Fine fellows, all. Life moves forward, not backwards. Remember when Republicans were decent and good? I remember people like George H W Bush, may his memory be a blessing. I remember when indiscriminately gassing immigrant thug women and children was actually heinous. Not any more, according to the good white Christians like Trump and his immoral sheep masquerading as Christians.
But you are free to give me a definition. Tear gas was used at the Border by Obama—-do your homework. You folks have a permanent obsession with Trump. All those tertiary figures you name are insignificant.
So easy. So fast. So Target.
We and Russia have been intefering into elections for 50 years—- what is new? Hilary lost due to 4 states. Do you really want me to enumerate the morally indefensible actions of Dems in our lifetime? The Island is being used. Two seasons to tell the story of the events of one night. The Island is being used? The die has been cast the economy depends on it. Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. If you put yourself in the spotlight with bad behavior and people defend it and you, it seems that it will alway be argued. Sign in Join. Sign in. Log into your account.
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Latest Posts. Then they informed me they had been doing the taping. It became clear that there was nothing conclusive, but also that this was an ongoing process—she was still taping, and she and Lucianne were trying to enlist me in their scheme. Listening to that tape would not have brought me any closer to publishing a story. I had gotten what I wanted to get, which was the name. He had a car downstairs waiting to take him to some TV show. The tapes just stayed in the shopping bag for several weeks. Tripp also tipped off the lawyers representing Paula Jones in a lawsuit, filed in , accusing Bill Clinton of sexual harassment for an incident that allegedly took place in Arkansas in Meanwhile, others were scrambling, including the Washington lawyer Robert Bennett, who was representing Clinton in the Jones case.
Bruce Lindsey [the deputy White House counsel] told me she was an intern who had brought pizza to them on the day the government had shut down. He sort of brushed it off. Sometimes people go on fishing expeditions. Robert Bennett: The deposition was bizarre, to say the least. Clinton was there, and we asked that the judge be there.
If the judge was in the room, she could rule immediately on the propriety of a question. Lucianne Goldberg: I gave it to Drudge. By the time Newsweek turned it down, Isikoff was fit to be tied. They made him wait until late, late on a Saturday night. He was absolutely pissed. I found myself with this hot potato. So I talked to some friends of mine that had been along for the ride, Ann Coulter being one of them. Drudge broke it within the hour. Lanny Davis, a law-school classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton, was due to leave the White House at the end of January after a stint defending the administration in several other scandals.
He learned of the Lewinsky story when a reporter called. Lanny Davis: I was sitting at my kitchen table with a glass of scotch. I hung up the phone, called the White House, and got John Podesta, the deputy chief of staff on duty. He told me to come to the White House. By the look on her face, I guessed that she knew what the story was about. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time—never.
I always kind of thought people figured it out for what it was. That bothers me about oneth of 1 percent. I was way more upset when they passed the welfare bill. Robert Shrum: We went into the Cabinet Room. It was about eight or nine days before the speech. And Bill Clinton was not Bill Clinton.
The other thing was, we had all sorts of people sending in passages about the scandal that they thought he should begin the speech with. If we do this, that will be the news. There will be no oxygen left for anything else. Mark Penn: I show up for a State of the Union speech prep, and the place looks like a bomb shelter. Clinton had made the strong denial, which was just false. So they decide not to hold the regular speech prep.
It was just me and Podesta with the president in the Cabinet Room. He was very precise in his phrasing.
Immoral or Scandalous | Center for Inquiry
Since , a team led by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, a former federal judge and solicitor general, had been investigating a series of scandals involving the Clintons, beginning with the failed Whitewater real-estate deal and expanding to include other matters—Travelgate, a contested shake-up of the White House Travel Office; Filegate, which involved allegedly improper use of FBI background checks; and the apparent suicide of White House counsel Vince Foster, whom conspiracy theorists believed had been murdered.
As the Jones lawsuit moved forward, the Office of the Independent Counsel seemed to be winding down its inquiry. The staff lawyer was unaware that the information had come from the Jones team. He insisted that Tripp come forward. On January 12, she did. On January 13, Tripp met Lewinsky for lunch, wearing a wire provided by FBI agents working for the independent counsel. On January 16, Starr sought and was granted permission to expand his investigation, and later that day FBI agents and prosecutors ushered Lewinsky into a room at the Ritz-Carlton in Arlington, Virginia, and questioned her for 11 hours.
Paul Rosenzweig was the lawyer who got the tip about Tripp. Sidney Blumenthal was an assistant and special adviser to the president, responsible for, among other things, media outreach. Paul Rosenzweig: At some level, as I look back, everything happened as it should. I want the testimony of a live witness. Bring it on. In retrospect, I regret not asking more questions, like: How did this information come to you? Who else knows about it? We knew that they were politically motivated, we knew that they were leaking grand-jury information in violation of Federal Rule 6 e to reporters, and that they were obsessed with media relations and controlling the narrative.
