Juanita Broaddrick’s rape accusation against Bill Clinton.

How a Rape Accusation Against Bill Clinton Did—and Didn’t—Change the Course of Impeachment

How a Rape Accusation Against Bill Clinton Did—and Didn’t—Change the Course of Impeachment

History in real time.
Oct. 10 2018 7:00 AM

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In 1998, Congress weighed whether Juanita Broaddrick’s rape accusation against Bill Clinton was grounds for impeachment.

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Juanita Broaddrick told Ken Starr’s team of prosecutors that Bill Clinton had raped her in 1978. Her story wasn’t included in the Starr Report—but members of Congress found out about it anyway and had to decide how it would affect its vote on impeachment.

In the final episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh talks to Broaddrick and to Lisa Myers, the NBC News reporter whose interview with Broaddrick became a cause célèbre during the impeachment trial. What does it mean that Broaddrick’s story has never really become a part of Bill Clinton’s?

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Listen to Slow Burn via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. This week, Leon Neyfakh talks to David Plotz, Seth Stevenson, and Emily Yoffe about working at Slate during the late 1990s and what it was like to cover the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Neyfakh and Slate senior producer Mary Wilson also discuss the making of Episode 8.

Some of the articles mentioned during the discussion of Slate’s Clinton-era coverage:

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If you are logged in to your Slate Plus account, you can find this week’s bonus episode in the player below or in your members-only podcast feed. Not yet a member? Click here to join.

Notes on Episode 8

In researching this episode we made use of the following sources.

Books

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Baker, Peter. The Breach, Scribner, 2000.

Broaddrick, Juanita and Lulli, Nick. You’d Better Put Some Ice on That, CreateSpace, 2017.

Conason, Joe and Lyons, Gene. The Hunting of the President, Thomas Dunne Books, 2001.

Gormley, Ken. The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Crown/Archetype, 2010.

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Schippers, David and Henry, Alan P. Sellout: The Inside Story of President Clinton’s Impeachment, Regnery, 2001.

Schmidt, Susan and Weisskopf, Michael. Truth at Any Cost, HarperCollins, 2000.

Sheehy, Gail. Hillary’s Choice, Random House, 1999.

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The Starr Report, the Washington Post, 1998.

Toobin, Jeffrey. A Vast Conspiracy, Random House, 1999.

Film, TV and Radio

Goodman, Barak and Durrance, Chris. American Experience: Clinton, PBS, 2012.

Myers, Lisa. “Interview With Juanita Broaddrick,” Dateline, NBC, 1999.

Articles

Affidavit of Jane Doe #5,” Washington Post, March 30, 1998.

Allegation of Rape by Clinton Aired,” Chicago Tribune, Feb. 25, 1999.

Barringer, Felicity and Firestone, David. “On Tortuous Route, Sexual Assault Accusation Against Clinton Resurfaces,” New York Times, Feb. 24, 1999.

Baker, Katie J.M., “Juanita Broaddrick Wants to Be Believed,” BuzzFeed News, Aug. 14, 2016.

Baker, Peter and Dewar, Helen. “The Senate Acquits President Clinton,” Washington Post, Feb. 13, 1999.

Baker, Peter and Eilperin, Juliet. “Clinton Impeached,” Washington Post, Dec. 20, 1998.

Baker, Peter and Eilperin, Juliet. “GOP Blocks House Censure Alternative,” Washington Post, Dec. 13, 1998.

Baker, Peter and Eilperin, Juliet. “House Panel Passes 3 Impeachment Articles,” Washington Post, Dec. 12, 1998.

Baker, Peter and Romano, Lois. “Another Clinton Accuser Goes Public,” Washington Post, Feb. 20, 1999.

Baker, Peter and Sun, Lena H. “Starr Seeks Records From Jones Team on Four Women,” Washington Post, March 26, 1998.

Committee Profiles,” Washington Post, Dec. 11, 1998.

Dao, James. “The Moderates: Undecided Members Tilt Toward Impeachment,” New York Times, Dec. 13, 1998.

Douglass, Linda and Vargas, Elizabeth. “New Allegations Against Clinton In Jones Case,” ABC News, March 28, 1998.

Goldstein, Amy. “2,000 Jam Shays’s Meeting,” Washington Post, Dec. 16, 1998.

Holland, Keating. “Poll: Most Believe Media Should Lay Off Broaddrick Allegation,” CNN, March 1, 1999.

Hutzler, Alexandra. “Juanita Broaddrick Slams #MeToo,” Newsweek, Sept. 19, 2018.

Jensen, Elizabeth and Lowry, Brian. “Huge Ratings for Lewinsky,” Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1999.

Kurtz, Howard. “Clinton Accuser’s Story Aired,” Washington Post, Feb. 25, 1999.

Kurtz, Howard. “Larry Flynt and the Barers of Bad News,” Washington Post, Dec. 20, 1998.

Kurtz, Howard. “Others Fair Game for Scandal in Wake of Affair,” Washington Post, Sept. 11, 1998.

Marcus, Ruth. “Livingston Wants House Vote on Impeachment,” Washington Post, Nov. 23, 1998.

Nagourney, Adam. “Hillary Clinton Elected to Senate From New York,” New York Times, Nov. 8, 2000.

Pazniokas, Mark. “Shays Listens as the Public Talks,” Hartford Courant, Dec. 16, 1998.

Pianin, Eric. “Livingston Quits as Speaker-Designate,” Washington Post, Dec. 20, 1998.

Rabinowitz, Dorothy. “Juanita Broaddrick Meets the Press,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 19, 1999.

Remez, Michael. “Shays, Clinton Belatedly Meet, but Talk Is Anti-Climactic,” Hartford Courant, Dec. 19, 1998.

Saad, Lydia. “Admiration for Hillary Clinton Surges in 1998,” Gallup, Dec. 31, 1998.

Sammon, Bill and Murray, Frank. “The Clinton Story That’s Too Hot to Handle,” Washington Times, Feb. 4, 1999.

Spong, John. “Number One With a Bullet,” Texas Monthly, Oct. 2007.

The Yoakum Letter,” Washington Post, March 28, 1998.