The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 10, 1998 - 5A
WASHINfTON (AP) - Rep.
David Bonir of Michigan said he
forgave President Clinton after the
president alologized to some House
Democrats on yesterday during an
emotional Vhite House meeting.
"'ITis wa a meeting for the presi-
dent to expess to us his sorrow, his
concern. Ths was a president who felt
very deepl, about the pain he has
caused us,"Bonior told reporters out-
side the Whte House.
Ilowever Bonior acknowledged
Clinton's afair with Monica Lewinsky
could hurt the Democrat's chances to
regain contol of the U.S. House in the
"Obviosfy this behavior has not
been hebful in terms of our
prospects in the fall," said Bonior,
second-ranking Democrat in the
House. "hut let me also tell you this
as well, fr is committed to moving
the country forward."
Bonior iaid there was no discussion
of impeaciment or resignation during
the 90-mifute morning meeting with a
handful of Democrats including
Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. "I
think the president will certainly be
able to cotinue in office," the Mount
Clintor asked for the meeting in an
attempt to shore up Democratic sup-
port whit expressing sorrow for caus-
ing painto his family and the nation.
"It was an emotional meeting. He
wants b carry on with the business
of the <ountry but he clearly under-
stands he deep pain he has caused,"
Bonior said. "I think it's fair to say
that we all forgave the president at
The meeting came as Congress
anticipited a report by Independent
Counsdl Kenneth Starr on his investi-
gationof Clinton, particularly the pres-
ident's affair with Ms. Lewinsky and
allegel attempts to conceal it. That
report- - along with 36 boxes of sup-
portirg material -- was delivered to
'ongess later in the day.
On Capitol I[ill, key leaders in the
qI ousj met in the morning to discuss
how tie report would be handled by the
House Judiciary Committee - its first
stop - and attempted to set a biparti-
"Tiis a very serious constitutional
quesion and should be dealt with the
greaest of concern," said House
Spetker Newt Gingrich, (R-Ga.).
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) rank-
ing Democrat on the Judiciary
Conmittee, said, "I am heartened by
the 'act that we're going to make cer-
tainthat there are not ofthand or pre-
judlmental remarks about the chief
executive or anybody else that's
involved in this."
Conyers cautioned that impeach-
meit proceedings are not yet a focus.
"Wa are not planning for impeach-
meat," he said, showing signs of dis-
agreement between Republicans and
Bonior appealed to the public and
C ogress to reserve judgment until the
report was made public and more
details are available.
"We ask the American people to
reserve judgment," he said. "We don't
know that he has committed any
crimes. We don't know what's in the
Bonior said he has met with "hun-
*dreds and hundreds" of people in his
"While they are not comfortable nec-
essarily with what the president has
done... they feel very strongly he has
been a good leader and they want him
to be successful," he said.
"The American people do not want
to see this president fail' he said.
"They believe in what he has done for
Brian Palmer, a Republican running
against Bonior in the 10th District,
attacked Bonior for his comments, say-
ing the congressperson was "standing
up for the moral bankruptcy of the
White House." Palmer has called for
President Clinton to resign.
Apply now at the
Senate hearing debates
order of impeach, indict
WASHINGTON -- On a day when
independent counsel Kenneth Starr
ended months of speculation about
whether he would seek to indict President
Clinton or pursue congressional
impeachment proceedings, one of
Clinton's most persistent Senate critics
convened a hearing to showcase legal
arguments on how to punish presidential
Sen. John D. Ashcroft (R-Mo.) a pres-
idential hopeful in 2000 who has
demanded that Clinton resign, told the
Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the
Constitution he chairs that while a presi-
dent can be prosecuted for grave miscon-
duct, the prudent course is to defer to
impeachment proceedings as special
prosecutors did in the Watergate scandal.
'The key question at the hearing was
whether a sitting president can be indict-
ed on criminal charges or whether
impeachment must come first.
Legal scholars on one panel and for-
mer Watergate prosecutors and Justice
Department officials on another offered
sharply different opinions.
"Those who claim that the president is
immune from the criminal process focus
on the provision of the Impeachment
Clause, which specifies that indictment
and criminal punishment may follow
impeachment," Ashcroft said in his open-
"However" he added, "the fact that
indictment may follow impeachment in
no way suggests that indictment must
follow impeachment. Indeed, a number
of federal judges have been indicted and
convicted prior to impeachment and the
clause draws no distinction between
judges and the president.
"In the end, this provision seems pri-
marily designed to clarify that there is no
due piocess or double-jeopardy obstacle
to imposing punishments through the
criminal process atler impeachment."
Yale law professor Akhil Reed Anmar
argued that an incumbent president is
"constitutionally immune from ordinary
criminal prosecution, state or federal,
(because) the presidency is constitution-
ally unique - in the president, the entire-
ty of the power of a branch of govern-
ment is vested."
