On January 7th, 1999, the United States Senate began the impeachment trial of President William J. Clinton. The President had been impeached by the House for lying under oath and obstructing justice.
His semantic gymnastics over the meaning of the word “is,” and his contention that while performing cunnilingus might have constituted “having sex,” being fellated by a twenty-something intern in the Oval Office didn’t, secured his acquittal by the Senate. But his troubles with women weren’t over.
In April 1999, President Clinton was held in contempt of court by Judge Susan Webber Wright for “intentionally false” testimony in (Paula) Jones v. Clinton. He was fined $90,000 for giving false testimony. Jones’ suit was eventually settled and included an $850,000 payment from Clinton.
In April 2000, the Arkansas Supreme Court suspended his law license. In order to avoid disbarment, he agreed to a five-year suspension and a $25,000 fine (January, 2001). In October 2001, Clinton’s U.S. Supreme Court law license was suspended.
Bill Clinton’s lies weren’t about sex, they were about what he’d done to women. This couldn’t possibly have been news to Mrs. Bill, since it had been going on since at least his 1974 Arkansas Congressional campaign.
A discussion of Bill Clinton’s behavior from a February, 2012 PBS documentary, Clinton:
Narrator: To make matters worse, Hillary had to deal with Bill’s constant womanizing.
Paul Fray, [1974 Arkansas Congressional] Campaign Manager: I mean you got to understand at one time there was at least 25 women per day coming through there trying to find him, and I’d tell them he’s out on the road, you know and they’d get out the door, but lord it was bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.
Marla Crider, [who claims to have had an affair with Clinton] Campaign Aide: He draws women in and they are literally mesmerized by this man. It was absolutely like fly to honey. And he needed that. He needed that kind of adoration. I don’t think there’s any question that Hillary was hurt, whether it was me or anyone else.
Narrator: Despite Bill’s infidelities, Hillary decided to stay in Arkansas and dedicate herself to their mutual goals.
Any later sympathy for Hillary would seem misplaced, since Bill Clinton’s predations didn’t end there, and she enabled them:
Narrator: In 1987, during his fourth term as Arkansas governor, Bill Clinton was finally ready to leap onto the national stage with a long-shot run for the presidency. In July, he summoned the national media to Little Rock for the big announcement.
Then, abruptly, he sent them home with hardly an explanation.
Bill Clinton (archival): I need some family time, I need some personal time.
Narrator: Behind the scenes, an old weakness had come back to haunt him.
Gail Sheehy, Writer: Just the day before the press conference when he was going to announce that he was going to run, Betsey Wright, his ferociously protective campaign manager, sat him down with a list of names of women and went through one after the other: how many times, where did you meet her, how likely is she to talk?
Nigel Hamilton, Writer: For each name he said, ‘Oh, she’ll never say anything.’ And Betsey Wright said, ‘But you don’t know that. You don’t understand on a national scale, people will investigate — your opponents will investigate it. The media will investigate it. And the problem is, we’re not just talking about you. We’re talking about your wife, Hillary; we’re talking about your child, Chelsea.’ She said, ‘I don’t think you can run.’
Betsey Wright, Chief of Staff: I mean, it just became clear that night it was not the time for him to do it. It just was not the time. He felt for quite a while that, that probably was the last real chance he would ever have to run for president. That was it, it was over. You know, where would he go now that he wasn’t gonna run for president? What could he do in the future? I think that over the next few months that became a tough time for them.
Mrs. Bill was Mr. Bill’s co-vilifier of women and co-conspirator. The difference is, she wasn’t under oath when she lied.