PRIVILEGES OF THE HOUSE--IMPEACHING WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, FOR HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS
(House of Representatives - December 18, 1998)

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[Pages H11774-H11870]
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

  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on the 
Judiciary, I call up a privileged Resolution (H. Res. 611) impeaching 
William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, for high 
crimes and misdemeanors, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

                              H. Res. 611

       Resolved, That William Jefferson Clinton, President of the 
     United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, 
     and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited 
     to the United States Senate:
       Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of 
     Representatives of the United States of America in the name 
     of itself and of the people of the United States of America, 
     against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United 
     States of America, in maintenance and support of its 
     impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.

                               Article I

       In his conduct while President of the United States, 
     William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional 
     oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the 
     United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, 
     protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, 
     and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that 
     the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and 
     manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his 
     personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of 
     justice, in that:
       On August 17, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton swore to tell 
     the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth before 
     a Federal grand jury of the United States. Contrary to that 
     oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided 
     perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury 
     concerning one or more of the following: (1) the nature and 
     details of his relationship with a subordinate Government 
     employee; (2) prior perjurious, false and misleading 
     testimony he gave in a Federal civil rights action brought 
     against him; (3) prior false and misleading statements he 
     allowed his attorney to make to a Federal judge in that civil 
     rights action; and (4) his corrupt efforts to influence the 
     testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of 
     evidence in that civil rights action.
       In doing this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the 
     integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the 
     Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has 
     acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, 
     to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
       Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, 
     warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and 
     disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, 
     trust, or profit under the United States.

                               Article II

       In his conduct while President of the United States, 
     William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional 
     oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the 
     United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, 
     protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, 
     and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that 
     the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and 
     manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his 
     personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of 
     justice, in that:
       (1) On December 23, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton, in 
     sworn answers to written questions asked as part of a Federal 
     civil rights action brought against him, willfully provided 
     perjurious, false and misleading testimony in response to 
     questions deemed relevant by a Federal judge concerning 
     conduct and proposed conduct with subordinate employees.
       (2) On January 17, 1998, William Jefferson Clinton swore 
     under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing 
     but the truth in a deposition given as part of a Federal 
     civil rights action brought against him. Contrary to that 
     oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided 
     perjurious, false and misleading testimony in response to 
     questions deemed relevant by a Federal judge concerning the 
     nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate 
     Government employee, his knowledge of that employee's 
     involvement and participation in the civil rights action 
     brought against him, and his corrupt efforts to influence the 
     testimony of that employee.
       In all of this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined 
     the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the 
     Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has 
     acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, 
     to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
       Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, 
     warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and 
     disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, 
     trust, or profit under the United States.

                              Article III

       In his conduct while President of the United States, 
     William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional 
     oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the 
     United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, 
     protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, 
     and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that 
     the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, 
     and impeded the administration of justice, and has to that 
     end engaged personally, and through his subordinates and 
     agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, 
     impede, cover up, and conceal the existence of evidence and 
     testimony related to a Federal civil rights action brought 
     against him in a duly instituted judicial proceeding.
       The means used to implement this course of conduct or 
     scheme included one or more of the following acts:
       (1) On or about December 17, 1997, William Jefferson 
     Clinton corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil 
     rights action brought against him to execute a sworn 
     affidavit in that proceeding that he knew to be perjurious, 
     false and misleading.
       (2) On or about December 17, 1997, William Jefferson 
     Clinton corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil 
     rights action brought against him to give perjurious, false 
     and misleading testimony if and when called to testify 
     personally in that proceeding.
       (3) On or about December 28, 1997, William Jefferson 
     Clinton corruptly engaged in, encouraged, or supported a 
     scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in a 
     Federal civil rights action brought against him.
       (4) Beginning on or about December 7, 1997, and continuing 
     through and including January 14, 1998, William Jefferson 
     Clinton intensified and succeeded in an effort to secure job 
     assistance to a witness in a Federal civil rights action 
     brought against him in order to corruptly prevent the 
     truthful testimony of that witness in that proceeding at a 
     time when the truthful testimony of that witness would have 
     been harmful to him.
       (5) On January 17, 1998, at his deposition in a Federal 
     civil rights action brought against him, William Jefferson 
     Clinton corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and 
     misleading statements to a Federal judge characterizing 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) On or about January 18 and January 20-21, 1998, William 
     Jefferson Clinton 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.
       (7) On or about January 21, 23 and 26, 1998, William 
     Jefferson Clinton made false and misleading statements to 
     potential witnesses in a Federal grand jury proceeding in 
     order to corruptly influence the testimony of

[[Page H11775]]

     those witnesses. The false and misleading statements made by 
     William Jefferson Clinton were repeated by the witnesses to 
     the grand jury, causing the grand jury to receive false and 
     misleading information.
       In all of this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined 
     the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the 
     Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has 
     acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, 
     to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
       Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, 
     warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and 
     disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, 
     trust, or profit under the United States.

                               Article IV

       Using the powers and influence of the office of President 
     of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation 
     of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office 
     of President of the United States and, to the best of his 
     ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of 
     the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional 
     duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, 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 and the truth seeking 
     purpose of a coordinate investigative proceeding, in that, as 
     President, William Jefferson Clinton 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 part of the impeachment 
     inquiry authorized by the House of Representatives of the 
     Congress of the United States. William Jefferson Clinton, in 
     refusing and failing to respond and in making perjurious, 
     false and misleading statements, assumed to himself functions 
     and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of 
     impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of 
     Representatives and exhibited contempt for the inquiry.
       In doing this, William Jefferson Clinton has undermined the 
     integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the 
     Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President, and has 
     acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, 
     to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
       Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, by such conduct, 
     warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and 
     disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, 
     trust, or profit under the United States.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The resolution constitutes a 
question of the privileges of the House and may be considered at this 
time.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair would like to read an announcement 
to all Members.
  Today the House will embark on a resolution of impeachment of the 
President of the United States. The Chair would take this occasion to 
make an announcement regarding proper decorum during debate in the 
House during the pendency of the impeachment resolution.
  As the Speaker announced, with the concurrence of the minority 
leader, on September 10, 1998, during the pendency of proceedings in an 
impeachment as the pending business on the floor of the House, remarks 
in debate may include references to personal misconduct on the part of 
the President.
  While limited references in debate to the personal conduct of the 
President are allowed, the stricture against personally offensive 
references is not totally disabled. To the contrary, this exception to 
the general rule against engaging in personality, admitting references 
to personal conduct when that conduct is the very question under 
consideration by the House, is not limited. The point was well stated 
on July 31, 1979, in the analogous circumstances of a disciplinary 
resolution involving a sitting Member:
  While a wide range of discussion is permitted during debate, clause 1 
of rule 14 still prohibits the use of language which is personally 
abusive.
  This is recorded in the Deschler-Brown Procedure in the House of 
Representatives in chapter 12, at section 2.11.
  While the impeachment matter is pending on the floor, the Chair would 
remind Members that although the personal conduct of the President is 
at issue, the rules prohibit Members from engaging in generally 
personal abusive language toward the President and, also, from engaging 
in comparisons to personal conduct of sitting Members of either House 
of Congress.

                              {time}  0945

  The Chair asks and expects the cooperation of the Members in 
maintaining a level of decorum that properly dignifies the proceedings 
of the House.
  The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) is recognized for 1 hour.


                             General Leave

  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on the 
resolution under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Illinois?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that during 
consideration of House Resolution 611, the previous question shall be 
considered as ordered on the resolution to final adoption without 
intervening motion except: First, debate on the resolution shall be 
extended, and I say to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers) that I 
have 4 hours here, but that is certainly negotiable and I would welcome 
any suggestions the gentleman might have on time, but for purposes of 
this unanimous consent request I ask that the debate be extended to 4 
hours equally divided at the outset and controlled by the chairman and 
ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary; and seoncd, 
one motion to recommit with or without instructions, which, if 
including instructions, shall be debatable for 10 minutes equally 
divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Illinois?
  Mr. BONIOR. Reserving the right to object, Mr. Speaker, I thank my 
colleague for his request, although I do not thank him that much. The 
gentleman has just handed to us on our side of the aisle the request 
that he has just read, and we have just looked at it, and we have a 
number of concerns with it, and if I might proceed for just a second, 
Mr. Speaker, I would like to enumerate our concerns and then yield, if 
I could, to my distinguished colleague, the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Conyers), for any comments that he might have?
  Mr. Speaker, we are concerned obviously because we do not believe we 
should be here today while our men and women are fighting abroad, and 
we have expressed that in the first motion of the day with respect to 
adjournment. We do not believe this is a proper time to be debating 
removing the Commander in Chief while thousands of men and women are 
fighting abroad.
  Secondly, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman asks for 4 hours of debate. I 
have just done the math briefly here. That comes out less than 30 
seconds per Member. We do not think that is a reasonable amount of time 
for Members of this body to express themselves in perhaps one of the 
most important issues that they will face in their lifetime.
  Thirdly, Mr. Speaker, it runs, this time problem that the gentleman 
has raised, the 4 hours, runs to the fairness issue, and we note that 
in the unanimous consent request there is nothing here to give the 
American people a chance to see this Congress vote on the option that 
they would like to see that would bring this country together: the 
option of censure.
  Much of my argument, our argument, goes to the question of fairness, 
and we will have grave, grave concerns about agreeing to this request 
based on the arguments that have just been made.
  Further reserving the right to object, Mr. Speaker, I yield to the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers).
  Mr. CONYERS. First of all, Mr. Speaker, I want to indicate my 
concurrence in the position raised by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Bonior), but is there any reason why the chairman, the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Hyde), could not wait for 2 days before proceeding with 
this very serious undertaking, until at least our brave soldiers may be 
out of harm's way before we proceed?
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. BONIOR. I yield to the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Bonior) is 
yielding to me for an answer for the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers), I would like to say, first of all on the time, that the 4 
hours I said, that is negotiable; I would not expect

[[Page H11776]]

to limit it to 4 hours. Limit it to some reasonable sum. We offered a 
lot of hours last night that our colleagues rejected.
  So, Mr. Speaker, we are trying to be fair, and on the time I ask my 
colleagues for their suggestions.
  As to holding this for a couple of more days, that is a decision that 
our conference has made. We felt the quicker we could go ahead, the 
more we could show the world our democracy works.
  Mr. BONIOR. I object, Mr. Speaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Objection is heard.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, for purposes of debate only, I yield the 
customary half of the time to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers), and during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded 
is for the purpose of debate only.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner).
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, if the previous question is moved, I 
intend to vote against it so that I may be recognized to control time 
under the hour rule in order to continue debate on House Resolution 
611.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. HYDE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues of the People's House, I wish to 
talk about the rule of law.
  After months of argument, hours of debate, there is no need for 
further complexity. The question before this House is rather simple. It 
is not a question of sex. Sexual misconduct and adultery are private 
acts and are none of Congress' business. It is not even a question of 
lying about sex. The matter before the House is a question of lying 
under oath. This is a public act, not a private act. This is called 
perjury. The matter before the House is a question of the willful, 
premeditated, deliberate corruption of the Nation's system of justice. 
Perjury and obstruction of justice cannot be reconciled with the Office 
of the President of the United States.
  The personal fate of the President is not the issue. The political 
fate of his party is not the issue. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 
not the issue. The issue is perjury, lying under oath. The issue is 
obstruction of justice, which the President has sworn the most solemn 
oath to uphold. That oath constituted a compact between the President 
and the American people. That compact has been broken. The people's 
trust has been betrayed. The Nation's chief executive has shown himself 
unwilling or incapable of enforcing its laws, for he has corrupted the 
rule of law by his perjury and his obstruction of justice.
  Mr. Speaker, that and nothing other than that is the issue before 
this House.
  We have heard ceaselessly that even if the President is guilty of the 
charges in the Starr referral, they do not rise to the level of an 
impeachable offense. Well, just what is an impeachable offense? One 
authority, Professor Stephen Presser of Northwestern University School 
of Law, said, and I quote:
  ``Impeachable offenses are those which demonstrate a fundamental 
betrayal of public trust; they suggest the federal official has 
deliberately failed in his duty to uphold the Constitution and laws he 
was sworn to enforce.''
  So, Mr. Speaker, we must decide if a President, the chief law 
enforcement officer of the land, the person who appoints the Attorney 
General, the person who nominates every Federal judge, the person who 
nominates to the Supreme Court and the only person with a 
constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed, can lie under oath repeatedly and maintain it is not a breach 
of trust sufficient for impeachment.
  The President is the trustee of the Nation's conscience, and so are 
we here today.
  There have been many explosions in our committee hearings on the 
respective role of the House and the Senate. Under the Constitution, 
the House accuses and the Senate adjudicates. True, the formula 
language of our articles recites the ultimate goal of removal from 
office, but this language does not trump the Constitution, which 
defines the separate functions, the different functions of the House 
and the Senate. Our Founding Fathers did not want the body that accuses 
to be the same one that renders final judgment, and they set up an 
additional safeguard of a two-thirds vote for removal.
  So, despite protests, our job is to decide if there is enough 
evidence to submit to the Senate for a trial. That is what the 
Constitution says no matter what the President's defenders say.
  When Ben Franklin, on September 18, 1787 told Mrs. Powel that the 
Founders and Framers had given us a Republic ``if you can keep it,'' 
perhaps he anticipated a future time when bedrock principles of our 
democracy would be mortally threatened as the Rule of Law stands in the 
line of fire today. Nothing I can think of more clearly illustrates 
that America is a continuing experiment, never finished, that our 
democracy is always a work in progress than this debate today, for we 
sit here with the power to shape and reconfigure the charter of our 
freedom just as the Founders and Framers did. We can strengthen our 
Constitution by giving it content and meaning, or we can weaken and 
wound it by tolerating and thus encouraging lies under oath and evasion 
and breaches of trust on the part of our chief executive.
  The President's defenders in this House have rarely denied the facts 
of this matter. They have not seriously challenged the contention of 
the independent counsel that the President did not tell the truth in 
two sworn testimonies. They have not seriously attempted to discredit 
the facts brought before the committee by the independent counsel. They 
have admitted, in effect, he did it.
  But then they have argued that this does not rise to the level of an 
impeachable offense. This is the ``so what'' defense whereby the Chief 
Executive, the successor to George Washington, can cheapen the oath, 
and it really does not matter. They suggest that to impeach the 
President is to reverse the result of a national election as though 
Senator Dole would become President. They propose novel remedies, like 
a Congressional censure that may appease some constituents and 
certainly mollify the press, but in my judgment betray lack of 
seriousness about the Constitution, the separation of powers and the 
carefully balanced relationship of checks and balances between Congress 
and the President that was wisely crafted by the framers. A resolution 
of censure, to mean anything, must punish, if only to tarnish his 
reputation, but we have no authority under the Constitution to punish 
the President. It is called separation of powers.
  As my colleagues know, we have been attacked for not producing fact 
witnesses, but this is the first impeachment inquiry in history with 
the Office of Independent Counsel in place, and their referral to us 
consisted of 60,000 pages of sworn testimony grand jury transcripts, 
depositions, statements, affidavits, video and audio tapes. We had the 
facts, and we had them under oath. We had Ms. Lewinsky's heavily 
corroborated testimony under a grant of immunity that would be revoked 
if she lied; we accepted that and so did they, else why did they not 
call any others whose credibility they questioned as their own 
witnesses? Now there was so little dispute on the facts they called no 
fact witnesses and have even based a resolution of censure on the same 
facts.
  Let us be clear. The vote that all of us are asked to cast is in the 
final analysis a vote on the rule of law.
  Now the rule of law is one of the great achievements of our 
civilization, for the alternative is the rule of raw power. We here 
today are the heirs of 3,000 years of history in which humanity slowly, 
painfully, and at great cost evolved a form of politics in which law, 
not brute force, is the arbiter of our public destinies.

                              {time}  1000

  We are the heirs of the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic law, a moral 
code for a free people, who, having been liberated from bondage, saw in 
law a means to avoid falling back into the habits of slaves.
  We are the heirs of Roman law, the first legal system by which 
peoples of different cultures, languages, races and religions came to 
live together in a form of political community.
  We are the heirs of the Magna Carta, by which the free men of England 
began to break the arbitrary and unchecked power of royal absolutism.

[[Page H11777]]

  We are the heirs of a long tradition of parliamentary development, in 
which the rule of law gradually came to replace royal prerogative as 
the means for governing a society of free men and women.
  We are the heirs of 1776, and of an epic moment in human affairs when 
the Founders of this Republic pledged their lives, their fortunes and 
their sacred honors, think of that, sacred honor, to the defense of the 
rule of law.
  We are the heirs of a hard-fought war between the states, which 
vindicated the rule of law over the appetites of some for owning 
others.
  We are the heirs of the 20th Century's great struggles against 
totalitarianism, in which the rule of law was defended at immense costs 
against the worst tyrannies in human history.
  The phrase ``rule of law'' is no pious aspiration from a civics 
textbook. The rule of law is what stands between all of us and the 
arbitrary exercise of power by the state. The rule of law is the 
safeguard of our liberties. The rule of law is what allows us to live 
our freedom in ways that honor the freedom of others while 
strengthening the common good.
  The rule of law is like a three-legged stool. One leg is an honest 
judge, the second leg is an ethical bar, and the third is an 
enforceable oath. All three are indispensable to avoid political 
collapse.
  In 1838, Abraham Lincoln celebrated the rule of law before the Young 
Men's Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois, and linked it to the 
perpetuation of American liberties and American political institutions. 
Listen to Lincoln, from 1838:
  ``Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to 
his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in 
the least particular the laws of the country; and never to tolerate 
their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to 
support the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the 
Constitution and laws, let every American pledge his life, his property 
and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law is 
to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his 
own and his children's liberty. Let reference for the laws be breathed 
by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap, 
let it be taught in the schools, in seminaries, and in colleges. Let it 
be written in primers, spelling books and almanacs. Let it be preached 
from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in the 
courts of justice.'' So said Lincoln.
  My colleagues, we have been sent here to strengthen and defend the 
rule of law; not to weaken it, not to attenuate it, not to disfigure 
it. This is not a question of perfection; it is a question of 
foundations. This is not a matter of setting the bar too high; it is a 
matter of securing the basic structure of our freedom, which is the 
rule of law.
  No man or woman, no matter how highly placed, no matter how effective 
a communicator, no matter how gifted a manipulator of opinion or winner 
of votes, can be above the law in a democracy. That is not a council of 
perfection; that is a rock bottom, irreducible principle of our public 
life.
  There is no avoiding the issue before us, much as I wish we could. We 
are, in one way or another, establishing the parameters of permissible 
presidential conduct. In creating a presidential system, the framers 
invested that office with extraordinary powers. If those powers are not 
exercised within the boundaries of the rule of law, if the President 
breaks the law by perjury and obstructs justice by willfully corrupting 
the legal system, that president must be removed from office. We cannot 
have one law for the ruler and another law for the ruled.
  This was, once, broadly understood in our land. If that understanding 
is lost or if it becomes seriously eroded, the American democratic 
experiment and the freedom it guarantees is in jeopardy. That, and not 
the faith of one man, or one political party or one electoral cycle, is 
what we are being asked to vote on today.
  In casting our votes, we should look not simply to ourselves, but to 
the past and to the future. Let us look back to Bunker Hill, to Concord 
and Lexington. Let us look across the river to Arlington Cemetery, 
where American heroes who gave their lives for the sake of the rule of 
law lie buried, and let us not betray their memory. Let us look to the 
future, to the children of today who are the presidents and members of 
Congress of the next century, and let us not crush their hope that they 
too will inherit a law-governed society.
  Let us declare, unmistakably, that perjury and obstruction of justice 
disqualify a man from retaining the presidency of the United States.
  There is a mountain of details which are assembled in a coherent 
mosaic in the committee report. It reads like a novel, only it is 
nonfiction, it really happened, and the corruption is compelling. Read 
the report and be convinced.
  What we are telling you today are not the ravings are some vindictive 
political crusade, but a reaffirmation of a set of values that are 
tarnished and dim these days, but it is given to us to restore them so 
our Founding Fathers would be proud.
  Listen, it is your country. The President is our flag-bearer. He 
stands out in front of our people, and the flag is falling. Catch the 
falling flag as we keep our appointment with history.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, it is our plan to recognize our leadership, 
and then our members of the Committee on the Judiciary, and then the 
rest of our distinguished membership on this side.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield three minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Gephardt), our minority leader.
  (Mr. GEPHARDT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GEPHARDT. Mr. Speaker, this vote today is taking place on the 
wrong day, and we are doing it in the wrong way. I am disappointed and 
I am saddened by the actions of the majority, in both the timing and in 
the method that we are considering the most important act that the 
Constitution asks us to perform. The actions of the majority, in my 
view, show a lack of common sense and decency, and is not befitting of 
our beloved House.
  As I said yesterday, when our young soldiers, men and women, are in 
harm's way, we should not be debating and considering and talking about 
removing our Commander in Chief. If we believed that this would go on 
for days and days, I could understand the decision to go forward today. 
I do not believe it will go on for days and days, and I believe that we 
send the wrong message to Saddam Hussein, to the British, to the 
Chinese and to the Russians, to be on the floor of this House today, 
when we could be here Sunday or Monday or Tuesday.
  I guess I am worried also that some of us do not want to be 
inconvenienced. Our young people are inconvenienced today who are in 
the Persian Gulf. They are being shot at, and they stand in danger, and 
with all my heart I believe the least we could do is postpone this 
debate to a different day. But I know I have lost that debate and the 
decision has been made. We are here.
  Let me address the way this is being done. But before I do that, I 
want to say something else. The events of the last days sadden me. We 
are now at the height of a cycle of the politics of negative attacks, 
character assassination, personal smears, of good people, decent 
people, worthy people. It is no wonder to me and to you that the people 
of our country today are cynical and indifferent and apathetic about 
our government and about our country. The politics of smear and slash 
and burn must end.
  This House and this country must be based on certain basic values: 
Respect, trust, fairness, forgiveness. We can take an important step 
today back to the politics of respect and trust and fairness and 
forgiveness.
  Let me talk about the way we are doing this and how that can be that 
first step. We have articles of impeachment on the floor of this House. 
This is the most radical act that is called for in our Constitution.
  In this debate, we are being denied a vote as an alternative to 
impeachment for censure and condemnation of our President for the 
wrongful acts that we believe have been performed.
  We all say that this is a vote of conscience. You get to vote your 
vote of conscience, and I respect that right. All we are asking for is 
that we get to vote our conscience. And it is not just our conscience, 
it is the conscience of millions of Americans who share this view.

[[Page H11778]]

  I know what you say. You say that the Constitution does not allow 
this vote of censure. Constitutional scholars in the hundreds, some of 
the most respected, conservative constitutional scholars have opined in 
the days before, in the committee and through articles and through 
speeches, that, in their view, the Constitution does allow this vote; 
that the Constitution is silent on this question of what else we can 
do; that the Constitution in no way prevents us from doing this.
  What do I conclude? I can only conclude that you do not want our 
Members to have this choice. I can only conclude that some are afraid 
of this vote. I can only conclude that this may be about winning a 
vote, not about high-minded ideals.

                              {time}  1015

  Let me, if I can, go back to the values: Respect, fairness, trust, 
forgiveness. We need to begin in the way we do this to practice a 
different kind of politics. We need to stand today as a unified body, 
Republicans and Democrats, liberals, moderates, conservatives, 
rejecting raw, naked partisanship, and putting in its place a politics 
of trust and respect and decency, and values. We need to turn away from 
extremism and inquisition and return to a sense of moderation in our 
political system.
  We are considering articles of impeachment that allege an abuse of 
power. We have an obligation not to abuse our power.
  We need to turn back. We have another chance. The chance is still 
there, before our Nation and our democracy have become unalterably and 
permanently degraded and lowered. The great Judge Learned Hand once 
said that no court can save a society so riven that the spirit of 
moderation is gone. Today, I believe the majority is pursuing a path of 
immoderation, disregarding even a consideration of the wishes of a vast 
majority of the American people regarding penalizing this President 
with censure and not impeachment.
  In the Book of Isaiah in the Bible it was said, ``Judgment is turned 
away backward and justice stands far off.'' I ask the majority one last 
time to reconsider what you are doing. We are deeply offended, in all 
sincerity, from my heart; we are deeply offended by the unfairness of 
this process. You are asking us to consider the most important act the 
Constitution calls on us to do.
  We are considering overturning the free choice and vote of over 
almost 50 million Americans. We are considering the most radical act 
our Constitution allows. We are considering changing the balance of 
power and the proportionality of the branches of our government. You 
are doing this in a way that denies millions of Americans the trust and 
respect for our views that we afford to you, and that we feel we 
deserve in our Constitution guarantees. In your effort to uphold the 
Constitution, you are trampling the Constitution.
  In Lincoln's Gettysburg Address he prayed this prayer, that this 
Nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that this government of 
the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from this 
earth. I pray today that you will open up this people's house and let 
the people's voice come in and let fairness reign. Thank you.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
this time.
  Mr. Speaker, this is not easy. In fact, it is difficult, it is 
unpleasant, and we would all just as soon the responsibility go aside. 
As our Founding Fathers warned, this is an issue that divides us and 
stirs the passions of the great people of this country. I know my 
fellow Arkansans are divided on the issue of impeachment, and for these 
reasons it is argued that we should find an easier way out of this 
present trouble, that we should put it off, we should turn aside. But 
as we all know, the easy way is not always the right way.
  The difficult path is to follow the Constitution, but that is the 
oath that we all took in this Chamber, and I have faith that the path 
James Madison marked will lead us out of these woods.
  Mr. Speaker, I support the resolution that has been offered. I will 
focus my attention on Article I. This article charges that on August 
17, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided false testimony to the 
Federal grand jury. The first article is perjury before the grand jury. 
There are 3 questions: What are the facts, what is the law, and is it 
impeachable under the Constitution?
  The facts are that a Federal civil rights lawsuit was filed by 
another citizen of the United States against the President. The Supreme 
Court said that lawsuit could proceed. In January of 1998, a deposition 
was taken, and the committee found that the President, despite being 
told by the judge to answer the questions, lied under oath in order to 
protect himself from that lawsuit. At that point, a criminal 
investigation was begun with the approval of the United States Attorney 
General, and as a result of that investigation, President Clinton 
agreed to testify before the Federal grand jury investigating these 
allegations.
  Prior to his testimony, we all recall that there was a uniform 
warning across this land by his aides, by the public: Mr. President, 
whatever you do, do not lie to the grand jury. In fact, Alan 
Dershowitz, an ardent defender of the President said, he must tell the 
truth, whatever the truth may be. If he perjures himself, he could very 
well be impeached.
  Dick Morris warned him that the people would forgive a personal 
misconduct, but they could not forgive perjury or obstruction of 
justice. Despite these warnings, the committee found that the President 
went before the grand jury, took an oath to tell the truth, and then 
intentionally provided false statements to the grand jury of citizens 
charged with a heavy responsibility.
  The article specifically charges the President lied about his 
relationship with a subordinate employee. He provided false statements 
about the truthfulness of his prior testimony. He falsely testified 
about statements made by his attorney in the previous lawsuit. False 
statements were made about his efforts to corruptly influence the 
testimony of witnesses. And so there were perjurious statements that 
were given.
  But what is the law? Title 18 of the United States Code makes it a 
felony for any citizen to willfully provide false statements to the 
grand jury. Now, I agree this is not a criminal case, but it 
illustrates that these are not lies to inquiring minds at the country 
club, but they are to the grand jury of the United States. The 
President certainly understood the gravity of his testimony and the 
expectation of truthfulness.
  At the beginning of his testimony, he was asked if he understood that 
he had to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 
and that if you are to lie or to intentionally mislead the grand jury, 
you could be prosecuted for perjury of obstruction of justice, and the 
answer was, I understand. But is it impeachable? The answer is yes.
  Alexander Hamilton talked about harm that is done to society itself. 
Justice Story talked about great injuries to the State, and I believe 
that the damage to the State and to the integrity of government occurs 
when those in high office violate a court oath and a constitutional 
oath to faithfully execute the laws.
  The facts establish a pattern of false statements, deceit and 
obstruction, and by committing these actions, the President moved 
beyond the private arena of protecting personal embarrassing conduct 
and his actions began to conceal, mislead and falsify; invaded the very 
heart and soul of that which makes this Nation unique in the world, the 
right of any citizen to pursue justice equally.
  The conduct obstructed our judicial system and at that point that 
became an issue, not a personal concern, but of national consequence. 
The preamble to our Constitution, in the second purpose says, it is to 
establish justice. It is not for the President or his lawyers to 
determine who can or cannot seek justice, and if the President lied 
under oath in a Federal civil rights case, that he took it upon himself 
to deny the right of a fellow American, in this case a fellow Arkansan, 
equal access to seek relief in the courts.
  The President's lawyers have declared such a lie to be a small one, 
of small consequence, and therefore, not impeachable. But I cannot see 
how denying the rights of a fellow citizen could be considered a small 
consequence.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to support Article I, and this 
resolution.

[[Page H11779]]

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Bonior), the minority whip of the 
Congress.
  Mr. BONIOR. Mr. Speaker, as I rise to speak, the men and women of 
America's Armed Forces are engaged in battle. Halfway around the world 
on ships at sea, in the skies over Baghdad, they are risking their 
lives for us. But even as millions of Americans across our country are 
hoping for a quick end to this conflict, even as we are praying for the 
safety of our sons and daughters, my Republican colleagues are obsessed 
with a different target. They are determined to impeach the Commander 
in Chief of America's Armed Forces, the President of the United States. 
Even as the bombs are falling on Baghdad, they are trying to force him 
from office.
  What kind of signal does this send our troops, our allies, the 
American people, the world? I find it quite incredible that we are even 
here today having this debate. To force an impeachment vote is to 
completely ignore the will of the American people.

                              {time}  1030

  The people of this country support the President, just as they have 
supported him through two elections and throughout his presidency. He 
is doing the job they elected him to do. It is a grave mistake to rush 
forward with impeachment like a runaway train heading for a cliff. Why 
can we not just pause for a second? Why can we not stop right here and 
come to our senses?
  The American people have made it very clear they oppose impeachment. 
They are looking for another solution, a just solution, a solution that 
condemns the President's wrongdoing yet enables America to put this 
sorry spectacle behind us and get on with the country's business; a 
solution that brings us together as a Nation, not one that divides us.
  Censure, this is the one option the Republican leadership refuses to 
consider. They will not even let us vote on it. President Ford supports 
censure, Senator Dole supports censure, Members on both sides of the 
aisle support censure. I dare say if it was made in order, it would 
pass. Yet the Republican leadership in this House is so angry, so 
obsessed, so self-righteous, that they are refusing us a true vote of 
conscience.
  This is wrong, it is unfair, it is unjust. At a time when events in 
the world and challenges at home demand that we stand united, censure 
is the one solution that can bring us together.
  To my colleagues across the aisle, I say, let go of your obsession. 
Listen to the American people. Stop hijacking the Constitution. We 
should not be having this debate now while our troops are in battle. 
But if, if they insist on ramming this matter through at any cost, give 
us the opportunity, give the country the opportunity, to express 
themselves on censure.
  If Members cannot set aside partisan politics until our troops are 
safe, at least, at the very least, let us have a clean vote of 
conscience, and let us bring America together once again.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Frost).
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, the decision we are faced with today is of 
singular importance. We are being asked to overturn the results of a 
presidential election under a procedure that is fundamentally unfair, 
and at a time that is contrary to the strategic national interests of 
the United States.
  There are three issues involved here today: the unfairness of this 
proceeding, the timing of this action, and the merits of whether or not 
to impeach the President.
  Let us start with the fundamental unfairness of this proceeding. The 
Republicans have denied the House the opportunity to vote on censuring 
the President, even though a clear majority of the American public 
believes the President should be censured for his conduct but not 
removed from office. Leading members of the Republican Party, former 
President Gerald Ford, former Senator Bob Dole, have urged the censure 
option, but we are being denied the opportunity to even consider it 
today. There is no fairness on this floor today.
  Second, the Republican majority, by starting this proceeding today, 
while we are engaged in military action against Saddam Hussein, sends 
entirely the wrong message to Saddam and to the rest of the world. We 
have a great bipartisan tradition of supporting the Commander in Chief 
and supporting our soldiers, sailors, and airmen in the time of war. 
That tradition is being shattered today by a partisan majority.
  Seven years ago I joined 86 of our colleagues, of our Democratic 
colleagues, in supporting a Republican President, George Bush, when he 
initiated military action against Saddam Hussein. I disagreed with 
President Bush on a variety of matters, but I felt it was important to 
show national unity against Saddam.
  By starting this proceeding against President Clinton today, we are 
sending the ultimate mixed message to Saddam about our national 
resolve. We may be encouraging him to resist longer by our actions in 
the midst of war. Starting this proceeding today may wind up costing 
American lives.
  The majority may well have blood on its hands by starting this 
proceeding today. We certainly could have waited until Monday to pursue 
this proceeding, giving our military time to pursue its mission.
  That brings me to the question of the merits. The Republican majority 
is trivializing the U.S. Constitution and setting a terrible precedent 
by pressing for impeachment on these particular grounds. What Clinton 
did was wrong, but it does not rise to the level of an impeachable 
offense.
  If we make every Member of this House rumored to have been involved 
in an affair subject to a $40 million special prosecutor, and then hold 
them accountable for any misstatement of fact, we may be faced with a 
number of empty seats in this Chamber. We should reserve impeachment 
for those rare instances that undermine our form of government and 
threaten the essence of democracy. It should not be used as a club by a 
partisan majority that dislikes the particular president.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Menendez).
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. Speaker, today's vote is set upon an unfair, false 
choice. This historic decision should be a moment above all political 
maneuvering. Instead, it is riddled with unfairness, sloppy procedure, 
and mean-spirited partisanship.
  From the 4-year, $40 million investigation which could only turn up a 
private, consensual affair, the airing and publishing of the tawdry 
Starr report and Lewinsky tapes where all of our children could hear 
and read every sexual detail, the failure of the President's accusers 
to spell out which of his words were allegedly perjurious, the unfair 
denial of the censure option here today, to trying to impeach the 
Commander in Chief with troops in harm's way, this process is a 
travesty. Where is their sense of fairness?
  Somewhere along the way, some in this House forgot that Bill Clinton 
is our President, not their personal enemy. The Constitution is not a 
license to destroy a president because one does not like him.
  I believe the President's actions were reprehensible and worthy of 
condemnation, but the clearest, most appropriate way to send a message 
about this President's behavior is censure. That is what our best legal 
scholars say, that is what the American public says. If the Republican 
leadership would allow us the freedom to vote our conscience, that 
would be the option.
  A censure would put an indelible scar upon the President's place in 
history, something we all know this President cares about deeply. It is 
a tough, just, and appropriate punishment. It would not absolve the 
President of any future indictment and prosecution of alleged perjury.
  Impeachment, however, should not be used as a form of super censure. 
Far from upholding the rule of law, a vote for impeachment under these 
circumstances weakens and undermines the rule of law, turning our 
Constitution into an unfair political tool.
  Former chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary Peter Rodino said 
to me, ``We voted to impeach Richard Nixon because of the irreparable 
harm he had done and threatened to do to the rights, liberties, and 
privileges of American citizens using the CIA, the FBI, the IRS, 
illegally wiretapping and auditing United States citizens. But we

[[Page H11780]]

would not have impeached Nixon alone for lying.''
  Yes, let us censure the President for his misconduct, let us send a 
message to our children that these actions are wrong, but let us not 
unfairly use the Constitution as a way to send that message.
  I warn my colleagues that they will reap the bitter harvest of the 
unfair partisan seeds they sow today. The constitutional provision for 
impeachment is a way to protect our government and our citizens, not 
another weapon in the political arsenal. Monica Lewinsky is not 
Watergate. Let he who has no sin in this Chamber cast the first vote.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Barney Frank), a senior member from Massachusetts on 
the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, this House is launched on a 
historically tragic case of selective moralizing. By the history of 
this country, the appropriate response to lying about a consensual 
sexual affair would be censure.
  When Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Defense was indicted for perjury by 
an Independent Counsel and pardoned by George Bush, Members on that 
side applauded the action. When Speaker Gingrich was found to have been 
inaccurate 13 times in an official proceeding to the House Ethics 
Committee, he was reprimanded and simultaneously reelected Speaker with 
the overwhelming vote of Members on that side. That is why we believe 
censure is appropriate.
  The American people also believe censure is appropriate. Let me agree 
with those who say that simply because a large number of the voters 
believe something, we are not obligated to vote for it. I welcome this 
assertion that we have an obligation not always to follow public 
opinion.
  But while we have the right not to vote for something just because 
there is overwhelming public support, in a democracy, we have no right 
not to vote on it. We have a right to stand up honestly and say, I 
disagree with censure. Members have no right to hide behind a partisan 
leadership and not take a position.
  The public has a right, on this overwhelmingly important issue, to 
have the preferred option that the public supports voted on. That is 
the abdication of democracy. It is not that Members have to support 
what the public wants, but Members cannot hide from it in a democracy.
  Why will Members not take a position on censure? If they have the 
votes to defeat it, they should not use partisan pressure and threats 
to keep it from being voted on. Do not deny to the American public a 
recorded vote on their notion of what ought to be done, particularly 
since Members' own behavior in the case of Caspar Weinberger, in the 
case of the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Newt Gingrich), clearly makes 
it understandable that censure and not impeachment is relevant.
  The final point is this: Members on the other side understand that 
people think throwing someone out of office is too harsh. We have a 
stunningly illogical game going on. First, to get votes for impeachment 
from people who know that the public doesn't want it, they downgrade 
impeachment. Impeachment is not throwing the President out of office, 
the chairman says; impeachment does not end the process, it simply 
sends it to the Senate.
  But what have they already begun to do? They plan, having degraded 
impeachment and claimed it is no definitive judgment, once they get a 
partisan vote for an impeachment, where the bar has been lowered, then 
to say, that is the basis for resignation. First, impeachment will be 
insignificant, it will simply be the beginning of the process. But 
having used their partisan power and the power of the right wing in the 
country to get an impeachment through after they have dumbed it down in 
significance, they will turn around and use the fact that they got that 
impeachment as a club to try to drive the President from office. First 
impeachment will simply be very little, and then it will be an enormous 
amount.
  Members cannot, de facto, amend the Constitution by that distortion 
of impeachment, and then use it to try to drive a President out of 
office when they know that is an inappropriate sanction for his 
behavior.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentleman will state his 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. How much time was charged to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Conyers) for the speech of the gentleman from Missouri 
(Mr. Gephardt)?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will say this, because other 
Members have inquired about this. The Chair has in the past had a 
standing policy during important debates to allow for the highest 
ranking party-elected Members of the House, the Speaker, the majority 
leader, the minority leader, and the minority whip, additional time 
during the time they are making important statements.
  The answer to the gentleman's question is that while the gentleman 
from Missouri (Mr. Gephardt) took 12 minutes to make his remarks, the 
Chair extended the time to him as a courtesy, as has traditonally been 
done on both sides of the aisle.

                              {time}  1045

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Edwards).
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, 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 others a deep vote of 
conscience, 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.
  In the name of the Constitution, Article II, this process trampled on 
the Constitution, Articles II and VI. In the name of the rule of law, 
this process ignored the fundamental principles of due process and 
fairness that formed 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 treated below the law. In the name of justice, this process ignored 
the pillar of justice that in our Nation every 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 surely 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, 
who among us, Democrat or Republican in this House, would want to be a 
defendant in the case where the rules of law and fairness were ignored, 
where secret grand jury testimony against us was released to the world, 
where there was not one direct witness, where your defense attorney was 
limited to one hour of cross-examining your chief accuser, where your 
attorney was forced to give your final defense even before one charge 
had been formally presented against you, where the charges of perjury 
against you were finally presented at the 11th hour and failed the test 
of decency which statements were allegedly perjurious. Surely no Member 
of this House would want to be judged by that process. We should not 
judge this President by that process.
  Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to oppose these articles of 
impeachment. I oppose this action with every fiber of my body because 
it is an affront to our Constitution and our democracy.
  In my short tenure in the House of Representatives, I can recall no 
other action that has so jeopardized the historic obligations that we 
are sworn to uphold. For me, this is no longer about the President's 
actions. They were repugnant, embarrassing and immoral. But this is not 
a constitutional forum for judging such behavior and exacting 
punishment. The President's family, the American people and maybe even 
the courts may eventually speak to his errors.
  We might have given voice to our views in the form of a censure 
resolution, but this House leadership chose not to allow any but the 
most draconian actions, impeachment. It is wrong

[[Page H11781]]

and it is unfair. It denies the American people their right to 
representative democracy.
  We have the constitutional authority to remove a President only when 
he or she crosses the line into treason, bribery and high crimes 
against the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin spoke of impeachment as an 
alternative to assassination. Today this body is contemplating a 
constitutional assassination, driven by a naked partisanship, almost 
without lawful and civil bounds. The Republican majority is moving to 
impeach an elected President of the United States. Thwarting the 
public's will, they do so even as the President commands our troops in 
battle against Iraq and even as he seeks to perform his constitutional 
responsibility with the support of the overwhelming majority of the 
American people.
  This debate amidst those bombs more than anything else symbolizes the 
madness that has inflamed the partisan fires on the other side of the 
aisle.
  This is a moment for boundaries and not license. This is a moment to 
allow history to have its sway. This is a moment to allow Madison, 
Jefferson, Franklin and Washington to be heard in this Chamber above 
the partisan din. If that spirit were to prevail, I have no doubt that 
the provocateurs would be stilled and our Constitution preserved. The 
American people, not the politicians, would have the final say, as the 
Founders intended.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Gekas), a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  (Mr. GEKAS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. GEKAS. I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, there are some Members in this 
Chamber that seem to have forgotten history. We were at war in Vietnam 
when the hearings on the impeachment of President Nixon occurred. That 
was because of the serious offenses that were alleged against President 
Nixon. Today we are proceeding because of the serious offenses alleged 
against President Clinton.
  I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, a loud lament has been heard about some 
deprivation of the right to vote one's conscience. But that is exactly 
why we are here today. All of us in the ultimate must vote the ultimate 
sense of conscience. That is what this process is all about. We are 
facing indeed our moment of truth.
  Now, the moment of truth for the President of the United States first 
faced him in December of 1997. It faced him in the nature of a legal 
document, legal in interrogatories that were forwarded to him in 
pursuit by the Paula Jones attorneys of discovery proceedings in their 
case, a document laid before the President to be attested to under oath 
to answer certain questions. The President faced his moment of truth 
right there and then, the first item in the legal proceedings that have 
become the hallmark of these proceedings, and there under oath 
testified falsely.
  At that moment, he began the chain of events that led a month later 
to his appearance before the deposition lawyers and judge and, further 
down the line, to the grand jury in August of that year. But here is 
the important difference that Members must take into account as they 
evaluate the evidence.
  The evidence is that when he signed these interrogatories, this first 
moment of truth to which I allude, there was no parsing of definitions. 
There was no argument among the lawyers about meanings and definitions. 
There was no judge interpolating the opinion of the court into the 
argument of the lawyers. There was no parsing or mixing or evasion of 
types of definitions and words. This was a straight interrogatory to 
which the President of the United States added perjurious and false 
answers.
  In a single moment in the Oval Office or wherever he executed this 
set of interrogatories, he began the long chain of falsehoods that have 
led us to our moment of truth here today.
  We must exercise that conscience to which all the Members have 
alluded and recognize that when the President faced this moment of 
truth in countless occasions, each time he swept it away and caused 
himself the difficulty that he brings to our Chamber here today.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Bryant).
  (Mr. BRYANT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BRYANT. Mr. Speaker, I might add that I want to again honor the 
Constitution by what we do today. I think we all share that. And while 
the polls seem to show one thing, they also seem to show that many 
people would like this President to resign, in fact a majority of the 
people polled. But we cannot govern this country by polls. We have to 
be responsible today. It is not our job to create or invent solutions 
beyond the authority of this House. We must match our power with the 
authority that the Constitution gives us.
  In light of that, I want to speak briefly and add on to what the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Gekas) has said about Article II of 
the impeachment articles. It is clear there is compelling testimony 
that in addition to the interrogatories that were answered under oath 
by this President, falsely, there was also testimony given that was 
false in the deposition that was taken after those interrogatories. On 
numerous occasions the President lied under oath, and there is 
compelling evidence that this occurred. And specifically when his 
attorney brought up the false affidavit of Monica Lewinsky and said 
that the sexual relationship term referred to meant that there was no 
sex of any kind, in any manner, shape or form, the President sat 
silently, knowing that this false affidavit was being put into this 
sexual harassment lawsuit. He said that he was not paying attention.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair announces that the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner), on behalf of the gentleman from Illinois 
(Mr. Hyde), has 5 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Conyers) has 11 minutes remaining.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Boucher), a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Mr. BOUCHER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan for 
yielding me the time.
  In its 1974 Watergate inquiry, the House Committee on the Judiciary 
conducted an exhaustive examination of the constitutional history of 
the impeachment power. Then on a broad bipartisan basis, the committee 
adopted a report which eloquently states the constitutional standard 
for use by the House of Representatives of its impeachment power.
  In the committee's words, only that presidential 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 office of the presidency will justify 
impeachment.
  The facts now before the House, which arise from a personal 
relationship and the efforts to conceal it, simply do not meet that 
standard. While the President's conduct was reprehensible, it did not 
threaten the Nation. It did not undermine the constitutional form and 
principles of our government. It did not disable the proper functioning 
of the constitutional duties of the presidential office. These facts 
simply do not meet the standard.
  To misuse of impeachment power in this case, as some are now prepared 
to do, will create a national horror. The divisions on this subject 
which now exist within our society will harden and deepen. A rift and a 
divide will occur. There will be a polarization. The President and the 
Congress will be diverted from their urgent national business while 
prolonged proceedings take place in the Senate.
  There will be a lowering of the standard for future impeachments with 
an inherent weakening of the presidential office. There will probably 
be instability in the financial markets with adverse effects for the 
economy.
  These harms are unnecessary. The President's conduct was deplorable, 
but it was not impeachable.
  The House today should censure the President for bringing dishonor on 
the

[[Page H11782]]

presidential office. That path will bring closure and a restoration of 
national dignity.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Skelton).
  Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Speaker, our friend from Illinois spoke reverently 
of Bunker Hill and Arlington Cemetery. We find ourselves in a debate to 
impeach a Commander in Chief of the successors to those brave patriots 
of Bunker Hill and all who served since then. Today we should have our 
men and our women who stand in harm's way in the Persian Gulf in our 
thoughts and in our prayers rather than trying to politically 
decapitate their Commander in Chief.

                              {time}  1100

  What is a few days? Why the rush to judgment? Our being here reflects 
a lack of respect for all in uniform as well as their families. If 
there were such an attempt by my party to remove President Bush during 
the Persian Gulf conflict, I would have opposed it with all of my 
being.
  We must look at the proceeding today and seek the guidance of our 
Constitution. We must do so without emotion, for the more emotion, the 
less reason.
  The framers of the United States Constitution knew that in an extreme 
case there will be a need to remove or overturn a popular election. 
They also knew that they must not make impeachment easy or routine. To 
maintain separation of powers, they set the bar of impeachment high and 
limited the grounds to impeachment. Initially, the framers made the 
great crimes of treason and bribery the only offenses worthy of 
impeachment. Later, at the Constitutional Convention, the standard was 
broadened to include ``other high crimes and misdemeanors.''
  I studied the phrase carefully. The word ``other'' is important 
because I believe it is crucial to our deliberations on impeachment. I 
have concluded that the correct legal interpretation and the intent of 
the framers of that document is that the general phrase ``other high 
crimes and misdemeanors'' must be limited to the kinds of class or 
things within the specific words ``treason'' and ``bribery.''
  As members of the House of Representatives, it is our duty to measure 
the President's actions against this high Constitutional standard, 
without regard to political party or partisan influence. We should not 
establish a new Constitutional standard which lowers the threshold for 
ousting a sitting President. I have concluded that even if we concede 
that all of the allegations in the Judiciary Report are true, President 
Clinton's actions do not constitute impeachable offenses under the 
Constitution. There is just no evidence that permitting him to stay on 
would cause great or serious harm to our system of government.
  The impeachment proceedings which took place in 1974 can provide us 
with a useful precedent. In that investigation, the House Judiciary 
Committee discovered persuasive evidence that President Nixon was 
criminally liable for tax fraud. However, the Committee, with a 
Democratic majority, voted 26-12 not to impeach President Nixon for tax 
fraud because it did not involve official conduct or abuse of 
Presidential powers. Rather, the Committee limited its impeachment 
articles to those actions by President Nixon which affected our rights, 
our liberties, and our privileges, and which if permitted to go on 
would have seriously harmed our Constitutional system.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Lewis), one of our leadership members.
  Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I come before you to speak for the 
principle of democracy, the doctrine of fairness, and the spirit of 
forgiveness.
  America is sick. Her heart is heavy. Her soul is aching. And her 
spirit is low. Today our Nation stands at a crossroads, at the 
intersection of participatory democracy and the politics of personal 
destruction.
  Today, my colleagues, we must choose, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 
wrote, between community and chaos. We must choose the course of 
partisan destruction or national reconciliation. We will, in our 
lifetime, never cast a more important vote. The spirit of history is 
upon us and the future of the republic before us.
  Our obligation as citizens of the state are as old as human history 
and as fresh as the morning dew, to right wrong, do justice and love 
mercy. Our Constitution, that sacred document, is a covenant, a 
contract between the Government and those who are governed.
  We must not, we cannot ignore the will of the people. Almost 50 
million people elected Bill Clinton as our President in spite of his 
problems, his shortcomings and his failings. They, the people, elected 
Bill Clinton President of the United States and they want him to remain 
the President of the United States.
  And yet some, some even in this Chamber, have never accepted the 
verdict of the people. They have never accepted Bill Clinton as their 
President. Instead they embarked on a crusade of personal destruction.
  Our Constitution was never intended to be used as a hammer to destroy 
our political enemies. Some of our colleagues have been too quick to 
pick up the hammer of impeachment and swing it with reckless abandon. 
So bent are they on the destruction of this President that they would 
knock down the very pillars which support our constitutional system.
  What President Clinton did was wrong. About that there can be no 
mistake. There is no disagreement, no debate. But how, how, my 
colleagues, should we respond? How we respond, how we act says as much 
about us and our character as it does about his. Let he that has no sin 
cast the first stone. Who among us has not sinned?
  What the President did was wrong, but it simply does not rise to the 
height or sink to the depths of an impeachment offense. I know it, my 
colleagues know it and, most importantly, the American people know it.
  Will we write a chapter or be consigned to a footnote. The spirit of 
history is upon us. Let us do what is right, let us do what is just and 
love mercy.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Conyers) has 4 minutes remaining. The gentleman from Wisconsin 
(Mr. Sensenbrenner) has 5 minutes remaining and has the right to close.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott), a member of the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Speaker, impeachment is in the Constitution to protect 
our Nation from a president who is subverting our constitutional form 
of government. Our authority to impeach is limited in the Constitution 
to findings of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors.
  We know, from our hearings, that treason, bribery, or other high 
crimes or misdemeanors does not cover all felonies. In fact, it does 
not even cover a half-million-dollar income tax fraud. That is the rule 
of law. We cannot act unless there is treason, bribery, or similar 
offenses. And so, that is why historians and constitutional scholars 
have said that these allegations, even if they were true, do not 
constitute impeachable offenses; and that is why one historian warned 
that history will hunt down those who knowingly violate the 
Constitution when they vote for impeachment.
  That would be the case even if the allegations were true. But support 
of the new, low standard for impeachment comes by way of contradictory, 
double hearsay, and dubious inferences, without a single witness.
  In Watergate and every other prior impeachment, we heard witnesses. 
In this case, the accused has not even had an opportunity to cross-
examine witnesses. In fact, the accused has never been told the 
specifics of the charges against him. There is a reason why the 
specifics are not mentioned and that is because the so-called 
perjurious statements constitute such immaterial minutiae that the 
supporters of impeachment resort to titles of offenses such as perjury, 
without stating what the perjurious statements are.
  Mr. Speaker, it is an outrage that we would attempt to overturn a 
national democratic election on these flimsy allegations on the very 
day that our young men and women are risking their lives to protect our 
democratic form of government.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of the time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers) is 
recognized for 2 minutes.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of this body, we are 
confronted with an overzealous and non-

[[Page H11783]]

independent counsel report combined with a totally politicized process 
in the committee with party line votes on nearly every issue. And so, I 
want to remind my colleagues that I am witnessing the most tragic event 
of my career in the Congress, in effect a Republican coup d'etat, in 
process.
  We are using the most powerful institutional tool available to this 
body, impeachment, in a highly partisan manner. Impeachment was 
designed to rid this Nation of traitors and tyrants, not attempts to 
cover up extramarital affairs. This resolution trivializes our most 
important tool to maintain democracy. It downgrades the impeachment 
power into a partisan weapon that can be used with future presidents. 
Perhaps, hopefully, we may never ever use impeachment again after this 
experience.
  Now, I am personally outraged that we would decapitate the Commander 
in Chief at a time when we are at war abroad. Republicans sacrifice the 
national security by doing so. To be spending time of this House to 
smear our Commander in Chief when brave men and women are risking their 
lives for their country shocks the conscience. The failure by the 
Republican majority to allow a censure alternative shows again the 
perversely partisan process this is.
  I have been a Member here for some time and I cannot recall a single 
occasion when the Democrats denied the Republicans the ability to offer 
an alternative on a matter as momentous as this.
  Our Nation has been pushed to the edge of a constitutional cliff. We 
are about to inflict permanent damage on our Constitution, on our 
President, on the Nation and ourselves. We should not be here today. 
And history will not look kindly on the partisan passions that have 
brought us to this point.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, is the time of the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Conyers) expired in this hour?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman from Michigan has 
expired.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Solomon).
  (Mr. SOLOMON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the impeachment 
resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, in September when the Rules Committee brought a 
resolution to the floor to provide for the appropriate handling and 
release of the Independent Counsel report, I stated that many of us 
hoped such a day would never come in our careers in public life. These 
last few months have been difficult and profound for the House of 
Representatives, and certainly for the Nation.
  It is my sincere hope, despite the unfortunate nature of the subject 
matter, that we will make the Founding Fathers proud by solemnly 
addressing our constitutional obligation today.
  If the meaning of an oath has been minimized at all in America, at 
least we can courageously abide by our constitutional oaths here in 
this Chamber today.
  Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the Judiciary Committee for their 
diligent service to the House, and to the Nation, in this difficult 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I intend to support the resolution impeaching President 
Clinton for high crimes and misdemeanors.
  I find the case presented by the Judiciary Committee in its report 
devastating and I am compelled, after studying the case, to support 
these articles of impeachment.
  The evidence presented demonstrates the President committed perjury 
both in a deposition before a Federal judge in a sexual harassment 
lawsuit and in grand jury testimony.
  I am astounded at the methodical and calculating manner in which this 
perjury was conducted. The President obstructed justice and interfered 
with the machinery of our judicial system, and he committed perjury 
before the Congress in response to the Judiciary Committee's inquiries 
under oath.
  Mr. Speaker, the evidence is overwhelming, it is remarkably detailed, 
and it is corroborated at key points. It has also not been rebutted, in 
any meaningful way, by the President or his attorneys.
  The President's conduct could be considered reckless for any 
government official or chief executive officer of a corporation, but it 
is truly tragic--for the office and the Nation--when that illegal 
conduct was committed by the President of the United States.
  Perjury is a felony, Mr. Speaker, and it is an offense which demands 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, the rule of law, and our adherence to the rule of law, 
have made us the great Nation that we are today.
  What kind of example do we set for the future if we do not impeach 
the chief law enforcement officer of the land, who happens to be an 
attorney, because of this type of behavior in office?
  If we countenance this misconduct, what are we to say to the American 
citizens currently serving Federal prison sentences for perjury?
  How are we to answer our children when they ask us ``If the President 
can lie and get away with it, why can't I?''
  The argument has been advanced in recent days that impeachment is 
disruptive to the Nation; it will result in chaos in the financial 
markets, and the economy will crumble. The work of government will 
somehow cease.
  Mr. Speaker, this is the greatest representative body in the world. 
The Members of this institution can attest, based on their close 
interaction with their constituents, that America is strong.
  America is healthy and robust and prosperous in spite of the 
misconduct of the President.
  This notion of a world thrown into turmoil due to impeachment is 
completely false.
  We are a resilient people, and we have endured depression and world 
wars in this century and a vicious civil war in the century before.
  After defeating fascism and communism in this bloody 20th century, 
are we to believe that we simply cannot survive without Bill Clinton? 
We should remember that we are all just temporary occupants of these 
offices.
  The Constitution was here long before we were and it will be here 
long after.
  Why discard our historic notion of the rule of law, a notion which 
differentiates us from much of the world around us, for one man?
  The man in question clings to the trappings of his powerful office, 
and cloaks himself in its symbols and icons, but adheres to none of the 
principles of the men who served in it before him.
  Why is any one man worth the sacrifice of the office which we hold 
with such great esteem? this impeachment vote by the House and trial in 
the Senate is intended to protect constitutional government--it is not 
intended to punish the President for his crimes.
  Rather, it is designed to protect the office--our office--from 
further harm by its temporary occupant.
  I will vote to impeach President Clinton, and vindicate the rule of 
law.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of our time to 
the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Barr).
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Barr) is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding 
me time.
  Members of the House, today our Constitution stands in harm's way. 
The rule of law in America is under fire, the rule of law about which 
our chairman, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), spoke so 
eloquently just a few short moments ago, the rule of law which finds 
its highest and best embodiment in the absolute, the unshakeable right 
each one of us has to walk in a courtroom and demand the righting of a 
wrong.
  As President John F. Kennedy so eloquently put it, ``Americans are 
free to disagree with the law but not to disobey it. For a government 
of laws and not of men, no man however prominent and powerful, no mob 
however unruly or boisterous is entitled to defy a court of law. If 
this country should ever reach the point where any man or group of men, 
by force or threat of force, could long defy the commands of our courts 
and our Constitution, then no law would stand free from doubt, no judge 
would be sure of his writ, and no citizen would be safe from its 
neighbors.'' This, Mr. Speaker, is the fundamental American right which 
President William Jefferson Clinton tried to deny a fellow citizen.
  How did he do it? I direct the attention of every Member of this body 
to the report of the Committee on the Judiciary to accompany H. Res. 
611. I direct their specific attention to Article III, which lays out a 
case of obstruction of justice. Despite the fact that in the ears of a 
lay person obstruction might conjure up a massive frontal assault, in 
the word of law, and I know this as a former United States attorney who 
directed the prosecution of a Republican member of this body for 
obstructing justice before a grand jury, obstruction of justice is much 
more insidious, much more implied, much quieter, but nonetheless 
destructive of the rule of law in this country.

[[Page H11784]]

  What is obstruction and what was the pattern of obstruction in this 
case? I respectfully direct the attention of each Member of this body 
to the United States Criminal Code, title 18, to those several 
provisions which set forth the principle that no man, no citizen of 
this land, no visitor to this land shall tamper with witnesses, seek to 
hide witnesses, seek to hide evidence in a case, or seek to change, 
modify, or prevent testimony.
  Yet there is in this report and in the accompanying 60,000 pages of 
evidence to which Chairman Hyde alluded, evidence of a clear pattern of 
obstruction of justice, in violation of title 18 of the United States 
Code, by this President; such things as making statements to his 
secretary after he gave sworn testimony in an effort, a very clear 
effort, with no other purpose than to influence the testimony of his 
secretary, who most assuredly would have been and was called as a grand 
jury witness, evidence such as the President calling and directing one 
of the most powerful attorneys in this city, Mr. Vernon Jordan, after 
it was found out that Monica Lewinsky would indeed be and had been 
subpoenaed as a witness to appear before the court and directed that 
she be found a job.

                              {time}  1115

  Evidence such as the President, the Commander in Chief, as we have 
heard today, picking up a telephone at 2 a.m. in the morning, not by 
coincidence the very day that he found out that Ms. Lewinsky was indeed 
a named witness and would be a witness in the court case of Paula Jones 
and going over with her to reaffirm in her mind the stories, the cover 
stories, that they indeed had agreed to if just this calamity would 
befall them.
  These, I submit to every Member of this House, are obstruction. They 
are indeed a frontal assault on our Constitution.
  We have here today in Article III alone three legs of a stool, if I 
could borrow an analogy from the chairman of the Committee on the 
Judiciary. We have the Constitution, we have the United States Criminal 
Code as violated by this President, and we have the evidence. They 
support a vote for Article III of impeachment of William Jefferson 
Clinton for obstructing justice in America.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time has expired.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to be recognized under the 
hour rule.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner).
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, for purposes of debate only, I yield 
the customary one-half hour to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers). All time yielded is for the purpose of debate only.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
McCollum).
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, if the previous question is moved, I 
intend to vote against it so that I may be recognized to control under 
the hour rule time in order to continue the debate on House Resolution 
611.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Sam Johnson).
  (Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, we have heard the argument 
that our military forces are fighting. Do my colleagues know what they 
are fighting for? They are fighting to uphold the Constitution and the 
oath that we took and they took.
  As my colleagues know, when the President stands before God, puts his 
hand on the Bible and takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and 
lawfully carry out the duties of his office, he is promising to put the 
people and the Nation before his own interests. I believe the President 
violated the laws and beliefs he swore to uphold instead of following 
the law, respecting American people's values and honoring his office. 
He chose to lie, cover up and evade the truth. His actions have made a 
mockery of the people who fought for this country and are fighting for 
this Nation today, the Constitution and the laws we live under, and 
because of the President's actions Congress must act as dictated by the 
Constitution.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. I yield to the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. HYDE. The gentleman has some familiarity with our military 
service. Did he serve in the Vietnam War?
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Yes, sir, and the Korean one, if we want to 
call it.
  Mr. HYDE. And the Korean War.
  How much time did the gentleman spend in the prison camp in Hanoi or 
in Vietnam?
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Nearly 7 years, sir.
  Mr. HYDE. Seven years in a POW camp?
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Yes, sir.
  Mr. HYDE. In solitary?
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Yes, sir; 3 years of that.
  Mr. HYDE. Well, I think the gentleman from Texas is qualified to talk 
about military service.
  Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Well, I want to tell my colleagues that our 
military fighting men want the Congress to carry on their 
constitutional responsibility every day. That is why we are here.
  As my colleagues know, maybe we ought to be debating right after this 
issue how we support our military and give them more arms and more 
people to make sure they can win that battle. We cannot sacrifice what 
is right to do, what is easy.
  As my colleagues know, when I was a POW, we did some things that were 
tough to do. This is a tough thing to do, but it is the right thing to 
do, and I suggest we continue with this impeachment process.
  Mr. Speaker, the duty of the President of the United States is to 
preserve, protect and defend our Constitution. For over two hundred 
years we have sent our fathers, brothers, sons, mothers and daughters 
to war to do just that.
  Many of them never returned. They gave their lives for a better 
America. They believed that America is greater than one person, one 
life.
  They gave their lives to ensure that America and our Constitution 
remain safe and that our way of life would not perish.
  They knew--with death--came honor, trust, loyalty and respect. They 
knew their death meant freedom to the millions of Americans who would 
come after them. Many of those who died were my friends.
  I spent 29 years in the Air Force, fought in two wars and was a 
prisoner of war for nearly 7 years in Vietnam.
  I love this great nation. And I would defend it again because America 
and our ideals are worth dying for.
  When I left Vietnam there was an inscription scrawled on one of the 
prison walls which read: ``freedom has a taste to those who fought and 
almost died that the protected will never know.''
  The President is the one person who must hold these words and actions 
in the highest regard.
  The President is our moral leader. His picture hangs in classrooms 
throughout America. The President is our symbol of freedom. The 
President is the Commander in Chief, the chief law enforcement officer, 
and the leader of the free world.
  When the President stands before God, puts his hand on the Bible and 
takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and lawfully carry out the 
duties of his office--he is promising to put the people and the Nation 
before his own interests.
  I believe this President violated the laws and the beliefs he swore 
to uphold. Instead of following the law, respecting the American 
people's values and honoring his office, he chose to lie, cover up and 
evade the truth.
  His actions have made a mockery of the people who fought for this 
country, the Constitution and the laws we live under.
  It is clear from the evidence that this President committed perjury.
  It is clear from the evidence that this President obstructed justice.
  It is clear from the evidence that this President abused the power of 
his office.
  He systematically used his office and staff to protect his own 
personal interests. Instead of truth and forgiveness he hid behind 
legalistic jargon.
  And now, because of the President's actions, Congress must act as 
dictated by the Constitution.
  We cannot sacrifice what is right to do what is easy.
  During those awful years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, there were 
many times that I and my fellow prisoners could have taken the ``easy'' 
way out.
  We could have told the enemy our military secrets, or we could have 
betrayed one another. That would have been the ``easiest''

[[Page H11785]]

thing to do to stop the daily torture we endured. If we had just given 
up a few military secrets or betrayed a fellow soldier, we could have 
avoided starvation, been released much earlier, and not missed all 
those years of our lives with our families and children. But we never 
did. Even through all the daily torture, beatings and starvation, we 
never once considered taking the ``easy'' way out. and now we must 
endure these hardships, uphold our Constitution and protect America.
  When we, in Congress, raised our right hands and took our oaths of 
office, we promised to make the difficult decisions.
  We have come to the end of a very long and winding road. Long and 
winding--not because of anything Congress has done, but rather because 
President Clinton has walked us down it by his own actions.
  The President has diminished his office in the eyes of the Nation, 
and more dangerously, in the eyes of the world.
  The President is the chief law enforcement official of this country. 
If you lose respect for him, you lose respect for the law.
  I would just say, again, to the American people, that this is not a 
choice about doing what is easy. This is a choice between what is right 
and what is wrong under our Constitution and the rule of law.
  Let's be clear: the President lied to us. He pointed his finger at 
us, looked us in the eye and lied to us, over and over again.
  We must make a stand and say--we are a nation of laws and no one is 
above the law.
  So, I will vote to impeach the President. The Constitution demands it 
and the country deserves no less.
  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Schumer), a distinguished member of the Committee on 
the Judiciary and Senator elect.
  (Mr. SCHUMER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. Speaker, these are my last moments as a Member of 
the House that I honor and that I love, but this is a bittersweet day 
for me because a pall hangs over this House. Unless a miracle occurs, 
we will take one of the most serious and rare actions that this body 
can assume and impeach the President against the overwhelming will of 
the American people. Voting against these articles will be my last act.
  Since September I have said what the President did was reprehensible 
and should be punished. I also argued that lying about an extramarital 
affair, even under oath, does not rise to the level of high crimes and 
misdemeanors as spelled out in the Constitution and that the proper 
punishment is censure, not impeachment.
  But today, Mr. Speaker, my last day in the House that I cherish, I 
ask myself what has brought us to this day? It would be easy for 
Democrats to lay the blame on a narrow band of right wing zealots out 
to destroy Bill Clinton. It would be convenient for Republicans to lay 
the blame squarely at the feet of the President for his behavior. But 
this goes much deeper than that.
  What began 25 years ago with Watergate as a solemn and necessary 
process to force a President to adhere to the rule of law has grown 
beyond our control so that now we are routinely using criminal 
accusations and scandal to win the political battles and ideological 
differences we cannot settle at the ballot box. It has been used with 
reckless abandon by both parties, Democrats and Republicans, and we are 
now at a point where we risk, deeply risk, wounding the Nation we all 
love.
  We cannot disagree, it seems; we cannot forcefully advocate for our 
positions, without trying to criminalize or at least dishonor our 
adversaries over matters having nothing to do with public trust. And it 
is hurting our country, it is marginalizing and polarizing this 
Congress.
  I want to be clear. I am not pointing fingers at Republicans. The 
Democrats investigated John Tower for allegations not too dissimilar 
from allegations against the President. The gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Gingrich) led the investigation which brought down Speaker Wright, and 
Speaker Gingrich was investigated and brought down as well. The ledger 
between the two parties is pretty much even.
  Today we are upping the ante. The President could be removed from 
office over a matter that most Americans feel does not come close to 
the level of high crimes and misdemeanors as written in our 
Constitution. I expect history will show that we have lowered the bar 
on impeachment so much we have broken the seal on this extreme penalty 
so cavalierly that it will be used as a routine tool to fight political 
battles. My fear is that when a Republican wins the White House 
Democrats will demand payback.
  Mr. Speaker, in Greek mythology, in the Oresteia, a trilogy of 
ancient Greek plays by Aeschylus, the warring factions of the House of 
Atreus trapped themselves in an escalating chain of revenge.
* * * such that Atreus serves his brother a pie that contained his 
brother's own murdered children. It was the end of what was once a 
noble family. A noble House.
  Let us not become a House of Atreus. Let us reject the instinct for 
revenge and embrace instead a greater sense of justice for the sake of 
our Republic.
  That is why I leave the institution that I cherish and respect with a 
heavy heart. I know we are better than what we have shown.
  But I fear that the road that we are on will lead us to ruin. It is 
time to get off.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Cunningham), who served in 
Vietnam and was recommended for the Medal of Honor.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Speaker, I had served on the Committee on 
National Security in authorization. I now serve on the Subcommittee on 
National Security of the Committee on Appropriations, and I want to 
tell my colleagues, every single member on those two committees, I have 
the greatest respect for what they try to do to bolster our military 
and our men and women. And my colleagues, some of them say, ``Why not 
wait? Why can't we wait just a few days?''
  The President of the United States last night deployed ground troops 
to Iraq. Just imagine, just imagine what would happen if Saddam Hussein 
goes into Kuwait again, and the turmoil and the loss of lives, and 
think about how difficult it would be to bring up a resolution like 
this if we waited.
  There has been talk about Ramadan. Well, there is another religious 
holiday: Christmas. Think about how hard it would be to bring up this 
resolution.
  If this goes beyond January 6 into a next Congress, then we have a 
constitutional problem. And the public, they want this over. I agree 
they want it over, and that is why we are proceeding on, to get it 
over. We would have to start this process all over again. The public 
does not want that I say to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) or 
the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers); they want it done.
  As a matter of fact, talk about polls; in the Washington Post poll 
they talked about if this article goes through, almost 60 percent of 
the American people would ask the President to resign. It is not for 
the President. It is because they do not want this thing to go on, and 
we are going to do that.
  Mr. Speaker, I have a tape here. I would love to play it for the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers) sometime. It is 18 SAMs (surface-
to-air missiles), SA-2s, going off in pairs over Vietnam.
  When we talk about at a time like this, our troops are fighting. Not 
once did I ever worry about what was going on in Congress. I worried 
about the strike mission, about where the SAMs were, where the triple A 
(anti-aircraft artillery) was, about getting back to my carrier alive.
  They do not care what is going on here. They want this over, too. 
That is not a factor in this. Our men and women are fighting and dying.
  I have got a friend named Bug Roach. He was flying a 25-year-old 
aircraft, an A-4 Skyhawk. His engine quit over Whiskey 291. It is a 
training area in the Pacific, west of San Diego. When he tried to 
eject, his seat did not work. Do my colleagues have any idea what it is 
like to talk to his family?
  Do not cut defense any more. If my colleagues want to support our 
troops, do not cut defense, with the Progressive Caucus that wants to 
cut it an additional 50 percent. Bolster our troops.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Nadler), a distinguished member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  (Mr. NADLER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)

[[Page H11786]]

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, the precedents show and the Nation's leading 
scholars and historians overwhelmingly agree that impeachment is 
reserved under the Constitution only for abuses of presidential power 
that undermine the structure of functioning of government or of 
constitutional liberty. It is not intended as a punishment for crimes 
but as a protection against the President who would abuse his powers to 
make himself a tyrant. That is why Benjamin Franklin called impeachment 
a substitute for assassination.
  We are told that perjury is as serious an offense as bribery, a per 
se impeachable offense, but bribery goes to the heart of the 
President's conduct of his constitutional duties. It converts his 
loyalties and efforts from promoting the welfare of the Republic to 
promoting some other interest.

