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October 06, 1998 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-06

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 6, 1998 - 7

* Conyers
says no
basis to

New round of
rhetoric launched.

imp each

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Michigan Democrat on
the congressional committee deciding whether to
open an impeachment inquiry of President Clinton
said yesterday that the evidence did not support
Clinton's removal from office.
Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on
the House Judiciary Committee, made his
strongest statements to date in defense of Clinton
as committee members discussed an impeachment
Conyers said there was no evidence the president
obstructed justice or tampered with witnesses and that
Clinton did not commit any offense grave enough to
justify impeachment.,
"An impeachment is only for a serious abuse of
official power or a serious breach of official duties,"
said Conyers, the only member of the panel to partic-
ipate in the impeachment proceedings against
President Nixon in 1974.
"This is not Watergate; it is an extramarital affair,"
Conyers said, signaling the wide divide in perspective
between many Democrats and Republicans on the
Republicans say there is evidence Clinton lied
under oath and obstructed justice. They have majority
control of the committee and want an open-ended
inquiry into any potentially impeachable offenses by
the president.
. Democrats want a time-limited inquiry into
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's report accusing
Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice in cover-
ing up his atTair with Monica Lewinksy.
But Conyers saved his sharpest criticism for Starr,
suggesting he had gone too far in reaching into a pres-
ident's sex life toembarrass the president.
"There is a threat to society here, but it is from
the tactics of a win-at-all-costs prosecutor deter-
mined to sink a president of the opposition party"
Conyers said.
"Who are we in this country and what is it that we
stand for? Do we want to have prosecutors with

Los Angeles Times
WASIINGTON - It took all of
three minutes avter the sun rose over a
gray and damp nation's capital yester-
day for Democrats and Republicans to
begin lobbing their opening salvos in
the fiercely partisan battle over the fate
of Bill Clinton's presidency.
But in this era of hyper-spin and poll-
driven politics, such fervor should sur-
prise no one.
Starting with the morning network
news shows, each party trotted out
articulate spokespeople to commence
what would be a full day of passionate
rhetoric designed
to win the hearts
and minds of the OverT thr
American people.
By the time the congress
lunch hour finally
rolled around, all spoke on
37 members of the
House Judiciary
Committee had
delivered their speeches, many mak-
ing points by invoking heroic and
controversial figures in U.S. history,
from George Washington to Richard
Along the way, the panel's 21
Republicans and 16 Democrats unmis-
takably set the parameters of the con-
gressional debate over whether to
impeach Clinton as a result of his actions
in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Democrats called for a limited
impeachment inquiry. They denounced
Clinton's behavior but said his ollenses
including lying under oath do not
warrant removal from oftice.
Republicans demanded much greater

leeway, arguing that no :ne can be
allowed to stand above the law.
In the end, the GOP-dominated
Judiciary Committee voted along
party lines to launch a broad
impeachment inquiry for only the
third time in U.S. history.
Throughout yesterday's session, the
ghost of Watergate loomed as large as
the life-sized portrait of former Rep.
Peter W. Rodino Jr. (D-N.J.) that hung
high above the committee members. It
was Rodino who had presided oer the
committee's impeachment delibera.
tions in 1974.

se dozen
a Cinftofl.

At one point,
Rep. Bob Barr (R-
Ga.) one of
Clinton's harshest
critics, used the
chilling words of
Nixon's White
Ilouse lawyer4
John Dean, to
c h a r a c t e r iz e

John Conyers (D-DetroIt), ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, sits at a hearing where the
committee decided to open an impeachment inquiry against President Clinton.

Clinton's conduct.
Accusing the president of abusing
his powers, lying to a grand jury and
obstructing justice, Barr said
Clinton's actions were "symptoms of
a cancer on the American presidency-
that he said must be eradicated.
Barr was far from alone in making
reference to Watergate, which led to
Nixon's resignation in the face of cer-
tain impeachment by the House.
As the day wore on, the often-latter-
ing references to Rodino were too many
to count amid signs that committee
members were acutely aware that they
will be judged against their predece-

