Joe Biden denounced President Trump’s comparison of the ongoing impeachment inquiry to a “lynching,” but in a 1998 interview, the then-senator from Delaware also invoked the term in reference to impeachment, calling it a “partisan lynching,” CNN reports.
Jeffrey Toobin said he regretted the role he played in amplifying the coverage of Hillary Clinton’s private email server during the 2016 campaign after an investigation found “no persuasive evidence” of classified information being systematically or deliberately mishandled.
Tweeted Toobin: “Note the mostly buried news that State Dept closed Hillary Clinton email probe with this verdict: no big deal. As a journalist, I regret my role in blowing this story out of proportion.”
Washington Post: “A multiyear State Department probe of emails that were sent to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s private computer server concluded there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees, according to a report submitted to Congress this month.”
“The report appears to represent a final and anticlimactic chapter in a controversy that overshadowed the 2016 presidential campaign and exposed Clinton to fierce criticism that she later cited as a major factor in her loss to President Trump.”
David Frum: “Donald Trump may have no impeachment war room, but he does have an impeachment strategy. He deployed it this past weekend.”
“It’s the same strategy he brought to his presidential campaign, then to his presidency: all base, all the time. In 1998 and ’99, Bill Clinton directed his anti-impeachment messaging to voters who did not necessarily approve of him, but who feared impeachment as disruptive. Trump’s message is aimed only at his most all-in supporters, those who see him as a victim of plots and persecution by shadowy, unseen forces.”
“It’s as if the Trump campaign has read the Clinton playbook, and at every turn opted for the opposite.”
“The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email, reviving a politically toxic matter that overshadowed the 2016 election,” the Washington Post reports.
“As many as 130 officials have been contacted in recent weeks by State Department investigators — a list that includes senior officials who reported directly to Clinton as well as others in lower-level jobs whose emails were at some point relayed to her inbox… Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations.”
“The last time Congress tried to impeach a president, the White House chief of staff had one rule: No one who wasn’t working directly on impeachment, including the president himself, was ever allowed to talk about it,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Clinton’s aides had studied Watergate, and their takeaway was that the public believed President Richard M. Nixon was being buried by the scandal, in part, because he talked about it endlessly. So their approach was that the only way to survive and to keep his job approval rating up was to demonstrate that the White House was still working, and that Mr. Clinton was still doing the job he was elected to do for the people.”
“But the approach is unlikely to succeed with President Trump, someone less concerned with policy than he is with how things play in distinct, daily news cycles. He heads into what appears to be a rapidly unfurling impeachment inquiry unprepared temperamentally, and with a depleted staff, many of whom are shrugging off the seriousness of what the president faces.”
“Hillary Clinton spent an hour yesterday reading her emails at my exhibition of all 62,000 pages of them in Venice. She is pictured here at a replica of the Oval Office Resolute Desk, stacked with her emails.”
Todd Purdum: “Clinton is not quite a full-on pariah in the modern Democratic Party—the one he did so much to reshape and rebuild. But some of his signature policies are the butt of attacks by the current crop of Democratic contenders, and the sitting president has floated the utterly unproven conspiracy theory that Clinton may have had something to do with the jailhouse death of Jeffrey Epstein, the serial sex trafficker whose company he once kept.”
“Clinton’s checkered past with women—his acknowledged infidelity and serious allegations of predation—left him sidelined as a surrogate in last year’s midterms, too toxic to raise money or stump for candidates in the #MeToo era. He is no longer the party’s reigning ‘Secretary of Explaining Stuff,’ as Barack Obama famously dubbed him. It seems more than likely that he won’t have a prime speaking slot at next summer’s Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee—if he appears at all.”
A Daily Beast investigation has uncovered ties between Jeffrey Epstein and the Clinton administration that date back to the president’s earliest days in the White House, casting doubt on the oft-circulated narrative that the two only began associating after Clinton left office.
Meanwhile, the New York Post reports Epstein was found unconscious in his jail cell after a possible suicide attempt.
