Overview Of Clinton's Impeachment Proceedings Essay

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An Overview of the Impeachment Proceedings of William J. Clinton

The impeachment trial of President Clinton originated from a civil lawsuit filed in 1994 by Paula Jones. Jones alleged that in 1991 Governor Clinton asked a state trooper to bring her up to his room at Excelsior Hotel, where she alleged he dropped his trousers and asked her to "kiss it" (Chronology of the Paula Jones Case, BBC, January, 1998). The case made it to the Supreme Court because of the President's request to delay the trial until the end of his term. The Supreme Court ruled that the trial could proceed, and Jones' lawyers began their investigation. On December 5, 1997, "Jones' lawyers submitted a list of women that they would like to depose. Included on the
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Starr's report to the United States House of Representatives pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, § 595(c), contained everything from a detailed background, depositions, explicit details of every encounter between Ms. Lewinsky and the President, and the grounds for impeachment. After the House of Representatives received the document, they forwarded it on to the House Judiciary Committee.
The House Judiciary Committee convened on October 5, 1998 to decide whether there was enough evidence to start an official impeachment inquiry. A simple majority was needed for the investigation to continue. The House Judiciary Committee heard the Republican investigative counsel, along with opinions from the opposing sides.
With so few cases to draw from, both Democrats and Republicans used examples from Watergate to further their arguments. In 1974, the House of Representatives authorized the Judiciary Committee to consider impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon because of his party's involvement in a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters (http://watergate.info/impeachment/).
The meeting regarding President Clinton's impeachment ended with a 21-16 vote down party lines in favor of starting the formal inquiry (Judiciary Panel, in Party Vote, Urges Impeachment Hearings, NY Times online, Mitchell, 1998, para. 2). House Resolution 581, which outlined the…