William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton was elected to the White House in 1992 and was sworn into office on January 20,1993. In 1994, Paula Jones filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton, from when he was governor of Arkansas. The Clinton legal team tried vigorously to postpone any legal hearings on the Jones case until after his time as president ended.
However, in 1997, the US Supreme Court ruled that Jones’ lawsuit was to go forward. Not long afterwards, Monica Lewinsky, indicated that she had a sexual relationship with Clinton while he was president. Linda Tripp, a friend of Lewinski, taped a number of conversations between them and in those conversations, Lewinski revealed details of her sexual relationship with Clinton.
After Clinton testified that he had no sexual relationship or encounter of any kind with Lewinski, Special Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was tasked with investigating the situation. With overwhelming evidence to prove that Clinton had lied, the House of Representatives initiated articles of impeachment against Clinton by the end of 1998. In 1999, the Senate convicted Clinton on two of the articles of impeachment – perjury and obstruction of justice. The Senate needed 67 votes to remove Clinton from office, but only 50 Senators voted for removal of office.
In 1995, after the sexual allegations against Clinton were made public but before his impeachment, the Democratic-controlled Congress passed bill to create a hush fund from which members of Congress could use to payout settlements in sexual harassment, wrongful termination and other charges made against them.
Since that time, that hush fund has been used to payout about $17 million (taxpayer money) to settle over 600 claims. It was one of these settlement claims that recently came to light in the sexual scandal plaguing Rep John Conyers (D-MI). He used the hush fund to settle a wrongful termination charge by a former staffer who said she was fired after refusing Conyers’ sexual advancements. Once that settlement became public, other current and former staff members of Conyers have made similar sexual allegations against the longest concurrent sitting member of Congress.
However, the congressional hush fund may be coming to an end:
“The Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act, which has bipartisan support, is meant to fix a 1995 bill that was passed in the wake of the Bill Clinton sex scandal. That bill established an Office of Compliance which had access to money that was used – to the tune of somewhere between $15 and $17 million – to pay of victims of workplace abuses, some of which were sexual assaults.”
“Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) (above), one of the co-sponsors of the measure, tells OneNewsNow that most members of Congress didn’t even know the fund existed.”
“‘It doesn’t have a line item appropriation. It functions within the Office of Compliance,’ she explains. ‘And what we are saying is that it’s a practice that needs to change’.”
“Although the exact numbers are still hidden, Blackburn says some of the money was used to pay off victims of sexual assault and keep them quiet.”
Without the taxpayer funded hush fund, members of Congress will have to start settling these claims out of their own pockets, which is the way it should have been all along. As a taxpayer, I say it’s time our lawmakers stop getting a free ride off of our hard-earned tax money. Paying their salary and expenses is one thing, but paying for THEIR sexual promiscuity is unconscionable. They need to pay for their own sins, not us. This is one taxpayer who supports the Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act.