Aids feared Lewinsky affair could damage Blair if he visited Clinton

No10 feared Monica Lewinsky affair could damage Tony Blair if he visited Bill Clinton as the scandal rumbled on, archive papers show

  • Bill Clinton had affair with then 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky in 1998
  • Aides secretly instructed US lawyers to asses how much trouble president was in
  • Plan for Cherie Blair to attend White House intern scheme seminar also dropped
  • Mr Blair’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell advised him to ‘weigh in for President’
  • The Blair administration feared he could be tainted by association if he went ahead with a visit to ビル・クリントン during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

    Aides secretly instructed US lawyers to assess just how much trouble the president was in over his affair with his intern as they finalised details for the trip, which happened in February 1998.

    And plans for Cherie Blair to attend a seminar on a ホワイトハウス intern scheme were dropped.

    Mr Clinton was impeached after falsely denying he had an affair with Miss Lewinsky, although he was eventually acquitted.

    Papers released by the National Archives show Mr Blair’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell advised him to ‘weigh in for the President’ at their joint press conference.

    In the event, Mr Blair called Mr Clinton ‘someone I can trust, someone I can rely upon, someone I am proud to call not just a colleague but a friend’.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair (左) and American President Bill Clinton during the former's first visit to the White House in May 1998

    Prime Minister Tony Blair (左) and American President Bill Clinton during the former’s first visit to the White House in May 1998

    A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House function

    A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House function

    1月に 1998, as preparations for the February visit were being finalised, Mr Clinton stated that he ‘did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.’

    Further investigation led to charges of perjury and to his impeachment later that year, though he was eventually acquitted.

    Ahead of the trip, Jonathan Powell, the prime minister’s chief of staff, noted the White House was hoping for a ‘Bill and Tony show’ to shore up Mr Clinton’s position.

    He took the precaution of commissioning a Washington law firm, Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan LLP, to advise on the extent of the president’s legal predicament.

    Summarising the legal situation ahead of Mr Blair’s trip, the lawyers stated that if Mr Clinton had lied about his relationship with Ms Lewinsky, he would be charged with perjury.

    ‘You remember that Al Capone was eventually convicted of tax evasion. It is no different in this case,’ John McInespie, a lawyer at the firm, 書きました.

    ‘So far our people say that there is no “smoking gun” to charge Clinton with anything, but that might not be the case by the time of the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister.’

    彼らは結論を下した: ‘Please remember that Nixon only resigned after the Supreme Court ordered the release of the tapes. これまでのところ, there are no relevant tapes in this case.’

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