STATEMENT ON THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS
(Extensions of Remarks - February 11, 1999)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E213-E214]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                STATEMENT ON THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. ROBERT A. BRADY

                            of pennsylvania

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 11, 1999

  Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I don't think I need to say 
anything about the facts of this case. The thousands of pages from the 
Independent Council say it all, and anyone who still thinks there's 
enough in there to convict the President on Purgery or Obstruction of 
Justice charges should read them again. I can't add anything to the 
case the White House council presented, so I won't try. I'm not going 
to talk about Constitutional Law, except to say that I don't see how 
the President can be removed from office in this case even if the 
charges could be proven. While President Clinton is guilty of bad 
behavior and lack of moral judgment in this issue, he didn't put the 
country in jeopardy. Instead, I'll tell you about the political 
lynching that's been going on, how we got here, and why we can't seem 
to get back to the issues of the people of America.
  Ever since I can remember, I have regarded the United States House of 
Congress with a kind of awe. Throughout my political career I've been 
impressed by the Representatives on both sides of the House and held 
them in very high regard. That is, until I was elected as a member of 
the House, walked through it's doors for the first time, and became 
witness to the most hateful and vicious attack on our Democracy that 
this country has ever seen; the hijacking of the American Government. 
The Conservative Republicans wanted nothing less than the total 
destruction of their political enemy, the nationally elected President 
of our United States. Maybe this sounds partisan, but I'm not here to 
make friends or win any popularity contests with my fellow Congressmen, 
I'm here to do what my people asked me to do--represent them. I won't 
pretend that I am not a staunch Democratic supporter of the President. 
I'll just give you a little history, tell you what I've seen, you be 
the judge.
  It started in 1992, when a Southern, pro-choice, environmentally 
minded moderate won the Presidency. The Republican minority in Congress 
were stunned. This Democratic President did not attempt to win their 
approval by advocating their issues. In fact, he made hard and fast 
enemies while he picked apart their proposals and vetoed them. They 
shouldn't have taken it so personally because the reality is, he didn't 
make friends with the Democrats either! But it was back then that they 
decided they had to get rid of him.
  In 1994, the Republicans succeeded in taking over the Congress with 
huge amounts of soft money from large corporations, rich special 
interest groups, and other ultra-conservative organizations. Even with 
their new Majority in the House, the President continued to win the 
political fights and continued to gain favor in the hearts and minds of 
the voters. While the new Majority tried to shut down the government, 
the President stood for issues of National concern such as education 
and social security. In effect, even though they had the House, they 
still lost. Now, they decided, it was time to make a move for the 
political assassination of their enemy.
  With the right wing organization behind them, the House Conservatives 
tried a variety of tactics, each one unsuccessful. They sought to 
indict him as a criminal. They proceeded to dredge up and spin 
allegations of illegal involvement by either President or First Lady, 
(whitewater, travelgate, filegate, etc. . . .) They knew that with the 
right amount of pressure and enough fuel, they could get the Attorney 
General to grant their request for a Special Prosecutor (a Republicans 
zealot of their choice) to ``get him''. With the help of the media, 
(there's no news like bad news involving the President), they 
succeeded.

