Five Facts The Last Time a President Was Impeached

Five Facts The Last Time a President Was Impeached

In 1998, Bill Clinton became the second U.S. president in history to be impeached. (Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 and Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be removed from office.) At the time, Congress was deeply divided over whether the 42nd president was fit to lead the country. Yet, ultimately he was able to finish his second term.

Here are five facts on President Clinton’s impeachment and the lasting impact on the country:

1. Following his extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, President Clinton was impeached on the grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice, according to ABC News. While Clinton was impeached on these two grounds, the House of Representatives actually drafted four articles to be considered. The two that failed include a second perjury count and an article accusing Clinton of an abuse of power, according to CBS News.

2. The impeachment process began for President Clinton when the House Judiciary Committee voted to launch an impeachment inquiry against him, according to the Guardian. Shortly thereafter, the House of Representatives voted for impeachment proceedings to begin. A little over two months later, the legislative body voted to impeach him.

3. After Clinton was impeached, he refused to resign and instead tried to look to compromise with Republicans. Though it was a close vote, Clinton was ultimately acquitted of these articles by the Senate.

4. The votes in the House and the Senate to impeach Clinton were relatively close. In the Senate, there were 55 not guilty votes and 45 guilty votes for perjury, as well as 50 votes not guilty of obstruction of justice and 50 votes guilty of obstruction of justice. In the House, there were 228 guilty votes and 206 not guilty votes for perjury, as well as 221 guilty votes and 212 not guilty votes of obstruction of justice.

5. Ken Starr was the special prosecutor assigned to investigate President Clinton’s extramarital affair; in 1998, he published a report on Clinton’s relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was widely read by the American public. Within the first 48 hours that the report was published, roughly 20 million people read it online, according to New York Magazine. The report was the product of four years of investigations done by Starr and his legal team.