                              {time}  1130

  Perjury is a serious crime and, if provable, should be prosecuted in 
a court of law. But it may or may not involve the President's duties 
and performance in office. Perjury on a private matter, perjury 
regarding sex, is not a great and dangerous offense against the Nation. 
It is not an abuse of uniquely presidential power. It does not threaten 
our form of government. It is not an impeachable offense.
  The effect of impeachment is to overturn the popular will of the 
voters. We must not overturn an election and remove a President from 
office except to defend our system of government or our constitutional 
liberties against a dire threat, and we must not do so without an 
overwhelming consensus of the American people.
  There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment 
supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by another. 
Such an impeachment will produce divisiveness and bitterness in our 
politics for years to come, and will call into question the very 
legitimacy of our political institutions.
  The American people have heard the allegations against the President, 
and they overwhelmingly oppose impeaching him. They elected President 
Clinton, they still support him. We have no right to overturn the 
considered judgment of the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, the case against the President has not been made. There 
is far from sufficient evidence to support the allegations, and the 
allegations, even if proven true, do not rise to the level of 
impeachable offenses.
  Mr. Speaker, this is clearly a partisan railroad job. The same people 
who today tell us we must impeach the President for lying under oath, 
almost to a person voted last year to reelect the Speaker who had just 
admitted lying to Congress in an official proceeding.
  The American people are watching, and they will not forget. You may 
have the votes, you may have the muscle, but you do not have the 
legitimacy of a national consensus or of a constitutional imperative. 
This partisan coup d'etat will go down in infamy in the history of this 
Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, today, for only the second time in our nation's history, 
this House meets to consider articles of impeachment against a 
President of the United States. This is a momentous occasion, and I 
would hope that, despite the sharp partisan tone which has marked this 
debate, we can approach it with a sober sense of the historic 
importance of this matter.
  I believe that we need to get back to basics--the Constitution and 
what the impeachment power conferred on the Congress requires of us. 
Article II, section 4 of the Constitution says that a President ``shall 
be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, 
Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' We have received 
testimony from some of the nation's leading legal scholars and 
historians who agree that impeachable offenses are those which are 
abuses of Presidential power that undermine the structure or 
functioning of government, or constitutional liberty.
  Benjamin Franklin called impeachment a ``substitute for 
assassination.'' It is, in fact, a peaceful procedure for protecting 
the nation from despots by providing a constitutional means for 
removing a President who would misuse his presidential power to make 
himself a tyrant or otherwise undermine our constitutional form of 
government. To impeach a President, it must be that serious.
  The history of the language is also clear. At the Constitutional 
Convention, the Committee on Style, which was not authorized to make 
any substantive changes, dropped the words ``against the United 
States'' after the words ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' because it 
was understood that only high crimes and misdemeanors against the 
system of government would be impeachable--that the words ``against the 
United States'' were redundant and unnecessary.
  History and the precedents alike show that impeachment is not a 
punishment for crimes, but a means to protect the constitutional 
system, and it was certainly not meant to be a means to punish a 
President for personal wrongdoing not related to his office. Some of 
our Republican colleagues have made much of the fact that some of the 
Democrats on this Committee in 1974 voted in favor of an article of 
impeachment relating to President Nixon's alleged perjury on his tax 
returns, but the plain fact is that a bipartisan vote of that 
Committee--something we have not yet had in this process on any 
substantive question--rejected that article. That's the historical 
record, and it was largely based on the belief that an impeachable 
offense must be an abuse of Presidential power, a ``great and dangerous 
offense against the Nation,'' not perjury on a private matter.
  We are told that perjury is as serious an offense as bribery, a per 
se impeachable offense. But bribery goes to the heart of the 
President's conduct of his constitutional duties--it converts his 
loyalties and efforts from promoting the welfare of the Republic to 
promoting some other interest. Perjury is a serious crime--and, if 
provable, should be prosecuted in a court of law. But it may, or may 
not, involve the President's duties and performance in office. Perjury 
on a private matter--perjury regarding sex--is not a ``great and 
dangerous offense against the Nation.'' It is not an abuse of uniquely 
Presidential power. It does not threaten our form of government. It is 
not an impeachable offense.
  The effect of impeachment is to overturn the popular will of the 
voters as expressed in a national election. We must not overturn an 
election and remove a President from office except to defend our very 
system of government on our constitutional liberties against a dire 
threat. And we must not do so without an overwhelming consensus of the 
American people and of their Representatives in Congress on its 
absolute necessity. There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment, 
or an impeachment substantially supported by one of our major political 
parties and largely opposed by the other. Such an impeachment will lack 
legitimacy, will produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics 
for years to come, and will call into question the legitimacy of our 
political institutions. The American people have heard all the 
allegations against the President and they overwhelmingly oppose 
impeaching him. The people elected President Clinton. They still 
support him. We have no right to overturn the considered judgment of 
the American people.
  There are clearly some members of the Republican majority who have 
never accepted the results of the 1992 or 1996 elections, and who 
apparently have chosen to ignore the message of last month's election, 
but in a democracy, it is the people who rule, not political elites--
and not members of political elites who were repudiated at the last 
election. Some members of the House may think the people have chosen 
badly, but it is the people's choice and we must respect it absent a 
threat to our democracy that would justify overturning the repeated 
expression of their will at the ballot box. Members of Congress have no 
right to arrogate to themselves the power to nullify an election absent 
that compelling case.
  the Judiciary Committee also received testimony from some outstanding 
former prosecutors, including the former Republican Governor of 
Massachusetts, William Weld, who headed up the Criminal Division of 
Ronald Reagan's Justice Department, who compellingly explained why all 
the loose talk about perjury and obstruction of justice would not hold 
up in a real prosecutor's office--that the evidence we have been given 
would never support a criminal prosecution in a real court of law.
  For those who demand that the President prove his innocence, without 
his accusers having to provide his guilt or even to state clearly the 
charges, the Judiciary Committee received answers from the President's 
Counsel, Mr. Ruff, and from the Committee's Minority Counsel, Mr. 
Lowell this morning, in which they meticulously pointed out, using Mr. 
Starr's own work, how the charges were not supported, and were indeed 
contradicted, by the evidence Mr. Starr's own office had assembled. In 
fact, Mr. Starr has stated in his referral to Congress, that his own 
``star witness'' is not credible, except when her uncorroborated 
testimony conflicts with the President's, and then it proves his 
perjury.
  We have received sanctimonious lectures from the other side about the 
`'rule of law,'' but the law does not permit perjury to be proved by 
the uncorroborated testimony of one witness. Nor does the law recognize 
as corroboration the fact that the witness made the same

[[Page H11787]]

statement to several different people. You may choose to believe that 
the President was disingenuous, that he was not particularly helpful to 
Paula Jones' lawyers when they asked him intentionally vague questions, 
or that he is a bum, but that does not make him guilty of perjury.
  This House is not a grand jury. To impeach the President would 
subject the country to the trauma of a trial in the Senate. It would 
paralyze the government for many months while the problems of Social 
Security, Medicare, a deteriorating world economy, and all our foreign 
concerns festered without proper attention. We cannot simply punt the 
duty to judge the facts to the Senate if we find mere ``probable 
cause'' that an impeachable offense may have been committed. To do so 
would be a derogation of our constitutional duty. The proponents of 
impeachment have provided no direct evidence of impeachable offenses. 
They rely solely on the findings of an ``independent'' counsel who has 
repeatedly mischaracterized evidence, failed to include exculpatory 
evidence, and consistently misstated the law. We must not be a rubber 
stamp for Kenneth Starr. We have been entrusted with this grave and 
dangerous duty by the American people, by the Constitution and by 
history. We must exercise that duty responsibly. At a bare minimum, 
that means the President's accusers must go beyond hearsay and 
innuendo, and beyond demands that the President prove his innocence of 
vague and changing charges. They must provide clear and convincing 
evidence of specific impeachable conduct. This they have failed to do.
  If you believe the President's admission to the grand jury and to the 
nation of an inappropriate sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, and 
his apologies to the nation, were not abject enough, that is not a 
reason for impeachment. Contrition is a remedy for sin, and is 
certainly appropriate here. But while insufficiency of contrition may 
leave the soul still scarred, unexpiated sin proves no crimes and 
justifies no impeachment.
  Some say that if we do not impeach the President, we treat him as if 
he is above the law.
  Is the President above the law? Certainly not. He is subject to the 
criminal law--to indictment and prosecution when he leaves office like 
any other citizen, whether or not he is impeached. And if the 
Republican leadership allows a vote, he would likely be the third 
President in U.S. history, and the first since 1848, to be censured by 
the Congress
  But impeachment is intended as a remedy to protect the nation, not as 
a punishment for a President.
  The case is not there--there is far from sufficient evidence to 
support the allegations, and the allegations, even if proven, do not 
rise to the level of impeachable offenses. We should not dignify these 
articles of impeachment by sending them to the Senate. To do so would 
be an affront to the Constitution and would consign this House to the 
condemnation of history for generations to come.
  Mr. Speaker, this is clearly a partisan railroad job, the same people 
who today tell us we must impeach the President for lying under oath, 
almost to a person, voted last year to re-elect a Speaker who had just 
admitted lying to Congress in an official proceeding about abuse of the 
Tax Laws for particular purposes. The American people are watching, and 
they won't forget. You may have the votes, you may have the muscle, but 
you lack the legitimacy of a national consensus and the Constitution. 
This partisan coup d'etat will go down in the history of this nation in 
infamy.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield six minutes to the gentleman 
from South Carolina (Mr. Graham).
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. Speaker, a comment and a perspective from my point of 
view. Thus far the debate in this House I believe has brought honor to 
the House and is serving the American people well. Some of the rhetoric 
I disagree with, but that is what a debate is all about. I choose now 
to not use rhetoric, but to talk about the facts.
  I will talk to you about Article IV, abuse of power, and the offenses 
against this institution, the Congress, by the President of the United 
States. It is the one article that is very similar to the Watergate 
impeachment of President Nixon. Article IV is very similar to Article 
III in the Nixon case, and I will talk about that just in a moment, but 
first a quick summary from my perspective of what brought us here.
  What brought us here is not partisanship, but the conduct of one man 
who happened to be the President, who happened to be elected by the 
people and given the most solemn responsibility in the Nation, to be 
the chief law enforcement officer of the land, and he failed miserably 
in that responsibility and he deserves to be impeached based on what he 
did, not what I think about him, not how I voted, but what he did.
  Article I, grand jury perjury. Mr. Speaker, remember the context in 
which the perjury occurred. The President several months before had 
given false testimony in a deposition. The President was begged by 
members of both parties in the House and Senate, ``Mr. President, do 
not go into the grand jury and lie again. Do not give false or 
misleading or perjurious testimony again, because you put your 
presidency at stake; you do a disservice to this country.''
  Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, based on the facts, not based on my 
feelings, based on overwhelming facts, the President of the United 
States chose in August, months after being warned not to do it, he 
chose to lie to a Federal grand jury. He abused the 23 citizens who 
were trying very hard to get it right. He abused the Federal court 
system. It was his fault, and no one else's.
  Mr. Speaker, any President of the United States, regardless of party, 
that goes to a Federal grand jury in the future, let it be said by as 
many Members of the House that can say it, you are subject to being 
impeached if you do that.
  Article II, who is the injured party? Consensual sex, this is colored 
by sex, but there is a moment in time, Mr. Speaker, where the 
allegations about sex were anything but consensual.
  The day the President gave deposition testimony in the Paula Jones 
case, the allegations were far from consensual. They were rude and 
crude. He was put under oath, he was asked questions with a Federal 
judge sitting in front of him, and the injured party was Paula Jones, 
because he chose to lie in a sexual harassment suit. That is 
nonconsensual sex, the topic. He chose to deny a citizen their fair day 
in court. The President turned the justice system upside down on many 
occasions for his personal gain, and that is why we are here today.
  Article III, the President of the United States, while being in a 
litigation matter against an average, everyday citizen, chose to go to 
witnesses and try to get them to lie and provide false testimony, chose 
to go and plant stories about witnesses that were false, that were 
malicious. The President of the United States tried to cheat a litigant 
out of a fair day and trial. Let it be said that at anytime, anywhere, 
regardless of party, in the future if you do that as president, you are 
subject to being impeached.
  Article IV, who is the injured party? We are the injured party. Here 
is what happened in Article IV. This House by House Resolution 581, 360 
votes, I believe, authorized the Committee on the Judiciary to inquire 
into the allegations against the President. Mr. Speaker, we can that.
  Part of that inquiry, what we chose to do was submit questions to the 
President to flesh out the facts. Eighty-one questions were sent to 
flesh out the facts in this case by Chairman Hyde, and the President 
was asked under oath to give answers to those questions as part of our 
inquiry.
  Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, the President lied in January to injure 
Paula Jones, he lied to the Federal grand jury to injure the Federal 
court system in this case, and I think the facts are overwhelming that 
he gave false, misleading and perjurious testimony to the Congress as 
part of our inquiry.
  Let me tell you how that is similar to the Nixon case. Article III of 
impeachment against Richard Nixon, the article was based on the idea 
that Richard Nixon as president failed to comply with subpoenas of 
Congress. Congress was going through its oversight function to provide 
oversight of the President. When asked for information, Richard Nixon 
chose not to comply, and the Congress back in that time said, ``You are 
taking impeachment away from us. You are becoming the judge and jury. 
It is not your job to tell us what we need; it is your job to comply 
with the things we need to provide oversight over you.''
  The day Richard Nixon failed to answer that subpoena is the day that 
he was subject to impeachment, because he took the power from Congress 
over the impeachment process away from Congress and he became the judge 
and jury; and the day that William Jefferson Clinton failed to provide 
truthful testimony to the Congress of the

[[Page H11788]]

United States is the day that he chose to determine the course of 
impeachment. He usurped our power, he abused his authority, he gave 
false information. That, to me, Mr. Speaker, is the same as giving no 
information at all. Actually, I think it is worse.
  So I believe these articles will stand the test of time, they will 
stand a factual scrutiny that has to be done, and the only way to avoid 
impeachment is to leave your common sense at the door, defy the way the 
world works and ignore the facts and talk about something else.
  We are the victim of Article IV. If you believe he committed grand 
jury perjury, I think it would be incumbent upon you to find him guilty 
of Article IV, because the underlying conduct that led to perjury in 
the grand jury was reasserted in the 81 questions, and he gave the same 
false, misleading, unbelievable answers. William Jefferson Clinton's 
impeachment is based on what he did, and no one else.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield three minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Barrett), perhaps our newest member on 
the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day. It is a sad day for our democracy. I 
cannot defend President Clinton's actions. He failed to tell the truth 
and he failed to cooperate. He must be held accountable. And although I 
cannot defend President Clinton's actions, I can and must defend our 
Constitution. Our Constitution does not allow us, no, it does not allow 
you, to remove a President from office because you cannot stand him.
  That is not an unfair allegation. It is not an unfair allegation, 
because the vast majority of the people voting for impeachment today 
voted to reelect our Speaker, even though he had submitted information, 
false information, to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of 
this House, the judicial branch of this House. Even though the Speaker 
had submitted false information to the judicial branch of this House, 
the majority of people here voted to reelect him as Speaker.
  It is not an unfair allegation, because when the Secretary of Defense 
under President Bush was duly indicted by a Federal grand jury for 
perjury and he was pardoned by the President of the United States, 
George Bush, the silence on this side of the aisle was deafening. There 
were no claims from this side of the aisle that this was injustice. 
There were no claims that somehow our military would be damaged. There 
were no claims that somehow the pillars of democracy were damaged by 
perjury by the Secretary of Defense.
  There is one difference, and only one difference, between the false 
allegations submitted by Speaker Gingrich and the perjury allegations 
against the Secretary of Defense and the President of the United 
States, and that difference is he is a Democrat. He is a Democrat, and 
so we are going to go after him.
  I feel bad for this institution today, because I think it is acting 
unfairly. I trust that every member there is voting his or her 
conscience. I will give you that, because I trust the conscience of 
this institution.
  But what is happening today is the conscience of this institution is 
being strangled. It is being strangled for the cause of raw partisan 
politics.
  Every person here today knows that the American people believe the 
President should be held accountable. Every person here today knows 
that the appropriate remedy lies within this institution.
  We can do it. We disagree, and there is an honest disagreement as to 
whether impeachment is the appropriate remedy or censure is the 
appropriate remedy, but it is the ultimate unfairness to deny Members 
on this side of the aisle and Members on that side of the aisle the 
right to vote their conscience for censure.
  If we believe in the conscience of this institution, let us let the 
conscience of the institution display itself.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 45 seconds to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Canady).
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to the point 
that has just been made concerning the conduct of the Speaker of the 
House. It is inaccurate to compare the situation involving the Speaker 
of the House with a case that is now before us. It is admitted that the 
Speaker submitted inaccurate information, there is no question that 
that was admitted. But the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct 
did not find that the Speaker was guilty of intentionally submitting 
false information. That was a finding that was not made.
  In the case before us, there is a critical distinction. In the case 
before us, there is overwhelming evidence that the President of the 
United States willfully, time after time after time, lied under oath. 
It is a very, very different case than the submission of inaccurate 
information by the Speaker.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Buyer).
  Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Barrett) brought up 
the issue of censure to this House, and I would like to address it at 
this time. While I appreciate the intentions of the supporters of 
censure, I, nonetheless, urge Members to oppose it, because it is a 
fraud and assault upon the Constitution.
  Censure is not an authorized alternative to impeachment. Congress has 
the express constitutional authority to censure its own Members for 
misconduct, but there is no expressed authority in the Constitution for 
Congress to censure the President. Impeachment is the only power in the 
Constitution granted to Congress to address presidential misconduct and 
dereliction in his executive duties.
  The Founding Fathers set high standards for impeachment, and by also 
providing that conviction requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate to 
remove the President from office, the ensured impeachment would not 
become a method for Congress to harass executive or judicial officials.
  A censure resolution would fly in the face of the separation of 
powers doctrine. Congress cannot make it up as we go along. 
Constitutional scholar Gary McDowell stated, ``Impeachment is the only 
power granted by the Constitution to Congress to deal with errant 
executives. Had the founders intended some other means of punishment to 
be available to your branch they would have said so, as Chief Justice 
Marshall once said, `in plain and intelligible language.' That they did 
not do so should be your only guide in this grave and sensitive 
matter.''

                              {time}  1145

  The temptation to do anything possible to avoid exercising the awful 
constitutional power of impeachment is obvious and is understandably 
great. But such a temptation to take the easy way out by assuming a 
power not granted should be shunned by this House. And should President 
Clinton, as a result of bad advice or political pressure, agree to such 
unconstitutional punishment as censure by this House, that would be a 
breach of his constitutional obligations and his oath of office, as 
great as anything else for which he has been accused of by the 
Committee on the Judiciary. The great office he is privileged to hold 
deserves his protection against any ill-considered censorious assault 
from Congress.
  President Andrew Jackson, one of our distinguished Presidents who is 
known as the Father of the Democrat Party, was censured by the Senate 
and after the election the Senate then expunged the censure.
  President Jackson's words shed great light on our challenge today 
even though they were penned over 150 years ago. President Jackson 
wrote that the very idea of censure is a ``subversion'' of the powers 
of government and ``destructive of the checks and safeguards'' of 
governmental power. President Jackson rightfully claimed that censure 
was ``wholly unauthorized by the Constitution'' and is a ``derogation 
of the entire spirit.''
  The framers of the Constitution purposely avoided granting the 
legislature power to impose nonjudicial punishments. Such bills are 
condemned in the Constitution because they represent a legislative 
encroachment on the powers of the judiciary. It is called a bill of 
attainder. It pronounces the guilt upon a party without any forms or 
the safeguards of a trial.

[[Page H11789]]

  An integral part of the censure debate in the Committee on the 
Judiciary was whether the purpose of the censure that was offered was 
to punish the President. In answer to my questions on the intent, one 
of the authors, Mr. Boucher of Virginia, stated that it is not our 
purpose to have findings of guilt, it is not our purpose to punish the 
President. However, a close examination of the wording of the censure 
resolution appears that the explicit and the implicit purpose would be 
to shame the President, to voice disdain for his actions, which 
undermine the integrity of the Office of the President, to reprove his 
dubious, if not criminal acts, i.e., to punish.
  The censure resolution offered in the Committee on the Judiciary uses 
such words and phrases as, ``The President egregiously failed,'' he 
``violated the trust of the American people,'' he ``lessened their 
esteem,'' he ``dishonored his office,'' he ``made false statements, 
reprehensible conduct, wrongfully took steps to delay the discovery of 
the truth,'' and then therefore cites that he ``fully deserves the 
censure and condemnation of the American people.''
  Mr. Speaker, these words and phrases are not remedial. On the 
contrary, the intent is to shame and condemn the President's misconduct 
and impugn his reputation and is, therefore, a prohibited bill of 
attainder. It is unconstitutional in its form, and the idea is clearly 
in violation of a bill of attainder.
  Now, some Members of Congress are arguing that censuring the 
President is a better idea because it is ``what the American people 
want.'' I believe the American people want their elected officials to 
honor their oath, defend the Constitution in accordance with the laws 
of this Nation. Further, the American people want their elected 
representatives to take a stand on matters of national importance, such 
as the integrity of our judicial system and for Members of the House 
and the Senate to exercise their judgment in matters of statecraft 
based upon their intellect, not their emotions of the moment.
  The facts and evidence in this case are overwhelming; the allegations 
are grave. Censure is not an alternative to impeachment.
  While I appreciate the intentions of the supporters of censure, I 
nonetheless must oppose it because it is a fraud and an assault upon 
the Constitution. Censure is not an authorized alternative to 
impeachment.
  Congress has the expressed Constitutional authority to censure its 
own members for misconduct. But, there is no expressed authority in the 
Constitution for the Congress to censure the President.
  Impeachment is the only power in the Constitution granted to Congress 
to address presidential misconduct and dereliction of his executive 
duties. The Founding Fathers set high standards for impeachment by 
providing that conviction requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate, to 
remove the President from office. They insured impeachment would not 
become a method for Congress to harass executive or judicial officials. 
A censure resolution would fly in the face of the separation of powers 
doctrine. Congress cannot make it up as we go.
  Constitutional scholar Gary McDowell testified:

       Impeachment is the only power granted by the Constitution 
     to the Congress to deal with errant executives. Had the 
     Founders intended some other means of punishment to be 
     available to your branch they would have said so, as Chief 
     Justice Marshall once said, ``in plain and intelligible 
     language.'' That they did not do so should be your only guide 
     in this grave and sensitive matter.
       The temptation to do anything possible to avoid exercising 
     the awful constitutional power of impeachment is obviously 
     and understandably great. But such a temptation to take the 
     easy way out by assuming a power not granted should be 
     shunned. And should President Clinton, as a result of bad 
     advice or political pressure, agree to such an 
     unconstitutional punishment as a censure (by the House), that 
     would be a breach of his constitutional obligations as great 
     as anything else of which he has been accused. The great 
     office he is privileged to hold deserves his protection 
     against any ill-considered censorious assault from Congress.

  President Andrew Jackson, one of our distinguished presidents who is 
known as a father to the Democrat Party, was censured by the Senate and 
after the next election, the Senate then expunged the censure.
  President Jackson's words shed great light on our challenge today 
even though they were penned over 150 years ago. President Jackson 
wrote that the very idea of censure is a ``subversion'' of the powers 
of government and ``destructive of 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.''

  The Framers of the Constitution purposely avoided granting the 
legislature the power to impose nonjudicial punishment. Such bills are 
condemned in the Constitution because they represent ``legislative 
encroachment on the powers of the judiciary.'' A bill of attainder 
``pronounces upon the guilt of the party, without any of the forms or 
safeguards of trial.''
  An integral part of the censure debate in Committee was whether the 
purpose of censure is to punish the President. In answers to my 
questions regarding the intent one of the authors, Mr. Boucher of 
Virginia, stated: ``It is not our purpose to have findings of guilt. It 
is not our intent to punish the President.''
  However, a close examination of the wording of the censure resolution 
appears that the explicit and implicit purpose would be to shame the 
President, to voice disdain for his actions which undermine the 
integrity of the office of the President, to reprove his dubious if not 
criminal acts . . . to punish.
  The censure resolution offered in the Judiciary Committee used such 
words and phrases as ``egregiously failed,'' ``violated the trust of 
the American people,'' ``lessened their esteem,'' ``dishonored the 
office,'' ``made false statements,'' ``reprehensible conduct,'' 
``wrongly took steps to delay discovery of the truth,'' and ``fully 
deserves the censure and condemnation.'' The use of these words and 
phrases is not remedial, on the contrary, the intent is to shame and 
condemn the President's misconduct and impugn his reputation. It is a 
prohibited bill of attainder and therefore unconstitutional.
  Some Members of Congress argue that censoring the President is a 
better idea than impeachment because that ``is what the American people 
want.'' But I believe the American people want their elected officials 
to honor their oath, defend the Constitution, and act under and in 
accordance with the laws of their Nation. Further, the American people 
want their elected representatives to take a stand on matters of 
national importance, such as the integrity of our justice system, and 
for Members of Congress and the Senate to exercise judgment in matters 
of statecraft based on their intellect, not the emotions of the moment.
  The facts and evidence in this case are overwhelming; the allegations 
are grave. Impeachment is the only power granted to the House to deal 
with the President's alleged criminal misconduct.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).
  Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, today's historic and tragic vote is not about 
whether any of us condone the private behavior of the President. It is, 
however, about whether we are committed to uphold the Constitution, the 
touchstone of our freedom and the articulation of the genius of our 
democratic government's separation of powers and adherence to the 
democratic transfer of power.
  Nor is this vote about whether the President of the United States is 
above the law. He is not. Indeed, as has been amply demonstrated over 
the past 6 years, even the President, as must each of his fellow 
citizens, must respond to the demands of the law.
  Moreover, it is clear that upon leaving office, the President could 
be held accountable in a court of law if charges were to be brought 
against him alleging the wrongdoing of which the Committee on the 
Judiciary Republicans have accused him of today.
  Nor, as some claim, is this vote about process or simply moving this 
weighty matter from our calendar to that of the United States Senate: A 
Pontius Pilate-like act, presumably designed to rationalize the 
profoundly precedent-setting action that this House now contemplates.
  Nor do I for one second believe that this vote is about setting a 
marker for the young on what conduct will be sanctioned or allowed to 
stand. Our Nation and our sustaining values will survive one man's 
failings. But our democracy will be threatened if we destroy the due 
process and high standard that the Founding Fathers established over 2 
centuries ago.
  The process that the majority has pursued in this matter has been 
partisan, driven, I believe, by animus, and exceedingly unfair. Like so 
many other acts of these last two Congresses, it has been unworthy of 
our duty and of our responsibility.
  At the beginning of this Congress, after almost 30 years of House 
precedent, the Committee on House Oversight moved to allow a case to go 
forward to remove the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Sanchez), who 
had been

[[Page H11790]]

elected by the people of California to this body. They spent over $1 
million to do so on the expressed theory that they were simply moving 
the process forward. It was my contention then that there was no case 
at the outset, and it was the irrefutable conclusion that there was no 
case at the end.
  Later on, because the President defied them in 1995, they shut down 
the government. They threatened to do so again this year, if the 
President defied them. Today they seek to substitute, in my opinion, 
their judgment for the will of the American people and remove their 
nemesis from the position to which the American people, over their 
objection, elected him. If I believed that the conduct of this 
President had threatened our Nation's security or undermined the 
operation of our government, or put at risk the principles of our 
democracy, I would vote to impeach.
  But I am absolutely convinced of the opposite. I have said that the 
President's conduct has defamed himself and his Presidency. But it has 
not amounted to treason. It is not a case of bribery. And, as so many 
scholars of all political and philosophical stripes have testified, it 
does not amount to high crimes and misdemeanors endangering our freedom 
or our democracy.
  The President may well be accountable on another day.
  But, today, I clearly see it as my duty, consistent with the oath 
that each of us took to preserve and protect the Constitution, and to 
the stability of our democracy for generations to come to reject and 
oppose these articles of impeachment. And, I shall, therefore, vote 
``no'' on each of them.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Rogan).
  (Mr. ROGAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ROGAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  First, I observe a bit of irony in the fact that our friends on the 
other side now are so quick to hurl charges of ``shutting down the 
government'' today, yet they ask us to shut down both the government 
and our constitutional process that obligates us to proceed.
  The gentleman from South Carolina a few minutes ago was absolutely 
right. It is both false and unfair to characterize these articles of 
impeachment as relating solely to consensual sex. That is not the case. 
Lawyers did not just show up one day and begin to question the 
President's personal lifestyle. The President was a defendant in a 
civil rights sexual harassment lawsuit, and just like every other 
defendant in those types of cases around the country, he was ordered by 
a Federal judge supervising that case to answer under oath questions 
relating to his pattern of conduct as both governor and President with 
respect to female subordinate employees. That is the context in which 
the questions were asked, and that is the context in which perjurious 
answers were given.
  Now, in a desperate last-ditch attempt to insulate this President 
from any constitutional accountability for his conduct, his defenders 
are forced to trivialize felony perjury. How trivial is perjury to the 
person who loses a child custody case or goes to prison because 
perjured testimony was offered as a truth in a court of law? What is 
the impact on our system of justice when perjury is marginalized or 
excused for embarrassment, inconvenience, or to insulate one's self as 
was done here in a sexual harassment case?
  Listen to the words of the United States Supreme Court on the subject 
of perjury: ``In this constitutional process of securing a witness' 
testimony, perjury simply has no place whatsoever. Perjured testimony 
is an obvious and flagrant affront to the basic concepts of judicial 
proceedings. Congress has made the giving of false answers a criminal 
act, punishable by severe penalties; in no other way can criminal 
conduct be flushed into the open where the law can deal with it.''
  Mr. Speaker, our Supreme Court characterizes perjured testimony not 
as trivial conduct, but as criminal conduct.
  This Congress must decide whether we will turn a blind eye to 
allegations respecting the subversion of the courts, the search for 
truth, and the perjurious abuse of a young woman in a sexual harassment 
lawsuit.
  If we allow perjury to be viewed as a sign of legal finesse, we will 
be responsible for setting the standard that any future President may 
lie under oath for any personal convenience and may do it without 
regard to constitutional consequences. Under this perversion of the 
law, any President may commit perjury for reasons of self-interest and 
thereby trample his constitutional obligation to ensure that our laws 
are faithfully executed. The Congress must not insulate from 
constitutional accountability those who repeatedly violate their sacred 
oath.
  The evidence against the President on this score is overwhelming, and 
so too is Congress's constitutional obligation. We must keep faith with 
our founders' dream that a Nation could rise and be sustained where no 
person is above the law.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair announces that the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) has 9 minutes remaining, 
and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) has 17\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  The gentlewoman from California (Ms. Waters) is recognized.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan), a distinguished member of the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, as we approach the end of the House's role 
in this dreadful process, the words I want to leave with my colleagues 
are those of history. Here is how one prominent historian describes the 
impeachment of Andrew Johnson: ``The impeachment was a great act of 
ill-directed passion, and was supported by little else. It was rather 
like an immense balloon filled with foul air, the most noisome elements 
of which were those most active.''
  I am sick at heart today, for I fear that the words used to describe 
the Johnson impeachment will come to characterize what this House is 
about to do. Impeachment based not on reason, but on rancor.
  Yet it is not history's verdict alone that I fear. I also fear how 
our actions will shape history. Will the House now have license to 
engage in free-wheeling speculation about how a President's private 
wrongs bear upon his or her capacity to govern, and then to pursue the 
removal of those whom it deems unfit? If so, I fear for the very 
concept that Presidents are to be chosen directly by the people, not by 
the legislature.
  Will the vote over whether or not to impeach the President of the 
United States now display the same degree of partisan division that our 
votes on school vouchers and environmental riders have?

                              {time}  1200

  If so, I fear that generations to come will view impeachment to be of 
no greater gravity than those lesser issues.
  Will censure now be derided as unconstitutional? If so, I fear that 
that precedent will gag the House when it desires to express its formal 
opinion on another subject on another day.
  Will an Independent Counsel's fact-finding be the sole record upon 
which the House votes to impeach a president? If so, I fear for future 
presidents of either party whose tenure in office might be threatened 
by the sort of overreaching that we have all accused independent 
counsels at one time or another.
  Will we now compel the ship of State in one direction while the 
rudder of popular opinion clearly points in the opposite direction? If 
so, I fear for the notion that consensus among the public counts for 
something when this House takes up the gravest of matters of State.
  I fear for our Republic on this dreadful day. I fear for America 
today.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes and 10 seconds to the 
gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Hefner), the respected retiring 
member of the Committee on Appropriations.
  Mr. HEFNER. First of all, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say that the 
24 years that I have spent in this House has been the greatest 
experience of my life. The last vote that I will be called upon to cast 
in this House is the most troubling vote that I have made in the 24 
years that I have been in this House.
  It bothers me about the venom and the hatred, and the comraderie that 
is nonexistent in this House anymore.

[[Page H11791]]

 Hate is a terrible thing. Hate is a cancer that eats at us. It shows 
in our face, it shows in our walk, and it is something you cannot treat 
with chemotherapy, you cannot treat it with any drugs. You have to 
treat it with compassion and love.
  President Clinton is my friend, but the notion is that President 
Clinton has to go, because the word is, we have to get this done. There 
is no doubt about it, the President has to go. On the Committee on the 
Judiciary, I watched hours after hours of the Committee on the 
Judiciary. The members said the President has shown no contrition. He 
shows no contrition.
  I do not know if Members saw the moment when the President of the 
United States stepped out from the meeting with the ministers at the 
White House. It was not a call thing, it was an annual thing that they 
have.
  He stood before the entire world, before the microphones and the 
television cameras that were carried all over the world, and he stood 
by himself and said, I have sinned. The most powerful man on the face 
of the earth stood bare before the world and said, I have sinned, and I 
ask forgiveness from anyone that I have caused pain to. I ask 
forgiveness from Ms. Lewinsky.
  I talked with him on two occasions after he made that statement. The 
man is contrite. I do not judge that he has had a talk with his maker, 
but I have tried to talk with the news media to express another 
opinion, and nobody wants to hear that.
  If we turn on the newscasts, they start off either with the President 
saying, I never had sex with that woman, I never had sex with that 
woman, or hugging Ms. Lewinsky. I have yet to see one newscast where 
anywhere in it, or starting with it, that shows the President of the 
United States showing contrition; where he says, I have sinned, and I 
ask God's forgiveness. I have sinned, and I ask forgiveness for anybody 
that I have caused pain to. For those of us who believe in contrition 
and forgiveness, it is very important to us.
  I think that this is wrong. There is no reason, there is no reason 
that has been explained to me, or to this House, why we cannot have a 
vote on censure; no reason. Vote to give us a vote to censure the 
President, not condemn him and do away with him.
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Dingell), the most senior Member of the 
House.
  (Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, what the President did was wrong, and what 
we are doing today is equally wrong. The process before us is unfair. 
The rights of the minority to offer necessary amendments or proper 
motions to recommit are being disregarded by the majority. It is an 
exercise of abuse of power by the majority on the rights of the 
minority.
  We are taking here and creating a rule of law which does not exist. 
The rule of law says that we should exercise our proper conscience and 
do what is right. It says we should impeach the President if he has 
done that which is wrong, and which rises to the level of an 
impeachable offense.
  Clearly, this is not an impeachable offense, because impeachable 
offenses were defined to mean great and dangerous offenses by George 
Mason, not ordinary offenses. They were attempts to, and again in the 
words of one of the Framers, subvert the Constitution. They constituted 
acts which were a danger to the office, a danger to the society, a 
danger to the Nation, a danger to the people.
  Clearly that is not so. The President's behavior, as I said, is 
wrong; tawdry. The best thing that could be said, it is not a great 
event but it is a very small and small-minded set of events. This 
behavior should not initiate the impeachment processes.
  There are a lot of points that need to be made today. They have 
historical and constitutional importance. Impeachment is for matters 
that involve a threat to the Nation, the Constitution, and the office.
  Impeachment is a constitutional act of the House, referring to the 
Senate a finding of most serious misbehavior, as discussed above, which 
initiates a trial in the Senate, possibly resulting in removal from 
office of the person impeached.
  Impeachment is primarily a political process. It is not a judicial or 
a legislative act. Impeachment participates in the character of an 
indictment by the grand jury, but impeachment is different and imposes 
different responsibilities on Members of the House.
  Impeachment does not involve criminal consequences. It simply 
initiates a process to decide whether the officeholder shall continue 
in office or be removed. Impeachment is not a bar to subsequent 
criminal process, including indictment, trial, conviction, and 
punishment. While the President, under the Constitution, cannot be 
tried or indicted while in office, he may be subject and is subject to 
full process of the law upon leaving his office.
  Mr. Starr, if he finds the events require indictment or action in a 
criminal court, may clearly take that action. I urge my colleagues to 
permit us to vote on something which is important, and that is censure. 
That is what the people want. That is what we should be doing today.
  Mr. Speaker, the Constitution defines the basis for impeachment in 
the House, as . . . ``The President . . . shall be removed from Office 
on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
  The Framers of the Constitution, in the words of George Mason, one of 
the leaders of the Constitutional Convention, found impeachable 
offenses to mean ``great and dangerous offenses'' and ``attempts to 
subvert the Constitution.'' In other words, they meant no ordinary 
offenses, but they referred to acts attacking the security of the 
Nation, the primacy of the Constitution, or the basic functions and 
well being of the office involved. They felt the behavior should be so 
inconsistent with the responsibilities of the office that the people 
required removal of the office holder for their well being, the proper 
conduct of the office, and the welfare of the Nation.
  While the behavior which could trigger the impeachment process can be 
criminal, and although the actions may be criminal in character, it 
need not necessarily be so.
  There are a number of points to be made which have constitutional and 
historical importance:
  (1) Impeachment is for matters involving behavior which constitutes a 
threat to the office, the Constitution, and the Nation.
  (2) Impeachment is a Constitutional act of the House referring to the 
Senate a finding of most serious misbehavior, as discussed above, which 
initiates a trial in the Senate possibly resulting in removal from 
office of the person impeached.
  (3) Impeachment is primarily a political process, not a judicial or 
legislative act.
  (4) Impeachment participates in the character of an indictment by a 
grand jury. But impeachment is different and imposes different 
responsibility on members of the House.
  (5) Impeachment does not involve criminal consequences. It simply 
initiates a process to decide whether an office holder shall continue 
in office or be removed.
  (6) Impeachment is not a bar to subsequent criminal process, 
including indictment, trial, conviction, and punishment. While the 
President may not, under the Constitution, be indicted or subject to 
criminal process while holding office, he may be subject to the full 
process of criminal law for misbehavior immediately upon his leaving 
office.
  Parenthetically, Mr. Starr said in the Judiciary Committee 
impeachment hearings that there is no bar to such action in the case of 
the President, including the running of the sundry applicable statutes 
of limitations.
  (7) The Founding Fathers, and Framers of the Constitution, tried to 
make impeachment difficult. They especially feared constraints on the 
institutional power of the President or impairment of the office, or 
loss of balance between the branches of government. They especially 
feared efforts by one party controlling the legislative branch to 
remove the President of a different persuasion.
  The Framers of the Constitution were much concerned that the 
legislative branch not be empowered to easily upset an election where 
the people spoke and selected their President.
  Under these principles then, it becomes plain the question before us 
is whether the behavior of the President, although clearly wrong, rises 
to the level of an impeachable offense or offenses.
  I find that the offenses do not rise to the level of impeachable 
offenses.
  The actions of the President are wrong, arrogantly stupid, and 
possibly involve criminal misbehavior.
  The last question, criminal misbehavior, can and should be addressed 
in the appropriate time and fashion.
  My friend, Mr. Hyde, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has made it 
plain in statements on this matter that an impeachment effort not 
supported by the people will not succeed. I agree.

[[Page H11792]]

  We should not lightly set aside an election where the people freely 
chose their President. We owe it to the Founders, and to the future, to 
not impair the separation of powers, or the necessary and proper power, 
as well as the freedom, of the Presidency. We owe it to the people of 
the United States not to cavalierly set aside their choice of 
Presidents.
  Lastly, I remind all that the President was elected, not once but 
twice, and by significant majorities.

  Listen to the people. This is a political process. It was expected by 
the Framers of the Constitution that this same political process would 
function as such. Politics and political process requires involvement 
of the people and that we who hold this responsibility listen carefully 
and respectfully to their wishes.
  Listen to the people of America. They do not believe impeachment is a 
proper remedy for President Clinton's misbehavior. The people do not 
approve of Mr. Clinton's behavior, but they do not believe that the 
President's action rises to the level of impeachable offenses. They 
find no basis for us to take such action.
  My Republican colleagues disregard the Constitution. They fabricate a 
rule of law which neither exists here, nor imposes on this House the 
action they would require. Rather, the rule of law requires us to 
exercise one of our highest and most important Constitutional 
responsibilities, deciding on whether to impeach the President with the 
utmost attention to the Constitution as defined for us by the Founding 
Fathers.
  We are not acting here as a mere grand jury. We are exercising a 
Constitutional trust and duty of the highest order. We are deciding 
whether there is enough grave wrongdoing to meet the test of ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors.'' This requires intelligence, attention, and 
discretion.
  We are now deciding whether to precipitate a Constitutional crisis. 
We are deciding whether to create a great public controversy where the 
people will be divided by a process they do not want to go forward. We 
must now decide whether to put at risk the powers of the Presidency, 
not the well being a Bill Clinton.
  All this is set against the wishes of the people who have spoken to 
us with clarity.
  To my colleagues, I say, listen to the people. Look at your 
responsibilities, exercise your wide and necessary discretion, carry 
out your duty in voting no.
  For the reasons above, I urge my colleagues to join me in voting no 
on the impeachment of President Clinton.
  It is the right thing to do.
  To my Republican colleagues and their leadership, I add, give us a 
process that is fair, that enables us to act with dispatch on matters 
the people want us to address.
  The people want some action condemning the behavior of Bill Clinton. 
In a word they want censure of Bill Clinton for his serious 
misbehavior.
  A careful but improper rewriting of both the Constitution and of the 
rules of the House by my Republican colleagues denies the people their 
right to have the Congress respond to their will.
  Censure is a worthwhile and proper response by the House here to the 
situation and the will of the people. It is also possible under both 
the rules of the House and the Constitution. There are abundant 
precedents that Presidents have been censured before without any 
question of Constitutionality or anything else. President probably will 
be censured again.
  Censure is a fair, proper, and a legal exercise of the power of the 
House. It does what the people want. It vindicates both the law and the 
feelings of the people. That cannot be said of the impeachment of Bill 
Clinton proposed by the republicans under a gag rule.
  To the Republicans and their leadership, I say your behavior is 
unfair. It does you great discredit. It does not permit the House to 
choose among the most appropriate actions to be used here.
  My colleagues, do what is right--allow a vote on impeachment, but 
allow, also, a vote on censure. Given a proper choice, the House can 
act properly and carry out both our Constitutional responsibilities and 
our duty to the people.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 4 minutes.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. I yield to the gentleman from Illinois.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that during further 
consideration of House Resolution 611, the previous question shall be 
considered as ordered on the resolution to final adoption without 
intervening motion except: (1) debate on the resolution for a period 
not to extend beyond 10 p.m. tonight, equally divided at the outset and 
controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee 
on the Judiciary, and one further hour of debate on Saturday, December 
19, 1998, equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking 
minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary; (2) after such first 
period of debate, a motion to adjourn; and (3) one motion to recommit, 
with or without instructions, which, if including instructions, shall 
be debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided and controlled by the 
proponent and an opponent.
  During consideration of a resolution appointing and authorizing 
managers for the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton, 
President of the United States, the previous question shall be 
considered as ordered on the resolution to final adoption without 
intervening motion or demand for a division of the question, except 10 
minutes of debate on the resolution, equally divided and controlled by 
the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  When the House adjourns on Friday, December 18, 1998, it adjourns to 
meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday, December 19.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Illinois?
  Mr. CONYERS. Reserving the right to object, Mr. Speaker, I shall not 
object. I want to indicate the cooperation and concurrence of this side 
with the proposal, and I want to thank the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Hyde), the chairman, for the cooperation in both our staffs working 
this out.
  Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my reservation of objection.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan and I 
thank the Chair.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Illinois?
  There was no objection.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state it.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, was all that taken out of my time?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. It was not taken out of the gentleman's 
time, and the gentleman may proceed for 4 minutes.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot about the notion 
of censure.
  Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. I yield to the gentleman from New York.
  Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I would say to the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Conyers), by mutual agreement, I would demand a division of the 
question by article.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is divisible and will be 
divided for the vote by Article.
  Mr. CONYERS. If the gentleman will yield, I would tell him, yes.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Sensenbrenner) may proceed on his 4 minutes.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot about censure. I 
think it is important to follow the constitutional and historical 
precedents of the House of Representatives in that censure is not an 
alternative.
  We need look back in 1974, which was the last time the entire issue 
of impeaching the President of the United States came up. I would like 
to quote from the book, How the Good Guys Finally Won, Notes from an 
Impeachment Summer, by Jimmy Breslin, published by Ballantine Books in 
1975.
  This book quoted our former distinguished Speaker, Thomas O'Neill 
from Massachusetts, as follows:

       O'Neill went down the hall, picking his way through the 
     tourists, to attend the meeting at which John Rhodes, the 
     Republican leader of the House, gave it one last try for 
     Nixon.
       Rhodes said he wanted the impeachment resolution 
     recommitted with instructions that there should be a vote on 
     censuring the President. ``I am bitterly opposed to that,'' 
     O'Neill said. ``But you wouldn't be opposed to us having a 
     vote on censure, would you?'' Rhodes asked. ``Yes, I would,'' 
     O'Neill said.

  I think that my friends on the other side of the aisle should listen 
to their former Speaker one last time, because on this one, he is 
right.
  Mr. Speaker, today we enter the final stage of the impeachment 
process. For those of us who serve on the Committee on the Judiciary, 
this has been a difficult and exhausting time. We have

[[Page H11793]]

reviewed 18 boxes of evidence. We have heard the Independent Counsel 
present his case. Constitutional and legal scholars have provided 
opinions and historical perspectives. The President's lawyers have made 
their case in his defense, and the gentleman from Illinois (Chairman 
Hyde) offered them 30 hours in which to do so. They did not use it all.
  After examining and weighing all of this evidence and testimony, I 
believe that the President lied under oath, obstructed justice, and 
abused the power of his office by providing false statements to 
Congress in response to questions submitted by the Committee on the 
Judiciary.

                              {time}  1215

  On Wednesday of last week, I asked the President's very able 
attorney, Charles Ruff, a very simple question, did the President lie. 
Mr. Ruff could easily have said no. Instead, he split legal hairs, and 
that sealed my decision to support impeaching President Clinton.
  Mr. Speaker, most Americans are repelled by the President's actions. 
The toughest questions I have had to answer have come from parents who 
agonize over how to explain the President's behavior to their children. 
Every parent tries to teach their children the difference between right 
and wrong, to always tell the truth and, when they make mistakes, to 
take responsibility and face the consequences of their actions. 
President Clinton's actions every step of the way have been contrary to 
those values. But being a bad example is not grounds for impeachment. 
Undermining the rule of law is. Frustrating the courts' ability to 
administer justice turns private misconduct into an attack upon the 
ability of one of the three branches of our government to impartially 
administer justice. This is a direct attack upon the rule of law in our 
country and a very public wrong that directly impacts the 
constitutional workings of our government.
  Mr. Speaker, impeachment is not a tool to paralyze democracy. 
Instead, it is the only constitutional mechanism available to protect 
democracy when its institutions are threatened by a President's 
actions.
  Today, based upon the evidence that the President lied, obstructed 
justice and abused power in an effort to prevent the courts from 
administering justice under law, I rise in favor of impeaching William 
Jefferson Clinton. I take no joy in this decision but I make no 
apologies either.
  America will emerge from this dark period of our history a stronger 
Nation because we have demonstrated once again the resiliency of our 
democracy and the supremacy of our Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
  (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, let me first thank our 
American troops who are now fighting for our liberty. The Declaration 
of Independence is the promise of that liberty and the Constitution is 
the fulfillment.
  So today it is was with great humility and somberness that I rise on 
the floor of this House in strong opposition against the articles of 
impeachment and express my support for censure. Impeachment, Mr. 
Speaker, is final, it is nonappealable. And the Constitution is the 
only arbiter of that process.
  Article II, section 4 is clear. Impeachment is for treason, bribery 
and other high crimes and misdemeanors. This President did not commit 
impeachable offenses under our Constitution, and today with such a vote 
these chambers will become the incinerator of the Constitution. There 
is no fairness in this process. There is no justice and there is no 
dignity.
  The charges in these articles of impeachment are meritless and not 
proven. Perjurious remarks have not been proven. Misleading, evasive 
statements are not perjurious, per the rule of law of the United States 
Supreme Court under Bronston. Abuse of power has not been proven. 
Monica Lewinsky said the President did not ask her to lie. And 
obstruction of justice has not been proven because the President did 
answer the 81 questions sent to him by the Judiciary Committee.
  In light of the revelations of the last 24 hours, I believe not one 
of us in these chambers, not one Member would ask for the resignation 
of a Member so charged. But as a woman, adultery is adultery. 
Nevertheless, the majority is recklessly attempting to make impeachable 
offenses purely private acts, in direct attack on the Framers' intent 
that impeachment was for great and dangerous offenses against the 
Constitution.
  How do we heal this Nation? How do we find uncommon courage? The 
majority must allow us to vote on a freestanding censure resolution, 
constitutionally allowed, that acknowledges that the President was 
morally wrong, misled the American people and that the President, upon 
leaving office, will be subject to civil and criminal penalties. To do 
more lays the shredding of this Constitution at our feet.
  Today with the vote for the articles of impeachment, we will use the 
ultimate weapon, we will use the ultimate political death blow, the 
removal from office of this duly-elected President for acts not against 
the Constitution or the government. Our censure resolution does not 
violate the Constitution. It is not a bill of attainder. It does not 
restrain the property or the liberty of the President. It is 
constitutionally sound.
  Finally this day sunset falls on this House. And as we see it fall, 
today our vote leads us into the darkness of a vile attack on the 
Constitution. We leave here today void and empty because our President 
will have been toppled against the will of the people of the United 
States.
  Mr. President, if you can hear me, do not resign. This is not a 
parliamentarian form of government.
  Mr. Speaker, I say, to my colleagues you can heal our Nation. Rise 
and vote for censure. Do the just and right thing, for it is written, 
Mr. Speaker, judge not and ye shall not be judged. Condemn not and ye 
shall not be condemned. Forgive and ye shall be forgiven.
  Vote for a censure resolution and end these unseemly proceedings 
against our President and the Constitution. Our Nation deserves no 
less!
  It is written in Luke 6:37, ``Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: 
condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be 
forgiven.''
  Mr. Speaker, with great humility and somberness, I rise today in 
strong opposition against the Articles of Impeachment and express my 
support for a censure resolution.
  However, before we even begin this debate on the merits let me say 
that we are engaging in this discussion while our American troops are 
in harm's way in the Persian Gulf. This is the worst time to have this 
discussion. We are talking about impeaching our President, our 
Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces while he has authorized troops 
to engage Saddam Hussein.
  My colleagues are not correct in stating that American Troops were in 
Vietnam during a debate in these chambers on the Impeachment of a 
President that did not occur in 1974. No such debate took place. 
American men and women are fighting to uphold the Constitution and they 
expect nothing less from this body. It is imperative that we uphold and 
follow the Constitutional process for impeachment. Anything less would 
be dishonorable.
  The Constitution, Article II, section 4, requires removal of the 
President from office on ``Impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, 
bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' The Framers of our 
Constitution considered ``high crimes and misdemeanors as political 
crimes against the state. The critical element of injury in an 
impeachable offense was injury to the state. This element of injury to 
the commonwealth was the historical criterion for distinguishing a 
``high'' crime or misdemeanor from an ordinary one. Impeachment is 
directed for ``great misdemeanors against the public.''
  The purpose of Impeachment is to curb breaches and abuses of the 
public trust. The Framers realized that impeachment is final and non-
appealable.
  At the time of the Constitution's construction, the Framers were 
concerned with assuring individual freedom and avoiding governmental 
tyranny. Their intent was to create a viable government with sufficient 
power to fulfill its given responsibilities. As a result, the 
separation of powers doctrine was instituted to prevent unfettered 
authority in a single branch of government. Accordingly, each branch is 
vested with the power to check and balance the others.
  Our debate is about the future of the Presidency, the Constitutional 
process required for the removal of a president and the importance of 
bi-partisan cooperation. I think every American, Republican or 
Democrat, or Independent,

[[Page H11794]]

should be concerned about the Articles of Impeachment and whether the 
allegations contained therein, rise to a level that would justify 
impeachment.
  There is no concrete evidence to substantiate the allegation that 
President Clinton encouraged a witness to execute a false affidavit. No 
one should be hailed before a tribunal to answer allegations that are 
not supported by substantial and credible evidence or threatened with a 
potential prosecution for perjury because of the questioner's 
deficiency.
  During the Watergate hearings, Mr. St. Clair, the President's 
attorney, stated in closing summation that ``a President cannot be 
impeached by piling inference upon inference.''
  The Articles of Impeachment drafted against President Clinton do not 
comport with fundamental fairness nor substantial notions of procedural 
due process because the alleged perjurious statements lack specificity; 
an independent collaborating witness and materiality. The President is 
neither above nor beneath the law. The Constitutional safeguards 
contained in the Sixth Amendment govern these proceedings.
  Monica Lewinsky's Grand Jury testimony clearly refutes an allegation 
that President Clinton encouraged her to give perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony: ``[N]either the President nor Mr. Jordan asked or 
encouraged me to lie.'' This statement by Ms. Lewinsky was made in her 
February 1, 1998, proffer to Office of the Independent Counsel. Let's 
take a moment to examine the correlation between the President's 
relationship with Lewinsky and the allegations put forth by Paula 
Jones. President Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky was consensual 
but morally wrong.
  On the other hand, Ms. Jones was alleging sexual harassment. 
Lewinsky's relationship with President Clinton was a tangential 
collateral issue that was not relevant. Therefore, the probability of 
its admittance during the Jones trial was unlikely because it would not 
have ``any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of 
consequence to determination of the Jones action more probable.''
  It is axiomatic, that perjury requires a (1) volitional act on the 
part of the declarant (2) about a material matter in the case. Perjury 
is a specific intent crime. It requires that the declarant willfully 
and contrary to such oath subscribe to a material matter which the 
declarant does not believe to be true. More importantly, because 
perjury requires a specific intent on the part of the declarant, the 
law provides several defenses to perjury.
  Truth is a defense to perjury. A defendant can not be prosecuted for 
perjury, if he truly believes that he ``spoke the truth'' when asked a 
question under oath. The defendant would not be guilty of perjury 
because although his testimony is freely and voluntarily given; he does 
not manifest the requisite mental state necessary for perjury, a 
specific intent crime. Restated, perjury requires that the defendant 
(1) set-out to deceive and (2) know that statement's he utters are 
untrue.
  Another defense to perjury is materiality. The declarant's statement 
must be material to the matter before the tribunal. The third defense 
to perjury arises where the questioner's interrogatories are drafted in 
a manner that invites ambiguity. In the landmark case of Bronston v. 
United States, the United States Supreme Court stated:

       It is the responsibility of the lawyer to probe * * * if a 
     witness evades, it is the lawyer's responsibility to 
     recognize the evasion and to bring the witness back to the 
     mark, to flush out the whole truth with the tools of 
     adversary examination * * * A potential prosecution for 
     perjury is not the primary safeguard against errant 
     testimony.

  Under our adversarial system of jurisprudence, a defendant is not 
required to assist a plaintiff in bringing her suit to trial nor is a 
defendant required under the rules of civil procedure to volunteer 
specific information that the plaintiff has not requested. This is our 
system of jurisprudence that we have utilized for over two hundred 
years. This really is adhering to the rule of law and the right to due 
process.
  The President's actions were wrong and reprehensible but not 
impeachable because his conduct did not injure the state as required by 
the framers. Impeachment is a remedy of last resort, it is the atomic 
bomb of partisan politics.
  In the Federalist Paper No. 65, Alexander Hamilton described 
impeachment as a mechanism to reach: ``[T]he misconduct of public men 
and abuse or violation of some public trust. Impeachable offenses are 
political, as they relate to injuries done immediately to society 
itself.
  The Framers never intended impeachment or the threat of impeachment 
to serve as a device for denouncing the President for private 
misbehavior or for transforming the United States into a parliamentary 
form of government in which Congress can vote ``no confidence'' in an 
executive whose behavior it dislikes. The President is elected by 
the people of the United States and it is not the prerogative nor duty 
of the House of Representatives to undo that election because of 
partisan politics.

  The records of the Constitutional Convention confirm that the Framers 
did not intend the President to serve at the ``pleasure of the 
Senate.'' In fact, it was suggested by Mr. Pinkney of South Carolina, a 
Framer of the Constitution, that ``if the President opposes a favorite 
law, the two Houses will combine against him, and under the influence 
of heat and faction throw him out of office.''
  Hence, if we follow Mr. Pinkney's theory to its logical conclusion, a 
president could be removed for any transgression, however remote in 
time, which the Senate may decide in its discretion warrants removal 
from office. This unbridled authority could establish an atmosphere 
that manufactures impeachable offenses where they do not exist. We 
should consider Mr. Pinkney's words as we tread these dangerous waters. 
Therefore, it is essential that we utilize every constitutional 
safeguard to prevent the truth from being ``twisted by knaves to make a 
trap for fools.'' On February 8, 1798, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter 
to James Madison about the impeachment of Senator Blount, stating, ``I 
see nothing in the mode of proceeding by impeachment but the most 
formidable weapon for the purposes of [a] dominant faction that ever 
was contrived. It would be the most effectual one of getting rid of any 
man whom they consider as dangerous to their views * * * impeachment 
has been an engine more of passion than of justice.''
  The Constitution imposes a grave and serious responsibility on 
Congress to protect its fabric and integrity. It would have been a 
dereliction of duty if I failed to investigate the allegations 
contained in the Starr Report before I begin dealing with what has been 
called ``delicate issues of basic constitutional law.''
  Imagine a justice system where a prosecutor can present charges to a 
grand jury, obtains an indictment and then proceeds to trial. During 
the trial, the prosecutor calls himself as a witness, to testify about 
the defendant's prior bad acts and his rationale for charging the 
defendant. While testifying, he admits that individually and 
collectively, the charges are insufficient to meet the standard of 
crime, but he believes the defendant has engaged in a pattern of abuse 
to obstruct justice.
  Certainly, if this incident occurred in our home town, we would be 
outraged at the waste of financial resources. We would call for this 
prosecutor to end this charade, immediately because his conduct and 
abusive tactics would emasculate the system he is attempting to 
protect.
  Independent Counsel Starr violated District of Columbia Rules of 
Professional Conduct Rule 3.7, entitled ``Lawyer as witness'' which 
provides a lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the 
lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness and Virginia Code of 
Professional Responsibility DR5-102, entitled ``Withdrawal as counsel 
when the lawyer becomes a witness'' when he testified in front of the 
House Judiciary Committee.
  Nowhere in the history of this Country's system of jurisprudence has 
a prosecutor had the ability to take the witness stand to ``vouch for 
the credibility'' of evidence presented during trial, to do so would be 
a miscarriage of justice. Likewise, allowing Independent Counsel Starr 
to testify for two hours ``about a pattern to obstruct justice'' 
eviscerates the purpose of the Independent Counsel Act.
  Further, Sam Dash, Mr. Starr's ethics advisor resigned in opposition 
to Mr. Starr's inappropriate appearance before the House Judiciary 
Committee.
  Section 595(c) authorizes the Office of the Independent Counsel to 
submit a referral to Congress to guarantee that its findings would not 
be thwarted by internal sources within that individual's branch of 
government. This concept is consistent with the separation of powers 
doctrine was instituted to prevent unfettered authority in a single 
branch of government. Accordingly, each branch is vested with the power 
to check and balance the others.
  This Act was designed to provide a mechanism to prevent inherent 
conflicts of interest which could arise where the Executive branch of 
government must supervise or conduct an investigation of an individual 
associated with its office.
  On October 8, 1998, the House passed H. Res. 581, which expressly 
authorized the committee to report: ``such resolutions, articles of 
impeachment, or other recommendations as it deems proper.'' Over the 
past two months, the Judiciary Committee has heard testimony from 
several witnesses about ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' and 
alternatives to impeachment. Censure is a viable alternative to 
impeachment that will quickly and judiciously resolve this national 
issue.
  Censure is neither a substitute for a federal pardon nor is it a 
cover-up. Therefore, the President is still subject to civil and 
criminal punishment for any alleged crimes he may have committed by the 
court system after he leaves office. The United States Constitution 
does not prohibit Censure.
  Several critics continue to suggest that censure is unconstitutional 
because there is no constitutional provision that expressly authorizes 
censure. This rationale is flawed and

[[Page H11795]]

without merit. If we follow this line of reasoning to its logical 
conclusion: postal stamps, social security, and public education are 
unconstitutional because there is no explicit reference to these 
programs in the Constitution.
  Furthermore, the Constitution does not prohibit Congress from acting 
because of its silence. Many powers and individual rights not expressly 
stated in the Constitution have been recognized by this body politic. 
For example, the right to privacy, the right to bodily integrity and 
the Executive power of removal. Our Constitution is a ``living and 
breathing'' document that requires continuous interpretation by the 
Supreme Court to address the problems facing our Nation.
  Further, there is an historical precedent for a censure resolution. A 
censure resolution was considered against President Nixon during the 
Watergate investigation because of the allegations involving his abuse 
of Presidential authority and misuse of the Justice Department. Richard 
Nixon resigned from office. In 1834, the United States Senate censured 
President Andrew Jackson because of actions interpreted as contravening 
the rule of law. More importantly, censure would not violate the 
Constitution's substantive restraints against the use of federal power.
  Censure is a sensible historically proven solution for addressing the 
President's disturbing behavior. It is time for America to move 
forward; it is time to put this unsettling controversy and divisiveness 
aside; it is time for the business of the American people to take first 
priority. It would benefit the entire country if the President could 
return to focusing on the issues at hand, as opposed to this scandal. 
The time to close this dishonorable chapter in our Country's history 
has come.
  There are millions of Americans who want their voices heard on a 
censure resolution. It is our obligation, as their duly elected 
representatives, to ensure that their views be heard.
  Censure is a window of opportunity for this body politic to display a 
bi-partisan atmosphere during these alarming moments. We must exhibit a 
united front for our Nation and our troops. It is time for national 
unity.
  In all things that are purely political we can be as separate as the 
fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to the mutual 
progress of America and democracy.
  It is imperative that we bring this chapter to a close in a 
reasonable judicious and equitable manner. It is time to move forward; 
it is time to focus our energy on securing our shores from foreign 
enemies.
  The Bible, Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, Verses 1 through 8 states, ``[T]o 
every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the 
heaven: a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; * 
* * a time to love, and a time of peace.'' At the end of day, we should 
move forward, prepare for tomorrow and America's business.
  I will vote ``No'' on these Articles of Impeachment; for to vote 
``yes''-does subvert the Constitution! I still hold hope for the 
opportunity to vote for a Censure Resolution which will break this 
partisan divide and appropriately rebuke and reprimand the President, 
and finally by our collective good judgment--Heal this nation.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair would remind all 
Members to address their comments to the Chair.
  The Chair will recognize managers from the Committee on the Judiciary 
on either side of the aisle, endeavoring to maintain equality between 
the two sides in the consumption of time available and at the 
prescribed hour will determine where we are and then we will move on 
from there.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum).
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Bliley).
  (Mr. BLILEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BLILEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 
time.
  This is a sad day, sad day for this country. We should not have to be 
here. Had the President done what he should have done, we would not be 
here, and admitted wrongdoing right from the start.
  We have heard said in this body, Mr. Speaker, that this is different 
from Watergate, but really, is it? In Watergate, the President lied to 
the American people. This President lied to the American people. In 
Watergate, the President did not commit perjury. This President, in my 
opinion and the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the people of 
this country, did commit perjury.
  Either we are a Nation of laws or we are a Nation of men. If we are a 
Nation of laws, then the highest and the lowest are subject to the same 
law. There is no preferential treatment, and we and our Constitution 
grant none.
  The President, in my opinion, obstructed justice. He attempted to 
cover up. To say this is just about sex is to say that Watergate was 
just about a third-rate burglary. Nothing is further from the truth. 
This President sought to cover up a crime. And if we allow this to 
stand without the ultimate punishment which is afforded the 
Constitution, which charges us as the people's body to make, we have 
not done our duty and history will so remember.
  I would like to quote and paraphrase in closing the words of our 
colleague, the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Graham). He said 
earlier in the proceedings, 25 years ago, we had Watergate and the 
American people today think that Congress reached the right decision. I 
hope that 25 years from this day, people will think that we made the 
right decision.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Colorado (Ms. DeGette).
  (Ms. DeGETTE asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. DeGETTE. Mr. Speaker, Article II, section 4 of the Constitution 
states that the President shall be removed from office on impeachment 
for and conviction of treason or bribery or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors.
  We have heard a lot today and in the past weeks about the rule of 
law, but that is not the standard for impeachment. We are all sworn to 
uphold the rule of law, and there is still a remedy in this situation 
for the President's action under the rule of law: Criminal prosecution.
  The President lied to us, but this vote is neither about absolution 
or punishment. The only question we face is whether the President's 
actions, regardless of how wrong or potentially criminal, rise to the 
standard our constitutional forefathers set for us.
  We have been told by the majority of constitutional scholars that the 
President's actions do not fall within the meaning of high crimes or 
misdemeanors but yet we persist. We have divided this House with 
partisan politics, sewing mistrust and exposing the darkness in our own 
hearts. It started with the first vote of the 105th Congress to censure 
the Speaker, and it has continued to this day to the vote to impeach 
the President.
  With all of the lost opportunities in between, it is no wonder we are 
losing the public's trust. After today, when the impeachment frenzy 
subsides, we will survey the damage to our own political system, we 
will have unnecessarily crippled the presidency for a generation to 
come. We will have wantonly weakened this House of Representatives 
reaching a new low in partisan rancor. We will have substantially 
subverted the Constitution which was designed to reflect the will of 
the people in a republic, not to promote a political party in what is 
slipping towards a parliamentary system.
  We will intentionally have ignored the business of the American 
people both at home and abroad, and we will have changed the political 
climate where decency, privacy and civility have been sacrificed on the 
altar of political greed, cynicism and shame.
  This vote is unworthy of our institution. We will pay for it in the 
years to come. We will undermine the ability of the next generation of 
American Presidents to lead us through the enormous challenges that 
face the 21st century, just as we did after the last impeachment of a 
President over 100 years ago.
  While this President must answer for his actions, history will judge 
us for our actions, too. As legislators, as representatives and as 
citizens, we have an enormous responsibility, and I fear that we are on 
the brink of disgracing the public's trust.
  I urge Members to vote against impeachment on principle, mindful of 
our oath of office, understanding our duty to our constituents, to the 
Constitution and to the future.

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Rogan).
  Mr. ROGAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Some of our friends on the other side have indicated that perjury is 
not an

[[Page H11796]]

impeachable offense under the Constitution. I remind them of the 
testimony of the former Democratic attorney general of the United 
States, Griffin Bell, who came before the House Judiciary Committee. 
General Bell referred to the legal authorities relied upon by our 
founders, such as Blackstone, in drafting the Constitution.
  General Bell testified that Blackstone identified a series of crimes 
that were called ``crimes against justice,'' and those crimes included 
perjury. General Bell concluded, ``I am of the opinion, my conclusion, 
is that those crimes are high crimes within the meaning of the 
impeachment clause.''
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Gallegly), a member of the committee.
  (Mr. GALLEGLY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GALLEGLY. Mr. Speaker, this has been a very trying time for all 
of us, for the President, and for the country. But there are few things 
more important than standing up for the Constitution of the United 
States and for the rule of law.
  There are three points I will make this morning in support of the 
articles of impeachment. First, I am a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary. And based on months of review, it is clear to me that 
President Clinton repeatedly lied under oath, intentionally and 
willfully, during a civil deposition and before the Federal grand jury. 
He also attacked the integrity of Congress by lying under oath in 
response to the 81 questions submitted by the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Our legal system, which protects the rights and liberties of all 
citizens, is dependent on telling the truth, telling the truth under 
oath. The President is our chief law enforcement officer and our chief 
magistrate. When he lies under oath, he undermines the integrity of our 
judicial system and threatens the right and liberties of every one of 
us.
  Second, lying under oath after swearing before God and country to 
tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is, and my 
fellow members I believe I know what ``is'' is, is an impeachable 
offense.
  Our legal system is dependent on people telling the truth, telling 
the truth under oath. Lying under oath undermines the rule of law. By 
lying under oath, President Clinton has also violated his presidential 
oath of office.
  Third, this is not about sex. It is about the rule of law. It is 
about lying under oath before a Federal judge and a Federal grand jury. 
Every citizen must obey the law, period. A society without laws is 
anarchy. Societies that ignore their laws are condemned to violence and 
chaos. We must state directly and strongly that the integrity of the 
judicial branch must not be violated. We must make it clear that all 
Americans are equal under the law.
  After much painful soul searching, I have reached the conclusion that 
impeaching the President for repeatedly and willfully lying under oath 
is necessary to protect the rule of law which is the foundation of our 
republic.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Wexler), a distinguished member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Mr. WEXLER. Mr. Speaker, this Congress is on the verge of a tragic 
mistake that will reverberate for centuries and alter the course of 
American history.
  Impeachment is not the ultimate censure. Impeachment is devastating. 
Impeachment is enduring. Impeachment is momentous. If we dumb-down 
impeachment and make it easier for future Congresses to impeach 
presidents, we will forever weaken the institution of the presidency.
  The Founding Fathers knew this. They could have said a president 
could be impeached for any crime, but they chose to designate crimes 
only of the gravity of treason and bribery. To impeach for anything 
less than the highest of crimes is a distortion of the Constitution and 
hands a tremendous weapon to our present and future enemies who will 
point to a weakened president and ultimately a weakened nation.
  That is why the Founding Fathers knew that low crimes should wait, 
that the strength of our national leader, the sovereignty of our Nation 
trump all but the gravest of charges, those which subvert our 
government.
  If my colleagues have even the slightest doubt as to whether this 
President's actions rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, 
then they do a tremendous disservice to our Nation and to our standing 
in the world if they vote to impeach.
  So do not think for one moment that this is a free vote, that the 
Senate is the real player in the impeachment drama. We have the power 
to stop this travesty, to pull the curtain on this theater of the 
absurd.
  This impeachment vote is bigger than Bill Clinton. It is bigger than 
all of us. I implore my colleagues, do not weaken the presidency in an 
effort to punish this President. This is about that delicate balance of 
power that is the bedrock of our democracy. It is about due process and 
fairness. It is about safeguarding our privacy and curtailing the 
intrusiveness of government. It is about nothing less than our 
humanity.
  What have we become when we impeach a president over an extramarital 
affair and the lies to conceal it, when we lose all sense of 
proportion? What have we become when we enter a new era of sexual 
McCarthyism, when the boundaries of people's private lives are no 
longer respected? Have we no sense of decency? What have we become when 
our partisan warring does not stop at the water's edge but spills over 
and bestows upon Saddam Hussein the hope of a divided America? What 
have we become? I fear, our own worst enemies.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Campbell).
  (Mr. CAMPBELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. Speaker, I have been here since the debate began, 
and no speaker has refuted the facts. The facts are that the President 
did not tell the truth under oath on August 17 and on other occasions, 
but specifically on August 17.
  Let me address why that matters so much and why that rises to the 
level of high crimes and misdemeanors. The August 17 incident does rise 
to that level because it undermines my ability to trust this President 
whenever he says anything to me or to anyone else, if it is in his 
interest not to tell the truth. And that is what takes this conduct 
above the level of a common violation of law and to the level of a high 
crime and misdemeanor, because it incapacitates him from effectively 
serving as our President.
  He raised his hand, he promised to God he would tell the truth. He 
had his attorney by his side. He had seven months' advance notice. He 
could have interrupted the August 17 proceedings at any moment. The 
reason that humanity might allow us to understand the President's not 
telling the truth earlier in January, namely to hide the truth from his 
wife and daughter, no longer was the case in August. He had already 
told them the truth. And having taken the oath to God and having seven 
months' advance notice, and having the right to stop the proceedings if 
it was difficult, and, unlike any other American citizen, having his 
attorney by his side if a question required the advice of counsel, this 
President chose not to tell the truth. I cannot trust him again.
  Today we are engaged in war in the Persian Gulf. I was assured by 
Secretary Cohen and by the Director of our Central Intelligence Agency 
that the timing was justified. Those two are honorable men. And because 
of their testimony, I believe the timing was justified. But I do not 
believe it was justified on the basis of what President Clinton has 
said, because I can no longer believe him. If it is in his interest not 
to tell the truth, he will not tell the truth.
  Now, there are some who say that I should not draw that conclusion 
because this merely dealt with sex; and so, perhaps, I should only 
doubt the President's ability to tell the truth in the future--even if 
he is looking me in the eye, even if he has sworn to God to tell the 
truth--because he will only fail to tell the truth if it deals about 
sex.
  I cannot tell you how deeply that wounds me, because of the 
importance I have always attached throughout my public career to the 
fair and equal treatment of women. And to say that it only deals with 
sex is to denigrate, to

[[Page H11797]]

put at a lower level, the seriousness of the offense felt by virtually 
every woman in our society at least once in her working career.
  Sexual harassment is not just about sex, and to say that sexual 
harassment and denying the truth to a plaintiff in a sexual harassment 
case is somehow less important is to denigrate the harm that women in 
America feel every day when they go into the workplace and they are 
treated less because they are women. No, sexual harassment is not less 
than any other offense.
  The President raised his hand, promised to God to tell the truth, and 
did not. On behalf of my five sisters and my wife, I cannot say that 
sexual harassment makes this less. On behalf of my own oath to God, I 
cannot look the other way.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to my colleague, the gentleman from Arkansas 
(Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I just wanted to respond briefly to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Wexler), who preceded my colleague, who argued that we were lowering 
the bar from impeachment by submitting articles of impeachment on 
perjury.
  I do not believe we are lowering the bar. In fact, I have no problem 
in setting a standard for future presidents in official court 
proceedings that would jeopardize their office for repeated intentional 
acts of perjury. That is what we are doing, is maintaining a standard.
  On the other side of the coin, if we fail to act, then we are 
lowering the standard of conduct that we expect from the chief 
executive officer of our land not to commit perjury in official 
proceedings.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Rothman), a distinguished member of the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. ROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, this vote today is about one thing, the 
sanctity of the Constitution of the United States.
  The Founding Fathers were clear. They created a strong presidency 
where the executive was elected for 4-year terms. They did not want a 
parliamentary system where the Congress could remove the people's 
choice unless the President's conduct had threatened the very stability 
of the country.
  The founders specifically rejected proposals to allow impeaching the 
President for poor character or for morally bad behavior. They said it 
clearly. The President can only be impeached for treason, bribery, or 
other high crimes or misdemeanors against the state.
  This high bar for presidential impeachment has served our country 
well for 210 years, so well in fact that only one president in our 
Nation's history has ever been impeached by this House. Now, driven by 
their hatred and loathing of Bill Clinton and his policies, the 
Republican Party is about to take our constitutional balance of powers 
and permanently and irreparably and forever damage it.
  The constitutional punishment of impeachment was not meant to 
substitute for the punishment of the civil and criminal courts. 
Impeachment was meant to address presidential behavior that threatened 
the republic so gravely as to require the removal of the President in 
the middle of his or her term.
  We can all agree that the President's acts, lying to the American 
people and having an affair in the White House with an intern, were 
reprehensible. The President should be censured for his wrongful 
action. But violations of these kinds of civil or criminal laws should 
be handled like any other Americans, in the civil and criminal courts.
  The first three words of the Constitution are, ``we the people.'' And 
in this case the views of the people are well-known, censure the 
President but do not impeach him. But we cannot. The Republican Party 
will not let America's elected representatives either vote for or even 
debate censuring the President. It is a blatant abuse of the Republican 
Party's majority power in the Congress.
  This Republican juggernaut, driven by the right wing of their party 
and aided and abetted by the so-called Republican moderates, will 
forever damage the constitutional balance of power in America.

                              {time}  1245

  Every future President will be looking over his or her shoulder 
wondering if future Congresses do not like the President's veto of a 
controversial bill or do not like the President's policies or 
lifestyles, will that future Congress controlled by a different 
political party appoint a special prosecutor and spend $40 million in 4 
years investigating that President's private life. If this Congress 
impeaches the President on these grounds, today will go down as one of 
the saddest days in American history for our country, for our Congress 
and for the institution of the American presidency.
  I beg the Republican majority, the one that the people put in power 
and that the people can remove from power, censure our President for 
his wrongful conduct, let the civil and criminal courts punish any of 
those offenses, but do not damage our Constitution by impeaching the 
President on these grounds.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  Mr. Speaker, I simply want to respond to one of the comments the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Rothman) just made about the level to 
which it has to be for before we impeach a president of the United 
States. It certainly does not have to be presidential powers only. If 
the President of the United States committed murder, if he committed a 
lot of other crimes, it seems to me that those would be perfectly 
impeachable, and if we are talking about perjury which rises to the 
virtual level of bribery, in fact under the Federal sentencing 
guidelines has a greater amount of sentencing in our court system, a 
higher level of it than bribery, which is, as my colleagues know, 
treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors, it seems 
abundantly clear that perjury is impeachable.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. 
Petri).
  Mr. PETRI. Mr. Speaker, I also would like to respond to the previous 
speaker, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Rothman).
  While admonishing the trial court to be sensitive to demands on the 
President's time, the U.S. Supreme Court recently unanimously ruled 
that he had the same obligations as every other citizen in the Nation's 
courts. Testifying truthfully under oath is one of those obligations. 
The President maintains he did this. I believe beyond a reasonable 
doubt that he repeatedly committed perjury.
  I do not believe our President should be held to a lower standard of 
accountability than other citizens who perjure themselves.
  If anything, he should be held to a higher standard because of the 
trust proposed in his office and because he is the chief law 
enforcement officer in a Nation whose very foundation is the rule of 
law. Other Federal officials, including three judges, in the last dozen 
years have faced removal from office after committing perjury. So 
should our President.
  Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I will vote to refer articles of impeachment 
to the Senate.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Waters), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black 
Caucus and distinguished member of the House Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  (Ms. WATERS asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. WATERS. Mr. Speaker, how must our American soldiers feel to have 
their Commander in Chief under attack while they are engaged in battle? 
They have the right to feel betrayed and undermined. Today we are here 
in the people's House debating the partisan impeachment of the 
President of the United States of America while the Commander in Chief 
is managing a crisis and asking world leaders for support.
  This is indeed a Republican coup d'etat.
  Mr. Speaker, Americans all, the Republicans will couch this extremist 
radical anarchy and pious language which distorts the Constitution and 
the rule of law. Bill and Hillary Clinton are the real targets, and the 
Republicans are the vehicles being used by the right wing Christian 
Coalition extremists to direct and control our culture. The rule of law 
has been violated

[[Page H11798]]

in denying the President notice of charges, by the abuse of power in 
the collecting of so-called evidence and the denial of the presumption 
of innocence.
  President Clinton is not guilty of the trumped up charges presented 
in these four articles of impeachment. Yes, Bill Clinton is guilty of 
certain indiscretions in his private life. However, he did not commit 
high crimes and misdemeanors. Rather the President is guilty of being a 
populist leader who opened up government and access to the poor, to 
minorities, to women and to the working class. President Bill Clinton 
is guilty of not being owned by the good ole southern boys or the good 
ole eastern establishment. Mr. Speaker, President Clinton is guilty of 
being smart enough to outmaneuver the Republicans in the budget 
negotiations, electoral politics and the development and implementation 
of the people's agenda.
  Mr. Speaker, I am an African American woman. I am accustomed to 
having to fight and struggle for fairness and justice. Ken Starr, I 
know and recognize abuse of power when I see it; he is guilty. However, 
I am greatly disappointed in the raw, unmasked, unbridled hatred and 
meanness that drives this impeachment coup d'etat, the unapologetic 
disregard for the voice of the people.
  Mr. Speaker, I say to my Republican friends what they do here today 
will long be remembered and recorded in history as one of the most 
despicable actions ever taken by the Congress of the United States of 
America. I dare the Republicans of this House to allow themselves to 
move just one inch and give me and my colleagues the opportunity to 
vote for an alternative. I dare them to be fair. I dare them to allow 
us to vote for censure.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Mrs. Bono), a member of the committee.
  Mrs. BONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment. I want to speak about this difficult issue not only to my 
colleagues but also to the American people. Although there is much 
disagreement on this issue, most Americans agree that we must resolve 
this matter as soon as possible. I strongly believe that our troops 
overseas must be reassured that the business of our Nation will not be 
interrupted by the actions of a tyrant who will not heed the will of 
the international community despite the clear and convincing evidence 
that the President of the United States committed perjury before a 
grand jury, before a Federal grand jury, lied to the American people. 
The decision was not an easy one for me or, in my belief, any of my 
Committee on the Judiciary colleagues. Yet I firmly believe that we 
would not be fulfilling our oaths of office as United States 
Representatives if we do not follow our duty as stated in the 
Constitution.
  We need to be realistic about what is at the heart of this vote. The 
central issue is whether the President is above the law and whether 
sexual harassment in civil rights laws remain viable in effective 
protections for all Americans. Despite record numbers of women working 
to support their families, women are all too vulnerable in our society 
to sexual harassment. If Congress turns a blind eye to the President's 
behavior, then we are turning our back to those victims of sexual 
harassment.
  Every person, including Paula Jones, is entitled to certain rights 
under our Constitution. This includes truthful testimony from all 
parties, and that is why we are here, because the President thought he 
could provide untruthful testimony to obscure the truth first in his 
deposition in the Jones case and later in his testimony before a 
Federal grand jury.
  Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States is not above the law. 
I am deeply disappointed that the President failed to uphold the public 
sacred trust and his own oath of office, but I am also saddened by the 
need for this Congress to arrive at this moment. As we debate this 
issue some will argue that impeachment is too harsh a punishment or too 
inconvenient for our Nation; however, it is the only appropriate remedy 
given to us by the framers of our Constitution.
  As a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, I must say a final 
word in recognition of the chairman, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Hyde). I know that no one could have given the President a fairer 
hearing.
  So I appeal to every American to look deep into their conscience and 
weigh the consequences for our system of justice if we allow the 
President of the United States to commit felony acts and not be held 
accountable for his actions.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Fazio), a departing member of our leadership.
  Mr. FAZIO of California. Mr. Speaker, this is the final moment in my 
20-year career here in this House I love so much, and it is by far the 
saddest one. I am sad that a reckless President and a Republican 
Congress driven by blind animus for him have brought us to this moment 
in history. This is a moment where legalisms reign over human 
understanding and acknowledgment that we are all sinners before our 
Lord, and it is even more unfortunate that this debate takes place when 
our troops are in harm's way.
  My instinct is to stand here and plead with my colleagues to consider 
the ramifications of what we will do, but I fear this vote is a forgone 
conclusion. Sadly it seems to have more to do with our political 
affiliations and loyalties than anything else, and it must be said that 
what we do here today is to some degree driven by revenge.
  Some of my colleagues obsess about Slick Willie in the same way that 
those on my side of the aisle used to about Tricky Dick. Robert Bork, 
Clarence Thomas, Jim Wright, on and on; we do each other in in personal 
terms. Each one of us has been given a most precious gift, the right to 
represent some 600,000 American citizens in the House of 
Representatives, and yet when it comes time to be here for them we seem 
to lose track of the fundamental issues of our times and instead focus 
far too much on petty and partisan battles. This vote and this time 
will either unite us and show the country that we are above 
partisanship and legalistic word games, or it will lay the foundation, 
I believe, for a growing permanent divide in this Nation where there is 
a left and a right while those in the center, the great majority of our 
people, do not seem to matter.
  It is much more difficult to govern here now, to do what is right for 
this country at this time, to look not to legalisms and parsed 
interpretations so valued on all sides, but to place the actions of our 
President in the proper context, to censure those actions without 
undeniably and irrevocably harming our democracy by lowering the 
threshold of impeachment. But we will not allow that vote here today.
  Many here have suggested that this is not about sex. That is a very 
convenient decision for some to make. If it is not about sex, then we 
might think it is less hypocritical to sit here in judgment of this 
President.
  I might add this Nation and its people have suffered greatly from the 
partisan battles that have only grown stronger in recent years. Jerry 
Ford, upon assuming the presidency after Watergate, said our long 
national nightmare is now over, and when resigning his speakership Jim 
Wright called upon his colleagues to end what he called mindless 
cannibalism. But today we find our nightmares continue and political 
cannibalism thrives and grows stronger. Sadly it was the late Vince 
Foster who recognized in Washington peoples' lives are destroyed for 
sport.
  I ask my friends to put aside the partisanship, the legalisms and, 
yes, the late hypocrisy. The American people deserve a clean slate for 
the next Congress to build upon and renew its trust and public 
confidence. This is our chance. Let us unite this country with a vote 
against impeachment today and put an end to this open-ended and 
mindless process of destroying the lives of good and decent people who, 
yes, are flawed and all too human.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Brady).
  (Mr. BRADY of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, some Americans are not watching 
these proceedings. Instead in hushed courtrooms across this country 
families slashed apart by violent crime and innocent people wrongly 
accused are staring intently at a witness stand, and they are praying. 
For many their best

[[Page H11799]]

hope, perhaps their only hope, for justice depends upon that witness 
telling the truth, the full truth, under oath. Truth does matter, and 
if it is no longer the duty of the President to tell the truth under 
sworn oath, can we require it of any American? The answer is no which 
is why justice, hope and the Constitution demand that today we vote 
``yes.''
  After carefully studying all the facts, there is strong and 
sufficient evidence to warrant a trial in the United States Senate. I 
intend to vote ``yes'' on each of the four articles of impeachment of 
the President that were forwarded by the House Judiciary Committee.
  In making this decision, I upheld my constitutional responsibility to 
act as a fair and thoughtful juror. I weighed the evidence against the 
charges and cast my vote without regard to polls, party or conjecture 
about any future presidential race.
  I am sad for the Nation because none of this needed to occur. It is 
only the second time in our Nation's history that a vote to impeach the 
President of the United States has taken place on the floor of the 
House of Representatives. Unfortunately, this pain could have been 
prevented had the President simply conducted himself decently and 
within the law as do most Americans.
  It is the duty of the President to tell the whole truth under sworn 
oath, as it is for every American. This truth is no less than the 
foundation of our justice system, as important as the constitutional 
rights of the accused.
  If the President is held to be above the law, the ultimate and 
predictable consequence is that achieving justice in America's legal 
system will become significantly more difficult. The necessity for the 
truth is reflected by the appropriately severe punishment for those who 
willfully refuse to provide it--which is up to five years imprisonment 
for each Federal violation.
  Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who 
make and discharge them. To its credit, America continues to strive to 
preserve equality under the law as a self-evident truth. It is 
essential to the common consent of citizens who must abide by these 
laws.
  I am proud to represent the impressive new George Bush Presidential 
Library and Museum which is located on the Texas A University campus 
in College Station, Texas. Engraved on the southern exterior wall of 
the library, engraved high enough to catch the late afternoon Brazos 
Valley sun each day, is an appropriate quote from our former President 
whom I deeply admire and respect.
  It is from his 1991 inaugural presidential address, and I take 
inspiration from it as I deliberated on this matter: ``Let future 
generations understand the burdens and blessings of freedom. Let them 
say we stood where duty required us to stand.''
  Duty requires us to stand here today. The burdens of freedom demand 
we uphold the Constitution regardless how tiring, how distasteful, how 
difficult.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Mrs. Kennelly), a departing member of our leadership.
  Mrs. KENNELLY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to oppose 
these articles of impeachment, and I do it secure in the knowledge that 
this is the right decision. This is the last issue I will address after 
17 years in this body, after thousands of votes, only a very few of 
which I regret, and I do not want to regret this incredibly important 
vote. That is why I have taken it so seriously.
  When John Quincy Adams after his term as President of the United 
States ran and won a seat in this House, he was criticized by his 
friends because this was ``beneath'' his status as former President. He 
explained it is always the highest honor to serve in the House of the 
People.
  Mr. Speaker, no honor will rain on this House today if we vote to 
impeach. Let us be honest with ourselves: A vote to impeach on the 
basis of the vexing materials assembled by the Office of the 
Independent Counsel is a vote to lower, dramatically and unalterably, 
the bar to future impeachments.
  Until now, the House has very much held a high standard for 
impeachment, keeping with the Constitution dictum that impeachment be 
reserved exclusively for high crimes and misdemeanors.
  There is so much discussion now about what is a high crime. Let us 
think about what was not. Remember President Reagan and Iran-Contra? 
Four laws, serious laws, broken; remember Harry Truman, taking over the 
steel mills, sending troops into Korea without letting the Congress 
telling him it was okay; Herbert Hoover and what happened there with 
the Federal Reserve funds.
  But there was no impeachment, Mr. Speaker, because, as serious as 
these allegations appeared at the time, impeachment never became a 
serious proposition. Collectively, our predecessors in this body 
understood fully both the necessity of impeachment as the ultimate 
bulwark against the potential tyranny of the executive, but also the 
very real threat impeachment presents to the structure of our 
government if improperly or too readily used. Impeachment was the means 
of last resort.
  Mr. Speaker, we should not vote to impeach today because it is 
neither necessary nor in step with precedent. Voting to impeach today 
is to participate in an assault on the institution of the presidency 
and our delicate system of checks and balances.
  I will vote ``no'' on all articles of impeachment for the sake of our 
posterity, and I urge my colleagues to do this today, for the future of 
the country, for the future of the United States of America.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Hulshof).
  Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, if the President of the United States simply committed 
adultery, then that indeed is a matter that should be reserved to his 
family. If, on the other hand, the President of the United States 
committed perjury or other illegal acts, then that matter must 
necessarily be reserved to this Congress.
  I agree that the private failings of a public man deserve neither 
debate nor reprimand from this body, and yet 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 used every conceivable means available to him, including 
perjury and obstruction, to defeat the legal rights of another citizen 
who claimed she had been wronged and who sought redress from our 
justice system, and, in that way, the President's private indignities 
became indignities against the Constitution by which we are governed.
  Our third branch of government has rightly said no individual is 
above the law, no single citizen can determine or judge the merits of 
another case, save those clothed with the cloak of judicial 
interpretation, and yet the President, under penalty of perjury, bore 
false witness under oath, and Ms. Jones' rights to due process were 
violated.
  That result, Mr. Speaker, is bad enough in itself, but I believe it 
reached constitutional proportions when the denial of a civil rights of 
another citizen is directed by the President of the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, what we say here today will be but paragraphs, perhaps 
even footnotes, in the pages of history yet to be written by those to 
come. What we do here will be indelibly imprinted upon the American 
tradition.
  Let not this House grant a pardon to the President for his criminal 
offenses. Let not history look back on this day and say there, on that 
date, America surrendered the rule of law. There can be no presidential 
executive privilege to lie under oath.
  Regrettably, my oath of office, my sacred honor, requires from me a 
vote of ``aye'' on the resolution before this House.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 4 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren) a member of the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, the Republican Party in this House has made 
a tragic decision for the Nation and a decision that will permanently 
damage our constitutional democracy.
  The President of the United States had a sexual affair. That was 
wrong. Then, like many others who misbehave sexually, he tried to hide 
the affair. That was wrong too. But then the greater wrong occurred. 
The majority decided to give into the worst within themselves, their 
abiding hatred of this President. The majority has decided to discard 
our history, to damage our Constitution and to threaten our future to 
get the President, all the while pompously pronouncing they are doing 
the opposite.

