On February 19, 1999, the Wall Street Journal published "Juanita Broaddrick Meets the Press". Written by Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of the Journal's editorial board, the article reported that a Clinton campaign worker had been sexually assaulted by then Arkansas Attorney General Clinton in 1978, with great brutality. The story had never died and had circulated in selected feminist circles, including the NOW National office where I learned of it. During the 1992 presidential campaign, journalists "chased" after the alleged victim, to no avail.
Registered under the pseudonym "Jane Doe No. 5" in the Paula Jones case to protect her privacy, she testified under oath, supported by five corroborating witnesses. Her declaration was made available to lawmakers in charge impeachment. It was so compelling that it influenced some House Republicans to vote against Mr. Clinton. House Democrats were less interested.
In January 1999, the public learned that "Jane Doe No. 5" was Mrs. Juanita Broaddrick, and that she had finally accepted to be interviewed by Lisa Myers from NBC , a well-regarded reporter. Mr. Clinton had already been impeached and the Senate vote was pending. The interview took place on January 20, 1999. It lasted for hours. "Shaking with fear" writes Rabinowitz, Mrs. Broaddrick recalled with much pain her harrowing tale.
NBC had planned to release the interview on January 29th. The presidential impeachment vote was set for February 12th. Citing one excuse after the other, the network repeatedly delayed the release of the interview. Protest mounted. On February 21, Tim Russert, NBC Washington Bureau Chief and host of the popular Sunday morning T.V. program "Meet the Press", invited Lisa Myers to appear as a guest. With callous pointedness, he asked the startled Myers if "as gruesome as it sounds, do the American people really care about something that happened 20 years ago?".
The Senate impeachment vote went ahead on February 12th as scheduled. The pre-arranged result matched the pre-announced outcome and NBC management was now safe to run Mrs. Broaddrick's interview. A drastically cut version of her original recording was finally released on February 24th. The American people, manipulated once again,did care. The vast majority of the millions who watched the dignified, soft-spoken and pain-filled woman believed she was telling the truth. Unease enveloped the nation, never fully lifting.
Once again, NOW wasted no time in joining the chorus of Democrat feminists ever-ready to profess disgust and repulsion for the act and simultaneous support for the actor in the manner that had become the trademark of White House apologists. Carried away by devoted fervor, they even attacked Mrs. Broaddrick's credibility and blamed her for her plight, in imitation of what criminal lawyers do to defend an accused client.
But the reality was far worse than the NBC interview had revealed. Here is the testimony Broaddrick told to Diana Woznicki as part of the investigation conducted during the Clinton impeachment. "When the Attorney General arrived, he was alone. Broaddrick was completely at ease because, after all, this was a business meeting. The two engaged in some general small talk, and Broaddrick ushered Clinton to the window, where the coffee service was laid out.
Suddenly, Clinton began kissing her, at first not forcefully. But then he threw her on the bed and kept kissing her. She struggled to get away, and as she did, he got on top of her and bit her lower lip as a way of controlling her. Every time she struggled, Clinton bit harder to keep control of her. She kept saying no, that she didn't want this to happen. The pain became excruciating. He forced her legs apart and raped her. At one point in the attack, Clinton assured Juanita that there was no danger of her getting pregnant. He said, "I had mumps when I was a kid; I'm sterile." Finally the ordeal appeared to be completed. Clinton rose up slightly as though he were about to with draw. Then he said, "My God, I can do it again! " And he did.
When Clinton finally completed the assault, Broaddrick was close to collapse. She was sobbing uncontrollably , afraid of what might happen next, confused, and in a panic. Clinton appeared unfazed. He coolly rose from the bed and went into the bathroom. All the time Juanita was afraid to move. He emerged after a few minutes and started to walk out. When he reached the door, he turned to his sobbing victim, still lying on the bed, smiled and said, "You better do something about that lip. Get some ice on it." Then he put on his sunglasses and left."(1)
"I feel like I have gotten the biggest weight off my shoulder" Mrs. Broaddrick said afterwards, "I did it because of my two twin granddaughters - they're 12... when they ask me about this in a few years ... I didn't want them asking me, "Why didn't you come forward?". (2)
(1) Sell Out - The Inside Story Of President Clinton's Impeachment by David P. Schippers (Chief Investigative Counsel for the Clinton Impeachement) Regnery Publishing, Inc.2000, pg. 129
(2) Jane Doe No. 5 Goes Public, by Lois Romano and Peter Baker, February 20,1999, The Washington Post