While officials subject to congression-
al impeachment - the vice president,
cabinet officers, federal judges and
Supreme Court justices - may be indict-
ed while in office, the Constitution's
impeachment clause "sensibly means
something different as applied to presi-
dents on the one hand and other officials
on the other. ... The president is elected
by the entire nation and should be judged
by the entire nation.'
President Clinton has faced a barrage of criticism following his admittance of an
extramarital affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. As the deliv-
ery of Ken Starr's report nears, Clinton vows to regain the trust of the nation,
Clinton pledes to reclaim
trust of nation's youth
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) --- President Clinton, his voice
falling to a murmur in a banquet hall ol friends, appealed to
Democrats yesterday: "I ask you for your understanding, for
your forgiveness." Ile promised to set the Monica I ewinsky
matter right before the November elections.
The president, under pressure from Democrats and
Republicans to express more contrition for his actions, said
he wanted once more to be a role model for the nation's chil-
dren and didn't want his personal behavior to darken his
"I'm determined to redeem the trust of all the American
people," he said, asking donors at a tend-raising luncheon for
Florida gubernatorial candidate Buddy MacKay to spread the
lie added: "I also let you down and I let my family down
and I let this country down. But I'm trying to make it right."
He warned against those bent on making his crisis a cam-
paign issue in November. "Don't be fooled - not for a
minute, not for a day -- elections are about you and your
children and your community and your future," he said.
To Democratic Party boosters who rose in ovation, he
added: "I have no one to blame but myself for my self-inflict-
ed wounds, but ... it doesn't take away whether we're right or
wrong on issues or what we've done for the last six years or
what this election is about."
Clinton spoke just as special prosecutor Kenneth Starr sent
to Congress by van 36 boxes containing what is expected to
be embarrassingly detailed information about the president's
relations with a young White House intern.
White louse spokesman Barry Toiv said Clinton did not
know until well after his speech that the material had been
sent to the house.
The president stood before a lectern of two woodents
unadorned by the presidential seal, his right arm straight
down, his left riffling handwritten notes.
At another fund-raiser last night in Coral Gables, Clinton
again asked a sympathetic audience for forgiveness.
"I've had to ask for things that I was more in the habit of
giving in my life than asking for in terms of understanding
and forgiveness," he said. "...I've tried to do a good job tak-
ing care of this country even when I haven't taken such good
care of myself and my family, my obligations. I hope that you
and others will forgive me for the mistakes I've made."
It was the third time Clinton tried to improve on his Aug.
17 televised confession of an inappropriate relationship with
Lewinsky. Democrats and Republicans alike criticized those
remarks as angry and lacking remorse.
"le went a lot further this time and seemed to mean it. It's
time," said Manning Willson, 57, a construction worker seat-
ed at a back table in the Orlando Marriott.
"It needed to be said. People wanted to hear that he really
was contrite," agreed fellow MacKay contributor Lorna Jean
IHagstrom, a 58-year-old farmer from De Land, Fla.
As if to prove the president's sincerity, Toiv circulated
among reporters in the banquet room to say Clinton had
scrawled his remarks as MacKay delivered an introduc-
Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., MacKay said: "In the end,
we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the
silence of our friends. Mr. President, we are not going to be
silent. We are going to speak out in support of the work you
are doing to improve people's lives."
Continued from Page 1A
executive has been confronted with a
serious threat of being expelled from
office. With midterm elections less than
two months away, Congress now must
decide whether Clinton's actions meet
the constitutional threshold of "high
crimes and misdemeanors" that would
prompt his removal.
"The office has fulfilled its duty
under the law," Starr spokesperson
Charles G. Bakaly III said on the
Capitol plaza after the evidence was
transferred. "Responsibility for the
information we have transmitted
today and for any further action now
lies with Congress as provided by the
With his political survival now in the
hands of a Republican-led Congress,
Clinton rallied Democrats to stand with
him by offering new private and public
apologies, telling a Florida audience
that he "let this country down" and was
determined to "redeem the trust of all
the American people." Before leaving
Washington in the morning, he sought
forgiveness from House Democratic
leaders and has asked Senate
Democrats and his Cabinet to join him
at the White H ouse today for similar
But Clinton had no comment on the
delivery of the report, leaving that
instead to his private attorney, David
I. Kendall. "The president has apolo-
gized for his relationship with Miss-
Lewinsky and has asked for forgive-
ness," Kendall said outside the White
Ilouse. "People should keep in mind
that the documents delivered to
Congress today represent only the
prosecutor's allegations - allegations
that we have been denied a chance to
review. But we do know this: There is
no basis for impeachment."
While this was the moment Starr
has been building toward since
January, it still managed to come as a
surprise to much of Washington, if for
no other reason than it arrived sooner
than anyone expected. The evidence
landed on the doorstep of a Congress
not at all ready to deal with it, proce-
durally or politically.