The Impeachment of Bill Clinton
The government of the United States controls countless affairs in the world. They control everything from the currency to the court systems. Individuals are suppose to be able to trusting your government system, which has not been the case in many different circumstances. From Richard Nixon to the Whitewater scandal, the government has been everything but honest.
Furthermore the President has not been honest either. He was the youngest governor of Arkansas and has been awarded with many different honors and still has misused his power. Bill Clinton has obstructed justice, carried on an affair while in presidency, and abused his power in office. He has also committed two counts of perjury and has lied under oath on more than one occasion. President Clinton should be impeached due to these countless acts of misconduct.
Clinton has apologized many times for a variety of incidences that he has committed. A linguistics professor, Debroah Tannen told Time Magazine that “…men hardly ever apologize because doing so ‘entails admitting fault’ and that shows ‘weakness’…”(Carlson 44). Clinton has appeared on television many times admitting many things and apologizing for them. In the beginning of the Monica Lewinsky situation, Clinton said that he had not had a relationship with that woman, so “…why would Clinton now, after seven months of sustained lying, suddenly choose honestly?” (Carlson 44). Many people say that it started when he was handed too much power at the early age of 32.
Clinton started his life in the state of Arkansas and while he was still in high school, he had thoughts of being a doctor or a reporter. After meeting John F. Kennedy, his interest changed into politics and went on to college where he received his law degree in 1973. He married Hillary Rodham in 1975 and two years later, he became the youngest governor, in the nation, of Arkansas, at the age of 32. He was reelected more than three times for the state of Arkansas (DeGregorio 2).
In 1992, William Clinton ran for President on the democratic ticket. His thoughts for the country were to create many jobs, lower taxes for the middle class, and help national health insurance. Although many people attacked him about an incident when he evaded military service and then tried to cover it up, he won the run and choose Senator Al Gore as his vice-president. He beat Republican Bush and Independent party Perot. President Clinton would be reelected again and he would have many issues while in his last term (DeGregorio 3).
Clinton’s first problem occurred in 1994, when Paula Jones claimed that Bill Clinton propositioned her and exposed himself to her while he was governor of Arkansas. Clinton denied everything from the beginning. In 1997, Clinton offered $700,000 to settle the case, but Jones only wanted an apology. If Clinton did not do anything wrong, then why would he pay a hefty fine to dismiss the case? April first of this year, the Jones case was dropped, but was reopened in November. Jones came out with a recorded $800,000 settlement (Froomkin 1).
The worries did not stop at the Jones case though. In 1995, Clinton allegedly started to have an affair with one of his interns, Monica Lewinsky who was 21 years old at the time. No one knew about these alleged affairs between Monica and the President, and after he stopped seeing her, is when Lewinsky took action. Clinton, just as in the Jones case, denied everything. People started to get suspicious about not one, but now two accusations against the President. Clinton said that he didn’t have a relationship with her, which was correct, according to his definition of “relationship”. “Clinton later changed his old story…to having an ‘inappropriate’ relationship with her” (Aubrey 3).
While Lewinsky was gathering up evidence to support her case, Independent Council, Kenneth Starr, offered to help her. Lewinsky agreed and told Starr everything about the relationship. On September 9, 1998, Starr released his Starr Report that told about the President’s affair. Before the release of the Report, Lacayo quoted “Washington is bracing itself for the text unlike anything it has ever handled, with interludes that describe, in all too fascinating detail, …engagement between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky…Starr’s Report could be the closest thing to pornography ever issued by the Government Printing Office” (40). Would it be right to know all about the President’s personal life? The answer to that question is yes if the President is lying about the affairs, and especially if he is lying under oath.
In Starr’s Report, there were eleven accountable statements for impeachment ranging from perjury to obstruction of justice. Starr states that Clinton’s actions were “inconsistent with the president’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws” (Aubrey 3). One of the general topics of the impeachment statements was that president Clinton lied under oath more than three times. Another general topic is the obstruction of justice that Clinton attempted many times.