[[Page H11800]]

  When the Founders wrote our Constitution, they provided for the rare 
remedy of impeachment that the Legislative Branch could utilize if the 
elected President should engage in conduct that would threaten our 
constitutional government. Only once in our 211 years has Congress 
voted to impeach a president, and, in that era of 1868, it was also 
radical Republicans who misused the tool of impeachment.
  Much of the country is watching what we do here with anger, sorrow, 
fear and disbelief. I share with my constituents the feeling of 
unreality about these proceedings. The country is waiting for grownups 
to walk into this Chamber and stop this madness, but, alas, those 
Republicans with the maturity and judgment to ask that censure be 
utilized as an alternative, such as former President Ford and former 
Senator Dole, have been ignored by the majority in this House.
  The outcome appears clear: The Republicans will vote to impeach the 
President, whom they could not defeat at the polls, for reasons that do 
not add up to treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 
As a consequence, the Senate and the Supreme Court will be tied up for 
most of next year.
  The President will not be able to resign, no matter how you may urge 
it, because to do so would further destroy the precedents that have 
protected our country for over two centuries.
  This is not fair to the President, but that should not be our main 
concern. It is not fair to the minority in this House, but that is not 
the main problem either. This is unfair to the American people.
  By these actions, you would undo the free election that expressed the 
will of the American people in 1996. In so doing, you will damage the 
faith the American people have in this institution and in the American 
democracy. You will set the dangerous precedent that the certainty of 
presidential terms, which has so benefitted our wonderful America, will 
be replaced by the partisan use of impeachment. Future presidents will 
face election, then litigation, then impeachment. The power of 
President will diminish in the face of the Congress, a phenomena much 
feared by the Founding Fathers.
  Our constituency in this matter includes not just the voters of 
today, but the future grandchildren of my own children. We have an 
obligation to generations not yet born to preserve and protect our 
wonderful system of government. In that obligation you fail your 
country today.
  Some in the majority have told me they are entitled to their opinion 
about whether or not the President's misconduct meets the 
constitutional standard. Some Americans believe aliens will arrive in 
spacecraft, but it does not make it so. You say the President's 
deception about sex has destroyed our system of government. Some of you 
have actually convinced yourselves that is true.
  The capacity for self-deception is an amazing phenomena, but the 
public can see clearly what you are doing here today. You say that the 
President's dishonesty about sex has destroyed our constitutional form 
of government, but the people do not agree. They think that it is you 
who threaten our country by this cynical and political distortion of 
impeachment. As is generally the case, the American people have it 
right. It is not too late to listen to them. You would honor your own 
oath of office by doing so.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Canady).
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I must respond to the claim that 
there are those of us who contend that the acts of the President have 
destroyed our system of government. That is far, far from the truth.
  The question is not whether the President has destroyed our system of 
government. We know that that has not happened. That is obvious. The 
question is whether by his conduct he has undermined the integrity of 
the law; whether by his conduct he has undermined the integrity of the 
high office that has been entrusted to him; whether he has subverted 
the rule of law; whether he has acted to set an example which is 
harmful to our system of government.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield three minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Connecticut (Mrs. Johnson).
  Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, above the entrance to the 
Supreme Court are four powerful words: ``Equal Justice Under Law.'' Yet 
there can be no equal justice without a judicial process capable of 
reaching to the truth. That is why when one raises their right hand and 
swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, 
each one of us must do it. That is why perjury is a serious crime. It 
strikes at the heart of the only process that protects each one of us 
from false accusations.
  I will vote for impeachment, not because the President has human 
frailties, but because he has committed perjury repeatedly and 
willfully. Marital infidelity is not an impeachable offense. Even lying 
to hide sexual indiscretion is not impeachable. But the President does 
not have the right to lie under oath, to commit perjury.
  No one is above the law, not even the President. I believe perjury 
does meet at least the definition of high misdemeanor. In my mind, it 
certainly meets the measure of high crime.
  In my judgment, our democracy is far more capable of surviving a 
transition in power than surviving an erosion of fundamental 
obligations such as that to tell the truth under oath and to treat all 
citizens equally under the law.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy).
  (Mr. KENNEDY of Massachusetts asked and was given permission to 
revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, what we are doing here on 
the floor today and throughout the night is just wrong. It is wrong for 
a lot of reasons, but most fundamental is the fact that, yes, the 
President made mistakes; yes, in fact he misled his family, he misled 
the public; and, yes, he in fact tried to trick even maybe a grand 
jury. Whether it is perjury or not is a different question.
  But at its core, at its core, this is about an individual, a man in 
our country, who had a wrongful affair. He lied about that affair, and 
he has asked for forgiveness. What is incredible is the American people 
have looked into their conscience and found that forgiveness; people 
from all walks of life, from every different corner of this country, 
have found forgiveness.
  There is only one group of people that I can find that cannot find 
that forgiveness, and that is people that had been locked in struggle 
over so many questions dealing with the future of this country against 
President Clinton's agenda over the course of the last four years, and 
that is what this is all about.

                              {time}  1315

  Now, I know that there is a lot of talk about morality today, and I 
think that is good, I think that is healthy for our country. I think we 
ought to talk a little bit about morality. But I do not think that the 
only moral standard in America ought to be about sex. I think there is 
a lot of moral things about our country; there is a lot of immoral 
things about our country. And I look around our Nation today and I see 
little children that do not have enough food in their bellies at night, 
and when we talk about balancing the budget, what do we do? We cut the 
food stamp program. When we talk about trying to stand up and make sure 
that we have decent schools in our inner cities, we have a hellacious 
debate on the floor of this House. And yet, our schools are still 
terrible.
  We make pronouncements about these wonderful new changes that we have 
made in laws, but at its core, the truth is that there are too many 
people in poverty, there are too many kids that do not have access to 
health care; there are too many families that do not have enough food 
in their stomachs, and those issues do not receive even close to the 
amount of time and effort and energy that we are now putting into 
trying to impeach the President.
  The President has put the wood to the Republicans time and time 
again. The President has put the wood to the Republicans time and time 
again. He has taken away the issue of crime, he has taken away the 
issue of taxes. He has taken away so many of the issues that my 
colleagues in the past have had leadership roles on, and so they get 
angry at him. That is okay, they can get angry at him. But to dumb down 
the impeachment process and to allow

[[Page H11801]]

this to be used not just by my Republican colleagues, but by people 
that will serve after me certainly, and people that will serve after 
everybody in this institution and allow this to be utilized in a 
partisan critical manner is an immoral act on the part of the 
Republican Party.
  I am so sorry that the final vote I cast here on the House floor is 
going to be over an issue that is so partisan in nature. Let us come 
together and let us find the forgiveness that the American people have 
found for President Clinton, that his own family has found for him, so 
that many millions of people across this planet want him to have. Give 
him forgiveness. He recognizes he did something wrong. He is trying to 
right it. Find in your hearts the forgiveness that he asks for.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Smith), a member of the committee.
  Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Florida for 
yielding me this time.
  Mr. Speaker, let us return to the Constitution. Members of this House 
of Representatives have a solemn task specifically assigned to us by 
the authors of that Constitution. Whatever happens today, whether the 
President is impeached or not, our Nation is going to endure. We are a 
strong people and we have a Constitution that works.
  A quarter of a century ago, we arrived at a similar point. President 
Clinton's defenders say this is not Watergate. They are right to the 
extent that the underlying behavior does not involve the bungled break-
in of a campaign headquarters; rather, it involves a reckless 
relationship in the White House itself with a young employee that the 
President hardly knew.
  President Nixon did not lie repeatedly to a Federal judge and then to 
a grand jury of citizens charged with discovering the truth. President 
Clinton did. But President Clinton, like President Nixon, did obstruct 
justice by encouraging others to lie, and both abused their offices by 
violating their oath to uphold the laws of our country.
  The President has escaped accountability for his actions time after 
time. His intelligence, pleasing personality and way with words have 
saved him, so far. Perhaps the most accurate description of his pattern 
of behavior is a campaign slogan used by a New York senatorial 
candidate against his opponent this year: ``Too many lies, for too 
long.''
  Last week I listened to the President's most recent apology, and I 
agree with him. I cannot imagine a greater agony than being ashamed 
before one's family and friends. But emotions cannot change the 
evidence or the facts, nor should they control our actions.
  If the President will not resign, we must go forward. Our entire 
justice system rests on the rule of law. Without it, we would not enjoy 
a civilized and democratic society. To carve out exceptions for anyone, 
particularly the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, 
would be to undermine this rule of law.
  For the benefit of our country to set an example for our children, 
our grandchildren and future generations, we must maintain our high 
ideals. That the President has failed to meet the standard does not 
mean we should lower it.
  Our constitutional duty in the House is to decide whether to impeach 
or accuse the President of wrongful actions. The Senate's duty is to 
render judgment and decide punishment. So if a sanction other than 
removal from office such as censure is ever considered, it should be 
initiated by the Senate. And, ultimately, any outcome must be supported 
by the American people.
  This is not a decision to go forward because of a ``private 
relationship.'' It involves the most public of relationships, that 
between a citizen and the justice system, and that between the 
President and the American people. It is about honor and telling the 
truth. It is about respect for the law, respect for the office of the 
presidency, respect for the American people, respect for the officers 
of the court, respect for women, and ultimately, our own self respect.
  During this difficult but necessary impeachment process, I've relied 
on several people for their helpful ideas. Although they shouldn't be 
held accountable for my views, I do want to thank my perceptive wife, 
Beth Schaefer, and special friends, Judge Cyndi Krier, John Lampmann, 
and Judge Tom Rickhoff, for giving me the benefit of their wise 
counsel.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Bonilla), my friend and colleague.
  Mr. BONILLA. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from San Antonio for 
yielding to me.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a Nation founded on rules and laws. We are a 
young country, but we are the greatest that has ever existed. America 
is strong and gets stronger because we are passionate about our laws, 
of which no one is above. If one is a mayor, a police officer, a 
Senator or a President, one must obey the law, just like any other 
citizen.
  American law and our system of justice relies on truth, truth 
presented by witnesses sworn before God. Those who have appeared before 
grand juries in this country know it is a daunting experience, knowing 
that if you stumble, if you lie, you could commit perjury and maybe 
wind up in jail.
  Thousands of Americans have been prosecuted and have criminal records 
because they perjured themselves like the President. The President's 
own Justice Department regularly prosecutes Americans for perjury, and 
yes, they are prosecuted for perjury in cases of sexual harassment.
  We are not talking politics here. In politics, a President may lie to 
the American people on television, in town meetings, and even in 
political ads. I think that is wrong, and so do most of my colleagues. 
But that is not against the law and that is not a reason to impeach. 
Voters are the ultimate judges in those cases. But here we are talking 
about the law.
  As we search our conscience today to cast our votes, let us remember 
the rules and laws on which our Nation was founded. No one is above the 
law. Let us vote to uphold that American principle today.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
the Virgin Islands (Ms. Christian-Green).
  Ms. CHRISTIAN-GREEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a solemn, fearful 
and heavy heart as I face the stark reality that this House and lame 
duck Congress is going to disregard the will of the American people 
and, to quote this week's Hill Newspaper, ``unleash the awesome power 
of impeachment in a blatantly partisan manner for what hardly measures 
up to high crimes and misdemeanors.''
  It is what this body is about to do, while we are at war, that comes 
closer to meeting that constitutional standard than anything our 
President is charged with. How will the sober hand of history judge us?
  My colleagues, the American people overwhelmingly continue to oppose 
the impeachment of their twice-elected President. They are no fools. 
They recognize the blatant unfairness of the process, and while they do 
not condone what the President did, they understand that he has 
committed no impeachable or constitutional crime.
  But we do not have to just go by popular opinion. More than 400 
historians and constitutional scholars have opined that the allegations 
put forth in the Starr report ``do not cross the threshold of high 
crimes and misdemeanors warranting impeachment under the 
Constitution.''
  I agree with the comments I have heard as early as this morning that 
this is not about the President's behavior with Monica Lewinsky, but 
neither is this about so-called legitimate charges of perjury, 
obstruction of justice, or abuse of power. It has been clearly shown 
time and time again that none of that occurred.
  What this is about is a purely partisan attack on Bill Clinton, the 
man; on Bill Clinton, the people's President; and make no mistake, it 
is also about a very popular First Lady.
  By his own admission, the President has sinned. He was contrite and 
has asked for our forgiveness and the forgiveness of the American 
people. It is time for us to come together as a Nation, support our 
troops in the Middle East, and put this matter behind us. The American 
people want and need us to get back to the work on the issues that will 
improve their quality of life.
  This is a season of peace. I hope against hope that my words and the 
words of others who have called for forgiveness and healing at this 
time can soften the hearts of my colleagues who

[[Page H11802]]

would seek to throw our Nation into turmoil over politics. I urge my 
colleagues to heed the wishes of those who sent us here to tend to 
their concerns. Make real and true the claim of conscience and 
constitutional responsibility. Do not lower the bar for impeachment. 
Reject this partisan impeachment process. We should have a censure 
vote, but if that will not be allowed, then vote for the Constitution, 
vote for this country. Vote ``no'' on impeachment.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentleman will state it.
  Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, I will be very brief.
  Mr. Speaker, as I understand the Rules of the House as it governs the 
discourse in the House, it is very clear, and it has been a time-
honored tradition that has served this House well, that we not, in 
House debate, make disparaging remarks or characterizations about the 
motives of other Members of the Chamber. I must say I am very saddened 
to report, Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to several speakers, and 
that I have seen frankly quite caustic and harsh characterizations of 
the motives of the Members.
  We ask each Member to look into their heart and each Member that does 
so knows that only God can do so also, and I would ask the Speaker, 
would it be appropriate, Mr. Speaker, for me to ask on behalf of the 
dignity of this Chamber to exercise the authority of the Chair to 
remind Members of these protocols and respects, and perhaps if 
necessary enforce them so that we on this side may not find ourselves 
compelled to raise it as a point on the floor during the debate. I 
thank the Chair.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Alabama (Mr. Bachus).
  (Mr. BACHUS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks, and include extraneous material.)
  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, Congress has arrived at the time when we and 
the Nation must look beyond the polls, the media, and beyond the 
political rhetoric and consider the grave matter of voting on the 
impeachment of the Nation's President. We stand at a moment of defining 
action, one that will require each of us to state for the Record our 
commitment to the principles involved in this case.
  As the gentleman from Florida, a member of the minority said earlier, 
our decision is not about Bill Clinton, it is not about personalities, 
it is not about partisanship, it is not about Republicans or Democrats. 
Popular opinion and polls cannot dictate our course of action. Duty, 
honor, and obligation must. Ageless principles must.
  On this solemn occasion, I will vote for impeachment. People, 
politics, and polls change. Presidents come and go. Fundamental 
principles do not. My vote is based on the following principles: The 
first, a commitment to the truth. It is essential to a just society. A 
commitment to the truth is the foundation of our democracy and our 
freedom.

                              {time}  1330

  The second is, actions and behaviors matter. Only God can search and 
sift the soul. Because we cannot read the heart, we must rely on 
actions and behaviors. Certain actions and behaviors are inconsistent 
with the office of President.
  Third, forgiveness does not absolve one of responsibility for 
actions, nor relieve one of the consequences of those actions.
  Earlier I asked for unanimous consent, and at this time I will submit 
for the Record an article out of the Wall Street Journal entitled 
``Religion Should Not Be Used as a Political Tool,'' signed by 85 
religious scholars.
  In that, it says, ``We challenge the widespread assumption that 
forgiveness relieves a person of further responsibility and serious 
consequences.'' I commend this article to all my colleagues and 
introduce it here.
  The material referred to is as follows:

                     [From the Wall Street Journal]

                Religion Should Not Be a Political Tool

       The following statement--``Declaration Concerning Religion, 
     Ethics, an the Crisis in the Clinton Presidency''--was signed 
     by 95 religion scholars, including Paul J. Achtemeier (Union 
     Theological Seminary), Karl Paul Donfried (Smith College), 
     Jean Bethke Elshtain (University of Chicago), Stanley M. 
     Hauerwas (Duke University), Robert Peter Imbelli (Boston 
     College), Max L. Stackhouse (Princeton Theological Seminary), 
     and Harry Yeide (George Washington University):
       As scholars interested in religion and public life, we 
     protest the manipulation of religion and the debasing of 
     moral language in the discussion about presidential 
     responsibility. We believe that serious misunderstanding of 
     repentance and forgiveness are being exploited for political 
     advantage. The resulting moral confusion is a threat to the 
     integrity of American religion and to the foundations of a 
     civil society. In the conviction that politics and morality 
     cannot be separated, we consider the current crisis to be a 
     critical moment in the life of our country and, therefore, 
     offer the following points for consideration:


                           misuse of religion

       1. Many of us worry about the political misuse of religion 
     and religious symbols even as we endorse the public mission 
     of our churches, synagogues and mosques. In particular we are 
     concerned about the distortion that can come by association 
     with presidential power in events like the Presidential 
     Prayer Breakfast on Sept. 11. We fear the religious community 
     is in danger of being called upon to provide authentication 
     for a politically motivated and incomplete repentance that 
     seeks to avert serious consequences for wrongful acts. While 
     we affirm that pastoral counseling session are an 
     appropriate, confidential arena to address these issues, we 
     fear that announcing such meetings to convince the public of 
     the president's sincerity compromises the integrity of 
     religion.
       2. We challenge the widespread assumption that forgiveness 
     relieves a person of further responsibility and serious 
     consequences. We are convinced that forgiveness is a 
     relational term that does not function easily within the 
     sphere of constitutional accountability. A wronged party 
     chooses forgiveness instead of revenge and antagonism, but 
     this does not relieve the wrong-doer of consequences. When 
     the president continues to deny any liability for the sins he 
     has confessed, this suggests that the public display of 
     repentance was intended to avoid political disfavor.


                          Central to survival

       3. We are aware that certain moral qualities are central to 
     the survival of our political system, among which are 
     truthfulness, integrity, respect for the law, respect for the 
     dignity of others, adherence to the constitutional process, 
     and a willingness to avoid the abuse of power. We reject the 
     premise that violations of these ethical standards should be 
     excused so long as a leader remains loyal to a particular 
     political agenda and the nation is blessed by a strong 
     economy. Elected leaders are accountable to the Constitution 
     and to the people who elected them. By his own admission, the 
     president has departed from ethical standards by abusing his 
     presidential office, by his ill use of women, and by his 
     knowing manipulation of truth for indefensible ends. We are 
     particularly troubled about the debasing of the language of 
     public discourse with the aim of avoiding responsibility for 
     one's actions.
       4. We are concerned about the impact of this crisis on our 
     children and on our students. Some of them feel betrayed by a 
     president in whom they set their hopes while others are 
     troubled by his misuse of others, by which many in the 
     administration, the political system, and the media were 
     implicated in patterns of deceit and abuse. Neither our 
     students nor we demand perfection. Many of us believe that 
     extreme dangers sometimes require a political leader to 
     engage in morally problematic actions. But we maintain that 
     in general there is a reasonable threshold of behavior 
     beneath which our public leaders should not fall, because the 
     moral character of a people is more important than the tenure 
     of a particular politician or the protection of a particular 
     political agenda. Political and religious history indicate 
     that violations and misunderstandings of such moral issues 
     may have grave consequences. The widespread desire to ``get 
     this behind us'' does not take seriously enough the nature of 
     transgressions and their social effects.
       5. We urge the society as a whole to take account of the 
     ethical commitments necessary for a civil society and to seek 
     the integrity of both public and private morality. While 
     partisan conflicts have usually dominated past debates over 
     public morality, we now confront a much deeper crisis, 
     whether the moral basis of the constitutional system itself 
     will be lost. In the present impeachment discussions, we call 
     for national courage in deliberation that avoids ideological 
     division and engages the process as a constitutional and 
     ethical imperative. We ask Congress to discharge its current 
     duty in a manner mindful of its solemn constitutional and 
     political responsibilities. Only in this way can the process 
     serve the good of the nation as a whole and avoid further 
     sensationalism.


                          extended-discussion

       6. While some of us think that a presidential resignation 
     or impeachment would be appropriate and others envision less 
     drastic consequences, we are all convinced that extended 
     discussion about constitutional, ethical and religious issues 
     will be required to clarify the situation and to enable a 
     wise decision to be made. We hope to provide an arena in 
     which such discussion can occur in an atmosphere of scholarly 
     integrity and civility without partisan bias.

[[Page H11803]]

  Further, our children must have positive role models; someone has 
said, more now than ever. There is a standard of conduct below which 
our leaders must not fall.
  In conclusion, I commend to Members the words of George Washington at 
the eve of the battle of Valley Forge: ``Let us raise a standard to 
which the wise and the honest may repair. The event is in the hands of 
God.''
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Tony Hall).
  Mr. HALL of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding 
time to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to these articles of impeachment. 
The President is guilty of conduct unbefitting his office. However, 
despite his actions, I do not believe they rise to the level of high 
crimes and misdemeanors, which is the requirement the Constitution sets 
for removal from office.
  Within this House, as throughout the Nation, there is a mood of anger 
and frustration and betrayal. Retribution through impeachment may feel 
right today, but the long-term harm it will cause our government 
outweighs filling the immediate satisfaction.
  I also strongly object to the provision in the articles which 
disqualifies the President from holding any future office, and it goes 
on to say other things. What it essentially means is almost anything 
that is commissioned, that has any kind of Federal monies in it, XYZ 
commission, a nonprofit organization, he cannot fulfill that as a 
result of this particular clause.
  This goes too far. It is a too severe. The House does not have the 
moral authority to judge that the President is forever unredeemable. A 
strong resolution of censure is the appropriate response by the House 
of Representatives. Let the House go on record condemning the President 
in the strongest terms.
  Censure is a harsh enough punishment. It expresses the profound 
disappointment of the American people, and it will stay with the 
President for the rest of his life and throughout history. Censure will 
spare the Nation the agony of a Senate impeachment trial and the 
possible removal of the President.
  I regret that the House leadership will not permit a censure 
resolution from coming to the House floor for a vote. This denies the 
House the opportunity to work its will. Impeachment is not the answer 
to the challenge the House faces in responding to the President's 
action.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. King).
  Mr. KING. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the articles of 
impeachment. My opposition to impeachment has nothing to do at all with 
Bill Clinton, but everything to do with the office of the presidency.
  By setting a standard which goes beyond the Constitution, and, my 
Republican colleagues, beyond the historic position of our party, we 
are, however well-intentioned, continuing our spiral toward a 
government subject to the whims of independent counsels and based on 
the frenzied politics of the moment, rather than a government of 
immutable principles and transcendent institutions.
  This is not a decision which came easy to me. It is not a position 
which I particularly enjoy. No one has a higher respect than I do for 
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Henry Hyde). To me he is the 
conscience of this House, and it causes me great pain to in any way 
differ from him.
  But I feel I have no alternative. I strongly believe that for a 
president to be impeached, a president of the United States to be 
impeached, for an election to be undone, there must be a direct abuse 
of presidential power. There must be a president abusing the CIA, 
abusing citizens with the IRS or the FBI, a crime comparable to treason 
or bribery.
  I would say to my colleagues that my position, I believe, is rooted 
in Republican philosophy. I go back to the Watergate hearings of 1974, 
when President Nixon's most eloquent defender, subsequently appointed 
to the United States Court of Appeals by President Reagan, Congressman 
Charles Wiggins, came back and testified before the committee, and said 
that if he were a Member of Congress today, he would vote against 
impeachment.
  But there is even a larger issue here: Where are we going as a 
Nation? Quite frankly, when I hear Members on the other side rise up in 
such opposition to this impeachment, I say, where were they during the 
times of Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas or John Tower?
  But two wrongs do not make a right. We are a Nation consumed by 
investigations, by special counsels. We are a Nation consumed by 
scandal. We are driving good people from government. What we are 
talking about here in this case, the President's conduct, was illegal, 
it was immoral, it was disgraceful, it was indefensible, but the fact 
is, I don't believe rises to the level of treason or bribery.
  The principle we are setting that in the future, all of us, anyone 
who assumes the office of the presidency, is subject to civil 
depositions, subject to lawsuits, and then to have that deposition 
examined and scrutinized by an Independent Counsel, how many of our 
former presidents would we have lost if this was the case, if this rule 
of law, if this principle, had prevailed in prior times, and prior 
times of crisis?
  Also, I would ask my fellow Republicans, throughout the 1980s we saw 
the abuses of special counsels by Lawrence Walsh and others as they 
went against members of the Reagan and Bush administration. We saw good 
people like Elliott Abrams brought down on the flimsiest of charges 
involving lying. All of us knew it was wrong, and we railed against it. 
But today somehow we are willing to apply a different standard, a 
different principle. That is wrong.
  This is a sad day for our country. It is a sad year for our Nation, 
because of the conduct of the President, but also because I believe 
that as Republicans, we have failed to rise to our obligation. As a 
matter of conscience I must vote against impeachment, and I rue this 
day.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Major Owens), an outstanding member of the committee.
  (Mr. OWENS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to pardon my ignorance, 
but I am not a lawyer and I have not been impressed with the legal 
gymnastics of the Committee on the Judiciary hearings.
  Like the majority of the American people, I watched and listened, and 
in the end I concluded that in any court of common sense, this is a 
case that would have been immediately dismissed. No man in America is 
above the law. The converse should also be true, no citizen, even a 
feared partisan enemy, should be denied the benefits of the law, of the 
due process and of equal justice.
  Our defendant is an outstanding citizen who has done great service 
for his people, for his government. On the basis of the charges before 
us, what prosecutor anywhere in America would press forward with this 
case and a demand for such a harsh punishment?
  Examining the extenuating circumstances related to the outstanding 
performance and the exemplary accomplishments of this defendant, what 
ordinary judge in any court, in any county in America, would allow the 
trial to go forward?
  This defendant, this President, has been denied his basic rights. He 
is not a beneficiary of the rule of law. This defendant is a victim of 
organized partisan persecution. It is not fair, it is not just. The 
majority of the American people are angry, for good reasons. The voice 
of Shakespeare's King Lear is ringing in our ears: ``Fool me not to 
bear tamely. Touch me with noble anger.''
  Consider the record of the defendant. This is the education 
President, who has gone beyond lofty rhetoric and done more for 
education than any President since Lyndon Johnson. In Haiti they have 
cheered him as the liberator. In the Middle East and Northern Ireland 
they have hailed him as the great peacemaker. In Yugoslavia, Bosnia, 
Sarajevo, they give him thanks as an angel of mercy who stopped the 
mass slaughter of innocent men and women and children. On Wall Street 
this President is celebrated as a master of macroeconomic policy-
making.
  In all endeavors where it has mattered most, this defendant has done

[[Page H11804]]

his duty well. Why is this defendant before us? Why is the political 
death penalty being demanded? Our posterity will spit upon us for 
allowing this madness to reach this level.
  It is not too late for all Members to truly vote their conscience. 
Good men and good women can often be hypnotized momentarily by the 
collective fervor of the crowd. Today in this proceeding extreme 
punishment is the only item that is allowed on the agenda. The majority 
is demanding excommunication. The loud cry is for banishment. This is a 
political crucifixion. Responsible decision-makers have temporarily 
lost their reason.
  I call upon every Member to break the spell. Forget we are under the 
glare of television cameras in Washington, and imagine that we are back 
home in a local courtroom. The defendant before us deserves equal 
treatment, equal justice. Let us be fair. Let us be reasonable. Let us 
consider the extenuating circumstances. Let us dismiss this case now.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 9 minutes, and I yield to 
the gentleman from California (Mr. Rogan).
  Mr. ROGAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond very briefly to the commentary 
from the gentleman who preceded the gentleman from Florida in the well. 
The gentleman said that no reasonable prosecutor or judge would come 
forward on such an overwhelming case of perjury and bring this case 
before the court.
  I have some authority to speak on this, having spent 10 years as a 
deputy district attorney in Los Angeles county and as a criminal trial 
court judge in Los Angeles county.
  Under the Clinton Justice Department, since President Clinton became 
president, some 700 people have been tried and convicted for perjury 
and perjury-related crimes. As we speak today, Mr. Speaker, some 115 
people sit in Federal prisons as a result of their conviction on 
perjury charges. Those are people that were prosecuted and convicted by 
the Clinton Justice Department.
  In my own home State of California, since Bill Clinton became 
president, there have been some 16,000 prosecutions for perjury. So the 
suggestion that perjury charges would not be brought in an appropriate 
case is incorrect.
  Further, the gentleman's comments go directly, once again, to the 
point that we are debating here: whether the standard that we set 
during Watergate, which was no person is above the law, will continue 
to be the standard for our Congress and our country, or whether we are 
going to make exceptions for people who happen to have high rank and 
privilege, and share one's party affiliation.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I think it is important today for us to 
understand some perspective on what we are debating.
  First of all, those on this side of the aisle do not view this as a 
bipartisan issue. In fact, as Republicans it is not in our political 
interest to see the President of United States impeached and removed 
from office. The last thing in the world we would want politically, on 
a rational basis, is to see Mr. Gore, Vice President Gore, assume the 
presidency and be in the office for a while, and to have to combat 
that, and to have established that position for the year 2000 
elections.
  We do believe in principle. We are concerned about what is going to 
happen to our court system and what the message would be of failing to 
impeach. That is why we are so ardent about this, for no other reason.
  Having seen what the President has done, the multiple crimes of 
perjury and obstruction of justice that I honestly believe he has 
committed, it would be an irresponsible act on my part to ignore it and 
to suggest that censure were an appropriate result and an appropriate 
way to address this.
  Having said that, let us go over for a minute the facts of where we 
are with this. What we are dealing with is a President who was sworn 
into office, took an oath to uphold the laws of the Nation, then faced 
a lawsuit, a civil suit, in a civil rights sexual harassment suit by a 
woman named Paula Jones.
  Long before that suit had any witness list published, he and Monica 
Lewinsky had an arrangement that they agreed to lie about the affair 
that they were having if anybody asked them. Then somewhere along the 
way, in December a year or so ago, there was a subpoena prepared and a 
witness list appeared for Monica Lewinsky.
  The President called her and told her in a telephone conversation 
that she was on the witness list, and they talk about their cover 
stories that they had previously discussed about what they would say 
about what they were doing, so they did not have to reveal the 
relationship.
  In that same phone conversation, the President suggested she could 
file an affidavit in order to avoid testifying. He suggested that, I 
submit, knowing full well that it was going to be a false affidavit.

                              {time}  1345

  What Monica Lewinsky said, and she said this under oath, and I 
believe very credibly, to the grand jury, she said, ``It wasn't as if 
the President called me and said, you know, Monica, you are on the 
witness list, this is going to be really hard for us. We are going to 
have to tell the truth and you will be humiliated in front of the 
entire world about what we have done, which I would have probably 
fought him on. That was different. And by him not calling me and saying 
that, you know, I knew what that meant.''
  They knew that that affidavit was going to be false, and from that 
moment on is when the serious nature of this matter came before us. 
Because at this moment the President committed the crime of obstructing 
the law, obstructing justice. And the path was set for a scheme in 
which he engaged with Monica Lewinsky and others to conceal the truth 
from the Paula Jones case and deny Paula Jones her rights and then 
later to lie to the grand jury, to conceal the truth from a criminal 
grand jury as well as from the public.
  What happened next is fairly straightforward. During the period of 
the month of December, there came up the issue of gifts because Monica 
Lewinsky had a subpoena to produce any gifts the President had given 
her in the Jones case. And the President and she had a conversation 
about that shortly after Christmas, in which she suggested maybe she 
should hide those gifts or give them to the President's secretary to 
keep. The President said, ``I don't know, I have to think about that.''
  A couple of hours later the evidence shows that is before us, Monica 
Lewinsky received a call from Betty Currie. We have the President's 
secretary, we have a telephone record showing that call, even though 
Ms. Currie did not recollect that she made the call. She thought Monica 
made it to her. We have a record showing it came from Ms. Currie who 
said, according to Ms. Lewinsky, and I believe Ms. Lewinsky on this, 
that the President suggests that I call you to pick up something. And a 
little while later, Ms. Currie went over to Lewinsky's home, picked up 
gifts that Lewinsky packaged and put them under her bed. Another 
obstruction of justice.
  Then in early January, in early January the President was talking to 
Vernon Jordan, who is his good friend and counselor, and arranged for 
Monica Lewinsky to have an attorney to prepare that affidavit we talked 
about. Along the way, in the process of preparing that affidavit, 
finally on January 7, she signed it. And Vernon Jordan testified he 
informed the President of that. What do you know, the next day, on 
January 8, for the first time Mr. Jordan, although asked much earlier 
often to help get a job for Monica Lewinsky by Monica finally made a 
call to the head of Revlon Corporation and secured a job for Monica and 
reported that fact back to the President.
  And then what happens next? The President goes to testify. The 
President goes to testify in the deposition he gave in the Paula Jones 
lawsuit. And during that deposition, we all saw some of the television 
film of that deposition in the Committee on the Judiciary the other 
day. The President observed his attorneys referring to the affidavit 
that he knew was false and he affirmed the truth of that affidavit that 
he knew was false. He affirmed the fact that in that affidavit it said 
that he and Monica essentially were never alone, not just that they did 
not have particular relations. He went on to lie

[[Page H11805]]

then about the specific acts that he engaged in with her. He was given 
a definition. And even taking his interpretation of the definition the 
court in that case gave him and assuming that that rather far out 
definition was accurate, if you believe Monica Lewinsky, and she has 
been corroborated by 7 contemporaneously told friends and relatives who 
were witnesses in this under oath that what she said is correct, they 
engaged in sexual activity under the definition in that report and the 
court, and the President lied about. He lied about a lot of other 
things in that deposition.
  He then went on after that, while he, in that deposition, referred 
often to his secretary Betty Currie, to then call Betty Currie to come 
over to visit him the following day right after he had left the 
deposition. And he talked to Betty Currie. Why did he call her up? He 
called her in his office and he said to her, to corroborate, he says, 
``You were always there when she was there; right? We were never really 
alone. You could see and hear everything. Monica came on to me and I 
never touched her, right? She wanted sex with me and I can't do that.''
  Well, Ms. Currie twice testified under oath the President said this 
to her. Any interpretation is ridiculous other than one that assumes 
the President expected her to be a witness, even if she wasn't on the 
witness list. That is a crime of witness tampering or obstruction of 
justice, and the list goes on.
  The sad fact is, I do not want to be here any more than you do. I do 
not want to impeach this President any more than you do. This is not a 
happy day for me or anyone else here. But the President of the United 
States committed multiple felony crimes, not just one instance, not 
just having some relationship which we would have no business being 
concerned with on impeachment, but he committed multiple felony crimes 
of perjury, witness tampering, obstruction of justice. The evidence is 
very clear about it.
  And to fail to impeach him would send an awful message to the 
countryside that we have a double standard in this country, that the 
President, who is the chief law enforcement officer, the Commander in 
Chief of the uniformed services of this country, is allowed to get away 
with perjury. I submit if we do not impeach him, we will send a message 
that will result in more people lying in court and committing perjury 
than they do already. And that is on the rise. It is a very, very 
serious matter.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Louisiana (Mr. Jefferson).
  Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. JEFFERSON. I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rogan), 
a prosecutor, has indicated for the first time in all of our hearings 
that there were 16,000 cases of perjury in the State of California 
alone. I would beg him to supply at any time at his convenience any 
indication for the Record what source he uses for that statement. There 
are some that question whether there are 16,000 cases a year in all of 
our courts much less one State.
  My friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum) has now brought 
forward a matter that has been aired sufficiently in the Committee on 
the Judiciary that he could not possibly have forgotten, that the cell 
phone incident occurred 1\1/2\ hours after the gifts were returned. 
Now, perhaps he has a lapse of memory. The record is clear in our 
hearings and why this would be introduced at this time is beyond this 
Member.
  I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  Mr. JEFFERSON. Mr. Speaker, at what point shall we expect the 
approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we 
expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us 
at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined 
with all the treasure of the earth in their military chests, with a 
Bonaparte for a commander could not by force take a drink from the Ohio 
or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.
  So spoke President Lincoln in 1838 about the power of America. But he 
coupled this declaration of our world dominance with a warning and 
admonition of how we could lose it, which is apropos here. He said 
then, at what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I 
answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us, it cannot 
come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its 
author and finisher.
  I hope as Lincoln hoped against hope then that I am overwary today 
about the wounds we are inflicting upon ourselves, our Constitution and 
our body politic by this unfair rush to judgment against our President. 
Like Lincoln then, I worry now about the wild and furious passions 
aimed to bring this President down rather than an exercise of sober 
judgment to lift up the true meaning of our Constitution.
  Like Lincoln, I worry that even though we are the preeminent power in 
the world today, that this grating, this chipping away at the high 
ideal of impeachment leads us further down the road to constitutional 
death by suicide of a free society. High crimes and misdemeanors, not 
all crimes and misdemeanors, is what our constitution holds as grounds 
for impeachment. There are no high crimes shown here. But there is a 
base and basic perversion of the rule of law into a rule of hot blood 
and a rule of political convenience by a majority bent on getting 
President Clinton.
  Today you may have the votes but you do not have the high ground. But 
just remember, as we say in Louisiana, what goes around ultimately, 
unfailingly and always comes around.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I just want to respond to the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), who raised the issue about the 
corroboration of Monica Lewinsky's testimony in the cell phone call. In 
fact, Monica Lewinsky gave a statement 7 months after the December 28 
incident concerning the gifts. And in her testimony she was asked how 
she knew that Betty Currie was coming over. She thought there was a 
cell phone or a telephone call, and it was my cell phone. The records 
were checked that corroborated the testimony of Monica Lewinsky even 
though it was 7 months later. The telephone call was about 3:37. I 
think there is documentary corroboration of her testimony.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Bryant), a member of the committee.
  Mr. BRYANT. Mr. Speaker, let me also respond regarding an inquiry 
that our colleague from California made on the statistics of perjury 
from that State. I too have seen those numbers. I think rather than an 
annual one-year listing of some 16,000, I think the more accurate 
statement would be that over the last 5 years some 16,000 people have 
been prosecuted for perjury in the State of California on a rising 
trend, unfortunately, for this country.
  Also fortunate for this debate for the most part the facts of this 
case have been conceded. We have dwelt our time on higher things such 
as are these impeachable offenses. And that is a good statement; that 
is a good question. That is a good area of debate for us.
  Had the President limited his conduct to the oval office and not 
stepped outside to participate in the cover-up, I would suggest, and I 
think most of my colleagues would agree on the House floor, that we 
would not be here today. Certainly we do not agree with what he did in 
the oval office, but that does not rise to the level of impeachable 
conduct.
  This is not about sex. This is about what happens when you take a 
poll and that poll tells you whether or not to tell the truth. That 
poll tells you that they will not accept your perjury. And the 
President says, well, we will just have to win. And this case, this 
impeachment proceeding is about what occurred after that, the cover-up.
  One of the charges in this article, series of articles is obstruction 
of justice. That concerns many of us who heard the evidence. That not 
only involved the President but that involved this President of the 
United States, the chief law enforcement officer of this country, 
bringing additional people into this, causing additional innocent 
people to commit crimes. I cite to you the filing of a false affidavit 
by Monica Lewinsky, the hiding of evidence, the

[[Page H11806]]

bringing of people, staff members, cabinet members into his office, 
telling them his version of the story, knowing that they would repeat 
that story when they were called to the grand jury. That is a serious 
charge, when you not only commit the crimes yourself but you bring 
others into that and cause them great, great distress.
  Perjury is also very important in this case. This President did not 
have a lapse of judgment. On many occasions, through a pattern and 
practice he gave false testimony, in the grand jury, the deposition, in 
answering written interrogatories and to this very Congress in this 
very proceeding when he answered the 81 questions.
  This President is a lawyer. He is a former law professor at the 
University of Arkansas. He is the former Attorney General for the State 
of Arkansas, and he very well knows how important people telling the 
truth is in our court proceedings, how it underpins our judicial 
system. Courts have agreed. And yet he continues to parse his words. 
And his own lawyers come in before the committee and say, yes, he 
misled, he evaded questions. He gave incomplete answers. That is their 
defense. He parsed his words. And the courts uniformly say that is not 
right. You cannot focus on the precision of a question and ignore what 
the defendant knows.
  The law is clear that the perjury, the real perjury, the issue is you 
have to look to the defendant's intent to testify falsely and thereby 
mislead questioners, which has been the intent of this President 
consistently throughout this process.
  It is unfortunate that we still have that perception of this 
President. Because of the very events we are involved in today, many 
people call into question, is he giving us complete answers about what 
we are doing over in the Middle East? Is he evading questions. Is he 
misleading? I do not know, but again that is the pattern and practice 
that we have had to deal with, and that is one of the concerns that 
brings many of us to this point where we feel it is necessary.
  The office of presidency, the stature to which it is entitled has 
been eroded by this President and this involvement in this process, 
necessitated by the commission of his own conduct, not the Congress's 
conduct, but his own conduct with the United States Constitution.

                              {time}  1400

  If I might say, there is great stress and turmoil and angst on the 
floor today. There should be. This is a serious, solemn event, 
something that we all, all would rather not have occurred. But as a 
Congress, we cannot ignore our constitutional responsibility and turn 
our head and say let's just forget about this. We have to move forward 
within the authority we have, and our only authority is to decide 
whether to impeach or not to impeach, whether to charge or not to 
charge.
  We have no authority to invent sanctions such as censure or 
reprimand. If anybody has that authority, it is the Senate. But we 
cannot do that. But let me assure all the Members of Congress, I think, 
of a fact that we all understand and others that are listening who are 
concerned about this debate. The office of presidency is bigger than 
any person that occupies that office for 4 or 8 years. This office will 
survive. This office will stand. And what we are doing today in 
debating this process is coming to the point of what conduct we will 
accept from the President of the United States, from the office of 
presidency.
  We have heard a lot today about we do not want to dumb-down, we do 
not want to lower the standards for impeachment. I submit to my 
colleagues that the better question that we all ought to be concerned 
about as Members of Congress, as American citizens, do we want to dumb-
down, do we want to lower the expectation of the conduct of the chief 
law enforcement officer of this country, the Commander in Chief of this 
country who sends our soldiers off to foreign lands in harm's way, the 
President of the United States? Do we really want to lower that 
expectation of conduct?
  I say we do not. And I say at the end of this day, perhaps at the end 
of tomorrow's day that we vote, we will have made that final decision.
  Since the inception of this inquiry, a division has been created as 
to what allegations rise to the Constitutional standards of ``high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors.''
  To assist my own interpretation, I look to the words of Justice Louis 
Brandeis from 1928 which read:

       In a government of laws, existence of the government will 
     be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our 
     government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good 
     or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime 
     is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker; it 
     breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law 
     unto himself; it invites anarchy.

  The intersectional collision of President Clinton's deplorable 
conduct with our Constitution has set in motion this Inquiry of 
Impeachment. Each member must now match his or her action with only the 
authority the Constitution delegates to the House of Representatives. 
No more, no less.
  As such, we must not invent, for the purpose of expediency, a remedy 
which does not exist. The House can not and should not be able to 
reprimand, censure or fine the other two branches of government--the 
Judiciary or the Executive.
  Rather, members must be prepared to vote their conscience on whether 
or not to impeach, that is to charge the President with an impeachable 
offense. This is our single role in this process.
  Further, impeachment is not a part of the criminal law. It is not 
governed by the criminal rules of procedure, court precedents, nor 
necessarily, the rules of evidence. Impeachment is truly a unique 
Constitutional process combining elements of the legal and political 
systems.
  Numerous scholars have come forward suggesting not every crime is 
impeachable. Likewise, it is clear that an impeachable offense does not 
require a criminal law violation. The distinguished Senator Robert Byrd 
from West Virginia stated, ``An impeachable offense does not have to be 
an indictable offense of law.''
  Before we begin our evaluation of the charges, let's be clear that 
the standard that we must attain before we can impeach is not--I 
repeat--is not the same case as that against President Nixon's in 1974. 
Some intimate that Nixon is the magic threshold and anything less 
should not be considered for impeachment.
  That is simply, as the President's legal team put it, ``a misleading 
statement.'' Analogize this situation to the prosecutor at law who 
fails to indict the bank robber who robbed five banks because the 
prosecutor had previously only indicted a robber of 20 banks.
  As for our own evaluation, our first task is to ascertain the facts. 
The second task is to determine if the facts support an impeachable 
offense.
  As for the facts:
  President Clinton was sued by Paula Jones in a civil sexual 
harassment suit. In her case, Mrs. Jones tried to establish a 
particular pattern and practice of behavior by the President. This was 
not unique to her case, most sexual harassment cases establish such a 
pattern.
  After former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was listed as a 
potential witness a series of illegal acts ensued. The evidence 
establishes the President engaged in the following misconduct, in an 
apparent effort to prevent Ms. Jones from recovering a monetary 
judgment against him and to protect his Presidency.
  The facts surrounding these unlawful acts are:
  Perjury. The President through a series of calculated lies over a 
period of months attempted to evade, mislead and provide incomplete 
responses to Paula Jones, the judiciary system and the American people.
  Disregarding the recognized legal standard of a ``reasonable man'' 
used in all courts, the President repeatedly used verbal gymnastics to 
redefine words and phrases, such as ``alone,'' ``is'' and ``sexual 
relations.'' The latter interpretation, as admitted by his lawyer, 
results in the ridiculous conclusion that one party to a particular sex 
act may be involved in a sexual relation while the other party is not.
  Obstruction of Justice. Once the question arose concerning an 
``improper affair'' with Miss Lewinsky, suddenly there was another 
series of incidents to cover the tracks of this, including ridding the 
immediate area of evidence in the Jones case and Miss Lewinsky. While 
the President's ``fingerprints'' aren't clearly on these actions, 
almost by magic the President is benefitted by physical evidence 
disappearing from Miss Lewinsky's apartment and reappearing under his 
personal secretary's bed. Ms. Lewinsky lands her long-sought job with a 
New York Fortune 500 Company within 24 hours of signing a false 
affidavit supportive of the President in the Jones Case. How lucky can 
one man be?
  Abuse of Power. Any claim the President had that this affair was a 
private matter, and at worst grounds for divorce, changed when he 
brought the powers of his high office into play. The facts show that in 
the President's zeal to keep this affair from the Jones lawsuit,

[[Page H11807]]

he allowed his government-employed White House Counsels, policy 
advisors, Cabinet members and communications team to defend him and 
perpetuate the lies. He continued to use his staff for a period of more 
than seven months to deny, stonewall and lie to those investigating his 
actions.
  We must use a common sense approach to this evidence and look at the 
results of this series of calculations and incidents. Washington is a 
``wink and nod'' community, where people do not need to say exactly 
what they want in order to get what they want done. Nor can we judge 
each act in a vacuum. The context--the big picture--must also be 
considered. Just look at the time line, look at the actions and the 
results would all benefit the one person who says he had nothing to do 
with anything,

  Throughout this process, we have had the daunting task of determining 
whether these charges meet the standard of ``high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors,'' and whether the Rule of Law could be interpreted to 
include these criminal offenses.
  Surely, one cannot seriously argue perjury and obstruction of justice 
are not impeachable. They are fraternal triplets of bribery which is 
spelled out in the Constitution. Each of these have the effect of 
thwarting the truth in our court system. As former Attorney General 
Griffin Bell has testified:

       The statutes against perjury, obstruction of justice and 
     witness tampering rest on vouchsafing the element of truth in 
     judicial proceedings--civil and criminal and particularly the 
     grand jury.

  Professor Jonathan Turley of the George Washington Law School told 
Congress that:

       The allegations against President Clinton go to the very 
     heart of the legitimacy of his office and the integrity of 
     the political system.

  For those remaining few who persist that this is merely private or 
trivial conduct, I draw your attention to the testimony before this 
committee of John McGinnis, a Professor of Law from the Benjamin H. 
Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, who said:

       Integrity under law is simply not divisible into private 
     and public spheres. . . . It would be very damaging for this 
     House to accept a legal definition of ``high Crimes and 
     Misdemeanors'' that created a republic which tolerates 
     ``private'' tax evasion,'' ``private'' perjury and 
     ``private'' obstruction of justice from officials who would 
     then continue to have the power to throw their citizens into 
     prison for the very same offenses.

  In addition, Stephen B. Presser, of the Northwestern University 
School of Law stated:

       They are not trivial matters having to do with the private 
     life are thus impeachable offenses. The writings and 
     commentary of the framers show that they would have believed 
     that what President Clinton is alleged to have done, if true, 
     ought to result in his impeachment and removal from office.

  Harvard Law professor, Richard D. Parker, also stressed the Rule of 
Law in his testimony saying:

       Now, consider another hypothetical situation: Suppose the 
     President were shown to have bribed the judge in a civil 
     lawsuit against him for sexual harassment, seeking to cover 
     up embarrassing evidence. As bribery, this act would be 
     impeachable, despite its source in the President's sex life. 
     What is the difference between that and lying under oath or 
     obstructing justice in the same judicial proceeding--to say 
     nothing of before a federal grand jury--for the same purpose? 
     By analogy, both sorts of behavior would seem grossly to 
     pervert, even to mock, the course of justice in a court of 
     the United States.

  And finally, when one wants to blame Congress for all of this, I 
issue the reminder that it was President Clinton and only President 
Clinton whose consistently made wrong choices instead of the right 
choices who has brought us to the point of national exhaustion.
  Also, remember the additional words of Professor McGinnis about our 
forefathers' paramount concern with the integrity of our public 
official:

       They recognized that the prosperity and stability of the 
     nation ultimately rest on the people's trust in their rulers. 
     They designed the threat of removal from office to restrain 
     the inevitable tendency of rulers to abuse that trust.

  Since these allegations were brought to the attention of the 
Committee, my office has been inundated with phone calls and mail. In 
my office, I have received an overwhelming number of calls in support 
of impeachment, however, I understand the concerns of both sides. I 
look forward to the end of this debate and getting back to the 
important issues of social security, health care and others. But I want 
my constituents to understand, I do not relish this vote or this 
position our President has put us in. This will be the toughest vote I 
will make as a Congressman and I only wish I never had to make it.
  There are no winners or losers here today. America has truly 
suffered. The facts remain, our President has placed himself before the 
law and the nation.
  As such, I join the more than 100 newspapers and numerous other 
Americans to call upon the President to do the right and honorable 
thing--resign from the Office of the Presidency.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Manton), a distinguished attorney and Member of the House.
  (Mr. MANTON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. MANTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. Mr. 
Speaker, I rise in opposition to the articles of impeachment before the 
House.
  Mr. Speaker, after 14 years representing the citizens of the 7th 
Congressional District of New York, these will likely be my last votes 
that I cast as a Member of the House of Representatives. They will, 
ironically, certainly be the most significant and the ones which will 
garner the most attention from historians.
  Mr. Speaker, there is no question that what the President has done is 
reprehensible. No one condones his actions. No one excuses his conduct. 
We all wish that he had conducted himself in a more responsible manner. 
We all want him to be more forthcoming in confronting the charges 
against him. We cannot, however, vote to overturn the two national 
elections and impeach the President simply because of a perceived lack 
of contrition on his part.
  Mr. Speaker, we must take into consideration the consequences of our 
actions and weigh them against the purported misdeeds of the President. 
While I do not agree with the President on each and every issue, I 
believe he has done a good job as our country's steward over the past 6 
years.
  Mr. Speaker, I for one am particularly proud and humbled by his 
unceasing efforts to bring peace to Northern Ireland and the Middle 
East, succeeding where many before him have failed or did not even 
attempt to act.
  In closing, I turn to the words of one of our Founding Fathers, 
Thomas Jefferson, who said, ``Common sense is the foundation of all 
authorities, of the laws themselves and of their construction.'' I put 
to my colleagues that to vote for impeachment flies in the face of 
common sense and good judgment. We should avoid a dangerous precedent 
and vote against these articles of impeachment.
  Our descendants would be ill served by an impeachment vote which 
alters the standard for removing a president. In the end we must 
remember that the perfect can be the enemy of the good. The right 
decision, the just conclusion is a vote for censure.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. McHale)
  Mr. McHALE. Mr. Speaker, it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to 
salvage any sense of nobility in reviewing the allegations before us. 
But there is one truth. The most basic rights of the people will be 
preserved only so long as public officials at every level of government 
tremble before the law.
  As a deeply disheartened Democrat, I will be voting yes on 
impeachment articles I, II, and III.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 4\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), a dear friend of mine from the 
old Government Operations Committee.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers) for yielding time to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise as the only Member in the history of the Congress 
who has lived under and fought against both fascism and communism. 
Every day I enter this hall I do so with a feeling of humility and 
pride, as one who has suffered the pain of living in a police state and 
now enjoys the exhilaration of living in a free society.
  The question I want to raise today is, what distinguishes this 
Congress from the legislatures of despotic countries? It certainly is 
not the taking of votes. Because there are always votes, plenty of 
them, in totalitarian parliaments. Nor is it the eloquence or the 
erudition or the IQ level of Members. Mr. Speaker, what distinguishes 
this House from

[[Page H11808]]

the fake parliaments of police states is procedural fairness.
  What we ask is the opportunity to vote on censuring the President in 
addition to the opportunity to vote on impeachment. Democracy not only 
means the rule of the majority, it also mandates respect for the 
minority. If our Republican colleagues allow a vote on censure and even 
if that vote fails, they will give respect and legitimacy to these 
proceedings. Should a censure vote prevail, they will allow the voice 
of the true majority to triumph.
  Some of my very best friends sit on the other side of the aisle and I 
would defend their right to vote their conscience with my life if 
necessary. I find it unbelievable that they want to limit my right to 
vote my conscience.
  The censure vote we are seeking is supported by our former Republican 
colleague, the former Republican President of the United States of 
America, Gerald Ford, who is renowned for his fairness. The censure 
vote we seek is supported by the former Republican leader of the United 
States Senate and the Republican candidate for President in 1996, 
Senator Bob Dole. The censure vote we seek is supported by the large 
majority of our fellow citizens.
  Mr. Speaker, compromise is the currency of a free society. Self-
righteous certitude is the antithesis of democracy. I respect all of my 
colleagues who will ultimately vote for impeachment, but I ask that 
they respect the right of those of us who wish to express our 
disapproval but who deeply believe that the impeachment and the removal 
of our President would be a travesty to the principle of 
proportionality, it would be unfair to him and to his family, and it 
would be damaging to our national interest.
  When this debate is over, I hope they will allow all of us to feel 
that we have participated in a real vote of a real legislature. I ask 
that we have the opportunity to vote on a motion to censure the 
President. If the impeachment vote succeeds in this House, come 
January, President Clinton will be on trial in the Senate. But today, 
my friends, it is this House that is on trial.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  It is important to address that issue of censure. We discussed this 
in the committee and there were numerous constitutional experts that 
addressed this. Stephen Presser, professor of legal history at 
Northwestern University School of Law, wrote a letter to the gentleman 
from Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt) disagreeing about censure and saying 
that censure would not be constitutional. He said, ``In my opinion, 
impeachment is the remedy for misconduct.''
  We go to the University of London, a similar response by Gary 
McDowell noted that censure was not a proper constitutional remedy and 
would violate the separation of powers. And on to John Harrison, 
University of Virginia School of Law by a letter to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Delahunt) Saying that, ``My view at this point is 
that there are serious constitutional difficulties with congressional 
censure.'' And for that reason, because of the constitutional problems, 
that was not presented.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos).
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my friend yielding.
  The technicalities have been debated ad nauseum and ad infinitum.
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I think the 
gentleman's point was also on fairness. And, as has been read earlier 
today, going back to 1974 on this House, the Democrat Speaker refused 
to allow a vote on censure in reference to President Nixon; and so, 
there is a precedent for what has transpired as well as constitutional 
consideration.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Lantos) 1 minute.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers).
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, could I point out to my distinguished 
scholars and members of the Committee on the Judiciary, we are not 
trying to solve this problem within this debate. Let's bring up the 
motion and we can debate its constitutionality or its 
unconstitutionality. You surely must know that there have been censures 
in our American history.
  Mr. LANTOS. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, there is not a person in 
this body on either side who does not clearly understand that this body 
has every right to censure the President, and to hide behind these 
phony technicalities demeans this House.
  My colleagues know as well as I do that a censure vote could be 
taken, would be legal, would be constitutional and would carry.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the sincerity. But censure 
is being used in this case as a marketing tool to the American public 
to sell them on the idea that there is a simple, easy way to avoid our 
constitutional responsibility; and I think that we should stick with 
the Constitution.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Riggs).
  Mr. RIGGS. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to interject at this point in 
the debate, colleagues, that as part of my own personal deliberations, 
in the last 48 hours I have spoken to both former President Ford and 
Bob Dole. Both men emphatically told me, and of course both are former 
House members, that they would vote to impeach, that they felt it was 
the duty of the House, barring a public acknowledgement, an admission 
of the President that he had lied under oath and perjured himself, it 
was the duty of the House to vote for the articles of impeachment.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Utah (Mr. Cook).
  Mr. COOK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida for 
yielding time to me.
  Mr. Speaker, the argument has been made that lying about sex is 
different and does not qualify as a high crime and misdemeanor. I am 
not a lawyer, but I do not think that the law requiring us to tell the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth means we can tell the 
truth that is convenient or the truth only about certain things.
  A lie is a lie. A lie to a grand jury and a lie in a sworn deposition 
is equally a lie and equally a violation of the law, whether it is 
about sex or whether it is about national security.
  Others who have lied under oath have been criminally charged. In the 
last 2 years, 3 people in my State of Utah have been charged, convicted 
and sentenced for lying under oath. They faced the consequences of 
their actions and they took their punishment. How can we now tell the 
American public that a lesser standard applies to the President of the 
United States, the chief administrator of the laws of this country?
  Some have argued that by voting for impeachment we are lowering the 
bar for impeachment. I disagree. I think we are instead affirming 
democracy as truly the cornerstone of this great country. We are saying 
that the American people who have, as the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Hyde) so eloquently put it this morning, believed, fought and 
sacrificed this past 227 years for the rule of law, believe that all 
are subject to that law, not just the poor, the minorities or those 
without affluence or influence, as some cynics have claimed in recent 
years, but all, including the man who holds the most powerful and 
influential office in this country.

                              {time}  1415

  To me that does not lower the bar for impeachment; it raises the 
standard for democracy.


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair will remind all 
persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the House and 
that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is a 
violation of the House rules.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Mrs. Meek), who has waited patiently for her turn.
  (Mrs. MEEK of Florida asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mrs. MEEK of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I stand to voice my dissent and my 
disagreement, and I rise to give my strong opposition to the articles 
of impeachment that have been brought before us today.

[[Page H11809]]

  I know what has caused this to happen; I have watched it.
  It took me 129 years to get to this Congress because of some folks 
interpreting the Constitution. I have heard a lot about the 
Constitution today. But the same people that are interpreting it 
wrongly today were obviously there long many years ago when it was 
misinterpreted and when some folks were left out.
  How many more good people are going to have to lose their reputation 
because of what I am seeing here in this Congress? Good men are losing 
their reputation every day here. Who will be next because of this 
strive, this strive for gonadal agony?
  We are going in the wrong direction here in this Congress. Because of 
this biased interpretation a man who has served this country very well 
is now up for impeachment.
  Too many of my colleagues have a gotcha syndrome. They want to do 
their best to get Mr. President. I saw it from the very beginning with 
every kind of gate there was in government reform. There was a 
tailgate, there was a post office gate. Every gate imaginable was 
brought before that committee long before this impeachment started, but 
it was the beginning of impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton.
  My colleagues have not liked him from the very beginning. I have 
tried to find out why. They dislike him, but they cannot get him in the 
manner which they tried before, so now they are going to use this gonad 
shriveling impeachment process to try and get him. It is unfair, it is 
tainted.
  I have some familiarity with this unfairness and injustice that we 
see in this country. My colleagues cannot escape it. Every American 
knows that this impeachment process is partisan if they looked at the 
votes of the very good Committee on the judiciary hearings we had. I 
watched it. I read everything I could. It is partisan. It goes against 
the history of this country.
  The Republican majority has chosen time and time again to exclude the 
Democrats. We are asking only for a chance for censure. That is what we 
are asking for. It does not mean we are going to win that, but at least 
they could give us that opportunity.
  Mr. Speaker, our colleagues are out of touch with the people of the 
country, they are out of touch with the Constitution, and I say to the 
rest of them: Now is the time to try and give censure to a man who has 
given something for this country and give all of us who seek fairness 
and justice for this country. It was not only set out for certain 
people; it is for all the people.
  Mr. Speaker, if my colleagues believe in the Constitution so 
strongly, they should act on it.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goodlatte).
  (Mr. GOODLATTE asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding this 
time to me, and I ask that a letter received from Senator Bob Dole 
dated today be placed in the record. I will read a part of that:
  It is entirely appropriate for the U.S. House of Representatives to 
debate and vote on articles of impeachment at this time.
  He later says, I also believe that quick positive action in the House 
could improve chances for a timely resolution of this matter in the 
U.S. Senate.
  So to those on the other side who have been invoking the name of 
Senator Dole, I would point out that he believes that it is appropriate 
for us to take the action we are taking today.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
North Carolina (Mrs. Myrick).
  Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, just before the November 3 election my 5-
year-old grandson, Jake, asked his mother if we were going to be 
electing a new President, and upon being told, no, we already have a 
President, Jake replied: No, we do not; he lied.
  As my colleagues know, such principle from the mouths of babes. As 
sad as this is for our Nation, this action is necessary so that all of 
us can continue to not only uphold but teach those basic truths and 
basic right and wrong in our houses and, most assuredly, in this House.
  Yes, to err is human, but to lie and deny and vilify; rather than 
that we need to confess and repair and repent.
  Just remember, the children are watching.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Jackson).
  (Mr. JACKSON of Illinois asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, Republicans say the underlying 
issue is not about sex, it is about perjury. Democrats say the 
underlying issue is about sex, a private consensual relationship, and 
the President lied about it, possibly committing perjury in the 
process. But since lying about sex is not an act involved using his 
official position against the state as Nixon did, Democrats say 
Clinton's sins do not reach the constitutional standard for 
impeachment. That is the essence of the arguments we have heard 
presented by Members of Congress and the Committee on the Judiciary, 
but underlying the pending Clinton impeachment is neither sex, nor 
lying, nor perjury, but American history itself. Essentially the same 
economic and political forces that drove the presidential impeachment 
process against Andrew Johnson in 1868 are driving the impeachment 
process 130 years later. There has been a role reversal. The 
Republicans of 1998 were the Democrats of 1868, but the underlying 
issue is essentially the same:
  Reconstruction. The first reconstruction was at issue in 1868; the 
second reconstruction is at issue in 1998.
  It could not possibly be about the standard. Congress determined that 
Mr. Nixon's failure to pay taxes and his lying about failure to pay 
those taxes did not meet the constitutional standard while felonious. 
Mr. Clinton's actions, while potentially felonious, does not reach the 
constitutional standard. So we look to history for the answer.
  People keep asking me every time I step outside of this Congress why 
does the African American community keep sticking with Bill Clinton? 
When legal slavery ended, this is why. There were 9 million people in 
the old Confederacy which was led by the Democrat Party. Then the 
Democratic Party was defined in exclusive terms, as slave holders 
protected by States rights governments. Four million people, 
southerners, were uneducated, untrained former slaves who wanted to be 
brought into the mainstream of America, that it include poor and 
working class whites who wanted to be brought in. The identification of 
Lincoln and the Republican Party with ending slavery led southern 
Democrats to refer to Lincoln as the black President and the Republican 
Party as the black Republican Party. Former Democratic confederates 
opposed and resisted the big centralized Republican federal government 
and wanted to get the government off of their States' backs so they 
could get right back to their old States rights ways. Senator Andrew 
Johnson was a Tennessee Democrat who had refused to join his southern 
Democratic Confederates and stayed with the northern Unionists. 
Lincoln's concern about preserving and re-unifying the Union, the 
Nation following the war led him to appoint that Democrat to become 
Vice. When Lincoln was killed, President Johnson focused on putting the 
Union back together but not on building a more perfect union for all 
Americans. And unlike Lincoln and the Republicans, he was willing to 
preserve the Union by leaving some Americans behind, sacrificing the 
rights and interests of the former slaves. This is why. As a result 
those northern angry Republicans investigated a vulnerable Johnson, who 
not unlike Bill Clinton had personal foibles, to try to come up with an 
excuse to impeach him. It was a partisan attack by Republicans on a 
Democratic President in order to preserve undertaking the Republicans' 
first reconstructive economic program. Today's conservative based 
Republicans' target is not Bill Clinton, it is second reconstruction, 
especially the liberalism of Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson, 
but also ultimately including the big government economic programs of 
FDR.
  Let us not be confused. Today Republicans are impeaching Social 
Security, they are impeaching affirmative action, they are impeaching 
women's right to choose, Medicare, Medicaid, Supreme Court Justices who 
believe in equal protection under the law for all Americans. Something 
deeper in history is happening than sex, lying about

[[Page H11810]]

sex and perjury. In 1868 it was about reconstruction, and in 1998 it is 
still about reconstruction.
  Republicans say the underlying issue is not about sex, it's about 
perjury. Democrats say the underlying issue is about sex--a private 
consensual sexual relationship--and the President lied about it, 
possibly committing perjury in the process. But since lying about sex 
is not an act that involved using is official position against the 
state, as Nixon did, Democrats say, Clinton's sins do not reach the 
Constitutional standard for impeachment.
  That is the essence of the argument we heard presented by members of 
the House Judiciary Committee and voted on along partisan party lines 
to impeach President Clinton. That is what the current Republicans and 
Democrats are saying. What will history say?
  Underlying the pending Clinton impeachment is neither sex, nor lying, 
nor perjury, but American history itself. Essentially the same elitist 
economic and political forces that drove the president impeachment 
process against Andrew Johnson in 1868 are driving the impeachment 
process 130 years later. There has been a ``role reversal''--the 
Republicans of 1998 were the Democrats of 1868--but the underlying 
issue is essentially the same: reconstruction. The First Reconstruction 
was at issue in 1868, the Second Reconstruction is at issue in 1998.
  Congress determined that Mr. Nixon's failure to pay taxes, while 
felonious, did not meet constitutional standards. Mr. Clinton's action 
while potentially felonies, does not reach the standards so we look to 
history for the answer.
  The end of the Civil War and the adoption of the 13th Amendment to 
the Constitution on December 18, 1865 ended legal slavery, Slavery, the 
Democratic Party, its geography and its ideology were all defeated. But 
Lincoln's assassination five days after Appomattox denied him and the 
Republican Party the opportunity to pursue a ``Big Federal Government'' 
policy of economic reconstruction and political enfranchisement for all 
Americans, leaving no American behind.
  People keep asking me why the black community sticks with Bill 
Clinton.
  When legal slavery ended, there were nine million people in the old 
Confederacy, which was led by the Democratic Party. Then, the 
Democratic Party was defined in exclusive terms--as slave holders with 
private property rights (slaves) which were protected legally by 
``States' rights'' governments. Four million of the southerners were 
uneducated and untrained former slaves who needed to be educated, 
trained and brought into the economic mainstream and politically 
enfranchised with the right and ability to vote. That didn't include 
poor and working class whites who had similar needs and had been 
exploited, manipulated, misused and politically diverted with a focus 
on social issues (then, perpetuating the fear of interracial sex) by 
the slave owners to preserve and protect their elite economic system of 
special interests.
  Just eight years earlier, in 1857, in the Dred Scott decision, the 
Court had ruled that blacks had no rights that a white man must respect 
and that Congress could not outlaw slavery anywhere in the U.S. The 
Confederacy--its economy, religion, family, social customs, mores and 
politics--was based and built on the institution of slavery. The Civil 
War ended slavery, but it did not create a more perfect Union because 
there were still two outstanding problems: (1) How to bring four 
million former slaves into the economic mainstream? And (2) How to 
politically enfranchise them? That was the goal of the First 
Reconstruction and it's goal has never been realized. Those twin 
problems have never been completely fixed!
  The identification of Lincoln and the Republican Party with ending 
slavery led southern Democrats to refer to Lincoln as the Black 
President and the Republican Party as the Black Republican Party. So 
the Rep. J.C. Watts' Republican Party has gone from being known as the 
Black Republican Party to one Black Republican. ``Former'' Democratic 
Confederates opposed and resisted the ``Big Centralized Republican 
Federal Government'' and wanted ``the government off of their states' 
backs'' so they could go back to their old ``States' Rights'' ways.
  Senator Andrew Johnson was a Tennessee Democrat who had refused to 
join his fellow southern Democratic Confederates and stayed with the 
northern Unionists. Lincoln's concern about preserving and reunifying 
the nation following the war led our first Republican President to 
reward Johnson's loyalty by nominating him for Vice President in the 
1864 campaign.
  Lincoln fought a Civil War to preserve the Union and to end slavery. 
He defeated the southern slave forces militarily at a national cost of 
620,000 lives and was prepared to reconstruct the nation with a 
Republican program of economic inclusion and political enfranchisement.
  When Lincoln was killed, President Johnson focused on putting the 
Union back together, but not on building a ``more perfect Union'' for 
all Americans. Unlike Lincoln and the Republicans, he was willing to 
preserve the Union by leaving some Americans behind, sacrificing the 
rights and interests of the former slaves. As a result, angry northern 
Radical Republicans investigated a vulnerable Johnson--who was not 
unlike Bill Clinton in terms of his personal foibles--to try to come up 
with an excuse to impeach him. It was a partisan Republican attack on a 
Democratic President in order to preserve undertaking the Republicans' 
First Reconstruction economic program. It was in this context that the 
historically black colleges and universities were founded.
  The struggle between these radical progressive northern Republicans 
and these radical conservative southern Democrats continued following 
the Civil War, and finally came to a head in the 1876 presidential 
election and Tilden-Hayes Compromise of 1877--which ended 
reconstruction. Rutherford B. Hayes, a Republican, was finally elected 
President by one vote in the House, but in exchange for pulling out 
Federal troops protecting the newly freed slaves in the South, and 
agreeing to appoint conservative Democrats to the Supreme Court. New 
Democratic Confederates, with the help of new ``black laws'' of 
discrimination, psychological intimidation, physical violence and 
murder, were now on their way back to being in power in the South.
  By 1896, the Supreme Court appointments resulted in Plessy, which 
ushered in Jim Crow, and by 1901 the first Congressional Black Caucus 
was completely eliminated from Congress, not to return for three 
decades.

