Talk:Impeachment of Bill Clinton

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Start new topics below I believe that the wording should be changed. I may be wrong, but I thought that the House of Reps. were responsible for the Impeachment section of a presidental trial; however, the Senate is reponsable for the Removal from Office portion. Therefore, Clinton was impeached, but he was not removed from office. Either I am comfused, or the information is misleading. Either way it is a bit confusing.

I would appreciate any feedback, because I do not want to edit the page as I am not absolutely sure. If someone out there does know I would like to either know that I am wrong or edit the page so that it reflects the correct information.


"Impeachment is to bring federal charges against someone in office. " "Impeachment is to bring federal charges against someone in office. " Removed because Impeachment is the process of removing from office, "to bring charges" is vauge and implies a criminal act, which may not be necessary for impeachment

The House impeaches, much like a grand jury indictment. The Senate then conducts a trial on the charges. Separate things. There is no "impeachment section" of a trial. Your statement is correct that he was impeached, but not removed from office. Much as a defendant may be indicted but not convicted. What paragraph in the article is misleading? Derex 02:05, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

I think one important factor which is being overlooked is the fact that the court did not convict because the charges of perjury and obstruction did not fit the requirements of high crimes and misdemeanors. the constitutional requirements of impeachment should be mentioned because they go to the root of why he was not impeached. thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


There were 13 managers who acted like the prosecution, was there any defense as such? Nil Einne 19:31, 26 July 2006 (UTC)


is there any public document containing or estimating the cost of the trial? 18:42, 18 Sept 2006 (EST)

I found this in the Wahington Post. [1]

Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr spent $6.2 million during the six months last year when he was deposing former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky and concluding his impeachment case against President Clinton, according to the General Accounting Office.

Total cost of the entire Whitewater / Paula Jones / Lewinsky investigations:

Starr commenced his investigation of Whitewater and related matters in August 1994. Since then, he has spent $39.2 million probing Whitewater and President Clinton's affair with Lewinsky. Before Starr's appointment, a special counsel appointed by Attorney General Janet Reno had spent $6 million on a probe of Whitewater.

I also have a citation for $7.2 million. But all things being equal I go with the Washington Post over the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (no offense to any one that works for the ArDeGaz.
Proposed wording for the article: According to the Washington Post, the six month period of investigations and depositions that concluded with the impeachment proceedings cost the government at least $6.2 million dollars.

None of the articles I found tell me who got billed for that? The OIC has an "unlimited budget" so does that mean they have a budget at all or does it just come out of the DOJ? Mykll42 12:12, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


It would be nice to have some dates in here. When did the Starr investigation begin? When was its report released? This article is really thin on basic facts. \ Fnarf999 \ talk \ contribs \ 22:50, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


OK guys, this article is pretty damn POV. I'm gonna quote a few excerpts here that are obvious, but the much more sinister bias is the one that comes from selectively stating facts. Number 1:

Originally dealing with the failed land deal years earlier known as Whitewater, Starr, with the approval of Attorney General Janet Reno, expanded his investigation into Clinton's conduct during the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former Arkansas government employee, Paula Jones.

The "failed land dealings" is not on relevent. It is clearly included to cast doubt on Starr. Number 2:

The Republican leadership feared that they could not get enough votes to impeach Clinton in the incoming 106th Congress. So they hastily initiated impeachment proceedings during the post-election, lame duck session of the outgoing 105th Congress.

"Hastily"? Jeez. Number 3:

The presumptive Speaker-Elect, Bob Livingston, ironically resigned his job as an indirect result of Clinton's impeachment debate. Livingston chose to resign for his dishonor after his own marital infidelity came to light and encouraged Bill Clinton to show the same honor and resign for his infidelities and subsequent perjury.

"Ironically"? This has very little factual relevence. "For his dishonor"? I don't it's wikipedia's job to judge honor. I mean, come on. Number 4:

The key "lie" which Clinton was allegedly pressuring Currie (and Blumenthal) to make was that it was Lewinsky who initially pursued Clinton, not vice versa; unfortunately for the prosecution, Lewinsky herself stated that she was the one who instigated the relationship.

"Lie" need not be in quotation marks. Seriously, this article is embarrasing for Wikipedia. Njerseyguy 06:26, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I fixed most of those and removed a lot of the editorializing. I left the fact that the investigation started with Whitewater as that is relevant. People need to know why he was being investigated in the first place to know when / how he perjured himself. I also removed all references to the impeachment bills and trial failing to obtain bipartisan support. I maintain that people can count on their own, especially as we have listed how each senator voted. I feel more comfortable removing things with a pro-clinton POV as... well... as I have a pro-Clinton POV. I welcome people checking on me for fairness. I didn't touch the introduction. I don't even know where to begin. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mykll42 (talkcontribs) 11:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC).

