Thursday, 19 December 2019

h. res. 611

Becoming the second president in US history to be impeached (previously), specifically for lying while under oath and obstruction of justice in charges stemming from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones (the Supreme Court ruling that incumbency did not impart immunity from civil lawsuits) and sexual relations with a subordinate, White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the House of Representatives voted to impeach William Jefferson Clinton on this day in 1998.
The articles were later exhibited to the Senate for adjudication, acquitting Clinton on both charges. Against protests that dismissal would signal that perjury was merely a breach of etiquette, White House Counsel Charles Ruff presented the compelling argument: “There is only one question—albeit a difficult one—that is a question of fact and law and constitutional theory. Would it put at risk the liberties of the people to retain the president in office? Putting aside partisan animus, if you can honestly say it would not—that those liberties would be safe in his hands, then you must acquit.”