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cated to the President her agreement, although she knew the President and Lewinsky had been alone. A couple of days later the President again met with her and, according to Mrs. Currie, went over precisely the same points. All of these statements volunteered by the President to Mrs. Currie were consistent with the testimony given in his deposition, but were false. And the President knew they were false.
President Clinton claims that he was just trying to refresh his memory when he made these statements to Mrs. Currie. His assertion is highly implausible. For example, how could Mrs. Currie know whether the President and Ms. Lewinsky were ever alone, or whether she (Mrs Currie) “could see and hear everything," or whether Ms. Lewinsky “came on to the President],” or that he "never touched her” or that "she wanted to have sex with (the President), and (he) can't do that." The only reasonable conclusion is that President Clinton was attempting to enlist her as a witness to back up his false testimony. In doing so President Clinton committed the crime of obstruction of justice and the crime of witness tampering. The fact that Mrs. Currie was not on the witness list in the Jones v. Clinton case is irrelevant. Under the law, all that is required is that the President had reason to believe that Mrs. Currie might be called to testify. Grand jury perjury
And finally, President Clinton clearly committed perjury in his testimony before the federal grand jury. Ms. Lewinsky testified before the grand jury that the President engaged in sexual acts that were spelled out in the court's definition in the Jones v. Clinton case. In his grand jury testimony the President specifically denied these activities. Lewinsky's testimony is credible and the President's is not. Numerous friends, family members and even medical professionals visited by Ms. Lewinsky testified and corroborated Ms. Lewinsky's testimony in great detail. Ms. Lewinsky discussed these matters with these witnesses contemporaneously to the time when she engaged in the acts with the President. The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that President Clinton committed the crime of perjury while testifying before the grand jury. Impeachable Offenses
Perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and bribery of a witness are all equally grave crimes that undermine the integrity of the judicial system. When people lie under oath in testifying in a civil case or encourage others to do so or conceal evidence or get others to conceal evidence, they prevent at least one of the parties to the suit from receiving a just and fair decision by the court. It is worth noting that the crime of perjury is punished more severely in the federal courts than the crime of bribery. To suggest that perjury and obstruction of justice do not rise to the level of "treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors” as contemplated for impeachment by the founding fathers defies both common sense and the state of common law in England at the time the U.S. Constitution was written.
Having concluded that the President committed the impeachable offenses of perjury and obstruction of justice, the question must be
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asked, what would be the consequences of failing to impeach the President? Such inaction in a notorious case of criminal wrongdoing would send a terrible message to those who testify in civil cases and before grand juries in the future.
Studies show that perjury is occurring more frequently in our courts. Contrary to what some have asserted there are numerous recent examples of federal prosecution of perjury in civil cases. Indeed, there are currently 115 people in federal prison today for perjury in civil cases. If the President is not impeached for these crimes a clear and harmful message will be sent across the country: That there is a double standard, with the President of the United States being exempted from the force of law in these matters, and that these crimes aren't as serious as was once assumed. It is also probable that the failure to impeach in such a notorious case involving so many perjurious statements would lead to more instances of perjury. Furthermore, failure to impeach would make it more difficult for future Congresses to impeach federal judges for perjury and like crimes. As such, failure to impeach would fundamentally undermine the integrity of our court system.
At the same time, there would be serious repercussions in the U.S. Armed Forces if the Commander-in-Chief were to be held to a dramatically lower standard than that applied to officers and enlisted personnel. The men and women in the military would routinely be removed from duty and discharged from service if they engaged in the non-criminal activities that the President engaged in with Ms. Lewinsky, and would face certain court martial if they committed like criminal conduct.
CONCLUSION The Committee on the Judiciary has carefully examined voluminous evidence, including thousands of pages of sworn testimony; regarding the alleged criminal wrongdoing of President Clinton. The evidence clearly and convincingly establishes that the President, with premeditation, engaged in a pattern of illegal conduct over an extended period of time, so as to prevent a federal court and a federal grand jury from uncovering the truth about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. His repeated crimes include perjury, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. These felony crimes are impeachable offenses within the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. President Clinton should be impeached by the House of Representatives.
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ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF MR. COBLE, MR. GALLEGLY, AND
MRS. BONO. THE ROLE OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY IN A PRESIDENTIAL
IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY While there have been several impacement inquiries conducted concerning the conduct of members of the judicial branch, the William Jefferson Clinton impeachment inquiry was only the second this century, and the third in our nation's history, to investigate the President of the United States. A significant question from the outset was, how were we to proceed?