Clinton appeared on live television and admitted to having an “inappropriate” relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton claims that he did not commit perjury, but instead delivered “narrow answers to ambiguous questions” (Aubrey 4). Clinton also believes that there was no obstruction of justice because everything was based on allegation, and not proof of the offenses (Aubrey 4).
Starr is not the only person helping Monica, and therefore trying to get Clinton out of office. Linda Tripp is strengthened Lewinsky’s case by recording her and the President on one of their meetings in the oval office. Lewinsky is not alone on this dispute to get Clinton impeached. There is a triangle between the people against Clinton. First, Kenneth Starr is the starts the triangle and in another corner stands’ Lewinsky and Jones. Linda Tripp is the main piece of the triangle feeding both Lewinsky and Starr (Lacayo 52).
Clinton has now made many television apologies to many people. “…Clinton made a national television broadcast, saying he deeply regretted his wrongful actions, but insisting that his answers…were ‘legally accurate’ (Aubrey 3). Carlson states that “It has been an odd spectacle for those who expected Clinton would be sorry enough that he’d been caught to be sorry enough to be contrite” (44).
Now Clinton’s fate is in the hands of Congress. There are some complications they will have to go through to get votes on the decision. One of these complications is the differences between the Republican and the Democratic party. There will have to be a way to count the votes, because all of the Democrats are going to vote for him, and the Republicans are going to vote against him. Another complication is the view of the public, because it now has a say in the vote of his impeachment as well (Oliver 6).
Time Magazine conducted a poll about the president in which 91 of the members of the house participated and were asked the following questions. (Appendix A). The outcome showed that all of the democrats are sticking by the President’s side while most of the Republicans want him out of office. Many of the Republicans did vote for the president to have him stay in office though, unlike the Democrats which did not give any breathing room for other votes.
The chart in appendix A also displays that more want the president to resign, but less would actually vote for his impeachment. Also, more than half of the votes wanted at least some form of action taken against the President (Lacayo 42-43).
A similar poll that Time Magazine conducted was taken in the first and sixth hours of the College Prep Writing classes, at Southgate Anderson High School. There was significantly different ratings than from the Time poll. (Appendix B). Most of the Republicans wanted Clinton to resign, but the surprising votes came from the Democrats, that voted equally to have him resign corresponding to him staying in office. Many of the people placed themselves under the category of neither or undecided instead of choosing themselves as a Republican or Democrat. Nearly all of them wanted Clinton to stay in office, but most of them also voted no on staying in office without any formal action being taken against him. This chart was mostly voted either for or against the President, and the votes were similar to the Time Magazine poll.
The same poll was taken in another hour of the College Prep Writing course. (Appendix B). This chart was very mixed and many people voted in opposite ways. More than 75% of the people placed themselves in the neither or undecided category, similar to first hours’ poll. It was voted practically half and half on the President resigning, and that was the same concept in the vote for his impeachment. The question of should the President be censured was cut right down the middle with a total of four votes on each side. The specifically surprising vote was that many people do not want Clinton acquitted of all his indictments. It was voted that more than 80% want some formal action taken against the President.
Clinton appeared before a grand jury about these sexual scandals and apologized for his actions, although still declaring that he did not lie under oath. Although the Clinton scandal has been going on, and many people do not like him anymore because of the lying, he still had the highest approval ratings as those of Ronald Reagan in the beginning of 1998 (Kurtz inside book cover).
The President, William Clinton, has obstructed justice, committed perjury, witness tampered, and has abused his power as the President. There is too much evidence that will be harmful enough to get the President impeached such as “The audiotapes by Linda Tripp, the sworn statements and testimonies of Ms. Tripp, …the courier records, White House phone logs, visitation logs, Secret Service logs, internal communication momos, security camera tapes, and numerous other pieces of evidence will undeniably prove that Ms. Lewinsky and the President had a long-running relationship” (Lauf 1). All these crimes have been committed without any disciplinary action taken. He should be impeached, not because of the affairs that have taken place, but for the untruthfulness, and lying he has committed under oath. The President will continue to lie and cheat unless some action is taken to get him out of the White House and into the court room.