office of Legislative Affairs, handling letters from members of Congress. She frequently ferried mail to the Oval Office.
1996 Lewinsky to the Pentagon
In April 1996: then-Deputy White House Chief of Staff Evelyn Lieberman transfered Lewinsky to a job as an assistant to Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon. Lieberman told The New York Times the move was due to "inappropriate and immature behavior" and inattention to work. At the Pentagon, Lewinsky met Linda Tripp, a career government worker. Summer 1996: Monica Lewinsky began to tell fellow Pentagon employee Linda Tripp of her alleged relationship with Clinton.
1997 Tripp tapes
In August 1997: Linda Tripp encountered Kathleen Willey coming out of Oval Office "disheveled. Her face red and her lipstick was off." Willey later alleged that Clinton groped her. Clinton's lawyer, Bill Bennett said in the article that Linda Tripp is not to be believed. In the fall of 1997, Linda Tripp began taping conversations in which Monica Lewinsky detailed her alleged affair with the president. In October 1997:
|1) Lewinsky interviewed with Bill Richardson, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., for a low level public affairs position.|
|2) Linda Tripp met with Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, Lucianne & Jonah Goldberg at Jonah’s apartment in Washington, according to a Newsweek report. The Goldberg’s listened to a tape of Tripp/Lewinsky conversations|
In December 1997: Monica Lewinsky left the Pentagon. December 8, 1997: Betty Currie, Clinton's personal secretary, asked presidential friend Vernon Jordan to help Monica Lewinsky find a job in New York. December 11, 1997: Monica Lewinsky met with Vernon Jordan and he referred her to several job leads. December 17, 1997: Monica Lewinsky subpoenaed by lawyers for Paula Jones, who was suing the president on sexual harassment charges. December 28, 1997: Monica Lewinsky made her final visit to the White House, according to White House logs, and was signed in by Clinton secretary, Betty Currie. Lewinsky reportedly met privately with Clinton and he allegedly encouraged her to be "evasive" in her answers in the Jones' lawsuit.
President Bill Clinton Impeachment
January 1998: scandal percolates
January 7, 1998: Monica Lewinsky filed an affidavit in the Jones case in which she denied ever having a sexual relationship with President Clinton. January 9, 1998: Linda Tripp deliverd the tapes to her lawyer, Jim Moody. January 12, 1998: Linda Tripp contacted the office of Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr to talk about Lewinsky and the tapes she made of their conversations. The tapes allegedly have Lewinsky detailing an affair with Clinton and indicated that Clinton and Clinton friend Vernon Jordan told Lewinsky to lie about the alleged affair under oath. (Whitewater, see January 13 next) January 13, 1998: wired by FBI agents working with Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr, Linda Tripp met with Monica Lewinsky at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel bar in Pentagon City, Va., and recorded their conversation. ((Whitewater, see January 16 below) January 14, 1998: Monica Lewinsky gave Linda Tripp a document headed "Points to make in an affidavit," coaching Tripp on what to tell Jones' lawyers about Kathleen Willey, another former White House staffer. Willey recently had testified about alleged unsolicited sexual advances made by the president in 1993. January 16, 1998: Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr contacted Attorney General Janet Reno to get permission to expand his probe. Reno agreed and submitted the request to a panel of three federal judges. The judges agreed to allow Starr to formally investigate the possibility of subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Jones case. Tripp and Lewinsky met again at the Ritz-Carlton. FBI agents and U.S. attorneys interceded and take Lewinsky to a hotel room, where they questioned her and offer her immunity. Lewinsky contacted her mother, Marcia Lewis, who traveled down from New York City by train. Marcia Lewis contacted her ex-husband, who called attorney William Ginsburg, a family friend. Ginsburg advises Monica Lewinsky not to accept the immunity deal until he learns more. (Whitewater, January 22 below) January 17, 1998: William Ginsburg flew to Washington to represent Monica Lewinsky. President Clinton gave his deposition in the Jones lawsuit, in which he denied having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Newsweek magazine decided not to run a story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff on the Lewinsky tapes and the alleged affair. January 18, 1998: President Clinton met with Betty Currie, hiss personal secretary, and compared his memory with hers on Lewinsky. January 19, 1998: Monica Lewinsky's name surfaced in the Internet gossip column, the Drudge Report, which mentioned rumors that Newsweek had decided to delay publishing a piece on Lewinsky and the alleged affair. January 21, 1998: several news organizations