Slow Burn: The Clinton Impeachment

Season 2: Episode 1

Deal or No Deal

For 11 hours, Monica Lewinsky faced off against federal prosecutors who wanted her to help them take down the president and threatened her with decades in jail.

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About the Show

The saga of Bill Clinton’s impeachment is rich with forgotten characters, surprising subplots, and opportunities to reflect on just how much America has changed over the past 20 years. Whether you’re well-versed in the tale of Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, or you’re fuzzy on the details, this season of Slow Burn will take you further into the story than you’ve ever been.

From its origins in the Whitewater real estate controversy, the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, and the suicide of Vince Foster, Clinton’s near-removal from office was the culmination of a process that remains poorly understood—and continues to reverberate through our political system today.

While Season I of Slow Burn captured what it was like to live through Watergate, Season II offers a fresh reexamination of the choices, circumstances, and manipulations that nearly destroyed the 42nd president and forever changed the life of a former White House intern.

Read Leon Neyfakh’s introduction to Season 2.

Read the announcement on Season 3.

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Episode Notes

Season 2 of Slow Burn begins with the Clinton presidency hanging by a thread. On Jan. 16, 1998, Monica Lewinsky was confronted by the Office of the Independent Counsel and threatened with 27 years in prison unless she agreed to help Kenneth Starr catch the president in a crime. It was a day that Lewinsky will never forget.

Read Leon Neyfakh’s introduction to Season 2.

Read a transcript of Episode 1.

Slate Plus Member Content Bonus Episode

How Monica Got Her Life Back

On resilience and reinvention.

Notes on Episode 1

Books
Adler, Renata. Canaries in the Mineshaft, St. Partin’s Press, 2001.
Gormley, Ken. The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Crown/Archetype, 2010.
Isikoff, Michael. Uncovering Clinton, Crown, 1999.
Morton, Andrew. Monica’s Story, St. Martin’s Press, 1999.
Schmidt, Susan and Weisskopf, Michael. Truth At Any Cost, Harper Collins, 2000.
Toobin, Jeffrey. A Vast Conspiracy, Random House, 1999.“The Starr Report,” Washington Post, 1998.

Film and TV
American Experience: Clinton, PBS. Goodman, Barak and Durrance, Chris, 2012.
Bailey, Fenton and Barbato, Randy. Monica in Black and White, World of Wonder/HBO, 2002.
Monica: The Miniseries. Hagay, Doron and Marotta, Lily, 2015.

Articles
Baker, Peter and Locy, Toni and Schmidt, Susan. “Clinton Accused of Urging Aide to Lie,” Washington Post, Jan. 21, 1998.
Harris, John F. “‘Washington Was About to Explode’: The Clinton Scandal, 20 Years Later,” Politico, Jan. 21, 1998.
Heil, Emily. “The Watergate’s other secrets, from a drunk Bette Davis to Condoleezza Rice’s bad catering,” Washington Post, Feb. 20, 2018.
How the Paula Jones Case Evolved,” New York Times, May 28, 1997.
President Clinton’s Deposition,” Washington Post, 1998.
Sciolino, Elaine and Van Natta, Jr., Don. “The Confidant: Linda Tripp, Elusive Keeper of Secrets, Mainly Her Own,” Washington Post, Mar. 15, 1998.
Shin, Laura. “Monica Lewinsky, In First Public Talk Ever, Condemns Internet Shaming,” Forbes, Oct. 20, 2014.
Sullivan, Amy. “Mall Rats,” Washington Monthly, Sept. 1, 2005.
Toobin, Jeffrey. “The Secret War in Starr’s Office,” New Yorker, Nov. 15, 1999.
You Let Me Down: Excerpts from the Lewinsky Evidence,” Washington Post, 1998.

Season Two of Slow Burn was produced by Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons. Research assistance from Madeline Kaplan. Bonus episodes for the season were produced by Jeff Friedrich and Mary Wilson.