[Congressional Record Volume 144, Number 154 (Friday, December 18, 1998)]
[House]
[Pages H11879-H11965]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    PRIVILEGES OF THE HOUSE--IMPEACHING WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, 
    PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, FOR HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS

                              (Continued)


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair reminds all persons 
in the gallery that they are here as guests of the House. Any 
manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is in violation 
of the rules of the House.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Mascara).
  (Mr. MASCARA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MASCARA. Mr. Speaker, I come to the well today to express my 
disappointment at the impeachment proceedings that are taking place on 
the House floor today. I am deeply disappointed and disillusioned. As 
debate continues tonight, I would like to ironically quote President 
Nixon who said the Nation needs a sense of history more than a sense of 
histrionics.
  As I listened to the Clerk reading the articles of impeachment today, 
I was both saddened and ashamed to be a part of these proceedings. It 
is an emotional time for me, to participate in this dark period of our 
history impeaching the President of the United States. I have 
consistently defended the integrity of public service generally and 
service in this House, specifically saying that in spite of the 
cynicism and the low regard, oftentimes, and hatred for elective 
office, I am proud and honored to be a Member of the United States 
House of Representatives. Regrettably, those feelings have been 
somewhat diminished and tainted as a result of these unfair 
proceedings.
  While the President's behavior was reprehensible, most constitutional 
scholars believe these charges do not rise to a level of impeachment.
  I oppose the House Resolution 611.
  Mr. Speaker, I seldom come to the House floor to speak unless I have 
something important to say. And I have never made disparaging remarks 
about any Member of this House--Republican or Democrat.
  I come to the well today to express my disappointment at the 
impeachment proceedings that are taking place on the House floor today. 
I am deeply disappointed and disillusioned. As the debate continues 
tonight I would like to ironically quote President Nixon who said ``The 
nations needs a sense of history more than a sense of historonics. As I 
listened to the clerk reading the articles of impeachment this morning, 
I was both saddened and ashamed to be a part of these proceedings. It 
was an emotional time for me to participate in a dark period of our 
history--Impeaching the President of the United States.
  I have consistently defended the integrity of public service 
generally, and service in this House specifically, saying that in spite 
of the cynicism out there regarding elective office, I am proud and 
honored to be a Member of the House of Representatives. Regrettably, 
those feelings have been somewhat diminished and tainted as a result of 
these unfair proceedings.
  While the President's behavior was reprehensible most constitutional 
scholars, believe the charges here today do not rise to the level of 
impeachable offenses.
  We have been asked to vote our conscience, yet the majority is 
denying Members, both Democrats and Republicans, the right to vote 
their conscience in favor of censure. That is patently unfair. A 
majority of the American people are being denied an opportunity for 
their voice to be heard on an issue overturning their electoral will. 
This is deeply dividing our Nation. Polarizing our citizens.
  I ask our Republican friends to be fair! To do the right thing! 
Permit a vote on censure.
  I oppose House Resolution 611.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 40 seconds.
  I just want to respond to the charges of the coup d'etat again and 
what the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) said a while ago, that 
all the scholars we had before our committee said that these were 
nonimpeachable offenses, that prosecutors would not indict, that this 
would overthrow an election.
  The fact is, there is a wide division over the impeachment question. 
We had just as many scholars who said these are impeachable.
  I happen to believe deeply perjury is equally grave or more grave 
than bribery and we in fact punish it more severely. As far as 
prosecutors, there are a lot of prosecutors who indict. We had one 
panel of the President's witnesses saying that.
  We are not about to overthrow an election. We are simply about to 
send a matter to a trial in the Senate who might choose to do that if 
they find the President guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice.

[[Page H11880]]

  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina 
(Mr. Inglis), a member of the committee.
  Mr. INGLIS of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, this is the last time I 
will be able to speak to the House of Representatives.
  I rise in support of the articles of impeachment because here tonight 
we have to answer three questions: First, are we a people of 
convenience or of conviction? Second, are we a constitutional Republic 
or a democracy? Third, are we a Nation based on truth or a Nation based 
on moral relativisim?
  The first of those questions, a people of convenience or a people of 
conviction. I have heard a lot of discussion about how the stock market 
may do this or that. We have heard refuting evidence that actually 
NASDAQ went up. We have heard about the disruption this may cause. So 
the question is, has our instant gratification come to the place where 
we need a microwave solution rather than a lasting solution based on 
principle and sound understanding of the Constitution?
  The second question that really has been fascinating to hear here 
today is whether we are a democracy or a constitutional Republic. I 
must say that some of our friends on the Democratic side of the aisle 
have misunderstood the name of their party with the basis of our 
government.
  We are not a democracy. This is a constitutional Republic. If it were 
a democracy, then if Baptists outnumbered Roman Catholics, Baptists 
could decide legitimately in a pure democracy to ban masses on Sunday. 
But thank goodness we are not a democracy. We are a constitutional 
Republic. And therein lies the rub here today on the floor.
  Here on the floor today we are dealing with a Constitution, and we 
are dealing with the principles contained in the Constitution. And 
those principles must hold sway over last night's overnight poll. That 
poll is insignificant compared to the lasting words of the 
Constitution.
  The third question we must answer is, are we a Nation based on truth 
or a Nation based on moral relativisim? This, I think, is the nub of 
the question. Does the truth matter or is everything relative? Is there 
any truth or is my truth different than your truth? And we can have 
inconsistent truths, and there is really no truth.
  I hope that America will always be a place of commitment to essential 
truths, the essential truths that Mr. Jefferson wrote about in the 
preamble to the Declaration of Independence: I hope that it will always 
be a place of freedom coupled with responsibility. And that is what we 
are seeing here in the case of the President.
  I hope that it will always be a place of caring through families and 
local communities, a place of free enterprise within the context of 
fair competition, and a place of strength capable of defending freedom. 
Those things are what is at stake here tonight.
  I hope that the House of Representatives here tonight will vote to 
uphold the rule of law and to say that whenever our conduct, any of us, 
or any President's conduct contravenes the Constitution of the United 
States, that the people's House will rise up and say, no matter what 
party you are from, the Constitution must hold sway there rather than 
last night's overnight poll or any temporary affection that the people 
may hold for any particular officeholder.
  That is my hope. That is why I hope we pass articles of impeachment 
here tomorrow.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Moakley).
  Mr. MOAKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding me the 
time.
  I was not planning to speak on this matter until tomorrow, but I 
heard repeated references to my old friend, Speaker O'Neill. And I feel 
compelled to respond.
  Some Members have mentioned the impeachment of President Nixon and 
said that former Speaker O'Neill refused to consider a resolution 
censuring him. Mr. Speaker, I was here back in 1974, when Richard Nixon 
was being considered for impeachment. Thomas O'Neill was not the 
speaker. Carl Albert was.
  Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, no resolution to impeach President Nixon 
ever came to the House. President Nixon resigned before that happened.
  Robert Healy, the noted Boston Globe writer, in an excellent op-ed 
piece which ran in the Boston Globe yesterday, compares the possible 
impeachments of President Nixon and President Reagan and the country's 
responses to them.
  His piece quotes a book by Robert Timberg which says, ``There were 
similarities between Watergate and Iran-Contra: abuse of authority, 
bunker mentality, cover-up, oval office tapes, National Security 
Council messages, televised hearings, world class stupidity.''
  But there was a difference. Tip O'Neill knew it. We all knew it. Mr. 
Speaker, Speaker O'Neill knew the weight of impeachment. With Nixon, 
Healy says, ``a great majority of Americans had accepted the notion 
that Nixon had to go. They believed he had committed high crimes 
because he had used agencies such as the CIA and the IRS against the 
citizenry.''
  Some 12 years later, in the White House, Speaker O'Neill and 
President Ronald Reagan were alone in a meeting. Impeachment was in the 
air in Washington. The Iran-Contra story had broken with charges of 
arms sold to Iran. The profit directed to the Contra movement in 
Nicaragua. Healy says, and I quote, O'Neill cared only about two things 
that day with regard to the Reagan presidency. First, the Nation had 
been through a presidential trauma for 2 years with Nixon and it was 
not going to happen again.

                              {time}  1830

  And second, O'Neill believed strongly in the proposition put forth by 
James Madison in the 1787 debates at the convention that framed the 
Constitution, the people were king in America. Therefore, one should be 
extraordinarily circumspect about turning out a President who had twice 
been elected by an overwhelming majority.
  Mr. Speaker, I would advise my Republican colleagues to be 
extraordinarily circumspect about what they are about to do to a 
popular President who has been twice elected and should be censured and 
not impeached.
  Mr. Speaker, I include for the Record Mr. Healy's op-ed piece.

                 [From the Boston Globe, Dec. 17, 1998]

                    GOP Could Learn From Tip O'Neill

                           (By Robert Healy)

       On a hot, still night in August 1974, young and old walked 
     around the White House, carrying flickering candles. Two 
     uniformed guards stood watch outside the gates on 
     Pennsylvania Avenue. There were no tanks, no show of guns.
       Earlier that day, in a one-sentence letter to Secretary of 
     State Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon had resigned, the first 
     president to do so. He would officially announce it the next 
     day. Copies of the letter had been sent to House Speaker 
     Thomas O'Neill and Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield.
       Inside the White House, Chief of Staff Alexander Haig was 
     trying to hold things together. Nixon's behavior was 
     irrational: bouts of paranoia and drinking in the morning. 
     Haig recalled later at a background dinner that he and 
     Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger had talked to the 
     commanding officer of the presidential Army troops stationed 
     at Fort McNair, a short distance from the White House on the 
     Potomac, and ordered him not to respond to any last-minute 
     directions from the president.
       It was over. The candle bearers outside the White House, 
     some of whom had opposed Nixon at Vietnam demonstrations and 
     had been smoked with tear gas, knew it was over. Republicans 
     and Democrats in Congress who were prepared to vote for 
     articles of impeachment knew it was over. Kissinger, Haig, 
     and Schlesinger knew it was over. After months of the 
     Watergate storm, a sense of inevitability had settled in.
       It did not mean everyone in the world understood what was 
     going on. At a Georgia Air Force base, Prince Bandar bin 
     Sultan, later to be ambassador to the United States from 
     Saudi Arabia, was training to fly jets and had been alerted 
     by his government that the president would resign. He said he 
     could not sleep that night because he thought at some time 
     planes would be taking off from the base in support of a coup 
     to retain the president.
       It didn't happen because the people in America, a great 
     majority at least, had accepted the notion that Nixon had to 
     go. The case had been made that he had committed ``high 
     crimes'' by using agencies such as the CIA and the IRS to war 
     against the citizenry.
       The scene shifts to the White House 12 years later. It is 
     late 1986, Speaker O'Neill and President Ronald Reagan are 
     alone in a meeting. Impeachment is in the air in Washington. 
     The Iran-Contra story had broken: arms sold to Iran, the 
     profits diverted to the Contra movement in Nicaragua.
       O'Neill cared about only two things that day with regard to 
     the Reagan presidency. First, the nation had been through a 
     presidential trauma for two years with Nixon and

[[Page H11881]]

     it was not going to happen again. And, second, O'Neill 
     believed strongly in the proposition put forth by James 
     Madison in the 1787 debates at he convention that framed the 
     Constitution: The people were king in America. Therefore, one 
     should be extraordinarily circumspect about turning out a 
     president who had been twice elected by an over-whelming 
     majority.
       O'Neill's reasoning was a totally political decision, as 
     Madison and the other framers intended. In fact, in Madison's 
     notes on the Constitutional Convention, Governor Robert 
     Morris, the host Pennsylvania governor, argued that should a 
     president be reelected while under impeachment fire, ``that 
     will be a sufficient proof of his innocence.''
       Robert Timberg's book, ``The Nightingale's Song,'' an 
     exquisite profile of five Annapolis men shaped by Vietnam, 
     including three Iran-Contra principals (North, Poindexter, 
     and Robert McFarlane), draws a portrait of a coup in Reagan's 
     National Security Council led and carried out by these three 
     freebooters.
       It seemed, Timberg wrote, to be ``something out of `Seven 
     Days in May,' a right-wing military cabal trying to take over 
     the government'' with the military all over the terrain when, 
     in reality, it was even more complex than that. ``There were 
     similarities between Watergate and Iran-Contra. Abuse of 
     authority. Bunker mentality. Coverup. Oval office tapes/
     National Security Council messages. Televised hearings. World 
     class stupidity.'' Nixon, he noted, was smart and paranoid. 
     ``Reagan, not nearly so smart, was charming and made a 
     slicker getaway.''
       And the Annapolis men who served Reagan were different from 
     the University of Southern California men who surrounded 
     Nixon.
       But the real difference was the endgame. In his heart, 
     O'Neill knew the popular Reagan would never be removed from 
     office, and the speaker didn't want to put the country 
     through a House impeachment and Senate trial that would close 
     down the government for months.
       The lesson is there in the case of the impeachment of 
     President Clinton. The Nixon and Reagan cases were 
     distinctive, yet they both bowed to the public perception of 
     the gravity of the facts and the president's involvement in 
     those facts.
       Do the Republicans really want to put the nation through 
     the agony of impeachment if, in the end, Clinton wins 
     acquittal in the Senate?
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Neumann).
  Mr. NEUMANN. Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear on why it is that I 
am voting for impeachment. I would like to bring this whole discussion 
back to the facts in the case.
  What do we know here? We know we have a 50-year-old married man, the 
most powerful man in the world, who had repeated sexual relations with 
a woman, a subordinate, 27 years his junior. We know that he came on 
national television and shook his finger in our face and said, I did 
not have any such affair. We know that under oath in January he was 
asked, and I quote, ``Have you ever had sexual relations with Monica 
Lewinsky?'' To which he responded, and again I quote, ``I never had 
sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I never had an affair with 
her.''
  We know that in August, after careful consideration, he was asked 
that question again and he again stated under oath, and I quote, ``My 
recollection is that I did not have sexual relations with Monica 
Lewinsky and I am standing on my former statement about that.'' And we 
know the stain on Monica Lewinsky's dress proved beyond any shadow of a 
doubt that he did have sexual relations with this woman.
  There is no walk of life in the United States of America where this 
behavior would be accepted. A college professor having consensual sex 
with one of his students would be dismissed. A CEO guilty of an office 
affair with an intern would be fired. A physician, a counselor, a 
pastor would lose their right to practice. A military officer would be 
dishonorably discharged.
  Finally, there is one last thing that needs to be brought out here. 
For all of those that say that this is partisan politics and partisan 
bickering, I would like to read some quotes directly out of the draft 
Democrat resolution for censureship. It says, and I quote, ``William 
Jefferson Clinton made false statements concerning his reprehensible 
conduct with a subordinate,'' and continues to say, ``William Jefferson 
Clinton wrongly took steps to delay the discovery of the truth.'' It 
was read by my colleague from Wisconsin and I heard it on the radio and 
verified in writing afterwards. These are President Clinton's 
defenders.
  I have listened carefully to this debate today. The words used by the 
other side, not the Republicans, by the people defending him that 
quote, ``reprehensible, deplorable, liar, misleading, manipulative and 
immoral.''
  I sincerely hope that my vote sends a strong message to every young 
person in America that extramarital affair, coupled with perjury, is 
not acceptable behavior in this great Nation.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Dickey).
  Mr. DICKEY. Mr. Speaker, I represent the Fourth District of Arkansas, 
the district that includes Hope and Hot Springs, the birthplace and the 
boyhood home of President Bill Clinton.
  When I first decided that I would not declare my intentions on the 
question of impeachment, it was mainly for the reason that I wanted to 
make sure of the charges and I wanted to encourage my constituents to 
assist me in this decision. Even though a substantial majority of the 
people who have made contact with me are in favor of impeachment or 
resignation, almost all have a heavy heart.
  Why is this? Because so many people in my district have their own 
self-esteem intertwined with the well-being of their friend, Bill 
Clinton. So while they have reason to be embarrassed, disappointed and 
even disgusted, they are in large part in denial.
  Abraham Lincoln has a story that illustrates this dilemma. There was 
a farmer who had a tree by his house. It was a majestic looking tree 
and apparently perfect in every part, tall, straight and immense in 
size, the grand old sentinel of his forest home. One morning, while at 
work in his garden, he saw a squirrel run up the tree into a hole and 
thought the tree might be hollow. He proceeded to examine it carefully. 
And much to his surprise, he found that the stately tree that he had 
valued for its beauty and grandeur to be the pride and protection of 
his little farmhouse was hollow from top to bottom. Only a rim of sound 
wood remained, barely sufficient to support its weight.
  What was he to do? If he cut it down, it would do great damage with 
its great length and its spreading branches. If he let it remain, his 
family was in constant danger. In a storm it might fall or the wind 
might blow the tree against his house and crush his house and his 
children. What should he do? As he turned away he said sadly, ``I wish 
I had never seen that squirrel.''
  Reasons for me to vote against impeachment are legion. But maybe the 
most significant is that Arkansans have suffered enough and our young 
people need for me, one more time, to stand up for the reputation of 
our State, to say to the rest of the world there are law abiding, 
church going, hard working people in Arkansas and our State does not 
like what has had to be revealed by the harsh application of the 
mandates of the independent counsel statute.
  However, what I am about to do today is done because it has brought 
home to me that I am first to represent America and not Arkansas. But 
as I state that I am an American first, I must tell my colleagues that 
the issue today is no longer about the character of Bill Clinton, it is 
about the character of our Nation.
  We must not let President Clinton hinder us as a nation in 
maintaining the standards of conduct that we should expect from our 
leaders, especially as it relates to the rule of law. As he has been 
obsessed to keep his job, he has blindly asked us to bring our Nation's 
standards down. He is a person of enormous gifts of communication and 
leadership, but we have to say sadly ``no'' to what he wants us to do 
in this regard.
  The law is king. The king is not the law. Though I have done this 
before and in my own way the good folks of Arkansas have directed me to 
forgive President Clinton for the mistakes he has confessed to and 
those he has not admitted yet, I have shown him this individually and 
now do this as a Representative of my constituents.
  I stand here today much like the schoolboy who wrote to the fabled 
and beloved Shoeless Joe Jackson of the Chicago White Sox of old. He 
wrote when he found out that Shoeless Joe was taking money to lose the 
1919 World Series, saying, ``Say it ain't so, Joe.''
  That young man was not bitter, was not drawing judgment. He just saw 
something he desperately did not want

[[Page H11882]]

to believe. And he cared so much for Joe that, as a last act of his 
hope, love and devotion, he wanted Joe to tell him.
  That, my colleagues, is the heart as I best can describe to you of 
the proud and wonderful people of the Fourth District of Arkansas.
  Some people have directed me to a slogan that has the initials WWJD. 
I have applied what this acronym says, but we could also use the 
initials WWALD. What would Abraham Lincoln do? Here is one of his 
quotations. ``Never add the weight of your character to a charge 
against a person without having it to be true.''
  Having tried repeatedly to find a way to talk my conscience into a 
different conclusion, I have decided to vote for at least two articles 
of impeachment, Article I and Article III, keeping in mind that this is 
a referral to the Senate for the finding of guilt or innocence.
  What I want my colleagues to know is that my heart is heavy but my 
conscience is clear.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Bentsen).
  (Mr. BENTSEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BENTSEN. Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of Hamilton, Madison and 
Mason, I rise in opposition to all four articles of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the four articles of impeachment 
against President William Jefferson Clinton.
  At the outset, Mr. Speaker, I strenuously object to this debate on 
impeaching the President of the United States while our nation and our 
Allies, are engaged in a military confrontation. To do so brings 
dishonor upon this House.
  We are here because President Clinton had a consensual, extramarital 
affair and allegedly lied about it in a civil deposition and to a 
Federal Grand Jury. After 10 months of investigation, a federal 
independent counsel recommended to the House Judiciary Committee that 
the President's alleged legal infractions involving his truthfulness 
about this affair rise to the level of impeachable offenses. The 
Committee revised the Independent Counsel's recommendations and sent 
four articles of impeachment to the floor.
  Now the full House of Representatives must weigh the evidence and 
decide this fateful issue of whether to impeach the President. The 
issues, to me, come down to these questions: Do the President's 
actions, while clearly wrong and deserving of rebuke, amount to the 
high crimes and misdemeanors required by the Constitution for 
impeachment? Do these actions warrant putting the country through the 
wrenching process of an impeachment trial in the Senate--a trial that 
could take months and paralyze the legislative process to the detriment 
of the other issues before us?
  We must ask ourselves whether we are willing to overturn the 1996 
elections. We must ask ourselves if the precedent set by such 
impeachment strengthen or weaken our system of government.
  To reach the right decision today, I believe we must step back from 
the partisanship of the moment and place impeachment in the context of 
our system of government, as established in the Constitution. Our 
Founding Fathers could have established a Parliamentary system with the 
election of the nation's leader by the Majority Party in the national 
legislature. They did not. They established a system that at first 
indirectly elected a President; then that system evolved into one where 
the people directly elected the President.
  Vacating the vote of the people strikes at the core of our republic 
and must not be taken lightly. While not determinative, we cannot forge 
that opinion polls have shown that two-thirds of the American people do 
not want the President impeached, but nearly the same number would 
support some form of public rebuked, which unfortunately, we will not 
consider today.
  This issue is too complex to be partisan. Congress has to decide not 
only what the majority wants, but what is in the best interest of the 
country and what is required by the Constitution. Congress should not 
succumb to the herd mentality of a fervent minority in Congress or the 
chattering opinion classes of Washington. Impeachment should be a 
result of consensus, not partisan rancor. In fact, impeachment by a 
narrow party line vote may well be viewed by history more on the basis 
of partisanship that the underlying issue of the alleged infractions. 
History may judge our actions today as partisan rather than principled 
and, thus, effectively exonerate President Clinton rather than punish 
him for his conduct.
  Impeachment was designed to protect the country and its integrity 
against Political crimes. Impeachment is not a tool of punishment to be 
used against a President because his opponents personally dislike or 
even hate him. It is not a tool to use against a President for 
incompetence. In fact, the framers of the Constitution removed 
``maladministration'' as a category for impeachment. The framers felt 
that ``maladministration'' would have made impeachment too easy.
  In Federalist Papers #65, Alexander Hamilton wrote that impeachment 
is ``for those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public 
men, or in the words, from the abuse or violations of some public 
trust.'' Those crimes must be ``of a nature which may with peculiar 
propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries 
done immediately to the society itself.'' Hamilton's words define a 
very high, but appropriate threshold for any impeachment test.
  As critical question that has been raised repeatedly is whether the 
rule of law has been threatened or has our political system been 
seriously injured by the President's actions? In short, what 
constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor?
  Is allegedly lying under oath in a deposition regarding personal 
conduct in a civil case since dismissed and settled, which is the base 
charge from which all other articles of impeachment flow, injurious to 
our political system? Does it undermine the rule of law?
  Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not. These are very abstract issues that 
one could easily decide on the basis of whether or not they liked this 
particular president. But, the real problem is once you decide it for 
one, you have set a historical precedent for all others.
  Some, in particular the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. 
Hyde, have stated that if nothing else, lying in any context, whether 
under oath or about a personal matter, undermines the rule of law and 
poses such a threat to American democracy that impeachment is warranted 
and necessary.
  But, does it undermine the rule of law more so that President Lyndon 
Johnson using falsified information to pass the Gulf of Tonkin 
Resolution to expand U.S. involvement in Vietnam? Is it more so a high 
crime that illegally bombing Cambodia or using the CIA to subvert an 
FBI investigation? Is it more so a high crime and misdemeanor than 
President Ronald Reagan and his administration willfully violating the 
Balanced Amendment, the law banning aid to the Nicaraguan Contras 
through arm sales to Iran? Is lying to Congress, hiding the truth from 
the American people, and destroying evidence undermining the rule of 
law more than perjury in any instance?
  Chairman Hyde, in 1987, said of the Iran-Contra scandal, ``It just 
seems too simplistic to condemn all lying'' in the real world of geo-
politics. He further quoted Thomas Jefferson as stating ``strict 
adherence to the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a 
good citizen but it is not the highest.''
  Based upon Rep. Hyde's defense of the Reagan Administration's alleged 
lying to Congress and subversion of Federal law, what basis then do we 
have for ``the rule of law'' if a President who disagrees with a 
certain law over legitimate policy reasons chooses to willfully ignore 
it or violate it?
  Let me be clear, I don't like what President Clinton did. It was 
wrong, reckless, and reprehensible. I am offended by the original act. 
I am angered that he chose not to fess up once he had been caught, and 
I am outraged that we spent millions on an investigation to chase 
around and find out if it were true, especially after the American 
people had already figured it out.
  I am also appalled that prosecutors in the Independent Counsel's 
office would actually spend public time and money questioning whether 
the United States might seek to indict and convict a former President 
of perjury in a civil suit regarding sex in a case that has since been 
dismissed, while the world considers whether Augusto Pinochet, the 
former Chilean dictator, can be extradited for alleged crimes against 
humanity, involving scores of deaths including of an American on U.S. 
soil.
  And, of course, as we all tell our children, just as our parent told 
us, in the end you are a lot better off if you tell the truth. But, 
ultimately, we must ask whether taking the first step to remove a duly 
elected President to protect our political system because of a 
potential legal infraction of perjury in a civil case since dismissed 
and devoid of public policy is necessary?
  Based upon what I have read, I have come to the conclusion that NO, 
this does not reach that level. The President's actions may well be 
found to have constituted perjury but do not constitute crimes against 
the state for which, I believe, impeachment was designed. If this House 
adopts articles of impeachment on the basis laid out by the Majority, 
the precedent set here today will certainly, I believe, undermine 211 
years of our system of government and democracy.
  It is truly a shame that the leadership of the Republican Majority is 
effectively forcing the hands of members in a process that is very 
unfair and undemocratic. It it the American way to stifle debate? Is 
this just another procedure by the House Leadership not to trust

[[Page H11883]]

the members to make up their own minds? Presenting the Congress with a 
vote on impeachment only is like saying to a jury, you can vote for 
either the death penalty or acquittal. To say that impeachment is 
``censure plus'' is a mistake. We don't know that the Senate won't 
convict. We should not shrug our shoulders and hedge our bets that way. 
To do so is fool hardy and irresponsible. Not only does that view lower 
the bar for what may be impeachable offenses, but it cheapens 
impeachment as well. In short, it makes folly out of the Constitution 
and undermines the very rule of law that we are all espousing that we 
uphold.
  The worst of Alexander Hamilton's premonitions is coming true. In 
Federalist #65, he wrote that ``In many cases, it [impeachment] will 
connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all 
their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or 
on the other; and in such cases their will always be the greatest 
danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative 
strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or 
guilt.''
  The President, not the nation, should be punished for his actions. 
Censure is entirely appropriate and Constitutional. Twice before in our 
history we have censured Presidents: Andrew Jackson, whose censure was 
revoked by a subsequent Congress before he retired, and James K. Polk, 
who was censured for his administration of the Mexican-American War.
  We also know that history and legacy are the currency of the business 
of public policy. I believe whatever Congress does, history, in large 
part, will judge President Clinton, no matter what his policy successes 
may be, by this incident with Monica Lewinsky. The two names will be 
forever inseparable. But, this Congress will also have a place in this 
history. Will Congress be remembered as statesman-like or a partisan 
circus that couldn't let go of a ``Get the President at any Cost'' 
mentality. It seems that the anger and vitriol of a few members is 
going to stop the rest of the House from voting its conscience on this 
matter by denying us the opportunity to vote on a Censure Resolution. I 
believe history will look upon this impeachment as it looks upon the 
impeachment of Andrew Johnson; as a low point in our nation's history 
when we ignored our better angels.
  In the end, the alleged crimes or infractions of the President, as 
offensive as they are, do not meet the level of ``high crimes and 
misdemeanors,'' nor do I believe it is in the best interest of the 
nation that we endure a trial in the Senate over these issues for the 
next six to 12 months. On that basis, I rise to oppose impeachment. 
Impeachment, in this case, does not serve to protect the nation. In 
fact, it would serve to undermine the very rule of law that we are 
trying to uphold by setting a precedent of a standard of impeachment so 
low that future Congresses could intimidate the executive branch and 
create a shift toward a British style Parliamentary system of 
government.
  Congress should publicly condemn the President's conduct through a 
joint resolution of censure, cosigning this President to history with 
the undoubtedly indelible mark of scandal.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Pastor).
  Mr. PASTOR. Mr. Speaker, I submit for the Record the following 
statement detailing why I will be in opposition to the four articles of 
impeachment.
  After reading and studying the written material available to me and 
viewing the House Judiciary Committee hearings, I cannot in good 
conscience support the impeachment of President William Jefferson 
Clinton.
  I am very disappointed with the unjust and highly partisan manner in 
which the House Judiciary Committee hearings were conducted. The 
hearings lacked due process. The Committee did not take any evidentiary 
testimony of material witnesses. The Committee's star witness, 
Independent Council Ken Starr, was not a material witness and in fact 
was not present when material witnesses were interviewed by the Grand 
Jury.
  The Committee failed to produce ``clear and convincing'' evidence to 
support its articles of impeachment. It is my conclusion that the four 
articles of impeachment brought against the President do not reach the 
constitutional standard of ``high crimes and misdemeanors,'' even if 
proven. The lack of bipartisan support for any of the articles is a sad 
indication that they are based more on partisan politics than on any 
substantial evidence.
  President Clinton has unquestionably and admittedly done wrong. 
Members of Congress should be given the opportunity to condemn his 
actions through an official resolution of censure. The President will, 
and should, pay for his wrongdoing in public esteem and tarnished 
legacy. The nation, the Presidency, and the democratic process, 
however, need not bear the cost of continuing what has become little 
more than a wasteful partisan drama.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Condit).
  Mr. CONDIT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the resolution.
  Throughout this difficult process I have worked very hard to remain 
objective and have taken great steps to avoid prejudging President 
Clinton, the work of the Independent Counsel, or the motives of others 
concerned with this matter. I supported a thorough investigation and, 
in fact, was one of 31 Democrats to vote for an open impeachment 
inquiry by the Judiciary Committee. I wanted all the serious charges 
that have been brought against the President investigated, resolved, 
and acted upon.
  Kenneth Starr presented his findings, ultimately dismissing the 
charges regarding the Whitewater Development Company, White House 
Travel Office firings and handling of the FBI files.
  Following Judge Starr's actions, the Judiciary Committee determined 
that alleged campaign finance abuses during the 1996 election season 
lacked merit and declined to take further action. After all was said 
and done the remaining charges centered on the President's personal 
behavior.
  I expected the Judiciary Committee to conduct a meaningful, 
nonpartisan investigation of the President's conduct. However, what 
resulted was politically-driven drama which leaves me with serious 
reservations whether the case has been made for removing the President 
from office.
  Without question the President's behavior was inexcusable and 
indefensible. It was wrong. He has said so himself and apologized to 
the American people. However, to overturn the electoral will of the 
American people requires a much higher threshold than personal 
misconduct.
  Impeachment is far too serious an issue to be decided along party 
lines, yet the proceedings in the Judiciary Committee were acutely 
partisan. At a time when truth should have been paramount, the 
Judiciary Committee drew lines in the sand. I am very concerned that 
given the historical magnitude of this vote, that is a precedent we 
ought not to set.
  While the actions of the President cannot be condoned, I have grave 
reservations whether they meet the constitutional standards for removal 
from office. While the President may very well be forced at some point 
in the future to face civil charges for his actions, given the 
information currently available to us, removal from office isn't 
justified. Unfortunately, no alternative to impeachment was allowed 
consideration. Instead, the House of Representatives was presented with 
an ``all-or-nothing'' choice.
  I have seriously considered these multiple investigations as well as 
the President's personal behavior and have spent a great deal of time 
reflecting on them. To prolong this national ordeal is unthinkable. We 
must bring it to an end and we must do so now. To draw this out further 
is not in the best interests of the country or the American people.
  We are in a period where the politics of personal destruction have 
taken precedence. Millions of dollars are spent in seemingly endless 
partisan investigations whose only purpose is to discredit and 
embarrass political opponents. It poisons the debate and undermines 
sincere efforts to find solutions to the problems facing our nation.
  People of good will are sincerely divided by this issue. Regardless 
of the ultimate resolution, America and the American people are greater 
than this and we will get beyond this trying time. Above all else, I am 
confident we will rise above this.
  I have confidence in the American people and in our institutions.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady).
  (Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise to not impeach the 
President of the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, seven months ago next Monday, I was sworn in as a Member 
of this House. That was one of the proudest days of my life, but not 
because I had been elected to high office. It was a proud day because I 
thought I was becoming a part of something bigger than me, something 
with dignity and honor. I thought I was joining a team.
  In my remarks that day, I told this House that, as far as I am 
concerned, the team that I am on is the team of the United States of 
America. Now I know that there is no Team USA in this body. There is 
only team GOP. That majority in this body is about to drag this country 
through the mud in order to get revenge for losing the last two 
national elections. The leadership of this House is willing to trample 
over the Constitution in order to punish our President for the crime of 
beating their candidate.

[[Page H11884]]

  Mr. Speaker, I am not proud to be a part of this body today. But, I 
am proud to support my President. I am proud to support him because 
this is not just about Bill Clinton the man. It is about philosophies 
and the philosophies of the American people.
  President Clinton wants Social Security reform--for them. He wanted a 
patients' bill of rights and a good education--for them.
  You may, and probably will, impeach him this weekend. But you will 
never impeach the will and the opinion of the American people. I urge 
my colleagues to vote no on impeachment.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan), a member of the committee.
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I feel I need to respond to the gentleman 
from Wisconsin who totally misrepresented the President's grand jury 
testimony. He said that the President did not admit to sexual relations 
with Monica Lewinsky. In the grand jury testimony he admitted the 
inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky. I wish he had done it 
earlier, but he clearly did it then.
  He did not give prosecutors all the details. The only conflict in the 
testimony between the President and Monica Lewinsky is when and where 
the President touched Monica Lewinsky.
  Now, let's be serious. Are my colleagues ready to send over to the 
United States Senate a trial on impeachment about when and where the 
President touched Monica Lewinsky? That is what this case is about.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt), a member of the committee.
  (Mr. DELAHUNT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, no one excuses the President's behavior. 
It deserves our censure and our condemnation. But I am just as 
concerned about our behavior, about the effect our actions may have on 
eroding public confidence and the rule of law and the principles of 
fairness and due process that are embedded in our Constitution that 
make this nation, this America, so unique among the family of nations. 
I believe this is ultimately more important than the fate of one 
particular president.
  When we began this inquiry, I expressed the hope that it would be 
thorough, fair, and respectful of the rule of law and so that our 
verdict would be respected as well and we would be found no less worthy 
of praise than those who conducted the Nixon inquiry nearly 25 years 
ago. They managed to transcend partisanship, to set a standard of 
fairness and due process that earned them an honored place in our 
history. And I am truly saddened that we failed to measure up.
  It was the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) who said that without 
bipartisan support any impeachment is doomed. And I agree. Yet the 
majority has sacrificed the legitimacy of this impeachment by 
proceeding without that support.
  As we prepare to render our verdict on President Clinton, the 
American people and history itself are sitting in judgment on us and I 
believe they will judge us harshly because we have failed in our duty 
to the rule of law. We failed the rule of law when we abdicated our 
constitutional responsibility to an unelected prosecutor, when we 
rubber stamped his conclusions and failed to conduct our own 
independent examination of a record replete with contradictions, 
inconsistencies and half truths. We failed the rule of law when we 
could not summon the political courage to call real witnesses to test 
their credibility.
  President Nixon was afforded that opportunity. President Clinton was 
not, and that was unfair. We failed the rule of law when we informed 
the President's counsel of the precise charges only after he made his 
closing argument. That was unfair. We failed the rule of law when we 
put the burden on the President to prove his innocence. That was 
unfair.
  Presidents are not above the law but they, no less than other 
citizens, are entitled to its protections. That is what distinguishes a 
free country from a totalitarian one. And let us hope that the freedom 
we have struggled so hard to achieve will weather this storm for the 
sake of the country that we all love so dearly.
  I oppose the articles of impeachment as reported by the Judiciary 
Committee. I agree with much of the reasoning included in the 
Minority's Dissenting Views. However, I write separately to clarify my 
own perspective on a number of matters, including the reliability of 
the allegations upon which the case for impeachment is based.
  I neither condone nor excuse the President's admitted misdeeds. 
However, I agree with my Minority colleagues that the allegations, even 
if true, do not form a constitutionally sufficient basis for 
impeachment. Whatever the Founders meant by ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors,'' it is well-established that impeachment should be 
reserved for situations in which the incumbent poses so grave a danger 
to the Republic that he must be replaced before finishing his term of 
office. The Majority has utterly failed to establish that such is the 
case here.
  As for the allegations themselves, however, I do not believe the 
Minority is in any better position to assess their accuracy than the 
Majority. The committee took no direct testimony in this matter. We 
called not a single witness who could testify to the facts. Instead, we 
relied solely on the assertions contained in the referral of the 
Independent Counsel. Those assertions are based on grand jury testimony 
and other information--much of it ambiguous and contradictory--whose 
credibility has never been tested through cross-examination.
  Even absent such evidentiary problems, Article II of the Constitution 
imposes upon the committee a solemn obligation--which it may not 
delegate to the Independent Counsel or any other individual--to conduct 
a thorough and independent examination of the allegations and make its 
own findings of fact.
  By failing to do this--by merely rubber-stamping the conclusions of 
the Independent Counsel--we have not only failed to establish a factual 
basis for the charges set forth in the articles of impeachment, but 
have abdicated our constitutional role to an unelected prosecutor and 
recklessly lowered the bar for future impeachments. In so doing, we 
have sanctioned an encroachment upon the Executive Branch that could 
upset the delicate equilibrium among the three branches of government 
that is our chief protection against tyranny.
  A related casualty of our cavalier approach to this investigation has 
been the due process to which even our Presidents are entitled. We 
released the referral--including thousands of pages of secret grand 
jury testimony--within hours of its receipt, before either the 
Judiciary Committee or the President's counsel had any opportunity to 
examine it. We voted to initiate a formal inquiry against the President 
without even a cursory review of the allegations. We required the 
President's counsel to prepare his defense without knowing what charges 
would be brought. And we released articles of impeachment--drafted in 
secrecy by the Majority alone--before the President's counsel had even 
finished his presentation to the committee.
  Having put before the public a one-sided case for the prosecution, 
some member of the Majority actually suggested that the President had 
the burden of proving his innocence. When he attempted to do so, those 
same members accused him of ``splitting hairs.''
  This was perhaps the most disturbing aspect of our proceedings. We 
live in a nation of laws, in which every person--whether pauper or 
President--is entitled to due process. This has nothing to do with 
``legal hairsplitting.'' It has everything to do with requiring those 
who wield the awesome power of the State to meet their burden of proof. 
That is what distinguishes this country from a totalitarian one. That 
is the genius of a Constitution crafted by men who knew and understood 
the nature of tyranny. As one former United States Attorney testified 
during our hearings, those who complain most loudly about such 
``technicalities'' are the first to resort to them when it is they who 
stand accused.
  Public confidence in the rule of law is ultimately more important 
than the fate of one particular President. And the official lawlessness 
that has characterized this investigation has done far more to shake 
that confidence than anything of which the President stands accused.
  These proceedings stand in stark contrast to those of the Watergate 
committee--which the Majority had self-consciously adopted as its 
model. During the Watergate crisis, the Rodino committee managed to 
transcend partisanship at a critical moment in our national life, and 
set a standard of fairness that earned it the lasting respect of the 
American people. As the Judiciary Committee voted to launch this 
inquiry, I expressed the hope that our proceedings would be equally 
fair, thorough and bipartisan, and that--whatever our verdict might 
be--our efforts would be found as worthy of praise.
  In at least one important respect, the committee did merit such 
praise. Chairman Hyde permitted us to offer a censure resolution 
despite the extraordinary pressures that were

[[Page H11885]]

brought to bear for him not to do so. In my view, the resolution which 
I sponsored, together with Mr. Boucher, Mr. Barrett and Ms. Jackson 
Lee, was--and remains--the most appropriate means of condemning the 
President's misconduct while sparing the nation the further turmoil and 
uncertainty of a lengthy Senate trial.
  Contrary to the continuing claims of some that censure would be 
unconstitutional, a score of constitutional experts called as witnesses 
by both Republicans and Democrats on the Committee agreed in writing--
by a margin of almost 4 to 1--that the Constitution does not prohibit 
censure. And it would be a breathtaking departure from the democratic 
principles which are the soul of the Constitution to deny the full 
House an opportunity to vote on an alternative to impeachment.
  As we stand on the brink of an impeachment vote for only the second 
time in our history, we can only hope that the democracy that has 
survived so many storms will weather this crisis as well, and that the 
irresponsible actions of this Committee will not do lasting damage to 
the country that we all so dearly love.

Opening Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts 
Before the Committee on the Judiciary Regarding the Proposed Resolution 
                      of Inquiry--October 5, 1998

       Mr. Chairman, the issue before us today is not just the 
     conduct of the President. The overriding issue is how this 
     committee will fulfill its own responsibilities at a moment 
     of extraordinary constitutional significance.
       Three weeks ago, the Independent Counsel referred 
     information to Congress that he alleged may constitute 
     grounds for impeaching the President.
       But it is not the Independent Counsel who is charged by the 
     Constitution to determine whether to initiate impeachment 
     proceedings. That is our mandate. He is not our agent, and we 
     cannot allow his judgments to be substituted for our own.
       I am profoundly disturbed at the thought that this 
     committee would base its determination solely on the Starr 
     referral.
       Never before in our history has the House proceeded with a 
     presidential impeachment inquiry premised exclusively on the 
     raw allegations of a single prosecutor. Let alone a 
     prosecutor whose excessive zeal has shaken the confidence of 
     fair-minded Americans in our system of justice.
       It is the committee's responsibility to conduct our own 
     preliminary investigation to determine whether the 
     information from the Independent Counsel is sufficient to 
     warrant a full-blown investigation. And we have not done 
     that.
       If we abdicate that responsibility, we will turn the 
     Independent Counsel Statute into a political weapon with an 
     automatic trigger--aimed at every future president. And in 
     the process, we will have turned the United States Congress 
     into a rubber stamp.
       Just as we did when we rushed to release Mr. Starr's 
     narrative within hours of its receipt, before either this 
     committee or the President's counsel had any opportunity to 
     examine it.
       Just as we did when we released 7,000 pages of secret grand 
     jury testimony and other documents hand-picked by the 
     Independent Counsel--subverting the grand jury system itself 
     by allowing it to be misused for a political purpose.
       Just as we are about to do again: by launching an inquiry 
     when no member of Congress, even now, has had sufficient time 
     to read, much less analyze, these materials. Not to mention 
     the 50,000 pages we have not released.
       For all I know, there may be grounds for an inquiry. But 
     before the committee authorizes proceedings that will further 
     traumatize the nation and distract us from the people's 
     business, we must satisfy ourselves that there is ``probable 
     cause'' to recommend an inquiry.
       That is precisely what the House instructed us to do on 
     September 10. The chairman of the Rules Committee himself 
     anticipated that we might return the following week to seek 
     ``additional procedural or investigative authorities to 
     adequately review this communication.''
       Yet the committee never sought those additional 
     authorities. Apparently we had no intention of reviewing the 
     communication.
       That is the difference between the two resolutions before 
     us today. The Majority version permits no independent 
     assessment by the committee, and asks us instead to accept 
     the referral purely on faith.
       Our alternative ensures that there is a process--one that 
     is orderly, deliberative and expeditious--for determining 
     whether the referral is a sound basis for an inquiry.
       The Majority has made much of the claim that their 
     resolution adopts the same process--indeed, the very 
     language--that was used during the Watergate hearings of 24 
     years ago.
       It may be the same language. But it is not the same 
     process.
       In 1974, the Judiciary Committee spent weeks behind closed 
     doors, poring over evidence gathered from a wide variety of 
     sources--including the Ervin Committee and Judge Sirica's 
     grand jury report, as well as the report of the Watergate 
     Special Prosecutor. All before a single document was 
     released. Witnesses were examined and cross-examined by the 
     President's own counsel. Confidential material, including 
     secret grand jury testimony, was never made public. In fact, 
     nearly a generation later it remains under seal.
       It is too late now to claim that we are honoring the 
     Watergate precedent. The damage is done. But it is not too 
     late for us to learn from the mistakes of the last three 
     weeks. If we adopt a fair, thoughtful, bipartisan process, I 
     am confident the American people will embrace our 
     conclusions, whatever they may be.
       If the Majority chooses to do otherwise, it certainly has 
     the votes to prevail. Just as the Democratic majority had the 
     votes in 1974. But the Rodino committee recognized the 
     overriding importance of transcending partisanship. And it 
     earned the respect of the American people.
       It is our challenge to ensure that history is as kind to 
     the work of this committee.

    Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts 
 Regarding the Release of Presidential Grand Jury Testimony--September 
                                18, 1998

       Today, the House Judiciary Committee voted to release to 
     the public several volumes of supporting material received 
     from the Independent Counsel nine days ago, including grand 
     jury transcripts and the President's videotaped testimony.
       In my judgment, the headlong rush to publicize secret grand 
     jury testimony not only endangers the rights of the 
     individuals involved in this particular case, but also 
     undermines the integrity of one of the cornerstones of our 
     system of justice--the grand jury system itself.
       Unfortunately, the readiness of the majority to ignore 
     these perils also calls into question the fundamental 
     fairness of our own proceedings.


                          the pace accelerates

       On September 9, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr sent the 
     House of Representatives a 445-page report, together with 
     some 2,000 pages of supporting materials, telephone records, 
     videotaped testimony and other sensitive material, as well as 
     17 boxes of other information.
       Within 48 hours, the House had voted to release the report 
     and give the Judiciary Committee until September 28 to decide 
     whether any of the remaining material should be kept 
     confidential. While I agreed that we should release the 
     report, I opposed our doing so before either the President's 
     attorneys or members of the Committee had been given even a 
     minimal opportunity to review it.
       That vote was seven days ago. Since then, the breakneck 
     pace has only accelerated. Today, we were asked to vote--10 
     days ahead of schedule--on whether to release what may well 
     be the most sensitive materials of all--the grand jury 
     transcripts, together with the videotape of the President's 
     testimony.
       Those of us who serve on the Committee had been doing our 
     best to review these materials so that we would be in a 
     position to evaluate whether or not they ought to be 
     released. I cannot speak for other members, but I have been 
     as diligent as possible, and had managed by this morning to 
     get through--at most--some 30 percent of this material.
       How can anyone make a considered judgment under such 
     circumstances? How can we properly weigh the benefits of 
     immediate disclosure against the harm it might cause? I have 
     done my utmost not to prejudge the outcome of this 
     investigation. I am prepared to follow the facts wherever 
     they lead. But if the American people are to accept the 
     eventual result of our deliberations, they must be satisfied 
     that our proceedings have been thorough, disciplined, 
     methodical and fair.
       I seriously doubt that an objective observer looking back 
     on these past nine days could characterize our proceedings in 
     that manner. The process continues to careen forward--without 
     a roadmap--at a dizzying pace.


                          fundamental fairness

       One portion of the Independent Counsel's report that I made 
     sure to read--not once, but twice--was Mr. Starr's 
     transmittal letter, which cautioned that these supporting 
     materials contain ``confidential material and material 
     protected from disclosure by Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules 
     of Criminal Procedure'' (the rule that provides for the 
     secrecy of grand jury records).
       the implication of that warning is that the public 
     disclosure of protected grand jury material could do serious 
     and irrevocable harm--not only to the President, but to the 
     many other individuals caught up in the vast web of the Starr 
     investigation, including innocent third-parties, witnesses, 
     and other potential targets of ongoing (and future) 
     investigations.
       In the United States, those accused of criminal wrongdoing 
     are presumed innocent--be they presidents or ordinary 
     citizens. Yet if raw, unproven allegations are disclosed to 
     the public before they can be challenged, the ``presumption 
     of innocence'' loses all meaning. Minds are made up, 
     judgments rendered, and the chance for a fair determination 
     of the facts is lost.
       That is one reason why federal grand jury testimony--
     whether in printed or in audio-visual form--is explicitly 
     shielded from public disclosure under Rule 6(e).
       But grand jury secrecy also serves the interests of the 
     prosecution, by encouraging witnesses to come forward and 
     ensuring that prejudicial material will not poison the jury 
     pool and make it impossible to hold a fair trial. This is 
     especially important when the targets and potential targets 
     of an investigation are public figures.

[[Page H11886]]

       The pre-indictment release of secret testimony compromises 
     both objectives--trampling on the rights of the accused and 
     jeopardizing subsequent indictments. Beyond this, it calls 
     into serious question the fairness and integrity of the grand 
     jury system itself.


                      ``Laundering'' the Evidence

       Through its action today, the Judiciary Committee has 
     engaged in an abuse of the grand jury process that has 
     enabled it to accomplish indirectly what the Independent 
     Counsel was prohibited from doing directly.
       The Independent Counsel has developed his case by using the 
     grand jury to compel testimony from various witnesses. 
     Although the grand jury voted to subpoena the President, the 
     videotaped testimony was ultimately obtained under a 
     negotiated agreement, under which the Independent Counsel 
     agreed to treat the testimony as secret grand jury 
     proceedings pursuant to Rule 6(e). It was solely on this 
     basis that the President consented to testify.
       The Independent Counsel subsequently received permission 
     from the court to release the videotape, together with the 
     other grand jury material, to the Congress. But the court 
     order did not authorize its further release to the public or 
     the press.
       By releasing that testimony to the public, we are--in 
     effect--laundering the evidence so as to nullify the express 
     agreement under which it was obtained. This is an abuse of 
     the grand jury that can only damage the public's faith in 
     that institution and impair its ability to perform its 
     essential role.
       And what are the benefits that justify these evils? We are 
     told only that the public has a ``right to know''--an 
     interest in the case that entitles it to the information. 
     Some have even suggested that that interest is a financial 
     one--that the public ``paid'' for this material and is 
     entitled to it.
       To this, one can only respond that the public pays for the 
     grand jury testimony in every case. The public has an 
     interest in every case--especially where the case involves 
     high officials or other celebrities. We accommodate that 
     interest by requiring that trials be held in open court. But 
     the public is no more entitled to secret grand jury testimony 
     than it is to classified intelligence. Not even when the case 
     is concluded, let alone while it is still going on.
       In an ordinary criminal trial, grand jury testimony is 
     disclosable under Rule 6(e) only under certain specific 
     circumstances. For example, criminal defendants are entitled 
     to see grand jury proceedings in order to cross-examine 
     witnesses or challenge their credibility on the basis of 
     prior inconsistent statements.
       On the other hand, the public release of material of this 
     nature would violate not only Rule 6(e), but Department of 
     Justice guidelines, court precedents and ethical rules 
     binding on prosecutors in every jurisdiction in this country. 
     A party found to have disclosed the material would be subject 
     to sanctions, and the material itself would be excludable in 
     court. The court might even grant a defendant's motion to 
     dismiss the case for prejudice.


                          looking to precedent

       This is certainly not an ordinary case. But neither is it 
     so exceptional as to justify our riding roughshod over 
     precedent and due process.
       In the one historical precedent that is closest to the 
     present situation, due process was scrupulously observed. 
     Twenty-four years ago, a Republican president was under 
     investigation by a Democratic House.
       The Judiciary Committee spent seven weeks in closed 
     session, reviewing Judge Sirica's grand jury materials prior 
     to their release. President Nixon's lawyers were permitted 
     not only to participate in these sessions, but to cross-
     examine witnesses before their testimony was made public.
       While there are obviously major differences between the 
     current controversy and the Watergate affair, President 
     Clinton is entitled to the same due process protections 
     afforded President Nixon in the course of that investigation.
       In fact, the case for preserving the confidentiality of the 
     evidence is even stronger here than it was in the Watergate 
     case. Mr. Starr's grand jury has made no findings whatsoever 
     with respect to the evidence. The material we have consists 
     merely of selected portions of what the prosecutor put before 
     the grand jury, together with his interpretation of that 
     material. The jurors were never asked whether they thought 
     that the videotape--or any other testimony--provided credible 
     evidence of perjury or other wrongdoing. Having used the 
     grand jury as a tool to gather information, the Independent 
     Counsel bypassed it as a fact-finding body.
       That is his prerogative. But the Judiciary Committee has a 
     duty to see that the material provided to use is handled 
     appropriately. If we act carelessly, and in haste, we will 
     not only cripple this President, but will do lasting harm to 
     the values and institutions we hold most dear.
                                  ____


    Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts 
Regarding House Resolution 525, Providing for Release of the Report of 
              the Independent Counsel--September 11, 1998

       Mr. Speaker, two days ago, after months of speculation, 
     leaks and revelations, the report of the Independent Counsel 
     was delivered to the House of Representatives. If this 
     resolution is approved this morning, the report will be in 
     the hands of millions of people around the globe by three 
     o'clock this afternoon.
       I certainly agree that the report should be released. That 
     is not even an issue. It will be released. The only question 
     is when and how it should be done. For in exercising the 
     responsibilities that the Constitution has thrust upon us, we 
     must be sure that we proceed in a manner that observes the 
     principles of fundamental fairness that are at the heart of 
     that document.
       Only then will the American people accept the results, 
     whatever they may be. Only then will we begin to restore the 
     shaken confidence of the nation in its political 
     institutions.
       In that regard, Mr. Speaker, I consider the resolution 
     before us today to be our first test. For in deciding the 
     terms under which the highly sensitive material contained in 
     the report should be released to the public, we must weigh 
     carefully the benefits of immediate disclosure against the 
     damage this might do to the fairness of the investigation.
       If the resolution is agreed to, the entire 445 pages of the 
     report will be posted on the Internet this very afternoon. 
     Not a page of it will have been examined beforehand by any 
     member of the Committee. Not one page will have been seen 
     first by the President and his attorneys.
       Some have argued that we should release the report because 
     the essence of it has already been leaked to the press and 
     appears in this morning's editions. If that is true, it is to 
     be deplored, and the Independent Counsel should have to 
     answer for it. But we should not endorse the unauthorized 
     disclosure of pieces of the report by prematurely releasing 
     the rest of it.
       Some have argued that the President already knows what is 
     in the report because he is the subject of it. This argument 
     suggests, at best, a poor understanding of what goes into a 
     prosecutor's report.
       Some have argued that we should go ahead and release the 
     report because there are still some 2,000 pages of supporting 
     material that will not be released without Committee review, 
     and this will be sufficient to prevent irreparable harm to 
     lives and reputations. They cite Mr. Starr's request that we 
     treat certain information in the supporting material as 
     confidential, apparently inferring that the information in 
     the report itself does not require such treatment. Yet Mr. 
     Starr did not say this. And even if he had, it is for this 
     House to determine what information should be disclosed. We 
     should not abdicate that responsibility to the Independent 
     Counsel.
       Apart from whatever damage the abrupt disclosure of the 
     report might cause to innocent third parties, it will clearly 
     be prejudicial to the President's defense. If the Independent 
     Counsel has done his job, the case he has constructed will be 
     a persuasive one. Prosecutors have enormous power to shape 
     the evidence presented to the grand jury. And--at least at 
     the federal level--they have no obligation to apprise the 
     jurors of exculpatory evidence. The case will seem airtight. 
     Yet until the evidence has withstood cross-examination and 
     the allegations have been proven, they remain nothing more 
     than allegations.
       Presidents, no less than ordinary citizens, are entitled to 
     the presumption of innocence. They are entitled to confront 
     the charges against them. Yet, if we adopt this resolution, 
     by the time President Clinton is accorded that right, the 
     charges against him will have circled the globe many times. 
     They will be all the public reads and hears. They will take 
     on a life of their own, and the case will be tried, not by 
     Congress, but in the court of public opinion.
       Given these risks, why rush to judgment, Mr. Speaker? After 
     so many months, what possible harm can come from allowing the 
     counsel for the President a few days to review the report so 
     that they can tell his side of the story?
       In the one historical precedent we have to look to, that is 
     precisely what was done. Twenty-four years ago, a Republican 
     president was under investigation by a Democratic House. 
     President Nixon's lawyers were permitted to participate in 
     seven weeks of closed sessions, as the Judiciary Committee 
     conducted a confidential review of Judge Sirica's grand jury 
     materials prior to their release. The counsel to the 
     President was even allowed to cross-examine witnesses before 
     their testimony was made public.
       Whatever the differences may be between the current 
     controversy and the Watergate affairs, President Clinton 
     should receive the same due process protections accorded to 
     President Nixon in the course of that investigation.
       If the people of the United States are to accept our 
     verdict--whatever it may be--they must have confidence in the 
     fairness and integrity of our deliberations. That--far more 
     than the fate of one particular president--is what is at 
     stake.
                                  ____


Dissenting Views of the Honorable William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts 
    Concerning the Resolution Relating to an Inquiry of Impeachment

       I oppose the resolution of inquiry as reported by the 
     Judiciary Committee. I do so based on the concerns expressed 
     in the Minority's dissenting views, and for the additional 
     reasons set forth below.


                                   i

       On September 9, 1998, Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr 
     referred information to

[[Page H11887]]

     the House that he alleged may constitute grounds for 
     impeaching the President. In the 30 days that have elapsed 
     since our receipt of that referral, neither the Judiciary 
     Committee nor any other congressional committee has conducted 
     even a preliminary independent review of the allegations it 
     contains.
       In the absence of such a review, we have no basis for 
     knowing whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an 
     inquiry--other than the assertion of the Independent Counsel 
     himself that his information is ``substantial and credible'' 
     and ``may constitute grounds for impeachment.''
       I believe that our failure to conduct so much as a cursory 
     examination before launching an impeachment proceeding is an 
     abdication of our responsibility under Article II of the 
     Constitution of the United States. By delegating that 
     responsibility to the Independent Counsel, we sanction an 
     encroachment upon the Executive Branch that could upset the 
     delicate equilibrium among the three branches of government 
     that is our chief protection against tyranny. In so doing, we 
     fulfill the prophecy of Justice Scalia, whose dissent in 
     Morrison versus Olson (487 U.S. 654, 697 (1988)) foretold 
     with uncanny accuracy the situation that confronts us.


                                   ii

       The danger perceived by Justice Scalia flows from the 
     nature of the prosecutorial function itself. He quoted a 
     famous passage from an address by Justice Jackson, which 
     described the enormous power that comes with ``prosecutorial 
     discretion'': ``What every prosecutor is practically required 
     to do is to select the cases . . . in which the offense is 
     most flagrant, the public harm, the greatest, and the proof 
     the most certain. . . . If the prosecutor is obliged to 
     choose his case, it follows that he can choose his 
     defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power of the 
     prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should 
     get, rather than cases that need to be prosecuted. With the 
     law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a 
     prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a 
     technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. 
     In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the 
     commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has 
     committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then 
     searching the law books, or putting investigations to work, 
     to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm--in which the 
     prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to 
     embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and 
     then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse 
     of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement 
     becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being 
     unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being 
     attached to the wrong political views, or being personally 
     obnoxious to or in the way of the prosecutor himself. 
     Morrison, 487 U.S. 654, 728 (Scalia, J., dissenting), quoting 
     Robert Jackson, The Federal Prosecutor, Address Delivered at 
     the Second Annual Conference of United States Attorneys 
     (April 1, 1940).''
       The tendency toward prosecutorial abuse is held in check 
     through the mechanism of political accountability. When 
     federal prosecutors overreach, ultimate responsibility rests 
     with the president who appointed them. But the Independent 
     Counsel is subject to no such constraints. He is appointed, 
     not by the president or any other elected official, but by a 
     panel of judges with life tenure. If the judges select a 
     prosecutor who is antagonistic to the administration, ``there 
     is no remedy for that, not even a political one.'' 487 U.S. 
     654, 730 (Scalia, J., dissenting). Nor is there a political 
     remedy (short of removal for cause) when the Independent 
     Counsel perpetuates an investigation that should be brought 
     to an end: ``What would normally be regarded as a technical 
     violation (there are no rules defining such things), may in 
     his or her small world assume the proportions of an 
     indictable offense. What would normally be regarded as an 
     investigation that has reached the level of pursuing such 
     picayune matters that it should be concluded, may to him or 
     her be an investigation that ought to go on for another year. 
     487 U.S. 654, 732 (Scalia, J., dissenting).''
       Under the Independent Counsel Act, there is no political 
     remedy at any point--unless and until the Independent Counsel 
     refers allegations of impeachable offenses to the House of 
     Representatives under section 595(c). At that point, the 
     statute gives way to the ultimate political remedy: the 
     impeachment power entrusted to the House of Representatives 
     under Article II of the Constitution.


                                  iii

       Section 595(c) of the Independent Counsel Act provides 
     that: ``An independent counsel shall advise the House of 
     Representatives of any substantial and credible information 
     which such independent counsel receives, in carrying out the 
     independent counsel's responsibilities under this chapter, 
     that may constitute grounds for an impeachment. 28 U.S.C. 
     595(c).''
       The statute is silent as to what the House is to do once it 
     receives this information. But under Article II, it is the 
     House--and not the Independent Counsel--which is charged with 
     the determination of whether and how to conduct an 
     impeachment inquiry. He is not our agent, and we cannot allow 
     his judgments to be substituted for our own. Nor can we 
     delegate to him our constitutional responsibilities.
       Never in our history--until today--has the House sought to 
     proceed with a presidential impeachment inquiry based solely 
     on the raw allegations of a single prosecutor. The dangers of 
     our doing so have been ably described by Judge Bork, who has 
     written that: ``It is time we abandoned the myth of the need 
     for an independent counsel and faced the reality of what that 
     institution has too often become. We must also face another 
     reality. A culture of irresponsibility has grown up around 
     the independent-counsel law. Congress, the press, and regular 
     prosecutors have found it too easy to wait for the 
     appointment of an independent counsel and then to rely upon 
     him rather than pursue their own constitutional and ethical 
     obligations. Robert H. Bork, Poetic Injustice, National 
     Review, February 23, 1998, at 45, 46 (emphasis added).''
       We must not fall prey to that temptation. For when 
     impeachment is contemplated, the only check against 
     overzealous prosecution is the House of Representatives. That 
     is why--whatever the merits of the specific allegations 
     contained in the Starr referral--we cannot simply take them 
     on faith. Before we embark on impeachment proceedings that 
     will further traumatize the nation and distract us from the 
     people's business, we have a duty to determine for ourselves 
     whether there is ``probable cause'' that warrants a full-
     blown inquiry. And we have not done that.


                                   IV

       What will happen if we fail in this duty? We will turn the 
     Independent Counsel Act into a political weapon with an 
     automatic trigger--a weapon aimed at every future president.
       In Morrison, Justice Scalia predicted that the Act would 
     lead to encroachments upon the Executive Branch that could 
     destabilize the constitutional separation of powers among the 
     three branches of government. He cited the debilitating 
     effects upon the presidency of a sustained and virtually 
     unlimited investigation, the leverage it would give the 
     Congress in intergovernmental disputes, and the other 
     negative pressures that would be brought to bear upon the 
     decision making process.
       Whether these ill-effects warrant the abolition or 
     modification of the Independent Counsel Act is a matter which 
     the House will consider in due course. For the present, we 
     should at least do nothing to exacerbate the problem. Most of 
     all, we must be sure we do not carry it to its logical 
     conclusion by approving an impeachment inquiry based solely 
     on the Independent Counsel's allegations. If all a 
     president's political adversaries must do to launch an 
     impeachment proceeding is secure the appointment of an 
     Independent Counsel and await his referral, we could do 
     permanent injury to the presidency and our system of 
     government itself.


                                   V

       If the House approves this resolution, it will not be the 
     first time in the course of this unfortunate episode that it 
     has abdicated its responsibility to ensure due process and 
     conduct an independent review. It did so when it rushed to 
     release Mr. Starr's narrative within hours of its receipt, 
     before either the Judiciary Committee or the President's 
     counsel had any opportunity to examine it. It also did so 
     when the committee released 7,000 pages of secret grand jury 
     testimony and other documents hand-picked by the Independent 
     Counsel--putting at risk the rights of the accused, 
     jeopardizing future prosecutions, and subverting the grand 
     jury system itself by allowing it to be misused for political 
     purposes.
       These actions stand in stark contrast to the process used 
     during the last impeachment inquiry undertaken by the House--
     the Watergate investigation of 1974. In that year, the 
     Judiciary Committee spent weeks behind closed doors, poring 
     over evidence gathered from a wide variety of sources--
     including the Ervin Committee and Judge Sirica's grand jury 
     report, as well as the report of the Watergate Special 
     Prosecutor. All before a single document was released. 
     Witnesses were examined and cross-examined by the President's 
     own counsel. Confidential material, including secret grand 
     jury testimony, was never made public. In fact, nearly a 
     generation later it remains under seal. The Rodino committee 
     managed to transcend partisanship at a critical moment in our 
     national life, and set a standard of fairness that earned it 
     the lasting respect of the American people.
       Today the Majority makes much of the claim that their 
     resolution adopts the language that was used during the 
     Watergate hearings. While it may be the same language, it is 
     not the same process. Too much damage has been done in the 
     weeks leading up to this vote for the Majority to claim with 
     credibility that it is honoring the Watergate precedent. But 
     it is not too late for us to learn from the mistakes of the 
     last three weeks. If we adopt a fair, thoughtful, focused and 
     bipartisan process, I am confident that the American people 
     will honor our efforts and embrace our conclusions, whatever 
     they may be.
                                  ____


    Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts 
 Regarding H. Res. 581, Authorizing the Committee on the Judiciary to 
  Investigate Whether Sufficient Grounds Exist for the Impeachment of 
 William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States--October 8, 
                                  1998

       Mr. Speaker, I ask permission to revise and extend my 
     remarks.

[[Page H11888]]

       Let me first express my affection and respect for my 
     chairman, the Gentleman from Illinois. If Mr. Hyde says he 
     hopes to complete this inquiry by the end of the year, I know 
     he will do all he can to make good on that promise.
       But if we adopt this resolution, the chairman's good 
     intentions will not be enough to prevent this inquiry from 
     consuming not only the remainder of this year but most of 
     next year as well.
       Nine days ago, I joined with Mr. Berman, Mr. Graham and Mr. 
     Hutchinson in a bipartisan letter asking Chairman Hyde and 
     our ranking member, Mr. Conyers, to contact the Independent 
     Counsel--before we begin in inquiry--to ask him whether he 
     plans to send us any additional referrals.
       They wrote to Judge Starr on October 2, and I wish to 
     inform the House that last night we received his reply. He 
     said, and I quote, ``I can confirm at this time that matters 
     continue to be under active investigation and review by this 
     Office. Consequently, I cannot foreclose the possibility of 
     providing the House of Representative with additional 
     [referrals].''
       There you have it, Mr. Speaker. Despite the fact that both 
     Mr. Hyde and Mr. Conyers had urged the Independent Counsel to 
     complete his work before transmitting any referral to the 
     House, what he has given us is essentially an interim report.
       As the Starr investigation enters its fifth year, we face 
     the prospect that we will begin our inquiry only to receive 
     additional referrals in midstream. Under this open-ended 
     resolution, each subsequent referral will become part of an 
     ever-expanding ripple of allegations. With no end in sight.
       That is not a process, Mr. Speaker. It's a blank check. And 
     I believe it's more than the American people will stand for.
       They do not want us traumatizing the country and paralyzing 
     the government for another year when we don't even know 
     whether there is ``probable cause'' to begin an inquiry. And 
     they don't want us abdicating our constitutional 
     responsibility to an unelected prosecutor and accepting his 
     referral on faith.
       If we do that--if all a president's adversaries have to do 
     to start an impeachment proceeding is secure the appointment 
     of an Independent Counsel and await his referral--then we 
     will have turned the Independent Counsel Act into a political 
     weapon with an automatic trigger--a weapon aimed at every 
     future president.
       What the people want is a process that is fair. A process 
     that is focused. And a process that will put this sad episode 
     behind us with all deliberate speed.
       The Majority resolution does not meet those standards. Our 
     alternative does. It provide for the Judiciary Committee to 
     determine first whether any of the allegations would amount 
     to impeachment offenses if proven. Only if the answer to that 
     question is ``yes'' would we proceed to inquire into whether 
     those allegations are true. The entire process would end by 
     December 31st--the target date chosen by Chairman Hyde 
     himself--unless the committee asks for additional time.
       Mr. Speaker, that is a fair and responsible way to do our 
     job. It is also the only way to ensure that when that job is 
     done, the American people will embrace our conclusions, 
     whatever the may be.
                                  ____


  Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts in 
 Support of This Motion To Allow Counsel to the President Two Hours in 
 Which To Question the Independent Counsel--Thursday, November 19, 1998

       Mr. Chairman, I have a motion at the desk and ask for its 
     consideration.
       Mr. Chairman, the committee has given the Independent 
     Counsel a full two hours to present his version of the case--
     a version with which most Americans are already fully 
     familiar on the basis of the 60,000 pages of material he has 
     already submitted.
       At the same time, the committee has seen fit to give the 
     President's counsel all of 30 minutes to question Mr. Starr. 
     This is meant to be the President's sole opportunity to 
     confront his accuser during these proceedings.
       I believe this does a grave disservice, not only to the 
     President but to the integrity of these proceedings. It is a 
     complete and unwarranted departure from the precedents of 
     this House.
       During the Watergate hearings of 1974, President Nixon's 
     counsel, Mr. James St. Clair, was given all the time he 
     needed to respond to the evidence and cross-examine 
     witnesses. This is as it should be, Mr. Chairman. We are 
     talking about the impeachment of the President of the United 
     States, not a tariff schedule.
       I know that some members of the Watergate committee argued 
     that the President's counsel, Mr. St. Clair, should be given 
     limited time to speak. But those views were wisely overruled 
     in the interest of fairness and decency. President Clinton is 
     entitled to the same consideration and respect shown to 
     President Nixon on the occasion. No more, and no less.
       The record of the Watergate hearings makes clear that at no 
     time was Mr. St. Clair restricted to a particular time limit 
     for his presentation or his examination of witnesses. Let me 
     cite just three passages from the record. On June 27, 1974, 
     Chairman Rodino noted that Mr. St. Clair had requested one or 
     two days to make his oral response to the initial 
     presentation of the evidence, but that St. Clair ``expressed 
     to me that he hoped he might be able to conclude his 
     presentation, if it is at all possible, today. This is not 
     restrictive.''
       On July 18, 1974, Chairman Rodino recognized Mr. St. Clair 
     for an additional response at the conclusion of the evidence, 
     and noted--over the objections of some Democratic members--
     that ``he is going to take at least an hour and a half.''
       Finally, the record of the Watergate hearings makes clear 
     that Mr. St. Clair cross-examined each of various witnesses, 
     including William Bittman, Charles Colson, and John Dean, for 
     as much as 1\1/2\ to 2 hours. On no occasion was he 
     interrupted by the chairman, nor did he ever run out of time.
       Is there any legitimate basis for applying a different rule 
     today? The majority may point out that the Watergate 
     testimony was heard in closed session, while today we sit 
     before the cameras and the public. Yet, that being true, it 
     is more important, not less, that the President be given a 
     full and fair opportunity to respond to the charges that are 
     being leveled against him.
       They may argue--as they did in a recent letter to the White 
     House--that the President and his counsel are here ``only as 
     a matter of courtesy and not of right.'' In other words, ``be 
     glad we are letting you testify at all.'' With all due 
     respect, Mr. Chairman, if the goal is justice, this cannot be 
     a satisfactory response.
       A 30-minute presentation is especially inadequate when one 
     considers that Mr. Starr has been preparing for weeks a 
     presentation that the White House saw for the first time last 
     night. According to news accounts, the witness has spent the 
     better part of the past several weeks conducting videotaped 
     practice sessions. The President's counsel has had all of 16 
     hours to prepare his response.
       I wish I could say that this sort of unfairness were an 
     exception to an otherwise fair proceeding. But in fact it 
     continues a pattern that has characterized this entire 
     investigation. The Committee has abandoned precedent at 
     almost every turn--rushing to release Mr. Starr's report 
     within hours of its receipt, before either the Judiciary 
     Committee or the President's counsel had any opportunity to 
     examine it. Posting on the Internet thousands of pages of 
     secret grand jury testimony without regard to the rights of 
     the accused, the course of future prosecutions, and the 
     integrity of the grand jury system itself. And abdicating its 
     own responsibility to make an independent examination of the 
     charges before voting to commence an impeachment inquiry.
       Enough is enough, Mr. Chairman. Let's do one thing right. I 
     urge support for the motion and yield back the balance of my 
     time.
                                  ____


   Opening Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt, Judiciary 
Committee Markup of the Proposed Articles of Impeachment--December 10, 
                                  1998

       Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask you to suppose you're an 
     ordinary citizen summoned to defend yourself in court.
       You don't know what you're charged with, because there's 
     been no indictment.
       The prosecutor has spent four years investigating your 
     financial dealings. But when you get to the courtroom, he 
     only wants to talk about sexual indiscretions.
       He sends the jury a 445-page report telling just his side 
     of the story, and releases thousands of pages of secret grand 
     jury testimony to the public.
       He calls none of the witnesses quoted in his report, so you 
     can't challenge their veracity.
       In fact, he calls only one witness. Himself. Then it turns 
     out he's never even met your chief accuser.
       The judge allows new charges to be raised in the midst of 
     the trial, then drops them again.
       He warns that you will be convicted if you do not offer a 
     defense. Then, when you do so, he tells you not to hide 
     behind ``legal technicalities.''
       The scene I've just described wasn't dreamed up by George 
     Orwell of Franz Kafka. It's not a Cold War account of a 
     Soviet show trial. In fact, it's similar to what's taken 
     place here--in America--during the course of this impeachment 
     investigation.
       We are about to vote to impeach the President of the United 
     States on charges that would never even have been brought 
     against an ordinary citizen.
       We have delegated our constitutional duty to substantiate 
     those charges to an unelected prosecutor.
       We have called no witnesses to testify to the charges--
     except the prosecutor himself. And he admitted he has no 
     personal knowledge of the facts--and never even met Ms. 
     Lewinsky.
       None of his witnesses were subject to cross-examination to 
     test their credibility--despite Mr. Schippers' statement that 
     they should be.
       Having put before the public a one-sided case for the 
     prosecution, some members of this committee have suggested 
     that the President has the burden of proving his innocence. 
     When he has attempted to do so, those same members have 
     accused him of ``splitting hairs.''
       We have required the President's counsel to prepare his 
     defense without knowing what formal charges would be brought. 
     And we released articles of impeachment to the press before 
     Mr. Ruff had even finished his presentation.
       At our hearing the other day, one of my Republican 
     colleagues alluded to those he considers ``real Americans.'' 
     To me, the real

[[Page H11889]]

     America is a land where every person--whether pauper or 
     President--is accorded due process of law.
       Due process has nothing to do with ``legal hairsplitting.'' 
     It has everything to do with requiring those who wield the 
     awesome power of the State to meet their burden of proof. 
     That is what distinguishes this country from a totalitarian 
     one. That is the genius of a Constitution crafted by men who 
     knew and understood the nature of tyranny.
       As former U.S. Attorney Sullivan testified, those who 
     complain most loudly about such ``technicalities'' are the 
     first to resort to them when it is they who stand accused.
       For weeks, members of the majority have cited the famous 
     passage from A Man for All Seasons, in which Thomas More 
     defends the rule of law against those who would ``cut down 
     every law in England'' to ``get after the Devil.'' More says, 
     and I quote, ``And when the last law was down, and the Devil 
     turned round on you--where would you hide, the laws all being 
     flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to 
     coast--Man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down-- and 
     you're just the man to do it--d'you really think you could 
     stand upright in the winds that would blow then? . . . 
     Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own 
     safety's sake.''
       We would all do well to ponder those words, Mr. Chairman. 
     For though we have invoked the rule of law, we have failed to 
     embrace it. How can the American people accept our verdict, 
     unless they are satisfied that we have conducted ourselves in 
     as orderly, deliberate and responsible a fashion as did the 
     Watergate committee in 1974?
       Chairman Rodino did not proceed with the Nixon impeachment 
     until it was clear that it had substantial bipartisan 
     support. Chairman Hyde began these proceedings by observing 
     that without such consensus, impeachment ought not go 
     forward.
       Yet this has been the most partisan impeachment inquiry 
     since the infamous trial of Andrew Johnson five generations 
     ago. It is like a runaway train.
       Within the committee, some of us have attempted to apply 
     the brakes, developing a respectful--though ultimately 
     unsuccessful--dialogue with our colleagues across the aisle. 
     Elsewhere, growing numbers of thoughtful Republican leaders--
     from Governor Racicot of Montana to Governor Rowland of 
     Connecticut--have expressed dismay. Yet the train continues 
     to gather speed.
       From my own perspective, this isn't even about President 
     Clinton anymore. That he deserves our condemnation is beyond 
     all doubt. But as President Ford has written, the fate of one 
     particular President is less important than preserving public 
     confidence in our civic institutions themselves.
       Article II of the Constitution provides a mechanism for 
     removing our Presidents. It's called an election, and it 
     happens every four years.
       Whatever the Founders meant by ``high Crimes and 
     Misdemeanors,'' the one thing that seems certain is that 
     impeachment should be reserved for situations in which the 
     incumbent poses so grave a danger to the Republic that he 
     must be replaced ahead of schedule.
       Last year the House debated proposed term limits for 
     Members of Congress. One of the most respected leaders of the 
     House led the fight against that legislation, choosing 
     principle over party.
       In his speech, he said, and I quote: ``The right to vote is 
     the heart and soul, it is the essence of democracy. . . . 
     [O]ur task today is to defend the consent of the governed, 
     not to assault it. Do not give up on democracy. Trust the 
     people''.
       The author of those eloquent words is my friend, the 
     Honorable Henry Hyde of Illinois. I remind you of those words 
     today, Mr. Speaker, not to throw them back at you, but 
     because it seems to me that ``the consent of the governed'' 
     is again under assault, and we sorely need such eloquence 
     again.
       The President committed serious indiscretions. In the 
     effort to conceal his misdeeds, he compounded them, abusing 
     the trust of those closet to him and deliberately, cynically, 
     lying to the American people.
       Knowing this, the people went to the polls on November 
     third and rendered their verdict. And it is illegitimate for 
     a lame-duck Congress to defy the will of the electorate on a 
     matter of such profound significance.
       The voters did not condone the President's behavior. Far 
     from it. But they knew the difference between misdeeds that 
     merit reproach and abuses of office that require a 
     constitutional coup d'etat.
       Some have said we are just a ``grand jury,'' whose only 
     role is to endorse the prosecutor's conclusion that there is 
     probable cause to indict. And don't worry, they say--the 
     Senate won't convict.
       This view is both dangerous and irresponsible. Impeachment 
     is not some routine punishment for Presidents who fall short 
     of our expectations. It's the political equivalent of the 
     death penalty, with grave consequences for the nation that 
     all of us--Republicans and Democrats--so dearly love.
       We should not use the ultimate sanction when there is an 
     alternative at hand: the joint resolution which my colleagues 
     and I intend to offer, expressing our disapproval of the 
     President's misbehavior and censuring him for it.
       If the President really did commit perjury or other 
     criminal acts, the law will deal with him in due course. Our 
     job is to safeguard the Constitution. And the principal of 
     popular sovereignty that is in the stirring words of Henry 
     Hyde, its ``heart and soul.''
       There is still time to trust the people, Mr. Chairman. Let 
     us do so before it is too late.

Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt Regarding Article III of 
        the Proposed Articles of Impeachment--December 11, 1998

       Mr. Chairman, during our hearing last week, we heard 
     testimony from Charles Wiggins, a Federal judge who served as 
     a Republican member of this committee at the time of the 
     Watergate inquiry.
       Judge Wiggins testified that the Watergate committee heard 
     directly from a multitude of witnesses, including Bob 
     Haldeman, John Erlichman, John Dean, and other members of 
     President Nixon's inner circle.
       That testimony enabled the committee to make its own 
     findings of fact with respect to the allegations against the 
     President.
       That is what distinguishes their investigation from our 
     own. We have not heard from a single witness who can assist 
     us in making findings of fact with respect to the allegations 
     in the Starr report. Not one.
       Let me offer just one concrete example of why this concerns 
     me.
       One count in the proposed Article of Impeachment alleges 
     that the President ``corruptly engaged in, encouraged, or 
     supported a scheme to conceal evidence that had been 
     subpoenaed'' in the Paula Jones case.
       Translation: the President asked his secretary, Betty 
     Currie, to retrieve certain gifts which he had given to 
     Monica Lewinsky, in an effort to conceal their relationship.
       It is undisputed that Ms. Lewinsky returned the gifts to 
     Ms. Currie. She did so on December 28, 1997. The key question 
     is whether the President asked Ms. Currie to retrieve the 
     gifts, or whether Ms. Lewinsky made her own arrangements to 
     return the gifts without Mr. Clinton's involvement.
       On Wednesday, the Independent Counsel released a statement 
     to the press, taking issue with Mr. Ruff's presentation to 
     this committee, and claiming that the President's involvement 
     is substantiated by the billing records from Ms. Currie's 
     cellular telephone account.
       The records--which Mr. Schippers used in his closing 
     statement to the committee--indicate that a one-minute call 
     was placed from Ms. Currie's cell phone to Ms. Lewinsky's 
     telephone number on December 28, 1997 at 3:32 p.m.
       In his press release, the Independent Counsel claims that 
     Ms. Currie placed this call for the purpose of arranging to 
     pick up the gifts from Ms. Lewinsky.
       In his closing statement to the committee, Mr. Schippers 
     made much of this document. He said that it--and I quote--
     ``corroborates Monica Lewinsky and proves conclusively that 
     Ms. Currie called Monica from her cell phone several hours 
     after she had left the White House.''
       ``Why did Betty Currie pick up the gifts from Ms. 
     Lewinsky?'' Mr. Schippers asked. And he answered, ``The facts 
     strongly suggest the President directed her to do so.''
       That is his support for the charge that President sought to 
     conceal evidence.
       But there's a problem with this evidence. It is directly, 
     explicitly contradicted by the FBI report of the interview 
     with Monica Lewinsky of July 27 of this year.
       That report, which appears in the first appendix to the 
     Starr referral on page 1396, says, and I quote, ``Lewinsky 
     met Currie on 28th Street outside Lewinsky's apartment at 
     about 2:00 p.m. and gave Currie the box of gifts.''
       This raises the following question. If the gift exchange 
     had already taken place at 2:00, how could the telephone call 
     placed at 3:32 have been for the purpose of arranging it?
       This is an inconsistency--one of many troubling 
     inconsistencies--in the documents themselves. Yet this 
     potentially exculpatory fact--taken from materials in the 
     possession of the Independent Counsel--was never acknowledged 
     by Mr. Starr. Nor was it acknowledged by the Mr. Schippers.
       Both of them affirmatively led the committee to believe 
     that the call was for the purpose of arranging for Ms. Currie 
     to pick up the gifts.
       And now we are preparing to vote on an article of 
     impeachment that is substantially based on that telephone 
     call.
       What was the purpose of the call? We don't know. It appears 
     that the investigators never asked. And we have never had the 
     opportunity to ask. Because we have not heard from the 
     witnesses themselves.
       This is no way to conduct an inquiry, Mr. Chairman. It is a 
     disgrace. And it is an insult to the rule of law.

 Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt In Support of a Joint 
 Resolution Expressing the Sense of Congress Regarding the Censure of 
              William Jefferson Clinton--December 12, 1998

       Mr. Chairman, over the past 24 hours this committee has 
     voted along strict party lines to approve four articles of 
     impeachment against the President of the United States.
       In my view, this was reckless and irresponsible.
       Impeachment is not a punishment to be imposed on Presidents 
     who fall short of our expectations.
       It's last resort--an ultimate sanction--to be used only 
     when a President's actions pose a threat to the Republic so 
     great as to compel his removal before his term has ended.
       Impeachment should be considered only when there is no 
     alternative. In this case, we had an alternative. The House 
     still does.
       I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, for allowing this 
     resolution to come to a vote. I

[[Page H11890]]

     have no doubt that you were under great pressure not to do 
     so, and I applaud you for recognizing that it was the fair 
     and proper thing to do.
       I can only hope that Speaker-Elect Livingston will emulate 
     your political courage and allow us a vote on the floor as 
     well.
       Because this resolution expresses the overwhelming 
     sentiments of the American people--
       --That the President committed serious indiscretions with a 
     subordinate.
       --That in the effort to conceal his misdeeds, he compounded 
     them--abusing the trust of those closest to him and 
     deliberately, cynically, lying to the American people.
       --That these actions warrant condemnation--but not 
     impeachment.
       The resolution doesn't mince words. It denounces the 
     President's behavior sternly and unambiguously. In plain, 
     simple English.
       It acknowledges that the President is not above the law--
     like every citizen, he remains subject to whatever penalties 
     a court might impose on him at some future date.
       This language may be too harsh for some; too lenient for 
     others. But its purpose should be clear to all.
       Censure has been endorsed by no less a luminary than 
     President Ford, who called it ``dignified, honest and, above 
     all, cleansing.'' he added--and I quote--``at 85, I have no 
     personal or political agenda, nor do I have any interest in 
     `rescuing' Bill Clinton. But I do care, passionately, about 
     rescuing the country I love from further turmoil and 
     uncertainty.''
       Those are sentiments with which most Americans--including 
     many prominent Republicans--agree. Yesterday, Governor Pataki 
     of New York became just the latest to announce his support 
     for censure.
       Yet some insist that a censure of the President would be 
     unconstitutional. Why? Because the Constitution does not 
     mention censure. It's ``impeachment or nothing,'' we are 
     told.
       That's absurd. We have ample discretion to do either, as 
     two-thirds of the constitutional experts called to testify by 
     both Democrats and Republicans agreed.
       The Constitution--in the words of Justice Jackson--is not a 
     suicide pact. It does not compel us to detonate a nuclear 
     explosion when light artillery will do.
       Others oppose censure because they believe it's just a 
     ``slap on the wrist.'' That was not how Andrew Jackson saw it 
     when the Senate censured him in 1834. He was humiliated. 
     Eventually, the Senate repealed its rebuke, and Jackson's 
     proudest possession was the pen used to strike the words of 
     censure from the Senate Journal.
       Finally, some have claimed that censure would ``short-
     circuit'' the impeachment process. They insist on going 
     forward, but assure us that once we've launched our nuclear 
     missile, we can rely on the Senator to destroy it before it 
     hits its target.
       Saying, in effect, ``I would prefer that the President not 
     be removed, but I am willing to put the country through the 
     upheaval of a Senate trial nonetheless.''
       I submit that this is an abdication of a solemn duty--which 
     cannot be delegated--to the Senator or anyone else.
       If we truly believe that the President should not be 
     removed from office, we have a better option. Censure him. 
     And preserve the Constitution.
                                  ____


Statement of the Honorable William D. Delahunt of Massachusetts in the 
   Matter of the Impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton--
                           December 17, 1998

       Mr. Speaker, I neither condone nor excuse the President's 
     admitted misdeeds. They are deserving of censure and rebuke.
       But they are not a constitutionally sufficient basis for 
     impeachment. Those who are driving this runaway train have 
     failed to establish that the President poses a danger to the 
     Republic that requires his removal before his term has 
     expired.
       What does endanger the Republic is a wholly partisan 
     impeachment based on a slapdash investigation that has 
     violated every rule of due process.
       Public confidence in the rule of law is ultimately more 
     important than the fate of one particular President. And the 
     official lawlessness that has characterized this 
     investigation has done far more to shake that confidence than 
     anything of which the President stands accused.
       The Constitution imposes upon this House a solemn 
     obligation--which it may not delegate to the Independent 
     Counsel or any other individual--to conduct a thorough and 
     independent examination of the allegations and make its own 
     findings of fact.
       Yet we have not done this. The committee did not call a 
     single witness who could testify to the facts. Instead, we 
     have abdicated that responsibility to an unelected prosecutor 
     and rubber-stamped his conclusions. Conclusions based on 
     grand jury testimony and other information--much of it 
     ambiguous and contradictory--whose credibility has never been 
     tested through cross-examination.
       This fraudulent investigation is insufficient--as a matter 
     of law--to form a factual basis for the charges set forth in 
     the articles of impeachment. If we impeach nonetheless--as 
     some are determined to do--we will lower the bar for all 
     future impeachments.
       We will sanction an encroachment upon the Executive Branch 
     that could upset the delicate equilibrium among the three 
     branches of government that is our chief protection against 
     tyranny.
       Presidents are not above the law. But even Presidents are 
     entitled to due process. This investigation has violated due 
     process at every turn. Publishing the Starr referral--
     including thousands of pages of secret grand jury testimony--
     before either the committee or the President's counsel had 
     any opportunity to examine it. Launching a formal impeachment 
     inquiry without even a cursory review of the allegations. 
     Requiring the President's counsel to prepare his defense 
     without knowing what charges would be brought. And releasing 
     these articles of impeachment--drafted in secrecy by the 
     Majority alone--before the President's counsel had even 
     finished his presentation to the committee.
       Having put before the public a one-sided case for the 
     prosecution, some members of the Majority actually suggested 
     that the President had the burden of proving his innocence. 
     When he attempted to do so, those same members accused him of 
     ``splitting hairs.''
       It isn't ``splitting hairs'' to insist that those who wield 
     the awesome power of the State meet their burden of proof. 
     That is what distinguishes a free country from a totalitarian 
     one. And somehow it is those who complain most loudly about 
     such ``technicalities'' who are the first to resort to them 
     when it is they who stand accused.
       What a contrast between these proceedings and those of 24 
     years ago! During the Watergate crisis, the Rodino committee 
     managed to transcend partisanship at a critical moment in our 
     national life, and set a standard of fairness that earned it 
     the lasting respect of the American people.
       I had hoped that our proceedings would be equally fair, 
     thorough and bipartisan, and that--whatever our verdict might 
     be--our efforts would be found as worthy of praise.
       I do not believe that will be the case, Mr. Speaker. I 
     believe history will judge us harshly for what we are about 
     to do.
       There is still time--even at this late hour--to pull back 
     from the brink. We can still spare the nation the turmoil and 
     uncertainty of a Senate trial through a vote that censures 
     the President of his misconduct. That is the alternative 
     favored by a clear majority of the American people.
       We can register our support for censure by voting ``yes'' 
     on the motion to recommit which will be offered by Mr. 
     Boucher at the conclusion of this debate--to return this 
     matter to the Judiciary Committee and demand that they bring 
     a censure resolution to the floor.
       As we stand on the edge of an impeachment vote for only the 
     second time in our history, we can only hope that the 
     democracy that has survived so many storms will weather this 
     crisis as well. And that our reckless actions will not do 
     lasting damage to the country that we all so dearly love.

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Ryun).
  Mr. RYUN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. RYUN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the four articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, regretfully I rise today to speak in favor of the 
Impeachment of the President of the United States, William Jefferson 
Clinton.
  Impeachment and removal of the President was the remedy given to 
Congress to address a chief executive who attacked the Constitution and 
resulting rule of law that governs our society. The Articles of 
Impeachment against President Clinton deserve serious consideration 
because they arose out of the efforts of the President to delay, deny, 
impede and obstruct (and later to cover-up that obstruction) the fair 
administration of justice in a federal civil rights sexual harassment 
claim. The President did so for personal exoneration and pecuniary 
gain. These actions constitute a direct attack on the Judiciary, the 
third branch of government set forth in our Constitution.
  Specifically, the President is charged with wilfully lying under oath 
on four specific occasions: on December 17, 1997, in response to 
written questions in a federal civil rights action; on January 17, 
1998, in a deposition for a federal civil rights action; on August 17, 
1998, in testimony before a federal criminal grand jury; and on 
November 27, 1998, in sworn responses to the House Judiciary Committee. 
The President is also charged with obstructing justice in a federal 
civil rights action during December 1997 and January 1998.
  I prayerfully considered each article and the supporting evidence. I 
have come to the conclusion that under my duties set forth by the 
Constitution, with conscience as my guide, I must vote in favor of 
Impeachment because there is clearer and convincing evidence that the 
President committed these offenses and should stand trial on these 
charges in the Senate. The Senate should be given the opportunity to 
exercise its Constitutional responsibility and hear evidence from both 
sides to determine whether the President should be convicted and 
removed from office.
  If we choose to ignore these charges, we would set a dangerous 
precedent that the President of the United States, the chief law 
enforcement officer, may wilfully ignore the rule of law that governs 
our society. The ruler cannot be above the rule of law.
  This is a somber time for our country. None of us, as citizens of 
these great United States,

[[Page H11891]]

wants to see the Presidency under attack. Unfortunately, the attack 
against this Presidency came from within, and President Clinton must be 
held accountable for his actions.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask each Member of this House of Representatives to 
put partisanship aside, to look at the law, to look at the evidence, 
and to vote in the way our Foundering Fathers intended when they 
crafted our Constitution.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Barr).
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I would respond to the gentleman from Massachusetts that apparently 
he is under the impression that the President admitted to the truth in 
his grand jury testimony. He did not. He waived a statement. Each and 
every time which he did that, this was not telling of truth, it was 
simply one more count of false declaration before a grand jury or a 
court.
  He lied about his relationships with Monica Lewinsky in the 
deposition in January. He lied again about it before the grand jury in 
August. There was nothing truthful about the President's statement to 
that effect. While simply the fact that he issued a statement may be 
sufficient for the gentleman from Massachusetts, it is still not the 
truth.

                              {time}  1845

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Manzullo).
  (Mr. MANZULLO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Speaker, the Constitution makes the President the 
caretaker of the laws of our Nation. This means the President protects 
the people by nurturing and supervising our legal system, plus he must 
lead by example. The facts show the President has lied under oath, 
obstructed justice and abused the power of his office. How can he 
possibly serve as the caretaking of our laws if he cannot abide by 
them?
  Our legal system demands equal justice under law. To treat the 
President differently than other Americans brings grave consequences 
for the sanctity of our judicial process.
  And everyone likes to talk about polls for what they are worth. Let 
us talk about this one. According to the Scholastic News, a weekly 
magazine circulated in schools, 85 percent of fourth graders nationwide 
stated they believe a President who lies should lose his job. We have 
taught our children the importance of telling the truth and the value 
of their word. We cannot afford to change that message now.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Franks).
  (Mr. FRANKS of New Jersey asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. FRANKS of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, it is with a profound sense of 
sadness that I stand here this evening. We are called upon to decide 
what is right for the country and what is required to serve the 
interests of justice. In making this decision, I recognize that the 
purpose of impeachment is not to punish a political leader, but to 
preserve the integrity of our institutions of government.
  In recent days I have written twice to the President asking him to 
come to terms with the fact that he broke the law and to take 
responsibility for his actions. On December 3, I urged the President to 
come before the American people, admit that he committed perjury and 
indicate that he was prepared to face the consequences. If he did, I 
told him, I believe this Congress could work out a remedy other than 
impeachment. On the eve of this debate I wrote to the President one 
more time and called upon him to tell the truth, the whole truth and 
nothing but the truth.
  Tonight I want to issue one final plea to the President:
  ``It is not too late to demonstrate true personal courage and moral 
leadership. Save the Nation the trauma of an impeachment trial, and 
save your Presidency.''
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Herger).
  Mr. HERGER. Mr. Speaker, as a Member of Congress this vote is one of 
the most solemn, serious and important decisions each of us will ever 
make and one I cast only under a profound sense of constitutional duty.
  In 1776, Thomas Paine in his pamphlet Common Sense wrote, quote: 
``For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries 
the law ought to be king.''
  Mr. Speaker, our Nation was created in part because our founders were 
forced to live under one set of laws while our rulers lived under 
another. The equal application of the rule of law has become the 
principle upon which our entire legal system is based. I believe the 
facts clearly indicate that President Clinton has committed the very 
serious felonies of perjury and obstruction of justice and in so doing 
has violated the trust of the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely critical that all Americans, including 
and especially the President of the United States, obey the law. Bill 
Clinton is our President, not our king. He is not above the law. To 
allow our chief law enforcement officer to commit these felonies 
without facing serious consequences is to send a dangerous message to 
all Americans that there are again two standards of justice in America, 
one for the President and one for the rest of us.
  Mr. Speaker, we have a constitutional obligation to apply the law to 
the President just as we would apply it to any other American. I 
believe we have no other choice but to vote aye on these articles of 
impeachment.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan).
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, if it is so clear that the President 
committed perjury, I wonder why the members of the Committee on the 
Judiciary did not tell us which words were perjurious.
  I am a former prosecutor. If anyone is charged in America with 
perjury they have to specifically say what was perjury. We did not do 
it in this case.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Stupak).
  Mr. STUPAK. Mr. Speaker, I submit my statement and supporting 
documents in opposition to the articles of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, in October we voted on whether to receive the Starr 
report and to have the Judiciary Committee define the impeachment 
standard on which to review these allegations and to guide us here in 
this debate. But the Majority Party, the Republicans, said ``No, we 
will not define the standard.''
  So what is the standard? Did President Clinton commit ``high Crimes 
and Misdemeanors'' warranting impeachment under the Constitution?
  The Judiciary Committee would not tell us, so 430 legal scholars 
spoke up and wrote to the Speaker, and here is what they had to say, in 
part:

       We write neither as Democrats nor as Republicans. Some of 
     us believe that the President has acted disgracefully, some 
     that the Independent Counsel has. This letter has nothing to 
     do with any such judgment. Rather, it expresses the one 
     judgment on which we all agree: that the allegations detailed 
     in the Independent Counsel's referral and summarized in 
     Counsel Shippers's statement do not justify presidential 
     impeachment under the Constitution.
       No existing judicial precedents bind Congress's 
     determination of the meaning of ``high Crimes and 
     Misdemeanors.'' But it is clear that Members of Congress 
     would violate their constitutional responsibilities if they 
     sought to impeach and remove the president for misconduct, 
     even criminal misconduct, that fell short of the high 
     constitutional standard required for impeachment.
       ....It goes without saying that lying under oath is a 
     serious offense. But even if the House of Representatives had 
     the constitutional authority to impeach for any instance of 
     perjury or obstruction of justice, a responsible House would 
     not exercise this awesome power on the facts alleged in this 
     case. The House's power to impeach, like a prosecutor's power 
     to indict, is discretionary. This power must be exercised not 
     for partisan advantage but only when circumstances genuinely 
     justify the enormous price the national will pay in 
     governance and stature, if its President is put through a 
     long, public, voyeuristic trial. The American people 
     understand this price. They demonstrate the political wisdom 
     that has held the Constitution in place for two centuries 
     when, even after the publication of Mr. Starr's report, with 
     all its extraordinary revelations, they oppose impeachment 
     for the offenses alleged therein.

  A majority of the American people are being denied through their 
elected representative an opportunity to cast a vote on a bipartisan 
compromise--a vote of conscience to censure the President.

[[Page H11892]]

  I wish to share with the nation the letter I am sending to my 
constituents on this historic vote:

       Dear Constituent: Thank you for sharing your views, hopes, 
     fears, and thoughts on the Articles of Impeachment pending 
     against President Bill Clinton.
       My votes on impeachment were the most solemn and saddest 
     votes I have ever had to cast. The constitutional importance, 
     the solemn occasion, the division within the House of 
     Representatives and indeed the nation itself cause me to 
     pause and reflect on my personal, constitutional, national, 
     political and family life. These were not easy votes. I read 
     transcripts, watched the video deposition, reviewed 
     testimony, and studied legal and historical briefs. I read 
     numerous constitutional arguments and perspectives, the 
     report of the Office of Independent Counsel, and 
     documentation submitted by the President's attorneys, and I 
     attended briefings by constitutional and legal experts. Most 
     of all, I listened to you, read your letters and e-mails, and 
     your messages left with my staff and on our answering 
     machines.
       For only the second time in our nation's history of the 
     House of Representatives voted on Articles of Impeachment. 
     While impeachment is an integral part of our constitutional 
     structure, the Founding Fathers made it clear it is a final 
     recourse in dealing with a tyrant or a scoundrel whose 
     actions clearly threaten our system of government. When an 
     impeachment vote occurs, Congress usurps the power of the 
     electorate. The removal of the President is reserved for the 
     American people through elections, and Congress should only 
     ``substitute'' or ``invalidate'' your vote and reverse the 
     last presidential election through impeachment only when it 
     is necessary to save the country from a President whose 
     actions are of ``such a grave nature that they imperiled the 
     structure of our government.''
       Becasue the U.S. House of Representatives failed to define 
     the constitutional standard for impeachment, it then became 
     possible for each members to devise his or her own 
     impeachment standard that fits a personal perception of facts 
     surrounding the President. Unfortunately, what individual 
     members have perceived as impeachable facts run contrary to 
     the facts perceived by two-thirds of the American people who 
     have repeatedly stated they did not want this President 
     impeached. The American people understand that a President's 
     criminal or civil behavior should be addressed through normal 
     judicial proceedings, that ordinary political wrongs can be 
     addressed at the ballot box; and that impeachment should only 
     be used for serious public misconduct which threatens our 
     form of government.
       I believe the reason for the partisan split on each article 
     of impeachment came about because the impeachment standard 
     was never defined and the Republican leadership stated it was 
     up to each member ``to vote their conscience.'' Many 
     individual members, both Democrat and Republican, have 
     confided to me that a true vote of conscience was to censure 
     the President. Still, the Republican leadership refused to 
     allow us to vote on censure.
       Prior to drafting Articles of Impeachment against President 
     Richard Nixon, both Republicans and Democrats set forth an 
     impeachment standard. The standard used in the Nixon 
     impeachment was a constitutional standard, not a personal 
     standard. To date, more than 430 legal scholars have written 
     to the House Leadership and the Judiciary Committee stating 
     that the President's actions must be ``gross[ly] derelict 
     exercise of official power,'' a standard that is not met on 
     the facts alleged in the Articles of Impeachment against 
     President Clinton. ``If the President committed perjury 
     regarding his sexual conduct, this perjury involved no 
     exercise of presidential power as such.'' The scholarly 
     letter went on to state that ``making false statements about 
     sexual improprieties is not a sufficient basis to justify the 
     trial and removal from office of the President of the United 
     States.''
       I agree that the President's behavior was inappropriate and 
     immoral and that he must be held accountable, but, as Bob 
     Dole wrote in the New York Times, a bipartisan resolution of 
     censure would be a proper Congressional response to the 
     president's actions and it would allow Congress to rapidly 
     resolve this issue and move forward to deal with the nation's 
     other important business.
       Documentation submitted by the President's legal counsel 
     echoes what the President has said publicly, ``there are no 
     fancy ways to say that I [the President] have sinned.'' The 
     document continues: ``The president has insisted that no 
     legalities be allowed to obscure the simple truth that his 
     behavior in this matter was wrong; that he misled his wife, 
     his friends, and our nation about the nature of his 
     relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. He did not want anyone to 
     know about his personal wrongdoing. But he does want 
     everyone--the Committee, the Congress and the country--to 
     know that he is profoundly sorry for the wrongs he has 
     committed and for the pain he has caused his family, friends, 
     and our nation.''
       As a member of the US House of Representatives, I am duty 
     bound to differentiate between that which is sinful, immoral 
     conduct and that which is impeachable under our Constitution.
       Based on all the information available to me, listening to 
     your views, thoughts and opinions, I have determined that the 
     President's actions did not reach the necessary 
     constitutional standard for impeachment unique to the office 
     of the President, and that his actions were not of such a 
     grave nature that his personal actions imperiled our form of 
     government.
       In closing let me share with you a comment that a 
     constituent, a Dominican nun, shared with me about this whole 
     impeachment. Sister Margaret reminded me of the Biblical 
     story of how the men who would stone a prostitute were the 
     very men that paid her for her services, and how they were 
     challenged by Jesus, who said, ``Let he who is without sin 
     cast the first stone.'' Of course, none of them could throw 
     the stone. As Sister Margaret stated to me, ``I have a stone 
     in my hand, but I am waiting to become perfect . . . then 
     I'll throw it!''
       This does not excuse or exonerate the President for his 
     actions. He remains liable for civil and criminal charges for 
     his actions, and, should he be found guilty, he would justly 
     face legal punishment. None of his actions, however, permit 
     us to take the historically unwarranted step of invoking 
     sections of our Constitution that will forever distort the 
     intentions of the Founding Fathers, undo the last election, 
     and forever change the relationship between Congress and the 
     presidency. My votes were not cast to protect the President 
     in any way. They were cast to protect the office of the 
     presidency and the Constitution.
       Thank you for sharing your time, views, opinions, thoughts 
     and prayers!
                                  ____

     Hon. Newt Gingrich,
     Speaker, United States House of Representatives.
       Dear Mr. Speaker: Did President Clinton commit ``high 
     Crimes and Misdemeanors'' warranting impeaching under the 
     Constitution? We, the undersigned professors of law, believe 
     that the misconduct alleged in the report of the Independent 
     Counsel, and in the statement of Investigative Counsel David 
     Schippers, does not cross that threshold.
       We write neither as Democrats nor as Republicans. Some of 
     us believe that the President has acted disgracefully, some 
     that the Independent Counsel has. This letter has nothing to 
     do with any such judgments. Rather, it expresses the one 
     judgment on which we all agree: that the allegations detailed 
     in the Independent Counsel's referral and summarized in 
     Counsel Schippers's statement do not justify presidential 
     impeachment under the Constitution.
       No existing judicial precedents bind Congress's 
     determination of the meaning of ``high Crimes and 
     Misdemeanors.'' But it is clear that Members of Congress 
     would violate their constitutional responsibilities if they 
     sought to impeach and remove the President for misconduct, 
     even criminal misconduct, that fell short of the high 
     constitutional standard required for impeachment.
       The President's independence from Congress is fundamental 
     to the American structure of government. It is essential to 
     the separation of powers. It is essential to the President's 
     ability to discharge such constitutional duties as vetoing 
     legislation that he considers contrary to the nation's 
     interests. And it is essential to governance whenever the 
     White House belongs to a party different from that which 
     controls the Capitol. The lower the threshold for 
     impeachment, the weaker the President. If the President could 
     be removed for any conduct of which Congress disapproved, 
     this fundamental element of our democracy--the President's 
     independence from Congress--would be destroyed. It is not 
     enough, therefore, that Congress strongly disapprove of the 
     President's conduct. Under the Constitution, the President 
     cannot be impeached unless he has committed ``Treason, 
     Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
       Some of the charges raised against the President fall so 
     far short of this high standard that they strain good sense: 
     for example, the charge that the President repeatedly 
     declined to testify voluntarily or pressed a debatable 
     privilege claim that was later judicially rejected. Such 
     litigation ``offenses'' are not remotely impeachable. With 
     respect, however, to other allegations, careful consideration 
     must be given to the kind of misconduct that renders a 
     President constitutionally unfit to remain in office.
       Neither history nor legal definitions provide a precise 
     list of high crimes and misdemeanors. Reasonable people have 
     differed in interpreting these words. We believe that the 
     proper interpretation of the Impeachment Clause must begin 
     by recognizing treason and bribery as core or paradigmatic 
     instances, from which the meaning of ``other high Crimes 
     and Misdemeanors'' is to be extrapolated. The 
     constitutional standard for impeachment would be very 
     different if different offenses had been specified. The 
     clause does not read, ``Treason, Felony, or other Crime'' 
     (as does Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution), so 
     that any violation of a criminal statue would be 
     impeachable. Nor does it read, ``Arson, Larceny, or other 
     high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' implying that any serious 
     crime, of whatever nature, would be impeachable. Nor does 
     it read, ``Adultery, Fornication, or other high Crimes and 
     Misdemeanors,'' implying that any conduct deemed to reveal 
     serious moral lapses might be an impeachable offense.
       When a President commits treason, he exercises his 
     executive powers, or uses information obtained by virtue of 
     his executive powers, deliberately to aid an enemy. When a 
     President is bribed, he exercises or offers to exercise his 
     executive powers in exchange

[[Page H11893]]

     for corrupt gain. Both acts involve the criminal exercise of 
     presidential powers, converting those awful powers into an 
     instrument either of enemy interests or of purely personal 
     gain. We believe that the critical, distinctive feature of 
     treason and bribery is grossly derelict exercise of official 
     power (or, in the case of bribery to obtain or retain office, 
     gross criminality in the pursuit of official power). Non-
     indictable conduct might rise to this level. For example, a 
     President might be properly impeached if, as a result of 
     drunkenness, he recklessly and repeatedly misused executive 
     authority.
       Much of the misconduct of which the President is accused 
     does not involve the exercise of executive powers at all. If 
     the President committed perjury regarding his sexual conduct, 
     this perjury involved no exercise of presidential power as 
     such. If he concealed evidence, this misdeed too involved no 
     exercise of executive authority. By contrast, if he sought 
     wrongfully to place someone in a job at the Pentagon, or lied 
     to subordinates hoping they would repeat his false 
     statements, these acts could have involved a wrongful use of 
     presidential influence, but we cannot believe that the 
     President's alleged conduct of this nature amounts to the 
     grossly derelict exercise of executive power sufficient for 
     impeachment.
       Perjury and obstructing justice can without doubt be 
     impeachable offenses. A President who corruptly used the 
     Federal Bureau of Investigation to obstruct an investigation 
     would have criminally exercised his presidential powers. 
     Moreover, covering up a crime furthers or aids the underlying 
     crime. Thus a President who committed perjury to cover up his 
     subordinates' criminal exercise of executive authority would 
     also have committed an impeachable offense. But making false 
     statements about sexual improprieties is not a sufficient 
     constitutional basis to justify the trial and removal from 
     office of the President of the United States.
       It goes without saying that lying under oath is a very 
     serious offense. But even if the House of Representatives had 
     the constitutional authority to impeach for any instance 
     of perjury or obstruction of justice, a responsible House 
     would not exercise this awesome power on the facts alleged 
     in this case. The House's power to impeach, like a 
     prosecutor's power to indict, is discretionary. This power 
     must be exercised not for partisan advantage, but only 
     when circumstances genuinely justify the enormous price 
     the nation will pay in governance and stature if its 
     President is put through a long, public, voyeuristic 
     trial. The American people understand this price. They 
     demonstrate the political wisdom that has held the 
     Constitution in place for two centuries when, even after 
     the publication of Mr. Starr's report, with all its 
     extraordinary revelations, they oppose impeachment for the 
     offenses alleged therein.
       We do not say that a ``private'' crime could never be so 
     heinous as to warrant impeachment. Congress might responsibly 
     take the position that an individual who by the law of the 
     land cannot be permitted to remain at large, need not be 
     permitted to remain President. But if certain crimes such as 
     murder warrant removal of a President from office because of 
     their unspeakable heinousness, the offenses alleged in the 
     Independent Counsel's report or the Investigative Counsel's 
     statement are not among them. Short of heinous criminality, 
     impeachment demands convincing evidence of grossly derelict 
     exercise of official authority. In our judgment, Mr. Starr's 
     report contains no such evidence.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Richard L. Abel
                                                  (And 442 others)
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
North Dakota (Mr. Pomeroy).
  (Mr. POMEROY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. POMEROY. Mr. Speaker, impeachment in the Constitution was meant 
to be applied when the elected President misuses the office in a way 
that threatens our structure of government. The conduct of President 
Clinton at issue here was reprehensible but does not constitute a high 
crime or misdemeanor as required for removal by impeachment. No 
President is above the law, but that does not mean every alleged crime 
is an impeachable crime. The crimes alleged here may warrant 
prosecution when the President's term expires, but they do not rise to 
the standard required by the Constitution for impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I am bitterly disappointed the majority blocked this 
House from considering the option of censuring the President instead of 
the false choice between removal by impeachment or no action 
whatsoever. Basic fairness as well as basic respect for the deep 
divisions and the thinking of Americans would have allowed all options 
to be before us.
  History will not be kind to this Congress for its handling of this 
matter. I hope our country will never ever again have a congressional 
majority as heedless of the spirit of justice and the Constitution as 
this one.
  Impeachment as established in the Constitution was meant to be 
applied when the elected President was misusing the powers of the 
Executive Branch in a way that was threatening to our very structure of 
government.
  The conduct of President Clinton at issue here is reprehensible. It 
does not, however, constitute a high crime or misdemeanor as required 
for removal by impeachment.
  No president is above the law but that does not mean every crime is 
an impeachable crime. The crimes alleged against President Clinton may 
well warrant prosecution when his term expires, but they do not rise to 
the standard required by the Constitution for impeachment.
  These proceedings represent an extremely important moment in the 
Constitutional history of this country. I'm bitterly disappointed the 
majority leadership blocked this House from considering a full range of 
options, including the option of censuring the President instead of the 
false choice between removal by impeachment or no action whatsoever.
  Basic fairness as well as basic respect for the deep divisions in the 
thinking of Americans on this matter would allow all options to be 
before us.
  The blind drive of majority leadership to win this impeachment vote 
regardless of any and all other considerations is revealed by their 
refusal to delay this debate, even a few days, to allow the attack 
against Iraq to run its course. The brave men and women executing the 
attack on our behalf deserve our full focused support behind their 
brave actions.
  History will not be kind to this Congress for its handling of this 
matter. I hope our country will never again have a congressional 
majority of either party as heedless of the spirit of justice and the 
Constitution as this one.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Lampson).
  (Mr. LAMPSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, this morning I began to write a letter to 
my daughters and future grandchildren to describe my feelings on this 
sad, yet historic day, and I wrote that I continue to be overwhelmed by 
the fact that this Congress and, as a result, the American people are 
being denied the right to vote on an action that would unify our 
country, censure.
  To my majority colleagues, I implore them in the interests of 
fairness to stop the bitterness and rancor that currently controls 
Capitol Hill. As our country continues to polarize, I pray that 
Congress has not lost its ability to seek common ground, for if we 
have, it will affect our ability to solve problems for decades to come, 
and I would like to be able to tell my children so that they can tell 
their children that this body came to its senses and put aside 
partisanship in favor of statesmanship. Let us be remembered for 
allowing the will of the American people to be heard through a vote on 
censure. It is the only fair thing to do.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Traficant).
  Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Speaker, I do not question anyone's motives. Both 
parties agree to some degree that the President broke the law. We 
disagree on the punishment.
  Now some say the Constitution does not allow censure. I say the 
Constitution does not prohibit censure. The founders left it up to the 
elected Congress, not to unelected judges. Therefore, we are to work 
our political will.
  Let me say this tonight. I believe precedents and history requires 
that we work our political will. The standard is high crimes. Did he 
break the law? Probably so. But what were those laws? No charges on 
Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, Chinagate, Vincent Foster. What did 
he touch? Where did he touch it? When did he touch it? Did he cover it 
up?
  Does this offense warrant the death penalty? Make no mistake, 
impeachment is tantamount to the political element of capital 
punishment.
  Mr. Speaker, an impeachable offense should be one that threatens 
liberty, not chastity. I advise the Congress to censure the President, 
who would be prosecuted after he completed his terms, rather than 
demean the status of high crimes.
  Take politics out of that really. The President broke the law, we are 
sure of that, but I do not believe it requires the death penalty.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Nebraska (Mr. Christiansen).
  (Mr. CHRISTIANSEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)

[[Page H11894]]

  Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. Mr. Speaker, last week my wife and I toured the CIA 
headquarters, and chiseled in the granite as we walked in the door are 
these words:
  ``You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.''
  I believe that every woman is entitled to the truth in a sexual 
harassment lawsuit. The American people are entitled to the truth. We, 
the Congress, are entitled to the truth. Members of Congress told 
President Clinton, ``Do not lie in your grand jury testimony or you 
will be impeached.''
  I support the articles of impeachment, not out of disrespect for 
President Clinton, but out of respect for our rule of law.
  A constituent of mine from Omaha told me last week, ``I wish it 
wasn't about sexual harassment, but the facts are he lied under oath, 
he covered it up for as long as he could, and he used his office to try 
and obstruct the work of the independent counsel and the rule of law.'' 
She went on to say, ``We have men on death row that were sentenced 
based on the sworn testimony of witnesses, sworn testimony of the 
people who took an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing 
but the truth so help them God.'' Well, Mr. Speaker, this is the same 
oath that the President took raising his right hand, stating those 
sacred words in front of witnesses, a Federal judge and a grand jury. 
If the President does not honor those words, how can we assure that 
other witnesses will honor those words?
  Some of my colleagues have said that we should not dumb down the 
impeachment process, but I say we should not dumb down the rule of law. 
The damage is done. The President cannot go back and he cannot change 
what has happened, and that is why we stand here today preparing to 
vote on the future of the most powerful man in the world, William 
Jefferson Clinton.
  This is my last vote as a Member of Congress. I will not enjoy 
casting this vote. The President's behavior and his subsequent denials, 
false testimony and obstruction of justice have brought us to this 
point. Actions have consequences, and the consequences of the 
President's lies and obstructions these past many months must be for 
him to personally address his conduct before the United States Senate.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Dakota (Mr. Thune).
  (Mr. THUNE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. Speaker, over the past several weeks I have agonized 
like most Members of Congress over the weight and the burden of the 
constitutional duty that is facing the United States House of 
Representatives. This is one of the most difficult decisions I have 
ever had to make in my career, and it is not a decision I enjoy making. 
However, after much study, much thought and much prayer, I have come to 
the following conclusion: Either we are a Nation of laws or we are not, 
and if we are, then those laws have to apply equally to all people.
  Our Declaration of Independence says it best. We hold these truths to 
be self-evident, that all men are created equal. In America there is no 
emperor, and there is no Praetorian guard. There is one standard of 
justice that applies equally to all, and to say or do otherwise will 
undermine the most sacred of all Americans ideals.
  President Clinton has committed federal crimes, and there must be a 
reckoning or no American shall ever again be prosecuted for those same 
crimes.
  There is one other important issue I would like to address, and that 
is the matter of trust. Lying to the American people is a betrayal of 
trust. All of us, including our public leaders, make mistakes. We are 
all subject to the same universal truth. We all fall short. To err is 
human, to forgive is divine. But to err repeatedly and willfully with 
impunity defies another universal truth, and that is the law of the 
harvest. In other words, one reaps what they sow, and the pattern of 
deception and dishonesty that acts as a body guard to this President 
strikes at the very core of his ability to lead. It is a matter of 
trust.
  Those close to the President say he cannot admit to lying for legal, 
political and personal reasons. Fear of future prosecution and fear of 
political consequence gives explanation, albeit little excuse for his 
denials. However, it is the President's assertion that he cannot tell 
the truth for personal reasons that is most troubling.

                              {time}  1900

  The President says he cannot tell the truth because he does not 
believe he lied, and yet even the President's most ardent defenders 
acknowledge he lied under oath.
  If the President genuinely believes he is telling the truth, we are 
left with one of two equally miserable realities: Either the President 
chooses contempt and complete disregard for the truth, or his 
conscience is so diminished as to leave him unable to discern the truth 
from his lies. Both conclusions are ruinous to a constitutional 
republic, whose leaders must command the trust of those who lead.
  Our constitutional government will stand the test of time, my 
friends, but only if we deal decisively with those who recklessly 
assault its foundations. Allegiance to our Constitution leaves us with 
no alternative but to vote in favor of impeaching the President.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Hall).
  (Mr. HALL of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, in just a few hours I will join others in this chamber 
to cast one of the toughest and most momentous votes that a Member of 
the House of Representatives can be called upon to cast--a vote to 
impeach the President of the United States. This is an historic vote 
that is not easily cast--and I take no satisfaction in doing so.
  I have always taken the position that I would not use any office of 
public trust to hurt anyone--and if I could not help them, I would pass 
it by. I know that this is a hurtful process, but in this vote I had to 
go back to the oath I took to uphold the law of the land. This I will 
do.
  Having read the testimony, I will vote for articles of impeachment, 
for it is clear that the transcript shows that the President committed 
perjury. Perjury is a felony offense--regardless of the subject matter 
or the circumstances--and there is no asterisk in the law books that 
exempts a President.
  I am sorry for the President and for our country. This is both a 
personal tragedy and a national tragedy. Blame has been cast in all 
directions--toward the President, the Office of the Independent 
Counsel, and the Congress. I have heard from thousands of Americans 
during the course of this debate via telephone, letters, faxes, and e-
mail. In the final analysis, I had to evaluate the evidence for myself, 
listen to my constituents, and then call it as I see it.
  We must now see this through to closure--for better or worse--and we 
must pull together as a nation after this is over. It will be 
difficult, but Americans have a great capacity to overcome difficult 
times. This issue has distracted us and divided us, and now we must 
come together and move ahead to address the many domestic and foreign 
issues that require our serious and undivided attention.
  Mr. Speaker, it is a great honor to represent the Fourth District of 
Texas in this Chamber, and I have tried to do so to the best of my 
abilities. I am grateful to all those in my district who contacted me, 
and I hope they know that their views are important to me--whether they 
agree with my decision or not.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt), a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I am particularly disturbed to hear speaker after 
speaker come here and speak to the issue of obstruction of justice and 
suborning of perjury. Let us listen to the testimony of the key 
witness, Monica Lewinsky, where she said clearly and unequivocally, 
``No one asked me to lie and no one promised me a job.''
  Listen to the evidence. Let us not make this a sham and a shambles. I 
beg you to listen to the evidence.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. John).
  Mr. JOHN. Mr. Speaker, I entered the House of Representatives two 
years ago, and the first act I took was the oath of office to uphold 
the Constitution. The matter now before us constitutes the most 
significant test of that oath.

[[Page H11895]]

  At all times I have done my best to evaluate if the allegations 
against the President threatened our constitutional process. I have 
said repeatedly in my remarks, publicly, that I believe the President's 
actions were reprehensible and morally repugnant.
  However, after much thought and deliberation over the past few 
months, I have concluded that the constitutional threshold of treason, 
bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors that our framers enumerated 
has not been reached in the situation to justify the removing of and 
the impeachment of President Clinton. I purposely refrained from this 
judgment because of this. I was one of only 31 Democrats who voted to 
go on with the inquiry.
  Let me be clear, the President should be held accountable for his 
reckless actions. However, impeachment is not the punishment. Let us 
move on to the business of our Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, the President's actions were reprehensible, morally 
repugnant and have brought shame upon the highest office in our Nation. 
I feel everyone in this Chamber shares this same sentiment. However, 
what we now disagree upon involves the most significant test to our 
oath of office--whereupon we have all sworn to uphold our sacred 
Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, our Nation and our Constitution face its most solemn 
hour since the House of Representatives last triggered an impeachment 
against the President of the United States some 130 years ago. While 
the times have certainly changed, the magnitude of a vote to remove the 
highest officer in our Nation has not.
  We have learned from our past that impeachment cannot be guided by 
passion nor partisanship but by the facts, our laws, and our deep faith 
in the Constitution. For impeachment centers not on our political 
differences but instead must be determined by the constitutional 
standard of whether the President committed ``treason, bribery, and 
other high crimes and misdemeanors.''
  Mindful of this, I have spent the better part of this year seeking to 
further understand what the Framers had in mind when they conceived 
this clause. As a result, I am convinced more than ever, Mr. Speaker, 
that the Framers' impeachment clause empowers Congress with the ability 
to protect our citizens against an executive branch that grossly abuses 
its power by turning the arm of government against its citizens.
  In 1974, the Judiciary Committee recognized this fundamental ``abuse 
of power'' when they issued impeachable offenses against Richard Nixon 
that involved his use of the Internal Revenue Service, the Central 
Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation against 
the citizenry. At the same time, Mr. Speaker, the impeachment of 
President Andrew Johnson itself proved to be an ``abuse of Congress' 
power'' as Mr. Johnson was attacked more for his political convictions 
than his decision to oust a Cabinet member. Unfortunately, we now stand 
ready to drag our tired country through a protracted trial in the 
Senate for something which does not reach the threshold of an 
impeachable offense.
  The President's conduct in concealing a personal sexual relationship 
certainly do not threaten our constitutional process nor pose a direct 
threat to our citizenry. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that a vote to lower 
the bar on what is an impeachable offense would do more in fact to 
undermine our democracy than advance it.
  Let me be clear that I believe the President should be held 
accountable for his reckless acts, however impeachment is not the 
appropriate punishment in this instance. Consequently, I am greatly 
dismayed that the full House will not be given the same opportunity 
presented to the Judiciary Committee to consider alternative forms of 
punishment such as a censure motion and monetary fine. At a minimum, 
the Congress needs to make it clear to the American people that telling 
the truth does matter, that the President's deeds will not go 
unpunished, and that he remains subject to prosecution in a court of 
law when he leaves office.
  I know, Mr. Speaker, that I will ultimately have to answer to my 
constituents after my vote on this matter. However, I will do so with a 
clear conscience knowing that I did what I thought was right, just, and 
in the best interest of our country.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute and 20 seconds to the 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez).
  (Ms. VELAZQUEZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today not only in opposition to 
these impeachment articles, but to express my outrage and sadness over 
a process driven not by fairness, but by a small minority obsessed with 
impeachment. Instead of putting politics aside and coming together in a 
bipartisan manner to do what is right for our Nation, today we begin 
the final steps in a process that, from the start, has never been about 
fairness. Rather, it has been to accomplish a predetermined result, to 
impeach the President of the United States.
  No one is disputing that what the President did was wrong and he 
should be held accountable. That is why an overwhelming majority on 
both sides of the aisle want to vote on censure. But we will not be 
given the opportunity to vote on that today. To bar this body from that 
option is inexcusable and it is outrageous.
  The majority has said that they are simply voting their conscience. 
But what about the conscience of the American people, who 
overwhelmingly said that the President should not be impeached, but be 
censured? I ask myself, how did this body get to the point where the 
conscience of so many Members is so different from the conscience of 
the American people?
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Rangel).
  (Mr. RANGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I am asking as many that can to reject the 
idea of voting for articles of impeachment, because 25 years ago I had 
the opportunity to serve in this body when the question of impeachment 
was seriously taken up, in 1974, and I can tell you that we may use the 
type of language that sounds as though we are working within the 
Constitution, but this procedure is not on the level.
  You cannot have a political procedure where Republicans line up on 
one side, like they are shooting fish in a barrel, and Democrats line 
up on the other side. We should not be talking about a Democratic 
President that for six years people have been trying to hound out of 
office. Even before this deal goes down, where you already have the 
votes, there are people asking the President to resign from office.
  What has this President done to cause so much hatred, so much 
animosity? And for those of you that say this is not about sex, I agree 
with you: This is about getting rid of the President of the United 
States. Whether it is the FBI files, whether it is Whitewater, whether 
it is discussing something that Hillary has done, or whether it is 
Lewinsky, the whole idea is a lynch mob mentality that says this man 
has to go.
  You say, well, we have to vote our conscience here. Who determines 
the conscience? What arrogance can the Republicans have in this body to 
determine what the punishment should be for the President of the United 
States? Who has found the language in our Constitution to dictate that 
you can take this wonderful instrument that allowed this republic to 
survive for so long, and twist it and bend it and say that we cannot 
have censure as an option to what you are trying to do to the 
President, to this Congress, and to the country? And what do you leave 
for the future, for the next Congress? What do you leave in terms of 
Social Security, reforming the tax system, trying to make Medicare 
better, trying to get campaign finance reform?
  These are things that we refer to as bipartisan, working together, 
cooperation. You brought hatred to this floor. You can see it in the 
eyes, you can see it in the language, and people will walk lockstep and 
vote as Republicans and not as Members of the United States Congress.
  Do you not think that as you keep talking about ``no man is above the 
law,'' do you not understand that no Member here is above the will of 
the people of the United States of America? Do you not know they 
respect the fact when they go vote, whether they vote for Republican or 
vote for a Democrat, they vote for a President of the United States?
  You have no right to get rid of him by saying ``the rule of law,'' 
and then abuse the very rule of that law.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning).
  (Mr. BUNNING asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BUNNING. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment.

[[Page H11896]]

  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Articles of Impeachment against 
President Clinton that have been recommended to the full House of 
Representatives by the Judiciary Committee.
  By now, the charges against the President are known to everyone; 
perjury in a civil matter--the Paula Jones case; perjury before a 
criminal grand jury; obstruction of justice; and, abuse of the power of 
the office of the presidency. These are grave and serious charges 
against the President, felonies in any court of law in our nation. As 
many have pointed out in recent months, impeachment, and declaring war, 
are the most important matters that we in the House can ever consider.
  We are here today to debate impeachment, and under our Constitution 
the House has the sole power to impeach a President. And I do think 
that it's important to keep in mind exactly what impeachment is. Voting 
to impeach the President is quite different from voting to remove him 
from office. If the House does impeach the President, it only means 
that we believe there is enough credible evidence to prove one or more 
of the charges against the President, and that the matter should then 
be sent on to the Senate. Then it is up to the other body to conduct a 
trial and to determine whether or not the President should be removed 
from office.
  After studying this matter, I believe the evidence against the 
President is strong on all of the four counts that have been lodged 
against him. There is certainly enough in the testimony and material 
gathered together by the Judiciary Committee to make a compelling case 
against him.
  Importantly, all during the Committee's deliberations, the 
President's defenders never even bothered to contest the evidence. They 
did make many other arguments against impeachment; the Independent 
Counsel, Ken Starr had engaged in a partisan witch hunt; the charges 
brought against the President did not rise to the level of ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors'' required by the Constitution to impeach the 
President; and, the process followed by the Judiciary Committee was not 
fair.
  But, the essential evidence presented by the Committee to the House 
in support of the Articles of Impeachment have not been refuted. The 
President's supporters had numerous opportunities to knock down the 
facts during the Committee's deliberations, or to provide exculpatory 
evidence of their own that would have cleared the President and 
disproved the charges made against him. But, in nearly thirty hours of 
argument against impeachment before the Judiciary Committee, the 
President's defenders and lawyers were not able to dispel any of the 
damning evidence against him or provide anything new that would point 
toward his innocence.
  The facts and the evidence stand unchallenged, and as such they 
strongly argue for impeachment.
  When talking about impeachment, one of the principle arguments the 
President's supporters have often made is about poll numbers and the 
will of the people. They claim that since the President is popular 
among the American public and enjoys high poll numbers, he should not 
be impeached and should be left in office to complete his term.
  It is true that the President is popular among Americans, and his 
poll numbers are strong. The public seems content and optimistic about 
the future, and they give the President a great deal of credit for the 
positive mood of our nation and our vibrant economy.
  But, we are a nation of laws, not polls.
  As elected representatives in a democracy, we as members of Congress 
do serve in large part to fulfill the will of the people. We have all 
been elected and reelected because we listened to the voters. But, the 
matter before the House today is not simply a question of popular 
opinion; it is instead a question of constitutional duty.
  Each member of Congress takes an oath and swears to uphold the 
Constitution when they take office. They do not swear to uphold the 
public opinion of the moment, or swear to follow the most current fad. 
We all swore to uphold the fundamental principles that over the past 
two centuries have helped make America the greatest nation on Earth.
  When the Constitution grants the power to impeach the President to 
the House of Representatives, there is no additional clause in the text 
that reads ``only in times of high poll numbers'' or ``in times of low 
public esteem.'' The question before us today is one we must address 
without concern for politics or popularity. Of course we must listen to 
the people, but being a public servant does not mean that we use none 
of our own judgment or ignore the duties we swore to uphold. 
Impeachment and other grave matters are not to be decided like 
popularity contests or beauty pageants.
  Mr. Speaker, I will close by saying that I believe no one here today 
takes any joy in this process or in the votes we are going to cast 
soon. The past eleven months have hurt our nation and we need to begin 
to heal. But we cannot ignore our constitutional duty, and we cannot 
turn away from hard decisions. With a heavy heart, I will vote to 
impeach President Clinton.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Indiana (Mr. Buyer), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, these issues about whether Ms. Lewinsky, in 
her statement, the President never explicitly told her to lie, the 
President and Ms. Lewinsky did have a scheme to mislead and deceive the 
court through the use of cover stories and the proffer of a false 
affidavit.
  Why? Because Judge Susan Weber Wright in the sexual harassment 
lawsuit said that they could get into the evidence of his past sexual 
behavior. You see, Ms. Lewinsky's statements that no one told her to 
lie are not dispositive as to whether the President is guilty of 
obstruction.
  One need not directly command another to lie in order to be guilty of 
obstruction. One who proposes to another that the other lie in a 
judicial proceeding is guilty of obstructing justice. The statute 
prohibits elliptical suggestions as much as it does direct commands.
  Indeed, the facts cannot be taken in a vacuum. They must be examined 
in their proper context over the distance of the evidence.
  While Ms. Lewinsky and the President both testified ``I never asked 
her to lie'' and ``he never asked me to lie,'' the circumstantial 
evidence is overwhelming. The statement was not necessary, because they 
concocted the cover story and they both understood the willful intent 
to conceal their relationship in order to impede justice in the Jones 
versus Clinton case.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  Mr. Speaker, I simply want to express concern over the gentleman from 
New York's statement that there was hatred over here on our side of the 
aisle with regard to the President. That is just not really true, in 
all honesty and sincerity.
  We have had Members who have agonized over the questions that are 
before us today. I have personally talked with Members who have made 
their decisions only in the last few days after they have gone over the 
record who really truly did not want to impeach this President and have 
no hatred at all. It is an objective concern that perjury and 
obstruction of justice and the crimes are so overwhelming this 
President committed that they made that decision.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield two minutes to the gentleman from Montana (Mr. 
Hill).
  Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, this is an extraordinarily solemn occasion. We 
are here today to consider serious and consequential questions. On 
three occasions the President of the United States placed his left hand 
on a Bible, raised his right hand, and swore to an oath to tell the 
truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In today's debate, 
even the defenders of the President accept the fact that the President 
violated that oath in lying in a deposition in a Federal civil rights 
case, before a grand jury, and his sworn testimony before the Congress.
  On two other occasions, the President placed one hand on a Bible, 
raised the other, and swore to faithfully execute the office of the 
President of the United States, and to the best of his ability 
preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. The 
President's conduct, lying under oath, obstructing justice, tampering 
with the witnesses, abusing power, in my view represents a violation of 
that oath as well.
  The fact is the President sought to undermine the civil rights of a 
United States citizen, denying that citizen due process of law and her 
rights to equal protection under the law. These are undisputed facts.
  If there is no consequence for the violation of an oath, then why 
have an oath? In violating his oath before the courts and the Congress, 
the President is guilty of perjury, a felony, a high crime; and in 
violating his oath of office, I believe the President has sacrificed 
his right to hold office. If the President conspired to undermine the 
constitutional rights of a single citizen, that act erodes the 
constitutional rights of every citizen.
  It is a tragic situation, but, like most tragic situations, 
responsibilities lie not at the feet of others. It does not lie at the 
feet of Paula Jones or Monica

[[Page H11897]]

Lewinsky or Kathleen Willey or Judge Starr or Majority Counsel 
Schippers or Majority Whip Delay or Speaker Gingrich or Speaker elect 
Livingston or Chairman Hyde. The responsibility lies at the feet of 
William Jefferson Clinton, and so must the accountability and so must 
the consequences.
  For that reason, I will cast my vote ``yes'' on at least three of the 
articles of impeachment.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Weldon).
  Mr. WELDON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, several people on the minority 
side have risen today and quoted the scripture, ``Judge not, that you 
not be judged.''
  Careful reading of this scripture makes it quite clear that the 
message is not that we should never judge or exercise judgment. Most 
scholars interpret this verse of scripture to mean that we should not 
condemn others for their faults and that we should forgive those who 
offend us.
  It has never been proposed by any reasonable person that this verse 
of scripture asserts that we are to let criminals go free or that our 
laws should not be upheld.
  Bill Clinton is not being judged by the Members here as much as he is 
being judged by the law itself. The preamble to the Constitution tells 
us that the Constitution was created for, among other reasons, to 
establish justice. To blithely forgive or ignore these offenses is to 
make a mockery of justice.
  Our laws state that to lie under oath, to encourage others to provide 
false testimony or to conspire to conceal evidence is a felony 
punishable by imprisonment.
  Indeed, the committee took testimony from two individuals who lied 
about sex before a grand jury. One received house arrest, the other 
actually went to jail. Every year in America, people go to jail for 
committing perjury.
  The Democrats wrote the statute creating the office of the 
Independent Counsel and Janet Reno authorized the expansion of the 
investigation into the matters before us. The findings indicate felony 
offenses that could send the average American to jail.

                              {time}  1915

  President Clinton, when he signed the reauthorization of the 
Independent Counsel Act in 1993 said that the act would ``guarantee the 
integrity of public officials and ensure that no one is above the 
law.'' To ensure that no one is above the law, the resolution must be 
approved and sent to the Senate for trial.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt).
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. In 
response to my friend, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Buyer), let the 
Record be clear. When Monica Lewinsky was confronted by Ken Starr in 
her proffer, she clearly and unequivocally stated that neither the 
President nor anyone in her behalf ever asked her to lie, and that is 
the evidence.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan).
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, just for the Record, Judge Webber Wright 
ruled on 3 separate occasions that the Lewinsky matter was not relevant 
to the core legal issues in the Paula Jones case; 3 separate rulings, 
not material to the core underlying legal issues.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Neal).
  (Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, while we grapple with this 
issue tonight, we are all a bit uncertain about what this is all about, 
but we know what it is not about. It is not Watergate, it is certainly 
not Iran-Contra, and astonishingly enough, after the expenditure of $56 
million and an investigation that has gone on longer than the Civil 
War, it is not about Whitewater.
  Contrast the way the Republican leadership has handled this issue 
with the way Tip O'Neill handled Iran-Contra, when he decided never to 
put the Nation through a trial when he knew Ronald Reagan would never 
be removed from office.
  What we have seen in this Congress really is the occurrence of 2 
things: One, the rise of the Intimidator Caucus on the Republican side 
where they have intimidated moderate Republicans into voting for this 
impeachment proceeding. Secondly, we ask ourselves tonight, whatever 
happened to moderate Republicans?
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Clyburn).
  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, let me begin by associating myself with the 
statement made earlier today by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Jackson).
  Mr. Speaker, my decision to vote against the resolution to impeach 
President Clinton is grounded in the words of the Constitution itself. 
According to the Constitution, a President is to be impeached for 
treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Nowhere in the 
Constitution does it say any or all crimes and misdemeanors.
  In November, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott) specifically 
asked a panel of historians and constitutional scholars appearing 
before the committee, ``Does the phrase `bribery, treason and other 
high crimes and misdemeanors' cover all felonies?'' These scholars 
unanimously answered with a resounding no.
  It follows from their answers and from the very words of the 
Constitution, Mr. Speaker, that a President can be guilty of a felony 
and still not be impeachable. So the real question then is, what 
felonies fall under the phrase, ``high crimes and misdemeanors''? I do 
not know. And as of today, none of us in this body knows. But we do 
know one thing. When this question came before the House in 1973 during 
the impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon, the answer 
was that lying under oath is not one of them. The Committee on the 
Judiciary concluded by a better than 2-to-1 bipartisan vote the charges 
against President Nixon for lying on his income taxes to the tune of 
$500,000 were not impeachable.
  It follows, then, that if we obey the dictates of the Constitution, 
if we accept the testimony of experts, and if we follow the precedent 
of this body, we must vote against impeachment. A vote for impeachment 
flies in the face of history, ignores constitutional standards, and 
significantly lowers the bar for future impeachment proceedings.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Tanner).
  (Mr. TANNER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. TANNER. Mr. Speaker, many Members have spoken from the heart and 
out of their conscience on either side of this issue today, and I want 
to talk about the procedure, because I am deeply troubled by the 
procedure that we are following here today on the House floor.
  This has been a very divisive issue in our country about what should 
be done. People of just as good will as any of us in this room, people 
who have the same purity of motive that we all claim for ourselves in 
this room, people who have the intellectual honesty that we all claim 
for ourselves, and who have exercised that, and people who are just as 
patriotic as any one of us, have reached a different conclusion in the 
country about what should be done.
  Now, we are not being allowed a vote on censure tonight. Let me read 
in the Constitution what it says: ``Judgment in cases of impeachment 
shall not extend further than to removal from office,'' et cetera. It 
says nothing about censure; it says nothing about prohibiting it. And 
what troubles me is that there are millions of Americans of goodwill, 
purity of motive, intellectual honesty that have expressed their view 
that censure is an appropriate remedy, and those voices are not being 
allowed to be cast tonight by a vote of their member, and that is just 
plain unfair.
  If the shoe were on the other foot, and we had a motion to only 
censure and not impeachment, you would be right to scream that that is 
unfair, and I would agree with you.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Hilleary).

[[Page H11898]]

  (Mr. HILLEARY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HILLEARY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of these articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I come to the well today with no joy in my heart over 
what this House is about to do.
  Throughout my time that I have been honored to serve the people of 
the Fourth Congressional District of Tennessee, this is, by far, the 
most important vote I've had to cast.
  This vote goes to the very heart of the oath of office I swore to 
uphold when I took my seat in this body--an oath that said ``I, Van 
Hilleary, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the 
Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and 
domestic.''
  I did not swear to defend the Constitution of the United States only 
when it was popular. I did not swear to defend the Constitution of the 
United States only when doing so was running ahead in the polls.
  I swore to defend it whenever it was under attack--when it was 
popular and when it was not.
  This has been a difficult decision for me. It is well known that I am 
no fan of President Clinton's ideological beliefs. I have serious 
differences with him on a broad number of issues. In fact, it was these 
differences that spurred me to run for this office in the first place--
to try to change the direction where he was leading this country.
  But those are political differences, differences that are settled in 
the democratic way which is the heritage of our great country. It is a 
heritage that has endured for more than 200 years because when our 
great Nation was founded, we agreed to a government based upon the rule 
of law and not the rule of men.
  I, like all of my colleagues here today and all of those who have 
preceded us in serving our nation in government service, are but 
temporary caretakers of the people's trust. Because of the work of 
those who came before us, we remain a government of laws and not men 
today.
  God willing, when I leave this office and turn it over to the next 
generation of leaders, this country will still be a nation of laws and 
not men.
  I have had to set aside my differences with the President's policies. 
I have had to struggle with myself to ensure that I am basing my 
decision on the facts of the case.
  What are the facts of the case?
  The President was involved in a civil case in which the U.S. Supreme 
Court unanimously ruled that he was to be held to the same standard as 
everyone else in the country and must respond to the suit in a court of 
law while he was in office. The court ruled that the President is not 
above the law, but subject to it like everyone else in the country.
  During that case, President Clinton's testimony was requested. The 
President had the right to enforce his 5th Amendment right not to 
testify if it would incriminate him. However, he chose to provide 
testimony. And when he testified, he swore ``to tell the truth, the 
whole truth and nothing but the truth.'' That oath did not say he was 
allowed to tell part or half of the truth. That oath did not say he was 
allowed to tell the truth only when convenient. That oath did not say 
he was allowed to tell only that part of the truth which would not be 
personally embarrassing.
  The oath was ``to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the 
truth.''
  The Judiciary Committee report clearly lays out the facts of the case 
that President William Jefferson Clinton broke or ignored this oath 
when he gave his sworn deposition last January, when he gave sworn 
testimony before a federal grand jury in August, and when he gave sworn 
answers to the questions of the Judiciary Committee last month.
  The case is clear that President Clinton broke the law.
  Now we must ask ourselves, ``Can we ignore his crimes?''
  I believe that we would be setting a very bad and extremely dangerous 
precedent if we ignore it. We would be saying that as long as a 
president is popular, he can commit major crimes, undermine our shared 
legal system and remain in office using the vast powers of the 
Presidency. In effect, we would be saying that the President is above 
the law. We would be a nation of laws with a leader who could break the 
laws.
  Some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have argued that 
the President's offenses do not rise to the level of the high crimes 
and misdemeanors outlined by our Founding Fathers. They say that any 
crimes which are committed must be committed against the State before 
an impeachable offense takes place.
  Mr. Speaker, I am here to say that lying under oath in a civil case 
is a crime against the State. Lying under oath to a federal grand jury 
is a crime against the State. Obstructing justice and tampering with 
witnesses are crimes against the State. Lying to Congress by submitting 
false answers to the Judiciary Committee's 81 questions is a crime 
against the State. These crimes undermine our entire system of justice, 
which will crumble into ruins if we allow people to lie after they have 
sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
  Contrary to what many of my friends on the other side of the aisle 
claim, the framers did consider perjury an impeachable offense. The 
term impeachment comes directly from English law, and the framers of 
our Constitution used the exact same definition as found in 
Blackstone's English treatise when they used the phrase ``high crimes 
and misdemeanors.'' Yet, Blackstone was even more exact in his 
definition by listing 22 specific offenses that constituted ``high 
crimes.'' False testimony under oath to a civil or criminal prosecution 
was one such offense.
  It would also be very dangerous if our laws would only apply 
according to the whims of popular support.
  The Constitution and the rule of law for the foundation of our 
country. Simply because things are going well now is no reason to 
undermine this foundation. Because we need this foundation to be strong 
during times of crisis--when things are not going well.
  We will have future crises that our nation must weather. We will have 
times that our economy turns downward, sometimes severely. We will have 
times of violent domestic unrest.
  We need the foundation of our country to be strong if we are to 
weather those rough times. It is our Constitution and rule of law which 
separates us as a democracy and beacon of light in the world from a 
dictatorship.
  The truth is the truth. It is not subject to a popularity poll. The 
truth must be upheld in our country. A President who cannot tell the 
truth and respect the rule of law cannot be allowed to continue in 
office. The President should have resigned his office long ago, but he 
has refused to do so. That is why I will vote for the articles of 
impeachment against President William Jefferson Clinton.
  I urge all my colleagues to support these articles of impeachment.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Bilbray).
  Mr. BILBRAY. Mr. Speaker, I was not planning to address the body at 
this time, but a colleague just impugned the moderates who have decided 
not to vote their way, as if we are somehow being pressured. I would 
challenge anyone on this floor to name the moderates who have come to 
you and said, we have been pressured. I, for one, and my colleagues I 
have spoken to have said this is a vote of conscience and respect our 
vote of conscience as much as you are asking us to respect yours.
  I think it is outrageous that my colleagues on the other side use a 
political maneuver to impugn our integrity just because they do not 
agree with the consideration that we have given.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Norwood).
  (Mr. NORWOOD asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. NORWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I am going to vote for articles of 
impeachment. Now, I do not like that. I am not happy about that. In 
fact, I am deeply saddened by that. I did not come here to impeach Bill 
Clinton or any other President, as I imagine most of my colleagues did 
not. So maybe we might take one other look at one other consideration 
in these last hours.
  Mr. Speaker, if you would allow me to quote President Clinton: 
``There is no question that an admission of making false statements to 
government officials and interfering with the FBI is an impeachable 
offense.'' President Clinton went on to say, ``If a President of the 
United States ever lied to the American people, he should resign.''
  Mr. Clinton was more than willing to apply these standards to a 
Republican President in 1974, as was the Democratic majority on a 
substantial portion of the then Republican minority. Mr. Clinton was 
correct in 1974. Why was he correct?
  Consider the questions and answers of recent months: The question, 
``Did you have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky?'' And the answer, 
and I quote: ``You are free to infer that my testimony is that I did 
not have sexual relations, as I understood this term to be defined.'' 
We now know the truth, but only because of a blue dress that says he 
lied.
  Consider the question and the answer: ``Did you authorize the 
transfer of missile technology to the Red Chinese Army in exchange for 
campaign

[[Page H11899]]

contributions?'' The answer: ``No one can prove there was a quid pro 
quo.''
  Consider this question and the answer: ``Did you order air strikes 
against Iraq to influence these impeachment hearings?'' And the answer, 
and I quote: ``I don't believe any serious person would believe that 
Secretary Cohen, General Shelton and the whole rest of the national 
security team would participate in such an action.''
  Do we have answers here that we or the world can trust? We cannot 
tell when the President is telling the truth, and unfortunately, he 
cannot tell when he is lying. And that leads to a tremendous loss of 
trust. And when that person involved in that is the most powerful 
person in the world, it is dangerous.
  Mr. Speaker, let us today bequeath to future generations that the 
laws of this land apply equally to all, rich and poor, regardless of 
party affiliation or ideology. Let this House today hold Mr. Clinton to 
his own standards, the ones that he said that if you lie to the 
American people, a President should resign.
  Mr. President, please do what is right. Do not do this to America. Do 
not do this to your fellow countrymen. Do not do this to Congress, 
because as sure as the world, we are going to have a trial in the 
Senate. Resign today for a very good reason, because it is the right 
thing to do.
  Mr. Speaker, today we debate that which the Framers of the 
Constitution failed to define--the nature of impeachable offenses.
  Some argue against the precedent established during Watergate. They 
claim that impeachable offenses must include a direct violation of the 
Constitution itself. However, the Founders did not state that position. 
They instead left the definition up to future Congresses, based on the 
particulars of the case.
  Only the most partisan supporters of the President still deny that 
Mr. Clinton lied under oath. The majority of the Members of this House, 
and the American public at large, believe that Mr. Clinton lied under 
oath to a grand jury in a Federal civil rights lawsuit, lied under oath 
to the Independent Counsel, lied under oath to the House Judiciary 
Committee, and lied on national television to the American people.
  The only question left is: should that be an impeachable offense, and 
why? Let us address the issue.
  If the President had initially, and without qualification, simply 
denied his improper relationship with a government employee; then later 
confessed his perjury when physical evidence revealed the deception, we 
might not be having this debate.
  Many people can show mercy to someone who made a horrible mistake in 
judgment, and didn't want it plastered across the front page of every 
newspaper in the country, and then made a second horrible mistake by 
lying to cover up the first.
  But what deeply troubles so many people around the country is the 
nature and degree of the President's deception.
  He continues to deny not only the specifics of this case, but the 
very nature of truth itself.
  He has said he misled us all, yet he says he wasn't lying. At other 
times, he has said he lied, but he didn't commit perjury.
  He admits he had sexual relations, but insists he was telling the 
truth when he said he didn't.
  There has been speculation among members of this body in recent days 
that if the President would just confess to perjury, that we should 
drop these impeachment proceedings, issue a formal censure, and let the 
matter drop.
  While I disagree with this proposal, I fully empathize with the 
sentiments behind it. Members of this body, myself included, do not 
want to impeach Mr. Clinton or any President. We are grasping for 
plausible reasons to vote against impeachment--and we aren't finding 
any.
  For what really troubles the majority of this House is that the 
President doesn't recognize the truth. For many members, if they were 
only assured that Mr. Clinton was capable of knowing when he was or 
wasn't lying, they would be willing to let him off the hook.
  They beg him: admit to perjury, perjury that even a child can 
recognize. We'll forgive your indiscretion, and give you a second 
chance to earn the trust of the nation. They do that because we must 
have assurances as to whether we can reasonably expect the President to 
tell the truth after this is over.
  For he remains incapable of recognizing that he lied under oath to 
begin with.
  The President has established a principle in his mind that the truth 
is a technicality, dependent on wording.
  He has held throughout his testimony that if he convinces himself 
that he is telling the truth, it doesn't matter if he lies. If he 
carefully couches his statement in semantic deceptions, and then buries 
the issue with the White House ``spin machine'', the truth has been 
served.
  Consider the questions and answers of recent months: Did you have 
sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky? Answer: Not yes or no, but ``You 
are free to infer that my testimony is that I did not have sexual 
relations, as I understood this term to be defined.''
  We now know the truth, but only because of a blue dress that says he 
lied. He still doesn't recognize that he lied under oath.
  Why is it essential for a President to recognize the truth?
  Consider this question and answer, also from recent months: Did you 
authorize the transfer of missile technology to the Red Chinese Army in 
exchange for campaign contributions? Answer: Once again, not yes or no, 
but ``No one can prove there was a quid pro quo of missile technology 
for cash.''
  Why not a simple yes or no? Could it be for the same reasons as in 
this case before us today? How can we know? Is the President lying 
through semantic contortions again, with life-and-death consequences 
for millions of Americans, and perhaps even the continued survival of 
our Nation at stake?
  The truth is, we don't know, and we can't know, because there is no 
blue dress.
  Consider this question and answer, from just yesterday: Did you order 
air strikes against Iraq to influence these impeachment hearings? 
Answer: ``I don't believe any serious person would believe that 
Secretary Cohen, General Shelton, and the whole rest of the national 
security team would participate in such an action.''
  We're not concerned with the motives of the national security team; 
we're concerned with the motives of the President, and once again, do 
we have an answer that we, or the world, can trust?
  These are the reasons the Founders left it to us to define 
impeachable offenses. Is perjury in a civil lawsuit grounds for 
impeachment? It depends on the particulars of the case.
  This case clearly exhibits that this President cannot be entrusted 
with the security or well-being of the United States, evidenced by his 
inherent inability to acknowledge the existence of truth, even under 
oath in a federal court.
  Would we allow a person with this proven inability to serve as Chief 
of Staff to our Armed Forces? Absolutely not. Then how can we tolerate 
it in a Commander-in-Chief? If we cannot trust Mr. Clinton as 
Commander-in-Chief, he can no longer perform the duties necessary as 
President.
  Mr. Speaker, fellow Members of the House, we need to forget parties 
and loyalties, and vote for the future and safety of the Republic. The 
Founders left us this discretion for the very reasons we face today.
  In conclusion let me quote the President once more, but this time 
from 1974, when the nation was last going through this agony.
  ``There is no question that an admission of making false statements 
to government officials and interfering with the FBI is an impeachable 
offense. If a President of the United States ever lied to the American 
people, HE SHOULD RESIGN.''
  Mr. President, do not put America through this, do not put your 
countrymen through this, do not put this Congress through this ordeal. 
Heed your own words and resign, because it is the right thing to do.
  My fellow members, we must do the right thing as well, because it is 
our duty. We must ensure that this ordeal is never repeated by a future 
President who is led to believe by our actions that they can repeat 
these offenses and get away with it.
  Vote for a full trial in the Senate. Do your duty.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Porter).
  Mr. PORTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the first, second and 
third articles of the resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, let me first commend my longtime friend and colleague, 
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) for his remarks. His words 
brought tears to my eyes and moved me as no words I have heard in my 25 
years of legislative service. I thank him for reminding us all of the 
defining principles that form the bedrock of our free society and our 
system of government under the rule of law.
  Now, regarding our fighting men and women in the Gulf and the timing 
of this debate, I say to my colleagues, there was a large protest rally 
against impeachment on the West Front of the Capitol yesterday 
afternoon. Many of the members of the minority party attended and spoke 
at that rally. It was the right of all to attend and to raise their 
voices.
  No one would suggest that the exercise of democracy outside this 
Chamber denigrated the men and women of our Armed Forces in combat in 
the

[[Page H11900]]

Persian Gulf. But neither does this exercise of democracy inside this 
Chamber show disrespect for them.

                              {time}  1930

  Indeed, the processes of democracy and our freedoms are exactly what 
they are fighting to preserve.
  Mr. Speaker, the President has undermined the rule of law in a manner 
that warrants his impeachment by the House. Early on I suggested 
censure might be a way to avoid reaching the point we have reached 
today, but whatever opportunity existed to redress this matter by 
alternative means was lost as a result of the President's own conduct.
  By persisting in his efforts to avoid or minimize consequences for 
his action, rather than to admit to the country that he lied in a court 
of law and attempted to obstruct justice, he has moved us beyond the 
point where a strong and meaningful censure could be considered as a 
way to resolve this matter.
  Tragically, the President sends the American people the constant 
message that he believes himself to be above the law. That is a message 
that a society founded on the rule of law cannot tolerate.
  Passage of this resolution will put to the Senate the question of 
whether this President's conduct warrants his conviction, and if so, 
his removal from office. No one had hoped more than I to avoid this 
trauma. There can be no question that we are witnessing an American 
tragedy, a tragedy for the President, a tragedy for our country.
  It is with a heavy heart, but with confidence that my votes are 
right, that I will vote in favor of the first three articles of 
impeachment.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Sheila Jackson-Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, we only want a fair shake at 
being able to convince our good friends about our case on the 
President.
  I do not know if the gentleman from California would tell us if he 
has been able to see private showings of nonrelevant material in the 
secured room to influence their votes, and whether or not we have been 
given the same opportunity. We do not mean they have been beaten, but 
we want to know whether or not the moderates have seen that. We have 
not had the opportunity to share the information that we have that 
suggests the President should not be impeached. This should be a fair 
process, Mr. Speaker.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Doyle).
  (Mr. DOYLE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address these articles of 
impeachment and the magnitude of what our actions today portend, not 
only for the office of the presidency and the institutional integrity 
of the House, but for the well-being of our country.
  In my estimation, while the President's misconduct in this matter is 
both reprehensible and indefensible, it does not rise to the threshold 
of impeachable offenses, as drafted by our Founding Fathers.
  Without question, the impeachment provisions of the Constitution were 
drafted in word and spirit to provide recourse for crimes committed 
against the State. Treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors cannot be indicated with the allegations outlined in the 
Starr referral. We must not allow the historical context and inherent 
meaning of the Constitution to be subsumed by political passion and 
rhetoric.
  This is not to say that the President's misconduct does not deserve 
condemnation. It does. Thus, I am profoundly disappointed that the 
Republican leadership has thwarted consideration of a formal censure of 
the President.
  Mr. Speaker, for all of the above reasons, I urge my colleagues to 
vote no on the articles of impeachment, and instead, support a strong 
and severe censure.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to address these articles of impeachment, and the 
magnitude of what our actions today portend not only for the office of 
the Presidency and the institutional integrity of the House of 
Representatives, but for the well-being of our country.
  As with any serious matter, it is of the utmost importance to avail 
oneself of all available information before reaching a conclusion. 
Accordingly, I did not arrive at a final determination on the articles 
of impeachment until I had the opportunity to thoroughly review the 
Judiciary Committee's final report. In my estimation, while the 
President's misconduct in this matter involving an adulterous affair is 
both reprehensible and flat-out wrong, it does not rise to the 
threshold of impeachable offenses as drafted by our Founding Fathers.
  Without question, the impeachment provisions of the Constitution were 
drafted in word and spirit to provide recourse for crimes committed 
against the state. Treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors can not be equated with the allegations outlined in the 
Starr referral and presented in the Majority's views contained within 
the Judiciary Committee's final report. We must not allow the 
historical context and inherent meaning of the Constitution to be 
subsumed by political passion and rhetoric, or subordinate the office 
of the Presidency to the whims of Congress.
  This is not to say that the President's misconduct does not deserve 
condemnation. It does. Thus, I am profoundly disappointed that the 
Republican Leadership has thwarted consideration of a formal censure of 
the President. By doing so, the Leadership is effectively preventing 
members from having an opportunity to vote their conscience on what 
will likely be the most significant decision during their public 
service in the U.S. House of Representatives. To not be afforded the 
opportunity to consider a censure motion shifts the focus from 
appropriate punishment of the President to inflicting unwarranted 
distress on the entire country. In my view, our actions should not 
result in further upheaval for the American people, but should bring 
about prompt resolution of the matter.
  I hold an enormous amount of respect for the institutional integrity 
of the House of Representatives, but seriously have to question what 
precedent today's pending vote will set for the tenor of the 106th 
session of Congress. While the 104th Congress was often marked by deep 
philosophical divides and the 105th for missed opportunities for 
compromise on social security and HMO reform, one must consider the 
shadow that will be cast on the potential for progress in the 106th 
Congress if we proceed further with the process of impeachment.
  As members of Congress we should be working to build consensus and 
solve problems, not to encourage divisiveness and apathy. If the House 
does approve these articles of impeachment, it is my belief that we 
will be doing a disservice to the office of the Presidency, the House 
of Representatives, and the country--not only in the short-term, but 
for many years to come.
  For all of the above reasons, I urge my colleagues on both sides of 
the aisle to vote no on all articles of impeachment, and to instead 
support a strong and severe censure resolution.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).
  (Mr. PASCRELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I have not, to this point, formally 
announced how I would vote on the four articles of impeachment. In 
reaching my decision, I have weighed not only my constitutional duty 
and this President's fate, but I have weighed what vote is the right 
vote for the United States. I have concluded that this president can 
and should continue in office for the remainder of his elected term.
  In this famous passage in the Federalist 65, Alexander Hamilton, who 
has been quoted many times today, who founded the town I am from, 
Patterson, New Jersey, I am a patriot, too, Hamilton stated that a 
partisan impeachment ``threatened to agitate the passions of the whole 
community . . . to divide it into parties . . . to connect itself with 
preexisting factions . . . and to enlist their animosities, their 
partialities, their influence and interest.''
  Ironically, our colleague on the other side, the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Linder) echoed Hamilton's warnings a few months ago when 
he said, and please remember what he said, one party cannot impeach the 
other party's president. He said it, Members heard it. I ask them not 
to do what they are going to do.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Meeks).
  Mr. MEEKS of New York. Mr. Speaker, when I won a special election in 
February, little did I expect that 10 months later I would have to cast 
a vote that was certain to become one of the most important in my life.

