It was twenty years ago that Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath during a deposition in a civil suit related to a sexual harassment claim. The 1995 Blog takes a look back at that process and comes to the conclusion that it looks better now than it did twenty years ago.
Clinton lied under oath, and sought to impede justice in a sexual harassment lawsuit in which he was the defendant. The lawsuit was brought by Paula Jones, a former employee of the state of Arkansas who said that Clinton, while he was the state’s governor, crudely propositioned her at a hotel room in Little Rock.
During his deposition in the Jones lawsuit, Clinton was asked about Lewinsky. He denied having had sexual relations with her; he denied having been alone with her. Presiding at Clinton’s deposition, taken in January 1998, was a federal judge, Susan Webber Wright.
She was there at Clinton’s request, and she later found that Clinton had given “intentionally false” testimony at the “tainted deposition” and that his “false, misleading and evasive answers … were designed to obstruct the judicial process.”
The judge found Clinton in contempt, and the House of Representatives wound up impeaching him on one count of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.
One may argue whether or not the Senate did the right thing by failing to convict, but looking back, it seems the House did the right thing by censuring Clinton’s lawless behavior.