Updated:
Original:
Year
1998

U.S. House of Representatives recommends impeaching Clinton

On this day in 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary releases a 265-page report recommending the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The subsequent impeachment proceedings were the culmination of a slew of scandals involving the president and first lady Hillary Clinton. The Clintons were suspected of arranging improper real-estate deals, fundraising violations and cronyism in involving the firing of White House travel agents. Added to the mix were stories of Clinton’s extra-marital affairs and a sexual harassment claim filed against him. An independent counsel, Kenneth Starr, was appointed to investigate the Paula Jones sexual harassment case; the ensuing investigation led Starr to Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern who had been accused of having an affair with Clinton. In early 1998, the Lewinsky scandal broke to the press and Clinton vehemently denied the affair. A year of federal grand jury testimony from various individuals in both camps followed, while Clinton continued to refute the allegations and invoked executive privilege when subpoenaed in August 1998.

Clinton’s attempt to cover up the affair, which he later admitted to and apologized for, prompted incensed House Republican leaders to pass Resolution No. 611 on December 15, 1998. The resolution launched the impeachment process for high crimes and misdemeanors, including perjury and obstruction of justice. The report accused Clinton of concealing evidence, giving misleading testimony and influencing witnesses. In the opinion of the majority of the House, Clinton’s actions “undermined the integrity of his office.” Democratic leaders also disapproved of Clinton’s conduct but preferred to formally censure the president over impeachment.

After heated debate, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton on December 19. On January 7, 1999, the impeachment trial began in the Senate–it was the first such trial since President Andrew Johnson was accused of illegally removing the secretary of war from office and violating several Congressional acts in 1868. Like Johnson, Clinton was acquitted on February 12, 1999.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

On This Day in History: The US declares an end to the War in Iraq

U.S. declares an end to the War in Iraq

In a ceremony held in Baghdad on this day in 2011, the war that began in 2003 with the American-led invasion of Iraq officially comes to an end. Though December 15, 2011 was the official end date of the Iraq War, violence continued and in fact worsened over the subsequent years. ...read more

Kidnapped grandson of Getty billionaire found

Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, five months after his kidnapping by an Italian gang. J. Paul Getty, who became the richest man in the world in 1957, had initially refused to pay his 16-year-old grandson’s $17 ...read more

Architect of the Holocaust sentenced to die

In Tel Aviv, Israel, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” is condemned to death by an Israeli war crimes tribunal. Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany, in 1906. In November 1932, he joined the Nazi’s elite SS ...read more

Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens

On this day in 2001, Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spent 11 years and $27 million to fortify the tower without eliminating its famous lean. In the 12th century, construction began on the bell tower for the cathedral of Pisa, a busy trade center on ...read more

Jockey Sandy Hawley wins record 500th race

On December 15, 1973, Sandy Hawley becomes the first jockey to win 500 races in a single year. Born in Ontario, Canada, Hawley began working at Toronto race tracks when he was a teenager. He won his first race in October 1968 at Toronto’s Woodbine race track and quickly racked up ...read more

James Brown begins his prison sentence

Legendary singer James Brown, also known as the “Godfather of Soul” and the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” becomes inmate number 155413 at the State Park Correctional Institute in South Carolina. Brown had had several run-ins with the law during the summer of 1988 that ...read more