Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the underreported disclosures made by Monica Lewinsky in her recent interviews with A&E. Even with the Clintons starting a popular 13 city speaking tour, there has been little coverage of the fact that Lewinsky implicated Bill Clinton in a myriad of possible federal crimes. Indeed, the interview by Frank McKenna, the former Canadian Ambassador to the United States, conspicuously avoided any questions about Clinton’s alleged sexual assaults or the new disclosures by Lewinsky about his alleged encouragement for her to lie to federal investigators. The disconnect is mystifying. Democrats continue to line up to hear Bill Clinton who was accused of multiple women of sexual assault and only last week was implicated in crimes by Lewinsky. That disconnect could come back to haunt Democrats if they seek to hold Trump accountable for conduct that they have dismissed by Clinton.
Here is the column:
The Wall Street Journal and other new outlets report that Democrats are preparing to investigate the alleged hush money payments and efforts by Donald Trump to cover up his past affairs. There are clearly some legitimate areas of investigation, including possible campaign finance violations. But any such effort could face strong arguments against such inquiries or impeachment from none other than Democrats themselves.
Many of the incoming Democratic House committee leaders opposed such efforts during the Bill Clinton impeachment 20 years ago. Worse yet, the criminality of Clinton, along with the absence of real accountability, has only become more glaring with time, as shown by the recent interview of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky in the new A&E docuseries. Among other details, Lewinsky said Clinton encouraged her to lie to the independent counsel, an allegation raising the possibility of a variety of crimes having been committed by Clinton, including the false statement offense used rather extensively by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The disclosures by Lewinsky reinforce what was previously alleged against Clinton while highlighting that he could have been charged with a number of other crimes. The impeachment centered on the question of whether a president could be impeached for perjury. I appeared in Congress with other experts to debate that question and maintained that lying under oath clearly was an impeachable offense. I disagreed with the other professors at the hearing that there is some subject matter exception for lying about sexual relationships. Federal prosecutors regularly charge people for making false statements without any subject matter limits. The last person you want to give such a license to lie is the president, who heads the executive branch that enforces such laws against all citizens.
While the evidence of perjury was overwhelming, and a federal court affirmed that Clinton committed perjury, Democratic House members voted as a bloc and refused to impeach or convict him. Indeed, many of the lawmakers calling for the investigation and impeachment of Trump previously fought to shield Clinton from such accountability. Back then, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi opposed not only the impeachment but even the investigation of Clinton, insisting that American women viewed his affair with a White House intern to be a private matter and opposed the “uncontrolled power” of independent counsel Ken Starr. Maxine Waters insisted that Clinton was only “guilty of certain indiscretions in his private life.” Jerrold Nadler, the incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman, at the time declared that “perjury regarding sex is not a great and dangerous offense against the nation.”
Putting aside that perjury is a crime for which other citizens go to jail, the culpability of Clinton was far broader than just his denial. Clinton, much like Trump, was accused of actively trying to influence witnesses and testimony. He arranged for Lewinsky to meet with attorney Vernon Jordan, who was one of his closest friends and political allies. Jordan then arranged for Lewinsky to be represented by his chosen counsel Frank Carter, who drafted a false affidavit denying any affair. That affidavit was notably delayed in being filed as the scandal grew. Lewinsky, who had virtually no work history or relevant background, was offered a job with Revlon, where Jordan was a powerful member of the board of directors.
Lewinsky said, “Frank Carter explained to me if I signed an affidavit denying having had an intimate relationship with the president it might mean I would not have to be deposed in the Paula Jones case.” If Carter knew that the affidavit was false, he committed a deeply unethical act. Lewinsky does not say if Carter knew that she had a sexual relationship with Clinton, but she is clear about one other fact. She stated that Clinton encouraged her to lie to investigators. That would be a federal crime and could be viewed as subornation of perjury and witness tampering.
All of this may seem like ancient history, but history has a way of repeating itself in the most inconvenient ways. None of those four alleged crimes were ever charged against Clinton, and now that the statute of limitations has passed, he will never have to answer for such acts. Yet his alleged crimes could weigh heavily in any consideration of the allegations about Trump and his dealings with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, as well as some of the obstruction allegations. The comparisons between the allegations against Clinton and Trump creates some striking similarities.