Bias in the first sentence[edit]

Even before you say he was Impeached for commiting a felony you preface it by saying "President Bill Clinton was acquitted". Bias bias bias.

Ymous 19:27, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I see no bias in reporting the resolution of the impeachment process in the first sentence. In fact, I'd find it quite odd if the article did not immediately state whether he was convicted or acquitted of the charges. Your phrasing makes me wonder if you understand the Constitutional process of impeachment. Derex 02:41, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't see an issue here either, but I woudn't object to mentioning that he was charged first and acquitted second. Croctotheface 02:51, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I see a major issue here. Wikipedia is not a newspaper and should not be written as such. The first sentence or two should define the subject of the article, not lead with the end result first. The first section should explain what the impeachment of Bill Clinton is, with the end result, naturally, at the end of the section. To emphasize the verdict first does violate WP:NPOV as, regardless of the result, it de-emphasizes the sequence of events within the process, and one can argue (I know: weasel words here) that by doing that, the introduction does push a point of view, intentionally or not. 19:00, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Incorrect. The entire point of any trial is to convict. To leave out the result of a trial is rediculous. When someone is aquited of something, in the eyes of the law that person is innocent and can not be tried again. At that point the entire prosecution has been proven to only be a waste of tax payer money without any good done for the country.
I agree, I don't see how that can possibly qualify as bias. It doesn't use any words like "however" to belittle the point that he was impeached. Rather, it serves as a thesis summary of the events described in the article; that he was impeached by the House, thereby resulting in a trial before the Senate, the result of which was acquittal. I think it's pretty obvious that Ymous doesn't give a damn about neutrality; rather, people like him want to remind people that Clinton was impeached, and they don't want the fact that he was acquitted to hamper their argument. Stylistically, the inclusion of both points in the same sentence could be reasonably debated either way, though it looks fine to me. But bias? No, not even close.

Since this has remained undisputed for the last 3 months, I am removing the POV tag. 11:17, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I didn't see anything bias in that. It does say that he was impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate. I did think, however, that claiming this was disputed strictly down party lines is misleading. Five Republicans voted to acquit. That's not a small number considering the fact that the Senate is comprised of just 100 members.

A glaring piece of evidence that shows this was not a political move on the part of the Republicans is that all nine Supreme Court justices refused to attend his State of the Union address, including those who he had appointed. To them, the law, and more succinctly, the breaking of the law, was the issue to them.

Hahahaha your speculation about why the Justices didn't the State of the Union is comical. The announced reason was because they wanted to adhere to a tradition - since abandoned - that if one member of the Court cannot make the address, no member of the Court will attend. Let's not try to read our biases into the actions of otherwise uninvolved parties - especially members of the High Court.JasonCNJ 07:00, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

thats sentance isnt bias, its a fact. what would you change it to anyway? (talk) 15:59, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

The POV tags return[edit]

The last section merits a POV tag (if not an earlier section or two) - a section on "political ramifications" should also include the effects on Congress in the 1998 elections, and in addition, there should be more discussion of the political environment affecting not only Clinton but Congress as well. In addition, the first section reads like a newspaper article written minutes after the announcement of the "verdict" - hardly NPOV. There should be more explanation of the impeachment process and background, preferably starting with the person who preceded Kenneth Starr as independent prosecutor (Robert Fiske) and the role of Senators Helms and Faircloth in the replacement of Fiske. The impeachment did not occur in a vacuum; the article should not imply it to be as such. 18:48, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Voters who chose 'honesty' preferred Bush over Gore by over a margin of 5 to 1 implies that Clinton was the cause of Gore's defeat; in fact, Gore's ethics were also being questioned regarding his participation in fund-raising in the People's Republic of China.[2][3] 19:26, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
  • The above links relating to Gore's ethics are from news program discussions in 1997 and are therefore not FACTS but OPINIONS. There are no reports or credible sources to trace the impact, if any, of the PRC investigation on the 2000 presidential election. Like it or not user, Clinton's impeachment in 1998 was more of a factor than an obscure investigation from 1997 that, again, is nowhere to be found on the campaign trail in 2000. RARoth 22:26, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I yanked the "Political Ramifications" section altogether. It talks about Bush, who wasn't even a candidate at the time of the impeachment. Too much conjecture & opinion, and it did nothing to illuminate "Impeachement of Bill Clinton." 22:49, 24 July 2007 (UTC) Newt

