[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 145 (1999), Part 1]
[Pages 581-601]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


  The Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, offered the following prayer:
  Gracious God, You have given us magnificent promises to claim for 
today. You have told us that if we wait on You, we will renew our 
strength. You have assured us that You will use our minds to think 
clearly in response to Your inspiration. Courage is offered, patience 
provided, and wisdom engendered.
  In this quiet moment, grant the Senators Your power to persevere, 
Your peace for equipoise, Your judgment for the evaluation of the facts 
presented, and Your will to guide their decisions. As You have blessed 
us with this day, we praise You that You will show the way. Through our 
Lord and Saviour. Amen.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Sergeant at Arms will make the proclamation.
  The Sergeant at Arms, James W. Ziglar, made proclamation as follows:

       Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to 
     keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the 
     United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of 
     impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against 
     William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.

  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, it is my understanding that the House 
managers intend to extend their presentation until approximately 3 
p.m., with a lunch break at approximately 12:40 or 12:45.
  I remind all Senators to remain standing at their desk each time the 
Chief Justice enters and departs the Chamber. We want to maintain the 
very best decorum.
  One other point. We had been scheduled to go from 10:05 straight 
through until 12:40, but we will probably take a very short 10-minute 
break after the presentation by Manager Graham. It will be very 
important that Members tend to business and return promptly to the 
Chamber so that we can complete activity as early as possible this 
  I yield the floor, Mr. Chief Justice.

                              The Journal

  The CHIEF JUSTICE. If there is no objection, the Journal of 
proceedings of the trial are approved to date.
  Pursuant to the provisions of Senate Resolution 16, the managers for 
the House of Representatives have 15 hours 37 minutes remaining to make 
the presentation of their case. The Senate will now hear you. The 
Presiding Officer recognizes Mr. Manager Buyer.
  Mr. Manager BUYER. I thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. I thank the 
Senators, the counsel for the President.
  I am Steve Buyer, the House manager from the Fifth District of 
Indiana. I thank all of you for your attention the past several days. 
It has not been easy for the House managers to argue from a dry record. 
I ask for your patience. The House managers are prepared to call 
witnesses and offer to develop the evidence as the trial proceeds.
  This morning, the managers on the part of the House are going to 
present why the offenses you have been hearing over the course of the 
last several days require the President's removal from office. I will 
discuss why the offenses attack the judicial system which is a core 
function of the Government, and how perjury and obstruction of justice 
are not private acts. These are public crimes and therefore 
quintessential impeachable offenses, for the President's premeditated 
assault on the administration of justice must be interpreted as a 
threat to our system of Government.
  I will be followed by Mr. Manager Graham of South Carolina who will 
discuss the precedents in impeachment cases, and then he will be 
followed by Mr. Manager Canady. He will discuss how the felonies 
constitute high crimes and misdemeanors as envisioned by the Founding 
Fathers and why they warrant his removal from office.
  While this is day 3 of our presentation, it is important for the 
Senate to be fully informed as to the facts, the law and the 
consequences. Please indulge me for a quick reiteration of the facts.
  On May 27, 1997, nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United 
States unanimously ruled that Ms. Jones could pursue her Federal civil 
rights actions against William Jefferson Clinton. On December 11, 1997, 
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright ordered President Clinton 
to provide Ms. Jones with answers to certain routine questions relevant 
to the lawsuit.
  Acting under the authority of these court orders, Ms. Jones exercised 
her rights, rights every litigant has under our system of justice. She 
sought answers from President Clinton to help prove her case against 
him, just as President Clinton sought and received answers from her. 
President Clinton used numerous means, then, to prevent her from 
getting truthful answers.
  On December 17, 1997, President Clinton encouraged a witness to file 
a false affidavit in the case and to testify falsely if she were called 
to testify in this case. Why? Because her truthful testimony would have 
helped Ms. Jones and hurt his case.
  On December 23, 1997, he provided under oath false written answers to 
Ms. Jones' questions. On December 18, 1997, President Clinton began an 
effort to get the witness to conceal evidence that would have helped 
Ms. Jones. Throughout this period, he intensified efforts to provide 
the witness with help in getting a job to ensure that she carried out 
his designs.
  On January 17, 1998, President Clinton provided under oath numerous 
false answers to Ms. Jones' questions during that deposition in the 
civil case. In the days immediately following the deposition, President 
Clinton provided a false and misleading account to another witness, his 
secretary, Betty Currie, in hopes that she would substantiate the false 
testimony he gave in the deposition.
  All of these unlawful actions denied Ms. Jones her rights as a 
litigant, subverted the fundamental truth-seeking function of the U.S. 
District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and violated 
President Clinton's constitutional oath to ``preserve, protect, and 
defend the Constitution of the United States.'' And, further, it 
violated his constitutional duty to ``take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed.''
  Beginning shortly after his deposition, President Clinton became 
aware that the Federal grand jury empaneled by the U.S. District Court 
for the District of Columbia was investigating his unlawful actions 
before and during his civil deposition. President Clinton made numerous 
false statements to potential grand jury witnesses in hopes that they 
would repeat these statements to the grand jury.
  On August 17, 1998, President Clinton appeared before the grand jury 
by video under oath and he provided numerous false answers to questions 
asked. These actions impeded the grand jury's investigation; it 
subverted the fundamental truth-seeking function of the U.S. District 
Court for the District of Columbia, and they also violated President