[[Page H11901]]

  I intend to vote against each of these articles of impeachment. My 
reasons are neither partisan, nor do they reflect my distaste and 
dissatisfaction with the President's behavior. Instead, my votes are a 
protest against an unfair process.
  The inequities of the impeachment process have been glaring. The 
Republicans started with Whitewater, and they found nothing. Ken Starr 
then went to Travelgate, he found nothing. He looked at Filegate, he 
found nothing. Mr. Starr never made statements. He never released 
documents.
  In fact, he made no effort to publicly admit to the lack of evidence 
against the President. Instead, he developed relationships with the 
Jones legal team, and withheld this information from the Justice 
Department. Rather than disclosing this bias to the proper parties, Mr. 
Starr was now working in cahoots with Jones, Linda Tripp, and others to 
set up the President.
  What we are doing here is not a prosecution, it is a persecution. 
Indeed, it is a political lynching. The Republicans have had no agenda 
for over a year, and with this act today, they are signaling they have 
no agenda for the future, rather than working together in a bipartisan 
manner on issues. The people want censure and move on.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte), a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  (Mr. GOODLATTE asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, it is a somber day as we consider 
articles of impeachment against the President of the United States. As 
the chief law enforcement officer of the Nation, it is incumbent upon 
the President to uphold the laws and remain faithful to the 
Constitution.
  The question before the Congress is whether the President 
intentionally misled our judicial system and the American people as 
part of a calculated, ongoing effort to conceal the facts and the 
truth, and to deny an average citizen her day in court in a sexual 
harassment lawsuit.
  Did the President betray the public trust by perjuring himself before 
a Federal grand jury and obstructing justice? Virtually every public 
official in America, including our Nation's Governors and virtually 
everyone in private employment, would lose their job if they committed 
perjury or obstructed justice. In fact, many already have. The 
Committee on the Judiciary heard from average Americans who have 
suffered these consequences and even incarceration because they 
committed perjury.
  Millions of law-abiding Americans from all walks of life, including 
my constituents, put in an honest day's work, follow the rules, and 
struggle to teach their children respect for the law and the importance 
of integrity.
  When a factory worker or a doctor or a retiree breaks the law, they 
do so with the knowledge that they are not above the law. This same 
principle must also apply to the most powerful in our Nation, including 
the President of the United States. To lose this principle devastates a 
legacy entrusted to us by our Founding Fathers, and protected for us by 
generations of Americans.
  Articles I and II deal with perjury before a Federal grand jury and 
in a civil deposition before a Federal judge. I would like to 
particularly call to the attention of the Members Article III dealing 
with obstruction of justice.
  The evidence shows that the President corruptly encouraged a witness 
in a Federal civil rights action to execute a sworn affidavit in that 
proceeding that he knew to be perjurious, false, and misleading.
  The evidence shows that the President corruptly encouraged a witness 
to give perjurious, false, and misleading testimony if and when called 
to testify personally in that proceeding.
  The evidence shows that the President corruptly engaged in and 
encouraged or supported a scheme to conceal evidence. The evidence 
shows that the President corruptly prevented the truthful testimony of 
a witness in that proceeding at a time when the truthful testimony of 
that witness would have been harmful to him. And the evidence shows 
that the President corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and 
misleading statements to a Federal judge.
  I have a constitutional duty to follow the truth wherever it leads. 
The truth in this case leads me to believe that the President knowingly 
engaged in a calculated pattern of lies, deceit, and delay in order to 
mislead the American people, impede the search for truth, deny the 
right of his accuser to have her day in court, and protect himself from 
criminal prosecution. Therefore, I have no alternative but to support 
articles of impeachment against President Clinton.
  Mr. Speaker, we must ask ourselves what the President's failure to 
uphold the rule of law says to the Nation, and most especially to our 
children, who must trust us to leave them a civilized Nation where 
justice is respected. It is for them and for their future that we must 
act today.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Hilliard).
  (Mr. HILLIARD asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HILLIARD. Mr. Speaker. I rise to oppose the Articles of 
Impeachment against the President of the United States.
  The acts in which President Clinton engaged with Miss Lewinsky may 
have been morally wrong, but they were not illegal.
  Whatever occurred between the President and Miss Lewinsky, the facts 
are uncontested and indisputable--there was no penetration of her 
sexual organ by his sexual organ--therefore, there was no sexual 
intercourse. When the President said that he did not have sex with that 
woman--he did not lie. President Clinton, along with other southerners, 
commonly defines sex or sexual relations as sexual intercourse or 
coitus. He did not lie because he did not have sexual intercourse with 
Miss Lewinsky. Consequently, there is no legal basis for perjury, and 
certainly no basis for impeachment.
  I am grounded in Christian values and have been, from the age of one, 
involved in my church in various capacities, such as Sunday school 
teacher, Chairman of the Trustee Board, and a Deacon. I have learned 
and have been taught that if one sins, only God can forgive him. Sin is 
breaking God's laws as set out in the Ten Commandments. These laws 
pertain to morality, not legality. Because I am not a God, I am not in 
a position to judge the President. I leave that task to be dealt with 
by him and his God.
   I strongly feel that these impeachment proceedings, from the 
beginning, have been too partisan to be objective. Feelings of hatred 
for President Clinton have been evident since Independent Counsel Starr 
was appointed to investigate matters totally unrelated to any of the 
alleged acts which are the basis of these proceedings. This is a 
political persecution of a President based on his views and his level 
of success as a President. I feel that the atmosphere the Republicans 
have tried to create has been solely for the purpose of pressuring the 
President to resign. This cannot be condoned nor tolerated by me or any 
other Member of Congress! We should never let a party use its numbers, 
power, or influence to hound a popularly elected president out of 
office.
  I truly believe that history will support the fact that President 
Clinton's alleged acts did not rise to the level of impeachable 
offenses as contemplated by the Founding Fathers. We are to protect the 
integrity of the Constitution at all times and in all ways--no matter 
how distasteful or messy a situation gets. I feel that in this instance 
the Republicans have used Kenneth Starr, their numbers and power in the 
House and Senate, and influence in the media to create a so-called 
Constitutional crisis. They have tried to make the President less 
effective in carrying out his duties and have tried to defeat him in 
Congress, through these impeachment proceedings. This is nothing more 
than an attempt to do in Congress what they could not do at the ballot 
box. Therefore, I adamantly oppose the articles of impeachment against 
the President of the United States and will vote against each and every 
one.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan).
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, to go back to the last speaker, let me refer 
to Monica Lewinsky's grand jury testimony: ``No one asked me to lie, no 
one offered me a job for my silence.''
  You do not impeach a president because of guesswork, or inferences, 
or what he might have said, what he could have said, who might have 
said something. That is the evidence. You do not impeach a president 
based on this lack of evidence.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler).

[[Page H11902]]

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, again, referring to the last gentleman, 
repeatedly saying an untruth does not make it true.
  I will remind the gentleman, the judge ruled that the Monica Lewinsky 
affair was not material to the Paula Jones case, and the President 
consequently did not deny her her day in court. Every prosecutor who 
came before the committee said there was not sufficient evidence for 
any of these perjury allegations.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes and 15 seconds to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran).
  Mr. MORAN of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I was one of the few Democrats to 
have voted for the Republican-sponsored impeachment inquiry, but I rise 
today to urge my colleagues to vote no on all four impeachment 
articles. The President had an immoral and reckless sexual relationship 
with a subordinate government employee. The President then lied about 
it under oath and to the American people.
  But we take an oath as well. We swear to uphold the Constitution, so 
help us God. The great Founding Fathers, on whose shoulders we stand, 
would never have impeached a president over charges not related to the 
President's official duty to protect the national security and 
interests of the United States.
  This vote is not about whether Mr. Clinton is subject to the Nation's 
laws, as has been suggested. Of course he is. Mr. Clinton may still be 
prosecuted and convicted of criminal wrongdoing when he leaves office, 
because the President should not be above the law.
  We are all deeply disappointed with his conduct, but Congress has no 
constitutional basis to impeach and remove the President over this type 
of illegal activity. In fact, no matter how strong our desire to punish 
the President or to condemn his behavior, our constitutional duty 
requires us to determine the answer to one question only, has the 
President committed treason, bribery, or other such high crimes. The 
answer to that question is no.
  The American people and the Members of this House have heard an awful 
lot about this sad affair, but perhaps we have not heard enough from 
the people who would not tell the majority what they want to hear, but 
rather, what they need to know.
  No one in this House has received direct testimony from the principal 
players directly involved. For example, after talking to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. McCollum) about his particular concern that Betty 
Currie was used by the President to obstruct justice, a concern which I 
shared, I asked Betty Currie in the oval office this week directly 
about my concerns. Unlike the rest of the Members of this House, I was 
able to gauge her credibility. I found her believable.
  Her perspective on what occurred is very much different than what we 
have been led to believe. She suggests what we are doing is horribly 
wrong, but she was never called to testify before us. We must accept 
Mr. Starr's report with no independent congressional fact-finding.
  It is wrong for the Republican leadership to oppose a harsh censure 
resolution precisely because they know it would pass. Alexander 
Hamilton said that the danger of a partisan impeachment regulated by 
the comparative strengths of political parties is wrong. That is what 
we are doing. Vote no in defense of the presidency and our 
Constitution.

                              {time}  1945

  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Washington (Mr. McDermott).
  (Mr. McDERMOTT asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, I rise to say that the citizens of the 
7th congressional district and the American people are being treated 
unfairly. They are being denied the opportunity for their 
representatives to vote for censure which will allow the country to 
move on and begin a healing process which we all believe is necessary.
  Unfortunately, this unfairness is not new. It is typical of the whole 
process. It is so unfair that we can only speculate at the reason a 
surrogate is the presiding officer for this momentous procedure, a vote 
second only in importance to a declaration of war. The fact that 
neither the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrich) nor the gentleman 
from Louisiana (Mr. Livingston) is presiding today speaks volumes about 
the leadership of the House at this historic moment. The lack of 
leadership reminds me of Pontius Pilate who washed his hands at the 
crucifixion.
  Make no mistake, the President's acts should be condemned by the 
House, but they do not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. The 
impeachment of the President without the support of the public will be 
extremely devisive.
  History has shown us that the wounds of the 1864 impeachment took 
decades to heal. It took 100 years before we had the Civil Rights 
Voting Act in this House. I think it is clear the people want justice 
but not the kind of justice you are eager to vote for. I urge you to 
reconsider your ill-advised actions and allow the House to have a fair 
vote that includes censure.
  Mr. Speaker, I include the following for the Record:
                                   Seattle, WA, December 15, 1998.
     Hon. Jim McDermott,
     House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative McDermott: Thank you so much for 
     declaring your intention to vote no on impeachment.
       At one level I understand this to just be ``following the 
     party line'', but (and I have also written the Washington 
     state Republican representatives), more broadly I hope that 
     you share my internal conviction that, legalese aside, the 
     entire affair(!) simply doesn't rise to the level of ``high 
     crimes and misdemeanors''. There has been no threat to the 
     government, no clandestine arrangements with foes or allies 
     on the part of the President. No one (including Mr. Clinton) 
     argues that his behavior was proper, but only zealots seem to 
     think it's an impeachable offense.
       The same can not be said for the activities of the House 
     Leadership, which seems to me to have brazenly used political 
     power to choreograph the entire process, frame the discussion 
     and now (so we read) threaten ``dire consequences'' for 
     anyone who votes against the Party Line. From the vantage 
     point of Seattle, this black-and-white, do-as-we-tell-you 
     approach doesn't seem much different from stories we used to 
     hear about ``rubber stamp'' governments in the former Soviet 
     Union.
       I realize that there is a clash of cultures here--Professor 
     George Lakoff at Berkeley has uncovered a relationship 
     between people who vote Republican and those who prefer 
     Democrats, based on their perception of ``family values''. 
     Republicans favor the ``strong father/single decision-maker'' 
     model of the family, while Democrats think of the family in 
     terms of all its members. Hillary's ``It Takes a Village'' 
     view thus resonates with her supporters. Since these images 
     are formed in our early years they tend to be inseparable 
     from what we ``instinctively'' feel is True in later life, 
     and thus, just as Deborah Tannen has shown that men and women 
     live in different cultures, so too do Republicans and 
     Democrats.
       One would think that Mr. Livingston might have learned 
     something from the last election, but perhaps he continues to 
     believe that constituents like myself are the exception. If 
     my facts are correct, I believe that nationally 60% of the 
     public wants Congress to vote for censure and ``move on''. 
     Your mail ratio may be somewhat different--certainly the 
     Religious Right and the Clinton Haters see this as a chance 
     to advance their causes. But I know from having just talked 
     to four of my friends that all of us have exactly the same 
     opinion, yet 80% of this group felt that The Republicans were 
     going to do whatever they liked, and that it was just a waste 
     of time to even write. From my perspective, this attitude of 
     hopelessness is a far deeper stain on our country than the 
     one on the dress.
       I'm not a political activist, but I do feel strongly about 
     my responsibility as an American citizen to raise my hand and 
     say ``Stop'' when I see such a blatant, run-away abuse of 
     power. I'm not saying that the President has done no wrong--
     even he admits his errors. But is covering up an extra-
     marital affair truly the kind of ``high crime and 
     misdemeanor'' the Constitution had in mind? You know the 
     historical facts--Clinton is not the first president to 
     engage in such activity. ``Ah, but it's not the act, it's the 
     perjury'' they say. Obviously lying is not a good thing, so 
     I'm willing to let any Congressman who has never told a lie 
     vote accordingly. But to me there is an enormous difference 
     between lying about diverting funds for Iran-Contra fighters 
     (which might have involved us in a war) and lying about 
     having sex in the Oval Office. It doesn't take a PhD from 
     Harvard to sort this out.
       Neither am I a Biblical scholar (I don't even go to 
     church), but the vote on Thursday seems to come right out of 
     the Old and New Testaments: there are the self-righteous 
     Pharisees, couching their actions in the letter of the law, 
     and, I hope, a larger number of those who remember ``do unto 
     others as you would have them do unto you''. This is the 
     struggle. Four hundred some people get to ``play God'' with 
     the fate of our Nation's

[[Page H11903]]

     highest elected leader. I hope they think long and hard about 
     that, and seek God's guidance, not Mr. Livingston's, before 
     they assume the role of Jack Ruby and pull the trigger. The 
     House has the reins of history in its hands; it simply blows 
     my mind to see this `Ultimate Constitutional Weapon' deployed 
     in such a partisan, lock-step manner. This is the behavior 
     that cults and unions are always accused of--not how 
     reasonable people expect members of our highest Assembly to 
     behave.
       Is there a sense of ``Well, it doesn't really matter--this 
     is just a procedural vote--it's up to the Senate''? I would 
     hope not--what an irresponsible example to set for our 
     citizens. Yet I understand the enormous pressure that has 
     been unfairly placed on the collective Republican shoulders, 
     so if you can think of anything to do to encourage them, I 
     would hope you would do so. Perhaps you can point out the 
     opportunity to rise to the level of Statesman that few people 
     ever attain, or to recall whom it is that History remembers 
     from the Andrew Johnson impeachment proceedings. Then again, 
     what we tell our children when they have to deal with peer-
     pressure situations is to ``just say No.'' That is my appeal 
     as well: Just say No.
           Sincerely,
                                                 James A. van Zee.

  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Spratt).
  (Mr. SPRATT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, I do not rise to defend the President's 
conduct. It was wrong, and months of deceit only made it worse. But 
that still leaves the question, was the conduct of such enormity that 
it can be compared to bribery or treason?
  I followed the hearings. I read the report last night. I have 
listened to the debate today. I do not think this case meets 
constitutional requirements. I come down on the side of President Ford 
and Senator Dole. I think President Clinton should be censored, 
censored severely, and the censure should be imposed right here in the 
well of the House. The President should be called to this spot and our 
rebuke read to him before the Congress, the cabinet and the whole 
country.
  So given the chance, I will vote to censure but not to impeach, not 
to inflict a remedy that has been invoked only twice in 210 years and 
used only once to remove a President.
  The majority argues that articles of impeachment are the proper form 
of censure. The problem is that a resolution of impeachment in the 
House requires a trial of impeachment in the Senate. And it could be a 
pointless trial, as the majority well knows, because there is little 
chance today that two-thirds of the Senate will vote to convict.
  So what do we have? We have a country bitterly divided on this issue. 
But let me tell you, I think everybody will agree with this, there is 
no clamor in the country to have this evidence replayed again, to see 
an instant replay of this trial. The people of this country want it 
over.
  The right way to get it over is to have a severe rebuke of the 
President, to bring him here, censure him in such a way that it will 
stain his legacy forever, but not leave a stain, not leave a precedent 
that will weaken future presidents or a precedent for Article II 
section 4 that will be unprecedented in history.
  That is the right action to take, and I urge this House to take it.
  Mr. Speaker, I do not rise to defend the President's conduct. I think 
his conduct was wrong, and months of deceit only made it worse. But 
that leaves the question: was his conduct impeachable? I have followed 
the hearings and read the report, and I come down on the side of 
President Ford and Senator Dole: I think President Clinton should be 
severely censured; and the censure should be imposed here in the well 
of the House. The President should be called to this spot, and our 
rebuke read to him before the Congress, the cabinet, and the whole 
country.
  Given the chance, I will vote to censure, but not to impeach, not to 
inflict a remedy so extreme that it has been invoked only twice in 210 
years, and used only once to remove a president.
  The majority argues that Articles of Impeachment are the best form of 
censure. The problem with their argument is that a resolution of 
impeachment in the House requires a trial of impeachment in the Senate. 
And it could be a pointless trial, as the majority well knows, because 
there is little chance that two-thirds of the Senate will vote to 
convict. We could vote today, right now, on censure; pass it by a wide 
margin and carry it out. But the majority would have a trial, and have 
this cloud hang over the next Congress, as it has this Congress.
  The President's conduct was reprehensible, but the Constitution 
requires more than reprehensible conduct before 67 members of the 
Senate can remove a President elected by 60 million people. To impeach, 
the Constitution requires in Article II, Section IV that Congress must 
find ``Bribery, Treason, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' These 
words are so open-ended that some say the question comes down to 
political judgment, and in a way, it does. Congress has room to decide 
what are ``high crimes and misdemeanors.'' But the language of the 
Constitution does have meaning, and we are obliged to follow it.
  The first drafts of the Constitution gave only bribery and treason as 
grounds of impeachment. George Mason moved to add 
``maladministration.'' James Madison argued that ``So vague a term will 
be equivalent to a tenure during the pleasure of the Senate.'' George 
Mason, therefore, withdrew ``maladministration'' and substituted 
``other high Crimes and Misdemeanors .'' In the 65th 
Federalist Paper, Alexander Hamilton explained what they had in mind: 
``offenses which proceed . . . from the abuse or violation of some 
public trust . . . [relating] chiefly to injuries done to society 
itself.''
  When the framers put powers to impeach in the Constitution, they 
wanted to protect us from ``great and dangerous'' abuses, offenses that 
a president might commit against the state. In 1974, when the House 
Judiciary Committee was faced with a slate of charges against President 
Nixon, it approved, on a bi-partisan vote, a rule of substantiality:

  ``Not all presidential misconduct is sufficient to constitute grounds 
for impeachment. There is a further requirement--substantiality . . . 
Because impeachment of a President is a grave step for the nation, it 
is to be predicated only upon conduct seriously incompatible with 
either the constitutional form and principles of our government or the 
proper performance of constitutional duties of the Presidential 
office.''
  Almost all of the charges against the President stem from his 
testimony in a deposition, taken in a suit brought by Paula Corbin 
Jones. I do not think the President told the whole truth in that 
deposition. He took refuge in a tortured definition of ``sexual 
relations'' and when pressed for detail, he dodged, dissembled, and 
evaded. He said, for example, that he was never ``alone'' with Monica 
Lewinsky. His testimony was deplorable, and he deserves rebuke. But I 
am not convinced that an ordinary citizen would be prosecuted for this 
same sort of testimony for several reasons.
  First come the arguments put forth by the President's lawyers: that 
the President exploited an odd definition of sexual relations approved 
by the judge; that the questions asked of him were ``vaguely framed;'' 
and that his answers were evasive, incomplete, and even ``maddening,'' 
but not false. I am not satisfied with these defenses, but they might 
be enough to fend off prosecution.
  Next comes the law of perjury. Lying under oath becomes perjury and a 
crime if it is ``material'' to the suit in which the testimony is 
given. In the case brought by Paula Corbin Jones, Judge Susan Webber 
Wright held that the evidence relating to Monica Lewinsky was ``not 
essential to the core issues in this case.'' When Judge Wright granted 
summary judgment and dismissed the suit, she said, ``Whether other 
women may have been subjected to workplace harassment, and whether such 
evidence has been suppressed, does not change the fact that plaintiff 
has failed to demonstrate that she has a case worthy of submitting to a 
jury.'' As the Minority Report points out, ``When Judge Wright ruled on 
April 1 that no matter what the President did with Ms. Lewinsky, Paula 
Jones herself had not proved that she has been harmed, the court's 
opinion confirmed that the President's statements, whether truthful or 
not, were not of the grave constitutional significance necessary to 
support impeachment.'' Report of the Committee on Judiciary to 
Accompany H. Res. 611, page 344.
  Finally, five former federal prosecutors told the committee that 
federal prosecutions for perjury in civil actions do occur but are not 
common because ``federal prosecutors do not use the criminal process in 
connection with civil litigation . . .'' Edward Dennis explained that 
``prosecutors are justifiably concerned about the appearance the 
government is taking the side of one private party against another.'' 
William F. Weld, the former Republican Governor of Massachusetts, who 
ran the Criminal Division of the Justice Department during the Reagan 
Administration, told the committee that in the Reagan Administration 
``it was not the policy of the Justice Department to seek an indictment 
based solely on evidence that a defendant had falsely denied committing 
adultery or fornication.''

  We cannot diminish the gravity of lying under oath, especially by our 
President. But before we impeach and remove him from office, we should 
note the subject of his testimony. It was about personal and not 
official conduct. In a law suit dismissed by summary

[[Page H11904]]

judgment and later settled, it is not likely that an ordinary citizen 
would be prosecuted for such testimony. I do not condone the 
President's evasive and dissembling answers, but I am reluctant to 
impeach him for an offense that would probably not cause an ordinary 
citizen to be prosecuted.
  If testimony in his deposition was not indictable, of course, the 
President should not have been called before the grand jury. But he was 
called, and according to the Independent Counsel, he perjured himself 
here in three respects:
  First, by stating that his relationship with Monica Lewinsky began in 
February 1996 rather than November 1995. To this, the President's 
counsel points out that the Independent Counsel gives no proof for his 
contention that the President avoided the earlier date because Ms. 
Lewinsky was then an intern and chose the later date because she was 
then an employee. Counsel argues that, in any event, no judge or jury 
would find such a discrepancy material.
  Second, by stating that he believed oral sex was not covered by the 
definition of ``sexual relations'' approved by Judge Wright when his 
deposition was taken. But the President admitted to the grand jury the 
key fact: he had oral sex with Monica Lewinsky. He continued to argue 
that ``oral sex'' was outside the judge's definition. His argument may 
be tenuous but it was an argument over semantics rather than facts.
  Third, by saying that he had not engaged in certain types of sexual 
conduct in order to keep his grand jury testimony consistent with his 
deposition. The President's sex with Monica Lewinsky probably was 
``reciprocal.'' He probably did touch her in ways he did not admit. To 
this, the President's counsel raised one question for every member to 
ask: ``Am I prepared to impeach the President because, after having 
admitted he engaged in egregiously wrongful conduct, he falsely 
described the particulars of that conduct?''

  Let's dismiss all of the above and assume that parts of the 
President's deposition were false and material to Paula Jones' suit. 
Two distinguished lawyers, Professor Van Alstyne of Duke Law School 
(called by the majority) and James Hamilton (called by the minority), 
testified that even so, these were ``low crimes,'' not the high crimes 
comparable to bribery and treason which the Constitution requires for 
impeachment.
  There are two remaining articles. One charges obstruction of justice, 
but in the words of Governor Weld, the case is ``thin.'' The President 
lied to the public and to his staff and cabinet, but the proof stops 
short of showing that he suborned them to lie. Monica Lewinsky told the 
grand jury that no one asked her to lie or promised her a job if she 
remained silent. The other article charges abuse of power. It may be 
the most troubling of the articles, because if passed, it could become 
a threatening precedent for future president who find themselves in 
disputes with Congress over their powers, prerogatives, and 
jurisdiction.
  The majority argues that articles of impeachment are required by the 
rule of law. But the rule of law starts at the source, with the 
Constitution, Article II, Section IV. How the Congress removes a 
President elected by the people is vitally important to our democracy. 
The framers of our Constitution did not choose a prime minister 
beholden to parliament, but a president independent of Congress, so 
that each could counter the other. Having made that decision, they did 
not intend for the impeachment power to be used so that the president 
serves, in effect, as the will of Congress. They knew that impeachment 
might be needed in extreme cases, so that Congress could remove a 
president who took bribes or became a traitor or tyrant. For 210 years, 
Congress has regarded the impeachment power in that light, as 
extraordinary, and abused it only once, in the case of Andrew Johnson.
  President Clinton deserves censure. But as sordid and disgraceful as 
his conduct has been, it does not rise, in my humble opinion, to a 
``high crime'' like bribery or treason. Not just for his sake, but for 
sake of the presidency, we should not impeach on the facts before us. 
We have an option; we can rebuke this president and leave a black stain 
on his legacy, without risking the constitutional balance of power. 
That is why censure is the proper choice.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, we have heard an awful lot about the transactions 
relative to what the President said at the deposition in the Paula 
Jones lawsuit relating to Monica Lewinsky's affidavit. I do not think 
the Members who thundered on denouncing what the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte) said have read page 63 of the committee 
report. I shall do so.
  After reading from the affidavit out loud, the President's attorney, 
Mr. Bennett, asked the President, is that a true and accurate statement 
as far as you know it? The President answered, that is absolutely true.
  That is at page 204 of the deposition of President Clinton in the 
case of Jones versus Clinton.
  During the same deposition, Robert Bennett, the President's attorney, 
stated, Counsel is fully aware that Ms. Jane Doe No. 6 has filed, has 
an affidavit in which they are in possession of saying that there is 
absolutely no sex of any kind, any manner, shape or form with President 
Clinton.
  That is at page 54.
  Now, a few months later, the grand jury testimony of Monica Lewinsky, 
which was given under oath and following a grant of transactional 
immunity, confirmed that the contents of her affidavit were not true.
  Question: Paragraph 8 of the affidavit says, I have never had a 
sexual relationship with the President; is that true? Answer: No.
  That is the transcript of the grand jury testimony of Monica Lewinsky 
at page 924.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Upton).
  (Mr. UPTON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Speaker, I have never been hesitant to work with any 
Member, Republican or Democrat, to get things done for our country. I 
count good friends on both sides of the aisle. To me, this vote is not 
about politics, it is about respect, integrity, our laws and, yes, the 
Constitution.
  One of the highlights of my life was serving in the White House. 
There was never a time that I have not had the greatest respect for the 
office of the President.
  Etched in the marble fireplace under President Lincoln's portrait in 
the White House is a quote taken from a letter written by President 
Adams to his wife Abigail in 1801. It reads, I pray heaven to bestow 
the best of blessings on this House and on all that hereafter inhabit 
it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.
  We have millions of public servants in this land, some serve as 
governors, some as legislators or school board members. In every one of 
those roles, we will never agree always on the best course that they 
choose for our Nation or community. But as Americans we need to respect 
them and their decisions. That is what our democracy is all about. The 
key bedrock of every public official is their oath of office. Integrity 
does count. I do not know of a single Michigan community that would 
tolerate a public official violating that oath. The charges and 
evidence contained in these articles are indeed most serious. Perjury 
to a grand jury, obstruction of justice, what kind of message do we 
send to America if we set a lower standard for the highest public 
official in this land?
  You have to tell the truth, even when it is not easy, even when it is 
not convenient. That is the basic tenet and foundation of our society.
  The question for us today is whether there is enough evidence for us 
to try this case in the Senate. I believe that there is sufficient 
evidence, and I will vote to impeach the President with a clear 
conscience.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Mica).
  (Mr. MICA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, today is a difficult day for both the Congress 
and the country. I truly believe that if we could search the hearts and 
souls of every Member of Congress, that none of us would like to 
undertake the impeachment of any President of the United States. We are 
not here today because of the single action of any one individual 
except the President, William Jefferson Clinton. We are here because 
nearly every Member of the House of Representatives voted to conduct an 
impeachment inquiry of this President. We are here because this 
Constitution requires us to do our job and faithfully adhere to its 
principles and our laws.
  Every Member of Congress knows exactly why we are here. We are here 
today because the President of the United States committed offenses 
that leave us only to debate the question of an appropriate punishment.

[[Page H11905]]

  The majority members of the Committee on the Judiciary and its 
distinguished chairman, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) in my 
opinion have presented a very clear and factual documentation of acts 
by this President that to me constitute impeachable offenses.
  Today the action required again by this Constitution in fact defines 
the very essence of our Constitution, that under our system all men and 
women are treated equally under the law. That means if you commit 
perjury or obstruct justice, you will be held accountable. If you are a 
Member of Congress or President of the United States, you will be held 
accountable. Even if you are popular, even if you do 1000 good deeds, 
you will be held accountable. Whether you are powerful or powerless, 
rich or poor, our Constitution and law, under it no one is above the 
law. What we do today is not about politics or the next election. What 
we do today is about the next generation.
  Millions have died to preserve and protect our democracy and system 
of justice and equality.
  Unfortunately, the actions of this President have threatened the very 
foundation and basis of our progress, our justice and our democracy.
  What we do today is not about politics or the next election. What we 
do today is about the next generation.
  Earlier today I heard the Minority Leader as he spoke and I would 
like to respond to some of his comments.
  He said we are sending the wrong message to the world, our foes, the 
Chinese and Russians. In fact I believe we are sending the most 
significant and important message that America has set an example of 
true democracy and equality under Constitutional law.
  He said this is the wrong time because our armed forces are in harm's 
way. This is the right message because those in uniform are serving to 
protect and defend the tenets of our Constitution.
  He said this is the most radical act Congress could perform. I submit 
it would be radical for Congress to shirk its Constitutional 
responsibility.
  He said we need to get back to values of decency, respect and trust 
before our nation is degraded. I submit that that is in fact why we in 
Congress are here today to return under the provision of our 
Constitution to the principles of decency, respect and trust. The 
saddest part about this whole matter is how the actions of this 
President have so divided this Congress and the people of our great 
nation.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Forbes).
  (Mr. FORBES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. FORBES. Mr. Speaker, the President has brought the Nation to this 
sad occasion. What we do here we should be able to explain to our 
children and our grandchildren.
  I include for the Record a letter that I wrote to my children this 
morning:

                                                December 18, 1998.
       Dear Abby, Ted and Sam: Tomorrow, I will cast a difficult 
     vote to impeach the President of the United States.
       Over the last couple of weeks, I have agonized over my 
     decision, for this is a somber time in our Nation's history. 
     But I decided the evidence is clear that President Clinton 
     perjured himself by lying under oath, obstructed justice and 
     directed others to assist his deceit and abused his office by 
     misleading Congress in answers to questions submitted by the 
     Judiciary Committee.
       In the end, I must vote for impeachment in order to fulfill 
     my Constitutional duty to protect the integrity of the Office 
     of the President.
       Two years ago, I made a painful decision when I opposed 
     Newt Gingrich because of his admitted ethical mistakes. Then, 
     as now, I based my decision on the principle that our 
     national leaders must be held to the highest standards of 
     honesty and integrity.
       There is much that is likable about President Clinton and I 
     was proud to work with him on the environment, education, 
     health care and other issues I deeply care about. I am also 
     mindful of the abiding impact impeachment will have.
       This issue comes down to one basic principle: the President 
     of the United States is not above the law.
       As Americans, we have every right to expect our President 
     to be someone our children can look up to and someone who can 
     be their role model. As your father, I have always tried to 
     teach you to be responsible citizens and own up to your 
     mistakes. In this regard, President Clinton failed our 
     Nation.
       Nearly a year ago, when confronted with the accusation of 
     an improper relationship with an intern, the President 
     scornfully shook his finger at the Nation and lied to the 
     American people.
       Even after is has been proven beyond doubt that these 
     wrongdoings did occur, and that he lied about them under 
     oath, President Clinton still refuses to admit the truth.
       As I have always told you, we must face the consequences of 
     our actions.
       The basic laws upon which America was founded and that make 
     it the greatest Nation in the world are now at stake. The 
     United States is a beacon of hope and opportunity to the 
     entire world and the President must reflect what is good and 
     decent about our country.
       Perjury can never be excused. Congress has a responsibility 
     to make it clear that perjury in any instance and by anyone, 
     without exceptions even for the President, is illegal. Lying 
     under oath is illegal. Multiple lies under oath are illegal.
       It is my sacred duty, as a Member of the House of 
     Representatives, to uphold the Constitution and vote to 
     impeach the President for lying under oath, obstructing 
     justice and abusing the power of his office.
       I always taught you to tell the truth. You have never 
     disappointed me and I am proud to be your dad. Years from 
     now, when you look back on the vote your father cast, I know 
     you will understand the importance of my decision. And, I 
     hope you will understand that I did it for you--for the 
     country you will inherit, live in and lead.
           Love,
                                                              Dad.

  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Costello).
  (Mr. COSTELLO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. COSTELLO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to the articles of 
impeachment filed against the President of the United States. While I 
strongly oppose the articles of impeachment, I favor a motion to send 
the resolution back to the Judiciary Committee with instructions to the 
committee to report a resolution censuring the President of the United 
States for his reprehensible and inexcusable conduct.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day in the history of our country. For 
only the second time in the Nation's history, the U.S. House of 
Representatives is moving forward with articles of impeachment against 
the President of the United States.
  Our Founding Fathers wisely concluded that the standards to impeach a 
sitting President should be very high. Most constitutional scholars and 
historians have clearly stated that impeachment was not intended as 
punishment, but to protect the Republic. These same scholars agree that 
Presidents should only be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, 
conduct by a President so dangerous and reprehensible that it poses 
injury to the Republic.
  Mr. Speaker, I have carefully reviewed the four articles of 
impeachment passed out of the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote. 
I have reviewed many documents, listened to the testimony and 
statements made by Members of Congress, historians, and constitutional 
scholars. I have followed much of the hearing conducted by the 
Judiciary Committee, and I have concluded that the President's conduct 
does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense as intended by our 
Founding Fathers.
  Even if one assumes that the President of the United States is guilty 
of all or any of the activities described in the articles of 
impeachment, his conduct--while reprehensible and inexcusable and 
perhaps in violation of the law--they did not and do not threaten our 
Nation or cause injury to the Republic. If it can be proven that the 
President committed perjury before the grand jury, then the President 
is subject to criminal prosecution the day he leaves office in 24 
months.
  Mr. Speaker, the action that we take today concerning this President 
will have a lasting effect not only on William  Jefferson Clinton but 
more importantly on the institution of the Presidency.

  If the House of Representatives impeaches the President of the United 
States on all or any one of the articles of impeachment being 
considered today, I believe that we significantly lower the standards 
for impeachment for our future Presidents, and further politicize a 
solemn process. The Judiciary Committee heard from over 400 historians 
and over 200 constitutional scholars on the issue of impeachment. Mr. 
Speaker, If the evidence to impeach this President on the articles 
filed by the Judiciary Committee were clear and convincing, we would 
not have historians and constitutional scholars deeply divided on this 
issue. The fact that most of the constitutional scholars do not believe 
that the President's conduct rises to an impeachable offense should 
tell us to move forward with censure and to dismiss the impeachment 
proceedings.
  Mr. Speaker, I agree with former President Gerald Ford and the former 
majority leader, Senator Bob Dole, that the Congress should censure the 
President of the United States for

[[Page H11906]]

his conduct and move on with the business of the country.
  It has been 130 years since the U.S. House of Representatives voted 
to impeach President Andrew Johnson. Today, it is clear that the 
Republican majority in this House intends to ignore the constitutional 
scholars, historians and the majority of the American people as they 
proceed to vote to impeach President William Clinton. If they, in fact, 
do impeach this President, they will set in motion a process which will 
result in articles of impeachment being filed by the political enemies 
of future Presidents.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, the way in which the Republican leadership has 
handled this entire matter has been grossly unfair and regrettably 
partisan. Many Members of the House believe, as I believe, that the 
President's conduct--while reprehensible and inexcusable--does not rise 
to the level of impeachment and therefore the House should censure the 
President. However, the Republican leadership refuses to let members 
offer a Resolution to censure and rebuke the President. That, Mr. 
Speaker, is unfortunate and it is wrong.
  I urge my colleagues, for the sake of the institution of the 
Presidency and for what I believe is in the best interest of this 
country, to reject the articles of impeachment and to censure the 
President of the United States for his reprehensible and inexcusable 
conduct.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Lipinski).
  (Mr. LIPINSKI asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. LIPINSKI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in objection to the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on the articles of impeachment. 
The President's behavior has been deplorable, reprehensible, and 
immoral. He has disgraced the office of the Presidency. I think it 
would be best for the country if he would resign and pass the office of 
the Presidency to Vice President Gore.
  Unfortunately, the Judiciary Committee's report does not convince me 
that his offense rise to the level of impeachment. Consequently, I will 
vote ``no'' on the articles.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 45 seconds to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler).
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, with regard to the affidavit that the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) referred to, a number of 
points.
  Monica Lewinsky testified that no one asked her to file a false 
affidavit. There is no evidence that the President asked her to file a 
false affidavit, and the President did not see or ask to see the 
affidavit. There is no evidence to that.
  And finally, Monica Lewinsky's affidavit defined sexual relations in 
the way she clearly understood it, as we know from the tape of her 
conversation with Linda Tripp. After she was threatened by Mr. Starr 
and her mother was threatened, then she made an immunity deal, then she 
changed her testimony to what Mr. Starr wanted to hear. Starr admitted 
to the committee that he chose when to believe her and when not to 
believe her. To get at the truth, she has to be cross-examined to 
determine these contradictions and when she is telling the truth and 
when not.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, in referring to the referral 
of the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) of the Members to 
page 63, I would ask him to likewise refer the Members to pages 341 to 
342. Judge Webber Wright ruled the issue lacked materiality and all 
that he said was totally irrelevant. If we just read pages 341 to 342, 
we would find out that what the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner) said was totally irrelevant to this issue.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Mrs. Tauscher).
  (Mrs. TAUSCHER asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Mrs. TAUSCHER. Mr. Speaker, from the day that the Starr referral was 
delivered to the House, I have said that the decision to impeach the 
President called upon me to consider the Constitution, my conscience 
and my constituents. I have reread the Constitution and the Federalist 
papers. I have heard from over 10,000 of my constituents. I have 
searched my conscience.
  That is why I rise to urge my colleagues to strongly oppose the 
impeachment of the President. Let me reiterate that the President's 
behavior has been reckless and wrong. His efforts to mislead the 
American people were inappropriate for the leader of our great Nation. 
But my review of the Constitution leads me to believe that while what 
the President did may be indictable, it is not impeachable.
  When I came to Congress 2 years ago, I said that while I could not 
agree with anyone 100 percent of the time, it was my responsibility as 
a representative of the people to listen 100 percent of the time. My 
colleagues, we were sent here to be our constituents' eyes and ears. 
Americans want representatives that know more, not representatives that 
think they know better.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to please stop and listen. The 
American people say we must strongly censure the President and get back 
to their business. I urge you to vote no on impeaching the President.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Levin).
  (Mr. LEVIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, the majority, you talk about the rule of law, 
but you rig the rule today so there cannot be a vote on a strong 
censure motion that so many of us support. You talk about a vote of 
conscience, but you will not let us, probably a majority, vote our 
conscience on this floor. I guess you were aware of your own Members.

                              {time}  2000

  It was not long ago that the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) said, 
``This whole proceeding will fall on its face if it is not perceived by 
the American people to be fair. But that is exactly what has happened, 
an unfair, highly partisan proceeding.
  This debate here stands in stark contrast to the debate in 1991 on 
the Persian Gulf. The feelings were strong but it was nonpartisan and 
fair. Unlike today, the seats were filled and we came to deliberate, to 
exchange views, to listen to one another, not to pursue a set political 
agenda. In this decade, that was this House's finest hour. This is its 
worst.
  Today signifies the total complete breakdown of bipartisanship. What 
we learned growing up takes on new meaning today. Two wrongs do not 
make a right. The President was wrong, very wrong. To turn that today 
into impeachment is also wrong, very wrong.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Kanjorski).
  (Mr. KANJORSKI asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. Speaker, few will remember what we say here but 
history will record forever what we do here. The vote of this House 
will redefine the constitutional power of impeachment and restructure 
the very nature of our government from three separate but equal 
branches to a more parliamentary form.
  I have listened intently to the able arguments made on both sides of 
the aisle. I know in my heart and in my mind that neither party 
possesses a claim on righteousness. So I am profoundly disturbed that 
so many Members on both sides of the aisle can be so certain of the 
validity of their positions.
  How is it that good men and women of conscience can come to such 
opposite conclusions on the same facts and circumstances? It appears 
the only common thread that would account for this extreme difference 
would be partisanship. I am not gifted or wise enough to discern which 
side possesses the superior wisdom to be right. However, it appears to 
me that the constitutional framers and our predecessors established the 
precedent to solve this dilemma. And that is, the power of impeachment 
should only be exercised when it has the benefit of broad bipartisan 
support.
  We worry about the rule of law, the example to our children, our 
Constitutional duty and other such high-sounding phrases, but few have 
cautioned us about the effect of our decision today on the American 
Constitution that posterity will inherit.
  Some may hate this President. Some may want him punished for sins or 
crimes. But truly those of us who have sworn to uphold the Constitution 
should pause at this moment to understand that the action we are about 
to take will profoundly affect the relationship of

[[Page H11907]]

our three branches of government for all time to come.
  My only prayer is that may God at this eleventh hour give everyone of 
us the power and insight to understand the consequences of our 
momentous decision.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise with great sadness because today we are 
considering whether to impeach a President. Under our Constitution, 
there is no more somber occasion, except perhaps declaring war. In more 
than 200 years, we have impeached only one President, and we have never 
convened a lame-duck session of the House for this purpose.
  Just over ten weeks ago, I was one of only five Members of this body 
to vote against pursuing any form of an impeachment inquiry. At that 
time, I also called for the Congress to firmly censure the President. I 
reached these decisions, in part, because I feared the slippery slope 
of partisan politics that has brought us here today. Careful analysis 
of the facts known at the time we voted to begin an inquiry led me to 
conclude none was needed then. Even assuming that the worst was true--
namely, that the President lied and delayed the discovery of truth--I 
concluded that no misdeed rose to the level of an impeachable offense, 
and that an inquiry would unnecessarily prolong this painful National 
drama. (Congressional Record, October 8, 1998, p. H10025)
  In reaching my conclusions, I looked to the Constitution. It states 
that the President may be removed from office on impeachment for, and 
conviction of, ``treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors.'' Read in their entirety the debates of the 
Constitution's authors also firmly imply that the bar for impeachment 
is extremely high, and that Congress should use it to address only 
those Presidential actions that threaten the stability of our 
Democracy. Lying about shameful conduct in one's personal life does not 
meet the standard envisaged by the Constitution's Framers.
  In the weeks since we voted to begin an inquiry, the House Judiciary 
Committee has failed miserably in its mission to conduct a thoughtful 
and bipartisan investigation. Instead, it has developed a novel, 
watered-down standard of what constitutes impeachment. The committee 
has also neglected to interview material witnesses or subject them to 
the rigor of a cross examination. Furthermore, although we have learned 
that Miss Lewinsky told the grand jury that no one asked her to lie and 
no one ever promised her a job, the Committee has ignored such 
evidence. Of the four articles of impeachment approved on party-line 
votes, two are ill-defined and two are unsubstantiated.
  Not only has a majority of the Judiciary Committee ignored the will 
of the people as expressed in an election just six weeks ago, but it 
has also refused to support censuring the President, a more prudent 
course of action that would swiftly provide closure and allow us to 
register our displeasure with the President's behavior. Instead, they 
have argued that impeachment is the censure. We, however, should not 
make that mistake. In voting today for impeachment we are not voting to 
censure the President; we are, in fact, voting to remove the President 
from office.


            treat the president no better and no differently

  Although I may not agree with the Judiciary Committee's 
recommendations on the matters before us today, I can agree with them 
in at least one respect. Namely, we should treat the President the same 
as any citizen. I also feel, however, that we should treat someone no 
differently just because he serves as our President.
  During the Judiciary Committee's proceedings last week, a majority of 
veteran, well-respected, non-partisan prosecutors testified that if the 
President were not involved--that is, if an ordinary citizen were the 
subject of an inquiry into the same misconduct--no sincere thought 
would be given to pursuing a criminal prosecution. If others would not 
be prosecuted for such conduct let alone removed from their jobs, why 
should we single out President Clinton? To me, it makes little sense.
  The Constitution fortunately offers us a way to obtain justice in 
this matter without pursuing impeachment. It provides that a President 
can be tried in criminal and civil courts, after leaving office, for 
any misdeed committed during his term. The courts can, therefore, 
decide in the near future if President Clinton perjured himself. A 
court trial will also ensure that the President is treated as fairly as 
any other American.


             consequences of impeachment for these actions

  Proceeding with impeachment in this case will also cause significant 
damage to the Constitution. A great number of Constitutional scholars 
have concluded that an offense is not impeachable unless it corrupts 
the government. The President's actions, although shameful, certainly 
did not destroy the proper functioning of our government. In short, he 
had an improper relationship with a subordinate, he lied about that 
relationship in order to conceal it, and he delayed the disclosure of 
the truth. But, he did not subvert our government by committing 
treason, invading the civil rights of individuals, or accepting bribes.
  Second, lowering the bar for impeachment would forever erode the 
power of the Presidency and tip the delicate system of checks and 
balances in favor of Congress. The result would be a de facto 
parliamentary system whereby the party in power in Congress could 
impeach a President of another party if a sufficient number of members 
of the House and Senate simply disagreed with his policies or actions. 
Our Founding Fathers created a government with three separate, but 
equal branches. Because impeachment in this case would irreparably and 
severely alter this balance, we would be wise to heed the counsel of 
the Constitution's Framers and maintain a strong Presidency.
  Finally, if the House passes any article of impeachment, we must 
consider how much it will harm the Nation. Such an outcome will likely 
paralyze the legislative branch for months. It will also disrupt the 
workings of the Supreme Court because the Chief Justice will have to 
preside over the Senate trial. Moreover, it will divide the country and 
reverse the judgment of the people who twice elected Bill Clinton as 
their President.


                       censure, the better option

  Mr. Speaker, the Founding Fathers intended us to use impeachment only 
when the Nation is seriously threatened by the Chief Executive. On an 
issue as important as impeachment, we should, therefore, not engage in 
partisan politics. We should be seeking bipartisan consensus and 
allowing Members to vote their conscience.
  From my perspective, there is a better course of action than what we 
are being offered here. Instead of only considering whether to impeach 
the President or to exonerate him, a more sensible course of action 
would find a middle ground that would avoid a polarized public, 
government gridlock, and a Senate stalemate. As I stated at the time of 
my vote on the impeachment inquiry, I believe that we should strongly 
censure President Clinton for his reprehensible and immoral conduct. 
Unfortunately, the leadership of this House has denied us a vote on 
such an alternative.
  Opponents of this option contend that censure is not a 
Constitutionally-sanctioned procedure for Congressional condemnation of 
Presidential misconduct. If, however, impeachment is the only 
alternative available to Congress to register its opinion on every 
occasion of Presidential wrongdoing, then the threshold for impeachment 
will fall too low. Although the Constitution remains silent on the 
issue of censure, Constitutional scholars generally agree that Congress 
can do what it wants as an alternative to impeachment, so long as we do 
not cross the lines that separate the three branches of government. In 
fact, by a margin of nearly four to one, the 18 Constitutional experts 
called as witnesses by both the Republicans and Democrats before the 
Judiciary Committee agreed in writing that the Constitution does not 
prohibit censure. Finally, the argument ignores the fact that Congress 
has been censuring Presidents for more than 150 years, including 
Presidents Jackson, Tyler, Polk, and Buchanan.


                               conclusion

  Based upon any fair reading of the Constitution, nothing in this case 
justifies overturning an election and removing our President. Instead, 
it is time to put the turmoil of the last eleven months behind us. The 
President misled his family, his friends, his colleagues, and Congress. 
He also dishonored the office the American people entrusted to him. For 
this inappropriate and disreputable behavior, we need to admonish the 
President, but not punish the Nation. The American people should not 
have to endure a Senate trial about Presidential offenses that did not 
subvert the government.
  Mr. Speaker, we should vote today to end this impeachment charade. We 
need to move forward and address the Nation's real priorities. We 
should give the people what they want a Congress focused on governing 
the country and working with the President to address the pressing 
challenges of our time. We should also begin to forgive. Congressional 
censure will accomplish all of these goals. For these reasons and 
others, I will oppose these articles of impeachment, but support 
sensible efforts to censure the President.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Georgia (Mr. Barr).
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Every witness who appears before a grand jury has three options, 
count them, three, and only three. The witness can tell the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God; they can 
assert a constitutional privilege against self-incrimination; or three, 
they can lie, they can mislead, and they can tell untruths.
  Despite being offered yet a fourth option, President Clinton chose 
option

[[Page H11908]]

three. He lied. He misled. He told untruths. Even being afforded the 
unprecedented fourth option of submitting for the record a statement 
and referring to it some 19 times as opposed to answering questions 
truthfully and fully, the President's grand jury testimony on August 
17, 1998, was replete, that is full of, lies, untruths and misleading 
statements; misleading in that he never admitted the truth of his 
relationship with a subordinate government employee; perjurious in that 
he refused to admit having taken steps to suborn perjury, that is, to 
cause Monica Lewinsky to testify untruthfully and in a misleading way 
before the court in the Paula Jones case; perjurious, misleading and 
untruthful in that he refused to admit the fact that, in return for her 
testimony or her silence, he sought the services of Vernon Jordan to 
provide a job, to find a job, to buy the silence of Monica Lewinsky; 
perjurious, misleading and false in that he refused to admit on a 
pattern of activity designed to thwart justice and keep the grand 
jurors from learning the truth about this relationship arising out of a 
civil rights case. That is Article I.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Bryant).
  Mr. BRYANT. Mr. Speaker, the opposing side has made a point that Ms. 
Lewinsky said that the President never specifically told her to lie. 
Yet they had engaged in a very clear cover story for a number of months 
in terms of how she had access to the President when she was an intern 
and later from the Pentagon.
  Also, I would point out, while he may not have specifically told her 
to lie, which is very uncommon in the area of criminal law, there are 
other ways to get that point across. While the President did not 
expressly instruct her to lie, according to Ms. Lewinsky, he did 
suggest misleading cover stories. And when she assured him, now this is 
a 22-year-old girl, when she assured him that she planned to lie about 
the relationship, he responded approvingly.
  On the frequent occasions that Ms. Lewinsky promised that she would 
always deny the relationship and always protect him, for example, the 
President responded, in her recollection, that is good, or something 
affirmative, not do not deny it. And once she was named as a possible 
witness in the Jones case, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President 
reminded her of the cover stories.
  After telling her that she was a potential witness, the President 
suggested that if she was subpoenaed that she could file an affidavit 
to avoid being deposed. He also told her that she could say that she 
was working at the White House and she delivered letters to him and 
after leaving the White House, she sometimes returned to see Ms. 
Currie.
  In the grand jury testimony of the President, he acknowledged that he 
and Ms. Lewinsky ``might have talked about what to do in a nonlegal 
context to hide their relationship'' and that he ``might have said'' 
that Ms. Lewinsky should tell people that she was bringing letters to 
him or coming to visit Ms. Currie. But he also stated that he never 
asked Ms. Lewinsky to lie. I think that is a classic example of the 
parsing of words that we have seen throughout this case.
  Let me add a word about the materiality issue of these statements. 
Those argue that the perjury cannot be prosecuted since the underlying 
case has been dismissed. That is simply not the rule.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt).
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Georgia unintentionally 
has misled this House. The President admitted before the grand jury of 
an inappropriate relationship. He stated that clearly and unequivocally 
he did not want to get involved into the salacious details.
  At the same time, my friend from Tennessee (Mr. Bryant) knows that 
the job search began months before Ms. Lewinsky was ever considered a 
witness in any proceeding.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Rush).
  (Mr. RUSH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. RUSH. Mr. Speaker, the partisan politics being carried out by the 
Republican majority is a travesty being inflicted upon the American 
people. The Members of this Congress must not forget we were chosen by 
the people to serve all the people.
  Like never before, I have heard from senior citizens, the poor, and 
the working class who have flooded my office with a steadfast refrain 
against these articles of impeachment. They have overwhelmingly 
supported and resoundingly pledged their support to President Clinton. 
These people have spoken.
  The very fact that we are debating articles of impeachment flies in 
the face of the will of all the American people. The pompous and 
elitist conduct of the Republican Party is clear evidence of the lack 
of concern for the welfare of our Nation. President Clinton has served 
as a ray of hope for forgotten Americans.
  As a consequence, this President continues to be bludgeoned by the 
Republican leadership because of his relationships with minorities, the 
working poor, and the disenfranchised of our Nation, the very people 
who serve no useful purpose vis-a-vis the Republican agenda.
  Mr. Speaker, this is wrong, wrong, wrong. It is the wrong way. It is 
the wrong day. And it is the wrong play. I plead with the Members of 
this House to vote against this atrocious and unconstitutional measure.


                        Tyranny of the majority

  Tyranny of the majority was one of the most profound fears of our 
founding fathers. This was the driving impetus behind the framing of 
the constitution. The structure of our Congress is designed to ensure 
that the interests of all citizens are given ample weight in the 
deliberation of national affairs. The American people have made it 
clear that they do not approve of the partisan witch hunt that is being 
conducted by the Republican majority. The result of the November 
elections and numerous public opinion polls are proof positive of the 
public's disdain.
  It is sad irony that the very institution entrusted with the welfare 
of the nation has sunken to a merky depth most find unfathomable. The 
actions of the Republican majority is in diametric opposition to the 
will of the American people. This callous disregard for the will of the 
people is exactly what Hamilton, Jay, and Madison sought to protect 
against. The conduct of the Republican majority is a casebook example 
of the abusive, self-absorbed behavior spoken against so vehemently by 
the Federalists.


                         History repeats itself

  The Gestapo-like tactics employed by the Republican majority are 
reminiscent of some the darkest chapters in history, as with the 
Spanish Inquisition and Nazi Germany. The independent counsel law was 
passed in order to facilitate into possible inappropriate conduct by 
those entrusted with the resources of the American people. It is this 
very law that has been used to advance a singular and impure purpose. 
The resulting report was nothing more than tabloid paid for by American 
citizens at the cost of approximately $50 million--and rising. It is 
full of innuendo, rumor, and unproven allegations. The abuse of the 
independent counsel law is sinister at best. It is this type of 
behavior that lays the foundation for unchecked, unbridled, and 
egomaniacal behavior experienced by other nations. The wounds inflicted 
by such actions remain on the fabric of each of those nations. Must 
history repeat itself?


                         Trial without justice

  The efforts of the Republican party to discredit and smear the 
President borders on irrationality and absurdity. Their efforts have 
the likely potential of tarnishing the American psyche for years to 
come. Since becoming the majority party in Congress as a result of the 
1994 elections, the Republican party has repeatedly exploited its 
position to advance the interests of its party and those sympathetic to 
its views. The concept of balanced deliberation with regard for the 
overall good of American people has been lost.
  Earlier in this century, the American people experienced a ravaging 
of our institution of government. Then, as now, the Republican party, 
proceeded with congressional inquires based upon often shaky, if not 
completely fraudulent, information. Then the charge was ``communism''. 
The actions of the Republican majority parallel the reckless and cruel 
manner in which the McCarthy proceedings were conducted.
  As in the beginning of American history, the Salem witch trials 
demonstrate the tragic consequences of flawed judgment. The toxic 
accusations of false and self-serving witnesses, puritanical zealots, 
and various assorted moral arbiters led to some of the most heinous 
acts in our history.

[[Page H11909]]

  Unfortunately, the conduct of the Republican majority is exactly that 
which Madison spoke against. In Federalist Paper No. 57, Madison warned 
that the ``House of Representatives . . . will have least sympathy with 
the mass of the people, and be most likely to aim at an ambitious 
sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few.'' As the 
Republican party satisfies its political appetite, the welfare of the 
people falls to the wayside.


                          Spinning on its head

  The process by which this impeachment inquiry has been carried has 
spun the constitutional framework of our nation on its head. The 
Republican majority has proceeded with an open-ended and arbitrary 
impeachment inquiry. The behavior of the President, however 
disappointing, does not rise to the caliber of an impeachable offense. 
All efforts by Democrats to conduct a focused and fair hearing were 
spurned. The Republicans have proceeded with callous disregard for the 
constitutional standards for impeachment. This process is contrary to 
the constitutional framework upon which our nation is based.


                         The will of the people

  The partisan politics being carried out by the Republican majority is 
a travesty being inflicted upon the American people. The members of 
this Congress must not forget we were chosen by the people to serve all 
the people. Like never before, I have heard from senior citizens, the 
poor, and the working class have flooded my office with a steadfast 
refrain against these articles of impeachment. They have overwhelmingly 
and resoundingly pledged their support to President Clinton. These 
people have spoken. The very fact that we are debating articles of 
impeachment, flies in the face of the will of the all American people.
  the pompous and elitist conduct of the Republican party is clear 
evidence of its lack of concern for the welfare of our nation. 
President Clinton has served as a ray of hope for forgotten Americans. 
This President continues to be bludgeoned by the Republican leadership 
because of his relationship with minorities, the working poor and the 
disenfranchised of our nation. The very people who serve no useful 
purpose vis a vis the Republican agenda.
  The Republican majority is out of touch with the American people. At 
a time when our schools rank lower than those of most industrialized 
nations and the infant mortality rate in some of our major cities is 
higher than that of some third world countries, the Republican majority 
has chosen to put vicious partisan politics ahead of the concerns of 
the American people.
  The Republicans will resort to anything to get their way--even 
shutting down the government, cutting medicare, and eliminating the 
social safety net of our most vulnerable citizens. This most recent 
maneuvering is extreme, misguided and vindictive and will only result 
in a divided America whose government is paralyzed and crippled by a 
small band of right wing radicals.
  This is wrong, wrong, wrong. This is the wrong way, the wrong day, 
and the wrong play.
  I plead with the members of this House to vote against this atrocious 
and unconstitutional measure.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Borski).
  (Mr. BORSKI asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BORSKI. Mr. Speaker, last year this House was asked to set aside 
partisan interests and to bring to resolution the investigation of the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrich).
  At that time, we rose above partisan and passionate emotions to 
produce a just and fair punishment. As Members of Congress, it was our 
duty to do so. What we are confronted with today certainly deserves no 
less.
  Unfortunately, that bipartisanship is disturbingly absent from our 
proceedings today. As the people of this Nation cry out for appropriate 
sanction and closure, Republicans continue to press forth ignoring 
their voices. They have denied the representatives of the people a vote 
on censure and will accept nothing less than the fruition of their 
partisan agenda.
  President Clinton's behavior, while reprehensible and indefensible, 
is not impeachable. His actions simply do not rise to the level of high 
crimes and misdemeanors. By forcibly suppressing a vote on censure, the 
majority has coerced this House to choose solely between a political 
death sentence or total absolution.
  Impeaching the President would damage the very foundation of 
representation upon which our Nation rests. While I truly believe the 
President's actions warrant punishment, I cannot in good conscience 
support his removal from office.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the impeachment 
resolution. The vote before us is the most important that many of us 
will ever cast.
  In my career the only vote of greater importance that I can recall 
was that giving President Bush the power to enter this nation into the 
Persian Gulf War in 1991. On that day, I was one of 86 Democrats who 
proudly joined with Republicans to work in a bipartisan manner to 
support the actions of the armed forces.
  More recently, this House was asked to set aside partisan interests 
and bring to resolution the investigation of Speaker Gingrich. Serving 
on the Ethics Committee was difficult for me personally--the time was 
one that tested the good faith and will of the House as a whole. At 
that time we rose above partisan and passionate emotions to produce a 
just and fair punishment. As members of Congress it was our duty to do 
so. What we are confronted with today certainly deserves no less.
  Unfortunately the bipartisan work and fairness which I have seen 
prevail when circumstances dictated they must, is disturbingly absent 
from our proceedings today. As the people of this nation cry out for 
appropriate sanction and closure, Republicans continue to press forth, 
ignoring their voices. They have denied the Representatives of the 
people a vote on censure, and will accept nothing less than the 
fruition of their partisan agenda.
  President Clinton's behavior, while reprehensible and indefensible, 
is not impeachable. His actions simply do not rise to the level of high 
crimes and misdemeanors. By forcibly suppressing a vote on censure, the 
majority has coerced this House to choose solely between a political 
death sentence or total absolution. Impeaching the President would 
damage the very foundation of representation upon which our nation 
rests. While I truly believe the Presidents actions warrant punishment, 
I cannot in good conscience support his removal from office.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Coyne).
  Mr. COYNE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to this resolution 
to these articles of impeachment and to these unfair partisan 
proceedings which deny Members the right to vote on the alternative of 
a censure.
  Mr. Speaker, we are all disappointed in the President's actions. The 
President himself has admitted that he acted improperly. This debate 
today, however, is not simply about whether the President did something 
wrong or even whether he did something illegal. Rather, the issue 
before us today is what, if any, action Congress should take in 
response.
  Specifically, the Members of the House are being asked whether we 
believe that President Clinton's actions were so egregious that he 
should be impeached and removed from office. I do not believe that 
these misdeeds merit impeachment of the President. Impeachment is a 
statement by Congress that the President is unable to carry out the 
responsibilities of his office or that he cannot be trusted to do so.
  The Constitution specifies treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors as the proper grounds for impeachment. Impeachment by 
removing the Nation's highest elected official nullifies a vote mailed 
by the American people.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, with regard to the trustworthiness of the 
President to continue in office or the President's fitness for office, 
with regard to Article III of the articles of impeachment, let the 
facts be known. The evidence before this House indicates that the 
President engaged in a pattern of obstruction while the Jones v. 
Clinton case was pending and while a federal criminal investigation 
into his alleged misconduct was pending in order to thwart those 
proceedings.
  The President encouraged Monica Lewinsky to file a sworn affidavit 
that he knew would be false in the Jones v. Clinton case. The President 
encouraged Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath if called personally to 
testify in the Jones v. Clinton case. The President related to Betty 
Currie, a potential witness in the Jones v. Clinton case, a false 
account of events relevant to testimony she might provide in the case.
  The President told lies to White House aides who he knew would likely 
be called as witnesses before the grand jury investigating his 
misconduct, which these officials repeated to the grand jury, causing 
the grand jury to receive false information.

[[Page H11910]]

  The President intensified an effort to provide job assistance to 
Monica Lewinsky and succeeded in his efforts at a time when her 
truthful testimony in the Jones v. Clinton case would have been harmful 
to him.
  The President engaged in a plan to conceal evidence that had been 
subpoenaed in the Jones v. Clinton case.
  And the President at his deposition allowed his attorney to make a 
false representation to a Federal judge in order to prevent questioning 
about Ms. Lewinsky.
  I do not see how anyone, anyone, can deny the seriousness of these 
charges or the corrupting effect they have on the judicial system of 
this country if we allow them to go unaddressed.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I wanted to address a couple things that 
have been raised, first of all that the charges in this case are not 
specific enough.
  The charges are specific. They are detailed. And more importantly, 
the specific charges are the same as has been followed in previous 
impeachment inquiries of this House. And also, the report of the 
Committee on the Judiciary has every page number that is necessary to 
put the President on notice.
  And now materiality. It has been raised that, well, the lies under 
oath were not material in nature. Judge Wright at the time of the 
deposition in Arkansas said that the questions were relevant and 
directed the President to answer those questions. Materiality is 
determined at the time the questions are asked and not later. And that 
is the case of United States v. Holly, Fifth Circuit, 1991.
  But most importantly, no person should be so above the law that they 
can determine when they are a litigant in a lawsuit what is relevant 
and not. The judge must determine that issue.

                              {time}  2015

  Now I want to mention Article IV. Article IV talks about the 
misstatements, the misleading statements to the United States Congress. 
We have a pattern here where the President of the United States 
flaunted the truth seeking process of the civil courts, he flaunted the 
truth seeking process of the federal grand jury. But I believe what is 
most offensive in terms of the Constitution is that he failed to 
provide truthful answers to the United States Congress to 81 questions 
that were submitted to him. There is a role in the United States 
Congress in this. We are the charging party.
  Barbara Jordan from Texas has been cited, a great lady, and she 
referred in 1974 the Constitution set up a pattern, that we are the 
charging body in the House, that the Senate has a role to play. They 
are the adjudicatory body, and that is important, that distinction. We 
charge, they try, they cross-examine, they hear evidence.
  I have a high standard before I will vote to impeach the President of 
the United States, but I do remind myself that we have responsibility 
to charge but ultimately it is the obligation of the Senate to make the 
determination of the facts.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Nebraska (Mr. Barrett).
  Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Virginia 
said let the facts be known, so I think it is important that we let the 
facts be known.
  With regard to Betty Currie, she was not a witness in the Jones case, 
she did not become a witness in the Jones case, she was never a witness 
in the Jones case. Yet they argue that somehow there is an obstruction 
of justice with the Jones case. She was never a witness.
  With regard to the job search the record could not be clearer that 
Monica Lewinsky was looking for a job long before December and got a 
lot of assistance long before December.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Brown).
  (Mr. BROWN of Ohio asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I rise in protest against this unfair 
procedure, asking for a censure, a vote on censure and against articles 
of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to call on the Republican majority to allow the 
members of the House of Representatives to vote on censure. The 
overwhelming majority of American people want this Congress to censure 
the President, not impeach him.
  I support censure not because the President didn't do anything wrong. 
His behavior was wrong and reprehensible. I support censure because the 
President's behavior doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable 
offense as outlined by our Founding Fathers. His actions were private 
misdeeds that neither subverted the Constitution nor constituted abuse 
of the power of his office.
  I support censure because President Clinton didn't order the break-in 
of a building. He didn't use the IRS, the CIA, and the FBI against 
American citizens. And he didn't lie to Congress about selling arms to 
a terrorist state.
  Chairman Hyde allowed a vote on censure in the Judiciary Committee 
last week. He allowed the members of his committee a conscience vote on 
censure. We thank him for that. The House leadership must allow a 
conscience vote for all members on this question.
  In 1995, Republicans shut down the government. In 1998, they refused 
to pass the Patients' Bill of Rights, they refused to pass campaign 
finance reform, and they refused to pass an increase in the minimum 
wage. Imagine what will happen next year if the House approves articles 
of impeachment. With a Senate trial, the people's government virtually 
will be shut down for another year.
  It's time we censure the President and end this process so we can 
return to the issues that matter most to working people, including 
reducing prescription drug costs for seniors, protecting our 
environment, and helping local school districts rebuild their schools.
  In their zeal to undo two national elections, the majority has 
trampled on the notion that this impeachment process should be 
bipartisan and fair. I urge my colleagues to allow a vote of censure 
against the President.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Watt), a member of the committee.
  Mr. WATT of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the committee 
I have had many opportunities to speak on this issue, and I hope to be 
able to yield back some of my time. But I wanted to express, after 
hearing the debate today, to my colleagues my deep appreciation to 
them. I wanted to express that after hearing a good part of the debate 
today my opinion that the debate has been high quality and civil on 
both sides, and there are two issues that I think from the debate so 
far need to be still addressed that I thought might be worthy of 
talking about.
  First of all, is lying under oath a serious offense if it is proven? 
I think we all ought to acknowledge that it truly is. Does it undermine 
the rule of law? I think we ought to acknowledge that it does in much 
the same way that lack of resources that people who come into the court 
and do not have good legal representation and resources and bias of 
witnesses undermines the rule of law. Untruths also undermine the rule 
of law.
  But the thing that undermines the rule of law more than any other 
single thing is a disregard of the law, and I think to get to the real 
question we need to ask the question is lying under oath impeachable? 
Because the standard for impeachment is treason. This is not treason. 
Bribery; it is not bribery or other high crimes or misdemeanors 
interpreted as crimes against the state, crimes against the government.
  So in order for a misstatement under oath to be a crime against the 
government it would have to be about some operation of the government, 
not about some sex offense, not about speeding, not about something 
that is unrelated to the operation of the government.
  Finally, does it mean that the President is above the law if he is 
not impeached? Be clear on it, Mr. Speaker. The failure to impeach does 
not exonerate the President. He can still be tried as any other citizen 
in this country. The Constitution specifically provides that. When his 
term of office is up, if he has lied, if he has engaged in perjury, he 
can be prosecuted and convicted and sentenced just like any other 
citizen in this country.
  So this whole notion that somehow by failing to impeach this 
President we place him above the law is just inaccurate.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Snyder).

[[Page H11911]]

  Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Speaker, there has been a lot of discussion in the 
last several weeks about this being a vote of conscience over the next 
2 days. One of my friends from Arkansas was talking to me a few days 
ago and said, ``What's all this talk about conscience? You all act like 
it's something new for the first time.'' He said, ``What the hell, all 
the other votes you've been doing the last 2 years there?'' Well I 
think impeachment is a vote of conscience.
  Mr. Speaker, my question for this side of the aisle is: What was the 
decision-making process that led them to conclude that we should not 
have a censure alternative on this floor? Was it a vote of conscience 
in their caucus that said we, their Democratic colleagues, should be 
denied this right? Was it a vote of conscience amongst their leadership 
which said we, their Democrat colleagues, should be denied the right to 
vote for the alternative that we prefer?
  As my colleagues know, I am a doctor. I had the opportunity to dig 
around in people's bodies and cadavers in anatomy lab. I have looked 
for the conscience in a cadaver, it is not there. I have decided the 
last few days perhaps it was a Democratic cadaver I had who did not 
have a conscience. Well, I cannot believe that is true. We also have a 
conscience; everybody in this body has a conscience. We would like 
their process that they all control to give us the same opportunity 
they have.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Sanchez).
  (Ms. SANCHEZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. SANCHEZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great sadness. My heart 
is heavy because I know what it is like to be the target of a blatantly 
partisan investigation. Remember, I spent the first year and a half 
here defending my congressional seat from a very partisan investigation 
over the outcome of my election. They tried to undo that election, and 
now they are trying to undo the President's election.
  But an overwhelming majority of Americans want this President to 
stay, and I can only echo my colleague and friend, the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Lewis), when he says, ``Beware the wrath of the American 
people, beware. You will have only yourselves to blame when Americans 
rise up and hold you accountable for what you are doing today.''
  What is going on is unbelievable. Make no mistake about it. This is a 
partisan effort to remove the duly elected President of the United 
States from his office. One can only fear the harm that they are doing 
to the presidency today. Every American should be very concerned about 
the wisdom of impeaching our President without bipartisan support.
  Mr. Speaker, I am sad today because I know that in 20 years from now 
we will look back and say that we have weakened our Constitution and we 
will be remembered for failing the American people.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Buyer).
  Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, there have been many who have come to the 
well today and they have been requesting that this body take up the 
issue of censure of the President. As my colleagues know, it would be 
nice, I guess, if we could take the easy way out, cut and run, but we 
cannot do that, nor can Congress make it up as we go. I know it is a 
legal technical term and people do not like lawyerly language, but it 
is called extra-constitutional. What that means is the Constitution 
does not specifically provide for censure as an alternative to 
impeachment.
  See, we also, as Members of Congress, took an oath, and it was to 
defend the Constitution. We have a duty to exercise legislative 
competence, and we cannot make it up as we go.
  President Andrew Jackson, who is known as one of the Founding Fathers 
of the Democrat Party, he was censured by the Senate. Then there was an 
election, and then the next Senate, they expunged it from the record. 
President Jackson, I will repeat, his own words shed great light on 
this challenge we have today, and he penned this over 150 years ago. 
President Jackson wrote that the very idea of censure is a subversion 
of the powers of government and destructive to the checks and 
safeguards of governmental power. President Jackson rightly claimed 
that censure was wholly unauthorized by the Constitution and is a 
derogation of its entire spirit. See, for us to make it up as we go, to 
cut expediently and to censure the President, we cannot make it up, it 
is not constitutional.
  Then what we did in the Committee on the Judiciary, a censure was 
offered. So we specifically looked at the language which was offered. 
They said, ``Well, we can do it.'' No, they cannot do it because now it 
is unconstitutional because it violates what is called the bill of 
attainder. Congress cannot set as a legislative body an act as a 
judicial body and put someone on trial and have findings of guilt and 
punish him. That is what the censure does. We cannot do it. It is 
extra-constitutional, and it is unconstitutional in its form as 
offered.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, with regard to the obstruction of 
justice, Article III, and the charge of suborning perjury or witness 
tampering with regard to Betty Currie, everyone here should understand 
that the issue is not whether or not Betty Currie was a witness. In 
fact, the law is very clear on that point. Title 18, Section 1512 of 
the United States Code with regard to witness tampering says that for 
the purposes of this section an official proceeding need not be pending 
or about to be instituted at the time of the offense, and the courts 
have been clear on this. In United States v. Radolitz the Court said 
the most obvious example of a Section 1512 violation may be the 
situation where a defendant tells a potential witness a false story as 
if the story were true, intending that the witness believe the story 
and testify to it before the grand jury.
  So the issue was what did the President think was likely to occur 
with regard to Ms. Currie, and in point of fact she later was called as 
a witness, and in a civil deposition he referred to her time and time 
and time again. So it is clear to me that he thought she likely to be a 
witness when he suggested to her that Ms. Lewinsky had come on to him, 
when he suggested to Ms. Currie that they were never alone, all of 
these statements intended to influence Ms. Currie's future testimony.
  With regard to the issue of Ms. Lewinsky's employment, the question 
is whether the President's efforts in obtaining a job for Ms. Lewinsky 
were to influence her testimony or simply to help an ex-intimate 
without concern for her testimony. The fact of the matter is the 
President assisted Ms. Lewinsky in her job search in late 1997 at a 
time when she would have been a witness harmful to him in the Jones 
case were she to testify truthfully.

                              {time}  2030

  The President did not act halfheartedly. His assistance led to the 
involvement of the Ambassador to the United Nations, one of the 
country's leading business figures, Mr. Pearlman, and one of the 
country's leading attorneys, Vernon Jordan.
  I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, there is no coincidence between the 
fact that Ms. Lewinsky signed the false affidavit on the same day or 
the day after she received a job in New York.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Barrett), a member of the committee.
  Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, this body has praised 
individuals, it has commended individuals, it has criticized 
individuals. No one gets upset about that. People on this side of the 
aisle have offered motions to censure individuals. Not the President. 
So the only reason we are hearing that the censure is extra-
constitutional is because it is based on the fear, the well-founded 
fear, that it would pass.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman's comments from 
Indiana are absolutely without merit. Nowhere in the Constitution does 
it say censure is prohibited. If that were the case, we would not have 
postal stamps, we would not have education, we would not have Social 
Security.

[[Page H11912]]

  We are not suggesting a bill of attainder, restraining the liberty 
and the property of the President. It is not unconstitutional. What is 
unconstitutional are the articles of impeachment that have no facts at 
all, but the censure is constitutional.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair would appreciate it 
if Members would abide by the time constraints that are allowed by the 
managers on each side.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt), a member of the committee.
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to put on the 
record in response to my friend from Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte), Ms. 
Currie appeared before the grand jury on eight different occasions. On 
each occasion, she testified that in no way was she pressured to make 
any statement exonerating the President of the United States.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Berry).
  (Mr. BERRY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BERRY. Mr. Speaker, I stand here tonight without reservation, I 
am against this impeachment. It simply does not rise to the level that 
the Constitution requires. It is unfair, it is partisan, and it mocks 
fair play. We should not do it.
  For the good of this country, this partisan insanity must end.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Blagojevich).
  (Mr. BLAGOJEVICH asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. BLAGOJEVICH. Mr. Speaker, 2 years ago I walked into this Chamber 
with awe. As the son of an immigrant, I was raised to believe in the 
majesty of our democracy, and this is the citadel of that democracy.
  Today we are on the verge of weakening our democracy by abusing the 
most extraordinary tool our Constitution affords us. Most 
constitutional scholars and most of the American people simply do not 
believe that the President's offenses, as bad as they are, rise to the 
level of impeachment; yet we are about to set a dangerous precedent 
where future Congresses will use impeachment as a tool of political 
destruction and not as the intended remedy for the grand abuse of 
power.
  If we proceed down this road, this Congress will forever be 
remembered not for defending the rule of law, but for defiling our 
Constitution. I ask you to look around and consider the weight of 
history all of us in this Chamber bear. Before you degrade the world's 
greatest democracy, I ask you, I implore you, to please change your 
course.
  About 2 years ago, I walked into this chamber with awe.
  As the son of an immigrant, I was raised to believe in the majesty of 
our democracy.
  And this is the citadel of that democracy.
  I reflected on the brilliant, courageous leaders who crafted our 
constitution, and those who followed them, here in this Chamber--men 
and women of vision and judgment who have guided our Republic through 
good times and bad, informed by the precepts of our Founding Fathers.
  Today, I fear we are on the verge of sullying their work and their 
memory, and weakening our democracy, by abusing the most extraordinary 
tool the Constitution affords us.
  It has been said over and over and over again, and we all agree, that 
the President's behavior in this matter was indefensible. He misled the 
American people, his Cabinet and staff, to cover up an affair.
  But most of the scholars we've heard from--and most of the American 
people--simply do not believe that his offenses rise to the level of 
impeachment.
  Nonetheless, the majority is poised to proceed, without ample cause 
or national consensus, to put us through a wrenching trial, for the 
apparent purpose of unseating a President they could not defeat at the 
polls.
  We are setting a precedent that will embolden future Congresses to 
use impeachment as a tool of political destruction, rather than the 
remedy for grand abuses of power it was meant to be.
  If we proceed down this road, this Congress will forever be 
remembered, Not for defending the rule of law, but for defiling our 
Constitution.
  I ask you to look around, consider the weight of history all of us in 
this Chamber bear.
  Before you degrade the world's greatest democracy, whose ideals have 
attracted millions of immigrants to our shores, I ask you to change 
course.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Tierney).
  (Mr. TIERNEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. TIERNEY. Mr. Speaker, the easy way out is not an avoidance of a 
censureship motion. That is the way to end the partisanship here. The 
correct way, the way to show some fairness, is to allow a vote on 
censure; not to make some excuse that because it is not mentioned in 
the Constitution, we cannot have that vote.
  Take the weight of conscience out. Do not deprive our right to vote 
our conscience so you can ram something through here. Spare us all the 
righteous condemnations, spare us all the assertions of your desire to 
uphold the rule of law, and do a fair act here; put on this floor a 
motion for censure, because certainly the fact that the conduct of the 
President is not impeachable does not mean it is being condoned.
  We have an argument here that he can stand for trial if it is decided 
that is what should be done after he gets out of office, and we do not 
need impeachment to teach our children the difference between right and 
wrong. Do not sell our parents short, do not sell our children short, 
do not sell the minority here short and do not sell the American people 
short. Give us the right, give us the fairness of a vote on censure, so 
the American people can have their way.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. McDade), the dean of the House 
Republicans, who is retiring this year.
  (Mr. McDADE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. McDADE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the pending resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, these votes on the question of impeachment are difficult 
ones for all of us. And my view of this sad situation is colored 
somewhat by my personal knowledge of how prosecutors and investigators 
can unfairly target and charge a citizen.
  But after reading the report of the Judiciary Committee, it is 
conclusive to me that the President violated his constitutional oath to 
the people of the United States. He did so by intentionally misstating 
the facts in sworn testimony, repeatedly. Likewise, he violated his 
oath by perverting the system of justice, by concealing evidence and 
attempting to influence testimony, and by refusing to answer 
forthrightly the legitimate questions of a congressional committee.
  However, I am gravely concerned about the tactics used by the 
Independent Counsel in this matter regarding the President. I am 
equally appalled by the tactics of another independent counsel in the 
case of former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. Mike Espy, in the 
read world, is now known as `former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy.' 
But Prosecutor Smaltz is still Prosecutor Smaltz--for bringing a false 
case the prosecutor suffers no loss of position, no penalty for his 
misconduct while his target loses his job and his good name. The 
prosecutor is unaccountable.
  These independent counsels are doing nothing out of the ordinary when 
they intimidate witnesses or engage in other unfair tactics. The 
tactics used by independent counsels are the same tactics used by 
regular federal prosecutors every day against American citizens. The 
U.S. Department of Justice fights any attempt to bring accountability, 
to bring oversight, to punish prosecutors who engage in misconduct.
  Repeatedly, these tactics are given the seal of approval by the U.S. 
Department of Justice. Nobody at the Justice Department raises any 
question about this type of conduct, which violates the Constitution. 
In my opinion, they contort the basic intent of the Constitution, which 
is to ensure the freedom of every citizen in this country.
  Earlier this session, I tried to pass legislation to reform the 
Department of Justice as it conducts its daily operations. I believe 
the need is clear--just look at the normal investigative techniques 
used every day in this country by not only independent counsels, but by 
all federal prosecutors. They cry out for attention, because they 
threaten the liberty and constitutional rights of our citizens.
  In carrying out their mission, overzealous prosecutors violate the 
rights of far too many

[[Page H11913]]

of our citizens. They represent a rogue element within the larger group 
of law enforcement, they must be curtailed. Their powers are enormous, 
then conduct unaccountable, and their victims are the constitutional 
rights of our citizens.
  In 1940, then-Attorney General and future Supreme Court Justice 
Robert H. Jackson warned of the dangers of placing too much 
unaccountable power in the hands of a prosecutor. Anyone who reads his 
statement should be deeply concerned about liberty in our country. 
Listen to just two sentences:

       With the law books filled with a great assortment of 
     crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least 
     a technical violation of some act on the part of almost 
     anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering 
     the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who 
     has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and 
     then searching the law books, or putting investigators to 
     work to pin some offense on him.

