Clinton administration and scandals chronology January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001, From Whitewater to impeachment, President Clinton admits that he made false statements in the Monica Lewinsky case and surrenders his law license for five years, Ray declines prosecution of Mr. Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice
Clinton administration and scandals chronology January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001, From Whitewater to impeachment, President Clinton admits that he made false statements in the Monica Lewinsky case and surrenders his law license for five years, Ray declines prosecution of Mr. Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice
From the Wall Street Journal May 28, 2003.
Jan. 20: Bill Clinton is sworn in as 42nd President of the United States.
February: Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker announces a $20 million Saudi gift to the University of Arkansas for a Middle East studies center.
Feb. 11: President Clinton nominates Miami prosecutor Janet Reno for the post of Attorney General
March 23: At her first news conference as Attorney General, Janet Reno announces the firing of all U.S. Attorneys, the 93 top federal prosecutors in the nation, saying the administration wants to put in its own people.
March 24: Year-old press clips about Whitewater are faxed from Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman to White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum. Mr. Altman also is serving as acting head of the Resolution Trust Corporation, an independent federal agency.
April 3: After serving as White House liaison to the Justice Department, Arkansas insider Webster Hubbell is named Associate Attorney General.
April 20: Arkansas businessman Joseph Giroir, former chairman of the Rose Law Firm, incorporates the Arkansas International Development Corp. to bring Indonesia’s Lippo Group together with American companies seeking to do business in Indonesia and China; Mr. Giroir later emerges as a player in the campaign-finance scandal.
May 19: The White House fires seven employees of its Travel Office, following a review by Associate Counsel William Kennedy III, a former member of the Rose Law Firm. Mr. Kennedy’s actions, which included attempts to involve the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service in a criminal investigation of the Travel Office, are sharply criticized. Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster also is rebuked.
June 21: Whitewater corporate tax returns for 1989 through 1991, prepared by Mr. Foster, are delivered to Jim McDougal’s attorney.
July 17: According to a White House chronology, Mr. Foster completes work on a blind trust for the Clintons. In Little Rock for a weekend visit, President Clinton has a four-hour dinner alone with old friend David Edwards, an investment adviser and currency trader.
July 20: The Little Rock FBI obtains a warrant to search the office of David Hale as part of its investigation into Capital Management Services. In Washington, Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster drives to Ft. Marcy Park and commits suicide. That evening, White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, Clinton aide Patsy Thomasson, and Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff Maggie Williams visit Mr. Foster’s office. According to testimony by a uniformed Secret Service officer, Ms. Williams exits the counsel’s suite with an armful of folders.
July 21: Early-morning calls are exchanged between Mrs. Clinton in Little Rock and White House operatives, including Maggie Williams and Susan Thomases. According to later Congressional testimony, Mrs. Clinton’s concerns about investigators having “unfettered access” to the Foster office are conveyed to Mr. Nussbaum. A figure of later controversy, White House personnel security chief Craig Livingstone, is spotted in the Foster office area.
July 22: Mr. Nussbaum again searches Mr. Foster’s office, but denies access to Park Police and Justice Department investigators. In an angry phone call, Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann asks, “Bernie, are you hiding something?” Documents, including Whitewater files, are removed. Details on the removal of Whitewater files do not emerge for months.
July 26: A torn-up note is found in Mr. Foster’s briefcase.
Aug. 14: In New York, Robert Altman is acquitted of bank fraud in the BCCI case; Clark Clifford’s trial is indefinitely postponed due to ill health.
Aug. 16: Paula Casey, a longtime associate of the Clintons, takes office in Little Rock as U.S. attorney. September: Ms. Casey turns down plea bargain attempts from David Hale’s lawyer, who had offered to share information on the “banking and borrowing practices of some individuals in the elite political circles of the State of Arkansas.”
Sept. 23: Mr. Hale is indicted for fraud.
Sept. 29: Treasury Department General Counsel Jean Hanson warns Mr. Nussbaum that the RTC plans to issue criminal referrals asking the Justice Department to investigate Madison. The referrals are said to name the Clintons as witnesses to, and possible beneficiaries of, illegal actions. The current Governor of Arkansas, Jim Guy Tucker, also is said to be a target of the investigation. Mr. Nussbaum passes the information to Bruce Lindsey, a top Clinton aide.
Oct. 4 or 5: Mr. Lindsey informs President Clinton about the confidential referrals. Mr. Lindsey later tells Congress he did not mention any specific target of the referrals.
Oct. 6: President Clinton meets with Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker at the White House.
Oct. 8: Nine new criminal referrals on Madison Guaranty are forwarded to U.S. Attorney Paula Casey in Little Rock.
Oct. 14: A meeting is held in Mr. Nussbaum’s office with senior White House and Treasury personnel to discuss the RTC and Madison. Participants at the meeting later tell Congress that they discussed only how to handle press inquiries.
Oct. 27: The RTC’s first criminal referral is rejected in Little Rock by U.S. Attorney Casey.
Nov. 3: Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell recuses himself from the Whitewater case.
Nov. 9: In Little Rock, U.S. Attorney Casey recuses herself from the Madison case; in Kansas City, RTC investigator Jean Lewis is taken off the probe.
Nov. 18: President Clinton meets with Gov. Tucker in Seattle.
Dec. 19: Allegations by Arkansas state troopers of the president’s sexual infidelities while governor surface in The American Spectator magazine and the Los Angeles Times.