[[Page 582]]

Clinton's constitutional oath to ``preserve, protect, and defend the 
Constitution of the United States'' and his constitutional duty as the 
Chief Executive Officer to ``take care that the laws be faithfully 
  Now, you will hear next week, perhaps from the President's lawyers, 
that the offenses charged by the House are not impeachable; in other 
words, that even if the allegations as set forth in the articles of 
impeachment are true, so what? See, the House managers have begun to 
refer to this as the ``so what'' defense. I am not offended by the ``so 
what'' defense, because if that is all you have, then try it. You see, 
there are only a few basic ways that you can actually defend a case. 
You can defend a case on the facts, you can defend a case on the law, 
you can defend a case on the facts and the law.
  Now, here we hear in this case--we hear very often--that the facts 
are indefensible. And you also hear that if you are not going to call 
witnesses on the facts, then I guess you better argue on the law. So, 
then, what is the argument on the law? What you do, then, in the 
defending of a case, is you argue procedure, you attack the prosecutor, 
you attempt to confuse those who sit in judgment on the laws so you 
don't follow your precedent. You go out and obtain, from your political 
allies and friends in the academic world, signatures on a letter saying 
that the offenses as alleged in the articles of impeachment do not rise 
to the level of an impeachable offense. You see, this ``rise to the 
level'' has somehow become the legal cliche of this case. You have all 
so often heard it and you have even--some have even spoken it.
  You see, the House managers chose not to go out into the academic 
world and obtain signatures on our own letter that would have said why 
the offenses are impeachable. And then we would have had this war of 
dueling academics. They have a letter of 400 signatures. We get a 
letter of 400 signatures. They add 500 to it; now they have 900. We go 
out and get 1,000. We chose not to do that. Do you know why? Because 
the House managers have the precedents of the Senate on our side. We 
have the precedents of the Senate. Mr. Manager Graham will discuss 
those precedents.
  Now, if I am prosecuting a defendant for perjury and obstruction of 
justice in White County Superior Court before Judge Bob Mrzlack in 
Monticello, IN, and I have this perjury and obstruction of justice case 
on a Thursday, and I know that the judge has three other cases--he has 
got a case on Monday, he has got a case on Tuesday, and he has got a 
case on Wednesday--so I am watching what the judge is going to do 
because I am curious with regard to the precedent.
  So, on Monday of that week Judge Mrzlack tries a case of a public 
official for perjury and I watch what he does. He convicts him for 
perjury. On Tuesday he tries a public official for obstruction of 
justice and he convicts him. On Wednesday, Judge Mrzlack tries a public 
official for grand jury perjury and he convicts him. My case now comes 
up on Thursday, for a public official for obstruction of justice and 
grand jury perjury and perjury on top of perjury. I would say that, 
based on the precedents, it is not looking good for the defendant that 
I am about to prosecute.
  The White House lawyers are hoping that those of you who have voted--
those of you in this Chamber who have voted to remove Federal judges 
for similar offenses in the past--that you have a feigned memory. And 
if you don't have a feigned memory, then we will try to confuse you--
they will attempt to confuse you on the law.
  So, when I hear the ``so what,'' well, it is the position of the 
House that what the President did does matter; that by his actions, the 
President did commit high crimes and misdemeanors. The House is 
prepared to establish that the President, William Jefferson Clinton, 
willfully and repeatedly violated the rule of law and abused the trust 
placed upon him by the American people.
  Now, let me address how the offenses charged in the articles of 
impeachment attack the judicial system. The offenses as charged in the 
articles of impeachment against our system of government are the core 
of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors. You see, perjury and 
obstruction of justice are, therefore, quintessential impeachable 
offenses. Indeed, it is precisely their public nature that makes them 
offenses. Acts that are not crimes when committed outside the judicial 
realm become crimes when they enter the judicial realm. Lying to one's 
spouse about an extramarital affair is not a crime; it is a private 
matter. But telling that same lie under oath before a Federal judge, as 
a defendant in a civil rights sexual harassment lawsuit, is a crime 
against the state and is therefore a public matter.
  Hiding gifts given to conceal the affair is not a crime; it is a 
private matter. But when those gifts are the subject of a court-ordered 
subpoena in a sexual harassment lawsuit, the act of hiding the gifts 
becomes a crime against the state called obstruction of justice and is, 
therefore, a public matter. Our law has consistently recognized that 
perjury subverts the judicial process. It strikes at our Nation's most 
fundamental value, the rule of law.
  In ``Commentaries on the Laws of England,'' Sir William Blackstone 
differentiated between crimes that ``more directly infringe the rights 
of a public or commonwealth taken in its collective capacity, and those 
which, in a more peculiar manner, injure individuals or private 
subjects.'' This book was widely recognized by the Founding Fathers, 
such as James Madison. He described Blackstone's work at the time as 
``a book which is in every man's hand.'' Blackstone's private category 
contained crimes such as murder, burglary, and arson. In the public 
category, however, he cataloged crimes that could be understood as an 
assault upon the state. Within a subcategory denominated ``offenses 
against public justice,'' Blackstone included the crimes of perjury and 
bribery. In fact, in his catalog of public justice offenses, Blackstone 
placed perjury and bribery side by side.
  Now, in the Constitution, article II, section 4, when you read the 
impeachment clause, ``The President, Vice President and all Civil 
Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on 
Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high 
Crimes and Misdemeanors''--so, what did they mean when they thought 
``other high crimes''? I would submit to you that perjury, obstruction 
of justice, fit in this category of ``other high crimes.'' Perjury and 
bribery are side by side.
  You know, hypothetically--hypothetically, if, when William Jefferson 
Clinton sat at the table in the civil deposition in the Jones v. 
Clinton case, and as alleged in the record that he perjured himself, 
speaking hypothetically, if he had then offered Judge Susan Webber 
Wright a cash bribe, there would be no question in this body what we 
must--what you must do. But what I am saying unto all of you is that 
there is no difference here, and that is the pain of this case. There 
is no difference between a cash bribe or sitting before a Federal judge 
and perjuring one's self. Whether it be in the underlying civil 
deposition or, in fact, in the grand jury perjury. Perjury and bribery 
are side by side. Mr. Manager Canady will develop that further.
  The Constitution also recognizes that truth-telling under oath is 
central to the maintenance of our Republic.
  We are all familiar with the Constitution. This is in its handwritten 
glory. The founders took such pride in the oath that it is mentioned in 
the Constitution on five separate occasions, not the least of which is 
the President's own oath to defend the Constitution. Article I, section 
3, sets forth the requirement that the Senate be under oath when trying 
cases of impeachment, and I witnessed as that occurred. Article II, 
section 1, specifically prescribes the oath which must be taken before 
our President enter on the execution of his office.
  The right against self-incrimination under the Constitution derives 
in some measure from the Republic's interest in preserving the truth-
telling oath. You see, forced testimony is forbidden because it might 
lead many to violate