  That alert, given in 1940, should be regarded as a bright danger 
signal in 1998. For the number of laws and regulations on the books 
have increased a thousand-fold. And as they have grown, so does the 
danger Jackson warned us about.
  Today, an overzealous and unaccountable prosecutor can target and 
charge citizens on a huge variety of technical and substantive 
violations of law. The power they unleash is beyond description. The 
effects on a citizen of our country are ruinous.
  Legislation which I offered (H.R. 3396 and the House overwhelming 
passed as part of the Commerce/Justice State appropriations bill on 
August 5 would have reined in the abuses of these overzealous 
prosecutors. Before and after passage of the bill in the House, the 
Department of Justice lobbied intently against it. And my question is, 
why?
  Title I of my bill requires the lawyers at the Department of Justice 
to abide by the ethics law which govern the actions of all other 
lawyers. The Department vehemently argued the need for their self-
proclaimed exemption from ethics laws. They were opposed by the chief 
justices of all 50 states, the American Bar Association, and every 
professional group which took a position. Standing alone in favor of 
their own ethics exemption was the Department of Justice. Their 
position was resoundingly defeated in a House vote.
  Title II of my bill set a series of bright lines and prohibited DoJ 
personnel from crossing them. It also offered for the first time a 
remedy for a citizen aggrieved by untoward conduct by the Department of 
Justice. and conduct proscribed by the Act--such as withholding 
evidence that would exonerate a person, altering evidence misleading a 
court--was clearly stated. The Department of Justice intensely lobbied 
against this section of the bill. In the House, the Department's effort 
was in vain, as once again, the ``people's branch'' overwhelmingly 
voted for a newly-stated ethic. But the Department was successful in 
recoving Title II in a conference with the Senate.
  Again, the question--why the white-hot lobbying effort to defeat it? 
Why would they oppose simple codes of punishable instances of 
prosecutorial misconduct? It seems so self-evident that these codes are 
basic to the constitutional protection of every citizen. Why would they 
oppose and lobby so intensely? It may be because of the provision in 
Title II which begins a system of accountability--real accountability 
with an independent review of instances of prosecutorial misconduct.
  Much remains to be done in an area of grave consequences. While I am 
grateful that Title I of my bill survived in the omnibus appropriations 
conference, our nation also needs Title II to bring accountability to 
the Department of Justice. It is my hope that the 106th Congress will 
continue the work we started this year, to safeguard our citizens from 
prosecutorial misconduct.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield two minutes to the gentleman 
from South Carolina (Mr. Sanford).
  Mr. SANFORD. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, David Schippers, Chief Investigative Counsel for the 
Committee on the Judiciary, lifelong Democrat and former head of Robert 
F. Kennedy's Task Force on Organized Crime in Chicago, summed up the 
one thought that I would like to contribute to this debate. He said 
before the Committee on the Judiciary, ``The principle that every 
witness in every case must tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing 
but the truth is the foundation of the American system of justice, 
which is the envy of every civilized Nation. If lying under oath is 
tolerated and when exposed is not visited with immediate and 
substantial adverse consequences, the integrity of this country's 
entire judicial process is fatally compromised and that process will 
inevitably collapse.''
  I met with Mr. Schippers in the Ford Building this afternoon and 
became all the more convinced on the need to do something about this 
principle that he talked about. For those of you in search of a 
censure, I have come to believe that the constitutional way in which 
you bring about censure is by sending articles of impeachment from the 
House to the Senate that go nowhere.
  But whether the Senate convicts or not, I think we have to get at 
what Mr. Schippers was talking about, because, if not, we leave in 
place one of two very cancerous thoughts. The first would be the 
President lied, I can too. If people come to believe in a municipal 
court, a state court, a district court, that when they raise their 
right hand and promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the 
truth, that they can do otherwise, we will have substantial harm to our 
judicial system.
  The other cancerous thought would be I do not know if he lied, but we 
have two different systems of justice; one for important people like 
presidents, another one for the rest of us. If we let either of those 
two thoughts grow, cancerous thoughts grow, we will have substantial 
harm to our system.
  Scott Peck wrote a book several years ago called ``The Road Less 
Traveled.'' He talked about how often the right road was the hard road, 
and, therefore, the less traveled road. I think we are on that road 
tonight, and encourage a vote on impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield two minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Riggs).
  Mr. RIGGS. Mr. Speaker, the very first thing I want to do is 
recognize and salute the members of the Committee on the Judiciary and 
the staff for the very difficult and courageous work that they have 
done.
  After a thorough review of the record, careful deliberation and a 
great deal of very painful soul searching, I have reached the 
conclusion that President Clinton lied under oath and encouraged others 
to lie under oath in a Federal Court proceeding. He has thereby 
violated his fundamental constitutional responsibility to take care 
that the laws be faithfully executed. That, in my opinion, is grounds 
for the President's resignation, but it is also grounds for his 
impeachment under the first three articles reported out by the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Impeachment is essential to preserving the rule of law because, under 
our Constitution, a sitting President cannot be indicted for crimes. 
The only way to make him subject to the law and preserve the rule of 
law is through the process of impeachment.
  More importantly, if the President can distort the truth, break the 
law and avoid accountability, what are the consequences for our Nation? 
Do we want to establish the precedent that presidents may with impunity 
hold the law in contempt? How can we expect anyone who is subpoenaed to 
court to have to tell the truth, when the head of our government has 
not? In my opinion, such conduct would invite the abdication of 
morality and accountability and it would breed contempt for the law.
  This truly is a vote of conscience. In a sense, it is a rare 
opportunity to put principle over politics. As George Washington said, 
let us look to our national character and to things beyond the present 
period. We are duty bound by our solemn oath of office to defend our 
country and the common commitment to its political principles, the 
Constitution, the rule of law, the right-to-life, liberty and the 
pursuit of happiness, that unites all Americans. We cannot, we must 
not, fail in this duty.
  For the sacred purpose of preserving the rule of law and the 
integrity of our Constitution, I will vote to impeach William Jefferson 
Clinton, and I urge my colleagues to do so.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Maloney).
  (Mr. MALONEY of Connecticut asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. MALONEY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the 
pending resolution.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt).
  Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Speaker, again, for the record, I think it is 
important

[[Page H11914]]

to note in terms of the constitutionality of censure that no less a 
figure in our history than Abraham Lincoln, the father of the 
Republican Party, supported a House resolution condemning President 
Polk for unnecessarily and unconstitutionally starting a war with 
Mexico.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson).
  (Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas asked and was given permission to 
revise and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise against the 
articles of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, the articles of impeachment referred to the House by the 
Committee on the Judiciary Republicans are the product of a partisan 
hearing process, a very unfair process. The majority party is obsessed 
with destroying this President. I think it is because he represents the 
American people's view; not the elitist view, but the people's view. We 
have called this House the People's House, and, time after time after 
time, I have seen these Republicans stand and ignore the people.
  It is unfortunate that we have come to this time, because it is 
clear, I have listened all day, and all I have heard are excuses trying 
to back up why they want to destroy this President. We have spent $40 
million of the taxpayer's money for the Republicans to be able to say 
``gotcha.''
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Mrs. Capps).
  (Mrs. CAPPS asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart. I oppose 
the impeachment of the President of the United States. I support 
censure. We all know that the President's conduct was despicable. He 
should be punished. I am deeply disturbed that we will not even 
consider a bipartisan motion of censure. I am being denied the 
opportunity to vote my conscience and adequately represent my 
constituents. This is terribly unfair.
  The question before us is whether the President's conduct was 
impeachable. I have concluded that his misdeeds do not constitute high 
crimes and misdemeanors. Impeachment is not meant to punish a 
President, but to protect the Nation against the abuses of power that 
would undermine a system of government.
  We simply must not impeach the President under this partisan, unfair 
process. Let us censure the President, put this chapter behind us and 
move on to heal the divisions in our Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart. Never did I imagine 
that I would have to cast a vote whether or not impeach the President 
of the United States.
  Tomorrow I will vote against the four articles of impeachment.
  Instead, I favor censuring the President.
  The resolution offered by the Judiciary Committee minority, which 
strongly condemns the President's behavior, would permanently and 
officially record the shame he has brought upon his office.
  A Congressional censure is not a trivial slap on the wrist; it is a 
powerful, historic punishment.
  I am deeply disturbed that a censure resolution will not even be 
brought to this Floor for a full and open debate.
  The will of the American people is being callously ignored by this 
patently unfair and starkly partisan process.
  Without the option of censure, not only am I being denied the 
opportunity to vote my conscience, but I am prevented from adequately 
representing my constituents.
  I have not made these decisions lightly. But I have made them 
resolutely.
  The question before us today is not whether the President's 
misconduct was immoral and despicable; of course it was.
  The question is not whether his behavior was criminal; that could be 
decided in a court of law.
  The question is whether his actions are impeachable. After reviewing 
the evidence presented by the Judiciary Committee, I have concluded 
that they are not.
  The impeachment clause was not drafted as a means to punish a 
President. It was not even designed to teach our children a lesson in 
morality.
  Instead impeachment is intended to protect our constitutional system 
of government. It is meant to protect the nation against Presidential 
abuses of power so great that they undermine the security of the 
nation.
  President Clinton's misdeeds, his lies, even his crimes, do not 
threaten our democratic system. His wrongdoings stem from private 
matters, not affairs of state. They do not rise to the level of 
impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors.
  While opposing impeachment, I feel strongly that the President must 
not escape punishment. A formal bipartisan Congressional censure is 
punishment that fits the crime.
  Mr. Speaker, it is time to bring this sordid chapter of American 
history to a close.
  The President deserves to be censured.
  The constitutional threshold of impeachment must be upheld.
  A President twice elected by the people must not be thrown out of 
office without ironclad justification.
  And we should not impeach the President of the United States on a 
narrow, partisan vote.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Price).
  (Mr. PRICE of North Carolina asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, this institution is failing 
to live up to its responsibilities, just as surely as the President has 
failed to live up to his, and the House's failure may well do the more 
lasting damage to our Constitution. Where there should be an 
extraordinary effort to work across party lines and find a consensual 
basis for action, I see a hard charging majority bringing articles of 
impeachment to the floor on a strictly partisan basis. Where there 
should be scrupulous attention to the constitutional and historical 
basis for impeachment, I see a cavalier willingness to define 
impeachment down to get a favorable vote, in disregard of what the 
framers intended.

                              {time}  2045

  And where there should be assurances that this is a vote of 
conscience, I see a cynical and unfair manipulation of the rules to 
deny Members the right to vote on a motion of censure and to tilt the 
outcome in favor of impeachment.
  This shuts off consideration of the most appropriate sanction under 
the Constitution for the behavior we are considering. It denies many of 
us the right to vote our consciences on the most serious question we 
are ever likely to face as Members of this body. It is manipulative, it 
is cynical, it is unfair. It is as though the Republican leaders of 
this House have set out to confirm all of the worst suspicions 
Americans have about politics and politicians.
  Mr. Speaker, this House is on the brink of a historic and tragic 
failure. I beg my colleagues to take heed.
  Mr. Speaker, who among us would have thought when we ran for office 
or when the 105th Congress began, that this is where it would end?
  For the second time in the 209-year history of this republic, we are 
debating articles of impeachment of a president on the House floor. 
This is likely to be the most important vote any of us will ever cast. 
The judgment of history should weight heavily on our minds.
  What has brought us to this point? The reckless, irresponsible 
behavior of the president and his efforts to cover up that behavior, 
even when he was sworn to tell the truth. Many legitimate and troubling 
questions have been raised about the way the independent counsel and 
those working with him pursued this case, but this case is inescapably 
about the president and his behavior, which violated basic moral 
standards and is deserving of condemnation and reproach.
  That is not the end of the matter, however, for this case is also 
about us, as members of the House of Representatives. We have had this 
matter thrust upon us, and we must determine how to hold the president 
accountable in a way that is faithful to the Constitution, to the best 
interest of our nation, and to the people we represent. I say to my 
colleagues in all earnestness that we risk failing in this solemn task 
in a way that posterity will judge most harshly. Many have rightfully 
described this as a sad time. But despite the circumstances that have 
brought us to this point, I believe we could discharge our duty in a 
way that would uplift our nation and instill confidence in our people. 
Unfortunately, that is not what I see here today. I fear that this 
institution may fail to live up to its responsibilities as surely as 
the president has failed to live up to his. And our failure, if we go 
down the path the Republican leadership is attempting to drive us, may 
well do the more lasting damage to our Constitution and our system of 
government.
  Where there should be, in a matter of such gravity, an extraordinary 
effort to work across party lines and to find a consensual basis for

[[Page H11915]]

action, I see a hard-charging majority whipping its members into line, 
and bringing articles of impeachment to the floor after committee 
approval on a strictly partisan basis.
  Where there should be scrupulous attention to the constitutional and 
historical basis for impeachment, I see a cavalier willingness to 
``define impeachment down'' to secure a favorable vote, in disregard of 
both what the Framers intended in placing this power in the hands of 
the Congress and the constitutional mischief this action might 
encourage in the future.
  Where there should be assurances that this is a vote of conscience 
and that members will be given a full and fair opportunity to debate 
and vote on legitimate and differing proposals for holding the 
president accountable, I see a cynical and unfair manipulation of the 
rules to deny members the right to vote on a motion of censure and to 
tilt the outcome in favor of impeachment.
  This rigging of the rules shuts off consideration of the most 
appropriate sanction, under the Constitution, for the behavior we are 
considering. It blocks off the most promising possibility for 
bipartisan accommodation and agreement. It denies me and many like me 
the right to vote our consciences on the most serious question we are 
ever likely to consider as members of this body. It is manipulative, it 
is cynical, it is unfair. It is as though the Republican leadership of 
this House has set out to confirm all the worst suspicions and fears 
Americans have about politics and politicians.
  And all this is happening at a time when the House ought to be rising 
to this extraordinary historical and constitutional challenge. It is 
indeed a sad and anxious time, and we should not doubt that history's 
judgment not only of the president but also of ourselves hangs in the 
balance.
  In consulting the views of our country's founders, particularly the 
debate in the Federal Convention of 1787, and the subsequent 
precedents, I have come to the conclusion that seems to be shared among 
the vast majority of constitutional scholars: the Framers viewed 
impeachment of the president as a remedy reserved for protecting our 
Constitution and system of government from grave abuses that would 
destroy them.
  The records of the Federal Convention make abundantly clear that the 
assumed grounds for impeachment were treason, corruption, and similar 
crimes against the state. Some delegates desired to provide flexibility 
in the grounds for impeachment, while others opposed any impeachment 
power for the legislative branch whatsoever as a threat to the 
independence of the executive. As a result, to the specified grounds 
for impeachment, treason and bribery, were added ``other high Crimes 
and Misdemeanors against the State.'' (see Madison's ``Notes'' for July 
20 and September 8, 1787). The last three words were dropped by the 
Committee of Style, but with no intent to broaden the application of 
the terms.
  As Alexander Hamilton subsequently wrote in the Federalist (no. 65):

       The subjects of . . . jurisdiction are those offenses which 
     proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other 
     words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust . . . 
     [relating] chiefly to injuries done immediately to the 
     society itself.

  Presciently, Hamilton added that ``in such cases there will always be 
the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the 
comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of 
innocence or guilt.''
  The one time the House impeached a president demonstrated Hamilton's 
foresight. I've always heard a great deal about Andrew Johnson: I grew 
up thirty miles from his home and tailor shop in Greeneville, 
Tennessee, and I now represent the North Carolina district where he was 
born. Members would do well to reflect on the circumstances of Andrew 
Johnson's impeachment and the consequences that flowed from it. 
Although Johnson was not convicted by the Senate, his impeachment 
ushered in a period of congressional ascendance and hobbled the 
presidency into the next century. The republic survived: we were an 
insular, agrarian nation, less in need of a strong executive than we 
are now. But while the grounds for impeaching Johnson were closer to 
the constitutional standard than those we are considering today, 
history has not judged the perpetrators of Johnson's impeachment 
kindly.

  The profiles in courage in 1868 were not those radical Republicans 
who pressed for impeachment; it was an easy vote for them, pleasing 
their political base and promoting their political ambitions. The 
profile in courage we most remember, in large part because of John F. 
Kennedy's book by that name, is Republican Senator Edmund G. Ross of 
Kansas, whose vote prevented conviction by the Senate an who saw his 
political career ended by virtue of that vote. We would do well on this 
solemn occasion to recall the example of Edmund Ross and the warning he 
gave:

       If . . . the President must step down . . . a disgraced man 
     and a political outcast . . . upon insufficient proofs and 
     from partisan considerations, the office of President would 
     be degraded, cease to be a coordinate branch of the 
     government, and ever after subordinated to the legislative 
     will. It would practically have revolutionized our splendid 
     political fabric into a partisan Congressional autocracy.

  We have an appropriate alternative in a resolution of censure. I have 
hear the objection that censure is not constitutional merely because it 
is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. The overwhelming 
majority of constitutional scholars disagree. The precedents for 
congressional censure of presidents number at least four. The most 
frequently cited case is the Senate's censure of President Andrew 
Jackson in 1834. The House has taken similar action, such as the 1842 
report--adopted by a vote of the House--finding that President John 
Tyler abused his constitutional powers, or the 1848 resolution charging 
President James K. Polk with starting a war with Mexico in violation of 
the Constitution. In 1864, the Senate condemned President Abraham 
Lincoln for unconstitutional acts. Congress has censured civil officers 
of the United States beginning in 1822 and continuing throughout our 
history. For Republicans to call censure unconstitutional is simply a 
smoke screen to cover their cynical and unfair manipulation of the 
rules to deny members a vote on the alternative which is favored by 
most of the American people and which is the most appropriate way of 
holding the president accountable.
  Censure opponents also argue that such a resolution would upset the 
equilibrium of power between the legislative and executive branches. 
This argument is a breathtaking display of crocodile tears, because 
these same people are pushing the House toward adoption of articles of 
impeachment which will weaken the executive far more than any 
resolution of censure. The Andrew Johnson impeachment shackled the 
presidency, requiring his successors to seek the permission of Congress 
to dismiss civil officers and cabinet officials. It was not until the 
administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson that the 
office regained the powers enjoyed by President Lincoln and many of his 
predecessors. In 1885, Wilson described a ``congressional government'' 
that entered ``more and more into the details of administration until 
it has virtually taken into its own hands all the substantial powers of 
government.'' In portraying the approach the majority is taking today, 
Professor Bruce Ackerman of the Yale University School of Law observed 
that this ``cavalier approach to the impeachment process would 
radically change [the separation of powers]. Congress could regularly 
respond to unpopular decisions by seeking to force the president from 
office. The result would be a massive shift toward a British-style 
system of parliamentary government.''
  In the long run, history will judge not only this president, but this 
House of Representatives as well. The articles of impeachment we are 
about to adopt, and from which I will strongly dissent, are 
incompatible with the intent of our Constitution's Framers and fly in 
the face of the convictions of most of our citizens and of our 
historical experience. The process by which we are considering them is 
a travesty. It denies to members the ability to vote our conscience and 
to the minority the right to propose alternative measures. It promotes 
division where there should be unity, distrust where there should be 
confidence.
  Mr. Speaker, this House is on the brink of an historic and tragic 
failure. I beg my colleagues to take heed.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman 
from Colorado (Mr. Bob Schaffer).
  Mr. BOB SCHAFFER of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, in the most fundamental 
terms, what Americans are fighting for today in Iraq is the truth. We 
fight for the self-evident truths upon which our Founding Fathers 
launched the greatest Nation on the planet. Yes, our history is replete 
with examples of our failure to honor the truth. We have abandoned it 
plenty of times, but we have never lost sight of what is right in the 
world.
  By relying on the protection of divine providence and by renewing of 
our minds, we have always tried to discern what is the will of God, 
what is good and acceptable and perfect. We have always been serious 
about the truth.
  Today, there are 115 Americans who are confined behind Federal bars 
imprisoned by our society, by the law, for failing to tell the truth 
when it mattered most, when someone else's liberty stood in the 
balance. Our response has been rather harsh, has it not? In America, we 
will take away one's liberty and freedom when they lie under oath.
  Yes, Mr. Speaker, there are Federal prisoners who today serve as 
proof of this. How confused they must be. How confused all Americans 
must be to observe this debate, to hear this Congress

[[Page H11916]]

of the United States say nothing of the 115 people in jail sentenced 
for committing the Federal high crime of perjury. Yet, Members question 
with passion the merits of applying the same law to the highest ranking 
public official in America.
  On this next point, Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Our spiritual 
tradition in America also entails forgiveness. Indeed, the President 
has asked for forgiveness, and I judge his sincerity to be genuine. As 
but one American, I forgive him fully. If it is forgiveness the 
President seeks, I submit it will be freely granted by even the last 
one of us, but if it is punishment he seeks to avoid, he will be 
terribly disappointed.
  Forgiveness is a sacred quality defining the relationship between 
individuals. Punishment, in this case, is a civil response to breaking 
the law. In America, we do both every day, and today should be no 
exception.
  So it is upon that custom that the holder of the office of the 
presidency should be impeached, to ensure that so long as he adorns the 
great presidential seal and the hallowed flag of the United States of 
America, he shall deny justice no more. He shall never lie to us again. 
That, too, is our solemn responsibility and obligation to the American 
people.
  Mr. Speaker, most certainly at a time when America is called upon to 
lead the world to crush tyranny abroad, we must take inspiration from 
our brave soldiers whose courage lights the way of truth and provides 
hope for those in bondage. I want my children to know that when their 
father lectures them to tell the truth, he means it. And when this 
United States Congress considers the rule of law, we are serious. But 
if we fail in our solemn duty to apply the constitutional law of our 
country today, please, Mr. Speaker, and I beg my colleagues, do not 
risk the lives of our soldiers any longer. Let us never call upon them 
to demonstrate their abundant courage until we resolve to give the same 
of ourselves.
  Mr. Speaker, my precious remarks were trumicated due to time 
constrains, I hereby submit my full remarks for the Record in the 
proper context.
  At this hour, Mr. Speaker, the House has now had under debate, the 
matter of impeachment for nearly one full business day. All that needs 
to be said on this subject perhaps has been said.
  The Articles of Impeachment have been properly proposed, sufficient 
scrutiny of the Resolution has been rendered, the evidence before us 
has been well established, succinctly presented, and not one among us 
so far has raised credible opposition or challenge to the facts.
  To the charges, Members of the House hold differing opinions about a 
suitable remedy. Most favor impeachment as defined under Article II 
Section 4 of the Constitution. Others have invented a lesser remedy of 
``censure.''
  Some demand only a polite tap on the president's shoulder. But no one 
can deny--that is, without emasculating the English language--that 
President William Jefferson Clinton lied under oath, committed the high 
crime of perjury, and maintains, as a prosecutable felon, the office of 
the Presidency.
  And while most of us at this point have solidified and justified the 
votes we intend to cast in just a matter of hours, I ask my colleagues 
to consider the explanation of my vote that I have given to my children 
now at home in Colorado.
  I am of the first generation of Americans which has never known the 
draft. Now imagine that, I've never had to watch my friends or brothers 
drafted into the nation's defense. I've never had to hear a friend's 
mother cry upon learning the fatal news of her son. I've never had to 
live with the anxiety of wondering if, and when, my number would come 
up. And the thought of my children being called away seems remote even 
at the present time.
  Now that's a powerful statement of freedom, and a powerful testimony 
to 250 years of colonists, patriots, and American citizens who have 
defined American valor. And I thank God every day for the liberty I 
enjoy today. I thank every American veteran, volunteer or otherwise, 
who has placed his life on the line for my liberty and for that of my 
children. Today, Mr. Speaker, I'm especially thankful for the fine men 
and women who are fighting for America, half a world away from us here, 
this very day, and for all their colleagues who maintain peace 
everywhere else. They represent the best of America, and they 
understand what it means to be an American.
  America is more than our history. America is more than the flag, more 
than the Constitution, more than sea to shining sea. America is more 
than the Supreme Court, more than this Congress--and more than the 
President of the United States. Actually, America is a concept--and a 
simple one at that. America is, and has always been about the Truth.
  Now there's a concept that has challenged humanity from the Garden of 
Eden to this very moment, and it will challenge us from here to 
eternity. In fact, the greatest commandments of all the world's 
greatest religions are about the Truth. The Almighty knows the heart of 
all men, and He knows how we struggle, and fail, and struggle again, to 
honor the truth. I believe He knows we will all fail on occasion, 
sometimes very seriously, yet He holds out the assurance of His 
blessings to any man or woman--or Nation--that genuinely seeks the 
truth.
  In the most fundamental terms, what Americans are fighting for today 
in Iraq is the Truth. We fight for the self-evident truths upon which 
our forefathers launched the greatest nation on the planet. And yes our 
history is replete with examples of our failure to honor the truth. 
We've abandoned it plenty of times. But we've never lost sight of what 
is right in the world. By relying on the protection of Divine 
Providence, and by the renewing of our minds we have always tried to 
discern what is the will of God--what is good and acceptable and 
perfect.
  Yes, the reality of tyranny in Iraq has resulted in human 
degradation, misery, pestilence, and death, and that's what prompts our 
action in that region today. While soldiers, sailors, and airmen risk 
their very lives for Life, Liberty, and other self-evident Truths in 
the Persian Gulf, don't you think we owe them the same kind of courage 
here at home--to reaffirm that the Declaration they defend is real, 
that America will not be led by false witness, but by the same truth 
that sets us apart from the rest of the world? Life, Liberty, and 
Pursuit of Happiness are the pillars of humanity, and to those truths 
we have pledged our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. And when 
we fail, we repair ourselves by fixing our bearing upon what we know to 
be right, not in some errant direction.
  We have always been serious about Truth. Today, there are 115 
American citizens confined behind federal bars, imprisoned by our 
society--by the law--for failing to tell the truth when it mattered 
most--when someone else's liberty stood in the balance. Our response is 
rather harsh isn't it?
  In America, we will take away one's liberty and freedom when they lie 
under oath. Yes my colleagues, there are federal prisoners in federal 
prison today who serve as proof of this. Perhaps some of them are 
observing this debate from their cold jail cells. How confused they 
must be. How confused my children must be. How confused all Americans 
must be, to observe this debate--to hear the United States Congress say 
nothing of the 115 people in federal jail, sentenced for committing the 
federal high crime of perjury--yet Members question with passion the 
merits of applying the same law to the highest ranking public official 
in America.

  I cannot recall one Member objecting, on this floor, to the 
separation of liberty from a single felon convicted of perjury. No 
speeches fill our Journals, no entry, no extension or remark in the 
Record. Yet we agonize over the disposition of one Mr. Clinton and his 
relation to the highest office in the land.
  Mr. Speaker, unless any single opponent of today's Resolution has 
risen to the defense of a single convicted, jailed perjurer in this 
House--they may all be regarded by their countrymen, with plausibility, 
as hypocrites.
  My concern is not for the comfort of felons, but for their souls 
nonetheless. Because we believe the rule of law to be so essential in 
America, we should insist it be applied fairly to the least and 
greatest among us, and with blind justice.
  On this next point, Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Our spiritual 
tradition in America also entails forgiveness. Indeed, the president 
has asked for forgiveness, and I judge his sincerity to be genuine. As 
but one American, I forgive him fully. If it's forgiveness the 
president seeks, I submit it will be freely granted by even the last 
one of us, but if it's punishment he seeks to avoid, he will be 
bitterly disappointed. Forgiveness is a sacred quality defining the 
relationship between individuals. Punishment, in this case, is a civil 
response to breaking the law. In America, we do both, every day, and 
today should be no exception.
  Criminal punishment is about public safety and social order. The 
reason we incapacitate law breakers is to shield society from an 
offender's propensities and to ensure the unmolested liberty of law-
abiding citizens.
  And so it is upon that custom that the holder of the office of the 
Presidency should be impeached--to ensure that, so long as he adorns 
the great presidential seal and the hallowed flag of the United States 
of America, he shall deny justice no more, he shall never lie to us 
again. That too, is our solemn responsibility and obligation to the 
American people.
  This is a profound matter which must be resolved now. Mr. Speaker 
just yesterday, our

[[Page H11917]]

allies in the British House of Commons took to their Chamber to affirm 
England's commitment to use of military force in Iraq. One Member of 
Parliament sharing Mr. Clinton's own political philosophy, said, 
``We're not being led into battle by Richard the Lion-Hearted, but by 
Clinton the liar. I am disheartened.''
  Mr. Speaker, my children deserve a president who commands respect in 
the great halls of democracy around the world, especially among our 
diplomatic partners. My children deserve a leader whose commitment to 
his oath is an international bond spanning the widest oceans.
  And Mr. Speaker, most certainly at a time when America is called upon 
to lead the world to crush tyranny abroad, we must take inspiration 
from our brave soldiers whose courage lights the way to truth and 
provides hope for those in bondage, everywhere. I want my children to 
know that when their father lectures them to tell the truth, he means 
it and when the United States Congress considers the rule of law we are 
serious.
  But if we fail in our solemn duty to apply the constitutional law of 
our country today, please Mr. Speaker, I beg my colleagues, do not risk 
the lives of our soldiers any longer. Let us never call upon them to 
demonstrate their abundant courage until, we resolve to give the same 
of ourselves.''
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from North Carolina (Mr. Burr).
  Mr. BURR of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, we stand on the floor of the 
House in the shadows of 23 men who in the course of human civilization 
have written the basic principles that anchor American law, the concept 
of a Nation of laws, not men.
  Today, we have been charged with choosing between reaffirming these 
basic principles, or sacrificing fundamental truths, so that one man 
can be placed above the law.
  I have studied the thoughts of the North Carolinians who helped shape 
the debate of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. James Iredell, 
who later served in the Supreme Court, while debating the impeachment 
clause before the North Carolina Convention noted that an impeachment 
clause is necessary because, and I quote, ``If this power were not 
provided, the consequences might be fatal. It will be not only the 
means of punishing misconduct, but it will prevent misconduct. A man in 
public office who knows that there is no tribunal to punish him, may be 
ready to deviate from his duty; but if he knows that there is a 
tribunal for that purpose, although he may be a man of no principle, 
the very terror of punishment will perhaps deter him.''
  After reviewing evidence, I support Article I accusing the President 
of lying before the grand jury, and I support Article III, charging the 
President with obstruction of justice.
  I believe the charges outlined in I and III go to the very heart of 
our system of justice. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court, believed that, and I quote, ``No crime is more extensively 
pernicious to society'' than perjury. If we knowingly allow our 
President to break laws while some Americans sit in jail for having 
violated the same statute, we weaken the very rule of law protecting 
us.
  One of North Carolina's most favorite sons, the late Senator Sam 
Ervin, stated in his last newsletter, and I quote, ``If we seek truth, 
keep faith and have courage, I have no fear that this Nation can 
overcome all challenges from within or without.''
  Our country is strong. Our Constitution was written with wisdom and 
grace. Regardless of the outcome of this sad chapter in our Nation's 
history, I am hopeful that we will live in peace with our conclusion.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Hayworth).
  (Mr. HAYWORTH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Speaker, Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution 
states, ``The executive power shall be vested in a President of the 
United States.'' Mr. Speaker, a President. Not a prince, not a 
potentate, but a citizen, a citizen who, like every citizen, must have 
respect for the rule of law. Mr. Speaker, Article II, Section 4 
specifically describes impeachment as the remedy before us.
  Mr. Speaker, there is no mention of censure in the United States 
Constitution, a document of limited and specified powers. To the 
arguments from the minority side on censure, let me quote a senior 
member of the Committee on the Judiciary, the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Frank), in an article appearing in the Boston Globe 
in March of this year. He was talking about the majority party, and so 
he offered a pot shot, but listen to the words; I quote them now. 
``Faced with a choice, they go for symbolism over substance. That is 
what censure is.'' The words of your colleague, my friends: ``Symbolism 
over substance, that is what censure is.''
  The Arizona Republic opines:

       Skip the evasions and inventions. If the President lied in 
     his deposition and in his grand jury testimony, and then took 
     pains to cover his tracks and to encourage others to mislead 
     the grand jury, the constitutional remedy is to impeach and 
     allow the truth to emerge in the resulting Senate trial.

  The Mesa Tribune editorializes, quote, ``It is a crime to lie under 
oath, period.''
  I take no pleasure in this circumstance, but for those who want to 
carve out an exception to the rule of law, it is as if we take the 
scales of justice from the hands of Lady Justice and take off her 
blindfold and ask her to put an eye on the opinion polls and a 
moistened finger in the wind.
  I rise in support of impeachment with a heavy heart.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from California, (Ms. Roybal-Allard).
  (Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend her remarks.)
  Ms. ROYBAL-ALLARD. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this 
unfair process that does not allow me to vote my conscience.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to denounce the unfair process that has brought 
us to this critical point in our Nation's history.
  I am outraged that the Republican leadership will prevent me and my 
colleagues from voting our conscience on this grave issue, by refusing 
to allow us a vote on censure, which I believe, is the appropriate 
punishment for the actions of the President.
  In our democratic society what is so frightening is the unfairness of 
the process that brought us to this point.
  The Republican agenda was clearly predetermined.
  Even before the hearings began, Republicans were calling for 
impeachment.
  Although not one shred of evidence has been produced to prove the 
President's actions reached the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, 
the Republican leadership continues to pursue its goal, not for justice 
and fairness, but for the removal from office of the President of the 
United States.
  Tragically, these unfair acts that have controlled this entire 
process, have chipped away at the freedoms of fairness and justice our 
men and women in uniform are fighting to preserve even this very day.
  I still have hope, however, that my Republican colleagues will listen 
to the American people and change the unfair direction of this process 
by allowing us to vote on censure.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Furse).
  Ms. FURSE. Mr. Speaker, I rise to voice my opposition to this unfair, 
uncalled-for impeachment.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Barrett), a member of the committee.
  Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, several of the previous 
speakers have said that no man is above the law. I passionately and 
fervently agree, as do the Members on this side, and that is why our 
censure resolution specifically states that the President remain 
subject to criminal and civil penalties after he leaves office. It is 
important to make that point, because the American people should know 
that. It is a crime that our censure resolution cannot be heard on this 
floor.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Turner).
  Mr. TURNER. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Clinton's personal conduct was wrong, 
but no amount of outrage or indignation can obscure the fact that the 
rule of law begins with the reading of the Constitution and a review of 
the history of the Constitutional Convention debates of 1787, a 
principle well recognized by every court in our land.
  The framers of our Constitution and their forefathers had fled a 
monarchy and wanted to be sure that the person serving in the newly 
created position of

[[Page H11918]]

chief executive did not usurp his powers and seek to reinstate the 
unlimited powers of the throne. Impeachment for high crimes and 
misdemeanors gave Congress the power to defend the Constitution against 
acts that would destroy the constitutional order or extend the 
presidential power beyond its defined limits. For other crimes and 
misdemeanors, the framers chose to again depart from the monarchial 
tradition and they left the President subject to the same laws and to 
the same judicial penalties and punishments and protections as every 
other citizen.
  The President is not above the law, and today an independent counsel 
retains the power to indict the President and try him after he leaves 
office for any crime he may have committed. My oath of office does not 
require that I defend the President, but I cannot fail to defend the 
Constitution.
  Under that solemn oath, I cannot vote in the present case to remove 
the President from office.
  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said ``Judge not, lest ye too be 
judged.'' God forbid that we would judge the President today by any 
standard other than that set forth in the Constitution. This is the 
responsibility each of us readily assumed when we raised our right hand 
and swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
  The issue before us it not to be decided by what the polls say or 
even by what our colleagues say here today. In this moment, every 
Member must reach deep into their mind and soul and ask ``What does the 
Constitution say?''
  While we may all agree that Mr. Clinton's personal conduct was wrong, 
no amount of outrage or indignation can be allowed to obscure the fact 
that the rule of law begins with a reading of the Constitution and a 
review of the history of the Constitutional Convention debates of 1787. 
That is fundamental to the rule of law as recognized by the common 
practice of every court in our land.
  I have carefully read the notes and records of the debates of the 
Constitutional Convention regarding the language of Article II Section 
4. The framers were careful to create a system of government with three 
separate and independent branches of government--none with undue power 
over the other. They and their forefathers had fled a monarchy and they 
wanted to be sure that the person serving in the newly created position 
of Chief Executive did not usurp his powers and seek to reinstate the 
unlimited powers of the throne.
  The clear intent of the impeachment power was to give Congress the 
power to protect the Constitution and the office of the Presidency from 
acts that would destroy the Constitutional order or extend the 
Presidential power beyond its defined limits. For other crimes and 
misdemeanors the framers chose to again depart from the monarchial 
tradition and leave the President subject to the same laws and to the 
same judicial penalties and punishments--and protections--as any other 
citizen.
  Yes, we should severely censure the President as an expression of our 
collective disapproval of his actions. And we should not forget that 
the Independent Counsel retains the power to indict the President and 
try him after he leaves office for any crime he may have committed.
  I am not called upon by the oath that I took to defend the President 
but I must defend the Constitution. Under that solemn duty, I cannot 
vote in the present case to remove a President elected by the people 
from the highest office in the land.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Engel).
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to impeachment. I 
rise in strong opposition to this attempt at a bloodless coup d'etat, 
this attempt to overturn two national elections. The American people 
are ahead of the politicians; they are certainly ahead of the majority 
party. They want censure. Why are we not given the opportunity to vote 
up or down for censure on the House floor? Why are we not allowed to 
represent our constituents on the House floor?
  No one believes that the President will ultimately be removed from 
office, so we will have dragged this country through a 6-month trial in 
the Senate and Bill Clinton will still remain President. What good does 
that do?
  Let us put this behind us with a bipartisan censure. Let us get on 
with the issues of importance to the American people, such as health 
care, Medicare, Social Security, education, campaign finance reform.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle say they have a 
constitutional duty to move forward. I come from the Bronx, and we talk 
about street smarts there or a little bit of common sense, and common 
sense means you do not move forward with blinders on, you do what is 
best for the country. Please, do not move for impeachment. This will 
only harm our country that we love.

                              {time}  2100

  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Bishop).
  Mr. BISHOP. Mr. Speaker, I believe the President's conduct was wrong, 
indefensible, and disgraceful, and he should be punished. But after 
careful review of the four articles of the impeachment and supporting 
materials and after prayerful deliberation, I must vote against 
impeachment.
  I do support strong censure, which makes clear that the President is 
not above the law, and remains subject to any penalties of law 
substantiated by the facts. While I cannot defend the President's 
conduct, it is my solemn duty to defend the integrity of the 
Constitution.
  The Founding Fathers made it clear in their deliberations that only 
the most serious offenses against the Republic itself would justify 
removal from office. Whether or not the facts alleged in support of the 
articles are true is questionable. None of the testimony given in 
support of the articles has been subjected to cross-examination. Even 
if we assume that the allegations are true, it is my judgment that they 
do not rise to the high constitutional requirements for impeachment.
  I urge this body to take a course of action that is justified by the 
facts, censure, not impeachment. Follow the will of the majority of the 
American people.
  Mr. Speaker, I believe the President's conduct was wrong, 
indefensible, and disgraceful, and he should be punished. However, 
after careful review of the four Articles of Impeachment and the 
supporting materials and following prayerful deliberations, I have 
concluded that my vote and the vote of the House should be against 
impeachment of President Clinton. I reached this conclusion for several 
reasons:
  (1) Impeachment sets in motion a process to remove the President from 
office which could necessarily reverse the result of our last 
Presidential election and cancel out the wishes of a majority of 
Americans who cast their votes in that election. The constitutional 
requirements for impeachment are ``. . . Treason, Bribery, or other 
High Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' The founding fathers made it clear in 
their deliberations that only the most serious offenses against the 
Republic itself would justify removal of the President from office. 
Whether or not the facts alleged in support of the Articles of 
Impeachment are true is questionable. None of the testimony given in 
support of the Articles has been subjected to cross-examination. But 
even if we assume that the allegations are true, it is my sincere 
judgment that they do not rise to the high constitutional standards for 
impeachment and removal from the office of President.
  (2) There is unanimity in the Congress and throughout America that 
the President's conduct was wrong, possibly illegal, immoral and 
reprehensible. Moreover, it is clear that the people of this country 
feel the President should be held accountable for the violation of the 
trust he owes to the American people. However, it is also clear that 
they want punishment that will fit the offenses. They believe censure 
is the appropriate course of action. Constitutional scholars who 
testified before the Judiciary Committee agree four to one that censure 
is constitutional and appropriate. Those of us who believe in the 
Judeo-Christian principles of repentance and forgiveness but who also 
feel compelled to condemn the President's conduct should be allowed to 
express that as an alternative to impeachment through a vote on 
censure. Unfortunately, the partisan majority in the House will not 
allow a censure vote in spite of the strong preference of a majority of 
the American people.
  (3) The principles of the ``rule of law'' and accountability would 
not in any way be abrogated if the House failed to impeach, voted for 
censure or did neither. For the President is still subject to 
indictment, prosecution, trial, and conviction of any possible law 
violation. He could face imprisonment just as any other

[[Page H11919]]

American could, if found guilty. The President is therefore still 
subject to and not above the long arm of the law.
  (4) Finally, I believe that a Senate trial of Impeachment with the 
attendance utilization of resources would hurt our District by 
diverting the focus of the 106th Congress from critical issues such as 
job creation and economic development, farm relief, tax relief, school 
modernization, Social Security and Medicare solvency, the Patient's 
Bill of Rights, domestic and international terrorism, defense, crime 
and drugs, and veteran's benefits. Additionally, an impeachment trial 
will punish the country by creating instability in our domestic 
economy, losses for retirees with lifetime incomes invested in the 
stock market, and job loss and further economic downturn at home.
  While I cannot defend the President's conduct, it is my solemn duty 
to defend the integrity of the Constitution. It is my considered 
judgment that the integrity of the Constitution requires more than the 
allegation contained in the Articles of Impeachment. I believe that 
censure would be a more appropriate course of action. Therefore, I must 
vote against impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Regula).
  (Mr. REGULA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. REGULA. Mr. Speaker, it is with great disappointment in the 
President that I rise in support of the impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, no one here today is happy about our undertaking. It is 
a sad occasion, one filled with sincere dismay and concern for the 
future of our country. And I believe this concern is shared by Members 
on both sides of the aisle.
  After listening to my constituents, considering the Judiciary 
Committee proceedings, and the responses from the Administration, one 
thought remained constant. That is the inscription on the mantel of the 
State Dining Room of the White House. It is the words written by John 
Adams, the first President to live in the White House, in a letter to 
his wife Abigail.

     I pray Heaven to Bestow
     The Best of Blessings on
     THIS HOUSE
     and on All that shall hereafter
     Inhabit it. May none but Honest
     and Wise Men ever rule under This Roof.

  President Franklin Roosevelt had these words inscribed into the 
mantel as a constant reminder of the profound responsibilities of its 
occupants.
  Our nation and the freedom it represents--the freedom American 
servicemen and women are currently protecting--are based on the rule of 
law. A basic principle on which our system of government rests is that 
we all stand as equals before the law. If we allow our judicial system 
to be eroded by not expecting the truth to be told, then we are putting 
our constitutional system of government at risk.
  If our nation is to remain strong, it must be based on a rule of law 
and a respect for the sacred trust that goes with public service.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg).
  (Mr. KNOLLENBERG asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Speaker, I know a number of Members have had 
some great difficulty in coming to the conclusion, the struggle to come 
to a decision. One of those I thought did an outstanding job this 
evening, the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Jay Dickey), who probably 
exemplifies greater difficulty than all of the rest of us. So I salute 
the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Dickey) for those comments.
  In my opinion there is no doubt, however, that the President's 
conduct rises to the level of impeachable offenses. To protect his 
political livelihood, this President has subverted the rule of law, 
lied to the American people, and manipulated his staff and members of 
his cabinet to perpetuate his lies. These crimes are felonies that 
deserve the most severe penalty provided by the Constitution.
  Moreover, recent events have brought into the question the 
President's ability to lead. I have come to the conclusion that 
President Clinton does not possess the character or the judgment to 
occupy the highest office in the land.
  This president has violated his oath of office, betrayed the trust of 
the American people, and demeaned the institution of the presidency. I 
implore my colleagues to vote for the impeachment of William Jefferson 
Clinton.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Walsh).
  (Mr. WALSH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WALSH. Mr. Speaker, today I intend to vote for impeachment based 
on the careful consideration of the charges, the facts in the case, and 
many conversations with my constituents in central New York.
  My decision to vote for impeachment was difficult, but not on the 
facts. There is no doubt in my mind that the President lied many times 
under oath. I also believe beyond a reasonable doubt that he obstructed 
justice by coaching, indeed, suborning, potential witnesses in the 
grand jury proceeding.
  I further believe that these crimes are clearly serious enough to be 
grounds for impeachment. Weighing the public discomfort with this 
constitutional process against the need to defend the rule of law, the 
scales tip to the truth.
  We must not allow the President of the United States to get away with 
lying under oath. Americans have the right to expect that everyone, 
even the President, must tell the truth while testifying in court, be 
it small claims, civil, criminal, or the Supreme Court of the United 
States.
  If the truth is absent, justice cannot prevail for any of us.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman 
from Mississippi (Mr. Pickering).
  (Mr. PICKERING asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. PICKERING. Mr. Speaker, it is with malice toward none and 
forgiveness of individual failures, but with a love of the law and our 
country, I will vote for the articles of impeachment.
  Yesterday my fifth son was born. I held before me my legacy. I 
celebrated his birth. I wondered what country he will inherit. What 
standard will we set for him, what example today?
  For each reaffirmation of the rule of law, we have a new birth of 
freedom. But if we say with our actions that perjury and obstruction of 
justice and truth do not matter, then we lose our way. For all of these 
reasons and more that I will submit for the Record, I will vote for the 
articles of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, this week has provided me with the full range and 
intensity of emotions. Today, I mourn--our Nation mourns as we debate 
the tragic and difficult question of impeaching our President.
  Yesterday my fifth son was born and with him all the wonder, 
amazement and celebration of new life. The doctor allowed me the 
privilege of actually guiding my child from his mother into this world. 
I was the first to touch and hold James Harper Pickering.
  Whenever we are confronted with the beginning--or the end of life it 
reminds us of a larger, transcendent force and causes us to evaluate 
and examine our purpose--our meaning--our legacy.
  What will be my son's future, what kind of country will he inherit, 
what values and standards will guide him, his generation, his future.
  In the same way--what guides me in this difficult decision before us 
today?
  In 1963 a young man at the age of 26 won the nomination to serve as a 
county (prosecuting) attorney in Mississippi's Jones County [from 1964-
1968]. On his election day, his son was born.
  These were difficult and turbulent days for our Nation and in 
particular for Mississippi. These were days filled with violence and 
lawlessness.
  In an act that was rare for elected officials at that time--he 
organized a group of local officials to publicly condemn the Klan 
violence and intimidation and called upon the community to support the 
rule of law.
  During the trial of Sam Bowers, the imperial wizard of the KKK, for 
the murder and fire bombing of Vernon Dahmers, this young county 
attorney testified against Bowers.
  He was threatened physically and politically. But he didn't back down 
from the principle of equal protection for all.
  In 1968 he lost his next race.
  The polls of that place and time were against him. But, his 
principles stood the test of time. His courage and conviction give me 
an example which makes me proud. His legacy guides me today.
  For that young county attorney, now a Federal judge--continues to 
defend the rule of law, administer justice and ensure equal protection 
for all--he is my father.
  As I held my son yesterday--I prayed I would provide him with he same 
legacy. That

[[Page H11920]]

just as our founders and generations since fought to preserve the rule 
of law and with it our freedom, it is our duty today to honor their 
legacy. And, for our sons and daughters our obligation to leave them a 
rich inheritance of which they can be proud.
  We must demonstrate that it does not matter if you're a civil rights 
worker or a working woman--struggling against sexual harassment--you 
are guaranteed equal rights under our Constitution, the right to a fair 
trial--free of corruption of perjury, witness tampering and obstruction 
of justice.
  Abraham Lincoln stood at Gettysburg and called for a new birth of 
freedom. From this tragedy--we can rededicate ourselves to the rule of 
law and the faith in our country to endure. We can send a message to 
all the Presidents that will follow, to ourselves and to our children--
tell the truth--keep your oath--none is above the law.
  It is with malice toward none and forgiveness of individual failures 
but with a love of the law and of our country, I will vote for the 
articles of impeachment.
  We hold our legacy before us. With each reaffirmation of the rule of 
law we have a new birth of freedom--but if we say with our actions that 
perjury and obstruction of justice and truth do not matter then we can 
begin the long, slow death of our land and law. In the play ``Man For 
All Seasons'' the following line captures the essence of this debate:
  ``The laws of this country are the great barriers that protect the 
citizens from the winds of evil and tyranny. If we permit one of those 
laws to fall, who will be able to stand in the winds that follow?''
  I believe by our action today and tomorrow we can stand in the gap 
and hold up the barriers that protect us all. Even if the polls of this 
time may be against us--the principles of this action will stand the 
test of history.
  And as my son holds his son or daughter--I pray, he too will thank 
those who went before him.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Minge).
  Mr. MINGE. Mr. Speaker, I joined 30 Democrats in casting a 
controversial vote last month. I voted to send the Starr report to the 
Committee on the Judiciary without strict time or subject matter 
restrictions. I was committed to avoiding partisanship. Tragically, 
however, that effort to advance nonpartisan consideration of this 
momentous impeachment decision is today rejected.
  Three quick points. One, the people's body is denying the people a 
vote on the alternative they favor, censure.
  Two, proportionality demands consideration of the alternative of 
censure, proportionality in the sense of the offenses alleged and the 
consequences sought.
  Three, my Republican friends, they have even refused to accept the 
advice of President Ford and Presidential candidate Dole that we 
proceed with a censure or rebuke alternative. This is a tragic day when 
this option is denied us.
  Mr. Speaker, over the past several months, the news media has 
inundated us with continuous coverage of President Clinton's conduct. 
Over the past several weeks, the House Judiciary Committee has held 
hearings, considered evidence, and debated the merits of impeaching the 
President. Regretfully, the issue has distracted us from many serious 
problems that confront our nation and the world. Equally regrettable is 
the highly partisan nature that has characterized this process.
  I have endeavored to avoid this partisanship. Earlier this year I 
voted for the Hyde resolution so that the Judiciary Committee could 
consider all relevant information and determine the scope and the 
duration of its impeachment proceedings. This was a controversial 
decision; I was only one of 31 Democrats that supported giving the 
Committee that flexibility.
  I took Chairman Hyde at his word that this process would be completed 
in the House by the end of the year. I was gratified to see that my 
trust was not unfounded. As the Judiciary Committee votes on articles 
of impeachment this week, and with votes expected in the full House 
next week, I am glad to see this frustrating period in the House nearly 
behind us.
  I want to again voice my anger with the President's initial conduct 
and frustration with his inability to clearly admit the wrongs he has 
committed and apologize for his deceptions. I believe that elected 
officials, especially the nation's highest leaders, should observe the 
highest standards of conduct. Both the President's improper 
relationship and the subsequent reliance on rigid legalisms in his own 
defense shows how out to touch he has been with the desire of the 
American people for honesty and contrition.
  Although I was skeptical that the facts as they were known in August 
and September justified impeachment, I held judgment during the process 
of investigation and Committee consideration. I did not want to take a 
position on this important matter without both knowing all the facts 
and having an opportunity to study the standards and grounds for 
impeachment in the Constitution and in our nation's history. I also 
believe that since Congress is charged with acting in a judicial 
capacity in marking this decision on impeachment, it was important to 
avoid jumping to conclusions.
  Unfortunately, the partisan jabs that seem to characterize the 
Judiciary Committee's hearings and the expected party line voting gives 
this proceeding the appearance of politics as usual. If the American 
people were not cynical before this point, the Committee's behavior 
must have pushed public opinion over the edge.
  In recent days, as I deliberated about my vote, five consideration 
were important to me.
  First, the President's conduct is wrong and cannot be tolerated. It 
contributes to undermining the moral fabric of our society. It gives 
young people the impression that anything goes. There must be 
consequences to his behavior.
  Second, the facts are not really in dispute. The role of the House as 
the determiner of probable cause has been altered by the recognition 
that the real issue is the consequences of obvious actions.
  Third, the President's behavior, although immoral and deceptive, did 
not in my opinion involve his official duties as President or 
constitute dramatic and severe criminal conduct that demands 
persecution during his term in office. In my mind, the framers of the 
Constitution expected one of these thresholds to be met for impeachment 
to proceed. I do not believe he abused his powers in asserting 
executive privilege or obstructed justice through official channels. 
Although illegal and subject to prosecution, the perjury allegations in 
this case do not demand immediate prosecution.
  Fourth, there are alternative consequences. There is public rebuke or 
censure by Congress. There are monetary payments that can be required. 
There is criminal prosecution for perjury. And there is the personal 
tragedy, the humiliation, the family embarrassment, and the destruction 
of the historical record of a talented, energetic man who has given 
much to his country.
  Fifth, finally, and most importantly, we cannot let the passion for 
vengeance overwhelm the best interests of our nation. Impeachment has a 
checkered history. There have been eight attempts to use it against 
Presidents. In seven cases it was clearly political: John Tyler, Andrew 
Johnson, Grover Cleveland, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, 
and George Bush. In October, former President Gerald Ford wrote a 
persuasive analysis of the Clinton impeachment question in which he 
stressed the damage to the institutions of government that can occur if 
a president is forced out. As the Republican Vice President that 
succeeded President Nixon, he concluded, ``I care more about preserving 
respect of those institutions than I do about the fate of any 
individual temporarily entrusted with office.'' I agree with that 
sentiment, and as someone who deeply respects these institutions, I 
wish to put this episode behind us without doing further damage to our 
government and our nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I will not vote to impeach the President. I would vote 
to censure him, or as urged by President Ford, require him to stand for 
public rebuke. This proceeding has distracted our nation long enough. 
It is time we return to the challenges that confront America.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Torres).
  (Mr. TORRES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. TORRES. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to these 
articles of impeachment.

[[Page H11921]]

  I come to the House tonight with great sadness and shame. I am sad 
because after 15 years, 16 years, actually, this will be my last vote 
tomorrow in the service of this great institution, I am forced to 
participate in a process which undermines the very ideals and fairness 
and justice upon which this institution was founded.
  I am ashamed because history will record that this body, driven by 
rank partisanship and ideological zealotry, sought to depose the 
President of the other party without due cause and against the wishes 
of the American people.
  As representatives of the American people, we cannot, we must not, 
use our power to thwart the will of the people and trample upon their 
constitutional rights to keep a President of their choice. Sadly, that 
is what is happening here tonight.
  James Madison said, a President is impeachable if he attempts to 
subvert the Constitution. This President has not. We ought to not 
impeach him. I oppose these articles.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Mrs. Thurman).
  Mrs. THURMAN. Mr. Speaker, President Clinton, being merely human, 
gave in to lust. With the shame and embarrassment of that flaw being 
discovered, he deceived us. Those of us who voted for this man can 
forgive him. We can see what he has done, not only for this Nation but 
across the world. We can see that this President has much more to give 
as a President.
  But those on this floor who are calling for impeachment never voted 
for him, never supported him. They have pursued him relentlessly, and 
they cannot forgive or accept any imperfection in this man.
  Just as lust and deceit are sins, so are hate and envy. Just 2 years 
ago, this House undertook disciplinary action against the Speaker for 
intentionally misrepresenting information to the House Ethics 
Committee. The Ethics Committee recommended and this House adopted on a 
bipartisan basis reprimand over censure, a penalty which allowed the 
Speaker to stand for reelection.
  I do not know how to reconcile the hypocrisy of the House in holding 
the Speaker and the President to two different standards. Let us recall 
what one of my colleagues said in opposing the Speaker's reprimand:

       Let us stop using the ethics process for political 
     vendettas. Let us not create precedents that will only serve 
     to undermine the service of this country. Let us stop this 
     madness. Let us stop this cannibalism. Let us not fall victim 
     to unrealistic expectations that do not forgive the common 
     flaws of normal Americans.

  That was the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Tom DeLay).
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Weller).
  (Mr. WELLER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WELLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of holding Bill Clinton 
personally accountable for committing perjury before a Federal grand 
jury.
  Mr. Speaker, the House of Representatives is now considering Articles 
of Impeachment against President Bill Clinton. This is clearly one of 
the toughest and most significant votes of my career in public service 
and it carries major historical significance for our Nation. I do not 
take this decision lightly nor do I believe any Member of Congress 
should rush to judgment.
  Since the allegations against the President came to light in January 
of this year, I have reserved judgment until I learned all the facts. 
This decision, on my part, to reserve judgment on the President's 
conduct required me to wait until the House Judiciary Committee 
completed its work.
  Over the past few months as the allegations against President Clinton 
became fact, many of my constituents raised real questions that I felt 
deserved answers. These questions included: why has Congress been 
forced to review the charges against the President? whether Bill 
Clinton should be held to the same laws and standards as other 
Americans? whether Bill Clinton in his responsibility as our Nation's 
leading role model for America's children should assume personal 
responsibility for his actions and how should I base my decision? on 
the opinion polls? or the principle of what's right?
  Only one person is responsible for the vote we have scheduled this 
week. It was Bill Clinton's reckless conduct that forced the Nation to 
confront this issue. Had he come clean with America last January, a 
majority of Americans easily would have forgiven him for his reckless 
conduct. Instead, he chose to stonewall and later lied to a federal 
grand jury. Over the past several weeks, when several Members of 
Congress have urged him to tell the truth and admit he lied to a 
federal grand jury, he's declined. Had he come clean in the beginning, 
we would not be here today.
  President Clinton and his partisan defenders have suggested that he 
should be held to a different standard than his fellow Americans. I 
disagree and note that Congress, in the last ten years, has voted to 
impeach and remove from office two federal judges who lied to grand 
juries of their peers. And only a few days ago, several Northwestern 
University athletes were indicted for lying to a federal grand jury 
regarding illegal gambling activities. No American should be above the 
law and that includes the President of the United States.
  I've also had to respond to parents asking my advice on how best to 
respond to their children's statements that it is okay to lie if the 
President says its okay to lie. Personal responsibility is a basic 
virtue for all Americans and the President must take responsibility. 
American school children have all learned the story of George 
Washington stating to his father that he could not tell a lie and 
admitting to cutting down the cherry tree. Which example will they now 
remember?
  Now that the vote is scheduled on Articles of Impeachment against 
Bill Clinton for lying under oath before a federal grant jury of his 
peers, obstruction of justice and abuse of office, there are those who 
suggest I should base my vote, not on my convictions, but on the 
opinion polls. We must remember that early advocates of abolishing 
slavery, ensuring civil rights for all Americans and America's entrance 
into WWII were not pursuing popular ideas. But Abraham Lincoln, Martin 
Luther King and Franklin Roosevelt did the right thing and adhered to 
their basic principles. I will not base my decision regarding this vote 
on popular opinion polls but on what I believe is right for America.
  We must do the right thing for America. No one is above the law, and 
that includes the President of the United States. It is in the best 
interest of our Nation that the House vote to send to the Senate 
Articles of Impeachment against the President.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Gilman).
  (Mr. GILMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I share the outrage and disappointment 
expressed by my constituents. However, the President's actions violated 
our Nation's trust. The debate is no more about sex than the Watergate 
debate was about a third-rate burglary.
  This is a difficult decision for all of us, probably the most 
difficult of my tenure in the Congress. I thank my constituents who 
shared their views.
  While none of us should minimize the gravity of this impeachment 
process, we must bear in mind that the House does not have the final 
word in determining whether any official should be removed from office. 
Referral of this issue to the Senate is not removal, but merely a 
finding of probable cause that a removeable offense may have occurred.
  Having fully considered the facts before us, reluctantly I have come 
to the conclusion that probable cause exists. Accordingly, I shall be 
voting in favor of at least one of the articles of impeachment.
  In closing, I note that though I support the articles of impeachment, 
I am not convinced that the President should be removed. In fact, that 
decision can only be made after a fair trial in the other body.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Rohrabacher).
  (Mr. ROHRABACHER asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks).
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, during the impeachment inquiry, many of 
those who have stood against the President have been targeted for 
personal vicious personal attack. The gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Dan 
Burton), the gentlewoman from Idaho (Mrs. Helen Chenoweth), the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Henry Hyde), a Democrat, the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Paul McHale), and yesterday the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Bob Livingston) all have been made to suffer.
  What we have experienced on Capitol Hill is consistent with the 
threats and

[[Page H11922]]

intimidation endured by each and every one of the women claiming to 
have been used and abused by the President of the United States. I will 
submit for the Record the names of seven such women, the last being 
Kathleen Willey, whose cat disappeared, and then had a skull of an 
animal put on her front porch when she was supposed to testify. Then a 
jogger comes by and starts talking about her children, and where is her 
cat, and then says, did you get the message?
  Mr. Speaker, I will vote for impeachment because the President is 
guilty of perjury and lying under oath, and lying to a grand jury, and 
all the rest. Impeachment is another way of reaffirming certain 
standards and principles. America today is in dire need of 
reaffirmation of a commitment to truth, justice, and to fundamental 
human decency.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of all four articles of 
impeachment against the President of the United States. My vote will be 
based upon the Judiciary Committee's findings that our President 
committed perjury and lied under oath.
  Although the debate in which we engage is of monumental consequence, 
and being so, is to some degree contentious, let me suggest that I do 
not sense a high degree of personal hostility in this chamber. Even for 
a hothead like me, and I know I can be far too frank at times, I have 
not sensed ill will between Members, and have instead had some friendly 
exchanges and given and received some heartfelt best wishes for the 
holiday season.
  One might note that between Members of the House of Representatives 
this is about as amicable an impeachment as one could expect, all 
things considered.
  With that said, however, there is another more sinister dimension to 
the impeachment crisis. An ugly cloud of intimidation is evident here 
in Washington. Over these last few months many of those who have stood 
in opposition to the President have clearly been targeted for vicious 
personal attack. This ruthless campaign of intimidation is 
unprecedented. The Government Reform and Oversight Committee had barely 
started its investigation when its chairman, Dan Burton, was put in the 
bulls eye. Helen Chenoweth, Henry Hyde, Democrat Paul McHale and 
yesterday Bob Livingston, all have been made to suffer. In the case of 
McHale, the mudslingers couldn't even get their facts straight.
  What we've experienced on Capitol Hill is consistent with the threats 
and intimidation endured by women who may have been in a position to 
make embarrassing allegations against the President. At first it was 
made light of--the women were labeled as bimbos. But now it's more 
serious and no one is laughing. Each and every one of the women 
claiming to have been used and abused by the President has been 
threatened, smeared, or victimized.
  Former Miss America Elizabeth Ward Gracen; former Miss Arkansas, 
Sally Purdue; Paula Jones; Dolly Kyle Browning; Jennifer Flowers; and 
Monica Lewinsky.
  Kathleen Willey. Her cat disappeared and an animal's head appeared on 
her porch shortly before she was to testify. Then outside her home a 
jogger came by and asked what happened to her cat and made mention of 
her children, then asked if she got the message.
  My fellow colleagues, I will vote for impeachment because I believe 
the President is guilty of perjury, lying under oath, and lying to a 
grand jury and the rest.
  Impeachment is another way of reaffirming certain standards and 
principles. America is today in dire need of a reaffirmation of our 
commitment to truth, to justice, and to fundamental human decency. Thus 
I will vote for impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Gilchrest).
  Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Speaker, this debate is about the principle of 
equal justice under law, as the gentleman from Illinois (Chairman Hyde) 
so eloquently stated in his sad and magnificent speech. It is 
fundamental to our liberty that no one is above the law. It is absolute 
despotism that a crime for one person is not a crime for another.
  The words in an oath in our judicial structure is an indispensible 
pillar. No one can be selective when they are under oath to tell the 
truth. It has been written that language is the essence of law, and law 
is the essence of liberty.
  The President is at the epicenter of this storm. Its duration and 
tenor have always been under his control. To quote Emerson, the last 
line of his essay, Self-reliance, ``Nothing can bring you peace but the 
triumph of principles.''
  Mr. Speaker, this debate is about the principles of equal justice 
under law.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Berman).
  Mr. BERMAN. Mr. Speaker, if Members followed the Committee on the 
Judiciary proceedings, they already know that I strongly oppose 
impeachment. Given the totality of the wrongdoing and the totality of 
the context, the allegations of misconduct do not rise to the standard 
required for impeachment.
  With apologies to those who heard my statement in the Committee on 
the Judiciary, I would like to repeat those remarks that address 
another issue, whether a failure to vote impeachment could cause a 
decline in the fabric of our culture and the strength of our legal 
system.

                              {time}  2115

  The corrosive effects on American culture and America's legal system 
of allowing the President to serve out his term have been overstated. 
The President's defense is very troubling. His grand jury testimony, 
his public statements following the grand jury testimony, his agents' 
public statements are more egregious than any wrongdoing that caused 
this process to begin. Alice in Wonderland-like notions pop into my 
head, watching someone so smart and so skilled, so admired by the 
American people for his intellect and his talents digging himself 
deeper and deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole, and us along with him.
  This spectacle troubles many and may motivate many of the calls for 
impeachment. People do have a right to ask, what will America's 
children believe about reverence for the law, about lying under oath? 
Many thoughtful Americans wonder whether the deconstruction of our 
language will damage the culture. What will happen if words no longer 
have common sense meaning, if everything is equally true or not true 
because, after all, it depends on what your definition of ``is'' is. Of 
course, there has been and there will be harm to our culture and the 
legal system. But let us keep it in perspective.
  While not above the law, the President, the most powerful man on the 
planet, the man who has control over our nuclear weapons arsenal, the 
man whom we invest with the authority to protect and defend the 
interests of the people of the United States, indeed protect all of 
civilization, is a special case.
  Everyone is equal under the law, but we make special provisions for 
one person only while he is serving as President. Few would dispute the 
fact that the President is immune from criminal prosecution during his 
term of office. Many would argue that a wise Congress should pass 
legislation to immunize future presidents from civil litigation during 
the term of their office. We invest the Secret Service with the 
responsibility of taking the bullet so our Commander in Chief will 
serve out his term.
  That the President's conduct is not impeachable does not mean that 
society condones his conduct. In fact, it does not mean that the 
President is not subject to criminal prosecution after he leaves 
office. It just means that the popular vote of the people should not be 
abrogated for this conduct when the people clearly believe that this 
conduct does not warrant that abrogation.
  Most Americans know and will teach their children to know that 
conduct that may not be impeachable for the President is not 
necessarily conduct that is acceptable in the larger society.
  Those who argue that the institutions of government or the fabric of 
our society will be irreparably harmed by a failure to impeach the 
President seriously underestimate the American people. America is too 
strong a society, American parents too wise, the American sense of 
right and wrong is too embedded to be confused.
  We all know that the word ``is'' has a common sense meaning. We all 
know that lying under oath is wrong and could get us in a lot of 
trouble. I ask those of you who sincerely believe in limiting Federal 
power, in elevating the role of the individual and of individual 
responsibility, do you really want to impeach a popularly elected 
President to teach our children a lesson?
  Former First Lady Barbara Bush said, your success as a family, our 
success as a society depends not on what happens at the White House but 
what happens inside your house.

[[Page H11923]]

  Impeachment is not a substitute for good parenting or personal moral 
values. I ask those who are open to a second thought to rethink this 
issue. Impeachment is not the proper vehicle for symbolic gestures. 
These articles of impeachment must be opposed.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I will yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Davis).
  Mr. DAVIS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the 
articles of impeachment because I do not think the misconduct of the 
President was a threat to the Nation.
  I will respond to the understandable concern that has been expressed 
here tonight by those who support the articles and those that oppose 
them about the effect on the rule of law. This President, upon leaving 
office, will be subjected to criminal prosecution for having lied under 
oath. This is not just a theory. There will be accountability here. The 
independent counsel statute, which Congress would do well to let 
expire, specifically provides that the current office of independent 
counsel will continue to exist past the duration of the Clinton 
presidency. This office of the independent counsel, who no one has 
criticized as not being sufficiently aggressive, will in all likelihood 
be charged with the responsibility of making that decision whether to 
prosecute.
  The President will be held accountable in a criminal court of law 
where a jury will have the right to determine whether he has committed 
perjury. That is a separate consideration from impeachment. We will 
uphold the rule of law by the President being subjected to criminal 
prosecution. But the President's behavior does not rise to the level of 
an impeachable offense. We will also be held accountable for having 
deprived this body the opportunity to vote for censure in lieu of 
impeachment.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Sandlin).
  (Mr. SANDLIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SANDLIN. Mr. Speaker, we either respect the Constitution and the 
rule of law or we do not. It is as simple as that.
  What is the test for impeachment? The test is not disappointment. It 
is not disapproval. It is not even moral outrage. The test is set out 
clearly in our Constitution. The Constitution says that one can be 
impeached only for misconduct in the performance of official duties 
that endangers our system of government. No such allegations have been 
made, no such evidence has been presented. No such burden has been met.
  Certainly the President's conduct is disappointing. But ask yourself 
this: What action has the President taken in his official capacity as 
President of the United States that endangers the government of the 
United States? I believe the answer is clear.
  We are in a defining moment in American history. We stand today a 
lame duck Congress poised to impeach a President for unconstitutional 
reasons, along partisan lines, in the middle of an armed conflict. What 
could be more ridiculous than that?
  We are legislators, not investigators. Let us conclude this matter in 
accordance with the Constitution.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from California (Mr. McKeon).
  (Mr. McKEON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. McKEON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the impeachment of the 
President.
  Mr. Speaker, today I rise to echo the words of our forefathers who 
once held the highest office in our land. The advise that they have 
provided is among the best that our nation has ever received. I would 
like to share with you two phrases from our first two Presidents. I 
think they ring true today more than ever.
  In his farewell address, President George Washington underscored the 
importance of having leaders tell the truth. He said, ``Where is the 
security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of 
religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of 
investigation in the courts of justice?''
  On his second night in the White House, John Adams wrote the 
following, ``I pray Heaven to Bestow the Best of Blessings on this 
House and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but honest 
and Wise Men ever rule under this roof.''
  In my opinion the issue of impeachment is simple: should we have two 
systems of justice, one for the President and one for everybody else? 
where is the fairness for the people who are convicted of perjury every 
year and sentenced to detention?
  What a shame that today this Congress must revisit these issues 
because President Clinton failed to follow the advice of these very 
wise men. As I will be casting my vote to impeach on all four articles 
today, I will keep in mind these words. I will also keep in mind that 
the impact of my vote today will ring true to generations for years to 
come that perjury has no place in the highest office of the land.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Pitts).
  (Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment.


                          duty, honor, country

  Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, 
what you can be and what you will be.
  Over thirty-five years ago, General Douglas MacArthur spoke those 
words to the United States Corps of Cadets.
  He spoke those words just a few short years before I went to Vietnam 
in support of a military action for which this body deemed it necessary 
to send troops.
  Not all Americans supported this action.
  Some Members of this respected Chamber may have even protested 
against Vietnam.
  But I, along with millions of other men and women of this country, 
did my duty.
  Right now, men and women from all around this country are also doing 
their duty and serving their country.
  Yes--today there are service men and women in the Persian Gulf--
putting their lives on the line in defense of freedom.
  There are also troops on the DMZ in Korea, in the former Yugoslavia 
and on military bases throughout the world.
  They are there today, they were there yesterday and they will be 
there tomorrow--doing--above all else--their duty.
  Every day, they put their lives on the line for freedom, liberty and 
democracy.
  Every day, they uphold the values that we are reminded of every time 
we see our flag.
  Every day.
  Now, let's evaluate how the Commander-in-Chief of those same soldiers 
treats the words--Duty, Honor, Country?
  Let me first say. * * * Everyone makes mistakes.
  I have made many in my lifetime and will make many more.
  But----
  What we are faced with today is a President who, instead of embodying 
duty and honor--decided to cover up his mistakes and bring others along 
with him to perjure himself.
  Very simply * * * he lied under oath.
  The president shirked the very duty that is encouraged and expected 
in our armed forces.
  Instead of admitting his mistakes and facing his duty as leader 
of this country, he has fallen to lies--upon lies--upon lies.

  Instead of retaining honor, he has thrown it aside and perjured 
himself.
  The next excerpt from the MacArthur quote I shared earlier refers 
back to the three words--Duty, Honor and Country.
  He said, ``These are your rallying points--to build courage when 
courage seems to fail * * * ''
  The issue we are confronted with today deals with this courage.
  It is about upholding our democracy, our rule of law and the very 
honor and duty that U.S. military men and women fight for as we speak.
  It takes much courage to choose a painful and difficult right over 
the simpler wrong.
  Mr. Speaker, oh, that it would be so simple to say that this matter 
is just about lying about a sexual affair.
  There is a much deeper issue at stake here.
  After all the talk of sending a message to our service people 
abroad--who have learned about duty and honor and sacrifice 
experientially--is it not clear to us that tonight--and tomorrow--that 
the most compelling message we can send to them is one that upholds the 
very ideals for which they fight?
  Does the code of conduct in the military still matter?
  Is it just a bunch of empty words?
  Or does the Commander in Chief--not a king, not a sovereign, but one 
of us--a citizen of the United States--and indeed, even an officer of 
the United States Military--have a code of honor and duty to uphold?
  I challenge my colleagues to consider this--the message that this 
body will send to the United States Military overseas--must be an 
affirmation of the ideals that they live by and for which they are 
serving.

[[Page H11924]]

  As our troops must preserve the freedom we enjoy, so this legislative 
body is bound by the Constitution which has sustained this great nation 
in all of our 200 years.
  The President--the Commander in Chief's actions--compel us to act.
  We are not driven by politics--but by the only benchmark we have--the 
rule of law--our ultimate code of honor.
  These moments could not be more important--for our history--or to our 
future.
  These words never held so much meaning: Duty, honor, country.
  This is indeed a sad day for America.
  I intend to vote for the articles of impeachment.
  I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Leach).
  (Mr. LEACH asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. LEACH. Mr. Speaker, I rise in reluctant support of two of the 
four articles of impeachment.
  For a long time I have thought the character issue surrounding this 
President deserved political and legal accountability, but assumed it 
fell short of requiring a Constitutional remedy.
  I have concluded, however, that I have no choice but to vote for two 
of the four Articles of Impeachment--specifically Articles I and II, 
those dealing with perjury. My reasoning is straightforward.
  The President has committed crimes and misdemeanors. The question 
that perplexes each of us as Members and the public at large is whether 
these crimes and misdemeanors are ``high'' enough to meet the standard 
required by the Constitution.
  The defenders of the President have suggested that lying about a 
fundamental privacy issue--sex--and the issues surrounding sexual 
harassment do not rise to a constitutional level. While I respect 
judgments to the contrary, I have concluded that perjury in this 
instance has been committed, not only to protect the President from 
embarrassment, but to deny an American citizen due process under the 
law. It must be considered a high crime, one against the state.
  The fundamental issue is that no individual is above the law and that 
democratic governance depends on trust, which in turn depends on truth-
saying.
  Leadership is a conjunction of good ideas and good character. One 
without the other is unsustainable.
  In America, process is our most important product. Winning does not 
vindicate taking shortcuts with public ethics, even if it can be 
suggested that others may have followed similar or less defensible 
paths.
  In her philosophical treatise Lying, Sissela Bok, the Harvard 
ethicist, notes that ``veracity functions as a foundation of relations 
among human beings; when this trust shatters or wears away, 
institutions collapse.'' Bok goes on to note that ``truthfulness has 
always been seen as essential to human society, no matter how deficient 
the observance of other moral principles.''
  This is why lying under oath is so serious and why the President's 
refusal to acknowledge truthfully the factual circumstance that has 
been established so shatters the moral underpinnings of government. The 
fact that the President may face liabilities after he leaves office if 
he states the truth is no excuse for continued obfuscation.
  At the core of the President's Constitutional responsibilities is his 
duty to ``take care that the laws be faithfully executed.'' It is hard 
to conceive of an offense that more clearly violates--and is more 
clearly relevant to--this core responsibility than perjury, which, if 
left unchecked, would destroy the rule of law. By lying under oath in a 
federal civil rights lawsuit and subsequently before a federal grand 
jury, the President not only failed to ``take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed,'' he acted to subvert the law itself.
  A situation simply cannot be tolerated in which the highest officer 
of the Executive Branch is called before a judge and orchestrates a 
cover-up constructed of fraudulent half-truths, misleading omissions, 
and deliberately spun webs of deceit. While the Judiciary has 
mechanisms by which it can defend the integrity of its processes, what 
is unusual in this particular impeachment proceeding is the prospect of 
Congress taking action to right the balance between two branches of 
government, in this case the Executive and the courts.
  Because it is a referral of the Office of Independent Counsel which 
obligated Congress to assess whether actions of the President rise to 
impeachment proportions, it should be understood for the record that it 
was the Justice Department and the Courts, rather than Congress, which 
precipitated the independent counsel's review of perjury related to the 
President's private life. While Congress called for, and the President 
explicitly, though reluctantly, approved the appointment of an 
independent counsel to investigate the Whitewater matter (which, to 
date, has yielded convictions of 14 individuals on 41 criminal counts), 
it was the Attorney General who directed the Counsel to widen his probe 
to include aspects of the civil suit brought by Paula Jones, and it was 
the Supreme Court which allowed the suit to go forward during the 
President's tenure.