Clinton used Jordan, whose company offered Lewinsky a well paid job in public relations. Trump allegedly used David Pecker, owner of the National Inquirer, to give former Playboy bunny Karen McDougal a well paid job as a writer. Clinton allegedly used the lawyer Carter to draw up a false affidavit from Monica Lewinsky that was used in court to deny a sexual relationship. Trump allegedly used lawyer Michael Cohen to draw up a false affidavit from porn star Stormy Daniels to deny a sexual relationship.
Clinton isolated Attorney General Janet Reno over her ordering of an independent counsel investigation. The New York Times and other papers reported how Clinton left Reno “twisting in the wind” and wanted her resignation because “she had been too willing to refer cases” involving his close associates to independent prosecutors. Trump publicly denounced Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself and facilitating the “witch hunt” of the investigation into possible Russia collusion. Trump went further in demanding that Sessions resign.
Clinton is accused of directly encouraging a key witness, Lewinsky, to lie to federal investigators. Trump is accused of encouraging people not to “rat” in cooperation with Mueller. Clinton denied an affair with “that woman” while Hillary Clinton and his surrogates attacked the accusers. Trump drafted the infamous statement on the Trump Tower meeting with Russians that misrepresented its purpose. Clinton and his surrogates relentlessly attacked Starr and demanded the closure of his investigation as unlimited and part of what Hillary Clinton called a “vast right wing conspiracy.” Trump and his surrogates have relentlessly attacked Mueller and demanded the closure of his investigation as unlimited and baseless.
The fact is that both Clinton and Trump warranted the investigations that unfolded during their presidencies. Thus far, however, the clearest evidence of criminal conduct related to the cover up of the affairs runs against Clinton. The account by Lewinsky offers an overwhelming case for criminal conduct by Clinton, a consistent pattern including his alleged encouragement of her lying to investigators, the supply of a Clinton ally for legal advice, the job offer from Revlon, and his own act of perjury.
Does this mean Republicans should now feel free to engage in the same willful blindness and hypocrisy that the Democrats exhibited during the Clinton investigation? Of course not. If Trump lies under oath or suborns perjury by others, the president should be impeached, no question. There can be no exceptions for a nation committed to the rule of law, even if the most powerful politicians are exceptionally gifted at inventing them.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He testified on the Bill Clinton impeachment standard, represented former attorneys general in that litigation, and served as the lead defense counsel in the last impeachment trial.
61 thoughts on “Lewinsky Implicates Bill Clinton In Federal Crimes As The Clintons Embark On 13-City Speaking Tour”
I don’t care what Clinton did with a consenting intern. Are we going to draw a line somewhere to prevent the weaponization of political competition using the criminal justice system as a routine cudgel?
Of course. As soon as the Dems are back in power. 🙂
Dems will only go after the guilty, squeeKKKs, tRump’s regime provides a target-rich environment.
Clinton committed perjury in a sexual harassment suit. Is it your opinion that sexual harassment just isn’t very important so perjury in such a case is irrelevant?
Now that the Russian collusion is proven to be a lie. When do the trials for treason begin?
Easy to understand. They have no ability to think about things they are not allowed to think about in their strait jacked known as The Collective. They do what they are told to do when and where told to do it… thinking has no part of the action. Nor do morals values and standards. One reason you see them pursuing a philosophical line of thought as a set in stone dictum from their ruling class and why there is no such thing as a Christian Socialist or any other form of interference with their complete control by any and all means available.
Even the rejection of Plato himself of his one party, one leader no franchise system for the stated reason ‘my fellow Greeks will never give up their freedoms and independence’ is not in their limited knowledge base. That base includes ony instructions of the moment. In the next moment they have no recollection.
This article is a bunch of BS. Yeah Clinton and Monica had some sex.
And Clinton lied about it. Men and women lie about their affairs on a daily basis all over the globe. I don’t care if Trump had sex with women other than his wife. Or if FDR did or JFK or any of them. But. Did Hillary have sex with a male dog?
Why is this illustrated with a 25 year old photograph of the quondam President? Decrepit old roue actually looks like this
viagra can keep even a decrepit old roue active and alert and ready for action
probably Wretched responding to herself (himself?) @11:03
Major difference between the Bill’s affairs and Trump’s: 1) Trump has not been accused of anything similar since taking office nor were his previous affairs while he was holding an ELECTED office of governor. 2) Trump’s were consensual and not someone working under him. 3) Trump has not been accused of forcing himself on someone like Paula Jones and Broderick. 4) Trump is working in the White House, not being a predator. 5) Trump’s investigation is not warranted. Investigation of what? Firing Comey? He had the presidential right to fire him. 6) The “fruit of the poisonous tree” whereby Trump was being illegally wiretapped from a fake dossier presented to the FISA court and any information obtained is inadmissible in court, prevents the investigation of anything to do with Russia collusion. Thus this whole investigation is unwarranted and should end.
