Way back in the late 1990’s, a juicy sex scandal involving former President William Jefferson Clinton and his young 22 year old intern Monica Lewinsky was one of the most talked about topics of the decade, coming close second to the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. This political soap opera eventually led to the investigation by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and the U.S. House of Representatives voting to impeach President Clinton. Luckily for him, the U.S. Senate voted to allow him to finish his term. Today, we are witnessing another political crisis, where members of current President Donald J. Trump’s campaign and cabinet are being investigated for ties to Russia.
Most of us remember that period of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, even if we were very young at the time. Many people were appalled by the behavior of the most powerful man in the world, as he took advantage of a young and naive intern, whom must had been just helpless against his charms, right? Even some people who voted for Clinton felt that the morals of the Democratic Party had been forever tarnished and vowed to never vote Democrat again. They flocked to the Republican Party that had claimed the moral high ground, where they remained staunch supporters ever since, consistently voting against their own interests, but at least they were free of the stench that is the Democratic Party.
If you were to ask people today; “Why was President Bill Clinton impeached?”, it is a safe bet that 99% of the time their answer will be; “Because he had an affair with a 22 year old intern”. Even though he did finally admit during the hearing to having an affair with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, after the evidence he couldn’t possibly deny had been revealed, that is not why he was impeached.
Monica Lewinsky, although very young, was still an adult of sound mind, whom was capable of consenting to sexual activities with the president, and because they were both consenting adults, no crime or impeachable offense had been committed. Those alt-right trolls who like to call Bill Clinton a rapist or a pedophile against the backlash of Donald Trump’s vagina grabbing admissions have no basis for their argument.
Even though it probably should be, having sexual relations with a young intern while still married, is not listed as an impeachable offense in the U.S. Constitution, nor was it the reason for Former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. On January 26th 1998, soon after the controversial tapes secretly recorded by Linda Tripp surfaced, President Bill Clinton faced a swarm of reporters and uttered the words; “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”. A short time later, more evidence surfaced that contradicted the president’s statement, which effectively rendered him a liar under these circumstances, and apparently the president lying to the American people, whether under oath or not, is an impeachable offense. He noticeably did not lie when he was under oath while testifying before a grand jury, as that would had been a criminal offense.
It is well known that our current president; Donald J. Trump has a tendency to lie in almost every speech, tweet or interview he gives. Many of his lies are harmless, designed to boost his ego and embroil his base, such as his claims that his inauguration had the largest turnout in history, that all negative reports about him are “Fake News”, or that he lost the popular vote because 3 million people voted illegally. However, many of his other lies are damaging or even dangerous, such as his claims that preceding President Barack Obama had his phones tapped during the campaign, or that the media is the enemy of the United States. These later types of lies are not only potentially damaging to ones reputation and integrity, these types of lies can also put someone’s life at risk. Donald Trump has thousands, if not millions of faithful followers who are prepared to act on his word. If they perceive that the president would like to see members of the media roughed up, for example, you can be sure that some of them will act on that. There has already been evidence of this happening in recent months, with bricks being thrown through the windows of media headquarters and racist graffiti and symbols appearing in various locations throughout the United States.
Donald Trump lies often, and has been caught many times. If he was a Democrat, it would be a guarantee that impeachment proceedings would be moving forward in the Republican controlled House of Representatives, but because he ran on the Republican ticket, expecting his fellow Republicans to call for impeachment for lying while not under oath is a long shot. However, on June 9th 2017, one day after ousted FBI Director James Comey gave his detailed testimony on how the president pressured him to drop the investigation on Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, Donald Trump told the nation that he is “100% willing to testify under oath”.
There is much doubt that President Trump will follow through with his promise, after all he promised many things while on the campaign trail that never materialized, such as his promise to release his tax returns. Counselor to the President; Kellyanne Conway revealed soon after Trump’s inauguration, that the president has no intentions of ever releasing his taxes to the public, setting himself apart from every past president of the last several decades, who had willingly released their tax statements. However, if by some fluke, President Trump does end up testifying, as he promised, we can expect that he will not only lie, as history has shown is his habit, but will lie often, and he will most likely be caught in these lies, because as usual, contradicting evidence will be abundant.
The Republican controlled congress may be able to overlook President Trump’s habit of lying while not under oath, but once under oath the president will cross into a whole other domain, where being caught in a lie is not only an impeachable offense, but a criminal offense called “perjury” that can be punishable by years in prison, and you can rest assured that even the Republicans will not be able to ignore this.
Offering to testify while under oath is officially the most self-destructive comment President Trump has made to date. If his mindset is that the rules do not apply to him and he will walk away from any controversy unscathed, I hope that he will follow through with his promise to testify and learn a much needed lesson, not only for himself, but for other potential autocrats who may be considering running for any office. The People of the United States of America will not stand for this!