The Daily Beast

I Was There for Clinton’s Impeachment. Here’s the Hell Trumpworld Faces.

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Early on the morning of Jan. 17, 1998, I sleepily boarded Marine Two, the vice president’s helicopter, for the short flight from his residence to Andrews Air Force Base. There were no smartphones or social media back then, and I had not checked the Drudge Report before heading out at 4:30 a.m. But internet pioneer Al Gore had. He turned to me and my colleague Mike Feldman and asked: 

“Who the hell is Monica Lewinsky”?

That day launched the Clinton White House on a 13-month saga of accusations, denial, admission, impeachment, and acquittal. And while that scandal, that president, and that White House staff differed in almost every respect from the current incumbent’s, our experience could hold some lessons for the Trump team. I was far from the center of the impeachment response, but even those parts of the White House staff are in for a difficult few months. As they will soon discover, impeachment has infinite gravity and immense destructive power. It is a political black hole.

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