Trump has never tried to influence an election by using the FBI’s top agents to come up with an insurance plan in case he was losing. That’s the real crime that should be investigated and is behind the scenes. Now Mueller has resorted to leaking lies about how the Podesta emails got to Wikileaks. I believe it was an inside job at the DNC–a disgruntled employee that was mad that Sanders didn’t win. Why do think the DNC wouldn’t allow the FBI to see their computers? And since when do they have the right to turn down an investigation from the FBI? Inside job–Comey was told to stand down. Someday it will be a great movie to see when Hollywood catches up with the rest of the country.
Of course you ignore the accusations of trysts with underage girls. But he must be a saint if he quit as a sexual predator since he has not done anything in the past two years.
And he is a self-confessed sexual predator.
We can’t believe anything the Dems come up with about Trump in the past based on the women who came out against Kavanaugh. All lies from activist feminists. He is not a self confessed predator. He admitted women in Hollywood are loose. That’s a fact.
There can be no exceptions for a nation committed to the rule of law, even if the most powerful politicians are exceptionally gifted at inventing them.
As an idealist that is true. As a realist and as Turley’s post clearly demonstrates, we are a nation committed to exceptions to the rule of law. I call it Lawfare and this blog thrives on it. Select almost any post in the archives, especially those involving public figures and you’ll typically find three positions: One is the idealist rule of law argument. The other two are the realist lawfare arguments. The latter two argue like this is a sport with one team pitted against the other. The idealist would be considered the referee of this match if this was a rule of law battle; but it is not. This is a lawfare battle and the idealist is occupying a seat in the nose-bleed section of a half-filled stadium with ignorant fans of either side. The rest of society are hooligans largely ignorant and apathetic to the original rules of the game. Eventually no one will bother to show up, they’ll join the hooligans or check out all together. But the game will go on and ultimately everyone loses.
Then we start all over. That’s as real as it gets.
And then there are those of us who don’t care about Clinton and Lewinsky, and just want politicians who will work on matters that actually help the citizenry, rather than wasting millions of taxpayer dollars trying to destroy their political enemies. Yes, it’s harder to actually sit down and draft legislation to end the asylum loopholes, for example. But this is one of many legitimate issues that need attention. These politicians weren’t sent to Washington to offer sound bites about some affair from three decades ago. They were sent there to govern. When the Republicans had both houses of Congress they could have amended the asylum law to end the gamesmanship and head-off the current border crisis with all the phony asylum claims, but they were too busy playing political revenge games.
The Clinton philandering and the Trump philandering stuff are not the issues. Clinton was impeached for lying and obstructing justice, regardless of whether or not it was his own business, who he poked, or not. Trump is not being criticized for being a womanizer but for lying about it. However, all that stuff seems to have become acceptable, the womanizing, the lying, the ‘locker’ talk. The issues Mueller is investigating have to do with the campaign and improprieties regarding the involvement of Russia and other ‘dirty tricks’. Because it was, and no longer is, Clinton who was lying and it had nothing to do with Russia and the campaigns, it is water under the bridge, except in the tabloids and for lawyers who need to rub themselves raw. Because the Trump lying about all his philandering and other stuff speaks to his character, one of a pathological liar, that, speaks to his statements regarding the real issues, Russia and money. What Trump seems to be afraid of seeing surface is that he is yugely in with Russia financially and is, in a potentially conspiratorial way, linked with Russia. The improprieties thus far have had little to nothing to do with who’s getting a hummer from whom but all about the lies. There would be no Mueller investigation if it was all about lies regarding sex. Lewinsky is out of money and looking for hand outs. Republicans and Democrats have easy targets about nothing. The Playboy bunny and porn star are looking for handouts. Clinton is no longer President and potentially dangerous for the country. Trump is, and proves himself a danger every time he opens his mouth.
it hasnt BECOME acceptable; it always WAS acceptable
hit the books man, ever heard of Henry VIII?
“Does this mean Republicans should now feel free to engage in the same willful blindness and hypocrisy that the Democrats exhibited during the Clinton investigation? Of course not.”
