Constitutional Law

The Executive Branch

What happened in the Clinton impeachment hearings?

This country debated the meaning of the phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” when the House of Representatives voted to impeach President William J. Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. The controversy began after it was revealed Clinton concealed his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky during a deposition in a civil lawsuit filed by Paula Jones. Jones had alleged that Clinton sexually harassed her when he was governor of Arkansas.

Critics of the proceedings called them politically motivated prosecution about the private sexual life of the president. Proponents of the proceedings argued the proceedings were brought against the president because he lied and obstructed justice in the Paula Jones civil lawsuit. The House voted to impeach the president but he was acquitted in the Senate.


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