Dec. 20: Washington Times correspondent Jerry Seper reports that Whitewater files were removed from Mr. Foster’s office.
Dec. 30: At a New Year’s retreat, President Clinton asks Comptroller of the Currency Eugene Ludwig, an old friend, for “advice” about how to handle the growing Whitewater storm.
Jan. 20: Amid mounting political pressure, Attorney General Janet Reno appoints Robert Fiske as special counsel to investigate Whitewater.
Jan. 27: Deputy Attorney General Philip Heymann resigns.
Feb. 2: Roger Altman meets with Mr. Nussbaum and other senior White House staff to give them a “heads-up” about the Madison probe. Washington RTC attorney April Breslaw flies to Kansas City and meets with investigator Jean Lewis; in a secretly taped conversation, Ms. Breslaw states that top RTC officials “would like to be able to say that Whitewater did not cause a loss to Madison.”
Feb. 24: Mr. Altman gives incomplete testimony to the Senate Banking Committee about discussions between the White House and Treasury on the Madison referrals.
Feb. 25: Mr. Altman recuses himself from the Madison investigation and announces he will step down as acting head of the RTC.
March: Top Clinton aides Thomas McLarty, Erskine Bowles, Mickey Kantor and others begin a series of meetings and calls to arrange financial aid for Webster Hubbell, then facing charges of bilking his former Rose Law Firm partners and under growing pressure to cooperate with the Whitewater probe; the meetings are not revealed until April 1997.
March 5: White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum resigns.
March 8: Lloyd Cutler is named White House Counsel.
March 14: Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell resigns.
March 18: The New York Times reports Mrs. Clinton’s spectacular 1978 $100,000 commodity trades.
March 23: The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons files suit against Mrs. Clinton’s health reform task force for violating the Federal Advisory Committee Act by holding secret meetings.
May 3: President Clinton meets with top advisers, including deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes, to discuss raising millions of dollars for the 1996 campaign.
May 6: Former Little Rock resident Paula Corbin Jones files suit against President Clinton, charging he sexually harassed her while Governor.
June: Indonesia’s Lippo Group pays Webster Hubbell about $100,000 for undisclosed services as pressure grows for Mr. Hubbell to cooperate with the Whitewater probe; also in June, Lippo scion James Riady and associates meet at least five times with President Clinton and aides; reports of the payments and meetings emerge in 1996 and 1997.
June 30: Special Counsel Robert Fiske concludes that Mr. Foster’s death was a suicide and clears the White House and Treasury Department of obstruction of justice on the RTC contacts, opening the way for Congressional hearings limited to the two subjects.
July: John Huang, president of U.S. operations for Indonesia’s Lippo Group, joins the Commerce Department as a senior official with a top-secret clearance to oversee international trade.
July 26: Whitewater hearings open in Congress.
Aug. 1: The White House reveals that the Whitewater files removed from Mr. Foster’s office were kept for five days in the Clintons’ residence before being turned over to their personal lawyer.
Aug. 5: A three-judge panel removes Mr. Fiske and appoints Kenneth Starr as independent counsel. Mr. Starr continues to investigate all aspects of Whitewater, including Mr. Foster’s death.
Aug. 12: The RTC informs Madison investigator Jean Lewis and two colleagues that they will be placed on “administrative leave” for two weeks.
Aug. 17: Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman resigns.
Aug. 18: Treasury Department General Counsel Jean Hanson resigns.
Sept. 12: Donald Smaltz is named independent counsel to investigate Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.
Oct. 1: Abner Mikva replaces Lloyd Cutler as White House Counsel.
Oct. 3: Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy resigns.
Nov. 8: In a political earthquake, Republicans gain control of the House and the Senate.
Dec. 5: In Little Rock, Madison Guaranty real-estate appraiser Robert Palmer pleads guilty to one felony count of conspiracy and agrees to cooperate with the Starr probe.
Dec. 6: Former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell pleads guilty to two felonies in a scheme to defraud his former Rose Law Firm partners and says he will cooperate with the independent counsel.
Dec. 7: Former Travel Office director Billy Dale is indicted on charges of embezzling office funds.
Dec. 19: The FDIC sanctions the Riady family’s Lippo Bank in Los Angeles for failing to adhere to money-laundering regulations governing large cash transactions.
Jan. 3: Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, poised to move into the majority and renew the Whitewater hearings, issue a sharply critical report based on the summer hearings. It accuses Clinton administration officials of “serious misconduct and malfeasance” in the matters of the RTC criminal referrals and later congressional testimony.
Feb. 28: Arkansas banker Neal Ainley is indicted on five felony counts relating to Bill Clinton’s 1990 gubernatorial campaign. He later pleads guilty to reduced charges and agrees to cooperate with the independent counsel.
March 21: Whitewater real-estate broker Chris Wade pleads guilty to two felonies.
March 27: Legal Times reports that Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz’s probe has been “significantly curtailed by the Justice Department.” In recent months, Mr. Smaltz had been exploring Arkansas poultry giant Tyson Foods.
May 5: Mena investigator Russell Welch fights off an attempt by the Arkansas State Police to discredit him, but is forced into early retirement.
May 24: David Barrett is appointed independent counsel to probe charges that Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros made false statements to the FBI.
June: Monica Lewinsky begins work at the White House as an unpaid intern in the office of Chief of Staff Leon Panetta.
June 7: An Arkansas grand jury hands up indictments against Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two business associates in a complex scheme to buy and sell cable television systems.
