- A little more than 20 years separates the impeachment trials of former President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump.
- Twenty-eight current senators will have had a say in the outcomes of both.
- Last time, most voted along party lines. The notable outlier was Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who voted to acquit Clinton, and will be voting again on whether Trump should be convicted.
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Very few will be able to say they voted in the impeachment of two presidents.
Of the senators who will decide whether to convict President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, 28 were also in Congress when former President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998.
Clinton was acquitted. Congress voted largely on party lines, except for two Republicans — Sen. Susan Collins, who voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles, and Sen. Richard Shelby, who voted “guilty” on one and “not guilty” on the other. The partisan divide looks likely to be the same this time.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was in the House at the time, even served as an impeachment manager prosecuting Clinton.
These are the 28 current senators who were in Congress during Clinton’s impeachment, and what they did then.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins was a senator. She voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles. She didn’t think what he’d done amounted to high crimes and misdemeanors. During Clinton’s trial she also called for more evidence and witnesses to ensure the trial was fair.
Sources: CBS News, The New York Times, Washington Post
Republican Sen. Michael Crapo was a member of the House at the beginning of the Clinton’s impeachment. He voted to impeach Clinton and then became a senator before the trial. He voted “guilty” for both impeachment articles.
Source: The Lewiston Tribune, Washington Post
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was in the House, and served as an impeachment manager prosecuting the president. Graham voted to impeach Clinton, and urged Democrats to resist prematurely making up their minds. “People have made up their mind in a political fashion that will hurt this country long term,” he said.
Sources: Washington Post, Salon, CBS News
Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein was a senator. She voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles. She also made it clear she didn’t condone his behavior. “I do not defend it. And I do not accept it. The conduct at the heart of the charges is deplorable,” she said. After he was acquitted she pushed to censure Clinton, but the Senate didn’t back it.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, SF Gate
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, now the Senate majority leader, was a senator. He voted “guilty” for both impeachment articles. He said the White House had tried to orchestrate a smear campaign against Republicans, and he asked the Senate floor, “Will we pursue the search for truth or will we dodge, weave and evade the truth?”
Source: Washington Post
Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders was a member of the House. He voted against impeaching Clinton. He also said the proceedings were a waste of resources, and a distraction from the challenges America should have been dealing with.
Sources: Washington Post, C-Span
Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer was a senator. He voted “not guilty” to both impeachment articles. He wrote a letter to Clinton before he was acquitted, saying he was “shaken” that Clinton might be removed because of the whims of a political group who hated him and wanted to “exploit the institutions of freedom.”
Sources: CNN, New York Post
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, who is now the Senate Rules Chairman, was a member of the House. He voted to impeach Clinton.
Sources: RollCall, CBS News
Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown was a member of the House. He voted against impeaching Clinton and said he should be censured instead.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch
Republican Sen. Richard Burr was a member of the House. He voted to impeach Clinton and made it clear where he thought power should be. “The United States is a nation of laws, not men,” he said. “And I do not believe we can ignore the facts or disregard the constitution so that the president can be placed above the law.”
Source: The Guardian
Democrat Sen. Benjamin Cardin was a member the House. He voted against impeaching Clinton, but also clarified his vote wasn’t because he was “rallying around the president.” He told reporters one portion of Democrats were “outraged” by the impeachment, while the other half were “somewhat in bewilderment” that it was classed an impeachable offense.
Source: CBS News, The New York Times
Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin was a senator. He voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles.
Source: The New York Times
Republican Sen. Mike Enzi was one year into his first term as a senator. He voted “guilty” for both impeachment articles.
Sources: AJC, Laramie Live
Republican Sen. James Inhofe was also a senator then. He voted “guilty” on both impeachment articles. He said not having all of the witnesses in Clinton’s impeachment would be “shirking our constitutional duty.” He said he didn’t think calling witnesses in Trump’s trial was necessary.
Sources: The Hill, NewsWeek
Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy was a senator. He voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles. Despite the vote, he didn’t hold back when Clinton called him up before the impeachment. To his wife’s horror, he said he told Clinton, “You’re a fool! You’re a damn, damn, damn fool!”
