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December 07, 1998 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-07

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NATION/WORLD

The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 7, 1998 7A~

Vote on impeachment may
come as soon as Friday A

Committee
questions role
i n decision

CLINTON
Continued from Page 1A
of impeachment beginning Thursday
night.
Those arguments will continue
Friday, with the first vote on an article
of impeachment possibly coming late
that day. The committee's work could
spill into Saturday.
The committee could consider up to
four articles of impeachment covering
perjury, obstruction of justice and
abuse of power, committee
Republicans said yesterday.
Assuming the committee approves
one or more articles of impeachment,
the full House would take up the issue
next week.
House Majority'*Whip Tom DeLay
(R-Tex.) predicted that if the vote were
held now, the House would impeach
Clinton by a narrow margin, sending
the issue to the Senate for a trial. "My
sense is, it's about a 50-50 proposition
right now," DeLay said on "Fox News
Sunday.""I think if we voted today, the

president would be impeached But I
think it weighs very heavily on the
case as presented by the committee
next week."
DeLay ruled out bringing a censure
resolution to the floor as part of the
impeachment vote, calling it "a terri-
ble precedent" that "violates the rules
of the House."
Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.), a
member of the Judiciary Committee
who has long called for impeaching
the president, said he doubted a cen-
sure resolution would be part of the
resolution sent to the House floor.
"Impeachment is the ultimate cen-
sure," he said on ABC's "This Week."
The unyielding comments by House
Republicans reflected the deteriorating
situation facing the president, who a
few weeks ago appeared, to have
escaped the prospect of impeachment
because of the poor showing by
Republicans in the November elec-
tions.
But the elections did nothing to
weaken the determination of Judiciary

AP PHOTO
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and the President applaud during the
Kennedy Center Honors awards ceremony yesterday in Washington, D.C.

Committee Republicans to vote to
impeach the president, and many
Republicans in the House say they
doubt there will be adverse political
effects if the full House does the same.
Many Republicans outside Congress
say otherwise, however.
Clinton's standing took a hit, even
among Republicans who believe his

actions do not rise to the level of
impeachable offenses, when his
lawyers submitted his answers to 81
questions posed by the Judiciary
Committee.
Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.),
who opposes impeachment, said yes-
terday that Clinton "stiffed" the House
with his "outrageous" answers.

The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - As the House
Judiciary Committee this week takes up
articles of impeachment against
President Clinton, members will clash
not only over their assessment of the evi-
dence against him but also about their
proper constitutional role in making
such a weighty decision.
Judiciary Republicans have likened
their task to that of a grand jury issuing
an indictment: The proper standard, they
say, is a determination that there is prob-
able cause to believe a crime has been
committed. The Senate, not the House,
should assess the strength of the evi-
dence against Clinton and determine
whether it warrants his removal from
office.
As Rep. George Gekas (R-Pa.) put it
during a committee hearing on perjury
last week: "That's what our duty is, to
determine whether there's enough evi-
dence, sufficient and credible, to be able
to present to the trier of fact" - that is,
the Senate, which would conduct a trial
of the president if the House were to vote
to impeach him.
Chair Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) made a
similar point as the committee prepared
to hear from independent counsel
Kenneth Starr last month. "Our
Founding Fathers wisely determined that
one chamber should accuse and the
other should judge," he said.
Democrats do not take issue with that

general description of the constitutional
division of labor. But they argue that the
House should be careful not to set the
bar too low as it considers whether to
take the dramatic step of beginning to
remove an elected president from office.
They have been making the case against
what Rep. Martin Meehan (D-Mass.)
termed the "Ham Sandwich Theory of
Impeachment" - referring to the adage
that grand juries are so accommodating
to prosecutors that they could be con-
vinced to indict a ham sandwich.
Meehan and others argue that the,
House has a duty to gather facts for-
itself, rather than relying on the evidence
amassed by Starr. And, they say, the
House should set a higher threshold than
probable cause before it acts, such as
"clear and convincing" evidence.
Since voting to impeach the president,
is effectively voting for his removal from
office, these Democrats say, members
have a responsibility to consider them-
selves as more than a grand jury.
"For the House of Representatives to
impeach a president and subject the
country to the trauma of a four- or six- or
seven-month trial in the Senate is one
heck of a thing ... to do, and we should
not do it simply on probable cause," said
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) "To adopt
the contrary view ... would be to say that
the role of this committee of the House
is a. mere transmission belt or rubber'
stamp for the special prosecutor."

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TENANTS UNION - Great Work Study Job,
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THE UM MUSEUM of Natural History is
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Employment to begin j n January. Duties
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AI

In a we
filled with uncertainty...
Should I1go to the
bar or start that 25
page papet

Ili LIV

ROOMMATE WANTED end of Dec. 2
bdrm. 2 bath apt. Rent neg. Prkg., & ldry.
Heat & H2O0inc. Call Kristie 994-1653.
00 - toN4I

Brerpggg ak Travel was I of 6 small basinss in tf'e
99S t3 o be rniefor outstanige sby
o On~ f Btter B'usmess BureauSt

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