June 23: A report for the RTC by the law firm Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro says that funds flowed to the Whitewater account from other Madison accounts, but adds that the Clintons “had little direct involvement” in the investment before 1988.
July 6: Daniel Pearson is named independent counsel to probe business dealings of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.
July 18: The special Senate Whitewater Committee opens a new round of hearings in Washington; they quickly become mired in partisan disputes.
Aug. 8: In testimony before the House Banking Committee, RTC investigator Jean Lewis says there was a “concerted effort to obstruct, hamper and manipulate” the Madison investigation.
Aug. 17: Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr indicts Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and former Madison Guaranty owners Jim and Susan McDougal for bank fraud and conspiracy.
Sept. 5: Federal District Judge Henry Woods dismisses the cable TV fraud case against Gov. Tucker and two associates, saying Mr. Starr has exceeded his jurisdiction; the independent counsel appeals the decision to the Eighth Circuit court in St. Louis; the separate indictment against Gov. Tucker and the McDougals stands.
Sept. 13: At a White House meeting including President Clinton, Commerce official John Huang, Lippo Group scion James Riady, senior Clinton aide Bruce Lindsey and Arkansas businessman Joseph Giroir, a decision is reached to dispatch Mr. Huang to the Democratic National Comittee as a senior fund-raiser.
Sept. 20: White House Counsel Abner Mikva announces his resignation. The President names Jack Quinn, Vice President Al Gore’s chief of staff, as his fourth White House counsel.
November: House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach informs colleagues that he will investigate allegations of drug smuggling and money laundering at Mena airport.
Nov. 16: After deliberating less than two hours, a Washington jury acquits former White House Travel Office head Billy Dale of embezzlement charges.
Dec. 13: Drug suspect Jorge Cabrera attends a White House Christmas party after donating $20,000 to Democrats; three weeks later, he is arrested in Florida with 6,000 pounds of cocaine.
Dec. 29: A memo from former White House aide David Watkins, placing responsibility for the Travel Office firings on Mrs. Clinton, is discovered at the White House.
January: John Huang leaves the Commerce Department to join the Democratic National Committee as a senior fundraiser.
Jan. 5: The White House announces that Mrs. Clinton’s Rose Law Firm billing records, sought by the Independent Counsel and Congress for two years, have been discovered on a table in the “book room” of the personal residence.
Jan. 11: At a news conference, President Clinton says he is nearly broke and owes about $1.6 million in legal fees stemming from Whitewater and the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit.
Jan. 22: The White House announces that Mrs. Clinton has been subpoenaed to testify before a Whitewater grand jury about the missing billing records.
Feb. 5: Federal District Judge George Howard Jr. rules that President Clinton must appear as a defense witness in the bank fraud case against Jim Guy Tucker and the McDougals.
Feb. 6: Charlie Trie escorts Chinese arms merchant Wang Jun to a White House reception for donors.
Feb. 8: The Wall Street Journal discloses that two of President Clinton’s insurance policies have paid $900,000 into his legal defense fund.
Feb. 20: Arkansas bankers Herby Branscum Jr. and Robert Hill are indicted on bank fraud and conspiracy charges relating to Bill Clinton’s 1990 gubernatorial campaign.
Feb. 29: The Whitewater Committee’s mandate expires and Senate Democrats launch a filibuster to block an extension of the probe.
March 4: Gov. Tucker and the McDougals go on trial for bank fraud and conspiracy in Little Rock.
March 15: A three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates Independent Counsel Starr’s indictment of Gov. Tucker and two associates in the cable television fraud scheme, and directs that Federal District Judge Henry Woods be removed from the case “to preserve the appearance of impartiality.”
March 22: Independent Counsel Starr’s jurisdiction is expanded to cover the Travel Office affair.
March 25: Arkansas insider David Hale is sentenced to 28 months in prison for defrauding the federal government.
April: Monica Lewinsky is transferred from the White House to the Pentagon for “immature behavior.” She meets former White House aide Linda Tripp, who later tapes their telephone conversations.
April 3: Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 32 others are killed in a plane crash in Croatia.
April 28: President Clinton gives four hours of videotaped testimony in the White House as a defense witness in the Arkansas trial of Gov. Tucker and the McDougals.
April 29: Vice President Al Gore attends a fund-raiser at the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in California, raising $100,000 later found to be illegal.
May 28: An Arkansas jury convicts Gov. Tucker and the McDougals on 24 counts of bank fraud and conspiracy.
June 5: Documents obtained after a long struggle by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee reveal that the White House has improperly obtained confidential FBI background files. “Filegate” mushrooms into another scandal.
June 17: The trial of Arkansas bankers Branscum and Hill on charges of bank fraud relating to the 1990 Clinton gubernatorial campaign begins in Little Rock.
June 18: The Senate Whitewater Committee releases a 650-page final report detailing a “pattern of obstruction” by Clinton Administration officials.
June 21: Independent Counsel Starr’s jurisdiction is broadened to cover “Filegate.”
June 25: The Supreme Court agrees to hear President Clinton’s procedural appeal in the Paula Jones harassment suit, effectively delaying trial until after the November election.
June 26: In an appearance before a House oversight committee investigating the Filegate affair, White House personnel security chief Craig Livingstone announces his resignation.
July 7: President Clinton gives videotaped testimony in the White House as a defense witness in the trial of Arkansas bankers Branscum and Hill.
July 15: After a tumultuous day of political drama, Jim Guy Tucker steps down and Republican Mike Huckabee takes over as Governor of Arkansas.
