Clinton launches an all-out attack on the president and his ‘obstruction of justice’… after breaking out in ANOTHER coughing fit on stage
Hillary Clinton suggested her campaign rival President Trump will get impeached, in sharp remarks in a commencement address Friday where she brought up ‘obstruction of justice’ and warned of the steps to authoritarianism.
Speaking to gowned graduates at the school where she addressed students in 1969, Clinton referenced the resignation of President Richard Nixon and a House committee’s impeachment investigation – but it was clear to graduating students what she was really talking about.
‘We were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice,’ the defeated presidential candidate said – as members of the crowd at the liberal campus erupted into cheers.
Then she brought up Nixon’s ‘firing the the person running the investigation into him at the Department of Justice’ – a line that brought laughs and more cheers.
Both were obvious shots at Trump, who fired FBI Director James Comey in the midst of an agency probe of Russian meddling in the U.S. elections. The move brought parallels to Nixon’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre,’ when Nixon got rid of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
As she addressed students, Clinton also pointed to the evolution of ‘authoritarian’ regimes, in a criticism of Trump’s constant attacks on the media and his critics.
‘When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society,’ she warned. ‘That is not hyperbole, it is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done.’
‘You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason,’ she told graduates, referencing White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s defense of ‘alternative facts.’
‘We were furious about the past presidential election of a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice’
In yet another shot at Trump, Clinton said: ‘Some were even denying things we see with our own eyes, like the size of crowds.’
Clinton joked about her loss, but said she has had time for grandchildren and long walks in the woods. ‘Chardonnay helped a little too,’ she quipped
‘We got through that tumultuous time,’ she told the students, as she described the social conflicts during the late 1960s when she graduated.
‘We revved up the engine of imagination and innovation. We turned back a tide of intolerance and embraced inclusion,’ she said.
‘It was millions of ordinary citizens, especially young people, who voted, marched and organized’ to bring changes, she said.
Clinton served as a young staffer when the House Judiciary drew up articles of impeachment against Nixon and investigated his actions during Watergate.
She didn’t mention that her husband Bill Clinton was impeached during his second term, in an event that brought blowback for the Republicans who went after him.
THE IMPEACHED PRESIDENT HILLARY SOMEHOW FORGOT TO MENTION IN HER SPEECH… BILL
What about Bill? Hillary Clinton forgot to mention her husband when speaking to grads about impeached presidents
Hillary Clinton suggested – slightly misleadingly – that Richard Nixon was impeached. In fact the process began, but the articles of impeachment were never voted on because of his resignation.
However she could have mentioned a much more recent president who definitely was impeached: her husband.
And while she described Nixon’s presidency as ‘ending in obstruction of justice and impeachment’, she actually lived through her husband being tried in the Senate for precisely that charge.
It might come as little surprise that Hillary did not mention the painful episode, as it put her marriage on very public trial too.
Bill Clinton faced trial after the House of Representatives cited two articles of impeachment. He was charged with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice.
The trial hinged on whether or not he lied about having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. She was subpoenaed by Paula Jones who was suing Clinton for sexual harassment, which he denied.
Clinton famously said on TV: ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky’, when speaking about the affair. He said the same thing in the deposition in the Jones lawsuit.
But he later admitted to having ‘inappropriate’ contact with the then 21-year-old White House intern.
He said he had received oral sex from Lewinsky, but claimed he did not reciprocate. Whether that was a lie would hang on the definition of ‘sexual relations’.
The affair and the graphic sexual details were detailed in prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s report.
It included the detail about Lewinsky’s blue dress stained with the president’s semen. It also detailed how he allegedly used a cigar as a sex toy with Lewinsky, and then put it in his mouth.
Clinton spoke live on TV in a closed-door testimony to a grand jury, but never used the word ‘sex’ when talking about his contact with Lewinsky.
President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for violating an act to replace a member of his cabinet
The reasons Starr outlined for impeachment in the report included perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering and abuse of power. Clinton’s trial began on January 7, 1999 for articles one and three of impeachment.
On February 12, Clinton didn’t receive the two third majority vote from Congress to impeach.
In total, 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted he was not guilty – making him the only president to survive an impeachment trial.
The other president who was fully impeached survived – even more narrowly.
Andrew Johnson was Abraham Lincoln’s Vice President and came to power after his assassination in 1865.
At that time, Republicans had a majority hold on Congress. They passed the Tenure of Office Act in 1867 which prevented the president from kicking officials out of office who were appointed by the Senate.
Cabinet member, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, disagreed with Johnson’s views on Reconstruction. Stanton was part of the radical Republican coalition which wanted to see a total end to slavery.
But Johnson’s Reconstruction policy was lenient and would have allowed local southern governments to enable ‘back codes’ which essentially preserved the practice of slavery.
In the fall of 1867, Johnson tried to replace Stanton with Union General Ulysses S Grant. But the Supreme Court refused to rule on the case and Stanton kept his job.
Again, Johnson tried to get rid of Stanton by replacing him with General Lorenzo Thomas a few months later in 1868. Stanton locked himself in his office and refused to leave his post.
Johnson was charged with obstruction of justice, and Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presided over Johnson’s impeachment. It was a public spectacle and Congressmen were deluged with requests for tickets.
On March 16, 35 senators voted to convict for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ while 19 voted to acquit – one more vote would have removed him from office but Johnson narrowly survived.
His reputation is another matter; he has repeatedly been named the worst president ever to lead the nation.
Clinton began with remarks about the ‘amazing futures’ of school grads. She encouraged them to seek office and take other steps to make the world better.
It didn’t take long for her to break into a coughing fit, something that happened frequently during her campaign.
‘And I’ve gotta get a lozenge,’ she said, as the crowd clapped in support.
‘Whatever your path, you dreamed big,’ she told graduating students.
Back in 1969, Clinton spoke about the push and pull of politics to fellow graduates of her school.
‘We’ve had lots of empathy; we’ve had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible,’ she said. ‘And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible.’
Clinton started her remarks with a familiar coughing fit, then took out a lozenge
Even as she went after President Trump by alluding to crimes, she also made light of her defeat.
‘You may have heard that things didn’t go exactly the way I’ve planned. But you know what, I’m doing okay,’ she said to laughs.
‘I’ve gotten to spend time with my family, especially my amazing grandchildren,’ she said.
‘Long walks in the woods … Organizing my closets … I won’t lie, Chardonnay helped a little too,’ she quipped.
Clinton brought up her ‘Onward together’ PAC, but provided little information about how it would work. She said it would involve recruiting candidates and other organizing.