reported the alleged sexual relationship between Lewinsky and Clinton. Clinton denied the allegations as the scandal erupts. January 22, 1998: President Clinton reiterated his denial of the relationship and said he never urged Lewinsky to lie. Starr issued subpoenas for a number of people, as well as for White House records. Starr also defended the expansion of his initial Whitewater investigation. Jordan held a press conference to flatly deny he told Lewinsky to lie. Jordan also said that Lewinsky told him that she did not have a sexual relationship with the president. (Whitewater, see Jan 23 next) January 23, 1998: President Clinton assured his Cabinet of his innocence. Judge Susan Webber Wright put off "indefinitely" a deposition Lewinsky was scheduled to give in the Jones lawsuit. Clinton's personal secretary, Betty Currie, and other aides were subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury. Lewinsky’s lawyar, William Ginsburg, said whe was being "squeezed" by Starr and was now a target of the Whitewater investigation. (Whitewater, February 18 below) January 24, 1998: President Clinton asked former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Harold Ickes and former Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor to return to the White House to help deal with the controversy. Talks continue between Starr and attorneys for Lewinsky over a possible immunity agreement. January 25, 1998: Lewinsky lawyer Ginsburg saids she will "tell all" in exchange for immunity. Clinton political adviser James Carville said "a war" will be waged between Clinton supporters and Kenneth Starr over Starr's investigation tactics. January 26, 1998: President Clinton forcefully repeated his denial, saying, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." Lewinsky lawyer Ginsburg offered Starr a summary of what Lewinsky is prepared to say to the grand jury in exchange for a grant of immunity from the prosecution. January 27, 1998: Paula Jones' attorney, John Whitehead, answered Starr's subpoena with several documents, possibly including Clinton's deposition in the Jones suit. Clinton personal secretary, Betty Currie testified before the grand jury. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton says in a broadcast interview that a "vast right-wing conspiracy" was behind the charges against her husband. A Portland, Ore., man, Andy Bleiler, alleged he had a five-year affair with Lewinsky, and his lawyer promises to turn over documents and items to Starr's investigators. Clinton delivers his State of the Union address, making no mention of the scandal. January 29, 1998: the judge in the Paula Jones lawsuit ruled that Monica Lewinsky was "not essential to the core issues" of the Jones case, and ordered that all evidence related to Lewinsky be excluded from the Jones proceedings. January 31, 1998: immunity discussions between Monica Lewinsky's attorney, William Ginsburg, and Ken Starr's office stalled. Ginsburg says Lewinsky plans to go to California in the coming week to visit her father.
February 1998: Monica Lewinsky revealed
February 4, 1998: word comes that Independent Counsel Ken Starr has rejected the latest written statement by Monica Lewinsky's lawyers seeking immunity from prosecution for her. Their on-again, off-again immunity discussions are off. February 5, 1998: Ken Starr said his inquiry was "moving very quickly and we've made very significant progress." February 6, 1998: at a news conference, President Bill Clinton said he would never consider resigning because of the accusations against him. "I would never walk away from the people of this country and the trust they've placed in me.” February 10, 1998: Monica Lewinsky's mother, Marcia Lewis, appeared before the grand jury. Ken Starr and his investigators suspect Lewis was aware of her daughter's alleged affair with President Bill Clinton. February 11, 1998: First Lady Hillary Clinton predicted the allegations against her husband "will slowly dissipate over time under the weight of its own insubstantiality." A retired Secret Service uniformed guard, Lewis C. Fox, claimed in an interview he saw Monica Lewinsky come to the West Wing on weekends with documents she said were for the president. February 18, 1998: one of President Bill Clinton's closest advisers, Bruce Lindsey, spent the day before the Whitewater grand jury. The hearing was stopped briefly when questions of executive privilege are raised. (Whitewater, see April 16 below) February 19, 1998: Ken Starr's chronology showed presidential friend Vernon Jordan began seeking a private-sector job for Monica Lewinsky within 72 hours of her being listed as a potential witness in the Paula Jones civil rights lawsuit against President Bill Clinton. February 20, 1998:Lewinsky attorney Bill Ginsburg said the former intern met with Vernon Jordan much earlier than was being reported. February 23, 1998: there was more legal wrangling over when Marcia Lewis, Lewinsky's mother, will resume her grand jury testimony. Her lawyer, Billy Martin, said she was "going through