Aug. 1: A federal jury in Little Rock acquits Arkansas bankers Branscum and Hill on four bank fraud charges relating to the 1990 Clinton gubernatorial campaign; a mistrial is declared on seven other counts on which the jury deadlocks.
Aug. 15: After months of stonewalling, the White House releases 2,000 pages of documents to the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee; included is a long “task list” for dealing with the sprawling Whitewater probe.
Aug. 19: Awaiting a liver transplant, former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker is given a four-year suspended sentence in the Madison Guaranty bank fraud case.
Aug. 21: Susan McDougal is sentenced to two years in prison for her part in the Master Marketing fraud scheme.
Sept. 4: Susan McDougal refuses to answer questions about Bill Clinton before a Whitewater grand jury and is ordered jailed for contempt.
Sept. 23: In a PBS interview, President Clinton says he has not ruled out pardons for Whitewater figures, touching off a campaign controversy.
Sept. 24: In the probe by Independent Counsel Smaltz, a federal jury convicts agribusiness giant Sun-Diamond of giving illegal gifts to Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.
Oct. 8: Following disclosures by The Wall Street Journal of large illegal foreign donations, the campaign-finance story emerges as a major national issue one month before the presidential election.
Oct. 18: Democratic National Committee finance vice chairman John Huang is suspended after growing reports of improper campaign solicitations.
Nov. 5: Bill Clinton is re-elected President of the United States.
Nov. 8: In a declassified summary of a report to Rep. Jim Leach, the CIA for the first time admits it was present at remote Mena, Ark., but denies any association with drug trafficking or other illegal activities.
Nov. 29: Attorney General Janet Reno declines to name an independent counsel in the campaign-finance affair, retaining the matter as a Justice Department probe.
Dec. 13: Jack Quinn, President Clinton’s fourth White House counsel, announces his resignation.
Dec. 14: Susan McDougal is transferred to California to stand trial on charges of embezzling $150,000 from conductor Zubin Mehta and his wife; she remains jailed on civil contempt charges stemming from her refusal to testify before a Whitewater grand jury.
Dec. 16: President Clinton’s legal defense fund announces it has returned $640,000 in suspect donations from Clinton friend Charlie Trie.
Jan 7: Charles Ruff is named President Clinton’s fifth White House counsel.
Jan. 13: The Supreme Court hears oral arguments as to whether the Paula Jones sexual harassment case should be delayed until after Bill Clinton leaves office.
Jan. 20: Bill Clinton is sworn in for a second term as President of the United States.
Feb. 13: Webster Hubbell is released from federal custody after serving 15 months for mail fraud and tax evasion.
Feb. 17: Kenneth Starr unexpectedly announces he will step down as independent counsel to become dean of Pepperdine University Law School in California. Feb. 21: After a storm of criticism, Mr. Starr reverses his decision to leave the Whitewater probe, saying he will stay on until investigations and prosecutions are “substantially completed.”
March 3: Drawn deep into the campaign-finance scandal, Vice President Al Gore defends himself at a press conference, declaring that “no controlling legal authority” indicates his actions were illegal.
March 31: For the third time in seven years, the FDIC sanctions Lippo Bank, imposing a stiff cease-and-desist order due to bad loans and financial losses.
April 1: Facing imminent news reports, the White House discloses that in early 1994 top Clinton aides set out to funnel money to Arkansas insider Webster Hubbell, then under pressure to cooperate with the Whitewater probe.
April 14: Following a sentencing recommendation by Independent Counsel Starr about significant cooperation, Jim McDougal is given a sharply reduced threeyear prison term for his role in the Madison Guaranty bank fraud case.
April 15: In a new public-corruption drive in Arkansas, former county prosecutor Dan Harmon is indicted on multiple drug and racketeering counts.
April 30: For a second time, Attorney General Reno turns down requests for an independent counsel in the campaign finance affair.
May 2: The White House announces it will appeal to the Supreme Court a previously sealed Eighth Circuit ruling that government lawyers must turn over to Independent Counsel Starr notes taken during conversations with Hillary Clinton.
May 27: The Supreme Court issues a unanimous decision ruling that Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit may proceed against President Clinton while he is in office.
June 11: An Arkansas jury convicts former county prosecutor Dan Harmon of running a drug-related criminal enterprise.
June 23: The Supreme Court declines to grant certiorari on Mrs. Clinton’s notes, effectively compelling the White House to turn them over to Mr. Starr.
July 8: Hearings into the campaign finance affair open before Senator Fred Thompson’s Governmental Affairs Committee.
Aug. 27: A federal grand jury hands up a 39-count indictment accusing former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy of illegally soliciting more than $35,000 in gifts from companies regulated by his department and attempting to conceal his actions.
Sept. 16: Under fire and with the Justice Department probe in disarray, Attorney Reno names a new prosecutor, Washington outsider Charles La Bella, to head her campaign finance investigation.
Sept. 19: News reports disclose that three associates of Teamsters union president Ron Carey have recently pleaded guilty to fraud charges in a fund-raising conspiracy involving labor movement figures and Democratic Party activists.
Oct. 10: Confirming the findings of earlier investigations, Independent Counsel Starr issues an exhaustive report concluding that deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster committed suicide in Ft. Marcy Park, Va.
Oct. 31: Senator Fred Thompson suspends hearings into the campaign finance affair after nearly four months of bitter partisan warfare.
