12th February
It was on this day...
1999 President Clinton Acquitted of Impeachment By Senate

President Bill Clinton was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, but at the end of a 5 week trial, he was acquitted on this day in 1999.

The case made sensational headlines throughout the world and centered around the president's denials of an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Linda Tripp, to whom Lewinsky had confided the affair, contacted the office of Kenneth Starr, the White House independent counsel investigating the conduct of the president, to tell of the affair between Lewinsky and Clinton after, in January 1998, Lewinsky had filed an affidavit denying she had had a sexual encounter with the president in a sexual harassment case brought by Paula Jones against Clinton.

Linda Tripp, while wired by FBI agents working with Starr, met with Lewinsky again. On 16th January, Lewinsky was questioned by FBI agents and US attorneys and offered immunity for evidence against the president.

On hearing the case was about to break, the president made the now famous statement:

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

President Clinton became the first sitting president to ever testify to a grand jury about his conduct. He admitted to the counsel that he had, indeed, had an extramarital affair.

That evening Clinton gave a 4 minute statement to the nation admitting to having an 'inappropriate relationship' with Miss Lewinsky.

To be successful, an impeachment requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict but Clinton's opponents failed to achieve this.

Rejecting the charge of perjury, 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted not guilty. On the charge of obstruction of justice the Senate was split 50-50.

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Birthdays
1955
Arsenio Hall
1939
Ray Manzarek
1923
Franco Zeffirelli
1917
Dom DiMaggio
1915
Lorne Green
1809
Charles Darwin
1809
Abraham Lincoln
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