  Blacks remained loyal to the Republican Party until 1936, FDR's 
second term. African Americans were attracted to his New (economic) 
Deal. Roosevelt defined a new more inclusive Democratic Party by 
offering an economic agenda that appealed to every American.
  It is the same white elitist southern forces and their continuing 
anti-Federal government ideology--except today they are called 
Republicans--who want, this time, not to preserve but to undue the 
nation's effort at reconstruction, a Second Reconstruction begun in 
1954 with Brown, continued with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 
Voting Rights Act, affirmative action and majority-minority political 
districts. The southern Democratic Party, with the legacy of the 
Confederacy, generally found itself on the wrong side of history again 
in the 1960s. Governors George Wallace of Alabama, Lester Maddox of 
Georgia and Orville Faubus of Arkansas were all Democrats. Renowned 
segregationists like Senator Richard Russell of Georgia and Congressman 
Howard Smith from Virginia were Democrats. Today's Senators Strom 
Thurmond of South Carolina and Richard Shelby of Alabama were 
originally Dixiecrats, but are now Republicans.
  Today's conservative southern-based Republicans' target is the Second 
Reconstruction, especially the ``liberalism'' of Democratic President 
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, but also ultimately including many of 
the ``Big Government'' economic programs of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 
New Deal. The real underlying dynamic of this impeachment proceeding is 
not the removal of Bill Clinton, but the removal of the social and 
economic programs of the New Deal and the Second Reconstruction of the 
Great Society, a weakening of the Big Federal Government generally, and 
the destruction of liberalism as a viable political ideology in 
particular.
  Whether these conservative anti-Federal government Republicans are 
successful or not will be determined by history. There will be a few 
pro-impeachment Democrats thrown in for good measure because, 
politically, they must factor in the old Democratic forces in the 
South, now controlled by the Republicans. The Republican impeachment 
strategy can only be measured by future elections. Will the American 
people be led astray again by the Republicans' new sex diversion or 
will a strong political leader be able to get them to focus on their 
real economic interests of full employment, comprehensive and universal 
health care, affordable housing and a quality public education? 
History--not President Clinton or the current crop of Democrats and 
Republicans--will render that judgment!
  The political and ideological roots of this anti-reconstruction and 
anti-more-perfect-union crowd is in the South, though its tentacles 
have spread beyond the South. This Republican impeachment effort allows 
us to look at the roots, dynamic and current political structure of 
this conservative political movement.
  Begin with the Judiciary Committee. Ten of the eighteen Republican 
members of the Judiciary Committee are ultra-conservatives from former 
Confederate states. In the middle of the impeachment hearings, one of 
them, Bob Barr of Georgia, was exposed for having recently spoken 
before a white supremacist group.
  Move on to the House Republican leadership. The Speaker is Newt 
Gingrich (R-GA), whose history is laced with not-so-subtle new racial 
code words, and the Speaker-elect is

[[Page H11811]]

Bob Livingston (R-LA). There styles are different, but their substances 
is essentially the same. Both abdicated their leadership roles in the 
impeachment crisis only to have another southern conservative, Rep. Tom 
``The Hammer'' DeLay (R-TX), fill the void. He is intimidating and 
forcing Republicans, not to vote against censure, but to vote with 
their party on a procedural vote--which, in essence, is a vote to kill 
a vote of conscience for censure.
  In addition, call the roll of House leadership and committee 
chairmanships in the 105th Congress: Richard Armey (TX), Majority 
Leader; Bill Archer (TX), Ways and Means; Bob Livingston (LA), 
Appropriations; Floyd Spence (SC), National Security; Thomas Bliley 
(VA), Commerce; Porter Goss (FL), Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence.
  Add to that the 105th Republican controlled Senate: Trent Lott (MS), 
Senate Majority Leader; Strom Thurmond (SC), President Pro Tem (3rd in 
line to be President), Chairman, Armed Services; Jesse Helms (NC), 
Senate Foreign Relations; John Warner (VA), Rules; Richard Shelby (AL), 
Select Committee on Intelligence. Today in Congress there are more 
people arguing on behalf of states' rights than there are people 
arguing on behalf of building a more perfect union.
  But don't stop there. Look at who will preside as Chief Justice over 
an impeachment trial in the Senate--the ultimate conservative states' 
righter, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Nominated to 
the Court by Nixon and elevated to Chief Justice by Reagan, this 
intellectually gifted conservative, when clerk for Justice Robert H. 
Jackson between 1952 and 1953, wrote a memorandum arguing in favor of 
upholding the ``separate but equal'' doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson in 
preparation for the 1954 decision on Brown. As a conservative Phoenix 
lawyer, he appeared as a witness before the Phoenix City Council in 
opposition to a public accommodations ordinance and took part in a 
program of challenging African American voters at the polls.
  From 1969 until 1971, he served as assistant attorney general for the 
Office of Legal Counsel. In that position, he supported executive 
authority to order wiretapping and surveillance without a court order, 
no-knock entry by the police, preventive detention and abolishing the 
exclusionary rule, that is, a rule to dismiss evidence gathered in an 
illegal way.
  As a member of the Burger Court, Rehnquist played a crucial role in 
reviving the debate regarding the relationship between the federal 
government and the states. The consequences of Rehnquist's state-
centered federalism surfaced dramatically in the area of individual 
rights. Since the 1960s, the Court had held that nearly every provision 
in the Bill of Rights applies to the states through the Due Process 
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Rehnquist voiced his disagreement 
with such a method of determining the constitutional requirements of 
state action, particularly in the context of criminal proceedings, 
urging a return to an earlier approach whereby the states were not 
required to comply with the Bill of Rights but only to treat 
individuals with ``fundamental fairness.''
  Likewise, Rehnquist narrowly construed the Fourteenth Amendment's 
mandate to the states not to deny any person the equal protection of 
the laws. He contended that all that the framers of the Fourteenth 
Amendment hoped to achieve with the Equal Protection Clause was to 
prevent the states from treating black and white citizens differently. 
The most important value for Rehnquist is his state-centered 
federalism, followed by private property and individual rights. In 
other words, his current views are consistent with the core of the 
states' rights legal philosophy a century-and-a-half ago, where the 
individual right to own property (slaves) was to be protected by a 
states' rights government!
  To capture a new political base, Republicans abandoned the essence of 
Lincoln and decided to go after Dixie, using social issues as cover for 
their narrow economic interests. Barry Goldwater launched this modern 
conservative anti-Federal government movement with his 1964 
presidential campaign. Ronald Reagan picked it up and sent the same 
signal by launching his southern campaign from Philadelphia, 
Mississippi in 1980, in the name of states' rights, where two Jews and 
a Black were murdered in the name of states' rights fighting for the 
right to vote. Now Republicans want to complete Mr. Gingrich's 1994 
``Revolution of Devolution'' by defeating and eliminating the twin evil 
forces of ``liberalism'' and ``Big Government'' in the 2000 election.
  The Republicans know that if the President is impeached in the House, 
he will not be convicted in the Senate. They don't want him convicted 
and out of office, with President Al Gore given two years to solidify 
his hold on the White House. They want an impeached, but not convicted, 
President twisting in the wind for two years leading up to the 2000 
election. This is a continuation of the November 3, 1998, strategy of 
the Republican hard liners to motivate and build their conservative 
``social values'' political base as a dimersion from economic justic 
issues.
  What the Republicans want out of this impeachment crisis is a 
``family values'' issue for the 2000 presidential campaign. They want 
to say that Clinton's sexual misconduct is the result of the ``decadent 
values'' of the 1960's and liberalism generally. In other words, in 
some form, the Lewinsky matter will become a Republican ``wedge issue'' 
in the 2000 campaign. The fact that African Americans are so closely 
identified with both President Clinton and liberal ``Big Government'' 
programs fits perfectly with their consistent use of race to divide the 
electorate in presidential campaigns. They can send the subliminal race 
signal while publicly denying they are using race as an issue in the 
campaign. So far the Republicans have gotten away with it and they have 
not been impeached for lying about it.
  The Republican goal in 2000 is to use this strategy to retain control 
of the House and Senate and to gain control of the White House. They 
can then appoint their hardcore conservative right wing friends to the 
Supreme Court after 2001. We will be treated to Kenneth Starr clones as 
nominees to the Supreme Court. Remember, Kenneth Starr's ambition 
before being sullied by the Lewinsky affair was to be appointed to the 
Supreme Court.
  Republicans in control of the executive, legislative and judicial 
branches of the Federal government could turn the clock back to a 
twenty-first century version of the good old States' Rights days of the 
1850s and the 1896 ``separate but equal'' days of Plessy v. Ferguson.
  By putting impeachment in the legislative rather than the judicial 
branch of government, the Constitution deliberately made it a 
political-legal affair. Republicans have done in 1998, what Democrats 
did in 1868. They have used the political-legal nature of the 
impeachment process to turn it into a political--political affair to 
further their anti-Big Government aims.
  Republicans are trying to impeach reconstruction. President Clinton 
risked all of that history of social and economic progress by lying 
about an issue of personal satisfaction. He has not committed treason 
as defined by the Constitution as an impeachable offense. His treason 
is against our cause of building a more perfect union.
  After economic and socially conservative Presidents Nixon, Ford, 
Carter (an economic conservative, but more liberal socially), Reagan 
and Bush, a moderate-to-conservative southern Democrat, President 
Clinton, has helped to prepare an economic bridge which would allow us 
to again begin to work on some of the unfinished and unreconstructed 
tasks of the Civil War. Monica Lewinsky has now reduced the defense of 
that agenda to a defense of him.
  Today Republicans are trying to impeach Social Security, affirmative 
action, the right to choose, Medicare, Medicaid, Supreme Court justices 
who believe in equal protection under the law for all Americans, public 
education for all over vouchers for some, universal and comprehensive 
health coverage over medical savings accounts for the few, affordable 
housing for all, versus mansions for a select few in an effort to win 
elections.
  Clinton launched a dialogue to talk about race, but the real race 
dialogue is what could potentially happen to economic reconstruction in 
2001 if this reactionary Republican strategy works. Clinton has worked 
hard to separate the race dialogue from the economic dialogue--joining 
with the Republicans in 1997, and ignoring his strongest liberal 
supporters today, by cutting a budget deal to balance the budget with 
the conservative Republicans. That deal assures that there will not be 
enough money to fix our historic problem. He has reduced his own 
defense to a personal defense instead of a defense of history.
  Something deeper in history than sex, lying and perjury is at issue 
here--just as something deeper in history than the removal of a cabinet 
secretary was a stake in 1868. At stake in 1868 was the First 
Reconstruction. At stake in 1998 is the Second Reconstruction. The 
struggle taking place in Congress and nationally today is between those 
political forces who want to build a more perfect union for all 
Americans, leaving no American behind, and those who want to return an 
elitist economic program of more perfect ``States' Rights'' for the 
few. That is what underlies the impeachment crisis.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Linder).
  Mr. LINDER. Mr. Speaker, this is the twentieth session in which I 
have been casting votes in legislative chambers in this status. I 
submit a statement on behalf of all four articles of impeachment for my 
side.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Canady).
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, there is much in the statement of 
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Jackson) to which I could respond. I 
do

[[Page H11812]]

want to focus on one particular point that he made which we have heard 
repeated time and time again concerning the impeachment proceedings 
against President Nixon.
  It is claimed that the Committee on the Judiciary decided that tax 
fraud by President Nixon was not an impeachable offense. The record 
simply does not bear that out. It is true that the committee rejected 
an article of impeachment based on tax fraud against President Nixon, 
but it is equally clear that the overwhelming majority of the members 
of the committee who expressed an opinion on that subject said that 
they were voting against that article because there was insufficient 
evidence to support tax fraud.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote what the subsequent chairman of 
the Committee on the Judiciary, Mr. Brooks, a Democrat, said in that 
context. He said that no man in America can be above the law. It is our 
duty to establish now the evidence of specific statutory crimes and 
constitutional violations by the President of the United States will 
subject all Presidents now and in the future to impeachment. No 
President is exempt under our U.S. Constitution and the laws of the 
United States from accountability for personal misdeeds any more than 
he is for official misdeeds.
  I think that we on this committee in our effort to fairly evaluate 
the President's activities will show the American people that all men 
are treated equally under the law.
  Now that was a view that was adopted by the gentleman from Michigan 
(Mr. Conyers) also, who supported the tax fraud article, the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Rangel) and various other Members on the Democrat 
side.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Horn).
  (Mr. HORN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HORN. Mr. Speaker, censure did not change Andrew Jackson. We have 
heard a lot about censure during the Jackson administration. When the 
Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee Indians, Jackson was heard 
to say about the sitting Chief Justice, ``Well, John Marshall has made 
his decision, let us see if he can enforce it.'' Obviously the Court 
could not enforce the order. The Court does not have the Army. The 
Court does not have the Federal marshals. So much for censure.
  Censure would have about as much effect on the behavior of Presidents 
as a parent yelling and shouting at a teenager. As we know, shouting 
does not usually change teenage behavior.

                              {time}  1430

  The other point that I would make is we have heard an awful lot of 
talk about the repeal of the 1996 election. We have heard a lot of talk 
in the Shays town meeting about a coup occurring in America. This is 
utter nonsense. After all, the President of the United States picked 
his Vice President in 1992 and 1996, and he picked him for issue 
compatibility, and certainly Vice President Gore would have that, 
should the Senate vacate the office of President. I would suggest that 
the ``repeal the 1996 election'' argument falls.
  The President must subject himself to the rule of law that effects 
all of our citizens. This should be a warning to all presidents, that 
when you break the rule of law, you violate Federal laws--be it 
perjury, suborning witnesses, whatever it is--that you might endanger 
yourself with impeachment.
  Let us do the right thing. Let us vote for the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I include the following for the Record: my weekly column 
entitled ``Two Challenges for Our Country.''

                     Two Challenges for Our Country

       This week, our nation has been confronted with two crucial 
     challenges--Saddam Hussein again has blocked weapons 
     inspections in Iraq and the House of Representatives is 
     preparing to decide whether President Clinton should be 
     impeached. The collision of these events should reaffirm for 
     us that we can unite in dealing with foreign threats even as 
     complicated domestic matters are under consideration.
       First, I strongly support our armed forces in current 
     operations to reduce Saddam Hussein's ability to produce 
     weapons of mass destruction. Although I believe we should 
     have acted earlier, when Saddam repeatedly thwarted United 
     Nations efforts, it is clear that we must deter Iraqi efforts 
     to obtain nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
       On the domestic challenges before us, the American people, 
     and their Representatives in Congress, are confronted with 
     one fundamental issue: Are all Americans, including the 
     President of the United States, equal before the law? My 
     answer to that question is Yes, and so I will be voting for 
     the articles of impeachment of President Clinton.
       I have reached this decision after many weeks of reviewing 
     all the evidence. I have also waited for the President to 
     rebut the facts or take responsibility for his actions. 
     However, the President has steadfastly refused to address 
     these charges.
       The impeachment of a President by the House does not remove 
     him from office. The House judges whether or not there is 
     ``clear and convincing evidence'' for the Senate to conduct a 
     trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the United 
     States. That was the standard used by Watergate-era Judiciary 
     Committee Chairman Rodino in 1974 and by Chairman Hyde in 
     1998.
       I have paid close attention to the telephone calls, mail, 
     faxes, and e-mail. I have received thousands of 
     communications--most of which come from organized groups 
     outside our district. Within our district, the often 
     passionate communications have been closely divided between 
     those who favor and those who oppose impeachment.
       Most Americans know there is powerful evidence that 
     President Clinton deliberately testified falsely under oath 
     in both a federal sexual harassment case and a federal 
     criminal grand jury proceeding. They know there is 
     substantial evidence that the President attempted to tamper 
     with witnesses and obstruct justice.
       What should be done in response to President Clinton's 
     actions is, and should be, a matter of conscience. Despite 
     news reports to the contrary, on this issue there has been no 
     arm-twisting by either the White House or the Republican 
     leadership. I respect the views of my colleagues who will 
     vote differently, and those of my constititunts who will 
     disagree with my position.
       It would have been easy to vote against impeachment. 
     According to the polls, a majority of the public is against 
     it. Additionally, I have voted against a majority in my party 
     a number of times--on such issues as protecting a women's 
     right to choose, sensible gun control, the patients' bill of 
     rights, campaign finance reform, and equal rights for gays 
     and lesbians.
       In this case, there is simply overwhelming evidence that 
     the President has committed serious crimes such as perjury. I 
     realize that the President is popular. But being popular does 
     not excuse his breaking of the law. Any other person--a 
     teacher, soldier, a businessperson, a newspaper editor--would 
     long ago has lost his or her job for such actions.
       The President refuses to take responsibility for his 
     actions. That refusal has brought him, and all of us, to his 
     point. There any many myths regarding the President's 
     defense. Here are just a few of the main ones:
       (1) ``These are Not High Crimes and Misdemeanors'' This is 
     not Watergate. But, no committing watergate-style crimes 
     should hardly be the minimum standard we ask of out 
     Presidents. There have been only two other Presidents who 
     have faced the serious prospect of impeachment, but other 
     officials, primarily judges, have been impeached for actions, 
     such as perjury, that had nothing to do with their officials 
     duties.
       (2) ``Censure is the Proper Punishment'' It has been said 
     that instead of impeachment, the House should censure the 
     President. First, the Contitituion does not provide for 
     censure, and even many scholars who support President Clinton 
     say that it would be unconstitutional for the House to do it. 
     The House does not determine the ultimate punishment of those 
     impeached. That is the Senate's role. Second, censure at this 
     point really comes down to passing a meaningless resolution 
     condemning the President either for unspecified bad 
     behavior or for crimes that he refuses to admit. Censure 
     would be like shouting at a teenager and thinking that 
     loudness will change his behavior. However, if the Senate 
     should decide on other measures short of removal, then 
     censure might be proper. The role of the House is to 
     ascertain whether there is enough evidence to have the 
     Senate conduct a trial.
       (3) ``It's a Coup Overturning the 1996 Election'' If the 
     President should actually be removed from office by the 
     Senate, then he would be succeeded by Democratic Vice 
     President Al Gore, not losing Republican candidate Bob Dole. 
     President Clinton picked Gore as his running mate in 1992 and 
     1996. He picked Gore because he felt that they would agree on 
     public policy. To say that this ``overturns'' the 1996 
     election is no more accurate than saying that the forced 
     resignation of Richard Nixon overturned the 1972 election. 
     When President Nixon resigned, his own hand-picked Vice 
     President, Gerald Ford, succeeded to the office.
       (4) ``It's Just Sex'' What we should not forget is that 
     President Clinton is accused, not of having an affair, but of 
     lying in a sexual harassment case in an effort to defraud an 
     American citizen of her rightful day in court. Plaintiffs in 
     sexual harassment cases are permitted by law to inquire into 
     the behavior of defendants in order to establish a pattern 
     and practice of behavior (such as giving benefits for sex). 
     If President Clinton is

[[Page H11813]]

     permitted to lie, will every other defendant in a sexual 
     harassment lawsuit be permitted to lie?
       If we fail to hold the President accountable, we inevitably 
     confront these questions: (1) Do we believe that the 
     President is above the law? (2) Do we believe that such 
     actions are acceptable and deserving of no more than a 
     meaningless and nonbinding censure resolution? (3) Do we 
     believe that the President should be held to a lower standard 
     than anyone else in our society?
       Our nation will survive this crisis, regardless of the 
     ultimate fate of President Clinton. I am far more worried 
     about our future if, as a society, we give the wrong answers 
     to the above questions. By his actions, the President has 
     answered Yes to all of these questions. By my vote, I will be 
     answering each of them No.

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey), a ranking Member of the House.
  (Mr. OBEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I honestly believe this is the worst day for 
this institution in this century, and history will see it as such. The 
tool of impeachment was inserted in the Constitution to protect the 
country from irreparable harm, not to punish the President. Under our 
system, the proper institution to punish the President if he violated 
the law is the court system, a legal institution, not the Congress, a 
political institution.
  The House Republican leadership has said that this is a vote of 
conscience. It is denying the right to cast that vote of conscience to 
those of us who believe that the proper course is to censure, not 
impeach. That decision dooms this House to go down in history as 
tragically lacking in both perspective and fairness.
  To those who say censure has no bite, my response is this: I come 
from the State of Joe McCarthy. Tell him censure has no bite. It 
destroyed him.
  Whether the President has committed perjury or not is a legal, 
technical question that can be decided by a jury and a judge and our 
court system at the proper time.
  There is no question that the President has misled the country and 
the Congress. That is unacceptable. But, in my view, it does not rise 
to the level of an impeachable offense, because the lies essentially 
grew out of sex, not public acts. If the House ignores that 
distinction, it fails in its obligation to put the President's acts in 
perspective.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) said earlier in 
this debate that there cannot be one law for the ruler and one law for 
the ruled. I agree. But I would say, respectfully, that this House 
should not have one standard of judgment for truth telling for the 
leader of the Executive Branch, and another for the leader of this 
institution, who was found not to have told the truth to this House. In 
that case there was no removal from office; there was not even censure. 
There was simply a reprimand and then reelection by the Republican 
House majority to the Speakership.
  Mr. Speaker, for the House Republican leadership to, in effect, 
predetermine the outcome of this vote by refusing to allow a conscience 
vote on censure in this instance is a massive failure of fairness. If 
the House leadership can only win this vote by denying any alternative, 
it will have failed the country as much as Bill Clinton has.
  Mr. Speaker, because of time limits imposed on debate today I would 
like to extend my remarks at this point updating the thought on the 
issue that I expressed earlier in the year, to place my conclusion in 
full context.
  Mr. Speaker, three months ago, as I tried to wade through my copy of 
the Starr Report, and as I came again and again to gratuitously graphic 
and voyeuristic descriptions of ``sexual encounters'' contained in that 
report, I reached the point where I could read no more. I had voted to 
release that report earlier that day, but I really began to wonder 
whether I would have done so if I had known it was so graphic. I say 
that because while reading the report I was continually asking myself 
what we had done to our own children, to the President's privacy and 
dignity (and that of Monica Lewinsky) and even to the dignity of the 
nation itself by the placement of that report on the Internet.
  Putting down the report, I turned on the t.v. set to see, as an 
unreconstructed Cub fan, if I could find out if Sammy Sosa had hit 
another home run or not. The tube came on and within seconds I heard a 
CNBC reporter describing the Starr report, using language I never 
expected to hear on the nation's national news programs or what passes 
for them these days.
  At that moment I reached the same conclusions that millions of 
Americans have probably reached. I have had it--not just with this 
story, but with something far more disturbing.
  What I felt was a conclusion that has been building within me for 
months, even years. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that this report 
is a phenomenally gross verification that our society and our country 
is faced with nothing less than the accelerating failure of 
institutions that are central to our functioning as a decent society 
and as a democracy that works the way our Founding Fathers wanted it to 
work.
  Please do not misunderstand. This is a great country. In many ways it 
is a good country. There is much that is good in our society, and we 
have had much good economic news in recent years.
  Nonetheless, I believe that the most crucial institutions and 
institutional arrangements in this country and in this society are 
failing in their responsibilities. That failure is affecting our 
economy, our culture, our political system, our long-term environmental 
security, and even our own spirituality.
  The evidence of the failure of our most important institutions is all 
around us--in this and in other events. At the moment that our nation 
is transfixed on the most pornographic document ever produced by 
government, global challenges face us everywhere.
  The world's economy is in turmoil. We have almost no tool but 
persuasion to move the Japanese government off a course of economic and 
fiscal impotence and incompetence that threatens the economic health of 
all of Asia and indirectly threatens our own as well.
  International financial institutions such as the International 
Monetary Fund are being overwhelmed by changes in the world economy, 
changes in currency relationships, changes in capital flows that each 
day weaken the ability of the major institution the world has to 
stabilize economic relationships between nations.
  The nation with the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons that could 
possibly one day be arrayed against us (Russia) is experiencing 
political and economic chaos. Much of Europe is focused on that chaos, 
but here in America we give it only intermittent attention and 
analysis.
  The most irrational, paranoid and dangerous government in the world 
(North Korea) is facing military, political, and economic instability 
that could easily threaten the lives of 50,000 American servicemen and 
women stationed in South Korea and hundreds of thousands of others.
  Our ability to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons has been brought 
to the edge of failure by events on the Indian subcontinent and in 
Korea. And yet, the discourse in this country about how to deal with 
that issue is shallow and in some cases downright dangerous.
  The best change in a generation for peace in the Middle East is 
slowly but surely sliding away.
  This decade has produced the hottest known global temperatures in 200 
years with huge potential consequences for worldwide agriculture, 
fisheries, economic dislocation, public health, and environmental 
stability. Yet commercial disputes about profit levels are threatening 
our ability to take even marginal action to minimize potential 
catastrophe.
  On the home front, the Supreme Court, the institution that we, in the 
end, rely upon more than any other to preserve the balance of forces 
that protect our democratic processes and our liberty, has handed down 
two very different sets of decisions that have crippled the ability of 
our political system to function as a democracy should.
  (1) The spectacularly myopic decision in the Paula Jones case that 
the government would not be distracted if that case went forward now 
rather than two years from now when the President was out of office and 
his private activities could be handled as a private civil matter 
rather than as a national governmental soap opera.
  (2) The mind-bogglingly naive decisions that the constitutional 
rights of Americans to have a political system that functions for them 
would be protected by a series of naively libertarian decisions that 
equate money with speech, establish absurd legalisms about campaign 
financing that have no relationship to reality, that have turned 
politics into a money chase and political campaigns into the 
competition of dollars rather than ideas.

  And other domestic institutions are also failing in their fundamental 
responsibilities.
  Large sections of corporate America are making economic decisions, 
devoid of any values except the maximization of financial benefit to 
the management and investment elite of this country--in almost total 
disregard of the impact of those decisions on loyal workers, their 
families, and their broader communities which have nurtured them.
  These decisions, and policy decisions by government, have together 
produced the greatest disparity between the economic well-

[[Page H11814]]

being of the wealthiest 5 percent of our people and everyone else in 
the modern history of the country. If we as a people are concerned with 
moral outcomes, should we not be just as concerned about how the nation 
deals with poor people and sick people as we are about how we deal with 
each other on matters of sexual intimacy?
  The political elite has largely debased what passes for political 
dialogue on many crucial issues.
  It has allowed its reliance upon the community of pollsters and 
consultants to produce lowest common denominator discourse in which 
winning and holding power drive out any consideration of the need to 
educate and enlighten the public on almost every front. We should ask 
ourselves: Are there no lengths to which we will not go to seize or 
hold power? Is there no amount of pain we will not inflict on each 
other for political gain?
  More and more, individuals are entering Congress and other political 
institutions who see issues not as problems to be confronted, but 
concerns to be manipulated and toyed with around the margins in order 
to seize and hold power. So many debates are split along party lines 
and driven by ideological enforcers (the modern day American 
counterparts of Michael Suslov, the old guardian of the purity of 
Soviet Orthodoxy) that when bipartisanship does occur, we are almost 
startled by its appearance.
  And the focus and limits of much of that debate are set by political 
elites in both parties who rub shoulders with the financial and 
economic elites of the nation far more often than they do with every 
day working people.
  The press itself, with all too few lonely and valiant exceptions, has 
fallen into the same bad habits it legitimately criticizes in the 
politicians it covers. The press too (especially the electronic media) 
drawn by the realities of the marketplace, has often become little more 
than the public affairs entertainment division of profit making 
corporations who will do almost anything to preserve market share 
instead of responding to the public's need to understand the substance 
of issues before the country. The press, driven by market surveys and 
polls, produces story after story that portray politicians as 
gladiators and celebrities rather than problem solvers--responding to 
and strengthening some of the most unhealthy public biases on the 
landscape.

  For every question I get from a reporter about the substance of an 
issue, I get five from other reporters about the politics of that same 
issue--reflecting both a laziness and a shallowness that the country 
cannot afford. And worst of all, some reporters cannot resist using any 
device to win a point, no matter how much damage they do to the country 
and innocent individuals in the process. One need look no further than 
the incident last Sunday in which a report from a Sunday talk show, 
during his interview with the President's lawyer, David Kendall, 
snidely asked Mr. Kendall what Mr. Kendall's wife's definition of sex 
was. That reporter owes his own profession, his viewers, and Mrs. 
Kendall a public apology for his inability to resist his ``Dennis the 
Menace'' impulses which have increasingly made that reporter a 
caricature of himself. Is there no length to which some segments of the 
press will go to humiliate other human beings in the name of ``news 
values''?
  Even religious institutions have allowed themselves to fail the 
Nation in too many instances and have allowed politicians to manipulate 
religious concerns, more to find political advantage than to find 
spiritual answers.
  Debates and discussions about the nature of humankind, our origins, 
our purpose, and our relationship with our creator are essentially 
conversations about the unknowable--at least in this life.
  And yet the certitude with which some political and religious figures 
attack those who have legitimate differences of belief are 
disheartening and appalling and border on the sacrilegious. Too many 
political and religious leaders alike have allowed religion--or the 
superficial reference to religion--to be used for nonreligious 
purposes. They wrap political commercial and ideological preferences in 
religious ribbons and desecrate both religion and politics in the 
process.
  The Ten Commandments represent a guide for living and for the 
treatment of others. God did not give them to us to provide a roadmap 
for human beings and politicians to destroy each other. They are not a 
political program or an economic platform. As Mario Cuomo once said, 
``God is not a celestial party chairman.'' To the best of my knowledge, 
God has not yet taken a position on capital gains or other tax plans, 
but you would never know that by listening to some of the self-
promoting political manipulators who pass themselves off as the 
``Clergy of the Tube.''
  Politicians have no special qualifications to judge the private lives 
of other people. In the end, only God can do that. The Nuns at St. 
James taught me a long time ago that we have enough to do worrying 
about the stewardship of our own souls to pass judgment on the private 
lives of others.

  Neither do religious leaders have any special competence to judge the 
specific mechanisms by which elected officials in a democracy 
accomplish decent public ends. Those of us in public life owe due 
consideration to their opinions, but we have, after all, taken an oath 
to uphold the Constitution in accordance with the dictates of our own--
not someone else's--conscience and that is our own sacred public duty 
under the Constitution.
  We--religious and political leaders alike--have allowed debates about 
religious truths and values to be used all too often as weapons to 
inflict pain and gain political advantage rather than as tools to find 
moral answers that take decent account of the moral values of others as 
well as ourselves.
  We have all too often allowed the substitution of moralizing for 
morality and have allowed the search for God to become a journey that 
develops hatred and contempt rather than love for our fellow searchers. 
Example: On abortion, perhaps the most agonizing, troubling, and 
divisive of all moral debates in the public realm, both sides have 
allowed their own certitude about the will of God or their dedication 
to unbending individualism, their desire for tactical advantage, to get 
in the way of their responsibility to recognize good intentions and 
honest nuances of conscience. And so that debate has become more and 
more a political manipulation of the legislative process rather than a 
search for areas of agreement that would reduce the world's acceptance 
of abortion at the same time that it recognizes the dignity of 
individual conscience.
  All of these institutional failures are rooted in two shortcomings.
  One, simply a lack of knowledge or understanding about how the world 
and institutional relationships are changing. The other is the triumph 
of a ``me-first'' rampant, materialistic individualism that prevents 
the leaders of almost all of our social, political, commercial, 
informational, and religious institutions from really focusing on the 
answer to one simple question: ``In addressing whatever decisions 
confront us, how can I, or we, take into fair account the needs, 
concerns, and interests of those who are not `just like us' in social 
or economic standing, cultural outlook, or political or religious 
beliefs?'' We desperately need to address our key institutional 
shortcomings because institutions are the major tools available to any 
culture, to any nation, to any society to shape its future. Yet we 
continue to be transfixed on the Starr-Clinton-Lewinsky soap opera.
  The nation has been moved to this focus because of two people:
  (1) Mr. Starr: On a number of accounts Mr. Starr's report grossly 
represents the overreaching zealotry of a personally upright, but 
ideologically and politically partisan,  individual who, before he was 
appointed special prosecutor, was already contemplating filing a court 
brief on behalf of Paula Jones and who had indicated that he was 
planning to join Pepperdine Law School, and institution financed in 
large part by a person who has contributed millions of dollars to try 
to bring down the President. Mr. Starr from all reports is a fine, 
upstanding human being, but a person of his partisan and ideological 
mind set should never have been appointed to a position that called 
for, above all, unquestioned fairness balance and judgement.

  (2) President Clinton: Up to this point, he has been the most 
personally talented politician of his generation. He appears to be a 
person of good heart and courage who wants to do good things for the 
country. But his career has been both promoted and crippled by a 
tendency to manipulate language in ways that are technically in 
conformance with the truth, but often are designed to obscure rather 
than clarify!
  For example: As frustrating as I feel the President's lack of candor 
to be in this episode, I'm even more unhappy about the lack of candor 
demonstrated by both the President and congressional leaders in jointly 
obscuring the real effect of the budget agreement they both sold to the 
nation last year on our ability to meet our domestic responsibilities 
in strengthening education, health, environment, housing, and social 
services. Why does that frustrate me more? Because the lack of candor 
in the first instance was meant to hide private, personal conduct, but 
the second was a public event which had direct substantive consequences 
for American citizens and their families.
  After finishing reading Mr. Starr's submission of opinion and the 
response of the President's lawyers some things are clear to me and 
some things are not. I cannot really reach a final judgement on this 
depressing matter until I have had an opportunity to evaluate the 
thousands of pages of backup material which are still to be released. 
But my first impressions of what I read are these.
  First, after four years and the expenditure of over $40 million since 
Mr. Starr was first appointed to review the facts surrounding the 
Whitewater land deal in Arkansas in the 1970s, we still have no finding 
of illegal conduct by the President in Whitewater, no finding

[[Page H11815]]

of illegal conduct by the President in the investigation of the White 
House travel office which Mr. Starr subsequently undertook, no finding 
of illegality by the President on the matter relating to the FBI file 
case. All we have is a document which is largely focused on what 
actions the President took to hide sexual conduct that had not even 
occurred when Mr. Starr was first appointed Independent Prosecutor.
  There's no doubt that some conduct cited in the allegations is indeed 
troubling. Many other allegations clearly overreach.
  Mr. Starr's allegation that the President acted illegally by 
misleading his own staff about his sexual activity is a real stretch as 
is his allegation that the President acted illegally by pursuing 
legitimate questions of Executive Privilege. Mr. Starr's active 
advocacy of impeachment, going  so far as to draw up potential articles 
of impeachment, is, as the Washington Post has said, an ``arrogant'' 
act that claims for Mr. Starr a responsibility that is solely the 
prerogative of Congress. Mr. Starr's job is to lay out the facts in 
``Joe Friday style''--as Mr. Starr himself has on occasion pointed out. 
It is not to reach a conclusion about what actions Congress should 
take. That is our job.

  But, Mr. Starr's overreaching does not obscure the fact that the 
President appears at this moment to have provided information to the 
public in the Paula Jones suit and possibly to the grand jury that 
obscured the truth, even if it did not technically violate it. If that 
proves to be the case, the question we will then have to answer is: 
``What is the proper action for Congress to take?''
  The actions taken by President Clinton, regrettable though they may 
be, are far different from the actions President Nixon took in 
Watergate. The actions in Watergate involved burglarizing and 
wiretapping political opponents, attempting to use the IRS to 
intimidate political opponents, financial payoffs to defendants in 
criminal cases, and other uses of the levers of governmental power to 
subvert the very democratic process that underlies the essence of 
America.
  In contract, this case is largely about actions taken by the 
President to obscure personal conduct. They are not in the same league 
as Mr. Nixon's.
  That does not necessarily mean that some action by Congress may not 
be warranted. If it is, based on what we know now, the case of Speaker 
Gingrich may be instructive.
  In the case of the Speaker, the House determined that the proper 
action for the House to take was to reprimand the Speaker for having 
misled the House in the ethnics investigation of his political 
activities. Because the essence of the charges against the President 
seem to be similar--that his actions also appear to have been designed 
to obscure the truth--a congressional reprimand or sanction of some 
sort, rather than removal from office, may prove to be the most 
appropriate action. It would be especially so if it allowed Congress to 
end this matter in a much shorter period of time so that the Congress 
and the Presidency can refocus our attention and our activities from 
the past private misdeeds of this President to the future public needs 
of the nation and the people we are supposed to represent.
  I do not know how this sad chapter will end, but I do know that this 
episode and the way it has been handled by the leadership circles of 
our major institutions demonstrates a desperate need to examine how we 
can renew those crucial institutions.
  In two years the millennium will draw to a close. This nation's 
institutions are simply not ready to lead this country into a new one.
  I would never in three lifetimes call for a new Constitutional 
convention because this generation of political leadership is highly 
unlikely to improve on the work of the Founding Fathers; it is much 
more likely to muck it up.
  But I do believe we need to have Millennium Conventions convened for 
the purpose of examining ways to reshape, redirect, and refocus almost 
all of our institutions--economic, corporate, political, communication, 
religious, and even our international institutions such as the IMF, the 
U.N., and NATO.
  In the political area, we need special attention paid to the 
presidential nominating process to try to find ways to reduce the 
importance of candidates' media skills and increase the role of peer 
review by people who know them best, if both parties are to produce 
candidates with the qualities necessary to lead the nation.
  I do not know how we can change the human heart, but we need to find 
ways to reshape the major institutions of this society so that there 
are more incentives to produce a new focus on selflessness. That is the 
major task that we each face as individuals on life's journey, and we 
need more help--and less hindrance--from the institutions that dominate 
our lives along the way.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield one minute to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Barr).
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, while I sincerely doubt that those 
who continue to bow down before the holy grail of censure will let the 
historical record of precedent interfere with their support for this 
notion of censure, I would direct those Members who still trust 
historical precedent, I would direct their attention to a communication 
from President Andrew Jackson, the last President who was censured, as 
he at great length and eloquently set forth in a communication to this 
body, printed in the official records of this body, ``Censure, although 
it may have a place in certain procedures in the Congress, it has no 
place if it is used as a substitute for impeachment.''
  The precedent that applied back in the 1830's, in 1834 when that took 
place, which was the basis for its later expungement in the very next 
Congress, are just as relevant today. Censure is unconstitutional if in 
fact it is used or attempted to be used as a substitute for 
impeachment.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield three minutes to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Goodling).
  (Mr. GOODLING asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GOODLING. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I am saddened that I am witnessing something very 
similar to-day that I witnessed 25 years ago when I first ran for this 
office, a Vice President forced out of office and a President forced 
out of office. But then I am also reminded of the beauty of our system. 
Nothing happened seriously. The system operated beautifully. Life went 
on. No crisis. But, again, we are back to something very similar to 
what happened then.
  I began the day by reading an article in a New York newspaper, and I 
quote: ``Two more cops were arrested yesterday on Federal charges of 
lying when questioned by the FBI.'' They were not before a grand jury. 
They were two highly decorated officers.
  Then I turned to the sports page from one of the Washington 
newspapers, and I read the following: ``A former Northwestern football 
player pleaded not guilty and denied lying to Federal grand juries.'' 
The article also said two other players have been charged with lying.
  There are more than 100 people in prison today, in Federal prisons, 
for perjury. Some of those were prosecuted by this administration, and 
some of those dealt with sex. Our constitutional system of government 
cannot survive if we allow our judicial system to be undermined, and, 
again, giving you the three illustrations that I just gave, what are 
they to think? How are they to be treated differently than anyone else, 
even if it is the President of the United States?
  This vote will be the most monumental I will cast in all 24 years of 
Congressional service. Our republic has weathered two centuries, a 
civil war, but it cannot weather corruption of its basic tenet, the 
oath of office. The oath of office is that invisible bond which links 
the people to their elected representatives, and, upon its strength, 
the virtue of this republic stands.
  Similarly, the virtue of our legal system rests upon a simple oath, 
to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God.
  I believe the President violated this oath, and, by violating the 
oath, Mr. Speaker, I think he has violated the oath of office, and we 
must proceed with these articles of impeachment. The Constitution 
clearly states the course for this body to follow, it clearly tells us 
what that course is, and it would be an abdication of our duty not to 
follow that course.
  Our republic and its institutions must be defended, and this House 
must send the message that no man, not even the President, is above the 
law. Therefore, it is my duty to defend the rule of law and support the 
articles of impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, if I might, the requests on our side are so 
numerous, we still have over 40, I want to read the names of my 
colleagues, and, with apologies to some of the Members who have been 
waiting all morning, I would like to indicate that the next Members 
that will be recognized on this side of the aisle are Ms. Slaughter, 
Mr. Kildee, Mr. Filner, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Klink, Ms. Kilpatrick, Mr. 
Hastings, Mrs. Lowey,

[[Page H11816]]

Mr. Wynn, Mr. Kucinich and Ms. Pelosi.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Yates).
  (Mr. YATES asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks, and include extraneous material.)
  Mr. YATES. Mr. Speaker, I was elected to the House of Representatives 
for the first time in 1948 and 23 times thereafter. For that reason, I 
am frequently asked by the press these days whether this Congress 
differs from the early ones to which I was elected.
  I answer yes--there is a difference. There is a difference in the 
ambience, in the relationship between Members of the two parties. I 
have the impression that in the earlier Congresses Members were 
friendlier than now and I regret that. And they were friendlier towards 
the Presidency.
  Nobody thought of impeaching a President. In the 81st Congress, the 
Republicans did not like Harry Truman--they criticized him. They voted 
against his Fair Deal programs, they abused him for firing General 
MacArthur, they called him a tool of the Prendergast machine in Kansas 
City--but there never was one mention of impeachment.
  But that was prior to the special prosecutor law. That changed things 
and now we have a special prosecutor, Mr. Starr, who investigated and 
found nothing to blame on Mr. Clinton on Whitewater, Travelgate, 
Filegate, his original charges. Then he stumbled on Monica Lewinsky. 
That gave him his chance.
  Starr is determined to drive Mr. Clinton out of the Presidency--and 
in this bill, the Republicans are taking his recommendations to impeach 
him--as the Chicago Tribune said--for ``low crimes and misdemeanors.'' 
There are no high crimes and misdemeanors that either Mr. Starr or the 
Republicans can cite. It is unfortunate that the Congress should even 
consider the bill.
  Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune, not a liberal newspaper, but rather 
the paradigm of Republican conservatism over the many years it has been 
in existence, published an editorial entitled, ``There Is No Case for 
Impeachment.'' Its arguments were sound and well-reasoned. Its 
excellent editorial concludes:

       But impeachment is a very different matter. It is a 
     constitutional sword meant to be unsheathed only in the 
     gravest, most unusual circumstances and to be wielded only to 
     preserve the security and integrity of the republic.
       Use it in this instance, against Clinton and for these 
     offenses, and it will instantly become one more tool, one 
     more bludgeon, in the partisan wars that are turning our 
     politics into a wasteland and turning our people off. Like 
     the independent counsel law that has become Richard Nixon's 
     revenge, the promiscuous political use of impeachment will be 
     Bill Clinton's.
       There are no ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' in this case. 
     There is no basis for impeachment. Let the House vote down 
     these proposed articles, and vote up a stern, historically 
     indelible resolution of censure.

  Mr. Speaker, I regret very much that my last vote as a Member of this 
House should be on a bill like the bill under consideration. It should 
never have been approved in committee. It must be voted down by the 
House. I shall vote against the bill--there is no case for impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I include the editorial from the Chicago Tribune of 
December 17, 1998, with my remarks.

               [From the Chicago Tribune, Dec. 17, 1998]

                    There Is No Case For Impeachment

       From the beginning, our editorial concern in the Clinton-
     Lewinsky episode has been to see a sense of proportion 
     maintained. ``What's it worth to get Clinton?'' we asked 
     repeatedly, as Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr hauled in 
     Monica Lewinsky's mother to put the squeeze on her daughter, 
     as he subpoenaed Secret Service agents, as he challenged the 
     posthumous validity of the lawyer-client privilege.
       The issue, in our view, was never simply what it was legal 
     to do in pursuit of Clinton, but what it was wise to do. And 
     too much that has been done, we regret to say, has been 
     terribly unwise. But nothing that has been done to this point 
     is as unwise as what the House of Representatives will do if 
     it votes to impeach the president.
       That we stand this morning on the verge of a presidential 
     impeachment--for only the second time in our nations 
     history--is evidence of how utterly the sense of proportion 
     has been lost.
       The first time a president was impeached--Andrew Johnson in 
     1968--it arose out of actions he took in the wake of the 
     Civil War, actions having to do with the terms of 
     Reconstruction and the political status of newly freed blacks 
     and rebellious whites in the restored union. Even if the case 
     ultimately was meritless, it at least was about a matter of 
     real moment.
       In the current instance, the impeachment turns on whether 
     Bill Clinton, in a lawsuit of dubious merit but indubitably 
     mischievous intent, lied about a tawdry, illicit--but 
     consensual--sexual affair with another adult.
       The issues in the two instances are not even close to being 
     of the same gravity, and any member of the House who dares 
     suggest they are deserves the contempt of his constituents 
     today and of history in the future.
       There still is time for the House to escape that judgment 
     and for the nation to escape the descent into political hell 
     that an impeachment vote in this instance would represent. 
     But it will demand a measure of courage and statesmanship 
     that so far has been conspicuously missing.
       It has been missing most prominently in the House 
     Republican leadership, which has refused adamantly to allow a 
     vote on censure--the penalty most Americans say is 
     appropriate for Clinton's offense, the alternative many GOP 
     House members would like to have, the course recommended by 
     such party elders as Gerald Ford--and insisted instead that 
     the only allowable vote must be on impeachment.
       In this regard, Robert Livingston, the speaker-elect of the 
     House, already has failed his first great test of 
     leadership--possibly the greatest test he ever will face. We 
     must accept that Livingston is sincere when he says he 
     believes that the House, which routinely passes resolutions 
     praising everything from peanuts to Ping-Pong players and 
     condemning bad actors from all over the world, is 
     constitutionally barred from censuring Clinton. We accept 
     Livingston's sincerity, but question his wisdom--and marvel 
     at how neatly this judgment coincides with the rank, 
     poisonously partisan nature of this entire proceeding.
       Of course, we would not be in this fix if it were not for 
     William Jefferson Clinton, as amazing a human being as has 
     ever occupied the presidency. Brilliant, charming and 
     immensely talented, Clinton also is a pathetic creature, 
     slave of his enormous sexual appetite and addicted to lying. 
     It is those last two attributes that have brought him to this 
     current, perilous pass.
       Whether or not it meets the technical definition of 
     perjury, Clinton lied under oath--first in his deposition in 
     the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, again in his 
     testimony to a federal grand jury.
       Without question, those are serious matters. Any attempt to 
     subvert the justice system is serious, especially if made by 
     the person charged by oath to ``take care that the laws be 
     faithfully executed.''
       But context is everything. Clinton lied to avoid deep 
     personal embarrassment, not to seize, maintain or subvert the 
     power of the state. His were the pathetic lies of a man 
     caught in marital infidelity, not those of a traitor or a 
     trader in government influence. His were low crimes and 
     misdemeanors, not the high crimes and misdemeanors that the 
     Constitution sets as the threshold for impeachment.
       Again, it's a matter of proportion. When the House 
     Judiciary Committee was considering whether to impeach 
     Richard Nixon, it rejected an article citing Nixon's perjury 
     in signing a fraudulent income tax return. That offense, the 
     Democrat-controlled committee concluded, did not rise to the 
     level of an impeachable offense. It ought to be likewise in 
     this instance for Clinton and his sorry lies.
       Three months ago, in the wake of the Starr report to 
     Congress, we called on Clinton to resign--as a matter of 
     honor. He has not, however, elected to oblige us and given 
     his character, that's no surprise.
       But impeachment is a very different matter. It is a 
     constitutional sword meant to be unsheathed only in the 
     gravest, most unusual circumstances and to be wielded only to 
     preserve the security and integrity of the republic.
       Use it in this instance, against Clinton and for these 
     offenses, and it will instantly become one more tool, one 
     more bludgeon, in the partisan wars that are turning our 
     politics into a wasteland and turning our people off. Like 
     the independent counsel law that has become Richard Nixon's 
     revenge, the promiscuous political use of impeachment will be 
     Bill Clinton's.
       There are no ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' in this case. 
     There is no basis for impeachment. Let the House vote down 
     these proposed articles, and vote up a stern, historically 
     indelible resolution of censure.

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Ms. Slaughter).
  (Ms. SLAUGHTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, most of us feel a surreal atmosphere here 
in America's capital. I envision the dome of this magnificent building 
swathed in black, because this is truly a day of mourning, and history 
will not judge us well.
  The process that brought us to this point was so fatally flawed that 
no one can reasonably feel that justice has been done. The Independent 
Counsel's investigation has gone on for five years, although we find he 
did not personally participate in much of it. The investigation itself 
will be debated for years to come. The role of the perfidious friend, 
Linda Tripp, who worked in collusion with both the Independent Counsel 
and the civil case lawyers, shows how amateurish and unfair Kenneth 
Starr's stewardship was to the Office of Independent Counsel. The harm 
it has done to due process, the lawyer-client relationship. And the 
secrecy of

[[Page H11817]]

the grand jury. Will be lasting and destructive.
  The Committee on the Judiciary did not fulfill its responsibility to 
independently hear from material witnesses to assess their credibility 
and to allow the President the opportunity to cross-examine them. 
Instead, it has brought to the floor this highly-charged partisan 
resolution.
  Impeachment has always been reserved as a last resort as the check of 
an executive's abuse of power. It was not intended to be invoked 
lightly.
  In the Federalist Papers No. 65, Alexander Hamilton warned that the 
prosecution of impeachments ``will connect itself with the pre-existing 
factions and will list all their animosities, partialities, influence 
and interest on one side or the other; and 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.''
  History tells us that Hamilton's fear was realized in the 1868 
impeachment of Andrew Johnson, impeached because Republicans did not 
like his personal habits and his sympathy for the defeated Southern 
states. History records his real crime was disagreeing with the 
majority party.
  I fear that history will view this 1998 impeachment inquiry 
similarly. A total control majority urges impeachment, not for treason, 
bribery or other high crimes or misdemeanors, but because they disdain 
this President for his moral flaws, ranging from military service 
evasion to flagrant infidelity.
  Scholars disagree on whether the Constitution requires an indictable 
crime. But most agree that at minimum, an impeachable high crime or 
misdemeanor is one, in its nature or consequences, that is subversive 
of some fundamental or essential principle of government.
  The allegations against President Clinton, even if proven, are not 
subversive of our government. The President is not accused of abusing 
the power of his office or attacking a fundamental freedom of any 
American. He is accused of lying about, and attempting to prevent the 
revelation of, his consensual activities with a White House intern. 
Were they wrong? Undeniably. Can they be punished through the legal 
system? Absolutely. Should he be impeached? No.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield two minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen).
  (Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, 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 and obstruction of 
justice undermine the rights of all citizens who must rely upon our 
courts to protect their rights. If lying under oath in our courts and 
obstruction are ignored, or they are classified as merely minor 
offenses, then we have jeopardized the rights of everyone who seeks 
redress in our courts.
  Lying under oath is an ancient crime of great weight because it 
shields other offenses, because it blocks the light of truth in human 
affairs. It is a dagger in the heart of our legal system, and, indeed, 
in our democracy. It cannot, it should not, it must not be tolerated.
  We know that a right without a remedy is not a right, and if we 
ignore, allow or encourage lying and obstruction of justice in our 
legal system, then the rights promised in our laws are hollow.

                              {time}  1445

  Our laws promise a remedy against sexual harassment, but if we say 
that lying about sex in court is acceptable and indeed, even expected, 
then we have made our legal harassment laws nothing more than a false 
promise, a fraud upon our society, upon our legal system, and upon 
women.
  All that stands between any of us and tyranny is law. The rule is 
contemplated in our social compact and 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 courts themselves, we 
trivialize the rule of law.
  The office of the presidency is due great respect, but the President, 
whomever may hold that office, is a citizen with the same duties to 
follow the law as all of us, as all of our citizens. The world marvels 
that our President is not above the law, and my vote will help ensure 
that this rule continues.
  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 or 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 affairs. 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 restraint 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 have given up many individual 
prerogatives (use of force, private punishment, etc.) in return for 
promisers, the commitments, the elements of 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 members 
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 immediately 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.

[[Page H11818]]

  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 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 demanding 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. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Holden).
  (Mr. HOLDEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HOLDEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the resolution.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to this resolution--not 
because the President did not do wrong and should not be punished--he 
did do wrong and should be punished. But I do not believe this rises to 
the level of high crimes and misdemeanors our Founding Fathers 
envisioned. They talked about crimes against the country--that is why 
they specifically cited bribery and treason. This does not rise to that 
level.
  I believe the President should be punished and should be censured.
  Mr. Speaker, I have never made a partisan speech on the floor of the 
House in my six years in Congress. But today, I cannot believe that the 
Majority party has not given me the opportunity to vote my conscience 
by allowing a vote of censure.
  It is wrong and it is unfair.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Kildee), a comrade.
  Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, most Members of this House serve their 
country without ever being called upon to address two of the most 
awesome questions that could come before this body, and they are the 
question of war and the question of the impeachment of the President of 
the United States. During my time in this House, I have been handed 
both bitter chalices.
  However, in our consideration of the Gulf War, this House rose to its 
very best. Full, fair and thorough debate took place, and no matter how 
one voted at the end of that debate, everyone agreed that it was one of 
the finest hours of this House.
  Today, our deliberations lack that fundamental element of fairness. 
Most of us believe that the President's behavior and actions were wrong 
and deserve censure. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to consider and 
vote on a resolution of censure of the President of the United States. 
This unfair gag rule deprives us of the right to vote for the solution 
which the majority of our citizens support.
  Someone quoted Tip O'Neill from Breslin's book. I want to remind my 
colleagues that that was a private conversation, not the rule of the 
House, a private conversation long before Tip O'Neill became Speaker. 
He became Speaker in 1977, the first vote I cast.
  This unfairness in this rule, the unfairness in depriving us of the 
right to vote on censure is in sharp contrast to our moment of 
greatness when we debated the Gulf War in 1991. This House deserves 
better, and the American people deserve better.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Ewing).
  (Mr. EWING asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. EWING. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise with a heart that is heavy and filled with 
concern for our presidency, concern for our system of basic justice, 
and concern for our great Nation. The charges against the President are 
serious, and they are substantiated. Perjury by lying to a Federal 
grand jury, perjury by lying in a deposition, obstruction of justice, 
abuse of power. The evidence in support of these charges is clear, 
overwhelming, and, for the most part, undisputed.
  The Oval Office is a part of the people's House, which is the symbol 
of American honor, of America's dedication to what is right, and to 
justice for our people and all people throughout the world. Our 
President's conduct in many ways impacts our Nation, impacts the 
ability to lead at a time when leadership is needed, perhaps as much as 
ever in our history.
  While I recognize that this country and yes, my legislative district 
in central Illinois is deeply divided on what we should do here, no 
thoughtful person who has visited with me about this grave question 
really questions the facts surrounding the President's conduct. But the 
decision is very difficult. How, then do I come to a decision in this 
matter?
  Well, as I look into the eyes of my grandchildren or as I attempt to 
stand tall in the counsels of my own family with my adult children, I 
know that I can follow but one course. That course allows me to put 
aside all fear for my own political future or that of my party. I must 
vote for what I believe is right, what is fair, what is appropriate, 
and what is demanded to address the consequences of the actions of 
President Clinton. I must vote for impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise with a heavy heart filled with concern for the 
presidency, with concern for our system of basic justice, and with 
concern for our great nation. Only once before in our history has this 
House been called to vote upon articles of impeachment against a 
President. That vote was some 145 years ago. We can find little 
guidance from that far away and very different time. Instead, we must 
rely on the Constitution, our system of justice, and our conscience.
  Why are we here today? Because the Republican majority or the 
Democrat minority willed it? I believe not. Because the majority of 
American people desire this? That doesn't appear to be the case. For 
political, partisan advantage? I don't think so. No, there's only one 
reason for this national nightmare, and that's the actions and conduct 
of President William Jefferson Clinton.
  No other person, party, group, or body can or should accept the 
responsibility for this day and the four articles of impeachment before 
us. No one else, especially the Members of this Congress, willed or 
wished for this ignoble day to dawn on this great land.
  The charges against the President are serious and they are 
substantiated--Perjury by lying under oath to a federal grand jury; 
perjury by lying under oath in the deposition of the Paula Jones civil 
lawsuit; obstruction of justice through witness tampering, relocating 
of evidence, and frivolous claims of executive privilege; and abuse of 
power by misleading his staff, cabinet, and other operatives in an 
effort to destroy the reputations of innocent people.
  The evidence in support of these charges is clear, overwhelming, and 
for the most part undisputed, notwithstanding an unprecedented attempt 
to confuse the issue and divide the country. Those who refute this 
evidence would have you believe this is only about a personal sexual 
dalliance between consenting adults, and that it has no impact on our 
country--and that this is a private affair. Nothing could be further 
from the truth.
  This is not about some seamy sexual encounter in some remote part of 
this urban city, but it is about our Commander in Chief and his conduct 
in the Oval Office--conduct that included having sexual relations with 
a young intern while at the same time, having a conversation with a 
senior member of Congress about whether or not to send our young men 
and women into harm's way in Bosnia.
  Just take a step back and think about that. What if this was your son 
or daughter, your husband or wife? If it was, would you still consider 
this conduct to be private?
  The Oval Office is part of the ``People's House,'' which is the 
symbol of American honor, of America's dedication to what is right, and 
to justice for our people and all people throughout the world. This is 
far from a private affair. Our President's conduct in many ways impacts 
our nation, impacts his ability to lead at a time when such leadership 
is needed, perhaps as much as ever in history.
  While I recognize this country and yes, my legislative district in 
the heartland of Illinois, are deeply divided on what we should do 
here, no thoughtful person who has visited with me about this grave 
question really questioned the facts surrounding the President's 
conduct. Most condemn his conduct and say it was wrong, wrong, wrong. 
Some question the penalty that is deserved for his actions.
  Many would have us think first of what the political ramifications 
are for the Republican majority, the first Republican majority in over 
half a century to last for more than two years. Some believe it is 
vindictiveness against our President. Others say we should decide this 
question based on what is easiest or expedient, what's best for the 
economy, what's in

[[Page H11819]]

each Member's best political interest, or what the latest polls say. 
The answer is we should not allow any of these reasons to guide our 
thinking.
  Instead, we must put America first, along with what's right for our 
people--no matter the risk, no matter what the polls say, no matter the 
most politically popular or expedient. We must support the rule of law, 
one law for all our people, no matter how powerful or popular. No one 
else in America could retain their position and status who have 
committed similar acts. In fact, most would face felony criminal 
charges. The honor of our judicial system is at stake, and it must be 
upheld for sake of future generations.
  How do I come to a decision in this matter? As I look into the eyes 
of my grandchildren, or as I attempt to stand tall and just in the 
counsels of my own family, with my adult children, I know that I can 
follow but one course. And that course allows me to put aside all fear 
for my own political future or that of my party. I must vote for what I 
believe is right, what is fair, what is appropriate, and what is 
demanded to address the consequences of the actions of President 
William Jefferson Clinton.
  As one of the leading newspapers in my district recently said, and I 
quote, ``President Clinton should be a model for law and order, not an 
exception. Due process needs to be carried out and the President should 
stand trial before the Senate.''
  I know for myself, and I would imagine for many here, we have sought 
guidance through prayer and many others have prayed for us. There is no 
doubt as to the seriousness of our actions, in what certainly will be 
the most difficult vote of my political career. Yet I have been able to 
reach but one inescapable decison--that President William Jefferson 
Clinton has indeed committed high crimes and misdemeanors against our 
nation, and therefore I must support the findings of the House 
Judiciary Committee and vote for impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Filner).
  (Mr. FILNER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to vote ``no'' on impeachment. 
In this way, I am voting ``yes'' to protecting our Constitution. It is 
we who oppose this travesty today who are in fact supporting our 
Constitution.
  In the view of the Framers, impeachment is reserved for those who 
undermine the fundamental political and constitutional structure of our 
union. While President Clinton's behavior was both reckless and 
indefensible, it is not impeachable. It is this Congress that is 
subverting the Constitution by trivializing the impeachment process.
  We have heard much today about the rule of law. All of us here today 
respect the rule of law, but the aim of the rule of law is justice, a 
word that I never, ever heard from the majority Members on the 
Committee on the Judiciary or here today. In this case, justice demands 
something in between no action and the national agony of impeachment. 
That something has been called censure, and it is a course of action 
supported by most Americans. It is a course of action supported by a 
majority of this House were we allowed to vote on it, yet the 
Republican leadership is so obsessed with getting this President, they 
will not even allow this alternative to be debated. Why do we not get 
our vote of conscience? Where is the rule of fairness?
  Our vote today must not only produce justice, it must bring America 
together; it must heal America. The questioning of the President's 
motives in Iraq are only the beginning of a distrust and a suspicion 
that will engulf this Nation during a long impeachment trial.
  We must bring closure to this sorry chapter in our history as quickly 
as possible so we as a Nation can move on to deal with our domestic and 
international problems.
  I urge this Congress to immediately censure the President, begin the 
process to heal the breach of trust that engulfs us. Vote ``no'' on the 
impeachment resolution.
  Ken Starr has already spent four years and $40 million investigating 
every aspect of the President's public and private life. It is 
irresponsible for this process to go any further and tie up our nation 
for who knows how long. The world economy is collapsing, our health 
care system needs major reform, our whole campaign finance system is 
corrupt--and we will be talking for months about who touched who where!
  We've heard much today about ``the rule of law.'' All of us here 
today respect the rule of law. But the aim of the rule of law is 
justice--a word that I never, ever heard from the majority members on 
the Judiciary Committee or here today.
  In this case, justice demands something in between ``no action'' and 
the national agony of impeachment. That something has been called 
``censure''--and it is a course of action which is supported by most 
Americans. It is a course of action that is supported by the majority 
of this House--were we allowed to vote on it. Yet the Republican 
leadership is so obsessed with getting this President, they won't even 
allow an alternative to be debated and voted on. Why don't we get our 
``vote of conscience''? Where is the rule of fairness?
  Our vote today must not only produce justice, it must bring America 
together, it must heal America. The questioning of the President's 
motives in Iraq are only the beginning of the distrust and suspicion 
that will engulf this nation during a long impeachment trial.
  We must bring closure to this sorry chapter in our history as quickly 
as possible--so we as a nation can move on to deal with our domestic 
and international problems. I urge the Congress to immediately censure 
the President--and begin the process to heal the breach of trust that 
engulfs us now.
  Vote ``no'' on this impeachment resolution.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from North Carolina (Mr. Coble), a member of the committee.
  Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.
  Two quotes of relevance, my colleagues. Wendell Holmes said,

       Sin has many tools, but the lie is the handle which fits 
     them all.
  Nearly a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt observed,

       We can afford to differ on the currency, the tariffing and 
     foreign policy, but we cannot afford to differ on the 
     question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to 
     endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute 
     prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man 
     is honest,

he said,

       we have no right to keep him in public life. It matters not 
     how brilliant his capacity.
  Some anti-impeachment proponents, Mr. Speaker, have accused those who 
plan to vote for the articles before us of hating the President. I have 
no hate toward President Clinton, but it is my belief that the 
President did, in fact, commit perjury, and we can ill afford to turn a 
blind eye to this offense. If we do so ignore it, what sort of 
precedent do we establish when subsequent matters involving perjury 
arise and must be resolved in a fair and impartial manner?
  Much anxiety has been expressed, Mr. Speaker, about tying up the 
country if this matter is transferred to the Senate for adjudication. 
This, in my opinion, is not well-founded. If the House impeaches, the 
Senate has wider latitude and more flexibility than we in the House. 
The Senate is obliged to commence the trial, but it could terminate 
prior to conclusion. The Senate could impose a penalty, it is my 
opinion, without removal; or, the Senate could convict and remove. The 
Senate is capable of discharging the duty in one of several ways in 
limited time.
  The people's House is the body charged with the duty of accusing, and 
this is the duty we will discharge. If the impeachment articles before 
us fail, it will have been the will of the House. If the impeachment 
articles before us are passed, the Senate will then discharge its duty. 
The process will have been well served.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern).
  Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I have spent most of my adult life 
dedicated to public service. Twenty-one years ago I began my work in 
the Congress, first as an intern in the other body for George McGovern 
of South Dakota, and later as a staff member for the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Moakley), and now as a Member of the House from 
Massachusetts.
  I am proud to serve my country. I have enormous respect for this 
institution, and I consider it a high honor and a great privilege to 
serve in this body. I have tried, to the very best of my abilities, to 
uphold the great traditions of this Congress and the Constitution of 
the United States.
  Unfortunately, those traditions and that Constitution are under siege 
today. They are victims of an ill-timed, unfair and partisan process 
that does a great disservice not only to the President of the United 
States, but to the people of this country.

[[Page H11820]]

  The timing of this debate is wrong. It is wrong for this Congress to 
publicly and purposely attempt to weaken the Commander in Chief at the 
very moment the young men and women of our Armed Forces are engaged in 
battle. Waiting just a few days until the bombs have stopped falling 
would not have denied the Republican majority the opportunity to go 
after this President. But it would have meant a great deal to the 
soldiers half a world away who are putting their lives at risk for our 
freedom.
  Mr. Speaker, every American is deeply disappointed with the 
President's behavior. There is no debate about that. But that is not 
the question before us today. The question is whether or not the 
President's misconduct warrants tossing aside two national elections, 
ignoring the will of the people we represent, and cheapening the 
Constitution. I believe very strongly that it does not.
  I believe the President's behavior warrants a tough censure, but the 
leadership of this House, in a deliberate and cynical and partisan 
maneuver, has refused to allow Members of Congress to even consider a 
censure resolution. I want to vote my conscience, not the conscience of 
the political arm twisters and the Republican leadership.
  Mr. Speaker, the American people want Congress to act on the real 
issues that face our country. A Patients' Bill of Rights, school 
construction, saving Social Security. Instead, the majority in Congress 
will continue their partisan drumbeat of scandal, scandal, scandal. 
They will use the impeachment vote as a weapon to try to force the 
President to resign. Their goal is not to conduct the business of this 
country, the goal is not the pursuit of justice; the goal is the 
elimination of Bill Clinton by any means, and that is wrong.
  This destructiveness, this vindictiveness, this blatant partisanship 
has to end. This entire process, by its inherent unfairness, has 
brought out the worst in the Members of Congress. It has made the 
American people feel more cynical and frustrated and powerless.
  Throughout our history, this Congress has risen to enormous 
challenges and acted with integrity. This is not one of those moments. 
The American people are angry because they know this process has not 
been fair. Regardless of their opinions of the President's actions, the 
people expect us to vote responsibly. Vote ``no'' on these impeachment 
articles.

                              {time}  1500

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Missouri (Mr. Talent).
  Mr. TALENT. I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me, Mr. 
Speaker.
  Mr. Speaker, I do not think the question before the House is whether 
the President has acted in integrity in this matter. With all due 
respect, I think in our hearts we all know the answer to that. The 
question is whether we have the integrity to do our duty under the 
Constitution and laws, and to stand up for what is right, or whether by 
failing to do that we are going to become part of what is wrong.
  Public officials commit private wrongs. We know that happens. The 
issue is whether, when they are called to account for it in some forum, 
they act honorably and live up to the consequences of what they do, or 
at least they act accordingly the minimum standards that we are 
entitled to expect and insist upon from people who occupy positions of 
trust.
  Mr. Speaker, on this record it is impossible not to conclude that the 
President obstructed justice, that he perjured himself, that he flouted 
his oath of office, that he abused the powers of his office, that he 
manipulated other high officers of government, and that he did all 
these things, first to obstruct a sexual harassment lawsuit against 
him, and then to cover up the fact that he had committed perjury.
  Impeachment is a hard thing, Mr. Speaker. But again, what is at stake 
here is our integrity. If we do not stand up for something that is 
clearly right when we have an inescapable obligation under the 
Constitution to do it, we become part of what is wrong. I am not going 
to vote for these articles because I want to, I am going to vote for 
them because I see no other honorable alternative for me to follow than 
to support these articles calling for the impeachment of the President.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Stearns).
  (Mr. STEARNS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker, it is with great sorrow that I take to the 
floor to express my support for approving these articles of impeachment 
of the President, sorrow because we have come to this point in our fair 
and wonderful country where we have to debate these articles.
  Mr. Speaker, we are bound together as citizens of this great Nation, 
and as citizens, we are all answerable to the same laws, including 
President Clinton. The President is more than America's chief law 
enforcement officer. He is also the trustee of the Nation's conscience.
  It is a fact that sworn testimony can literally mean the difference 
between life and death. Should we betray the rule of law by sweeping 
the President's activities under the rug?
  If the opponents of impeachment wanted to avoid this process, they 
should have mounted a vigorous, vigorous defense of the President by 
refuting the facts in the Starr report. The Minority Leader, the 
gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Gephardt) mentioned trust, fairness, 
forgiveness, and values. But I did not hear him mention the word 
``truth.'' Those against impeachment have not contradicted one word of 
testimony contained in over 60,000 pages of sworn evidence, not one 
scintilla.
  Those against impeachment should make their case based upon the 
facts. Are we to conclude that the actions outlined in these four 
articles of impeachment are permissible behavior for a chief executive 
officer? Any military officer, from general to private, would be court-
martialed. Any private citizen would risk prosecution. Any church 
leader, CEO of a Fortune 500 company, high school faculty member, or 
community leader, would not face censure, they would be fired for 
similar conduct.
  Impeachment does not determine the guilt or innocence of the 
President. We do not need to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt in 
order to move forward. Our duty in the House is to decide if the 
available evidence indicates that the Senate should consider removing 
the President from office.
  I believe that there is sufficient evidence to approve these articles 
of impeachment and to send this process to the next step. Through this 
vote, we shall announce how we stand on the Constitution and the rule 
of law. Are these outdated concepts to be ignored when convenient, or 
are they the guiding principles of our American civilization?
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Ms. Kilpatrick), whose district borders my 
own and who has waited very patiently.
  (Ms. KILPATRICK asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. KILPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, on January 3rd, 1997, I stood in this 
Chamber, this wonderful House of Representatives, and took the oath of 
office to uphold the Constitution from both foreign and domestic 
aggression, I am happy to say to the Members as I stand before them, 
entering my second term, as I did in the Michigan legislature for 18 
years of upholding the Constitution.
  This act that we are doing today is unconstitutional. The 
Constitution is very clear. This is not a high crime or misdemeanor. It 
bothers me that some of my colleagues on the other aisle have said we 
are using a marketing tool by asking for censure. Most of the American 
people want the President censured. Most of the American people, nearly 
70 percent, do not want him impeached. Why, then, do we, who represent 
the people of these United States, come before the House with four 
articles of impeachment? I think it is a travesty.
  It is the wrong day. We have troops, young men and women under 25 
years of age, risking their lives on foreign soil today for us to 
uphold justice for all of us. It is the wrong day that we are before 
the House with these articles of impeachment.
  It is the wrong way. We are not even allowed to vote, to debate the 
issue of censureship. Is this a democracy, or are

[[Page H11821]]

we moving towards a totalitarian country, where our rights are taken 
away from us? This is a very serious moment in our history. Let us not 
be trivialized, or trivialize the process.
  A marketing tool? I do not think so. Censureship is what we want the 
opportunity to debate, censureship is what we want the opportunity to 
vote on. Unfortunately, the Republican majority will not let us have 
that opportunity.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask the Members to vote no. Vote no on this 
ridiculous, insane affront to our Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong, adamant and stern objection to 
the articles of impeachment of our President, William Jefferson 
Clinton. This recommendation to overrule not one, but two democratic 
elections and remove the President from office for alleged ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors'' is one of the two most grave votes that a 
member of Congress must cast. As other Members of Congress have 
erroneously stated, this is not a symbolic gesture, an expression of 
moral sentiments, or a ``free vote'' with no consequences. This is the 
first of a two-part process that removes the President from office. The 
House should unequivocally vote no on these resolutions, and end, once 
and for all, what has been a sordid, tawdry issue. The American people 
deserve better than to have a Congress consumed with the personal, not 
public, behavior of our President. I oppose the impeachment of our 
President for the following two reasons.


The Allegations of the Independent Counsel Do Not Rise to the Level of 
                          Impeachable Offenses

  First of all, many experts agree that the allegations made by 
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to not rise to the level of 
impeachable offenses. After spending close to $50 million over four 
years, Judge Starr found the President innocent of any wrongdoing in 
the Whitewater investment debacle; innocent of any wrongdoing in the 
so-called ``Filegate'' fiasco; and innocent of any wrong doing in the 
unfortunate suicide of former White House aide Vincent Foster. All of 
these allegations were reasons the special counsel was originally 
deposed. There has been no demonstration that the alleged wrongdoing by 
the President approaches the magnitude of ``treason, bribery and other 
high crimes and misdemeanors,'' as stated in our Constitution. 
Obviously, the framers of the Constitution intended that such ``other 
high crimes and misdemeanors'' must be in the nature of large scale 
abuses of public office such as treason and bribery. The President's 
admitted wrongdoing in his inappropriate relationship with a former 
White House intern simply does not measure up to this standard.
  Historical precedent regarding impeachment clearly illustrates that 
for offenses to be impeachable, they must arise out of a President's 
public, not private, conduct. Former President Andrew Johnson was 
impeached for his public duty regarding the termination of a member of 
his cabinet, not for his private conduct of previously owning slaves.


The President Gave Misleading Statements, but they were not Perjurious.

  While I am not an attorney, I have reviewed the record as provided by 
the Independent Counsel and the House Judiciary Committee. From what I 
understand, in order to prove perjury, it must be proven that the 
President made a false statement about a fact that was ``material'' to 
an issue that is under question. In the House of Representatives, we 
call this ``germaneness.'' This means, for example, that I cannot bring 
up an agricultural issue when the bill in question or on the floor is a 
banking bill. If I make false statements about what is in the 
agriculture bill, that has nothing to do with what is in the banking 
bill. Just like the agriculture false statements are not germane to the 
banking bill, the alleged false statements about Ms. Lewinsky are not 
germane to the Jones inquiry.
  Honestly and integrity are important, and vital, character traits of 
all public servants. The President has repeatedly admitted to this 
affair and to misleading the American public about it. The President 
has apologized to God, his family, and the American people for his 
misbehavior. Like my colleagues in the House and Members of the Armed 
Services, I have sworn to protect our Constitution against all enemies, 
foreign and domestic. I am in a fight to preserve what all Americans 
hold dear: the precepts and principles of the Constitution of the 
United States. I am not out to save President William Jefferson 
Clinton; I am out to save the Presidency of the United States.
  Two of the most important things a Member of Congress can do are vote 
for war or overturn the will of the poeple by impeaching a President. 
The vote that is expected to take place on this is no window-dressing, 
glorified version of a censure. A vote on impeachment is not the end, 
it is the beginning. If this resolution passes, there will 
automatically be a Senate trial, which could lasts for months, 
paralzying Congress and our nation.
  While the Republican leadership and majority in Congress were 
consumed by this issue, we did not finish the work of ensuring that 
people who need health care have it; that we have enough elementary 
schools to educate our children for the next millennium; that Social 
Security will be around to protect our nation's senior citizens; that 
health maintenance organizations protect patients, not profits. We need 
to be about the people's business, and the people have said that while 
they want the President to be punished, they do not want Congress to 
usurp their choice of leader.
  Some of my colleagues have compared President Clinton's behavior with 
President Richard M. Nixon's actions during the Watergate scandal. 
Nothing could be further from the truth. This is not Watergate. This is 
not a case of the President directing the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency in a cover-up. This 
is not a case of the President lying about the diversion of Iranian 
arms-sales proceeds to the contras. This is simply about a President 
who made a mistake in his personal life and who tried to save his 
family and himself from personal embarrassment. That is all.
  Again, in taking into consideration the weight of the President's 
actions, I am mindful that twenty-three months ago, members of the 
105th Congress took our collective oaths of office. In that oath, we 
have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. 
As such, it is not our option but our obligation to the American people 
to deliberate the issues and information that is presented before us in 
hearings, Committee mark-ups, or during floor debate, and weigh them in 
an unbiased and clear fashion before voting the issue of the day. The 
Republican leadership did not allow this non-partisan, unbiased 
analysis of the evidence before the Members of the House Judiciary 
Committee and now, the entire House of Representatives.
  Let me make clear that I do not condone the President's personal 
conduct. I must add, however, that it would be sheer folly not fo 
afford the leader of this great nation the same Constitutional 
protections afforded every other member of our society. Our 
constitution demands that we in Congress provide a fair and non-
partisan venue for the consideration of impeachment. It was my sincere 
hope that we would have proceeded in the spirit of fairness so that we 
can focus Congressional attention to issues like education, Social 
Security and health care, issues which truly impact the daily lives of 
the American people. In the final analysis, we in Congress have let the 
American people down with these articles of impeachment.
  I am adamently against impeachment. Impeachment is not mere 
punishment for Presidents who have behaved badly, behavior to which 
President Clinton has already admitted and apologized. Impeachment is a 
mechanism to protect our Republic against rogue Presidents who threaten 
our nation. For me, and for many Americans, the question is this: is 
our President a threat to our nation? The evidence gathered by the 
independent counsel, and the President's scintillating public record of 
achievement, overwhelmingly says no. Based on the merits of the case 
presented to the House Judiciary Committee and before the United States 
House of Representatives, I cannot vote in support of on any of these 
articles for impeachment before me today.
  I only pray that the wisdom of our God prevails upon us during this 
trying time of judgment. It is my hope that the wisdom of Congress 
prevails in rejecting these unnecessary and overreaching articles of 
impeachment against our President, William Jefferson Clinton.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. McInnis).
  Mr. McINNIS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida for 
yielding time to me.
  Mr. Speaker, in this country we operate on what is called and our 
foundation is built upon what is called the rule of law. We all know 
our history. Our history says that we came to this country to go away 
from a king. Under the rule of law in this country, we say that the law 
is the king. The king is not the law.
  We have one President. That position of President of the United 
States demands the highest public trust. Why the highest public trust? 
Because we have only one President.
  I have read with interest the Democratic censure, and I quote parts 
from it: ``. . . that the President violated the trust of the American 
people, lessened their esteem for the office of the President, and 
dishonored the office for which they have entrusted to him.'' It goes 
on, ``The President made false statements concerning his reprehensible 
conduct with a subordinate, and took steps to delay discovery of the 
truth.''

[[Page H11822]]

  And they say to me, after they draft that kind of document, that that 
individual now qualifies for the position of the highest public trust? 
Any of these people there that are going to stand up and vote against 
this, tell me what they would do in their community, what side they 
would stand on, what kind of letter or report they would give to a 
newspaper reporter if it were a local schoolteacher? There is not a 
schoolteacher in this country that would step into the classroom ever, 
ever again with this kind of conduct, with this kind of misleading 
inaccuracy.
  Take it from a schoolteacher, or take a police officer. Some Members, 
show me, give me a demonstration, anywhere in this country. And those 
are positions of public trust, not positions of the highest public 
trust.
  We owe it to our current generation and to future generations to 
retain the standards of the Presidency, and those standards rise far 
above an individual. Let us comply and stick with the rule of law. The 
law is the king, the king is not the law.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. Markey).
  Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Speaker, this matter should never have been pursued 
by Ken Starr, it should never have been pursued by the Committee on the 
Judiciary, and it should never have reached the floor of the House of 
Representatives. This matter belongs in family court, not in the court 
of the United States Senate, with the Chief Justice of the United 
States presiding.
  Yes, the President made a grievous personal error, to the detriment 
of his family. But no, it is not an offense against the State or our 
Constitution. We are now on the threshold of overturning the people's 
choice for President through a perversion of the Independent Counsel 
law, a runaway partisan investigation of the most intimate, private 
activity, having nothing, absolutely nothing to do with a real estate 
deal in Arkansas. Ken Starr has twisted and warped his task from one in 
which he was out to find the truth to one where he went out to get the 
President and First Lady of this country.
  Now, Mr. Speaker, we are amending the Constitution of the United 
States on the floor of the House of Representatives here today. Make no 
mistake about it, this is a constitutional amendment that we are 
debating, not an impeachment resolution. The Republicans are crossing 
out the impeachment standard of high crimes and misdemeanors, and they 
are inserting the words ``any crime or misdemeanor.''
  We are permitting a constitutional coup d'etat which will haunt this 
body forever. A constitutional clause intended to apply to a Benedict 
Arnold selling out his country will now be expanded to cover every 
personal transgression. Every future President, Democrat or Republican, 
will be subject to harassment by his political enemies, who can 
credibly threaten impeachment for the slightest misconduct.
  This is wasteful, it is foolish, it is dangerous. When we talk to 
people in the supermarkets, on the streets, they believe that the high 
crime against the Constitution is their families being cheated out of 
their government's ability to work on things that affect their 
families: Medicare, social security, the democratization of access to 
jobs and education for every family in our country.
  The ultimate Republican paradox is that they dislike the government, 
but they have to run for office in order to make sure that the 
government does not work. In 1995 and 1996, they tried to shut down the 
executive department. In 1997 and 1998 they shut down the Congress. Now 
they are going for a political triple play. They are going to shut down 
the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the Supreme Court of 
the United States simultaneously.
  Mr. Speaker, we have become the laughingstock of the entire world 
because a sexual scandal is being allowed to consume our tax dollars, 
our media, our judiciary, and our opportunity to deal with the problems 
of ordinary families.
  We must censure the President for what he did wrong. We should be 
given the right to vote to censure him, to put this matter behind us so 
that we can work on the problems of every other family in America. We 
have worried about the President's family for an entire year. It is 
about time we went back to the business of every other family.
  GOP used to stand for ``Grand Old Party.'' Now it just stands for 
``Get Our President.''
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute, and I yield to 
the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the gentleman from 
Massachusetts that it was the President's own Democrat Attorney General 
who appointed this Independent Counsel, believing there was credible 
evidence that needed to be investigated.
  In regard to the high crimes and misdemeanors, the Constitution 
specifically mentions bribery. Perjury is a high crime and misdemeanor 
because just like bribery, perjury and bribery are unique threats to 
the administration of justice, and that affects our society. That 
affects our government.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Fawell).
  Mr. FAWELL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  Mr. Speaker, it may well be a myth that George Washington confessed 
to chopping down a cherry tree because he could not tell a lie. We do 
not know if Abraham Lincoln as a young man actually walked several 
miles to return a few pennies to a storekeeper who gave him incorrect 
change.
  But Mr. Speaker, true or not, these stories of truth and justice hold 
a special and a very deep place in our Nation's heart and psyche. There 
is a gift, however, that accompanies the President's problems. It is 
the opportunity to now tell the truth about the violations of perjury 
and obstruction of justice laws. The truth-telling can resolve most of 
the factual controversies, and it can introduce the potential for 
healing as the impeachment resolution is forwarded to the Senate.

                              {time}  1515

  I urge the President to tell the truth about his multiple perjuries 
and his efforts to obstruct justice, and I urge the Congress to deliver 
this message of impeachment to the Senate in the knowledge that we are 
all victims, including the President himself. I support the impeachment 
resolution. It was a tough decision for me. I do not know, however, 
otherwise how I can explain especially to my 8 grandchildren and to the 
younger generation of this Nation why the President's willful and 
wanton violations of perjury and obstruction of justice of laws can be 
ignored.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Klink).
  Mr. KLINK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me the 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I have heard Member after Member get up on the other 
side and say this is not about sex. Let us make one thing very 
perfectly clear, the roots of this impeachment action are in fact in a 
sexual deed. I was reading Andre Maurois the other day, who said the 
path that leads from moral standards to political activity is strewn 
with our dead selves. There is a lesson in that for all for all of us.
  This impeachment process is a partisan political activity. Do not 
make a mistake about it. What the President did was wrong. His conduct 
was reprehensible. It was appalling and, most of all, to those of us 
who have worked with him, it is disappointing. But just as every crime 
does not justify the death penalty, neither should impeachment, the 
political equivalent of the death penalty, be the punishment for every 
presidential misdeed.
  The President of the United States had a consensual extramarital 
sexual relationship and did not want to divulge that to the public or 
to his political enemies. Is the President guilty of bribery or treason 
or other high crimes which threaten the future of our Republic? 
Absolutely, positively not. We all agree the President should not be 
above the law. However, just because he has been elected to the Office 
of President does not mean he should be below the law either. He should 
have the same treatment that every other American does. The President 
should face the same legal consequences anyone else does, and the rule 
of law should judge his actions as it would any other American.