We learned that afterward. Paul Rosenzweig: It had certainly entered many of our minds that Lewinsky was potentially a fabulist. I remember the day that we knew the story was real. She got a subpoena for anything relating to Monica Lewinsky. Her lawyer walked in with a box of gifts that Bill Clinton had given to Lewinsky, and that she had boxed up and given to Betty Currie for safekeeping. On March 23, , Kenneth Starr subpoenaed the records of Kramerbooks, a store in Washington, to obtain a list of purchases by Lewinsky.
But the subpoena was just bad. Vox is a conversation between two people who are excited by the idea that they get to tell their private stories to each other. The book is trying to celebrate the secret hideouts that novels offer readers. And I love that about books. That kind of privacy ought to be respected. She flew to Washington to appear before a grand jury in April. Blumenthal, too, was called to testify before the grand jury and was drawn into other legal actions.
Nicole Maffeo Russo: It was scary. I went down there not knowing what they wanted to talk about or why I was being subpoenaed. I heard rumors and gossip. I was a petulant child, really. But I would do it again. They were nuisance suits that nonetheless required you to have a lawyer and were attempts to create immense financial burdens and distract you and scare you. There was the Linda Tripp defamation suit. There was no end to it. The legal bills all added up. Steven Brill: We were launching the magazine in June, and I decided by mid-January, late January, that the press around the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal really ought to be the lead story.
With Ken Starr, it was exactly the opposite: The press was the tool of the prosecution. The prosecution just kept leaking, and the press just kept lapping it up. In my view, Starr was also violating a statute related to grand-jury secrecy, which is now a little bit relevant because his deputy at the time was Brett Kavanaugh, and Kavanaugh was one of two people who were basically identified as leaking to the press.
David Brock had been a leading anti-Clinton reporter for The American Spectator but began to question his politics.
Patrick Boyer: Our Scandalous Senate
So I was in a unique position. Some of it was because he had disrupted a long Republican era and all the relationships that had gone with that. Some of it was generational. Mark Penn: Hillary wanted us to fight, fight, fight. We basically went back on campaign footing. That meant finding issues, finding communications, running the message, just like a campaign—but not about impeachment. We always had this distinction between public behavior and private life. In his public life he was an exceptional president. In his private life ….
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She kept us all going even while we knew how difficult it was for her, far more than for us. You could see over time that the Clinton folks made a lot of headway in turning public opinion around to the idea that, even if something had happened between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, which we ended up finding out was true, nothing was on the level of an impeachable offense. On July 17, Starr served the president with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury. The subpoena was withdrawn when Clinton agreed to testify voluntarily. Starr made a number of concessions: Clinton would appear via closed-circuit TV from the White House, his testimony would be limited to one day, and his lawyers could be present.
Clinton testified on August I misled people, including even my wife. Paul Rosenzweig: In his testimony, the president dodged and weaved.
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We never got a very successful theory on how to counteract that. We can take them out in front of a judge and ask to hold them in contempt. Just looking at 23 jurors makes it hard to refuse to answer a question. I actually had an instant poll running, and the speech did fine. I think people underestimate in these fights that the complete mea culpa deflates your supporters.
On August 20, the U. The attacks invited comparison to the plot of a recent movie directed by Barry Levinson, Wag the Dog , about military action taken to deflect attention from a presidential sex scandal. The president was there—supposedly reconciling with Mrs. Clinton, as I understood it. We went through the options. One was the follow-on of the Wag the Dog movie—he would be doing this to distract.
But really he gave the okay based on a full set of existing policies. He was not making a decision from a cold start. I had to go into the hospital for some minor surgery that summer. I was given some kind of painkiller. And the television was on and they were talking about the air strike and Wag the Dog. Bob Barr: Everything changed with the revelation of the Monica Lewinsky incident.
To me, this was unfortunate, because it took the focus away completely from what I thought, and continue to this day to think, were the far more serious and more substantive grounds for impeachment. Julian Epstein: We were pretty sure by March, with all the overheated rhetoric from the Republican leaders, that they were going to impeach. I started making hires for impeachment staff in March. Mark Penn: The question you really have in a crisis is: Can the business keep operating while you resolve the crisis, or not?
And that really became what the strategy was. The strategy was that he would do the job of president. He would talk about the other stuff as little as possible. Among the writers were Brett Kavanaugh and Stephen Bates. He contributed much of the narrative of events.
David Kendall, a Washington attorney, represented Clinton on matters involving the independent counsel. Stephen Bates: The idea was to do a factual summary in part to simplify things for the reader and also to have some indication of why you should believe Monica Lewinsky.
And so that required including a lot of information about when she went to the White House, what time, how long she was there, what she heard with the president on the phone, that sort of thing. Part of the point of including all that information was to bolster her credibility. Because on some of the crucial things, it was her account versus his account. She had an incredible memory. One involved the fact that Lewinsky, as I remember, used Betty Currie to get material to the president—if she gave him a gift, it went to Betty Currie, and it was sort of a back channel. So that ended up not making the cut.
