Former Ohio Republican President John Boehner writes that the drive to impeach President Bill Clinton was a politically motivated move he wished he would repudiate.
WASHINGTON - Former President John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, says in a new brief that he regrets supporting the impeachment of thePresident Bill Clinton, calling it a partisan attack that he now wishes he had repudiated.
In his book "On the House: A Washington Memoir", a copy of which was obtained by Hfrance.fr, Mr. Boehner blames representative Tom DeLay of Texas, then Republican No. 2, for leading a politically motivated campaign against Mr. Clinton for his affair with Monica Le winsky, a White House intern.
The Republican-led House voted to impeach Mr. Clinton on two counts in 1998. He was acquitted by the Senate.
"In my opinion, the Republicans removed him from office for one reason and one reason only - because it was highly recommended to us by a certain Tom DeLay "writes Mr. Boehner. “Tom believed that Clinton's impeachment would win us all of those House seats, be a great political victory, and he sSufficiently convinced the members and the G.O.P. base that it was true.
"I was on board at the time " continued Mr. Boehner. “I will not pretend otherwise. But I regret it now. I regret not having fought against this. "
Mr. Boehner's Memoirs, whose cover is a photograph of the former speaker holding a glass of Merlot, with a lit cigarette in a bes ide ashtray - his natural habitat for decades - is full of colorful stories of his time in Congress.
It does nothing for those who do not. he considers himself a far-right bombshell -throwers in his party. (He saves several particularly violent insults for Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.) And he issues a headline scathing denunciation of Donald J. Trump , claiming that the now former president "instigated this bloody insurgency " by his supporters on the Capitol on January 6 and that the Republican Party has been taken over by “whack jobs”.
M. "Trump 's refusal to accept the election result not only cost Republicans the Senate, but led to the mob violence, "writes Mr Boehner.
Mr Boehner also details in the dossier some of Capitol Hill's most discussed exchanges, including the time Rep. Don Young, Republican of Alaska , drew a knife at Mr. Boehner in the House after a critical speech about the darling projects in Alaska.
"Sometimes I can still feel this thing against my throat," Mr Boehner writes. (The two would later patch things up, and Mr. Boehner would be the best man of Mr. Young's marriage.)
Mr. Boehner also relays a meeting in his office in which Mark Meadows, then Republican representative from North Carolina and leader of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, knelt down to beg for forgiveness after the 'failed coup attempt against Mr Boehner.
"Shortly after the vote - a vote which, like many Freedom Caucus efforts ended in dismal failure - I was told Meadows wanted to meet me an -on-one, "Mr. Boehner called back." Before I knew it, he had dropped off the couch and was on his knees. Right there on my rug. It was a first. His hands joined in front of him as if he was about to pray. 'Sir. Mr. President, forgive me, "he said, or words to that effect.
Mr Boehner said he was wondering, at the moment, what "the elite and the hardline group ofMr. Meadows 'Freedom Caucus warriors would have made their star organizer on the verge of tears, but that was not my problem.
Mr. Boehner looks at the man who would later become Mr. Trump's White House chief of staff.
"I took a long, slow puff of my Camel cigarette, " he writes. "Let the tension hang on for a bit, you know? I looked at my pack of camels on the desk next to me, then I looked at it, and asked (like I didn't know): 'For what? ' "
Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York.