[[Page H11823]]

  Fairness should be our guiding force when we consider impeaching the 
President. Unfortunately, fairness has taken a back seat to partisan 
politics during this very serious one-sided debate. The overwhelming 
majority of Americans agree that the President deserves to be punished. 
But the majority of Americans also agree the punishment needs to fit 
the crime. The President's conduct, however reprehensible, is not an 
act of treason, bribery or other high crimes. In this, the biggest vote 
that Congress can take next to a declaration of war, Democrats and 
like-minded Republicans should at least be given the opportunity to 
make this punishment fit the crime. And we have been blocked there.
  Let me just say, it was once said that the test of courage comes when 
we are in the minority; that the test of tolerance comes when we are in 
the majority. And I will say, this Republican Party has failed that 
test of tolerance. During this process comparisons have been made to 
the Watergate hearings 24 years ago. I see only one similarity between 
now and during the Watergate. Back then it was a Republican President 
who used subterfuge and criminal activities to gain control of a 
process as to who would decide who would be the President. And today it 
is a Republican Congress who is using their majority and their power to 
decide who is going to be the President of the United States. In the 
name of the millions who have died to protect the sanctity of the 
ballot box, I would say, may God have mercy on your souls.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield).
  (Mr. WHITFIELD asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, while I am not a member of the Committee 
on the Judiciary, I came to this debate today with the great hope that 
the advocates for the President would spend considerable time 
addressing specifically the articles of impeachment. Instead I have 
heard a lot about the Iraqi war. I have heard about Ken Starr. I have 
heard about Medicare, Social Security, but I have not heard any 
evidence refuting the articles of impeachment.
  Now we are not here today because of the political philosophy of any 
political party or an obsession to impeach the President. We are not 
here today because of the private sexual activities of anyone. We are 
here today because the President is charged with breaking criminal laws 
which for constitutional purposes are high crimes and misdemeanors. One 
of those crimes is perjury. And by committing perjury, the President 
harmed the integrity of our judicial branch of government, which is a 
central component of the government.
  Since 1993, when President Clinton took office, the U.S. Department 
of Justice has prosecuted and convicted over 400 people for perjury. 
Many of those people are in prison today or under house arrest. We 
could go through a lot of individual cases. We have a psychiatrist at 
the Veterans Administration who was convicted of perjury for lying in a 
civil suit. She is under a jail sentence right today, and we could go 
on and on. But our Nation has one legal standard that applies to all of 
its citizens. We do not have one legal system for the President and a 
more harsh legal system for everyone else. High office does not allow 
anyone to be above or beyond the law.
  For those reasons, I will vote for three of the four articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Hastings).
  Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished 
ranking member for yielding me the time.
  I would like to say to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) 
and to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Goodling), our 
distinguished colleagues, that perjury is applicable to this President 
as it is to all people once he leaves office. So that confused argument 
of what political perjury is and what perjury is in a court of law 
needs to be distinguished.
  Let me also make it very clear for you that if the President is 
charged with perjury when he leaves office, I predict for you that no 
one in this body can prove that he committed perjury. The gentleman, my 
distinguished colleague from Arkansas, who has been extremely studious 
with reference to these matters, indicated that censure was some kind 
of, and I apologize, some kind of fix he called it. I do not see it 
that way.
  I would like for you to recall that in the very cases regarding 
judges that were cited to as examples, censure was used and also, as we 
know, for two presidents. Additionally, the majority whip, the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay), proposed what amounted to censure of 
the President over campaign finance issues just this past May.
  This House can work its will on censure and anything else. I was 
removed from office after being found not guilty, and here we are 
talking we cannot censure. Today we have reached the zenith of 
unfairness. Our military, under the aegis of our President, is 
attempting to downgrade weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we are 
en masse as a body degrading the institution of the presidency.
  It is not sad. It is irrational. I have appended to my remarks what I 
think would be helpful to this body so that you will understand the 
dynamics that take place in the Senate. The pleadings and motions 
stage, the trial preparation stage, a Senate trial, all of this 
certainly will take at least the 14 months that it took to remove me 
from office. And we are talking at least that amount of time, certainly 
as late as July, and probably all next year. And things regarding 
Social Security and matters that all of us want to take up for this 
Nation will be put on hold.
  The President has done a good job, and you have seen it. Consider 
before you vote what you might be doing to tie this entire Nation up. 
Our Nation is divided, and the House tomorrow will exacerbate that 
division. We are being unfair and unwise. We are being harsh to the 
institution of the presidency, harsh to our troops in harm's way, harsh 
to each other as colleagues and extremely harsh to this great country 
of ours.
  This is not a debate for the ages. Rather, it is a debate of the 
stages, partisan political stages. I ask you, how many of us have read 
this report that came to my office last night after the close of 
business? How many of us have read, other than Committee on the 
Judiciary, the evidence that supports the conclusion that the 
Republicans ask us to reach? Most of us will be voting in an 
uninformed, unintelligent manner. This Nation deserves better.
  You may win today, but the Nation will lose today and tomorrow.
  Mr. Speaker, I include for the Record the information to which I 
referred:
  Ten years ago, on August 9th, 1988, this House voted to impeach a 
federal judge from the southern district of Florida. It was not until 
October 20th, 1989, fourteen months later, that the Senate voted upon 
those articles. By its vote ten years ago, the House decided to impose 
the burdens of Senate trial proceedings on a man. Today, the House must 
decide whether the charges and the evidence against the President 
warrant imposing the burdens of Senate trial proceedings on the Nation 
and the world. All Members should understand the nature and extent of 
the extraordinary burdens that a decision to impeach the President 
would impose.
  Although other Members have served as one of the House managers in 
proceedings before the Senate, I am the only Member who has experienced 
the burdens of developing a defense strategy and participating in its 
implementation. I have borne the burdens and I have observed the 
procedures in Senate impeachment trial proceedings. Professor Terence 
J. Anderson of the University of Miami School of Law represented me in 
the proceedings before this House and before the Senate. He has direct 
knowledge of what the Senate did and did not do there. I asked him to 
prepare a schedule projecting how the proceedings in the Senate might 
unfold. I have reviewed the projections he prepared and believe that 
they are conservative. I have appended to these remarks a statement of 
the ``Projected Proceedings Before the United States Senate if the 
House Votes to Impeach the President.'' That Projection provides a more 
detailed schedule of the steps that would be required in this case. I 
report and discuss the conclusions here.
  Under the best case scenario, the proceedings before the Senate are 
unlikely to be completed before late July and could extend until the 
end of the year.
  The proceedings in the Senate would unfold in three stages--a 
pleadings, procedures, and

[[Page H11824]]

motions stage; a trial preparation stage; and a trial and judgment 
stage.
  The pleadings and motions stage in my case lasted seven months--from 
August 1988 through mid-March 1989. That first stage would take at 
least three months here.
  The second, the trial-preparation stage, took three-and-a-half months 
in my case; it would take three here.
  A Senate trial in this case, the final stage, would last at least 
seven weeks and could last for more than fourteen.
  The similarity between the way in which the House Judiciary Committee 
conducted the inquiry in my case and the way in which it conducted the 
inquiry here will require the Senate to accord to the President and his 
counsel, at a minimum, pretrial rights comparable to those that it 
accorded me and my counsel. The principal similarity between the two 
cases is that in neither did the House Judiciary Committee examine or 
cross-examine the witnesses upon which the articles of impeachment 
depended. In neither, did it call witnesses for the defense or seek 
documents that will be necessary to the defense. Instead, it relied 
primarily upon a report and materials transmitted by officials in 
another branch and upon the testimony of the author of that report, in 
my case John Doar and here Kenneth Starr. As a result, the Senate 
permitted my counsel to conduct limited discovery proceedings to obtain 
testimony and documents necessary to my defense. The Senate will, 
perforce, accord an accuse President liberal opportunities to use its 
subpoena power to depose witnesses and gather documents that his 
counsel seek as necessary for a fair trial.
  The two cases would be different in ways that would also influence 
the conduct of the proceedings that the House seems prepared to launch 
today. In my case, the Senate appointed an Impeachment Trial Committee 
and delegated to it the power to control the pretrial proceedings and 
to conduct the evidentiary hearings. That would not happen in 
proceedings against the President. The Rules Committee might be asked 
to guide the pretrial proceedings, but either side would have the right 
to insist that any decision be reviewed de novo by the full Senate.
  The Impeachment Trial Committee appointed in my case heard live 
testimony from fifty-seven witnesses and received more than 374 
exhibits. Those hearings took eighteen full, eight-hour days. The 
Senate rules for the trial of an impeachment provide that the full 
Senate shall convene as a court of impeachment at noon during the trial 
of an impeachment; they, in effect, provide for half-day trial 
hearings. It is unlikely that the Senate could hear, on average, more 
than two witnesses a day. And it should be clear that witnesses such as 
Monica Lewinsky are likely to occupy the stand for several days.
  The materials submitted by Mr. Starr identify more than 120 potential 
trial witnesses and some 390 trial exhibits. Those materials do not 
identify, as witnesses, the FBI agents or OIC staff members who 
participated in the investigation and whose testimony will clearly be 
necessary. For example, each of the OIC staff and FBI agents who 
participated in the initial and each subsequent interview of Ms. 
Lewinsky had the opportunity to influence and shape her testimony in 
ways that bear upon her credibility and the relevance of the so-called 
``corroborating'' detail offered by the Independent Counsel Starr. 
Those materials give little indication of the additional witnesses and 
exhibits the President would present in his defense.
  The debate in the Judiciary Committee makes it clear that the 
prospective House Managers would be unlikely to exercise restraint in 
presenting the case against the President. The presentations by counsel 
for the President have made it clear that the defense will be 
commensurately vigorous. Although the appended projections provide a 
more conservative estimate, it seems unlikely that the number of 
witnesses called to testify will be less that the 120 potential 
witnesses identified in the Starr report. If that occurred, the Nation 
and the world would watch for sixty days as the Chief Justice of the 
United States presided, while the House managers and counsel for the 
President examined and cross-examined witnesses presented audio and 
video tapes and other evidence before the Senate in what will appear to 
most viewers to be a tawdry, R-rated sex drama.
  Those who would vote to impeach the President should consider 
carefully the consequences. Over the next eight months, the attention 
of the Nation, of the full Senate, and of the Chief Justice of the 
United States would be devoted to hearing the evidence and arguments in 
this tawdry affair on at least thirty-five days. For at least eight 
months, a sword of Damocles would hang over the Nation, indeed over the 
world.
  Over the past two years, the Nation has seen its President play an 
active and intensive role in mediating a peace accord in Northern 
Ireland, in brokering the Wye accords, in working with the Congress to 
produce a balanced budget and reforming the welfare system, in 
protecting the Nation's economy and addressing the threats posed by 
collapse of economies elsewhere, and in acting to assure that Iraq's 
ability to make war against its neighbors is degraded.
  Those who would vote to impeach the President should consider, before 
they vote, what might have, or have not, happened had the President, 
the Senate, and the American people been preoccupied with protracted 
impeachment trial proceedings when any of those events occurred. Those 
who would vote to impeach the President should consider, before they 
vote, what may, or may not, happen if all are similarly preoccupied for 
the next eight months or more.

       Projected Proceedings Before the U.S. Senate If the House 
                     Votes to Impeach the President

       The proceedings in the Senate on the articles of 
     impeachment that the House exhibited against then United 
     States District Judge Alcee L. Hastings provide the most 
     recent and comparable precedents to guide the Senate in the 
     proceedings against President William Jefferson Clinton that 
     will take place if the House adopts articles of impeachment. 
     The following outlines projects how the proceedings against 
     the President would unfold if the House impeaches him based 
     upon the proceedings in the Hastings case and the materials 
     released by the Judiciary Committee during its inquiry into 
     the President's conduct.

 
                                                             Weeks
             I. Preliminary Proceedings
                                                        Min.      Max.
 
A. The First Step. The House Managers would exhibit
 its articles to the Senate and the Senate would
 issue a summons to the President requiring him to
 respond within fifteen to thirty days and would ask
 the Committee on Rules and Administration to
 consider and report issues that need to be
 addressed and special rules that should be adopted
 for the conduct of the proceedings.................     1         1
B. The Rules Committee. Since the Senate has not
 conducted proceedings against a President in the
 past century, the issues would be substantial. At
 least five steps would have to be taken before the
 committee could submit its report and
 recommendations to the Senate......................
    1. The committee meets and authorizes the Chair
     and Ranking Minority Member to send a letter
     asking the parties to file memoranda addressing
     issues identified by the Committee and other
     issues that either believes the committee
     should consider, probably allowing twenty to
     thirty days for initial memoranda and ten to
     twenty days for responses......................     1         2
    2. Each of the parties file memoranda...........     4         6
    3. Each of the parties file memoranda responding
     to the other...................................     6         9
    4. The committee holds hearings on the issues
     raised.........................................     7        11
    5. The committee deliberates and prepares its
     report and recommendations and any necessary
     resolutions....................................     9        13
C. Pleadings and Motions............................
    1. The President. It is hard to anticipate the
     defense strategy the President will adopt, but
     the House Judiciary Committee's proceedings and
     recommended articles of impeach suggest that
     counsel for the President would file:..........
        a. Answer and Affirmative Defenses. Counsel
         for the President will raise at least one
         and probably two affirmative defenses--(i)
         the articles fail to allege facts
         sufficient to state an impeachable offense;
         and (ii) the misconduct of Independent
         Counsel Starr and the House's reliance upon
         the products of that misconduct require
         that the articles be dismissed.............     3         4
        b. Motion to Dismiss. The motion would
         enable the Senate to consider whether it
         should dignify the President's improper
         conduct alleged in the articles of
         impeachment by classifying it as ``high
         Crimes and Misdemeanors'' under the
         Constitution...............................     6        10

[[Page H11825]]

 
        c. Demand for Bill of Particulars. The
         majority on House Judiciary Committee
         appear to shoot themselves in the foot by
         refusing to specify the precise statements
         made by the President that they claim were
         perjurious. If the pending articles are
         adopted, counsel for the President will
         demand and the Senate will almost surely
         order the House Managers to provide a bill
         of particulars. The real effect of the lack
         of specificity will further delay..........     6        10
        d. Alternative Motion to Strike Particular
         Allegations. If the Senate does not dismiss
         the articles in their entirety, counsel for
         the President are likely to ask that the
         Senate, after the bill of particulars has
         been filed, strike specific allegations in
         the article that remains...................     6        10
    2. The House. The House managers would be
     required to file a Replication to the
     President's Answer and Affirmative Defenses and
     responses to the motions. If they opposed the
     demand for a bill of particulars, there would
     be a second round of briefing and further
     argument before the Senate after the House had
     complied with the Senate's order, adding an
     additional two weeks to the process............     8        14
    3. The President's Reply. Counsel for the
     President would file a reply and any
     supplemental memoranda made necessary by the
     House's bill of particulars....................    10        16
D. Proceedings Before the Full Senate. The Senate
 would be likely to set aside two days to consider
 and act upon the report from the Rules Committee
 and to hear arguments on and decide the pending
 motions............................................    12        18
 
 
                          II. Trial Preparation
 
 In Hastings, the Rules Committee recommended that the Senate appoint an
 Impeachment Trial Committee to regulate the preparation for evidentiary
 hearings and to conduct those hearings. If the House adopts articles
 here, the evidentiary hearings will be conducted before the full
 Senate. It is likely that the Senate and the Chief Justice will agree
 that the trial preparation duties that were performed by the
 Impeachment Trials Committee should be assigned to the Rules Committee
 (or to a special impeachment committee appointed for that purpose).
 Although the counsel for the President would request that trial
 preparation be deferred until the Senate had ruled on the President's
 motion to dismiss, the Rules Committee might determine that necessary
 preparation should proceed concurrently with other trial matters.
 However those duties were exercised, the steps would likely be the
 same.
A. Discovery Proceedings. The need for discovery
 would be far greater in this case than it was in
 Hastings. Here, as it did in Hastings, the House
 Judiciary Committee relied primarily upon the
 report and materials transmitted to the House by
 another branch and upon the testimony of the
 investigator who prepared the report. Here, as it
 did in Hastings, the committee did not call and
 subject to examination and cross-examination the
 fact-witnesses identified by the Starr referral or
 those who might testify on behalf of the accused or
 obtain from the Independent Counsel or elsewhere
 documents other than those included in the
 materials transmitted. It is hard to conceive that
 the Senate here would not afford the President the
 time and the use of its subpoena power to take
 depositions and obtain relevant documents. Based
 upon Hastings and the materials available here,
 discovery would proceed in three stages.
    1. Submissions by the Parties. If any articles
     remained after the motions to dismiss or strike
     had been decided, the Senate or a committee
     would have to decide whether and what discovery
     should be permitted.
        a. Counsel for the President would promptly
         submit a memorandum identifying witness and
         sources of documents that were likely to
         produce relevant evidence and explaining
         why the President should be permitted to
         subpoena each of the witnesses and other
         source to obtain that evidence. At a
         minimum, it seems almost certain that the
         counsel would seek to depose (i) lawyers
         for Paula Jones about their initial
         conversations with Linda Tripp and with
         members of the Office of Independent
         Counsel (``OIC'') staff; (ii) the members
         of the OIC staff and FBI agents who met
         with or interviewed Linda Tripp and Monica
         Lewinski; and (iii) other technical
         witnesses, such as those reconstructed
         materials from the hard drive in Ms.
         Lewinski's computer. It also seems certain
         that they would want access to the
         documents that the Independent Counsel did
         not transmit with his referral.............    12        20
        b. The House managers would be directed to
         file a response agreeing with or objecting
         to the President's requests................    14        22
        c. The Senate or its committee would examine
         the president's request and the House's
         response and hold hearings and enter the
         appropriate order directing the issuance of
         appropriate subpoenas......................    16        23
        d. Independent Counsel Starr, Ms. Jones's
         lawyers, or others subpoenaed might object
         to some or all of the subpoena, in which
         event time-consuming enforcement
         proceedings would be necessary, at least
         three months...............................  ........    36
        e. The depositions would be conducted and
         the documents produced and examined........  16-24     36-44
B. Other Trial Preparation Proceedings.
    1. The House managers and counsel for the
     President would propose stipulations or submit
     requests for admissions. The Senate or its
     committee would encourage the parties to
     stipulate at least to the authenticity and/or
     admissibility of various documents and other
     potential exhibits. Responses would be
     exchanged and negotiations would proceed.......    12        20
    2. The Senate or its committee would direct the
     parties to file and exchange ten days after the
     close of discovery, pre-trial memoranda
     identifying witnesses each intended to call and
     exhibits each intended to introduce............    25        45
    3. The Senate or its committee would enter a
     final pre-trial order establishing the date for
     and procedures to be followed at trial.........    26        46
 
                      III. The Trial of a President
 
 Rules XII and XIII of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting
 on Impeachment Trials provide that, unless otherwise ordered, the
 proceedings shall commence at 12:30 p.m. on the first day and at 12:00
 noon thereafter. In order to make it possible for the legislative and
 executive branches to tend to some of the government's business and to
 enable the Chief Justice to participate, in the oral arguments before
 the Supreme Court, it seems likely that the Senate would not schedule
 the evidentiary proceedings to begin before 12:30 or would permit them
 to extend beyond 6:30 p.m. on a regular basis.
A. The Presentation of Evidence by the House
 Managers. The managers presented the testimony of
 thirty-seven witnesses in Hastings. Only twenty-
 seven appeared before the Impeachment Trial
 Committee. The managers were permitted to introduce
 transcripts of prior testimony for the other ten.
 The House managers are likely to call most if not
 all of the 120 witnesses whose statements or
 testimony are included in the materials transmitted
 by Independent Counsel Starr. Depending upon the
 success of pre-trial negotiations, it might have to
 call several more to establish necessary
 foundations and the like. Forty to fifty would
 appear to the minimum number necessary to support
 the allegations the proposed article have borrowed
 from the Starr Report. No prior testimony will be
 admitted. The videotaped deposition and the
 videotaped grand jury testimony will be shown in
 their entirety, and many of the Tripp tapes will be
 played given by the president. The examination and
 cross-examination of the twenty-seven witnesses the
 House presented in Hastings consumed more than ten
 full days. If the President is impeached by this
 House, the presentation of testimony and other
 evidence will consume twenty [if forty witnesses
 called] to forty [120 witnesses] partial trial days
 before the full Senate.............................  27-30     47-50
B. The President's Case. It is impossible to project
 the number of witnesses that the President's
 counsel would call for his defense with any
 confidence. The Starr Report was not a balanced
 presentation of the available evidence. It seems
 clear that the number would be substantial and
 would include many of the 120 persons whom were
 identified in the Starr Report, but were not called
 by the managers. They would present all of the
 Tripp tapes that the managers did not introduce.
 They would call witnesses whose conduct might have
 influenced the testimony of Ms. Lewinski and other
 House witnesses and witnesses who had knowledge
 relevant to Ms. Lewinski's credibility. Twenty
 witnesses and ten days seems a safe minimum........  31-32     51-52

[[Page H11826]]

 
C. The House Rebuttal. Given the passion and vigor
 displayed by Republican members of the Judiciary
 Committee, it seems likely the House managers would
 want to try to rebut the President's case, no
 matter how tired and angry the American people may
 have become. Might we hope for only a day or two...    33        53
D. Argument, Deliberations, and The Vote. Given the
 nature of the issues and the length of the
 projected trial, it seems likely that Senate would
 allot at least four hours to each side for closing
 arguments. Past precedent dictates that the Senate
 would close its doors to deliberate in executive
 session until its members have expressed their
 views. The vote would follow. With luck, the
 denouement might be completed in less than a week..    34        54
 

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Utah (Mr. Hansen).
  (Mr. HANSEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Speaker, the sole responsibility for our actions 
today lies with the President. Only his actions, characterized by his 
own supporters, are wrongful and immoral, maddening and worthy of our 
condemnation. President Clinton has violated his constitutional duty to 
take care that the laws be faithfully executed by lying under oath in a 
duly convened judicial proceeding.
  President Clinton has violated his Constitutional oath of office to 
preserve and protect the Constitution by obstructing the proper search 
for the truth and abusing the power of the presidency. His actions, 
deliberate and willful, have brought damage to the dignity of the 
office of the President and corrupted our sacred respect for the rule 
of law.
  The question before us today is whether we, too, will turn away from 
our long heritage of the rule of law, the love of truth, and instead 
place our faith in the brutal role of power, the fickle winds of 
appetite and the manipulation of public opinion.
  The circumstances of history have our Nation facing two grave issues, 
impeachment and war, at the same moment. President Clinton decided to 
unleash the awesome power of war. And why did he do this? One, because 
Saddam Hussein has lied to the United Nations. Another because Saddam 
Hussein has obstructed justice by blocking the work of the weapons 
inspector, and another one is he violated the rule of law in defiance 
to the cease-fire resolution of the Gulf War.
  I support the President of the United States in his rightful action 
and pray for the safety of our troops. If we are willing to ask the 
ultimate sacrifice in defense of the international rule of law, how can 
we not act to defend its foundations at home? Our Nation is a strong 
one and our Constitution is sound. Our peaceful and deliberate defense 
of the Constitution and its foundation in the rule of law will send a 
strong and clear message, testifying to the power and resilience of our 
democracy. Tyrants, dictators and thugs around the world will see the 
strength of our Nation lies not in one man but in a vast people, united 
in liberty and justice.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Mrs. Lowey).
  (Mrs. LOWEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the 
resolution. Our Founding Fathers viewed impeachment as a mechanism of 
last resort to protect the Nation from a President who threatened the 
Constitution or the American people. Throughout our history, Members of 
Congress have appreciated the enormous gravity of impeachment and that 
is why, despite countless disputes, provocation, misdeeds and lies, the 
House has voted just once in its history to impeach a President.
  Indeed the delicate system of constitutional checks and balances 
established by the founders works only insofar as each branch of 
government exercises its prerogatives responsibly. In the case of 
impeachment, that means applying the most rigorous test to the use of 
our authority. The Constitution gives this body the ability to undo our 
only national election, but we must use that authority judiciously and 
cautiously. To do otherwise imperils the stability of our democracy, 
replacing the orderly transfer of power with the constant threat of 
political upheaval.
  A great Nation does not overturn two national elections and throw a 
President out of office because he denied having a consensual affair. 
Let us instead find a suitable punishment that fits the President's 
offense, censure. The President misled his family and his country and 
he deserves the reprimand of the Congress and the enduring judgment of 
history.
  Unfortunately, in their zeal to impeach Bill Clinton, the GOP 
leadership has refused to allow this House to debate a tough motion of 
censure, a censure that is overwhelmingly supported by the general 
public over impeachment.

                              {time}  1530

  Unfortunately, there is a determined minority in America and in this 
Chamber who never accepted the legitimacy of this President. To them 
this episode is mere pretext to accomplish what they could not during 
two separate elections. The majority is not here today to give the 
President his fair day in court. They are here to oust him. And Kenneth 
Starr was their instrument.
  By utilizing the vast prosecutorial powers of the government, Kenneth 
Starr abused his authority and broke his trust with the American 
people. His dangerous and misguided inquiry has been unparalleled in 
our modern life, and impeachment merely serves to validate his methods 
and goals.
  And make no mistake, my colleagues, not all coups are accompanied by 
the sound of marching boots and rolling tanks. Some, like today, are 
wrapped in a constitutional veneer, softened by pious assertions of 
solemn obligation and duty. But the result is the same, defiance of the 
public will and rejection of the regular political process.
  Mr. Speaker, what will impeachment mean? A trial in the Senate would 
only deepen the Nation's wounds. Imagine the spectacle of the upper 
Chamber of the world's greatest democracy, presided over by the highest 
judge in the land, gathered for weeks and months not to consider 
important affairs of state, but instead to hear the same tawdry 
testimony, the same tiresome details, again and again.
  I am frankly amazed, Mr. Speaker, that the House stands poised today 
at the edge of a deep abyss. The American people, in their wisdom, have 
implored us to leave the slippery road of impeachment and pursue 
instead the measured course of censure.
  Such a prolonged re-hashing, illuminated by television lights and 
augmented by a thousand talking heads, would further alienate a public 
that has already sent its representatives a clear message to end this 
disgraceful episode in our nation's life. It would seriously compromise 
our capacity to wrestle with serious policy challenges. And it would 
weaken our international leadership at a perilous moment in world 
affairs. It would shut our government down at a time when the American 
people are looking at us to solve the problems that affect their 
everyday lives.
  Let us honor our Constitutional obligations, heed the call of 
scholars and historians, and above all, keep faith with the men and 
women we serve.
  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 
me time.
  The other gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings) brought up an 
interesting point a moment ago asking rhetorically who has indeed read 
the material and reviewed the evidence. It is interesting to note, Mr. 
Speaker, that in the more than three months that the independent 
counsel's material, some 60,000 pages, have been over at the Ford 
Building there remain, I believe, four members of the Democrats on the 
Committee on the Judiciary that have not spent one minute reviewing 
that material; and even though arrangements

[[Page H11827]]

have been made through the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) to have 
other Members of both sides of the aisle not serving on the Committee 
on the Judiciary to review the material so they could answer any 
questions or look at the material firsthand, I believe there has been 
at most one Member on the Democrat side who has gone over to review the 
material.
  So the answer to the question posed by the gentleman from Florida is, 
apparently, most Members on the other side are not interested in the 
evidence and, therefore, have not even reviewed it.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Canady).
  (Mr. CANADY of Florida asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to the point 
made by the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), my good friend.
  This is a process that we are following under the Constitution, and I 
am very disappointed that there has been a failure of those who are 
opposing these articles to focus on the facts of the case before us. 
Now these facts are inconvenient facts, they are very compelling facts 
pointing to a pattern of perjury and obstruction of justice by the 
President of the United States. But all the passionate argument about 
the independent counsel, all the passionate attacks on the process here 
in the Congress do not alter the stubborn facts of the case before us.
  Now, I would also like to bring to the attention of the Members the 
report on ``Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment'' which 
was prepared in February of 1974 by the staff of the Nixon impeachment 
inquiry; and I would ask that all the Members consider this key 
language from that staff report describing the type of conduct which 
gives rise to impeachment.
  The Democratic staff of the Rodino committee wrote, ``The emphasis 
has been on the significant effects of the conduct--undermining the 
integrity of office, disregard of constitutional duties and oath of 
office, arrogation of power, abuse of the governmental process, adverse 
impact on the system of government.''
  Perjury and obstruction of justice clearly undermine the integrity of 
office. Their unavoidable consequence is to erode respect of the office 
of president. Such offenses are in obvious disregard of the President's 
constitutional duties and oath of office. Moreover, they are offenses 
which have a direct and serious adverse impact on the system of 
government.
  Obstruction of justice is by definition an assault on the due 
administration of justice, which is a core function of our system of 
government. And as the first Chief Justice of the United States, John 
Jay, observed, no crime is more extensively pernicious to society than 
the crime of perjury.
  The significance of the offenses committed by the President is not in 
any degree diminished by the fact that they do not directly involve the 
President's official conduct. Despite their argument that the President 
is immune from impeachment because of the underlying conduct which gave 
rise to his crimes was a private matter, the President's lawyers have 
themselves proclaimed, and I would ask that my colleagues listen to 
this, these are the words of the President's own lawyers, they said, 
and I quote, ``Any conduct by the individual holding the Office of the 
President, whether it is characterized as private or official, can have 
substantial impact on a President's official duties.''
  Perjury and obstruction of justice, even regarding a private matter, 
are offenses that have a substantial impact on the President's official 
duties because they are grossly incompatible with his preeminent duty 
to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Perjury and 
obstruction of justice are not private matters, they are crimes against 
the system of justice, crimes for which this President must be 
impeached.
  In today's debate we have heard a convincing case made that the 
President engaged in a calculated and sustained pattern of perjury and 
obstruction of justice. The furious efforts of the President's 
defenders cannot alter the stubborn facts of the case against the 
President. The facts cannot be wished away, they cannot be ignored, 
they cannot be treated as trivial. But the President's lawyers have 
argued that even if the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice 
are true, the President's conduct does not rise to the level of ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors'' for which he can be impeached.
  Although Congress has never adopted a fixed definition of ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors,'' there is much in the background and history 
of the impeachment process that contradicts the position advanced by 
the President's lawyers. Two reports prepared in 1974 on the background 
and history of impeachment are particularly helpful in evaluating the 
President's defense. Both reports support the conclusion that the facts 
before us make a compelling case for the impeachment of President 
Clinton.
  There has been a great deal of comment on the report on 
``Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment'' prepared in 
February 1974 by the staff of the Nixon impeachment inquiry. Those who 
assert that the charges against the President do not rise to the level 
of ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' have pulled some phrases from that 
report out of context to support their position. In fact, the general 
principles concerning grounds for impeachment set forth in that report 
indicate that perjury and obstruction of justice are impeachable 
offenses. Consider this key language from the staff report describing 
the type of conduct which gives rise to impeachment:

       The emphasis has been on the significant effects of the 
     conduct--undermining the integrity of office, disregard of 
     constitutional duties and oath of office, arrogation of 
     power, abuse of the governmental process, adverse impact on 
     the system of government. (emphasis added)

  Perjury and obstruction of justice clearly ``undermine the integrity 
of office.'' Their unavoidable consequence is to erode respect for the 
office of the President. Such offenses are in obvious ``disregard of 
[the President's] constitutional duties and oath of office.'' Moreover, 
they are offenses which have a direct and serious ``adverse impact on 
the system of government.'' Obstruction of justice is by definition as 
assault on the due administration of justice--which is a core function 
of our system of government. And as the first Chief Justice of the 
United States, John Jay, observed, ``no crime'' is ``more extensively 
pernicious to Society'' than perjury.
  The thoughtful report on ``The Law of Presidential Impeachment'' 
prepared by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 
January of 1974 also places a great deal of emphasis on the corrosive 
impact of presidential misconduct on the integrity of office:

       It is our conclusion, in summary, that the grounds for 
     impeachment are not limited to or synonymous with crimes. * * 
     * Rather, we believe that acts which undermine the integrity 
     of government are appropriate grounds whether or not they 
     happen to constitute offenses under the general criminal law. 
     In our view, the essential nexus to damaging the integrity of 
     government may be found in acts which constitute corruption 
     in, or flagrant abuse of the powers of, official position. It 
     may also be found in act which, without directly affecting 
     governmental processes, undermine that degree of public 
     confidence in the probity of executive and judicial officers 
     that is essential to the effectiveness of government in a 
     free society. (emphasis added)

  The commission of perjury and obstruction of justice by a President 
are acts which without doubt ``undermine that degree of public 
confidence in the probity of the [the President] that is essential to 
the effectiveness of government in a free society.'' Such acts 
inevitably subvert the respects for law which is essential to the well-
being of our constitutional system.
  The significance of the offenses committed by the President is not 
diminished by the fact that they do not directly involved the 
President's official conduct.
  The record is clear that federal officials have been impeached for 
reasons other than official misconduct. Two recent impeachments of 
federal judges are compelling examples. In 1989, Judge Walter Nixon was 
impeached and removed from office for making false statements before a 
federal grand jury. The conduct of Judge Nixon which occasioned his 
perjury before the grand jury was not official conduct. In 1986, Judge 
Harry E. Claiborne was impeached and removed from office for making 
false statements under penalty of perjury on his income tax returns. 
His misconduct was without doubt outside the scope of his official 
responsibilities. Should we today, as the opponents of those articles 
demand, set a lower standard of integrity for the President than we 
have set for federal judges?
  There is nothing in the text, structure, or history of the 
Constitution which suggests that Presidents are subject to impeachment 
only for official misconduct. Greater harm to the system of government 
may in fact be caused by the criminal acts of a President committed 
outside the scope of his official responsibilities than by certain acts 
of official misconduct.
  Despite their argument that the President is immune from impeachment 
because the underlying conduct which gave rise to his crimes

[[Page H11828]]

was a private matter, the President's lawyers have themselves elsewhere 
claimed:

       Any conduct by the individual holding the Office of the 
     President, whether it is characterized as private or 
     official, can have substantial impact on a President's 
     official duties. (emphasis added)

  Perjury and obstruction of justice--even regarding a private matter--
are offenses that have a substantial impact on the President's official 
duties because they are grossly incompatible with his preeminent duty 
to ``take care that the laws be faithfully executed.'' Regardless of 
their genesis, perjury and obstruction of justice are acts of public 
misconduct--acts which cannot be dismissed as understandable or 
trivial. Perjury and obstruction of justice are not private matters; 
they are crimes against the system of justice.
  Soon after the adoption of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton wrote 
that ``an inviolable respect for the Constitution and the Laws'' is the 
``most sacred duty and the greatest source of security in a Republic.'' 
Hamilton understood that respect for the Constitution itself grows out 
of a general respect for the law. And he understood the essential 
connection between respect for law and the maintenance of liberty in a 
Republic. Without respect for the law, our freedom is at risk. Thus, 
according to Hamilton, those who ``set examples which undermine or 
subvert the authority of the laws lead us from freedom to slavery . . 
.''
  President Clinton by his persistent and calculated misconduct has set 
a pernicious example of lawlessness--an example which by its very 
nature subverts respect for the law. His perverse example has the 
inevitable effect of undermining the integrity of both the office of 
President and the judicial process. The maintenance in office of such a 
President is inconsistent with the maintenance of the rule of law.
  In light of the historic principles regarding impeachment, the 
offenses committed by the President demand that this House impeach 
William Jefferson Clinton. Our Constitution requires that this 
President who has shown such contempt for the law and for the dignity 
and integrity of the high office entrusted to him by called to account 
before the Senate for his high crimes and misdemeanors.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Waxman), ranking member of the former Government 
Operations Committee, and ask that he yield to me briefly.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers).
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I have just been advised that the chairman 
of the House Committee on the Judiciary has unilaterally permitted 
other Members other than committee members to visit the Ford Building 
to read other materials unbeknownst to me and we had not allowed any 
Democratic Members to go over there because we did not know that they 
were permitted to attend if they were not members of the Committee on 
the Judiciary. And I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Barr) for 
pointing that out to us. It is an incredible violation of our 
democratic rights, and I am deeply offended by it.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, over and over again our 
Republican colleagues have called for the rule of law. Let me suggest 
that if the President has committed a crime, let him be tried in a 
court of law. There even he will have the protections of the law. Here 
in this House he is not getting the rule of law but the rule of 
politics.
  This President has been subjected to an unprecedented and deliberate 
strategy to use taxpayers' funded money to investigate him in order to 
get him impeached. Millions of dollars have been spent, many reckless 
charges were investigated, investigated to death, and they were found 
to have no basis in fact.
  As a matter of fact, a resolution of impeachment was introduced 
before anybody had ever heard of President Clinton's affair with Monica 
Lewinsky. There has been an impeachment in search of an impeachable 
offense. What has been presented to us today do not amount to 
impeachable offenses.
  I call for the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1\1/4\ minutes.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to clear up 
the record as a result of what the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Conyers) had to say about access to executive session materials.
  Just so that all of the Members are clear, when the House passed 
House Resolution 525 in September, immediately after the receipt of the 
independent counsel's report, only members of the Committee on the 
Judiciary had access to the executive session material. Section 4 of 
that resolution was effective during the review of the referral from 
Independent Counsel Starr.
  Pursuant to section 1 of H. Res. 525, rules relating to review by the 
committee was effective until there was a further order of the House. 
Then in October, when we passed our inquiry resolution, that superseded 
the previous resolution's provisions relative to access to executive 
session material.
  House Resolution 581, the inquiry resolution passed in October, had 
standard executive session rules of the House obtained; and that meant 
that all Members of the House of Representatives had access to those 
executive session materials.
  That has been what the rule is since October 8, and any Member has 
had the legal right to go over to the Ford Building and examine the 
executive session materials.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Houghton).
  (Mr. HOUGHTON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HOUGHTON. Mr. Speaker, I am going to take a little different tact 
here. I stand here as a Republican. I am proud of my party. But I am 
opposed to impeachment, and have proposed my own censure motion, which 
sadly will die with this session.
  But this is today. What about tomorrow? Today we deal with the law. 
Tomorrow we deal with people's lives. The famous parliamentarian which 
we have all read, Edmund Burke, once said, ``The law sharpens the mind 
by narrowing it. But in a few, law has lifted the mind to a level of 
comprehension and humanity.''
  So, Mr. Speaker, when all the arguments are done and when the votes 
are taken, this is what we must work for, the humanity, the healing of 
this Nation.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 3\1/2\ minutes to 
the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Wynn), and I ask him to yield a few 
seconds to me.
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Speaker, I certainly yield back to the ranking member.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin, who 
is the ranking Member on the Judiciary, for his explanation.
  The one thing it did not include, of course, was that only Members 
who were trying to have their minds made up were the only ones that 
came over to the Ford Building that were not members of the Committee 
on the Judiciary two days before this proceeding on the floor. And I am 
glad to know now that everybody could have come over but nobody 
apparently availed themselves until this last minute twisting of arms 
took place.
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, I thank the ranking member 
for yielding.
  (Mr. WYNN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WYNN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to these articles 
of impeachment. We are perhaps at one of the lowest points in American 
politics. We are in the midst of a parliamentary coup. The party in the 
majority want to remove an elected president. And that is the 
parliamentary system. That is not the democratic system. They are doing 
so without legitimacy.
  Legitimacy demands bipartisanship. There is no bipartisanship on the 
floor today, simply the will of this majority to drive out this 
President, a true parliamentary coup. This debate has brought out some 
of the worst features of man. I have to say it. First of all, 
hypocrisy. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Second, 
unfairness.
  The Members of this body on both sides would like to vote on a 
censure resolution. The Republican majority will not allow that. The 
American people believe censure is an appropriate response. The 
Republican majority will not allow that.
  And third, there is a very unseemly obsession with this matter to the 
exclusion of what used to be called the war effort. It used to be we 
got behind our young men and women, we focused on what they were doing. 
This crowd now believes that their partisan agenda is more important.

[[Page H11829]]

  At the bottom, this is about sex. Now, the Republicans also jump up 
and say, no, it is about lying. Well, even if you accept the 
allegations that they are making, it is about lying about sex. That is 
not an impeachable offense.
  If, in fact, they want to make the argument that this is about the 
rule of law, then the President is not above the rule of law, the 
President can be prosecuted. Do not believe the President can escape 
prosecution for these offenses in a court of law.

                              {time}  1545

  The President can be prosecuted after he leaves office. The Founding 
Fathers left to us the question of impeachment, which is not legal; it 
is a political exercise which we are engaged in today. Unfortunately 
the Republicans have lost all sense of proportion of judgment. They 
talk about law, but they do not talk about justice. Justice looks at 
the situation and fits the sanction to the crime. In this instance we 
do not have high crimes and misdemeanors, we have low crimes and 
misdeeds. In truth, we ought to have the sanction option, we ought to 
look at another way to respond to the situation, but we do not have 
that opportunity.
  Mr. Speaker, this crowd, this Republican leadership is forcing us to 
remove the President, and that is a tragedy, and that is in fact a low 
point in American politics.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Kingston).
  (Mr. KINGSTON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, first let me clear up a misconception of 
the previous speaker about the situation internationally. May 18, 1972, 
when over 62,000 troops were on the ground in Vietnam, the gentleman 
from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), the ranking member on the Committee on the 
Judiciary, introduced House Resolution 989 calling for the impeachment 
of the President of the United States of America.
  Now let me say this. As I have listened to this debate and listened 
to both parties, there is at least an emerging consensus that lies have 
been made, laws were broken and that the rule of law was undermined and 
subverted. The question diverges on the matter of consequences; is this 
impeachable? Some want censure, but the only constitutional remedy to 
the House is impeachment. Should the Senate decide, they may be able to 
censure. They have that option because only the Senate can decide on 
punishment; the House does not have that option. Our duty is to accuse, 
not to punish.
  But since Democrats and Republicans have agreed that lies were made, 
is it a high crime or a misdemeanor? Lying under oath on a material 
matter is perjury, and, under these circumstances, a felony. It has 
been serious enough that 700 people under the Clinton-Reno Justice 
Department have been tried and convicted of it; 115 are, in fact, in 
jail today. What would happen to the court system if this were not the 
case?
  Justice must be applied to all equally regardless of popularity, 
party or position. I sadly must support these articles.
  After months of debate, a review of the evidence, and careful 
consideration of the bipartisan hearings, I have decided to support all 
four Articles of Impeachment. Not to do so would send a message to 
every court and every trial in America that truth is relative, even 
optional. In short, America is a nation of laws and, as such, the law 
must apply equally to all people, regardless of position.
  Throughout this debate, the first question that must be considered 
is, what are the facts? Based on 60,000 pages of testimony, affidavits, 
and tapes taken under oath, honest people regardless of party, should 
be able to determine if laws were broken.
  Here are the facts with respect to the Articles of Impeachment which 
were reported out of the House Judiciary Committee on December 16, 
1998:


                     Article I--Grand Jury Perjury

  Article I charges that the President told a series of calculated lies 
under oath, after swearing to tell the truth, before a federal grand 
jury that was investigating his alleged misconduct.
  On August 17, 1998, seven months after being deposed in the Jones vs. 
Clinton case, the President swore to tell the truth, and nothing but 
the truth before a federal grand jury.
  Before the grand jury:
  The President swore that he did not want Monica Lewinsky to execute a 
false affidavit in the Jones vs. Clinton case. The facts show this is 
not true.
  The President swore that he did not allow his attorney to refer to an 
affidavit before the judge in the Jones vs. Clinton case that the 
President knew to be false. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not believe Monica Lewisky's 
affidavit was false. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he was trying to determine whether his 
``recollection was right,'' and he was ``trying to get the facts down'' 
and ``understand what the facts were'' when he recited to Betty Currie 
a false account of his interactions with Monica Lewinsky. The facts 
show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not give false testimony in his 
deposition in the Jones vs. Clinton case. The facts show this is not 
true.
  The President swore that he did not talk to Betty Currie, his 
secretary, about the retrieval of gifts he had previously given to 
Monica Lewinsky. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he told the truth about his relationship 
with Monica Lewinsky to his aides who he knew would likely be called to 
testify before the grand jury. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not have sexual relations with Monica 
Lewinsky. The evidence indicates that he lied, even according to his 
own interpretation of the Jones vs. Clinton court's definition of the 
term ``sexual relations.''


                       Article II--Civil Perjury

  Artlce II charges that the President lied under oath, after swearing 
to tell the truth, in answers to written questions asked in the Jones 
vs. Clinton case, in order to thwart that federal civil judicial 
proceeding.
  On December 23, 1997, the President signed an affidavit in which he 
swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in 
answers to written questions asked in the Jones vs. Clinton case. Such 
questions are permissible under current law in civil rights lawsuits in 
order for the court and the parties to ascertain the true facts of a 
case.
  In those answers:
  The President swore that he had not had sexual relations with any 
federal employees. The facts show this is not true.
  The President also swore that he had not proposed nor sought to have 
sexual relations with any federal employees. The facts show this is not 
true.
  The President told a series of calculated lies under oath, after 
swearing to tell the truth, in a deposition given in the Jones vs. 
Clinton case, in order to thwart that federal civil judicial 
proceeding.
  On January 17, 1998, the President swore to tell the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth in a deposition given in the Jones vs. 
Clinton case.
  In that deposition:
  The President swore that he was ``not sure'' whether he had ever 
talked to Monica Lewinsky about the possibility that she might be asked 
to testify in the Jones vs. Clinton case. The facts show this is not 
true.
  The President swore that he did not know whether Monica Lewinsky has 
been served a subpoena to testify in the Jones vs. Clinton case when he 
last saw her in December 1997. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that the contents of an affidavit executed by 
Monica Lewinsky in the Jones vs. Clinton case, in which she denied they 
had a sexual relationship, were ``absolutely true.'' The facts show 
this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not know that his personal friend, 
Vernon Jordan, had met with Monica Lewinsky, a federal employee and 
subordinate, and a witness in the Jones vs. Clinton case in which the 
President was named defendant, and talked about the case. The facts 
show this is not true.
  The President swore that he could not recall being alone with Monica 
Lewinsky. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he could not recall giving gifts to Monica 
Lewinsky. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he could not recall ever being in the Oval 
Office hallway with Ms. Lewinsky except perhaps when she was delivering 
pizza. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that Monica Lewinsky gave him gifts ``once or 
twice.'' The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that the last time he spoke to Monica Lewinsky 
was when she stopped by before Christmas 1997 to see Betty Currie or at 
a Christmas party. The fact show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not have an extramarital affair or 
sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. The facts show this is not true.


                  article III--Obstruction of Justice

  Article III charges that the President engaged in a pattern of 
obstruction while the Jones vs. Clinton case was pending, and while a 
federal criminal investigation into his

[[Page H11830]]

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 vs. Clinton case.
  The President encouraged Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath if called 
personally to testify in the Jones vs. Clinton case.
  The President related to Betty Currie, a potential witness in the 
Jones vs. Clinton case, a false account of events relevant to testimony 
she might provide in the case.
  The President told lies to While 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.
  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 vs. Clinton case would have been 
harmful to him.
  The President engaged in a plan to conceal evidence that had been 
subpoenaed in the Jones vs. Clinton case.
  The President, at his deposition, allowed his attorney to make a 
false representation to a federal judge in order to prevent questioning 
about Monica Lewinsky.


                       article iv--abuse of power

  Article IV charges that the President, in his constitutional role as 
President of the United States, lied under oath, after swearing to tell 
the truth, in answers to written requests for admission asked in the 
impeachment inquiry, assuming to himself powers reserved to the House 
of Representatives, in order to thwart that constitutional proceeding.
  On November 27, 1997, the President signed an affidavit in which he 
swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in 
answers to written requests for admission issued as part of the 
impeachment inquiry in order to ascertain the true facts regarding the 
President's conduct.
  In those answers:
  The President swore that he had no specific recollections that he 
told Monica Lewinsky on the same day he told her she was a witness in 
the Jones vs. Clinton case that she could say to anyone inquiring about 
their relationship that her visits to the Oval Office were for the 
purpose of visiting with Betty Currie or delivering papers to the 
President. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not give perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony under oath when he stated during his deposition 
that he did not know if Monica Lewinsky had been subpoenaed to testify 
in the Jones vs. Clinton case. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not have a discussion with Monica 
Lewinsky at the White House regarding gifts he had given to her that 
were subpoenaed in the case of Jones vs. Clinton. The facts show this 
is not true.
  The President swore that he did not discuss with Betty Currie gifts 
previously given by him to Monica Lewinsky. The facts show this is not 
true.
  The President swore that he did not request, instruct, suggest to or 
otherwise discuss with Betty Currie that she take possession of gifts 
he had previously given to Monica Lewinsky. The facts show this is not 
true.
  The President swore that he did not have knowledge that any facts or 
assertions contained in the affidavit executed by Monica Lewinsky in 
the Jones vs. Clinton case were false. The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not give false testimony in his 
deposition in the Jones vs. Clinton case when he stated that he did not 
recall giving gifts to Monica Lewinsky. The facts show this is not 
true.
  The President swore that he did not give false testimony in his 
deposition in the Jones vs. Clinton case when he responded ``once or 
twice'' to the question ``has Monica Lewinsky ever given you any 
gifts?'' The facts show this is not true.
  The President swore that he did not attempt to influence the 
testimony of Betty Currie. The facts show this is not true.


 it is apparent that the independent Counsel and Republican Members of 
the House Judiciary Committee concluded the President perjured himself, 
             but what have the some of the Democrats said?

  House Judiciary Committee Democrats:
  Rep. Charles Schumer: ``To me, it is clear that the President lied 
when he testified before the grand jury.'' House Judiciary Committee 
Hearing on Oct. 5, 1998.
  Rep. Robert Wexler: ``The President did not tell the truth. He lied 
under oath. That's something we have to deal with...His actions are 
indefensible.'' Washington Post; September 15, 1998.
  Rep. Barney Frank: ``I personally believe that the President 
testified falsely when he said he could not remember being alone with 
Miss Lewinsky.'' The San Francisco Chronicle; August 17, 1998.
  Rep. Howard Berman: ``Even if one concludes the President's testimony 
is not truthful--which I have--that's not grounds for impeachment. I 
think the best way for the country to move beyond this sad affair is 
for Congress to have some sort of formal declaration of disapproval of 
the President's conduct. I think that is clear. There needs to be some 
public consequence for the President's despicable behavior.'' House 
Judiciary Committee Hearing; December 11, 1998.
  White House Counsels:
  Gregory Craig, Special Counsel to the President: ``I am willing to 
concede that, in the Jones deposition, the President's testimony was 
evasive, incomplete, misleading even maddening, but it was not 
perjury.'' House Judiciary Committee Hearing; December 8, 1998.
  Charles F.C. Ruff, Office of the White House Counsel: ``I had no 
doubt that he walked up to a line that he thought he understood. 
Reasonable people--and you may be--have reached that conclusion--could 
determine that he crossed over that line, and what for him was truthful 
but misleading, or nonresponsive and misleading, or evasive, was in 
fact, false.'' House Judiciary Committee Hearing, December 9, 1998.


 one can conclude there is at least some agreement that the President 
   provided false information before the grand jury. Thus, laws were 
                broken. Are these offenses impeachable?

  Some critics argue that perjury about sex in a civil case is trivial 
and not worth pursuing. In fact, prosecuting perjury vindicates the 
rule of law. A judicial system is in order, because it is fair and 
civil to settle disputes through judicial means. Perjury is a crime, 
because a judicial system can only succeed if citizens are required to 
tell the truth in judicial proceedings. If citizens are allowed to lie 
with impunity, the system cannot reach just results and it descends 
into chaos. Some say that people lie under oath all the time and are 
not prosecuted. To some extent, that is true, but consider how much 
worse the situation would be if there were no threat of a perjury 
prosecution.


                    What does the Constitution say?

  The Constitution states, ``The President shall be removed from office 
on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery or other high 
crimes and misdemeanors.'' What constitutes ``treason, bribery, or 
other high crimes and misdemeanors?'' The Library of Congress defines 
this clause as the following:

       Treason is defined in Article 3, Section 3, Clause 1 as 
     follows: ``Treason against the United States shall consist 
     only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their 
     enemies, giving them aid and comfort.'' It is also defined in 
     18 U.S.C. Sec. 2381. Bribery is not defined constitutionally, 
     but the term appears in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 201.
       ``High crimes and misdemeanors,'' are not defined in the 
     Constitution or by statute. U.S. precedents suggest that 
     certain actions that are not crimes may be impeachable. Some 
     interpreters of the impeachment clause place great importance 
     on the words ``other'' and ``high'' when reading the phrase 
     ``or other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' They suggest that 
     ``other'' means that the crimes and misdemeanors contemplated 
     by the Framers must be of similar magnitude to treason or 
     bribery. They also suggest that ``high'' modifies both 
     ``crimes'' and misdemeanors,'' meaning that ordinary crimes 
     and misdemeanors are not necessarily impeachable offenses.


                      What do the scholars think?

  Eminent constitutional scholars testified before the House Judiciary 
Committee about the meaning of impeachment, the impeachment standard as 
applied throughout American history, and what the Founders said about 
impeachment when the issue was debated in Philadelphia in the summer of 
1787. Professor Stephen Presser of Northwestern University testified 
that criminal interference in the legal process was an obvious ground 
for impeachment. Indeed, Professor Presser argued that failure by the 
President to live up to the standards of honesty, virtue, and honor 
thought necessary for the office was precisely what the Founder 
intended the impeachment provision of the Constitution. When a 
President uses his office for personal rather than public ends, he has 
betrayed his constitutional obligations to the Nation.
  Other scholar made arguments before the committee supporting this 
view. Professor John McGinnis of Yeshiva University Cardozo School of 
Law pointed out that this matter is not about the President's private 
life. It is about someone else's rights, rights which the President is 
sworn to protect. It is about a private citizen's civil rights and an 
effort to corruptly influence that citizen's due process rights. In the 
United States, civil rights, the right to a fair trail, and equity 
before the bar of justice are cherished rights, and the last person in 
the Republic we should accept as a violator of them is the man charged 
with enforcing them. Perjury and obstruction of justice in a civil case 
are a threat to the civil rights of every citizen, especially when that 
citizen if confronted with a vast apparatus of government power

[[Page H11831]]

                   What is the Supreme Court's view?

       In this constitutional process of securing a witness's 
     testimony, perjury simply has no place whatsoever. Perjured 
     testimony is an obvious and flagrant affront to the basic 
     concepts of judicial proceedings. Effective restrains against 
     the type of egregious offense are therefore imperative. The 
     power of subpoena, broad as it is, and the power of contempt 
     for refusing to answer, drastic as that is--and the solemnity 
     of the oath--cannot ensure truthful answers. Hence, Congress 
     has made the giving of false answers a criminal act 
     punishable by severe penalties, in no other way can criminal 
     conduct be flushed in the open where the law can deal with 
     it.
       Similarly, our cases have consistently--indeed without 
     exception-allowed sanctions for false statement or perjury; 
     they have done so even in instances where the perjurer 
     complained that the government exceeded its constitutional 
     powers making the inquiry--United States vs. Mandurano. 425 
     U.S. 564, 576-77 (1976)

  The seriousness of perjury is reflected in the Federal Sentencing 
Guidelines, which classify perjury in the same category as bribery 
(2J1.3).
  Congress has reaffirmed the Supreme Court's words through the 
impeachment process. All three of the federal judges who were impeached 
in the last twenty years (Claiborne, Nixon, and Hastings) were 
impeached for some form of lying under oath.
  The United States Department of Justice prosecutes perjury occurring 
in civil cases. There are many cases similar to the one faced before 
our President today. For example, the Justice Department recently 
charged Veterans Administration psychiatrist Barbara Battalion with 
obstruction of justice based on her denial in a civil case of a sexual 
relationship. United States vs. Battalino.
  Diane Parker, a former employee of the U.S. Postal Service was 
sentenced to thirteen months in prison and three years parole for lying 
in a civil case about a sexual relationship that she had with a 
subordinate. Ms. Parker was charged perjury. United States vs. Parker.
  In fact, the President and the Attorney General's Department of 
Justice has tried and convicted over 700 people for perjury. Of those 
700 people, 115 are now serving a prison sentence.
  The President is the chief law enforcement officer in the United 
States. If the President has committed perjury and Congress allows him 
to do so without consequences, no other citizen can be expected to tell 
the truth under oath. He sets an example that all Americans are 
expected to follow. If every American feels that he can lie because of 
what the President represents, then the judicial system for settling 
disputes will falter.


        why should the president be impeached and not censured?

  Many support censure, yet, the Constitution neither gives the House 
authority to censure the President nor does it prohibit such action. 
What are the arguments against censure? The short answer is that there 
is no Constitution basis for it. One could perhaps make the argument 
that the Senate has the Constitutional authority for such a measure, 
because they are in charge of punishment and have flexibility to decide 
what punishment is appropriate. But the Constitution does not give the 
House of Representatives any other option in the case of Presidential 
misconduct aside from the provision of impeachment which sends the 
matter to the Senate. The job of the House is not to punish but to 
accuse. The Senate must review the accusation and make a final 
decision.
  Furthermore, should the House pass a censure resolution, it would set 
a dangerous precedent for future Congresses, who will surely be tempted 
to use this act as a weapon against a President of an opposing party 
whenever Congress has serious disagreements with the administration's 
policy. The Founders did not believe that the House should have such a 
role, unless presidential misconduct were so egregious as to warrant 
impeachment.
  If censureship is not an option, what exactly is the House voting on? 
Again, the Constitution interprets impeachment as an indictment. That 
is, does the House find probable evidence to send the matter to the 
Senate for a full trial and to make the final decision? Based on the 
facts presented, the answer is ``yes'' if one believes the charges are 
impeachable.
  Outside of the legal realm, many argue that impeachment is against 
the will of the people. However, Members of congress have to make this 
decision based on the Constitution and the oath of office, not 
political polls, party, or politics. But, to examine this idea of 
polling, should polls also be conducted on the government's policy in 
Bosnia, the Middle East, on the government's income tax, on the 
Internal Revenue Service, on school choice? Those who insist on using 
polls for impeachment decisions are selectively oblivious to the ``will 
of the people'' on other matters which may or may not be in sink with 
their own political philosophies.


Should the House of Representatives proceed with an impeachment vote at 
                         this particular time?

  Another argument against an impeachment vote is that it will disrupt 
the nation while troops are being deployed to Iraq. Here is an example 
of what our nation was going through while President Nixon was in 
office:
  As Henry Kissinger was engaged in negotiating a peace agreement with 
the North Vietnamese in Paris in May 1972, 3 resolutions (H. RES. 975, 
976, & 989) were introduced in the House calling for Nixon's 
impeachment based on Indochina military actions taken as part of an 
effort to strengthen the U.S.'s hand in the negotiations.

  On May 18, while there were still over 62,000 troops on the ground in 
Vietnam, Mr. Conyers (who is now ranking Member on the House Judiciary 
Committee) introduced H. Res. 989--together with Mr. Dellums, Rangel, 
and Stokes (also Members of the Judiciary Committee)--a resolution 
which called for:

       Impeaching Richard M. Nixon, for abuse of the office of the 
     President and of his powers as Commander in Chief of the 
     Armed Forces by ordering the mining of all North Vietnamese 
     ports and the massive aerial bombardment without 
     discrimination as to the lives of civilians in Indochina, and 
     for other high crimes and misdemeanors within the meaning of 
     article II, section 4, of the Constitution of the United 
     States.

  On Oct. 12, 1972, four months after the break in, less than a month 
before the Presidential election, and while the United States was still 
bombing Hanoi and 32,000 troops remained in Vietnam, House Banking 
Chairman Wright Patman attempted to have his committee initiate a 
Congressional probe of Watergate and announced that the GAO had acceded 
to a request for a ``full scale investigation'' of Watergate.
  On Jan. 11, 1973, while Henry Kissinger was in the final stages of 
negotiating the peace agreement that was signed in Paris on Jan. 27 and 
21,500 troops remained in Vietnam, the Senate Democratic Caucus 
unanimously approved a resolution calling for an investigation of the 
Watergate affair. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield announced that 
Sen. Sam Ervin had agreed to chair the hearings. Mansfield also 
released letters he had sent to the Senate committee chairman the 
previous November calling for committee investigations saying: ``The 
question is not political, it is constitutional.''
  On February 7, 1973, as the U.S. bombing in Laos was increased to 
help force a wider peace in Indochina and just one week before the 
first planeload of American POWs were sent home by North Vietnam, the 
Senate voted to establish a select Committee to probe Watergate. The 
Senate acted based on a preliminary study and a report was released 
Feb. 1 by Sen. Kennedy which was the result of an investigation by his 
Judiciary subcommittee into Watergate. Over 10,000 troops were still in 
Vietnam at the time.
  During the first week of May, 1973, 14 resolutions (2 by Rangel) were 
introduced in the House calling either for the appointment of a special 
prosecutor or authorizing Watergate investigations by the House. On May 
1, the Senate passed a resolution calling for an outside prosecutor and 
Sen. Ervin began his Watergate hearing on May 17. Archibald Cox was 
appointed Special prosecutor the next day. The Senate and House also 
voted in May to prohibit the use of funds to ``finance combat 
activities [bombing] in, over, or from off the shores of Cambodia or 
Laos by U.S. forces.'' At the time, over 6,000 military and civilian 
DOD personnel were still on the ground in Vietnam and the U.S. was 
bombing in Laos to force Hanoi to abide by the Laotian peace agreement 
and in Cambodia to halt a North Vietnamese-backed assault on the 
Cambodian government.--[H. Res. 367, 368, 369, 373, 374, 376, 377, 378, 
380, 381, 384, 385, 386, 391]
  Furthermore, do Washington pundits believe that business will not 
function during an impeachment trial? Would they have us believe 
America will quit buying and selling houses and cars? Will farmers stop 
producing and consumers stop consuming? Those who fear disrupting the 
country's business either misunderstand or underestimate the American 
people. Or, are they saying the Constitution is flawed? When it is 
interrupted in a manner with which they disagree, then it becomes a 
Constitutional crisis. If this is in fact the case, then perhaps the 
President should consider doing what over 200 publications have called 
on him to do (including The Savannah Morning News, The Brunswick News, 
The Statesboro Herald, The Atlanta Constitution, The Augusta Chronicle, 
The Marietta Daily Journal, The Waycross Journal Herald, the USA Today, 
and The Florida Times Union)--resign. This would allow the capable and 
experienced Vice-President to take over as President Ford did in 1974.


                            closing remarks

  The House voted on a bipartisan basis to proceed with an impeachment 
inquiry by the Judiciary Committee. Procedures were modeled after the 
Democratic-designed Watergate

[[Page H11832]]

rules and time was given to all parties for witnesses, thus making this 
investigation fair and equitable.
  Our actions will stand the test of time. They must. This vote is not 
for today or the next election, but for the next generation. We are a 
nation of laws and upholding those laws is the duty of all citizens, 
or, as it has been asked, should we be a nation that has one law for 
the ruler and another for the ruled?
  This is a sad and serious situation, but to vote ``no'' would send a 
message that oaths to tell the truth mean little and a cancer would 
spread throughout our courts and eventually our nation itself.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from California (Ms. Pelosi).
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, today is a tragic day for our country 
because, while our young people are fighting in the Persian Gulf and 
bringing honor to our country, we are bringing dishonor to it with our 
hypocrisy here in this Chamber. Today the Republican Party is not 
judging our President with fairness but is impeaching our President.


                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentleman will state his 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, is the word ``hypocrisy'' in order on 
this floor?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from California would have 
to yield.
  Ms. PELOSI. I do not have enough time to yield, Mr. Speaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman may proceed.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, today the Republican majority is not judging 
the President with fairness but impeaching him with a vengeance. In the 
investigation of the President fundamental principles which Americans 
hold dear, privacy, fairness, checks and balances, have been seriously 
violated, and why? Because we are here today because the Republicans in 
the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton, and until the 
Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer.
  I rise to oppose these unfair motions which call for the removal of 
the President of the United States from office, and in doing so wish to 
point out some difference between the investigation of the President 
and the investigation of the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrich).
  The first principle in our investigation of the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Gingrich) was that at the moment we found exculpatory 
information it would be reported immediately to the accused and be made 
public. The independent counsel knew that the President was exonerated 
in Travelgate, Whitewater and Filegate, and he held that information 
until the hearing, indeed until after the election. This was not fair. 
Indeed, it is the responsibility of any prosecutor to immediately 
release information that is exculpatory.
  So it is not about Whitewater, it is not about Travelgate, and it is 
not about Filegate. It is about sex. It is about a punishment searching 
for a crime that does not exist.
  In the Gingrich probe we drew every inference in favor of the 
accused, but in this case it took a closing question from a member of 
the grand jury to Monica Lewinsky to say: ``Is there anything you would 
like to add to your prior testimony?'' for Monica Lewinsky to respond, 
and I quote:
  ``No one ever asked me to lie, and I was never promised a job for my 
silence.''
  The point is why did the independent counsel not elicit that 
important testimony?
  In the Gingrich case we spent a major part of our report explaining 
the laws which were violated. The Committee on the Judiciary has not 
proven perjury, it has not even defined perjury. Instead, it has kept 
the subject intentionally vague. Whether one is violating a marital vow 
or some other aspect of his personal behavior, it is not an impeachable 
offense. Our colleagues have not proven perjury.
  In the Gingrich probe we had a bipartisan unanimous vote in our 
subcommittee and an almost unanimous vote on the floor because we built 
consensus and we tried to bring the matter to closure, and I will 
submit the rest to the Record where I say that censure is closure, 
censure is constitutional. John Marshall, the Supreme Court Chief 
Justice of the United States testified that it was. How can the 
Republicans, as we come to punishment, how can the Republicans exalt 
the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrich) to the highest post of 
Speaker after he admitted lying to Congress and try to impeach the 
President of the United States for lying about his personal affairs?
  I urge my colleagues to vote no, stop this hatchet job on the 
presidency, stop this hypocrisy, stop this hatred and vote no on all 
four counts.


                 Responsibility in the Gingrich matter

  We had a bipartisan unanious vote of our subcommittee and a near 
unanimous vote on the floor because we build consensus and brought the 
matter to closure. We have that opportunity today with a motion of 
censure. Censure is constitutional. In 1800 Representative Livingston 
introduced a motion of censure against President John Adams. The 
President was successfully defended by Congressman John Marshall of 
Virginia who would soon become Chief Justice of the United States. 
Marshall is the father of much of our constitutional law and he never 
argued in the Adams case that censure was unconstitutional.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman 
from Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I have been taking notes on my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and I would just ask them to 
talk about the facts in the articles, four. We would love them to talk 
about those. If anyone disputes the allegations of perjury, obstruction 
of justice, we would like to hear some specific allegations. The 
Committee on the Judiciary conducted an independent review of this 
matter. We are not bound by Kenneth Starr. All the exculpatory material 
was made available to the President's counsel. He had an opportunity to 
call witnesses. We urged him to. All the time was not taken by the 
President's counsel, and I think that is important to be noted.
  Mr. Speaker, I believe it is critical that we were fair through the 
Committee on the Judiciary process, and I believe we accomplished that.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Mississippi (Mr. Wicker).
  (Mr. WICKER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WICKER. Mr. Speaker, I am glad we keep coming back to the rule of 
law question. I think standing for the rule of law includes the 
following: that the Nation's chief law enforcement officer cannot 
commit perjury and remain in office. The rule of law means that the 
Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces should not be held to a lower 
standard than are his subordinates. The rule of law means 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. The 
rule of law means recognizing 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.
  During John Adams' second night in the White House he wrote these 
words:
  ``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 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. I cast my vote for impeachment to protect the long-term 
national interest of the United States, to affirm the importance of 
truth and honesty, and to uphold the rule of law in our Nation.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Deutsch).
  Mr. DEUTSCH. Mr. Speaker, the Republican leadership's irresponsible 
actions today on impeachment is only met by the irresponsible behavior 
yesterday questioning the military action in Iraq.
  The President's conduct has been deplorable, indefensible, but his 
behavior by any objective analysis does not rise to the level of 
impeachment as defined by our Constitution.
  What did the President do? He misled, he manipulated and he lied to 
two specific questions under oath. The first question was whether he 
was ever alone with Ms. Lewinsky.

[[Page H11833]]

  The leading Supreme Court case on perjury I think really points out 
the fact that that issue was not perjury. As distasteful as that might 
be, that is the facts of the law. The leading Supreme Court case talked 
about someone who testified under oath that he did not have, his 
company did not have, a Swiss bank account. He, in fact, did, but his 
company did not. He was prosecuted, convicted for perjury. The Supreme 
Court overthrew that case because in fact that was not perjury by being 
deceitful, by being misleading in his answer. That is exactly what the 
President did.
  But even if it were perjury, even if it were perjury, our 
Constitution talks about subversion of government as issues for 
impeachment. Can anyone objectively say that the answers to those 
questions were an attempt to subvert our government? Can anyone say 
that objectively? Honestly? Obviously not. These misrepresentations 
were lies, but absolutely not a subversion of our government.
  Clearly this is not an impeachable offense. Clearly again the 
conspiracy that my Republican colleagues say occurred in terms of the 
actions in Iraq; the British are involved in those actions. Are they 
part of the conspiracy that they allege? Are the 30 countries that are 
part of the UNSCOM U.N. team that did the investigation in terms of 
chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, are they part of this 
conspiracy as well? Obviously not.
  The irresponsible actions will be checked at the ballot box and by 
history.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Canady) for rebuttal.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding this time to me, and I want to compliment my colleague from 
Florida for at least touching on the facts of the case, but I feel 
compelled to respond to the points he has made about perjury.
  I think what we are hearing here are more of the legalisms, more of 
the legal gymnastics, more of the hair splitting that we should not be 
hearing in this context, and I would also point out that the 
President's own lawyer in his presentation to the Committee on the 
Judiciary admitted that when the President answered the questions in 
the deposition he intended to mislead by his answers. That was his 
intention.
  Let me read to my colleagues from a recent decision of the Sixth 
Circuit Court of Appeals. It says a perjury inquiry which focuses only 
upon the precision of the question and ignores what the defendant knew 
about the subject matter of the question at the time it was asked 
misses the very point of perjury. That is the defendant's intent to 
testify falsely and thereby mislead his interrogators. Such a limited 
inquiry would not only undermine the perjury laws, it would undermine 
the rule of law as a whole, as truth seeking is the critical component 
which allows us to determine if the laws are being followed, and it is 
only through the requirement that a witness testify truthfully that a 
determination may be made as to whether the laws are being followed.

                              {time}  1600

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield one minute to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania (Mr. Greenwood).
  Mr. GREENWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers) made reference 
earlier in the debate to last-minute arm twisting of the undecided, and 
I feel compelled to comment.
  I made a commitment to myself and my colleagues, an unusual one, and 
that is to come to this debate with my mind still available to 
persuasion. I am one of the last few holdouts undecided in this debate, 
and it needs to be said that not once, not once in this entire ordeal, 
has a single member of my leadership, has a single colleague, has a 
single member of the Committee on the Judiciary, not only not asked me 
to vote one way, they have never even inquired as to how I would vote.
  We have big differences of opinion here, but it does the process an 
injustice to argue that there has been arm twisting.
  I think the Whip has been maligned in this process. It has been 
alleged that he is twisting arms. I spent 3\1/2\ hours in the company 
of the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Livingston), the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Armey), the gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay) and the entire 
elected leadership this week, and not once did any of them say a word 
to me about impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett), a former member of the Supreme 
Court of his state.
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, as a former judge and an attorney, I have 
seen firsthand the corrosive effect on the justice system of lying. 
Lying under oath is just as wrong when it is committed by your allies 
as when committed by your adversaries. I agree that no Republican made 
this President lie, just as no Democrat influenced Newt Gingrich.
  When the House reconvened after the August recess, after the 
President's testimony to the grand jury and his statement to the 
Nation, I was the first Member of this House on either side of the 
aisle to come to this floor and condemn the President's lying and ask 
that he be promptly punished.
  Then, as today, this Republican leadership had a choice: It could 
either bring us together in a collective condemnation of this conduct, 
or it could split us apart. Unfortunately, on the eve of an election, 
it took the latter course, and, in an unsuccessful effort, it tried to 
exploit this situation to its maximum political advantage. It 
arrogantly rejected Democratic suggestions for how to conduct this 
inquiry, and it delayed for weeks getting the inquiry underway.
  When it finally convened, this same committee that comes today and 
tells us that this is the most important decision of this House, short 
of declaring war, failed to meet its burden of proof by calling one 
single witness who had firsthand knowledge of the facts involved. 
Instead, it relied almost exclusively on a fellow named Ken Starr, who 
is obsessed with getting Bill Clinton, no matter what the cost, in 
either wasted taxpayer dollars or in violated civil liberties and 
rights of privacy.
  So, I find myself today I think like many Americans, disgusted with 
the whole situation. I find a situation that is so shameful, a 
situation so shameful that neither Republican Speaker, either Mr. 
Gingrich or Mr. Livingston, will even preside over this proceeding 
today.
  A new year that begins in this country with all three branches of our 
government embroiled in the first Senate trial in 130 years will not be 
a prosperous and productive new year for our people. The poison of 
division that infects this House today spreads throughout the American 
population. It is a poison that invades our body politic and thwarts 
our ability to come together as a Nation to resolve our problems.
  Do not rip our Nation asunder. Bring us together. Punish the 
President with a punishment that fits the offense. Do not punish the 
American people by prolonging this dreadful episode. Censure and move 
on.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 10 seconds to the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Bryant).
  Mr. BRYANT. Mr. Speaker, with over 60,000 documents, in the 
presentation of the White House lawyer, Mr. Ruff, he made no challenge 
to the testimony of Betty Currie, Monica Lewinsky or anyone else in the 
factual situation that we have had before us.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from California (Mr. Lewis).
  Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I 
rise in support of the articles of impeachment before the House today.
  Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will make one of the most 
solemn decisions it can make--whether to indict, or impeach, the 
President of the United States.
  The historical significance of this week's action does not escape me. 
This is only the second time in our nation's history that Congress has 
voted on an impeachment inquiry. As we approach the votes that will 
occur later this week, I feel a burden of responsibility as never 
before during my years in public affairs.
  Like most people in public service, President Clinton serves as a 
mentor to young people who come to the nation's capital with idealism 
and hope that they might learn the functions of government and 
participate in the legislative process. It is quite clear that the

[[Page H11834]]

President grossly violated his responsibility as a mentor to a young 
woman working in the White House. As a parent, I find his behavior 
immoral and highly offensive. It shows a fundamental lack of judgment 
and a total disregard for human decency.
  Truth is the cornerstone of our legal system; it must be upheld if 
our legal system is to endure. Lacking truth, our legal system means 
nothing. No man, not even the President, is above the truth or above 
the law. From the very beginning, I have wanted to give the President 
every benefit of the doubt. I have wanted to believe that he was 
telling the truth. But it is now clear that he repeatedly lied to the 
American people, to the Congress, to his staff, and to his own wife and 
family. The time this investigation has taken, and the toll it has 
taken on our country, is a direct result of the President's efforts to 
deny and evade the truth. He could have--and should have--told the 
truth from the very beginning but instead he chose to lie.
  Anyone who has served in a court proceeding knows the significance of 
raising one's hand and taking an oath to tell the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth. A violation of that oath is perjury. 
It is now evident that the President has lied--repeatedly lied--while 
under oath. The first lie begot the second and the third lie which 
became a pattern intended to obscure the truth. He has also clearly 
violated the oath of office he took upon becoming President.
  To maintain the fundamental integrity of our system of government, 
the President, like every other citizen, must be held accountable for 
his actions. His actions, detailed by the Judiciary Committee, provide 
sufficient evidence of obstruction of justice and represent an abuse of 
power. For this reason, I will vote to impeach the President on each of 
the four articles of impeachment when this matter comes before the full 
House.
  President Clinton is an American President who has every political 
gift and who at one time had every opportunity to be one of the truly 
great presidents. Like most presidents, he could rightfully take credit 
for the many good things that have occurred under his watch--a robust 
economy, relative peace at home and abroad, and so much more. 
Unfortunately, this president will not be remembered for these things 
but for his inability to speak the truth. The verdict of history will 
cast a shadow upon this once promising presidency. While history 
remembers that George Washington could not tell a lie, it now appears 
that history may well remember Bill Clinton for his inability to tell 
the truth. Imagine the difference telling the truth would have made 
upon the historical legacy of William Jefferson Clinton.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner).
  Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, every Member of Congress takes an oath of 
office to uphold and defend the Constitution, and today we are 
challenged to do our duty under that oath.
  No person in this House is without fault or without sin, but the 
question before us is not whether the President has sinned. The 
question before us is whether the President has committed illegal acts, 
including perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power.
  Under the Constitution that we swore to defend, these are serious 
crimes, crimes that our constituents would go to prison for, and do we 
hold the President, the top-ranking law enforcement official in our 
country, to a lower standard?
  John Locke once wrote, ``Where the law ends, tyranny begins.'' Mr. 
Speaker, if we believe in our Constitution, then the law does not stop 
at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
  In our constitutional democracy, no one, not even the President, is 
above the law. None of us sought the burden of impeachment when we ran 
for this office, but every one of us raised our right hand and swore to 
support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Who are we to 
ignore that obligation by turning a blind eye to crimes by the leader 
of our government?
  I have no choice but to honor my oath of office. I have no choice but 
to impeach this President and send this matter to the Senate, as my 
oath of office requires me to do.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield two minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Kind).
  (Mr. KIND asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to these articles 
of impeachment. As a former prosecutor and special prosecutor, if the 
rule of law and this process of impeachment is going to have any 
credibility, it has to be applied fairly and consistently. But I am 
afraid the double standard against the President today is anything but 
fair, anything but consistent.
  In 1974, the House Committee on the Judiciary, when Congress was 
controlled by Democrats, drafted articles of impeachment against 
President Nixon based upon fraudulent tax returns. But the Committee on 
the Judiciary in a bipartisan fashion determined that it did not rise 
to the level of an impeachable offense because it was private as 
opposed to public misconduct.
  Well, then, what is this all about, if it is not really about 
perjury? If it is just about punishing and holding the President 
accountable and retribution, we can do that, short of punishing the 
country as well and paralyzing this government for the next six to 
eight months, we can punish President Clinton through censure and 
through private prosecution once the President leaves office. But we do 
not even get a vote on censure, which is fundamentally unfair.
  I do not believe the Founders intended impeachment to be used as a 
tool of punishment, but, rather, to preserve and protect the country 
against a rogue president, who, through his public duties, is 
jeopardizing the very structure and functioning of our government. No 
one can claim that that is happening here today.
  Mr. Speaker, I have two young boys who are not old enough yet to 
comprehend the gravity of this situation. My only hope is when they are 
old enough and are reading about this in the history books, that they 
are going to have confidence that every vote cast was done in the best 
interests of the country, rather than short-term political gain. I am 
not confident that is the story they will read.
  In fact, the one person in this country that probably has the best 
realistic assessment of what is really going on is the young mother of 
two young children who told me, ``Listen, I can educate my own 
children, I can teach them not to lie. But I can't protect them against 
the destruction of the presidency.'' Only we in this body can do that. 
I am afraid we are going to fail her in the next 24 hours.
  Please, do not destroy the 210 years of history in this country.
  Mr. Speaker, seldom in the course of our nation's history is a 
congressional representative called upon to cast a vote of greater 
constitutional significance than the possible impeachment of the 
President of the United States. Short of declaring war, there is not 
greater constitutional obligation. It is a responsibility I do not take 
lightly.
  After a thorough review of the historical evidence of the intent of 
the framers of our Constitution, the standard of impeachable offenses, 
prior precedents and the evidence so far collected surrounding the 
allegations against President Clinton, I have concluded that the 
President's conduct, as deplorable and indefensible as it is, does not 
rise to the level of impeachable offenses. Such conduct does not 
justify paralyzing our government indefinitely nor is impeachment 
needed to hold him accountable. I will vote against all four articles 
of impeachment.
  Just once before in our 210 year history has the House of 
Representatives passed Articles of Impeachment. Impeachment is a 
constitutional provision that has seldom been used and for good reason, 
impeaching the President is the atomic bomb of American politics. 
Besides paralyzing our government during an impeachment trial, the 
process causes, by its very nature, great acrimony and division 
throughout the country and within Congress. Ultimately, the end result 
could mean overturning a national election and the will of the people.
  I am convinced, after a thorough review of history and analysis of 
our founding fathers' intent, that impeachment was never meant to be 
easily or frequently used. That is why our founders established a very 
high standard of misconduct and placed the judgement of that misconduct 
in the forum of representative democracy, the United States Congress, 
rather than in the political vacuum of the Supreme Court.


