Timing everything in presidential accusation

Just when it seemed President Clinton was finally untying the knots he had made, the story of Jane Doe number 5 emerged. Juanita Broaddrick has come forward with her story of sexual assault. While many spectators feel this is just another one on the long list of sexual accusations against the president, there is one vital difference that separates Broaddrick from the other women — sexual assault.
The seriousness of this allegation should be grounds for a thorough investigation. Unfortunately, due to the timing of this charge, it can and should be pushed to the side. Broaddrick’s decisions and other factors in the case have left her with little credibility and a difficult task of convincing prosecutors of Clinton’s guilt.
The alleged rape happened 21 years ago when Clinton was serving as attorney general of Arkansas. This is well past the Arkansas statute of limitations for sexual assault, making an investigation pointless since Clinton cannot be prosecuted. Broaddrick said that she did not come forward sooner because she did not think she would be believed. This was a critical mistake on her part. As time went by, not only did the statute of limitations expire, but her story lost credibility as well.
Although there had been suspicions about the Broaddrick story dating back to Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, her unwillingness to come forward left no substantial evidence. Later, in her affidavit during the Paula Jones case, she denied the “rumors and stories” surrounding her and Clinton. She now claims that she wishes to set the record straight. However, she was either lying in her affidavit or she is lying now. In either case, it is difficult to believe the claims of a known liar.
Broaddrick’s timing has left her with the almost impossible task of demonstrating her own credibility. Many people have put Broaddrick into a category with other apparent gold-diggers. Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and Linda Tripp walking around with new hairstyles and potential book deals have made the Clinton scandal seem trite. With many weary Americans tuned out to yet another Clinton sex scandal, Broaddrick’s claim falls on deaf ears.
Moreover, the media has not helped Broaddrick’s situation. Although NBC knew of the Broaddrick story awhile ago, they decided not to run it because of a lack of substantial evidence. The story made it to The Wall Street Journal editorial page and The Washington Post before NBC decided it was safe to run the information. Because not many people were aware of the new information, Broaddrick’s story took another blow.
While rape is the most serious sexual charge yet to be brought against President Clinton, the timing turns the accusation into something that will remain in the past. Juanita Broaddrick should have come forward with her claim when the alleged assault first happened, or at the very least before the statute of limitations had expired. Had she come public with this prior to the impeachment hearings, there is a good chance Clinton would not be in office today. She could have provided Americans with a more accurate understanding of the president, one that we may only now be beginning to see. As it is, there is little reason to investigate the claim, even considering the seriousness of the charge.