Dec. 1: Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy’s chief of staff, Ronald Blackley, is convicted of lying to investigators about receiving $22,000 from associates who had dealings with the agency.
Dec. 2: Attorney General Reno rejects appointment of an independent counsel to investigate campaign fund-raising calls made by President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, saying she acted on “the facts and the law–not pressure, politics or any other factor.” It is her third rejection of a special prosecutor for the campaign finance affair.
Dec. 17: Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp are subpoenaed by the Paula Jones legal team seeking evidence of sexual misconduct by the President.
Dec. 28: Monica Lewinsky reportedly visits Bill Clinton at the White House for the last time. News reports cite 36 previous visits.
Dec. 29: Tyson Foods Inc. pleads guilty to providing former Agriculture Secretary Espy with $12,000 in illegal gratuities and agrees to pay $6 million in fines.
Jan. 7: In an affidavit filed in the Jones sexual harassment case, Monica Lewinsky denies a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton. According to later news reports, Ms. Lewinsky tells Ms. Tripp that she too must make false statements in the Jones case.
Jan. 12: Linda Tripp reportedly turns over to Starr prosecutors 20 hours of surreptitiously taped telephone conversations with Ms. Lewinsky, including descriptions of efforts by the President to direct false testimony and obstruct justice, and graphic accounts of Oval Office sex.
Jan. 16: Attorney General Reno secretly petitions the Special Division of the U.S. Court of Appeals for an expansion of Mr. Starr’s jurisdiction into the Lewinsky affair, citing possible witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
Jan. 17: In a six-hour deposition for the Jones case, President Clinton denies that he had an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Jan. 21: In a bombshell story, the Washington Post discloses the Lewinsky affair and the Starr investigation, touching off a media frenzy and the biggest crisis of the Clinton Presidency.
Jan. 26: In a forceful televised denial following a White House event, President Clinton says that he “never had sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” and that he “never told anyone to lie.”
Jan. 27: Hillary Clinton appears on the “Today” show and blames her husband’s problems on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
Jan. 29: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, ruling in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, excludes all evidence relating to Monica Lewinsky, saying it is not “essential to the core issues” in the lawsuit.
Feb. 3: Wanted Democratic fund-raiser Charlie Trie returns to the U.S. from China and Macau and surrenders to the FBI.
Feb. 11: Attorney General Reno asks for an independent counsel to probe Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt’s role in his department’s decision to reject a casino application opposed by major Democratic Party contributors.
Feb. 18: Democratic Party fund-raiser Maria Hsia is indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of arranging to disguise illegal campaign contributions growing out of a fund-raising trip by Vice President Gore to the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in California.
March 5: Senator Thompson’s Governmental Affairs Committee votes out a 1,100-page report chronicling massive campaign finance abuses during the 1996 presidential race. At a Washington grand jury, in a plea bargain with federal prosecutors, Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung is charged with funneling illegal contributions to the Clinton-Gore campaign.
March 8: Jim McDougal, 57, dies after a heart attack in a Texas prison, where he was serving a three-year Whitewater fraud sentence.
March 15: Former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey appears on “60 Minutes” and says that President Clinton made a crude sexual advance and groped her at the White House, and that his associates later sought to assure her silence.
March 20: President Clinton’s lawyers invoke executive privilege for senior aides before the Starr grand jury in the Lewinsky obstruction probe.
April 1: Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright of Arkansas dismisses the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit against Bill Clinton, ruling that Mrs. Jones had failed to demonstrate emotional or career harm. The President’s spokesman declares “vindication.”
April 13: Jeff Gerth of the New York Times reports that the Clinton White House approved the transfer of missile technology to China at the behest of a major Democratic party donor, sparking a new campaignfinance controversy.
April 21: The Clinton Administration invokes a new “protective function” privilege to prevent Secret Service officers from testifying before the Starr grand jury in the Lewinsky matter.
April 24: Attorney General Reno confirms that Charles La Bella, installed only seven months earlier to inject credibility into the Justice Department’s listless campaign-finance investigation, is departing to become interim U.S. Attorney in San Diego.
May 5: U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson rejects President Clinton’s effort to use executive privilege and attorney-client privilege to block testimony by senior aides in the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
May 22: Judge Johnson rejects the administration’s claim of a protective function privilege for the Secret Service. The Justice Department readies an appeal.
June 2: Monica Lewinsky fires loquacious California malpractice lawyer William Ginsburg and hires veteran Washington attorneys Jacob Stein and Plato Cacheris. Negotiations on immunity for Ms. Lewinsky, stalled for five months, resume.
June 4: The Supreme Court rejects Independent Counsel Starr’s request for fast-track hearings on attorneyclient and protective function privilege, remanding the matters to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
June 25: Four months into a two-year Whitewater fraud sentence, and after serving 18 months in prison for refusing to talk to an Arkansas grand jury about Bill Clinton, Susan McDougal is released from jail by a federal judge due to medical problems. She faces embezzlement charges in California unrelated to Whitewater, and an obstruction prosecution by Mr. Starr in Arkansas.
July 1: U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson throws out Mr. Starr’s tax evasion case against Webster Hubbell, saying the Independent Counsel strayed too far from his mandate. Mr. Starr says he will appeal.
July 7: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejects a Justice Department appeal on protective function privilege.
July 16: In a day of high legal drama, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit refuses to reconsider the decision by its three-judge panel ordering the Secret Service to testify in the Lewinsky matter. The White House rushes an emergency petition to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, asking him to issue a stay and block testimony.