[[Page 583]]

their most solemn obligations and, over time, weaken the essential 
civic norm of the fidelity to that oath--fidelity.
  The framers took the significance of the oath very, very seriously. 
The crime of perjury was among the few offenses that the first Congress 
outlawed by statute as they met, and that affirms the framers' view of 
the seriousness. In 1790, in a statute entitled ``An Act for the 
Punishment of Certain Crimes Against the United States,'' Congress made 
the crime of perjury punishable by imprisonment of up to 3 years, a 
fine of up to $800, disqualification from giving future testimony and 
``stand[ing] in the pillory for one hour.'' Now, today, we don't force 
individuals convicted of perjury to stand in the pillory for up to 1 
  Today, perjury is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment in a 
Federal penitentiary if you perjure yourself in a Federal jurisdiction. 
Likewise, the Supreme Court has repeatedly noted the extent to which 
perjury subverts the judicial process and, thus, the rule of law. For 
example, in 1976, in a case of United States v. Mandujano, the Supreme 
Court emphasized:

       Perjured testimony is an obvious and flagrant affront to 
     the basic concepts of judicial proceedings. Effective 
     restraints against this type of egregious offense are, 
     therefore, imperative. 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 into the open 
     where law can deal with it.

  Moreover, it is obvious that any testimony given to a grand jury must 
be truthful, for the grand jury process is, in fact, the truth-seeking 
process of our criminal justice system. As the Supreme Court stated in 
1911 in the case of Glickstein v. the United States:

       It cannot be conceived that there is power to compel the 
     giving of testimony where no right exists to require that the 
     testimony shall be given under such circumstances and 
     safeguards as to compel it to be truthful.

  Indeed, giving false material testimony to a grand jury, perjuring 
one's self, totally destroys the value of one's testimony and 
interferes with the ability of a grand jury to accomplish its mission 
which, again, is to find the truth. Perjury before a grand jury is a 
crime against our system of Government and the American people, and in 
the case before us, this is a case of perjury upon perjury.
  Before the grand jury, President Clinton testified that the testimony 
that he gave in the underlying civil case of Jones versus Clinton in a 
civil deposition, that it was truthful. We submit that that is a lie. 
So what we have is perjury on perjury.
  You may hear the President's lawyers remark that the view of the 
founders is quaint, not really applicable to these settings today. 
Let's look at a few very recent examples to see if the view of the 
seriousness of telling the truth under oath, as envisioned by the 
Founding Fathers, has changed any here today.
  In the case of the United States v. Landi in the Eastern District of 
Virginia in 1997, the defendant was convicted on two counts of perjury: 
one for lying in a declaration she made during a civil forfeiture case, 
and the other for lying to the grand jury in a related criminal 
investigation. Here is what the judge said in this case:

       . . . the defendant committed perjury on two separate 
     occasions. There can be no question of it being done by 
     mistake, and perjury is perhaps one of the most serious 
     offenses that can be committed against the court itself. And 
     the court does not believe that it's appropriate to consider 
     probation in the case of somebody who's been convicted of 

  In a second case, United States v. Vincent Bono in the District of 
New Hampshire in 1998, the defendant was found guilty of lying before a 
grand jury in trying to cover his stepson's involvement in a robbery 
that the grand jury was investigating. Here is what the judge had to 
say about lying before a grand jury:

       As a [matter of policy], they--

  Meaning Congress--

     they don't want people lying to grand juries. They 
     particularly don't want people lying to grand juries about 
     criminal offenses. They particularly don't want people lying 
     to grand juries about criminal offenses that are being 
     investigated. They don't like that. And Congress has said we 
     as a people are going to tell you if you do that, you're 
     going to jail and you're going to jail for a long time. And 
     if you don't get the message, we'll send you to jail again. 
     Maybe others will. But we're not going to have people coming 
     to grand juries and telling lies because of their children or 
     their mothers or fathers or themselves. It's just not 
     acceptable. The system can't work that way.

  In another case in United States v. Ronald Blackley in the District 
of Columbia in 1998, the defendant was the former chief of staff to the 
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The defendant was 
found guilty at trial on three counts of making false statements to the 
grand jury in connection with his official duties. Here is what the 
judge had to say in this case:

       In my view, providing a false statement under oath is a 
     serious offense. The fact that the proceeding is civil or 
     administrative does not make the crime less serious. We 
     cannot fairly administer any kind of system of justice in 
     this country if we do not penalize those who lie under oath.
       The defendant stands before me as a high-ranking Government 
     official convicted of making false statements under oath. 
     This is such a serious crime that it demands an even longer 
     term of imprisonment in this court's view. This court has a 
     duty to send a message to other high-level Government 
     officials that there is a severe penalty to be paid for 
     providing false information under oath. There is a strong 
     reason to deter such conduct and to dispel all of the 
     nonsense that's being publicly discussed and debated about 
     the seriousness of lying under oath by Government officials. 
     A democracy like ours depends on people having trust in our 
     Government and its officials.