A spokesman for former President Bill Clinton said that Clinton “knows nothing” about Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes after the billionaire financier pleaded not guilty to sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court, USA Today reports.
Ron Brownstein: “It’s become conventional wisdom—not only among Democrats but also among many political analysts—that House Republicans paid a severe electoral price for moving against Bill Clinton in 1998, at a time when polls showed most of the public opposed that action.”
“But that straightforward conclusion oversimplifies impeachment’s effects, according to my analysis of the election results and interviews with key strategists who were working in national politics at the time. While Republicans did lose House seats in both 1998 and 2000, Democrats did not gain enough to capture control of the chamber either time. And in 2000, lingering unease about Clinton’s behavior provided a crucial backdrop for George W. Bush’s winning presidential campaign—particularly his defining promise ‘to restore honor and dignity’ to the Oval Office.”
Walter Shapiro: 1998 was a Seinfeld election—not an impeachment referendum.
“Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea are forming a production company to pursue film and television projects, making a foray into Hollywood after decades in the public eye,” Bloomberg reports.
“The family hopes to use film and television to influence culture and society now that Hillary Clinton is out of politics. They plan to focus on stories by and about women. The production company is one of many potential business opportunities that Hillary Clinton, 71, is considering.”
In a pair of tweets, President Trump said he will hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, the Washington Post reports.
“Trump had twice before postponed the scheduled increase to allow negotiators to seek a comprehensive deal. His threat increases pressure on a deal that Trump said has been going ‘too slowly.'”
Jonathan Swan: “A source familiar with the situation told me that the Chinese had been backing off of agreements the U.S. negotiating team believed they had already made. Trump’s view, the source said, is that he’s negotiating from a position of clear economic strength, especially with the latest strong U.S. jobs numbers.”
Walter Shapiro: “What is lacking throughout the Clinton Library is context. No one should be surprised that the impeachment saga is as airbrushed as an old-time Hugh Hefner-approved Playboy centerfold. Monica Lewinsky is mentioned in a single sentence—and Clinton is portrayed as morally, as well as legally, blameless. As the signage puts it, ‘After the Republicans won Congress in 1994, the fight for power culminated in two government shutdowns and an impeachment battle, bringing partisan opposition to a new high and attempting to deny the very legitimacy of the President’s election.'”
“To give Clinton a break, honesty about sex has never been his strong suit. But the true missing figure in Little Rock, whose shadow dominated the Clinton years, is Ronald Reagan.”
Associated Press: “Nearly 20 years after he left the White House, Bill Clinton is still sought after for advice by some Democrats running for president. But the names on his dance card in recent months underscore how much his standing in the party has changed.”
“So far, none of the party’s early front-runners has had a formal meeting with Clinton. Nor have the women who are running in the historically diverse primary field.”
“Former President Bill Clinton is writing a new book about his post-presidential life,” the New York Times reports.
“It is unclear how much of the book, if any, will deal with Mrs. Clinton’s two campaigns for president, or if Mr. Clinton will address the criticisms of his policy record or his personal behavior. He has mostly avoided those topics in his public appearances.”
Maureen Dowd: “I’m looking around Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s a depressing sight. It’s two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales. I paid $177 weeks in advance. (I passed on the pricey meet-and-greet option.) On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits.”
“I get reassigned to another section as the Clintons’ audience space shrinks. But even with all the herding, I’m still looking at large swaths of empty seats — and I cringe at the thought that the Clintons will look out and see that, too.”
Monica Lewinsky writes in Vanity Fair that she would apologize to Hillary Clinton again if the pair were to meet in person.
Said Lewinsky: “My first public words after the scandal — uttered in an interview with Barbara Walters on March 3, 1999 —were an apology directly to Chelsea and Mrs. Clinton. And if I were to see Hillary Clinton in person today, I know that I would summon up whatever force I needed to again acknowledge to her — sincerely — how very sorry I am.”
Lewinsky wrote the article to explain her participation in a new documentary series, The Clinton Affair.