hell." February 25, 1998: White House lawyers prepared legal briefs to defend the administration's position that executive privilege should shield several of President Bill Clinton's top aides from certain questions in the Lewinsky investigation. ) February 26, 1998: White House senior communications aide Sidney Blumenthal testified before the grand jury, answering questions about any role he may have played in spreading negative information about investigators in Independent Counsel Ken Starr's office. Fourteen Democrats in the House write Attorney General Janet Reno complaining about subpoenas issued by Starr. A non-profit group that studies women in the workplace says it will contribute $10,000 as seed money for a legal defense fund for Lewinsky. February 27, 1998: White House communications aide Sidney Blumenthal refused to answer some of the questions posed before the grand jury, citing the controversy over whether the independent counsel can force aides to testify about conversations they had with the president.
March 1998: investigation witnesses testify
March 3, 1998: Vernon Jordan Jr. testified before the grand jury. March 5, 1998: lawyers for Monica Lewinsky battle with Ken Starr over whether Lewinsky has a binding immunity agreement. March 9, 1998: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright rejected a request by Paula Jones' attorneys to include evidence of a Monica Lewinsky affair during a Jones trial. March 10, 1998: Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer who accused the president of fondling her, testifies before the grand jury for four hours. March 11, 1998: the grand jury spent the day listening to audio recordings, which sources say are tapes made by Linda Tripp of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky. March 16, 1998: Clinton said "nothing improper" happened when he was alone with Kathleen Willey, responding to her accusations aired in an interview on "60 Minutes" the previous night. The White House released letters Willey sent to the president, signed "Fondly, Kathleen" in an effort to cast doubt on her story. March 17, 1998: the White House charged that Kathleen Willey tried to sell her story to a book publisher for $300,000. Willey's attorney denied the charges. A friend of Lewinsky and the presidential diarist give grand jury testimony. March 18, 1998: Julie Steele's affidavit released. In it she said she lied when she claimed Kathleen Willey had come to her house the night of the encounter and told her about it. March 20, 1998: President Clinton decided to formally invoke executive privilege. March 25, 1998: Marcia Lewis, Monica Lewinsky's mother, failed to persuade a federal judge to excuse her from a third day of testimony. Starr subpoenaed records from Kramerbooks & Afterwords on Monica Lewinsky's purchases at the store. One of her purchases was reportedly Nicholson Baker's "Vox," a novel about phone sex. Jodie Torkelson testified.
April 1998: Paula Jones case dismissed
April 1, 1998: Judge Susan Webber Wright dismissed the Paula Jones case. April 7, 1998: Presidential diarist Janis Kearney testified before the grand jury. Harolyn Cardozo, daughter of multimillionaire fund-raiser and Clinton pal Nate Landow and a former White House intern, testifies before the grand jury. She is questioned on Kathleen Willey's accusations of unwanted sexual advances made by the president. April 9, 1998: a second White House steward called to testify before the grand jury in a supposed effort to learn of meetings between the president and Monica Lewinsky. April 14, 1998: Kenneth Starr filed a sealed motion in U.S. District Court to compel testimony of uniformed Secret Service agents, according to the Wall Street Journal. April 16, 1998: Ken Starr withdrew from consideration for the deanship at Pepperdine University Law School. Starr said an end to the Whitewater investigation "was not yet in sight." Bernard Lewinsky lashed out at Kenneth Starr, calling the treatment of his daughter "unconscionable." He also asked for help in paying the former intern's legal bills. (Whitewater, see March 18, 1999 below) April 18, 1998: U.S. News & World Report reported that retired Secret Service office Louis Fox testified before the grand jury that during a visit by Lewinsky to the White House in the fall of 1995, Clinton told him, "Close the door. She'll be in here for a while." April 21, 1998: former President George Bush weighed in, challenging Ken Starr's attempt to get Secret Service officers to testify before the grand jury. April 28, 1998: Nancy Hernreich, director of Oval Office operations, testified for the sixth time in the Lewinsky investigation. April 29, 1998: a federal judge ruled that Monica Lewinsky did not have an immunity agreement with Ken Starr. April 30, 1998: in his first news conference since the Lewinsky scandal broke, the president lashed out at Independent Counsel Ken Starr charging that he heads a "hard, well-financed, vigorous effort" to undercut the president. Clinton repeatedly declines to elaborate on his relationship with Lewinsky.
