The Lewinsky Affair
Prior to the revelations about Clinton's relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the Clinton administration was experienced in defending the President against accusation of scandal. And yet, for all the expertise of the White House in suppressing accusation of presidential wrongdoing, the Lewinsky scandal presented a host of new problems. The sudden explosive disclosure of the President's affair, in conjunction with his initial denials about a relationship with ‘that woman’, suggested that this episode was another overblown and over-hyped media exercise fuelled by Clinton's opponents. For the Republican party it offered a golden opportunity to undermine the President's credibility. Furthermore, the timing of the Lewinsky accusations was important. They came after an elongated effort by Paula Jones to sue the President for sexual harassment, and it initially appeared that Lewinsky might have fallen victim of the President's reputation for womanizing. In a short period of time, the President found himself in a predicament which would test his own political judgement, and transform a discreet affair into a Constitutional crisis, with the attendant chance that he might be convicted and removed from office by the Senate, following impeachment by the House of Representatives.
This chapter considers the Jones sexual harassment case against President Clinton, and how it eventually led to charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Clinton's strategy during this pivotal period, in the prelude to the Lewinsky scandal, influenced his political fortunes during 1998. As outlined in Chapter 1, the substantive section of a scandal is the foundation upon which a procedural phase rests, the latter being the period where initial wrongdoing is addressed. Via the unlikely route of the Jones case, Clinton's relationship with Monica