The Daily Herald's last three impeachment front pages: A history

  • The last three Daily Herald front pages involving an impeachment of a U.S. president: On Dec. 20, 1998, for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton; on Dec. 19, 2019, for the first impeachment of President Donald Trump; and on Jan. 14, 2021, for the second impeachment of Trump.

    The last three Daily Herald front pages involving an impeachment of a U.S. president: On Dec. 20, 1998, for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton; on Dec. 19, 2019, for the first impeachment of President Donald Trump; and on Jan. 14, 2021, for the second impeachment of Trump.

  • The Daily Herald front page on the Dec. 19, 1998, impeachment of President Bill Clinton. It shows that Clinton was impeached on only two of the four articles filed against him.

    The Daily Herald front page on the Dec. 19, 1998, impeachment of President Bill Clinton. It shows that Clinton was impeached on only two of the four articles filed against him.

  • The Daily Herald front page on the Dec. 18, 2019, impeachment of President Donald Trump. No Republicans supported the impeachment in either article.

    The Daily Herald front page on the Dec. 18, 2019, impeachment of President Donald Trump. No Republicans supported the impeachment in either article.

  • The Daily Herald front page on the Jan. 13, 2021, impeachment of President Donald Trump. This time 10 Republicans joined the Democrats in supporting the impeachment.

    The Daily Herald front page on the Jan. 13, 2021, impeachment of President Donald Trump. This time 10 Republicans joined the Democrats in supporting the impeachment.

 
 
Updated 1/22/2021 2:50 PM

The front page the Daily Herald made on Wednesday for Thursday morning was the second front page about a presidential impeachment in 13 months, and the third in about 22 years.

And the front page for President Donald Trump's second impeachment bore a resemblance to the Daily Herald front page for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton on Dec. 20, 1998. That page, too, reflected huge news for Illinois on the same day.

 

Thursday's front page contained a second huge story: that Michael Madigan's long reign as Illinois House speaker ended after he held the post for 36 of the last 38 years. Rep. Emanuel "Chris Welch" of Hillside was elected Wednesday to replace him.

Madigan, a Democrat, was deposed in large part because of a bribery scandal involving ComEd and implicating him. Criticism of his handling of sexual harassment allegations in the state House also contributed.

The 1998 front page about Clinton's impeachment also contained the news that U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, was likely to be elected speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was described as "the soft-spoken chief deputy whip from southwest suburban Yorkville," replacing Rep. Bob Livingston, who shocked Washington when he announced he would not seek reelection as speaker because of an infidelity scandal.

This while Clinton, a Democrat, was being impeached over his own sex scandal -- though the charges against him wound up being perjury and obstruction of justice.

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Clinton was the second president of the U.S. to be impeached, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 for conspiring against Congress and the Constitution, and violating the Tenure of Office Act by forcing his secretary of war to resign. The Senate later failed to convict him by one vote.

Clinton was charged with perjury before the grand jury of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr and obstruction of justice in Starr's investigation. Starr was investigating allegations that Clinton sexually harassed Paula Jones, and his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky became part of the case.

In that sworn testimony, the president was said to have denied having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky, though he later admitted he did.

Hastert later became the longest-serving U.S. House speaker, not stepping down until 2007. Six years later, he became embroiled in his own scandal. The FBI and IRS start investigating Hastert on suspicion of violating banking reporting requirements, after repeated bank withdrawals just under monitored limits.

Hastert pleaded guilty in 2015 to evading bank laws. Soon sexual abuse allegations by former students he once coached arose; the bank withdrawals involved cash to pay one of them for their silence. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2016.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Unlike in the Trump impeachments, not all articles of impeachment against Clinton passed the House. Charges of perjury in the Paula Jones lawsuit and abuse of power failed, the 1998 front page shows. In any case, in February 1999 the Senate acquitted Clinton of the two remaining articles.

It was less than a year ago, on Feb. 6, 2020, that the Senate acquitted Trump, a Republican, in his first impeachment.

What started as Trump's request for Ukraine to "do us a favor" spun into a far-reaching, 28,000-page report compiled by House investigators accusing the president of engaging in shadow diplomacy that threatened U.S. foreign relations for personal and political gain, as he pressured the ally to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the next election.

Trump was indicted with two articles on Dec. 18, 2019: abuse of power and obstruction of justice.

Then on Wednesday, Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. The House passed a single article of impeachment charging incitement of insurrection, one week after pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress was in session to ratify the election of Trump's 2020 election opponent, Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump is accused of inciting his supporters to go to the Capitol to fight the ratification. Now that case goes to the Senate, but likely not until after Trump's term ends.

• The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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