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In New Book, Boehner Says He Regrets Clinton Impeachment


WASHINGTON — Former Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, says in a brand new memoir that he regrets supporting the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, calling it a partisan assault that he now needs he had repudiated.

In his e-book “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” a replica of which was obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Boehner blames Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, then the No. 2 Republican, for main a politically motivated marketing campaign towards Mr. Clinton over his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern.

The Republican-led House voted to question Mr. Clinton on two counts in 1998. He was acquitted by the Senate.

“In my view, Republicans impeached him for one reason and one reason only — because it was strenuously recommended to us by one Tom DeLay,” Mr. Boehner writes. “Tom believed that impeaching Clinton would win us all these House seats, would be a big win politically, and he convinced enough of the membership and the G.O.P. base that this was true.

“I was on board at the time,” Mr. Boehner went on. “I won’t pretend otherwise. But I regret it now. I regret that I didn’t fight against it.”

Mr. Boehner’s memoir, whose cowl is {a photograph} of the previous speaker holding a glass of merlot, with a lit cigarette in an ashtray beside him — his pure habitat for many years — is stuffed with colourful tales from his time in Congress.

He pulls no punches for these he views as far-right bomb-throwers in his get together. (He saves a number of significantly forceful insults for Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.) And he points a stinging denunciation of Donald J. Trump, saying that the now former president “incited that bloody insurrection” by his supporters on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that the Republican Party has been taken over by “whack jobs.”

Mr. Trump’s “refusal to accept the result of the election not only cost Republicans the Senate but led to mob violence,” Mr. Boehner writes.

Mr. Boehner additionally particulars on the document a few of Capitol Hill’s most talked-about exchanges, together with the time that Representative Don Young, Republican of Alaska, pulled a knife on Mr. Boehner on the House ground after a vital speech about sweetheart initiatives going to Alaska.

“Sometimes I can still feel that thing against my throat,” Mr. Boehner writes. (The two would later patch issues up, and Mr. Boehner would function the most effective man in Mr. Young’s wedding ceremony.)

Mr. Boehner additionally relays an encounter in his workplace wherein Mark Meadows, then a Republican consultant from North Carolina and a frontrunner of the right-wing Freedom Caucus, dropped to his knees to beg for forgiveness after a political coup try towards Mr. Boehner failed.

“Not long after the vote — a vote that like many of the Freedom Caucus’s efforts ended in abject failure — I was told that Meadows wanted to meet with me one-on-one,” Mr. Boehner recalled. “Before I knew it, he had dropped off the couch and was on his knees. Right there on my rug. That was a first. His hands came together in front of him as if he were about to pray. ‘Mr. Speaker, please forgive me,’ he said, or words to that effect.”

Mr. Boehner says he questioned, within the second, what Mr. Meadows’s “elite and uncompromising band of Freedom Caucus warriors would have made of their star organizer on the verge of tears, but that wasn’t my problem.”

Mr. Boehner seems down on the man who would later turn out to be Mr. Trump’s White House chief of employees.

“I took a long, slow drag of my Camel cigarette,” he writes. “Let the tension hang there a little, you know? I looked at my pack of Camels on the desk next to me, then I looked down at him, and asked (as if I didn’t know): ‘For what?’”

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York.



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