  It is important to separate Congress from a call for a review of 
aspects of the personal life of a President because of the terrible 
precedent it would set. It is also important for Congress to ponder 
whether the future presidents should be subject to civil actions during 
their terms for which intrusive depositions may be in order.
  The Independent Counsel's probe has been too long, too expensive, and 
too intrusive. I have great qualms about the seemliness and precedent 
of some of the tactics of the Independent Counsel's office, 
particularly the use of and potential resort to further surreptitious 
tape recordings to gather additional evidence against the President. 
Nonetheless, the results of the Counsel's probe cannot be dismissed.
  The underlying acts under review have demeaned the office of the 
President, debased the public dialogue, and eroded the President's 
moral authority to govern.
  Impeachment should neither be used to punish the President nor to 
settle political scores. Indeed, its consideration should only proceed 
with the goal of protecting the office by replacing a sullied occupant 
with an individual of unsullied character. This is the case today.
  Conviction by the Senate on impeachment charges at this time in this 
circumstance would represent less an overturning of a democratic 
election than a reaffirmation of the strength of the processes of 
governance, the putting in place of a new leader of the same party and 
philosophical bent as the President.
  While the lines between the political parties may become accentuated 
in an impeachment vote, the end result of a successful impeachment 
would almost certainly redound to the political advantage of the 
President's party and--more importantly--to the country.
  In fulfilling his Constitutional duty to lead the United States 
government the President has an implicit obligation to stand as the 
apotheosis of American values. While ethics are an integral part of the 
human condition and at bottom a matter of individual responsibility, an 
American President must be above demeaning behavior and free of any 
shadow concerning allegiance to the law and to the truth. To hold 
otherwise is to assume we are neither a nation of laws nor of moral 
values.
  In the final measure, what is at issue regarding the possible 
impeachment of the President is the question of relativism versus 
absolutism. Relatively speaking, there is little doubt that other 
Presidents have had inappropriate relationships, including one with an 
individual who, as a slave not only worked for but was owned by a 
President.
  There is also no doubt that other Presidents have lied about public 
matters, perhaps more serious than adultery--the U.S. role in the Bay 
of Pigs invasion, the true nature of Gary Powers' mission to Russia in 
a U-2 spy plane, and the details of the arms-for-hostages transaction 
that was at the heart of the Iran-Contra affair, to name a few.
  On the other hand, none of these circumstances involved Presidential 
fabrications made under oath. Since the country's founding, oaths have 
implied a moral and Constitutional affirmation, moral in the sense that 
our founders justified the American revolution with an appeal to higher 
authority than British civil law, establishing a Republic under, not 
above, God; and Constitutional in the sense that oaths of office were 
premised on the notion that truth-telling was critical to the 
functioning of our judicial and political processes.
  What distinguishes President Clinton from his predecessors in this 
regard is that, relatively speaking, the acts under review may not 
represent as great umbrages to our system as certain others, but lying 
under oath amounts to an absolute breach of an absolute standard.
  While it is never acceptable for elected officials to mislead those 
who have given them a solemn public trust, it is the element of lying 
while under oath that raises the President's conduct to a 
constitutional dimension. Future Presidents who raise their hand and 
swear an oath to God to tell the truth in a judicial proceeding and 
then offer false testimony should recognize that the prospect of 
impeachment would loom, because such conduct is an affront to the rule 
of law by which all citizens must abide.

  There is a view among Constitutional experts that perjury is an 
impeachable offense but that it does not necessitate impeachment in 
every instance. This is the case for a number of reasons. The issue of 
motivation and of consequences must be taken into consideration.
  The philosopher Isaiah Berlin notes that in a pluralistic society 
values are often in conflict. It

[[Page H11925]]

is not the case that some must be true and others false. Rather, 
collisions of values shape who and what we are. ``We are doomed to 
choose, and every choice may entail an irreparable loss,'' he argues.
  What makes the impeachment issue difficult is not just the problem of 
measuring how high the crimes under consideration are but how 
juxtaposed various values have become. For instance, the importance of 
holding the chief political officer of the land accountable for a 
breach of the law and the public trust is in conflict with the 
importance of respecting the result of a democratic election. If I 
thought the country would be worse off or the Presidency weakened with 
a Constitutional transition to the Vice President, I might have to 
conclude that despite the perjury the President should not be 
impeached. But I believe the opposite: the Presidency would be re-
legitimized and revitalized if Constitutional accountability occurred.
  The motivation behind the crime in this case is patently self-
serving. Unlike certain other examples of Presidential mendacity, no 
national interest rationalizations exist. For this and other reasons, 
most notably the desirability of reestablishing trust between the 
public and its government, the effect of an impeachment of a shamed 
President would be to reaffirm the rule of law and strengthen the 
Presidency.
  While I have reluctantly reached this decision, I respect the 
contrary judgment reached by others and believe that out of fairness 
those of a different mind should have been provided a rule allowing 
them a chance to vote for a censure alternative. I recognize censure is 
not envisioned in the Constitution and that there may be separation of 
powers and bill of attainder problems with certain censure approaches; 
nonetheless I believe a censure approach can be crafted which would not 
be Constitutionally inappropriate. Indeed, as Constitutionally awkward 
as such an approach would be, future negotiations between the White 
House and Congress on impeachment alternatives, such as those proposed 
by Governor Weld and Senator Dole, cannot be ruled out.
  While no one should vote for impeachment unless he or she is 
convinced that the conduct under review is of such a nature that the 
Senate should remove the President from office, the Senate is not 
constitutionally required to carry the impeachment process to 
completion.
  Finally a note about citizen input and citizen attitudes. As this 
House today takes up the issue of impeachment the polls indicate 
approximately 40 percent of the people favor impeachment with 60 
percent in opposition. at the same time over 80 percent believe the 
President is not telling the truth. As an elected representative in our 
unique democracy I must acknowledge the imperfect circumstance at hand, 
but I am obligated to measure my vote by the Constitution's standard as 
it relates to impeachment and by the Constitution's framework which 
requires votes by made in conscience.
  This is my duty, but in reaching judgment I am also obligated to 
listen respectfully to the best of my ability to the citizens of the 
District I represent. In this regard, I would like to present for the 
record a summary of the letters and e-mail I have received and of the 
comments I have been provided at farmsteads and in school yards 
throughout the District.
  In setting these views forth, I would like to underscore that there 
has been no issue in my time in public life in which the public has 
been more universally informed, nor more thoughtful in its judgments. 
The evidence for this assertion is contained in the comments which 
follow, the first body of which relate to those expressing sentiment 
for impeachment, the second, sentiment against.

                            For Impeachment

       ``I am a police officer in Cedar Rapids. As such, I know 
     that if I were to give the type of testimony that President 
     Clinton gave, I would be indicted for perjury.''
       ``I am a retired military officer, so integrity is an issue 
     that I hold high. It was ingrained in me that I should never 
     use my authority or position to engage in less than honorable 
     behavior. I'm saddened to see the presidency undergo yet 
     another assault on its powers and prestige due to the 
     behavior of the very human incumbent.''
       ``Clinton was told unanimously by the Supreme Court that he 
     could be sued by Paula Jones. Whether you think Jones had a 
     case or not (personally I don't), he can't be allowed to just 
     do whatever he wants in the courtroom.''
       ``I have in the past admired your ability to vote your 
     conscience--please do the same here and respect the law as 
     the standard to which we all must be held. To do otherwise 
     will create the foundation for a cynicism that, I believe, 
     will undermine the judicial system and all that our 
     Constitution stand for.''
       ``If impeachment fails, we will have established a new 
     class of criminally immune political elitists.''
       ``Allowing him, as the Chief Law Enforcement agent of the 
     United States, to place himself above the law will set a 
     terrible precedent for the future.''
       ``Bill has violated the trust of America.''
       ``Clinton has immolated himself.''
       ``To allow the impeachable actions of the president would 
     cheapen the laws on perjury and obstruction of justice and 
     hasten the disastrous moral decline of America. Censure is 
     insufficient.''
       ``Even the President is not indispensable, especially one 
     who lacks morality as well as good judgment.''
       ``My deep-rooted Midwestern values endorse impeachment 
     since with responsibility comes accountability.''
       ``If he was any other person in the United States, he would 
     have been charged.''
       ``Although it is very regrettable that events have come to 
     this, I would urge you to vote for impeachment of the 
     President.''
       ``Our leaders should be held to a higher standard, perhaps 
     even higher than the regular citizen because of the high 
     offices they hold.''
       ``Just because he is the President it does not give him the 
     right to get away with breaking the law.''
       ``It is my strongest hope that you vote to send the case to 
     the Senate. A felony is a felony no matter who commits it.''
       ``As a libertarian, I believe that we must impeach Clinton. 
     A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the 
     right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against 
     another human being, or to advocate or delegate its 
     initiation.''
       ``Follow your conscience and vote for principle instead of 
     polls. Please do not buy into the fallacious arguments of 
     `Everyone does it, `It's wrong but not impeachable,' and `The 
     American people want censure.' ''
       ``I want you to know that as one of your constituents, I 
     will respect your votes concerning the four articles of 
     impeachment. I would rather not have a person holding the 
     office of the President who has put himself above the law of 
     this land.''
       ``Our country, our children, and our children's children 
     simply cannot tolerate the precedent that would result should 
     this President be allowed to get away with perjury, 
     obstruction of justice, and bribery.''
       ``Whatever Paula Jones' motive was or whoever was behind 
     her, she had a right to her day in court. I have no doubt 
     that earlier presidents have gotten away with similar 
     dishonorable actions (perhaps worse), but now we have sexual 
     harassment laws, a civil right long overdue. The President 
     should be held to task for his arrogant attitudes toward 
     women in general.''
       ``If I were to commit perjury in a court of law, I would 
     likely be punished for the act. I do not believe that even 
     the President of the United States is above the law.''
       ``This is the first time I have communicated to any of the 
     people who represent me in government, but I've had enough. 
     This man does not deserve to be President of the United 
     States. He broke the law--not once but on many occasions. 
     He's made a mockery of the presidency and the law. He's 
     supposed to be a role model--someone for my 6 year old son to 
     look up to.''
       ``I believe he is a liar and a dodger of truth. If you vote 
     ``NO'' on his impeachment, you can expect a ``NO'' from me 
     when you next run for office.''
       ``As a former law enforcement officer, I have seen many 
     criminals sent to prison for lesser offenses.''
       ``You who have made honesty the keynote of your public 
     service and campaigns should demonstrate no less respect for 
     truthfulness when you cast your vote. Republicans may not 
     unite on every issue but they should all be able to stand for 
     the principles of honesty and the rule of law.''
       ``We believe you are a man of integrity. We will always 
     remember the way you handled the Whitewater incident. When 
     the truth was being abused, you stood by your principles and 
     called it as you saw it. Now I want you to know that the 
     truth is being assaulted. I believe perjury is a big deal.''
       ``As the father of an 18-year old son, who does watch the 
     news and sees the example set by all of you in the House, and 
     needs to see that there is still a right and wrong in this 
     country, I urge you to vote for impeachment because he 
     lied.''
       ``We're offended by Clinton's actions. He continually side-
     steps the perjury and obstruction issues in each of his 
     apology statements. To us, these actions show his arrogance 
     and disrespect for the people, for the office, and for the 
     system.''
       ``What are we to think about a person whose judgment is so 
     skewed and who seems willing to do anything to remain in 
     office? We cannot trust him any longer . . . His word is no 
     good and his respect for the law seems to be completely 
     gone.''
       ``I did not spend more than five years fighting WWII only 
     to end up with a President of his manifest character. Please 
     help Mr. Clinton step aside.''
       ``I haven't always agreed with your decisions, but I have 
     always respected your ethical and moral stands on your 
     decisions Please vote for impeachment. This is the ethical 
     thing to do. If you do otherwise, you are saying to the 
     people that there is a double standard before the law for 
     those who are in power or have the money to muddle the 
     truth.''
       ``I am urging you to vote for impeachment. I believe this 
     is the only way to save the office of the Presidency.''
       ``If the law is to ever again of enforced in any court in 
     the country, it is imperative that the president be held 
     accountable for these actions.''

[[Page H11926]]

       ``We feel that the question here is whether the President 
     is a citizen who must live under the same laws that govern 
     all the rest of us, or whether he will be treated like a 
     king, too important to be bothered by the conventions, laws, 
     and morals that shape the lives of everyone else. Are sexual 
     harassment laws real laws with real consequences or can 
     citizens lie under oath to protect their families without 
     consequences since it's only about sex and every one lies 
     about it?''
       ``In order to uphold the Constitution, the Law of the land, 
     and preserve the integrity of the United States, I believe 
     there are times in which Congress must follow the Law and not 
     the majority wishes of its constituents. I believe this is 
     one such time.''
       ``I feel the President must be impeached. I am now 
     convinced that there isn't anything the man won't do or say 
     to get what he perceives to be in his best interest. The man 
     is completely without moral compass moral compass, a quality 
     that should be one of the greatest strengths of this highest 
     of offices.''
       ``After seeing the evidence, I believe that President 
     Clinton committed the crimes that he is charged with, and 
     therefore violated his oath of office to faithfully execute 
     the laws. I believe that short-term inconvenience of the 
     Senate trial is insignificant compared with the long-term 
     damages to the rule of law and the constitution that not 
     voting for impeachment would cause.''
       ``I'm a government and history teacher, and my students 
     always feel honesty is one of the most important 
     characteristics of a leader. What message will our government 
     be sending our children if the President lies under oath and 
     goes unpunished. He has violated the Constitution and should 
     be removed from office.
       ``We feel there is nothing more important than to protect 
     the integrity of the Constitution, the office of the 
     President and the rule of law. Mr. Clinton has, over time, 
     proven that he has little respect for any of these. His 
     actions have defined his character. His actions have not just 
     demonstrated his exceedingly bad judgment, they have been 
     proven to be illegal. As such, a vote for impeach is the only 
     right thing to do.''
       ``It is with great regard that I write to you to urge you 
     to impeach our President. We simply cannot have the leader of 
     our country take the office of the President with such little 
     regard as to defile it with a lack of self-discipline. It is 
     embarrassing as an American when I am abroad. It is 
     disturbing as a woman to see our leadership demonstrate such 
     disrespect towards women.''
       ``In this day and age, it is very difficult to raise 
     children to be honest and trustworthy individuals, especially 
     when so much that you see and hear and read is so full of 
     wrong doings. I believe that when my President goes on 
     national television and looks that camera in the eye and can 
     boldface lie to his whole nation then he has just undermined 
     everything that I have tried to teach my children.''
       ``His behavior exhibits an arrogance and disdain for our 
     legal system. The president is a lawyer and clearly 
     understood what he was doing. We believe his subversion of 
     the legal system was intentional and premeditated.''
       ``As a parent, there are many times when you look for all 
     the alternatives to punishing your child for all the things 
     that he did. But as the child becomes more and more 
     belligerent and insists ``I didn't do anything wrong'' you 
     finally have to put your foot down and do what in your heart 
     you know is right. Please Congressman Leach, show my thirteen 
     year old daughter that this country still stands for 
     something. She asks me every few days how come if a 13 year 
     old kid can tell he is a liar, that adults can't.''
       ``Having put aside the rumors and allegations against Mr. 
     Clinton prior to his first campaign for the office of 
     president, we voted for Mr. Clinton. We were pleased with his 
     performance in his first four years in office, and gave him 
     our vote of confidence in his second election. It is with 
     heavy hearts that we now ask that you vote for his 
     impeachment. It is our opinion that he has abused the power 
     of his office, obstructed justice and lied to the grand 
     jury.''
       ``I voted for Bill Clinton and believe that, for the most 
     part, he has done an excellent job as president. Although I 
     find this position somewhat problematic, I would like to 
     encourage you to vote for impeachment. My reasons for this 
     are: (1) perjury undermines the judicial system which I view 
     as the fundamental basis for our government; (2) the 
     president is in an incredibly powerful position and should 
     not use the power to his advantage (if a professor had a 
     sexual relationship with a student, the professor would lose 
     his or her job); and (3) the president should be expected to 
     comply with the same laws as everyone else.''
       ``Many Clinton supporters seems to think the terms `high 
     crimes and misdemeanors' are one and the same. I would think 
     they are separate acts, and while he has perhaps not 
     committed treason or what could be considered a high crime 
     (such as murder or bribery), he has most certainly committed 
     very serious misdemeanors against his office, his oath, and 
     his country.
       ``Oaths are critical to the system of liberty in place in 
     the Constitution. If we abandon them then liberty is in 
     constant jeopardy; it has no support.''
       ``In committing perjury, Clinton deprived everyone entitled 
     to the truth under the law of their eights. Please vote to 
     impeach.
       ``I would like to add the five voters of my family to the 
     list those of favor of impeachment, though, to me the real 
     answer is for the President to resign. I have often told my 
     daughters that if they told me a lie I would lose confidence 
     in them, and it would take a long time to gain that back.''
       ``As a social studies teacher in Iowa City, Iowa, I feel 
     strongly about the coming vote in the House. My personal 
     perception is that there is obvious evidence of wrongdoing on 
     the part of the President. Therefore believe impeachment is 
     necessary. That being said, the punishment must fit the crime 
     and something short of removal by the Senate seems 
     appropriate''.
       ``He clearly broke the law, and refused to take 
     responsibility for that part of it. This is exactly the 
     opposite of what I am trying so hard to teach my children.''
       ``We are told that Kelly Flynn was court marshaled because 
     she lied about her adulterous affairs. I am unable to 
     understand why we cannot hold the chief law enforcement 
     officer of this country, and commander in chief of the armed 
     forces, to the same standards.''
       ``You were not elected to high office roll over and take 
     the easy way out just because a well marketed President has 
     public opinion polls in his favor.''
       ``Remember that truth must always be served first.''
       ``My 14-year old son just keeps saying, if this were me 
     (being Clinton) I would be in jail.''
       ``If Clinton gets away with perjury, I will I will never be 
     able to serve on a jury because we could not believe anything 
     said in a courtroom.
       ``I want you to know there are a lot of silent voters out 
     here in your district that want that liar out of office.''
       ``We all know that if any person's workplace conduct were 
     similar to the President's they would be summarily dismissed, 
     no questions asked. It would be reprehensible to send any 
     different message to the American People just because he is 
     the President. My children have already seen two significant 
     legal dramas in their lifetimes. The message in the O.J. 
     Simpson trial was that being celebrity is more important than 
     personal behavior and the truth. Please don't reinforce the 
     message by applying it to Mr. Clinton.''
       ``Bill Clinton's selfish desire to remain in office at all 
     costs is a shinning example of why he should be removed. He's 
     more interested in keeping his political power than in 
     abiding by the law. I hope you will not make the same 
     mistake.''
       ``In our country, no one should be above the law--we are 
     all equal and have no monarchy.''
       ``As a twenty year-old Iowan from Cedar Rapids, I have 
     always admired the way you have always took for setting 
     standards in all that you do. That is why I am writing you 
     Congressman Leach, to not back down from those standards. I 
     believe it is in the best interest of everybody, especially 
     young people like me, for [you] to vote for impeachment of 
     President Clinton.''
       ``This impeachment vote is a chance for you and your peers 
     to be moral leaders and not poll readers.''
       ``I believe that Mr. Clinton needs his day in court. In 
     this case, that court should be in the United States Senate. 
     It seems that anything short of giving Clinton his right to a 
     trial is an injustice.''
       ``I work in the nuclear power industry. We have a `Fitness 
     for Duty' regulation from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 
     If I were to lie, or do anything that makes my integrity 
     suspect, I could be fired. Why doesn't this president live 
     according to the same standard? He is after all in charge of 
     the entire nuclear arsenal of this country--I could only 
     affect 1 nuclear power plant.''
       ``I have had to give depositions in product liability 
     litigation and, although I would like to have told the 
     plaintiff's attorneys that their questions were not relevant, 
     I could not, and had to answer their questions truthfully. 
     All of the questions put before Mr. Clinton in his deposition 
     were legitimate and relevant to a citizen's legal 
     grievance.''
       ``If Mr. Clinton's actions are allowed to stand unchecked 
     by the remedy of the constitution, the office of the 
     President is given extraordinary powers disproportionate to 
     the other branches of government.''
       ``I also talk to my son about the laws of our land and 
     about our government. When he asks what is happening to our 
     president, I simply tell him that the president lied to all 
     of us and that he lied under oath. He is in the Cub Scouts so 
     he understands what an oath is.''
       ``Luckily, in both my military and civilian careers, I have 
     worked for people of integrity and honesty. I have taken an 
     Oath of Office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the 
     United States and I wish you strength as you proceed with 
     your constitutional duty.''
       ``I, too, am a Gulf War veteran and served my country with 
     honor for five years as a Marine. Before induction, I took an 
     oath to defend the Constitution, an oath similar to that of 
     Mr. Clinton's. Rarely are we forced to choose between 
     fulfilling our oath or betraying it for personal gain or 
     survival. I chose to risk my life and live up to the 
     obligations of my oath rather than disgrace it.''
       ``How much lying does it take before we call it lying? Do 
     we accept the arguments of a man who apologizes profusely in 
     the face of duress, but offers no admission of guilt and no 
     apologies for lying to a grand jury? It is no longer about 
     the president, it's about us.''
       ``Please vote to impeach. It would be much easier to vote 
     no. But the long term effects on our country would not be 
     favorable.''
       ``As a single mother I am trying to teach my children 
     values. What kind of an example

[[Page H11927]]

     do we have in the White House? For him it is OK to lie to us 
     and apologize for it later. NO--Whatever he did compromised 
     the people of the United States. It boils down to he lied and 
     he did it under oath. Period.''
       ``To lie and cheat on your wife is a despicable offense but 
     none-the-less a somewhat personal offense. To repeatedly 
     perjure yourself in a court of law or in any legal setting is 
     simply put, a crime to be punished. Toleration of Bill 
     Clinton's offenses will only lead us down a path of 
     mediocrity and moral degeneration.''
       ``I am the mother of four children to whom I have preached 
     that they should never tell a lie because eventually it will 
     become known and the punishment for a lie is far greater than 
     the lie itself. They are grown up now and of voting age and 
     they are telling me that a lie is okay because the President 
     of the United States, our role model, got by with it. Is this 
     the message that you want to send to the American people and 
     the world?''
       ``This should be a lesson to any persons in high 
     government, that no one is above the law in this country. 
     This is what sets us apart from other nations. You cannot 
     have two scales of justice.''
       ``As my representative, I urge you to not ignore the laws 
     of this country. All are subject to them. Vote to impeach 
     President Clinton.''
       ``The President has lied to a Federal Judge, a Grand Jury, 
     and the American People. If he can lie to all these people 
     without any consequences why should the rest of us tell the 
     truth?''
       ``Not to proceed with [impeachment] is doing a great 
     disservice to the rule of law in this country. It will 
     effectively set a double standard.''
       ``If Mr. Clinton were a member of the armed forces, he 
     would have faced a court martial and have been dishonorably 
     discharged a long time ago. As the Commander in Chief of our 
     armed forces, shouldn't he have to adhere to the same 
     standards as those he supposedly commands?''
       ``I am a freshman at the University of Notre Dame and have 
     been following the impeachment process occurring in recent 
     days, and I feel it is imperative that we as an American 
     people show the world that we will not tolerate disregard for 
     the law in the highest levels of our government.''
       ``My wife and I are both teachers. How do we explain the 
     fact that the President of the United States can lie--and get 
     away with it. Please represent us by voting to impeach Bill 
     Clinton.''
       ``If [the President] were to be placed under oath today in 
     a civil suit, I'm sure he would still bend all credible 
     interpretations of the truth, misrepresent, prevaricate, lie, 
     and do whatever he could to escape being responsible for his 
     actions. So for both my wife and I, we say impeach him; don't 
     vote for censure.''
       ``With great hubris, President Clinton has continued to 
     dissemble and obfuscate. He has used the awesome power of his 
     office to mold public opinion. For the President to get by 
     with his lying and abuse of power would be a dangerous 
     precedent for our highest office.''
       ``The idea that all Republicans are just voting along party 
     lines is disturbing. Democrats do the same. As a first grade 
     teacher and parent of four sons (along with my husband) I 
     feel anything short of impeachment is giving our youth the 
     wrong message about right and wrong, truth and falsehoods, 
     and marriage vows.''
       ``I don't believe in throwing out the baby with the bath 
     water, but if you can't see how this president has hurt our 
     country, our reputation for moral leadership in the world, 
     how he has damaged my children's respect for the law and the 
     office of president, etc., then you have completely lost my 
     future votes.''
       ``We are horrified that sexual encounters, lying under oath 
     and his consistent lying in general is tolerated. His example 
     is tearing down the fabric of an already unstable moral and 
     responsible society.''
       ``This may not rise to some Ivy League professor's 
     impeachment bar, but remember they got Al Capone for tax 
     evasion.''
       ``If he lied to us once, what's to stop him from doing it 
     again. What makes you think his whole life isn't a lie . . . 
     Get rid of him.''
       ``If the President can't control his private life, what 
     makes you think he can the public's?''
       ``The basis of a civil society is truth. If we cannot trust 
     the President, we cannot trust the government.''


                          against impeachment

       ``I believe the crimes--if indeed there were crimes--do not 
     fit the punishment.''
       ``I do not wish to condone President Clinton's behavior; 
     but his actions were of a private nature, and Mr. Starr 
     should never have asked him to reveal his private 
     activities.''
       ``I am a kindergarten teacher as well as a single parent. 
     How can you people feel good about yourselves knowing that 
     impeaching a president over his private life is a higher 
     priority than crumbling schools, hungry kids, people going 
     without health care?''
       ``I understand the moral injustice that he has committed. I 
     feel however it is time for things to come to an end, and 
     this must happen before we put our nation into a greater 
     tailspin of turmoil, economically, politically and with 
     foreign matters.''
       ``As the vote in the Judiciary Committee demonstrates this 
     is a partisan exercise with no pervasive support. The 
     Founders did not contemplate a partisan impeachment of the 
     President.''
       ``I'm sure you don't want to be part of a congress that 
     will go down in history as pulling off the first bloodless 
     coup in our history.''
       ``I look back in time to President Johnson right after the 
     Civil War, and read about the type of things they tried to 
     impeach him on, and wonder what will people think 50 or 100 
     years from now about the actions of our congress of today. 
     Probably laugh when they discuss it.''
       ``Our household consists of two democrats and one 
     republican. We are all in agreement that impeachment is not 
     an appropriate action to take against our president.''
       ``If you impeach Clinton for this, you would have had to 
     impeach 90% of our presidents.''
       ``Clinton has only two years to go. If he is removed from 
     office, your party will soon face an incumbent Democratic 
     president who will likely win re-election. Besides that, in 
     terms of policy, Clinton is as good a Republican president as 
     you could have found from within your own ranks!''
       ``He has degraded the judicial system. In a sense, however, 
     he has merely been responding in a pragmatic manner to a 
     judicial system that has already been degraded--in a more 
     odious manner--by individuals and organizations that are 
     willing and able to pursue their political agendas in a non-
     democratic manner through an endless series of lawsuits, 
     investigations, and probes.''
       ``The Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot on 
     this one and I dare say that perhaps that fact alone is 
     probably the only good outcome of all of this.''
       ``I am a physician at the University of Iowa Hospitals. My 
     father served in the legislature and my grandfather as the 
     assistant attorney general of Iowa. I am writing to 
     encourage you to vote against impeaching our president, a 
     man elected by many of the same people that elected you.''
       ``I urge you to vote against the impeachment of the 
     President. I voted against him twice. On the other hand, our 
     party was twice outvoted in fair elections.''
       ``I have forgiven President Clinton.''
       ``Keep in mind that the appropriate methods of removing 
     someone from office is at the ballot box except under very 
     extreme circumstances!''
       ``That Kenneth Starr came back with no incriminating 
     evidence against Clinton regarding Whitewater, Travelgate and 
     Filegate underscores the desperate need Clinton's enemies had 
     to pin something, anything, on him.''
       ``I believe the matters of his infidelity and its cover-up 
     are something he and his wife and his God need to handle--not 
     Congress. Please do not set such a dangerous precedent by 
     voting to remove this resident from office. Let morality be 
     taught at home and in the schools lest we begin to set 
     standards no mortal can reach.''
       ``I predict if the House votes to impeach the President, 
     the Republicans will suffer such defeats in the next election 
     they will lose control of the House by a large margin, 
     possibly the Senate and most assuredly a Democrat will be 
     elected President.''
       ``I'm sure you are familiar with the term Pyrrhic Victory? 
     This will be what the Republicans achieve if he is 
     impeached.''
       ``I listen to Republicans talk about how children are going 
     to believe that it is OK to lie if the President can, and 
     that children in classrooms all over this country are talking 
     about this and asking serious questions. I teach fifth grade 
     in Davenport, Iowa, and I have a pretty astute group of 
     students. Never has this subject come up, even though we have 
     the Quad City Times delivered to our classroom daily.''
       ``The last time impeachment was voted out of the house, in 
     1868, a few Senators placed the good of the republic ahead of 
     narrow partisanship. The few Republicans who broke with their 
     party are honorably remembered as statesmen. An Iowan--
     Senator Grimes--was one those select few statesmen.''
       ``We urge you to vote no on all articles of impeachment. We 
     feel that a censure and a fine would by far serve our country 
     better than to put the country through the impeachment 
     process. We need to put an end to this and get back to 
     helping the country.''
       ``Many Republicans have already stated that they are voting 
     for impeachment, knowing full well that the Senate will not 
     convict, as a sever form of rebuke and censure of the 
     President. This, Mr. Leach, is an abuse of power that 
     trivializes the process for future Presidents, including 
     Republican presidents.''
       ``President Clinton has behaved poorly and has provided 
     poor moral leadership. However, I do not believe that the 
     crimes that he is alleged to have committed merit 
     impeachment. The House Judiciary Committee did a poor job in 
     adding any additional information to what was contained in 
     Ken Starr's report.''
       ``If there are truly grounds for impeachment, then they 
     should be clear to us, the people of this country, and to 
     both parties in Congress. This is not the case.''
       ``Impeachment under these circumstances would do permanent 
     harm to the Presidency, to the balance of powers, and to our 
     Constitutional system.''
       ``I feel strongly that the Republicans are misapplying the 
     laws of our land, and that impeachment without strong bi-
     partisan support would be devastating for our country.''
       ``Based on the party line votes, I would not consider this 
     an objective evaluation of the facts and history and 
     precedents. It is an attempt by the majority party to 
     invalidate

[[Page H11928]]

     the electoral process and the will of the people.''
       ``We all recognize the farce conducted by the hard-line 
     conservative right to destroy and overturn a duly elected 
     President. It is nothing more than a Lewis Carroll version of 
     court without an Alice! Absurd and ridiculous! Where is our 
     sense of proportion in all of this?''
       ``While I do think that some sort of punishment is called 
     for, I cannot see the wisdom of an impeachment vote. 
     President Clinton was weak to be tempted as he was, and I 
     wish that it had not taken place but what good will it do to 
     impeach him and throw out all of his ideas.''
       ``With so many people asking Washington to move on, why 
     must this drag on? The American people know that Clinton was 
     wrong in what he did. He admitted that, it has been shown, so 
     let's have our politicians get to more important issues.''
       ``I agree that some form of censure should be meted out, 
     but to put the country through a lengthy impeachment process 
     would be painful to the country and without merit.''
       ``While we are thoroughly chagrined and disappointed at 
     [the President's] lying to family, friends, party and the 
     American people, we sincerely believe that such action falls 
     considerably short of the `high crimes and misdemeanors' 
     standard for impeachment.''
       ``Nullifying who the people vote in as President is very 
     serious. I don't feel what he did rises to the threshold for 
     impeachment.''
       ``To impeach this President is, to me, a terrible mistake. 
     I do not condone what happened, but I believe he's human and, 
     like everyone on this earth, he makes mistakes. I also 
     believe it's human instinct to avoid the truth if you're 
     married and having an affair. Censure is far more feasible a 
     punishment.''
       ``Is this impeachment for crimes against the people or 
     political hatred? All I see are Republicans using every 
     method they can to impeach, then say it's the President's job 
     to prove his innocence. Sounds backward to me.''
       ``I'm opposed to impeachment of the President. The 
     allegations against him are not, in my opinion, `other high 
     crimes or misdemeanors' as required by the Constitution. W 
     hile Mr. Clinton's actions may be reprehensible and are 
     certainly incredibly stupid, removing a president from office 
     for lying to the American people about sex is, in my mind, 
     absurd.''
       ``This affair was brought about by an over zealous 
     investigator-prosecutor who didn't know when to stop and 
     President Clinton whose human failings overcame his common 
     sense. President Clinton has brought disgrace and shame on 
     himself, his family and his office. The opposition has been 
     guilty of using every method to embarrass and remove him from 
     office. What Clinton has done doesn't measure up to wrong 
     done in Irangate when the White House totally disregarded 
     Congressional direction and lied about trading arms for 
     hostages. I urge you to vote against impeachment.''
       ``I believe President Clinton failed to act with the moral 
     and ethics appropriate to his office or a person. However, I 
     do not believe his actions directly affected his official 
     duties and decisions. I also do not believe he abused the 
     powers of the presidency to the degree necessary for 
     impeachment.''
       ``Please vote no on the impeachment articles. President 
     Clinton has made a fool of himself, but he has not 
     misconducted himself in office. The prosecutor created the 
     conditions for the alleged perjury and obstruction of justice 
     by relentlessly pursuing the man into his most personal and 
     private life.''
       ``I hope you separate yourself from the mob mentality. If 
     you step back and use that Iowa common sense that I know you 
     have, you will decide that though the President's actions are 
     deplorable they do not rise to an impeachable offense.''
       ``Anyone who thinks what Clinton did rises to the standards 
     that our forefathers set is really kidding themselves. How 
     many presidents do you think have lied to the people. This 
     lie did not hurt the people.''
       ``I believe President Clinton has already suffered an 
     enormous penalty. Do not penalize the future of democracy by 
     sending the impeachment process to the Senate.''
       ``I look at the waste of time and money on this and it 
     makes me angry. I am not angry at President Clinton. I am 
     angry at the system that would let it get this far.''
       ``It is, as they say, not about sex. But it is also not 
     about perjury. It seems to me to be about raw political 
     power.''
       ``If the Republicans continue to pursue impeachment, the 
     American people will remember it at the polls.''
       ``To have to debate at length whether or not we should 
     impeach a president, seems ipso facto a reason not to 
     impeach: a shadow of doubt.''
       ``To regard Clinton's behavior, shameful as it is, as a 
     threat to the country or the government, is ridiculous. He 
     may be a bad example, but his difficulties should serve to 
     keep others from his personal excesses.''
       ``I am watching the Republican party march in lockstep 
     toward a Constitutional crisis that seems more motivated by 
     personal angst against Clinton than by any true understanding 
     of the Constitutional standard for impeachment.''
       ``While I realize that Congress has the constitutional 
     right to overturn the will of the people, I don't feel that 
     it has the moral right to do so.''
       ``It is inexcusable to tie up the business of government 
     for months over such a trivial matter.''
       ``The facts don't justify capital punishment for this 
     president.''
       ``Enough is enough. Please stop this witch hunt.''
       ``Some form of condemnation for the President's actions 
     surely must take place, but not impeachment.''
       ``I have always respected you as a fair and open minded 
     representative who is not afraid to go against party lines on 
     many issues. Impeachment is very serious business as I am 
     sure you are aware, and that if followed through to 
     completion would nullify a democratic election of the people, 
     the majority of which do not support his process.''
       ``It is not what the people want, not what the country or 
     the world needs.''
       ``This is an attempt by the majority party to reverse the 
     vote of the people and remove the President from office. This 
     has to stop.''
       ``The Republican House leadership has no intention to find 
     a solution to this situation short of embarrassing the 
     President, destroying him, and driving him from office. That 
     is not the kind of moral leadership this country needs. A 
     strong statement of censure would accomplish what this 
     country needs.''
       ``I believe censure to be adequate. Clinton has proved 
     himself to be a friend to those who need assistance in the 
     areas of disabilities and education the most.''
       ``Nothing the President did will harm the country nearly as 
     much as an attempt by one party to throw out the other 
     party's president.''
       ``Stop the impeachment. Be inventive. Be a leader.''
       ``We suggest that our nation desperately needs wisdom at 
     this tremulous point in its history. We ask you to step 
     forward, possibly at risk to your own place within the 
     Republican party, to vocally and strongly challenge what the 
     Judiciary Committee has set in motion. You would be serving 
     the country greatly by an adamant refusal to get on a train 
     that is single-mindedly heading down a track toward an 
     unknown tunnel.''
       ``For the good of the country, vote against impeachment. 
     Time to forgive and get on with the business of our 
     country.''
       ``Don't bend to the partisan politics of the black and 
     white moralist Republicans who claim this is a vote of 
     conscience. It is obviously meant solely to get Clinton since 
     it couldn't be done in a free and open election by the 
     people.''
       ``I think most of us who voted for him were well aware of 
     this flaw and that is why most Americans oppose impeachment. 
     Despite this flaw, he seems to be leading the country quite 
     well. Infidelities are unfortunately common and should be 
     resolved within family units not over the mass media.''
       ``This biased and unjust process is perhaps the biggest 
     threat to our democracy in our history. When a president is 
     impeached it had better be for an extremely serious offense 
     against our constitution or our country. There are many 
     people who have stated that they will never vote again if 
     their president is removed from office. When people lose 
     faith in their way of government, that way is doomed.''
       ``I met Clinton when he came to Davenport during the record 
     floods that we had several years ago and I know that he feels 
     for the common person.''
       ``Don't let a minority take over the country. We elected 
     Clinton twice, let him finish his mandate.''
       ``It is my belief our president, in his wrongdoing, has 
     been the beneficiary of fewer rights than any citizen would 
     have in a court of law. It's questionable and I think for the 
     sake of this country we should give him the benefit of the 
     doubt.''
       ``I have been a Republican all of my life. I do not like 
     President Clinton and never have. However, I don not think 
     these articles meet the intention of impeachment.''
       ``I'm afraid that many people knew about Clinton's 
     shortcomings in the area of his private life and voted for 
     him anyway because they thought he would be a good president, 
     and he has been. If you feel it necessary to punish him, 
     please consider voting for censure and let him finish off his 
     term. I think the country would be better served that way. 
     Let this be over, please.''
       ``The world looks to our country for stability. What good 
     is going to come from an impeachment? Will the people 
     benefit? Let the courts deal with him after his term.''
       ``The process has been very unfair. If there is no chance 
     to vote to censure, the unfairness will continue. Can Trent 
     Lott and Republicans who didn't want Nixon impeached, vote to 
     now remove a Democrat president for lesser offenses?''
       ``Impeachment should have the support of a strong majority 
     and overwhelming evidence of a crime so high or so specific 
     to governing that there is no redress in the courts for it. 
     Impeachment cannot go forward with any moral authority if it 
     is borderline, or below, on reaching the high crimes level of 
     importance. Impeachment on a purely partisan vote and without 
     public support is just frightening.''
       ``If the nation is crippled by a Senate trial, I believe 
     the public will hold the GOP accountable in the year 2000. 
     Issues that matter to most Americans will surely be put on 
     the back burner for a trial that will certainly turn into a 
     circus. Vote against impeachment so that the next Congress 
     can work on saving Social Security and helping the farmers in 
     the Midwest among other pressing issues.''
       ``If the President deserved to be impeached there would be 
     many Democrats supporting

[[Page H11929]]

     this effort. There are not. Impeachment as a political tool 
     will undermine our entire political system and next time it 
     could be a Republican president being forced out of office at 
     the hands of partisan Democrats.''
       ``every prosecuting attorney makes the decision on whether 
     a case is sent to trial, based on many items including the 
     probability of winning the case. A persecuting attorney who 
     sends a case to trial with no probability of success will 
     soon be voted out as over burdening the court system and 
     wasting money. This case falls into that category. There 
     appears to be no question of the outcome in the Senate, 
     but to try the case would burden the Senate, the Supreme 
     Court, the While House, and all other parts of the 
     government that depend on them. It would send the country 
     into turmoil and add an undue financial burden.''
       ``While I in no way condone Clinton's behavior, I don't 
     believe it is in the best interests of the U.S. to have this 
     issue consume our agenda for the coming year.''
       ``You have always had my vote because of your thoughtful 
     and reasoned positions on the issues. Please continue in the 
     face of this controversy. Many of the Republican members of 
     the House seem to be out of control on this issue and as such 
     are not serving the people.''
       ``Please do your best within the Republican conference to 
     push for the opportunity to vote for censure and stop the 
     ridiculous partisan behavior of some members of your party.''
       ``Although I am personally disgusted by his behavior and 
     disappointed in his refusal to admit his errors, I do not 
     believe that his actions rise to the level of impeachable 
     offenses. If we set the standard for impeachable offenses at 
     the level required by these articles, what president would be 
     safe from future attack? I believe that the Founding Fathers 
     intended impeachment to be a last resort against a corrupt 
     and dangerous executive who poses a threat to the nation, not 
     a routinely utilized method for attacking an executive whom 
     congressional opponents find truculent.''
       ``I wish to urge you to stop this pure political 
     impeachment. I hear you Republicans intend to vote your 
     conscience. I am here to tell you that if you Republicans had 
     a conscience, you would never have started this travesty. The 
     only sin that is unforgivable is deliberate maltreatment of 
     another human. If you do this you are setting your party to 
     henceforth always be the minority. I for one will never again 
     vote for a Republican if you succeed in this pure political 
     impeachment. STOP IT TODAY!!!''
       ``This is the first I have sent an e-mail to any 
     legislator. I implore you to please vote `no' on the 
     impeachment proceedings. I don't condone what he has done 
     concerning Monica Lewinsky, but I don't feel he deserves to 
     be thrown out of office.''
       ``The Republican majority of the Judiciary Committee has 
     just flat refused to accept the apology of President 
     Clinton.''
       ``This impeachment process is like a plot from George 
     Orwell.''
       ``We know he is a person with negligible ethical sense, but 
     we are also confident that he has not committed high crimes 
     and/or misdemeanors that meet the level of impeachment. 
     Please vote to end this nightmare.''
       ``Certainly what he did was awful but it was not a high 
     crime or misdemeanor like treason or bribery.''
       ``Who among us has not done things which we are not proud 
     of and have asked forgiveness from our family or our God. God 
     forgives and it is time to admonish and forgive for the good 
     of the country.''
       ``Shame on you for not standing up and stopping this 
     shameful exhibition of party politics at the expense of our 
     nation.''
       ``If 70% of the American people still approve of the job he 
     is doing, I feel that as a representative of the people, 
     there is only one way you can vote.''
       ``Clinton's actions were despicable and sophomoric, but 
     this prolonged debate on impeachment is patently a rush to 
     conviction.''
       ``President Reagan made more significant irreparable errors 
     and caused harm to the United States in the Iran-Contra 
     affair and he was not punished. President Reagan either lied 
     or was the most stupid President our nation ever had. 
     President Clinton did not cause harm to the United States.''
       ``I teach at the University of Iowa Law School I known 
     there will be tremendous pressure on you from all sides on 
     the impeachment vote. I just hope that, as you so often do, 
     you stand up to it and vote a conscience that (a) supports 
     censure, but (b) opposes impeachment because of its 
     inconsistency, the dangerous precedent set by a partisan 
     vote, the absence of fact-finding by the Judiciary Committee, 
     the resulting impropriety of the House, essentially, serving 
     as a mere conduit from the Starr report to the Senate, its 
     imposition on the U.S. Senate, and the American people, of 
     months of additional focus on issues which neither thinks are 
     deserving of more money and time, and, deliberately last, its 
     adverse impact on the political system.''
       ``Enough is enough!! I encourage you to work in whatever 
     way you can to stop this impeachment movement.''
       ``I think that a yes-vote on impeachment shows more 
     irresponsibility than Clinton's actions.''
       ``The President has done a fine job in governing the 
     country and I do not feel that the private acts that have 
     been focused on have any bearing on his ability to do the 
     job.''
       ``I fear that the outcome of this impeachment will be that 
     future president will be perceived as having fewer rights 
     under the law than ordinary citizens, that in the future 
     presidents--and other public officials--will be perceived 
     as obstructing justice any time they are deemed 
     insufficiently cooperative in their own destruction by 
     legal proceedings.''
       ``You're a lame-duck Congress and you're about to impeach 
     the president on a party-line vote, over clear public 
     opposition. It reflects much worse on you than on Clinton.''
       ``This is not a high crime or misdemeanor. Rather it is a 
     collateral, personal matter involving circumstances the 
     founders did not contemplate as a Constitutional matter. * * 
     * A lawyer cannot allow a client to admit to a crime. The 
     President's defense under the law relates to arguments of 
     materiality and ambiguity.''
       ``In my line of work [acting] no one thinks this is right. 
     * * * The President needs to follow lawyers so he won't be 
     jeopardized when he leaves office * * * He's been humiliated 
     enough.''
       ``I'm calling as a friend of Hillary and as one in charge 
     of providing opposition to you * * * I ask for your 
     independent judgment. It is simply clear that this may be a 
     Presidential embarrassment but it is not an impeachable 
     matter.''
       ``The Republicans are hypocrites. They have Clinton envy.''
       ``The Republicans talk righteousness but their motives are 
     partisan.''
       ``Ken Starr is as guilty as Clinton. Maybe more so because 
     he makes me wonder if the F.B.I. can be asked to bug the 
     President's private life, they can be asked to bug mine * * * 
     I never dreamed of entrapment. Now I fear it.
       ``I do not believe in divorce * * * or impeachment.''
       ``Impeachment for lying about sex * * * you gotta be 
     kidding!''
       ``If these articles pass, then virtually any future lack of 
     presidential candor will be available as an excuse for one 
     party in Congress to overturn the previous presidential 
     election * * * the President's misconduct was neither a 
     genuine attempt to undermine the judicial system, nor a 
     corrupt deployment of executive power to unlawful ends. 
     Absent serious criminality, presidential deeds that are 
     virtually irrelevant to the conduct of the presidency cannot 
     amount to ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' warranting removal 
     * * * there is no variety of high crime or misdemeanor that 
     legally obligates the House to impeach. Impeachment is always 
     an exercise of the House's judgment and discretion. The 
     matters about which President Clinton allegedly lied are 
     trivial with regard to the conduct of the Presidency. 
     Impeachment based on the statements involved will legitimate 
     every future effort of one party in the House to impeach a 
     President for alleged untruthfulness, without regard to 
     seriousness or context.''
       ``While the President is clearly a scoundrel as far as his 
     personal behavior goes, and he has lied about it to everyone 
     including the courts, this simply does not rise to the level 
     requiring his removal from office.''
       ``Many of us who voted for Bill Clinton understood that he 
     was running for President and not the pope. We all have a 
     right to privacy and I feel that everyone deserves privacy 
     when it comes to intimate matters (not affecting the 
     state).''
       ``If this behavior is impeachable, then the bar has been 
     placed so low that voyeuristic, salacious invasions of 
     privacy of elected officials will become the commonplace, and 
     impeachment hearings the tool of parties disappointed at the 
     ballot box.''


                                neutral

       ``Vote your conscience on impeachment. I will support you 
     no matter what your vote.''
       ``The issue is simple, Congressman. Make your decision 
     solely on what you think you can defend to your kids.''
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Metcalf).
  (Mr. METCALF asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. METCALF. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the impeachment 
resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, my prayers go out to the servicemen and women and their 
families during this difficult time, including the EA6-B squadrons from 
Whidbey Island, in my district, that are actively participating in 
operation Desert Fox. I am proud of them. They are professionals in 
every sense. I'm sure their ability to execute their missions will not 
be affected by our sad deliberations here. They know where their 
support comes from.
  President Clinton is a tremendously talented individual. Working with 
him, we have achieved many fundamental reforms. We succeeded in 
dramatically reforming welfare, and over 3 million people have now 
moved to productive work. We restored the highway trust fund providing 
record investment in safety and infrastructure. And we forced 
accountability on the IRS. All of these things we did together--A 
Republican majority and Democratic President. I have personally met 
with the President on vital issues before this nation and I agree we 
must forgive the President.
  I will vote for the articles of impeachment with a heavy heart but a 
clear conscience. The President has perjured himself before a federal 
grand jury. The central principle that

[[Page H11930]]

defines this nation is the rule of law. I cannot walk away from my duty 
to hold the President accountable for his actions. I cannot hold the 
President to a lower standard than the federal judges who have been 
impeached and American citizens who have been imprisoned for the crime 
of perjury.
  The President should follow his own suggestion during the Watergate 
trial. Bill Clinton said of President Nixon in 1974: ``I think the 
president should resign and spare the country the agony of this 
impeachment and removal proceeding.''
  I regrettably urge the President to save this nation further pain and 
resign.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Dreier).
  Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, I was just talking to my dear friend, the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Camp) about how uncomfortable this 
situation is for all of us. Why is it that we are here? We are here 
because of our commitment to the rule of law and we are here because a 
great deal of courage has been demonstrated by a lot of people.
  President John F. Kennedy wrote a chapter in ``Profiles in Courage'' 
about Senator Edmund G. Ross, who stood against public opinion and did 
what he thought was right. And I will tell you, there are an awful lot 
of Members in this Congress who are doing the exact same thing.
  I want to congratulate the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) and all 
of the members, frankly, on both sides of the aisle of the Committee on 
the Judiciary for the hard work and effort that they have put into this 
process. We are doing this because we subscribe to the Burkean view 
that your representative owes you not his industry only but his 
judgment as well. And he betrays rather than serves if he sacrifices it 
to your opinion. This is about justice and the rule of law. Vote in 
favor of these articles.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Nevada (Mr. Gibbons).
  (Mr. GIBBONS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GIBBONS. Mr. Speaker, this is truly a troubling and difficult 
time for America as well as for each and every one of us in this august 
body. The history of this Nation has clearly shown over the past that 
it is reluctant, as it should be, to remove any individual duly elected 
by a vote of the American citizens, and this is not an easy task. It is 
not one that is done with any joy.
  But it is my responsibility, along with everyone else in this room, 
and should be done with the material, the evidence and the charges 
brought to it. Like each of you, I take this very seriously.
  It is not my duty to judge this President nor the fate of his term in 
office. That is left to the United States Senate. The Committee on the 
Judiciary has brought charges to the full House of serious allegations 
against Bill Clinton, which include perjury, obstruction of justice and 
efforts to suborn perjury, serious charges which I have poured over, 
studied and reviewed and have come to the conclusion that they are 
true. They are in violation of the laws of this land, the laws that the 
President has sworn to uphold.
  To all of my colleagues, let me say that impeachment is the strongest 
form of censure in the United States. No person is above the law.
  For only the third time in the history of our nation, members of the 
United States House of Representatives are being asked to consider 
Articles of Impeachment against a sitting president. For only the 
second time in the history of our country, the Judiciary Committee has 
brought these charges to the full membership of the House of 
Representatives to consider and duly vote upon their merits. The 
history of our nation clearly demonstrates a reluctance, as it should, 
to remove any individual duly elected by the citizens of America.
  This is not an easy task. It is not done with any joy--but it is done 
with the knowledge that it is the responsibility of the United States 
House of Representatives to carry out the duties outlined by the 
framers of our Constitution. It is my responsibility, along with my 
colleagues, to decide what should be done with the material and 
evidence brought to it. I take this responsibility seriously: I take it 
with the full knowledge that our actions, as well as those alleged of 
our President, will be in the history books of our nation for hundreds 
of years.
  It is not my job to judge the President; the framers of our 
Constitution gave that role to the United States Senate. It is not my 
duty to ultimately decide the fate of this President's term in office; 
that, too, is the obligation of the United States Senate. It is 
however, my duty and responsibility to determine (1) if the charges 
brought before this body constitute impeachable offenses and (2) if 
sufficient evidence exists to warrant bringing the President to stand 
trial in the Senate on those charges.
  The Judiciary Committee has brought to the full House serious 
allegations against President Bill Clinton. They are allegations which 
include perjury, obstruction of justice, and efforts to suborn perjury 
on the President's part. Such actions are not simply ``personal 
wrongs.'' They are in violation of the laws of this land, the laws that 
the President has sworn to uphold.
  President Clinton has talked numerous times about the average 
American who works hard and plays by the rules. That is what this 
impeachment proceeding is about. In the United States, no person is 
above the law. Not the President, not myself, not the people who send 
us here. No one is above the law.
  I truly hate the idea of putting this country and its citizens 
through an impeachment proceeding. I know that the process distracts us 
from other duties. I know that casting a vote for impeachment is a 
serious and somber matter. However, the Constitution requires a 
specific course of action when charges like this are made and brought 
before the House of Representatives. Therefore, I must follow through 
with this because I believe it is the right thing to do.
  Unfortunately, accusations of partisanship have clouded this process. 
But, clearly, the rule of law in our country is more important than any 
political party or any single individual, including the President of 
the United States.
  Moreover, I recognize that impeachment is never politically popular. 
But the day I let polls and popularity overrule my judgement and the 
way I vote is the day I leave Congress. Over 30 years ago, another 
President wrote a book titled ``Profiles in Courage'' about eight 
members of the Senate who didn't do the ``politically popular thing.'' 
The New York Times called his book ``A thoughtful and persuasive book 
about political integrity.'' Political integrity must win over 
political popularity. Over 130 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln 
certainly didn't do the ``politically popular thing'' when he signed 
the emancipation proclamation, but he did what was right and just for 
America.

  I am drawn to a quote that was made long ago by William Penn, who 
said: ``Right is right, even if everyone is against it. Wrong is wrong, 
even if every one is for it.'' And, just an importantly, my Mother 
always told me: ``The truth is the truth, a lie is a lie, and not for 
long do they exist side by side.'' Justice, like integrity, must always 
take precedence over popularity.
  The House Judiciary Committee has brought four Articles of 
Impeachment against Bill Clinton for the full House to decide. And 
throughout the course of this process I have judiciously and thoroughly 
reviewed all of the available evidence, researched the law, studied the 
Constitution, talked to legal scholars, attorneys and judges, and most 
importantly, listened to the constituents of the Second Congressional 
District of Nevada. Only after a great deal of reflection and 
thoughtful deliberation have I concluded that the following is the 
right course of action for the people I represent, the State of Nevada 
and the future of America:
  I will vote for Article 1 of the Impeachment Resolution, because 
there is sufficient evidence to believe that President Bill Clinton 
willfully provided false and misleading testimony to the grand jury and 
the United States Congress. And that his perjury undermined the 
integrity of the office of the President, brought disrepute on the 
Presidency, betrayed his trust as President, and subverted the rule of 
law and justice of the American people; and,
  I will vote for Article 3 of the Impeachment Resolution, because the 
evidence is sufficient to conclude that President Bill Clinton 
knowingly and wrongly encouraged witnesses to give false and misleading 
testimony, attempted to secure employment for a witness in order to 
prevent the truthful testimony of that witness, engaged in and 
supported a scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed by a 
federal court. Through his conduct, President Bill Clinton attempted to 
obstruct justice in a manner subversive to the rule of law that has 
brought disrepute on the Presidency and undermined the integrity of his 
office; and,
  I will vote for Article 4 of the Impeachment Resolution, because 
there is substantial evidence that President Bill Clinton misused and 
abused his office in failing to respond, and by making false and 
misleading sworn statements in response to written requests as part of 
an authorized inquiry by the Congress of the United States. And that 
his misuse and abuse of his office and power has brought disrepute of 
the Presidency, betrayed his trust as President, subverted the rule of 
law and justice, all to the manifest injury to the people of the United 
States; however,

[[Page H11931]]

  I will not support, nor vote for Article 2 of the Impeachment 
Resolution, simply because I do not believe that the false and 
misleading testimony of President Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones 
lawsuit constitutes an impeachable offense as defined by the 
Constitution.
  The rule of law is paramount in America. Each and every one of us 
must abide by and play by the rules. It is my belief that there is 
sufficient evidence that clearly demonstrates this President has not. 
Therefore, I conclude, reluctantly that these charges should be 
considered by the United State Senate.
  This vote has not been an easy decision on my part. But, I was not 
elected to the United States House of Representatives to make the easy 
decision. However difficult this decision is, it is a vote I cast as a 
matter of conscience in the belief that no person is above the rule of 
law in our nation.
  Mr SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Camp).
  (Mr. CAMP asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, under our Constitution, it is our duty and 
solemn task to examine this matter in a way that will ultimately lead 
to the truth. After reviewing the evidence, I will vote in favor of 
impeachment.
  Lying under oath, obstruction of justice and abuse of office are all 
very serious acts that should not and cannot be ignored. It is my firm 
belief the President has undermined the integrity of his office and 
brought dishonor and disrepute on the Presidency of the United States. 
He has denied Congress and, most importantly, the American people an 
opporutinty to reach the truth. The truth is the foundation of our 
legal system. This foundation has been eroded by the President and his 
actions, and my conscience does not allow me to play a role in the 
continued deterioration of this system.
  This vote is between what is right and what is wrong. I cannot send a 
message to our children that would tell them it is OK to lie even if 
you are the President of the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, we have been given the solemn task of conducting 
impeachment hearings regarding the conduct of President Clinton. It has 
been a difficult process. However, under our Constitution, it is our 
duty and solemn task to examine this matter in a way that would 
ultimately lead us to the truth.
  After reviewing all the public statements and legal documents, I will 
vote in a favor of impeachment. Lying under oath, obstruction of 
justice and abuse of office are all very serious acts that should not 
and cannot be ignored. It is my firm belief the President has 
undermined the integrity of his office and brought dishonor and 
disrepute on the Presidency of the United States of America.
  He as denied a committee of the United States Congress, the House of 
Representatives and most importantly the American people, an 
opportunity to reach the truth. The truth is the foundation of our 
great legal system. This foundation has been eroded by the action of 
our President and my conscience does not allow me to play a role in the 
continued deterioration of this system.
  We cannot ignore the facts of this difficult case. By doing so, we 
would set a dangerous precedent for generations to come. This vote is 
between what is right and what is wrong. I cannot send a message to our 
children that would tell them it's ok to lie if you are the President 
of the United States. This would not be fair for their future or the 
future of our great country.
  This is a trying time for our Nation but it is one that was 
envisioned by our Founding Fathers. It is my hope this entire process 
will soon be resolved and the strength of our Constitution and the rule 
of law will prevail in the final outcome.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Sherman).
  (Mr. SHERMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, in 1973, the House Committee on the 
Judiciary concluded that it could not impeach Richard Nixon for tax 
perjury, even though Nixon fraudulently signed this 1969 tax return 
under penalty of perjury. It then established a precedent, with then 
Congressman Trent Lott concurring, that impeachment of the President is 
not warranted except for misconduct dangerous to the constitutional 
system.
  Some have erroneously claimed that the committee lacked sufficient 
factual evidence. I have distributed to all Members an exhaustive 
analysis of the 1974 hearings. The reason the Committee on the 
Judiciary rejected the tax article of impeachment against Nixon was set 
forth in 1975 by the very member of the House Committee on the 
Judiciary who authored the tax article. And he said, most opponents of 
the tax article felt that the willful tax evasion did not rise to a 
level of an impeachable offense requiring the removal of the President.
  Mr. Speaker, I would call this House a kangaroo court but that would 
be an insult to marsupials everywhere.
  Mr. Speaker, let me address the two issues that are on the minds of 
Americans today.
  As to our action in Iraq, the President is doing the right thing, at 
the right time, for the right reasons. That is why taking action at 
this time is supported by the Republican Secretary of Defense, by the 
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the British Prime Minister--none of whom 
would risk the lives of American and British troops for the President's 
political purposes.
  Yesterday some extremists, blinded by partisanship, made statements 
impugning the President's motives--statements which unintentionally 
gave aid and comfort to the enemy. I am pleased that some have 
apologized for, or have withdrawn, their unfounded insinuations.
  As to these Articles of Impeachment, the partisan House majority is 
doing the wrong thing, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.
  This House is doing the wrong thing because the Majority is ignoring 
the precedent established in the Nixon Impeachment Hearings.
  In 1974 the House Judiciary Committee concluded that while there were 
other reasons to impeach Richard Nixon, it could not impeach him for 
tax perjury--even though he fraudulently signed this 1969 tax return 
under penalty of perjury. It reached this conclusion based on the 
correct legal principle, which it established as precedent. That 
principle is: The impeachment of the President is not warranted except 
for misconduct dangerous to the system of government established by the 
Constitution.
  Some have claimed that in 1974 the Judiciary Committee lacked 
sufficient factual evidence of Richard Nixon's tax perjury--but this is 
not the case. I have reviewed the record of the 1974 hearings, and 
statements made in 1975, and described these in a five page letter 
distributed to all Members this morning--and I will make that letter 
part of these remarks.
  The reason the Judiciary Committee rejected the Tax Article of 
Impeachment against Richard Nixon was set forth in 1975 in the 
Georgetown Law Journal where Edward Mezvinsky, the very member of the 
Judiciary Committee who authored the Tax Article of Impeachment against 
Nixon wrote: ``Most opponents of the tax article felt that willful tax 
evasion did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense requiring 
the removal of the President.''
  The House Majority has required us to address impeachment at the 
wrong time. The next week is critical for American diplomacy to secure 
international support for our efforts against Iraq, so that we can get 
the landing rights our troops need. The Republican Majority insists 
that we deal with this matter now because they want to use raw 
political power to insure what they call a matter of conscience is 
determined by lame duck consciences.

  Now I understand their partisan desire to achieve a political result 
before the new Congress takes over on January 3. But what I don't 
understand is this: Why didn't we adjourn today and convene on December 
29th--and thereby give our diplomacy the time it needs to line-up 
allies?
  And the House Majority is doing all this for the wrong reasons.
  The majority promised this matter would be decided on the merits, 
according to conscience. But we all know Colleagues who have had one 
arm twisted to affect their vote on impeachment, and the other arm 
twisted to ensure their silence about the twisting of the first arm.
  And while we are told this is a matter of conscience, many of us are 
denied the opportunity to express our conscience, because we are not 
being allowed to vote on a resolution of censure.
  It is argued that we cannot constitutionally censure the President. 
But in 1834 a U.S. Senate censured President Jackson. That Senate was 
comprised of individuals who had been actively involved in the process 
of ratifying our constitution. The men and women who lived through the 
adoption of our Constitution never doubted for a moment that it was 
constitutional for either House to censure a President.
  This Majority ignores the standards of impeachable offenses developed 
in the 1974 Nixon Impeachment Hearings. This Majority, through its 
timing of these hearings, places partisanship over the need to use 
diplomacy to secure landing rights necessary to minimize American 
casualties. And this Majority denies Members the right to vote for 
censure, as their consciences dictate.

[[Page H11932]]

  Mr. Speaker, I would call this House a kangaroo court, but that would 
be an insult to marsupials everywhere.

                                                December 17, 1998.

   News Flash 1974: Judiciary Determined Lying Under Oath In Private 
    Matter is Not Impeachable--a Review of Nixon Tax Perjury Article

       Dear Colleague:


                                Summary

       In 1974 the Judicary Committee established a precedent that 
     a crime committed in private life (i.e., Richard Nixon's tax 
     fraud) does not warrant the impeachment of the President. 
     1969 tax fraud, the Committee was swayed principally by the 
     legal principles defining an impeachable offense, not by the 
     lack of factual evidence against Richard Nixon.
       The crimes which the Judicary Committee found did not 
     warrant the impeachment of President Nixon are virtually 
     identifical to the two perjury charges against President 
     Clinton.


                           Detailed Analysis

       President Nixon knowingly filed a 1969 tax return which 
     fradulently claimed that he had donated pre-presidential 
     papers before the date Congress eliminated the charitable tax 
     deduction for such donations. President Nixon, knowing his 
     return was false as to this $576,000 deduction, signed his 
     name under the words: ``Under penalty of perjury, I declare 
     that I have examined this return, including accompanying 
     schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and 
     belief it is true, correct and complete.''
       In July 1974 Edward Mezvinsky (D-IA), a Member of the House 
     Judiciary Committee, introduced an Article of Impeachment 
     alleging that President Nixon had signed ``Under penalty of 
     perjury'' a tax return which Nixon knew was false. While 
     Mezvinsky argued that filing the tax return was an abuse of 
     public power because Nixon knew his red-flag $576,000 
     deduction would not trigger an audit because he was 
     President. However, most Committee members believed that 
     Nixon's false tax return was a ``personal,'' non-governmental 
     crime, and thus did not warrant the impeachment of the 
     President.
       The Judiciary Committee voted 26 to 12 against impeaching 
     Nixon for his false tax return.
       Technically, Nixon committed ``tax fraud'' not ``perjury'' 
     and was subject to prosecution under the Internal Revenue 
     Code. Yet Nixon's crime (covered by his pardon) was almost 
     identical to the perjury of which Clinton is accused (and is 
     referred to here as ``tax perjury'')
       1. Nixon signed a document under the words ``Under penalty 
     of perjury, I declare * * *.''
       2. He presented false information to a federal agency.
       3. Nixon lied when he had a legal obligation, enforceable 
     by federal felony statutes, to tell the truth.
       4. Nixon's false statements related to a private matter--
     his personal liability for federal taxes. (Clinton testified 
     regarding his personal liability to Paula Jones.)
       5. Nixon ignored the ``rule of law'' and his legal 
     obligation to tell the truth.
       Some have argued that the Judiciary Committee did not pass 
     a Tax Perjury Article of Impeachment against Nixon only 
     because the facts were unclear. A review of the Committee 
     Report shows that some members thought the factual evidence 
     against Nixon was weak, while other Members thought that a 
     criminal act in the conduct of personal affairs did not 
     warrant the impeachment of the President. (See attached 
     excerpt.)
       Most of the Members of the Judiciary Committee did not 
     speak on the record on the Tax Perjury Article. So how are we 
     to know the reason for their vote and the precedent the 26 to 
     12 vote established
       The person most aware of the reasoning of the Committee 
     Members regarding the Article is its author Edward Mezvinsky 
     (D-IA), who lobbied his colleagues on both side of the aisle 
     to get his Article adopted. I called Mr. Mezvinsky yesterday 
     and talked with him at length about his efforts in 1974 to 
     convince his colleagues to vote for his Article. He told me 
     that the clear majority of those who voted against his 
     Article did so because they concluded that a crime committed 
     in private life, which did not relate to an abuse of 
     Presidential power and was not as heinous as murder or rape, 
     did not warrant the impeachment of a President.
       Mr. Mezvinsky is a Democrat. Is he remembering or 
     interpreting the vote on his 1974 Article of Impeachment to 
     establish a precedent favorable to our current Democratic 
     President? Has his memory faded with time over the last 24 
     years?
       Fortunately, in 1975 Mezvinsky wrote an article for the 
     Georgetown Law Journal describing the thought process of his 
     colleagues and providing a contemporaneous statement of the 
     legal conclusions reached in 1974 by the Judiciary Committee.
       Mr. Mezvinsky first explains the staff guidance the 
     Committee received, and then the conclusion of the Members of 
     the Committee, which followed that guidance. ``The staff 
     nevertheless injected a requirement of substantiality into 
     the impeachment formula: to constitute an impeachable 
     offense, presidential conduct must be `seriously incompatible 
     with either the constitutional form and principles of our 
     government or the proper performance of constitutional duties 
     of the presidential office.' [Staff of the Impeachment 
     Inquiry, House Comm. On the Judiciary, 93rd Cong., 2nd Sess., 
     Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment 26-27 
     (Comm. Print 1974).]''

                           *   *   *   *   *

       ``Most opponents of the Tax Article felt that willful tax 
     evasion did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense 
     requiring removal of the President.''--Edward Mezvinsky, 
     Georgetown Law Journal, 1975, Volume 63: 1071 at pages 1078-
     1079.
       The record on the Nixon impeachment process further 
     supports the conclusion that impeachment of a President is 
     warranted only for an offense against our very system, an 
     offense subversive of the government itself.
       A memorandum setting forth the views of certain Republican 
     Members (including current Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott) 
     of the Judiciary Committee in 1974 similarly emphasized the 
     necessarily serious and public character of any alleged 
     offense: ``It is not a fair summary . . . to say that the 
     Framers were principally concerned with reaching a course of 
     conduct, whether or not criminal, generally inconsistent with 
     the proper and effective exercise of the office of the 
     presidency. They were concerned with preserving the 
     government from being overthrown by the treachery or 
     corruption of one man. . . . [I]t is our judgment, based upon 
     this constitutional history, that the Framers of the United 
     States Constitution intended that the President should be 
     removable by the legislative branch only for serious 
     misconduct dangerous to the system of government established 
     by the Constitution.'' [Nixon Report at 364-365 (Minority 
     Views of Messrs. Hutchinson, Smith, Sandman, Wiggins, Dennis, 
     Mayne, Lott, Moorhead, Maraziti and Latta) (final emphasis 
     added).]


                               Conclusion

       A 1975 law journal article tells the story. In 1974 a 
     Judiciary Committee, dominated by Democrats, was confronted 
     with a President who had lied on a tax return signed ``under 
     penalty of perjury.'' That crime dishonored President Nixon, 
     undermined respect for law, and called into doubt Mr. Nixon's 
     credibility on public matters. However the Committee applied 
     the following formula: seriously incompatible with either the 
     constitutional form and principles of our government or the 
     proper performance of constitutional duties of the 
     presidential office.
       That same standard should be applied to President Clinton. 
     The first two articles allege that President Clinton lied 
     ``under penalty of perjury'' and through that action 
     undermined respect for law, and his own credibility and 
     honor. Yet President Clinton's actions do not warrant the 
     impeachment of a President under the standards formulated by 
     the Judiciary Committee in 1974 and applied by most Committee 
     Members in rejecting the Tax Perjury Article of Impeachment 
     against Richard Nixon.
       I urge you to follow the standard enunciated and followed 
     by the Judiciary Committee in 1974 and reject the first two 
     Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton. I hope you 
     will also join me in voting against the third and fourth 
     Articles as well.
           Very truly yours,
                                                     Brad Sherman.

Excerpts From Hearings of the House Judiciary Committee, July 1974, on 
 an Article of Impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, Dealing With Tax Fraud/
                              Tax Perjury

       Mr. Railsback (R-IL)--I suggest that there is a serious 
     question as to whether something involving his personal tax 
     liability has anything to do with his conduct of the office 
     of the President. (Pg. 524).
       Mr. Hogan (R-MD)--The staff report on grounds for 
     impeachment makes clear, and I am quoting: ``As a technical 
     term high crimes signified a crime against the system of 
     government, not merely a serious crime. This element of 
     injury to the commonwealth, that is, to the state itself and 
     the Constitution, was historically the criteria for 
     distinguishing a high crime or misdemeanor from an ordinary 
     one.'' (Pg. 541)
       Mr. Mayne (R-IA)--. . . even if criminal fraud had been 
     proved, then we would still have the question whether its a 
     high crime or misdemeanor sufficient to impeach under the 
     Constitution, because that is why we are here, ladies and 
     gentlemen, to determine whether the President should be 
     impeached, not to comb through every minute detail of his 
     personal taxes for the past six years, raking up every 
     possible minutia which could prejudice the President on 
     national television. (Pg. 545)
       Mr. Waldie (D-CA)--I speak against this article because of 
     my theory that the impeachment process is a process designed 
     to redefine Presidential powers in cases where there has been 
     enormous abuse of those powers . . . And though I find the 
     conduct of the President in these instances to have been 
     shabby, to have been unacceptable, and to have been 
     disgraceful even, I do not find a presidential power that has 
     been so grossly abused that . . . [it is] . . . sufficient to 
     warrant impeachment. (Pg. 548)
       Mr. Thornton (D-AR)--I think it is apparent that in this 
     area there has been a breach of faith with the American 
     people with regard to incorrect income tax returns . . . But 
     it is my view that these charges may be reached in due course 
     in the regular process of the law.
       This committee is not a tax fraud court, nor a criminal 
     court, nor should it endeavor to be one. Our charge is full 
     and serious enough, in determining whether high crimes and 
     misdemeanors affecting the security of our system of 
     government must be brought

[[Page H11933]]

     to the attention of the full House . . . (Pg. 549)
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman in 
Oregon (Ms. Hooley).
  (Ms. HOOLEY of Oregon asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend her remarks.)
  Ms. HOOLEY of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I am sick at heart as I stand 
before this body today. I believe in this institution of self-
government and that good people can disagree on issues and that we must 
respect that disagreement.
  But I believe in order to have legitimate self-government that the 
process of making institution's decisions must be fair, and I am 
frustrated with a process that is not fair and that will not allow some 
of us to vote our conscience, a vote on censure.
  Under the guise of rebuilding the public trust, this body is tearing 
it down.
  The vast majority of Americans are also frustrated by the process. 
They want this to be over with and they have expressed their support 
for a bipartisan solution, a vote on censure. What they do not want is 
for us to make a decision of this historical magnitude purely on a 
partisan basis.

                              {time}  2130

  It is very clear to me that the President's actions were wrong. But I 
do not believe that they rise to the level of crimes against the state 
that the Constitution requires in order to impeach. We are not voting 
to protect our democracy from clear abuses of power. We are voting on 
misleading and lying statements relating to a private matter. It is 
wrong. It is reprehensible. But it is not impeachable.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Poshard).
  (Mr. POSHARD asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. POSHARD. Mr. Speaker, as a young father, I learned something 
about raising my children. I learned that there had to be rules and the 
rules had to be enforced and if my children chose to break the rules, 
they had to be allowed to experience the consequences of their choices. 
I did my children no favor if I allowed them to escape those 
consequences.
  But I learned some other things, things that were just as important 
as enforcing the rules to the letter. I learned that if a child 
disobeys and the punishment is so much more severe than the offense 
that we make an enemy out of that child. We may win the power struggle 
but everything we hope that child will learn by enforcing the rules 
with such severity will be lost.
  This principle never changes, even among adults. That is why we need 
a censure here with appropriate punishment. The Nation knows that we 
have overreached in this situation. If we have appropriate punishment, 
we can learn, we can maintain respect and we can move on as friends and 
not enemies.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Thomas).
  (Mr. THOMAS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, I do think at this point we perhaps need to 
go back to the basics. I keep hearing that somehow we are going to 
abrogate a vote.
  What we have before us are four articles. The question is whether or 
not the facts examined by the Committee on the Judiciary meet the 
articles. I think anyone who looks at the information will clearly 
reach the conclusion that, in fact, the facts are not friendly.
  The question is, do oaths mean something? I think they do. Should 
oaths mean something to the most powerful person in the United States? 
I think they should.
  The President had one opportunity not to lie. He had a second 
opportunity not to obstruct justice. He had a third opportunity. At any 
number of turns, the President of the United States would not have 
required us to be in the position we are in tonight.
  The question is simply, do the facts rise to the articles? We do not 
remove him. We simply agree.
  Mr. Speaker, the matter before us is not about a private matter as 
most of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been alleging 
for eleven months and throughout the debate today. This debate concerns 
they very foundation of our system of government.
  I urge my colleagues to think long and hard about what we are doing 
in this hallowed chamber. We have been charged by the American people, 
our constituents, to serve to the best of our abilities swear to uphold 
the Constitution. It is our duty to defend the laws and the rule of law 
and this is what we are debating here today.
  The House Judiciary Committee, under the able leadership of Chairman 
Henry Hyde, reviewed 60,000 pages of sworn testimony, grand jury 
transcripts, depositions, statements, affidavits as well as video and 
audio tapes that they used to build a case and provide ample evidence 
for four Articles of Impeachment. I have read this report and agree 
with their findings.
  The Framers provide us with a guide, the Constitution. The Judiciary 
Committee found that the President has indeed lied under oath, 
obstructed justice and abused the powers of his office. Impeachment is 
the Constitutional remedy.
  The rule of law is paramount to our system of government. Should the 
President of he United States be exempt from this standard? Should he 
be granted special treatment? Lying under oath lands other Americans in 
jail. The President is not above the law.
  William Jefferson Clinton has twice taken the oath of Office of 
President of the United States where he swore to faithfully execute the 
office and to the best of his ability ``preserve, protect and defend 
the Constitution of the United States.'' President Clinton has broken 
this solemn oath.
  If the House indeed passes one or several Articles of Impeachment to 
the Senate, I renew my call to President Clinton to resign for the good 
of the country.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Hoekstra).
  (Mr. HOEKSTRA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HOEKSTRA. Mr. Speaker, today we are faced with strong evidence 
that the President lied after swearing an oath to tell the truth. We 
have only one legitimate remedy in front of us, impeachment. So with 
great remorse, I will vote in favor of impeachment.
  Some people have said that impeaching the President is an extremist 
or radical position. To those people I must ask, is holding the 
President accountable for his actions extremist? Is expecting the 
President to tell the truth radical?
  I submit to this House that the rational position and the moderate 
position is to hold the President of the United States as we would any 
other American accountable to the law. Impeaching the President is 
something none of us should take lightly. However, neither should we 
shirk our duty to uphold the laws of our country and hold the President 
accountable for violating those laws and abusing his powers.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from New Hampshire (Mr. Sununu).
  (Mr. SUNUNU asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SUNUNU. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the 
constitutional principle that every American is guaranteed equal 
protection under the laws of the United States.
  As our Nation's chief executive, the President is charged to defend 
the Constitution and ensure a legal system that is untainted by 
perjury, by obstruction, and by witness tampering. These are crimes 
against the state and they strike at the heart of our judicial system 
and undermine its essential integrity.
  To defer accountability for these actions would be to hold the single 
individual above the law and outside the boundaries of our judicial 
system. Some Members who wish to avoid casting a vote on impeachment 
remind us that the President would still be subject to criminal 
prosecution and they have included this reference in a meaningless 
censure resolution.
  But this raises the troubling question, how can an individual that 
has committed an act that warrants a prison term be fit to serve as 
president? Others have argued that we should compromise principles in 
this case. But I say, if we cannot stand on principle in matters of 
truthful testimony, when will we ever stand on principle?