May 1998: Clinton’s seat heats up
May 5, 1998: Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ruled against President Clinton's claim of executive privilege. Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan testified for a third time before the grand jury. May 6, 1998: Clinton's personal attorney, David Kendall, accused Starr's office of "flagrant leaks," citing a Fox News report that claimed information on Clinton's executive-privilege decision came from the independent counsel's office. May 8, 1998: Ken Starr and David Kendall quarrelled over leaks of grand jury information. Clinton secretary Betty Currie testified before the grand jury for the third time. May 13, 1998: Ken Starr sought contempt charges against David Kendall, the president's personal attorney. Starr accused Kendall of leaking grand jury testimony. May 14, 1998: Starr argued in federal court that there are no legal grounds for Secret Service agents who guard the president to refuse to testify before the grand jury. Betty Currie, the president's personal secretary, returned for her fourth appearance before the grand jury testimony. May 21, 1998: Walter Kaye, a retired insurance executive and prominent Democratic contributor, testified before the grand jury. May 22, 1998: Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ruled that the Secret Service must testify before the grand jury in the Monica Lewinsky controversy. May 27, 1998: Monica Lewinsky's lawyer, Bill Ginsburg wrote an angry "open letter" to Ken Starr which was published in "California Lawyer." "Congratulations, Mr. Starr! As a result of your callous disregard for cherished constitutional rights, you may have succeeded in unmasking a sexual relationship between two consenting adults." It was reported that death threats were made against Linda Tripp when the Lewinsky scandal first broke in January and she was moved to a safe house. May 28, 1998: Ken Starr asked the Supreme Court to expedite their ruling on executive privilege. Monica Lewinsky gave handwriting and fingerprints samples to the FBI at Ken Starr's request.
June 1998: no executive Privilege
June 1, 1998: Clinton's defense team decides to drop the appeal on the executive privilege ruling. But his lawyers will continue to argue for attorney-client privilege to prevent close friend and aide Bruce Lindsey from answering all of Ken Starr's questions. June 2, 1998: a team of experienced Washington litigators, Jacob Stein and Plato Cacheris, replace the outspoken Bill Ginsburg as Monica Lewinsky's lawyer. The split was said to be by "mutual agreement." June 5, 1998: appeals court fast tracks attorney-client privilege dispute. Federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ruled that while Monica Lewinsky's book purchases did have a bearing on her case, only Kramer Books -- and not Barnes & Noble -- would be required to hand over records of her purchases. June 8, 1998: the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Ken Starr's attempts to access notes take by the lawyer of late White House deputy counsel Vince Foster nine days after the meeting in question. Foster's lawyer, James Hamilton argued the notes are covered by attorney-client privilege, but Starr's office said the privilege doesn't always extends past death. June 9, 1998: Presidential friend Vernon Jordan testified before Ken Starr's grand jury for the fifth time. Lewinsky's new lawyers say they are upset by her photo layout in Vanity Fair magazine. June 10, 1998: former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes appears before the grand jury to testify about his involvement, if any, in the release of information from Linda Tripp's personnel records. June 15, 1998: deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey filed an appeal of federal Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's decision to deny him attorney-client privilege in the Lewinsky case. June 15, 1998: the publication of an article in the new magazine of media criticism, Brill's Content, alleging that Ken Starr leaked information to the media leads Judge Holloway to hold a private meeting with lawyers for both sides of the case to investigate the charges. The magazine's editor and creator, Steven Brill, said Starr admitted to the leaks in a 90-minute interview. June 16, 1998: Ken Starr released a 19-page attack on Brill's article, calling the editor "reckless" and "irresponsible" for printing what he called a misinterpretation of their interview. June 18, 1998: sources tell CNN that three FBI agents have testified in secret affidavits that a plan to wire Monica Lewinsky and monitor her conversations did exist. The secret testimony refutes Ken Starr's published denial of the plan, but does not specify that the conversations Starr's prosecution wished to tape were with the president or Vernon