  Just short of four years and forty million tax dollars later, not a 
single shred of indictable evidence was uncovered. This is incredible 
when you consider that EVERY stone had been unturned. This was also a 
serious problem for the Republican since they spent all that time and 
money with nothing to show for it and, in spite of the media storm they 
produced, the President's job approval rating was still climbing! Then 
BINGO! They got lucky.
  In walks that paragon of American virtue that we all know and love, 
Ms. Linda Tripp, with juicy tales of her illegally taped conversations 
with the now famous Monica. Although this wasn't exactly the stuff that 
``High Crimes and Misdemeanors'' are made of, it's still all they had, 
so they had to make it work. The new leader of the effort to destroy 
the President, the so-called ``independent'' council, devised a plan to 
work with the lawyers on the Jones civil case and use the illegally 
obtained information to set a trap for the President! By now, you know 
the rest of the story, so I won't get into the details except to say 
that no other citizen of this country would ever be subject to such an 
outrageous and illegal bastardization of the American system of 
justice. It is only the right wing conspiracy, in justification of 
their destructive pursuit, who would have you believe this is simply 
``equal justice under the law''.
  From almost the minute the case was placed in the hands of the 
Congress it became clear to me that I was no longer part of a 
``Representative'' body. The American people, the people who voted and 
sent us here, were left completely out of the process. Their 
``Representatives'' decided to pursue their OWN agenda instead and, 
with the approval of their counterparts in the Senate, used their 
majority muscle and pushed it through the House. No debate, no opposing 
arguments considered, no witnesses needed. Don't be fooled by the 
political theater you saw on C-Span. That was just a show to have you 
think we were doing our constitutional duty. In fact, Mr. Hyde even 
told you at one point that we shouldn't be concerned with the 
President's ``removal from office''. He said that's not what 
impeachment means, and that a vote in favor of the Articles didn't mean 
that we thought the President should be removed from office. Did you 
believe that? Well it may be true. They don't have to actually remove 
him to destroy his presidency, and that IS their primary goal.
  To be fair, some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were 
interested in doing the right thing and giving this issue the level of 
consideration it warranted. You might have heard about this ``secret 
evidence'' that was ``shown'' to those undecided voters that 
``convinced'' them to vote in favor of the Impeachment Articles. I can 
tell you that there was no evidence, but it certainly was secret. They 
were presented with threats that they would lose their special 
committee positions unless they towed the Party line. They obeyed, and 
two Articles of Impeachment were pushed through the House on a strictly 
partisan vote in spite of the President's consistently high job 
approval ratings.
  Into the House of the Senate marched the 13 Conservative Managers, 
with their own special ``rule of law'' and their own version of ``truth 
and justice'', as self proclaimed ``Representatives of the People''. 
What people? Certainly not the majority of the American people. They 
continued to support the President. They don't want him removed from 
office. They know his character is flawed, and while the scandal is 
fund to watch on TV, they trust him to do his job because they know he 
has the best interests in his heart. In spite of the very best efforts 
to ruin him, the Conservative Republicans have failed.
  This brings us to our current dilemma. The Conservatives have a 
problem. We need to end this and gain back the respect of the American 
people but how can THEY get out of this gracefully? How can the 
Conservative Senators save face for their Congressional counterparts? 
It seems that the Republicans finally have their exit strategy. They 
will refuse to exit. They will take their chances and keep this going 
as long as they possibly can with the hope that they will publicly 
destroy the President and the Democratic party. Even now, knowing that 
the President will not be removed from office by the required \2/3\rds 
margin, they will attempt to use their 51% majority to continue beating 
their dead horse, allowing the House managers to run the show. If this 
goes on long enough, it doesn't matter if the

[[Page E214]]

final vote is not enough to remove Clinton or not. Before they are 
finished, they will have gone as far as they can by any means possible 
(witnesses, furthering the independent investigation into any other 
areas they can find and lots and lots of press) to publicly destroy and 
defame Clinton.
  We have a problem, because with the 51% that the Senate requires to 
pass each step of the way short of the removal vote, the same 
railroading that took place in the Congress will take place in the 
Senate. My fear is that this can only be stopped by the next election 
but by then, the ensuing media storm and the Republican spin doctors 
will have swayed too many innocent American minds. They have clearly 
demonstrated their power today by forcing a private citizen to be 
interviewed by the House Managers under threat of imprisonment 
according to her agreement with the OIC (who is now acting as a 14th 
House Manager). They will insist on closed door sessions for the 
debates regarding dismissal and witnesses and muscle the Senate in the 
very same way they succeeded in the Congress. The bottom line is, the 
Democrats want an up or down vote now, and the Republicans want to drag 
this on and keep the government in a state of paralysis so they can 
continue to humiliate the President.
  They worked so hard at making war that they forgot how to make peace. 
They drew their line in the sand and it can't even be washed away by 
the tide of public outrage. The longer this goes on, the more ground we 
all lose, and still the President's approval ratings continue to rise. 
I say, NOW is the time to get over it and get back to doing our jobs. 
We have wasted too much time already in not representing the interests 
of our public. We must make peace among the parties and the branches of 
our government and get back to work on the PEOPLE'S agenda of 
education, social security reform, Medicare, the Patient's Bill of 
Rights, housing, anti-crime, and other issues that are important to the 
people who put us here to serve them.

                          ____________________