[[Page H11934]]

  In his actions, the President has undermined his oath of office and 
undermined the rule of law. I will support the articles of impeachment.
  I rise today before my colleagues, mindful of the difficult task 
before us and the strong emotions that mark the differences in opinion 
regarding the grave and solemn matter of Impeachment.
  Two hundred and twenty-two years ago our country was founded upon the 
fundamental principle that ``all men are created equal,'' and, 
therefore, that no individual is above the law. In applying our 
Nation's laws equally to all citizens, the integrity of the judicial 
system is protected by the requirement that all witnesses swear an oath 
to testify truthfully and fully before the Court.
  As our Nation's chief executive, the President is charged to 
``preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United 
States,'' the document which establishes this framework of justice for 
all. He carries a unique responsibility to protect the preeminent 
rights granted by our Constitution including the guarantee to a fair 
trial before a jury of one's peers and a legal system untainted by the 
corrupting influences of perjury, obstruction, or witness tampering. 
These very crimes, of which President William Jefferson Clinton now 
stands accused, strike at the heart of our judicial system and 
undermine its essential integrity.
  Against these allegations and during the past eleven months, the 
President has been given every opportunity to deal fairly and honestly 
with the American people and with the Courts of the United States. In 
public statements, in a sworn deposition, in grand jury testimony, and 
in written responses to the House Judiciary Committee, he has been 
called upon to provide a full and truthful account of facts pertaining 
to charges of obstruction of justice, tampering with grand jury 
witnesses, and perjury. He has failed at every turn. Instead, the 
President has lied to the American people, lied to the Federal Court, 
and lied to a grand jury about key material facts. Moreover, the 
President has offered no information or testimony contradicting the 
evidence of these crimes outlined in the Independent Counsel's 
Impeachment Referral and Judiciary Committee Report.
  And so we have before us, the matter of the Impeachment of our 
President. The constitutional standard for impeachment of ``high crimes 
and misdemeanors'' is a broad one by design. In the Federalist Papers, 
it is described in greatest detail by Alexander Hamilton, writing that 
``The subject of [impeachments] jurisdictions are those offenses which 
proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the 
abuse or violation of some public trust.'' Protecting the integrity of 
government and ensuring accountability of public officials were of 
paramount concern.
  Given the breadth and weight of documented evidence against the 
President on the substantive issues before the House, I am compelled to 
vote in favor of the Articles of Impeachment presented here today. The 
evidence documented in the Impeachment Referral and Judiciary Committee 
Report describes an extensive pattern of behavior designed to obstruct 
justice and mislead federal prosecutors. The President has displayed 
particular contempt for our legal system and the American people in 
several specific areas:
  In his deposition and testimony in the case of Jones v. Clinton, the 
President demonstrated a contempt for the judicial system by committing 
perjury and allowing a false affidavit to be entered into the court 
record.
  In his testimony before a federal grand jury, the President committed 
perjury.
  With full knowledge that subpoenas for physical evidence had been 
issued, the President participated in a conspiracy to obstruct justice 
by encouraging witnesses to hide evidence.
  After he knowingly provide false testimony before the court, and 
identified Ms. Betty Currie as a corroborating witness, the President 
attempted to intimidate her into providing false testimony.
  The President repeatedly and unequivocally lied to the American 
People about matters under investigation by the Office of the 
Independent Counsel.
  These acts are not merely technical violations of Federal Law; they 
demonstrate a broad and consistent pattern of behavior designed to 
corrupt our system of due process. To withhold or delay swift and 
appropriate action would be to hold a single individual above the law; 
and, herein lies the tragic precedent which a vote against impeachment 
creates. A vote against impeachment holds a single individual to a 
unique standard, above all other citizens, and outside the boundaries 
of our judicial system.
  Some members who wish to avoid casting a vote for impeachment remind 
us that the President will still remain subject to criminal indictment. 
In fact, they have included reference to such prosecution in a 
meaningless ``censure'' resolution offered before the Judiciary 
Committee. This serves only to raise the troubling question: How can an 
individual who has committed a crime that may warrant a prison term be 
fit to continue to serve as President? To allow a public official to 
commit a series of felonies with impunity would constitute a violation 
of my own oath as a Member of Congress to uphold the Constitution. 
Moreover, it would send a clear and unacceptable message that each 
individual is entitled to their own personal interpretation of when it 
is acceptable to lie under oath and whether obstruction of justice or 
intimidating witnesses is appropriate behavior.
  Some have also made a dangerous argument that principles should be 
compromised in this case due to the nature of the underlying subject 
matter. But, if we cannot stand behind principle on matters of truthful 
testimony before our Courts, then when will we ever stand behind 
principle? As was stated so eloquently earlier today: the integrity of 
our democracy is ensured when even the most powerful public officials 
tremble before the law. And if we choose to establish a new standard 
that defers accountability for felonies committed to avoid personal 
embarrassment, then those who argue against impeachment should come 
forward with a list of all topics and circumstances under which 
America's elected Chief Executive may corrupt the judicial process, 
obstruct justice, and intimidate grand jury witnesses. The seven months 
of delay caused by the President's obstruction, and three months of 
Committee hearings have been difficult and unpleasant for every 
American. Creating a vague list of Presidential exceptions for perjury 
or obstruction of justice, however, may doom us to repeat this 
unsettling period in our Nation's history should future Presidents use 
President Clinton's unlawful actions to justify their own.
  Finally, what are the consequences for 270 million Americans who are 
still expected to respect the principles of due process and 
truthfulness under oath? No censure resolution or public criticism of 
the President can ever justify the fact that he would remain in office 
after committing acts for which other Americans would be subject to 
immediate prosecution--and for which over 100 Americans are currently 
imprisoned. In fact, many of the federal judges who have been impeached 
were removed from office specifically for committing perjury. What 
remains of the Constitution's delicate system of checks and balances 
when we decide to hold the executive branch to a different standard 
than the judicial branch?
  Given that the President has offered no contradiction of the facts 
presented within the Independent Counsel's Impeachment Referral and the 
Judicial Committee Report, it is fair to conclude that each of their 
allegations are true. The weight of the evidence supports the finding 
that the President of the United States committed not one, but a series 
of felonies, in an attempt to conceal evidence and information from 
federal investigators. The President has undermined the judicial 
process, shown contempt for judges and officers of the court, and 
failed egregiously to uphold his oath of office. The President should 
be impeached. Those who will vote to exonerate a President who has 
shown such contempt for our judicial system either discard the 
evidentiary record, or willingly betray their own oath to uphold the 
Constitution of the United States.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Ford).
  Mr. FORD. Mr. Speaker, many of my colleagues on the left here do not 
like this President or his policies. But their feelings about him or 
what he stands for are irrelevant this evening, for impeachment has 
standards, for as Richard Davis, who testified before the committee so 
eloquently said, cases cannot be brought simply to make a point, to 
express a sense of moral outrage.
  Kat Sunstate from the University of Chicago said so eloquently, 
impeachment is reserved for a narrow category of cases, for this case 
does not rise to that standard.
  I intend to vote against impeachment because as sinful and as stupid 
as the President's conduct was, it is not impeachable. But I will not 
get that chance. I will not get the chance to vote for censure because 
my colleagues over here do not believe we ought to have that chance.
  Finally, Mr. Speaker, my prayers go to Mr. Livingston and his family 
as they seek to heal and rebuild. I say to my friends in all of this 
Congress, when is this going to end? When is this going to end? God 
help this Congress. When will we find our dignity, our vision, and our 
wisdom? Give us a vote on censure. Give America the vote they want on 
censure. This is not impeachable. It is stupid. It is sinful. It 
deserves censure.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Reyes).
  (Mr. REYES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)

[[Page H11935]]

  Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the articles of 
impeachment. I have had the occasion to walk back and forth to this 
Capitol building several times today. On one of those occasions, I 
remembered the words of the Speaker designate, the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Livingston), when he said that he was a sinful, regular 
person.
  I am grateful that regular people get an opportunity to serve in this 
House because regular people all across America tonight have been very 
clear and very vocal about the issue of impeachment. Regular people 
prefer census over impeachment. And yes, Mr. Speaker, regular people 
want regular business conducted in this House, not vindictive partisan 
politics.
  Regular people are disgusted that we would be involved in this 
process at a time when this Nation's young men and women are engaged in 
its national defense.
  As a regular person myself, as a veteran, as an American, I am 
profoundly disappointed at what we have done here today. History will 
ultimately be our judge. And while I know and understand the concept 
that majority rules, I have also lived long enough to take comfort in 
the fact that majorities that are unfair do not last. My friends, from 
where I am standing, the clock is ticking.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the articles of 
impeachment.
  I have had the occasion to walk back and forth to this capitol 
building several times today. On one of those occasions I remembered 
the words of Speaker Designate Livingston that he was ``simply a 
regular person.''
  I am grateful that regular people get an opportunity to serve in this 
House. Regular people all across America have been very clear and very 
vocal about the issue of impeachment. Regular people prefer censure 
over impeachment. And Mr. Speaker, regular people want regular business 
conducted * * * not vindictive partisan politics. Regular people are 
disgusted that we would be involved in this process at a time when this 
nations young men and women are engaged in its national defense half a 
world away. As a regular person, a Veteran, an American * * * I am 
profoundly disappointed in what we have done here today.
  History will be our ultimate judge and while I know and understand 
the concept of majority rules * * * I have lived long enough to take 
comfort in the fact that majorities that are unfair don't last * * * My 
friends from where I stand the clock is ticking.
  Like you, I am very troubled by the President's conduct. The 
President himself has acknowledged a serious lapse of judgment 
concerning this matter. The President's actions were wrong. It was 
wrong for him to make false statements concerning his reprehensible 
conduct with a subordinate. And it was wrong for him to take steps to 
delay the discovery of the truth.
  The question is: does this conduct rise to level of an impeachable 
offense? After a careful review of the testimony before the Judiciary 
Committee and the report of the Committee about its findings, I am 
opposed to impeaching President Clinton. Let me tell you why I reached 
that conclusion.
  I found arguments presented in the Dissenting Views of the 
Committee's report convincing as it relates to the conditions under 
which impeachment is warranted: ``Impeachment is only warranted for 
conduct that constitutes `Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors' as set forth in Article II, Section 4 of the 
Constitution. As virtually all constitutional scholars have noted, 
there is an important distinction between criminal and impeachable 
offenses--impeachment serves to protect the nation, not to punish the 
wrongdoer * * * the remedy of impeachment should be reserved for 
egregious abuses of presidential authority, rather than misconduct 
unrelated to public office. It is also clear that the President is 
subject to civil and criminal punishment independently of the 
impeachment process. The constitutional process of impeachment should 
not, therefore, be used for punitive purposes.''
  On November 6, 1998, 430 Constitutional law professors wrote: ``Did 
President Clinton commit `high Crimes and Misdemeanors' warranting 
impeachment under the Constitution? We believe that the misconduct 
alleged in the report of the Independent Counsel does not cross that 
threshold.'' One week earlier, more than 400 historians issued a joint 
statement warning that ``because impeachment has traditionally been 
reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors in the exercise of executive 
power, impeachment of President Clinton based on the facts alleged in 
the [Independent Counsel's] referral would set a dangerous precedent.''
  I also agree with the view that ``the Framers of the Constitution 
intended that the impeachment language they employed should reflect the 
grave misconduct that so injures or abuses our constitutional 
institutions and form of government as to justify impeachment.'' 
Finally, I agree with the 1974 Watergate Staff Report, cited in the 
Dissenting Views, that says, ``The purpose of impeachment is not 
personal punishment; its function is primarily to maintain 
constitutional government * * * In an impeachment proceeding a 
President is called to account for abusing powers that only the 
President possesses.''
  Finally, I believe the Republican leadership of the House of 
Representatives should allow the 435 members of the House an 
opportunity to vote on a strongly worded resolution of censure--one 
that condemns the actions of the President and imposes a hefty fine on 
him. However, the Republicans have denied us that opportunity.
  This decision was very difficult for me and one that was not made 
lightly. I do not expect everyone to agree with this decision but I 
believe it is the right thing to do.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. McIntyre).
  (Mr. McINTYRE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. McINTYRE. Mr. Speaker, there are three issues in this matter 
before us tonight. First on the question of values, the President has 
clearly failed. Second, on the question of law, the Constitution says 
that regardless of what the Congress may do the President shall 
``nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and 
punishment according to law.''
  But it is the third question that we must decide, the constitutional 
question of removal from office. This is the only question that we are 
permitted to decide, and let us follow our Nation's charter in making 
this decision. Let us make known our great respect for the Constitution 
by realizing that while President Clinton's behavior was wrong and 
unacceptable, impeaching him is the wrong punishment.
  Moving forward with impeachment is not consistent with the intent of 
the Constitution and the duty we are charged to follow as the great 
statesman and former congressman and senator Daniel Webster once said, 
his words about the Constitution could not be truer today, ``We may be 
tossed upon an ocean where we can see no land or perhaps even the sun 
or the stars, but there is a chart and a compass for us to study, 
consult and obey and that chart is the Constitution.'' May God help us 
keep it strong and may we resolve to uphold it.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Redmond).
  (Mr. REDMOND asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. REDMOND. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of all 4 articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Smith).
  (Mr. SMITH of Michigan asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. SMITH of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, the President's guilt in this 
matter is undisputed. Even the Democratic-sponsored censure resolution 
states that he has violated the trust of the American people and 
dishonored the office which they have entrusted to him.
  Mr. Speaker, we should not let the President off free for his 
egregious conduct. We should not use the excuse of military conflict. 
We should not use the excuse that some prefer censure. Impeachment in 
the House is the constitutional method of censure.
  Impeachment will ensure that the President's misconduct is treated 
with the seriousness it deserves. It is the formal judgment by the 
House that the President has committed crimes that deserve the 
attention of the Senate. It is an emphatic statement of censure and 
disapproval and it is constitutional. In this case a vote for 
impeachment is warranted.
  Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers said that the impeachable 
offenses are ``those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of 
public men.''
  Mr. Speaker. Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers that 
impeachable offenses ``are those offenses which proceed from the 
misconduct of public men or, in other words, from the abuse or 
violation of some

[[Page H11936]]

public trust.'' It is clear that the perjury and obstruction of the 
legal process by the President, who is our foremost law enforcer, does 
constitute an abuse of his public trust. Mr. Speaker, the President's 
guilt in this matter is undisputed. Even the Democrat-sponsored censure 
resolution states that the President ``violated the trust of the 
American people, lessened their esteem for the office of President, and 
dishonored the office which they have entrusted to him.''
  Some have suggested censure as an alternative to impeachment. A 
censure resolution without a penalty is insufficient for his felonious 
misconduct. On the other hand, a strong resolution which includes a 
fine or other sanction faces a severe Constitutional challenge. The 
Constitution specifically forbids ``Bills of Attainder''. Thus, any 
fine imposed on the President via the censure process, even with his 
consent, could be successfully challenged after the fact.
  I respectfully ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are 
considering a vote against impeachment to reconsider. We should not let 
the President off free for this egregious conduct. We should not use 
the excuse of military conflict or the excuse that some may prefer 
censure. We should do our duty under the Constitution. We should vote 
for impeachment.
  Impeachment by the House is the Constitutional method of censure. 
Impeachment will ensure that the President's misconduct is treated with 
the seriousness it deserves. It is a formal judgment by the House that 
the President has committed ''High Crimes and Misdemeanors'' that 
deserve the attention of the Senate. It is an emphatic statement of 
censure and disapproval and is Constitutional. In this case, a vote for 
impeachment is warranted.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Hunter).
  Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Speaker, equal justice means two things. First, every 
citizen, including the least powerful, like the plaintiff in the first 
civil case in which President Clinton perjured himself, has a right to 
demand truthful testimony under oath even when the defendant is the 
President.
  Secondly, equal justice requires adherence to the rule of law by all 
Americans, including the most powerful. Further, equal justice requires 
accountability by those who have committed perjury.
  In this case, accountability for perjury is provided by the 
constitutional remedy of impeachment. I am going to vote for 
impeachment against President Clinton because he committed perjury 
before a court and a grand jury. For us to do less might be a little 
more comfortable in the short term, but I think it would do permanent 
damage to our ideals of equal justice and constitutional government.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman 
from Maryland (Mrs. Morella).
  (Mrs. MORELLA asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Mrs. MORELLA. Mr. Speaker, the decision to impeach a President is 
among the most solemn responsibilities that we in Congress will ever 
face and one over which I have long agonized.
  As a mother and grandmother, I struggled mightly with what message we 
send to all our children if the President does not bare serious 
consequence for his dishonest behavior. But I would like to point out 
that impeachment should be undertaken only with great reservation and 
much trepidation. It is an act that the founders intended not so much 
to punish an individual's wrongdoing but to preserve and protect a 
nation.
  Each Member today must seriously consider whether the charges against 
President Clinton do in fact constitute a threat to the Nation or its 
national security. No doubt the President's actions, in both words and 
deeds, have disgraced him, his family, his office. His legacy shall be 
indelibly scarred.
  However, putting the country through the turmoil and the tumult of a 
Senate trial that could last months while the many important issues 
facing our Nation go unaddressed is wrong. It is clear that the 
American people want us to close this sorry chapter in our history. I, 
therefore, plan to vote against the articles and in terms of what I 
consider in the best interest of my country, my conscience, and my 
constituents.
  Mr. Speaker, the decision to impeach a sitting President is among the 
most difficult and solemn responsibilities we in the Congress will ever 
face, and one over which I have long agonized. I come to the well of 
the House to cast a vote that has occurred only once before in our 
Nation's history.
  In reaching this difficult decision, I reviewed the Judiciary 
Committee proceedings and the scholars' testimony, read the report and 
relevant materials, and discussed the issues with colleagues and 
experts. Most importantly, I listened to my constituents, considered 
the effect on our Nation, and searched my conscience.
  I approach this moment as a mother and grandmother who cares deeply 
about the difficulty parents face because of this ordeal. One of my 
grandsons, Michael, is eleven years old, president of his student body, 
and his parents have taught him the importance of being honest and 
trustworthy. I struggle mightily with what message we send to him and 
my other grandchildren, as well as all children, if the President does 
not bear serious consequences for his dishonest behavior.
  Ours is a solemn duty to determine whether the wrongdoing by this 
President rises to the Constitutional threshold of Impeachment as 
intended by the Founders of this great nation. The purpose of 
Impeachment is the removal and possible disqualification from office 
and should be undertaken only with great reservation and much 
trepidation. It is an act that the Founders intended not so much to 
punish an individual's wrongdoing, but to preserve and protect a 
nation. Each Member today must seriously consider whether the charges 
against President Clinton do in fact constitute a threat to the nation 
or its national security.
  The President's actions in both words and deeds have disgraced him, 
his family, and his office, and he shall forever be remembered not for 
the many accomplishments that have occurred during his term in office, 
but for his sordid behavior and his failure to take responsibility for 
that behavior.
  I believe, however, that putting the country through the turmoil and 
tumult of a Senate trial that could last months while the many 
important issues facing our nation go unaddressed is wrong. It is clear 
that the American people want us to close this sorry chapter in our 
history and move on to resolving the challenges that face us. I shall 
therefore vote against these Articles of Impeachment. It is my sincere 
belief that there should be severe consequences for the actions of this 
President, and if these Articles of Impeachment are approved, I hope 
that the Senate will act expeditiously and vote on a severe Censure 
Resolution that could then be brought back to the House. I would 
support such a resolution.
  While history will judge William Jefferson Clinton severely, I do not 
believe that his acts rise to the level of ``high crimes and 
misdemeanors'' as specified by the Constitution. I know that some in 
this body will come to a different conclusion than I do and I respect 
their decision. Many Americans too are deeply divided over this issue. 
My decision to vote against these Articles of Impeachment is one that 
does not come easily, but in my service in the United States House of 
Representatives, and to the people of the Eighth District of Maryland, 
I have always tried to consider my constituents, my country and my 
conscience.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair would remind all 
persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the House and 
any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is a 
violation of House rules.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Ms. Kaptur).
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, this Congress is faced with a very imperfect 
situation, a President who has deeply disgraceed our Nation and an 
independent prosecutor who has compromised the integrity of the 
investigative process.

                              {time}  2145

  The damage both men have rendered is strewn across the American 
landscape, and now the Committee on the Judiciary of this House has 
produced a one-sided, rampantly partisan option for this membership to 
consider.
  Healing our Nation must be the paramount consideration of this body, 
and our people must be spared from further division. Even though it 
appears that President Clinton lied under oath, which could be a high 
crime, proving perjury in a court of law is a highly technical legal 
matter not easily established.
  On the other hand, a Senate trial would not require the same level of 
judicial proof, but it is unlikely the Senate will be able to assemble 
a working supermajority for any of the impeachment charges.
  The House of its own accord can act to resolve this situation 
assigning proper penalties and punishments but

[[Page H11937]]

likely will fail to do so placing this entire matter in the netherworld 
between the Senate, unlikely to reach a conclusion and a legal system 
in which wrongdoing will be difficult to prove.
  Our Nation needs to move forward. I am left with no option but to 
vote against the committee's recommendations in spite of my disdain for 
the President's actions.
  Mr. Speaker, this Congress is faced with a very imperfect situation.
  A President who has deeply disgraced our Nation, and an independent 
prosecutor who has compromised the integrity of the investigative 
process. The damage both men have rendered is strewn across the 
American landscape. Now, the Judiciary Committee of this House has 
produced a one-sided, rampantly partisan option for the membership to 
consider.
  Healing our Nation must be the paramount consideration of this body. 
The American people must be spared from further divisions.
  Even though it appears President Clinton lied under oath which would 
be a high crime, proving perjury in a court of law is a highly 
technical legal matter not easily established. On the other hand, a 
Senate trial would not require the same level of judicial proof, but it 
is unlikely the Senate will be able to assemble a working supermajority 
for any of the impeachment charges.
  The House of its own accord can act to resolve this situation, 
assigning proper penalties and punishments, but likely will fail to do 
so, placing this entire matter in the netherworld between a Senate 
unlikely to reach a conclusion and a legal system in which wrong doing 
will be difficult to prove. To drag our nation through further partisan 
wrangling in the Senate seems very unwise.
  [Thus] I conclude further Congressional deliberations on this set of 
charges are not in the nation's interests. Though the charges against 
President Clinton are serious, they are best adjudicated in the courts 
where regular rules of evidence and due process apply. Since other 
alternatives are not available to this House as a result of the 
Judiciary Committee's flawed proceedings, I am left with no option but 
to vote against the Committee's recommendation, in spite of my disdain 
for the Presidents' actions and his failure to take responsibility for 
them. Our Nation needs to move forward.
  Mindful of the strongly divided opinion of the American people and 
citizens of my home district regarding the pending set of votes on the 
four Articles of Impeachment against President Bill Clinton, it is my 
obligation to state publicly my reasons for voting as I will today. In 
this regard, partisanship is irrelevant. Personalities are irrelevant. 
Healing our nation must be paramount. Carrying out the nation's regular 
business must proceed. In regard to the Clinton charges, we must 
respect the rule of law, administer it to preserve the integrity of the 
Constitution, and recommend proper judicial proceedings to resolve the 
matter at hand. Throughout this process, I have weighted: ``To what 
extent do the President's actions, along with those of the 
investigative processes that have led to our current predicament in the 
House, undermine or strengthen the Constitutional standards I am sworn 
to uphold?'' In an expeditious manner, we must resolve this situation 
in the nation's best interests. I believe the nation must be spared 
further divisions on this matter.


                              the process

  President Bill Clinton has deeply disgraced our nation by his 
conduct, and unwillingness to assume responsibility for his actions. 
Over one year ago, he should have exercised a more honorable course and 
spared our nation the wrenching that has affected every family in 
America and politically split the nation into two warring camps. 
Further, the behavior of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and his 
careless, and at times willful manipulation of the investigative 
process, has compromised the integrity of these proceedings, leaving 
the American people and this Congress divided. Neither of these men has 
acted in the national interest. The damage they have rendered is strewn 
across our landscape. Likewise, the Judiciary Committee in its 
deliberations has been rampantly partisan. The recommendations it has 
produced for House consideration are one-sided and only partly 
represent the courses of action deemed worthy of debate by the full 
House. So we are left with a very imperfect situation.
  President Clinton will have much accounting to do in the years hence. 
I have concluded in the national interest that final resolution of any 
legal charges against him is best left in the courts. Here he should be 
afforded a fair and impartial trial by jury where proper rules of 
evidence apply, outside the limelight that has convoluted this entire 
process. Any penalties and punishments placed on the President should 
be commensurate with proven charges.
  Regarding the role of the Independent Prosecutor, and the behavior of 
Mr. Staff and his investigators, no instrumentality of our government 
should be above the law. Accordingly, many questions arise as to the 
propriety and fairness of the Independent Prosecutor's investigative 
proceedings to date, as well as about the raw partisanship of the 
Judiciary Committee's deliberations. By whose authority and under what 
constraints were key witnesses wired and testimony obtained by the 
Independent Prosecutor? Why were there so many leaks of privileged 
information from the grand jury--everything from the evidence about the 
blue dress to a broadened investigation that began with Whitewater but 
led to the investigation of the President's personal affairs? In Ohio, 
breaches of grand jury secrecy are prosecutable. Mr. Starr's own ethics 
advisor Sam Dash resigned over concerns that the Independent Counsel 
had exceeded his mandate to simply report to Congress on any 
impeachable offenses he discovered. Dash said he had ``no other choice 
but to resign'' because of the independent counsel's abuse of office. 
Much of the behavior of the Independent Prosecutor was as irresponsible 
as the President's, and both have led to public cynicism about the 
integrity of our political and judicial systems. Accordingly, Congress 
immediately should examine the procedures employed by Mr. Starr to gain 
evidence and administer the duties of his office. He and future 
Independent Prosecutors should be held accountable for the breaches of 
integrity associated with the investigative process.


                             legal options

  I hold the highest respect for our nation's judicial system. It is my 
duty to uphold it against all enemies foreign and domestic. My job 
includes preventing its abuse. In this regard, President Bill Clinton 
has much accounting to do. Yet, in spite of President Clinton's 
egregious, dishonorable, irresponsible and, yes, alleged criminal 
behavior, he should not be held to either a higher nor a lower standard 
than any American in the administration of justice. He deserves his day 
in court with a judge and jury sworn to administer justice fairly. But 
as President, it is not unfair for us to expect more of him and hold 
him to a higher moral standard.
  In my judgment, the crimes of which President Clinton is accused do 
not meet the Constitutional standard for conviction based on ``bribery, 
treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors.'' Though his dishonorable 
behavior has wounded our nation's moral sensibilities and, tragically, 
he has reduced the honor associated with the office of President--and, 
in fact, elected office as a profession--in my judgment these 
circumstances do not rise to a ``high crime'' against the state as 
such, as I read the Constitution.
  However, reading the Starr Referral and the Committee documents and 
studying the law has convinced me that the perjury charges are the most 
serious rendered against the President. They go to the heart of our 
judicial system's foundation--telling the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth.'' Perjury is a felony, a crime against the 
state, and strikes at the core of our judicial system. By his moral 
position as the secular leader of our nation, President Clinton sets a 
standard, whether he wishes so nor not. Even though it appears 
President Clinton lied under oath, proving in a court of law that he 
perjured himself if a highly technical legal matter not easily proven. 
In a court of law, proving such would be fraught with inference, 
innuendo, in the end likely yielding not enough proof with 
corroborating witnesses to convict on the basis of perjury. On the 
other hand, a Senate trial would not require the same level of judicial 
proof, thus holding the possibility of placing penalties and 
punishments on the President commensurate with proven charges of damage 
to the republic. However, it is unlikely the Senate will be able to 
assembly a working majority for any of the impeachment charges. The 
House of its own accord could have acted in order to resolve this 
situation, assigning proper penalties and punishments, but will fail to 
do so, placing this entire matter in the netherworld between a Senate 
unlikely to reach a conclusion and a legal system in which wrong doing 
will be difficult to prove. Yet, to drag the nation through more legal 
wrangling in the Senate seems very unwise, especially in view of the 
politics and partisanship that will rue the day.
  For the record, let me point out the role of the House in impeachment 
differs from the Senate. The House acts almost like a grand jury, with 
each of us behaving like judges in a civil proceeding. Yet, the House 
is hampered Constitutionally in its ability to discover evidence, call 
witnesses, and cross examine. Thus, the Committee, by it very nature, 
has put forward a report that contains only partial findings of alleged 
wrongdoing. Our vote will be to refer those partial findings and 
charges to the Senate for an actual trial. It is in the Senate that 
full evidence is weighed, witnesses are called, and cross-examination 
occurs. No Member of the House has been afforded the benefit of a full 
range of witnesses, with the opportunity to cross-examine, with rules 
of evidence being respected. Further, the partisanship of the Judiciary 
Committee has

[[Page H11938]]

been extremely troubling with the end result being that the full House 
is not afforded a range of proposals on which to vote to apply the 
proper judicial remedy relating to the President. Unlike previous 
impeachment hearings in the House--such as Andrew Johnson's in which 
the Committee studied the referral for eight months and defeated the 
resolution by a two to one margin, and at the hearings relating to 
President Nixon in which the House deliberated for six months and 
accepted the Committee report on a vote of 412 to 3--this process has 
been fraught with raw partisanship. The Committee has deliberated for a 
month, votes in the Committee have been strictly along party lines, and 
for the most part votes in the full House will mirror that pattern. 
Thus, this Member has little confidence the Committee has acted 
responsibly and with due process. Nonetheless, I believe the Judiciary 
Committee's findings to be serious, particularly relating to the 
articles of alleged perjury and obstruction of justice.
  The allegations of perjury in Articles 1 and 2 are indeed serious 
since perjury, if proven, is a felony and, in my opinion, rise to the 
Constitutional standard of a high crime. But, proving perjury is a 
highly technical matter. Evidence and testimony in this regard are 
critical. The House Committee report has not proven perjury. To commit 
perjury, an untruth must be knowingly stated, under oath at an official 
proceeding. And that statement must be material with regard to the 
matter at hand. Since the Paula Jones case has been dismissed, the 
matter at hand would only involve the Lewinsky situation. Regarding the 
President's testimony before the grand jury in this regard, the legal 
question, as aside from the moral question, becomes, Did President 
Clinton lie, or did he simply exercise his rights under the law not to 
volunteer more details? Just because he didn't testify as much as some 
may have wanted, does not mean he perjured himself. The evidence 
against him in this care must be compelling and the judicial standard 
to measure perjury is not ``preponderance of evidence'', nor is it 
``clear and convincing evidence.'' But, rather, the standard is the 
highest one of ``evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.'' The fact that 
the House is wresting with the evidence means there is a reasonable 
doubt, and thus a judicial finding of perjury will be difficult to 
obtain. In addition, some of the allegations in the Committee's report 
suggest that the definition on ``sexual relation'' President Clinton 
used before the grand jury was one with the intent to give perjurious 
statements. A lawyer would ask, where is the evidence of intent? 
Decisions of perjury cannot be made on the basis of conclusions nor 
suppositions, only on the basis of fact. One cannot assume an inference 
on an inference. Otherwise the evidence is inadmissible. Further, the 
report charges President Clinton ``didn't recall'' matter on several 
occasions. But what evidence do we have that demonstrates this. Again, 
this painstaking evidence must be collected, presented, rebutted. 
Otherwise, the charge cannot be sustained. In any case, the legal 
process will ensure for quite some time in resolving these questions. 
Moreover, convincing a defendant on perjury is most difficult where 
proof of falsity rests with contradictory statements of just one other 
person other than the defendant. In such cases, the defendant cannot be 
convicted. This means that just one other material witness with a 
contradictory story would not be enough to prove falsehood by the 
President. Additional witnesses, unlikely to be found, would have to 
come forward. This legal precedent actually dates back to Mosaic law. 
However, if the defendant changes his/her story and contradicts him/
herself, then they can be convicted. This is not likely to happen, 
given the President's adherence to his original statement before the 
grand jury.
  In anticipating the likely outcome of such a proceeding, if a jury of 
12 persons, knowing the strict legal standards for conviction on 
perjury, were faced with the evidence in this case and asked ``did he 
lie'', ``did he knowingly do it'', and coupled this with Monica 
Lewinsky's testimony wherein the definition of sexual relations is 
brought into question, it is doubtful a jury would convict him of 
perjury beyond a reasonable doubt because of the substantial weight of 
circumstances evidence and lack of other credible witnesses. Again, 
there is a distinction between what is legally provable and what the 
public may demand as morally right.
  Further, in meeting the Constitutional test of conviction based on 
``bribery, treason, high crimes and misdemeanors,'' the definition of 
high crimes and misdemeanors of open to interpretation. Most scholars 
agree that these crimes would gravitate to crimes against the state or 
the government--such as bribery by a foreign interest, or outright 
treason. But again the Constitution does not say outright high crimes 
against the state. So, much is left to interpretation, and this is why 
this case is so important. Depending on how the House acts, a legal 
standard and process will be established against which future 
Constitutional questions regarding impeachment for inappropriate 
conduct that may be morally reprehensible, but not necessarily 
criminal, that affects the functioning of the apparatus of the state 
beyond the ``bribery, treason and high crimes and misdemeanors'' 
standard.


                               conclusion

  In summary, though President Bill Clinton has deeply offended the 
moral character of the nation, his acts cannot be termed high crimes 
against the interests of the state. Further, proving perjury from a 
legal standpoint will be exceedingly difficult in a regular court of 
law. But his case appropriately should be remanded there. Using the 
Senate as the venture for resolution risk further damaging to the 
national interest. One certainly can question whether President 
Clinton's personal, reckless behavior bordered on being a security 
risk, and this is a serious matter. But no apparent weakening of the 
state's direct interest resulted from his actions.
  Regarding the interests of the state and our nation, we have reached 
the point where it becomes compelling for the public good for Congress 
to stop rendering this matter in public. Further proceedings in the 
Senate are unlikely to yield the 2/3 votes necessary to pursue any 
conclusive course of action.
  Thus, I conclude that further Congressional deliberations on this set 
of charges are not in the nation's best interests. Though the charges 
against President Clinton are serious, they are best adjudicated in the 
courts where regular rules of evidence and due process apply. Since 
other alternatives are not available to this House as a result of the 
Judiciary Committee's flawed proceedings, I am left with no option but 
to vote against the Committee's recommendations, in spite of my disdain 
for the President's actions. The nation needs to move forward.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Hawaii (Mrs. Mink).
  (Mrs. MINK of Hawaii asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend her remarks.)
  Mrs. MINK of Hawaii. Mr. Speaker, the essence of our debate resolves 
around the issue of perjury. In that context alone I believe the 
articles of impeachment are faulty and deficient. I agree with my 
constituents who asked us to apply the same law to the President as 
would be applied to ordinary people charged with that offense of 
perjury. Ordinary citizens would begin the specific basis underlying 
the charge of perjury. The President has not been provided this 
information.
  To vote for these articles of impeachment is to vote to remove the 
President from office without any of us knowing what exactly he 
testified to under oath which amounted to the legal definition of 
perjury. At the minimum this must be elaborated in the articles of 
impeachment so that the public in general and the Senate specifically 
may know what the specific charges are and so that the President may 
defend himself.
  When I vote against these articles of impeachment, I will do so 
because I cannot allow this House to avoid its constitutional duty to 
enumerate the specific allegations of perjury before recommending 
impeachment. None of us can call for the rule of law if it is an empty 
gesture and faulty articles of impeachment.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Ackerman).
  (Mr. ACKERMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Speaker, today we embarrass the memory of our 
Founding Fathers as we torture the intent of the genius of their system 
of balancing the awesome powers of government. Mr. Speaker, under your 
leadership and that of your party we stand here, small men with petty 
careers and partisan of purpose to diminish yet again our great 
Republic. Devoid of a sense of proportion and overburdened with an 
excess of hubris, you claim conscience as your exclusive domain and 
deny us the right to offer the will of the people, a motion to censure. 
Your oligarchical act attempts to recreate a presidency that would 
serve at your whim rather than at the will of the people.
  To be sure, the President has shamed himself. To be clear, it is we 
who are about to become the shame of the Nation.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume 
to the gentlewoman from Idaho (Mrs. Chenoweth).
  (Mrs. CHENOWETH asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Mrs. CHENOWETH. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment.

[[Page H11939]]

  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of passage of the Articles of 
Impeachment against President William Jefferson Clinton. As unpleasant 
as our task is to many, our task is an honorable one, for today we do 
honor to the Constitution of the United States of America.
  As the distinguished gentleman from Illinois (Judiciary Chairman 
Henry Hyde) said earlier, we today act in defense of the law.
  We Americans place our faith and the strength of our Nation not in 
individuals but in the strength of our law. Our law protects our rights 
and keeps us free. It is our law which has made America the longest 
surviving democracy in the history of the planet.
  Some would argue this matter is about personal conduct among 
consenting adults.
  As the writer Mark Helprin has observed, these issues before us today 
``are no more about sex than the theft of money from a cash register is 
about business.
  ``Perjury is not sex, obstruction is not sex, and abuse of power is 
not sex * * * .''
  Indeed, they are not, Mr. Speaker, they are about the respect of and 
for the law and of and for the high office our President holds.
  Our respect for the law and for the Presidency demands that we not 
turn that respect into a mockery. If we subject our standards for the 
conduct of our President to whim, polling data, and notions of popular 
behavior, we will have done grave damage to our Constitution.
  If--on the other hand--we stand up for the rule of law, we draw the 
line and say, Yes, our President must obey those same laws he has sworn 
to uphold and defend.
  It's important for us to remember what has brought us to this point.
  We are here today because of the actions of the President.
  We are here today because the President placed himself above the law. 
He lied to a civil court, then lied to the public, then lied to a grand 
jury, then lied about lying, and finally lied to the impeachment 
inquiry itself.
  The President abused his power. And for what reason did he do this? 
The President placed his own needs, his own desire to avoid 
embarrassment, and his own fear of facing the consequences and 
responsibility for his actions above the interests of his Nation.
  How sad.
  How sad it is, for the heir to George Washington to place his 
interests above those of the nation and law for which American blood 
has been shed * * * and will undoubtedly be shed again. Perhaps Ameican 
patriot blood is being shed at this very moment.
  Of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson observed that ``The moderation 
and virtue of a single character probably prevented this Revolution 
from being closed, as most others have been, by a subversion of that 
liberty it was intended to establish.''
  What will the future generations say of President Clinton? And what 
will they say of us?
  John Quincy Adams said ``Always vote for principle, though you vote 
alone, and you may cherish the sweet reflection that your vote is never 
lost.''
  Mr. Speaker, I will vote for principle. I will vote to impeach 
William Jefferson Clinton.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Spence).
  Mr. SPENCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the matter before the House regarding 
the four Articles of Impeachment that have been reported by the 
Committee on the Judiciary. This is a situation that demands our most 
careful consideration and devotion to duty as Members of Congress. It 
is a matter that is not to be taken lightly. Each Member of this body 
must reason individually to reach the determination that must be made 
in order to fulfill our Constitutional responsibilities in the 
impeachment procedure. This is a process that should not be partisan, 
as it should be based on the application of the rule of law.
  I believe that all of us recognize the seriousness of President 
Clinton being charged with violations against the Constitution. Much 
time and effort have been devoted to investigating and reviewing the 
actions on which this Resolution is based. I have followed the hearings 
of the Committee on the Judiciary concerning this matter with great 
interest and I am in agreement with the Resolution (H. Res. 611) that 
has been submitted by Chairman Hyde. H. Res. 611 outlines four Articles 
as the basis for impeachment, which I shall summarize:
  Article I--President Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony to a Federal Grand Jury. I agree.
  Article II--President Clinton willfully corrupted and manipulated the 
judicial process, in that, he willfully provided perjurious, false, and 
misleading testimony in response to written questions seeking 
information in a Federal civil rights action, which was brought against 
him, as well as in a deposition in that action. I agree.
  Article III--President Clinton prevented, obstructed and impeded the 
administration of justice through a course of conduct or scheme in a 
series of events between December 1997 and January 1998. I agree.
  Article IV--President Clinton has engaged in conduct that resulted in 
misuse and abuse of his high office, impaired the due and proper 
administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, and 
contravened the authority of the Legislative Branch, in that he refused 
and failed to respond to written requests for admission, as well as 
willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in 
response to certain written requests for admission that were propounded 
as part of the impeachment inquiry that was authorized by the House. I 
agree.
  It is clear to me that convincing evidence has been presented in 
regard to each of the four Articles that have been reported by the 
Committee on the Judiciary. Accordingly, I support the Articles as 
stated in H. Res. 611.
  Mr. Speaker, I would also like to address the assertion that I have 
heard today that the consideration by the Congress of the impeachment 
of President Clinton, who is the Commander in Chief of our Armed 
Forces, would have a demoralizing effect on our men and women in 
uniform, especially while our Nation is engaged in military operations 
against Iraq. I can speak from experience, based on numerous 
conversations with Americans from all walks of life, who are now 
serving or who have previously served in our Nation's military, that 
such a charge has no merit. In this regard, I would like to submit the 
following article by Major Daniel J. Rabil, of the United States Marine 
Corps Reserve:
  Mr. Speaker, I include the article entitled ``Please, Impeach My 
Commander in Chief,'' from the November 9, 1998 edition of the 
Washington Times.

                 Please, Impeach My Commander in Chief

                          (By Daniel J. Rabil)

       The American military is subject to civilian control, and 
     we deeply believe in that principle. We also believe, as 
     affirmed in the Nuremberg Trials, that servicemen are not 
     bound to obey illegal orders. But what about orders given by 
     a known criminal? Should we trust in the integrity of 
     directives given by a president who violates the same basic 
     oath we take? Should we be asked to follow a morally 
     defective leader with a demonstrated disregard for his 
     troops? The answer is no, for implicit in the voluntary oath 
     that all servicemen take is the promise that they will 
     receive honorable civilian leadership. Bill Clinton has 
     violated that covenant. It is therefore Congress' duty to 
     remove him from office.
       I do not claim to speak for all service members, but 
     certainly Bill Clinton has never been the military's favorite 
     president. Long before the Starr report, there was plenty of 
     anecdotal evidence of this administration's contempt for the 
     armed forces. Yes, Mr. Clinton was a lying draft dodger, yes 
     his staffers have been anti-military, and yes, he breezily 
     ruins the careers of senior officers who speak up or say 
     politically incorrect things. Meanwhile, servicemen are now 
     in jail for sex crimes less egregious than those Paula Jones 
     and Kathleen Willey say Mr. Clinton committed.
       Mr. Clinton and his supporters do not care in the least 
     about the health of our armed forces. Hateful of a 
     traditional military culture they never deigned to study, Mr. 
     Clinton's disingenuous feminist, homosexual and racial 
     activist friends regard the services as mere political props, 
     useful only for showcasing petty identity group grievances. 
     It is no coincidence that the media have played up one 
     military scandal after another during the Clinton years. This 
     politically-driven shift of focus, from the military mission 
     to the therapeutic wants of fringe groups, has taken its 
     toll: Partly because of Mr. Clinton's impossibly Orwellian 
     directives, Chief of Naval Operations Jay Boorda committed 
     suicide.
       So Clinton has weakened the services and fostered a 
     corrosive anti-military culture. This may be loathsome, but 
     it is not impeachable, particularly if an attentive Congress 
     can limit the extent of Clinton-induced damage. As officers 
     and gentlemen, we have therefore continued to march, 
     pretending to respect our hypocrite-in-chief.
       Then came the Paula Jones perjury and the ensuing Starr 
     Report. I have always known that Clinton was integrity-
     impaired, but I never thought even he could be so depraved, 
     so contemptuous, as to conduct military affairs as was 
     described in the special prosecutor's report to Congress. In 
     that report, we learn of a telephone conversation between Mr. 
     Clinton and a congressman in which the two men discussed our 
     Bosnian deployment. During that telephone discussion, the 
     Commander-in-Chief's pants were unzipped, and Monica Lewinsky 
     was busy saving him the cost of a prostitute. This is the 
     president of the United States of America? Should soldiers 
     not feel belittled and worried by this? We deserve better.
       When Ronald Reagan's ill-fated Beirut mission led to the 
     careless loss of 241 Marines in a single bombing, few 
     questioned his love of country and his overriding concern for 
     American interests. But should Mr. Clinton lead us into 
     military conflict, he would do so, incredibly, without any 
     such trust. After the recent American missile attacks in 
     Afghanistan and Sudan, my instant reaction was outrage, for I 
     instinctively presumed

[[Page H11940]]

     that Mr. Clinton was trying to knock Miss Lewinsky's 
     concurrent grand jury testimony out of the headlines. The 
     alternative, that this president--who ignores national 
     security interests, who appeases Iraq and North Korea, and 
     who fights like a leftover Soviet the idea of an American 
     missile defense--actually believed in the need for immediate 
     military strikes, was simply implausible. And no amount of 
     scripted finger wagging, lip biting, or mention of The 
     Children by this highly skilled perjurer can convince me 
     otherwise.
       In other words, Mr. Clinton has demonstrated that he will 
     risk war, terrorist attacks, and our lives just to save his 
     dysfunctional administration. What might his motives be in 
     some future conflict? Blackmail? Cheap political payoffs? 
     Or--dare I say it--simply the lazy blundering of an 
     instinctively anti-American man? It is immoral to impose such 
     untrustworthy leadership on a fighting force.
       It will no doubt be considered extreme to raise the 
     question of whether this president is a national security 
     risk, but I must. I do not believe presidential candidates 
     should be required to undergo background investigations, as 
     is normal for service members. I do know, however, that Bill 
     Clinton would not pass such a screening. Recently, I received 
     a phone call from a military investigator, who asked me a 
     variety of character-related questions about a fellow Marine 
     reservist. The Marine, who is also a friend, needed to update 
     his top-secret clearance. Afterward, I called him. We 
     marveled how lowly reservists like us must pass complete 
     background checks before routine deployments, yet the 
     guardian of our nation's nuclear button would raise a huge 
     red flag on any such security report. We joked that my 
     friend's security clearance would have been permanently 
     canceled if I had said to the investigator, ``Well Rick spent 
     the Vietnam years smoking pot and leading protests against 
     his country in Britain. His hobbies are lying and adultery. 
     His brother's a cocaine dealer, and oh, yeah--he visited the 
     Soviet Union for unknown reasons while his countrymen were 
     getting killed in Vietnam.''

                           *   *   *   *   *

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Portman).
  (Mr. PORTMAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. Speaker, there is no joy in this task. This is a sad 
day for our country and for the Office of the President.
  I have listened carefully to the comments of my colleagues today just 
as I carefully reviewed the facts, the underlying articles of 
impeachment and the report of the Committee on the Judiciary that came 
before us this week. I do not question the motives of my colleagues who 
oppose impeachment, who do not find impeachable offenses, even as many 
of them have questioned the motives of those of us who will support one 
or more of the articles.
  For myself, I believe the evidence of serious wrongdoing is simply 
too compelling to be swept aside. I am particularly troubled by the 
clear evidence of lying under oath in that it must be the bedrock of 
our judicial system. I believe the long term consequence to this 
country of not acting on these serious charges before us far outweigh 
the consequences of following what the Constitution provides for and 
bringing this matter to trial in the United States Senate.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon).
  (Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I am not on the Committee on 
the Judiciary, I am not an attorney, and I am not sure that the 
President's actions warrant his removal from office. But I am 
absolutely unequivocally convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that this 
President lied under oath, lied in a court proceeding and lied to a 
grand jury, and that requires us to take action. Eighty percent of the 
American people and many of my colleagues on that side have 
acknowledged the President lied under oath and in fact have said he 
committed perjury. In fact, this administration has convicted two 
women, two Federal employees who are serving jail time today for the 
exact same offense that the President has been charged with, exact same 
offense, no different.
  We must take action. The Constitution gives us one option in taking 
action. That option is basically to move on the impeachment, to charge 
the President. The other body can take the appropriate action of what 
the punishment would be.
  I would hope that the other body does not prolong the process. I 
would hope the other body would consider the censure resolution. That 
is the appropriate response here. But we must do our response, and that 
is to charge the President and let the Senate take its action, and 
hopefully they will end this process quickly.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise on this sad day of our nation's history with a 
heavy heart. Today, we as Members of the House of Representatives face 
a decision that I, in all of my twelve years of serving this body, 
never thought that I would have to face--inarguably the most important 
decision of our political lives. We must decide whether or not we are 
going to impeach the President of the United States.
  Like my colleagues, I have not come to my decision lightly. After 
much thought, deliberation, review of testimony and evidence, and 
conference with my colleagues, I have come to the conclusion that I 
must represent my constituency by voting to impeach our President, 
William Jefferson Clinton. I am joining my colleagues of the House in 
what I think will be, and hope will be, a bipartisan vote, as we make 
our public statement of rebuke.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce my intention to vote for the 
first two articles of impeachment because like 80% of the people of our 
nation, I believe that the President lied under oath. These facts are 
not in dispute, and yet the President refuses to admit this. He must 
admit to what the American people already know.
  The fact of the matter is that the President lied. He took an oath to 
tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and he 
broke that promise. But more importantly, he broke a promise that he 
made to the American people to uphold the laws that are the strength 
and the backbone of our democracy.
  In order for democracy to succeed, our judicial system must be 
vigilant--people cannot lie under oath, regardless of their 
motivations. We cannot allow anyone to be above the law, and our laws 
cannot, and must not, be trivialized. The President's own 
Administration takes lying to a grand jury seriously, as one hundred 
and fifteen people are currently serving sentences for perjury in a 
federal court. Two of these very people are serving sentences of lying 
about adultery in a court proceeding. The basic tenet of our democracy 
is that we are a nation of laws, not of individuals. To allow the 
President to break the laws, which the American people have elected him 
to uphold, would weaken our system of government. We must send a strong 
message today--no one has the right, for any reason, to lie under oath. 
Our system of law is fair and just for everyone.
  The President has admitted that he misled the American people, and he 
is remorseful. But remorseful or not, he must accept the consequences 
of his actions. The Constitution provides us with our framework for 
dealing with this very unfortunate situation, and I am concerned about 
the Constitutional questions surrounding censure. I have come to the 
conclusion that the best course of action to rebuke the President is to 
vote in favor of impeachment. An article of impeachment passed by the 
House of Representatives is the equivalent of an indictment in a 
criminal process--not a final judgement of guilt, but a formal 
accusation of wrongdoing. There is no doubt in my mind that any other 
case where evidence existed that an American citizen had committed 
perjury would be indicted. The evidence exists, and I am voting to 
indict President Clinton.
  I am not convinced that the proper punishment for President Clinton's 
actions is removal from office, but that decision is not mine to make. 
Mr. Speaker, we have serious problems in the world, and it's extremely 
important that we end this process soon. In conclusion, it is time to 
vote today, and to move on. We must move on to working on the other 
important issues which face our nation, and to do that without 
distraction. And so it is with a heavy heart that I come to the floor 
today, but it is with a heart full of pride, and with hope for our 
future--because we are Representatives of the greatest country in the 
world. It is a country so great that the laws of our nation supersede 
individual circumstances. Our system can withstand political upheaval, 
and move on. Our system is bigger than you, and it is bigger than me. 
And it is bigger than our President, William Jefferson Clinton. He is 
not above the law.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Maryland (Mr. Bartlett).
  (Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland. Mr. Speaker, President Bill Clinton's 
reckless and reprehensible affair with Monica Lewinsky put him at risk 
for extortion, undermining our national security. His subsequent words 
and actions have thrust upon us the grave duty to consider impeachment.

[[Page H11941]]

  The Committee on the Judiciary report provides sufficient and 
creditable evidence that William Jefferson Clinton abused his power as 
President and undermined the integrity of the coequal judicial branch 
by obstructing justice and lying under oath both in a civil deposition 
and before a federal grand jury. He perpetuated these lies in written 
responses to the Congress.
  If we are to honor and uphold our Constitution, this behavior cannot 
be tolerated. Without truth there is no justice. No man is above the 
law. These are the foundations of our government. Our entire system of 
justice is imperiled if we do not act and thereby establish the 
precedent that a President nor anyone cannot pick and choose when he 
will testify truthfully and when he will not.
  For these reasons I will vote for the articles of impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Louisiana (Mr. Baker).
  Mr. BAKER. Mr. Speaker, it was the President's own decisions and 
actions which have brought us to this circumstance. It was the finding 
of his own Attorney General, Janet Reno, that resulted in the 
appointment of the special prosecutor. The findings of fact by the 
special prosecutor have not been disputed, and no one here tonight has 
risen to defend the actions of this President. All that is in question 
is what punishment is appropriate given these facts?
  When this vote is closed, William Jefferson Clinton will still be 
President no matter whether the motion to adopt the articles of 
impeachment is adopted or rejected. All that will be decided when this 
vote is closed is to determine whether there will or will not be a 
trial giving the President his due process in the United States Senate. 
Mr. Speaker, that would appear the least this House could do given the 
facts that we have before us and if we are to uphold the rule of law.
  It is unfortunate, it is distasteful, it is regrettable, but it is 
the actions of William Jefferson Clinton that bring this Nation and 
this Congress to this distasteful moment in history, and we must do our 
constitutional duty.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Scarborough).
  Mr. SCARBOROUGH. Mr. Speaker, all day my Democrat friends have spoken 
of the treacherous waters our country would be thrown into should this 
impeachment resolution pass and the matter be sent to the Senate, and 
while today's debate is momentous and its historical significance 
cannot be overstated, it is important to remember that America, its 
government, is strong and will continue to thrive.
  See, the genius of the American experiment is not that our stability 
or our existence rests upon the shoulders of a few powerful, 
irreplaceable men, but rather that our civilization's order rests upon 
the rule of law, and when those laws are undermined by the chief law 
enforcement officer in the land, the situation must be redressed or the 
very chaos that our Democratic friends fear will come to pass.
  The President's personal life is just that, personal. But when his 
words and deeds seriously undermine the rule of law, the issue becomes 
public and the consequences dramatic.
  The chief law enforcement officer's actions have in fact undermined 
the rule of law, and thus the articles of impeachment should pass and 
the matter be sent on to the Senate.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Bilbray).
  Mr. BILBRAY. Mr. Speaker, I think most of us prefer not to be here, 
but the Constitution obligates us to be here, and the Constitution also 
directs what we can do while we are here.
  As pointed out by Hamilton in 66 Paper, we do not have the right to 
be punitive. Censure is a punitive action. We have the right and the 
responsibility to refer this item to the Senate for their judgment.
  Now I know there are those who do not like to say that we have 
jurisdiction here, but the fact is, as Ms. Jordan pointed out in 1974, 
it is a misreading of the Constitution for any Member here to assert 
that a Member is voting to remove the President for impeachment and 
that it does not give us the jurisdiction to be able to refer to the 
Constitution, which says clearly that we have the responsibility to 
judge; is there enough evidence to consider impeachment and that 
punishment not be rendered here in a censure in the House of 
Representatives but only, only in the Senate?
  That is our responsibility. The President has to live by the 
Constitution, and so do we as a body, Mr. Speaker.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the time for 
debate be extended by 15 minutes.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentlewoman from California?
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Reserving the right to object, Mr. Speaker, and I 
will object, Mr. Speaker, the time for debate was set as a result of 
very delicate negotiations between the Speaker designate, the gentleman 
from Louisiana (Mr. Livingston), the minority leader, the gentleman 
from Missouri (Mr. Gephardt), the chairman of the Committee on the 
Judiciary, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) and the ranking 
minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary, the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Conyers).
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my unanimous consent request in 
view of the gentleman's objection so that I might yield to other 
Members.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman may recognize one additional 
speaker. At that point it will be 10 o'clock.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Johnson).
  Mr. JOHNSON of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Illinois 
(Mr. Hyde) stood before the body this morning and gave an eloquent 
speech concluding that our flag is falling. Indeed our flag is falling. 
It is being dragged through the mud of sex, lies and videotape.
  Even worse, our Constitution is being set on fire and torched and set 
a blaze and bombed and blasted by some zealots who have had their 
torches ready for some time. But unable to rally the majority of 
Americans to their cause, they have turned their tortured view of the 
Constitution and their tortured view of the rule of law to the one 
place where they can get a majority to this body, this 105th Congress.
  I came to this 105th Congress with pride. Now it will be my only 
Congress, and I leave with pride at having served with sadness that 
petty partisan politics raised to the highest level will torture the 
meaning and torch the fabric of the Constitution. If we agree these 
articles rise to the level of impeachment defined in the Constitution, 
treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors, these articles 
are not inclusive.
  I oppose the articles of impeachment, and I ask that they be voted 
against.

                              {time}  2200

  (Mr. STENHOLM asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. STENHOLM. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of these articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, today is one of the most somber days I have known since 
coming to Congress twenty years ago. We are poised to vote on whether 
or not to impeach the President of the United States at the same time 
that uniformed men and women of our armed forces are engaged in 
conflict in the Middle East. It doesn't get much worse than this
  I have listened to the arguments that have been made about why the 
President's actions do not rise to the level of ``impeachable 
offenses'' under the Constitution. Despite these arguments, I am not 
persuaded. It is clear that the President's actions are sufficient to 
charge him with high crimes and misdemeanors.
  Our President has admitted to wrongdoing. he has lied to his family, 
his friends, and the nation. He has protected himself at the expense of 
those around him. He has shown judgement so suspect that his actions 
are now called into question. It is clear that the President's deeds 
and words have placed an indelible mark on the Presidency of the United 
States.
  It is not for us to judge President Clinton for his moral 
transgressions; God will do that. His family will have to forgive him 
for the pain he has caused them. He has already suffered tremendous 
punishment in regard to lost respect and credibility. Our duty is to 
decide whether to charge him with high crimes and misdemeanors and send 
the matter to the Senate to be tried and if convicted to determine what 
punishment is appropriate for his actions.
  I do not agree with those who suggest that the President's actions 
are a private matter that do not reflect on his fitness for office.

[[Page H11942]]

Lying under oath and repeated disregard for decency by our nation's top 
elected official is a serious offense. The strength of a nation is 
ultimately dependent upon the strength of its moral character. The 
consequences of the President's actions go well beyond the details of 
perjury. They go to the heart of our national character.
  In considering the impeachment question, I have studied, listened and 
prayed for guidance. Throughout this process, I have been troubled that 
some of those calling for the President's impeachment are not 
interested in fairness and objectivity. They have been motivated by 
their own political blood lust. For example, I believe that all Members 
should not be denied the opportunity to vote their conscience on 
censure.
  I understand that my vote today will be unpopular with many of my 
colleagues, my President and many of my friends and constituents. I 
also realize that by voting with the majority, this is an issue some 
will use for their own political purposes. My vote today in no way 
condones the behavior of those supporting impeachment whose actions are 
motivated more by political vendetta than the principles of the 
Constitution.
  Let me make clear that my sole motivation is to fulfill my 
Constitutional duty as I see it, no matter how unpopular that may be or 
at what personal cost.
  Those of us who have the honor of holding public office should hold 
ourselves to a higher standard. I respect those who have come to a 
different conclusion than my own. However, if I do not vote to impeach 
the President for his actions dishonoring his office, I not only fail 
to carry out my Constitutional duty, but I also diminish the office of 
all elected officials, including my own. One of our Founding Fathers, 
John Jay, said, ``When oaths cease to be sacred, our dearest and most 
valuable rights become insecure.'' for these reasons, I will vote for 
articles of impeachment.
  Mr. SMITH of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, when the Constitution of the United 
States was being debated throughout the new American states, many 
people were concerned that, like the monarchy they had fought against, 
a strong federal government would tend to ``elevate the few at the 
expense of the many.'' Their concern was addressed by Alexander 
Hamilton in the Federalist Paper Number 57, and that answer governs the 
debate here today.
  Hamilton argued that, under the Constitution, our elected leaders 
``can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves 
and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This 
has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy 
can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them 
a communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few 
governments have furnished examples; but without which every government 
degenerates into tyranny.''
  Then, as today, the belief that no one should be above the law, 
remains one of the distinguishing characteristics of our government. We 
are a nation with a multitude of economic circumstances, ethnic 
backgrounds, and social distinctions. But no matter what our other 
differences may be, we are all equal before the law. It goes against 
everything we stand for to allow someone to escape justice simply 
because they hold a position of power. And while our system is not 
always perfect, it is our duty, as representatives of the people, and 
as Americans, to do everything in our power to live up to this ideal no 
matter what the cost. We are here today to perform our duty, not to 
bring a Constitutional crisis, as some have said, but instead to 
protect the Constitution and the principles for which it stands.
  All the evidence presented by both sides in this case leads us to the 
conclusion that the President of the United States, violated his oath 
of office and committed perjury both in a civil deposition and again 
before a federal grand jury. Those opposed to this proceeding have 
offered virtually no evidence to refute this conclusion. Instead, they 
rely on the assertion that although the President committed perjury, 
such a violation of the public trust does not rise to the level of an 
impeachable offense.
  The President has twice sworn before the American people to uphold 
the Constitution and the laws of the United States and yet flagrantly 
and knowingly violated the very foundation of our legal system. More 
importantly, the President's actions were expressly aimed at thwarting 
justice due a citizen who brought a legal case against him. I find it 
difficult to comprehend how my colleagues, who purport to support the 
most vulnerable members of society, can argue in favor of the President 
when he has illegally used the immense powers at his disposal to rob a 
person, without his same rank or privilege, of justice.
  In this century, the Congress has voted overwhelmingly to impeach and 
remove federal judges for perjury, and at least 115 people are now in 
prison for lying under oath in civil cases not unlike the President's. 
Even a member of the President's Administration was recently convicted 
of lying under oath in a civil case stemming from a consensual sexual 
relationship. Allowing the President to commit serious crimes against 
the legal system with impunity tells these people that their mistakes 
were not made in lying under oath, but rather in lacking the raw power 
to escape justice. Moreover, it sends a chilling message to all 
Americans who previously believed they enjoyed the equal protection of 
our laws.
  I support a government based on integrity, morality, and respect for 
the law, and while I find no pleasure in casting my vote to impeach the 
President today, I also see no other option. It is a grim moment we all 
face, but no matter how difficult this decision may be, the alternative 
would be far worse. Equality before the law manifests itself not only 
in its protections, but also in its punishments. It defines us as 
Americans, whatever side we are on, and I regret that, in this case, 
the President is on the wrong side.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, impeachment of a sitting President is one 
of the gravest responsibilities and powers given to the Congress by the 
Constitution. Once it is undertaken it will throw the nation into 
turmoil and paralyze Congress and the Executive branch for months on 
end. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers, 
``[Impeachment] will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole 
community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or 
inimical to the accused.'' Impeachment is, in effect, the repudiation 
of a popular election. It is a constitutional last resort and should 
not be undertaken lightly or in a partisan manner.
  There is no question that President Clinton's behavior has been 
outrageous, reckless and offensive. He lied to the American people and 
offered misleading and possibly perjurious testimony in a civil trial 
and a grand jury proceeding. These are not trivial matters. The 
question is whether they warrant the constitutional remedy of 
impeachment.
  When I began serving in this office, I took an oath to uphold the 
Constitution of the United States. In order to understand and fulfill 
my constitutional duty, I have studied the writings of the framers of 
our Constitution, as well as the opinions of many noted legal and 
constitutional scholars. If the President's misdeeds meet the 
constitutional standard for impeachment, my oath of office would oblige 
me to vote for his impeachment regardless of my party affiliation. 
However, if my best judgment is that his offenses do not cross the 
constitutional threshold, I owe it to the Constitution, to history and 
to my own conscience to vote against his impeachment.
  The Constitution states that impeachment is to be used only in the 
case of ``treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' 
Treason and bribery are unambiguous and represent serious abuses of the 
office of President and direct attacks on our nation and the integrity 
our constitutional system of government. By adding ``other high crimes 
and misdemeanors,'' the framers of our Constitution knowingly chose a 
phrase that had been in use in English impeachment trials for nearly 
400 years. ``High crimes and misdemeanors'' was historically understood 
to refer to serious official misconduct and abuse of the powers of 
government by the King or one of his officers. This is clearly the 
meaning the framers intended.
  Alexander Hamilton characterized impeachable offenses as 
``political'' actions that involve ``injuries done to society itself.'' 
George Mason stated that high crimes and misdemeanors are ``attempts to 
subvert the Constitution.'' Impeachment is the constitutional remedy 
for gross abuse of the official powers of the President's office or, in 
the case of bribery, criminal actions in the pursuit of official power. 
Crimes that do not rise to this level are not impeachable, but can be 
prosecuted in criminal or civil court. (It is not clear whether the 
Constitution would allow the President to be prosecuted in criminal 
court while in office, but there is no doubt that he can be prosecuted 
after his term expires.)
  Constitutional scholars all agree that the framers of the 
Constitution did not want a President to be impeached simply because a 
majority of members of Congress disagreed with his policies or found 
his morals repugnant. We do not have a parliamentary system of 
government where a Prime Minister can be removed from office at any 
time. A strong and independent Presidence is vital to our 
constitutional order.
  I have maintained an open mind throughout the Independent Counsel's 
investigation and the Judiciary Committee's hearings. I was prepared to 
consider any new evidence or charges brought forth by Mr. Starr or the 
Committee. As you know, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr has spent 
nearly five years and more than $50 million investigating this 
President. His original charge was to investigate a dubious real estate 
deal that happened before Mr. Clinton became President. Mr. Starr has 
produced no evidence of wrongdoing in the

[[Page H11943]]

Whitewater matter. At least 15 congressional committees as well as the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation have undertaken their own 
investigations of Whitewater, ``Filegate,'' the administration's 
campaign finance activities, and assorted other allegations of official 
wrongdoing by this President and his administration. But in the end, we 
are left with one charge and one charge only: that the President has a 
private, consensual sexual affair and lied about it.
  The House Judiciary Committee alleges that the President committed 
perjury. Perjury is a very serious matter. However, it is far from 
clear whether the President's misleading testimony in the Paula Jones 
civil suit or before a grand jury fit within the law's narrow 
definition of perjury. Even if it can be proved that the President 
committed perjury, the question remains whether perjury about a private 
sexual affair is in the same league as treason, bribery or other gross 
abuses of the official powers of the office of the President. In the 
final analysis, I am forced to conclude that it is not and will vote 
against impeachment in the House.
  If the Independent Counsel believes he has a strong legal case 
against the President, he can and should bring criminal charges against 
Mr. Clinton. Nothing in the Constitution prevents that outcomes. But 
impeachment is not only inappropriate in this case, it is profoundly 
damaging to the Constitution and our nation's interests.
  This has been a sad chapter in our nation's history and it's not over 
yet. As Alexander Hamilton predicted, it has aroused intense and 
passionate partisan feelings. In fact, I have received more mail, e-
mail and phone calls on this matter than on any other issue during my 
tensure in office. It is safe to say that no matter how it ends, it 
will leave a lasting mark on our democracy.
  Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Speaker, when I first ran for Congress I jokingly 
invited President Clinton into my district to campaign for my opponent. 
Clearly, we do not see eye to eye. I do intend to vote for his 
impeachment though, not because of this; not because he had a 
disrespectful relationship with a subordinate his daughter's age and 
not because he deliberately lied for months about their relationship to 
every American.
  I am voting for impeachment because he perjured himself twice, first 
in a civil case and then before a federal grand jury. These actions 
alone make him unfit for office.
  Perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power are clearly high 
crimes and misdemeanors. They are a direct assault on the foundation of 
America, the rule of law, and on the freedoms of every American.
  I don't want to do this, but I would cast this vote even if a 
President from my own party committed these acts.
  I don't appreciate having to be here on the House floor debating 
impeachment while our troops are fighting in the gulf. But it is the 
President who, by his own actions and misdeeds, brought a vote on 
impeachment to America for only the second time in our history. He 
alone must suffer the consequences.
  Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart but a clear 
conscience that I will vote for Articles of Impeachment against 
President William Jefferson Clinton. I know that some of my colleagues 
who have spoken out in the President's defense have asserted that this 
impeachment process is illegitimate and, by voting to impeach, this 
Congress will plunge our nation into a constitutional crisis. But, in 
fact, this is a legitimate process contemplated by the Constitution and 
duly authorized by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of House 
members. The only crisis we face now is the possibility that we might 
fail to do our duty as mandated by the Constitution.
  This is not about overturning the will of the American people as 
expressed in the election of 1996. Great weight should be placed on 
protecting the decision made by the voters, and only the most 
extraordinary circumstances can justify negating that decision. I 
believe the circumstances in this case are extraordinary.
  While most Americans find the President's underlying conduct in this 
matter deplorable--and he himself has already admitted as much--such 
behavior is not, in and of itself, impeachable. But this Congress is 
not being asked to judge President Clinton's private sexual behavior or 
his personal morality. Despite what some would have you believe, this 
case is no more about sex than a bank robbery is about currency.
  A grand jury is at the very heart of our judicial system. It is the 
chief tool by which we ferret out felonious conduct that should be 
prosecuted. Lying to a Federal grand jury is a grave offense, and the 
President clearly lied before that grand jury. As our chief law 
enforcement officer--as a lawyer and officer of the court--President 
Clinton knew all of this. And yet he chose to lie anyway.
  Ours is a nation that holds the rule of law as near to being sacred 
as any aspect of our form of government. We not only believe that all 
men and women are created equal, but also that all are equal under the 
law. Our republic is a tapestry woven from many strands--a written 
Constitution, laws and statutes, and, just as important, a body of 
precedents, traditions, and common law developed over more than two 
centuries. That tapestry is surely worth preserving. Our 
responsibility, as Members of this Congress, is to keep it from being 
tattered by the winds which blow against our Republic. I am confident 
this House will not be found wanting.
  Mr. Speaker, I append my statement of December 17, 1998, to this 
statement.

  Statement on the Impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton

       The votes I cast tomorrow on Articles of Impeachment 
     against President Clinton will surely be the most profoundly 
     significant and momentous of my career in public service. 
     During the past 14 years in Congress, I have participated in 
     two other impeachment proceedings; I have voted to send our 
     armed forces into combat in Desert Storm; and I have engaged 
     in countless other political battles. Some of these battles 
     bordered on the absurd, while others truly helped define who 
     we are as Americans, and what we stand for.
       This is only the second time in our Nation's history that 
     the House of Representatives will actually vote on Articles 
     of Impeachment against a President of the United Sates. This 
     is, indeed, an historic moment.
       As I depart today to carry out my solemn responsibility, I 
     believe it is important for me to first share my decision 
     with those I represent.
       Perhaps the greatest challenge I faced in reaching my 
     decision was to cut through all the media punditry and 
     relentless political spin, which has largely served to 
     obscure--rather than illuminate--the facts and the law in 
     this case.
       I know some argue that this process is illegitimate and, by 
     voting to impeach, Congress will plunge our nation into a 
     constitutional crisis. But, in fact, this is a legitimate 
     process contemplated by the Constitution and duly authorized 
     by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of House members. The 
     only crisis we face now is the possibility that we might fail 
     to do our duty as mandated by the Constitution.
       This is not about convicting the President of perjury, 
     obstruction of justice, or abuse of power. That 
     responsibility is reserved exclusively to the Senate. No 
     aspect of this debate has been more misrepresented by 
     mainstream news media, and thus so poorly understood by the 
     public. As one of our founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, 
     said clearly in Federalist Paper No. 66:
       ``The division . . . between the two branches of the 
     legislative, assigning to one the right of accusing, to the 
     other the right of judging, avoids the inconveniences of 
     making the same persons both accusers and judges.''
       This point is important, for it is a well established 
     principle of our system of jurisprudence that the standard of 
     evidence to bring charges is substantially lower than that 
     required to convict. Granted, no prosecutor would bring a 
     case to a grand jury without a reasonable expectation that a 
     conviction could be obtained.
       While Congress does not operate as a court of law when we 
     consider impeachment, this is nevertheless as close to a 
     legal proceeding as Congress gets. And so, as a defacto grand 
     juror, the question I must ask myself is this: Is the weight 
     of evidence now sufficient to require the Senate to 
     conduct a trial?
       This is not a vendetta against this President. I bear him 
     no personal ill will. While I have differed with President 
     Clinton on numerous questions of policy, we have also agreed 
     on various issues. For example, I have worked closely with 
     this Administration, and President Clinton personally, to 
     pass NAFTA and build a bipartisan, free-trade coalition. And 
     as recently as last week, I joined with President Clinton and 
     other Congressional leaders at Blair House, trying to forge a 
     bipartisan consensus on Social Security reform.
       Like the vast majority of my colleagues in Congress, and I 
     dare say most Americans, I am terribly saddened by this 
     entire, tawdry affair. I believe it has diminished respect 
     for our nation and the Office of the President, if not all 
     elected officials. President Clinton is, undeniably, a shrewd 
     political leader who possesses enormous personal charm and a 
     remarkable intellect. But I cannot allow my admiration for 
     President Clinton's considerable skills to cloud my judgment 
     in this matter.
       What else is this vote not about? It is not about 
     overturning the will of the American people as expressed in 
     the election of 1996. Great weight should be placed on 
     protecting the decision made by the voters, and only the most 
     extraordinary circumstances can justify negating that 
     decision. I believe the circumstances here are extraordinary.
       And it is precisely for this reason that the Constitution 
     invests in the Congress the power to impeach a President. The 
     framers recognized that, while the judiciary could adjudicate 
     most cases of public malfeasance, a special process was 
     necessary to accuse, try, and remove a President from office. 
     Impeachment and conviction are the only means by which a 
     President, fatally corrupted or guilty of abusing the power 
     of his office, could be removed. These are the only means by 
     which our Constitution and all the institutions therein can 
     be protected from further damage.
       Finally, this matter is most assuredly not about sex or 
     lying about sex. While most Americans find the underlying 
     conduct of

[[Page H11944]]

     the President deplorable--and he himself has already admitted 
     as much--such behavior is not, in and of itself, impeachable. 
     Congress is not being asked to judge President Clinton's 
     private sexual behavior or his personal morality. The 
     spinmeisters' mantra notwithstanding, this case is no more 
     about sex than a bank robbery is about currency. Rather, the 
     Articles of Impeachment accuse President Clinton of lying in 
     a civil deposition, committing perjury before a Federal grand 
     jury, obstructing justice, and abusing the power and the 
     office of the Presidency. And I have based my decision on a 
     careful review of these articles and the supporting evidence, 
     which I believe is substantial and credible.
       The heart of the case is perjury: Did President Clinton lie 
     under oath when he gave testimony in his deposition in a 
     civil rights lawsuit, and did he subsequently lie under oath 
     to a Federal grand jury when questioned about that testimony?
       The evidence is overwhelming that he did lie. Even many of 
     his most ardent supporters in Congress acknowledge that he 
     lied and committed perjury in both instances. Some continue 
     to assert, as the President does, that he only intended to 
     ``mislead,'' and that does not conform to perjury as the 
     Supreme Court defined it in 1973, in Bronston v. U.S. But the 
     President's testimony exceeded even that high threshold of 
     perjury.
       Listen to what the President said when questioned by his 
     own attorney in the Paula Jones lawsuit deposition before a 
     Federal judge:
       Robert Bennett, the President's lawyer, said: ``In [Monica 
     Lewinsky's] affidavit, she says `I have never had a sexual 
     relationship with the President . . . ' Is that a true and 
     accurate statement . . . ?''
       President Clinton responded: ``That is absolutely true.''
       No reasonable person could conclude, from what we now know 
     of what transpired between the President and Ms. Lewinsky, 
     that this statement is anything other than a perjurious lie. 
     So the only question which remains for me to ponder in 
     considering the first two Articles of Impeachment is whether 
     perjury in a matter of personal behavior rises to the level 
     of an impeachable offense.
       A legal definition of treason can be found in the 
     Constitution itself, and federal statutes give adequate 
     judicial guidance with respect to the matter of bribery. But 
     the framers left to future Congresses to decide what 
     constitutes ``other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' I believe 
     there is ample evidence that felonious conduct--and perjury 
     is a felony--falls well within the bounds of what our 
     forefathers intended the phrase ``high crimes and 
     misdemeanors'' to include.
       The Minority Counsel for the Judiciary Committee relied 
     upon language used in the 1974 impeachment report dealing 
     with President Nixon to suggest that these are not 
     impeachable offenses. The committee that voted out Articles 
     of Impeachment in the Nixon case said: `` . . . impeachment . 
     . . is to be predicated upon conduct seriously incompatible 
     with either the constitutional form and principles of 
     government or the proper performance of constitutional duties 
     of the Presidential office.''
       But ours is a nation that holds the rule of law as near to 
     being sacred as any aspect of our form of government. We not 
     only believe that all men and women are created equal, but 
     also that all are equal under the law. Our republic is a 
     tapestry woven from many strands, including a written 
     Constitution, numerous laws and statutes, and--just as 
     important--a body of precedents, traditions, and common law 
     developed over more than two centuries. If our Star Spangled 
     Banner is worth preserving, then certainly the tapestry of 
     law and justice for which it stands is worth preserving, too.
       President Clinton solemnly swore to protect and defend the 
     Constitution of the United States, and to see that the laws 
     shall be faithfully executed. He is the principal law 
     enforcement officer of the United States. What possible 
     respect for the rule of law can any of us have--or demand of 
     others--if our President is not to be held accountable for 
     perjury, just because he is the President or because the 
     underlying circumstances for lying relates to personal 
     behavior?
       Is perjury relative? No. Does it only apply in some cases? 
     No. Should we apply penalties selectively? No. Are some 
     individuals more equal than others, and are we to treat them 
     differently? Absolutely not. And I can think of no 
     prescription more certain to undermine our system of 
     jurisprudence than to answer affirmatively to these 
     questions. I cannot.
       Stuart Taylor, writing in the National Journal, noted that 
     ``Before President Clinton got caught, no constitutional 
     expert had ever suggested it would be wrong to impeach a 
     President for crimes such as lying under oath (even about 
     sex), suborning perjury, or obstructing both a civil rights 
     lawsuit and a criminal investigation.'' And, I would add, if 
     we need a precise legal precedent for perjury as grounds for 
     impeachment, I can refer to a vote I cast nine years ago to 
     impeach Judge Nixon of Mississippi. The charge, then as now, 
     was perjury.
       Having said all this, I do make a distinction between 
     perjury before a Federal grand jury and lying in a civil 
     deposition. Both are perjury. But a grand jury is at the very 
     heart of our judicial system. It's the chief tool by which we 
     ferret out felonious conduct that should be prosecuted. Lying 
     to a grand jury is the graver offense, in my view, and the 
     President clearly lied before that grand jury. As our chief 
     law enforcement officer--as a lawyer and officer of the 
     court--President Clinton knew all of this. And yet he chose 
     to lie anyway.
       Lying in a deposition taken in a civil case strikes a more 
     glancing blow at the integrity of our judicial system. Here, 
     I believe the balance of other factors, including the 
     imperative to respect the integrity of the electoral process, 
     argues against impeachment. For me, this was a very close 
     call. Therefore, I will vote for impeachment on Article I, 
     but not on Article II.
       Turning to Article III, I believe the weight of evidence is 
     sufficient to try the President on this article, dealing with 
     obstruction of justice. I will vote to send this article to 
     the Senate for trial.
       The President did encourage Ms. Lewinsky to file a false 
     affidavit in the Paula Jones case. He had prior knowledge 
     that she would be subpoenaed; he knew what her affidavit 
     said; and he knew it to be false.
       Can a reasonable person come to any conclusion about 
     President Clinton's post-deposition conversation with his 
     personal secretary, Betty Currie, other than this: That he 
     purposefully suggested to her--indirectly but with 
     specificity--the gist of his testimony and desired that Ms. 
     Currie should conform to it in the event she might be called 
     as a witness? Ms. Currie testified that she believed this was 
     the President's intent. And yet, the declaratory statements 
     he made to her that Sunday morning were known by him to be 
     false.
       How do we explain why Ms. Currie would suddenly be 
     motivated to retrieve gifts President Clinton had given to 
     Ms. Lewinsky--evidence which certainly would be subpoenaed by 
     a federal court--and hide them under her bed? How do we 
     explain why the President had such a intense personal 
     interest in seeing to it that Ms. Lewinsky found a job in New 
     York after--and only after--her name appeared on the witness 
     list in the Paula Jones case?
       All of these actions--the false affidavit, the coaching of 
     Betty Currie, the retrieval of the gifts, the effort to find 
     Ms. Lewinsky a job--are at the core of the case to be made 
     for obstruction of justice. The pattern of evidence clearly 
     requires a complete examination in the Senate.
       The fourth and final Article of Impeachment deals with 
     abuse of power by the President. To my mind, this is the most 
     troubling, but also the most subjective.
       As chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that 
     funds the Executive Office of the President I have 
     experienced the Clinton Administration's ``stonewalling'' 
     efforts first hand. And I must say, as I listened to the 
     testimony of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr before the 
     Judiciary Committee, I found his litany about the lack of 
     cooperation by the White House Counsel office distressingly 
     familiar.
       Clearly, the evidence offered in support of Article IV 
     suggests a pattern of abuse of power. Sending loyal cabinet 
     members and White House aides before the cameras to proclaim 
     the President's innocence, when he knew their statements to 
     be false, is surely despicable. The President's aggressive 
     efforts to undermine the Independent Counsel's investigation 
     were outrageous. But are these offenses impeachable? I have 
     concluded that they are not.
       I return to Washington today with a heavy heart, but I am 
     buoyed by the wonderful expressions of support I have 
     received from so many--friends and total strangers alike--who 
     have urged me to do what I believe to be right, whatever that 
     decision might be. I also want to commend the thousands of 
     individuals who have contacted my district and Washington 
     offices during the last several weeks to express their views. 
     Having answered scores of constituent phone calls myself, I 
     am well aware that the people of southern Arizona are deeply 
     divided or the prospect of Impeachment.
       I said at the outset that this is a decision I must make 
     alone, based on my conscience and best judgment of the facts 
     and the law. No Republic Congressional leaders have contacted 
     me of attempted to influence my votes. Should there be 
     political repercussion as a result of the votes I will cast 
     tomorrow, so be it. Whatever the outcome of tomorrow's votes, 
     it will certainly be one of the saddest moments in our 
     nation's history. But I will cast my votes with confidence 
     that I have done what I believe is right, for the sake of our 
     nation,
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Speaker, this is a solemn and sober occasion. It 
is day and a duty that all of us had hoped we could avoid. But, this 
day and that duty came. On historic days like this, we must draw 
strength from the heroic figures who have gone before us.
  From Valley Forge, to Gettysburg, from Normandy to this very day, 
Americans have found the courage to do what was required. And we, in 
our day, with God's help, will meet this challenge. We will stand today 
for the rule of law, or we will submit to the rule of men.
  Mr. Speaker, the matters before us are difficult, but they are not 
complicated.
  Our friends on the other side offered no real defense for the 
charges. Indeed, in their own resolution, they acknowledged that Mr. 
Clinton failed to tell the truth to a Federal Grand Jury. They agree 
that he has brought dishonor on himself and on the high office he 
holds.
  On several occasions, Mr. Clinton put one hand on the Bible and took 
an oath. Twice he pledged to ``preserve, protect, and defend the 
Constitution of the United States.'' As President, he has the 
responsibility to ``take care that the laws be faithfully executed.''