  See, there are many other cases, and you can go to your Lexis and 
Westlaw and you can research them. These three cases make it very clear 
that lying under oath is as serious today in the 106th Congress as it 
was in 1790 in the first Congress when it enacted the perjury statute. 
The first Congress recognized the seriousness of perjury and its attack 
on the judicial system.
  Now, I would like to discuss article II, which is the obstruction of 
justice, and how it is an attack on our judicial system. In either a 
criminal or a civil case, obstruction undermines the judicial system's 
ability to vindicate legal rights. If it is allowed to go unchecked, 
then the system will become a farce and ultimately a test of which side 
is better at using underhanded methods. Accordingly, Federal courts 
have called the Federal obstruction of justice statute ``one of the 
most important laws ever adopted'' in that it prevents the 
``miscarriage of justice.''
  This is ``Black's Law Dictionary.'' ``Black's Law Dictionary'' 
defines ``obstruction of justice'' as ``[i]mpeding or obstructing those 
who seek justice in a court, or those who have duties or powers of 
administering justice therein.'' It is very clear. Not only is 
obstruction of justice, on its own, a crime in the Federal Code, but, 
in addition, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines--the Federal Sentencing 
Guidelines--increase the sentence of a convicted defendant who has 
``willfully obstructed or impeded, or attempted to obstruct or impede, 
the administration of justice during the investigation, prosecution, or 
sentencing'' of his offense. The commentary on the Guidelines 
specifically lists as examples of obstruction actions the House alleges 
that President Clinton has committed, including ``committing, 
suborning, or attempting to suborn perjury'' and ``destroying or 
concealing or directing or procuring another person to destroy or 
conceal evidence that is material to an official investigation or 
judicial proceeding. . . .''
  Yesterday, you learned from Mr. Manager McCollum of Florida, when he 
discussed, that perjury and obstruction of justice is punished more 
severely in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines than bribery. As I stated 
earlier, Blackstone put bribery and perjury side by side.
  At a hearing on the background and history of impeachment as part of 
the House impeachment inquiry, we were privileged to have the testimony 
of Judge Griffin Bell, an individual who has highly distinguished 
himself in public service. Judge Bell was appointed to the Federal 
bench by President John Kennedy, and he served as the U.S. Attorney 
General under President Carter. Judge Bell said that, ``I have thought 
about this a great deal.

[[Page 584]]