July 17: Chief Justice Rehnquist declines to intervene in the protective function matter. Within hours, Secret Service officers are testifying before the Starr grand jury.
July 23: The New York Times discloses that departing Justice Department task force head, Charles La Bella, has delivered a report to Attorney General Reno strongly advising her to seek an independent counsel in the campaign-finance affair.
July 25: The White House reveals that Independent Counsel Starr, in a dramatic and unprecedented maneuver, has subpoenaed President Clinton to testify before the grand jury in the Lewinsky matter. Mr. Clinton had rebuffed earlier requests for voluntary testimony. The historic subpoena is later withdrawn after the President agrees to testify.
July 27: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejects administration arguments that President Clinton’s conversations with White House lawyers are shielded by attorney-client privilege, clearing the way for Mr. Starr to question deputy counsel Bruce Lindsey, a key Clinton confidant.
July 28: Monica Lewinsky is granted blanket immunity in exchange for full and truthful testimony before the Starr grand jury.
July 31: Paula Jones asks a U.S. appeals panel in St. Louis to reinstate her sexual harassment case against Mr. Clinton.
Aug. 6: Monica Lewinsky testifies before the Starr grand jury. According to news accounts, she details numerous sexual liaisons with the President, recants her sworn testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit denying an affair, and contradicts sworn and televised statements by Mr. Clinton. On Capitol Hill, the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee votes to hold Attorney General Reno in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over memos by FBI Director Louis Freeh and Justice task force head Charles La Bella concerning the campaign-finance probe. The sanction awaits a vote by the full House.
Aug. 17: President Clinton testifies, via closed-circuit television from the White House, for four hours before the Starr grand jury. In an angry speech to the nation that night, he admits to an “inappropriate relationship” with Ms. Lewinsky, denies criminal wrongdoing, and attacks Independent Counsel Starr. Political support begins to erode.
Aug. 20: Interrupting his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., President Clinton announces missile strikes against “terrorist-related facilities” in Afghanistan and Sudan.
Sept. 9: Independent Counsel Starr sends Congress a report containing, in the words of his mandate, “substantial and credible information” that “may constitute grounds for impeachment” of President Clinton.
Sept. 10: Mr. Clinton apologizes to Senate Democrats and his Cabinet for his misconduct in the Lewinsky affair.
Sept. 11: Mr. Clinton apologizes to religious leaders at a national prayer breakfast, telling them, “I have sinned.” The House of Representatives votes to release the 445-page Starr report, posting it on the Internet. With its explicit sexual details, the report draws a storm of controversy and criticism.
Sept. 21: The House releases the videotape of President Clinton’s Aug. 17 grand jury testimony.
Oct. 2: The House releases 4,600 pages of supporting evidence from the Starr referral, including transcripts of taped conversations between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp.
Oct. 4: Pornographer Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, places an ad in the Washington Post, offering up to $1 million for “evidence of illicit sexual relations” with top federal lawmakers.
Oct. 8: The House votes 258-176 to open an impeachment inquiry into the President, only the third such proceeding in U.S. history. Thirty-one Democrats join Republicans in voting for the inquiry.
Oct. 30: A federal judge supervising Mr. Starr’s Washington grand jury discloses she has named a “special master” to determine whether the Office of Independent Counsel has illegally leaked secret grand jury information to the media.
Nov. 3: In an electoral upset, Democrats mount a strong showing in midterm elections. The GOP loses ground in the House, emerging with a slim 12-seat majority; it retains a ten-seat margin in the Senate and a nearly two-to-one edge in governorships.
Nov. 6: As unrest over GOP electoral losses mounts, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, leader of the Republican resurgence in the House, announces his resignation.
Nov. 9: Constitutional scholars debate impeachment and censure before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution.
Nov. 13: President Clinton agrees to pay Paula Jones $850,000 to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit; the President does not admit guilt or offer an apology. In a separate development, Independent Counsel Starr indicts Clinton associate Webster Hubbell a third time, for fraud and obstruction related to investigations into the Castle Grande land scheme in Arkansas; Hillary Clinton figures in the indictment as the Rose Law Firm “billing partner.”
Nov. 16: News reports say that former White House intern Monica Lewinsky has negotiated a seven-figure media deal for book and television rights to her story.
Nov. 17: The House Judiciary Committee releases 22 hours of secretly recorded conversations between Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky.
Nov. 19: The House Judiciary Committee opens impeachment hearings and calls Independent Counsel Starr as the first witness. Mr. Starr testifies for 12 hours.
Nov. 23: Whitewater figure Susan McDougal is acquitted in a California court in a fraud and embezzlement case unrelated to Mr. Starr’s inquiry.
Nov. 24: Following a preliminary review, Attorney General Reno declines to name an independent counsel to investigate whether Vice President Gore lied to federal investigators about his knowledge of 1996 fund-raising activities.
Nov. 30: President Clinton responds to 81 questions from the Judiciary Committee about the Lewinsky matter. Republicans denounce the President’s answers as “evasive and legalistic.”
Dec. 2: In a sweeping corruption prosecution brought by Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz, former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy is acquitted on all 30 counts of illegally accepting $33,000 in gifts and travel from companies regulated by the Agriculture Department.
Dec. 7: Following a preliminary review, Attorney General Reno declines to name an independent counsel to investigate whether President Clinton or Vice President Gore illegally used 1996 campaign funds for television advertising.