[[Page H11945]]

  Subsequently, Mr. Clinton swore under oath ``to tell the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth.'' He was warned by his 
supporters and his attorneys of the dire consequences of breaking that 
oath. As an attorney himself, Mr. Clinton understood very well the 
gravity of perjury. He understood the seriousness of witness tampering 
and obstruction of justice.
  Our entire system of justice and indeed our very rule of law is built 
on the bedrock that oaths are sacred. Were it not so, why would we use 
Bibles? Or, why take oaths at all?
  The evidence is overwhelming, the Constitution is clear. My 
conclusion is inescapable. Bill Clinton violated his oath of office. He 
violated his oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but 
the truth. He did willfully commit perjury, obstruct justice, and 
subvert the legal process. His actions have brought dishonor upon the 
high office that the American people have entrusted to him.
  If we in Congress fail to act in this case, we will have set a 
terrible precedent. We will have said that there are two standards--one 
for powerful politicians, and another for everyone else.
  Mr. Speaker, we must today rise to our Constitutional 
responsibilities. We must do our duty. We answer to our conscience and 
to posterity.
  It is with a heavy heart but a clear conscience that I will cast my 
vote in favor of these Articles of Impeachment.
  Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Speaker, the full House meets today for only the 
second time in our nation's history to consider Articles of Impeachment 
against a sitting President. Other than declaring war, impeaching the 
President is the most solemn Constitutional issue Congress will ever 
address. The seriousness of the issue is only compounded by the fact 
that as a democracy, where power and authority flow from the people, 
the citizenry--not the government--selects the nation's leaders. As a 
result, it is a matter of utmost public concern when the government, in 
the form of this Congress, takes steps to remove the people's choice. I 
know that my Republican colleagues wholeheartedly agree that the 
Constitution is designed to specifically limit the authority of the 
national government. I would remind the members who have brought these 
Articles to the floor that impeachment is the ultimate ``big 
government'' action.
  The founding fathers envisioned that it might be necessary under very 
limited circumstances for the government to take such action. They 
provided Congress with the authority to remove the ``President, Vice 
President, and all civil Officers of the United States . . . on 
Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' The issue before us today is whether or not 
the President's actions meet the Constitutional threshold set for 
impeachment and whether or not the process which has governed the 
actions of the House to date passes Constitutional and legal muster.
  Let me begin by saying that the President's conduct was wrong. I am 
most disappointed that he mislead the American people for many months. 
He should have told us the truth from the very beginning. I echo the 
President's conclusion that his conduct demonstrated a critical lapse 
of judgment and is deserving of public rebuke. With that said, I 
believe it is important to note that the President is continuing to do 
his duty. I believe a case could be made for impeachment if the 
President stopped carrying out his responsibilities, ceased his efforts 
on behalf of the American people and allowed the national security of 
the United States to be jeopardized.
  The Constitution is the nation's organic act. It serves as the 
vehicle through which the American people grant certain powers to the 
national government. It affords every American the greatest set of 
fundamental rights available anywhere in the world. It is a living 
document which is interpreted every day by the executive, legislative 
and judicial branches of our government. However, our entire system of 
Constitutional jurisprudence is based on ascertaining the intent of the 
men who wrote the document and the citizens who approved it 210 years 
ago. As a result, we must rely on contemporary accounts of the debate 
at the Constitutional Conventional and state ratifying conventions, 
early Supreme Court decisions which articulated this intent, and 
scholarly analysis to inform us about events, points of view, areas of 
agreement and matters of contention which we can not directly observe. 
With that in mind, the first step in our deliberation must be to 
determine how the framers intended impeachment to be employed in our 
system.
  The Judiciary Committee held a hearing in early November which was 
designed to help us understand the intent of the framers of the 
Constitution. Although the positions taken by the participants appeared 
polarized, even irreconcilable, at times, I detect a common thread 
which is absolutely crucial to our debate today. Many of the scholars 
who testified made a point which goes to the heart of the 
Constitutional design of impeachment. Professor Mattew Holden explained 
that impeachment is the ultimate check available to Congress in our 
system of checks and balances between branches. Impeachment is 
available as a last resort if all other devices--laws, oversight or 
overriding Presidential vetoes--fail to ensure that the President 
operates within established Constitutional boundaries. Professor Holden 
stated that ``in ultimate defense, [the founding fathers] put in the 
impeachment procedure, giving Congress some power to remove a President 
from office.'' Father Robert Drinan, who served on the Judiciary 
Committee during Watergate, echoed this conclusion when he explained 
that the `` * * * Congress has almost always understood that 
impeachment was designed by the founding fathers to be a remedy 
intended only for a dire situation for which no other political remedy 
exists.'' He summarized his comments by describing impeachment as ``a 
final safety net in case somehow the separation of powers did not work 
and that a nearly tyrant in the executive branch could not be stopped 
by any means short of removal.''
  Under the Constitution, impeachment is designed as the ultimate check 
on an errant executive who can not be constrained by any other means. 
Impeachment is not intended to be used as a device to express 
disapproval of certain actions or to shame the President. There are 
other mechanisms to achieve this goal--mechanisms that this institution 
is currently employing with considerable effectiveness. I do not 
believe the use of impeachment by the House today conforms to this 
Constitutional standard.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly believe that the process which has governed 
this gravely serious issue has been flawed from the very beginning. It 
has been decidedly partisan and one-sided. As Professor Arthur 
Schlesinger testified before the Committee, the framers further 
believed that, if the impeachment process is to acquire popular 
legitimacy, the bill of particulars must be seen as impeachable by 
broad sections of the electorate. The charges must be so grave and the 
evidence for them so weighty that they persuade members of both parties 
that removal must be considered.'' the party-line votes in the 
Committee and the consistent finding that about 60% of the American 
people do not support impeachment demonstrate that neither of these 
essential conditions has been met.
  Some members of the majority argue that to fail to impeach the 
President would hold him to a lower standard than any other American 
and put him ``above the law.'' This argument has two fundamental flaws. 
First, the President is fully subject to indictment and prosecution 
after this term expires. The Independence Counsel is preserving certain 
options which would allow the federal government to take this very 
action. Second, the President is subject to a form of punishment which 
can not be imposed on average citizens--impeachment. However, the 
Constitution requires that he commit ``Treason, Bribery or other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors'' in order to be impeachment. These are not 
just any criminal offenses, but offenses which threaten the very 
existence of the state, our form of government, and the American 
people's fundamental interest in exercising control over their leaders. 
The standard to prove such offenses must be very high.
  Although impeachment takes place with the House of Representatives 
rather than in a federal courthouse, I do not believe that means 
fundamental legal standards which undergird our entire society become 
irrelevant. It is incredulous to agree that the President is entitled 
to a lower standard of legal protection than any other citizen. I agree 
with my colleagues that ``no citizen is above the law.'' At the same 
time, no one should be below it either. It is a fundamental premise in 
our system that someone can not be tried without being informed of the 
specific charges against them. It is impossible to mount a defense 
against unknown or extremely vague charges. In addition, our legal 
system is based on the bedrock tenet that charges must be substantiated 
by an increasing level of proof based on the seriousness of the 
offense. Perjury and obstruction of justice are serious offenses 
indeed. As a result, federal law, the authority on which the 
Independent Counsel bases his charges, request the government to prove 
``beyond a reasonable doubt''--the weightiest burden of proof in our 
system--that a defendant committed these offense.
  The Articles of Impeachment before the House today fail to provide 
the President, or the members of the House with specific statements or 
actions which the majority contends constituted ``perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony.'' Article I states that the President provided 
false statements concerning the ``nature and details of his 
relationship with subordinate Government employee'' and ``testimony he 
gave in a Federal civil rights action brought against him.'' Article II 
states that he President

[[Page H11946]]

provided ``perjurious, false and misleading testimony in responses to 
questions deemed relevant * * *'' about ``conduct and proposed 
conduct'' and ``the nature and details of his relationship [with Ms. 
Lewinsky].''
  What specific statement does the majority believe are ``perjurious?'' 
What were the ``relevant questions?'' Where are the specific statements 
which meet the legal requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt? 
With the stakes as high as they are, it is unacceptable for the 
Committee to offer vague generalities as the grounds for impeachment. 
If the Committee could meet the legal standard which applies in every 
courtroom across America, a reasonable person would conclude that those 
statements would be listed in the Articles. Failure to do so leads me 
to conclude that the majority can not meet the standard so it has 
restored to vague generalities. This conclusion is buttressed by the 
testimony before the Committee of five former Federal prosecutors who 
were unanimous in their conclusion that the evidence supporting the 
charges of perjury and obstruction of justice is extremely weak. In 
addition, they agreed that no responsible federal prosecutor would ever 
take a case based on the evidence before this body to trial. Voting to 
impeach the President of the United States requires that this 
institution have clear and overwhelming evidence that he engaged in 
specific act of misconduct which undermine our system of government. 
Absent this proof, it flies in the face of the intent of the founders 
to impeach the President.
  The fundamental weakness in the process extends to the Committee's 
investigation of and deliberation on this nationally significant issue. 
One only needs to consider a few examples to understand the fundamental 
shortcomings of the process. First and foremost, the Committee did not 
conduct an independent investigation of this complex situation. It 
relied exclusively on the evidence gathered, and packaged, by the 
Independent Counsel. This evidence and the testimony of the witnesses 
was never subject to across examination by the defendant--the President 
of the United States. Our legal system relies on an adversarial 
process--manifest most directly in the cross examination of witnesses--
to discover the truth and to expose fundamental contradictions. The 
evidence and testimony gathered without the benefit of this process 
would be considered suspect, and strongly challenged, by virtually any 
lawyer in this country.
  The fundamental weakness of the evidence has only been compounded by 
the fact that the Committee did not hear testimony directly from any of 
the central witnesses in this case. During the Watergate hearings, the 
House Judiciary Committee called several of the central figures in the 
drama--John Mitchell, John Dean, Charles Colson and Alexander 
Butterfield--to testify. The members of the Committee--Democrat and 
Republican--were able to question these witnesses directly, follow-up 
on vague answers or pursue lines of questions as they developed. The 
Committee did not rely solely on an outside entity to gather evidence 
and question witnesses when considering whether or not to impeach the 
President.
  Quite to the contrary, the Judiciary Committee did not hear directly 
from a single witness who was a participant in any of the events in 
question. The fact witnesses today include Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp 
and Betty Currie. The majority on the Committee maintains that it would 
have been too unseemly to call these witnesses, it would have been too 
embarrassing. These excuses fall far short of the mark. The House has 
the Constitutional duty to consider impeachment. This is not an easy 
task, it is not fun-- and it should not be. Nevertheless, the House has 
an obligation to hear from witnesses directly and to question them in 
an effort to get information which reflects all sides of the story. The 
failure to do so dramatically undermines the credibility of the 
Committee's findings because it abdicated its responsibility under the 
Constitution by relying exclusively on the evidence and testimony 
presented by the Independent Counsel.
  I believe it is absolutely critical for the House to conduct an 
independent, direct investigation because members are acting on behalf 
of the American people. This body is considering taking step to 
overturn two national elections. In order to take this action, this 
body has a solemn obligation to gather evidence, examine the central 
witnesses and delve directly into all of the issues which could impact 
on the decision to impeach. Accountability for this decision rests 
unequivocally with this institution--not the Independent Counsel, not a 
grand jury, not even with the President. As a result, it is incumbent 
on the House to take the predominate role in the investigation. This 
essential standard, which guarantees accountability to the American 
people, has not been met.
  I would like to take a moment to review the Articles before the 
House. I have already commented on the weaknesses of Articles I and II 
from a legal standpoint. They consists of nothing more than vague 
generalities unsupported by clear and convincing evidence. It goes 
without saying that the Constitution demands that the President be 
charged with specific acts of wrong-doing which are substantiated by 
overwhelming evidence before he can be impeached. Article III appears 
to be a catchall category where the majority piled on allegations. This 
action only serves to compromise the process further.

  Article IV is interesting both in terms of the charges it levels as 
well as a historical sleight of hand the majority attempts. This 
article maintains that the President ``contravened the authority of the 
legislative branch . . . in that . . . [he] refused and failed to 
respond to certain written requests for admission and willfully made 
perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in response to 
certain written requests for admission propounded to him. . . . As far 
as I know, the Committee sent the President 81 questions and he 
responded to each of them. I read in the papers after the responses 
were provided around Thanksgiving that members on the majority side of 
the Committee found the answers to be ``arrogant'' and ``not contrite 
enough.'' Perhaps this Article should read that ``the President failed 
to provide contrite answers to the Committee's questions.'' This would 
be a more accurate description than the President failed to respond to 
the Committee's request for information.
  This article also includes what I referred to above as a historical 
sleight of hand. The third Article of Impeachment against President 
Richard Nixon stated that by refusing to comply with 8 subpoenas 
approved by the Judiciary Committee requesting more than 140 documents 
and taped conversations, the President had ``assum[ed] to himself the 
functions and judgements necessary to exercise of the sole power of 
impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of 
Representatives.'' The Committee levels this very same, profoundly 
serious charge against President Clinton regardless of the fact that he 
was never served with any subpoenas from the Committee and provided 
responses to questions submitted in writing.
  It strains credibility to maintain that the President ``assumed'' the 
authority of the House in this area. The Judiciary Committee has moved 
with considerable speed and little impediment to bring us to where we 
stand today. The Committee uses this language completely out of its 
historical context. The statement was appropriate 24 years ago when 
President Nixon defied multiple subpoenas and withheld documents and 
other materials which were crucial to the investigation. There is no 
parallel today by any stretch of the imagination. The decision appears 
to be yet another attempt to boost charges, which lack substantial 
factual background, with rhetoric which suggests the President 
committed terrible offenses. This tactic further demeans an already 
flawed process.
  I would like to make one final point which illustrates that this 
process does not comport with the Constitution. Article I, Section 2 of 
the Constitution states that the ``House of Representatives . . . shall 
have the sole Power of Impeachment.'' Impeachment is the power to 
charge--not judge. Article I, Section 3 grants the Senate this 
authority. It states that the ``Senate shall have the sole Power to try 
all Impeachments'' and that ``judgement in Cases of Impeachment shall 
not extend further than removal from Office, and disqualification to 
hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United 
States.'' It is up to the Senate to determine whether or not the 
President should be removed and/or disqualified from holding any other 
office. However, in each and every one of the Articles before us today, 
the majority makes this very judgement. This is not the role of the 
House as set forth in the Constitution. Where is the indignation about 
the rule of law or the lofty commentary about our duty to uphold the 
tenets of the Constitution? It is ironic that in an Article alleging 
that the President usurped the authority of the House, the majority is 
usurping the authority the Constitution grants to the Senate.
  Mr. Speaker, the founders designed impeachment as a ``last resort'' 
to remove a President who was impervious to any other method of 
control. They set the bar very high in an effort to ensure that 
impeachment would not become a weapon which could be deployed for 
partisan political gain. Removing a sitting President requires the 
proponents of such action to demonstrate clearly, convincingly and 
specifically that the President has committed ``Treason, Bribery or 
other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' It is clear to me that the 
proponents have not met this standard.
  Moreover, the gravity of the action demands that the House utilize a 
decision making process which adheres to fundamental legal and 
Constitutional principles. Unfortunately, the process to date falls far 
short on both. The burden of proof required to charge the President 
with the offenses alleged has not been

[[Page H11947]]

met and he has not been informed of the specific actions which have 
placed him in jeopardy. In addition, in my opinion, the House has 
abdicated its duty under the Constitution to gather the facts and to 
hear from the witnesses directly. The independent Counsel statute does 
not supersede the Constitution. It does not trump the obligation that 
this institution has to the American people, and to itself, to conduct 
an independent investigation and to hear directly from material 
witnesses before taking the momentous step of impeaching the President. 
The House has failed in this regard and, in so doing, undermined the 
legitimacy of the Articles before us today.
  Mr. Speaker, I know all too well what America symbolizes to the 
world. My mother and father survived Hitler and Stalin and fled to the 
United States following World War II. To them, this country was a 
shining beacon of democracy, human rights an the principle that the 
rule of law is fixed by a constitution which cannot be changed by the 
whim of one ruler, or, even, a legislature.
  The action of the Republican majority in bringing these Articles of 
Impeachment to the floor resembles a coup more than the Constitutional 
impeachment process the founders intended. I do not use this language 
lightly, I do not make this point frivolously. I have come to this 
conclusion based on the fact that these Articles do not meet the 
standards demanded by the Constitution and our legal system. It would 
be understandable if a fledgling democracy in Latin America or the 
Third World was struggling to determine the practical operation of 
provisions of a new constitution and erred in so doing. The United 
States, as the world's oldest constitutional democracy, could not be 
further removed from this scenario. After 210 years, we know the 
intention of the framers concerning impeachment. The misuse of the 
process is sending a terrible signal to the nations of the world that 
emulate the United States because we are governed by a set of 
fundamental constitutional principles which are grounded in the intent 
of the framers.
  Due to Constitutional, legal and procedural shortcomings, I cannot 
support these Articles of Impeachment. In Federalist 65, Alexander 
Hamilton used the following words to describe how he feared the 
impeachment process could be misused: ``. . . There will always be the 
greatest danger that the decision [to impeach] will be regulated more 
by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations 
of innocence or guilt.'' Hamilton foresaw the abuse we witness today. 
Members should heed his warning and vote against the Articles of 
Impeachment.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, let me start by saying how wrong it is to 
conduct this debate while our troops are in harm's way. Saddam Hussein 
will surely be emboldened by the Republicans' comments and conduct 
today and that will undermine our policy toward Iraq and our national 
security interests.
  Since we have nonetheless decided to proceed, I want to take issue 
with the opening remarks of the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, 
Mr. Hyde.
  I deeply regret his effort to characterize the impeachment of the 
President as necessary to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. 
He is wrong, wrong, wrong.
  Equally offensive to me was Mr. Hyde's suggestion that the Radical 
Republicans who seek to impeach our President today are carrying out 
the legacy of Moses, ancient Greece and Rome, the Magna Carta and all 
the precusors of Democracy, which we hold so dear.
  The Radical Republicans who seek to impeach the President are, in 
fact, the heirs of those who would undermine our democracy--their 
precursors are those who would inspire a tyranny of the majority: 
Cromwell and his Puritans who sought to use the British Parliament to 
abolish freedom of religion, Robspierre and the French National 
Assembly who initiated the Reign of Terror, and most analogous--the 
Radical Republicans, who contrary to the wishes of the assassinated 
President Lincoln, salted the wounds of a divided America after the 
Civil War and unjustly impeached President Andrew Johnson.
  Mr. Hyde said the Republican effort today is not a vindictive 
political crusade. I fact, that is exactly what it is--one of the 
darkest days in the nation's history, and a blot on our democracy just 
as dark as the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson without cause.
  Why do I cite the tyranny of the majority? Because the Radical 
Republicans will not let the Members of this House consider and vote on 
a bipartisan compromise of censure. The Radical Republicans are guilty 
of thwarting the will of the American people
  Why do I say that the Radical Republicans are not honoring the 
Constitution? Because the President's conduct, while reprehensible, 
does not fit the definition under the Constitution as an act of 
treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors, and therefore does 
not rise to an impeachable offense to justify the removal of the 
President.
  I listened carefully to Mr. Hyde's remarks earlier and he seemed to 
suggest that it was necessary to lower the bar for impeachment to 
include lying about sex because the President held such an important 
position and needed to serve as a moral authority. But our job under 
the Constitution is not to set moral standards, as Mr. Hyde suggests, 
but to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
  The Radical Republicans in seeking to impeach the President do the 
opposite. In the tradition of their predecessors after the Civil War, 
they rip apart the Constitution in a politically vindictive tyranny of 
the majority.
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, except for a declaration of war, a U.S. 
Representative can never be called upon to make a decision requiring 
more serious or solemn consideration than on a vote to impeach a 
President of the United States.
  I believe what President Clinton did was indefensible and immoral, 
but I do not think his actions, however, wrong, reached the high 
constitutional threshold for impeachment and the overturning of the 
only national election in our democracy.
  Over 200 years ago, George Mason proposed the language in Article II, 
Section 4 of the Constitution establishing the grounds for impeachment 
as ``treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' He 
defined these actions to mean only ``great and dangerous offenses'' or 
``attempts to subvert the Constitution.'' Having a private affair and 
hiding it are wrong under any circumstances, but I am not convinced 
such actions ``subvert the Constitution'' and justify nullifying the 
votes of 47 million American citizens.
  I condemn the President's actions and believe bipartisan 
congressional censure and the possibility of future criminal action 
would be appropriate punishment for his affair and subsequent 
misleading statements.
  Consider the chance that a Senate conviction would be extremely 
remote, the specter of a three to nine month Senate trial with tawdry 
televised testimony from Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, and Kenneth 
Starr would punish the nation and our families far more than it would 
punish Bill Clinton.
  The President should be strongly censured by Congress and then have 
his day in court like any other citizen. He should not be above the law 
and he should not be below the law. History and God will be his 
ultimate judge.
  The hindsight of history will be harsh on this Congress and this 
unfair process. For some to speak of their vote of conscience today 
even as they deny a vote of deep conscience for others is in itself 
unconscionable. A process whose goal was to emulate the Watergate 
legacy, sadly, will leave a legacy more akin to the impeachment of 
Andrew Johnson, a legacy of partisanship, unfairness, and rush to 
judgment.
  In the name of the Constitution, this process trampled on the 
Constitution, Article II and VI. In the name of ``the rule of law'' 
this process ignored the fundamental principles of due process and 
fairness that form the foundation of that rule of law. In the name of 
``no person is above the law'' this process forgot that no citizen 
should be below the law. In the name of justice, this process ignored 
the pillar of justice that in our nation, a citizen is innocent until 
proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. In the name of 
America, this process raised the ugly debate of who is a ``real'' 
American. History will judge this process as a combination of Kafka, 
``To Kill A Mockingbird,'' and Keystone Kops.

  Mr. Speaker, if the Golden Rule were to be our guide, who among us in 
this House would want to be a defendant in a case where the rules of 
law and fairness were ignored? Where secret grand jury testimony was 
released to the world? Where there was not one direct fact-witness? 
Where your defense attorney was limited to one hour of cross-
examination of your chief accuser, who spent four years and forty 
million dollars investigating you? Where your attorney was forced to 
give your final defense before even one formal charge had been 
presented against you? Where the charges of perjury that were finally 
presented at the 11th hour failed the test of decency to list which 
statements were allegedly perjurious?
  Surely, Mr. Speaker, no Member of this House would ever want or 
deserve to be a defendant in such a case. Yet, if we would not want to 
be judged by such an unfair process, then what right do we have to 
judge anyone else by that process? To even suggest that such a process 
was somehow fair because impeachment is not a trial would be to hid 
behind a fig leaf of legalism for those who claim to revere the 
principles of ``the rule of law'' and ``equal justice under the law.''
  I will not question the final decision of any Member of this House 
for these are votes of conscience. However, just as we are judges 
today, history will judge this Congress tomorrow and for generations to 
come. Perhaps the ultimate justice is that history will judge that on 
this matter, the Congress and the President both failed to meet the 
highest standards in the sacred stewardship of the public trust.

[[Page H11948]]

  As we end this Congress, regrettably, on a note of partisanship and 
ill will, one week before Christmas, perhaps it would be good if the 
President and all of us of all faiths, myself included, paused in the 
days ahead to reflect on the values of a small child born in Bethlehem 
whose life taught the world the power of love, forgiveness, and 
compassion. Maybe then the next Congress and our President could share 
the common bond and highest ideals of public service.
  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the resolution providing 
for the impeachment of the President of the United States and to 
protest this very unfair and partisan process. The Republican majority 
in this House is railroading President Clinton, thwarting the will of 
the American people, and setting dangerous precedents for the use of 
impeachment against future Presidents.
  It is particularly outrageous that you Republicans insist on moving 
forward with this proceeding at the very time the United States is 
leading military strikes against Iraq and U.S. military personnel are 
in harm's way. It cannot help our service members' morale nor bolster 
our authority in the world that the Commander-in-Chief is under attack 
by rabid partisans who don't seem to care what other harm they cause if 
they can drag this President down.
  I was one of five Members who voted against any investigation of the 
President and I will not vote to impeach him. I honestly believe that 
what President Clinton is accused of doing does not reach the threshold 
the Framers established for impeachment. The President by his actions 
has not threatened the nation's stability or brought an attack on the 
Constitution or presented problems for our Constitutional process.
  Short of declaring war, a vote on Presidential impeachment is the 
most serious vote a Member of this House can cast. But not all Members 
are taking this historic duty seriously.
  Many on your side of the aisle, Mr. Speaker, seem to forget that the 
Starr referral tells only one side of the story. It appears many have 
refused to seriously consider the presentations of the President's 
lawyers or any other information that might support the President's 
case against impeachment.
  In fact, much of what we see today is the result of the desire of a 
group of people, including many House Republicans, to destroy this 
President. Within weeks of his election, I was seeing ``Impeach 
Clinton'' bumper stickers. And now, as columnist Richard Cohen put it 
in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday, Republicans have made impeaching 
President Clinton ``a matter of party discipline, not of conscience, 
nor, for that matter, of logic.''
  How else to explain how an investigation that began with Whitewater 
became an impeachment process based on a private consensual affair? Or 
why the Judiciary Committee failed to set a standard for impeachment or 
to investigate the charges by calling witnesses with knowledge of the 
facts, but instead just swallowed the Starr report whole? Or why the 
Republican leadership will not let the House vote on censure?
  Of the articles of impeachment, the two alleging perjury are 
considered the more plausible--most experts believe the evidence does 
not support allegations of obstruction of justice or abuse of power--
but I am very concerned about how loosely the term ``perjury'' is being 
used in this process.
  I am old enough to remember when offenses like loitering or vagrancy 
were used to harass poor people, minorities, antiwar activists, and 
other undesirables, until the courts threw them out as too broad and 
arbitrary. Now, ``perjury'' is being used broadly to refer to 
incomplete, misleading, even false statements, but ``perjury'' has a 
much more specific legal meaning, and I don't think the Republicans 
have proven that it occurred in this case. But rather than criticize 
the President's team for ``legalisms'', we should remember that the 
precise language of the law is a protection of our liberties.
  The Founders did not provide for impeachment to punish a President 
for behavior Congress doesn't like, for refusing to confess in public 
to an offense he doesn't believe he committed, or for not being 
contrite enough.
  Mr. Speaker, any offenses the President may have committed were not 
against our Constitution or our republic. Nothing he is accused of 
amounts to bribery, treason, high crimes or high misdemeanors. A 
private consensual relationship is not an impeachable offense. Nor does 
any element of this sorry situation justify overturning a national 
election and disenfranchising millions of Americans.
  The American people are smart enough to understand what is going on, 
and they say ``Stop!'' They continue to support the President, and that 
is what we should do. I will continue to support President Clinton and 
his efforts to make life better for all Americans.
  There is still a lot of work to do, and Bill Clinton has the ability, 
intelligence, and understanding to handle crucial issues before us. 
That is what is important and this is what the American people want.
  Mr. Speaker, the nation has had enough. Impeachment is overkill in 
this case. We don't need the spectacle of a Senate trial to divert 
attention from the nation's business for second year, or even part of a 
year. We don't need the long-term political warfare a near party-line 
vote will surely generate.
  For all these reasons, I urge my colleagues to vote against 
impeaching President Clinton.
  Mr. Speaker, many of my colleagues have spoke today about the legal 
aspects of the impeachment procedure and I want to speak on this matter 
in terms that the people of this great nation understand. I will speak 
about the real reasons why the Republicans want to impeach President 
Clinton. Mr. Speaker, a short time after Bill Clinton was elected, I 
began to see ``Impeach Clinton'' bumper stickers along certain parts of 
I-95. It dawned on me than that his Presidency was one that was going 
to come under attack regardless of whether or not it turned out to be a 
good one. Since that time the right wing has not given up on its desire 
to destroy his Presidency. Talk shows hosts quickly began to insult him 
and show a lack of respect for him and his office. It should be clear 
to anyone who has paid attention that the right wing has not gotten 
over the fact that the President has been elected and re-elected. And 
so here we are today in the middle of a right wing coup. It does not 
matter what they tell you here this weekend, the fact is that the 
majority party is trying to undo the last two elections. The Republican 
right-wing has not gotten over Bill Clinton's success as President. And 
so what we are seeing here today is an attempt to use the Constitution 
as a bully's weapon. You Republicans may have the votes to overthrow 
this President but you do have the support of the same American people 
who you always hold up as the people we, in the Congress, should listen 
to. You may have the votes but the American people will not let you get 
away with it. An investigation about a land deal called Whitewater came 
back to us as an impeachment having to do with the private life of the 
President. This investigation consisted of illegal tape recordings, 
one-sided testimony, and no provisions for the President to mount a 
proper defense. You knew that, but you still decided to release all of 
this information in order to build opinion against the President and 
set out to finally get him. But it backfired. The American people have 
not bought your bullying tactics. They have told you over and over 
again to leave this alone. Just because you have the majority of the 
votes you don't have the right to overthrow this President and abuse 
the powers you get from the Constitution. You think you are going to 
get away with this but it won't work. You are going to hear from the 
people in a way like never before. This is a mean, unfair thing you are 
doing and it will come back to haunt. In the meantime we will all have 
to try to undo the damage you have done to this nation in this Chamber 
here tonight.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I share the outrage and disappointment 
expressed by my constituents and colleagues. The President's actions 
violated the trust we accord our Nation's leader.
  Moreover, Mr. Speaker, several of our distinguished colleagues have 
contended, during the course of the debate in the Judiciary Committee, 
and then during this debate today, that this action has revolved solely 
around sex. That is not accurate. This debate is no more about sex than 
the Watergate debate was about a third-rate burglary.
  The debate then, as now, is about the coverup efforts subsequent to 
the initial act: The perjury, the suborning of perjury, the obstruction 
of justice, and abuse of power. These are the grave issues we must 
consider, and we must judge as worthy of impeachment.
  It is against that background that our decision whether or not to 
vote for impeachment must be taken.
  This is a difficult decision for all of us, probably the most 
difficult of my career in the Congress. I thank my constituents who 
shared their views. I recognize that there has been a great deal of 
serious thought, and soul searching on both sides. I am deeply 
impressed, and grateful, by the sophistication and sincerity of the 
arguments my constituents have shared with me.
  While I have been closely following the committee's proceedings, I 
have just recently had the opportunity to review the 400 page Judiciary 
Committee's report, to listen to floor debate, and the arguments by 
constitutional authorities. Most importantly, I have searched my own 
conscience, and weighed my 48 years of experience as an attorney, 
including my 35 years of public service in reaching my decision.
  While none of us should minimize the gravity of the impeachment 
process, we must bear in mind that the House has no final word in 
determining if any official should or should not be removed from 
office. Under our Constitution that role is assigned to the other body. 
An impeachment vote in the House is equivalent

[[Page H11949]]

under the law to an indictment. Essentially, our vote in the House is 
an accusation. Referral of this issue to the Senate is not removal, but 
merely a finding of probable cause to believe a removable offense may 
have occurred.
  Having fully considered all of the facts before us, reluctantly, I 
have come to the conclusion that probable cause in fact exists. 
Accordingly, I shall be voting in favor of at least one article of 
impeachment.
  There is little doubt that perjury has taken place. The President's 
defenders do not deny this, but have confined their argument to 
contending that such perjury, while regrettable, does not rise to the 
level of impeachment.
  I respectfully disagree with that analysis. Perjury is a serious 
crime in all 50 States. In most States, perjury by an attorney leads to 
automatic disbarment. There have been eight Federal judges impeached on 
charges of perjury in this century. Today, over 100 Americans are 
imprisoned for the crime of perjury. The argument that perjury 
committed by our Commander in Chief, or perjury which deals with 
certain subjects, is somehow exempt from the law is disingenuous.
  I have considered the allegation of the President's perjury in 
context, and have concluded, to my distress, that a pattern of 
obstruction has emerged. At no time did the President cooperate with 
the Special Prosecutor's office but in fact worked to delay, obstruct, 
and frustrate the work of the Special Prosecutor. This is in marked 
contrast with Presidents Reagan and Bush, who cooperated fully at all 
times with the Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate allegations 
against their administrations, despite the fact that it has been argued 
that the Special Prosecutor in those cases was less than impartial.
  Along with the millions of Americans, I was distressed that the White 
House and its supporters adopted a strategy of attacking the motives 
and character of the Special Prosecutor rather than responding to the 
specific charges made by his office. This attitude persisted until 
nearly the end of the Judiciary Committee hearings and was, I believe, 
grossly inappropriate for an investigation of this gravity.
  Some of our colleagues have also contended that a trial in the Senate 
will consume our Government for months. In fact, one of our colleagues 
stated that it would take up the better part of next year. Mr. Speaker 
this is not accurate. There is no reason whatsoever that action in the 
other body cannot be promptly and speedily concluded. Both the majority 
and minority on our Judiciary Committee have issued a final report. In 
fact, the only possibility that action will be dragged out is if the 
President desires to do so. It is hoped that the President and his 
advisors will opt not to do so, and will acquiesce in a prompt 
consideration and conclusion of this matter.
  Let me make it clear that though I support the articles of 
impeachment by the House, I am not convinced that he should be removed 
from office. In fact, that decision can only be made after a fair trial 
in the other body. The Senate will have the opportunity to consider the 
penalty of censure.
  Hopefully, Mr. Speaker, our action will send a message to all 
Americans and to the entire world that no one in our Nation can 
consider themselves above the rule of law, particularly our Nation's 
chief law enforcement official.
  Mr. Speaker. I request that for my colleagues attention, an editorial 
by one of the leading dairy newspaper in my congressional district, 
``The Journal News'', dated December 15, 1998, entitled ``Impeachment 
Vote,'' Be inserted at this point in the Record.

        [From the Journal News, White Plains, NY, Dec. 15, 1998]

  Impeachment Vote--House Must Vote to Send Clinton's Fate to a Trial 
                         Before the U.S. Senate

       Impeaching President Clinton--putting him on trial in the 
     Senate--is the only responsible course left to the House of 
     Representatives.
       The House should vote to impeach, not because the charges 
     against the president have been proved, but because they 
     remain serious and believable, and because a Senate trial 
     becomes the last chance of ferreting out the truth.
       The House Judiciary Committee did nothing to advance the 
     case against President Clinton, other than to give 
     independent counsel Kenneth Starr a forum to make a good case 
     for his own findings. In choosing not to conduct an 
     independent investigation of its own, the committee failed to 
     grapple with the substance of the most serious charges: that 
     the president lied under oath and coached other witnesses to 
     do the same.
       The committee's failure was a lost opportunity, to be sure. 
     It did not make the decision by the full House any easier. 
     The evidence against Clinton does not make the kind of open-
     and-shut case that had been made against Richard Nixon by the 
     time his impeachment proceeding had reached this stage.
       But if the case against Clinton was not clinched in the 
     committee, it was not derailed either.
       For one thing, the president's defenders did nothing to 
     disprove or to lessen the seriousness of the charges. They 
     also left substance largely untouched. Instead, they tried to 
     impugn Starr's credibility and to belittle his accusations, 
     even while conceding the truth of some of them.
       More important, the Constitution does not equate the 
     committee's inquiry to a trial of the president. Despite 
     Democrats' arguments to the contrary, the committee's vote on 
     articles of impeachment did not constitute a conviction, only 
     a recommendation that the Senate conduct a trial leading to a 
     finding of guilt or innocence. Yes, a more energetic inquiry 
     would have been helpful toward that ultimate decision, but 
     the disappointments of the committees' inquiry did not remove 
     the need for that decision to be made.
       The question of the president's fitness to hold office 
     remains a disturbing and viable one, which the House must now 
     pass to the Senate.
       Many still hope to deflect the orderly process dictated by 
     the Constitution. They would have Congress decide now on a 
     meaningless nonexistent punishment--censure--rather than 
     reach a decision on whether the president has committed 
     wrongdoing sufficient to remove him from office. Clinton, to 
     no one's surprise, has now publicly joined those clamoring 
     for this nonconstitutional cop-out.
       The Judiciary Committee's Republican majority was right to 
     reject that option. The full House should also heed the words 
     of committee Chairman Henry Hyde, that ``a resolution or 
     amendment proposing censure of the president in lieu of 
     impeachment violates the rules of the House, threatens the 
     separation of powers and fails to meet constitutional 
     muster.''
       That means that Hyde, who would be instrumental in 
     preparing the case to be brought against the president in the 
     Senate, must be prepared to get to the core of this case, 
     finally.
       Clinton continues to insist that he did not lie under oath 
     in denying certain details of Monica Lewinsky's descriptions 
     of their sexual encounters. Hyde chose not to probe the 
     credibility of those two key figures in his committee 
     inquiry. He will have to do so before the 100 senators-
     turned-judges, who must not pre-judge and who will need more 
     than assumptions and circumstantial evidence to make their 
     own momentous decision.

  Mr. WELDON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, colleagues, it is with great 
sadness that I rise to speak in support of this resolution. I would 
like to confine my remarks to the issue of judgment. Several speakers 
on the minority side have risen today and quoted the scripture ``Judge 
not, that you be not judged.''
  It is very appropriate that our members should be quoting this verse. 
For it tells us that when we appear before the throne of God, God will 
judge us by the measure we have used to judge others here on earth.
  Careful reading of the scripture, however, makes it quite clear that 
the message is not that we should never judge or exercise judgment. 
Indeed, in the same chapter of the Bible that my colleagues have been 
quoting, Jesus goes on to warn the people to exercise judgment and 
``not cast pearls before swine'', and ``to beware of false prophets.''
  Most scholars interpret this verse of scripture previously quoted 
about not judging to mean that we should not condemn others for their 
faults, and that we should forgive those who offend us.
  However, it has never been proposed by any reasonable person that 
this verse of scripture asserts that we are to let criminals go free or 
that our law should not be upheld.
  Bill Clinton is not being judged by the members here as much as he is 
being judged by the law itself. The preamble to the Constitution tells 
us that the Constitution was created for among other reasons to 
establish justice. To blithely forgive or ignore these offenses is to 
make a mockery of justice.
  Our laws state that to lie under oath, to encourage others to provide 
false testimony, to conspire to conceal evidence, or otherwise impede 
or obstruct an investigation is a felony punishable by imprisonment.
  Indeed, the committee took testimony from two individuals, one who 
actually went to jail, the other received house arrest for lying about 
sex before a grand jury.
  Every year in America people go to jail for committing perjury. Our 
laws do not specify that consensual sex is a subject that it is OK to 
perjured yourself about.
  When we think of the verse of scripture quoted, ``Judge not and you 
will not be judged'', I believe the important question we should be 
asking ourselves as members is how would we be voting on this 
resolution if Bill Clinton were a Republican.
  To my Democratic colleagues on the, I ask would you still be 
clamoring for censure, or would you be calling for resignation of 
impeachment?
  To my Republican colleagues, I ask a similar question: would you be 
calling for a ``no'' vote on this resolution or a motion of censure 
instead of impeachment?
  Pollsters tell us that if you bother to include the question in your 
survey, the issue that the American people are most concerned about in 
our nation is the state of America's moral condition with up to 87 
percent indicating that something is wrong.

[[Page H11950]]

  The very essence of national morality and virtue is a citizenry that 
can exercise sound judgment. Sound judgment dictates that the President 
be impeached, and tried in the Senate. The only middle ground in this 
situation is acquittal in the Senate, not a meaningless 
unconstitutional motion of censure.
  The Democrats wrote the statute creating the office of the 
independent counsel, and Janet Reno authorized the expansion of his 
investigation into the matters before us. The findings indicate felony 
offenses that could send the average American to jail.
  President Clinton himself when he signed the reauthorization of the 
independent counsel act in 1993 issued a statement in which he said: 
``It ensures that no matter what party controls Congress or the 
executive branch, an independent, nonpartisan process will be in place 
to guarantee the integrity of public officials and ensure that no one 
is above the law.''
  To ensure that no one is above the law the resolution must be 
approved and sent to the Senate for trial.

      Statement by President William J. Clinton Upon Signing S. 24

  (30 Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents 1383, July 4, 1994)

       I am pleased to sign into law S. 24, the reauthorization of 
     the Independent Counsel Act. This law, originally passed in 
     1978, is a foundation stone for the trust between the 
     Government and our citizens. It ensures that no matter what 
     party controls the Congress or the executive branch, an 
     independent, nonpartisan process will be in place to 
     guarantee the integrity of public officials and ensure that 
     no one is above the law.
       Regrettably, this statute was permitted to lapse when its 
     reauthorization became mired in a partisan dispute in the 
     Congress. Opponents called it a tool of partisan attack 
     against Republican Presidents and a waste of taxpayer funds. 
     It was neither. In fact, the independent counsel statute has 
     been in the past and is today a force for Government 
     integrity and public confidence.
       This new statute enables the great work of Government to go 
     forward--the work of reforming the Nation's health care 
     system, freeing our streets from the grip of crime, restoring 
     investment in the people who make our economy more 
     productive, and the hard work of guaranteeing this Nation's 
     security--with the trust of its citizens assured.
       It is my hope that both political parties would stand 
     behind those great objectives. This is a good bill that I 
     sign into law today--good for the American people and good 
     for their confidence in our democracy.
                                                William J. Clinton
     The White House,
     June 30, 1994.

  Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, as one of 23 members of this House 
who served in the 93rd Congress, the last time the House was presented 
with articles of impeachment against a President of the United States, 
I know there is no joy on either side of this issue. There certainly 
will be no joy, whatever the final outcome, when the House completes 
its deliberations.
  It is never a pleasant situation to sit in judgement of another 
person, but that is our Constitutional responsibility when it comes to 
the President. Each of us took an oath of office to ``support and 
defend the Constitution of the United States'' and ``to faithfully 
discharge the duties of the office.'' Therefore, we are obligated to 
debate and consider the four articles of impeachment before us today as 
reported by the Judiciary Committee.
  Likewise, President Clinton took an oath of office to ``faithfully 
execute the office of the President of the United States'' and ``to the 
best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of 
the United States.''
  With allegations and charges as serious as those that have been made 
against President Clinton, it is obvious that they cannot be 
overlooked. Even my Democratic colleagues are demanding a resolution of 
condemnation. Clearly we must do something and the Constitution tells 
us that is to follow the procedure established by the Constitution to 
consider articles of impeachment.
  If we fail to follow proper procedure, future generations of 
Americans may see our lack of resolve as a precedent that in some way 
excuses or overlooks serious lapses of public trust or criminal acts 
committed by future Presidents. This lack of resolve could tempt future 
Presidents to bend or violate the rules of law.
  Some of our colleagues suggest that the House consider a resolution 
to censure the President, saying that impeachment is too severe an 
action. The problem with censuring a President is that it becomes a 
precedent that could be used anytime a majority of the members disagree 
with any actions of a President. Those actions might simply be a 
political difference of opinion, not something related to the law or to 
a President's conduct.
  This would move our relationship between the legislative and 
executives branches more towards that of Parliament, where votes of 
confidence are in order that can lead to a dissolution of the 
government. That was not the intent of the authors of our Constitution 
and as our colleague Henry Hyde, the chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee has said, threatens the separation of powers that is the 
cornerstone of our government as provided for by the Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, the United States has been the target of many enemies 
over the past 222 years of our nation's history. Those enemies have 
attempted to destroy our nation with force and ultimately our system of 
government. Every attempt, though, has failed and the Constitution 
remains the standard by which all other forms of government are 
measured.
  The single greatest threat to the Constitution may come from within 
our nation, from those who might one day fail to uphold the 
Constitution that we have sworn to protect. Such a failure would 
undermine the very basis for our government, rendering it to be nothing 
more than mere words on a piece of parchment. In other words, the best 
way to preserve and protect our Constitution is to abide by it.
  The debate today is as much about the erosion of this trust that has 
been placed in each of us as it is about the trust of the American 
people that a single President has betrayed.
  Mr. Speaker, Congress cannot allow truth, justice and the rule of law 
to be sacrificed on the altar of political expedience. When future 
generations review our actions today, they will not be as concerned 
with the actions of this President as they are with the actions of this 
House to uphold the Constitution and ensure it remains the world pillar 
of freedom, liberty, and democracy.
  Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Speaker, I agree with those who believe that the 
House of Representatives has no constitutional authority to censure or 
reprimand a President in the course of deliberations with respect to 
the issue of impeachment of that President.
  In my view, we could pass a resolution respecting the Sense of the 
House--or in a Joint Resolution the Sense of the Congress--if the 
judiciary Committee had not by its report, presented us with a 
transcendent and unavoidable responsibility to lay to rest the question 
of whether or not Articles of Impeachment should be approved or 
disapproved.
  Many of us might wish that we did not have to meet that issue and 
that the duty we have could go away. But it will not because duty 
cannot go away or be put aside.
  The question before us is compound. It is whether there is clear and 
convincing evidence that the President has engaged in conduct that 
constitutes in the terms of our Constitution ``high crimes and 
misdemeanors.'' Under the Rules of the House, and in the discharge of 
the constitutional duty now imposed upon us, we must first determine 
that issue, and that issue only. If we determine that the President 
should be impeached, the constitutional responsibility of the Senate 
comes to bear because we have concluded there is clear and convincing 
evidence that the President has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, 
and the Senate should proceed on the proper constitutional course of 
action.
  While this issue is unavoidably before us, we cannot by our Rules or 
our duty divert our attention to the issue of should the President be 
censured, and if so for what, and whether or not by his agreement or 
otherwise some penalty should be expected. This is a diversion, a 
distraction, and an evasion. We are not presented with this luxury.
  If at some point in time we in this body, having approved an Article 
or Articles of Impeachment, and the Senate thereafter determines that 
the President should not be removed and offers instead a Resolution of 
Censure, we in the House can and should take it up. Then we could do so 
for there would no longer be pending before us the solemn and 
inescapable duty to determine without diversion, distraction, or 
evasion, the question that now looms before us.
  Before we charge the Judiciary Committee to proceed with an inquiry 
as to whether the President had committed impeachable offenses, we 
could have acted on a resolution to voice our displeasure with conduct 
of the President as a sense of Congress. No one, I repeat no one, now 
clamoring for censure chose to do so then and I don't think that fact 
is without significance.
  With distraction, diversion, or evasion we must face our solemn oath-
bound duty to resolve the question we cannot evade: is there clear and 
convincing evidence that the President is guilty of the commission of 
``high crimes and misdemeanors'' which are grounds for impeachment? 
Until we perform this duty, our Rules and duty dictate that any action 
to censure the President be put aside.
  Mr. WICKER. Mr. Speaker, impeachment is a profound and complex 
process. In recent weeks, we have heard constitutional experts and 
historians testify at length about the standard for an impeachable 
offense. Debate has ranged from the finest points of law to the 
loftiest intentions of our founding fathers.
  For decades and even centuries to come, learned scholars will pore 
over every word of

[[Page H11951]]

these proceedings to discern their meaning and to analyse the 
precedents and implications of our actions today. For me, However, it 
comes down to one simple principle--this Nation must uphold the rule of 
law.
  Standing for the rule of law includes recognizing:
  That the Nation's chief law enforcement officer cannot commit perjury 
and remain in office.
  That the commander-in-chief of our armed forces should not be held to 
a lower standard than are his subordinates.
  That even the most ordinary and humble citizens are entitled to their 
day in court, and they are entitled to expect sworn testimony in that 
court to be truthful--even testimony from the President of the United 
States.
  That felonious criminal conduct by the President of the United States 
cannot be tolerated.
  The rule of law is more important than the tenure in office of any 
elected official.
  The facts in this case are not really in dispute. Even some of his 
most vocal defenders do not deny that this President repeatedly lied 
under oath. He also obstructed justice and abused his office. He has 
violated his solemn oath and squandered the trust the American people 
placed in him.
  During John Adams' second night in the White House, he wrote, ``I 
pray heaven to bestow the best blessings on this House and on all that 
shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule 
this roof.''
  Mr. Speaker, it is with great regret that I conclude the current 
occupant of the White House has utterly failed to live up to this 
standard and that his Commission of felony crimes constitutes grounds 
for impeachment.
  I reach this conclusion with no malice toward the President, but with 
resolve and confidence that this action preserves the principles which 
are the foundation of our constitution.
  I cast my vote for impeachment to protect the long-term National 
interest (United States) to affirm the importance of truth and honesty, 
and to uphold the rule of law.
  Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, as we speak hundreds of our fine young 
men and women from our bases in San Antonio and across this nation are 
en route to he Persian Gulf to defend our nations's national interests.
  How can we assemble here today to debate impeachment at this time? 
How dare we undermine the authority of the President while our brave 
soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are in harm's way?
  Today is a sad day for this country and this House of 
Representatives.
  Like many Americans, I cannot believe that this is happening, that we 
are in fact here debating whether to impeach our president for lying 
about a personal matter.
  The debate is not whether President Clinton committed wrongdoing; he 
has admitted as much.
  The question is whether the Congress should exercise its 
constitutional authority to overturn two popular, democratic elections. 
* * * whether we should set in motion the process of removing the 
President for ``high crimes and misdemeanors.''
  However much we may dislike what the President has done, his action 
were private; they had nothing to do with his role as President.
  Indeed, the Supreme Court, in ruling that the civil litigation 
against the President could continue, reasoned that he should be 
treated like any other private citizen.
  What the President did was not a high crime or misdemeanor.
  None of his actions created a constitutional crises, they did not 
threaten the separation of powers, nor did they represent a corruption 
of the political process.
  Those on the other side of the aisle say this is not about sex, but 
it is all about sex. That is the context of the allegations; that is 
the subject of the alleged perjury.
  It makes all the difference in the world
  Indeed, it seems to me and many others that this debate is merely the 
culmination of any effort that began when President Clinton took 
office--to undermine his authority as President and to saddle him with 
the baggage of constant investigation and insinuation.
  Those who have pursued the President have turned justice on its head. 
We have been investigating the person, not the crime.
  The House's actions today undermine the Constitution; they undermine 
the balance of power that has protected us for more than 200 years.
  Those who are so fervent in seeking to get the President have lost 
perspective. Not all crimes or misdeeds deserve impeachment.
  We must distinguish between those actions which threaten our 
constitutional system of government and other acts of wrongdoing.
  Our Founding Fathers chose the words--high crimes and misdemeanors--
carefully and after long debate. They did not want the president 
impeached for any crimes, only high crimes.
  They did not want the Congress to have the authority to impeach the 
president for personal defects and shortcomings or even for horribly 
inappropriate personal conduct. And they certainly did not want him 
impeached for partisan gain.
  High crimes are those that impact the functioning of the republic, 
like treason or bribery. Lying, or even perjury, about a personal 
affair, simply does not rise to the level of a high crime as envisioned 
in the Constitution. His conduct, wrong as it was, did not put the 
nation in danger nor did it corrupt the political process.
  Just because it does not amount to a high crime does not mean that it 
is right--only that it does not meet the high threshold set forth by 
our Founding Fathers in the Constitution for impeachment. And that is 
the question before us.
  Many have argued that the President should not be above the law; he's 
not. He has been sued and investigated for 6 years. He has been pursued 
and chased. And he will be subject to legal action after the leaves 
office.
  Our Presidents are not perfect individuals. There will always be some 
fault we can find, and if we proceed with impeaching this president, we 
will have opened the door in the future to the disruption of our 
political system and the balance of power.
  Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island. Mr. Speaker, we have no right to stand 
here and debate the rule of law if we cannot even extend to the 
President of the United States the same due process as is required for 
even the vilest criminal. The majority has replaced the notion of due 
process with the notion that if you just say something enough times, it 
becomes true.
  Whether or not the President did what he was accused of, this process 
is the legacy we leave to our children, and to impeach the President 
without allowing him due process does far more damage to our democracy 
than any act one man may, or may not, have committed. The golden spike 
in the transcontinental railroading of this President is that the 
majority will not allow us to even vote on censure.
  Four hundred historians said that the presidency will be permanently 
disfigured and diminished by today's vote. Over two hundred 
Constitutional scholars echoed the sentiment that these offenses, even 
if proven true, do not rise to the level of impeachment. And two thirds 
of the American people are saying the same thing: don't impeach.
  You say that you are adhering to Constitutional process. But if you 
talk the Constitutional talk you better walk the Constitutional walk.
  I don't want to hear, although I suspect I will, you say that in 
order for us to get out of this crises ``the President must resign.'' 
If you do, you will short circuit the Constitutional process that you 
stand here today advocating for. I want to get your word today that you 
will not do that and that you will take responsibility, for what you 
are beginning today by bringing this country's government to a halt?
  Today we will be remembered for an impeachment when the punishment 
clearly does not fit the crime. Today we will be remembered for a 
political mutiny of our Commander in Chief when our troops are in the 
field. And today this Congress sends a message that the Constitutional 
scales of justice can be tipped to one side when it suits the purpose 
of one political party.
  And everyone will know how we got there because you, the Republican 
majority, did not allow this democratic institution to work its will on 
a motion to censure and end this national nightmare.
  When you are finished doing this, don't come to the American public 
and say the President should resign and get us out of the 
Constitutional crisis. You got into it when you refused a censure 
motion as alternative to this constitutional crisis.
  Mr. SPENCE. Mr . Speaker, I rise to address the matter before the 
House regarding the four Articles of Impeachment that have been 
reported by the Committee on the Judiciary. This is a situation that 
demands our most careful consideration and devotion to duty as Members 
of Congress. It is a matter that is not to be taken lightly. Each 
Member of this body must reason individually to reach the determination 
that must be made in order to fulfill our Constitutional 
responsibilities in the impeachment procedure. This is a process that 
should not be partisan, as it should be based on the application of the 
rule of law.
  I believe that all of us recognize the seriousness of President 
Clinton being charged with violations against the Constitution. Much 
time and effort have been devoted to investigating and reviewing the 
actions on which this Resolution is based. I have followed the hearings 
of the Committee on the Judiciary concerning this matter with great 
interest and I am in agreement with the Resolution (H. Res. 611) that 
has been submitted by Chairman Hyde. H. Res. 611 outlines four Articles 
as the basis for impeachment, which I shall summarize:
  Article I--President Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony to a Federal Grand Jury. I agree.

[[Page H11952]]

  Article II--President Clinton willfully corrupted and manipulated the 
judicial process, in that, he willfully provided perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony in resonse to written questions seeking 
information in a Federal civil rights action, which was brought against 
him, as well as in a deposition in that action. I agree.
  Article III--President Clinton prevented, obstructed and impeded the 
administration of justice through a course of conduct or scheme in a 
series of events between December 1997 and January 1998. I agree.
  Article IV--President Clinton has engaged in conduct that resulted in 
misuse and abuse of his high office, impaired the due and proper 
administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, and 
contravened the authority of the Legislative Branch, in that he refused 
and failed to respond to written requests for admission, as well as 
willfully made perjurious, false and misleading sworn statements in 
response to certain written requests for admission that were propounded 
as part of the impeachment inquiry that was authorized by the House. I 
agree.
  It is clear to me that convincing evidence has been presented in 
regard to each of the four Articles that have been reported by the 
Committee on the Judiciary. Accordingly, I support the Articles as 
stated in H. Res. 611.
  Mr. Speaker, I would also like to address the assertion that I have 
heard today that the consideration by the Congress of the impeachment 
of President Clinton, who is the Commander in Chief of our Armed 
Forces, would have a demoralizing effect on our men and women in 
uniform, especially while our Nation is engaged in military operations 
against Iraq. I can speak from experience, based on numerous 
conversations with Americans from all walks of life, who are now 
serving or who have previously served in our Nation's military, that 
such a charge has no merit. In this regard, I would like to submit the 
following article by Major Daniel J. Rabil, of the United States Marine 
Corps Reserve:

               [From the Washington Times, Nov. 9, 1998]

                 Please, Impeach my Commander in Chief

                          (By Daniel J. Rabil)

       The American military is subject to civilian control, and 
     we deeply believe in that principle. We also believe, as 
     affirmed in the Nuremberg Trials, that servicemen are not 
     bound to obey illegal orders. But what about orders given by 
     a known criminal? Should we trust in the integrity of 
     directives given by a president who violates the same basic 
     oath we take? Should we be asked to follow a morally 
     defective leader with a demonstrated disregard for his 
     troops? The answer is no, for implicit in the voluntary oath 
     that all servicemen take is the promise that they will 
     receive honorable civilian leadership. Bill Clinton has 
     violated that covenant. it is therefore Congress' duty to 
     remove him from office.
       I do not claim to speak for all service members, but 
     certainly Bill Clinton has never been the military's favorite 
     president. Long before the Starr report, there was plenty of 
     anecdotal evidence of this administration's contempt for the 
     armed forces. Yes, Mr. Clinton was a lying draft dodger, yes 
     his staffers have been anti-military, and yes, he breezily 
     ruins the careers of senior officers who speak up or say 
     politically incorrect things. Meanwhile, servicemen are now 
     in jail for sex crimes less egregious than those Paula Jones 
     and Kathleen Wiley say Mr. Clinton committed.
       Mr. Clinton and his supporters do not care in the least 
     about the health of our armed forces. Hateful of a 
     traditional military culture they never deigned to study, Mr. 
     Clinton's disingenuous feminist, homosexual and racial 
     activist friends regard the services as mere political props, 
     useful only for showcasing petty identity group grievances. 
     It is no coincidence that the media has played up one 
     military scandal after another during the Clinton years. This 
     politically-driven shift of focus, from the military mission 
     to the therapeutic wants of fringe groups, has taken its 
     toll: Partly because of Mr. Clinton's impossibly Orwellian 
     directives, Chief of Naval Operations Jay Boorda committed 
     suicide.
       So Clinton has weakened the services and fostered a 
     corrosive anti-military culture. This may be loathsome, but 
     it is not impeachable, particularly if an attentive Congress 
     can limit the extent of Clinton-induced damage. As officers 
     and gentlemen, we have therefore continued to march, 
     pretending to respect our hypocrite-in-chief.
       Then came the Paula Jones perjury and the ensuing Starr 
     Report. I have always known that Clinton was integrity-
     impaired, but I never thought even he could be so depraved, 
     so contemptuous, as to conduct military affairs as was 
     described in the special prosecutor's report to Congress. In 
     that report, we learn of a telephone conversation between Mr. 
     Clinton and a congressman in which the two men discussed our 
     Bosnian deployment. During that telephone discussion, the 
     Commander-in-Chief's pants were unzipped, and Monica Lewinsky 
     was busy saving him the cost of a prostitute. This is the 
     president of the United States of America? Should soldiers 
     not feel belittled and worried by this? We deserve better.
       When Ronald Reagan's ill-fated Beirut mission led to the 
     careless loss of 241 Marines in a single bombing, few 
     questioned his love of country and his overriding concern for 
     American interests. But should Mr. Clinton lead us into 
     military conflict, he would do so, incredibly, without any 
     such trust. After the recent American missile attacks in 
     Afghanistan and Sudan, my instant reaction was outrage, for I 
     instinctively presumed that Mr. Clinton was trying to knock 
     Miss Lewinsky's concurrent grand jury testimony out of the 
     head-lines. The alternative that this president--who ignores 
     national security interests, who appeases Iraq and North 
     Korea, and who fights like a leftover Soviet the idea of an 
     American missile defense--actually believed in the need for 
     immediate military strikes, was simply implausible. And no 
     amount of scripted finger wagging, lip biting, or mention of 
     The Children by this highly skilled perjurer can convince me 
     otherwise.
       In other words, Mr. Clinton has demonstrated that he will 
     risk war, terrorist attacks, and our lives just to save his 
     dysfunctional administration. What might his motives be in 
     some future conflict? Blackmail? Cheap political payoffs? 
     Or--dare I say it--simply the lazy blundering of an 
     instinctively anti-American man? It is immoral to impose such 
     untrustworthy leadership on a fighting force.
       It will no doubt be considered extreme to raise the 
     question of whether this president is a national security 
     risk, but I must. I do not believe presidential candidates 
     should be required to undergo background investigations, as 
     is normal for service members. I do know, however, that Bill 
     Clinton would not pass such a screening. Recently, I received 
     a phone call from a military investigator, who asked me a 
     variety of character-related questions about a fellow Marine 
     reservist. The Marine, who is also a friend, needed to update 
     his top-secret clearance. Afterward, I called him. We 
     marveled how lowly reservists like us must pass complete 
     background checks before routine deployments, yet the 
     guardian of our nation's nuclear button would raise a huge 
     red flag on any such security report. We joked that my 
     friend's security clearance would have been permanently 
     canceled if I had said to the investigator, ``well, Rick 
     spent the Vietnam years smoking pot and leading protests 
     against his country in Britain. His hobbies are lying and 
     adultery. His brother's a cocaine dealer, and oh, yeah--he 
     visited the Soviet Union for unknown reasons while his 
     countrymen were getting killed in Vietnam.''
       Do I show disrespect for this president? Perhaps it depends 
     on the meaning of the word ``this.'' If Clinton were merely a 
     spoiled leftist taking advantage of our free society, a la 
     Jane Fonda, that would be one thing. But you don't make an 
     atheist pope, and you don't keep a corrupt security risk as 
     commander-in-chief.
       The enduring goodness of the American military character 
     over the past two centuries does not automatically derive 
     from our nation's nutritional habits or from a good job 
     benefits package. This character must be developed and 
     supported, or it will die. Already we are seeing declining 
     enlistment and a 1970s-style disdain for military service, 
     squandering the real progress made during the purposeful 
     1980s. Our military's heart and soul can survive lean 
     budgets, but they cannot long survive in an America that 
     would tolerate such a character as now occupies the Oval 
     Office. We are entitled to a leader who at least respects 
     us--not one who cannot be bothered to remove his penis from a 
     subordinate's mouth long enough to discuss our deployment to 
     a combat zone. To subject our services to such debased 
     leadership is nothing less than the collective spit of the 
     entire nation upon our faces.
       Bill Clinton has always been a moral coward. He has always 
     had contempt for the American military. He has always had a 
     questionable security background. Since taking office, he has 
     ignored defense issues, except as serves the destructive 
     goals of his extremist supporters. His behavior with Paula 
     Jones and Kathleen Willey was bizarre and deranged--try 
     keeping a straight face while watching mandated Navy sexual 
     harassment videos, knowing that the president's own conduct 
     violates historic service rules to the point of absurdity.
       For a while, it was almost possible to laugh off Mr. 
     Clinton's hedonistic, ``college protester'' values. But now 
     that we have clear evidence that he perjured himself and 
     corrupted others to cover up his lies, Bill Clinton is no 
     longer funny. He is dangerous.
       Willim J. Clinton, perhaps the most selfish man ever to 
     disgrace our presidency, will not resign. I therefore risk my 
     commission, as our generals will not, to urge this of 
     Congress: Remove this stain from our White House. Banish him 
     from further office. For God's sake, do your duty.

  Mr. HOLSHOF. Mr. Speaker, many commentators have likened this debate 
we are having today to the deliberations of a sentencing jury in a 
death penalty case. Indeed, the political life of a sitting President 
is hanging in the balance. I certainly understand the magnitude of that 
comparison and take this matter no less seriously than those many 
criminal cases in which I sought the death penalty as a prosecutor.
  If the President in his private conduct simply committed adultery, 
then that matter is best reserved to his family. If, on the other hand, 
the President of the United States committed perjury or other illegal 
acts then that matter is necessarily reserved to this Congress.

[[Page H11953]]

  The private failings of a public man deserve neither debate nor 
reprimand by this body. However, public misconduct committed by that 
same official deserves punishment of the fullest measure.
  Based upon my solemn review of the evidence and historical 
precedents, I am firmly convinced beyond a doubt that William Jefferson 
Clinton employed every conceivable means available--including perjury 
and obstruction--to defeat the legal rights of a citizen who claimed 
she had been wronged and sought redress from our justice system.
  How then did the President's private indignities become indignities 
against the Constitution by which we are governed? The facts are these:
  In May 1994, Paula Corbin Jones filed a federal civil rights lawsuit 
against William Jefferson Clinton in the United States District Court 
in Arkansas. The legal action arose out of an incident alleged to have 
occurred while Ms. Jones was a state employee.
  In his own defense, the President claimed that any such lawsuit must 
be deferred until his term of office ended. The parties litigated this 
question before the highest court of the land. The United States 
Supreme Court unanimously decided that Ms. Jones was entitled to due 
process and equal protection of the law no matter who the defendant in 
her sexual harassment lawsuit.
  The Court rightly determined that no man is above the law. No single 
individual citizen can determine the merits of another's case, save 
those clothed with the constitutional power of judicial discretion.
  In that vein, a federal district judge repeatedly rejected the 
President's objections to inquiries regarding his relationships with 
women in the workplace. The court, relying on judicial precedent in 
sexual harassment cases, deemed those questions relevant and crucial to 
Ms. Jones' case.
  The President under penalty of perjury was required to give truthful 
testimony during all court proceedings. He failed. He bore false 
witness under oath. He conspired with others to conceal evidence. He 
tapered with witnesses and encouraged the adoption of his untruthful 
version of events.
  Ms. Jones' rights to due process were violated. That result is bad 
enough in itself, but I believe it reaches constitutional proportions 
when the denial of civil rights is directed by the President of the 
United States.
  What we say here will be but paragraphs or footnotes in the pages of 
books of history written by those yet to come. What we do here will be 
indelibly imprinted on America's spirit.
  Let not this House grant a pardon for this President's criminal 
offenses.
  Let not history look back at this debate and declare there on that 
date, America surrendered the rule of law.
  There can be no presidential privilege to lie under oath.
  Regrettably, my solemn oath of office, my sacred honor, requires from 
me a vote of aye on the resolution.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, this morning I began writing a letter to my 
daughters and my future grandchildren and great-grandchildren to 
describe my feelings on this sad, yet historic day.
  I wrote my daughters that I have listened to my colleagues talk about 
truth, wrongdoing, punishment, and respect. And I want to say to my 
colleagues that no one denies that the truth matters.
  No one denies there was wrongdoing, and no one denies that the 
American people deserve the respect of this great House of 
Representatives.
  And so I ask, please don't deny an alternative to impeachment.
  I continue to be overwhelmed by the fact that this Congress and, as a 
result, the American people, are being denied the right to vote on a 
disciplinary action that would unify our country at this critical 
time--this action is censure.
  The American people support censure.
  Censure, is not only constitutional, it is fair and right for our 
country.
  So, to my colleagues in the majority, I implore you in the interest 
of fairness to take the step that will stop this downward spiral of 
bitterness and rancor that currently controls Capitol Hill. As our 
country continues to polarize, I pray that we, as a Congress, have not 
lost our ability to seek common ground. For if we have, it will affect 
our ability to solve problems for decades to come.
  Mr. Speaker, you have the power to unite the majority of this country 
by allowing a vote on censure. I challenge you to seize this 
opportunity to bring our country back from potentially devastating 
consequences.
  In that letter, I'd like to tell my children, so that they can tell 
their children, that this body came to it's senses and put aside 
partisanship in favor of statesmanship. Let the 105th Congress be 
remembered for allowing the will of the American people to be heard 
through a vote on censure.
  It is the only fair thing to do.
  Mr. KLUG. Mr. Speaker, this is the last vote of my career. My first 
vote was just as personally troubling.
  Just days after being sworn in, I voted to authorize the use of force 
in Operation Desert Storm.
  In a bizarre twist for me, today we'll vote on impeachment while U.S. 
troops are again at war in Iraq.
  Today the loop closes.
  In part because of American reaction to the fighting in the gulf, I 
have decided to support the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
  Let me elaborate.
  First, I am convinced the President lied to a federal grand jury.
  The President's defenders say his lies in the Paula Jones case were 
an understandable reaction. He panicked when confronted with a series 
of questions that threatened to expose his relationship with Monica 
Lewinsky.
  But that does not explain why he lied seven months later in front of 
a federal grand jury.
  No surprise questions here. His attorneys were with him. He had more 
than a half year to consider his answers. And he knew committing 
perjury in this setting could lead to impeachment.
  I have struggled for weeks with my feelings toward Bill Clinton 
versus my concerns about the future of the Presidency itself.
  What impact will this vote have twenty years from now?
  I worry we're about to trigger a never-ending round of impeachment 
investigations. A decade ago the independent counsel statute seemed to 
make sense.
  Today every cabinet member seems to be assigned their own independent 
counsel the day they're sworn into office.
  But in the end let me say, I have come to the conclusion that even 
more important is that we send a very strong message to future 
presidents that no one is above the law.
  If we allow the President to escape an impeachment trial in the 
Senate, we set a dangerous precedent where every president will have a 
built in defense for perjury or obstruction of justice.
  Perjury is a particularly dangerous crime. Federal sentencing 
guidelines demonstrates that defendants convicted of perjury face jail 
time similar to those convicted of bribery.
  Perjury undermines the rule of law. And in this case, perjury has 
also undermined the President's moral authority.
  Most Americans deservedly questioned the timing of the attack on 
Iraq. From airport terminals in Madison to Washington restaurants, 
everywhere I've been people have wondered out loud about why this week 
for the attack. Why hours before the impeachment vote?
  Americans instinctively rally around the President when men and women 
are in combat.
  Because of the President's conduct in this case, our national impulse 
is now cynicism and skepticism.
  Now I think the President's hand was forced by Suddam Hussein.
  But if an American soldier was killed today, don't you think his 
family would always wonder why? Wonder why this week?
  And the skepticism is not only heard in America but among our allies. 
And among our enemies in the world.
  Perjury has consequences tonight. In the President's case everywhere 
around the world. Impeachment is the painful, but correct choice.
  Mr. DAVIS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, first, I would add my voice to 
those of other Members who have expressed how deeply disappointed and 
saddened they are with the President's reprehensible conduct. He has 
disgraced himself and the office of the Presidency. Not only was his 
personal misconduct immoral, but I further believe his actions to cover 
up that personal behavior both publicly and in legal proceedings were 
wrong, significantly worsened the situation, and must be punished. I 
have no doubt that the President was deceitful, misleading, and in fact 
crossed the line between legal hairsplitting and lying. The question we 
face today is whether the President's wrongdoings warrant the ultimate 
constitutional remedy of impeachment and removal from office.
  Our founding fathers were clear that impeachment should not be used 
as a form of punishment. As summarized by the 1974 Staff Report for the 
Committee on the Judiciary, ``The purpose of impeachment is not 
personal punishment; its function is primarily to maintain 
constitutional government.'' Ultimately at stake are the collective 
rights of the public who elected this President, not the personal right 
of William Jefferson Clinton to continue to serve as President. For 
that reason, the removal of a sitting President from office should be 
reserved only for conduct so egregious as to threaten our system of 
government.
  Referring again to the report of the 1974 Committee, impeachment is 
warranted only to address misconduct which is ``seriously incompatible 
with either the Constitutional form and principles of our government or 
the proper performance of the Constitutional duties of the

[[Page H11954]]

Presidential office.'' In short, removing the President from office is 
a drastic remedy to be used only when the survival of our 
Constitutional form of government is at stake. In the case presented in 
the referral by the Office of Independent Counsel and the Judiciary 
Committee's majority staff, I do not believe that the President used 
the power of the presidency to engage in his misconduct and I do not 
believe any of his actions threatened the nation.
  While I do not agree with those who claim private actions can never 
warrant impeachment, I do believe that private misconduct must also 
rise to a level of severity which undermines the individual's ability 
to further discharge his or her duties as President of the United 
States. Even though I have concluded that the President has lied and 
deceived many with respect to his extramarital affair, I believe that 
as an individual Member of Congress, I still will be able to work with 
this President on the issues of importance to my constituents. I 
believe, as do most Americans, that the President still has the ability 
to govern. Since his conduct did not threaten the nation or undermine 
his ability to carry out his Presidential duties, I have decided to 
oppose impeachment.
  If impeachment is to be viewed as a way to save the country from the 
abuse or violation of the public trust, we must weigh the risks of 
action and inaction and the consequences of both for our country. The 
principal argument of those in favor of impeachment is that the 
President's actions, if left unaddressed, would undermine our rule of 
law. I agree that no individual, including the President of the United 
States, is above the law. Did the President lie? Yes, I believe he did. 
Did the President commit criminal perjury? That is a legal conclusion 
to be decided by a criminal court--a court which ultimately may find 
perjury in this case. However, impeachment should not be used in this 
instance simply to punish perjury. Instead, I believe holding the 
President accountable for his actions in a criminal court of law is the 
best way we can uphold the rule of law in our country. The President, 
upon leaving office, can and should be subject to criminal prosecution.

  Just as important to me are the consequences, for our country and 
future generations, of impeaching the President. I am gravely concerned 
that significantly lowering the standard for impeachment will lead to 
an increase in the frequency of impeachments, or at the very least the 
threat of impeachments, in the future. Our founding fathers, whose 
wisdom becomes clearer with each passing day, designed a means for 
removing the President which would be used in rare and extreme 
instances. If we are prepared to impeach the President for his efforts 
in this specific instance to hide this tawdry affair, I believe 
impeachment will become simply another weapon in the arsenal of 
partisan politics. This undoubtedly would have the effect of weakening 
the separation of powers that has made our national government so 
successful and enduring.
  From the onset, the trauma of this scandal has touched everyone 
involved. The President bringing immense disgrace upon his office, has 
justifiably suffered both public and private humiliation. Congress has 
been forced to spend months debating these allegations rather than 
addressing the challenges facing our country and the American public 
has been bombarded with the lewd and salacious details of the 
President's misconduct in newspapers, television broadcasts, and the 
Internet. The impeachment proceedings have been extremely partisan and 
have, in large part, only worsened the underlying harm to the country 
initially caused by the President's misconduct. that is why I join with 
those, including esteemed statesmen such as former President Ford and 
Senate Majority Leader Dole, who believe, rather than removing the 
President from office, a formal rebuke in a sharply worded censure 
resolution is be the best solution for this Constitutional dilemma.
  While I long ago gave up hope that something good could come out of 
this process, I believe a censure resolution is the most appropriate 
conclusion for the Congress and the country. The President will live 
forever with the political consequences of his actions and should face 
the criminal consequences upon leaving office. My decision to support 
censure in an effort to punish the President without further punishing 
the presidency or the country.
  Mr. TOWNS. Mr. Speaker, colleagues on both side of the aisle, today I 
rise in opposition to the Articles of Impeachment that have been 
forwarded to the House of Representatives by the Judiciary Committee. 
My opposition to these articles of impeachment do not constitute a 
minority view. My opposition reflects the overwhelming sentiment of the 
constituents in the 10th Congressional District, the overwhelming 
sentiment of the people in New York City, the overwhelming sentiment of 
the people in New York State and the overwhelming view of the American 
people. It represents the view of 400 of the leading historians and 430 
of the leading constitutional experts in this nation.
  My objections to the Articles of Impeachment are based on the 
partisan misinterpretation of the facts and the law. None of the 
articles of impeachment contain facts that remotely constitute a basis 
for criminal conduct. Article I alleges that the President committed 
perjury before the grand jury by providing ``perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony.'' Yet the Judiciary Committee failed to outline 
one perjurious statement which the President allegedly made. Article II 
alleges that the President provided ``perjurious, false and misleading 
testimony'' in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Yet the committee failed to 
acknowledge that this lawsuit was subsequently dismissed by a federal 
judge for having no legal merit whatsoever. Did the framers of the 
constitution intend that we impeach a sitting President for giving 
misleading testimony in a meritless lawsuit? Article III alleges that 
the President obstructed justice by persuading Ms. Lewinsky, Vernon 
Jordan, and Betty Currie to carry out various illegal acts on his 
behalf. The committee failed to acknowledge that Ms. Lewinsky, Vernon 
Jordan, and Betty Currie all testified that the President never 
encouraged them to perform * * * respond to written interrogatories 
prepared by the Judiciary Committee. Since the president responded, in 
exhaustive detail, to all 81 interrogatories, it is difficult to 
understand how his responses could be characterized as a refusal or 
failure to respond.
  But even if the Judiciary Committee were to establish that the 
president of the United States committed perjury in the civil 
deposition and before the grand jury, this would not constitute 
impeachable offenses as defined in the constitution. The impeachment of 
the President of the United States is perhaps the most awesome, solemn 
and formidable task that we will ever confront in our Congressional 
careers. It ought not to be based on contrived legal arguments or on 
narrow partisan interest. It is an extraordinary remedy that has been 
used only once in the constitutional history of this nation. Article 
II, Section IV of the constitution makes it clear that the 
extraordinary remedy of impeachment was to be sparingly used and 
restricted to ``treason, bribery, and other high crimes and 
misdemeanors.'' During the constitutional debates, it became clear that 
purpose of impeachment was not to redress personal wrongdoing or 
private criminal conduct, but only to redress attempts to subvert the 
constitution or the ``system of government.''
  It is transparently clear that these articles of impeachment do not 
involve private criminal conduct. It is also clear that they do not 
constitute an attempt to subvert the constitution or to overthrow the 
system of government. That is why 100 percent of the Democrats on the 
Judiciary Committee, 90 percent of my constituents, 61 percent of the 
American people, and the vast preponderance of the historians and 
constitutional experts in this nation oppose impeachment. If there is 
one thing that the impeachment debate reflects, it is the perils of 
``divided government.'' The tradition of electing a Democratic 
president and a Republican Congress has led to legislative paralysis 
and the weakening of the institution of the presidency. The Republicans 
on the Judiciary Committee are driving a runaway train that is leading 
this nation inexorably down a dark tunnel of impending national 
catastrophe. The American people will not easily forget this egregious 
abuse of power and will write their own Articles of Impeachment against 
the Republican majority in the next congressional elections in the year 
2000.
  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I have a low tolerance for people who 
don't tell the truth, most especially elected officials who take an 
oath of office to uphold the Constitution. Perjury, witness tampering, 
obstruction of justice and abuse of power are serious charges. To my 
mind, Congress has followed the process given to us under the 
Constitution to consider and deliberate these charges against President 
Clinton.
  It has been a painful process. I have shared with many constituents 
in New Jersey's 11th District, my personal resentment that Bill 
Clinton's actions have forced the Congress, and our entire country, to 
go through this ordeal for now, almost a year.
  Before us is a most difficult decision for each and every one of the 
435 Members who has the honor to serve in this House. For all the 
editorial opinions and pundits, for all the legal opinions and 
political pressure, we now have to cast perhaps the toughest and most 
important vote we will ever be asked to cast.
  Allow me to share an excerpt of a letter I wrote to my teenage 
daughter in October:

       Now that Congress will begin its own deliberations on the 
     charges against the President, I have to put aside my 
     personal views and evaluate the report and all documents in a 
     fair manner. I do not have the luxury of staying on the 
     sidelines as these matters are discussed. Public opinion 
     polls and mail are helpful, but a Member of Congress must 
     decide for himself or herself without merely putting a finger 
     up to test the wind.
       And the truth will guide my decision as Congress decides 
     what is the right thing to

[[Page H11955]]

     do in response to the President's actions. How I wish he had 
     told the truth at the start of this controversy because 
     chances are the nation would not be in this mess. 
     Consequently, the President has no one to blame but himself. 
     Like the oath he took to protect our Constitution when he 
     became our President, in court he took an oath to tell the 
     truth.

  Mr. Speaker, we have before us the evidence as presented by the 
Independent Counsel, the legal defense presented by the President, and 
the full proceedings and recommendations of the House Judiciary 
Committee, as well as the thoughts of so many constituents who feel 
strongly that their views should be reflected in the votes we cast.
  Having reviewed so much of the evidence, I believe it is now clear 
that the President violated both his oath of office and the oath he 
took to tell the truth.
  In doing so, Bill Clinton not only committed perjury, he violated the 
public's trust.
  I will, therefore, vote in favor of impeachment.
  While I know that some will disagree, and strongly so, with my 
decision, I have reached this decision after much thought, deliberation 
and soul searching. When this sad chapter in our history is closed, I 
will have voted the way I did because, as I have shared with my 
daughter, the truth still matters and always will. And finally, that a 
vote of conscience is always the right vote.
  Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, this Member commends to his colleagues an 
excellent editorial which appeared in the Omaha World-Herald, on 
December 13, 1998.