unlimited powers, accountable to no one. who will
spend millions of dollars investigating a person's per-
sonal life... ?" Conyers asked.
The congressional representative from Detroit said
the president's actions were wrong but the evidence in
the Starr report did not provide a basis for Clinton's
Impeachable offenses are serious crimes such as
treason or bribery and any move by Republicans to
impeach Clinton would leave the Founding Fathers
"shaking their heads in puzzlement," he said.
"There is no support for any suggestion that the
president obstructed justice, or that he tampered with
witnesses or abused the power of his office," Conyers
Some Republicans on the panel said that lying

under oath would be serious enough ,t warrant
impeachment. President ( uiton salid he did not have
sexual relations with i1ewinskv in deendin himself
in a sexual harassment lasuit led by Paula Jones.
But (_onycrs said the I cwinsky afa1ir had no
legal s igni fic n e in the scx u a I ha ra ssmenli la w-
suit, which has since been dismissed, suecstin
the independent counsel's itmx es igation ws polit-
ically motivated.
"The president's statement under oath in the dis-
missed Paula Jones case was legally immaterial to the
case and would have never formed the legal basis for
any (independent counsel) investigation, again raising
the specter that this investigation may have been taint-
ed by politics," Conyers said.

Congress argues whether to hold hearings

Continued from Page 1
that's enough for him to be thrown out of office,"
McCullom said. "We do have the basis for going for-
His colleague, Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) said it is
even simpler than that. Reminding the committee that
many soldiers have been court-martialed for sexual
misconduct, he recalled a scene from the Starr report
in which the president allegedly received oral sex from
Lewinsky while talking on the telephone about
whether to send U. troops to Bosnia.
"At a minimum that is conduct unbecoming of an
officer and a gentleman," he said.
And Rep. George Gekas (R-Pa.) said that enforcing
the perjury statute is essential "whether it's a traffic
ticket or murder in the first degree."
But Democrats insisted the Republicans were going
far beyond what the Founding Fathers had viewed as
grounds for impeachment.
At one point, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) opened a
paperback copy of the Federalist Papers - the basis
for the Constitution - and encouraged her colleagues
to read it.
Referring to some of the nation's early political the-
orists and key figures in the current scandal, Lofgren
said, "We would be better otT if we spent more time

reading what George Mason and James Madison said
to each other than what Lewinsky and 'ripp (the for-
mer friend who recorded her conversations with
.ewinsky) said to each other."
Regarding impeachment, Lofgren warned, "Ben
Faranklin referred to it as the alternative to assassination."
Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) said that the presi-
dent did nothing to merit impeachment, but had
"engaged in a dangerous game of verbal Twister."
After the statements by the lawmakers, the case
"At a minimum that is
conduct unbecoming of
an officer"
- Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.)
against the president was outlined by the GOP's chief
investigator, David Schippers, a registered Democrat
hired by Hyde for the Clinton case.
Unlike the II counts that Starr suggested were
impeachable offenses in a report he submitted last
month, Schippers laid out 15 separate overt acts by the
president that both incorporated Starr's material and
included new details involving Clinton's sworn state-
ments in his January 1998 deposition in the Paula

Jones sexual harassment lawsuit,
Schippers also dropped Starr's allegation that
Clinton obstructed justice by invoking executive priv-
ilege in order to shield his stall from testifying before
the grand jury that the independent counsel's office
had convened.
"Although he is neither above nor below the law, he
is, by virtue of his office, held to a higher standard
than any other American," Schippers said of the pres-
"As chief executive officer and commander in chief,
he is the repository ofa special trust."
Schippers contended that while Clinton has been
untruthful, "Monica Iewinsky's testimony is both
substantial and credible."
fie charged that Clinton "may have been part of a
conspiracy" with Lewinsky and others to obstruct jus-
tice by assisting her in filing a false affidavit in the
Jones case.
In an affidavit Lewinsky provided in that case --
which has since been dismissed -- Lewinsky main-
tained that she and Clinton did not have a sexual rela-
tionship. She has since acknowledged that it was inac-
Schippers next accused the president of coaching
Lewinsky on how to lie in her affidavit and that
Clinton and Lewinsky dreamed up a "cover story" to
conceal the details of their relationship.
1 --
1 v 0..k~ ami*

