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The War on Women: Juanita Broaddrick and Bill Clinton

The War on Women: Juanita Broaddrick and Bill Clinton

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To set the stage for why the country needs Hillary Clinton to be the next president, Democrats are trying to force-feed Americans a “war on women” pablum, when such a war–as they present it–does not exist. For the real “war on women,” however, Democrats might turn to Hillary Clinton herself and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

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Juanita Broaddrick never wanted to meet the press. In February of 1999, Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board, wrote that when the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal broke the year before, the media pursuit was on for Broaddrick as it became clear her story about an alleged sexual assault by Bill Clinton would have significant impact on the outcome of the impeachment proceedings against the President.

In January of 1999, a month after Clinton’s impeachment by the House–and in the midst of the Senate trial grappling with whether Monica Lewinsky should testify–Broaddrick finally agreed to meet NBC’s Lisa Myers for an interview. As Rabinowitz wrote, Broaddrick’s decision to go forward with an interview came after “she contemplated all the layers of tawdry rumor about her that had multiplied in the wake of the other, larger scandal involving the president.”

Her account begins in 1978, when then-Juanita Hickey was a 35 year-old Clinton campaign worker, and Attorney General Bill Clinton, who was running for governor of Arkansas, visited a nursing home where she worked as a nurse.

According to the transcript of an NBC Dateline report on Broaddrick, during that campaign stop, Clinton reportedly invited her to visit his campaign headquarters in Little Rock. Broaddrick, who was planning to go to Little Rock the following week for a seminar, called Clinton’s headquarters when she arrived and said she was surprised to be greeted on the phone by a staff member who seemed to be expecting her call. The aide directed her to telephone Clinton at his apartment.

“I did call and ask him if he was gonna be at the headquarters that day and he said no he didn’t plan to be there,” Broaddrick said. “He says, Clinton said, ‘Why don’t I just meet you for coffee in the Camelot coffee shop?'”

Broaddrick said the seminar was being held at the Camelot Hotel in Little Rock.

Clinton, however, reportedly called back later and asked if they could meet in her hotel room because there were reporters in the coffee shop.

“Did you have qualms at all about him coming to the room?” asked NBC interviewer Lisa Myers.

“I was a little bit uneasy,” Broaddrick replied. “But, I felt, ah, a real friendship toward this man and I didn’t really feel any, um any danger in him coming to my room.”

Within minutes of his arrival to her room, Broaddrick stated that Clinton moved closer to her as they looked out the window on an old jailhouse near the Arkansas River. Clinton, she said, told her he had plans to renovate the jailhouse when he became governor.

Fairly quickly after that conversation, however, Broaddrick said she was shocked when Clinton put his arms around her and then began kissing her.

“I first pushed him away and just told him, ‘No, please don’t do that,’ and I forget, it’s been 21 years, Lisa, and I forget exactly what he was saying,” Broaddrick said. “It seems like he was making statements that would relate to ‘Did you not know why I was coming up here?’ and I told him at the time, I said, ‘I’m married, and I have other things going on in my life, and this is something that I’m not interested in.'”

“Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip,” said Broaddrick, crying. “He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. … And then he forces me down on the bed.” Elaborating, she said, “I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him, ‘No,’ that I didn’t want this to happen … but he wouldn’t listen to me,” she continued. “He was such a different person at that moment, he was just a vicious awful person.”

Broaddrick told Myers she stopped resisting at one point.

“It was a real panicky, panicky situation,” she said. “I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to ‘Please stop.’ And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip.”

Broaddrick told Myers the waist of her skirt and her pantyhose were also torn.

“When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses,” she continued. “And before he goes out the door he says ‘you better get some ice on that.’ And he turned and went out the door.”

“Is there any way at all that Bill Clinton could have thought that this was consensual?” asked Myers.

“No. Not with what I told him, and how I tried to push him away,” answered Broaddrick. “It was not consensual.”

“You’re saying that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted you, that he raped you,” said Myers.

“Yes,” responded Broaddrick.

The NBC Dateline transcript states:

While the president and his lawyer declined to be interviewed on camera, through his lawyer the president did issue a statement saying any allegation he assaulted Broaddrick is “absolutely false” and when asked about it Wednesday the president said he had nothing to add to that statement.

Though there were no witnesses to Clinton entering or leaving Broaddrick’s room, her friend, Norma Kelsey, who shared her hotel room on that business trip to Little Rock, said that when she called Broaddrick at lunchtime, she was upset and crying.

Returning to their room, Kelsey said Broaddrick’s lip and mouth were badly swollen, and her pantyhose had been ripped off. Kelsey said Broaddrick told her she had been sexually assaulted by Clinton.