This is a serious matter. Trifling with the Federal courts is serious. 
And I guess I am biased because I used to be a Federal judge. But I 
cannot imagine that it wouldn't be a serious crime to lie in a Federal 
grand jury or to lie before a Federal judge, and that is where I come 
  Judge Bell went on to say, ``And all the civil rights cases that I 
was in in the South depended on the integrity of the Federal court and 
the Federal court orders and people telling the truth and fairness. 
Truth and fairness are the two essential elements in a justice system, 
and all of these statutes I mentioned, perjury, tampering with a 
witness, obstruction of justice, all deal in the interests of truth. If 
we don't have truth in the judicial process and in the court system in 
our country, we don't have anything. We don't have a system.''
  As you can see, according to Judge Bell, ``truth and fairness'' are 
the two cornerstones of our judicial system. President Clinton violated 
both of these bedrock principles.
  Finally, Judge Bell spoke to the issue, if a President ever was 
convicted of a felony. Judge Bell stated: ``If the President were 
indicted and convicted of a felony, such as perjury or obstruction of 
justice or witness tampering, before impeachment proceedings began, 
would anyone argue that he should continue to be President? I don't 
think so. If the President were subsequently indicted and convicted of 
a felony, which [Judge Bell believes] the Constitution clearly allows, 
[he went on to say] would anyone argue that he should continue to be 
President? I don't think so.'' He stated this: He said, ``A President 
cannot faithfully execute the laws if he himself is breaking them.''
  Judge Bell hit it right on the head. Judge Bell said: ``A President 
cannot faithfully execute the laws if he himself is breaking them. 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 in the grand jury. Allegations of this 
kind are grave indeed.''
  To borrow the words of constitutional scholar Charles J. Cooper, 
``The crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice, like the crimes of 
treason and bribery, are quintessentially offenses against our system 
of government, visiting injury immediately on society itself, whether 
or not committed in connection with the exercise of official government 
powers.'' I believe all of you should have these charts at your table. 
``In a society governed by the rule of law, perjury and obstruction of 
justice simply cannot be tolerated because these crimes subvert the 
very judicial processes on which the rule of law so vitally depends.''
  It is no exaggeration to say that our Constitution and the American 
people entrust to the President singular responsibility for the 
enforcing of the rule of law. Perjury and obstruction of justice strike 
at the heart of the rule of law. A President who has committed these 
crimes has plainly and directly violated the most important executive 
duty. The core of the President's constitutional responsibilities is 
his duty to ``take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.'' And 
because perjury and obstruction of justice strike at the rule of law 
itself, it is difficult to imagine crimes that more clearly or directly 
violate this core Presidential constitutional duty.
  When President Clinton had the opportunity to personally uphold the 
rule of law, to uphold the truth-seeking function of the courts, to 
uphold the fairness in a judicial proceeding, he failed. Far from 
taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, if a President is 
guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice, he has himself 
faithlessly subverted the very law that the rest of us are called upon 
to obey.
  You may hear arguments that perjury and obstruction don't really have 
much consequence in this case because it was a private matter and, 
therefore, not really a serious offense. I would like to arm you with 
the facts. The courts do not trivialize perjury and obstruction of 
  According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, in 1997, 182 Americans 
were sentenced in Federal court for committing perjury. Also in 1997, 
144 Americans were sentenced in Federal court for obstruction and 
witness tampering.
  In State jurisdictions all across the country, they take the matter 
very seriously. I have chosen one State, the State of California, which 
brought 4,318 perjury prosecutions in 1997. There are now at least 115 
