The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Bill Clinton should have resigned post-impeachment.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,127 times Debate No: 41951
Debate Rounds (4)
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First round for acceptance only.

The basic premise: For a multitude of reasons, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives on Dec. 19th, 1998, 43rd President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton should have resigned his office and handed the Presidency over to his second-in-command, Al Gore.

If Con wants any other definitions or information to be provided, just say so.

And good luck!


As much as I disagree with Clinton, Clinton was found innocent and therefore did not have to leave office. If he wanted to choose to resign prior to impeachment fine, because he felt it was going to be damaging, much like Nixon chose to do so, then so be it. But Clinton was found not guilty, so he should not have to resign.
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, I'm not arguing that Bill Clinton had to leave office, I'm trying to prove that he should have left office for the reasons that many politicians resign office - for doing something (or things) wrong. Many politicians have resigned for much smaller offenses than those of Clinton.

Today, I'm going to argue that Bill Clinton should have resigned for embarrassing, shaming, and disgracing his office, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives on Dec. 19th, 1998. For this, I have three two contentions:

1. Regarding the Lewinsky scandal and the sexual harassment case of Paula Jones, Bill Clinton consistently misled and lied to the nation.

Throughout the Lewinsky sex scandal and Paula Jones's lawsuit against him, Bill Clinton has admitted, and been shown, to have lied to the American public many different times for the sake of political success.

When running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992, a young woman named Gennifer Flowers claimed to have a 12-year affair with Clinton. He, of course, denied the allegation. On 60 Minutes in '92:

REPORTER: I'm assuming from your answer that you're categorically denying that you ever had an affair with Gennifer Flowers.

CLINTON: I've said that before.

However, while in deposition for Paula Jones' lawsuit, in January 1998, Clinton admitted that he indeed had a sexual encounter with Flowers in 1977 - directly challenging his prior claims. This admission was later reaffirmed in Clinton's memoir, My Life.

But, most famously, Bill Clinton lied about his relationship with the young White House intern Monica Lewinsky. He did this under a sworn oath (my second point), but he also did so outside of deposition and court. And as he is very famous for saying,

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."

However, for lack of a better phrase, he did have sexual relations with that woman. Unambiguous DNA evidence from "the blue dress" proves that Clinton and Lewinsky had a sexual relationship with the other. He later famously conceded,

"Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate."

In the same address to the nation, he also admits "misleading" his wife. Not only did he cheat on her, but he lied to her about that cheating. Here, Clinton once again displays his lack of moral character - for members of the military, who he commands, are explicitly prohibited from extramarital affairs. In this way, Clinton nearly displays contempt for the military he commands through his actions. A President should follow the same standard of discipline as that of the officers he commands.

And on his last day of office, having been granted immunity from prosecution, he stated:

"I now recognise that I did not fully accomplish that goal and that certain of my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false."

2. He committed perjury, despite his acquittal by the United States Senate.

Under oath, President Clinton made the following noteworthy statements regarding his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky:

Q: Did you have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky?


Q: If she told someone that she had a sexual affair with you beginning in November of 1995, would that be a lie?

CLINTON: It's certainly not the truth. It would not be the truth.

Q: I think I used the term "sexual affair." And so the record is completely clear, have you ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, as that term is defined in Deposition Exhibit 1, as modified by the Court.

CLINTON: I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an affair with her.

However, as was explained in my first point, he did have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky. And although he was eventually acquitted by the United States Senate, a largely political sphere, many non political, impartial spheres hold that he did indeed commit perjury.

Firstly, upon his acquittal, a federal judge from the Paula Jones case cited Clinton as being in contempt of court for knowingly providing false testimony, and fined Clinton over $90,000 for the incident. Clinton paid the fine.

Secondly, the day before he left office, on Jan. 19th, 2001, Bill Clinton agreed to a five-year suspension of his law license and a $25,000 fine. Similarly, the Supreme Court also informed Clinton that he was henceforth disbarred from the Supreme Court bar - a position which he then resigned from. Both of these groups were completely impartial (Arkansas even voted for Clinton in '92 and '96).

This lying pinnacles with the fact that, on his last day of office, having been granted immunity from prosecution, Clinton admitted these truths himself, despite his earlier denials.

"I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognise that I did not fully accomplish that goal and that certain of my responses to questions about Ms Lewinsky were false. I have apologised for my conduct, and I have done my best to atone for it with my family, my administration, and the American people. I have paid a high price for it, which I accept because it caused so much pain to so many people. I hope my actions today will help bring closure and finality to these matters."

Now, I have proved that not only did Bill Clinton knowingly lie multiple times in office, but that he also committed perjury, a felony. David Petraeus, former CIA director, resigned when knowledge of his extramarital affair was made public. Clinton did not do so, after one extramarital affair, then another, then more lies, and then perjury. By resigning his post, he would have shown and admitted that he actually did something wrong, including breaking the law, which he later confessed to. For all of these reasons combined, upon being impeached by the United States House of Representatives, William Jefferson Clinton should have resigned his office.


Thanks so much! And good luck, again.


"He committed perjury, despite his acquittal by the United States Senate."
Wow, I didn't even know that he did. If that's the case, I guess I'll just have to give it to you.
Debate Round No. 2


Con claims that since Clinton was acquitted of perjury in the Senate, he did not commit it. However, just because he was acquitted by the Senate doesn't mean he didn't perjure. The Senate trial ended up being almost entirely based on party lines, with no Democrats voting for the perjury charge and only ten Republicans voting not guilty.

There is a large amount of evidence that pretty clearly displays that Clinton did commit perjury, all of which I included in my initial argument. To reiterate:

Several impartial (or even partial to Clinton) sources made responses indicating that Clinton did, in fact, perjure. The Arkansas bar fined Clinton $25,000 and revoked his law license for five years, and the Supreme Court bar revoked his right to practice law on the Supreme Court bar at all - he then resigned from his position on the Supreme Court bar. In addition, the federal judge presiding over the Paula Jones lawsuit cited him in contempt of court and fined him $90,000 - a complaint with which Clinton and his legal team complied.

Most damning of all is Clinton's own admission of perjury, on his last day of office, when he was granted immunity from prosecution:

"I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognize that I did not fully accomplish that goal and that certain of my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false."

Con did not respond to this evidence which was already in my initial argument, or to my first contention. So, my contentions still stand.


Actually you didn't open it with the fact that he purjured himself
Debate Round No. 3


Sorry, I don't follow too well. But everything I said (save the numbers on who voted for the perjury charge) was in my initial argument. And if not, it was just in different words.

Regardless of whether I opened it "with the fact that he purjured himself", Con did not manage to disprove my second point about Clinton's perjury, nor did Con respond to my first point. So, my points still stand.

Bill Clinton lied many times to the American people, and later lied about it under oath. In my initial argument, I proved this to you, the reader. Con did not knock down my points, therefore: the resolution still lives!

Vote Pro!


As I say, I give it to pro
Debate Round No. 4
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