I put it back, as it was well-referenced. If there is consensus in here to remove it, then we can do that. Kukini hablame aqui 21:04, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I support the consensus to remove it and will do so shortly unless otherwise directed by consensus. The entire section is POV, references issues unrelated to President Clinton's actual impeachment - the subject of the article - and, while having many citations, is hardly "well-referenced." (I discount the hypothesis of Stanford and the student newspaper at Princeton...great schools though they are they do not yet rise to the level of notable source on an issue such as this.) Even the title of the section is is not for wikipedia to determine the "political ramifications" of the impeachment and the random studies cited do not constitute reliable sources on how the American people interpreted the impeachment and its how that interpretation affected their political judgment in 2000. The entire section is conjecture and improper. JasonCNJ 04:24, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
except Al Gore himself blamed the Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment for his defeat, even confronting Clinton on the matter. the references cite exit poll numbers and the analysis' of each of the studies cited are valid. anyone who follows politics closely can remember that Bush jumped out to a huge early lead in the polls in the fall of 1999, with "character" being the number 1 issue on voters minds. rather than removing the entire section, add to it and balance it out as you see fit, but i don't see a POV issue with it as it is. i also don't see a "consensus" to remove the section.Anthonymendoza 19:24, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The consensus appears overwhelmingly in favor of removing the "political ramifications" section, as it is clearly one-sided and full of weasel language. Only conservative and neutral sources were cited, and the neutral ones (such as the AP article) don't seem to contain any specific information that supports the POV arguments made in this section. The rest appears to be based on heresay that isn't covered anywhere in the citations. Anthonymendoza commented on "exit poll numbers" that don't seem to be readily available in the citations. Most data suggests in fact that name recognition played more of a factor for Bush than anything else. He did use the impeachment scandal as a basis for campaigning on "character," as Anthonymendoza puts it, but there is simply no evidence cited here to support the assertion that voters gave decisive support as a direct result of this scandal. Given the fact that nobody in the political science community can agree on what (if any) political ramifications resulted from this scandal, it is inappropriate to be citing a single point of view (POV) as fact in an encyclopedia.

Since there appears to be sufficient consensus on this, along with the fact that this argument has been disengaged for nearly a month, I am removing the POV tag along with the section on political ramifications. If someone would like to re-write it from a more neutral perspective, accurately citing sources, then that would be a good idea. However, I think there's enough agreement here now not to simply restore this weasel POV section without a drastic overhaul. 11:30, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

i disagree there is "sufficient consensus on this" to remove it. the person who added the tag has "disengaged for nearly a month." the section is well referenced and legitimate. others can add to it or rewrite it, but to just remove it based on a complaint from a handful of anonymous editors is foolish. we could start a WP:RFC. Anthonymendoza 13:26, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but why does anyone think THIS is legitimate: "According to The Daily Princetonian, after the 2000 presidential election, "post-election polls found that, in the wake of Clinton-era scandals, the single most significant reason people voted for Bush was for his moral character"

Unless someone can explain otherwise, seems to me this is merely attempting to cast aspersion on the legitimacy of Bush's election, as if there was no reasion anyone voted for him other than he wasn't an adulterer. According to the Daily Princetonian? Forgive my own POV displayed in pointing this out, but the section is silly. Batvette (talk) 07:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

uytyfu —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:26, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


"Starr obtained further evidence of inappropriate behaviour by seizing the computer hard drive and email records of Monica Lewinsky."

Does the use of the word "inappropriate" here seem hopelessly parochial to anyone else? At the least it is a POV and/or passing judgement on a action which, in a country like France, is almost considered a positive sign in a leader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:09, 10 October 2013 (UTC)


I would like to see a more thorough analysis of the whole "what the meaning of the word 'is' is" statement. It's been thrown around for nearly a decade now, but I just realized that I don't have any clue about the original context. Googling doesn't seem to help - there are a lot of snickers and pop cultural references, but little in the way of analysis. Almost all of the time people quote just that line - hardly anyone gives the question which prompted it. Even then, it's hard to work through the layers, as the question refers to previous statements made by Clinton, and no one seems to ever quote these.