                        standard of impeachment

  It is evident that our Founding Fathers intended impeachment to be a 
limited, last resort remedy reserved for misconduct that affects the 
structure of our government and our democratic process or for 
misconduct so egregious that society needs to be protected against the 
individual. At the outset, some delegates to the Constitutional 
Convention objected to including the power to impeach in the 
Constitution. Others were concerned that some process was needed to 
protect the country against misconduct by the President that would 
damage our government. The classic example was cited by George Mason 
who

[[Page H11835]]

was concerned about a President selling state secrets to an enemy 
during time of war. Some process was needed to remove that person from 
office in order to save the Republic.
  Some delegates, such as James Madison, objected to the use of broad 
impeachment language. Madison noted that impeachment was only necessary 
to ``defend the community against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy 
of the chief magistrate.'' George Mason objected to the draft language, 
concerned that it was limited to ``treason or bribery.'' He sought to 
add the term ``maladministration.'' Madison objected to this vague 
language and substituted ``or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors 
against the State'' (emphasis added). The narrow scope of the phrase 
``other High Crimes and Misdemeanors'' was confirmed by the addition of 
the language ``against the State.'' This language reflects the 
Convention's view that only offenses against the political order should 
provide a basis for impeachment. Although the phrase ``against the 
State'' was deemed redundant and eventually deleted by the Committee of 
Style, its deletion was not intended to have any substantive impact. I 
wonder how differently we would be debating President Clinton's conduct 
today if its was within the written context of misconduct committed 
``against the State.''
  The interpretation that ``other high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' should 
be limited to serious abuses of official power is further confirmed by 
the commentary of both the framers of the Constitution and prominent 
constitutional experts, contemporary and past. For instance, Alexander 
Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 65 that impeachable offenses ``proceed 
from the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or 
violation of some public trust.'' He stressed that those offenses ``may 
with peculiar proprietary be denominated political, as they relate 
chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself''.
  Impeachment precedents also demonstrate that offenses should arise 
out of a President's public, not private conduct. In 1868, Andrew 
Johnson was impeached by the House Republicans after he removed 
Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Those members disagreed with President 
Johnson's post-Civil War reconstruction plans, which were merely the 
continuation of President Lincoln's policies of moderation and leniency 
toward the Southern States. The impeachment articles related to alleged 
public misconduct only, and the Senate failed to convict President 
Johnson by one vote.
  The proposed impeachment of President Nixon also supports the view 
that impeachment should be limited to threats that undermine the 
Constitution, not possible criminal misbehavior unrelated to a 
President's official duties. All three articles of impeachment passed 
by the House Judiciary Committee involved misuse of the President's 
official duties. They included using the CIA to obstruct an FBI 
investigation, using the IRS to target political opponents, ordering 
break-ins of private offices of political opponents, using slush money 
to silence witnesses, using slush money to influence the outcomes of 
federal elections, and engaging in a course of conduct to obstruct the 
Watergate investigation.
  The Judiciary Committee actually rejected articles of impeachment 
against President Nixon relating to allegations of income tax evasion. 
There was credible evidence that President Nixon had knowingly 
committed tax fraud when filing his federal income tax returns for the 
years 1969 through 1972 (tax returns are filed under penalty of 
perjury). All seventeen Republicans were joined by nine Democrats to 
defeat this article by a vote of 26-12. The primary reason for 
rejection was that the tax fraud article related to the president's 
private, rather than public, conduct.
  As a former prosecutor, I know that if the rule of law is to have any 
credibility it must be applied consistently and fairly. The same is 
true with the standards of impeachment. I believe there is a double 
standard being applied to President Clinton. How can we justify 
impeaching President Clinton based on alleged perjurious statements 
about his private life when a Democratically controlled Congress 
concluded, in a bipartisan fashion, that President Nixon's perjured tax 
returns constituted private, as opposed to public, misconduct, and 
were, therefore, not impeachable?
  Based on this very high standard of impeachable conduct and the 
historical precedents, I am convinced that President Clinton's personal 
misconduct and his attempt to lie about having a consensual sexual 
affair do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses.


                           forum of democracy

  II also do not believe our Founding Fathers meant for this country's 
elected representatives to disregard the will of the American people 
regarding such an important decision. If the Framers intended an 
impeachment decision to be immune from public pressure, they would have 
placed the process in the Supreme Court where unelected, life-tenured 
justices could determine the case. Instead they placed the initiation 
of impeachment in the House of Representatives. ``the People's House'', 
so the American people could have a say, through their representatives, 
on the disposition of their President and consequences for the future 
of their country.
  There are some who say that we should pay little regard to the 
opinion of the American people on this important matter. I believe they 
do so at their own peril. Nowhere in the Constitution does it state 
that members of Congress are the embodiment of all the wisdom in this 
country. I submit that it will be extremely difficult to impeach and 
convict a President unless there is some consensus throughout the 
country and bipartisan support in Congress to do so. Such a consensus 
has failed to materialize. In fact, since the beginning of this 
investigation, public opinion regarding the President has not changed. 
Opinion polls show by a 2 to 1 margin that the American people oppose 
impeachment and think the President is performing his duties well.
  How can this be explained? I believe the American people have made 
the distinction between the President's personal wrongdoing and his 
conduct in discharging the duties of his office. Unlike Watergate, when 
a consensus eventually materialized throughout the country and within 
Congress regarding President Nixon's public misconduct, most Americans 
feel that the President's personal conduct, however disgusting and 
inexcusable, doesn't threaten our form of government or the process of 
our democracy.
  Those who defy the public will and vote for impeachment should 
understand that in their fervor to punish this President they will 
violate a sacred covenant with the American people: this government is 
still the people's government. They will betray a promise that nothing 
of enormous consequence in the life of our Republic will happen without 
the consent and approval of the American people. A vote to uphold the 
confidence of the American people in the democratic process will be a 
vote against impeachment. Such a decision will be a vote of confidence 
in the simple but sometimes forgotten founding principle of our 
democracy that this government should be ``of the people, by the people 
and for the people.''
  Without the support of the American public, how can we justify 
placing the country in a constitutional quagmire over a tortured 
definition of sexual relations, one that even the presiding judge in 
the case thought was confusing?
  How can we justify passing articles of impeachment which would 
require a lengthy trial in the Senate, presided over by the Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court, about the sordid details of a consensual 
affair and whether the President lied about it?
  How can we justify calling a young woman to testify before one 
hundred United States Senators and the Chief Justice about embarrassing 
and intimate matters that transpired in a consensual relationship?
  When you envision what a trial in the Senate will look like--Monica 
Lewinsky, Linda Tripp and Lucianna Goldberg all sworn in as witnesses--
one has to wonder: What in the world are members of Congress really 
trying to accomplish?


                               conclusion

  The votes we are about to cast will be among the most important votes 
any of us will be asked to make. Our decisions should be dictated by 
our conscience and what each of us feel is in the best long-term 
interest of our country, rather than for any short-term political gain. 
I pray that we protect the impeachment process from being politicized 
and defined downward.
  The decisions we make today and throughout this process will set a 
precedent for future Congresses and future Presidents. We must guard 
against making impeachment too easy or we could disrupt the important 
balance of power that exists between the three separate but coequal 
branches of our government. Just as Watergate has served as a model for 
our current proceedings, this impeachment proceeding will serve as a 
model in the future.
  One of the fundamental questions that each member of Congress must 
answer is whether the President's personal conduct, as deplorable as it 
was, justifies paralyzing our government for months and potentially 
damaging our country in the process. There are many issues in which 
Congress needs to be engaged. From Social Security and Medicare reform 
to Saddam Hussein in the Persian Gulf and Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo, 
from a Russian economic meltdown to financial crises throughout the 
globe, how will history record Congress' performance at this time of 
great domestic and international challenges?
  A fair reading of our founders' intent will lead to the conclusion 
that they placed country above personalities, the preservation of the 
union above personal retribution. Impeachment was never meant to be a 
form of punishment; it was intended to preserve and protect our 
country.
  There are other means of punishing Bill Clinton the person. One 
option is a censure resolution from the House and Senate which

[[Page H11836]]

would require the President's signature to acknowledge the 
condemnation. Such an alternative form of punishment has bipartisan 
support. Former President Gerald Ford and, most recently, former 
Senator Bob Dole have spoken in favor of this resolution. They 
recognize the terrible cost our country will face if a trial goes 
forward and effectively shuts down the government. I would even favor 
imposing a fine to compensate the American people for the costs of the 
Lewinski investigation. If there is to be any fairness in this process, 
the Republican leadership should allow a vote on censure. Many members 
believe in good conscience that a censure is the appropriate rebuke. To 
deny a vote on censure would be the height of partisan politics.
  Furthermore, the President can still be indicted and prosecuted as a 
private citizen once he leaves office in two years. The President Has 
already indicated that he will neither pardon himself nor accept a 
pardon from any future President. As a former prosecutor, I would hope 
that if there is enough evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the 
President to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt before an unbiased 
jury, a prosecutor would have the courage to indict and prosecute him 
in a court of law. The President can and should be treated like any 
other individual, neither above nor below the law, and the Constitution 
ensures that will happen.
  We don't need to invoke the atomic bomb of impeachment to hold 
President Clinton accountable for any misconduct. We can spare the 
nation of the ordeal while still delivering the message to all our 
children that no matter who you are, whether a second grader at 
Roosevelt Elementary school or the President of the United States, 
there will be consequences to lying.
  What we do today will serve as a lesson for future generations. I 
hope it is the right lesson. Churchill once said: ``We must learn the 
lessons of the past. But we must not remember today the hatreds of 
yesterday.'' It is time to begin the process of reconciliation in 
American politics and find ways to restore civility and mutual respect 
to the democratic process. For too long now, the national political 
scene has been dominated by the politics of personal destruction and 
partisan bickering. That too is reflected in this impeachment process 
and it confirms Alexander Hamilton's worst fear when he wrote in 
Federalist No. 65: ``In many cases it will connect itself with the 
preexisting factions, and will enlist all their animosities, 
partialities, influence and interest on one side or on the other; and 
in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the 
decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of the 
parties than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.''
  As we move forward with this vote, let us all hope that our decisions 
will be made in good conscience for the sake of our country rather than 
for short-term political gain. My decision is based as so many of my 
decisions are, through the eyes of my two young sons, who are not old 
enough to appreciate the gravity of the situation. Like so many other 
Members, we all have to justify our decisions to our children and 
grandchildren. We can teach our children not to lie. But we must 
protect them from the destruction of the Presidency. My hope is that 
years from now, when they are reading about this in their history 
books, they will be proud of our conduct and they will conclude: ``They 
got it right.''
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Canady) for rebuttal.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I want to make the point again 
which I made earlier today that in 1974 the Committee on the Judiciary 
did not, did not, determine that tax fraud is a unimpeachable offense. 
They simply determined that there was insufficient evidence that the 
President of the United States was in fact guilty of tax fraud.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield five minutes to the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Chabot), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  (Mr. CHABOT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks).
  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, every Member of the House now recognizes 
what members of the Committee on the Judiciary have come to realize 
over the last few months: This is likely the most important vote that 
we as Members of Congress will ever cast. It also comes at an 
especially difficult time, a time when our Nation's brave sons and 
daughters are actively defending our Nation's freedom overseas.
  I share many of my colleagues' concerns about this unfortunate 
timing. But, just as we have a responsibility to our troops, we now 
have a responsibility to keep our word to the American people and put 
this matter behind the country as soon as possible.
  Throughout the Committee on the Judiciary's consideration of this 
very serious matter, I worked to uphold my constitutional duty to 
fairly and thoroughly investigate the charges brought against the 
President. Throughout the proceedings, I tried to keep an open mind, 
giving the President every opportunity to refute the evidence. But the 
President made a calculated decision to avoid the facts. Instead, he 
presented witnesses that could offer little more than excuses, insults 
and historical perspectives tainted by partisan politics.
  The President's attorneys did not fare much better. They, too, 
decided to hide from the truth, consistently adhering to the company 
line. ``The President did not really lie under oath,'' they testified. 
``It depends on how one defines the word `alone.' ''
  The President was not paying attention when his attorney offered 
false evidence to the court. The President has continued to rely on 
these absurd explanations and linguistic contortions for one reason and 
one reason alone; he cannot dispute the facts.
  The evidence against President Clinton is conclusive: The President 
lied under oath before a Federal grand jury. He lied under oath in a 
sexual harassment case. He obstructed justice, and he abused his 
constitutional authority. Standing alone, each individual offense is 
extremely serious. Collectively, they are overwhelming.
  After months of painstaking review, it has become apparent to me that 
impeachment is the only remedy that adequately addresses the 
President's illegal and unethical acts. The President's actions have 
gravely damaged the office of the presidency, our judicial system, and 
our country.
  This was not an easy decision to reach. Impeaching a President cannot 
be taken lightly. But in this case, our constitutional duty is clear.
  Some of my colleagues have come to the floor today using inflammatory 
rhetoric and attacking Members for voting their conscience. This is 
unfortunate and does not reflect the dignity that we owe this debate. 
It is the President, by breaking his oath to preserve, protect and 
defend the Constitution of the United States, who has violated the 
trust bestowed upon him by the American people.
  As to those who mistakenly claim that this body is seeking to 
overturn an election or we are involved in a coup d'etat, let me remind 
my friends on the other side of the aisle that it is the Democratic 
Vice President, Al Gore, who would become President if the Senate 
decides to remove President Clinton because of his crimes and remove 
him from office.
  I ask every Member of the House to consider the question I posed to 
my colleagues on the Committee on the Judiciary last week: What message 
are we sending to the youth of America if we abdicate our 
constitutional duty and condone perjury, obstruction of justice and 
abuse of power by the President of the United States?
  I have two children at home, a daughter and a son. With the help of 
their teachers and their church, my wife and I have tried to teach them 
about honesty and integrity. We have tried to instill in them a belief 
that character does indeed matter. We have taught them to obey the law.
  Sadly, they have seen these principles corrupted by the chief law 
enforcement officer of this land, the President of the United States. 
William Jefferson Clinton has disgraced his sacred office, he has 
cheapened the oath, he has disillusioned an entire generation of young 
Americans, and he refuses to accept responsibility for his actions.
  Abraham Lincoln, perhaps our Nation's greatest President, once said, 
``Let us have faith that right makes might, and, in that faith, let us 
dare to do our duty as we understand it.'' Today, we must fulfill our 
constitutional duty and vote to impeach the President.

                              {time}  1615

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Woolsey), and I would ask her to yield to me.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Could I point out to my friend, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Canady),

[[Page H11837]]

who took exception to why the income tax charge was not brought against 
Mr. Nixon in 1974, if he would read our report of the minority at page 
10, he would learn that it was not for lack of evidence, it was because 
we determined that this was not a high crime or misdemeanor. And we 
were joined by Republican Lawrence Hogan, Maryland, Wiley Mayne, 
Republican--Iowa, and others.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday, while attending church in 
my hometown of Petaluma, California, I was struck by how utterly sad I 
am. Sad about the President's behavior, sad about the Committee on the 
Judiciary's unfair decision to not allow censure as an alternative, and 
the impact all of this will have on our Nation.
  Today, my heart is even heavier, because we are conducting this 
debate while our troops are in harm's way. My heart aches for the 
division separating us in this House, the distraction from the work of 
government that we were elected to do, the threat of this unfair 
process on our democratic system, and I am heartsick about the shame 
and waste of this impeachment process. Shamed because the President's 
conduct, while reprehensible, does not fit the definition under the 
Constitution. Waste, because while we carry on, we are not working for 
the important business of our Nation, and we ignore our young men and 
women fighting abroad.
  With these thoughts in mind and these feelings, I would like to share 
with my colleagues the prayer that I prayed Sunday in my church: 
Please, Lord, give wisdom, strength, and compassion to every Member of 
the House so that we do not turn against our country and our need to 
punish one man. Please help every Member of this House see that the 
real mistake would be to push forward without the alternative of 
censure to punish our Nation for one man's personal weakness. And 
please, help us to remember the difference between partisan politics 
and leadership. So that we will not make a decision against the people 
of this country, we will make a decision for Americans based on 
fairness, based on forgiveness, not against one person, our President. 
Dear Lord, help us, through compromise and conscience, heal our Nation. 
Amen.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Canady) for rebuttal.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding. I would yield to the gentleman from Michigan for a question.
  Is it not true, I ask of the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), 
as a member of the Committee on the Judiciary in 1974, that the 
gentleman voted in favor of the tax fraud article against President 
Nixon?
  Mr. CONYERS. Yes, Mr. Speaker, absolutely true.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, so the gentleman believes that 
tax fraud was an impeachable offense?
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely correct, and it does not 
contradict what I corrected the gentleman about.
  Mr. CANADY of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman very much.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes and 15 seconds to 
the gentleman from New York (Mr. Lazio).
  Mr. LAZIO of New York. Mr. Speaker, I think that nearly all that 
could be said has been. Across party lines we stand shoulder to 
shoulder with the principles and the values that brought us here.
  This should be neither personal nor a partisan decision. Its 
difficulty lies in the rare, but important, conflict between what is 
expedient and short term and what resonates as a guiding principle for 
all time. It is not about the fate of one man, but the value of truth 
itself, the principle that no man, no matter how rich or how powerful, 
is above the law. It is about the notion of accountability. It is about 
the values of duty, honor, trust and sacrifice.
  When I was a Suffolk County prosecutor, my entire duty was based on 
the integrity and the conduct of the men and women who took an oath to 
tell the truth. In many cases, it was difficult for these people to 
testify honestly, sometimes even disastrous. But when they were sworn 
in, they understood that this was different, that here the truth was 
required; that upon their respect for their oath would ride many 
things, including justice, our government of laws, equality of one 
citizen with another, and not the least their own honor.
  These were ordinary people, Mr. Speaker. They understood. In many 
cases, they sacrificed. In many cases, they suffered. But they told the 
truth.
  If an anonymous citizen can abide by his oath, what about a 
President?
  When a President fails in his duty as an ordinary citizen does not, 
the failure is catastrophic. Should less be expected of the President 
than of you or me?
  Here, the trustee of the greatest of world powers knows that he will 
be in a sworn legal proceeding, consults with advisers and lawyers for 
many months, has full notice, appears voluntarily before a criminal 
grand jury, and can stop questions at any time, and still cannot bring 
himself to do what the government he heads insists upon every day from 
the people who take an oath: Tell the truth.
  With this vote we will help set a standard of acceptable presidential 
behavior. Will we judge presidential perjury to be acceptable? Is it 
asking too much of the President that when he takes an oath he tell the 
truth? With our votes we will send a compelling message one way or the 
other to the children in classrooms across this country who are 
watching their democracy at work. We are going to teach them through 
our words and through our deeds either to respect or to have contempt 
for the truth. This will be the timeless legacy of this Congress.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Sisisky).
  (Mr. SISISKY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SISISKY. Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to impeachment, and I am for 
censure.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong opposition to this 
resolution.
  I can tell you that this was not an easy decision, in fact, it was 
one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made.
  I believe the President's conduct was wrong.
  Absolutely wrong!
  However, after having watched the Judiciary Committee hearings 
carefully, I remain unconvinced that the President's conduct, however 
deplorable, rises to the level of impeachable offenses as intended by 
the Framers of the Constitution.
  I have concluded that the President did not commit high crimes and 
misdemeanors against the integrity of the state.
  Rather, the President committed low crimes against the integrity of 
his marriage.
  Reprehensible?
  Yes.
  But, not impeachable.
  The Constitution dictates that impeachment be used to remove a 
President only when there is clear and convincing evidence of 
wrongdoing, and it must be related to large-scale abuses of public 
office.
  It is clear that such a standard has not been met in this case.
  Today, we stand at the edge of a dangerous precipice.
  The votes we cast today will decide whether we send this great 
country over the edge, tumbling out of control, threatening our economy 
as well as the very system of government we hold dear.
  I am extremely concerned about the consequences for our country if we 
vote to impeach the President and the Senate undertakes a long 
impeachment trial.
  I believe it will do untold damage to our country.
  An impeachment trial will divide this Nation deeply, so much so that 
we may not be able to heal the divide for a long time after the trial 
concludes.
  However, I am most concerned that a trial will threaten America's 
position in the context of international relations and national 
security.
  Given the many volatile political situations that exist across the 
globe, we can ill afford to be distracted by a lengthy and divisive 
impeachment trial.
  While I believe the President should be held accountable for his 
actions, I believe censure is the appropriate response.
  I am saddened that the Republican leadership denied this body the 
opportunity to vote on censure.
  This country was built on the principles of democracy and fairness.
  I regret that the majority in Congress chooses to ignore those 
principles and to dismiss the intent of our Nation's Founding Fathers.
  I beseech my colleagues to put aside partisanship and personalities, 
and to consider the gravity of the actions we take today.

[[Page H11838]]

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Pickett).
  (Mr. PICKETT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PICKETT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, it has taken me a while to digest the myriad and 
voluminous data relevant to the impeachment proceedings involving 
President Clinton, and even longer to arrive at a decision with which I 
feel at ease.
  When I started in this process, I wrote constituents: ``This 
(impeachment) is a grave and daunting issue that has the potential to 
do great harm to our system of government if not prudently and 
correctly managed. Every aspect of the process must adhere scrupulously 
to constitutional requirements and meet established principles of 
fairness, due process and substantial justice. I intend to carefully 
and conscientiously review and weigh all facts relevant to the charges 
before arriving at a final decision, and assure you of my commitment to 
bring this matter to a conclusion as expeditiously as possible.'' I 
have not deviated from these principles.
  Beginning for historical reference with the Federalist Papers, and 
their antecedents, and continuing through the Nixon proceedings to the 
events of 1998, I have studiously and meticulously studied the facts 
and determined what I believe to be the law applicable to an 
impeachment proceeding under the U.S. Constitution. There are many 
paths and side roads along the way, both factually and legally, that 
honest and inquiring minds might follow to different conclusions which 
for me has made the final decision of whether to support or oppose an 
impeachment a close call. With the contending alternatives so 
relatively balanced in my mind, prudence dictated that I err on the 
side of historically established constitutional principles and support 
the institutional stability of our Government that is built upon the 
bedrock of predictable and consistent actions taken with the support of 
our people.
  Aside from my bias for ``law and order,'' it deeply disturbs me that 
the House of Representatives has allowed a flawed process in its 
impeachment proceedings that fails to meet the principles I noted at 
the outset of this statement for ``fairness, due process and 
substantial justice.'' The events of the last few days have especially 
convinced me that all pretense toward fairness, due process and 
substantial justice has now been abandoned and this whole matter is set 
to be resolved on the basis of partisan political alignment. No one has 
suggested to me, let alone attempted to convince me, that this is right 
or good for our country as a whole.
  While my natural inclination to rely upon law and fact has led me in 
the direction of opposing impeachment, the failure of the House in its 
proceedings to follow established principles of fairness, due process 
and substantial justice has for me removed any doubt and convincingly 
tipped the scales in favor of opposing impeachment.
  For my conscience, for my country, and to support the institutional 
underpinnings of our constitutional democracy, I will vote against 
impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to yield 2\1/2\ minutes to 
the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Sawyer).
  (Mr. SAWYER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SAWYER. Mr. Speaker, our challenge today is one of fairness and 
wisdom. A century ago, Justice Holmes advised the graduating class of 
the Harvard Law School that the greatest service that one can do in a 
democracy is to see the future as far as one may, to feel the force 
behind the details of that future, and then to make clear and sound and 
compact decisions to make them first-rate, and to let the results speak 
for themselves. He was counseling them and us to be wise and far-
seeing, and to understand the consequences of our actions.
  Perhaps no figure in our tradition of English law and history so well 
portrays an impeachment on the charge of perjury as Sir Thomas More. 
The author of A Man for All Seasons wrote that he was asked to testify 
in a form that required him to state that he believed what he did not 
believe and it required him to state it under oath.
  Oliver Cromwell, accusing More of accepting a small gift in return 
for a favor said, ``He is going to be a slippery fish. We need a net 
with a finer mesh. We will weave him one. It must be done by the law. 
It is just a matter of finding the right law. Or making one.''
  Cromwell, in words too familiar to us today, in seeking to entrap 
him, accused More of ``perverting the law, of making smokey what should 
be clear light to discover his own wrongdoing.'' More replied, ``The 
law is not a light for you or any man to see by, it is not an 
instrument of any kind; the law is a causeway upon which a citizen may 
walk safely.''
  But that was not to be the way of the court, and in his closing, More 
may have prefigured Holmes when he said, ``What you have hunted me for 
is not my actions, but for the thoughts of my heart. It is a long road 
you have opened. God help the people whose statesmen walk your road.''
  It matters little whether the motive was base or high. An entrapment 
is an entrapment. It is a road that More knew was contrived and unfair, 
and it is a road that Holmes knew was unwise.
  Future historians will judge this Congress largely on this vote. Let 
us not go down in history as a deeply divided, vindictive Congress, but 
as a body that took an action that brought the country together and 
resolved this unhappy matter.
  It is a long road we open today. If we take it, it will change our 
lives and those of our children in lasting ways. God help the people 
whose statesmen walk your road.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman 
from Georgia (Mr. Barr) for rebuttal.
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman 
yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I would remind all of my colleagues who are listening to 
this debate that references to the word ``entrapment'' are rather 
misplaced. There is no such thing as entrapment for perjury or 
obstruction. It is a legal impossibility that is well-settled law in 
Federal courts and state courts as well, and it in fact is the learned 
testimony of several witnesses that appeared before the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Bereuter).
  (Mr. BEREUTER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of articles 1, 2, and 3.
  Mr. Speaker, this Member approaches these proceedings of the House 
with sadness for what has befallen our country and solemnly, but with a 
firm conviction that we must discharge our responsibilities under 
Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution by considering 
articles of impeachment against the President of the United States of 
America. This Member intends and will act in a manner required by and 
consistent with his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the 
Constitution of the United States.
  Many people and leaders from other countries have spoken on the 
matter before us today in a manner which reveals that they probably do 
not understand the absolutely central role the Constitution and the 
constitutional processes play in the governance of our country and 
their role in maintaining the very fabric of the American society. 
Indeed, even some of our citizens may not have focused on that central 
role. Drawn from every corner of the globe, with a total diversity of 
creeds, ethnicity, race, and heritage, America is the antithesis of a 
nation state. More than any other country on earth, we Americans are 
bound together and can function as a nation only because of our shared 
ideals and ideas of governance as embodied in the Constitution and the 
Declaration of Independence. That is why upholding and defending the 
Constitution, even with the controversies, inconveniences, and possible 
effects on the nation's economic affairs, our foreign responsibilities, 
and our domestic affairs and tranquility, must come before all other 
considerations.
  Mr. Speaker, I deeply regret the partisan fervor that has marked the 
proceedings of the impeachment inquiry and this debate. As an elected 
Representative from what is by practice and nature undoubtedly the most 
nonpartisan state in our nation and having served previously in my 
state's unique state legislature, which surely functioned in an almost 
totally nonpartisan fashion, this Member once again finds it 
particularly difficult to fathom or justify the highly partisan course 
that this process of impeachment of the President has taken. It does 
not serve this nation well nor reflect well on this institution.
  None of my Republican colleagues should be reaching a decision to 
impeach the President for partisan reason. Indeed, there are very 
substantial reasons why progressing with these impeachment proceedings 
is not in the best interest of our party. None of us should 
misunderstand that point and neither should the American people believe 
that we do not

[[Page H11839]]

understand those immediate and long-term political consequences. 
Nevertheless, we must pursue these impeachment proceedings and make our 
individual decisions as Representatives in order to discharge our 
constitutional responsibilities.
  Mr. Speaker, we ought to feel a particular sympathy for our Democrat 
colleagues, for their natural instinct almost certainly is to defend a 
President of their own party. They must, and undoubtedly do, struggle 
to overcome those instincts in order to conscientiously perform their 
constitutional responsibilities as demanded by our oath of office. 
However, if the impeachment inquiry has been, and this debate is, 
extremely partisan, if the partisan lines are very sharply drawn, it is 
not one side which is to blame. Surely many of our Democrat colleagues 
by their actions and the votes which they will cast bear at least half 
of the burden for this unseemly and inappropriate partisan divide. To 
maintain the trust of the American citizenry and to responsibly 
discharge our constitutional duties we need to rise above such partisan 
considerations. Indeed, that is especially true in a matter of this 
great import and precedent.
  Mr. Speaker, in concluding these introductory remarks before directly 
addressing the articles of impeachment before us, this Member wants his 
constituents to know that he received absolutely no pressure from party 
leaders in the House or elsewhere in deciding how to vote on the 
articles of impeachment before us. Nor did this Member receive 
inappropriate pressure from any quarter. Rather this Member has been 
able to conscientiously address the decisions before us on impeachment. 
Furthermore, this Member has attempted to avail himself of the views of 
numerous distinguished Americans and especially of the arguments, 
views, and sentiments of the constituents he represents in Nebraska.
  Obviously this has become a very decisive issue in America, made even 
more so, no doubt, by the strong, conflicting views about the 
President's performance and conduct and by the timing of intervening 
events related both to the impending end to the 105th Congress and to 
the armed conflict with Iraq which began less than two days ago. 
Nevertheless, it is important to say, this Member believes, that polls 
and the size, changes, and mixture in the tides of public sentiment 
should have no effect upon whether this Member and the House faithfully 
discharge their constitutional responsibilities related to impeachment 
or any other matter.
  Mr. Speaker, as for the specific matter before us in these 
proceedings, much emphasis in the public discussion of the President's 
actions has emphasized that impeachment is inappropriate, for it is 
argued that this is really only about sex and that as such it either is 
strictly a private matter or does not rise to the level of misconduct 
which would justify impeachment. Mr. Speaker, the matter before us is 
emphatically not just about sex and no person should be confused about 
that point.
  Certainly, the President has appropriately been condemned by perhaps 
all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and by most Americans 
for his sexual conduct in the White House and his intentional deception 
of the American public. Most would agree that it was reprehensibly 
exploitative, reckless, and morally and ethically inappropriate; that 
it discredited the President and the presidency; that it soiled the 
reputation of the White House which Most American's revere as a symbol 
of our nation; and that it damaged abroad the reputation of our 
country. As totally unacceptable as that conduct is, most Members of 
Congress and most of the American people understand that sexual 
misconduct does not justify impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, of course, what is at issue here today is whether the 
President's actions or conduct constitute ``high crimes and 
misdemeanors'' which would justify impeachment. The material in the 
referral from the Independent Counsel and the investigative proceedings 
of the House Judiciary Committee made it abundantly clear to most 
reasonable persons that the President lied under oath to a Federal 
grand jury. In the words of Impeachment Article I before us, he 
``willfully provided perjurious, false, and misleading testimony to the 
grand jury'' on several important matters. The President's perjurious 
statements thus means that his sexual discretions are no mere private 
manner.
  Similarly, it should be clear to most reasonable persons that the 
President in sworn answers to written questions asked as part of a 
Federal civil rights actions brought against him, as stated in 
Impeachment Article II, ``willfully provided perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony in response to questions deemed relevant by a 
Federal judge concerning conduct and proposed conduct with a 
subordinant employee.'' Accordingly, his testimony can be seen as a 
possibly important factor in denying that citizen, Paula Jones, her 
legal rights as a citizen.
  More importantly, however, for the purposes of both of these articles 
of impeachment, one must consider that the President is in effect the 
chief law enforcement official in our nation, charged by his oath of 
office to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. By his 
perjurious statements the President, as charged by Impeachment Article 
I, ``impeded the administration of justice'' and ``acted in a manner 
subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of 
the people of the United States.'' The same language and relevance is 
found in Impeachment Article II. No one in this country is more 
important than the law or above the law, not even, indeed certainly 
not, the President of the United States. If the President can lie under 
oath it does, by example, great damage to the very basic element in the 
foundation of the American justice system. In light of these 
conclusions of the House Judiciary Committee, my own reasoning and 
understanding of the facts, and as the elected Representative of my 
constituents, I believe the President's perjurious statements do meet 
the standards of misconduct--do meet the test of being a ``high crime 
and misdemeanor''--which require a vote to impeach the President under 
each of these two articles.

  Mr. Speaker, a review of the facts and testimony related to the 
matter of the President's conduct and actions now before us, in part as 
provided in the findings for Impeachment Article III, have convinced 
this Member that in order to conceal the perjurious nature of his sworn 
statement in a Federal civil rights case, the President, in the words 
of Impeachment Article III, ``in violation of his constitutional oath 
faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, 
to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the 
Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his 
constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, 
has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, 
and has to that end engaged personally, and through his subordinates 
and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, 
cover up, and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony related 
to a Federal civil rights action brought against him in a duly 
instituted judicial proceeding.'' By these actions, this Member 
concludes, that the President, in the words of Article III, ``acted in 
a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice to the manifest 
injury of the people of the United States,'' despite his oath of office 
to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
  Mr. Speaker, for these reasons this Member feels compelled, in voting 
to discharge our constitutional responsibilities in these impeachment 
proceedings, to vote in favor of Impeachment Article I, Impeachment 
Article II, and Impeachment Article III, while concluding that the case 
for impeachment under Article IV regarding the President's responses to 
certain written requests from the House Judiciary Committee is not 
sufficiently convincing to warrant a vote for Article IV.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Barton).
  (Mr. BARTON of Texas asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of all 4 articles 
of impeachment.
  I will stand by my oath of office to uphold this nation's laws and 
vote to impeach President Clinton on the charges of perjury.
  The evidence presented has demonstrated that President Clinton 
knowingly, willfully and repeatedly lied not only to a federal judge 
and grand jury, but directly to the American people. This act of 
perjury is a criminal and impeachable offense and directly violates the 
oath taken by the President to serve the country within the legal 
boundaries set forth by the Constitution. Just as troublesome is the 
President's involvement in influencing other witnesses to provide false 
testimony in the Paula Jones case and his attempts to refer to these 
known falsities as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the 
truth.
  Upon entering the office of President of the United States, William 
Jefferson Clinton took the following oath: ``I do solemnly swear that I 
will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, 
and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the 
Constitution of the United States.''
  Now, I ask these questions: Do actions such as lying under oath and 
to the American people, as well as suborning perjury from other 
witnesses help to faithfully execute the Office of President of the 
United States? Do these actions represent the best of Mr. Clinton's 
abilities to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the 
United States? I believe that it is painfully obvious that not only do 
these actions not help the President fulfill his duty and faithfully 
execute his office, but they directly lead to a failure to uphold this 
solemn oath and a direct betrayal of the American people.
  Title 18 of the U.S. Code designates perjury as the act of anyone 
who, while under oath, ``knowingly makes any false material declaration 
or makes uses of any other information

[[Page H11840]]

(known) to contain any false declaration.'' Perjury is punishable by a 
monetary fine and up to five years in federal prison, and perjury 
certainly rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors necessary 
for a charge of impeachment.
  After reviewing the over 60,000 pages of evidence submitted to the 
House Judiciary Committee by Judge Starr, I find it obvious that there 
is indisputable evidence that the President lied under oath, aided and 
allowed others to lie under oath and obstructed justice. There is no 
doubt that these instances occurred, there is no doubt that these 
instances are illegal and there is no doubt that they undermine the 
integrity of the Constitution and the office of the Presidency.
  Even as the highest-ranking official in the country, President 
Clinton is not above the law. I am proud of the House for honoring the 
Constitution and taking such a courageous stand in its vote for 
impeachment. I have no doubt that the Senate will responsibly take on 
this matter and I trust that justice will be served.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Goss).
  (Mr. GOSS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, we are all public servants here today 
representing our constituents and doing our duty.
  My beginning in public service outside the bounds of my immediate 
hometown began when I was appointed to a vacant county commission seat. 
The seat was vacant because a good commissioner committed a single act 
of perjury, lying to a grand jury about a sexual escapade, to protect a 
recently married friend. He lost his job, his reputation, his paycheck, 
his pension, his rights, and his freedom. He went to jail.
  The judge noted that those in public service have a higher standard 
of behavior and that telling the truth is fundamental to public service 
in our free land. The sentence was considered just in my district. I 
will support the articles of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, sadly, some of our colleagues on the other side are, in 
the interest of avoiding the issues at hand, seeking to deflect this 
debate. Let me be clear: the work of this house in fulfilling our 
constitutional obligation regarding the impeachment inquiry in no way 
detracts from or diminshes our absolute support for the men and women 
of our Armed Forces doing their jobs in the Persian Gulf. Those of us 
whose responsibilities in Congress involve oversight in the national 
security arena continue to keep our eyes carefully on the ball of the 
mission in Iraq.
  The truth is that every one of us here today would rather not be 
debating articles of impeachment against this President. The American 
people would rather not be faced with this scenario. It is an 
exceedingly unpleasant set of events. I am most grateful for the 
significant, extremely thoughtful input I have received from hundreds 
of southwest Floridians who come down on both sides of this debate. The 
fact that so many people have taken the time to call and write 
demonstrates the seriousness with which the country approaches this 
debate and vote.
  Short of declaring war, there is not more solemn duty of this House 
than to fairly and thoughtfully consider a judgment on impeachment when 
the President stands accused of violations of law and his oath of 
office. We must remember that it was this President's own actions that 
have brought us to this point today.
  We must vote on whether or not President Clinton committed 
impeachable offenses in his conduct. After careful review of the 
Judiciary Committee's work, I am convinced the President's conduct 
warrant's impeachment by this House. Lying, perjury and obstruction of 
justice are serious business and this House has a duty to say so. I 
refuse to submit to a ``dumbing down'' of our principles and the 
standards of conduct for a President of the United States, just because 
the specifics of this care are embarrassing and distasteful. Perjury 
and obstruction of justice in a legal proceeding are always wrong--
there's no room for situational ethics when it comes to respect for the 
rule of law by the Nation's Commander in Chief. We squirm about this 
entire matter because it began with a case of sexual misconduct. But 
what began there has grown into much more, a case involving very 
serious breaches of law. I take this position having lived through a 
case many years ago--a case in which a county commissioner went to jail 
for a single count of perjury in conjunction with a sex scandal--a 
scandal that did not even involve him, but about which he lied in order 
to protect a friend. Such lies were wrong then and they are wrong in 
this case today.

  The conundrum that many people see in this matter comes from wishing 
to rebuke the President for his behavior but being hesitant about using 
the ultimate sanction of impeachment to do so. But censure is not an 
option for this House--and even if it were, in my view it would not be 
enough of a sanction. History shows that censure can be fleeting since 
it can be reversed by a succeeding Congress--after all, Andrew Jackson 
was censured and then had his record expunged and now his face adorns 
each and every American $20 bill in tribute to his memory. Clearly, 
censure was not a permanent statement of rebuke in that case. The 
message this House sends today must be unmistakable and enduring. The 
President has stepped over the line and we must uphold our 
responsibility to call him on it.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Green).
  (Mr. GREEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. GREEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Michigan for 
allowing me 2 minutes, but being from Texas, to just exchange greetings 
in 2 minutes will take plenty of time.
  Mr. Speaker, overturning an election in a democracy should not be 
taken lightly. Our country's history in presidential impeachment 
inquiries is limited, due to the seriousness of overturning an 
election. This current process smacks of partisanshipness and just 
unfairness.
  The presidential personal conduct cannot be defended and I am not 
going to do so. My concern is I am disappointed in his personal 
conduct, but this process has been based on partisanshipness, and 
elected officials should not be removed from office just because they 
won an election or won reelection. Without an alternative to vote on, a 
censure resolution, this whole process is unfair.
  One of our Founding Fathers, George Mason said, the phrase ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors'' refers to ``Presidential actions that are 
great and dangerous offenses, or attempts to subvert the 
Constitution.'' Alexander Hamilton, who you will not hear me quoting 
very often, said, ``Injuries done immediately to society itself.'' An 
impeachment should only be undertaken for serious abuse of official 
power. The impeachment process should never be used as a legislative 
vote of no confidence on the President's conduct or policies.
  Not only our Founding Fathers, but, Mr. Speaker, I have a Christmas 
card that I received in my family from a constituent that says, ``I 
just want you to know that my prayers have been with you and your 
colleagues and also the President at this awful time in history. I am 
praying that God will bring an end to this soon.''
  The American people have recognized this, not only our Founding 
Fathers, but in all of the polls that we have seen. And around the 
country, Mr. Speaker, the newspaper articles, the Lexington Herald 
Leader:

       It would mean, quite simply, the President, duly elected 
     and reelected by a majority of voters, can be drummed out of 
     office by the vehement hatred of his political and personal 
     enemies.

  The Owensboro, Kentucky Messenger-Inquirer:

       Voting for impeachment when the wrongdoing is personal 
     rather than a crime against the country would weaken the 
     office much more than anything Bill Clinton has ever done so 
     far.

                              {time}  1630

  Also the Billings Gazette, and I can go on and on, Mr. Speaker. I ask 
a no vote on all articles of impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Bryant) for rebuttal.
  Mr. BRYANT. Mr. Speaker, let me respond briefly that the Constitution 
itself talks about impeachment as well as election. The two processes 
are compatible, according to our forefathers, since they completely 
understood that you had first to be elected in order to be subjected to 
the impeachment proceedings.
  As to the polls and newspapers around the country, more than 100 
major newspapers have called on the President to resign. If this 
President would put the country in front of himself for one time and 
follow the advice of the same or many of the same newspapers to resign, 
and the polls show a majority of the Americans would like to see the 
President resign, I think we would all be better suited.

[[Page H11841]]

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Chambliss).
  (Mr. CHAMBLISS asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the resolution to impeach 
William Jefferson Clinton, the President of the United States for 
providing perjurious, false, and misleading testimony to a Federal 
grand jury and in a Federal civil rights action, for obstructing 
justice, and for abusing the Office of the Presidency by providing 
false and misleading statements to the Congress as the House of 
Representatives attempted to conduct a fair and thorough investigation 
of the President's actions. With the exception of voting to commit the 
nation to war, this is the most solemn and serious action which Members 
of the Congress must take.
  This action is not taken lightly. The rule of law and respect for the 
sanctity of our judicial system are two of the foundations upon which 
American society and our system of government depend. While I find the 
President's personal conduct offensive and disgusting, it is clear to 
me that on legal grounds, the President's campaign of lies, half-
truths, and evasiveness have demonstrated a cavalier and flagrant 
disregard for the rule of law in our society. The President stands 
accused of serious offenses which he has failed to refute.
  Chairman Henry Hyde and the Judiciary Committee have gathered 
substantial evidence and presented a strong case for which the 
President must answer. It is the constitutional duty of the House of 
Representatives to decide whether the body of evidence against the 
President merits a trial. Based on my 25 years of experience as an 
attorney, I firmly believe that the overwhelming evidence showing 
perjury and obstruction of justice provide sufficient grounds to 
support impeachment of the President. The President's actions certainly 
do not reflect the respect that the office deserves. Indeed, he must be 
held to a standard of conduct that is consistent with the rule of law.
  We must preserve the integrity of the Presidency and our judicial 
system by not allowing anyone, including the President, to subvert or 
destroy the rule of law in the greatest country on Earth. I believe 
that voting for impeachment of the President is the only reasonable 
course of action for the House to take in the current grave situation 
in which the President has placed us.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Everett).
  (Mr. EVERETT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.
  Mr. EVERETT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, I intend to vote for the rule of law and against this 
partisan attack on the Constitution of the United States. In America, 
the rule of law is above any man and above politics. We don't have 
kingships in this country, we have publicly-elected officials. We 
cannot have one set of laws for our rulers, and another for the ruled. 
No one, most especially the President, can escape the rule of law.
  Impeaching the President is an awesome responsibility, and one that I 
do not take lightly. After careful review of the Independent Counsel's 
Report to Congress, and in accordance with the findings of the 
Committee on the Judiciary, I will support all four articles of 
impeachment that are before us. The evidence of perjury, obstruction of 
justice and the abuse of power is clear and convincing.
  We owe it to each and every American, especially those who have 
fought and died for our freedoms, to restore the integrity of Office of 
the Presidency. If we do not take this action, our democracy will 
become hollow and the rule of law meaningless.
  Some have suggested that we should withhold action until Operation 
Desert Fox is completed in Iraq for the sake of our men and women in 
uniform. Our military is doing its job of protecting our Democracy, and 
therefore we must also do our job to uphold the integrity of the 
Constitution and the foundation of our Democracy. That means a vote for 
impeachment.
  I cannot articulate the pain and sorrow that this President has 
subjected the Nation any better then two of my constituents. I have an 
open letter to the President from retired Army Colonel Eric Jowers and 
an Op Ed piece by high school junior Kimberly Gilley that ran in the 
Dothan Eagle, and ask that they be included in the Record at this 
point.
  The material referred to is as follows:

       Dear Mr. President: It's not about sex. If it were about 
     sex, you would be long gone. Just like a doctor, attorney or 
     teacher who had sex with a patient, client or student half 
     his age, you would have violated the ethics of your office 
     and would be long gone. Just like a Sergeant Major of the 
     Army, Gene McKinney, who though found not guilty, was forced 
     to resign amid accusations sexual abuse.
       Remember the Air Force General you wouldn't nominate to be 
     Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because he freely 
     admitted to an affair almost 15 years before, while he and 
     his wife were separated? Unlikely you, he was never accused 
     of having a starry-eyed office assistant my daughter's age 
     perform oral sex on him while he was on the phone and his 
     wife and daughter were upstairs.
       If it were about sex, you would be subjected to the same 
     horrible hearings that Clarence Thomas was to because of the 
     accusations of Anita Hill. The only accusation then was that 
     he talked dirty to her, he didn't even leave semen stains on 
     her dress.
       No, it's not about sex. It's about character. It's about 
     lying. It's about arrogance. It's about abuse of power. It's 
     about dodging the draft and lying about it. When caught in a 
     lie by letters you wrote, you concocted a story that nobody 
     believed. But we excused it and looked away.
       It's about smoking dope and lying about it. ``I didn't 
     inhale,'' you said. Sure, and when I was 15 and my buddies 
     and I swiped a beer from an unwatched refrigerator, we drank 
     from it, but we didn't swallow. ``I broke no laws for the 
     United States,'' you said. That's right, you smoked dope in 
     England or Norway or Moscow; where you were demonstrating 
     against the U.S.A. You lied, but we excused it and looked 
     away.
       It's about you selling overnight stays in the White House 
     to any foreigner or other contributor with untraceable cash. 
     It's about Whitewater and Jim and Susan McDougal and Arkansas 
     Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and Vincent Foster and Gennifer Flowers 
     and Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey and nearly countless 
     others. It's about stealing the records from Forster's office 
     while his body was still warm and putting them in your 
     bedroom and ``not noticing them'' for two years. It's about 
     illegal political contributions.
       It's about you and Al Gore soliciting contributions and 
     selling influence at Buddhist temples and in the same Oval 
     Office where Abraham Lincoln and Frank Roosevelt led their 
     countries through the dark days of wars that threatened the 
     very existence of our nation. But we excused you and looked 
     away.
       It's about hiding evidence from Ken Starr, refusing to 
     testify, filing legal motions, coaching witnesses, 
     obstructing justice and delaying Judge Starr's inquiry for 
     months and years, and then complaining that it has gone on 
     too long. The polls agreed. Thank goodness that Judge Starr 
     didn't read the polls, play politics or excuse you and look 
     away. He held on to the evidence like a tenacious bulldog.
       Your supporters say that you've confessed your wrongdoings 
     and asked for our forgiveness. Listen, what you said on TV 
     the night you testified to the grand jury was not a 
     confession. Confession in the face of overwhelming evidence 
     is not a confession at all. Not that it would make a lot of 
     difference. A murderer who contritely confesses his crime is 
     still a murderer. When your ``confession'' didn't sell, even 
     to your friends, you became more forthcoming.
       Maybe someday you'll confess more, but probably not. You've 
     established such pattern of lying that we can't believe you 
     anymore. Neither can your cabinet, the Congress or any of the 
     leaders of the nations of the world.
       When a leader's actions defame and emasculate our country 
     as profoundly as yours have, it's no longer a personal 
     matter, as you claim. It's no longer a matter among you, your 
     family and your God.
       By the way, I don't believe for a minute that Hillary was 
     unaware of your sexual misadventures, abuses of power and 
     pattern of lying. She has been a party to your wrongdoings 
     since Whitewater and Gennifer Flower just as surely as she 
     lied about the Rose law firm's billings and hid the Vincent 
     Foster evidence in your bedroom for two years. Why? So she 
     could share in the raw power that your office carries. The 
     two of you probably lied to Chelsea but that is a matter 
     among you, your family and your God.
       Remember the sign over James Carville's desk during the 
     1992 campaign? It said, ``It's the economy, stupid!'' Place 
     this sign over your desk: ``It's about character, stupid!'' 
     No, it's not about sex. Mr. President. If it were, you would 
     be long gone. It's about character; but we have to live with 
     your lies and arrogance for a while longer. Your lies, 
     amorality and lack of character have been as pervasive as 
     they have been despicable, so we have no reason to believe 
     that you will quietly resign and go away. You'll count on 
     half truths and spin doctors to see you through, the country 
     be damned. It has always worked before. We excused you and 
     looked the other way.
       No more, we've had enough. You betrayed us enough. You have 
     made every elected official, minister, teacher, diplomat, 
     parents and grandparent in the country apologize for you and 
     explain away your actions. Now go away, and let us show them 
     that our country was not without morals. It was just that you 
     were.
       Let us show them that America was not the problem. William 
     Jefferson Clinton was. Go away, Mr. President. Leave us 
     alone. And when you leave, know that your legacy to the 
     United States of America will be a stain on the Office of the 
     President that is as filthy as the stain on Monica's dress. 
     It will

[[Page H11842]]

     take a lot of scrubbing to make it clean again.
     Eric Jowers.
                                  ____


             To Save America--Impeaching Clinton Is a Must

       On June 13, 1996, William Jefferson Clinton, president of 
     the United States of America, said ``One thing we have to do 
     is to take seriously the role in this problem of older men 
     who prey on under-age women. There are consequences to 
     decisions, and one way or the other, people always wind up 
     being accountable.''
       A year and a half later, Clinton himself is being held 
     accountable for actions he meant to be kept secret. These 
     ``secrets'' are why Mr. Clinton should be impeached. 
     Impeachment--the constitution states that high officials may 
     be removed from office on impeachment ``for, and conviction 
     of, treason, bribery, and other high crimes and 
     misdemeanors.'' High crimes and misdemeanors can mean 
     anything but one thing for sure is that with the charges 
     against Clinton, morally and politically, he is not fit to be 
     the leaders of our country and therefore should be impeached.
       Jan. 26, 1998, is a day I'm sure we all will never forget. 
     On that day Clinton had the audacity to wag his finger in our 
     faces and declare, ``I did not have sexual relations with 
     that women,'' meaning former White House intern Monica 
     Lewinsky. This was an intentional and calculated falsehood 
     meant to mislead us, the public, and Congress.
       How can we trust this man who is supposed to be the moral 
     and political leader of our country? The fact is we can't. 
     Anyone who can go on national television and without blinking 
     an eye deny what he knows is the truth is a liar and an unfit 
     moral leader. While the president may say that he through 
     ``sexual relations'' meant having actual intercourse, the 
     Bible and other sources say differently. They state that 
     ``sexual relations is when a person knowingly engages in or 
     causes contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner 
     thigh or buttocks of any person with the intent of gratify 
     the sexual desire of any person.''
       This graphic definition is one that we have always accepted 
     and known. A grown man like Clinton surely knew he was lying 
     to everyone that day, for we have been taught that oral sex 
     is sexual relations. What if he found out that Chelsea, his 
     own daughter, was having oral sex with here boyfriend? As a 
     dad, I'm sure that he would consider it sexual relations. 
     Although he has twisted all his lies around to sound like he 
     was telling the truth, we all know that he can never be trust 
     again.
       Another reason for impeaching Clinton is that he is not to 
     be the role model high standing officers are meant to be. 
     What does this tell our children? That it's okay to lie 
     because the president does?
       ``I remember when President Clinton gave that swearing-in 
     and promised to tell the truth,'' says Philip Sperry, 10, of 
     Clifton, Va. ``Well, he lied to us that time and he lied to 
     us again.'' Even the children know it is wrong to lie and 
     that he should be punished. Some of the things the president 
     has done are so disgusting and irresponsible that just in 
     watching reports of it on the news young children need to 
     cover their ears. When the president is sworn into office, it 
     is his responsibility to act appropriately and be the kind of 
     leader that kids can look up to.
       How many children do you think are going around wanting to 
     be the next president? In this time of scandal, I'm sure that 
     the numbers are slim. His behavior is a horrible example to 
     the younger generation. It is telling children that it's okay 
     to lie. If we don't impeach him, they will think you can get 
     away with it, also.

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Callahan).
  (Mr. CALLAHAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CALLAHAN. Mr. Speaker, until now I have declined to pass judgment 
on the President over these last several months because I strongly 
believed that it was improper to do so before the process secured 
evidence through a rigorous investigation where both sides presented 
their cases.
  That process is now complete, and we are now in receipt of the 
results of that investigation, as well as the specific recommendations 
made through the articles of impeachment. Today Congress is not 
standing in judgment of President Clinton's character, nor are we 
debating the issue of his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Rather, we are 
being asked to determine whether or not he broke the law.
  As many know, I have had great respect for the presidency on foreign 
policy. I recognize the Constitution gives foreign policy to him, and 
even though I have disagreed with him on many issues, respecting the 
presidency, I have gone along with him.
  It would make no difference to me if it were Ronald Reagan being 
tried today or George Bush. If evidence is submitted to this Congress 
through the proper Committee on the Judiciary channels that compels me 
to vote up or down when there is substantial, justifiable evidence to 
send a message to the Senate to make a determination of punishment, I 
would vote the same way I am going to vote on this particular matter in 
voting for these articles of impeachment.
  It is a sad day for me, it is a sad day for the President, it is a 
sad day for the country. It is a responsibility that gives us no 
alternative; that if indeed in our hearts we believe that the committee 
reports are substantial, that they justify returning a message or 
sending a message to the Senate. We have absolutely no alternative but 
to send that message to the Senate so they can sit in judgment of his 
punishment.
  We are not removing the President from office today, we are sending a 
message to the Senate.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Barr) announced a moment 
ago that the perjury trap is a legal impossibility. I refer him to the 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which said in 1991 that a 
perjury trap is created ``. . . when the government calls a witness to 
testify for the primary purpose of obtaining testimony from him in 
order to prosecute him later for perjury.''
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute and 40 seconds to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Eshoo).
  (Ms. ESHOO asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, today, December 18, 1998, is a day of infamy 
in the House of Representatives. History will record that on this day 
the House of the people, through searing, brutal partisanship, 
disallowed the right of each Member, and this Member, to express their 
own conscience.
  Today impeachment and only impeachment counts. It is a day when the 
overwhelming voices of the American people are turned away. It is a day 
when the Framers' intent for removal of the chief executive of our 
Nation, treason, bribery, high crimes against the people, is ignored.
  I shall vote against the articles of impeachment, because I believe 
that the case that has been brought against the President has not been 
proven by the Committee on the Judiciary. I do not believe that the 
charges rise to what the Framers intended.
  Mr. Speaker, the flag is the symbol of our Nation, but the 
Constitution, as Barbara Jordan invoked over and over again in 1974, 
the Constitution is the soul of our Nation. Today this House is set on 
a course that tears at the very soul of our Nation. It is wrong, it is 
imprudent, it is not wise, and it is harmful to the Nation.
  By his actions, Bill Clinton has brought shame as president. But 
today this body has set itself on a treacherous course where it is not 
only weakening the presidency, but diminishing our Constitution.

                              {time}  1636


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair notes a disturbance 
in the gallery, in contravention of the law and rules of the House. The 
Sergeant at Arms will remove those persons responsible for the 
disturbance and restore order to the gallery.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman 
from Georgia (Mr. Barr) for rebuttal.
  Mr. BARR of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I would say to the distinguished ranking member on the 
Committee on the Judiciary that when President Clinton or any person 
appears before a grand jury or before a court, they have three, count 
them, and only three choices: They can tell the truth, they can take 
the fifth amendment, or they can lie. President Clinton chose the last 
option, he lied.
  It is a legal impossibility for somebody to be forced to lie before a 
grand jury or in court, and that is the essence of what entrapment is. 
The President chose voluntarily to tell a lie; to conduct perjurious, 
misleading, and untruthful statements. He cannot be forced to do that. 
That is what he did.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from Utah (Mr. Cannon), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.

[[Page H11843]]

  (Mr. CANNON asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CANNON. Mr. Speaker, I am going to speak to a couple of key 
points. First, I would like to create the context by sharing with my 
colleagues two statements, one by Founding Father John Jay and the 
other by President Kennedy.
  John Jay said, ``When oaths cease to be sacred, our dearest and most 
valuable rights become insecure.''
  Four days before his death, President Kennedy visited Florida. There 
he made the following statement: ``In this country I,'' referring to 
the presidency, ``carry out and execute the laws of the United States. 
I also have the obligation of implementing the orders of the courts of 
the United States. I can assure you that whoever is president of the 
United States will do the same, because if he did not,'' that is, he, 
the President, ``He would begin to unwind this most extraordinary 
constitutional system of ours.''
  The President's ability to unwind the constitutional system is 
significant. The President is the only individual charged with ensuring 
that our laws are faithfully executed. He is one of the few Americans 
who always is an example for good or ill. If a president can lie before 
a grand jury during a civil deposition, engage in obstruction of 
justice, and abuse power, others will follow.
  Article III sets forth that the President willfully and deliberately 
allowed his attorney to make false statements to the court about the 
affidavit of Ms. Lewinsky. The President's defenders, including his 
attorney, Mr. Ruff, have said he was not paying attention at the time 
when Mr. Bennett raised the affidavit, but the videotape of the 
deposition shows otherwise. He was alert, attentive, and engaged.
  The President's official defense was that he thought Ms. Lewinsky 
thought her affidavit was true, and he was just affirming her belief. 
First, the affidavit was not a statement of beliefs. It was a statement 
of the facts under oath. The President's response was evasive.
  Second, in the affidavit Ms. Lewinsky stated she had not received any 
benefit from her relationship with the President. The facts are 
indisputable. There was an intense effort by Mr. Jordan on behalf of 
the President to get her a job.
  Third, in the deposition, after reading from the affidavit, 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.''
  We know today that it was absolutely false. President Clinton's 
deliberate effort to mislead Judge Wright is a clear obstruction of 
justice. Others have been prosecuted for less. Under the Constitution, 
the President is held accountable by the mechanism of impeachment. 
Impeachment is serious and weighty.
  My friends on the other side have repeatedly argued that the 
President's offenses do not rise to the level of high crimes and 
misdemeanors. The essence of their argument is that perjury, 
obstruction of justice, and the abuse of power are not equivalent to 
treason or bribery.
  They are wrong. Perjury and obstruction of justice are akin to 
bribery in many ways. Perjury and obstruction go to the corruption of 
the judicial system. Bribery amounts to the corruption of a bureaucrat. 
Both prevent citizens from enjoying their rights under the rule of law.
  Their treatment by the United States Sentencing Commission, the only 
thing that helps set forth penalties for Federal crimes, supports the 
comparison. Under the guidelines, bribery of or by a public official is 
an offense of base level 10. For a first-time offender, that would 
translate to 6 to 12 months in a Federal penitentiary.
  Under the guidelines, perjury and obstruction are base level 12, two 
levels beyond bribery, and that means for a first-time offender a 
sentencing range of 10 to 16 months. Someone convicted of perjury, and 
remember, there are 100 Americans sentenced every year for perjury, can 
face up to 10 months more in jail than someone convicted of bribery. 
Based on the U.S. sentencing guidelines, not only are perjury and 
obstruction of justice in the same ballpark as bribery, they are 
treated as more grave.
  I appeal to my colleagues. Let us not allow the President to begin 
unwinding our constitutional system. Let us protect the integrity of 
the oaths that underpin our judicial system. Let Congress protect our 
dearest and most valuable rights by impeaching this president, who has 
demeaned the sacredness of his oaths.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Ortiz).
  (Mr. ORTIZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ORTIZ. Mr. Speaker, I will be voting against the four articles of 
impeachment, and I request that my colleagues vote against it, and that 
we start the healing process for our country.
  Mr. Speaker, throughout this whole unseemly matter of impeaching a 
President who lied about deplorable conduct, I have clung to the 
dignity of the instruction of the Constitution to guide my actions. I 
re-examined all the evidence offered to the House: the Referral from 
the Office of Independent Counsel (OIC), the President's taped 
testimony, the reams of evidence in support of the OIC Referral, 
testimony (limited though it was) before the Judiciary Committee, and 
the Committee's deliberations.
  As the equivalent of a judicial and legislative grand juror in this 
process, evaluating this evidence carefully, and privately, is 
consistent with my constitutional role. As a Member of the House of 
Representatives in the U.S. Congress, I am acutely aware that our 
actions today represent half the precedent in our entire history with 
regard to the sacred duty associated with impeachment, as this is but 
the second time in U.S. history that the full House has been asked to 
act on articles of impeachment.
  Our constitutional process is not one that can be suspended or taken 
lightly. Once begun, it must be completed. This process began when the 
OIC referred its findings to the House. I voted earlier this year to 
have the Judiciary Committee conduct a hearing to discover if these 
offenses were indeed, as the OIC alleges, sufficient for impeachment of 
a President. I agreed with Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde who, 
when he spoke of impeachment in September, said that if the effort to 
impeach President Clinton were not bi-partisan then it would be 
ultimately unsuccessful. That is where we are now. The effort has been 
unsuccessful.
  As the rough equivalent of a grand juror, I exercised the real 
strength of the United States grand juror: the common sense to let 
prudence guide my actions. What the President did was immoral, first 
the behavior then the lie. But this is not a vote on morality; it is 
setting dangerous new constitutional precedent in a partisan setting. 
Grand jurors in our judicial system today have to exercise good 
judgment about stopping a bad case when the evidence is not there to 
fortify it legally. In our role today, we have the added weight of 
exercising good constitutional, democratic, and political common sense.
  Our country's Founders put the impeachment clause in our governing 
document for a very specific reason, to have a democratic mechanism for 
the removal of a President who has grievously injured the country. 
President Clinton certainly injured the national trust, as does any 
public official when they lie; but he has not injured the U.S. 
Constitution, our democracy, our government, or any political movement 
in our country. His actions were outrageous. His lies about it were 
disheartening and alarming. But his behavior itself, even when 
compounded with lies under oath, was not impeachable.
  We should take a lesson from this long and difficult drama. No lie 
from a public official is acceptable. It is all the more appalling when 
it is the chief executive, under oath, about an affair in the White 
House. Those who seek the public trust of the presidency must be ever 
vigilant to conduct themselves truthfully. Those who seek the 
presidency should be on notice that the rules are forever changed: the 
impeachment bar has been lowered and can be invoked far easier than our 
Founders intended.
  Those in Congress must be a careful watchdog of executive behavior, 
and today's vote is a strong message that this body will not shy from 
our duty, but we are not willing to let impeachment become a partisan 
endeavor. I hope this exercise, while difficult and unnecessary, shows 
the world the ultimate strength of the U.S. Constitution and the innate 
common sense of the American people in the world's most sophisticated 
democracy.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing these articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Evans).
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the four articles of 
impeachment against President Clinton, because I do not believe that 
such a

[[Page H11844]]

grave step is in the best interests of our country.
  All of us in public life have to be accountable for our actions, and 
there is no question that the President's conduct was deplorable. 
Having reviewed the evidence, however, I do not believe that the case 
has been made with sufficient clarity that the President's conduct 
warrants impeachment, trial, and removal from office.
  Heavily weighing in my decision are the charges made in greatest 
detail by the Independent Counsel, Mr. Starr, addressing conduct 
unrelated to the President's public and official duties. During the 
impeachment proceedings against President Nixon, my predecessor, Tom 
Railsback, noted that there was ``a serious question as to whether 
something involving the President's personal tax liability has anything 
to do with his conduct in the office of the president.'' Later, the 
Committee on the Judiciary rejected the article of impeachment against 
the President on those grounds.
  Today a majority of the public continues to approve of President 
Clinton's ability to perform his duties, and does not wish for him to 
be impeached by the House and tried by the Senate. I do not believe we 
should impeach President Clinton based on misconduct not clearly 
related to the President's official duties.
  Let me be clear, a decision by the House not to impeach will not 
exonerate the President. He will remain subject to indictment and 
prosecution for his conduct in the court of law when he leaves office.
  I do believe that the Congress should fashion an appropriate response 
to his actions, which places the national interest first. I am greatly 
disappointed that excessive partisanship on the part of the Committee 
on the Judiciary prevents us from discussing censure.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\3/4\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Ohio (Mr. Kucinich).
  Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, in the name of the American people, who 
oppose this impeachment as being manifestly unfair, behold the 
prophetic power of the Biblical injunction, ``Judge not, that you not 
be judged.'' In the name of all the people who have suffered a dark 
night of assault, feel the might of the warning, let he who is without 
sin cast the first stone.

                              {time}  1645

  In the names of Washington, of Jefferson, of Lincoln, and all those 
who fought to create one Nation indivisible, do not cleave this Nation 
with a partisan impeachment, for a House of Representatives divided 
against itself shall not stand. We speak of one Nation under God. In 
God's name do not tear apart this House and this Nation with a low-rent 
impeachment.
  There is much misunderstanding about just what impeachment means. It 
is not a form of censure. Impeachment is not a punishment. It is part 
of a process for removing a President. It has been reserved for the 
highest crimes, not low crimes. And I submit that if we vote to impeach 
President Clinton for his offenses, we have committed an offense more 
grievous because we will have nullified the votes of 97 million 
Americans. Do not take away the people's voice. Do not nullify the 
people's choice. Punish the President with censure if you must, but do 
not punish the American people by canceling their vote.
  Some day a generation far into the future will look at this moment 
and ask why and they will conclude that in impeaching a President, this 
House chose partisanship under the cover of patriotism and sanctimonius 
salutations to that all hallowed and selectively perceived rule of law. 
And that cloak of shame prepared for the President will also cover 
those carrying the cloak. For at this moment we are troubling our 
America. We are troubling our common bond. We are troubling our 
American community. We are troubling our American unit.
  The sun will rise and the year 2000 will soon come. And those who 
troubled their own House will have inherited the wind.
  The die is case. The President is about to be impeached. His offenses 
not high crimes, but low. His conduct, yes, beneath the dignity of the 
office but also beneath the requirements of what the Founders intended 
to rise to a standard of impeachment. His shortcomings for all the 
world to see, we must correctly review our own. The shortcomings of the 
investigation by the Independent Counsel, the shortcomings of the 
partisan Judiciary proceedings, the shortcomings of a day where 
impeachment, which is no alternative, is the only alternative. We have 
entered Wonderland with Alice and we have seen the Queen pronounce 
``Sentence first--Verdict afterwards.''
  In the name of the American people who oppose this impeachment as 
being manifestly unfair, behold the prophetic power of the Biblical 
injunction: ``. . . Judge not, that ye not be judged.'' In the name of 
all those people who have suffered a dark night of soul, feel the might 
of the warning: ``. . . Let he how is without sin cast the first 
some.'' In the Names of Washington, of Jefferson, and of Lincoln, and 
of all who fought to create one nation, indivisible, do not cleave this 
Nation with a partisan impeachment, for a House of Representatives 
divided against itself shall not stand. We speak of one nation, under 
God. In God's name, do not tear apart, this House and this Nation with 
a low-rent impeachment.
  There is much misunderstanding about just what impeachment means. It 
is not a form of censure. Impeachment is not a punishment. It is part 
of a process for removing a President. it has been reserved for the 
highest crimes, not low crimes, and I submit that if we vote to impeach 
President Clinton for his offenses we will have committed an offense 
more grievous, because we will have nullified the votes of 97 million 
Americans. Don't take away the people's voice. Don't nullify the 
people's choice. Punish the President with censure if we must. But 
don't punish the American people by canceling their vote.
  Let me talk for a moment about high crimes. It is a high crime that 
forty three-million Americans are without health care. It is a high 
crime that forty-four million Americans must worry about their Social 
Security. It is a high crime that wealth is being distributed upward. 
That the top 1% of the people hold more wealth than the bottom 90% of 
the people. And this act today redistributes the political wealth of 
the country. The Founders did not put impeachment in the Constitution 
so that a majority party some day could topple a President of the 
opposite party just because they had the votes. This process, when it 
is partisan, becomes an ad hoc, back-door transition to a parlimentary 
form of government.
  Someday a generation far into the future will look back on this 
moment and ask: ``Why?'' Why did they impeach a president when it was 
clearly partisan? Why, When it was less than a high crime? Why, when 
they knew it would fail in the Senate? Why, when they knew a trial in 
the Senate would shut down the government? Why, when they had a clear 
alternative of censure? Why, did they choose the harsh judgement and 
condemnation of impeachment over the forgiveness and redemption of 
censure?
  And they will conclude that, in impeaching a President, this House 
chose partisanship under the cover of patriotism and sanctimonious 
salutations to that all hallowed and selectively perceived Rule of Law. 
And the cloak of shame prepared for the President will also cover those 
carrying the cloak. For at this moment we are troubling our America. We 
are troubling our common bond. We are troubling our American community. 
We are troubling our American unity. The sun will rise and the year 
2000 will soon come. And those who troubled their own House will have 
inherited the wind.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\3/4\ minutes to the gentleman 
from Massachusetts (Mr. Olver).
  (Mr. OLVER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. OLVER. Mr. Speaker, this is a totally prejudged and partisan 
process that denies the majority of the Members of this House of 
Representatives and the majority of Americans a vote on a bipartisan 
compromise, a vote of conscience to censure the President.
  Mr. Speaker, the American people, in their collective electoral 
wisdom that we all submit to, have twice elected President Clinton. The 
American people support the President's performance of his official 
duties, and they do not want him removed from office. Three months ago 
when I first reviewed the Starr report, I looked for evidence of 
treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors, the only 
constitutional grounds for impeachment. No such thing appears in the 
Starr report.
  Instead I found evidence, gathered at great public cost, in dollars 
$50 million, and in destruction of privacy that Americans cherish, 
evidence of a consensual sexual relationship of the tawdriest nature 
which the participants tried to hide for its tawdriness. Weeks of 
hearings in the Committee on the Judiciary have uncovered nothing more 
except the partisan close-mindedness of the proceedings. The Republican 
obsession to impeach President Clinton on the flimsiest of 
constitutional grounds and against the will of

[[Page H11845]]

most Americans will cause long lasting divisions in America.
  The Republicans know that they cannot get 67 votes in the Senate to 
remove the President from office so this is a purely partisan exercise 
in this House designed to humiliate and weaken a twice-elected 
President of the United States.
  To my Republican colleagues, by your efforts today, you show the 
American people once and for all that you should not be in the majority 
in this Congress, and that, I believe, will be your reward.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a totally prejudged and partisan process that 
denies a majority of the Members of this House, and the majority of 
Americans, a vote on a bipartisan compromise--a vote of conscience to 
censure the President.
  Mr. Speaker, every one of us submits every 2 years to the collective, 
electoral wisdom of the people we serve.
  Mr. Speaker, the American people in their collective, electoral 
wisdom have twice elected President William Clinton. The American 
people support the President's performance of his official duties, and 
they do not want him removed from office.
  Three months ago when I first reviewed the Starr report, I looked for 
evidence of treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors--the only 
constitutional grounds for impeachment. No such thing appears in the 
Starr report.
  Instead, I found evidence gathered at great public cost--in dollars, 
$50 million, and in the destruction of privacy that Americans cherish--
evidence of a consensual sexual relationship of the tawdriest nature 
which the participants tried to hide for its tawdriness.
  Weeks of Judiciary Committee hearings have uncovered nothing more 
except the partisan, closed-mindedness of the proceedings.
  The Republicans' obsession to impeach President Clinton on the 
flimsiest of constitutional grounds and against the will of most 
Americans will cause long-lasting divisions in America.
  The Republicans know they cannot get 67 votes in the Senate to remove 
the President from office. So, this is a purely partisan exercise in 
this House designed to humiliate and weaken the twice-elected President 
of the United States.
  To my Republican colleagues, by your efforts today you show the 
American people once and for all that you should not be the majority in 
Congress and I believe that will be your reward.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Rogan) for purposes of a rebuttal.
  Mr. ROGAN. Mr. Speaker, a few minutes ago my dear friend from 
California made commentary in her argument as to why she would vote 
against articles of impeachment. In doing so she invoked the name of 
our venerated late former colleague, the gentlewoman from Texas, 
Democrat Barbara Jordan.
  I wanted to share a quote of Barbara Jordan's from the Nixon 
impeachment hearing that directly replies to the very issue which the 
gentlewoman from California raised a few minutes ago.
  Barbara Jordan, Members will recall, was a Democrat member of the 
House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Nixon. 
She made the point that the Constitution gives each House of Congress a 
specific duty. The House serves as an accuser; the Senate serves as a 
judge.
  Barbara Jordan understood the difference between the House having the 
role of filing the indictment and not bringing the evidence to an 
ultimate conclusion in trial. That is the purpose of a jury trial, 
which would be held in the Senate.
  Congresswoman Jordan said during the Nixon hearing, ``It is wrong, I 
suggest it is a misreading of the Constitution, for any member here to 
assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means 
that the member must be convinced that the President should be removed 
from office. The Constitution does not say that. The powers relating to 
impeachment are an essential check in the hands of this body, the 
legislature, against and upon the encroachment of the executive. In 
establishing the division between the two branches of the legislature, 
the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and 
to the other the right to judge, the framers of the Constitution were 
very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judges the same 
person.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Hastings).
  (Mr. HASTINGS of Washington asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I am in favor of the 
articles of impeachment.
  I ran for Congress in order to pass laws--not to pass judgment. But 
events have transpired over the past year that have put me in a 
position to decide whether President Clinton lied under oath, 
obstructed justice and violated the powers of his office. There's no 
question that this is the most difficult decision I will have to make 
as a Member of Congress.
  In my judgment, Bill Clinton has disgraced the Presidency and is no 
longer fit to hold the highest office in the land. For that reason, I 
will vote in favor of all four articles of impeachment to be considered 
today by the House of Representatives.
  If impeached, it is my hope that President Clinton would spare the 
Nation a trial in the Senate by resigning as soon as possible. In the 
event he does not resign, I am hopeful that the Senate would quickly 
complete his trial and vote to remove him from office.
  Like most Americans, I wish the President had not lied under oath and 
had not urged others to do so--but he did. Unfortunately, he can't 
simply wish that away, and neither can I.
  Our system of justice is built on the principles of truth and 
honesty. That's why charges of lying under oath and obstruction of 
justice are so serious. They are an assault on the basic rule of law 
that cuts to the very core of our system of government.
  Some suggest that lying under oath and obstructing justice by the 
President under certain conditions are different--and even acceptable--
than lying under oath and obstructing justice by an ordinary citizen. 
In my mind, there are not certain conditions that meet this test. 
Nobody is above the law, including the President of the United States. 
That goes to the heart of the decision we will make today.
  That decision should not be one that is judged 25 or 50 days from 
now. Instead, it should stand the test of time to be favorably judged 
25 or 50 years from now because the decision sends a message that 
either supports or compromises the rule of law.
  Let's remind ourselves that we are only here temporarily and the 
President is only here temporarily. The office of the 4th District 
Congressman from Washington and the office of the President will endure 
after its present occupants leave. But these offices will only have 
meaning if the basic rule of law is sustained. This is not personal, it 
transcends that.
  In fact, it is impossible to enter the Supreme Court building in 
Washington, DC, without being struck by four words above the entrance: 
``Equal Justice Under Law.'' Those words, more than any others, have 
guided my decision.
  After all, since its founding more than two centuries ago, ours has 
been a government of laws and not of men--which means, in essence, that 
unlike most other countries, here in the United States no man or woman 
is above the law. Not you. Not me. Not this President. Not any 
President.
  This ordeal has gone on long enough. The President has had his say, 
and his critics have had theirs. Now, the rule of law means the law 
must rule.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from California (Mr. Calvert).
  (Mr. CALVERT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in favor of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, today I will join a majority of my colleagues in the 
House of Representatives and vote in favor of impeaching the 42nd 
President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton. I did not 
reach this decision lightly. After reviewing the documents and articles 
of impeachment put forth by the House Committee on the Judiciary, I 
reached the unhappy but necessary conclusion that there is enough 
evidence to warrant forwarding these articles to the Senate. I do so 
with the best interests of California's 43rd congressional district, 
and all Americans, foremost in my mind.
  We have heard from the other side of the aisle the constant plea for 
censure as an alternative to the vote today. I do not believe, however, 
that censure is an option for the House. The Framers of the 
Constitution did not provide for censure as an alternative to 
impeachment, therefore it would be irresponsible and unconstitutional 
to bring such a motion to the full House for consideration. The House 
has never censured a President before, and it would be a horrible 
precedent to set. It is the responsibility of the United States Senate 
to decide President Clinton's guilt or innocence and punishment.
  The President has twice taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of 
the United States. He also took an oath before a Federal grand jury to 
tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And then he 
broke both of

[[Page H11846]]

these oaths. The President is the nation's chief law enforcement 
officer and is subject to the same rules and laws as every American. 
Without a clear and strong rule of law, the United States would be 
nothing more than a banana republic. Simply put, the evidence is clear 
that William Jefferson Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of 
justice while serving as the President. In the best interest of our 
nation, the rule of law should be upheld and this President should be 
impeached, and face trial in the Senate.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
distinguished gentlewoman from New Mexico (Mrs. Wilson).
  Mrs. WILSON. Mr. Speaker, I had not planned to talk today. I have 
made my decision and told my constituents. But some of the comments 
made on the floor have caused me to reconsider my silence.
  It appears that some of our Members believe or would have others 
believe that those of us who will vote to impeach the President are 
driven by some kind of blind partisanship or are doing it because our 
arms are being twisted. I am the junior Member of this House. The 
district that I love is more Democrat than Republican. And not once, 
not once has any leader of this House even so much as asked me how I 
will vote.
  I read the evidence. I must admit that I was looking for some 
explanation, a rebuttal of the facts, some justification to spare the 
country from impeachment. I could not find it. I cannot turn from the 
truth and the evidence that supports it.
  I have reached my decision with a profound sense of sadness. I am 
constantly reminded of the symbol of justice in America. Justice 
holding the scales is not blind because she looks away or because she 
will not see. Justice is blind so that every citizen, regardless of 
race or creed or station in life, will be treated equally under the 
law. And that includes the President of the United States. It is a 
powerful symbol. And today it is one we must live up to, even when it 
would be easier to look away.
  You may challenge the facts, you may challenge my reasoning, but do 
not challenge the integrity of my purpose.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I profoundly apologize to those of my 
colleagues on this side of the aisle who have been waiting so very long 
to be recognized. We have the exigencies of the evening. We have still 
a lot of Members, and our time is running shorter. I am going to have 
to reduce to 1\1/2\ minutes many of my colleagues whom I had intended 
to give a much larger amount of time. I apologize for it.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Maryland 
(Mr. Cardin).
  (Mr. CARDIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. Speaker, by the President's own admission, his 
conduct was wrong. He misled his family and our Nation. The President 
has gravely disappointed and embarrassed our country.
  The question presented to Congress is not whether the President's 
conduct is reprehensible but whether his actions warrant his 
impeachment and removal from office. Short of a declaration of war, 
there is no more solemn responsibility for a Congressman in acting on 
the possible impeachment of the President.
  I was never so proud to be a Member of this House during our debate 
of our participation in Operation Desert Storm. That debate helped 
bring our Nation together. Regardless of what side one was on that 
issue, the debate consolidated our country, and everyone felt good with 
the results.
  Unfortunately, the process used in the House impeachment inquiry has 
brought about just the opposite result in our Nation. However, each of 
us must be guided by what the Constitution dictates as far as 
impeachment. Our decision will not only affect this President but will 
affect the future of our presidency.
  The Constitution and the historical record indicates that the words 
in the Constitution were clear to our framers of the Constitution, that 
they apply only to fundamental offenses against the system of 
government. President Clinton's misleading statements have nothing to 
do with the official duties of his office. They were designed to 
conceal an embarrassing, highly inappropriate personal relationship. As 
such, they do not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.
  I urge my colleagues to reject each of the four articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, by the President's own admission his conduct in the 
Lewinsky matter was wrong; he misled his family and our nation. The 
President has gravely disappointed and embarrassed our country. The 
question presented to Congress is not whether his conduct is 
reprehensible, but whether his actions warrant his impeachment and 
removal from office.
  Short of a declaration of war, there is no more solemn responsibility 
for a Congressman than acting on the possible impeachment of our 
President. I was never so proud to be a member of the Congress as when 
we debated and acted on the U.S. participation in Operation Desert 
Storm. That debate helped bring our nation together. Regardless of what 
side of the debate one believed was right, the democratic process used 
by Congress to debate our involvement was healing for Congress and for 
the American people.
  More recently, I had the responsibility to serve on the House 
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct during the investigation of 
Speaker Gingrich. The members of the Investigatory Subcommittee in that 
process took great pains to proceed in a bipartisan manner. We 
specifically defined and limited the charges against the Speaker, and 
extended every opportunity to the Speaker to respond to our work. The 
fairness and bipartisan nature of that process was confirmed by the 
overwhelming vote of the House, 395 to 28, to fine and censure the 
Speaker.
  Unfortunately, the process used in the House Impeachment Inquiry has 
brought about just the opposite result. The Judiciary Committee has 
proceeded in a very partisan manner. The Committee has denied the 
President basic fairness in the proceedings. As a result, the 
recommendation has broken down strictly along party lines.
  Last January, Chairman Henry Hyde observed that for this process to 
succeed, it was absolutely essential that the process be bipartisan. 
That has not happened. Now, whatever action Congress takes will be 
viewed by the public with disdain. We will not be able to bring our 
nation together. I believe Congress has greatly disappointed our 
country.
  What the committee has done cannot be undone. It is now time for the 
full House to act. In making my decision as to whether to vote for or 
against an Article of Impeachment, I must be guided solely by what the 
Constitution requires. Our decision will affect not only this 
President, but the future of the Presidency. Therefore I must make that 
judgment regardless of the actions of the Judiciary Committee, my party 
affiliation or the popular sentiment of the people of my district.
  In order to vote for an Article of Impeachment, I must be convinced 
first that the record establishes the offenses alleged, and second, 
that the offense rises to the standard prescribed for impeachment under 
the Constitution. Having reviewed much of the material included in the 
Starr referral and having read much of the testimony of witnesses 
before the Judiciary Committee, I have reached the following 
conclusions:
  Of the four articles voted by the Committee, one alleges obstruction 
of justice. The record of evidence presented by the Independent 
Counsel--which the Judiciary Committee failed to examine through 
testimony of material witnesses--in my opinion does not support this 
article. The charge of obstruction of justice rests on an 
interpretation of events, surmises and speculations that the evidence 
does not support.
  The three remaining articles allege that the President committed 
perjury in his testimony in his deposition in the Jones case, to the 
grand jury, and to the Judiciary Committee. In my opinion these 
articles raise more serious questions. As the President has conceded, 
it is without question that his responses to questions in the 
deposition were misleading and incomplete. He did not offer direct and 
clear answers to the questions.
  But proof of perjury requires more than misleading, incomplete, or 
evasive statements. During the Judiciary Committee's hearings, numerous 
expert witnesses, including legal scholars and former prosecutors, 
testified on the perjury issue. There was no disagreement in their 
testimony that the record compiled in this case would not, in the hands 
of a responsible prosecutor, justify a perjury charge.
  Even if we set aside that judgment, however, and assume that the 
President in fact lied under oath, we must answer a second question. Do 
the false and misleading statements in question rise to the level of an 
impeachable offense under the Constitution?
  Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that ``the 
President * * * of the United States shall be removed from Office on 
Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high 
crimes and Misdemeanors.'' The historical record of these words

[[Page H11847]]

makes clear that the Framers of the Constitution intended them to apply 
only to fundamental offenses against the system of government.
  The delegates to the Constitutional Convention approved James 
Madison's suggestion that the language read ``* * * high Crimes and 
Misdemeanors against the United States.'' After this language was 
approved, it was referred to the Committee on Style, which had 
instructions to make no substantive changes. In removing the words 
``against the United States,'' the Committee on Style was clearly 
making the judgment that the words were unnecessary because they were 
redundant. Thus, it is clear that the Framers intended that the 
President should only be impeached for offenses against the structure 
of our government.
  President Clinton's misleading statements had nothing to do with the 
official duties of his office. They were designed to conceal an 
embarrassing, highly inappropriate, personal relationship. As such, 
they do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses.
  Our recent historical experience supports this view. In 1974, the 
Judiciary Committee considered an Article of Impeachment based on 
President Nixon's tax fraud. President Nixon had filed tax returns that 
failed to report certain income and claimed deductions that were not 
authorized by law. The President had signed his tax returns under 
penalty of perjury. There was credible evidence that President Nixon 
had committed perjury.
  The Committee on the Judiciary, by a bipartisan vote of more than a 
2-1 margin, rejected the tax fraud article. By that vote, the Committee 
held that even if President Nixon had committed perjury in the filing 
of his personal tax returns, that conduct did not rise to the standard 
of an impeachable offense under the Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, the question of impeachment of a President of the United 
States is a grave constitutional matter. It is designed to address 
circumstances in which the President has violated the trust of the 
American people through fundamental abuses of his office and serious 
misconduct.
  Mr. Speaker, nothing in the articles approved by the Judiciary 
Committee approaches the historical and constitutional tests for 
impeachment of a President. Even if one assumes that the strained 
interpretation imposed by the committee on the facts of this case is 
reasonable, the sad efforts of a President to avoid getting caught 
having a consensual extramarital affair does not threaten our system of 
government. It does not justify the impeachment of the President by the 
House. Therefore, I will vote against each of the four articles 
approved by the Judiciary Committee.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from North Carolina (Mrs. Clayton).
  Mrs. CLAYTON. Mr. Speaker, today is a very sad day for this House and 
this country. I rise in opposition to these articles of impeachment.
  What we say today will be soon forgotten but what we do will be 
remembered throughout history. We are considering articles of 
impeachment of a President of the United States based on standards of 
our personal preference, selected interpretation of the law and 
partisan politics. Yet we use the Constitution, the rule of law for our 
reckless action.
  The Constitution clearly states what constitutes an impeachable 
offense, and we must not here attempt to substitute our personal views. 
We are establishing a dangerous precedent when we move to lower the 
standards below treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 
We should follow the Constitution, not use it as a tool for public 
execution, but we should use it to extol the high virtues and the 
greatness of this Nation.
  Much is said about the rule of law and that the President is not 
above the law. The rule of law, however, must be based on justice, if 
it is to survive. The inscription that appears upon the United States 
Supreme Court says, equal justice under law. It should read, equal law 
under justice.
  Justice is a higher authority. The process of impeachment that we are 
now undertaking is permitted by law, but each of us must ask the 
question, what does justice require of us?
  The law says we indeed can impeach the President. Justice says we 
must consider the greatness of this country. And what he has done does 
not move to an impeachable offense. We are breaking the law. We are 
violating our oath when we do not consider the Constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, today is a very sad day for this House and this Country. 
I rise in opposition to these Articles of Impeachment.
  What we say will soon be forgotten.
  But what we do will be remembered throughout history.
  We are considering Articles of Impeachment of the President of the 
United States based upon standards of our personal preference, 
selective interpretation of law and partisan politics.
  Yet, we use the Constitution and the Rule of Law for our reckless 
actions.
  The Constitution clearly states what constitutes an ``impeachable 
offense.''
  And, we must not here attempt to substitute our personal views.
  We are establishing a dangerous precedent when we move to lower the 
standards below treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
  We should follow the Constitution and not use it for a public 
execution, but use it as an instrument to extol the greatness of our 
nation.
  Much is said about the Rule of Law and that the President is not 
above the Law.
  The Rule of Law, however, must be based on Justice if it is to 
survive.
  The inscription that appears above the United States Supreme Court 
Building states, ``Equal Justice Under Law.''
  It should state, ``Equal Law Under Justice.''
  Justice is a higher authority.
  This process of impeachment that we are now undertaking is permitted 
by law.
  But, each of us must ask the question, what does justice require of 
us?
  At one time in this Nation, women could not vote, blacks could be 
enslaved and young people could fight and die in wars, but could not 
elect those who sent them to war.
  That was the law.
  But, it was not just.
  Throughout the proud history of this Nation, rigid thinking has 
yielded to conscience and adamant attitudes have yielded to compromise.
  That is the greatness of our Country.
  And, I believe, Mr. Speaker, in this instance, this Resolution of 
Impeachment should yield to the compromise and conscience of censure.
  We should have the option of censure to consider if we are about 
fairness and justice.
  The impeachment of a President is a grave and serious matter.
  When this debate ends, and the dust clears, and we vote, we must each 
reach deep down inside of ourselves and ask the question, what does 
justice require of us?
  The President will be judged, both for his greatness and failures, 
when he leaves office.
  And, if he has violated the law of committed perjury, the courts will 
decide his fate for his deeds.
  But, the question to us is simply this--Does what the President has 
done rise to the level of treason or bribery?
  Should we remove a President from office because he was not faithful 
to his wife, lied about it and was admittedly not truthful to his 
Country.
  His acts are reprehensible and should be sanctioned.
  Mr. Speaker, this Congress has the power to impeach our President, 
and the majority has the votes to do it.
  That is the law.
  But, what does justice require of us?
  The oath each of us has taken requires us to put the interest of the 
Nation above our partisan politics.
  History will record what we do here today, and history will judge us 
harshly.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Farr.)
  (Mr. FARR of California asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. FARR of California. Mr. Speaker, today is the wrong day and this 
is the wrong way. When our side asked this morning why are we doing 
this today, the Republican leadership responded, because we want to 
demonstrate democracy at work. Democracy at work? I served this country 
in the United States Peace Corps. I know how to demonstrate democracy 
at work. And this is not it.
  No one, anywhere in the world today, can explain why a Congress would 
impeach the most popular elected President in the world at a time when 
that President is engaged in a conflict in Iraq. What you see here 
today is not a demonstration of democracy; it is a demonstration of a 
partisan political coups.