I disagree. If the bad wrestler picks up a chair, against all the rules of wrestling, and whacks the good wrestler over the head while the referee isn’t looking, then I think the good wrestler has the right to pick up a chair and whack the bad wrestler over the head, the same way.
Mutually Assured Chair Whacking (MACW) is the only way to keep the world safe!
Wasn’t the sex consensual for both President Clinton and Mr Trump? It is non-consensual sex, as in under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or sleep, that must be swiftly and severely punished. As someone else said, consensual sex is not a crime against the nation. Gross mental dysfunction should disqualify one from running for public office but obviously did not in Mr Trump’s case.
lies about the 11/22/63 coup, Gulf of Tonkin, 9/11, Iraq, Osama, Yemin, Iraq etc. have resulted in far more harm to far more people, in far more countries, at great financial cost to taxpayers, than the lies that JT is talking about today.
Russia, Russia, Russia!
Bill and Hilary, the gifts that keep on giving.
Since Mrs. Clinton was aware of these crimes and dispensed hush money to what she termed “floozies” I believe as a co-conspirator she too would be guilty of crimes in helping to cover up these events on multiple occasions.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mueller is like Hamilton Burger of the old Perry Mason series. An incompetent, scheming, low emotional IQ, bitter, hate filled, angry government union man who doesn’t care if justice is served as long as his real goal, to “Get Mason,” is accomplished.
Even that he manages to royally screw up because his goal is not to find truth but to attack, which he does so with such blind hatred he can never do anything that is of any consequence.
Burger is always hysterically shotgun blasting charges of murder at clients of his enemy Perry with ridiculous made up claims of guilt with flimsy to zero facts or evidence and convoluted twisted logic with no basis in reality simply because they are “friends of his enemy.” He spends state funds recklessly, has his minions running around chasing ghost clues while getting it wrong at every turn and NO ONE can figure out why after a feckless career based on failure in spite of many rich opportunities for sucess, he still has his job. Word is he married well.
In the end though, Old Hammy always comes around when the truth starts to surface. Not Mueller, though. Mueller will end up like Cotton Mather who helped prosecute/persecute the Salem witches. He never admitted that he was wrong IMHO, but doubled down.
“Embark on a 13 City Speaking Tour”
With the Clinton Foundation way down in donations ⬇ (pay to play is out these days with no political pull from the Clinton’s)
The mighty Clinton’s have been reduced to sing for their supper!
I like how Turley calls it a “popular” speaking tour. Dinner tickets are now at $15 on Stub Hub. Many seats still unsold. The fantasies of the leftists will simply not die.
What ever happened to that guy, DAG Rod Rosenstien?
Trump has him mopping the toilets at DOJ until he;s indicated?
Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It is what feeds Democrats to support the Clintons.
Some watch I think it’s NCIS, I’m thinking we can now which it almost live with the news feeds/info we have at our finger tips.
Some of us watched as Sen Reid/others tried to steal the Bundy’s Ranch in 2014,
Hillary/Mueller & others stealing 20% of the US’s weapon grade Uranium, in which I think it was an FBI agent murdered Leroy Finacan (sic) think 2015 in Oregon. Case on going…?
One of the latest facts are slowing coming out on, the California fires.
Rumors are that the Polcats/Commie Chinese set the fires as it’s the easements they’ll need to build their taxpayer fund Highspeed train line in the state?
The claims stand unprosecuted against JD Rockefelker had done many times regarding oil/coal/train routes.
I think the Camp Fire was started by PG&E electrical lines that were down and reported. That is not Global Warming or Climate Change, that is CA trying to get cheap easement. CA can condemn the land with no buildings on it for a lot less then if the buildings are there. I also heard it was in the path of the train to nowhere (or at least the path of the Camp Fire).
PCS, PCG is accomplishing its charged mission on a daily basis. Occasionally, acts of God adversely affect equipment. PCG does not start fires, acts of God start fires. Without acts of God, there are no massive fires. Those same acts of God transform CALFIRE into an ineffective non-entity that doesn’t even come close to accomplishing its charged mission. CALFIRE could be blamed for not putting the fires out. Compelling PCG to bear the financial burden for intractable and overwhelming forces of nature is irrational. The CPUC must allow fire costs to be recovered by the utility.
Peter Hill – my understanding is that the lawsuits are already hitting PG&E for at least the Camp Fire and maybe one other. This will take some pressure off the insurance companies. These things get really messy. Someone is already staying up nights trying to figure out how to include the State of California in the suit.