Source: The New York Times
Democrat Sen. Ed Markey was a member of the House. He voted against impeaching Clinton. Like Feinstein, he also urged Clinton be censured. During proceedings, he said, “GOP used to stand for Grand Old Party. Now it just stands for Get Our President.”
Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez was a member of the House. He voted against impeaching Clinton. He asked Republicans where their sense of fairness was, and added, “Monica Lewinsky is not Watergate. Let he who has no sin in this chamber cast the first stone.”
Republican Sen. Jerry Moran was in the House. He voted to impeach Clinton. He said he chose to be “on the side that says no person is above the law; that this is a nation of laws, not men; that telling the truth matters; and that we should expect our public officials to conduct themselves in compliance with the highest ethical standards.”
Source: Washington Post
Democrat Sen. Patty Murray was a senator. She voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles. She then set out how angry and dismayed she was with Clinton. “I trusted him. I thought I knew him. I refused to believe he would demean the presidency in the way that he has. His behavior was appalling and has hurt us all,” she said in a statement.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman was a member of the House. He voted to impeach Clinton. He said he was “particularly troubled” by Clinton’s lying under oath, and he called on him to resign.
Sources: The Columbus Dispatch, Washington Post
Democrat Sen. Jack Reed was a senator. He voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles. He was also against allowing new witnesses into Clinton’s trial, saying that it would lead to lawyers taking over, and cause the trial to take on a “life of its own.”
Sources: CNN, Washington Post
Republican Sen. Pat Roberts was a senator. He voted “guilty” for both impeachment articles. “I believe an open-minded individual applying Kansas common sense would reach the conclusion that I reached,” he said.
Source: CBS News
Republican Sen. Roger Wicker was a member of the House. He voted to impeach Clinton.
Source: Daily Journal
Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden was a senator. He voted “not guilty” for both impeachment articles. In his statement he called for the end of “toxic partisanship.”
Sources: CNN, CBS News
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby was a senator. He had switched to the Republican Party in 1994. He voted “guilty” for the obstruction of justice article, and “not guilty” for the perjury article.
Source: CNN, Washington Post
Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow was a member of the House. She voted against impeaching Clinton and also wanted to censure him instead.
Source: Michigan Radio
Also, 55 members of the House of Representatives who are still in office were there for Clinton’s impeachment.
These Republicans voted to impeach Clinton:
- Rep. Steve Chabot
- Rep. Don Young
- Rep. James Sensenbrenner
- Rep. Hal Rogers
- Rep. Chris Smith
- Rep. Fred Upton
- Rep. Ken Calvert
- Rep. Peter King
- Rep. Frank Lucas
- Rep. Mac Thornberry
- Rep. John Shimkus
- Rep. Robert Aderholt
- Rep. Kevin Brady
- Rep. Kay Granger
And these Democrats voted not to impeach Clinton:
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren
- Rep. Steny Hoyer
- Rep. Marcy Kaptur
- Rep. Peter Visclosky
- Rep. Peter DeFazio
- Rep. John Lewis
- Rep. (now House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi
- Rep. Frank Pallone
- Rep. Eliot Engel
- Rep. Nita Lowey
- Rep. Richard Neal
- Rep. Jose Serrano
- Rep. David Price
- Rep. Rosa DeLauro
- Rep. Collin Peterson
- Rep. Maxine Waters
- Rep. Jerry Nadler
- Rep. Sanford Bishop
- Rep. Jim Clyburn
- Rep. Anna Eshoo
- Rep. Alcee Hastings
- Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Rep. Carolyn Maloney
- Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
- Rep. Bobby Rush voted
- Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott
- Rep. Nydia Velazquez
- Rep. Bennie Thompson
- Rep. Lloyd Dogget
- Rep. Michael Doyle
- Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
- Rep. Earl Blumenauer
- Rep. Danny Davis
- Rep. Diana DeGette
- Rep. Ron Kind
- Rep. James McGovern
- Rep. Bill Pascrell
- Rep. Brad Sherman
- Rep. Barbara Lee
- Rep. Adam Smith
- Rep. Gregory Meeks
Source: Business Insider