On This Day in Time, 17 years ago – December 19, 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on two separate counts: one for perjury and one for obstruction of justice.
The impeachment stemmed from improper land deals (known as Whitewater), a sexual harassment suit brought on by Paula Jones and the infamous scandal stemming from “sexual relations” with former White House Intern Monica Lewinsky.
One of the most famous quotes by the President during this time came after he was asked “is there a romantic relationship between you and Ms. Lewinsky.” The president replied with “that depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”
Although he was impeached by the House, Clinton wriggled off the hook in the Senate and was thus acquitted and allowed to remain in office. To this day, only two U.S. Presidents (Nixon resigned prior to being removed) have been impeached, President Andrew Jackson was the other, who was removed in 1868.
After the dust settled, Clinton was assessed some $90,000 in fines from a judge in Arkansas for lying under oath and eventually paid nearly one million dollars to Paula Jones in an out-of-court settlement.