Jordan. June 22, 1998: Kramer Books and lawyers for Monica Lewinsky strike a deal in which records of Lewinsky's purchases are submitted to Ken Starr's office by her lawyers and not the book store, thereby allowing the book store to maintain it stood up for the First Amendment. June 22, 1998: CNN learned that Ken Starr may be willing to make an immunity deal without requiring that Monica Lewinsky plead guilty to some charge against her if they decide that she is cooperating fully with the prosecution. June 25, 1998: the Supreme Court rules 6-3 that attorney-client privilege extends beyond the grave, exempting Vince Foster's conversations with his lawyers from being called as evidence in Ken Starr's presidential investigations. June 25, 1998: White House communications aide Sidney Blumenthal testified before Ken Starr's grand jury for the third time. Blumenthal complains that Starr's inquiry focused on what the White House was saying about his prosecution rather than Blumenthal's conversations with the president. June 26, 1998: Ken Starr presents arguments to a federal appeals court requesting that Secret Service personnel be required to testify in the Lewinsky case. Linda Tripp is called to appear before the grand jury on Tuesday, June 30. June 29, 1998: Attorneys for Dale Young confirm that the Lewinsky family friend testified before the grand jury that Monica Lewinsky spoke to her of an intimate relationship between herself and President Clinton. According to Young's testimony, Lewinsky confided in her in 1996, detailing the limitations and rules Clinton had placed upon their relationship. June 30, 1998: Linda Tripp appears before the grand jury for her first day of testimony, accompanied by her children. She says that she did not trick Monica Lewinsky when she taped conversations with her former friend.
July 1998: more witnesses before grand jury
July 1, 1998: Linda Tripp makes her second appearance before the grand jury, during which the Lewinsky tapes may have been played. July 7, 1998: Linda Tripp returned for her third day of testimony before the grand jury, as the Maryland state's attorney opens investigations into Tripp's taping of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky. The investigation is aimed at deciding whether Tripp had broken Maryland state laws that require both parties in a conversation to consent to be taped. The U.S. Court of Appeals rules that Secret Service agents must testify before the grand jury, upholding Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's earlier decision. July 9, 1998: Monica Lewinsky announced she is prepared to cooperate in the Maryland investigation into the legality of Linda Tripp's tapes of phone conversations as Tripp appears before the grand jury for the fourth time. July 14, 1998: Ken Starr subpoenas Larry Cockell, head of the president's security detail. The Justice Department, backed by the Secret Service, requests a full panel appeal of the Secret Service testimony decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals. July 17, 1998: Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist denied an extension of the temporary stay on Secret Service testimony. The subpoenaed Secret Service agents appeared before the grand jury, although only three of them testify. Larry Cockell, who is not one of the agents to testify, spends the afternoon waiting. July 21, 1998: the U.S. Court of Appeals held a hearing on alleged leaks of grand jury information to the media by Ken Starr's office. The hearings center on Judge Norma Holloway Johnson's secret sanctions against Starr and his subsequent appeal. The sanctions would require Starr to turn over documents and other evidence related to the alleged leaks. July 25, 1998: word emerged that Independent Counsel Ken Starr has served President Clinton with a subpoena that calls for his testimony before the Lewinsky grand jury next week. Negotiations are underway on the scope, timing and format of Clinton's testimony. July 27, 1998: the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that attorney-client privilege does not protect presidential confidant Bruce Lindsey from answering all questions put to him before the Lewinsky grand jury. July 28, 1998: in a dramatic breakthrough, lawyers for Lewinsky and Starr worked out a full immunity agreement covering both Lewinsky and her parents, Marcia Lewis and Dr. Bernard Lewinsky. July 29, 1998: Clinton agreed to testify voluntarily and Starr's office withdraws the subpoena. Clinton's testimony is set for August 17 at the White House. July 30, 1998: sources say that as part of her immunity agreement, Lewinsky has handed over to prosecutors a dark blue dress that she alleges may contain physical evidence of a sexual relationship with President Bill Clinton. The dress is turned over to the FBI lab for testing.
