Overview: Clintons International Policy
For decades, the contours of the Cold War had largely determined U.S. action abroad. Strategists saw each coup, revolution, and civil war as part of the larger struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. With the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however, President Clinton was faced with international crises in the Middle East, the Balkans, Africa, and Haiti, on their own terms. He envisioned a post-Cold War role in which the United States used its overwhelming military superiority, and its influence as global police, to preserve the peace. This foreign policy strategy had both success and failure.
The Impeachment Was Delayed Due To Air Strikes Against Iraq
An impeachment vote was due for December 17 but was abruptly canceled after the U.S. launched airstrikes against Saddam Husseins Iraq. On December 19, the House approved two articles of impeachment against Clinton. The minor conflict with Iraq began due to Husseins reluctance to comply with United Nations weapons inspectors. It was known as Operation Desert Fox. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in response to allegations that the bombing was a distraction, I dont think were pretending that we can get everything, so this is I think we are being very honest about what our ability is. We are lessening, degrading his ability to use this. The weapons of mass destruction are the threat of the future.
A similar allegation surrounded Clintons bombing of terrorist bases in Sudan and Afghanistan in August 1998, around the time the president was due to appear before a grand jury. That operation was known as Infinite Reach.
But News Of Clinton’s Affair With Lewinsky Got Out
In July 1998, Clinton testified over the allegations that he’d committed perjury by lying about his affair with Lewinsky. And by August, he’d admitted to having an affair with Lewinsky.
Lewinsky had also recorded conversations of her talking about the affair, and the transcripts of the conversation went public in October 1998.
Comparing Impeachments Across Us History
Note: This lesson is
Note: This lesson is adapted from materials contained in the Bill of Rights Institutes forthcoming U.S. History resource entitled Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: A History of the American Experiment. This free online resource covers 1491 to the present day, is aligned to the College Boards AP U.S. history framework, and will be available for use in the 2020 school year. To learn more and to receive updates, visit our website. Lesson Objectives:
- Students will review the Founders intentions for the practice of impeachment using excerpts from Madisons Notes on the Debates of the Federal Convention;and the Constitution.
- Students will compare the contexts for the impeachment proceedings of Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump.
- Students will evaluate the significance of the process of impeachment as a component of the system of checks and balances.
- Handout A: The Constitutional Provisions on Impeachment
- Handout B: Impeachment in U.S. History
On February 5 The Senate Acquitted Trump On Both Charges
For the abuse of power charge, 48 senators voted to convict Trump, including Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the first senator to ever vote for the removal of a president in their own party. The other 52 Republican senators voted to acquit him.
“Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine,” Romney said in a speech announcing his decision.
Romney joined the Republicans to vote to acquit in the obstruction of Congress charge, which passed on a 53-47 vote.
Don’t Miss: What News Channel Do Republicans Watch
Impeachment And Public Opinion: Three Key Indicators To Watch
There have been two serious efforts in the past half-century to impeach and remove a U.S. president from office. The first, which ended in 1974, led to the resignation of its targetPresident Richard Nixon. The second, which began in 1998 against President Bill Clinton, led to the resignation of the man who had orchestrated the effortHouse Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Now we have entered the early phase of a third impeachment and removal effort, this time directed against President Donald Trump. Will it lead to triumph or disaster for Democrats? Will it lead to the end of Mr. Trumps presidency or pave the way for his reelection? We do not know. But history gives us clues about what to watch for along the way.
First, a presidents standing with the American people as the impeachment inquiry proceeds makes a big difference. As the Watergate hearings unfolded in the summer of 1973, soon followed by the infamous Saturday night massacre in the fall, President Nixons job approval fell steadily from 50% in the late spring of 1973 to just 24% at the beginning of 1974. During the next eight months, culminating in Mr. Nixons resignation, it barely budged. In short, Nixon was gravely damaged politically long before the House of Representatives voted to impeach him on three counts in July.
What Were The Consequences
According to some accounts, Johnson wept at the news of his acquittal, vowing to devote himself to restoring his reputation.
It didn’t work.
He served out the rest of his presidential term, but his final months in office were beset with the same power struggles that warped his tenure prior to impeachment.
And in 1869, Democrats lost the White House to Republican candidate General Ulysses S Grant, who allowed his party’s plan for Radical Reconstruction to continue.
And buying Alaska in 1867 for a cool $7.2m.
Johnson was also one of the poorest presidents. He never went to school.
Recommended Reading: Who’s Winning The Democrats Or The Republicans
From The Washington Post Archive
President Bill Clinton was impeached on Dec. 19, 1998.
Over what? Clinton was impeached for lying under oath and obstructing justice to cover up an Oval Office affair with Monica Lewinsky, an intern. Clintons affair and its cover-up was investigated as part of a four-year probe led by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.
