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Tuesday, December 22, 1998

Most recent past comment.
Here's What Really Happened.

The impeaching members of the House called it perjury, "He lied under oath," is what you heard over and over. Actually, more correctly put, Bill Clinton tried to keep his sexual "improprieties" secret. (Henry Hyde and Robert Livingston did the same, to mention just two.) Linda Tripp, chasing after revenge on Clinton for two years, latched onto Monica's story, and at the urging of a literary agent, Lucianne Goldberg, taped the conversations and told Paula Jones' lawyers about the tapes. At the deposition of the President at the Jones case, they sprung the trap. He denied "sexual relations with that woman," and the definition of "sexual relations" in that question and answer session was, as all observers have stated, "so obscure," that no jury could convict Clinton in his tightly defined matrix of denial. (Remember, he was trying to keep it a secret.) The Article of Impeachment that addressed this specific accusation of perjury was defeated, so even the House zealots wouldn't touch it, it was clearly transparent. Then, Starr called the President before the Grand Jury and, again, asked him about these statements in the Jones deposition. The President reverted to his former responses. Starr then charged that the President's statements were false, the criteria of evidence being quite different, in a grand jury. Double jeopardy in a looser legal venue designed to give law enforcement a wider discretion in investigation. Put another way, the answers which he gave the first time and were NOT considered perjurious, were accepted as perjurious by the same people the second time he gave them. And, remember the Jones case was thrown out. No other American would have had to go through that second round. Mr. Starr knew that for political reasons Clinton would not take the Fifth as all other citizens would have done, and as is their right to do, and after four years of nothing, Starr concocted a sword, with no substance, that because of the hatred that the House leadership had for Clinton, appeared to impale the President. As Paul Stevens of the (London) Financial Times wrote (as reported in The New York Times): "This was not about the sacred Constitution of the United States. It wasn't even honest politics. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was personal. It was an act of vengeance."

In the end, he will be acquitted (one way or the other) and those who have perpetrated this upon America will pay the same price as Gingrich, Livingston and all those who lost their seats in the last election. In the end, the people are just. That thought has to be worrying some in Congress today.

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