Lewinsky Scandal

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Lewinsky scandal

* The Lewinsky scandal was a political sex scandal emerging in 1998, from a sexual relationship between United States President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day Senate trial * In 1995, Monica Lewinsky, a graduate of Lewis & Clark College, was hired to work as an intern at the White House during Clinton's first term and began a personal relationship with him, the details of which she later confided to her friend and Defense department co-worker Linda Tripp, who secretly recorded their telephone conversations. When Tripp discovered in January 1998 that Lewinsky had signed an affidavit in the Paula Jones case denying a relationship with Clinton, she delivered the tapes to Kenneth Starr, the Independent Counsel who was investigating Clinton on other matters, including the Whitewater scandal, the White House FBI files controversy, and the White House travel office controversy. During the grand jury testimony Clinton's responses were carefully worded, and he argued, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is", in regards to the truthfulness of his statement that "there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship or any other kind of improper relationship." * The wide reporting of the scandal led to criticism of the press for over-coverage. The scandal is sometimes referred to as "Monicagate", "Lewinskygate", "Tailgate", "Sexgate" and "Zippergate", following the "-gate" nickname construction that has been popular since the Watergate scandal. * Lewinsky claimed to have had sexual encounters with Bill Clinton on nine occasions from November 1995 to March 1997. According to her published schedule, First Lady Hillary Clinton was at the White House for at least some portion of seven of those days. * Lewinsky confided in a coworker named Linda Tripp about her relationship with Clinton. Tripp convinced Lewinsky to save the gifts that Clinton had given her, and not to dry clean what would later be known as the "infamous blue dress". Tripp reported these conversations to literary agent Lucianne Goldberg, who advised her to secretly record them, which Tripp began doing in September 1997. Goldberg also urged Tripp to take the tapes to Kenneth Starr and bring them to the attention of people working on the Paula Jones case. In the fall of 1997, Goldberg began speaking to reporters about the tapes * In January 1998, after Lewinsky had submitted an affidavit in the Paula Jones case denying any physical relationship with Clinton, she attempted to persuade Tripp to lie under oath in the Jones case. Instead, Tripp gave the tapes to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr who was investigating the Whitewater controversy and other matters. Now armed with evidence of Lewinsky's admission of a physical relationship with Clinton, he broadened the investigation to include Lewinsky and her possible perjury in the Jones case. * News of the scandal first broke on January 17, 1998, on the Drudge Report, which reported that Newsweek editors were sitting on a story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff exposing the affair. The story broke in the mainstream press on January 21 in The Washington Post. The story swirled for several days and, despite swift denials from Clinton, the clamor for answers from the White House grew louder. On January 26, President Clinton, standing with his wife, spoke at a White House press conference, and issued a forceful denial, which contained what would later become one of the best-known sound bites of his presidency: “Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one...
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