The distinguished Chairman of our Committee, the Honorable Henry J. Hyde, is not only an astute legislator and lawyer, he is also a student of history. Recognizing that the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson was riddled with problems—it involved high political tensions brought about by the ending of the Civil War; it played out over eighteen months; the originating committee was supplanted by a politically stacked committee in a new Congress; etc.--Mr. Hyde thus spent a significant amount of his time studying the impeachment inquiry of President Richard M. Nixon. That inquiry took place in 1973 and 1974 in the Committee on the Judiciary under the chairmanship of Respesentative Peter W. Rodino, Jr. of New Jersey—a Democrat. So impressed was Chairman Hyde with the perceived fairness and due process of the Nixon inquiry, he made a historically momentous decision to, as closely as possible, adhere to the precedents of that proceeding. Thus, our committee set out to follow the path of “the Rodino model.”
On September 9, 1998 the office of the Independent Counsel, Mr. Kenneth W. Starr, delivered to the House of Representatives a report that contained what the Counsel portrayed as "substantial and credible information that President William Jefferson Clinton committed acts that may constitute grounds for an impeachment." This report was delivered pursuant to Section 595(c) Title 28 of the United States Code, which is part of the Ethics in Government Act. On September 18, 1998, the House passed a Resolution which directed the Independent Counsel report be referred to our Committee with instructions that it be reviewed and released to the public by September 28, 1998. After that on October 8, 1998 by a vote of 258–176 the House approved a resolution directing our Committee to conduct an impeachment inquiry.
At the outset of the work on the Starr referral, Chairman Hyde attempted to guide our Committee on a set of fixed principles which included: "—that no person is above the law, not even the President;
-that we must submit ourselves to the letter and spirit of the Constitution;
—that we must constantly strive to be fair, thorough, and expeditions in all that we do;
—that we must be tireless in gathering and reviewing all of the relevant facts;
-and that we must keep the American people well informed, in part by giving them as much information as possible.”
In addition, he also adhered to his earlier decision to follow the Rodino model. Two key documents from 1974 were updated and reprinted as committee documents. One“Impeachment-Selected Materials” was a recitation of past impeachment precedents, and the other “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment: Modern Precedents”, was an updated staff report based directly on the same type of report done by the Rodino staff in 1974.
Although the staff study on the question of an impeachment standard was done early in the Nixon inquiry, the Rodino Committee never actually met and discussed the issue. Mr. Rodino recognized then, as did Chairman Hyde some twenty-four years later, that there is no one standard for what constitutes impeachable conduct. The Framers never intended such a standard. As Representative Lawrence J. Hogan said in the closing debate in 1974 about this question. “* * * Now the first responsility facing members of this committee was to try to and define what an impeachable offense is. The Constitution does not define it. The precedents which are sparse do not give us any real guidance as to what constitutes an impeachable offense. So each of us in our own conscience, in our own mind, in our own heart, after much study, had to decide for ourselves what constitutes an impeachable offense * * *” Despite this Chairman Hyde once again went the extra step and actually had Representative Charles T. Canady, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, convene a special one day hearing on November 9, 1998 concerning the background and history of impeachment, at which a lengthy list of scholars appeared. Following this, our Committee upon Chairman Hyde's recommendation also:
-approved a set of inquiry procedures which were taken almost verbatim from the Rodino committee procedures;
—throughout the hearings utilized the five minute rule and generously allotted additional time to Members when needed, and also allowed Members a ten minute opening statement prior to the final debate on the articles of impeachment; and
—allowed the President of the United States the opportunity to have his counsel represent him at committee deliberations, and to question any witnesses summoned by the committee, and to call witnesses to testify on behalf of the President, and to make an oral and written presentation on the evidence before the committee.
For the historical record, a major difference between the Hyde and Rodino inquiries was openness. With the exception of a couple of occasions when the Hyde Committee went into executive session to discuss appropriately sensitive matters, our impeachment inquiry of the President was held in public before the American people. At every opportunity, material was made public, even though the subject matter at times was extremely reprehensible and disgusting. Nevertheless, Chairman Hyde felt honor bound to operate in open, so that all of our citizens could have faith in the Committee's findings no matter where they led us.
History is forever. It covers the pages of the annals of our time for one and all to see, especially our generations to come. The impeachment inquiry conducted under the leadership of Chairman Henry J. Hyde was public, fair, and just. Mr. Hyde often likes to remind us of the oath every Member of Congress is administered upon their swearing in: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Our Chairman often quotes "An Man for all Seasons.” In it at one point Sir Thomas More tells his daughter, “When you take an oath, you hold your soul in your hands, and if you break that oath, you open up your fingers and your soul runs through them and it is lost.” At certain times in history, various individuals are placed in a position not of their own choosing. They must step into the arena and with no control of the events or forces to come, they must stand and defend their soul and the principles that form the very foundation of that soul. Our nation was blessed that at this time in our history, such a man walked amongst us, and in the great American tradition, persevered and did that which was both right and just. It was an honor to serve with Henry J. Hyde, and thus will history so record.
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