              [From the Omaha World-Herald, Dec. 13, 1998]

                        On the Impeachment Vote

       President William Jefferson Clinton stood Friday in the 
     Rose Garden of the White House, which is his residence, to be 
     sure, but which is also the symbol of American self-
     government and of all that is good about this great nation. 
     Finally dropping all his past poses, Clinton said he was 
     profoundly sorry for all he had done wrong ``in words and 
     deeds.''
       He said he was ready to accept Congress' rebuke and censure 
     if the American people and their representatives concluded 
     that his mistakes required it. He said nothing Congress could 
     do would compare to the agony of knowing he was responsible 
     for causing great pain for his family.
       His remarks sounded sincere. They didn't appear to have 
     been prepared by word-parsing lawyers. It was easy to feel 
     sorry for the president. He was an almost pitiful figure, at 
     age 52 a victim of his uncontrollable libido and a team of 
     attorneys who appeared to coach him how to thwart the 
     judicial system without crossing the line into perjury.
       Yet the president still could not bring himself to say the 
     words the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee longed 
     to hear--``I lied.'' He said he ``misled.'' He talked of his 
     ``wrongful conduct.''
       In a moment of remarkable irony, the president of the 
     United States--without acknowledging the source and maybe not 
     being aware of the source--even quoted from Edward 
     FitzGerald's translation of ``The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.'' 
     Omar, a Persian astronomer-poet of the 12th century, 
     concentrated on the idea that sensual pleasure might be the 
     sole aim of living.
       This long national nightmare began on Thanksgiving weekend 
     in 1995 when Clinton, then 49 years of age, and Monica 
     Lewinsky, a just barely 22-year-old intern, had sex in the 
     Oval Office on the first day they had ever spoken to one 
     another.
       She came to see him many more times. they had at least nine 
     more sexual assignations. They engaged in a certain sex act 
     that the president and his lawyers continue to insist is not 
     sex. They had phone sex 17 times. They exchanged gifts. 
     Monica gave Clinton 40. Yet Clinton, under oath, could barely 
     remember one or two.
       America didn't find out about that Thanksgiving 1995 sexual 
     encounter until January of this year, when Newsweek and The 
     Washington Post got wind of the president's on-and-off, two-
     year extramarital affair and his understandable but patently 
     illegal efforts to hide it from his wife, his daughter, Paula 
     Jones' lawyers and the American people.
       Now, after a week of historic drama to which American 
     seemed to be paying less than full attention, the House of 
     Representatives, for the second time in history, will vote on 
     articles of impeachment. The vote will come late this week 
     unless Democrats can convince enough Republicans to vote 
     first for a slap on the wrist that would signal to this 
     naughty President that what he did was ``reprehensible,'' the 
     Democrats' inadequate word for the shame Clinton has brought 
     to the highest office in the land. The Democratic Party 
     censure resolution does not mention lying under oath or 
     tampering with witnesses.
       Americans should not be angry at the Republican Party if 
     the House votes yes on impeachment. Clinton, not the 
     Republican Party, lied and obstructed justice and abused his 
     power. If the nation must be put through a trial, with 
     Lewinsky in the well of the Senate talking graphically about 
     sex and cigars, then, yes, that is awful. All the children 
     should be shielded from it.
       But if it happens it will not be the fault of the 
     Republicans. It will be the fault of Bill Clinton, the 
     reckless, foolish, arrogant boy who until Friday in the White 
     House Rose Garden had never fully grown up.
       He had sworn to God to tell the truth, the whole truth and 
     nothing but the truth. And then he didn't. If there is no 
     impeachment, Clinton will be the president whose legacy was 
     to cultivate the idea that presidents, unlike everybody else, 
     can lie under oath without severe penalty.
       Admittedly, the evidence of criminal acts by the President 
     of the United States has yet to be tested in court. It has 
     yet to be proven true beyond a reasonable doubt. But common 
     sense tells 90 percent of the Americans who are polled that 
     it is obvious the President has lied, at least to the nation 
     and probably under oath to a judge and the independent 
     counsel's grand jury.
       It is clear that the president coached Lewinsky to lie 
     about their affair, that he assisted in concealing evidence 
     that had been subpoenaed, that he got Lewinsky an attractive 
     job in New York City in exchange for her untruthful 
     testimony, that he allowed attorney Robert Bennett to make 
     false statements, that his inability to remember dozens of 
     important details was nothing more than taking the Fifth 
     Amendment and that he made false and misleading statements to 
     his staff, friends like Vernon Jordan and his Cabinet.
       If the Judiciary Committee had failed to recommend 
     impeachment, it would have implicitly condoned what Clinton 
     had done. If the committee had failed to recommend 
     impeachment, it would have put Clinton in position to claim 
     vindication. That would complete the process that began last 
     January after Clinton consulted Dick Morris and was told that 
     the American people would condone sexual misconduct but would 
     not condone lying to cover up an affair. ``Then we will have 
     to win,'' Clinton said.
       Rep. Greg Ganske, R-Iowa, speaking of why he will support 
     impeachment, said, ``The idea that Congress should simply 
     apply a `wrist-slap' censure is another effort to put the 
     president above the law.'' Ganske quoted the late Supreme 
     Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who said that ``if the 
     government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the 
     law.''
       Impeachment is the ultimate censure, Rep. Bill McCollum, R-
     Fla., has said, whether or not the Senate subsequently votes 
     to remove Clinton from office. (Indeed, as Sen. Orrin Hatch 
     has suggested, the Senate could convict but decide not to 
     remove Clinton from office.) History has all but forgotten 
     the handful of censure resolutions approved by Congress.
       Dictators and tyrants hold themselves above the law. 
     Presidents, for the most part, do not. Americans fought a 
     revolution to repudiate the divine right of the monarchy to 
     be a law unto itself. Now the defenders of Clinton argue that 
     he shouldn't be bound by laws that ordinary people must obey. 
     To give the presidency such a privilege would betray the 
     revolution. It would invest the presidency with a kingly 
     status that the Founders explicitly attempted to prevent.
       A failure to impeach would send to the armed forces the 
     message that the commander in chief cannot be held to the 
     standards of honor and personal integrity that are drilled 
     into all military people.
       A failure to impeach would undermine the current set of 
     sexual harassment laws and codes about appropriate conduct in 
     the workplace. Managers who were fired for trying to seduce 
     subordinates would challenge the rules. Clinton's legalistic 
     definition of sexual relations would be flung around as 
     justification for sexual contact short of intercourse. More 
     people would accept a right to obfuscate to prevent personal 
     embarrassment or inconvenience.
       Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, said that, as he voted with much 
     sadness for impeachment, he felt ``more emotion than I've 
     ever felt as a member of Congress.'' We understand. The 
     inclination to forgive is strong in the American people. They 
     know that, like their president, many people have flaws.
       This editorial page, too, would love to be able to forgive 
     the president. But our love for this great country is even 
     stronger than the impulse to forgive the president's 
     misbehavior.
       Mr. Clinton has hurt the country by his reckless behavior 
     and his lying under oath. Impeachment is the only 
     constitutional way to reaffirm the values, including the rule 
     of law, for which this great country stands. Our fingers 
     tremble as they pause over the keyboard and our heart is 
     heavy as we say: The House of Representatives should vote yes 
     on Impeachment Articles I, II, and IV.

  Mr. Speaker, this Member would ask his colleagues to consider 
carefully the following editorial from the December 16, 1998, edition 
of the Norfolk Daily News, entitled ``Republicans are not culprits 
here.''

              From the Norfolk Daily News, Dec. 16, 1998]

Republicans Are Not Culprits Here--Only One Man Is to Blame for Turmoil 
                    Facing the Nation--Bill Clinton

       We wonder whether some members of the Democratic Party 
     realize how ridiculous and lame they are sounding when they 
     spout dire warnings about the upcoming House of 
     Representatives vote on impeaching President Bill Clinton.
       If the president is impeached, they cry, House Republicans 
     will be invalidating the results of two national elections, 
     defying the will of the people and making a mockery of the 
     democratic process.

[[Page H11956]]

       Those arguments, however, don't hold water. Supporters of 
     the president would have much more credibility if they would 
     stick to arguing that the offenses committed by the president 
     do not, in their opinion, justify impeachment. Instead, they 
     keep throwing up these weak, peripheral claims.
       The Democratic supporters of President Clinton are correct 
     in the sense that a majority of U.S. citizens, in two 
     separate votes, elected the former Arkansas governor to be 
     president and then re-elected him. Does that mean, however, 
     that Bill Clinton--or any president for that matter--is 
     entitled to serve his full term in office, regardless of his 
     deeds or conduct while there? Of course not.
       History is full of examples where voters made decisions 
     they thought were correct at the time they were making them 
     only to be proven wrong later. The full range of President 
     Clinton's misconduct and what we believe to be impeachable 
     offenses were not known to voters when they first elected and 
     then re-elected him.
       Only now are voters realizing the kind of man they have 
     leading them.
       Some Clinton supporters are quick to point out, however, 
     that public opinion polls say that even though a majority of 
     Americans believe President Clinton lied under oath and 
     engaged in an abuse of power, they don't think he should be 
     impeached as a result.
       To that we say--with all due respect--so what? In our 
     opinion, it's an irrelevant point.
       That's because what the House of Representatives is dealing 
     with here is a president who has allegedly committed 
     impeachable acts. Public opinion doesn't hold sway in a court 
     of law, and it shouldn't be a factor here, either.
       Juries, whether in civil or criminal cases, have to make 
     decisions based on the facts presented to them and the laws 
     governing the case. They can't be affected by protesters 
     outside the courtroom's doors, media reports or anything 
     else. The same is true for members of the House.
       They must make the decision on whether to impeach the 
     president based on the facts--as best they can discern them--
     concerning President Clinton's conduct and the provisions in 
     the U.S. Constitution that govern impeachment.
       We, along with many others, have offered the opinion in the 
     past that President Clinton should resign from office. His 
     affair with Monica Lewinsky, which led to the conduct that 
     now is being considered by the House, is a blemish on the 
     grand stature of the presidency.
       His honesty and integrity is gone. His honor, too. When a 
     man or woman loses those things, there is nothing left to 
     stand on.
       Resigning from office would allow Mr. Clinton to leave the 
     White House with a measure of dignity and self-respect. By 
     doing so, he would be putting the best interests of the 
     United States ahead of his own, avoiding putting this nation 
     through the turmoil of an impeachment process and a Senate 
     trial.
       But if he declines to do so, then that is what must occur, 
     regardless of how damaging it might be to a nation's self-
     image or governing process. For when allegedly impeachable 
     acts have occurred, the law must be followed. It is a 
     hallmark of our nation.
       So, to those Clinton supporters who say that Republicans 
     are endangering the future of this nation by pursuing the 
     impeachment process, they are wrong. There is only one man 
     who has caused all of this. His name is Bill Clinton.

  Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, we as a body are called upon to perform one 
of the most significant duties we have as sworn defenders of the 
Constitution--to consider whether to impeach the President of the 
United States.
  I, for one, do not entertain this task lightly or with any joy 
despite my many political disagreements with Mr. Clinton. However, 
based on the investigation of the Independent Counsel, Mr. Starr, and 
the yeoman's work performed by Chairman Hyde and my colleagues on the 
Judiciary Committee, I have concluded that the four articles of 
impeachment are warranted. Mr. Clinton lied to the American people, 
lied to the courts, obstructed justice and abused the power of his 
office.
  During the discovery of these offenses committed by Mr. Clinton, I 
urged him to do the honorable thing and resign. Instead, he continued 
to deny his misdeeds and, in so doing, tarnished the office of the 
President. It is our duty to restore the luster to that office.
  Some have argued that this process is neither appropriate, because of 
partisanship, nor timely, because of the military situation with Iraq.
  The wise Framers of our Constitution, in seeking to diffuse power in 
the government, created the process by which the Chief Executive could 
be held accountable for violating his oath of office. Should the House 
vote to impeach the President, he will remain in office and in charge 
of the Armed Forces. The act of impeachment is to indict Mr. Clinton on 
the above charges and it is the duty of the U.S. Senate to determine 
the guilt or innocence of the President. Two-thirds of the Senate must 
agree before the President can be removed from office. This deliberate 
process is far from what our Democrat friends have described today as a 
Republican ``coup d'etat.''
  Furthermore, we are not judging the moral character of Mr. Clinton, 
we are holding him accountable for violating the laws the American 
people have entrusted him to enforce. History will judge us for what we 
do with these impeachment charges. The House must vote to approve these 
articles to maintain the integrity of our laws, indeed to preserve the 
integrity of our great nation.
  I urge my colleagues to look past their party affiliation to their 
conscience and vote for these articles of impeachment.
  Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Speaker, I am sure I am not alone today in wishing 
I was somewhere else, engaged in other pursuits. I take no pleasure in 
coming to the well today to outline my conclusions relating to the 
grave matter before us--the Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, 
President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
  Specifically, the House Judiciary Committee has recommended to the 
House four articles of impeachment: two counts of perjury; one count of 
obstruction of justice; and one count of abuse of power.
  After careful review of the Report of the Judiciary Committee on this 
matter, I have concluded that impeachment is warranted on all counts. 
Today or tomorrow, whenever the votes are taken, I will vote ``yes'' on 
all four counts.
  Article I--On August 17, 1998, the President swore to tell the truth, 
the whole truth and nothing but the truth before a federal grand jury 
of the United States. It is absolutely clear to me that contrary to 
that oath, President Clinton willfully gave perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony to that grand jury about the nature and details of 
his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
  Article II--On December 23, 1997, the President submitted sworn 
answers to written questions asked as part of the Jones lawsuit against 
him. It is absolutely clear to me that contrary to this oath, President 
Clinton willfully gave perjurious, false and misleading testimony in 
response to these questions concerning conduct and proposed conduct 
with subordinate employees.
  Article III--The evidence also is absolutely clear that President 
Clinton, using the powers of his office, engaged in personally and 
through his staff and agents, in a course of action designed to delay, 
impede, cover up and conceal the evidence and testimony related to the 
Jones lawsuit and the investigation by Independent Counsel Kenneth 
Starr. The evidence shows President Clinton encouraged a sworn 
affidavit to be executed that he knew to be false, misleading and 
perjurious; encouraged a witness to give false, misleading and 
perjurious testimony in the Jones lawsuit; engaged in and supported a 
scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in the Jones 
lawsuit; engaged in an effort to secure job assistance for Ms. 
Lewinsky, a witness against him in the Jones lawsuit to prevent 
truthful testimony of that witness; and, related a false and misleading 
account of events in the Jones lawsuit to a potential witness against 
him, his secretary, Betty Currie, in an attempt to influence her to 
give false testimony.
  Article IV--The evidence clearly shows the President abused his power 
by refusing to and failing to respond to written requests by the House 
Judiciary Committee and willfully made perjurious, false and misleading 
sworn statements in response to certain of these written requests.
  What this matter comes down to is really several simple questions. 
Did the President of the United States lie under oath? Did he use his 
office and the power of his office to obstruct justice? And, did he 
abuse the power of his office? The evidence, in my opinion, is 
compelling. That is why I must vote for all four Articles of 
Impeachment.
  We are a nation of laws, not of men. The law is for the most powerful 
and privileged in our society, as well as for the economically and 
socially disadvantaged. The President cannot be judged on a different 
standard than anyone else simply because he is the President. In fact, 
because he is the President, he is the chief law enforcement officer of 
this Nation, and is duty bound to uphold the law. Telling the truth 
under oath, the bedrock of our judicial system, is the very least we 
should be able to expect from our President.
  I want to thank all of the thousands of residents of the 10th 
district of North Carolina for taking the time to contact my office 
over the past few months. I know these votes I cast today will please 
some and disappoint others. All I can say is I came to these 
conclusions after careful study and review of the facts. I tried to 
stay open-minded and weigh the evidence carefully. I also refrained 
from making statements in the press and doing interviews on the matter, 
believing it better to wait to make a decision until the investigation 
was complete and the Judiciary Committee had made its determination. I 
do not make the decision lightly or for political reasons. Nor, do I 
make the decision based on the polls. The decision to support all four 
articles of impeachment is based on the facts. Sadly, the facts of this 
case warrant a ``yes'' vote to impeach.

[[Page H11957]]

  Mr. MILLER of Florida. Mr. Speaker, for the second time in my adult 
life, I have watched ``a long national nightmare'' unfold. I am as 
anxious for this to be over as I was for the Watergate saga to end. But 
that does not absolve me of my responsibility to do what I think is 
right. Given the importance of this vote and the thousands of letters, 
phone calls and e-mails I have received, I believe my constituents 
deserve an explanation of why I cast my vote for the impeachment of 
William Jefferson Clinton.
  Fifty years from now, what lesson do we want our school children to 
take from this tragic episode? I want them to learn the importance of 
always telling the truth. I want them to understand the consequences of 
lying. I don't want them to learn that you can yourself out of trouble 
by being ``clever.''
  Many have said that impeachment is not about punishing wrongdoing, 
but about protecting our system of constitutional government. I agree. 
Punishment is in the hands of President Clinton's family and God. But I 
believe the facts clearly show that William Jefferson Clinton 
deliberately sought to obstruct the judicial process in a civil rights 
case and committed deliberate and pervasive perjury before a federal 
grand jury and to the Congress. When the President of the United States 
treats our system of justice with such contempt and selfishness, he 
must be impeached.
  Opponents of impeachment argue that the crimes were minor, the facts 
are fuzzy and the definition of words and acts are subject to 
interpretation. That is true if--and only if--we are forced to ignore 
logic, common sense and context. Start with his deposition in the 
federal civil rights case, Jones versus Clinton. The President was 
asked if he had ever been alone with Ms. Lewinsky. He said he wasn't 
sure, but he didn't think so. He was asked if he had ever given her 
gifts. He said he didn't remember--despite giving and receiving over 40 
gifts. He was asked if he had ever called her. He said maybe a few 
times, but the facts show over 55 calls, which included intimate 
discussions. And when he was asked if Ms. Lewinsky's affidavit in which 
she denied any sexual relationship of any kind was true, the President 
responded, ``that is absolutely true.'' Logic and common sense tell us 
that he wasn't trying to be truthful, as he has claimed. He was 
deliberately, with malice and forethought, lying in a federal civil 
rights case.
  Now, put that deliberate lie in the context of his testimony before 
the Grand Jury. In that August 17th performance, the President 
repeatedly testified that his earlier testimony had been truthful, if 
not particularly helpful. That is a lie--and it is an obvious and 
deliberate lie when put into context. If you conclude, as I have, that 
he deliberately lied in his earlier civil rights testimony, then his 
grand jury testimony in which he claims he was being truthful but 
didn't understand certain definitions or wasn't paying attention, etc. 
are all lies as well. These execuses were made up after the fact for 
the specific purpose of denying that he had earlier committed perjury. 
I have concluded that the President of the United States went before a 
federal grand jury with the specific intent to commit perjury.
  He didn't get caught in a trap, he wasn't ill-served by his lawyers, 
the questions weren't subject to interpretation--the facts, logic and 
common sense show that William Jefferson Clinton's specific purpose in 
two depositions was to lie.
  I also believe the facts show that the President attempted to 
obstruct justice and to use the full power of the White House to 
destroy the reputation of Ms. Lewinsky. The facts are numerous, but let 
me cite a few. The day after he deliberately lied in the federal civil 
rights case he summoned his secretary, Betty Currie, to his office and 
went through a series of statements about his relationship with Ms. 
Lewinsky, each of which were complete falsehoods. According to Ms. 
Currie, the President was trying to get her to agree to these false 
statements. That is called witness tampering and it is a serious crime. 
The day before, in his testimony, he had repeatedly said ``you would 
have to ask Betty'' or ``Betty would know about that.'' Not only did he 
have reason to believe she would be called as a witness--he was 
attempting to get her called as a witness.
  About a week later he summoned his adie, Sydney Blumenthal, to his 
office and made up a story about how Ms. Lewinsky had come-on to him 
and that she was known as the ``stalker'' and had threatened to 
blackmail him unless he gave in to her propositions. A few days later, 
Ms. Lewinsky was described in several news stories by ``senior White 
House aides'' as a ``stalker'' and as unbalanced. The President was 
willing to use the power of the White House to destroy the reputation 
of a young woman with whom he had an intimate relationship. Not only is 
that despicable, it is an effort to reinforce the lies he made under 
oath.
  I believe those are the facts and very few of my colleagues have even 
attempted to dispute these facts. The question is whether this conduct 
rises to the level of ``high crimes and misdemeanors.'' I believe they 
do. Prior to his August 17 Grand Jury testimony, President Clinton was 
``on notice.'' The country and the Congress made clear to him that what 
we needed was the truth. Instead, the President deliberately, if 
perhaps cleverly, committed perjury. Given the brazen nature of this 
crime, President Clinton has shown contempt for the American people and 
for the Constitution which he is sworn to uphold.
  To protect the sanctity of our system, such a man should not hold the 
highest office in the land. With a heavy heart, I am compelled to vote 
for the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton.
  Mr. CLAY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the Republican 
majority's impeachment resolution because it constitutes nothing more 
than a highly partisan political attempt to further embarrass the 
President of the United States. I believe it is shameful that the 
majority is attempting to overturn the 1996 election of President 
Clinton by abusing the impeachment process. The real jury in this 
country--the American people--have already forcefully spoken on this 
matter. They want the Republican to find a responsible and appropriate 
punishment for the President's misconduct. Censure--the appropriate 
vehicle--has been denied this House. The obsessive and partisan $40 
million witch-hunt began years ago with Whitewater, coursed through 
Travelgate and Filegate, and has concluded with a referral of charges 
based primarily on actions much less than impeachable offense.
  Mr. Speaker, much has been made today about the sanctity of the 
``rule of law.'' May I, Sir, disagree with the reverence given this 
country's ``rule of law''? It was the ``rule of law,'' I point out, 
that enslaved my ancestors. It was the ``rule of law'' that 
disenfranchised women. It was the convoluted ``rule of law'' that 
permitted the lynching of hundreds of thousands of African Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, the Republican majority has relied solely on Ken Starr's 
referral to produce the four Articles of Impeachment. None of the 
allegations offered in support of the articles meet the required 
Constitutional standard of ``treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors.'' None involve a breach of the public's trust or a 
failure to properly perform official duties.
  The Judiciary Committee began its work in an unfair and biased 
manner. It should be no surprise to that it reached a flawed result. 
First, the Committee released thousands of pages of Grand Jury 
documents without providing the President a reasonable opportunity to 
review them. Second, the Committee did not call any witnesses to test 
the validity of the Independent Counsel's allegations. Third, the 
Committee Republicans drafted their impeachment articles before the 
President's lawyers had even completed presenting his defense.
  The American people want closure and compromise on this issue, not 
government gridlock and games. They want the Congress to devote its 
attention to matters of vital importance to America's future.
  Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Speaker, like most of my colleagues, I am acutely 
aware of the gravity of this situation, of this process, and of the 
potential consequences for the nation. I do not face it lightly or 
without serious thought and soul-searching. The decision on whether to 
impeach a President is a decision that few in our history have been 
called to make, and it is a decision that will reverberate for 
generations in our nation, its government, its ideals and values.
  The facts here are not seriously in dispute. The President lied under 
oath in two separate judicial proceedings. The President caused or 
encouraged others to lie, and he attempted to prevent evidence from 
coming to light. The President deceived Congress and the American 
people.
  His actions have rightfully been denounced across the country. The 
President's conduct has embarrassed him and his family, as well as our 
entire Nation. He has severely damaged the institution of the 
Presidency, particularly in its role of providing moral leadership for 
the Nation.
  Not all wrongful conduct by a President meets the standard for 
impeachment in the Constitution, however. The House is assigned the 
duty of determining whether a President should be impeached, and the 
Senate must then conduct a trail to determine whether the President 
will be convicted of the charges contained in the Articles of 
Impeachment.
  In considering the appropriate constitutional standards for the House 
vote on impeachment, I find it helpful to look back at a report 
produced by the Judiciary Committee in 1974 as the impeachment inquiry 
of President Nixon was about to begin. That report found that:

       Each of the thirteen American impeachments involved charges 
     of misconduct, incompatible with the official position of the 
     officeholder. This conduct falls into three broad categories: 
     (1) exceeding the constitutional bounds of the powers of the 
     office in derogation of the powers of another branch of 
     government; (2) behaving in a manner

[[Page H11958]]

     grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of 
     the office; and (3) employing the power of the office for an 
     improper purpose or for personal gain. [p. 17-18]
       Less than one-third of the eighty-three articles the House 
     has adopted have explicitly charged the violation of a 
     criminal statute or used the word ``criminal'' or ``crime'' 
     to describe the conduct alleged, and ten of the articles that 
     do were those involving the Tenure of Office Act in the 
     impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. . . . Much more 
     common in the articles are allegations that the officer has 
     violated his duties or his oath or seriously undermined 
     public confidence in his ability to perform his official 
     function. (emphasis added) [p. 21]
       It is useful to note three major presidential duties of 
     broad scope that are explicitly recited in the Constitution: 
     ``to take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,'' to 
     ``faithfully execute the Office of President of the United 
     States'' and to ``preserve, protect, and defend the 
     Constitution of the United States'' to the best of his 
     ability. The first is directly imposed by the Constitution; 
     the second and third are included in the constitutionally 
     prescribed oath that the President is required to take before 
     he enters upon the execution of this office and are, 
     therefore, also expressly imposed by the Constitution. [p. 
     27]
       (Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment, 
     Report by the Staff of the Impeachment Inquiry, Committee on 
     the Judiciary, House of Representatives, February 1974.)


               Lying Under Oath in a Judicial Proceeding

  Violating a criminal statute in itself may well be a sufficient basis 
for impeachment, and of course, lying under oath in a judicial 
proceeding is a crime. A President should not escape the consequences 
of his actions just because he is President. President Washington 
warned in his Farewell Address in 1796 that ``[t]he very idea of the 
power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes 
the duty of every individual to obey the established government.'' The 
rule of law is the basis for the fundamental rights of each American 
and requires that no one, including the President, be above the law.
  But in addition, I believe that a President who lies under oath in a 
judicial proceeding is subject to impeachment because such conduct 
undermines our legal system, violates the President's oath and his 
constitutional responsibilities, and seriously undermines public 
confidence in a President's ability to perform his official functions. 
There are three reasons for this.
  First, lying under oath in a judicial proceeding undermines the legal 
system of the United States because it attacks its most fundamental 
underpinning--the requirement of every individual to tell the truth. If 
the President can lie in a judicial proceeding without paying the 
consequences, it means either that the President is above the law or 
that no citizen need fear the consequences of not telling the truth. 
Neither can be permitted.
  Some say that other Presidents have not always told the truth and 
were not impeached. Assuming that past Presidents have lied, they have 
not done so while under oath in a judicial proceeding. By doing so 
here, President Clinton has undermined the American judicial system in 
a way that threatens the rights of every American citizen.
  Second, I believe that lying under oath in a judicial proceeding 
violates the President's oath ``to faithfully execute the Office of 
President of the United States.'' It also violates his duty ``to take 
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.'' Violating his oath of 
office and his constitutional duties certainly meets the constitutional 
standard of impeachment.
  Third, by lying under oath in a judicial proceeding, the President 
has violated the confidence and trust of the American people. Public 
trust and confidence are essential elements of the presidency. 
President Franklin Roosevelt said in one of his ``Fireside Chats'' on 
April 14, 1938, ``I never forget that I live in a house owned by all 
the American people and that I have been given their trust.'' Betrayal 
or abuse of that trust was exactly what the Framers believed would 
require impeachment. Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper 
Number 65 that impeachable offenses are ``those offenses which proceed 
from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse 
or violations of some public trust.'' (emphasis added)
  Trust in what a President says is uniquely important because of the 
awesome duties and responsibilities invested in one person, including 
his duties as Commander in Chief. President Clinton's lies and 
deceptions ``seriously undermine public confidence in his ability to 
perform his official function.'' As one of his former cabinet members, 
Robert Reich, wrote:

       The second offense is the public lie--not simply the fact 
     of it (presidents aren't always honest), but its passionate 
     intensity. . . .
       If he can so convincingly fake a lie, how can the public 
     believe anything else he says--including his current stream 
     of apologies? (Wall Street Journal, September 14, 1998.)

  Recent events involving Iraq highlight again the importance of public 
trust in the President.


                         Obstruction of Justice

  In addition to lying under oath, the President has used or attempted 
to use the power and influence of his office to shield himself from the 
political and legal consequences of his actions. He attempted to 
falsely shape the testimony of witnesses and to prevent evidence from 
being discovered. In so doing, he ``employ[ed] the power of the office 
for an improper purpose or for personal gain.''
  Thus, in comparing President Clinton's conduct with the standards of 
impeachment as articulated by the Framers, as well as by the Judiciary 
Committee in 1974, the President's conduct clearly meets or exceeds 
that standard required for impeachment.
  But even if the constitutional standard for impeachment is met, some 
argue that the House should exercise its discretion and look for some 
other remedy so as to not put the country through a trial in the 
Senate. A variety of arguments are used about how it is in the best 
interests of the nation not to subject the country and its institutions 
of government to a Senate trial.
  For example, some voice concern about a trial's effects on the 
economy. But as one writer has stated:

       The first responsibility of the [president] is not to 
     achieve growth of 2.5 percent but to ensure the legitimacy of 
     the system itself. In this fundamental task, Clinton has 
     clearly not only failed; he has deliberately broken his oath 
     of office. Clinton's attitude toward the law has not been how 
     he can best uphold it but how he can best evade it. His 
     attitude toward democratic political discourse has been not 
     how he can address the issues honestly but how he can best 
     dissemble, obfuscate, and lie. At some point, such a person 
     does not merely demean himself; he demeans and threatens the 
     entire system of government he is elected to defend. (Andrew 
     Sullivan, The New Republic, September 14, 1998.)

  In fact, it is this pattern of unlawful and reckless behavior, in 
which the nation's interests are secondary to this President's own 
selfish interests and desires, which establishes his betrayal of the 
public trust and mandates his removal.
  A newspaper editorial earlier this year states the heart of the 
matter:

       He should resign because he has resolutely failed--and 
     continues to fail--the most fundamental test of any 
     president: to put his nation's interests first. (USA Today, 
     September 14, 1998.)

  To me, Mr. Speaker, that is the essential truth from which we cannot 
escape. This President has violated the law; he has betrayed his oath 
and constitutional duty; he has undermined the legal system and the 
rule of law--all to promote his own selfish interests and desires, 
which he consistently puts ahead of the country's best interests.
  A number of our colleagues point out that opinion polls indicate most 
Americans do not favor removing the President from office. Even if one 
assumes that current polls accurately reflect popular opinion, 
pollsters have not yet claimed to speak for future generations.
  I believe such matters cannot be decided by polls. I also believe 
that the nation is strong and will remain strong so long as we try to 
stay true to the values which built this nation. If we were to abandon 
those values because of unpleasant facts or an uncomfortable process, 
we would break the tether which binds us to the strength of the past.
  We have to try to do the right thing on the question before us--
wherever that may lead--to affirm the principles and values that make 
America unique in the history of the world and that give us our only 
chance to remain the light of the world into the 21st century.
  We affirm the principles of our legal system and the values of truth, 
equal justice, and the rule of law by voting to impeach William 
Jefferson Clinton.
  Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, for months I have been troubled by the matter 
of the President. I wish more than anything that we were not here at 
this moment in our Nation's history poised to vote on the articles of 
impeachment as reported by the House Judiciary Committee. I regret that 
this vote was not averted both for the sake of the Office of the 
Presidency and the American people. But this matter has moved through 
its consitutionally mandated process and we must vote according to our 
conscience and to our sworn duty as representatives in the Congress.
  I am aware of the public opinion polls and the snapshots in time 
those surveys report which show people are generally content and would 
rather not upset the apple cart. Had political opinion polls been the 
guiding principle on other important matters before our nation, such as 
women's suffrage and desegregation how long would it have taken for 
elected officials to have done the right thing? We cannot be led by the 
current polling data. There comes a time when leaders must lead, no 
matter what the political fallout.
  I am aware the Republican majority party could pay a price for doing 
what I believe is the right thing and protecting the rule of law.

[[Page H11959]]

A vote for impeachment in the House to send this matter to the Senate 
for final resolution, I believe, is the right thing for this country.
  On February 5, 1998, I made the following statement regarding the 
President:

                           A Matter of Truth

 (Special order statement by Representative Frank R. Wolf of Virginia, 
                           February 5, 1998)

       Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to speak on 
     what has been happening in this country lately. It's not 
     about impeachment of the President. Or prosecution of the 
     President. It's what's been on my mind and on my conscience.
       For all the clamor in the press and on radio and TV about 
     allegations swirling around the President, there has been a 
     blanket of silence on the part of too many who ought to 
     provide commentary on the moral tone of this country.
       And I am not sure why. Perhaps there is a ``don't rock the 
     boat'' feeling. Times are good and let's just sweep this 
     under the rug and not focus on the moral aspect of this. 
     Perhaps the talk of impeachment and prosecution got out there 
     too early and preempted those who might have felt obligated 
     to comment on the moral issue and its impact on leadership of 
     the country.
       Their reluctance was not evident in earlier cases. The 
     young woman who flew Air Force B-52s, the military general 
     passed over for chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the tail-hook 
     scandal which touched a number of senior Navy officials, 
     charges against a former Senator who resigned, a Supreme 
     Court nominee, a Presidential candidate and others brought a 
     tidal wave of comment from every corner of America.
       In America, a person is innocent until proven guilty. But 
     we are not talking about a court of law. We are talking about 
     right and wrong. We must give the President the benefit of 
     the doubt. But let's not say these things don't matter. 
     Because they do. They are at the very heart of honor, 
     integrity, character and leadership.
       What a person does in private affects the type of person he 
     or she is in public. And a leader has an obligation to take 
     responsibility for his or her actions and not try to explain 
     them away or blame others.
       If indeed we have lost the capacity to distinguish vice 
     from virtue, if we believe that private behavior has no 
     public consequences, if we believe that our nation's leaders 
     do not have to be good and moral and righteous men and women 
     who live by the truth, then we have abandoned the very 
     heritage of this nation.
       I believe America ought to expect more from its leaders and 
     I think most agree. If, as has been the case for ages, kids 
     want to grow up to be President of the United States, then, 
     like it or not, the person holding that title has a 
     special responsibility and we have every right to hold him 
     or her accountable to that duty. Saying Americans don't 
     care just doesn't wash with me.
       Truth is something we have always honored in this country. 
     We teach our children from an early age to be truthful. 
     George Washington's birthday is coming soon, and we have long 
     told the story about his admitting to cutting down the cherry 
     tree--``I cannot tell a lie.''
       When any President takes office there is an implied promise 
     that he or she will level with the people, that he or she 
     will be honest with them. A solemn bond of trust has always 
     existed between the President and the people. And it must 
     always be this way.
       Every President has an obligation to tell the whole truth. 
     If Richard Nixon had told the whole truth and asked the 
     people for forgiveness, I believe he would have been 
     forgiven.
       Today there is a pall of doubt over the presidency. Not 
     being forthcoming with whatever the truth may be leaves doubt 
     about the bond of trust between the President and the people 
     and keeps open the question of fitness to serve in high 
     office.
       The only way America can put this behind us once and for 
     all is to be assured that when the President speaks, he is 
     telling the truth. I hope this President can give this 
     assurance. If President Clinton tells the American people the 
     whole truth and needs forgiveness, I believe he will be 
     forgiven.
       All of us err and make mistakes, including me. No one is 
     perfect. But for forgiveness and healing to take place there 
     first must be confession and truth. Then we can move on. 
     Thank you.

  On August 17, President Clinton belatedly addressed the nation 
admitting to an ``improper relationship.'' On September 9, the Office 
of Independent Counsel (OIC) referred to the House of Representatives a 
report outlining 11 charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, witness 
tampering and abuse of power in what the OIC called ``substantial and 
credible information that President Clinton committed acts that may 
constitute grounds for an impeachment.'' On September 15, after review 
and consideration of the OIC report, I made the following statement 
calling on President Clinton to resign for the sake of his family and 
the Nation:

                     On the Matter of the President

 (Statement by Representative Frank R. Wolf of Virginia, September 15, 
                                 1998)

       It was seven months ago when I stood on the House floor and 
     stated that if President Clinton would tell the American 
     people the whole truth and ask for their forgiveness, then I 
     believed that he would and should be forgiven and allowed to 
     continue in office. Unfortunately, in the ensuing months, the 
     President instead chose a campaign of deception, cover-up, 
     and counterattacks in a relentless push for self-
     preservation.
       He has let the American people down in a grievous manner. 
     He has abused the power of the Office of the Presidency. I 
     believe he has lost the ability to be an effective and 
     credible leader of our country.
       When he had the chance early on, he failed to apologize and 
     accept responsibility for his actions. He has only recently 
     acknowledged his misconduct and his misleading of the 
     American people and he has now apologized, when perhaps faced 
     with no other choice. Should we forgive him? I believe yes, 
     on a personal level, as a human being, we understand his 
     personal embarrassment and should accept his apologies and 
     forgive him. We all make mistakes. none of us is perfect.
       As disappointing as the President's behavior in the Oval 
     Office has been, however, this is not just bout his personal 
     indiscretions. It is about the bond of honor and trust 
     between the President and the people. The President has 
     betrayed that trust. I believe the President's moral 
     authority, personal credibility and integrity have been 
     irreparably damaged.
       President Clinton has said that this is a private matter to 
     be dealt with by his family. But he himself brought it beyond 
     that at the moment he lied in a sworn deposition and again 
     before a federal grand jury.
       There must be accountability for his violation of the 
     solemn trust the American people have placed in him. Actions 
     have consequences. The President's abuse of the trust placed 
     in the highest office in this land has damaged his 
     credibility to lead. The President's word should be his bond, 
     but we now see that it has not been. Instead, we have to 
     analyze and parse and dissect each of his words to ensure 
     that we are not being duped.
       We see his well-paid lawyers trying to redefine morality, 
     twisting words and phrases to have different meanings. What 
     does this do to our judicial system, to our society? What 
     message does this send to our young people? Much in the 
     fabric of our society depends on people telling the truth, 
     or a common understanding of wrongdoing.
       Character does matter. The President is not a mere policy 
     technician. He is the emblem of all that our country stands 
     for. He is our representative to the world. He is the 
     preeminent role model. Nations and governments around the 
     world depend upon the veracity of his word and his character 
     to make major decisions. In Luke 12:48 we are told that ``to 
     whom much has been given, much will be demanded; and from the 
     one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be 
     asked.'' Our presidents are entrusted with much and our 
     expectations of them as leaders are high. Truth matters in 
     both public and private life.
       In his televised address to the nation on August 17, the 
     President expressed concern that too many people have been 
     hurt by this unfortunate episode. As this process continues, 
     how many more people will be hurt? How many more lives 
     shattered? The impeachment process will be long and drawn out 
     over months, possibly not concluding until early next summer. 
     My fear is that it will divide the country. It also will 
     divert the attention of the nation away from important 
     domestic and foreign policy matters. Our leadership--the 
     White House and the Congress--will be tied up, debilitated at 
     a time of serious problems in the world. From a world view, 
     we face dangerous times. Russia, Asia and Latin America are 
     in economic crisis. India and Pakistan are testing nuclear 
     weapons. The threat of terrorism is increasing. There is 
     instability still in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, in Bosnia, 
     North Korea, and elsewhere. We need to pay attention to 
     keeping our own economy strong.
       We wish that this whole matter had not taken place. But it 
     did, by the President's own admission. This resulted in 
     deceiving the American people, the President's family, his 
     Cabinet and the White House staff. Now the investigation has 
     brought charges by the Office of Independent Counsel of 
     perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of constitutional 
     authority which have begun the congressional inquiry process 
     for impeachment. And, the OIC's work is not over and could 
     continue for a long time. As long as this investigation goes 
     on, the country is basically stalled, with the President's 
     attention diverted, and that's dangerous not only for our 
     country, but for the world.
       Therefore, painful though it is, I believe the time has 
     come for the President to resign. It's time he put aside his 
     own interests and do what's best for America and its 
     interests. He and his administration have had successes and 
     accomplishments. But in the time ahead, this President will 
     be handcuffed to a matter of his own making, a matter from 
     which the only escape for him and our country is 
     his resignation. Though we should and do personally 
     forgive him, we cannot undo or deny the irreparable damage 
     that his conduct has brought upon his ability to serve as 
     President.
       Resignation is the honorable thing to do. I believe that 
     the President's resignation can be an act of nobility on his 
     part. I further believe that this President will have the 
     opportunity to make significant contributions to our country 
     in the future as a private citizen. But now, I urge the 
     President to do the right thing for his family and his 
     country and resign the Office of the Presidency and bring 
     this saga to an end.

  Today, I am convinced the President lied under oath and obstructed 
justice. On June

[[Page H11960]]

30, 1994, upon signing into law the current Independent Counsel 
statute, President Clinton said, ``It ensures that no matter what party 
controls the Congress or the executive branch, an independent, 
nonpartisan process will be in place to guarantee the integrity of 
public officials and ensure that no one is above the law.''
  President Clinton is the highest law enforcement official in our 
nation. He must be held to a higher standard of integrity, not a lesser 
standard. We live in a society governed by the rule of law, not by man.
  I was one of only eight House Republican members to vote not to seat 
Representative Gingrich as Speaker for the 105th Congress until 
completion of the then pending ethics committee report. It was a 
difficult vote and it angered many in my own party. My vote then was a 
vote of conscience, as is my vote today.
  President Clinton had it right in 1994: ``. . . no one is above the 
law.'' President Clinton, the highest ranking law enforcement official 
in our Nation, has shown contempt for the law and must be held 
accountable. The matter before this body is clear. It is about the 
integrity of the rule of law, it is about telling the truth, it is 
about our Nation's basic judicial principles, our founding principles 
of democracy, and upholding the trust and respect of the Office of the 
Presidency.
  Mr. MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, as a result of recent surgery 
and because of the potential health risks of air travel at this time in 
my recuperation, I am greatly disappointed that I am unable to attend 
the session of the House of Representatives today as we consider one of 
the most serious actions we can take under the Constitution: not simply 
the removal of the President from office, but overturning the decision 
of the American people in twice electing him to that office. I urge my 
colleagues to vote against impeachment, and I would so vote were I able 
to be present in the chamber today.
  The partisan resolutions presented to the House by the Judiciary 
Committee are an affront to the American electorate and a repudiation 
of the Constitution. They trivialize the awesome act of impeachment. 
They mis-state both the law and the historical precedent. And they will 
inaugurate a season of recrimination, divisiveness and partisanship 
that will taint this House and this nation unnecessarily.
  No one in this Chamber, or in this nation, disputes that the 
President was terribly wrong in his actions. No one disputes that he 
was far less than candid in his statements in the Jones deposition, 
before the Grand Jury, and particularly, to the American people. No one 
disagrees that strong action by this House is justified to convey our 
disapproval, and that of the American people, with the manner in which 
the President has conducted himself in this scandal.
  But those are not the questions before the House today. The question 
is whether or not those actions warrant his impeachment and his removal 
from office. And the answer is ``no.''
  While the majority of Americans are justifiable disappointed in the 
President, as am I, they have registered their views loudly and clearly 
that the President should not be removed from office. I have had the 
advantage, or disadvantage, of being in bed, recovering from surgery, 
these past two weeks, and I have used that opportunity to listen to 
Americans on television and radio from all over this country. They do 
not approve of what we are being forced to vote on today. Constituents 
who have contacted my office from the 7th district of California by 
phone, fax and e-mail over the past two weeks have overwhelmingly 
stated their opposition to impeaching the President over this matter. 
And they are correct.
  Impeachment was intended by the framers of the Constitution--and has 
been treated by every Congress since 1789 with one single, disreputable 
exception 130 years ago--as an extraordinary means of removing a 
president whose use of his Executive Authority poses an imminent threat 
to our constitutional form of government. Whatever you thing of Bill 
Clinton and the Lewinsky scandal, providing false or misleading 
testimony in a resolved civil suit does not rise to the constitutional 
standard of ``high crimes and misdemeanors.'' Nor does giving evasive 
answers to the Congress. We can object to such behavior; we should 
condemn such behavior. But Mr. Clinton's action in no way threatens 
either the institutions of our government or the Constitution.
  If we proceed in voting impeachment for misleading a Grand Jury about 
private behavior that has nothing to do with the exercise of 
presidential power, then this House must be prepared for the 
impeachment bar to be moved with impunity and recklessness in the 
future. Misrepresenting, or lying, or twisting the truth--none of them 
are acceptable behaviors by public officials, even when they involve 
private behaviors. But as we tragically know, deception is not 
unfamiliar in the corridors of the Capitol either. Let us exercise 
great caution in what we approve as a new standard for removing federal 
officials from office, because this House and this Congress could 
become ugly and bitter institutions.
  I urge the Republican leadership of this House to reconsider its 
unwise and partisan Rule that bars Members from having the opportunity 
to vote for a censure resolution in lieu of impeachment. The 
Republicans' argument that censure is prohibited by the Constitution is 
absurd. The House can pass a Resolution, or a Joint Resolution with the 
Senate, expressing its view on any subject, as we do with great 
frequency on subjects from the trivial to the deadly serious.
  There is absolutely no reason under the Constitution or the House 
Rules why a strong censure resolution, as has been proposed, should not 
be subject to debate and consideration by the House, especially since 
it is very possible that a bipartisan majority prefers censure to 
impeachment, as do the people of the United States.
  But the Republican leadership will not permit an open debate. They 
only want to allow debate on the inflammatory and legally dubious 
resolutions reported on a strictly partisan vote from the Judiciary 
Committee. And we know why. Because the extremist element in the 
Republican Part which has been trying for six years to force a popular, 
elected president from office by alleging scandal after unproven 
scandal--from Vincent Foster's alleged ``murder'' to Whitewater--is 
frustrated because those extremists have been unable to make any of the 
charges stick. In fact, Kenneth Starr's report never even accuses the 
President of perjury, and yet that is the basis for the most serious of 
the allegations contained in the impeachment resolutions.
  And so, even at this late hour, I call upon the Republican leadership 
to step back and let this House freely consider a variety of sanctions 
against the President for his reckless and unacceptable conduct. I urge 
you: do not cheapen the constitutional test for impeachment. Do not 
abuse the Constitution to overturn a national election. And do not 
ignore the will of the voters who have elected their President and 
continue to send an unmistakable message that they do not want their 
representatives, at the end of the year, in the last moments of a lame 
duck Congress, to take this historic and fearsome action that truly 
will injure our Constitution and our democracy for years to come.
  Mr. BROWN of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to 
House Resolution 611, Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, 
President of the United States.
  This is the second time in my congressional career that I have been 
in the position to ponder the removal from office of a duly elected 
president. After 1974, it was a decision I hoped never to be faced with 
again. Next to declarations of war, impeachment is the most grave duty 
Congress is charged with. Overturning a presidential election, the very 
foundation of our system of popular government, is not something that 
should be done on a partisan basis. Impeachment may be a political 
process, but it is our opportunity to exhibit the depth of fairness and 
justice this body should possess, not single minded partisan 
determination.
  Like most of my colleagues, I have openly expressed my condemnation 
of President Clinton's inappropriate and immoral behavior. I have 
agreed that he should face punishment for his actions and I do believe 
that he should take responsibility for the disgrace he has caused 
himself and the turmoil he has caused this nation.
  However, the question each member of Congress is faced with today is 
what level of punishment is appropriate. I agree with my Democratic 
colleagues on the Judiciary Committee that there is a vital and 
distinct difference between punishment and impeachment. Impeachment is 
intended for great and serious offenses against our constitutional 
system of government. It is not intended to be a punishment for 
personal misconduct not related to the presidential office.
  The conduct alleged against President Clinton does not rise to the 
level of impeachment. It is not necessary to remove Clinton from office 
to protect our nation and I do not support lowering the high standard 
of impeachment. I am gravely disappointed that the Majority has denied 
this, the People's House the opportunity for a straight vote on 
censure, the option the majority of the very people we represent 
support. In blatantly disregarding the views of the American people, 
this body has illegitimized itself.
  I plan to vote in the manner I believe is best for our country. I 
will vote against the impeachment resolutions, I will watch as our 
constitutional system undergoes its greatest test, and I will hope that 
at the very least, future Congresses will learn from what we do today.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, today the United States House of 
Representatives begins debate on Articles of Impeachment of President 
William Jefferson Clinton. This is the first time in over 130 years 
that the House of

[[Page H11961]]

Representatives has performed its solemn duty of determining whether a 
sitting President should be impeached.
  Article II, Section 4 of our Constitution reads: ``The President, 
Vice President and all civil officers of the United States shall be 
removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of treason, 
bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.''
  The President has been charged with committing ``high crimes and 
misdemeanors.'' Specifically: perjury in testimony before a federal 
grand jury; perjury in a Federal civil rights suit in which he was the 
defendant; obstruction of justice; and abuse of power.
  The President's attorneys argue that he has not committed high crimes 
and misdemeanors.
  Legal scholars and English Parliamentary law make it perfectly clear 
that the phrase ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' includes not only 
crimes for which an indictment may be brought, but also grave political 
offenses, corruption, maladministration or neglect of duty involving 
moral turpitude, and arbitrary and oppressive conduct none of which 
need constitute a crime.
  A majority of legal scholars agree that noncriminal misconduct may be 
impeachable. In fact, every impeachment case presented to the United 
States Senate before 1973 included articles charging offenses that are 
not criminally indictable.
  In addition, to be impeachable, the misconduct must threaten grave 
harm to the country.
  President Clinton's alleged behavior constitutes an assault on the 
truth-finding mechanism of our judicial system. For example, perjury is 
a crime because our judicial system cannot work unless citizens tell 
the truth when testifying in judicial proceedings.
  Articles of Impeachment I and II charge President Clinton with 
committing perjury. On August 17, 1998, President Clinton testified 
under oath before a Federal grand jury. He is charged with committing 
perjury in his answers to eight questions. On January 17, 1998, 
President Clinton testified under oath in his deposition in the Jones 
versus Clinton case. He is charged with committing perjury in his 
answers to 10 questions.
  The President's legal team and other supporters claim that the first 
two articles involve nothing more than the President's private sex 
life. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is clear and 
convincing evidence that the President lied under oath in the civil 
case filed against him by Paula Jones because he did not want to lose 
the case and be required to pay her monetary damages. There is clear 
and convincing evidence that the President committed perjury when 
testifying before the Federal grand jury because he did not want to be 
indicted for perjury in the Jones case. It should be noted that despite 
all of his efforts, he eventually agreed to pay $700,000 to settle the 
case.
  The President's defense to the perjury allegations is limited to only 
one aspect of his testimony, i.e. whether he had sexual relations with 
Monica Lewinsky. He basically ignores the perjury claims premised on 
his denial of being alone with Ms. Lewinsky, his denial of any 
involvement in obtaining a job for her, his falsely minimizing the 
number of occasions on which he had encounters with her, and his lies 
regarding gifts they exchanged.
  The President and his lawyers assert that he did not commit perjury 
when he testified that he did not have sexual relations with Ms. 
Lewinsky, because he did not believe oral sex meant sexual relations.
  Perjury is judged by an objective standard, i.e. what would a 
reasonable person understand the term to mean under the circumstances. 
A reasonable person would clearly believe that oral sex is a sexual 
relation.
  The President's defenders assert that his relationship with Ms. 
Lewinsky is his private business and he should not be subject to 
impeachment even if he did commit perjury. If the Congress adopted that 
position, it would be establishing two different legal systems. One for 
the President and another for everyone else.
  Since Bill Clinton has been President, the United States Department 
of Justice has prosecuted and convicted more than 400 persons for 
perjury.
  Here are the facts of a few cases:
  1. A Veterans Administration psychiatrist was convicted of perjury 
for lying in a civil suit about a sexual relationship she had with a 
patient. The psychiatrist was sentenced to six months in jail and lost 
her professional license.
  2. A Texas judge was convicted of perjury for declaring he had used 
political contributions to buy flowers for his staff when, in fact, the 
flowers were for his wife.
  3. A Florida postal supervisor is in prison for denying in a civil 
deposition that she had sexual relations with a subordinate.
  4. The former women's basketball coach at the University of South 
Carolina went to prison after she was convicted of committing perjury 
relating to a sexual relationship with one of her players.
  The President should not be immune from laws designed to protect the 
integrity of our judicial system. For these reasons, I will vote in 
favor of Articles I and II.
  Article III charges the President with Obstruction of Justice. 
Specifically:
  1. He is charged with encouraging Monica Lewinsky to file a sworn 
affidavit in the Jones case that he knew would be false.
  2. He encouraged Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath if called 
personally to testify in the Jones versus Clinton case.
  3. He told lies to White House aides who he knew would likely be 
called as witnesses before the Federal grand jury investigating his 
misconduct. the aides repeated the assertions to the grand jury, 
causing the grand jury to receive false information.
  4. He engaged in a plan to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed 
in a federal civil rights action brought against him.
  5. He corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and misleading 
statements to a Federal Judge in an affidavit in order to prevent 
questioning deemed relevant by the judge. Such false and misleading 
statements were subsequently acknowledged by his attorney in a 
communication to that judge.
  6. He related a false and misleading account of events relevant to a 
Federal civil rights action brought against him to a potential witness 
in that proceeding, in order to corruptly influence the testimony of 
that witness.
  The term obstruction of justice usually refers to a violation of 18 
U.S.C. Sec. 1503 which contains a catchall clause making it unlawful to 
influence, obstruct, or impede the due administration of justice. It 
may also refer to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1512, which proscribes intimidating, 
threatening or corruptly persuading through deceptive conduct, a person 
in connection with an official proceeding.
  During his deposition on January 17, 1998, in the Jones case, 
President Clinton frequently referred to his secretary, Betty Currie, 
as someone who could verify his testimony as it related particularly to 
Monica Lewinsky. At the deposition, Judge Wright imposed a protective 
order that directed the parties, including President Clinton, to 
refrain from discussing their testimony with anyone.
  The next morning, a Sunday, President Clinton met with Betty Currie 
at the White House because it was foreseeable that she might be called 
as a witness in the Jones case. He told her about his testimony at the 
deposition and reviewed it in detail. She subsequently testified to the 
Federal grand jury that the President wanted her to agree with his 
testimony if she was called to testify.
  The Betty Currie episode is one of the key points in this article. 
However, there are additional facts and evidence that provide 
convincing proof that the President did obstruct justice. I will vote 
in favor of Article III.
  Article IV charges President Clinton with abuse of power. This 
article relates to the President's evasive answers to a list of 81 
questions submitted to the Judiciary Committee.
  From my analysis of this charge, the primary allegation is based on 
the President's use of executive privilege and his evasive answers to 
81 questions submitted to him by the Judiciary Committee. Although I 
believe from the evidence that the President was less than forthcoming 
in his answers and may have been aggressive in his assertion of 
executive privilege, I do not believe he abused his power. I will vote 
against Article IV.
  Mr. DOOLEY. Mr. Speaker, like most Americans, I believe the 
President's behavior was irresponsible, inappropriate, and deeply 
disappointing. But, like most Americans, I have concluded that his 
actions do not rise to standard of impeachment established by the 
Framers of our Constitution.
  Make no mistake. The President is not above the law. He can be sued 
in criminal or civil proceedings for his actions in this matter when he 
leaves office. But as Members of Congress, we have a unique 
responsibility, and must adhere to the standards set forth by our 
founding fathers. Our founding fathers intended for impeachment to be a 
drastic remedy when the President has committed ``great and dangerous 
offenses'' against the nation.
  Make no mistake. The President's behavior was wrong. But impeachment 
was never intended to punish the President for wrongdoing. Impeachment 
was intended to remove a President from office when his or her actions 
imperil the future of our nation. Impeachment was intended for a 
President who commits `treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors' against the nation. Congress should not lower the 
standard of impeachment, and reverse the will of the electorate merely 
as a means to express displeasure with the President's behavior.
  Against the wisdom of nearly nine hundred constitutional scholars, 
the majority has chosen to proceed with a bitterly partisan attempt to 
impeach the President. Against more than

[[Page H11962]]

two hundred years of constitutional and historical precedent, the 
majority has chosen to proceed with a bitterly partisan attempt to 
impeach the President. And against the overwhelming sentiment of the 
American people, the majority party has chosen to proceed with a 
bitterly partisan attempt to impeach the President.
  Rightly, our founding fathers established a high standard for 
impeachment. Our founding fathers would view our action today as 
maligning their intent, and as an action that upsets the careful 
balance of power between the executive and legislative branches. We 
cannot afford to set this dangerous, misguided precedent, and 
irrevocably erode the standard for impeachment.
  Mr. LINDER. Mr. Speaker, serious charges have been made against 
President Bill Clinton, and I have stated that I believe resignation 
would be the best course of action. Not one of us wants to be here 
talking about perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power. This 
House is, however, carrying out its sworn duty as the representative 
branch of our Government to ensure that the president does not use the 
great powers at his disposal to undermine justice.
  For centuries, people have agreed to compacts, covenants and 
constitutions to form a government and be bound by its rules. We, the 
people of the United States, agreed as a whole to obey the laws that 
hold our Nation together and apply these laws to every American 
equally. We cannot decide to apply these laws selectively. President 
Clinton took an oath to faithfully defend the laws of our Nation, and 
no one man can be permitted to decide which laws can be broken or which 
lies he decides are acceptable under oath.
  In this case, the one man is the President of the United States--the 
top law enforcement officer in America--and this president violated the 
laws of the United States. I am gravely distressed about the 
significance of his actions on our constitutional system and the 
functioning of our Government in the future.
  The rule of law in this Nation must be equal and impartial for all 
Americans--rich and poor, weak and strong. We cannot allow people to 
think of our laws as a tool of the powerful in our society.
  For those who believe that the crimes of this president do not rise 
to the level of impeachable offenses, I would refer them to the 
writings of Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers. Hamilton 
stated that the subject of impeachment arises ``from the abuse or 
violation of some public trust'' and that impeachable offenses occur 
when this misconduct produces ``injuries done immediately to the 
society itself.'' In our republic, the executive cannot observe or 
disregard laws at his discretion, and President Clinton's disregard for 
the rule of law under oath undermines our society's trust in the 
American form of Government.
  Under our sworn duty to protect the Constitution and the laws of the 
United States, it is our obligation to move forward with articles of 
impeachment against President Clinton. I believe the President 
committed offenses against the Constitution and the rule of law, and I 
will vote for the Articles of Impeachment prepared by the House 
Judiciary Committee.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, with a commitment to the principles of 
the rule of law which makes this country the beacon of hope throughout 
the world, I cast my vote in favor of the four counts of impeachment of 
the conduct of the President of the United States. As a Representative 
in Congress, I can do no less in fulfilling my responsibility to the 
Constitution and to all who have preceded me in defending the 
Constitution from erosions of the rule of law.
  Each of the impeachment counts concerns the public conduct of the 
President, including allegations of lying under oath in grand jury and 
civil judicial proceedings, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power. 
The supporting evidence is clearly sufficient to warrant impeachment. 
The Constitution, the rule of law, and truth should be our only guides.
  These allegations of lying under oath, obstruction of justice, and 
abuse of presidential power are not about private conduct, but instead 
about public conduct in our courts of law and in exercising 
presidential responsibilities. Public duties and public power are 
involved--and therefore the matters are of the greatest public concern 
when those public duties are violated and those public powers are 
abused.
  Our courts of law and our legal system are the bedrock of our 
democracy and of our system of individual rights. Lying under oath in a 
legal proceeding (whether criminal or civil in nature) and obstruction 
of justice undermines the rights of all citizens, who must rely upon 
the courts to protect their rights. If lying under oath in our courts 
and obstruction are ignored of classified as ``minor'', then we have 
jeopardized the rights of everyone who seek redress in our courts. 
Lying under oath is an ancient crime of great weight because it shields 
other offenses, blocking the light of truth in human rights. It is a 
dagger in the heart of our legal system and our democracy; it cannot 
and should not be tolerated.
  We know that ``a right without a remedy is not a right''. If we 
allow, ignore, or encourage lying and obstruction of justice in our 
legal system, then the rights promised in our laws are hollow. Our laws 
promise a remedy against sexual harassment, but if we say that ``lying 
about sex in court'' is acceptable or expected, then we have made our 
sexual harassment laws nothing more than a false promise, a fraud upon 
our society, upon our legal system, and upon women. Therefore, I must 
vote in favor of counts one, two and three of impeachment.
  The greatest challenge of free peoples is to restrain abuses of 
governmental power. The power of the American presidency is awesome. 
When uncontrolled and abused, presidential power is a grave threat to 
our way of life, to our fundamental freedoms. Clearly improper use of 
executive power by the President to cover-up and obstruct 
investigations of his public lying in our courts cannot be tolerated. 
If not checked, such abuses of power serve to legitimize the use of 
public power for private purposes. Mankind's long struggle throughout 
the centuries has been to develop governmental systems which limit the 
exercise of public power to public purposes only. Therefore, I must, in 
exercising the public power entrusted to me, act to restrain the 
exercise of public power to public purposes alone; and I must vote in 
favor of count four.
  In reviewing this grave matter of impeachment, we must seek guidance 
in first principles. These principles are all based on the recognition 
of the social compact under which we as citizens join together in the 
American Republic. Each of us has given up many individual prerogatives 
(use of force, private punishment, etc) in return for promises, the 
commitments, the elements of our social compact. The central promise or 
commitment of our compact is that our laws will be enforced equally 
with respect to all, that our civil rights and civil grievances will be 
fairly adjudicated in our courts, and that the powers we give up to 
government will be used only for governmental purposes related to the 
common good.
  When these elements of the social compact are violated, the 
legitimacy of the exercise of governmental powers is brought into 
question and the underlying compact itself is threatened. Each member 
of the compact--each citizen--received the guarantee, received the 
promise from his or her fellow citizens, that the compact would be 
honored and that the laws would not be sacrificed on a piecemeal basis 
for temporary harmony or immediate gain of some (even in a majority) 
over others (even a minority). None of us are free, for any reason of 
convenience or immediate avoidance of difficult issues, to ignore our 
promises to our fellow citizens. Our social compact does not permit the 
breaches of these commitments to our fellow citizens, and to do so 
would directly deprive those citizens (whatever their voting strength 
or numbers) of our solemn promise of the rule of law.
  All that stands between any of us and tyranny is law- the rule as 
contemplated in our social compact-backed up by our courts. If we 
trivialize the role of truth in our judicial system by simply assuming 
that everyone will lie, then we trivialize the role of truth in our 
judicial system by simply assuming that everyone will lie, then we 
trivialize the courts themselves, we trivialize the rule of law. In 
doing so, we trivialize the eternal search for justice for the weak 
under law, in place of exploitation of the weak under arbitrary private 
power of the strong. I will not be a party to such demeaning of the 
most fundamental struggles of humankind- and I will not be a party to 
the attempt to escape the consequences of his public acts by the 
President through such trivialization.
  The Office of Presidency is due great respect, but the President, 
(whomever may hold the office) is a citizen with the same duty to 
follow the law as all of our citizens. The world marvels that our 
President is not above the law, and my votes will help ensure that this 
rule continues.
  Mr. NUSSLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Articles of 
Impeachment against President William Jefferson Clinton and ask that 
the following statement be entered into the record outlining my reasons 
for supporting the Articles of Impeachment.
  On the night of Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1998, the President addressed the 
nation to inform us of his actions and lead our country as commander in 
chief to the correct, if not overdue, decision that Iraq must not be 
allowed to continue on its dangerous path creating weapons of mass 
destruction.
  And that same night, too many Americans wondered if the intentions 
behind his decision were in the best interest of the United States or 
in the best interests of Bill Clinton.
  Let me make it perfectly clear that I am not questioning President 
Clinton's decision to order a military strike against Iraq. His 
decision may have been based on sound recommendations from the entire 
National Security Team. But the simple fact that we even

[[Page H11963]]

have to wonder whether Bill Clinton made that decision to delay the 
impeachment debate in the U.S. House of Representatives, is proof that 
he can no longer lead this nation.
  When President Lyndon Johnson ordered military action in Vietnam, 
nobody questioned his motives. People questioned the decision itself, 
protested the decision--even died questioning the wisdom behind the 
decision; but never were the personal or political motives behind the 
decision questioned.
  When President George Bush ordered military strikes against Iraq as 
part of Desert Storm, people may have debated whether or not to let 
sanctions work a little longer, but nobody questioned the personal or 
political motives behind his decision. When President Clinton ordered 
military strikes against Iraq last night, the first question from 
Iowans, Americans and people from around the world was whether or not 
the president was taking this action to delay the impeachment debate--
had the movie ``Wag The Dog'' become reality?
  This has gone beyond President Clinton's relations with an intern. 
This has gone beyond perjury, and beyond lying under oath before a 
grand jury. You can say that everybody lies about sex. But no one can 
say that everybody orders Americans soldiers into harms way to delay a 
debate on their qualifications to lead the most powerful nation in the 
world. Only the president faces that decision, and we must have a 
president whose actions and intentions involving the lives of American 
men and women in uniform must be beyond reproach and beyond question.
  Today the ramifications of a nation dealing with a president who has 
committed perjury before a grand jury have become real and undeniable. 
We no longer have confidence in this President to make the most 
important decisions a commander in chief must face.
  My biggest fear is going to the funeral of some young Iowa man or 
woman who dies in this conflict and having their mother and father come 
up to me and ask whether or not their son or daughter died for America 
or died to save Bill Clinton's presidency. I don't know what I would 
say to those grieving parents.
  For that reason, I believe the president must resign immediately.
  I am confident that a ``President'' Al Gore can complete our military 
mission in Iraq and command the respect and confidence of the American 
people.
  Today, as well, I will vote in favor of all four Acticles of 
Impeachment as presented by the House Judiciary Committee.
  Mr. GANSKE. Mr. Speaker, my vote on the impeachment of President 
Clinton will be the most important of my public service. The proposed 
impeachment of a president has occurred only twice before in our 
nation's history and I consider this of gravest Constitutional 
importance. I have made my decision only after a great deal of study, 
listening to the advice of my fellow citizens, and much soul searching.
  Why am I releasing this statement before the Judiciary Committee 
votes on articles of impeachment? Because for all practical purposes 
the relevant information is in. The President has provided responses to 
the committee and his lawyer had his chance to challenge the facts of 
the case. My constituents deserve to know where I stand on impeachment 
. . . whether a vote by the House occurs or not.
  This whole affair deeply saddens me. President Clinton is a man of 
personal charm, intellect, and empathy. I, possibly more than any other 
House Republican, have worked in a bipartisan manner with President 
Clinton. The President has shown special consideration for me on 
several occasions and that makes my decision doubly difficult. I hold 
no personal enmity toward the President, quite the contrary.
  When I called on the President to resign after his scandal became 
public but before the sordid details came out, I did so out of concern 
for what the country was likely to go through. I did so also out of 
concern for what would be best for President Clinton and his family . . 
. and I shared those sentiments with President Clinton. I, too, have a 
daughter who has just started college and I especially sympathize with 
how difficult this has been for the President's daughter.
  As I write this many images come to mind. I see a videotape of 
President Clinton hugging a starstruck young woman in a black beret and 
an image of the President pointing his finger at the American people 
saying, ``I did not have sexual relations with that woman.'' I can see 
the President sweating over his grant jury answer, ``It depends on what 
the meaning of the word `is' is.'' Then there's the indelible visage of 
an angry President of the United States hairsplitting that he was 
``legally accurate'' when he had just apologized to the nation for 
``inappropriate behavior.''
  Who will ever forget these pictures, and how sad it is that they are 
now part of our nation's history. Couldn't we just ignore this tawdry 
scandal?
  I wish we could, but this tragedy moved past personal immoral 
behavior a long time ago.
  Sometimes our public and personal lives require that we review 
another's actions and pass judgment. This is never easy and we only 
pray that we do so with fairness and justice and by the rules. In this 
case, the rule book is the United States Constitution, which I have 
taken an oath to uphold.
  In my opinion, the President, should not be impeached because he's 
committed adultery, though this reckless behavior surely could have 
exposed this President of the United States to blackmail. Nor would 
adultery with a subordinate in the workplace, however morally 
reprehensible, necessarily rise to impeachable behavior. However, 
President Clinton's impeachment isn't about his affair per se.
  I have framed my decision on two questions: Did President Clinton lie 
under oath, obstruct justice, tamper with witnesses and the abuse 
powers of his office? And if the President did these misdeeds do they 
rise to the level of impeachable offenses?
  What are the facts? President Clinton testified under oath in the 
Paula Jones sexual-harassment case that he did not have sexual 
relations with Lewinsky. He responded ``none'' when asked by the Jones' 
lawyers if he'd had sexual relations with employees as President. He 
sat silently while his attorney told the judge ``there is absolutely no 
sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form'' between Clinton and 
Lewinsky.
  President Clinton was questioned by his own counsel during this 
deposition:

       Bennett: In [Lewinsky's] affidavit, she says this: ``I have 
     never had a sexual relationship with the President . . .'' Is 
     that a true and accurate statement as far as you can see it?
       Clinton: That is absolutely true.

  Seven months later in testimony before the grand jury, Clinton said 
the truth of such denials depends on what the meaning of ``is'' is?
  I watched Judge Starr's testimony before the Judiciary Committee. I 
found it credible. For me, the evidence is overwhelming that President 
Clinton lied repeatedly under oath.
  There is also credible evidence that he tampered with witnesses and 
conspired with others to obstruct justice. After learning that Lewinsky 
was on the witness list for the Jones case, the President suggested to 
Ms. Lewinsky that she could submit an affidavit to avoid testifying. 
This she did, Vernon Jordan got a job for her, and Jordan called the 
President to report, ``Mission accomplished.''
  The President's lies were about much more than ``personal privacy.'' 
Ms. Lewinsky was material witness in a sexual-harassment suit against 
the President. Her false affidavit served to keep her from testifying 
and allowed the President to deny sex in his deposition. The absence 
of her testimony and of evidence concerning the efforts made to secure 
her a job was harmful to Ms. Jones' case.

  As Independent Counsel Starr said, ``Sexual harassment cases are 
often `he-said-she-said' disputes. Evidence reflecting the behavior of 
both parties can be critical--including the defendant's relationships 
with other employees in the workplace.''
  President Clinton also used a federal employee, Betty Currie, to 
arrange meetings with Ms. Lewinsky and used Mrs. Currie to retrieve 
subpoenaed gifts from Lewinsky that the President had given her. The 
President coached Currie, suggesting to her that she had always been 
present when Lewinsky and Clinton were together. President Clinton then 
denied his affair to Cabinet officials and had them repeat denials to 
the press. He misrepresented the truth to aides, causing them to repeat 
the deceptions to the grand jury.
  Who would doubt that the President and his defenders now would be 
dismissing Monica Lewinsky as a liar were it not for one unassailable 
fact . . . DNA testing proves that the President's semen was on her 
dress!
  And that is why not a single one of President Clinton's defenders 
during the committee hearing with Starr attempted to discredit the 
facts of the case against President Clinton's perjury and obstruction 
of justice. No one--not the President's attorney David Kendall, not 
Democratic counsel Abbe Lowell, not the Democratic members of the 
committee . . . not one of them disputed these facts.


  does anyone doubt that the president did it and then lied about it 
                              under oath!

  This brings us to the second question: Do these misdeeds rise to the 
level of impeachment? the Constitution provides for impeachment of the 
President of the United States of ``treason, bribery, and other high 
crimes and misdemeanors.'' It is clear that the Framers didn't intend 
to authorize Congress to impeach presidents over policy or personal 
differences. But ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' encompassed a broad 
range of misconduct in their eyes.
  Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65 wrote that impeachment would deal 
with ``those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, 
or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. 
They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated 
political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the 
society itself.''

[[Page H11964]]

  In 1974 the Watergate impeachment staff analysis concluded that 
serious crimes rooted in private conduct are grounds for impeachment: 
the precedents after 1787 support impeachment for ``behaving in a 
manner grossly incompatible with the proper functioning and purpose of 
the office.''
  Professor Michael Gerhardt, in his book, The Federalist Impeachment 
Process, said that even crimes ``plainly . . . unrelated to the 
responsibilities of a particular office'' are impeachable if the show 
``serious lack of judgment or disdain for the law'' and thus lower 
``respect for the office.''
  As Stuart Taylor has written in the National Journal, ``Before 
President Clinton got caught no Constitution expert had ever suggested 
that it would be wrong to impeach a president for crimes such as lying 
under oath (even about sex), suborning perjury, or obstructing both a 
civil rights lawsuit and a criminal investigation.'' Indeed, there is 
precedent for impeachment precisely on the grounds of perjury. In 1989 
Congress impeached and removed Judge Walter Nixon for perjury.
  Are we to assume that Congress can remove a judge fro perjury, but 
not a president?
  Clinton defenders say, ``No one gets prosecuted for perjury.'' Tell 
that to the more than one hundred people that The New York Times has 
documented as serving time in federal prison recently for perjury. 
Others say that the President's lies were ``only about sex,'' and 
therefore aren't serious. Tell that to Pam Parsons and her 17-year-old 
lover who both committee perjury in a libel suit against Sports 
Illustrated. both were sentenced to three years in prison and served 
time.
  Or how about the case of Dr. Jeffrey Goltz, a medical expert witness? 
He lied under oath about his education and credentials. In 1996 he got 
caught and pleaded guilty to perjury. He had to sell his medical 
practice and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
  Or consider David Wayne Holland who lied under oath in a private 
civil rights lawsuit. A federal appeals court imposed a heavier 
sentence than the civil court judge saying, ``Perjury, regardless of 
the setting, is a serious offense that results in incalculable harm to 
the functioning of the legal system as well as to private 
individuals.''
  Other Clinton defenders argue that even though Clinton lied 
repeatedly under oath on January 17, that he did not ``technically'' 
commit perjury because the Lewinsky evidence was not ``material'' to 
the Paula Jones lawsuit. But contrary to some news reports, Judge 
Wright did not hold the Lewinsky evidence to be immaterial. She ruled 
that it ``might be relevant'' but was ``not essential to the core 
issues in the case.'' (Judge Wright's ruling was in such danger of 
being overturned that the President was willing to pay $850,000 to 
settle the case!) Furthermore, there are precedents that hold that 
lying under oath in a civil deposition can be material even if the 
testimony is later excluded or the case is dismissed.
  Jonathon Turley, Professor of Law of George Washington University Law 
School, has written, ``. . . And perjury committed by a president may 
be one of the most serious forms of criminal conduct since it is the 
crime that shields all other criminal acts from the public . . . by any 
reasonable measure, perjury and obstruction of justice clearly fall 
within `high crimes and misdemeanors.' ''
  To return to Hamilton's statement, I can think of several ways in 
which the President's perjury injures society. If President Clinton 
escapes impeachment, if an elected official can commit felony crimes 
(perjury and obstruction of justice) what does this say about our 
country's commitment to equal justice under the law? If a Pam Parsons, 
a David Holland, a Jeffrey Goltz can spend time in prison for perjury, 
what does it do to society to see ``little'' people spend time in 
prison for breaking the law and ``big'' people let off? If the 
President walks, cynicism reigns.
  Rear Admiral John T. Scudi has just been charged with two counts of 
adultery, giving false official statements, obstruction of justice and 
an ethics violation. The Navy has filed criminal charges against him. 
However, because of Constitutional immunity for the president, the only 
real remedy for presidential crimes is impeachment and removal. And if 
a boss such as Clinton can lie under oath about sex with a subordinate 
in sexual harassment suit and then escape punishment, the victims of 
sexual harassment will be the losers.
  Maybe all this is why James Madison said in Federalist 57 that one of 
our Constitutional bulwarks against tyranny is that our rulers ``can 
make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and 
their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.''
  Some would have Congress ``censure'' the President. I agree with 
Thomas Baker, the Director of the Constitutional Law Resource Center at 
Drake University Law School who has written, ``. . . the House power to 
impeach and the Senate power to try the president are exclusive powers, 
and the sanctions of removal and disqualification from office are the 
only punishments possible . . . the problem with a censure is that it 
would not be constitutional.'' Senator Robert Byrd, in his masterly 
history of the Senate, agrees that censure is unconstitutional.
  I would go further. The idea that Congress should simply apply a 
``wrist-slap'' censure is another effort to put the President above the 
law. As Justice Brandeis has written, ``For good or ill, [our 
government] teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is 
contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt 
for the law.''
  The Constitution stipulates that the House should function as a grand 
jury. Article of impeachment function in the same way as counts to an 
indictment. The House does not determine guilt or impose a penalty but 
simply defines the articles of impeachment for a trial on the merits in 
the Senate. The President's popularity or accomplishments are not 
pertinent to the House's function. Only after guilt is established is a 
defendant allowed to present arguments to mitigate punishment. That is 
for the Senate to decide.
  Were I on the Judiciary Committee, I would vote for articles of 
impeachment because I would see this as my duty. If articles of 
impeachment on perjury or obstruction of justice, or both, come to 
Congress for a vote, I will vote ``Yes.'' Even if I suffer politically 
for this vote, my conscience is clear.
  Mr. RICE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to fulfill my constitutional duty 
to address the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton. For 
many months, I made a concerned effort to avoid reaching an 
unsubstantiated decision regarding the conduct of President Clinton. I 
refrained from judging the President's guilt or innocence until I had 
an opportunity to review all the facts. During this time, I listened to 
the President's supporters. I listed to his attorneys, I listened to 
the White House staff and I examined all the testimony and evidence put 
forth by the House Judiciary Committee. I also met with and heard from 
many constituents regarding their thoughts and opinions about the 
actions and conduct of the President. Upon reviewing all the evidence 
and testimony before the House Judiciary Committee it is my sincere 
belief that substantial and credible evidence exits that the President 
committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
  We can not allow the actions of the President to go unpunished; this 
would breed contempt for the law. Willfully and knowingly lying, after 
swearing before God and country to tell the truth, the whole truth and 
nothing but the truth, is a very serious offense for anyone. The 
President does not have any great rights that any other citizen of this 
country when it comes to the rule of law and preservation of justice. 
The United States system of law and order requires one standard for all 
and is dependent upon truth while under oath. When a person testifies 
in court to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, 
there is no exception to that oath. It applies to all matters, whether 
they be personal, embrassing or considered a ``little thing.'' 
President Clinton's willful lies under oath before a federal judge and 
grand jury are a direct assault on our nation's democracy. This 
undermines our legal process and is a violation of the Presidential 
Oath of Office.
  The evidence demonstrates that the President has sustained a pattern 
of perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power. In December 
1997, the President willfully and knowingly lied under oath in his 
written answers to a federal court. In January 1998, the President 
willfully and knowingly lied under oath repeatedly in the Paula Fones 
deposition. Then he willfully and knowingly used his Office to 
influence witnesses and obstruct justice in the Jones' lawsuit. 
In August 1998 he willfully and knowingly lied to a federal grand jury, 
and he willfully and knowingly lied when he purported to answer the 81 
questions posed to him by the House Judiciary Committee.

  President Clinton is said by many who know him best to have a 
phenomenal memory. His friend, Vernon Jordon, said the President has 
``an extraordinary memory, one of the greatest memories'' he has ever 
seen in a politician. However, in more than four hours of videotaped 
testimony before a federal grand jury, the President testified, under 
oath, on more than 100 occasions that he could not remember details 
involving his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. When a person testifies, 
under oath, that he does not remember something, when in fact he does, 
he has lied under oath. During this one year period, President Clinton 
had innumerable opportunities to tell the truth, yet he continued to 
willfully and knowingly put his own self interest before that of 
justice and the good of the nation. To this day, he has yet to 
acknowledge that he committed a crime or show remorse for his actions. 
We can not allow the actions of the President to teach contempt for the 
law of our nation. Our legal system, which protects the rights and 
liberties of all citizens, is dependent on people telling the truth 
while under oath.
  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis, in Olmstead vs. United States, 
so eloquently

[[Page H11965]]

states what I believe to be a beacon of light guiding us through this 
impeachment inquiry. He states:

       . . . decency, security, and liberty alike demand that 
     government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of 
     conduct that are commands to the citizen . . . Our government 
     is the potent, omnipresent, teacher. For good or ill it 
     teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. 
     If government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for 
     the law.

  Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states the President 
``shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.'' It is my firm 
belief that substantial and credible information exists that the 
President committed acts that constitute grounds for impeachment. These 
actions constitute ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' as enumerated in 
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.
  The President, as our chief law enforcement officer, undermines the 
integrity of our judicial system and threatens the rights and liberties 
of every one of us when he lies under oath. No citizen has the right to 
pick and choose what laws he or she may abide by, just because it may 
be embarrassing or inconvenient. We are a government of laws, not men. 
The President willfully and knowingly lied under oath, over and over 
and over again. That is a direct threat to our nation's system of 
justice and law and order. Mr. Speaker, it is for the love of our 
nation and the duty to uphold the Constitution I have sworn to protect 
that I will support all four Articles of Impeachment against President 
Clinton.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). Under the previous order of the 
House entered earlier today, this concludes debate on House Resolution 
611 until tomorrow.