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Document shows Clinton pressured Glendening during Lewinsky scandal

Document shows Clinton pressured Glendening during Lewinsky scandal
Parris N. Glendening

WASHINGTON -- At the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal an aide in the Clinton White House reached out to Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening and asked the fellow Democrat to back off his criticism of the president, a new round of documents released by the Clinton Presidential Library on Friday show.

President Bill Clinton's former director of intergovernmental affairs, Mickey Ibarra, wrote in a Sept. 7, 1998 memo that he reached out to Glendening the day before and "delivered our message (it does not help any of us to pile on)." Ibarra said he also spoke with then-Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry.

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The document offers a rare glimpse of political arm twisting at the highest levels.

"I also let [Glendening] know that Schmoke and Curry are furious with him for his actions on this and any hope of getting those two on board with his race were lost at least until after the primary," Ibarra wrote.

"Both Schmoke and Curry remain fully supportive of the president, would like to host an event with him, agreed to call both Mulkulski and Sarbanes," Ibarra wrote, referring to Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes and misspelling the name of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. "I heard a lot of 'I told you so' from both. Neither expect [Glendening] to win in November."

The call came just days after Glendening -- who was running for his second term as governor at the time -- had chastised Clinton publicly over the scandal and canceled a fundraiser that the president was set to headline. Days earlier, Clinton offered his first apology, saying he had "made a big mistake."

"His behavior was inappropriate, and it was wrong," Glendening said during a press conference on Sept. 5 of that year. "We have an 18-year-old son. We're trying to teach him to be responsible for his actions….You need role models in terms of [showing young people] how to do this, and this makes it even worse."

Years later Glendening came under fire for a relationship with a high-ranking aide in the governor's office, Jennifer Crawford.

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