Here is complete coverage of Clintons impeachment from The Washington Post archive.
The House of Representatives impeached the president of the United States yesterday for only the second time in American history, charging William Jefferson Clinton with high crimes and misdemeanors for lying under oath and obstructing justice to cover up an Oval Office affair with a young intern.
At 1:25 p.m. on a day of constitutional drama and personal trauma, the Republican-led House voted 228 to 206 largely along party lines to approve the first article of impeachment accusing the Democratic president of perjury before a grand jury. Within the hour, lawmakers went on to pass another article alleging he tampered with witnesses and helped hide evidence, but rejected two other articles on perjury and abuse of power.
Emerging from the Oval Office with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on his arm and Vice President Gore at his side, the president stood with his Democratic defenders and decried the partisan vote against him. Brushing aside calls for resignation, Clinton vowed to serve “until the last hour of the last day of my term.”
The Clinton Impeachment And Its Fallout
America was captivated by the story, especially;as it played out in;televised hearings, often with graphic detail
The next seven months found the American public consumed by the Lewinsky affair, following every nuance of the investigation by Starr and debating the merits of the case. Nothing like this had so captured the attention of the American public since Watergate and Nixon’s resignation from office. Startling revelations came out, including taped interviews in which Lewinsky described details of the affair as well as a dress that contained samples of the President’s DNA. On August 17, 1998, following his testimony before a federal grand jury on the matter, Clinton acknowledged in a televised address to the nation his “inappropriate” conduct with Lewinsky and admitted that he had misled the nation and embarrassed his family. But he did not admit to having lied, having instructed anyone else to lie, or orchestrating a cover-up involving anyone else.
In the process of pursuing an impeachment of the president, the Republicans had seriously overplayed their hand. An indication of what lay ahead came when the party actually lost five seats in the House while gaining no Senate seats in the November 1998 elections conducted just prior to the impeachment vote. Traditionally, the opposition party registers significant gains in the off-year elections of a President’s second term, and so the Republican loss was virtually unprecedented.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Main Differences Between Democrats And Republicans
Republican Who ‘wanted To Destroy’ Bill Clinton During 1998 Impeachment Has Regrets
A former Republican congressman who led the charge to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998 said he paid a visit to the former Democratic president a few years ago to ask forgiveness for his role in the affair.
I hated Bill Clinton, wanted to destroy him, asked to be on Judiciary Committee so that I could impeach him, said Bob Inglis, R-S.C., in an interview on The Long Game, a Yahoo News podcast.
Inglis visited Clinton a few years ago at the former presidents office in Harlem, he said, in what he described as a very interesting meeting. Inglis informed Clinton that he joined the Judiciary Committee as soon as he was elected to Congress in 1992, the same year Clinton was elected president, with the intent of impeaching him.
I hated you so much that I wanted to impeach you, Inglis told Clinton.
Clinton sort of flinched, Inglis said. I said, Yeah, I know you hadnt done anything yet, but so much did I hate you.
I told him that it wasnt good for my soul, it wasnt good for the country, for me to have that level of animosity toward him, Inglis said. He didnt say the words that you would hope to hear, which is, Youre forgiven. But in every way he has expressed that to me. Hes been very kind to accept the apology for sure.
Inglis left his seat in Congress in 1998, the same year the Republican-controlled House impeached Clinton, to run for the U.S. Senate. He narrowly lost to Democratic incumbent Sen. Fritz Hollings, who had held the seat since 1966.
Clinton Was Popular Impeachment Wasnt
By the time the House of Representatives voted to open an impeachment inquiry against Clinton in October 1998, the allegations against the president had been in the news for months. Clinton had publicly confessed to the affair in August, and in mid-September, Starr delivered his lengthy and salacious report which included a case for impeaching Clinton to Congress.
At that moment, support for impeachment seemed like it might be on the upswing. A Gallup poll conducted in mid-October, just after the House voted to formally open an impeachment inquiry, found that 48 percent of the public supported the decision to hold hearings. But as the chart below shows, support for impeachment didnt continue to tick upward. In mid-December, when the House voted to impeach Clinton on two counts of perjury and obstruction of justice, just about 40 percent of the public continued to think he should be impeached and the same was true in February, when the Senate voted to acquit him.
There were other signs, too, that the public didnt think Clinton should be removed from office. Republicans efforts to impeach Clinton appeared to be dramatically backfiring in real time after running a slew of ads attacking Clinton in the lead-up to the midterms, they lost seats and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had been one of Clintons loudest critics, resigned the speakership.
Recommended Reading: How Often Does Joe Manchin Vote With Republicans
What Did He Do
In the shadow of the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson – a Democrat – sparred constantly with the Republican-held Congress over how to rebuild the defeated US South.
