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.
case made sensational headlines throughout the world and centered around the president's
denials of an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
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.
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.
hearing the case was about to break, the president made the now famous statement:
did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
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
evening Clinton gave a 4 minute statement to the nation admitting to having an
'inappropriate relationship' with Miss Lewinsky.
be successful, an impeachment requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate to
convict but Clinton's opponents failed to achieve this.
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.