                              {time}  1700

  This is not only the wrong day, this is also the wrong way. Mr. 
Speaker, we cannot claim that a democracy is working when we deny the 
minority a voice. There are no options here today. There will be no 
vote for censure. That is not even allowed nor offered. There are 
absolutely no alternatives, no nothing, just plain meanness.
  ``There is no fancy way to say I've sinned.'' That was Bill Clinton, 
President of the United States, in an apology to his fellow citizens--
the people who elected him.

[[Page H11848]]

  And, generally, it seems, the people who elected him accept that 
apology and want to move on. They do not favor impeachment. They do not 
favor removing him from office.
  The Framers of our Constitution were wise men. They rightly 
constructed the House of Representatives to be the legislative body 
most reflective, most responsive and most connected to the citizens. 
This is the reason why House members have very short terms and face re-
election every two years. This is the reason why the Framers required 
House members be directly elected by the people but not Senators (who 
originally were elected by state legislatures) or the President (who 
even today is affirmed by the Electoral College). The Framers wanted to 
strongly impress upon House members that they held the power of the 
people in their hands and were responsible for representing it 
faithfully and truthfully.
  I must be true to this obligation. I have listened to the impeachment 
hearings. I have read the Starr report. I have sought out legal experts 
and constitutional scholars for guidance on the technical aspects of 
the impeachment conundrum. I have noted the national polls. But mostly, 
I have listened hard and long to persons in this Central Coast 
community on their views of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair.
  I will not vote for impeachment because I believe the majority of 
people living in our area do not want it.
  Since August, when the President appeared before the Grand Jury, I 
have been accused of being silent on this matter. Silent, no. Keeping 
my counsel, yes. I have been reticent until just recently to commit 
myself on the matter because we are dealing with grave constitutional 
matters that impact the very fabric of our government. These are not 
decisions to be taken lightly and I wanted to be sure of all the facts 
of the matter before declaring a position.
  Having held my tongue now for these many months I must relate to you 
that I believe as almost everyone, that what Mr. Clinton did was wrong. 
But impeachable? No. Impeachment is a punishment to be used only in the 
most extreme cases when the action of the President is such that it 
undermines our government. It is a punishment to be used in cases when 
the action of the President is such that he has turned the institutions 
of the government against the very people that it is supposed to serve. 
It is a punishment to be used when the people of the country must be 
relieved of the President's--their President, the President they 
elected--leadership because his continued tenure would be harmful to 
the citizenry.
  Impeachment is not a tool to be used to express one's displeasure in 
the personal foibles of a man regardless of his position. It should not 
be used to rain retribution on one's political opponents or used for 
political gain. It is not the way to treat the American people who have 
chosen their leader--not once, but twice--a leader in whom they have 
placed their confidence, knowing even then of his propensities to 
untoward personal behavior.
  The crimes of which Mr. Clinton is accused do not rise to the level 
that demand he be removed from office. They are such that in the normal 
world, it is unlikely they would be prosecuted. Common crimes call for 
common justice. They do not call for extraordinary means outside the 
traditional justice system.
  Our country was founded on the principles of fairness. This whole 
investigation and impeachment proceeding has not been fair and it has 
not been founded on a search for real justice. I cannot condone Mr. 
Clinton's actions in the Lewinsky affair. But neither can I condone 
abuse of a hallowed constitutional procedure that makes a mockery of 
all our nation stands for. I will vote no on the impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Davis).
  Mr. DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I include for the Record a 
statement. It will be available on my web page for constituents and the 
press as well.
  Inspired by Providence, our Nation's Founders foresaw today's awesome 
circumstances. They provided a fail-safe mechanism in the Constitution 
to peacefully resolve the crisis created by a President's reckless and 
illegal actions. As a Member of Congress I feel deeply the weight of 
history and the need to provide additional guidance to future 
generations.
  After painstakingly reviewing the testimony and the documentary 
evidence, after giving the President every reasonable benefit short of 
suspending common sense itself, I have decided that I will vote for 
impeachment. As excruciating as this has been, there is no escaping the 
conclusion that President Clinton ``willfully provided perjurious, 
false and misleading testimony to the grand jury'' and ``in sworn 
testimony to written questions asked as part of a Federal civil rights 
action brought against him, willfully provided perjurious, false and 
misleading testimony'', as stated in the impeachment articles.
  The Declaration of Independence, which Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg 
informed us was the Nation's birth, calls upon us to have a ``decent 
respect'' for the ``opinions of mankind'', which we today call public 
opinion. A ``decent respect'', not slavish pandering, not abdication of 
our Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution, and not relinquishment 
of our solemn obligation to filter opinion through our own value 
systems. I have that decent respect, and am grateful to all those who 
have taken the trouble to communicate their views to me and my office.
  As difficult a task as it is, we must take this issue outside the 
realm of current public opinion. What we are struggling to insure is 
that we have an objective standard of public conduct for public 
officials. We would descend into chaos if we had one standard of 
conduct when the economy is good and another when the economy is not 
good--one standard for a popular president, another for an unpopular 
one.
  The Constitution of the United States provides in Article 1 that 
``The House of Representatives shall have the sole Power of 
Impeachment'', that ``The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all 
impeachments'', and that ``Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not 
extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold 
and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: 
but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to 
indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.'' As is 
now well known, the Constitutional standard for judges and the 
president alike is treason, bribery, and other ``High Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.''

  It is a matter of great concern to me that the process appears to be 
breaking down along partisan lines. This is not healthy, and I believe 
that the Framers would not want it so. But that does not diminish one 
iota my own responsibility to stand and be counted.
  I reject categorically the argument that there are different 
standards for impeachment where the President is concerned. We can not 
be guided by situational ethics that can destroy one constitutional 
officer and absolve another from the consequences of destructive 
conduct. Over the past decades at least 2 federal judges have been 
impeached for perjury unconnected to their judicial duties. The 
constitutional standards for impeachment are not lower for the 
President and we must not allow them to become lower for the President. 
My reading of the case law does not support the conclusion that we have 
a double standard for federal judges who are appointed, and another for 
the President, who carries an election mandate with him.
  My vote will reflect my conclusion that the President committed 
perjury before a federal grand jury, and that this is an impeachable 
offense. The President's statements were perjurious, not just 
misleading. I have read and re-read the President's testimony before 
the grand jury and in the Paula Jones civil rights case. There is no 
blinking at the fact that the President lied under oath. Ironically, 
this conclusion is supported by many of the President's defenders who 
have argued in effect that a full admission cannot be made for fear of 
legal exposure. Moreover, many of the President's supporters concede 
the President perjured himself, but argue that such perjury didn't rise 
to the standard of impeachment.
  Moreover, the President was appropriately admonished by Senator Orrin 
Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that whatever false 
statements were made in the Paula Jones case would be forgiven, if he 
merely told the truth in his Grand Jury appearance. Despite this 
``second chance'', the President failed to do so.
  I have given the most serious consideration to the suggestion that 
censure is a more appropriate punishment for the president and a better 
outcome for the nation. It is in my nature to find common ground where 
compromise is possible. The Constitution simply does not permit the 
House to take a convenient way out, nor should we. Under the Separation 
of Powers mandate we are forbidden to impose sanctions on the President 
short of impeachment. Also, strictly from a common sense standpoint, a 
resolution of censure would carry all the legal weight of a 
congressional designation of ``National Sweet Potato Week''. And 
historically, the House has never passed a censure resolution against a 
President. With no sanction, as censure resolution is a toothless 
tiger.

  What about a sanction the President agrees to? At this stage in the 
process the House can not permit the President to be in effect his own 
judge, and to set the terms of his own punishment and the amount of his 
own fine. That would be the very height of cynicism. By voting for 
impeachment the matter will be moved to the Senate for what I hope will 
be an expeditious resolution, and one that will be fair to the Nation 
and the Chief Executive.
  This is a vote for the children and for the future. Somewhere in 
America today is a young person just becoming interested in government 
who will one day be President of the United States. This vote is for 
that future

[[Page H11849]]

President as much as for the current occupant of the White House. This 
vote reaches across the generations, across the barriers of time and 
place to let that future president know that there are consequences for 
illegal conduct and parameters of illegal activities. We are setting 
that example as we light the constitutional torch for a new generation. 
I would also note that the President's private conduct is not the 
issue. Private conduct between consenting adults is in no way the 
business of congressional impeachment action. It is his public conduct 
that is at issue.
  This vote is a signal to our armed forces, whose Commander-in-Chief 
the President is, that we the peoples representatives are holding the 
President himself to the same standard of conduct that we expect from 
them.
  This vote is a signal to civilians, that we representatives will 
uphold their rights as we hold the President to the high standard the 
country expects from all its free citizens.
  As this solemn vote approaches, it is important for the world to 
realize that the underlying stability of our free Nation is stronger 
than ever. I am confident that history will view our actions as 
consistent with the high ideals so many generations have struggled to 
achieve.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from Alabama (Mr. Aderholt).
  Mr. ADERHOLT. Mr. Speaker, it gives me no pleasure to rise this 
afternoon in support of impeaching our President, William Jefferson 
Clinton. But make no mistake about it, it is Bill Clinton who has 
brought us to where we are today. And the issue here is not the 
relation that Bill Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky but rather the 
credibility and the honor under oath that must exist within the 
institution of the Presidency and which has been squandered by the 
current occupant of this high office.
  There are absolute applicable standards by which we all must live. If 
we do not live up to those standards, we will no longer be that nation 
which stands as a beacon of hope for all the world. This President has 
backed up his words of repentance with action that can only be 
characterized as stonewalling.
  There are many who say that the President, what he has done, is no 
big deal and that anyone would do the same. As a relatively young man, 
I remember a time in this great Nation when those endowed with public 
trust and those that were elected to public office were held to a 
higher standard. Today, with this vote, we take a step toward 
restoration of honor and responsibility.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, once again the exigencies of time have 
required me to apologize in advance to my colleagues because I am now 
going to have to limit all of them to 1 minute. I recognize my friends 
that have been waiting so long.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. 
Weygand).
  (Mr. WEYGAND asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. WEYGAND. About two months ago, Mr. Speaker, I rose with 30 of my 
Democratic colleagues to support the Republican request for an inquiry. 
I did so because I really had grave reservations about what the 
President had done. I truly believed that there may be indeed an 
impeachable offense. I listened with an open mind and hoped for 
fairness and openness in the hearings.
  Unfortunately, I was very disappointed because I looked for clear-cut 
evidence that would show me and my people in Rhode Island that indeed 
there was an impeachable offense. We did not come to that conclusion.
  So I researched and looked back, and back just 211 years Alexander 
Hamilton said in regard to impeachment, ``In many cases it will connect 
itself with preexisting factions and will enlist all the animosities, 
the partialities, the influence and the interest in one side or the 
other. And in such cases it will always be dangerous that the decision 
will be regulated more by a comparison of strength of the parties 
rather than the demonstration of innocence or guilt.''
  Mr. Speaker, I ask all of you to consider that because today it is 
the impartiality of partisanship and we should be really considering 
the evidence. It is not there. Please do not vote for these articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maine (Mr. Baldacci).
  (Mr. BALDACCI asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BALDACCI. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, the majority has sought to 
claim for themselves the mantle of the rule of law. In fact, however, I 
believe they have strayed far from the mandates of the United States 
Constitution, the supreme law of the land. They have tried to make the 
case that if we do not impeach President Clinton, we will be sending a 
message that the President will not be held responsible for his 
actions.
  Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether or not Congress 
votes to impeach or convict President Clinton will be subject to both 
criminal and civil prosecution when he leaves office.
  In addition, the Constitution explicitly states that a person who is 
impeached and convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to 
indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to the law.
  Regardless of what action the Congress does or does not take, 
President Clinton, like every other citizen, will be held accountable 
in court for his alleged violations.
  Forget not that when President Nixon stepped down from office he 
still had to be pardoned because of the crimes he committed. He could 
have been held responsible for it. The President, under the 
Constitution, is the only one that is allowable for double jeopardy.
  I ask my colleagues that this matter is so important that we do not 
want to lessen the standard for future generations.
  This week, the House of Representatives will vote on four Articles of 
Impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee, on party-line votes, 
has adopted concerning the actions of President Clinton with respect to 
his improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
  This is am important matter. What President Clinton did was wrong. He 
was wrong to have an affair with an intern and he was wrong to mislead 
the Grand Jury and to lie to the American people about his conduct with 
Miss Lewinsky. He must be punished appropriately.
  I say this because I firmly agree with the assertions that have being 
made that no one is above the law. My colleagues in the Majority have 
sought to claim for themselves the mantle of the rule of law. In fact, 
however, I believe that they have strayed far from the mandates of the 
U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the land. They have tried to make 
the case that if we do not impeach President Clinton, we will be 
sending the message that the President will not be held responsible for 
his actions.
  Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether or not the Congress 
votes to impeach or convict him, President Clinton will be subject to 
both civil and criminal prosecution when he leaves office. In addition, 
the Constitution explicitly states that a person who is impeached and 
convicted ``shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, 
Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.'' Regardless of what 
action the Congress does or does not take, President Clinton--like 
every other citizen--will be held accountable in court for his alleged 
violations of the law.
  When the Founding Fathers were drafting our Constitution, they 
considered carefully the provisions for impeachment. In fact, in the 
Federalist Papers No. 65, Alexander Hamilton talks about the concern 
that a House of Representatives dominated by one political party would 
impeach a president of the other political party without sufficient 
cause or proof. He expressed concern about the shock and disruption 
such an act would cause to our political system.
  The Framers set a very high threshold for presidential impeachment. 
They considered--and rejected--several lesser standards for 
impeachment, including ``maladministration'' and failure to display 
``good behavior.'' Instead, as we all know, they defined impeachable 
offenses as ``treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors.''
  Impeachment of the President is a profound action. It should be 
reserved for the most serious of cases, where the wrong-doing by the 
President represents an abuse of the power of the office. The matter at 
the root of this situation is a private one, not related to the 
President's conduct of his official duties. I am convinced that the 
Framers' intent in developing the standards for impeachment was to 
limit impeachable offenses to those that represent a threat to the 
republic. I do not believe that standard has been met in this case.
  When Independent Counsel Starr presented his report to the Congress, 
I supported moving forward with a focused inquiry. While I did not 
endorse the precise resolution that passed the House, I agreed that 
this was a serious matter that should be further considered by the 
Judiciary Committee.
  Since the beginning, I have said that above all, we must conduct our 
inquiry in a fair and

[[Page H11850]]

deliberate manner that is worthy of the seriousness of the situation 
and that will not set precedents that will weaken the Office of the 
Presidency in the future. I regret that did not happen. The party-line 
votes on the Articles of Impeachment expose the partisanship that has 
been present throughout this case. When the full House votes on the 
Articles, I expect that it will be one of the most partisan and 
divisive votes we will have had on any controversial issue in this 
Congress.
  In fact, we seem to be right back at the place feared by the authors, 
of the Federalist Papers, where one political party is seeking to 
impeach the popularly elected President who is of another party on 
partisan grounds. The Majority, while claiming to embrace the rule of 
law, is in fact going against the highest law of the land, the 
Constitution. They are also ignoring the clearly articulated wish of 
the American people: that President Clinton be condemned for his wrong-
doing, but that he not be impeached. I do not expect that history will 
look kindly on the Majority's handling of this matter.
  I have examined the evidence in this case carefully. I have read the 
grand jury testimony and the report of the Independent Counsel. I have 
spoken to many of my constituents personally, and have read the 
letters, e-mail messages and records of phone calls from hundreds more. 
I have studied the Constitution and listened to scholars argue both 
sides of the issues. I have weighed the matter in my own mind and 
wrestled with it in my own conscience.
  I have reached the conclusion that I must oppose the Articles of 
Impeachment that are before the House. The potential impeachment and 
removal from office of a popularly elected President is a very serious 
matter. I have carefully considered the President's conduct, and have 
determined that, in my mind, it does not rise to the level of ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors.'' What President Clinton did was wrong, and I 
believe that he should be punished. But I do not believe that his 
mistakes warrant his removal from office.
  I believe that a more rational response to the President's actions 
would be a strongly worded resolution of censure. It is often said that 
the punishment must fit the crime. I simply do not believe that 
impeachment, which nullifies the vote of the people in a popular 
election, is an appropriate punishment for a matter that does not 
involve an abuse of power.
  For those reasons, I will cast my votes against impeachment. I would 
once again urge my colleagues in the Majority to put aside 
partisanship, and to bring to this House a bipartisan censure 
resolution with which we can lay this matter to rest and get on with 
the business of the American people.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Vermont (Mr. Sanders).
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. Speaker, I have never fully appreciated before just 
how out of touch this institution is with the needs of the American 
people.
  Forty-three million Americans have no health insurance. Millions of 
senior citizens cannot afford their prescription drugs. And this House 
is going to vote to send to the Senate for a trial to go on month after 
month after month to discuss where Bill Clinton touched Monica 
Lewinsky.
  The global economy is volatile. The average American today is working 
longer hours for lower wages. We have the widest gap between the rich 
and the poor, and we are voting today perhaps to paralyze our 
government as the Senate explores the President's extramarital 
relations and his lies and his cover-up of that relationship.
  Mr. Speaker, Bill Clinton acted deplorably in his personal behavior. 
But what the American people are saying loudly and clearly is, let's 
get on with the business of the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the only Independent in the House--
someone who is not a Democrat or a Republican.
  There is a great political instability in the world--wars and famine 
in Africa, tensions in the middle-east, in Bosnia, in Latin America, in 
Ireland--and a war being fought as we speak in Iraq. There are weapons 
of mass destruction in place all over the world--nuclear weapons, 
biological and chemical weapons--all of which can destroy the world.
  And we are voting today to impeach a President has extra-marital 
sexual relations, lied about them and attempted to cover them up.
  Mr. Speaker, Bill Clinton acted deplorably in his personal behavior 
with a 22 year old intern. What he did was wrong--and he should be 
censured. He should not be impeached, however, and the United States 
Congress should get on with the business of the American people.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler) a member of the committee.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rogan) a 
few moments ago said that an impeachment vote is not a vote to remove 
the President but simply to charge him.
  I read from the resolution: ``Wherefore, William Jefferson Clinton, 
by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial and removal from 
office''; in addition to which we are already being told he should 
resign rather than face a trial.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 15 seconds.
  We have heard all of these prophets of economic doom and gloom if the 
House discharges its constitutional duty today in impeaching the 
President. The Nasdaq hit an all-time high. I think the markets are 
smarter than some of the people who are making these accusations.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. Barrett).
  (Mr. BARRETT of Nebraska asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.).
  Mr. BARRETT of Nebraska. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  I rise in support of all four articles of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, after careful consideration of the facts reported by the 
Judiciary Committee, I have decided it is my constitutional duty to 
cast my vote in support of all four Articles of Impeachment. I have not 
reached this decision lightly, but with the full understanding of the 
effect my vote will have on the future of our country. I am not pleased 
to cast these votes. I regret it has come to this.
  The polls overwhelmingly show political support for the President, 
but I cannot be governed by the polls in this matter. The 
constitutional framers did not place this decision in the hands of the 
pollsters; they placed the question of impeachment in the hands of the 
House of Representatives, and ultimately the decision to let the 
President remain in office with the Senate. In their phone calls, 
letters, e-mail, and in personal conversations, my constituents are 
overwhelmingly in favor of a vote to impeach the President. But even if 
they were not, I would still be duty bound to support all four Articles 
of Impeachment.
  At the beginning of the process, Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde asked, 
``Based on what we now know, do we have to look further, or look 
away?'' At that time, I voted to look further, because I believed the 
allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice were serious and 
credible. Nothing we have heard or seen since has changed my mind about 
those allegations.
  Since the actual impeachment hearings began, I have heard many 
witnesses engage in legal hairsplitting over the meaning of the words 
``is'' and ``alone.'' I have also heard the President's own lawyer 
acknowledge that a reasonable person could conclude the President did, 
indeed lie under oath.
  Some witnesses have testified that, even if true, the alleged 
offenses of President Clinton are not as serious as the alleged 
offenses of President Nixon. I do not believe that, but even if I did, 
it would not matter.
  We need to ask ourselves whether the President is only required to 
avoid abusing the power of his office to avoid impeachment? Should we 
allow the President to avoid impeachment even with substantial evidence 
indicating he has committed multiple felonies? Should we allow the 
President to avoid impeachment even if these felonies go to the very 
heart of our judicial system?
  Although I am disappointed by the personal conduct of the President, 
I want to make it clear I am not voting to impeach the President for 
having an extramarital affair, or even for lying about having an 
extramarital affair.
  But a president does not have the right to lie under oath. A 
president does not have the right to obstruct justice. A president does 
not have the right to obstruct a congressional inquiry. A president 
does not have the right to lie to the Ameican people who elected and 
trusted him. We have the obligation to send a clear message to the 
President, to the American people, and to the world that no one is 
above the law.
  We are all tired of this process. There are so many issues out there 
needing our attention. But we can't just wish this away.
  All the evidence we have before us clearly indicates the President's 
conduct demonstrates a willful contempt of the judicial system of the 
United States, the essential foundation of our democracy. The 
President's conduct demonstrates a willful contempt of the House of 
Representatives. The President's conduct demonstrates a willful 
contempt of the people of the United States. The President's conduct 
demonstrates a willful contempt to the office he holds. It is for these 
reasons that I

[[Page H11851]]

must vote to support all four Articles of Impeachment.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Collins).
  Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Speaker, I include for the RECORD the following 
statement supporting the articles of impeachment:
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the impeachment of President 
William Jefferson Clinton as recommended by the House Committee on the 
Judiciary. This is a decision that I have not reached lightly.I have 
carefully reviewed the evidence against the President, and I am 
convinced that he perjured himself in the Paula Jones deposition and 
before the grand jury. Furthermore, the President has lied to this 
House and to its Members and continues to mislead the American people 
in a clear attempt to subvert and obstruct justice under the very laws 
that every American President takes a solemn oath to execute.
  The President has violated his oath and has violated federal law. If 
Congress turns away and does nothing, the meaning of the Presidential 
oath and the strength of the rule of law in this country will be 
permanently diminished. The oath will, in effect, be reduced to a 
casual commitment to administer and enforce the laws only when hey 
serve the President's personal and political ends. The law will apply 
only to those who do not have the political power and influence to 
escape its requirements.
  I have spent six years in the house working to insure that the laws 
that are applied to every American taxpayer and business are applied 
equally to the Congress and agencies of the federal government. This 
was a central idea in the Contract with America, and I am not prepared 
to abandon it today.
  It is also important to note that we have troops stationed around the 
world to protect peace and civil order in nations in which the rule of 
law has failed. The primary threat to stability on the Balkan 
peninsula, for example has been lack of respect for the rule of law. I 
believe such respect starts from the top. If a nation's leaders will 
not abide by the law, why should the rest of that nation do so? I find 
the President's hypocrisy striking. The President seems to find it 
acceptable to send Americans to fight for the rule of law around the 
world, but he will not even respect it at home.
  Some Members have made the responsible argument that this impeachment 
is a partisan ``witch hunt,'' but I believe the division between 
Members supporting impeachment and those supporting censure is about 
much more than partisan politics. Honestly, this proceeding is not 
about overthrowing the government. We are not discussing taking power 
from the hands of one party and giving it to another. If President 
Clinton is removed from office, he will be succeeded by Vice President 
Gore--not exactly stunning Republican victory. Furthermore, I'm sure 
that most of us on the Republican side of the aisle understand politics 
well enough to know that President Gore will be much more difficult to 
defeat in 2000 than Vice President Gore would be. Therefore, describing 
the actions of those who support impeachment as politically motivated 
just does not make sense. There is no political advantage to be gained 
by unseating the President.
  I believe the division we are experiencing is a true reflection of 
the differences in Republican and Democratic approaches to the Federal 
Government. As a Republican, I believe in a Federal Government of 
sharply limited powers. The limits to these powers are clearly 
expressed in the Constitution. Each of the three branches is granted 
clear, limited powers to serve specific governmental functions.
  With regard to the powers of the legislative branch relative to he 
executive branch, the Constitution is clear. While Article I of the 
Constitution provides both the House and the Senate the open-ended 
authority to ``punish its Members for disorderly Behavior,'' the 
provisions for impeachment are much more strictly limited. Article I 
states ``Judgment in Case of Impeachment shall not extend further than 
the removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any 
Office of Honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.'' Unlike the 
provision dealing with Members of Congress, this provision specifically 
limits Congressional sanctions to removal and disqualification. 
Therefore, it seems clear to me that censure is a valid option for 
punishing Member of Congress, but should not apply to the President.
  If this House were to pass a censure resolution, there is no 
guarantee that it would not be expunged by a future Congress (as well 
as done in the case of Andrew Jackson) or overturned by the Supreme 
Court. They only action that this House can take that will be both 
permanent and Constitutional is impeachment.
  Many of us on both sides of the aisle agree that the President has 
not been honest in answering legitimate questions asked under oath. In 
spite of the President's dishonesty, some Members, lawyers, and 
professors suggest that because the President's statements may not meet 
the strict legal standard for perjury, he should not be impeached. I 
disagree.
  While I may not be a lawyer or a history professor, I do have a fair 
share of common sense. Common sense tells me that if some is dishonest 
while giving legal testimony under oath, that person has violated the 
spirit, if not the letter. If the perjury law. The law is there to 
provide for the fair administration of justice by insuring he legal 
process is based on accurate information. There is no doubt in my mind 
the President has frustrated this goal by consistently providing 
incomplete and inaccurate information after promising explicitly ``to 
tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.''
  In 1974, the Arkansas Gazette quoted then Congressional candidate 
Clinton saying there was ``no question that an admission of making 
false statements to government officials and interfering with the FBI 
and CIA is an impeachable offense.'' He did not say false statements 
were impeachable only if they met the strict standard of perjury. He 
did not say that they were impeachable only if the answers addressed 
issues of public policy. He said that making false statements to 
government officials is impeachable, and he was right.
  Speaking of President Nixon, Candidate Clinton argued, ``there's not 
any point in his putting the country through an impeachment since he 
isn't making any pretense of innocence now.'' Today, even some of the 
President's strongest supporters in Congress no longer make the 
pretense that the President has been honest in his sworn testimony. The 
President should hold himself to his own standard and resign. We know, 
however, that the President does not intend to do so, so Congress must 
do its duty.
  It is clear to me that the President has done and continues to do 
everything in his power, both legal and otherwise, to derail the legal 
process and to obstruct the pursuant of justice. Now, the House must 
decide if it will legitimize the President's actions or condemn them in 
the only manner provided by the Constitution--impeachment. The demands 
of both my conscience and my constituents re clear. I will cast may 
vote in favor of impeachment.
  I would like to close by again submitting for the Record the 
following words of President Theodore Roosevelt.

       We can afford to differ on the currency, the tariff, and 
     foreign policy; but we cannot afford to differ on the 
     question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to 
     endure. Honesty is * * * an absolute prerequisite to 
     efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest we 
     have no right to keep him in public life, it mattes not how 
     brilliant his capacity. Without honesty the brave and able 
     man is merely a civic wild beast who should be hunted down by 
     every lover of righteousness. No man who is corrupt, no man 
     who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his duty 
     to his community. If a man lies under oath or procures the 
     lie of another under oath, if he perjures himself or suborns 
     perjury, he is guilty under the statute law. Under the higher 
     law, under the great law of morality and righteousness, he is 
     precisely as guilty if instead of lying in a court, he lies 
     in a newspaper or on the stump; and in all probability the 
     evil effects of his conduct are infinitely more widespread 
     and more pernicious. We need absolute honesty in public life; 
     and we shall not get it until we remember that truth-telling 
     must go hand in hand with it, and that it is quite as 
     important not to tell untruth about a decent man as it is to 
     tell the truth about one who is not decent.'' (from The 
     Strenuous Life)
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pappas).
  (Mr. PAPPAS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PAPPAS. Mr. Speaker, I stand in support of the four articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, over the past few months I have paid careful attention 
to the testimony, statements and reports regarding the charges against 
the President of the United States.
  After reviewing all of the information available, I have come to the 
conclusion that in fact the President did commit perjury by lying under 
oath and he did obstruct justice and abuse his power by allowing White 
House officials to perpetuate his inaccurate statements to them.
  This by no means was an easy decision for me. It is a decision based 
on principle and facts and not on poll numbers. It troubles me that the 
Congress is forced to deal with these issues instead of working on 
issues that would improve the quality of life for the people of my 
district in Central New Jersey and of our nation.
  This issue has had quite a stir in my district and I am sure almost 
every other district around the nation. It would be easy to poll the 
issue and vote the ``politically popular'' way, but I was elected to 
cast votes based on principle and upholding the Constitution. I will do 
just that today. Some have said that those who cast votes in favor of 
impeachment may

[[Page H11852]]

pay a political price in the future. While that may in fact be true, 
our nation, our Constitution and the rule of law will pay an even 
greater and lasting price if we do not do the right thing.
  Time spent on this could have been spent on saving Social Security, 
improving our education system or seeking additional tax relief. But 
let me make it very clear that there is one person who is ultimately 
responsible for where we are today and the person is the President 
himself.
  It was President Clinton who misled the people of our country, his 
cabinet and the Congress since last January. It was the President 
himself who chose to commit perjury while under oath. So let me be very 
clear on why I have come to my decision. It is not about sex.
  The President's personal behavior--albeit reprehensible and 
inappropriate--is not the issue at hand nor is itself an impeachable 
offense. Rather, my decision to support the articles of impeachment 
revolves around the President's public behavior. The President made his 
private life and private inappropriate actions public when he lied 
about them under oath in a public court of law.
  As I said, my decision is not based on sex and not based on the 
President's private life. There are elected officials in both parties 
that have committed indiscretions. The difference however is very 
clear. In the case before us the President lied under oath in court. 
What if he had lied about another issue? Would that and should that 
make a difference? I maintain that lying under oath is lying under oath 
no matter the subject matter. An elected official's private life and 
actions are just that--private. But an elected official's public 
actions are just that as well--they are public.
  Some have suggested that the House should censure the president. What 
then would we say to the American citizens that this very day are in 
jail for committing perjury in civil cases? I am sure that they too 
would like to have had censure as an option. But as I said before, we 
are a nation of laws that each and every one of us must abide by.
  I think that most Americans, including many of my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle agree that the President did in fact lie under oath 
and commit perjury. With that as the conclusion, there is no choice but 
to support impeachment.
  It has been said that history will judge our actions. Before history 
judges us though we must ensure that the youth and citizens of our 
nation respect the principle that that no one is above the law. I spend 
a great deal of time speaking with young people who often ask me about 
this. I tell them that we can and should forgive each other because no 
one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Yet, there are consequences of 
our actions.
  I have made my share of errors and will make more in my life. 
However, it is important to come to terms with our shortcomings, 
apologize, admit our wrongdoings and ask to be forgiven. A cleansing 
from within can then begin and healing can occur.
  We are a nation of laws--laws that must be followed by each of the 
citizens of our nation. Realizing that there is not one law for the 
elected and one for the non-elected, one for those with power and 
another for those without, I have concluded that I have no choice but 
to support the articles of impeachment.
  I do want to take exception to the statements from both sides that 
this is the most difficult vote a Member of Congress will ever cast. I 
completely disagree. I believe voting whether we send young Americans 
to face an enemy on distant shores is far worse. A vote for war is much 
more grave. I would urge all of my colleagues to refrain from this 
inflammatory statement to keep things in proper perspective.
  A vote for impeachment is very serious but the Constitution creates 
the outline for this vote. It creates a process of succession. If Bill 
Clinton is impeached and removed, his vice president Al Gore assumes 
the responsibilities of the presidency. This is peaceful. During World 
War II we lost our president and still won the war. After a terrible 
civil war, our presidency survived the loss of President Lincoln. This 
was peaceful. Our Constitution and the American people's resolve to see 
an orderly transition vitiate any argument I have heard about how 
disruptive a potential impeachment would be.
  It is clear that our three-branch form of government as created by 
the Constitution was done so in order to establish a set of checks and 
balances. The framers did not want a King. We created lots of checks on 
the President in order to ensure this. If we give in to the line of 
argument that a President who commits crimes is above the law, simply 
on the basis of polling, we have completely destroyed the framers' 
intent and done irreparable damage to the future of our nation and the 
rule of law. Today some would argue that perjury and obstruction of 
justice do not rise to impeachable offenses, but if we let this slide 
then what will we let slide the next time and the time after that. This 
is a slippery slope that a nation of laws cannot tolerate.
  Across the nation, lawyers and legal scholars are watching how we 
proceed. They are waiting to find out if it is acceptable to lie under 
oath. If it is alright for the President then how can we possible hold 
anyone else to a higher standard?
  I am one of the few members whose voters sent someone else back for 
the 106th Congress. However, I sincerely believe that the majority of 
New Jersey's 12th district residents do not want our President to be 
above the law or given special treatment. If we did what the president 
did, would we be treated the same? I do not think so.
  The constituency that worries me the greatest in this debate is the 
school-aged children. Recently, a student from the Montgomery Middle 
School reminded me of the story about George Washington never telling a 
lie, cutting down the cherry tree and then taking responsibility for 
it. What will the meaning of that story be if President Clinton lies, 
is caught and is then excused for it? How should I answer these 
students?
  As such, I reluctantly rise today to say I will vote for impeachment. 
I am hopeful that Mr. Clinton will still resign before this vote is 
counted; however, should he not, I refuse to allow my last vote in this 
Congress to be a vote to allow a man in charge with enforcing the laws, 
from being above the very same laws.
  I want to close with a quote from Abraham Lincoln. He said, ``Let 
every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood 
of his father and to tear the character of his own and his children's 
liberty. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American,--let 
it be taught in schools, in seminaries and in colleges--let it be 
preached from the pulpit and proclaimed in legislative halls and 
enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the 
political religion of the nation * * *.''
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman 
from Tennessee (Mr. Jenkins), a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Mr. JENKINS. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Stearns) 
and others in this House tonight have made a very good point about the 
defense that has been made in this case.
  In the committee and again here today, the defense employed does not 
consist of a denial of the charges or an explanation of the behavior 
that is involved but rather it is an admission of the acts by many 
defenders and it is coupled with almost certainly attacks on the 
special counsel, attacks on the Committee on the Judiciary, and attacks 
on the entire Congress. And today that defense has been expanded to 
plead that our military forces would not want us to consider this 
matter at this time.
  A great Air Force officer, our colleague the gentleman from Texas 
(Sam Johnson), who spent 7 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, who 
surely earned the right to speak to and refute that defense, refuted it 
very capably here today.
  Now let us hear from another great American soldier who uttered these 
words. And these words were reprinted in Roll Call magazine today. 
``Duty. Honor. Country. These three hallowed words reverently dictate 
what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. The 
unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant 
phrase. Every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every 
troublemaker will try to downgrade them, even to the extent of ridicule 
and mockery. But they build your basic character. They mold you for 
your future roles as the custodians of the Nation's defenses. The long, 
gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in 
olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray would rise from their 
white crosses thundering `duty, honor, country'.''
  These are excerpts from General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's 
farewell to the Corp of Cadets at West Point on May 12, 1962.
  Eleven years earlier, he was invited to address a joint session of 
Congress, ending his 52 years of distinguished military service. He 
spoke of the courage and the sacrifice of so many Americans who did not 
fail us, including those who gave their lives defending our values and 
our way of life.
  I would ask my colleagues, please remember the words of this great 
soldier as they consider the merits of the allegation and the defenses 
to the allegation of this case.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the

[[Page H11853]]

gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Kleczka).
  (Mr. KLECZKA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. KLECZKA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, like all my colleagues, I have spent a great deal of 
time carefully reviewing the Judiciary Committee testimony and 
evidence. Let me make absolutely clear that I do not in any way condone 
the President's behavior. He lied to his family, his Cabinet, and the 
American people.
  But the Framers made clear that the constitutional act of impeachment 
is not meant to punish a president for deplorable behavior but to 
protect our Nation from acts which jeopardize our democratic system. 
What the President did was wrong, both personally and morally, but his 
acts did not threaten our democracy and thus do not rise to the level 
of impeachable offenses as defined by our founding fathers in the 
Constitution.
  As Mr. Bruce Ackerman, a constitutional law and impeachment expert at 
Yale University, testified before the Judiciary Committee, ``Once we 
lower the impeachment standard to include conduct that does not amount 
to a clear and present danger to our constitutional order, we will do 
grievous damage to the independence of the Presidency. [T]here can be 
little doubt that the present case falls short of the standard set by 
the Framers when they insisted on `high crimes and misdemeanors against 
the state.' ''
  I do believe that the President should be held accountable for his 
actions, and support an alternative to impeachment that would both 
condemn his actions and fine him. The Judiciary Committee considered a 
censure resolution which we in the full House are being denied the 
opportunity to debate and vote on.
  Many of my constituents have called and been resolute in their belief 
that the President should be held accountable for his actions, and I 
could not agree more. President Clinton is not above the law and is 
still subject to indictment, trial, and sentencing in the same manner 
as all other citizens who do wrong. He will be fully subject to 
criminal prosecution for his wrongful acts when he leaves office.
  Our founding fathers designed impeachment specifically to protect the 
nation from grave harm from a Chief Executive who clearly endangers our 
constitutional democracy. I do not believe the President's actions meet 
this test. The penalty for his misconduct should be exacted not through 
impeachment, but through indictment in our criminal court system and a 
stern censure by the Congress.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, with apologies to my colleagues, I am now 
reduced to only 1 minute for each of them.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. 
Stokes).
  Mr. STOKES. Mr. Speaker, for 30 years I have served in this 
institution. It is an institution which I have always loved, honor and 
revered. I have taken pride in being able to speak from this well on 
many historic occasions. But it is no honor today to speak and cast the 
last votes of my career against a resolution to remove from office the 
President of the United States. This is, in my opinion, the saddest day 
in the history of the House of Representatives. It is also a sad day 
for America.
  As one who long before coming to Congress practiced and studied 
constitutional law, I am convinced that the Framers of the Constitution 
believe that they could entrust to this elected body the responsibility 
of determining what constitutes treason, bribery, or other high crimes 
and misdemeanors. I firmly believe that they trusted us to place the 
interest of the American people on such an exalted plane that they 
never envisioned this House removing a President from office except for 
grievous transgressions against the government which elected him.
  I believe the Founders never envisioned this provision of our 
Constitution being used in such an unconstitutional and unfair manner 
as to overthrow an election where the American people have gone to the 
polls to vote and elect their President.
  The action being taken in the ``People's House'' today makes a 
mockery of the Constitution and the electoral process which the 
American people have fought and died to preserve. Those esteemed 
Founders, those architects of our Constitution, never envisioned what 
is being done here today. I caution you that the act of impeaching this 
President today, while perhaps serving some narrow political purpose, 
will have consequences far beyond the comprehension of any of us here 
today. The impeachment of this President by the House and his 
subsequent trial in the Senate will be tantamount to once again 
shutting down the American government. This is the message that you 
send the American people today. The gridlock, disarray, chaos, crisis 
and paralysis which will envelop this government while the U.S. Senate 
tries a United States President is going to be wrenching and appalling. 
The American economy and world markets are going to be affected by a 
Congress which will be stalemated in its inability to pass any 
legislation into law because 100 Senators are sitting in a room trying 
the President of the United States from January through June or July of 
next year.
  The people in my congressional district are angry and enraged over 
what is happening to their President. They are good, decent, hard-
working people who love this country and care deeply about a President 
who has shown concern for them. The people in my district have heard 
the same evidence you have heard and while they do not approve of what 
he did, they do not feel that he has harmed them or this Nation, by 
what he did. In their opinion, his actions did not meet the 
constitutional standard for impeachment of bribery, high crimes, or 
misdemeanors. Through every means of communication, they have said to 
me, we are embarrassed and ashamed of the House of Representatives. 
They do not want their President impeached. Many constituents deem the 
act of a special prosecutor spending $40 million to bring impeachment 
charges based upon sexual activities to be loathsome and reprehensible. 
It defies everything this Nation stands for.
  Lastly, as I cast my last votes in this Chamber and end my career as 
a Member of Congress, I am mindful that history will record forever 
both what we say and do here today. Neither history nor the American 
people will look kindly upon those who here today shunned the American 
people and the U.S. Constitution. As I vote to oppose the impeachment 
of the President, my conscience is clear. It is important to me that 
history record me as a Member of Congress who did not do what was 
expedient, but what was right.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Rhode Island (Mr. Kennedy).
  (Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks.)
  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 that same right of due process as 
required by our Constitution.
  The majority has replaced the notion of due process with a notion 
that if we just say something long enough it will become true. Today we 
will be remembered for impeaching a president for punishment that 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 if it suits the purpose of one political 
party.
  Four hundred respected historians have said that the presidency will 
be permanently disfigured and diminished by today's vote. Over 200 
constitutional scholars have argued that the sentiment of these 
offenses does not rise to the level of impeachment. And two-thirds of 
the American public have said the same thing.
  Mr. Speaker, Republicans, put our country before your party.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Davis).
  (Mr. DAVIS of Illinois asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend his remarks.)
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I call this the nightmare before 
Christmas. And the American people find it difficult to believe that 
here we are on this day talking about impeaching a president who just 
came back from the Middle East almost with a peace accord.
  This is not about impeaching Bill Clinton. This is about trying to 
roll back the clock. This is about impeaching affirmative action, 
impeaching women's rights. This is about taking America back rather 
than moving it forward.
  I know how I am going to vote. My people have told me. I will not 
disregard the people who elected me. Seventy percent of them have said 
to me, protect the President, vote to keep this President in office.

                              {time}  1715

  So, Mr. Speaker, I will not vote for this nightmare before Christmas, 
I will not vote for this lynching in the people's House, I will vote 
against these resolutions.

[[Page H11854]]

  Mr. Speaker, this is a serious time for our country. I urge my 
colleagues to do what is right and I ask that history be kind to us.
  I rise in strong opposition to the articles of impeachment presented 
by my colleagues from the Judiciary Committee.
  This resolution is an attempt to do through parliamentary means what 
could not be done in the last two elections: unseat the President of 
the United States of America.
  I ask my fellow colleagues, is this a high crime or just an act which 
lacks moral judgement? Did he really abuse his power.
  Let me state here on the floor of the House what most Americans 
already know.
  The impeachment of a sitting President of the United States of 
America is an ominous and sober predicament that we as Members of 
Congress face. This formal expression of the United States of 
Representatives should not be about sexual indiscretion. We have 
allegations of Presidential sexual indiscretions, some going back 200 
years and involving slave women who certainly had no defense against 
predatory relationships. But no such impeachment inquiry has been 
initiated before.
  This is not about lying. We have had allegations of Presidential 
lying about the trading of munitions for covert foreign aid and 
Presidential lying about personal federal income taxes. But no such 
impeachment inquiries were initiated in response.
  Mr. Speaker, there are some in this House who have campaigned for the 
impeachment of this President for more than six years. Their campaign, 
fueled by $40 million spent by the Office of Special Council, tens 
millions of spent by private sources, and millions more spent by 
assorted Congressional Committees, and the inevitable accompanying 
leaks have yielded us only a sad, sordid marital infidelity and an 
endless supply of headlines.
  These relentless campaigns to impeach the President now hold their 
sponsors hostage to their own rhetoric. Having failed to find an 
impeachable offense, there is now relentless pressure to make do with 
the $60 million scandal--to make the scandal fit the bill.
  Mr. Speaker, our Constitution contains a number of examples of 
purposely ambiguous language in addition to the phrase ``high Crimes 
and Misdemeanors.'' Consider such language as ``due process.''
  It is precisely such elegant and flexible language which has enabled 
our democracy to develop, to encompass ever broader sectors of 
Americans, in ever deeper and more empowering ways.
  It is reasonable to expect that as the process of electing our chief 
executive has become more and more democratic, enfranchising more 
Americans, more and more directly, that the process for removing that 
chief executive, of undoing the will of the people, would demand higher 
and higher standards. It is reasonable to expect that the Congress 
should not take unto itself the power to limit a President, in James 
Madison's words ``. . . to a tenure during the pleasure of the 
Senate.''
  When we ``dumb down'' the Constitution to meet the needs of partisan 
politics we inflict deep and lasting harm on our political and 
Constitutional system. This is the real Constitutional crisis. I do not 
believe it is accidental that all of our nation's encounters with 
Presidential impeachment come following periods of great national 
turmoil--either the executive or legislative branch attempting to use 
extra-constitutional means of imposing its will on the policy of the 
nation.
  Like the attempt to impeach President Johnson in the wake of the 
Civil War and the debate over how to incorporate African Americans into 
the body politic or the attempt of President Nixon to undermine his 
political opponents in the closing days of the War in Vietnam; current 
attempts to undo the results of two Presidential elections will leave 
deep, lingering wounds on our nation, but, in the long run, will fail 
in their attempt to make an end run around the will of the people.
  Undoing our Constitution will not advance the search for solutions to 
the great national and international problems facing America: global 
economic crisis and growing economic inequality, the undoing of decades 
of struggle for racial equality in America, the resurgence of national 
strife around the world, the need to address fundamental problems in 
health care, education, environment and housing, preserving social 
security and a host of other critical issues.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this insidious attempt to use, or 
rather misuse, the power of impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, to the horror, outrage and disbelief of America, this 
Congress is about to molest, to assault, the central pillar of our 
Democracy, the right of the people to choose their representatives in 
government, and vote to remove the President of the United States.
  Why? I am convinced, and the American People are convinced, that 
there are those who want to impeach the President as a means of 
containing, delaying or terminating his efforts to carry out the 
mandate which the American People have twice given him. Those driving 
the process to remove him are frustrated by his mandate, and obsessed 
with their fanatical desire to block programs from affirmative action 
to energy assistance, to de-fund programs from summer jobs to one 
hundred thousand new teachers.
  I reject, and more importantly, the American People reject, the pious 
hand wringing and piteous mutterings about the crime of perjury. Read 
the articles of impeachment as closely as you want. You won't find the 
actual words alleged as perjury with a divining rod.
  Why? The American People know that the allegations do not rise to the 
level of impeachment.
  We do not allow such unspecified charges on the floor of this House. 
Any Member of this body who would accuse another would have his words 
taken down for judgment by the body. Why weren't the President's words 
taken down so they could be judged? Because the process is not meant to 
be fair. The process is meant to destroy. Every month, every week, 
indeed every day, brings new examples of the hypocrisy of these 
charges.
  When, in the name of this House, secret grand jury testimony was 
released, in contradiction to every understanding we have of individual 
rights and due process, the claim was made that we had to inform and 
involve the American People about the process.
  But now, when the American People demand an end to the outrage of 
this impeachment process, their voices are ignored. Suddenly their 
informed opinion is no longer relevant.
  Why? Because the process was never meant to be fair or democratic. 
The process was meant to destroy.
  I reject, and the American People reject, the pathetic whining about 
upholding the rule of law. An unchecked prosecutor, accountable to no 
one, with an unlimited budget, and a witch-hunting committee have 
shredded any semblance of rule of law. They have undermined, in a few 
short years, the protections that have taken our nation over two 
hundred years to perfect.
  And, in using and abusing the law on sexual harassment, the witch 
hunters have created gaping holes in the law protecting women from 
harassment.
  How ironic that President Clinton who brought together the people of 
Northern and Southern Ireland, who brought together the people of 
Israel and Palestine is a victim of rending and division of the 
American political system.
  But he is not the only victim. We are perverting and destroying the 
American constitutional system, based on the wisdom of the people--a 
system we should be using to solve our real problems: saving social 
security; creating jobs with a living wage; lifetime education; 
accessible health care for all.
  This is our last chance to stop the ``Nightmare Before Christmas.''
  Some 50 years ago in the last days of Joe McCarthy, Senator Fulbright 
stood in the Senate and reflected on the fact that a small group had 
set a prairie fire which rapidly grew out of their control and 
destroyed everything in its path.
  Today, we have a chance to stomp out another prairie fire, another 
witch hunt, which threatens to grow rapidly out of control.
  Mr. Speaker, the American People are calling on this Congress, on 
every member of this Congress, to rise above the shrill voices of 
partisanship.
  Therefore, if I might paraphrase Winston Churchill, let us feel the 
wisdom of the people, and the strength of our ancestors.
  Let us stop the madness of those who seek to use impeachment to 
impose their political will. Let us undertake our duty, and so bear 
ourselves, that if America lasts for a thousand years, men and women 
will still say, ``This was their finest hour.''

     Projected Proceedings before the United States Senate If the 
                  House Votes To Impeach the President

       The proceedings in the Senate on the articles of 
     impeachment that the House exhibited against then United 
     States District Judge Alcee L. Hastings provide the most 
     recent and comparable precedents to guide the Senate in the 
     proceedings against President William Jefferson Clinton that 
     will take place if the House adopts articles of impeachment. 
     The following outlines projects how the proceedings against 
     the President would unfold if the House impeaches him based 
     upon the proceedings in the Hastings case and the materials 
     released by the Judiciary Committee during its inquiry into 
     the President's conduct.

[[Page H11855]]



 
                                                            Weeks
 
                                                       Min.       Max.
 
                       I. Preliminary Proceedings
 
A. The First Step. The House Managers would
 exhibit its articles to the Senate and the Senate
 would issue a summons to the President requiring
 him to respond within fifteen to thirty days and
 would ask the Committee on Rules and
 Administration to consider and report issues that
 need to be addressed and special rules that
 should be adopted for the conduct of the
 proceedings......................................          1          1
B. The Rules Committee. Since the Senate has not
 conducted proceedings against a President in the
 past century, the issues would be substantial. At
 least five steps would have to be taken before
 the committee could submit its report and
 recommendations to the Senate....................
    1. The committee meets and authorizes the
     Chair and Ranking Minority Member to send a
     letter asking the parties to file memoranda
     addressing issues identified by the Committee
     and other issues that either believes the
     committee should consider, probably allowing
     twenty to thirty days for initial memoranda
     and ten to twenty days for responses.........          1          2
    2. Each of the parties file memoranda.........          4          6
    3. Each of the parties file memoranda
     responding to the other......................          6          9
    4. The committee holds hearings on the issues
     raised.......................................          7         11
    5. The committee deliberates and prepares its
     report and recommendations and any necessary
     resolutions..................................          9         13
C. Pleadings and Motions.
    1. The President. It is hard to anticipate the
     defense strategy the President will adopt,
     but the House Judiciary Committee's
     proceedings and recommended articles of
     impeach suggest that counsel for the
     President would file:
        a. Answer and Affirmative Defenses.
         Counsel for the President will raise at
         least one and probably two affirmative
         defenses--(i) the articles fail to allege
         facts sufficient to state an impeachable
         offense; and (ii) the misconduct of
         Independent Counsel Starr and the House's
         reliance upon the products of that
         misconduct require that the articles be
         dismissed................................          3          4
        b. Motion to Dismiss. The motion would
         enable the Senate to consider whether it
         should dignify the President's improper
         conduct alleged in the articles of
         impeachment by classifying it as ``High
         Crimes and Misdemeanors'' under the
         Constitution.............................          6         10
        c. Demand for Bill of Particulars. The
         majority on House Judiciary Committee
         appear to shoot themselves in the foot by
         refusing to specify the precise
         statements made by the President that
         they claim were perjurious. If the
         pending articles are adopted, counsel for
         the President will demand and the Senate
         will almost surely order the House
         Managers to provide a bill of
         particulars. The real effect of the lack
         of specificity will further delay........          6         10
        d. Alternative Motion to Strike Particular
         Allegations. If the Senate does not
         dismiss the articles in their entirety,
         counsel for the President are likely to
         ask that the Senate, after the bill of
         particulars has been filed, strike
         specific allegations in the article that
         remains..................................          6         10
    2. The House. The House managers would be
     required to file a Replication to the
     President's Answer and Affirmative Defenses
     and responses to the motions. If they opposed
     the demand for a bill of particulars, there
     would be a second round of briefing and
     further argument before the Senate after the
     House had complied with the Senate's order,
     adding an additional two weeks to the
     process......................................          8         14
    3. The President's Reply. Counsel for the
     President would file a reply and any
     supplemental memoranda made necessary by the
     House's bill of particulars..................         10         16
D. Proceedings Before the Full Senate. The Senate
 would be likely to set aside two days to consider
 and act upon the report from the Rules Committee
 and to hear arguments on and decide the pending
 motions..........................................         12         18
 
 
                          II. Trial Preparation
 
      In Hastings, the Rules Committee recommended that the Senate
 appoint an Impeachment Trial Committee to regulate the preparation for
 evidentiary hearings and to conduct those hearings. If the House adopts
 articles here, the evidentiary hearings will be conducted before the
 full Senate. It is likely that the Senate and the Chief Justice will
 agree that the trial preparation duties that were performed by the
 Impeachment Trials Committee should be assigned to the Rules Committee
 (or to a special impeachment committee appointed for that purpose).
 Although the counsel for the President would request that trial
 preparation be deferred until the Senate had ruled on the President's
 motion to dismiss, the Rules Committee might determine that necessary
 preparation should proceed concurrently with other trial matters.
 However those duties were exercised, the steps would likely be the
 same.
 
A. Discovery Proceedings: The need for discovery
 would be far greater in this case than it was in
 Hastings. Here, as it did in Hastings, the House
 Judiciary Committee relied primarily upon the
 report and materials transmitted to the House by
 another branch and upon the testimony of the
 investigator who prepared the report. Here, as it
 did in Hastings, the committee did not call and
 subject to examination and cross-examination the
 fact-witnesses identified by the Starr referral
 or those who might testify on behalf of the
 accused or obtain from the Independent Counsel or
 elsewhere documents other than those included in
 the materials transmitted. It is hard to conceive
 that the Senate here would not afford the
 President the time and the use of its subpoena
 power to take depositions and obtain relevant
 documents. Based upon Hastings and the materials
 available here, discovery would proceed in three
 stages.
    1. Submissions by the Parties. If any articles
     remained after the motions to dismiss or
     strike had been decided, the Senate or a
     committee would have to decide whether and
     what discovery should be permitted.
        a. Counsel for the President would
         promptly submit a memorandum identifying
         witness and sources of documents that
         were likely to produce relevant evidence
         and explaining why the President should
         be permitted to subpoena each of the
         witnesses and other source to obtain that
         evidence. At a minimum, it seems almost
         certain that the counsel would seek to
         depose (i) lawyers for Paula Jones about
         their initial conversations with Linda
         Tripp and with members of the Office of
         Independent Counsel (``OIC'') staff; (ii)
         the members of the OIC staff and FBI
         agents who met with or interviewed Linda
         Tripp and Monica Lewinsky; and (iii)
         other technical witnesses, such as those
         reconstructed materials from the hard
         drive in Ms. Lewinsky's computer. It also
         seems certain that they would want access
         to the documents that the Independent
         Counsel did not transmit with his
         referral.................................         12         20
        b. The House managers would be directed to
         file a response agreeing with or
         objecting to the President's requests....         14         22
        c. The Senate or its committee would
         examine the president's request and the
         House's response and hold hearings and
         enter the appropriate order directing the
         issuance of appropriate subpoenas........         16         23
        d. Independent Counsel Starr, Ms. Jones'
         lawyers, or others subpoenaed might
         object to some or all of the subpoena, in
         which event time-consuming enforcement
         proceedings would be necessary, at least
         three months.............................                    36
        e. The depositions would be conducted and
         the documents produced and examined......      16-24      36-44
B. Other Trial Preparation Proceedings:
    1. The House managers and counsel for the
     President would propose stipulations or
     submit requests for admissions. The Senate or
     its committee would encourage the parties to
     stipulate at least to the authenticity and/or
     admissibility of various documents and other
     potential exhibits. Responses would be
     exchanged and negotiations would proceed.....         12         20
    2. The Senate or its committee would direct
     the parties to file and exchange ten days
     after the close of discovery, pre-trial
     memoranda identifying witnesses each intended
     to call and exhibits each intended to
     introduce....................................         25         45

[[Page H11856]]

 
    3. The Senate or its committee would enter a
     final pre-trial order establishing the date
     for and procedures to be followed at trial...         26         46
 
 
                      III. The Trial of a President
 
      Rules XII and XIII of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When
 Sitting on Impeachment Trials provide that, unless otherwise ordered,
 the proceedings shall commence at 12:30 p.m. on the first day and at
 12:00 noon thereafter. In order to make it possible for the legislative
 and executive branches to tend to some of the government's business and
 to enable the Chief Justice to participate in the oral arguments before
 the Supreme Court, it seems likely that the Senate would not schedule
 the evidentiary proceedings to begin before 12:30 or would permit them
 to extend beyond 6:30 p.m. on a regular basis.
 
A. The Presentation of Evidence by the House
 Managers. The managers presented the testimony of
 thirty-seven witnesses in Hastings. Only twenty-
 seven appeared before the Impeachment Trial
 Committee. The managers were permitted to
 introduce transcripts of prior testimony for the
 other ten. The House managers are likely to call
 most if not all of the 120 witnesses whose
 statements or testimony are included in the
 materials transmitted by Independent Counsel
 Starr. Depending upon the success of pre-trial
 negotiations, it might have to call several more
 to establish necessary foundations and the like.
 Forty to fifty would appear to the minimum number
 necessary to support the allegations the proposed
 article have borrowed from the Starr Report. No
 prior testimony will be admitted. The videotaped
 deposition and the videotaped grand jury
 testimony will be shown in there entirety, and
 many of the Tripp tapes will be played given by
 the president. The examination and cross-
 examination of the twenty-seven witnesses the
 House presented in Hastings consumed more than
 ten full days. If the President is impeached by
 this House, the presentation of testimony and
 other evidence will consume twenty [if forty
 witnesses called] to forty [120 witnesses]
 partial trial days before the full Senate........      27-30      47-40
B. The President's Case. It is impossible to
 project the number of witnesses that the
 President's counsel would call for his defense
 with any confidence. The Starr Report was not a
 balanced presentation of the available evidence.
 It seems clear that the number would be
 substantial and would include many of the 120
 persons whom were identified in the Starr Report,
 but were not called by the managers. They would
 present all of the Tripp tapes that the managers
 did not introduce. They would call witnesses
 whose conduct might have influenced the testimony
 of Ms. Lewinsky and other House witnesses and
 witnesses who had knowledge relevant to Ms.
 Lewinsky's credibility. Twenty witnesses and ten
 days seems a safe minimum........................      31-32      51-52
C. The House Rebuttal. Given the passion and vigor
 displayed by Republican members of the Judiciary
 Committee, it seem likely the House managers
 would want to try to rebut the President's case,
 no matter how tired and angry the American people
 may have become. Might we hope for only a day or
 two?.............................................         33         53
D. Argument, Deliberations, and The Vote. Given
 the nature of the issues and the length of the
 projected trial, it seems likely that Senate
 would allot at least four hours to each side for
 closing arguments. Past precedent dictates that
 the Senate would close its doors to deliberate in
 executive session until its members have
 expressed their views. The vote would follow.
 With luck, the denouement might be completed in
 less than a week.................................         34         54
 

  I call this the nightmare before Christmas and Mr. Spaker, it is 
difficult to believe that we are here today; But we are debating 
whether or not to bring charges of impeachment against the President 
who has just returned from the Middle East where he was able to bring 
together Palestinians and Israelis, where he was able to bring together 
Netenyahu and Arafat. This President who was able to bring together 
Northern and Southern Ireland, India and Pakistan. A President who has 
opened up new avenues and relationships with the African Continent, 
with China, and with other nations throughout the world.
  During these proceedings we have heard a great deal of legal argument 
but I submit to you that this is as much about politics as it is about 
law. It's not just an attempt to impeach the President, it is an 
attempt to undermine and dismantle the policies and programs of this 
administration. This is an attempt to impeach and hold back Affirmative 
Action, women's health rights, new teachers, summer jobs for 
disadvantaged youth, energy assistance for low income people, community 
health centers, treatment programs for victims of aids and HIV, clean 
air, and raising the minimum wage. No Mr. Speaker, this is not just 
about Bill Clinton it is about dashing the dreams and the hopes of one 
growing up in a small state, an average citizen, in an average family, 
no pedigree, no major wealth, but growing up with hope, drive and 
determination, growing up with the idea that you can rise to the top 
and that you can make a difference. This vote today is a prime example 
of the contradictions with which we operate.
  We talk justice and operate in an unfair and unjust manner. We talk 
democracy and disregard the will of the people.
  We talk forgiveness and practice retribution.
  We talk unification and practice division--we talk about morality and 
commit the immortal act of fundamental unfairness.
  Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to disregard the will of the people, I 
am not prepared to say that their feelings are irrelevant. I am going 
to vote my conscience. I am going to vote with my people. I am going to 
vote against impeachment. I am going to vote against this nightmare 
before Christmas.
  I am going to vote against this attempted lynching in the people's 
house.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Indiana (Ms. Carson).
  (Ms. CARSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. CARSON. Mr. Speaker, we have dispatched and asked some of 
America's women and men to place themselves in harm's way and degrade 
Saddam Hussein's capacities in weapons of mass destruction. 
Simultaneously, we placed the citizens of America in harm's way by 
utilizing political weapons of mass destruction to degrade and destroy 
the President of the United States. Lyndon Johnson said, ``The 
difference between Democrats and Republicans is that we don't hate your 
Presidents.''
  Some say this is not about sex; it is about lying under oath. Lying 
under oath about sex is still about sex, and the only reason it is 
about sex is that our colleagues could not find anything else to get on 
him.
  Any extramarital affair, whether by a president or a Member of 
Congress, is lying under oath, the most sacred of oaths, the marriage 
vow. Any lie told by a president about the people's business is under 
oath, the presidential oath of office.
  It is not just one poll, but in all polls, by a two to one margin the 
American people say that when it comes to people's sex lives even 
presidents' sex lives, government should mind its own business.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.
  Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Kennedy) says the 
President was not given due process, and exactly the opposite is true. 
The chairman, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), gave the 
President a standing invitation to appear before the Committee on the 
Judiciary. He did not accept that offer.
  Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. No.
  Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman has named me 
and my----
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I have the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island. Is not perjury a legal term? Has the 
gentleman defined perjury in a court of law, or is it just his constant 
repetition that the President has lied?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentleman from Rhode Island 
is out of order.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, the President's lawyers had up to 30 
hours to present their defense. Mr. Starr had 12\1/2\ hours.

[[Page H11857]]

                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will remind all persons in the 
gallery that they are here as guests of the House and that any 
manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is in violation 
of the rules of the House.
  The gentleman may proceed.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, the Democrats had almost two-thirds 
of the witnesses before the committee. They called 28 witnesses, the 
Republicans called 15, and they shared two. The chairman, the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), asked the White House to present evidence 
that would exonerate the President, and they did not.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from New York (Mr. Boehlert).
  (Mr. BOEHLERT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of that enduring 
document, the Constitution that has stood the test of time.
  When this debate is concluded, I will reluctantly vote for at least 
one article to impeach President Clinton.
  I make this announcement with profound sorrow, and with deep concern 
about the consequences for our country, but, in the final analysis, 
with firm conviction that this is the only fitting and proper course 
for me to take.
  This has been by far the most difficult, even tormenting, decision I 
have had to make in my 16 years in Congress. I have spent a great deal 
of time assuring myself that in this case we are using the Constitution 
as a shield, not a sword. The purpose of impeachment is to protect the 
institutions of our Government--and through them, the people--not to 
attack or punish a particular political figure. I am convinced that in 
this case we do indeed need impeachment as a shield to protect the 
integrity of our institutions.
  I simply have not found the means to rationalize away the fact that 
our President lied under oath; that he has tried repeatedly to game the 
judicial system. Whatever the origins of this case, whatever the 
motives of his questioners, the President had an obligation--a legal 
and Constitutional obligation--to tell the truth under oath. No voter 
ever elected to exempt the President from the demands of our system or 
to weaken the Judiciary established in Article III of the Constitution.
  I regularly visit high schools in my district, and I keep asking 
myself, ``How am I to answer the high school student who asks me why he 
was expelled for cheating, or what do I say to the average citizen who 
is punished for lying in a court proceeding or the West Point cadet who 
must live under the honor code?'' The answers I come up with all seem 
like thin and transparent excuses that would appease no one, least of 
all me.
  And let me say that this is not about determining whether the 
President has been sufficiently contrite, although contrition is 
certainly in order. Congress was not established as a body of clerics 
or therapists. This is about how to keep a system intact that is based 
on law and trust, a system that cannot countenance attacks on those 
foundations regardless of how sorry one is after having been found out.
  Much time has been spent during this prolonged ordeal comparing the 
situation to Watergate, only for most to conclude correctly that the 
two scandals have little in common. But they do have one aspect in 
common that I think has been overlooked. In a rare moment of personal 
insight, Richard Nixon concluded that he had destroyed himself by 
hating his enemies back. I am afraid that President Clinton fell into 
the same, all too human, trap. Blinded by his contempt for people who 
he thought were out to get him, the President forgot his larger 
obligations to his Office, to the Constitution and to the American 
people. He let his personal feelings interfere with fulfilling his 
Constitutional obligations.
  In making my decision, I have tried hard to put personal feelings and 
political concerns aside and to focus solely on my Constitutional 
obligation. And I have come to the difficult, heart wrenching, almost 
unbearably sad conclusion that I am obligated to vote to impeach the 
President.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Diaz-Balart).
  (Mr. DIAZ-BALART asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Mr. Speaker, this is a very sad and difficult day, 
but those of us elected to lead in this great representative democracy 
must act and vote based upon our consciences even in the most difficult 
of situations. I would like to make just a few points.
  First of all, the founders of the republic did not create the remedy 
of impeachment to change the results of presidential elections but 
rather as a great check and balance to redress patterns of delinquent 
conduct by chief executives.
  Secondly, all democratic governments must have both the legitimacy of 
origin and the legitimacy of conduct. President Clinton obviously 
enjoys the legitimacy of origin, having been elected to the Presidency. 
His serious violations of the law, however, including his breaking of 
oaths in judicial proceedings to tell the whole truth and nothing but 
the truth, have lost for him the legitimacy of conduct.
  Thirdly, the matter before us today has nothing to do with the 
President's private life, which should be of interest to no one. This 
has to do with perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power, 
violations of the law. Failure to impeach President Clinton would 
increase the likelihood that perjury would be committed in future legal 
proceedings, it would increase the likelihood that future Congresses 
would hesitate to impeach Federal judges for perjury or obstruction of 
justice. In short, it would do grave harm to the integrity of the 
judicial system and the United States.
  The essential point of the action that we are now taking is that no 
one in the United States is above the law, not even the President.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler), a member of the committee.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, the Republicans say we are not contesting 
any fact allegations. The fact is there were no fact witnesses brought 
before the committee, there were no specific perjury quotes, no 
specific alleged lies cited in the articles, and I ask the Republicans 
do they deny the President admitted to an inappropriate relationship to 
the grand jury? Is their beef that he was not graphic enough about who 
touched him where?
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Skaggs).
  Mr. SKAGGS. Mr. Speaker, censure of a President as a remedy available 
to us to deal with the misconduct of a President was used in 1800 
against President Adams. Then Representative John Marshall, a future 
chief justice, made an argument against its constitutionality. If it 
was good enough for him, it should be good enough for us. In denying us 
that option the majority undermined its claim of conscience because the 
essence of conscience is the freedom to choose among reasonable 
alternatives. This is a political solstice with a cold darkness to 
match the winter solstice. I pray that a new and better season of our 
politics will come. I so want the speakership of my friend, the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Livingston) to succeed and to nurture a 
renewal of this House. We owe him and ourselves and the country that 
opportunity. I want nothing more than for this House to fulfill the 
aspiration of its Members and the people that it be a great and decent 
deliberative body serving in honor the great purposes of a great 
Nation.
  This is my last speech here. I leave my colleagues with the plea to 
be good to each other so that they may do their best for the country 
that we love.
  I love this House. This is my last time to speak here. How I wish it 
were not such a sad occasion. And how I wish we were able to conduct 
this grave business at a better time, in a better way.
  The dishonorable and reprehensible behavior of the President of the 
United States deserves our strong condemnation. We have a 
responsibility to act in this matter, and to act with a dignity and 
fairness and soberness fitting the enormity of the decisions we will 
make.
  The President got himself into this awful fix by having a tawdry 
sexual affair and then almost certainly lying about it under oath. In 
both respects, his conduct is immoral and indefensible. It is also 
understandable that he tried to save himself and his family from shame, 
embarrassment and humiliation by lying to cover it up. In all this, his 
behavior was abominable, self-indulgent, incredibly reckless and 
altogether human.
  Probably no American other than the President could or would have 
been subjected to the extraordinary circumstances of multiple testimony 
about a sexual affair. First, he was compelled to testify in a civil 
deposition about this sexual affair, about facts themselves immaterial 
in a lawsuit later found to be without merit. Then, he testified before 
a grand jury about this deposition testimony about this same, legally 
immaterial sexual affair. This grand jury process would not be used to 
investigate any ordinary American regarding

[[Page H11858]]

such civil deposition testimony; it is only available against someone 
like the President, subject to a special prosecutor like Ken Starr. 
Nonetheless, he should have told the truth. And, depending on some 
technical but legally important considerations, he may have committed 
perjury.
  Now, what do we do about it?
  The Constitution makes a President who's committed ``Treason, 
Bribery, or other high Crimes or Misdemeanors'' liable to impeachment 
by this House of Representatives, trial by the Senate and possible 
removal from office. Each house of Congress also has plenary and 
unrestricted power to express its views and sentiments about any matter 
by the passage of resolutions.
  The law would subject the ordinary American charged with violations 
such as the President's to some civil fine or forfeiture in connection 
with the civil deposition testimony. Recall that the President has 
already paid a substantial amount to settle the Paula Jones case. And 
the ordinary American would face the fairly unlikely possibility of 
criminal prosecution for perjury in connection with the grand jury 
testimony. Prosecution would be unlikely because the case turns 
fundamentally on a swearing contest between witnesses and because the 
subject of the possibly perjurious testimony was not itself criminal 
conduct, but rather a tawdry, though not unlawful sexual affair.
  So, if the objective is to treat the President as other Americans 
would be treated, there's your answer. If the objective is to insure 
that the President is not above the law, there's your answer. And if 
the objective is to vindicate the rule of law, there's your answer.
  Of course, the President is not an ordinary American. His wrongful 
conduct occurred in the White House and implicates his high office. The 
responsibilities and authority and stature of the Presidency require 
their own vindication and deserve to be cleansed somehow of the taint 
of this wrongful conduct. So, it is entirely appropriate to consider 
sanctions that go beyond what an ordinary American would face. But how 
much beyond?
  Consider impeachment. From the words of the impeachment clause, it's 
obvious this remedy was intended for serious offenses. The historical 
context, the debates at the Constitutional Convention, Alexander 
Hamilton's explanation in ``The Federalist'', and the debates during 
state ratification generally support the proposition that impeachment 
is to be reserved for very serious offenses that are themselves 
destructive of the government or constitutional order, and that any 
decision to impeach necessarily calls for a sober political judgment, 
not a legalistic one. It's apparent from the same sources that 
impeachment is not to be used as a device to get rid of a President 
whom a sufficient majority in Congress happens to disapprove of, 
however adamant their disapproval.
  The debate we've had about what's an impeachable offense has been 
only marginally helpful, because it's seemed to assume--wrongly, I 
think--that impeachability requires impeachment. In the abstract, no 
doubt perjury may qualify as an ``impeachable'' offense. It's a serious 
crime. However, a proper reading of the Constitution and of our 
responsibility under is leads, I believe, to a sober judgment that 
while perjury may be impeachable, the perjury in this case (if it 
occurred) does not warrant impeachment. That judgment recognizes the 
important moral space between ``impeachability'' and ``impeachment'' 
and fills it with a reasoned and principled application of historically 
grounded standards for impeachment to the facts and circumstances of 
this case.
  If impeachment were the only choice, the only way to hold the 
President to account as President, there would be a greater temptation 
to risk its use in this case. But there's another choice. It is 
censure. A strongly worded censure resolution was offered in the 
Judiciary Committee by Mr. Boucher, appropriately condemning the 
wrongful acts of the President. And given it, and so moot any issue 
of passing a bill of attainder, censure could move beyond words to 
include a fine.

