The Clinton-Lewinsky Sex Scandal

The Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal In 1993 William Jefferson Clinton became president of the United States, with first lady Hillary Clinton by his side Since his presidency, Clinton has been praised for a drop in unemployment rates, as well as reducing the federal deficit

But despite his successes, the former President’s legacy has been overshadowed by his relationship with Monica Lewinsky In June 1995 Lewinsky joined the White House as an unpaid intern Little did she know that this career path would lead her down a road of sex, secrecy and scandal In January 1998 Lewinsky’s name started to appear in gossip columns, and allegations of a sex scandal circulated in the press At the same time, around April and May 1998, Clinton was facing a court case as a result of alleged sexual harassment against former employee Paula Jones

But were these allegations simply an attempt to damage the President’s image? During the Paula Jones court case, the President denied any involvement with Miss Lewinsky, and dismissed the media allegations as lies I want to say one thing to the American people I want you to listen to me I’m going to say this again I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky

I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never These allegations are false” But it was only a matter of time before the young girl spoke out “You know Linda, I just don’t get the feeling that he cares… I think he feels that having me get a job in New York is the right thing to do and it is and he owes me that” Lewinsky claimed that in 1995, five months into her career, she began a sexual relationship with the President

This allegedly started when the White House was shut down for a week, leaving just 90 staff members present She said that during an informal birthday party the two first met in the Chief of Staff’s office That same evening, they met in private at least two more times The President invited her to see his private office, and the two of them engaged in sexual activity Lewinsky claimed that she had nine sexual encounters with Clinton, from November 1995 to March 1997, all behind the back of his wife – sneaking into empty offices or bathrooms around the White House

But how much of Lewinsky’s confession was really true? In April 1996 Evelyn Lieberman, the former Chief Of Staff, had Lewinsky transferred to the Pentagon, because of ‘inappropriate and immature behavior’ at work At the Pentagon, Lewinsky opened up to a colleague, Linda Tripp, about her affair with the President Tripp recommended that Lewinsky keep hold of the gifts she had received from the President – including a poetry book, a brooch, and a stuffed animal Tripp also told Lewinsky not to wash a blue dress, which was allegedly stained with the President's semen And for additional proof, Tripp also wore a hidden microphone for the FBI to record her detailed conversations with Lewinsky

Tripp brought the secret tapes to the attention of the Paula Jones harassment case This additional Lewinsky evidence extended the court case, and severely jeopardised the President’s image But despite this, Clinton’s approval rating surged to a high of 73% even at the peak of the scandal The President still appeared to be on safe ground until July 28th 1998, when Lewinsky traded the blue dress for transactional immunity This meant that she would be protected from future prosecution as a result of her testimony

The DNA evidence was undeniable – the semen stains on the dress belonged to Bill Clinton “Is it possible or impossible that your semen is on a dress belonging to Miss Lewinsky” “I have nothing to add to my statement about it sir, you know what the facts are” On August 17th 1998, Clinton finally admitted to the grand jury that he had an ‘improper physical relationship’ with Lewinsky

Ultimately, the President was fined $90,000 for giving false testimony, and his license to practice law was suspended Paula Jones received a settlement offer of $850,000 The following month, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in order to hide his affair with Lewinsky This made him one of only two Presidents to ever be impeached, along with Andrew Johnson Yet the Constitution states that a President may be impeached for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”

Clinton’s affair was not in itself an illegal act Consequently it is still debated whether or not Clinton should have been impeached for trying to hide his legal, personal behavior with Lewinsky from the Paula Jones court case Clinton was able to stay in office until his term ended on January 20th 2001 due to the lack of Senate votes to remove the impeached President As for Monica Lewinsky, she now speaks openly about the affair But it's safe to say her career has taken a very different path to the one she planned

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