All that is what the affair was. But here’s something it was not: sexual assault. I know we have those two or three other more serious allegations about Clinton along those lines, but let’s leave those to the side for now because Gillibrand and the others said specifically that Clinton should have resigned over Lewinsky. It was not assault. It was a consensual affair between two legal adults. We can have a debate about the power dynamics at play, and Clinton won’t emerge from that debate looking too good (and by the way, that debate did happen in real time—it wasn’t quite as Stone Age-y then as some younger people seem to think). But it was a consensual adult relationship.

It was legal. And while he did lie about it, and that’s not one of your great moments in presidential history, there was never any proof that he suborned perjury—told others to lie. From all we know, he did not. That was a smear, planted (perhaps indirectly) by Starr’s prosecutors to whip up a Beltway frenzy against him.