August 1998: Lewinsky and Clinton testify
August 6, 1998: Monica Lewinsky appears before the grand jury to begin her testimony. August 7, 1998: a federal appeals court let an investigation of alleged news leaks from Ken Starr's office continue. August 11, 1998: Hollywood producer and Clinton friend Harry Thomason testifies before the grand jury. August 17, 1998: President Bill Clinton became the first sitting president to testify before a grand jury investigating his conduct. After the questioning at the White House is finished, Clinton goes on national TV to admit he had an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
August 18, 1998: former Clinton political advisor Dick Morris testified before the grand jury. August 19, 1998: word that Starr had requested and received a sample of Clinton's DNA becomes public. August 20, 1998: Monica Lewinsky testified before the grand jury for a second time.
September 1998: Starr report submitted
September 9, 1998: independent Counsel Ken Starr submitted his report and 18 boxes of supporting documents to the House of Representatives. September 11, 1998: the House of Representative votes to receive the Starr report. The House Judiciary Committee takes possession of the 18 boxes of materials and promptly releases the first 445 pages to the public. September 18, 1998: over Democrats' objections, the House Judiciary Committee agreed to release President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony and more than 3,000 pages of supporting material from the Starr report, including sexually explicit testimony from Monica Lewinsky. September 21, 1998: the Judiciary Committee released and many television networks immediately broadcast more than four hours of President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony. Along with the videotape, the Judiciary Committee also releases the appendix to the Starr's report which includes 3,183 pages of testimony and other evidence, including a photograph of Lewinsky's semen-stained dress. September 24, 1998: the House Judiciary Committee announced the committee would consider a resolution to begin an impeachment inquiry against President Clinton in an open session on October 5 or October 6.
October 1998: impeachment in the works
October 2, 1998: the House Judiciary Committee releases another 4,610 pages of supporting material from Ken Starr's investigation, including transcripts of grand jury testimony and transcripts of the Linda Tripp-Monica Lewinsky tapes. October 5, 1998: on a 21-16 vote, the House Judiciary Committee recommends a full impeachment inquiry. October 8, 1998: the House of Representatives authorizes a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry of President Clinton on a 258-176 vote. Thirty-one Democrats join Republicans in supporting the investigation. October 28, 1998: in the final week of the 1998 campaign, Republicans shift gears and begin pummeling the Democrats in TV ads about Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.
November 1998: Clinton case presented
November 3, 1998: Democrats pick up five seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, and held off a Republican super-majority in the Senate. November 5, 1998: Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde sent a list of questions to President Clinton, asking him to "admit or deny" the major facts outlined in Independent Counsel Ken Starr's report to Congress. November 9, 1998: a House subcommittee hears from legal experts on whether President Clinton's behavior in the Lewinsky affair rises to the level of an impeachable offense. November 13, 1998: after fighting Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit for four years, Clinton agreed to pay Jones $850,000 to drop the case. But the deal included no apology from the president. November 19, 1998: in a marathon session, Independent Counsel Ken Starr outlined his case against President Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee, saying Clinton repeatedly "chose deception." Democrats grill Starr about his investigative methods. November 28, 1998: Republicans express disappointment and outrage at what some describe as President Clinton's evasive and legalistic answers to the Judiciary Committee's questions.
December 1998: House Judiciary Committee continues
December 1, 1998: on a party-line vote, the House Judiciary Committee expanded its impeachment inquiry to include alleged campaign finance abuses, approving subpoenas for Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI Director Louis Freeh and federal prosecutor Charles LaBella.