  Congress has the plenary authority to pass resolutions about any 
subject. Serious people nevertheless argue that impeachment states the 
exclusive remedy available to us.
  That argument quickly bumps into history and practice to the 
contrary. The most compelling example is the first. In 1800, the House 
took up a resolution of censure against President John Adams.
  One Representative argued that Congress didn't have the power to 
censure, but only to impeach. Others saw no such problem, and raised 
the point that it would be unfortunate to have no way to express 
disapproval of misconduct not serious enough to justify impeachment. 
Representative John Marshall, the future Chief Justice, was in charge 
of Adams' defense, and he did not challenge the constitutionality of 
censure.
  This happened when the House was comprised primarily of many Members 
politically active at the time the Constitution was drafted only 13 
years earlier, including several Members who had been members of their 
states' ratifying conventions. This is as close as you can come to an 
object lesson in ``original intent.'' If John Marshall accepted the 
constitutionality of censuring a President, even as he worked to defeat 
it, who are we to object?
  This gets us to the matter of ``conscience''. Conscience is best 
exercised through freedom. Freedom in turn suggests choices and 
alternatives. The denial of freedom to choose among legitimate 
alternatives is a denial of full freedom of conscience.
  Now, we are told that it would be wrong to have the freedom of making 
a choice--yet that freedom is the essence of conscience.
  Stripped of its pretenses to constitutionalism and conscience-
mindedness, the majority's manipulation of the impeachment process is 
revealed an unfair act of raw majoritarianism by which they are 
determined to exact their one desired outcome: ending, or at least 
hobbling, the Clinton Presidency. I regret that the behavior of the 
majority leadership in handling this matter contradicts their claims of 
dispassion and nonpartisanship.
  Let me say that my charge is against the majority leadership who have 
engineered the process today. I acknowledge and credit the sincerity of 
the many who will vote for impeachment as an act of conscience. But do 
not think that your definition of conscience can rightly be imposed on 
others without, in doing so, diminishing the concept of conscience.
  Can there be a more compelling instance in which the people of the 
country, acting through their elected representatives, should be able 
to find a conclusion by letting a consensus emerge; by letting the 
preference of the greatest, not the smallest, majority prevail?
  This a political solstice with a cold darkness to match the winter 
solstice. I pray that a new and better season for our politics will 
come as spring will follow this winter. I so want the speakership of my 
friend, Bob Livingston, to succeed and to nurture a renewal of this 
House. We owe him and ourselves and the country that opportunity.
  I want nothing more for this House than to fulfill the aspirations of 
its Members and the people that it be a great and decent deliberative 
body, serving in honor the great purposes of a great nation. This is my 
last address here. I leave my colleagues with a plea to be good to each 
other so that you may do your best for the country we love.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Mrs. Maloney).
  Mrs. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, if an action by a President 
poses a threat to our government, then he may be impeached for that 
action. The President's behavior was reprehensible, insensible, even 
unimaginable, but it is not impeachable. The punishment does not fit 
the crime. The authors of the Constitution never intended this result.
  Even the chairman, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), said that 
he intended to conduct bipartisan hearings. We have watched as these 
intentions have eroded into an unnecessary partisan battle.
  The President is accused of degrading his office. We must ask 
ourselves is the proper response to degrade the process by lowering the 
standard of impeachment?
  Our biggest responsibility is to the American people. The American 
people elected this President, and they have made it clear that they 
would like to keep him, warts and all. I join my Democrat colleagues in 
calling for a lesser punishment than a political death penalty. It is 
unfair, it is partisan, it is wrong.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Andrews).
  (Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I oppose the articles of impeachment 
because I believe although the President's behavior was deplorable, I 
believe he has not committed a high crime and misdemeanor. So this 
decision is wrong for today.
  But, Mr. Speaker, this decision is wrong for the ages because let me 
predict what is going to happen. Last year the United States Supreme 
Court said: ``You can now proceed with a civil suit against a sitting 
President.'' The next time we have a polarizing President and a 
Congress from a different party, here is what is going to happen: There 
is going to be a civil suit launched against that President. He or she 
is going to be dragged into discovery, and his or her opponents in this 
Congress are going to try to categorize anything

[[Page H11859]]

they can as perjury and obstruction of justice. Articles of impeachment 
will be pursued, and the country will be weakened.
  It is my sincere prayer here tonight that our children will not bear 
the bitter fruits of the reckless seeds that our colleagues are sowing 
here today. The Constitution has worked well for over 200 years. Leave 
it alone.
  Mr. Speaker, allow me to explain my reasoning in voting against the 
impeachment of the President. The Constitution recognizes a difference 
between misconduct--even criminal misconduct--and the High Crimes and 
Misdemeanors that are required for impeachment.
  My judgment is that the President's misconduct, though deplorable, 
does not rise to the level required by the Constitution for 
impeachment.
  And my judgment is that we will set a dangerous precedent if the 
majority in the House disagree with me, and decide to vote for these 
articles of impeachment which are before us. We will have lowered the 
bar to impeachment, and this action, coupled with the Supreme Court's 
decision to allow sitting Presidents to be sued in a civil lawsuit 
while in office, will lead to more partisan mischief in coming years, 
which could gravely harm our government and our nation.
  The country would be best served by a return to the important 
business at hand: education, health care, Social Security, and 
international problems.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Indiana (Mr. Roemer).
  (Mr. ROEMER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Speaker, John Page wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson 
on July 20, 1776, which reads and I quote:
  ``We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. 
Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this 
storm.''
  I pray that Providence is with this body, this country and our 
Constitution for fairness and justice and honor today, and I fear my 
prayers will go unanswered.
  I voted with my Republican friends 68 days ago to initiate this 
investigation, to look at the facts and corroborate the evidence for a 
high crime and misdemeanor, and George Mason, who wrote that phrase, 
said, and I quote:
  ``It ranged from a great and dangerous offense to subverting the 
Constitution.''
  This does not pierce that high threshold, and when it comes to 
punishment, yes, the President did something reprehensible and immoral 
and sinful, and he should be punished by censure by this body and by 
prosecution like every other American would be when he leaves office.
  Now finally, Mr. Speaker, this is our rule book. This is our sacred 
scripture in this body. There is nothing in here, Mr. Speaker, that 
prohibits a censure; there is no impediment in our Constitution to a 
censure. In fact we have censured and rebuked and criticized Presidents 
three times, in 1834, in 1842, in 1860, and we have impeached a 
President once.
  There is precedent, Mr. Speaker. There is no prohibition or 
prevention to censure, and it is unfair and against our own rules not 
to let us vote.
  Finally, let me quote from Benjamin Franklin, who said after the 
Convention when he was asked what have you wrought with this 
Constitution? And he said:
  ``A republic, if you can keep it.''
  Mr. Speaker, the Constitution is sacred scripture, and it applies 
evenly and fairly to all of its people, all of its institutions, 
including the presidency.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Buyer) for rebuttal.
  Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, I have great respect for my colleague from 
Indiana (Mr. Roemer) and I would only respond by saying impeachment is 
the only power in the Constitution granted to Congress to address 
presidential criminal misconduct in the derelict exercise of his 
duties. The censure resolution that was offered the Committee on the 
Judiciary in fact has findings of guilt with a punishment. It is 
prohibitive then of a bill of attainder and is therefore 
unconstitutional. A temptation to take the easy way out by assuming a 
power not specifically granted in the Constitution should be shunned.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman 
from New Hampshire (Mr. Bass).
  (Mr. BASS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BASS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution before us. 
This debate is not about the President, it is about the presidency. It 
is not about marital infidelity or contrition, as tragic as that might 
be, but it is about lying under oath, and it is not about contorted 
legalese to create the appearance of truth, it is about facing the 
underlying facts, facing the reality of what we all know has happened 
here.
  Mr. Speaker, no citizen should ever be above the law, and if my 
colleagues believe, as I do, that President Clinton knowingly made 
perjurious, false and misleading statements under oath to a grand jury 
and in sworn affidavits, that he attempted to corruptly influence the 
testimony of witnesses and potential witnesses, then we must support 
this resolution.

                              {time}  1730

  Let us pray that 1998 not be the year that we create a sovereign 
ruler; rather, let it be the moment when we reaffirm the principle of 
equal justice for all. I urge support of the pending resolution.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield one minute to the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Hastert).
  (Mr. HASTERT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HASTERT. Mr. Speaker, I am saddened that there is clear and 
convincing evidence that the President lied under oath, obstructed 
justice and abused the powers of his office in an attempt to cover up 
his wrongdoing. I regret that the President's behavior puts me in the 
position of having to vote in favor of articles of impeachment and pass 
this matter on to the U.S. Senate for final judgment.
  In facing this solemn duty, I look to the wisdom of our Founding 
Fathers. According to Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65, impeachment 
concerns ``offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or 
in other words from the abuse of violation of some public trust.''
  The evidence in President Clinton's case is overwhelming, that he has 
abused and violated the public trust. In this Nation, all men are 
created equal. Simply put, the President in our representative 
democracy is not a sovereign who is above the law. Tomorrow I shall 
cast a difficult vote.
  The President's inability to abide by the law, the Constitution and 
my conscience have all led me to the solemn conclusion that impeachment 
articles must be passed.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler), a member of the committee.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Buyer) says 
that a censure resolution would be unconstitutional. The Congressional 
Research Service says that a censure resolution is an exercise of the 
implicit power of a deliberative right to express its views. The 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay) offered House Resolution 433, 
disapproving the President's conduct with respect to campaign 
financial.
  What is the distinction, why did the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Hyde) make the censure resolution offered in committee in order? Was he 
exercising an unconstitutional prerogative?
  I yield to the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Buyer).
  Mr. BUYER. Mr. Speaker, I say that the censure resolution that was 
offered has specific findings of guilt and therefore makes it 
unconstitutional in its form.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time, what about the 
resolution of the gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay)?
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 15 seconds to the gentleman from 
Indiana (Mr. Roemer).
  Mr. ROEMER. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend from Michigan for 
yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, in our House rules manual, it explicitly states, ``In 
the modern practice, concurrent resolutions have been developed as a 
means of expressing principles, opinions and purposes of the two 
Houses.''
  Thomas Jefferson said principles, opinions and purposes could be 
expressed in the form of resolutions.

[[Page H11860]]

 What better person to go to than Thomas Jefferson?
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/4\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from New York (Mr. LaFalce).
  (Mr. LaFALCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. LaFALCE. Mr. Speaker, today is a very sad day in America's 
history, especially because everything leading up to today's vote has 
been so unfair. Ken Starr's investigation was unfair. He even tried to 
entrap the President. His report was unfair, for he left out important 
exculpatory evidence. His presentation to the House Committee on the 
Judiciary was so unfair that his own ethics adviser resigned as a 
result.
  The Speaker-designate's decision to deny the House and the American 
people the right to vote on censure as an alternative is unfair. That 
decision constitutes an obstruction of the justice that the American 
people believe is warranted, censure; the justice that former President 
Gerald Ford, who knows something about impeachment, believes is 
warranted; that former Republican presidential candidate Robert Dole 
advised this body; censure, not impeachment.
  You may have followed your conscience in deciding to vote for 
impeachment, but you cannot be considered just if you deny those of us, 
I believe a majority of this body, I know a majority of the American 
public, the right to vote on censure as an alternative to impeachment.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar).
  (Mr. OBERSTAR asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Speaker, the constitutional scholars testifying 
before the Committee on the Judiciary made it clear that there is a 
high threshold for impeachment.
  Not all crimes are impeachable offenses. The impeachment power is 
limited to treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. The 
word ``other'' means impeachment is limited to crimes similar to 
bribery and treason, threatening the basic integrity of government.
  The charges against President Clinton fall well below this standard. 
When you cut through the rhetoric about rule of law, abuse of power, 
civil rights cases, at bottom the allegations are that the President 
tried to conceal an embarrassing private relationship. These efforts at 
concealment came in the Paula Jones lawsuit, a civil lawsuit. The 
relationship being concealed was that between the President and Ms. 
Lewinsky, and it was only tangentially relevant to the lawsuit, which 
was subsequently dismissed.
  In any event, in his grand jury testimony, the President admitted an 
improper intimate relationship. For that, he deserves censure.
  As the majority in the House marches in lock-step to thwart the will 
of a majority of the electorate, it is worth recalling that the House 
Republicans came to power claiming that the Congress was out of touch 
with the real America. How hollow this claim rings today, when two-
thirds of the electorate opposes removal of the President through 
impeachment.
  If the Republican majority were truly concerned about the views of 
the real America, they would support the remedy which a majority of the 
people support, a censure resolution permitting the President to stay 
in office. But the Republican leadership, which in the past complained 
vociferously about limitations on the amendment process, is so 
determined to win, that it is unwilling to allow even a vote on 
censure. Apparently they fear that they would lose this vote and that 
the will of a majority of the electorate would prevail.
  What could be more contrary to the rhetoric of the Reagan and Bush 
Administrations than this vote, in which Republican ``Washington 
insiders'' will decide that they know better than the public outside 
the beltway. Indeed, the Republicans' zeal to remove the President is 
so intense that they are willing to ignore not only the wishes of the 
people, but the morale of our troops in combat, and even the letter and 
the spirit of the Constitution.
  Under the separation of powers which is fundamental to our 
Constitution, the President and the Congress are separate and 
independent. Ours is not a parliamentary system in which the 
legislative and executive functions are merged. In a parliamentary 
system the legislature removes the executive when it disagrees with 
him, and the legislative majority is expected to enact the executive's 
program without question. Under our system, the two branches are 
separate, and only in extraordinary circumstances can the legislature 
breach the independence of the executive and remove the President by 
impeachment.
  The Constitutional scholars testifying before the Judiciary Committee 
made it clear that there is a high threshold for impeachment. Not all 
crimes are impeachable offenses; the impeachment power is limited to 
``treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' The term 
``other'' indicates that impeachment is limited to crimes which are 
similar to bribery and treason in threatening the basic integrity of 
government.
  The charges against President Clinton fall well below this standard. 
When we cut through all the high flown rhetoric about the rule of law, 
abuse of power and civil right cases (incidentally, when was the last 
time the Republicans called a sexual harassment case a civil rights 
case) we have, at bottom, allegations that the President tried to 
conceal an embarrassing private relationship. The first efforts at 
concealment came in the civil lawsuit by Paula Jones. The relationship 
which was being concealed, that of the President and Ms. Lewinsky, was 
only tangentially relevant to Paula Jones' lawsuit. In any event, Ms. 
Jones' lawsuit was subsequently dismissed.
  In his grand jury testimony, the President admitted that he had an 
improper, intimate relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. At worst, the 
President lied about the exact nature of some of his intimate actions. 
It is hard to see how these alleged lies could constitute ``great and 
dangerous offenses'' or ``attempts to subvert the constitution'' which 
should be the basis for an impeachment, according to George Mason, one 
of our founding fathers.
  When I say that not all crimes warrant impeachment, I am not saying 
that I approve of a President committing crimes. What I am saying is 
that the purpose of the impeachment process is not to punish crimes, 
but to remove a President who has misused the powers of his office. If 
President Clinton committed the crimes alleged here, these crimes 
should be dealt with in a criminal proceeding or a judicial contempt 
proceeding after he leaves office. I emphasize that it is not clear 
that crimes were in fact committed. Many of the scholars and 
prosecutors who testified before the Judiciary Committee concluded that 
the evidence presented against President Clinton would not have 
resulted in the prosecution of an ordinary citizen.
  There are other means for the Congress to deal with misconduct by the 
President which falls short of the impeachment standard. Congress has 
the power to pass a censure resolution, expressing our condemnation. 
The impeachment process, which requires removal from office, must be 
reserved for extraordinary cases. If we lower the bar for impeachment, 
we seriously weaken the Presidency by giving a Congress controlled by 
the opposition party virtually unlimited power to subject a President 
to an all-consuming removal process.
  The majority party has tried since January to convince the people 
that the President should be removed from office. Two thirds of the 
public remains unconvinced despite being bombarded daily with the facts 
of this case. I am astonished and deeply distressed by the procedural 
travesty to which the minority has been subjected: denial of our right 
to offer and have a vote on a motion of censure. What does the majority 
fear of a vote on censure? Are they afraid that it might pass, with 
some of their own members voting for censure rather than impeachment? 
Apparently fear of falling short of their objective of removing 
President Clinton from office is driving the procedural unfairness to 
which we have been subjected.
  The majority still has time to be fair so be fair so be fair to us 
and to the American people by allowing a vote on censure, which I would 
support.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).
  (Mr. DeFazio asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, Member after Member has risen on the other 
side and said the President should not be above the law. He is not. Ken 
Starr is free to prosecute the President, indict him, perhaps while in 
office, but definitely after.
  It is not ordinary criminal or civil law in question in this debate, 
it is Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution regarding impeachment. 
Impeachment is a special punishment reserved for the President of the 
United States and other Federal civil officers.
  The founders set an incredibly high bar for impeachment. 
Constitutional scholars all agree, the framers of the Constitution did 
not want a President to be impeached simply because a majority of the 
Members of Congress disagreed with his policies or found his morals 
repugnant.
  The Republican majority has not raised and proven offenses that meet

[[Page H11861]]

those standards. Rather they have met the standards met by Gerald Ford 
25 years ago. He said an impeachable offense is anything 218 Members of 
the House will vote for.
  That is an unconstitutional and cynical standard. The alternative of 
censure would serve as well in this matter. A near unanimous House 
could deliver a stinging and historic rebuke to the President with a 
motion of censure, and we will be denied that vote, and we are denied 
sufficient time to speak on the floor.
  Member after Member on the Republican side has stood to plead the 
force of law--that no citizen no matter how powerful should be above 
the law.
  There is total agreement on that point. The President should not be 
above the law for purposes of criminal prosecution. Mr. Starr is free 
to attempt to indict the President for criminal wrongdoing--if not 
while the President sits in office he could certainly be prosecuted in 
2 years after leaving office.
  It is not ordinary criminal or civil law in question during this 
debate. The law that binds the House of Representatives in this 
proceeding is the Constitution of the United States article 2 Section 4 
regarding Impeachment for ``Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and 
Misdemeanors.''
  Impeachment is a special punishment reserved for the President and 
other federal civil officers.
  The Founders set an incredibly high bar for impeachment: At the time 
of the Constitutional Convention, ``High Crimes and Misdemeanors'' had 
400 years of precedent in English law--it meant serious official 
misconduct and abuse of the powers of the government by the King or one 
of his officers.
  Alexander Hamilton characterized impeachable offenses as 
``political'' actions that involve injuries done to the society itself. 
George Mason spoke of ``attempts to subvert the Constitution.''
  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 Presidency is vital to our 
Constitutional order.
  Now the leaders of the Republican majority have puffed up with a 
booming voice much like the puny wizard in the Wizard of Oz in an 
attempt to raise the President's outrageous, reckless and morally 
offensive behavior to the level of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. 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 simply whether the 
special Constitutional remedy of impeachment should be invoked for 
these particular offenses.
  The Wizards on the other side have puffed up these offenses to Abuse 
of Power and Obstruction of Justice, and Perjury in their Articles of 
Impeachment.
  The Republican Majority has not raised and proven offenses that meet 
the standards set by our founders. Rather they have met the standard 
uttered by Former President Ford a quarter of Century ago--that 
impeachable offenses are whatever 218 Members of the House of 
Representatives say they are. That is an incredibly cynical and 
unconstitutional standard, yet that is what is revealed when we rip the 
curtain of puffery from the rhetoric of the other side.
  The Alternative of Censure would serve us well in this matter. A near 
unanimous House could deliver a stinging and historic rebuke to the 
President with a motion of censure.
  But, after cutting the Constitutional legs out from under standards 
for impeachment the Republican leaders would have the House believe 
that the Constitution's silence on the issue of Censure means it is 
Constitutionally barred from consideration. It is not Constitutionally 
barred it is politically precluded because the Republican leaders 
feared that had the option of censure been before this House along with 
the option of impeachment Censure would have garnered more support.
  The procedures followed in bringing these Articles of Impeachment to 
the floor at this time, in this manner with no option for censure are 
abuse of power by the leaders of the Majority. This is a tragic day in 
the history of the United States House of Representatives and a tragic 
turn of events for our sacred system of government. The repercussions 
will reverberate in our society for decades to come.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Etheridge).
  (Mr. ETHERIDGE asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. ETHERIDGE. Mr. Speaker, at this very moment, halfway around the 
world, our troops are engaged in battle, at a time that we are here 
talking about doing in the commander-in-chief. I deplore that, because 
they are trying to do away with a dictator who has weapons of mass 
destruction that he will use. As a Vietnam veteran, a veteran of the 
Vietnam era, I know what it means to serve and have the Commander in 
Chief under siege.
  I voted in October for the committee to move forward. I am ashamed 
that they did not come back with a joint resolution without it being 
partisan and unfair and politicized, and I am ashamed of this body. I 
came here to do the people's business. Tonight we are not doing the 
people's business, we are doing partisan business, and that is unfair. 
The American people will recognize it is unfair, and they are going to 
make us pay the price for being unfair and for being partisan.
  I say if we could vote our conscience, we would vote for censure. The 
Speaker-elect said we should vote our conscience, and you are not 
allowing us to do it, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Payne).
  Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this very 
unfair attack on President Clinton and our Constitution. The partisan 
assault which we are witnessing today is especially painful to me, 
because when I was elected to Congress I had the privilege of taking 
over the seat which had, up until that time, been held by the Honorable 
Peter Rodino.
  During the Watergate hearings in 1974, Chairman Rodino won the 
respect and admiration of the entire Nation for his insistence on 
fairness, his profound respect for the U.S. Constitution and his 
impeccable sense of decorum. The Committee on the Judiciary and the 
Congress at this time have not done the job, and it has been done in a 
partisan way.
  Mr. Speaker, I think the American people see this action for what it 
is today. Is it not remarkable when a Democratic President engages in a 
secret affair, the Republicans leap to impeach him, but when a 
Republican leader engages in the same conduct, they leap on their feet 
to give him a standing ovation?
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Nethercutt).
  (Mr. NETHERCUTT asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. NETHERCUTT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Articles I, II and 
III.
  These votes today are defining votes--cast not for political position 
or popularity but for purposes of confirming the integrity of the most 
precious and essential element of a free society--the right of all 
citizens to trust and rely upon a system of justice which is blind to 
influence and oblivious to position or status. It is also a vote that 
has implications for a modern society--that inextricably links our 
American justice system with our political system. Justice and politics 
should be linked. Our votes reflect our values and those of our 
constituents.
  The evidence is persuasive to me that President Clinton's offenses 
justify my vote in support of articles 1, 2 and 3. The President's 
legal breaches have a greater negative impact on our society than the 
inherent damage of his moral lapses. This is because our system of 
justice relies on the collection of evidence that leads ultimately to 
the truth in legal proceedings. Only with truth and reliable facts can 
justice under the law be fairly dispensed. And a free people must have 
faith in our legal system if we are to have an orderly and lawful 
society.
  Presidents have a high standard of conduct to uphold. By their deeds 
and words, they should encourage the rest of us to reach for that 
standard, too. High standards include and embrace respect for the law. 
Telling the truth in a legal setting should be the unquestionable 
obligation of any President, and any person. President Clinton failed 
in that simple obligation too frequently for his actions to be 
considered an oversight or misunderstanding. His conduct should not be 
allowed to become the new standard for our nation which historically 
has revered those who personify dignity, truth, self-sacrifice and 
honor.
  We have no choice but to make this difficult judgment. To do 
otherwise would be a breach of the trust that citizens should have, not 
only in the President's standards, but in our own. My vote will be true 
to my Constitutional oath, and I pray to God that my judgment is right.

[[Page H11862]]

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume 
to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Oxley).
  (Mr. OXLEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. OXLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the four articles of 
impeachment.
  As a former law enforcement official, I have helped put people in 
jail based on the strength of witness testimony. Our entire judicial 
system must rest on the sure and solid foundation that witnesses tell 
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under solemn 
oath.
  Beyond a reasonable doubt, William Jefferson Clinton willfully and 
purposely committed perjury. He did so with alarming forethought, 
frequency, and disregard for the law.
  In a separate solemn oath, his oath of office, William Jefferson 
Clinton swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United 
States and the laws of this nation. He has failed to keep his word, 
which has brought us to this sad and historic day.
  If you believe that President Clinton perjured himself, and I do, and 
if you believe that perjury is a serious matter, and we must, then we 
have a duty to pass these painful but necessary articles of 
impeachment.
  President Clinton and apologists for him have tried to make this a 
debate about anything other than the rule of law. They want to make it 
a debate about the man and the circumstances surrounding his actions. 
But we are a nation of laws, and the fundamental question must be 
whether William Jefferson Clinton violated the law.
  The facts of this case are well known. Neither the President nor his 
defenders have countered them effectively. Indeed, on this fundamental 
question, the President's team has presented no real defense. They have 
said that it is just about sex. They have said that he misled, but he 
did not lie. They have said that a reasonable person might conclude 
that he lied, but he did not commit perjury. They have said that even 
if you believe that he committed perjury, it is not an impeachable 
offense. They have attempted to change the subject any number of times.
  However, Mr. Speaker, you cannot explain away that fact that there 
are people sitting in prison now for making perjurious statements under 
oath. I have to ask my liberal friends if they have an elitist view of 
the Constitution. Why should the President be treated differently? Is 
he, alone, above the law?
  I have yet to meet the Democrat who believes that Republican 
Presidents are above the law, yet we seem to have an abundance of those 
who believe that this President should be able to lie under oath and 
get away with nothing more than a stern lecture.
  That is what a resolution of censure would amount to--a stern lecture 
from Congress with no legal underpinning. It would be an extra-
constitutional concoction designed to make its proponents feel better 
while doing absolutely nothing.
  Censure may be an easy way out, but it is not a real option. The 
Constitution gave us no middle ground, which is as it should be. Either 
the House votes to impeach and refer the matter to the Senate, or it 
does not. It is a bright line, and I know on which side I must cast my 
votes.
  We have seen a lot of bright lines blurred in our society in recent 
years. Moral relativism abounds. In this case, I have heard the most 
amazing rationalizations: That it is wrong to lie under oath, unless 
you are lying about sex. That it is wrong to lie about sexual 
harassment, unless the woman in question was asking for it. That it is 
wrong to commit perjury, but if you are really, really sorry, we can 
forget about it. This kind of logic only makes sense to those bent on 
defending the indefensible.
  The scandals of recent years have desensitized our culture and 
denigrated our society. Beyond the White House scandals, such 
travesties as a celebrity former athlete literally getting away with 
murder and a physician killing a patient on national television have 
contributed to the notion that those with adequate legal defense funds 
are not accountable to the law.
  President Clinton lied repeatedly, with forethought, in civil 
litigation, before a federal grand jury, and in response to questions 
posed by the House Judiciary Committee. He obstructed justice in 
numerous ways. His deputies have systematically attempted to destroy 
those who dare to oppose him. He has shown contempt for the truth, the 
law, the Congress, and his fellow citizens.
  Section 4, Article II of the U.S. Constitution states that the 
President ``shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and 
conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors.'' The threshold question is whether the President, at a 
minimum, committed a high misdemeanor. Who can seriously doubt that he 
has?
  President William Jefferson Clinton should be impeached by the House 
of Representatives and the matter referred to the U.S. Senate. It is 
our solemn responsibility, and we must not flinch from it.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman 
from Indiana (Mr. Pease), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. PEASE. Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Committee on the 
Judiciary, I have spent the greater part of the last several months 
reviewing the terms which were assigned to us by action of the House. 
It has not been an easy task, especially as I struggled to maintain 
objectivity in the face of intense pressures from across the political 
spectrum.
  It seemed that everyone had an opinion, usually very firmly held, and 
that anyone of any other opinion was not only wrong, but wrongly 
motivated as well.
  I accepted that, though I was discouraged with my own inability to 
convey to others an understanding that people could hold strong 
convictions without questioning the motives of those who differed with 
them, and that all matters, but especially those as momentous as these, 
must be approached with respect for all involved and the institutions 
which we cherish.
  As I have drawn the conclusions which my position on the committee 
required me to address, the level of rancor here and in my district has 
increased, and again it has been across the political spectrum. 
Everything from my judgment, to my patriotism, to my motives, to my 
professional and personal life have been attacked by people who 
obviously feel passionately about the issues before us.
  I understand that too, but feel deeply my failure to persuade others 
that issues of high importance, perhaps most especially issues of high 
importance, can and should be debated, not free of passion, but 
certainly free of vilification and personal attack.
  I have tried at all times to conduct myself accordingly. If nothing 
else, I hope I have made that contribution to this conversation.
  Members of the committee have worked, I believe, honestly, sincerely 
and under extraordinarily difficult circumstances to do their jobs. We 
have differed on many things, from the role of the committee, to the 
standard of proof, to the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors. 
On several of them there was agreement, but I have never questioned the 
motives of my colleagues or my constituents.
  Among the issues the committee addressed was that of censure. As we 
went into that discussion, I did not know whether this was an 
appropriate option for us to consider, but I felt the instructions of 
the House allowed us to review it. As one who hoped to find both the 
right answer and one that most of us could support, I felt that we 
must.
  We did, and through the course of the discussion it became clear that 
the meaning of censure and its place in a constitutional construct was 
unclear. Aside from the constitutional discussion of whether either the 
House or the Senate, neither or both, could impose a censure, there was 
not even agreement on whether a resolution of censure was intended to 
punish or not.

                              {time}  1745

  After long debate, my conclusion on that subject is simply this: If 
censure is intended as a punishment of the President, it is 
specifically constitutionally prohibited as a bill of attainder. If 
censure is not intended as a punishment of the President, it is 
meaningless.
  I have not researched the options available to the Senate, but for 
the House, I am convinced that this option is not available.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Hinojosa).
  Mr. HINOJOSA. Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day in our Nation's history. 
I say this because the stage has been set today to impeach our 
President against the will of the American people. This action is 
partisan, this action is wrong, this action is unconscionable.
  How can we say this is a political democracy when an overwhelming 
majority of the American people have clearly stated they want our 
President to remain in office? How can we say this is a political 
democracy when an overwhelming majority of the American people have 
said they want to see us

[[Page H11863]]

negotiate a compromise? How can we undo the last two presidential 
elections and say to the American people, your votes do not matter? Are 
we a democracy or are we not?
  I do not intend to stand by idly and be a party to what I will again 
say is quite obviously an unfair process. I was elected to this 
Congress to represent the people, and that is precisely what I intend 
to by casting my vote against impeachment.
  Compromise! Conscience! Censure! That is what must be the order of 
the day. It is the only fair way the American people can be 
represented.
  Formal censure by the entire Congress is the only way to express the 
disdain of the American people for the President's actions. It is a 
fitting and constitutionally valid punishment, and one, I should add, 
that polls show a majority of the public prefers.
  Those who claim otherwise rely on the argument that the Constitution 
does not mention censure. There are those who say it's ``impeachment or 
nothing,'' when, in fact, a score of Constitutional experts called as 
witnesses by both Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee 
agreed in writing--by a margin of almost 4 to 1--that the Constitution 
does not prohibit censure.
  The Framers of the Constitution, anticipating the political 
vulnerability of the Presidency to opposing factions in Congress, 
established a threshold for impeachment which is very high--``treason, 
bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' This high threshold 
should be maintained, and as I have said before, the President's 
actions have never compromised the security of this nation; so what 
we're left talking about is private activity which reflects on moral 
character. That is not what our Founding Fathers intended to be 
impeachable offenses--unforgivable perhaps, but not impeachable.
  The conduct which is the basis for the Judiciary Committee's 
recommendation of impeachment--perjury, and related actions regarding 
personal sexual misconduct--is not of the same legal magnitude as the 
crimes set forth in the Constitution. There is no credible evidence 
that the President's actions undermined the integrity of our Democratic 
institutions, cast doubt on his loyalty to the country, or prevented 
his ability to execute his duties as President. Again, while his 
offenses are real, they are not impeachable.
  To impeach the President for the offenses charged by the Judiciary 
Committee would be to lower the threshold for impeachment for all 
future Presidents, and lowering the threshold in this way would pose a 
threat to the system of checks and balances and separation of powers 
that form the foundation of our system of Democratic governance. This 
would indeed be grave.
  I said at the onset of this investigation that I would base my 
actions on the evidence of record. Based on the evidence, a 
Congressional action short of impeachment--such as censure for 
unacceptable conduct--seems to strike the right balance and to best 
serve the interests of our nation and its people.
  To not allow a vote on a censure resolution amounts to only one 
thing--a decision by the Republican leadership to ignore the will of 
the American people. That is wrong. It is an example of the tyranny our 
forefathers sought to escape when they founded this great nation.
  I will vote my conscience today. I will vote to reflect the will of 
the people. I will vote against partisanship and against impeachment. I 
will cast my vote for Democracy.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Connecticut (Mr. Gejdenson).
  (Mr. GEJDENSON asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Speaker, I would hope the Republicans no longer 
come to the floor to tell us they are for small government, because 
they are involved in the ultimate big government act. They are 
attempting to take away from the people the decision of who will 
preside over this great country.
  When we saw Khruschev removed by the Politburo, no one ran tears. He 
was not elected by the people; he was appointed by an unelected body. 
When we see coups and coups d'etat, the removal of elected presidents 
in Third World countries, we are saddened that they have not developed 
to a stage where they have the institutional instincts for debate 
without trying to criminalize the process of differing views.
  But here in this House today, the Republican Party ignores what the 
Constitution asks us to do. The President, for his criminal acts, if 
they exist, is left to the normal criminal process. We are here to 
judge if he undermined the United States in his office. Did he indeed 
take actions that were deemed necessary for removal? The answer is no. 
Vote against this proposal.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Hinchey).
  (Mr. HINCHEY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HINCHEY. Mr. Speaker, in our recent history, Barbara Jordan gave 
us the best short definition of an impeachable offense during the 
impeachment hearings on President Nixon when she said she would not 
tolerate the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the 
Constitution. President Clinton stands accused of something far short 
of that standard.
  By now I think most Americans have concluded that the President has 
not subverted the Constitution. He has not undermined our system of 
government. This impeachment punishes the country. It robs us of the 
time and attention that we should be devoting to other matters. It 
subverts the official duties of the President. It forces us to endure a 
trauma that serves no practical purpose. It opens up the possibility 
that the country will be forced to endure similar suspensions of the 
Nation's business again and again if future Presidents face penalties 
for any charges that a hostile prosecutor or a congressional majority 
can find.
  Let us reserve impeachment for high crimes that betray the American 
people and our system of democracy. The charges against the President 
do not meet that standard.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Clement).
  Mr. CLEMENT. Mr. Speaker, I have heard a lot of talk today about the 
rule of law. I wish I could have heard talk about the rule of fairness. 
Why could we not have debated and voted on Monday after the bombing 
ceased in Iraq? Why could not the majority party let us vote on a 
censure proposal where all of us in the United States House of 
Representatives could have voted our conscience?
  Mr. Speaker, when I listen to the majority party, it makes me wonder 
if they think the President had not been punished at all yet. The 
President has been punished. He has been humiliated. He has been 
embarrassed. He has paid a high price at home, as well as with the 
American people, as well as the people all across the world.
  Mr. Speaker, where our finest hour has been is when we have known how 
to compromise. That is our finest hour in the United States House of 
Representatives. But how do we compromise when we just have one point 
of view?
  Vote against impeachment, and give us the opportunity to vote on 
censure.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Oklahoma (Mr. Istook).
  (Mr. ISTOOK asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ISTOOK. Mr. Speaker, the President was given the opportunity to 
present witnesses or evidence which would dispute the facts. He did 
not. His legal hair-splitting defense could not alter the simple truth: 
The President lied, and lied under oath.
  Here is what convinced me that this perjury is an impeachable offense 
and not simply a moral failure. These were not lies told under sudden 
pressure when he was unexpectedly asked embarrassing questions. The 
President's lies were planned well in advance. They were premeditated. 
He knowingly acted to block justice, even after a Federal judge ruled 
his behavior was relevant and material. He orchestrated a deliberate 
scheme to tell multiple lies under oath on multiple occasions many 
months apart. Even today, he has admitted only what he has been forced 
to admit and otherwise continues to stonewall.
  This was not a spur-of-the-moment decision to hide personal shame. He 
had ample time to correct his course, but instead chose to defy the 
laws of our land.
  Mr. Speaker, I will vote to impeach.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Frelinghuysen).
  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the resolution. 
We have before us the evidence as presented by all responsible parties, 
as well as the thoughts of so many constituents who feel strongly that 
their views should be reflected in the votes we cast.
  After reviewing so much of the evidence, I believe it is now clear 
that the

[[Page H11864]]

President has 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 trust. I will, therefore, vote in favor of 
impeachment.
  While I know that some will disagree, and strongly so, with my 
decision, I reached it 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 I have shared with my two teenage daughters 
and thousands of other school children the fact that the truth still 
matters and always will and, finally, that a vote of conscience is 
always the right vote.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The Chair announces that since 
beginning the debate at 12:15, the Republican side has used 2 hours and 
16 minutes, and the Democratic side has used 2 hours and 26 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers).
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan), a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, I would just like to respond. The gentleman 
from Oklahoma (Mr. Istook) just said that we gave the President an 
opportunity to call witnesses, to prove his innocence. Since when is 
the burden of proof in this country on the person being accused?
  You have the obligation to provide a case before the Committee on the 
Judiciary, and you did not provide a single material witness in this 
case. Not one witness. And then they get up before this House and say 
the President had an opportunity to bring witnesses to prove his 
innocence. You had the obligation to provide the witnesses that would 
have proved the charges before this House, and you did not provide one 
witness.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Hawaii (Mr. Abercrombie).
  (Mr. ABERCROMBIE asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Speaker, I think I am perhaps the only Member 
here who won an election and lost an election on the same day. I won a 
special election in 1986 and lost a primary on the same day. As a 
result, I was the last person to be sworn into this body by Tip O'Neill 
before he retired.
  What I remember from that short time that I was here, not knowing 
whether I would come back, is remarks from Tip O'Neill and remarks from 
the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde). Both of them said to me in the 
short time I was here, whether you are here 3 weeks, as I was, or 
whether you are here for 30 years, this is the people's House. This is 
the House of democracy.
  That lesson was given to me by Tip O'Neill and the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Hyde). To not have the availability to us today to vote 
on a censure motion is to take away the fundamental sense of fairness 
that made me so proud to have been able to come to Hawaii 40 years ago, 
never knowing that I would have the chance to serve in this House and 
to be denied the opportunity now to vote on an alternative, a 
reasonable alternative that was emphasized by the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Hyde) and Tip O'Neill is a travesty.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Gutierrez).
  Mr. GUTIERREZ. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Gingrich) 
was always proud to remind us that he was a professor of history, so he 
could tell us about the Constitutional Convention, where it was decided 
that a President could be removed from office for high crimes and 
misdemeanors, or he could tell us that censure was weighed and 
exercised against chief executives in the 19th century.
  Let me be clear. No one is condoning the President's behavior, and if 
we had the chance, we would vote to condemn it. To take poetic license 
from Mark Anthony's words from Julius Caesar, I do not come here to 
praise Bill Clinton, but I do not intend to see him buried either, 
buried under an avalanche of innuendo and salacious scandal. Nor do I 
wish to see this Congress play the role of Brutus, reaching across the 
centuries to stab in the back the founders of our democracy who 
entrusted us with their legacy.
  No one is attempting to defend the President. We are trying to defend 
a historical precedent. The voters spoke and they said they were sick 
of this partisan political process, sick of this extraordinarily 
expensive exhaustive examination of an extramarital affair. History 
tells us what to do. Vote against impeachment of the President of the 
United States.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Georgia (Ms. McKinney).
  Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Speaker, today I rise with sadness in my heart. It 
is a sad day for our republic.
  Today, the Republican leadership in the House has proven that they 
are, in fact, the minority party. The Republican leadership represents 
the minority view on impeachment, on health care reform, on tax cuts to 
benefit the wealthy, and on protecting and preserving the social safety 
net.
  Today, the Republican leaders have chosen to trample the Constitution 
with partisan arrogance in order to strike a political blow against 
President Bill Clinton. Today, the American people clearly oppose 
impeachment.
  But the Republican leaders, blind above their own sanctimonious piety 
and hypocrisy, have chosen to push our Nation to the brink, the brink 
of a constitutional crisis for their own political benefit.
  Today, House Republicans held Bill Clinton to a standard that neither 
the current Speaker, nor the Speaker-elect could meet. Today, our last 
best hope is that the Senate will be a place where reason takes the 
place of revenge.
  I cast my vote against impeachment today because that is what my 
constituents want, and because I know that that is the right thing to 
do.
  Today, the Republicans decided that in order to save America, they 
had to destroy it.

                              {time}  1800

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Hutchinson).
  Mr. HUTCHINSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time 
to me.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to respond to the gentleman from Massachusetts. 
He did have one thing right, and that is the burden of proof is on 
those going forward with impeachment. But that burden of proof was met 
with 60,000 pages of documents, an independent review by the Committee 
on the Judiciary, and the key point is that there has not been one 
challenge to the evidence in the Committee on the Judiciary, nor 
challenge to the facts today. Also, in addition to providing the 
testimony of the witnesses, the President's counsel did not dispute it.
  The evidence has been established and not refuted. We have made our 
case on that. Today, any dispute about that today----
  Mr. MEEHAN. Everything was challenged in the report.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). The gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan) is out of order.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Duncan).
  (Mr. DUNCAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of these articles of 
impeachment because of the very serious allegations of felonies 
contained in them.
  I spent 7\1/2\ years as a criminal court judge trying felony criminal 
cases prior to coming to Congress. Many experts have pointed out that 
the role of the House is really that of a grand jury. A grand jury is 
required to indict any time there is a reasonable possibility that a 
crime has been committed.
  Like a grand jury, I believe the House has no choice but to impeach 
when we have a report, an official report of felony offenses having 
been committed. Jerome Siefman, the former Democratic chief counsel of 
the Committee on the Judiciary, wrote recently that in his view, 
``There is now more than substantial evidence to consider that the 
President has committed impeachable offenses, and that the Congress has 
a moral, ethical, and constitutional responsibility to vote to impeach 
in this situation.''
  As a speaker earlier this morning mentioned, the Justice Department 
during this administration has prosecuted 700 people for perjury type 
offenses. One of our leading syndicated

[[Page H11865]]

columnists summed up by asking, are we people of the Constitution?
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of these Articles of Impeachment 
because of the very serious allegations of felonies contained in them.
  Before coming to Congress, I spent 7\1/2\ years as a criminal court 
judge trying felony criminal cases.
  Unfortunately, I believe some Members of Congress are forgetting, 
ignoring, or perhaps do not understand the proper role of the House in 
an impeachment proceeding.
  Also, I had lunch with former Senator Howard Baker this week, and he 
said many people are missing a very key difference between the 
impeachment proceedings today and at the time of the Watergate 
hearings.
  Senator Baker said those who wishfully talk about the bipartisan 
nature of Watergate are forgetting or overlooking the fact that many 
Republicans came forward then and put aside their partisanship even 
though it went against a President of their own party.
  Today, not only are almost all Democratic Members siding with the 
President, they are adopting his strategy of attacking his attackers in 
a very partisan, very aggressive manner.
  Republicans have been criticized by many on the national media for 
being partisan. However, in reality, we should take lessons from the 
Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee on how to be partisan.
  We cannot hold a candle to the other party when it comes to 
partisanship.
  Democrats, almost in lockstep fashion, are saying they find the 
President's behavior reprehensive, But . . .
  This ``but'' is about as big as ``but'' can be and essentially means 
the President should once again get away with things no once else could 
get away with.
  As to the House's proper role in an impeachment, it is really that of 
a grand jury.
  Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, 
said in his testimony before the Judiciary Committee:

       The roles of the House and Senate roughly resemble the 
     classic grand jury and petit jury models. Under the 
     Constitution, the House functions much like a grand jury. 
     Like a grand jury, the House does not rule on the merits of 
     impeachment allegations, a function given exclusively to the 
     Senate.

  The Washington Times wrote:

       The Constitutional system of impeachment gives the House 
     the role of grand jury. The only decision to make is whether 
     the bulk of unproven information presents a prima facie case 
     that needs to be tried by the Senate.

  The Atlanta Constitution stated that:

       The U.S. Constitution makes the House of Representatives a 
     grand jury and the Senate a trial court for impeachment 
     proceedings, but it does not spell out how each body should 
     handle its responsibilities.

  I do not think the grand jury system is fair, and I believe it should 
be changed or eliminated.
  However, unless or until the law is changed, a grand jury is required 
to indict someone if there is any reasonable possibility that a crime 
has been committed.
  Our Founding Fathers envisioned that even some misdemeanors might 
require impeachment. Does anyone really believe they would have said we 
should ignore or overlook felonies?
  We now have a report from the independent counsel, appointed by the 
President's own Attorney General, saying that the President has 
committed felony offenses.
  Jerome Ziefman wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal:

       As a lifelong Democrat and chief counsel of the House 
     Judiciary Committee at the time of the Nixon impeachment 
     inquiry, I believe I have a personal responsibility to speak 
     out about the current impeachment crisis. And I believe my 
     fellow Democrats on today's Judiciary Committee have a moral, 
     ethical, and constitutional responsibility to vote to impeach 
     President Clinton. Like most traditional Democrats--like most 
     Americans--I have grave reservations about Mr. Clinton's 
     morality and ethics. In my view there is now more than 
     substantial evidence to consider our President a felon who 
     has committed impeachable offenses.

  As one of our leading syndicated columnists summed up:

       Are we people of the Constitution? Are we a nation of laws? 
     Do Americans believe that perjury, obstruction of justice and 
     lying to a federal grand jury--all felonies for a private 
     citizen are not felonies when done by a president? Is a 
     president above the laws that bind other men?

  Senator Baker also told me at our lunch that the Senate could 
conclude this matter in one day if they really wanted to.
  I hope that if the House votes to impeach, the Senate moves quickly 
and that the President and his lawyers and supporters do not use the 
stall and delay tactics that have dragged this matter on too far 
already.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Packard).
  (Mr. PACKARD asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Speaker, it is with heavy heart that I rise today in 
support of impeachment. I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and 
defend it against all enemies, and I would betray my conscience and my 
country if I were to ignore this oath. I rise in favor of impeachment 
because we all swore an oath, and I take my oaths very seriously, even 
though the President does not.
  My first wish is that the President resign. Unfortunately, he has 
chosen to place his legacy ahead of our Nation's interest. Mr. Speaker, 
I will vote to send these articles of impeachment to the Senate.
  Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today in support of 
these articles of impeachment. Voting to impeach the President of the 
United States is not a responsibility I enjoy, and it is not one I take 
lightly. But I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and defend it 
against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, and I would betray my 
conscience and my country if I were to ignore this oath.
  I am not a lawyer. Nor am I an enemy of the President or a member of 
any ``right wing conspiracy.'' I am a father, a grandfather, and a 
public servant. As a public servant, I cannot look away when those 
entrusted to enforce and uphold our laws choose instead to place their 
personal interests ahead of the Nation's. And as a father and 
grandfather, I cannot allow this President to escape accountability for 
violating the laws he swore to uphold. To issue a ``slap on the wrist'' 
to a leader who commits perjury, obstructs justice, and abuses his 
power would send a terrible message to American children. It would 
teach them that promises may be broken, that solemn oaths are no more 
than mere words.
  Leaders should be worthy of the trust placed in them. President 
Clinton betrayed this trust, and no hollow last-minute apologies or 
legal hairsplitting can erase this betrayal. I remain convinced that a 
President cannot lead without the trust of the American people, and he 
cannot govern where he commands no respect.
  My first wish is that the President take responsibility for his 
actions and put a stop to this process. He should resign and allow us 
all to put this matter behind us. Unfortunately, he has chosen to place 
his ``legacy'' ahead of our Nation's interests. As a result, Mr. 
Speaker, we are bound by our oaths to fulfill our constitutional duty 
and vote to impeach him. The President of the United States broke the 
law, violated his oath, and dishonored himself and our country. No poll 
or posturing erases that fact. We must send a message that no one, no 
matter how powerful or how popular, is above the law.
  Mr. Speaker, I will vote to send these articles of impeachment to the 
U.S. Senate for disposition. I do so because I swore an oath, and I 
take my oaths very seriously. I do so because the President, 
unfortunately, does not.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Bilirakis).
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart, but with 
a solemn sense of duty, and that is to support all four articles of 
impeachment against the President of the United States. I want to 
believe my president. I cannot. I hoped he would keep his promise to 
have the most ethical administration in history. He did not.
  I want to accept his explanation that he did not lie under oath, 
commit perjury, obstruction of justice, or abuse the power of his 
office. However, his actions and comments over the past 11 months have 
shaken my confidence in his ability to distinguish truth from fiction.
  If you can't convince them, confuse them, President Harry Truman once 
quipped. Like many Americans, I have been confused by the President's 
denials, admissions, declarations, and apologies over the past year. I 
have no doubt, however, that the President has engaged in a clear and 
calculated pattern of deception. The integrity of the presidency, Mr. 
Speaker, must always take priority over the self-interest of the 
current occupant of that office.
  Mr. Speaker, failing to hold the President accountable for his 
actions would create a dangerous double standard. To borrow a phrase 
from George Orwell's Animal Farm, we would be establishing a principle 
that some Americans are more equal than others.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart--but with a solemn sense 
of duty--to support all four articles of impeachment against the 
President of the United States.
  Like most Americans, I have closely followed the Judiciary 
Committee's proceedings in recent weeks. Over the past few days, I

[[Page H11866]]

have carefully studied the Committee's findings and again reviewed the 
available evidence. After serious consideration of these issues, I am 
convinced that the President committed perjury, obstructed justice, and 
abused the power of his office.
  The Constitution of the United States empowers the House of 
Representatives to impeach public officials who engage in ``treason, 
bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.'' Impeachment is not a 
punishment. It is a process established by the Constitution to protect 
our democracy and preserve the rule of law.
  Historical writings on impeachment clearly define its role as a 
democratic safeguard. In Federalist Paper Number Sixty-Five, Alexander 
Hamilton wrote that a President may be impeached for ``offenses which 
proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the 
abuse of violation of some public trust.''
  James Madison explained the impeachment power at the 1787 
Constitutional Convention by stating that ``some provision should be 
made for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence, or 
perfidy of the chief magistrate.''
  Our government is founded on the simple premise that ``all men are 
created equal.'' Equal justice under the law is more than a slogan. It 
is the bedrock principle that supports our democracy. It is too 
important to set aside simply to avoid unpleasant or inconvenient 
consequences.
  Our President violated the public trust. His offenses arose from 
reckless personal misconduct, but they were very clearly public in 
nature. Perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power can hardly 
be described as ``private conduct.''
  We do not have the option of simply ``forgiving'' the President's 
unlawful behavior. Failure to hold the President accountable for his 
actions would seriously undermine the rule of law. Under these 
circumstances, the Constitution compels us to follow the impeachment 
process to its conclusion.
  I want to believe my President. I cannot. I hoped he would keep his 
promises to have ``the most ethical administration in history.'' He did 
not. I want to accept his explanation that he did not lie under oath, 
commit perjury, obstruct justice, or abuse the power of his office. 
However, his actions and comments over the past eleven months have 
shaken my confidence in his ability to distinguish truth from fiction.
  ``If you can't convince them, confuse them,'' President Harry Truman 
once quipped. Like many Americans, I have been confused by the 
President's denials, admissions, declarations, and ``apologies'' over 
the past year. I have no doubt, however, that the President has engaged 
in a clear and calculated pattern of deception.
  On January twenty-sixth, the President wagged his finger at the 
American people and said: ``I did not have sexual relations with that 
woman, Ms. Lewinsky.''
  On August seventeeth, the President stared us in the eye and said: 
``I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not 
appropriate.''
  Last weekend, the President again took to the airwaives to state that 
he ``could not admit to doing something that I am quite sure I did not 
do.'' He said all he can do now is ``the work of the American people.''
  I disagree. He can tell ``the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but 
the truth.'' He swore to do so in the Paula Jones civil deposition and 
in his federal grand jury testimony. The evidence demonstrates, 
however, that he knowingly lied under oath.
  While President Clinton claims to be remorseful, he continues to 
ignore the evidence and to deny his unlawful actions. His reliance on 
legalisms and abrsurd grammatical constructions is an insult to the 
common sense of the American people.
  The President's defense was similarly unconvincing. Instead of 
refuting the Independent Counsel's charges, the President's lawyers 
claimed that his transgressions do not rise to the level of impeachable 
offenses. I believe they do, and the Constitution directs Congress to 
make that determination.
  The President's lawyers argued that his conduct, even if admitted, 
would never result in criminal prosecution. However, constitutional 
scholar Bruce Fein summarized studies of impeachment by concluding that 
``impeachable offenses were envisioned as political crimes against the 
nation, which might or might not be indictable under the criminal 
code.''
  I believe the weight of the evidence is overwhelming. It leads me to 
conclude that the President committed perjury, obstructed justice, and 
abused the power of his office. He committed impeachable offenses by 
breaking the very laws he twice swore to ``preserve, protect, and 
defend.'' He knowingly subverted the judicial process and intentionally 
deceived the courts, federal officials, his friends and family, and the 
American people.

  As our nation's senior law enforcement official, the President must 
be held responsible for his actions. Perjury undermines the rule of 
law. It cannot be overlooked or ignored. Over one hundred people are 
currently incarcerated in federal prisons for committing perjury in 
civil cases. How can we demand responsibility from them while judging 
the President by a different standard?
  The answer, of course, is that we cannot. The integrity of the 
presidency must always take priority over the self-interests of the 
current occupant of that office.
  Former Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote in 1946 that 
``If one man can be allowed to determine for himself what is law, every 
man can. That means first chaos, then tyranny. Legal process is an 
essential part of the democratic process.''
  Mr. Speaker, failing to hold the President accountable for his 
actions would create a dangerous double standard. To borrow a phrase 
from George Orwell's novel Animal Farm, we would be establishing the 
principle that some Americans are ``more equal than others.''
  This is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, or will 
ever make. Throughout this process, my constituents made impassioned 
arguments both for and against impeachment. I spoke with many local 
residents who offered their heartfelt opinions on how to resolve this 
matter.
  In the final analysis, however, I alone must make this momentous 
decision. After carefully reviewing all of the available evidence and 
legal precedents, and after much soul-searching, I have decided to 
support the constitutionally prescribed remedy of impeachment.
  Webster's Dictionary defines the term ``impeach'' as follows: ``to 
bring an accusation against; to charge with a crime or misdemeanor; and 
to charge . . . with misconduct in office.'' The evidence demonstrates 
that the President must be charged with perjury, obstruction of 
justice, and abusing the power of his office. He has exhibited gross 
misconduct in office. He should now be held accountable for his actions 
and stand before the Senate in judgment.
  When I was sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives, I 
took a solemn oath to ``support and defend the Constitution of the 
United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . .'' I am 
confident that history will judge my vote to impeach the President as 
one borne not from malice, but out of love for my country, and in 
defense of my sworn oath.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Massachusetts (Mr. Meehan).
  Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Speaker, to respond to the gentleman from Arkansas 
(Mr. Hutchinson), every single charge that is made by the majority was 
responded to in our minority report. That is number one.
  Secondly, only under this system, with the majority railroading this 
president, could we have a system where someone is accused of perjury, 
and they will not even tell us which words are perjurious. Nowhere in 
America could they ever charge someone with perjury and not tell them 
what they said.
  Finally, there is no judicial proceeding anywhere in this country 
where we would not have a witness, a material witness, come before the 
bar; nowhere but under their majority.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Becerra).
  (Mr. BECERRA asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. BECERRA. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me. Mr. Speaker, that is what we have been reduced to. We are reduced 
to 1 minute on perhaps the most important vote we will ever cast.
  Mr. Speaker, more than the President, we are on trial today. As we 
debate whether to impeach the President, our actions will be judged by 
the American people, not only today but for generations to come.
  The standard for impeachment is high: treason, bribery, high crimes, 
and high misdemeanors. These articles of impeachment degrade what our 
forefathers meant by high crimes and high misdemeanors. While the 
President's actions were reprehensible, they were wrong, and certainly 
they deserve punishment, they do not rise to the level of offenses 
which meet the historical judicial standard of impeachment.
  If we approve these articles of impeachment today, we will demean the 
institution of Congress. We will have turned the most serious 
proceeding that Congress can undertake into a vicious example of 
obsessive politics.
  These articles do not represent justice, they do not represent the 
judgment of the majority of American people, and they certainly are not 
the best

[[Page H11867]]

way for us to act as a jury. We demean the actions of a jury, the 
instructions that any jury must follow, and certainly as a jury, we 
will be judged into the future.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton).
  (Ms. NORTON asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, this impeachment is unfair on three counts. 
It is unfair to the President, whose admitted misconduct in covering up 
a private sexual affair cannot compare to the Nixon precedent, where 
high State crimes were not in doubt; it is unfair to the country, 
because the preference of the voters for censure of the President is 
being barred even from consideration; it is unfair to the people who 
live in this city, whose 23rd amendment constitutional right to vote 
for president has been denied, because they cannot vote for removal of 
the President.
  We are converting a solemn constitutional process into a petty 
political proceeding. The people, acting officially on November 3rd, 
repudiated impeachment, yet the majority has denied a vote on the 
public preference for censure, defying its own announced standard that 
no impeachment could occur without bipartisanship. The majority is 
headed for an incredible partisan party line vote to impeach the 
President. This impeachment is raw with unfairness.
  Mr. Speaker, this impeachment is unfair on three counts. It is unfair 
to the President whose admitted misconduct in covering-up of a private 
sexual affair cannot compare to the Nixon precedent where high stake 
crimes were not in doubt. It is unfair to the country because the 
preference of the voters for censure of the President is being barred 
even from consideration. It is unfair to the people who live in this 
city, who have a 23rd amendment constitutional right to vote for 
President but have been denied a vote on removal of the President.
  We are converting a solemn constitutional process into a petty 
political proceeding. The framers raised the bar as high as possible 
allowing impeachment not even for crimes, but only for high crimes. The 
Republicans have lowered the bar as low as they can to reach tawdry 
private consensual sex.
  The framers sought to make partisan impeachment a contradiction in 
terms; the majority is making it a reality. The people acting 
officially on November 3rd repudiated impeachment. Yet, the Majority 
has denied a vote on the public preference for censure. Defying its own 
announced standard that no impeachment could occur without 
bipartisanship, the Majority is heading for an incredible partisan, 
party line vote to impeach the President.
  This impeachment is unfair to the people of the District of Columbia. 
The Majority has relegated them to the functional equivalent of partial 
citizens--good enough to vote for president, but not good enough to 
decide whether to remove him.
  This impeachment is raw with unfairness. Only a repudiation of all 
articles can save us now.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega).
  (Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, although I am denied the privilege of 
voting on the floor of this great institution, on behalf of the 
thousands of Samoan Americans men and women who proudly wear with pride 
and honor the uniforms of our armed services wherever they are in the 
world, I am grateful for at least the privilege to express an opinion 
on this most serious issue that is now before this body.
  Mr. Speaker, if we proceed to vote on the articles of impeachment, as 
mandated or forced upon the Democratic Members by our friends in the 
majority, I find it difficult to comprehend why procedurally the 
Members on this side of the aisle are not at least afforded the 
courtesy of voting, as a matter of conscience, to censure the President 
of the United States. They have the votes to impeach, but for the sake 
of fairness, why are Members so adamant in not allowing other Members 
who also represent millions of our fellow Americans to vote for 
censure?
  Mr. Speaker, I say to my friends in the majority, and they are my 
friends, when all of this is over, with blood all over this floor, my 
friends in the majority will have pounded and hammered some 218 nails 
on the flesh of this man without even an ounce of blood as a cure.
  Mr. Speaker, although I am denied the privilege of voting on the 
floor of this great institution, on behalf of the thousands of Samoan-
American men and women who proudly wear with pride and honor the 
uniforms of our armed services--wherever they are in the world--I am 
grateful for at least the privilege to express an opinion on this most 
serious issue that is now before this body.
  Some twenty-four years ago Congress moved toward the impeachment of 
President Nixon. In that case, President Nixon directed the FBI and CIA 
to coverup illegal activity, used the IRS to investigate political 
enemies, and cheated on his personal income taxes. Those actions were 
grave enough that it was expected that more than a two-thirds majority 
of the Senate would vote to convict. In contrast, the actions taken by 
President Clinton were of a personal nature and his attempts to save 
himself and his family from personal embarrassment are not, in my 
opinion, impeachable.
  Some have argued that a resolution of censure is unconstitutional. I 
am not persuaded by that argument. For one reason, such resolutions 
have been pursued on several occasions in the past, including a Senate 
censure of Andrew Jackson in 1834, resolutions and statements of 
censure against President John Adams in 1800, against President John 
Tyler in 1842, against President James Polk in 1848, and against 
President James Buchanan in 1860 and 1862. In more modern times, two 
censure resolutions were brought against President Richard Nixon, one 
in 1973 and one in 1974.
  The actions the Congress cannot take against a President, such as 
reducing his salary during a current term in office, are spelled out in 
our Constitution. No where does it say the Congress cannot express its 
opinion of actions taken by a sitting President. Mr. Jack Maskell, 
author of a recent CRS report on this issue notes that although there 
is ``no express constitutional provision regarding censure . . . there 
is also no express constitutional impediment'' for Congress to adopt a 
resolution expressing censure.
  It is also being argued that censure is no more than a slap on the 
wrist. In fact, strongly-worded resolution of censure is sure 
punishment which would have greater impact, in current terms and in the 
future, than this doomed-to-fail effort to remove the President from 
office.
  In addition to being disproportionate to the wrongs committed, a 
trial in the Senate based on articles of impeachment adopted by the 
U.S. House of Representatives will distract the Nation for months and 
make it more difficult for the Congress to attend to its legislative 
duties. Such an action at this time lowers the standard for future 
impeachments, and will encourage future Congresses to bring articles of 
impeachment against future Presidents for offenses other than ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors.''
  As a practical matter, a trial in the Senate on articles of 
impeachment against President Clinton will likely not result--in my 
opinion--in a conviction by a two-thirds majority vote as required by 
the constitution.
  Mr. Speaker, if we proceed to vote on the articles of impeachment as 
mandated or forced upon the Democratic Members by our friends in the 
majority, I find it difficult to comprehend why, procedurally, the 
Members on this side of the aisle are not at least afforded the 
courtesy of voting--as a matter of conscience--to censure the President 
of the United States. You have the votes to impeach, but for the sake 
of fairness, why are you so adamant in not allowing other members, who 
also represent millions of our fellow Americans, to vote for censure?
  Mr. Speaker, I say to my friends in the majority--and you are my 
friends--when all this is over, with blood all over this floor, my 
friends in the majority will have pounded and hammered some 218 nails 
or more on some 218 pounds of this man's flesh with your hands, without 
even an ounce of blood as a cure.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day for our American democracy. Instead of 
acting according to the highest principles of compromise, consensus and 
bipartisanship, the American people are witnessing the worst example of 
how we, as representatives of the people, are acting in a most 
pathetic, mean-spirited, adversarial, partisan process.
  Mr. Speaker, I submit--God definitely needs to bless America.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. McCrery).
  (Mr. McCRERY asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. McCRERY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the articles of 
impeachment.
  Mr. Speaker, private sexual relations between consenting adults 
should be just that--private. If President Clinton had simply been 
revealed to have had an extra-marital affair,

[[Page H11868]]

the U.S. House of Representatives would not be considering articles of 
impeachment. Unfortunately, the President's troubles arise from a 
number of actions quite different from private, consensual sexual 
encounters.
  Before the President even knew Monica Lewinsky, he was the defendant 
in a civil lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state 
employee, who claimed that, while she was a state employee, the 
governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, made a crude and unwanted sexual 
request of her. Ms. Jones claimed in the lawsuit that she was 
emotionally upset by the governor's action and that she suffered in her 
job as a state employee as a result of her refusal to grant the 
governor's request for her to perform a particular sex act with him. 
The subject of this lawsuit was not a consensual sex act, but an 
unwanted sexual advance by the male employer of a female.
  In any civil lawsuit, the plaintiff has the right to call witnesses 
to testify under oath as to the truthfulness of the claims being made 
in the lawsuit. Central to our civil justice system is the requirement 
that witnesses under oath tell the truth, unless such testimony would 
tend to incriminate them, in which case the witness can claim the 5th 
Amendment to the Constitution and refuse to testify.
  President Bill Clinton was called to testify in the discovery phase 
of the Paula Jones lawsuit. Under oath, President Clinton made a number 
of statements which have since been shown to be false. Taken together, 
these lies under oath were clearly calculated to thwart the Jones v. 
Clinton federal civil judicial proceeding.
  Upon the discovery of evidence indicating the President may have 
committed perjury, a federal criminal grand jury was charged with 
investigating the matter. President Clinton testified under oath before 
that grand jury and, once again, told a series of calculated lies. Good 
lawyers may quibble over whether the President's lies under oath 
constitute perjury, but I believe no reasonable, unbiased person would 
conclude that the President did not lie under oath. I am convinced that 
the lies under oath do constitute perjury, a felony criminal offense.
  In addition to the perjurious testimony given by the President, I am 
convinced, after carefully studying the evidence, that the President 
engaged in a pattern of obstruction while the Jones v. Clinton case was 
pending, and while a federal criminal investigation was pending, in 
order to thwart those proceedings. The pattern of obstruction consisted 
primarily of tampering with witnesses whom the President knew would 
likely be called to testify before the criminal grand jury. Those 
witnesses included Monica Lewinsky, his secretary, Betty Currie, and 
numerous White House aides.
  In summary, this impeachment proceeding is not about sex! It is about 
attempts to thwart proceedings in our civil and criminal justice 
systems. It is about the President committing perjury in a civil 
lawsuit which concerned not consensual sex, but a crude and 
inappropriate sexual advance made by an employer toward an employee. It 
is about the President committing perjury before a criminal grand jury. 
And it is about the president having so little regard for the rule of 
law that he even sought to have others commit the crime of perjury in 
order to protect himself. Those acts constitute an attack by the 
President on our justice system, serve to undermine the orderly 
administration of justice in this country, and are therefore 
impeachable offenses. As a lawyer, had I committed the offenses the 
President committed, I would be disbarred. Should the President be held 
to a lower standard than that expected of lawyers in this country? 
Surely not.
  It is important, if not critical, for the U.S. House of 
Representatives to approve articles of impeachment against President 
Clinton in order to send the message to the citizens of our Nation that 
the rule of law is a crucial part of the foundation of our society, and 
that no one, not even the President, no matter how popular he might be, 
is above the law.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Rogan).
  Mr. ROGAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  Mr. Speaker, some now suggest that holding a President, accountable 
after committing perjury in a criminal grand jury proceeding amounts to 
a coup d'etat or will bring blood on the floor demeans the level of 
this debate.
  I quote from Dr. Larry Arnn:

       Elections have no higher standing under our Constitution 
     than the impeachment process. Both stem from provisions of 
     the Constitution. The people elect the President to do a 
     constitutional job. They act under the Constitution when they 
     do it. At the same time they elect a Congress to do a 
     different constitutional job. The President swears an oath to 
     uphold the Constitution. So does the Congress. Everyone 
     concerned is acting in ways subordinate to the Constitution, 
     both in elections and in the impeachment process.
       If a President is guilty of acts justifying impeachment, 
     then he and not the Congress will have ``overturned the 
     election.'' He will have acted in ways that betray the 
     purpose of his election. He will have acted not as a 
     constitutional representative, but as a monarch, subversive 
     of, or above the law.

  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
New Jersey (Mrs. Roukema).
  (Mrs. ROUKEMA asked and was given permission to revise and extend her 
remarks.)
  Mrs. ROUKEMA. Mr. Speaker, we are all, all deeply saddened to be here 
in the midst of this constitutional crisis. But I am convinced that it 
is my constitutional duty to vote for the articles of impeachment as 
presented by the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Let us first be very clear. The case against the President is not 
about sex or the privacy of the President and the first family. It is 
about the very public legal action of perjury in a civil disposition 
and before a Federal criminal grand jury. These are matters of public 
policy and the law, along with the questions of obstruction of justice 
and abuse of power.
  In this respect, I have determined that the evidence brought before 
us by the Committee on the Judiciary is credible and substantial, and 
warrants sending, and listen to this, sending these articles to the 
Senate for trial. This is our constitutional obligation, and one that 
all of us Members of the House took upon us ourselves when we took our 
own oath of office.
  I would stress, and this is, I think, very important for all our 
colleagues to remember, and for the public to remember, this House did 
not arbitrarily choose to do this. This case was forced upon us as a 
consequence of the President's failure to deal directly with the Paula 
Jones lawsuit years ago, and then of course at the same time over the 
years, including the 18 months under investigation, while under 
investigation by the Independent Counsel's office.
  The issue before us today is, can the House fulfill its 
constitutional obligation and not yield to the spinmeisters or the talk 
shows. This is not a matter of a popularity or an uninformed poll. It 
is a matter of our constitutional obligation, and how we can turn this 
over to the Senate for trial.
  Mr. Speaker, I bear no animosity towards the President. I do not wish 
him ill. Clearly, any sins that may have been committed are between him 
and the Lord, and any infidelities must remain between him and his 
family.
  But we cannot deny the damage that has been done to his office and to 
our Nation. He is the chief executive officer and our chief law 
enforcement officer of the United States, under the Constitution. It is 
the obligation of this Congress and the Committee on the Judiciary to 
make this case to the people so that they will understand that the 
bottom line issue is that no one is above the law. That has to be 
determined with a full trial in the Senate.

                              {time}  1815

  Mr. Speaker, history will judge us. Our children and our 
grandchildren will know whether we voted to endorse and buttress the 
rule of law and allow our constitutional process to work. That is our 
obligation under the law. That is the oath we took as Members of 
Congress.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Nadler).
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, it is a coup d'etat when you impeach a 
President for allegations that even if true the overwhelming majority 
of constitutional scholars say are not impeachable offenses. It is a 
coup d'etat when most of the prosecutors who testified in front of the 
committee said no prosecutor would seek an indictment because no jury 
would convict on the evidence we have. And it is a coup d'etat when you 
seek to upset an election, to overturn an election without a broad 
consensus of the necessity for doing so against the majority of the 
American people. That describes a coup d'etat, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Vento).
  (Mr. VENTO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. VENTO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to these articles 
of impeachment. Indeed I think it is time that we uphold our 
constitutional responsibilities, not debase them. In fact,

[[Page H11869]]

we have a solemn duty and judgment that we are to make.
  I think that the report that has come back and the duty charged to 
the Committee on the Judiciary has been lacking. You have not done the 
job that is expected. Refusing a timetable and then jamming this into 
two weeks after the election obviously gives strong suspicion to the 
reasons that we are doing this.
  This does not stand the legal test. This does not stand the 
constitutional test. This is turning this Congress upside down. This is 
partisanship carried to an extreme. It is now attacking the basic 
fundamental document, the law of the land, our Constitution and 
process.
  There is a reason that there have not been impeachments in the past 
of the President. The only time we can look to is after the Civil War 
when this country was in upheaval. The fact is, if this is the 
direction that we are going, if you are going to lower the bar and set 
new precedents such as this with regard to impeachment, we are going to 
keep the Senate awful busy.
  This is an outrage, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the Articles of 
Impeachment before the House.
  These articles and conclusions are unfair and demonstrate very poor 
judgment and rank partisanship on the part of the Republican Majority, 
the House Committee and Leadership. The House, on September 11, 1998, 
sent the Starr report to the Judiciary Committee with the charge to 
investigate and determine the validity of such assumptions.
  The Starr report, unlike the investigatory work from previous Special 
Counsels, went beyond a report on the proceedings before the Grand Jury 
and actually put forth conclusions. Rather than presenting the evidence 
and permitting the Congress to make its own judgement, the Starr Report 
superimposed the views of the Special Counsel upon the House. In fact, 
Kenneth Starr's outspoken advocacy for impeachment finally resulted in 
the resignation of Sam Dash, the famed 1970's Watergate Counsel, whom 
Starr had personally engaged as the Ethics Advisor for the Office of 
Independent Counsel.
  The Judiciary Committee, with the authority of the House vote, had 
the responsibility to fully evaluate this 450-page report, the 
seventeen boxes of testimony and the additional materials. The final 
product presented today as Articles of Impeachment has failed 
significantly to achieve an independent, credible, bipartisan consensus 
concerning the conduct of the President. The standard of evidence is 
second hand and is far short of the Watergate criteria of clear, 
convincing evidence.
  The Judiciary Committee and the Republican Majority permitted this 
major Constitutional role to languish, spending most of the limited 
time debating which material should be made public. Unfortunately, 
throughout the time period from September 11 until today, the Judiciary 
Committee did not hear from a single direct witness and never subjected 
any witness to cross examination. Rather, this report rubber stamps 
numerous allegations of the Starr report and sees fit to manufacture a 
further Article of Impeachment from the 81 questions put forth by the 
Republican Majority.
  The Republican Majority motivations to rush to judgment today are 
transparent. In mid-October, when the Democrat Minority sought to limit 
the scope and timetable for the consideration of this Starr Report, the 
Republican Majority refused. Subsequently, the Starr Report and 
Judiciary Committee investigation languished with not a single 
substantive hearing before the November 3 elections. In fact, the 
Congressional Republicans sought to employ the Starr Report to their 
advantage in this election cycle. Despite the House spending $30 
million on investigations on varied topics and the Office of the 
Independent Counsel expending in excess of $40 million, the American 
electorate spoke loud and clear on November 3. They want a Congress 
that will use its powers and time to address the concerns and the 
problems that affect the American people rather than a GOP Congress 
which wields their power to undercut their political opponents as they 
have since winning control in 1995. Most notably, Democrats and 
President Clinton have been the primary focus of most investigations. 
The American voters saw through this unfair abuse of power and 
harassment and have become fed up with such antics. In an historic 
November 3, 1998 election, this year the GOP majority lost significant 
ground and specifically lost on the issue of the Starr Report and the 
relentless abuse of power by Starr and the Congressional GOP 
counterparts.
  As Speaker Gingrich announced his intent to step down, light shone 
through the partisan clouds that have loomed over the Congress these 
past years. A ray of hope existed that this Congress would accept the 
people's judgment. Instead, the GOP leadership quickly reverted to 
unfair partisan action. Recognizing that more Democrats would be in the 
Congress in January 1999, they set upon a scheme to jam through the 
lame-duck 105th Congress an impeachment vote before the new 106th 
Congress is sworn into office and seated. Within the Judiciary 
Committee due process and fairness were cast aside, perfunctory 
testimony and time limits were the order of the day and within a short 
period of two weeks, without one direct material witness relevant to 
the accounts of the Starr report and trumped up allegations concerning 
questions the Majority Republicans asked President Clinton. The end 
product--these four Articles of Impeachment are grossly unfair, and 
that was insured by the manner and lack of deliberation that shaped 
their substance.
  That the President was evasive, unclear and uncooperative regards his 
representations concerning an extramarital affair is clear. However, 
even assuming that President Clinton's testimony in these instances is 
unlawful--a point which has not been proven--this matter does not rise 
to the level of an impeachable offense. It is not treason, bribery, or 
other high crime or misdemeanor. It does not involve the official 
duties and role of the President. It is a personal matter as are the 
relations of other public officials that do not touch upon their 
official duties. Certainly, this behavior and the subsequent 
questionable conduct in giving testimony merits our strong reprimand 
and censure, not impeachment. Unfairly, a censure action will not be 
allowed by the Republican Majority today in this House. In an effort to 
insure that these weak questionable Articles of Impeachment prevail, 
the GOP Majority Leadership has steadfastly refused the opportunity to 
permit a censure vote on the floor, intent upon using its power to 
frustrate and thwart the will of the American people who believe 
censure--not impeachment--to be the appropriate penalty.
  Mr. Speaker, the President should be fully subject to the law. 
Indeed, when the court permitted the private civil suit to proceed in 
1997, President Clinton was subject to the law for alleged activities 
before he was even elected to his current office in 1992. Furthermore, 
if the participation in such legal process is improper, it can and 
should be fully adjudicated with the full ability to exercise all 
rights and privileges accorded every citizen. The President isn't above 
the law, neither should he be considered below the law. The debate 
about the so-called legalisms employed in this instance are the essence 
of the ``rule of law'' even as some venerate the ``rule of law.'' 
Republicans seem all too willing to deny the President the opportunity 
to defend himself.
  The proceedings before the House Judiciary Committee have made a 
mockery of the important Constitutional role accorded Congress in 
regards to our impeachment role. The President was required to defend 
himself against unknown Articles of Impeachment, the Articles were 
composed and presented after his defense was completed. Furthermore, no 
material witnesses testified or were subject to cross examination. The 
House must not compound the unfairness that has characterized this 
process. This proposed action today on the Articles of Impeachment is 
an abuse of fundamental responsibility and duty of this House. Today's 
action indeed spells out a new order and degraded role, cheapening the 
historic meaning and purpose of the impeachment of a president.
  This important impeachment role and responsibility of the House 
should be based on our best effort, not a matter to be compressed into 
a political timetable with questionable substance and motives. The 
House, with this proposed action, risks significant harm to the 
historic role and duties accorded the elected Members by the 
Constitution should we act today to impeach. I urge the Members to vote 
no, to step back from the rush to judgement and partisan leanings that 
have dominated this House and permit the Committees of this House to 
properly do their job. The standard must be clear and convincing 
evidence--not second hand information, conjecture and a schedule of 
convenience for the Members of the House. If such allegations have 
merit, then take the time to do the task and exercise the 
responsibility properly. Vote no on these articles and against this 
unfair procedure and process.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Brown).
  (Ms. BROWN of Florida asked and was given permission to revise and 
extend her remarks.)
  Ms. BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, the Bible says, let he without sin 
cast the first stone.
  Let me tell you in this Chamber, it is full of sinners. I am here on 
behalf of my constituents who want me to tell the President that they 
love him and they are praying for him and the country.
  The Republicans say that their sin is different from the President's. 
They

[[Page H11870]]

are hypocrites. What a shame that while the troops are fighting for us 
in the Persian Gulf, we are having this silly and stupid debate because 
of your hatred of the President. The President is like David from the 
Bible. He is the favorite one. He is the favorite one because he does 
the people's work. The Republicans hate him because he beat them on 
every single issue.
  Let me tell you what the real crime and high misdemeanor is, my 
fellow Americans. In 1994, the leaders announced their Contract on 
America. And today is the final agenda of that contract. They began 
their contract by attempting to cut school lunch, Head Start, food 
stamps, health care and Medicare for the elderly. These are the crimes 
that should be punished.
  This is a modern day coup d'etat, Mr. Speaker. It is the final piece 
of their contract. You can fool some of the people some of the time, 
but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. And let me tell 
you, the American people are not fooled by your motives.



                          ____________________