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Lanny Davis. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Lanny Davis, the face of Bill Clinton's war room during the impeachment battle of 1998–99, looks back on the way their team handled the saga.

The big picture: Clinton's team had a "very defined," three-part strategy, Davis tells Axios.

  1. They insisted that Clinton focus on doing his job as president and forbade him from speaking about the impeachment proceedings.
  2. They leaned heavily on what Davis calls the "fact room" (his term for the Clinton war room), and every official was required to go through it and its array of lawyers before going on TV.
  3. They had a rule that anyone who went on to TV must challenge directly anyone who tried to conflate the issue of "personal mistakes involving human weakness" (Clinton's intimate relationship with Monica Lewinsky) with the abuse of presidential power.

Their motto: Davis said every time he went on TV, Rahm Emanuel would call him on his way over and remind him of their guiding message: "Keep it simple, stupid."

Davis says one of the biggest differences between the Clinton and Trump strategies is the Trump administration's refusal to cooperate with Congress.

  • The legal team "made the decision to allow Clinton to testify before a grand jury, a very dangerous decision to have made," Davis said.
  • In the end, Clinton was acquitted, and 10 Republicans voted against the article of impeachment charging Clinton with perjury.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include additional context on Clinton's acquittal.

Go deeper

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.

Wanted: New media bosses, everywhere

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, HuffPost and Wired are all looking for new editors. Soon, The New York Times will be too.

Why it matters: The new hires will reflect a new generation — one that's addicted to technology, demands accountability and expects diversity to be a priority.