I worked auditing claims for the Northridge Earthquake when California thought a couple of the insurance companies were short-changing people on their claims. I was working as a contractor for Arthur Anderson and we went over every check they check putting them in databases where there could be cross-checked. I learned a lot more about people’s lives than I wanted.
Why not also talk about the people who should have been prosecuted in connection with the Teapot Dome scandal but were not? There were also certain people close to President Grant who could have been prosecuted but were not. What about them? And I suspect that Benjamin Franklin probably committed a crime or two for which he could have been prosecuted but was not.
OC: Not everyone who is suspected of a crime is/can be prosecuted. Only a few were tried in Nuremberg.
and some for acts that were not violations of any law when committed; but let’s not let our own ex post facto laws prevent us from dispensing victor’s justice eh?
Don’t look here…look over there. Funny how that happens. Trump is supporting Putin and the Saudis and you’re talking Clinton.
Wrong, Many Demos are after Trump over his use and abuse of women including paying for their silence. Turns out A well loved Demo is guilty of same. So why is it bad if Trump does it but only a shrug of the shoulders if Clinton does it?
Paul – Trump paying off his women and the accompanying FEC violations are the least of his worries. Conspiracy, money laundering, fraud, and obstruction of justice… after a while we might get to some serious crimes?
What happened to your stupid, pathetic “collusion” charges (only about 100x) from two years ago?
Princess – If you are paying attention to anything other than right-wing media outlets. The conspiracy case is stronger than ever.
In other words, if you hang around DNC echo chambers like Enigma, you can end up with a fried brain, believing all sorts of silliness. Like “conspiracy”. To do what exactly???
Worse, when you are a brainwashed moron like Enigma, you don’t even see the REAL DNC conspiracy to dump on Poor Old Bernie, or the DNC conspiracy to collude with Russians thru British bad boys and elite law firms on the ridiculous Steele Dossier.
Nope, hanging around echo chambers will do that to you every time! Fry your brain.
Squeeky – For the life of me, I don’t understand why some people here paint the DNC as being some Thanos-like villan wielding all the infinity stones. They are now and have most always been rather ineffective and carry little weight. They’ve never been as capable as the RNC which has coordinated with state governments, Attorney Generals, and Secretary of States, to suppress votes (the Consent Decree forbidding such coordination recently expired) and the most effective Gerrymandering in the nations history.
Hang around me and you won’t miss Corsi and Stone exchanging e-mails about what does coordinating with Assange to release the Podesta E-mails; Manafort still coordinating with Trump lawyers even after he allegedly flipped and failling to fully cooperate; I’ll remind you of characters you’ve long ago forgotten like Michael Flynn, the Russian wench who is now spilling her guts, and the lies of Donald Jr. and Jared’s financial dependence of Russia and Saudi Arabia that bailed him out of the 666 Park Ave. W building for which they just got their pro quo from Trump/Kushner.
I will acknowledge that “Poor Old Bernie” got the shaft and the system in both parties is rigged to produce certain types of candidates and squash others. The Republicans ended up with Trump because they have too many factions and couldn’t stay on script.
Sorry I don’t have time to lay out Trump’s financial crimes and fraud, the weather is too nice to spend all day inside laying out his criminal behavior.
you’re right the DNC is weak. And Hillary used it as her campaign piggybank. Read the book by Donna Brazile. Now there’s a lady with guts!
The Conspiracy, money laundering, fraud, and obstruction of justice, not to mention, womanizing, are the result of gross mental dysfunction. Mr Trump’s delusions of grandeur tell him that whatever he does is the result of “genius”. His supporters agree because he is their messiah.
not messiah, just Leader. if he whips Meuller in the end– hero!
if things deteriorate– Dux Bellorum!
“The Conspiracy, money laundering, fraud, and obstruction of justice, not to mention, womanizing, are the result of gross mental dysfunction.”
But enough about the former Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation.
Republicans have no concerns about Trump no matter what he does. This Clinton Circus is to distract us from the serious policy decsions this President is making right now, nothing else.
Holmes’ “logic:” Trump allegedly did bad behavior X, which mandates everyone ignore Clinton’s many felonies.
You apparently missed the fact that pot smoking Pelosi and the DNC wants to charge Trump for items that Clinton did the same or worse, the definition of hypocrisy.
You also ignore what happened to the GOP after the impeachment trial.
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