Who Is Juanita Broaddrick? Who Was Vince Foster? The Basics on 2 Clinton Scandals
The Clintons have been in politics for decades and it's been a turbulent ride, with numerous scandals and conspiracy theories that are coming back to haunt Hillary Clinton as she tries to win the White House ... Partly because of Republican contender Donald Trump, who is shining bright spotlights on some old scandals. Specifically, one about an alleged sexual assault by Bill Clinton, and another about a Clinton White House staffer suicide.
If you weren't around for Bill Clinton's presidency, you may have no idea what Trump is talking about, so here are the basics.
Who is Juanita Broaddrick?
Trump brought up the allegations against Bill brought by a woman named Juanita Broaddrick in a new ad questioning Hillary's support for women:
Who is Juanita Broaddrick? She was an executive at a nursing home in Arkansas. When Bill Clinton was the Arkansas attorney general and ran for governor back in 1978, she joined his campaign.
Years later, Broaddrick said Bill had raped her, and she repeated the allegation more recently.
I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away.
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) January 6, 2016
This is Broaddrick's story, basically: In Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1978, she and Bill Clinton agreed to meet in her hotel room--he claimed he wanted to get coffee away from reporters covering his campaign, and she thought it was a professional meeting. She says he forced himself on her and raped her and bruised her lip.
He says her claims are false and baseless.
Can Bill Clinton be prosecuted for this? Not now. There's a statute of limitations for rape, meaning there's a time limit for prosecution of certain crimes. In Arkansas, a rape case can be brought for 15 years, and after that it's too late. She came forward in 1999, over 20 years after the assault allegedly occurred.
What does this have to do with Hillary? Broaddrick says that in the weeks following the alleged rape, Hillary thanked her for "everything [she] did for Bill," which she interpreted as thanking her for keeping silent about Bill assaulting her.
Broaddrick also says Hillary Clinton threatened her after she shared her story in 1999. Overall, she blames Hillary for covering up her husband's actions and blames the media for not giving both Clintons more scrutiny.
The NY times should do equal time investigating Hilary's enabling of Bill Clintons sexual assaults on women
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) May 18, 2016
As she campaigns for president, Hillary Clinton has called for support for women who allege sexual assault.
Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported. https://t.co/mkD69RHeBL
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 23, 2015
But many people have criticized how Hillary Clinton has repeatedly brushed off questions about Broaddrick and other Bill Clinton accusers to this day. Including Broaddrick herself.
Thoroughly disgusting--Hillary's comments on rape. Shame on you, Hillary, shame on you!!
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) September 15, 2015
Other women have indeed made allegations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton over the years.
lady who followed me out of Walmart years ago & told me BC sexually assaulted her-pl come forward.
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) May 25, 2016
— Volusia Republicans (@RecvcOrg) May 23, 2016
Clinton supporters say Trump's people are paying to drag these old allegations up again.
VIDEO: Trump insider Roger Stone brags that Trump paid Kathleen Willey so she could trash the Clintons: https://t.co/t1uiAzMXLI
— Media Matters (@mmfa) May 24, 2016
And they say Hillary can't and shouldn't be held responsible for whatever Bill did or did not do.
I'd prefer if people don't do that thing where they basically hold Hillary responsible for Bill being Bill
— Jordan Ashby (@JM_Ashby) April 7, 2016
Who was Vince Foster?
Why his name is coming up now: Donald Trump loves conspiracy theories.
With Trump bringing up Vince Foster, maybe a good time to revisit my piece on his conspiratorial worldview: https://t.co/hmpms0NlsE
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) May 24, 2016
Trump brought up Vince Foster, a Bill Clinton White House staffer, in a Washington Post interview this week. More specifically, he brought up old allegations that the Clintons had something to do with his death.
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) May 24, 2016
Who was Vince Foster? He was an Arkansas attorney who knew Bill Clinton since they were growing up. He later hired Hillary Clinton at a law firm. Then, when Bill got elected president, Foster joined the Clinton administration as deputy White House counsel.
What happened to Foster: He committed suicide in Washington in 1993. There are reports of him struggling with depression before he shot himself. There were several investigations following his death that all led to the conclusion that he had, tragically, taken his own life.
What this has to do with the Clintons: Conspiracy theories spiraled about the Clintons being involved in Foster's death. Some even believed they had ordered his murder. Why would they do that? Maybe to cover up Hillary Clinton's real estate investments with a failed business known as Whitewater that involved a lot of money.
Others link his death to a Clinton White House scandal known as Travelgate, in which the Clintons fired the White House Travel Office staff and replaced them with their friends. The president is allowed to do this, but an inquiry showed it was done unethically and that Hillary Clinton, was first lady at the time, was out in front of the whole thing and wasn't entirely honest about it. What does this have to do with Foster? He was involved in the inquiry--remember, he was serving in the White House legal office. If you're a conspiracy theorist, you might think the Clintons bumped him off for what he knew. If you're not, you probably think the high pressure was among the factors that apparently contributed to his depression and his suicide.
It's worth noting that Foster's death was thoroughly investigated and that there's no credible evidence that suggests they had anything to do with causing his death.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 24, 2016
Well, there you go. What do you think?
Patrick deHahn is a freelance international news reporter, having contributed to The Atlantic online and Mic. He's worked at CNNMoney, the New York Daily News, and Voice of America. Patrick loves tweeting, reading, and grabbing coffee in either New York or Washington D.C. Tweet anything on politics or world conflict to him! Follow: @patrickdehahn.