December 3, 1998: after two staffers look at internal Justice Department memos, Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde tells Republicans that campaign fund-raising will not be part of the impeachment debate. December 4, 1998: lawyers for President Bill Clinton asked the House Judiciary Committee for three to four days to make their defense presentation. December 6, 1998: President Clinton's attorneys granted 30 hours over two days to make his defense case before the Judiciary Committee. December 8, 1998: in a daylong session, President Clinton's lawyers and three panels of witnesses testified on the president's behalf, saying Clinton's behavior does not warrant impeachment. December 11, 1998: the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment, alleging that President Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice. The action came despite another apology from Clinton. December 12, 1998: the House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment against President Clinton, accusing him of making false statements in his answers to written questions from Congress. A Democratic proposal to censure Clinton instead goes down to defeat. December 15, 1998: in a blow to White House hopes, 11 moderate House Republicans announced they will vote to impeach the president. December 17, 1998: Republicans rescheduled the impeachment debate for December 18 over Democratic objections. Republican Speaker-elect Bob Livingston is forced to admit his own marital indiscretions, but says unlike President Clinton, they were not with a staff member and he was never asked to testify under oath about them. December 18, 1998: the House of Representatives engaged in a fierce, daylong debate whether to impeach President Clinton. A CNN survey suggested there were enough votes to approve one or more articles of impeachment.
December 19, 1998: impeachment approved
December 19, 1998: after 13 1/2 hours of debate over two days, the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment, charging President Clinton with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. Clinton vowed to fill out his term and appeals for a bipartisan compromise in the Senate.
January 1999: Senate trial
January 5, 1999: Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott announced that President Clinton's trial would begin January 7, but senators continued to wrangle over how long the trial should be and whether to call witnesses. January 7, 1999: with ceremonial flourishes, the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of President Bill Clinton begins in the Senate, with the swearing in of Chief Justice William Rehnquist to preside and the senators as jurors. January 8, 1999: the Senate unanimously agreed on a process for continuing the trial, but put off a decision on a key sticking point -- whether to call witnesses. January 11, 1999: President Clinton's defense team denied the charges against the president in a 13-page answer to a Senate summons. House prosecutors submit a pre-trial memo outlining their case. January 13, 1999: President Clinton's lawyers file their pre-trial brief, outlining the case for the president's acquittal. Clinton tells reporters he wants to focus on the nation's business, not the trial. "They have their job to do in the Senate, and I have mine," Clinton says."And I intend to do it." January 14, 1999: thirteen House prosecutors begin a three-day opening statement, laying out the case for the Senate to convict President Clinton and remove him from office. January 19, 1999: President Clinton's legal team begins a three-day defense of the president. January 22, 1999: Senators began two days of questioning of the prosecution and defense teams, passing written queries through Chief Justice William Rehnquist. January 23, 1999: a judge orders Monica Lewinsky to cooperate with House prosecutors; Lewinsky returns to Washington, D.C., from California. January 24, 1999: Monica Lewinsky submits to a nearly two-hour interview with House prosecutors; they call the session "productive" but Lewinsky's lawyer says it added nothing new to the record. January 25, 1999: Senators hear arguments about dismissing the charges against President Clinton and then deliberate in secret. January 26, 1999: Senators hear arguments about seeking depositions from three witnesses -- Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal -- and then deliberate in secret. January 27, 1999: In twin, 56-44 votes, the Senate refused to dismiss the charges against President Clinton and agreed to seek depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal. January 28, 1999: in a party-line vote, the Senate OKed a Republican plan for the impeachment trial's deposition phase, and sets February 12 as a target date for the trial's end.
