After heated debate, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton on December 19. On January 7, 1999, the impeachment trial began in the Senate--it was the first such trial since President Andrew Johnson was accused of illegally removing the secretary of war from office and violating several Congressional acts in 1868. Like Johnson, Clinton was acquitted on February 12, 1999.
Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, on December 19, 1998. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of power, failed in the House. He was acquitted of both charges by the Senate on February 12, 1999.
Independent Counsel Ken Starr alleged that Clinton had broken the law during his handling of the Lewinsky scandal and the Paula Jones lawsuit. Four charges were considered by the full House of Representatives; only two passed, and those on a nearly party-line vote. It was only the second time in history that the House had impeached the President of the United States, and only the third that the full House had considered such proceedings.
The trial in the United States Senate began right after the seating of the 106th Congress, in which the Republicans began with 55 senators. A two-thirds vote (67 senators) was required to remove Clinton from office. Fifty senators voted to remove Clinton on the obstruction of justice charge and 45 voted to remove him on the perjury charge; no Democrat voted guilty on either charge.