Dec. 8: The White House opens its impeachment defense with an apologetic statement from Special Counsel Greg Craig saying the President’s conduct was “sinful” but not impeachable.
Dec. 9: Despite an appeal from White House Counsel Charles Ruff to spare the nation the “horror” of a Senate trial, the Republican majority of the House Judiciary Committee proposes four articles of impeachment, charging President Clinton with obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and two counts of perjury.
Dec. 10: Following closing arguments from Democratic and Republican chief counsels, the Judiciary Committee begins final debate on the articles of impeachment.
Dec. 11: In a party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee approves three articles of impeachment alleging perjury and obstruction of justice and sends them to the full House for consideration.
Dec. 12: The Judiciary Committee approves a fourth article of impeachment alleging abuse of power. Democratic efforts to censure, rather than impeach, are defeated.
Dec. 16: As the full House prepares to debate the articles of impeachment, President Clinton orders airstrikes against Iraq for violating United Nations sanctions. Impeachment debate is delayed. Some Republicans accuse the President of using the airstrikes to divert attention from impeachment proceedings.
Dec. 18: Impeachment debate begins in the House, reflecting harsh partisan divisions.
Dec. 19: In a day of turmoil and high political drama, the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment, for perjury before a grand jury and obstruction of justice, against President Clinton. It rejects two other articles alleging perjury in the Paula Jones civil deposition and abuse of power. In a dramatic announcement before the House vote, spurred by reports of an impending story by Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, Speaker-elect Bob Livingston says he will resign because of marital infidelity.
Jan. 7: The trial of William Jefferson Clinton on two articles of impeachment officially opens with Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist sworn in as presiding officer. All 100 Senators are sworn in. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, leader of the thirteen House “managers” prosecuting the case, reads the impeachment charges.
Jan. 8: Senators approve a bipartisan plan for the trial of President Clinton, deferring the contentious issue of witnesses until after opening arguments.
Jan. 12: President Clinton pays Paula Jones $850,000 to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit.
Jan. 14: The House managers open their case, charging that President Clinton betrayed his oath of office and broke the law in attempting to cover up his affair with Ms. Lewinsky.
Jan. 19: The White House opens its defense of President Clinton, saying his behavior, while deplorable, does not rise to the level of impeachment. Later, the President delivers the State of the Union address.
Jan. 21: Following a scathing attack on the evidence presented by the House managers, the White House closes its defense, saying the charges are false and do not warrant impeachment.
Jan. 22: Under questioning by the Senators, the House managers and White House defense team clash over interpretations of the evidence. Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia announces he will offer a motion to dismiss the case.
Jan. 27: Following debate behind closed doors to bring the trial to an end, the Senate votes to take videotaped depositions from three witnesses–Ms. Lewinsky, White House aide Sidney Blumenthal, and Clinton friend Vernon Jordan. The Senate rejects a Democratic motion to dismiss the perjury and obstruction charges.
Jan. 29: Attorney General Reno declines to name an independent counsel to investigate perjury allegations against White House aide Harold Ickes related to the 1996 campaign.
Feb. 3: Former Justice Department campaign finance task force head Charles La Bella resigns as acting U.S. Attorney in San Diego, saying he no longer has the confidence of Attorney General Reno and top Justice Department officials.
Feb. 4: The Senate rejects calling live witnesses but allows videotaped testimony to be shown.
Feb. 6: Clips from the videotaped depositions of Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Blumenthal and Mr. Jordan are presented by both sides in the case.
Feb. 8: House managers and White House lawyers present closing arguments.
Feb. 12: Following deliberations behind closed doors, the Senate acquits President Clinton on both articles of impeachment. The vote on the first article, perjury, is 45 guilty, 55 not guilty; the vote on the second article, obstruction, is 50 guilty, 50 not guilty. A two-thirds majority of 67 votes is necessary for conviction.
Feb. 16: In Little Rock, Judge Susan Webber Wright says she is considering holding President Clinton in contempt for providing misleading testimony in his deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit.
Feb. 19: The Wall Street Journal reports allegations by Arkansas businesswoman Juanita Broaddrick that she was raped by then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton in 1978. Lawyers for Mr. Clinton deny the charge.
Feb. 24: Hearings into the controversial Independent Counsel Statute open before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. With the statute set to expire in June, a wide array of politicians and pundits pronounce it dead. In a separate development, after holding the story for more than a month and under mounting pressure from competitors, NBC airs a report on Clinton accuser Juanita Broaddrick.
March 8: Whitewater figure Susan McDougal goes on trial in Little Rock, charged with contempt and obstruction for failing to answer questions from a federal grand jury about Bill Clinton’s knowledge of illegal Whitewater financial transactions.
March 11: Starr spokesman Charles Bakaly resigns amid charges that he leaked information to the New York Times and then lied about it when questioned under oath.
March 18: Testifying at the Susan McDougal trial, Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing discloses that a draft indictment of Mrs. Clinton in Whitewater matters was prepared but never presented to a grand jury.
March 31: President Clinton tells CBS’s Dan Rather that he does not regard impeachment as “some great badge of shame” but is “honored” to have had “the opportunity to defend the Constitution.”
April 11: Ms. McDougal’s trial ends with acquittal on an obstruction charge and a hung jury on criminal contempt for refusing to answer questions from a federal grand jury.
April 12: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright finds President Clinton in contempt for “intentionally false” statements under oath and “willful failure” to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones sexual harrasment case. Judge Wright’s verdict is the first ever to hold a U.S. president in contempt of court.
