Just think … they impeached Bill Clinton for lying about sex!

If there is a hint of reflection among congressional Republicans who are resisting calls to impeach Donald J. Trump on allegations that he is endangering national security, they need to ponder what their political forebears did 20 years ago.

President Bill Clinton in 1998 became the subject of a special prosecutor’s probe into a real estate deal in Arkansas, where Clinton served as governor before he was elected president in 1992. The investigation broadened way beyond its initial mandate.

Prosecutor Kenneth Starr then started sniffing out reports of a relationship Clinton had with a White House intern. He summoned the president to testify before a federal grand jury about that relationship. Clinton took an oath to “tell nothing but the truth.” He didn’t uphold that oath. He committed an act of perjury because, apparently, he was too embarrassed to reveal what went on with him and the intern.

Congressional Republicans decided to launch an “impeachment inquiry” into that matter. They then impeached the president ostensibly for committing a felony: that would be perjury.

However, the complete impeachment context has to include sex. The House impeached Clinton because he had a sexual relationship with a young woman working in the White House.

The Senate acquitted Clinton in the trial it held.

Here we are, two decades later.

Donald Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry of his own. The allegations are no longer really allegations. Trump has said it out loud, that he has sought help from Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. He doubled down after that by saying China should do the same thing.

What’s more, Trump withheld arms shipments to Ukraine until it agreed to aid in his re-election effort. Those shipments include weapons Ukraine wants to deploy against Russian troops who have invaded Ukraine.

Ukraine is an ally. Russia is an adversary. Hmm. Can you say, “national security threat”?

Republicans in the House and Senate so far have been far too reluctant to climb aboard the impeachment hay wagon. These folks, I need to remind everyone, belong to the same political party of those who were so very quick to impeach an earlier president for lying to a grand jury.

What in the name of constitutional defense is more critical: a president’s personal misbehavior or a president who violates his oath to adhere to the nation’s governing framework?

9 thoughts on “Just think … they impeached Bill Clinton for lying about sex!”

  1. Good one John. Clinton should never have been impeached. Thankfully, the GOP lost House seats in the 1998 midterms because of that. Talk about an act defeating its purpose.

  2. John,

    I am no fan of President Trump. But I am still trying to wrap my head around exactly how he has violated his oath of office. Under his oath, he promised to defend and protect the Constitution. So apparently he has violated his oath by violating the Constitution. This gives rise to a question as to which particular Constitutional provision he has violated.

    I have done a little Internet searching on this and I have not found much. The most relevant provision seems to be the Foreign Emoluments Clause found in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8. That provision reads as follows:

    “[N]o Person holding any office of Profit or Trust under [the United States] shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign state.”

    If this is the part of the Constitution that he has allegedly violated, then I guess the theory is that he was seeking a present from the President of the Ukraine in the form of an investigation into Burisma and the Bidens.

    I would be interested to see a blogpost from you addressing the question of how President Trump has violated his oath. I think people need to be able to answer this question in order to combat the idea that DJT has done nothing wrong.

    Thanks.

          1. I am well – thanks. I’m living in Houston now and have been working for the Harris County Public Defender’s handling appeals and legislative matters since 2015.

  3. As long as we’re sharing, we moved to the D/FW Metroplex a year ago. Bought a house in Princeton. We’re retired. Traveling in our RV. Spending more time with our granddaughter. I’m writing this blog and having a blast. Glad to reconnect with you, Ted. We need to go offline … onto another social media platform.

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