William “Bill” Clinton, a Democrat, and the 42nd President of the United States, was impeached by the US House of Representatives on December 19, 1998. His impeachment was based on articles of perjury and of obstruction of justice arising from the sex scandal involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and from the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by a former Arkansas government employee named Paula Jones.
An independent investigation into Clinton’s activities before and after he entered the White House, was authorized by Attorney General Janet Reno and led by Counsel Kenneth Starr. It unearthed the Lewinsky relationship during its probe of Jones’ charges against Clinton and its inquiries into the failed land deal known as Whitewater, among other abuses.
The House conviction split along partisan lines, with only five Democratic Representatives voting to impeach Clinton during the course of the trial proceedings (Two other impeachment articles, one for obstruction and for abuse of power, failed in the House). When the articles of impeachment reached the Senate, however, they did not make the required two-thirds vote, and Clinton was acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. The House impeachment was only the second impeachment of a president in US history.
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