"I realized something that should have been apparent to me much earlier: I was in the middle of a plot to get the president."
A quarter of a century after Woodward and Bernstein’s history-making expose All the President’s Men stunned the nation by capturing the Nixon presidency in the throes of turmoil, Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff gives us an equally explosive and surprisingly suspenseful behind-the-scenes account of his investigative role in the scandals that have rocked President Clinton’s second term and led to the historic vote for impeachment that will define his presidency.
Isikoff, who is credited with breaking the Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Monica Lewinsky stories, is universally acknowledged as the leading reporter who brought to light the incredible revelations about Clinton’s personal and political lives that have consumed this country and shocked the world. As a reporter for the Washington Post and Newsweek, Isikoff has established himself as an astute observer and chronicler of Clinton’s conduct throughout his presidency, following a trail of presidential misconduct from Little Rock, Arkansas, to the Oval Office. But Isikoff also unwittingly became a primary character in the unfolding Clinton drama. This is a story only he could tell, a gripping narrative of how one journalist went from battling skeptical editors and a formidable White House spin machine in his quest for the truth about Clinton to becoming a central participant in one of the biggest scandals in American political history.
Featuring a cast of bizarre characters who make this book as entertaining to read as a novel, Uncovering Clinton is also a nuanced and scrupulously fair account with a wealth of never-before-told information about the major players and events in the Clinton scandals, including: The real reasons why some Washington Post reporters and editors believed Paula Jones’s story from the start–and why Isikoff’s story nonetheless was later killed before it ran. How George Stephanopolous covered for Clinton as Isikoff pursued the Paula Jones story. How Lucianne Goldberg’s private notebook and tapes of her phone calls with Linda Tripp show that while Tripp was crying "victim" to the press, she was really plotting to bring down the president and betray Monica Lewinsky–and write a book about it all. The real truth behind Hillary Clinton’s oft-cited "vast right-wing conspiracy"–a coterie of right-wing lawyers known as "the elves" who secretly wrote the Jones legal briefs and arranged to bring the Lewinsky story to Ken Starr’s office and to public light. How Linda Tripp manipulated Ken Starr’s prosecutors into launching a criminal investigation into the Lewinsky matter while withholding critical information, including her repeated contacts with Isikoff.
Isikoff had no agenda when he started investigating President Clinton’s conduct other than to get at the truth. Now, after accomplishing a remarkable case of journalistic detective work, Isikoff gives us something even more significant: a work that illuminates the psychologically troubling behavior of a president, an Administration that has enabled his actions, a motley crew of Clinton-haters who would stop at nothing to topple the president, and a rapidly changing media grappling with the ever-shifting boundaries between public and private behavior. Uncovering Clinton will surely be the definitive account of our nation’s biggest political scandal since Watergate.