Continued from Page 1.
care steerage plan.
SACUA members expressed
opposition to the M-Care steerage
plan, which was designed to steer
University faculty into choosing M-
Care, the University Medical
Center's service as their health
insurance benefit carrier, by raising
the prices of the other choices from
the University's benefit options.
"We will not bring back the 1997 M-
Care steerage plan unless it is brought
up for review through the proper chan-
nels," said Omenn.
Despite this assurance, and the
current financial stability of the
University Medical Center, Omenn
did enumerate the plan's merits for
the faculty representatives.
From the financial angle, Omenn
also had little to say about the possibil-
ity of the University selling its shares of

stock in tobacco companies, but said
that tobacco poses a very serious health
risk to everyone.
The potential divestment of tobac-
co stocks from the University's port-
folio stems from the SACUA recom-
mendation of a study of the tobacco
divestment option last May.
A subsequent SACUA report on the
subject, given on Sept. 27. 1997. con-
tained a list of advantages, both finan-
cial and economic, that could be gained
from divestment.
Divestment can only be carried out
by the University Board of Regents
after the action has been recommended
by an advisory committee comprised of
students, faculty, administrators and
The only University precedent for
this activity occurred in 1978, when
the University divested its interest in
South African stocks on moral
grounds as a statement in opposition
to apartheid.

. _ . - ..

Continued from Page 1
Many users relate the feeling to that
of having "a warm blanket over you."
Kraus said that while heroin is addic-
tive, using the drug even once can be
"Even a single use of heroin can
result in your respiratory system slow-
ing down to where you die' Kraus said.
"People have said to me, 'If you don't
want to be addicted to heroin, don't try
heroin,"' Kraus said.
Habitual users repeatedly say they
are constantly chasing their "first high"'
Kraus said.
The short-term effects of heroin
use can include heart disease, con-
traction of Hepatitis B or C, and the
AIDS virus if users take the drug
intravenously, said Dr. Ceasar Briefer,
director of University Health
Services. Users who snort the drug,
run the risk of eroding the septum in
their nose.
Signs of drug abuse are not always
visible to others, Briefer said, unless the
user has "tracks or marks in their legs
or arms."
Kraus said the University's
Counseling and Psychological Services

does not see many heroin addicts, but
that does not reflect the amount of
abuse taking place on campus.
"Very few people come in here say-
ing they have used it, 'I need help,"
Kraus said. "Most people in the middle
of their problem don't think they have a
Many users complicate the dangers
of heroin use by simultaneously using
other sedatives, Kraus said, which mul-
tiply the effects of the drug.
"Heroin, overall, has gotten more
pure in the last 15-20 years,' Kraus
said. The drug is nearly 10 times as
potent as in the past, she added.
Kraus said detoxifying from heron
addiction is painful, but not life-threat-
"Almost everybody I've talked to in
my career said they were not making
good decisions" while using the drug,
Kraus said. She suggested users "think
about stopping.'
AAPD officer Derrick Neeb said
possession of heroin or cocaine can
carry up to a mandatory life sentence.
Suspects caught with less than 50
grams of either drug can serve one to
20 years in prison.
- Daily Staff Reporter Nikita Easley
contributed to this report.

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Continued from Page 1
schools now understand that this is an
issue that needs to be addressed.'
Labor officials say Nike already
signed up to participate in the new
Stressing the importance of
activism on campuses, Herman said
universities have an obligation to
know where licensed products are
Codes of conduct, while voluntary,
can force companies to comply with
high standards if many people support
them, she said.
"We're not saying, 'Don't make
money.' We are a free market society'
Herman said. "We just have to be sure
we're not abusing the workers produc-

"A lot of the clothes made domesti-
cally are made in New York and Los
Angeles and our studies show that six
out of 10 of those are breaking mini-
mum wage or overtime laws,' Seiden
Barry Prevor, co-owner of Steve and
Barry's Sportswear, said his company
works hard to avoid purchasing materi-
als produced in sweat shops.
"In general, we purchase all of our
merchandise from large, reputable
firms," said Prevor, whose stores serve
seven college campuses. "We have an
active policy that we are refining right
When its contract with Nike
ended two years ago, Duke
University decided to include a code
of conduct in its new contract deal-
ing with the use of sweat shops in


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