Why I trashed my "Clinton-women" sex file

While re­port­ing from the Arkan­sas state­house in the 1980s and early 1990s, I chased ump­teen ru­mors and al­leg­a­tions about Gov. Bill Clin­ton’s wo­man­iz­ing. I kept my notes, tran­scripts, and news­pa­per clips in­side a three-inch folder labeled “Clin­ton-Wo­men,” which in­cluded a state­ment signed in the early 1990s by Gen­nifer Flowers. In it, she denied hav­ing sex with Clin­ton.

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The “Clin­ton-Wo­men” file traveled with me to the White House, where I covered both terms of the Clin­ton pres­id­ency and the Mon­ica Lew­in­sky scan­dal. Clin­ton sur­vived im­peach­ment after ad­mit­ting to ly­ing about a sexu­al en­counter with Flowers and “an im­prop­er phys­ic­al re­la­tion­ship” with the White House in­tern Lew­in­sky. (I was the first to re­port Clin­ton’s plans to tell a grand jury the truth about his White House af­fair.)

In 1999, shortly after his Sen­ate ac­quit­tal, I threw away a box of files from Arkan­sas – in­clud­ing the “Clin­ton-Wo­men” file. Like many voters, I was tired of Clin­ton scan­dals and look­ing ahead to the 2000 pres­id­en­tial cam­paign. Be­sides, his ap­prov­al rat­ings were strong.

“I won’t be need this any­more,” I told my­self. “His sex life is old news.”

Not any­more.

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