February 1999: trial ends
February 1, 1999: House prosecutors questioned Monica Lewinsky in a closed-door deposition; Clinton's lawyer reads a statement to her expressing the president's "regret" over what Lewinsky has gone through, but asks no questions. February 2, 1999: House prosecutors questioned presidential friend Vernon Jordan for three hours in a closed-door deposition. February 3, 1999: House prosecutors questioned White House aide Sidney Blumenthal in a closed-door deposition. February 4, 1999: on a 70-30 vote, the Senate decided not to call Monica Lewinsky to testify in person at the trial, but clears the way for House prosecutors to present excerpts of videotaped depositions. February 6, 1999: Americans got a chance to see and hear Monica Lewinsky as House prosecutors and White House lawyers play video excerpts of her testimony in their final summations. Feb 8) February 8, 1999: House prosecutors and Clinton's lawyer offered closing arguments. February 9, 1999: Senate began closed-door deliberations on President Clinton's fate, after rejecting a "sunshine" proposal to open the proceedings to the public. February 12, 1999: Clinton acquitted of the two articles of impeachment. Rejecting the first charge of perjury, 10 Republicans and all 45 Democrats vote "not guilty." On the charge of obstruction of justice, the Senate split 50-50. Afterward, Clinton said he was "profoundly sorry" for the burden he imposed on the Congress and the American people.
March 1998: Whitewater shadows Clintons
March 18, 1999: Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing testified at the Susan McDougal (Whitewater) trial that he had written a "rough draft indictment" of first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton after he doubted her truthfulness in a deposition. (Whitewater, see March 13, 2000) April 12, 1999: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright found President Bill Clinton in civil contempt of court for his "willful failure" to obey her repeated orders to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones case. Wright also orders Clinton to pay Jones "any reasonable expenses including attorneys' fees caused by his willful failure to obey this court's discovery orders," directing Jones' lawyers to submit an accounting of their expenses and fees. She also rules Clinton must reimburse the court $1,202 for the judge's travel expenses. Wright traveled to Washington at Clinton's request to preside over what she now calls "his tainted deposition." June 30, 1999: At the stroke of midnight, the Independent Counsel law expired. But Independent Counsel Ken Starr said there are still two ongoing aspects of his investigation. July 29, 1999: U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright ordered President Bill Clinton to pay $90,686 for giving false testimony in the civil sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by Paula Jones. August 18, 1999: the federal court panel that appointed Independent Counsel Ken Starr split over whether to end the five-year independent counsel investigation, voting 2-1 to keep it alive. Judge Richard D. Cudahy dissents from his fellow judges, saying that with President Bill Clinton already impeached and acquitted, and no prosecutions pending against others, "this is a natural and logical point for termination." CNN also learns that Starr has been involved in "theoretical discussions" about stepping aside as independent counsel. October 18, 1999: Robert Raysworn in as the successor to Independent Counsel Ken Starr, inheriting a highly controversial investigation and the duty to write the special prosecutor's final report.
2000: more Whitewater
March 13, 2000: Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray began filing a series of final reports that detail the office's six-year investigation of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Whitewater, see July 28, 2000 below) March 16, 2000: Independent Counsel Robert Ray's office filed a report stating there is "no substantial and credible evidence" that President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton sought confidential FBI background checks of former GOP White House personnel. April 24, 2000: CNN learns that in the previous week Independent Counsel Robert Ray has subpoenaed records from the National Archives in an attempt to determine whether the White House deliberately withheld electronic mail messages in an attempt to stymie investigations pertaining to the Monica Lewinsky affair and other Clinton Administration controversies. June 30, 2000: an Arkansas Supreme Court panel filed suit to strip Bill Clinton of his license to practice law. The Arkansas State Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct recommended in May that Clinton's Arkansas law license be withdrawn, in the wake of accusations he gave misleading testimony under oath in the Paula Jones case. Clinton has 30 days to respond. July 13, 2000: Charles Bakaly, the former spokesman for then Independent Counsel Ken Starr, went to trial on charges that he misled a judge about news leaks during the Monica Lewinsky investigation. July 28, 2000: the final report on the so-called "filegate" scandal unsealed by a federal appeals court, and Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray said the report shows no evidence of misconduct by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton or former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum. (end of Whitewater) August 17, 2000: CNN learned that in July Independent Counsel Robert Ray impaneled a new grand jury as part of an investigation into the scandal involving President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
End of the line
January 19, 2001: in a deal sparing himself possible indictment, President Bill Clinton acknowledged for the first time making false statements under oath about Monica Lewinsky; he also surrendered his law license for five years October 1, 2001: the Supreme Court suspended former President Bill Clinton from practicing before the high court.
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