David Kendall: The Starr Report made no attempt to summarize accurately the evidence the Office of the Independent Counsel had developed. A statement that remarkably was not included in the report was this one, from Ms. They carried 36 boxes of evidence. Capitol Police officers conveyed the boxes to a locked room set aside for members of Congress.
Some Republicans, like Representative Bill McCollum, of Florida, felt that Democrats were never interested in a good-faith consideration of whether Clinton might be worthy of impeachment. On September 11, the House voted —63 to release the report to the public. Barney Frank was a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts. Bill M c Collum: You could go over there anytime you wanted, but it was basically under lock and key.
Any House member could go. Stephen Bates: We thought Congress would just use the report for their own purposes. During Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee was allowed to see it and nobody else, and it never went public. In retrospect, I guess it was naive to think the same thing would happen in The only model we had was the Jaworski report, and how Congress treated that report as secret.
And then Congress voted to release the Starr Report unread. David Kendall: There was no need for Starr to send the detailed, pornographic report to Congress. In his grand-jury testimony in August , the president had admitted that when he was alone with Ms. The specific anatomical details were not relevant to anything, but Starr used the compelled testimony of Ms. Lewinsky to paint a detailed, lengthy, and graphic account of their relationship. To what end? To humiliate and demean both people.
Julian Epstein: The day we got that report, we knew it was over. We were certain of two things. The second thing was how much ammunition the report gave us—just the countless pornographic details and how unprofessional the work itself was from a legal standpoint. All this stuff about cigars and all the other gratuitous sexual things were absurd. The foolishness of Starr and the Republicans not to see how the sexual material in the report would backfire was just jaw-dropping to us.
Barney Frank: In September, Starr sends Congress a report—the congressional elections are in November—saying that the president has behaved badly and we can impeach him. He does not mention the other items he had been investigating, with one exception. Early on they had said that Vince Foster had killed himself—that the idea of murder was ridiculous. His answer was all mumbo jumbo. The decision to release the Starr Report created an opportunity for the fledgling publishing house PublicAffairs.
The PublicAffairs edition of the Starr Report was an immediate best seller. Peter Osnos: It was announced on a Tuesday that it would come out on a Friday. I called The Washington Post and asked them if they would give us a disc of the report and the first-day Post coverage, which we could then use as the basis for the book. We struck a deal.
That was Tuesday. That was Thursday. Friday, the report was released, and we were in the newsroom of The Washington Post to pick up the disc. Books started arriving in stores midday Monday, shipped by air. Darrell Hammond: In the videotapes, when Clinton was being questioned, he did the most interesting thing: He elongated his neck slightly, as a form of physical rectitude. When he got to engage these great legal minds in a debate over the meaning of the word is , that debate went on just long enough for the audiences I was playing for around the country, anyway, to decide this thing was just silly.
The biggest change in the media landscape as impeachment unfolded—and one that impeachment accelerated—was the emergence of the cable-news channels Fox, CNN, and MSNBC into a position of influence. I was now a private citizen and a volunteer to help the president. It was very difficult, physically and mentally. In August I had to go into the hospital because I had something called diverticulitis. He says he wants to talk about oral sex.
Sally Quinn of The Washington Post published one in the fall of James Carville: I can easily tell you what the high point of that whole time was. The high point was the Sally Quinn piece in The Washington Post where every fool was mouthing off about how Washington was a village and how dare the Clintons intrude on their turf. No one could stop laughing at that. David Broder—just priceless.
Clinton remained popular with the public. After he denied an affair with Lewinsky in January, his Gallup approval rating spiked 10 points, to 69 percent. It remained in the 60s until the impeachment vote in December, when it shot up again, to 73 percent. Lanny Davis: Everybody in the country got it in about a week. Bad judgment. Whatever you want to say. Nothing to do with abuse of presidential power. Nothing to do with the impeachment clause. He had publicly apologized to the country, to Ms. Lewinsky, and to his wife and family. It took all of Washington, including me, about a year to figure that out.
On October 5, , the House Judiciary Committee voted to launch an impeachment inquiry, followed by the full House three days later. Gingrich predicted that the Republicans would add significantly to their majority. Instead, the Democrats gained five seats in the House. Although the Republicans retained the majority, Gingrich was weakened and planned to resign his seat. Bob Livingston, of Louisiana, was expected to be elected the next speaker. Bob Livingston: We should have, when Clinton got into trouble, just not focused on his problems in the media.
James Rogan: Suddenly the Republicans realized all this talk about impeachment almost cost them the majority. The speaker lost his job because of it. Barney Frank: It was always my view that Henry Hyde, the Judiciary chair, did not want to go ahead and press impeachment all the way, but Tom DeLay [the majority whip] was calling the shots and kept pushing them and pushing them.