May 25: Rep. Chris Cox’s Select Committee on U.S. National Security publishes a detailed report on Chinese espionage coups. The Cox inquiry grew out of reports that a top Democratic Party contributor’s donations may have influenced White House decisions on China.
June 16: Vice President Al Gore announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
June 30: The Independent Counsel law expires. Congress does not renew it. Independent Counsel Starr’s investigation continues, but there will be no new counsels.
July 6: News reports disclose that in a highly unusual proceeding, former Starr spokesman Charles Bakaly has been charged with criminal contempt in a sealed court filing. Mr. Bakaly had been the target of a Justice Department probe into whether he lied under oath about leaks to the media in the Lewinsky affair.
July 7: On a farm outside Oneonta, New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton announces her bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
July 29: Judge Wright of Arkansas orders President Clinton to pay $90,686 in sanctions to Paula Jones and her attorneys for lying under oath in the Jones case.
July 30: Linda Tripp, whose secretly recorded tapes of telephone conversations with Monica Lewinsky played a key role in the impeachment affair, is indicted by a Maryland grand jury on charges she violated state wiretapping laws.
Sept. 27: Ms. Tripp files a civil lawsuit accusing White House and Defense Department officials of unlawfully disclosing confidential records in a campaign to discredit her.
Oct. 18: Kenneth Starr steps down as independent counsel. Robert Ray, an experienced federal prosecutor, is sworn in as his successor.
Nov. 19: In a case that saw testimony involving senior Democratic National Committee and labor figures, a federal jury convicts former Teamsters’ political director William Hamilton on multiple counts of fraud and embezzlement.
March 2: A federal jury convicts Gore associate Maria Hsia on five felony counts related to illegal contributions in the Buddhist Temple fund-raiser.
March 16: In the Filegate affair, Independent Counsel Ray files a report stating there is “no substantial and credible evidence” that President or Mrs. Clinton sought information on Republican figures contained in confidential FBI background checks of former White House personnel.
April 13: Speaking to a meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, President Clinton declares that he is “not ashamed of the fact that they impeached me. That was their decision, not mine, and it was wrong.”
May 24: Maryland prosecutors drop their wiretapping case against Linda Tripp.
June 21: The head of the Justice Department’s campaign task force recommends that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate whether Vice President Al Gore lied about his knowledge of the Buddhist Temple affair and other matters. Attorney General Reno later rejects the recommendation.
June 22: Reporting on the White House Travel Office affair, Independent Counsel Ray declines prosecution of Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Ray notes that while there was “substantial evidence” that Mrs. Clinton had played a role in the firings of Travel Office personnel, he could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had made false statements under oath.
June 30: A panel of the Arkansas Supreme Court moves to strip Bill Clinton of his license to practice law. The suit accuses the President of “dishonesty, deceit, fraud and misrepresentation” in the Jones case. Mr. Clinton is given the opportunity to defend himself in court.
Sept. 11: In a case growing out of allegations of improper Chinese influence on the U.S. electoral process, the prosecution of former Los Alamos physicist Wen Ho Lee collapses. Mr. Lee pleads guilty to a minor charge and leaves jail.
Sept. 20: Reporting on the Whitewater land deal, Independent Counsel Ray releases a statement saying there is “insufficient evidence” to bring criminal charges against the Clintons. “The coverup worked,” the Journal declares in an editorial.
Oct. 6: Former Starr spokesman Charles Bakaly is acquitted of contempt of court charges in a case stemming from allegations that he lied under oath about news leaks to the media.
Nov. 7: In one of the closest elections in U.S. history, George W. Bush wins Florida’s twenty-five electoral votes, and thus the presidency, by a tiny margin. Al Gore launches a lengthy recount battle. In New York, Hillary Clinton wins a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Nov. 17: Following a fierce legal battle in the lower courts, the Florida Supreme Court blocks Florida’s secretary of state from certifying Mr. Bush the victor by 930 votes, following the counting of overseas ballots.
Nov. 19: Charles Ruff, former White House counsel and chief counsel for the president during impeachment, dies in his sleep.
Dec. 4: With battles waging in the Florida lower courts and the Florida legislature moving to take action, the U.S. Supreme Court instructs the Florida Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling.
Dec. 12: With an electoral college deadline looming and Vice President Gore pressing appeals and recounts activity, the U.S. Supreme Court moves decisively, ruling that the Florida high court’s rulings favoring Mr. Gore are unconstitutional.
Dec. 13: Mr. Gore concedes. George W. Bush is president-elect.
Dec. 19: Facing possible indictment for perjury and obstruction by Independent Counsel Ray after leaving office, President Clinton tells CBS News he would “stand and fight” the charges.
Dec. 22: President Clinton pardons Archie Schaffer, a Tyson Foods executive caught up in Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz’s probe of Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.
Jan. 19: In a deal with Independent Counsel Ray, President Clinton admits that he made false statements in the Monica Lewinsky case and surrenders his law license for five years. Mr. Ray declines prosecution of Mr. Clinton for perjury and obstruction of justice. The agreement effectively ends the Whitewater investigation, which began with questions about the Clintons’ land dealings in Arkansas but expanded into Oval Office conduct.
Jan. 20: Hours before ending his term in office, President Clinton issues 140 pardons. Included on the list is the Clintons’ former Whitewater Development Co. partner, Susan McDougal.”
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