I think that Wikipedia would be much improved by a more complete discussion of the statement - the question and answers where the original 'is' was given, the question and context leading to Clinton's "what 'is' is" response, and linguistical analysis of the validity of the statement. Most of what I've seen has been just a knee-jerk "what a moron - everyone knows what 'is' means" dismissal. I would hope that we'd be able to find professional linguists views on the subject, when they treat the statement seriously. -- 18:01, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

It's very clear from the context; you can read the transcript in dozens of places online. Clinton was attempting to "spin" his past testimony by suggesting his previous (untrue) denials of a relationship had referred only to that moment in time., i.e., the immediate period in which he was being questioned, not to any undefined past periods, when indeed an ongoing sexual relationship took place. Professional linguists can indeed opine as to whether there is ever any theoretical justification for various nuanced interpretations of conjugating the verb "to be;" but I don't see how that is of any value in this case, other than as trivia. There was clearly no misinterpretation on either side (Clinton or prosecutors) regarding the information being asked for or the answers provided. The infamous "is" quote was an improvised ex post facto attempt at wriggling out of a lie; a rather bold, lawyerly attempt, but nothing else, and ridiculous in any deposition or court of law.

A more concrete example might be to, say, accuse someone of embezzlement. The person answers unequivocally "No." Later, when uncontestable proof of the embezzlement is offered, the accused offers that her previous testimony only meant that "there IS no embezzlement going on" at that moment, the moment of questioning; although there "WAS" embezzlement going on a year before, PRIOR to the questioning. Hence, the accused claims her testimony is truthful. Again, linguists can discuss theoretical nuance all day; I think we all know that verbs can have narrow temporal sense or broader meanings, depending upon context. None of that changes in the slightest way the fact that the accused is simply grasping at straws to deflect her dishonest testimony. So I'd posit that the "knee-jerk, what a moron" responses are much more appropriate and relevant than philological analysis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:32, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Unsourced OR[edit]

I removed this material because it is original research, not supported by any citations. To include this or anything like it we need to cite reliable sources who have done such analysis and drawn those conclusions. Tvoz |talk 06:23, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

===Nationwide and Worldwide reaction===

The American reaction to the scandal was mixed, but notably a majority of Americans polled, even those who disagreed with the President's politics and actions, nevertheless felt the scandal was overblown, politically motivated, and detracted from "real" news. Other Americans felt that the President was charged with serious crimes that warranted impeachment--e.g. obstruction of justice, perjury, and abuse of power (in the form of sexual harassment). However, as the impeachment dragged on, more and more Americans saw the process as a waste of time.

In Europe, where the liberal Clinton was welcomed by the left-leading nations of the European Union, many treated the scandal as a joke and a show at how immature Americans were in regards to sex. However, many Europeans either refused to learn about or were just plainly uninformed that Clinton was not on trial for an extramarital affair--instead, as many supporters of impeachment pointed out, Clinton was on trial for his abuses of power and lying in court in regards to sex, not for the sex in itself. The European bemused and belittling reaction to the events helped to alienate many Americans from European ideas as Americans felt insulted by Europe's inability to understand the true, if trumped up, charges at hand.

Unsourced or not, it's absolutely right. I was an American diplomat in Europe at this time. The European press did a terrible job of reporting on the situation, and most Europeans, even well-educated Europeans, believed Clinton was simply and solely "on trial" for having lied about an affair, or even for simply having an affair in the first place. The fact that it was a political strategem stemming from a financial impropriety/abuse of power investigation, and that the Lewinsky affair came up only through that investigation, was not understood. All the more odd since in most EU countries, "scandals" of various sorts are quite commonly used by political opponents to bring down politicians, which in the end is, of course, all Starr and his congressional supporters were opportunistically doing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:41, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

On several occasions?[edit]

Under the section "The January 1998 press conference" it says "Clinton engaged in oral sex with Ms. Lewinsky on several occasions.[6][7]" I checked the sources of the two footnotes, and I don't see anything suggesting that it happened more than once. Perhaps the person who wrote this was confused by the reference in the source article to several private meetings at the White House, but those were Hillary Clinton's meetings, not Bill's. (talk) 17:39, 18 August 2008 (UTC)


As a fellow Democrat, I am sorry to dispell your claim. The House impeaches and the Senate convicts. He was impeached, but it was Gingrich and Kenneth Starr who truly lost the case. Starr's Independent Counsel position was demolished and Gingrich resigned from Congress altogether in humiliation204.169.161.1 (talk) 22:08, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

impeached on December 19  ??[edit]

So, why does it say on this CNN video December 18  ??? What is correct ? (talk) 22:17, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Is Not A Place To Hype Any Political Party[edit]

