Key Events Leading to the Impeachment Trial
January: President Clinton asks Atty. Gen. Janet Reno to appoint an independent counsel to investigate his Whitewater land deal; Reno names Robert B. Fiske Jr.
February: A federal grand jury begins hearing evidence about whether depositor’s funds in a savings & loan were diverted into Clinton’s 1984 gubernatorial campaign and into Whitewater Development Corp., co-owned by the Clintons and James and Susan McDougal.
May 6: Arkansas employee Paula Corbin Jones files suit alleging Clinton sexually harassed her in a Little Rock hotel room.
June 30: Clinton signs into law a bill reauthorizing the post of independent counsel.
Aug. 5: The three-judge panel established by the new law replaces Fiske with former Solicitor General Kenneth W. Starr.
Aug. 24: Linda Tripp, who began working as a White House secretary during the Bush administration, is bounced to the Pentagon by the Clinton White House after telling Congress of suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of deputy counsel Vincent Foster.
July: Monica S. Lewinsky begins working as a White House intern.
November: Lewinsky begins a paying job in the White House office of legislative affairs. Clinton and Lewinsky begin affair.
Feb. 19: Clinton ends relationship with Lewinsky on Presidents Day, saying that he no longer feels right about their relationship but that they will continue to be friends.
March 31: The Clinton-Lewinsky relationship regains its sexual dimension.
April 16: Lewinsky begins work at the Pentagon and soon meets Tripp.
Nov. 5: Clinton is reelected with 49% of the vote.
March 29: Clinton and Lewinsky have their final sexual encounter.
May 24: Clinton ends his affair with Lewinsky.
May 27: Supreme Court unanimously rejects Clinton’s argument that the Jones lawsuit should not proceed while he is president.
July 14: Concerned about reports that Tripp and political supporter Kathleen Wiley are talking with a reporter about his extramarital sexual escapades, Clinton asks Lewinsky if she had confided anything about their relationship to Tripp. Lewinsky, lying, says she has not.
September: Tripp begins recording her telephone conversations with Lewinsky.
Oct. 11: Frustrated that she could not get a job back at the White House, Lewinsky asks Clinton if Vernon E. Jordan Jr. could help her look for a job in the private section. According to Lewinsky’s testimony, Clinton seemed receptive to the idea.
Nov. 5: Lewinsky and Jordan meet and discuss her job prospects.
Nov. 24: Tripp is subpoenaed in the Jones case.
Dec. 19: Lewinsky is subpoenaed in the Jones case.
Dec. 26: Lewinsky leaves her job at the Pentagon.
Jan. 7: Lewinsky signs affidavit in the Jones case saying she had no sexual relationship with Clinton.
Jan. 12: Tripp provides Starr’s office with taped conversations between herself and Lewinsky.
Jan. 13: Tripp, wearing a hidden microphone for the FBI, meets with Lewinsky for lunch.
Jan. 16: Reno authorizes Starr to expand his investigation to include the Lewinsky matter. Starr’s lawyers grill Lewinsky for 12 hours at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Virginia suburbs.
Jan. 17: Clinton, in a deposition to lawyers for Jones, denies a sexual relationship with Lewinsky.
Jan. 21: First reports are published that Clinton is under investigation by Starr for covering up his relationship with Lewinsky in his deposition to Jones’ attorneys.
Jan. 26: Clinton publicly declares: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman...I never told anybody to lie.”
Jan. 27: Starr opens grand jury inquiry into Lewinsky matter.
March 15: Willey, on CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes,” says Clinton made a sexual advance to her in 1993.
April 1: Jones suit is dismissed by Arkansas federal Judge Susan Webber Wright, whose decision states that the charges do not meet the definition of sexual harassment. Clinton, traveling in Africa, reacts gleefully.
April 15: Jones decides to appeal the order dismissing her lawsuit.
June 30: Tripp testifies to Starr’s grand jury.
July 28: Starr grants Lewinsky immunity from prosecution if she will testify truthfully to the grand jury.
Aug. 3: Clinton gives a DNA sample to Starr’s investigators that is later found to match a stain on one of Lewinsky’s dresses.
Aug. 6: Lewinsky testifies to the grand jury.
Aug. 17: Clinton, after questioning by the grand jury, acknowledges in a televised speech that he had “inappropriate intimate contact” with Lewinsky but stands by his contention that he did not lie in his deposition in the Jones lawsuit.
Sept. 9: Starr delivers to the House Judiciary Committee 36 boxes of evidence supporting a report in which he lays out 11 possible grounds for impeachment.
Sept. 11: Congress releases the Starr report.
Oct. 8: House votes 258-176 to authorize Judiciary Committee to conduct a broad impeachment inquiry.
Nov. 3: Democrats gain five House seats in congressional elections, and exit polls show nearly two-thirds of voters don’t want Clinton impeached.
Nov. 13: Clinton, without apologizing or admitting guilt, agrees to pay Jones $850,000 to forgo appealing her sexual harassment lawsuit.
Dec. 11-12: House Judiciary Committee approves four articles of impeachment.
Dec. 19: The full House approves two of the articles of impeachment, charging Clinton with lying in his grand jury testimony and obstructing justice by covering up his affair with Lewinsky.
Jan. 7: Impeachment trial opens in the Senate as senators are sworn in as jurors.
Jan. 14: House Republicans, acting as Clinton’s prosecutors, present evidence to Senate.
CLINTON’S APPROVAL RATING, January 1994:
Source: CNN/Gallup/USA Today polls
CLINTON’S APPROVAL RATING 1997