The two reportedly left Little Rock, and during the drive back home, Kelsey said Broaddrick was very upset and in shock, blaming herself for letting Clinton in her room.

Broaddrick said she never considered going to the police since Clinton was the state’s attorney general at the time.

In response to Myers’ question about why she had not reported the incident 21 years earlier, Broaddrick replied, “I didn’t think anyone would believe me in the world.”

Broaddrick said she herself was still in denial of the assault and was blaming herself for it, when several weeks after the incident she and her first husband actually attended a Clinton fundraiser together.

Clinton continued to call her at the nursing home, Broaddrick told Myers. She said that, on one occasion, he got through to her and asked her when she would be returning to Little Rock.

“I’m not” was her response, Broaddrick said.

Though she had business dealings with the governor’s office over the years, Broaddrick said none concerned Clinton personally. In 1984, however, she received a letter signed by Clinton after her nursing home received an award. According to NBC Dateline, at the bottom of the letter was a handwritten note that said, “I admire you very much.”

Broaddrick said she interpreted the note to mean Clinton appreciated her silence.

Broaddrick went on to say that she had no contact with Clinton until 1991, when she attended a meeting in Little Rock with some friends, an event which NBC Dateline could not confirm due to a lack of records. Broaddrick reported, however, that she was abruptly called out of the meeting, only to find Clinton standing in the hallway. One of her friends confirmed she saw them talking.

Broaddrick said, “And he immediately began this profuse apology, saying, ‘Juanita, I’m so sorry for what I did. I’m not the man that I used to be, can you ever forgive me? What can I do to make this up to you?’ And I’m standing there in absolute shock. And I told him to go to hell, and I walked off.”

Soon after this meeting, however, Broaddrick discovered that Clinton was making a bid for the presidency. Her refusal to come forward with her story before the 1992 election led one of Clinton’s political opponents to suggest she had been paid off.

When Myers asked, “Did you receive any payoff to stay silent?” Broaddrick responded, “Oh goodness, no. I mean how could anyone be bribed or paid-off for, for something that, to not say anything about something that horrible?”

Broaddrick also denied having been threatened or intimidated by Clinton or any of his associates.

Reports of Paula Jones’ allegations against Clinton, however, had come to the forefront during the 1992 presidential campaign. As The Washington Post summarized, Jones eventually filed a lawsuit accusing Clinton, when he was governor of Arkansas, of luring her to the Excelsior Hotel in May of 1991, while she was a state clerk. “During that brief encounter, she said he touched her, tried to kiss her and dropped his pants and asked for oral sex,” the Post stated. Clinton denied the allegation and said he did not remember ever meeting Jones.

As Rabinowitz reported, in 1992 Broaddrick’s story reached a wider public, thanks to a business associate named Philip Yoakum who was a bitter opponent of Clinton. Yoakum urged Broaddrick to come forward during the presidential campaign, but she declined.

Broaddrick continued to refuse to cave to the media’s requests for interviews. In 1997, she was subpoenaed by Jones’ attorneys, yet she continued to deny the assault.

“I didn’t want to be forced to testify about one of the most horrific events in my life,” she told Myers. “I didn’t want to go through it again.”

Broaddrick still refused to come forward when Kathleen Willey accused the President of unwanted sexual advances, saying that she “wasn’t brave enough to do it.”

When Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s office approached her in April of 1998, however, Broaddrick finally agreed to provide the details of Clinton’s alleged sexual assault, saying she feared lying to a federal grand jury. Starr would also grant her immunity from prosecution for perjury.

WSJ‘s Rabinowitz wrote:

As Jane Doe No. 5, Mrs. Broaddrick had filed an affidavit denying that Mr. Clinton had subjected her to–as the delicately phrased document put it–“unwelcome sexual advances.” Interviewed by the independent counsel’s office, she said that affidavit was false, and that she had been assaulted–an account essential to understanding the second presidential impeachment in U.S. history.

Starr never pursued Broaddrick’s allegations, however, because he was investigating charges of obstruction of justice against Clinton. Since Broaddrick was not alleging that the President urged her to lie, her allegations of the assault never went forward.

Broaddrick’s account of her own story did prove to be significant, when several ambivalent House Republicans read her Jane Doe material and then decided they would vote to impeach Clinton.

Then-Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), who reviewed Broaddrick’s Jane Doe material, yet ultimately voted against impeachment of Clinton, still told the Hartford Courant in February of 1999, “I believe her. It’s hard for me to imagine Mrs. Broaddrick would make this claim if it was not true.”

“This is pretty terrible stuff,” Shays added. “It’s hard not to have it impact what you think of the president.”

