Fact Checker: Sex allegations about the Clintons

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    For the legion of Republicans who abandoned Donald Trump on Saturday, recoiling in horror from comments their party's White House nominee made about using his fame to prey on women, there is no escaping those questions of why now? Associated Press

  • Donald Trump has accused former President Bill Clinton of "rape," Hillary Clinton of being an "enabler" and threatened to shift those issues from his Twitter feed to the presidential debate stage on Sunday.

    Donald Trump has accused former President Bill Clinton of "rape," Hillary Clinton of being an "enabler" and threatened to shift those issues from his Twitter feed to the presidential debate stage on Sunday. Associated Press

  • Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question from a member of the media after a rally at the Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question from a member of the media after a rally at the Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday. Associated Press

 
By Glenn Kessler
The Washington Post
Updated 10/9/2016 11:15 PM

Heading into the second presidential debate, Donald Trump and his allies signaled that he would bring up a variety of claims concerning the sexual behavior of former president Bill Clinton. Clinton has acknowledged being unfaithful during his marriage to Hillary Clinton but has denied charges of sexual assault. Here's a quick guide to the allegations:

Nonconsensual affairs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Paula Jones: A former Arkansas state employee who alleged that in 1991 Bill Clinton, while governor, propositioned her and exposed himself. She later filed a sexual harassment suit, and it was during a deposition in that suit that Clinton initially denied having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives over the Lewinsky matter but acquitted in the Senate. The Paula Jones case itself had been dismissed by a federal judge, who ruled that even if her allegations were true, such "boorish and offensive" behavior would not be severe enough to constitute sexual harassment under the law. That ruling was under appeal when Clinton in 1998 settled the suit for $850,000, with no apology or admission of guilt. All but $200,000 was directed to pay legal fees.

• Juanita Broaddrick: The nursing home administrator emerged after the impeachment trial to allege that Clinton had raped her 21 years earlier. (She originally declined to cooperate with the independent prosecutor, saying in a signed affidavit that "I do not have any information to offer regarding a nonconsensual or unwelcome sexual advance by Mr. Clinton.") Through a lawyer, Clinton denied the claim. There were no witnesses to alleged 1978 encounter, but several of her friends backed her claim. No charges were ever brought. Broaddrick also claims that just weeks after the incident, Hillary Clinton approached her at a political rally and appeared to thank her for her silence.

• Kathleen Willey: The former White House aide said Clinton groped her in his office in 1993, on the same day that her husband, facing embezzlement charges, died in an apparent suicide. (During a deposition in the Paula Jones matter, Willey initially said she had no recollection about whether Clinton kissed her and insisted he did not fondle her.) Clinton denied he assaulted her; an independent prosecutor concluded that "there is insufficient evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that President Clinton's testimony regarding Kathleen Willey was false."

No court of law ever found Clinton guilty of the accusations.

Peter Baker, in "The Breach," the definitive account of the impeachment saga, reported that House investigators later found in the files of the independent prosecutor that Jones' attorneys had collected the names of 21 women who they suspected had had sexual relationships with Clinton. Baker described the files as "wild allegations, sometimes based on nothing more than hearsay claims of third-party witnesses." But there were some allegations (page 138) that suggested unwelcome advances:

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"One woman was alleged to have been asked by Clinton to give him oral sex in a car while he was the state attorney general (a claim she denied). A former Arkansas state employee said that during a presentation, then-Governor Clinton walked behind her and rubbed his pelvis up against her repeatedly. A woman identified as a third cousin of Clinton's supposedly told her drug counselor during treatment in Arkansas that she was abused by Clinton when she was baby-sitting at the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock."

Consensual affairs

• Gennifer Flowers: A model and actress whose claims of a long-term affair nearly wrecked Clinton's first run for the presidency, in 1992. (Clinton denied her claims at the time, but under oath in 1998 he acknowledged a sexual encounter with her.)

• Monica Lewinsky: Intern at the White House, whose affair with Clinton fueled impeachment charges. This was a consensual affair, in which Lewinsky was an eager participant; she was 22 when the affair started and Clinton, 49, was her boss.

• Dolly Kyle Browning: A high school friend who said in a sworn declaration that she had had a 22-year off-and-on sexual relationship with Clinton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Elizabeth Ward Gracen: A former Miss America who said she had a one-night stand with Clinton while he was governor -- and she was married. She went public to specifically deny reports that he had forced himself on her.

• Myra Belle "Sally" Miller: The 1958 Miss Arkansas who said in 1992 that she had had an affair with Clinton in 1983. She claimed that she had been warned by a Democratic Party official not to go public: "They knew that I went jogging by myself and he couldn't guarantee what would happen to my pretty little legs."

Some might argue that because Lewinsky and Gracen had relations when Clinton was in a position of executive authority, Clinton engaged in sexual harassment. Certainly an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim could have been filed, though these women did not take that opportunity.

Clinton 'laughed' at rape case

This refers to a 41-year-old case that resurfaced when the Washington Free Beacon in 2014 discovered unpublished audio recordings from the mid-1980s of Hillary Clinton being interviewed by Arkansas reporter Roy Reed for an article that was never published. The case was also covered extensively in a 2008 article by Glenn Thrush in Newsday.

In 1975, Clinton -- then Hillary Rodham -- was a 27-year-old law professor running a legal aid clinic in the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. After a 41-year-old factory worker was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, he asked the judge to replace his male court-appointed attorney with a female one. The judge went through the list of a half-dozen women practicing law in the county and picked Clinton.

On the recording, Clinton describes it as a "terrible case" and "fascinating." In her autobiography, "Living History," she wrote, "I told (prosecutor) Mahlon (Gibson) I really don't feel comfortable taking on such a client, but Mahlon gently reminded me that I couldn't very well refuse the judge's request."

Ultimately, the prosecution's case fell apart for a number of reasons, including investigators mishandling evidence of bloody underwear, so in a plea agreement the charges were reduced from first-degree rape to unlawful fondling of a minor under the age of 14. Until the Newsday report, the victim did not realize that Clinton had been the lawyer on the other side. She has since attacked Clinton for putting "me through hell."

In the recorded interview, Clinton is heard laughing or giggling four times when discussing the case with unusual candor; the reporter is also heard laughing, and sometimes Clinton is responding to him.

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