The “Radical Republicans” of this period pushed for legislation to punish former Confederate leaders and protect the rights of freed slaves. Johnson used his presidential veto to block the Republican efforts at every turn.
In March, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, crafted to curtail the president’s ability to fire members of his cabinet without approval from the Senate. In defiance, Johnson suspended a cabinet member and political rival, Edwin Stanton, while Congress was in recess.
If today’s proceedings seem like a lot of political theatrics, it is in keeping with impeachment tradition: Stanton responded to his firing by locking himself in his office and refusing to leave.
Stanton’s removal proved to be the final straw – the House Republicans rushed to draft 11 articles of impeachment.
After a vote along party lines the articles were presented to the Senate, where he was acquitted, but only just. It was a single vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict.
Clinton Impeachment Process Began On October 5 1998
In September 1998, the House Judiciary Committee announced that an impeachment resolution would be brought to a vote on October 5. On that day, the committee voted 21-16 to move forward with a full impeachment inquiry. At the time, the New York Times described it as a party-line vote, with Democrats voting in favor of Clinton and Republicans voting in favor of impeachment.
You May Like: How Did The Republicans Take Control Of Congress
Bill Clinton Impeachment: 5 Fast Facts You Need To Know
Bill Clintons impeachment process lasted for four months between 1998 and 1999. Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, was accused of lying under oath and of obstruction of justice in relation to a sexual harassment lawsuit that had been brought by Paula Jones. That lawsuit led to an independent inquiry from Counsel Ken Starr for the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee.
On September 24, 2019, the House Democrats announced that they had opened an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in announcing the beginning of the inquiry, No one is above the law.
Heres what you need to know:
The Criminal Justice System
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was an Act of Congress dealing with crime and law enforcement. It is the largest crime bill in the history of the United States, and consisted of 356 pages that provided for 100,000 new police officers, $9.7 billion in funding for prisons, and $6.1 billion in funding for prevention programs, which were designed with significant input from experienced police officers. Sponsored by Representative Jack Brooks of Texas, the bill was originally written by Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, and then was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton.
Following the 101 California Street shooting, the 1993 Waco Siege, and other high-profile instances of violent crime, the Act expanded federal law in several ways. One of the most noted sections was the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Other parts of the Act provided for a greatly expanded federal death penalty, new classes of individuals banned from possessing firearms, the elimination of higher education for inmates, and a variety of new crimes defined in statutes relating to immigration law, hate crimes, sex crimes, and gang-related crime. The bill also required states to establish registries for sexual offenders by September 1997.
Read Also: Why Is The Media Against Republicans
Impeachment By House Of Representatives
On December 11, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee agreed to send three articles of impeachment to the full House for consideration. The vote on two articles, grand juryperjury and obstruction of justice, was 2117, both along party lines. On the third, perjury in the Paula Jones case, the committee voted 2018, with Republican Lindsey Graham joining with Democrats, in order to give President Clinton “the legal benefit of the doubt”. The next day, December 12, the committee agreed to send a fourth and final article, for abuse of power, to the full House by a 2117 vote, again, along party lines.
Although proceedings were delayed due to the bombing of Iraq, on the passage of H. Res. 611, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, on grounds of perjury to a grand jury and obstruction of justice . The two other articles were rejected, the count of perjury in the Jones case and abuse of power . Clinton thus became the second U.S. president to be impeached; the first, Andrew Johnson, was impeached in 1868. The only other previous U.S. president to be the subject of formal House impeachment proceedings was Richard Nixon in 197374. The Judiciary Committee agreed to a resolution containing three articles of impeachment in July 1974, but Nixon resigned from office soon thereafter, before the House took up the resolution.
The Republican Impeachment Push
Republicans distilled those down into four articles of impeachment. Two of them for perjury in depositions other than the grand jury and for obstructing Congress didnt make it out of the House of Representatives. But Clinton was impeached for perjury after he lied to the grand jury in the Jones case, and also for obstruction of justice.
Clinton wasnt the only one whose private failings were revealed. Rep. Bob Livingston, a Republican who supported impeachment and was in line to be speaker of the House, abruptly withdrew his name from running for that leadership position and admitted his own infidelity. He had been snared by a public call from Larry Flynt, publisher of the pornographic Hustler magazine, for proof of sexual hypocrisy.
The Senate trial of Clinton was a spectacle that featured videotaped testimony from Lewinsky and the embarrassing questions from Clintons grand jury testimony played back on the Senate floor.
The entire scandal consumed the country for a year. News of the affair leaked into the press in January of 1998. Clinton talked to a grand jury about the meaning of the word is in August. Starr released his infamous report with its prurient details in September. The House voted to impeach in December. Clintons trial in the Senate took place in February 1999.
Read Also: What Republicans Are Voting Against Trump