Though Broaddrick heard that NBC had scheduled Myers’ interview with her to air on the January 29, 1999, Dateline episode, it never aired on that date, or for several weeks afterward. The sheer explosiveness of the story and the exhaustive research on Broaddrick and her husband that NBC undertook apparently only placed the Dateline interview in the arena of a “work in progress.”

Rabinowitz described the disbelief of some at NBC:

Other sources at NBC asked–profoundly off the record–how much more confirmation could the story need? They had four witnesses giving corroborating testimony–citizens with nothing to gain and possibly much to lose by going public and talking, as the husband of one witness kept warning her. Still, they had come forward. NBC had investigated and investigated, and it was not yet enough. Word went out from NBC that the network had to cross-check dates, or lacked enough dates. Meanwhile, for any journalist asking what happened to the interview with Mrs. Broaddrick, the office of NBC News president Andrew Lack had a simple, uplifting message–namely that NBC wanted to make sure the story was “rock solid” journalism.

As the interview did not air, according to Rabinowitz, Broaddrick was now fearful that she would be “passed off as just another bimbo with a Clinton story.” However, she recalled Myers telling her, “The good news is you’re credible. The bad news is you’re very credible.”

Myers’ meaning was clear, noted Rabinowitz.

“It meant that to encounter this woman, to hear the details of her story and the statements of the corroborating witnesses, was to understand that this was an event that in fact took place,” wrote Rabinowitz. “‘Too credible’ sums the matter up nicely.”

She continued:

It isn’t hard to see what had given NBC pause. There was, first of all, the detail. Then the subject herself–a woman of accomplishment, prosperous, successful in her field, serious; a woman seeking no profit, no book, no lawsuit. A woman of a kind people like and warm to. To meet Juanita Broaddrick at her house in Van Buren is to encounter a woman of sunny disposition that the nudgings of anxiety can’t quite suppress–a woman entirely aware of life’s bounties.

Though NBC eventually aired the Dateline interview with Broaddrick at the end of February, according to Media Research Center, the Drudge Report noted the following after the broadcast:

NBC NEWS executives are washing Juanita Broaddrick right out of their hair.

NBC NEWS has issued an order restricting the use of Juanita Broaddrick’s DATELINE interview, it has been learned.

Effective March 1 at 12:01 AM, NBC outlets will be restricted from using the exclusive Broaddrick footage.

“No wonder the White House isn’t concerned, no one will see her anymore,” one frustrated MSNBC anchor said off-the-air.

MSNBC and CNBC producers will have to work through NBC lawyers, on a case by case basis, to receive authorization to use the Lisa Myers/Broaddrick session.

In March of 1999, The New York Times quoted the late Don Hewitt, executive producer of CBS News’ 60 Minutes, after he saw the Dateline interview.

“Is she telling the truth?” I don’t know,” Hewitt said. “If I didn’t know his track record for wagging a finger at the American people and lying to them on national television, I might have taken what she said with a grain of salt.”

In October of 2000, Broaddrick penned an open letter to Hillary Clinton, who was then campaigning for the U.S. Senate. She wrote about a meeting she had with the Clintons at a political rally for Bill Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign, only two weeks after Clinton had allegedly raped Broaddrick.

Broaddrick said that Hillary Clinton had asked the man who drove the Clintons to the event–one of Broaddrick’s acquaintances–whether she would be at the gathering, leading him to believe she was anxious to meet her. Broaddrick said that Hillary walked over to her as soon as she entered the room, grabbed her hand, and said they wanted to thank her for all she does for Bill Clinton.

Shaken by the unexpected meeting, Broaddrick said she started to walk away from her, but that Hillary Clinton would not let go of her hand, keeping a tight grip on it.

“You said, “Everything you do for Bill,” Broaddrick wrote. “You then released your grip and I said nothing and left the gathering.”

Broaddrick asked Mrs. Clinton in the letter whether she was referring to “my keeping quiet about the assault I had suffered at the hands of your husband only two weeks before.”

With the release of “The Hillary Papers” earlier this year, another concrete sign of Hillary Clinton’s expected run for the presidency in 2016, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly interviewed Kathleen Willey about the possible candidacy of Bill Clinton’s wife.

“Hillary Clinton is the ‘war on women,'” said Willey. “And I think that she needs to be exposed for all the terror campaigns she’s waged against the women who were in the wrong place at the wrong time with her husband.”

Willey charged that, throughout their marriage, Hillary Clinton has managed her husband’s sexual misconduct by demeaning and terrorizing the women who were his victims.

“If she’s going to run on women’s issues, like she says she is, and she’s going to accuse the Republicans of this war on women, I think she needs to be exposed for the war that she’s waged against people like me,” Willey said.


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