This page was written more like a Republican campaign ad than a neutral non-partisan page. You keep your political views to yourself and don't hide details about how others judged Gore's loss. You need to include every logical detail, and not hide any scenario, like how this page did. You need to include what Clinton and other commentators argued, and not just what Gore argued. The same Stanford page that was used to trash Clinton as a liability to Gore included different hypothesis' of the election, and not just Clinton's personal record being a liability. (talk) 19:46, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Last two sections[edit]

The last two sections in the current article, "Ensuing events for 13 House managers" and "Other affairs", seem kind of coatracky to me. Other than the one of the 13 House managers who lost his bid for re-election in 2000, all of them left the House under circumstances that seem to have very little to do with the Clinton impeachment, so why spend so much time chronicling that? Also, the fact that Republican officials have also had affairs is of limited relevance, as Clinton was not impeached for adultery. Certainly there is a place to mention politicians whose affairs were revealed in connection with the impeachment (e.g., the Flynt episode), but a general list of adulterous Republicans seems out of line. Thoughts? --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 17:49, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Well the republicans presented impeachment as a moral argument, and did everything they could to keep the sexual aspects prominent in the media. So their own lack of morality is completely relevant. Clinton was impeached for lying about adultery - the republicans were never asked to testify about their own adultery, and we can only guess how many of them would have lied had they thought they could have gotten away with it. Algr (talk) 22:20, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

It Is Worth Noting That Media Outlets Gave The Impression That They Were In Favor of Bush During The 2000 Presidential Election And Could've Exaggerated Things In An Effort To Help Him Win[edit]

That poll that showed half of Americans supported the decision to impeach Clinton was conducted by in part by CNN and USA Today- two media outlets that were accused of putting an effort to help Bush win the 2000 Presidential election- in December of 1999, when Bush and Gore were campaigning, and it may have very well been just conducted to garner support for Bush. It very well may have not been a random survey and they could've knowingly surveyed the bulk of the respondents from pro-Republican areas. Bush raised more money than Gore when he campaigned and the media has had a history of siding with the candidate who raises the most money. My resources are quite neutral and are not biased. They even sourced various news articles that made false claims about Al Gore. (talk) 23:36, 31 January 2012 (UTC) I should've mentioned earlier that one of the sources included was FAIR, an organization known for grading media bias. (talk) 02:56, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

My Edits Were Not Poorly Sourced And Were Quite Neutral[edit]

My sources were CNN, Infoplease and the University of Missouri Kansas City. Drmies, I suggest you accept the consensus policy and keep your views to yourself. (talk) 03:29, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I believe this article should be entitled "Attempted Impeachment of Bill Clinton". To call it "Impeachment of Bill Clinton" is to wrongly, purposefully or accidentally, state that he was impeached when in fact he was not. It should be called "Attempted impeachment of Bill Clinton", then go into detail of how he was voted to be impeached by the House of Representatives, but not by the Senate, thus making the impeachment of Clinton unsuccessful. This is writing, and in writing you must state things exactly as they are, not by what you meant or what you were trying to imply. The current title of this article is 100% unequivocally misguided. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Impeachment is not removal from office; impeachment is the initiation of the trial process by bringing formal charges. Please read the wiki article on impeachment. Your understanding of impeachment is flawed. Clinton was impeached, but not convicted. If it helps, try mentally substituting "brought to court on charges" for "impeached". Being brought up on charges is not the saem thing as being convicted. You can be aquitted, but that doesn't change the fact you were brought to court. (talk) 00:23, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Was the impeachment illegal?[edit]

Those of us who know the Constitution well know that it takes a 2/3rds vote in the US House to impeach (indict) the President or a Supreme Court justice and, after a trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (for the President), a 2/3rds vote in the US Senate for removal. Did one of the Amendments of the Constitution change the rules to require a simply majority vote in the House for impeachment?

While a two-thirds majority is required for conviction, a simple majority is the default in the House of Representatives. The relevant clauses in Article I are: Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5: "The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment." and Article 1, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7: "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside; And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present." NW (Talk) 16:08, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Bias / Unsupported claims?[edit]

"Although the impeachment and trial was broadly unpopular with the public, Clinton's personal image suffered and Vice President Al Gore distanced himself from Clinton, which assisted George W. Bush in his successful presidential campaign against Gore in 2000."

That seems like a lot of opinion with no source references to back it up:

"the trial was broadly unpopular with the public" - says who?

"Clinton's personal image suffered" - according to what measures?

"Gore distanced himself from Clinton" - proof?

"which assisted Bush in his successful campaign against Gore" - implying cause and effect between the prior statement, and cause and effect on the subsequent campaign. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 22 October 2013 (UTC)