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December 10, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-10

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8A -- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 10; 1998______________________________________
House judicial inquiry process moves swiftly to end-

Continued from Page 1A
William Weld (R-Mass.) proposed
that Clinton should pay a fine along
with such a reprimand.
"If you believe he acted in this fash-
ion," Ruff told lawmakers grilling him
about perjury charges, "you ought to
censure him in whatever fashion seems
most appropriate. But you cannot over-
turn the will of the people, even if you
find that there is clear and convincing
evidence, which I do not think you can."
The competing impeachment and
censure proposals outlined yesterday
signaled the beginning of the drama's
final act in the House, as both sides laid
their cards on the table and braced for a
frenetic 10 days of maneuvering to win
over the precious few centrists who
hold Clinton's fate in their hands.
In their search for defectors,
Democrats have identified 26 "top tar-
gets" and seven "additional targets"
among Republicans with Clinton-
friendly districts. But the key will be
finding a way to force a floor vote on
censure, according to strategists,
because wavering Republicans reluc-
tant to oust the president and yet unwill-
ing to give him a free pass may feel
compelled to vote for impeachment if
they think it will be the only option pre-
sented them.
The Republican lawyers who drafted

the proposed articles of impeachment
adopted much of the language used when
the Judiciary Committee voted to
impeach Richard Nixon during
Watergate. For example, Clinton, like
Nixon before him, was charged with
"using the powers and influence of the
office of the President of the United
States" in a way that violated "his consti-
tutional oath faithfully to execute the
However, the wording was changed
in at least one significant way. The
Nixon articles each concluded with a
single sentence: "Wherefore, Richard
Nixon, by such conduct, warrants
impeachment and trial, and removal
from office."
Clinton, according to the Judiciary
proposal, warrants all of those things as
well as "disqualification to hold and
enjoy any office of honor, trust or prof-
it under the United States."
The articles were tied together in a
single eight-page resolution, but will be
debated, amended and voted separately.
Any articles that reach the House floor
will be voted on individually as well but
cannot be amended.
While the language echoed
Watergate, the substance of the charges
was drawn almost entirely from Starr's
453-page report to Congress asserting
that Clinton orchestrated a wide-rang-
ing scheme to impede the Paula Jones
sexual harassment lawsuit and the inde-

pendent counsel's subsequent criminal
Article I: Perjury in grand jury testi-
mony. The resolution charged that
Clinton lied under oath Aug. 17 about
the nature of his relationship with
Lewinsky and his "corrupt efforts t
influence the testimony" by witness
during the Jones suit.
Article II: Perjury in the Jones case.
Clinton, according to the resolution, lied
both in sworn written answers to an inter-
rogatory from her lawyers on Dec. 23,
1997, and again during a deposition on
Jan. 17 about his interactions with
Article III: Obstruction of justice.
Citing a series of actions in both the
Jones suit and the Starr investigation, t
resolution maintained Clinton "imped
the administration of justice" by encour-
aging Lewinsky to lie under oath, helping
her find a job, coaching his secretary s
possible testimony and helping to hide
gifts that had been subpoenaed.
Article IV: Abuse of power. Clinton,
"using the attributes of office," lied to
the American people about his affair
with Lewinsky and "frivolously and
corruptly asserted executive privileg
the resolution asserted. In a new alleg
tion, the resolution contended Clinton
"exhibited contempt" for the impeach-
ment inquiry by making false state-
ments in response to the committee
written questions.

President Clinton waves to the crowd as First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton sings after lighting the National Christmas Tree on
the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. yesterday.
Houste GOI's tt halt
H nt
anti-impeach mom tm

The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - House Republican leaders yesterday
tried to counteract signs that the momentum to impeach
President Clinton may be slowing among some of their mem-
bers, as Democrats struggled to develop support for an
acceptable censure resolution that could include an admission
of guilt by the president and a hefty fine.
Apparently fearing defections before there a vote next
week on articles of impeachment, House Judiciary
Committee Chairperson Henry Hyde (R-1ll.) sent a letter to
the entire House, pleading with members not to make a pub-
lic commitment on impeachment until his committee has
completed its work.,
"I ask that you withhold judgment in this most impor-
tant matter which may soon come before the full House,"
Hyde wrote. "I would be more than happy -to discuss this
matter personally on the telephone with you if you so
Meanwhile the Christian Coalition finished delivering
what executive director Randy Tate said were "hundreds of
thousands" of pro-impeachment petitions to Capitol Hill, as
the two sides mobilized for the final days of a historic battle
over the future of Clinton's presidency.
Only one more Republican publicly announced his
opposition to impeachment yesterday. Rep. Amo
Houghton (R-N.Y.) said he favored censuring the presi-
dent, rather than impeaching him. His announcement

brought to six the number of Republicans now on record
against impeachment.
But several other Republicans already appeared to be lean-
ing in that direction. An aide to Rep. Constance Morella (R-
Md.) suggested she was inching toward a position in support
of censure as an alternative to impeachment - if Clinton
"The president still has time to become more forthright in
his repentenance and offer up some form of contrition that
might sway more members to support censure," said Bill
Miller, Morella's chief of staff.
White House officials and their Democratic allies on
Capitol Hill were focused intensively on 30 or so
Republicans, many from the Northeast, whom they regard as
potential opponents of impeachment.
The list was devolved during a Monday meeting between
senior White House officials and aides to House Minority
Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) The president's supporters
have organized a targeted effort to reach moderate
Republicans one-on-one, through friendly colleagues or pow-
erful constituents who will make the case quietly against
In addition, House Minority Whip David Bonior (D-
Mich.) has been deputized to keep defections among
Democrats to a minimum, and senior Democratic aides on
Capitol Hill said they believed the number would be no more
than five or six.

Clinton, advisers caught off
guard after midterm elections*

Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A funny thing happened on the presi-
dent's way out of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He got
caught up in impeachment after all.
Two weeks ago, the White House was confident that
impeachment was all but dead because of the strong
Democratic showing in the November midterm elec-
Now, the probability of impeachment is palpable at 1600
Pennsylvania Ave. And the members of Clinton's team are
scrambling to find enough votes from moderate Republicans
to defeat impeachment resolutions expected to go to the
House next week.
The political magicians who have kept Clinton's scandal-
plagued presidency afloat are not sure they can succeed this
time and defeat the measure in the House.
Many of the president's friends and some political
observers expect Clinton to pull a rabbit out of his hat as he
often has in the past.
However, "There's a question of whether the rabbit will
come out dead or alive," White House spokesperson Joe
Lockhart said gloomily.

In the weeks between the election and now, the president
and many of his aides behaved, particularly in public, as
though the impeachment process no longer existed.
"The sense of urgency was lost and people were beguiled
by the election returns into a kind of complacency," said a
senior White House official. "What everyone underestimated
was the relentless hatred of the president that motivates mo
of the Republicans and how their defeat in the election serv
to heighten their hatred."
Others cited another factor in the surge in support for
impeachment - the dismissive White House response to 81
written questions posed by the House Judiciary Committee
about the Lewinsky affair, which inflamed some moderate
Even this week as the committee prepares to vote on arti-
cles of impeachment, the president himself continued to prd-
ject a relaxed, business-as-usual image.
Yesterday, he talked with members of Congress from both
parties about his plans for reforming Social Security, pinn
a fourth star on Air Force Gen. Benjamin Davis and lit the
national Christmas tree with first lady Hillary Clinton and
home-run hitter Sammy Sosa.

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