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UK government feared Monica Lewinsky affair could damage Tony Blair if he visited Bill Clinton

No10 feared Monica Lewinsky affair could damage Tony Blair if he visited Bill Clinton because the scandal rumbled on, archive papers present

  • Bill Clinton had affair with then 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky in 1998 
  • Aides secretly instructed US legal professionals to asses how a lot hassle president was in
  • Plan for Cherie Blair to attend White House intern scheme seminar additionally dropped
  • Mr Blair’s chief of employees Jonathan Powell suggested him to ‘weigh in for President’ 








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The Blair administration feared he could be tainted by affiliation if he went forward with a go to to Bill Clinton throughout the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Aides secretly instructed US legal professionals to evaluate simply how a lot hassle the president was in over his affair together with his intern as they finalised particulars for the journey, which occurred in February 1998.

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And plans for Cherie Blair to attend a seminar on a White House intern scheme had been dropped. 

Mr Clinton was impeached after falsely denying he had an affair with Miss Lewinsky, though he was ultimately acquitted.

Papers launched by the National Archives present Mr Blair’s chief of employees Jonathan Powell suggested him to ‘weigh in for the President’ at their joint press convention.

In the occasion, Mr Blair referred to as Mr Clinton ‘someone I can trust, someone I can rely upon, someone I am proud to call not just a colleague but a friend’.

Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) and American President Bill Clinton during the former's first visit to the White House in May 1998

Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) and American President Bill Clinton throughout the former’s first go to to the White House in May 1998

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky meeting President Bill Clinton at a White House function

{A photograph} displaying former White House intern Monica Lewinsky assembly President Bill Clinton at a White House perform

In January 1998, as preparations for the February go to had been being finalised, Mr Clinton said that he ‘did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.’

Further investigation led to costs of perjury and to his impeachment later that 12 months, although he was ultimately acquitted.

Ahead of the journey, Jonathan Powell, the prime minister’s chief of employees, famous the White House hoped for a ‘Bill and Tony show’ to shore up Mr Clinton’s place.

He took the precaution of commissioning a Washington regulation agency, Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan LLP, to advise on the extent of the president’s authorized predicament.

Summarising the authorized scenario forward of Mr Blair’s journey, the legal professionals said that if Mr Clinton had lied about his relationship with Ms Lewinsky, he could be charged with perjury.

‘You remember that Al Capone was eventually convicted of tax evasion. It is no different in this case,’ John McInespie, a lawyer on the agency, wrote.

‘So far our people say that there is no “smoking gun” to charge Clinton with anything, but that might not be the case by the time of the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister.’

They concluded: ‘Please remember that Nixon only resigned after the Supreme Court ordered the release of the tapes. So far, there are no relevant tapes in this case.’

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