Slow Burn: The Clinton Impeachment

Season 2: Episode 3


Bill Clinton faced a lot of accusations. Only some of them stuck.


Episode Notes

When Bill Clinton went to Washington, rumors and accusations from his past in Arkansas came to the capital with him. But even his most dedicated political enemies couldn’t predict where their efforts would lead.

In the third episode of our series on Clinton’s impeachment, Leon Neyfakh meets two men who tried to spread dirt about the president and describes how their efforts led to Paula Jones’ groundbreaking sexual harassment lawsuit.

Read the Episode 3 transcript.

Slate Plus Member Content Bonus Episode

Clinton v. Jones

When the President gets sued.

Notes on Episode 3

In researching Episode 3 of Slow Burn, we made use of the following sources:


Brock, David. Blinded by the Right, Crown, 2002.

Conason, Joe and Lyons, Gene. The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, Thomas Dunne Books, 2001.

Gormley, Ken. The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Crown/Archetype, 1999.

Isikoff, Michael. Uncovering Clinton, Three Rivers Press, 2011.

Sabato, Larry and Lichter, S. Robert. When Should the Watchdogs Bark? Center for Media and Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., 1994.

Maraniss, David. First in His Class, Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Stewart, James B. Blood Sport, Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Toobin, Jeffrey. A Vast Conspiracy, Random House, 1999.

Film and TV

American Experience: Clinton, PBS. Goodman, Barak and Durrance, Chris, 2012.


Baker, Peter. “Clinton ‘Adamantly’ Denies Jones Allegations,” the Washington Post, July 4, 1997.

Brock, David. “Confessions of a Right-Wing Hit Man,” Esquire, July 1997.

Brock, David. “His Cheatin’ Heart,” the American Spectator, Jan. 1994.

Broder, John M. and Rosenstiel, Thomas B. “Clinton’s Accuser Goes On the Interview Circuit,” the Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1994.

Declaration of Paula Jones,” the Washington PostMarch 13, 1998.

Ellis, David. “The Perils of Paula,” People magazine, May 23, 1994.

Frammolino, Ralph. “Clinton Joined ROTC After He Got Draft Notice,” the Los Angeles Times, April 5, 1992.

Frantz, Douglas and Rempel, William C. “Troopers Say Clinton Sought Silence on Personal Affairs,” the Los Angeles Times, Dec. 21, 1993.

Friend, Tad. “White Trash Nation,” New York magazine, Aug. 22, 1994.

Isikoff, Michael and Marcus, Ruth. “Clinton Tried to Derail Troopers’ Sex Allegations,” the Washington Post, Dec. 21, 1993.

Jackson, Robert L. “Falwell Selling Tape That Attacks Clinton,” the Los Angeles Times, May 14, 1994.

Kurtz, Howard. “The Spectator’s Far Right Jab,” the Washington Post, Dec. 24, 1993.

Paula Jones’s Credibility Gap,” Newsweek, May 22, 1994.

Marcus, Ruth. “First Lady Lashes Out at Allegations,” the Washington Post, Dec. 22, 1993.

Marcus, Ruth. “President Denies Any Wrongdoing; Trooper Disavows Job-for-Silence Report,” the Washington Post, Dec. 23, 1993.

Mayer, Jane. “Distinguishing Characteristics,” the New Yorker, July 7, 1997.

Rempel, William C. “Vietnam Draft Issue Soured Ambitious Pair’s Friendship,” the Los Angeles Times, Sept. 26, 1992.

Rich, Frank. “The Real Paula Jones?” the New York Times, May 8, 1994.

Rimer, Sarah. “President’s Accuser: a Perennial Foe Who Still Insists He Is Clinton’s Friend,” the New York Times, Jan. 2, 1994.

Wines, Michael. “Troopers Who Accuse the President Are Questioned on Their Own Pasts,” the New York Times, Dec. 24, 1993.

York, Byron. “The Life and Death of the American Spectator,” the Atlantic, November 2001.

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.


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.

All episodes