Robert Livingston, the new Speaker of the House, admitted on December 16, 1998 that he had "on occasion strayed from my marriage". The full text is as follows:

It has suddenly come to my attention that there are individuals working together with the media who are investigating my personal background in an effort to find indiscretions which may be exploitable against me and my party on the eve of the upcoming historic vote on impeachment.

When I did an early interview with the media after announcing my candidacy for speaker, I told a reporter that I was running for speaker, not sainthood. There was a reason for those words.

Because of the tremendous trust and responsibility my colleagues have placed in me and because of forces outside of this institution seeking to influence the upcoming events and/or media coverage of these events, I have decided to inform my colleagues and my constituents that during my 33-year marriage to my wife, Bonnie, I have on occasion strayed from my marriage, and doing so nearly cost me my marriage and family.

I sought marriage and spiritual counseling and have received forgiveness from my wife and family, for which I am eternally grateful. This chapter was a small but painful part of the past in an otherwise wonderful marriage. I want to assure everyone that these indiscretions were not with employees on my staff and I have never been asked to testify under oath about them.

Because these were personal relationships, I have no intention or desire to reveal any specifics in order to avoid harm to others. I offer this statement today to let these facts be known to my constituents and my colleagues. This will be the only statement I will make on this subject.

To those who are investigating me or others of my colleagues, please understand that I will not be intimidated by these efforts. These efforts will NOT deter me from performing my sworn duty under the Constitution as a member of Congress.

I know this will disappoint many friends and supporters, but I have complete faith that my constituents and colleagues will judge me fairly, and I have every hope that I will continue to prove worthy of the many kind things that have been said about me in the last few weeks.


Needless to say, after this defiant vow not to be deterred from performing his sworn duty, he announced a couple of days later that he would resign as speaker and resign from the House. Does this mean that he lied in his first statement?

Now, if Bill Clinton had said that...

I wonder who the "spiritual counsellor" was for Livingston? Jimmy Swaggart? Jim Bakker? The ministers who are counselling Clinton? Apparently, for Livingston, he merely "strayed", while Clinton, had a high crime and misdemeanor. Incidentally, the White House had not apparently been pushing this story in the media. Instead, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, offered $1M for verifiable first-account of sex scandals with high government officials, and four (YES, FOUR!!) women responded.