December 19, 2006
Today in Legal History: Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, Dec. 19, 1998
Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998, by the House of Representatives on grounds of perjury to a grand jury (by a 228-206 vote) and obstruction of justice (by a 221-212 vote). The Impeachment Trial in the Senate commenced on January 7, 1999. The Senate voted on the Articles of Impeachment on February 12, with a two-thirds majority, or 67 Senators, required to convict.
On Article I, that charged that the President "...willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury" and made "...corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence" in the Paula Jones lawsuit, the President was found not guilty with 45 Senators voting for the President's removal from office and 55 against. Ten Republicans split with their colleagues to vote for acquittal; all 45 Democrats voted to acquit. On Article II, charging that the President "...has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice"..., the vote was 50-50, with all Democrats and five Republicans voting to acquit.
- Eagleton Institute of Politcs' Clinton Impeachment Digital Archive
- JURIST'S Guide to Impeachment Materials
- University of Michigan Library Documents Center Archive: Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton
See also Wikipedia's Impeachment of Bill Clinton. [JH]
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I note that this is just your second entry in the "Today in Legal History" meme on the blog. Why on earth would you choose this event and day, given our nation's long and distinguished legacy of legal milestones? Historically, this action meant nothing to the nation. True, it was an embarrassment to Mr. Clinton, who will be summarily clucked about over the ages for his moral weakness and indiscretion. It didn't quite mark the end of the multimillion dollar reign of the "Special Prosecutor," nor the end of the successful Clinton/Gore second term.
As a regular reader, I look forward to a future time when you will hold high for recognition the anniversary of the impeachment of George W. Bush, who is guilty of far greater crimes against our democracy than lying about sex.
Joe notes: Unfortunately the long-lasting memory of the national agony over Clinton's impeachment makes the prospect of a more justified impeachment George W. Bush utterly unlikely.
Posted by: Bunnie Watson | Dec 19, 2006 7:51:17 AM