persons serving sentences for perjury in Federal prisons. Where is the 
fairness to these Americans if they stay in jail and the President 
stays in the Oval Office?
  If the allegations in the independent counsel's referral were made 
against a sitting Federal judge, would not the Senate convict? If 
William Jefferson Clinton were a sitting judge instead of the 
President, would not the Senate convict? While my colleague, Mr. 
Manager Graham, will look into this further, let's look briefly at 
precedent for the moment. When we bring up the issues regarding the 
impeachment of former Federal judges Mr. Claiborne and Mr. Nixon, one 
standard was used: high crimes and misdemeanors. The Senate said the 
one standard that applies to the President and Vice President will also 
apply to these Federal judges and other civil officers.
  You see, in the defense of Judges Claiborne and Nixon, the defense 
lawyers at the time in the trial here in the Senate argued that Federal 
judges should be treated differently from the President, that they 
could not be impeached for private misbehavior because it was 
extrajudicial. The Senate rejected that proposition as incompatible 
with common sense and the orderly conduct of government. You rejected 
that argument, the very same argument that we are about to hear, 
perhaps, from the White House defense team. And I believe this Senate 
will uphold your precedent, the precedent that Federal judges and the 
President should be treated by the same standard--impeachment for high 
crimes and misdemeanors.
  Also, do not be tempted to believe the argument that lying under oath 
about sex doesn't matter, that it is private. I covered that earlier, 
but I want to bring it to your attention as some of the House managers 
did yesterday regarding American law. It makes rape a crime, domestic 
violence a crime, sexual harassment a civil rights violation, libel, a 
compensable offense. Without the protections of perjury and 
obstruction, none of the rights of the victims of such cases could be 
vindicated. That is why the courts take these matters so seriously.
  If the President's lawyers try to tell you that this case is simply 
about an illicit affair, I believe that it demeans our civil rights 
laws. If, indeed, the President is successful in trying to make 
everyone believe that this case is only about an illicit affair, what 
will the message be from those in this hallowed body who have in the 
past been passionate advocates of our civil rights laws, whether it be 
by race, gender, religion, or disability? If the evidence-gathering 
process is unimportant in Federal civil rights sexual harassment 
lawsuits--remember, that was the underlying basis of this case--what 
message does that send to women in America?
  There are some important questions we need to ask. Are sexual 
harassment lawsuits, which were designed to vindicate legitimate and 
serious civil rights grievances of women across America, now somewhat 
less important than other civil rights? Which of our civil rights laws 
will fall next? Will we soon decide that the evidence-gathering process 
is unimportant with respect to vindicating the rights of the disabled 
under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Will the evidence-gathering 
process become unimportant with respect to vindicating the voting 
rights of those discriminated against based on race or national origin? 
Who will tell the hundreds of Federal judges across the Nation that the 
evidence-gathering process in these cases is now unimportant?
  Consider postal worker Diane Parker who was convicted of perjury and 
sentenced to 13 months in prison for making a false material 
declaration during

[[Page 585]]

the discovery deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Judge Lacey 
Collier said: ``One of the most troubling things in our society today 
is people who raise their hand, take the oath to tell the truth, and 
then fail to do that. . . . This, I hope, is sufficient punishment for 
you,'' the judge stated. The judge went on to say, ``But more 
importantly, I hope that it is a deterrence to others. So your story 
can be taken far and wide to demonstrate to others the seriousness of 
the responsibility of telling the truth in court proceedings.''
  The Senate must now determine whether it is acceptable or whether it 
is appropriate to set a precedent to have an individual serve as 
President of the United States when that individual has committed, is 
alleged to have committed, serious offenses against our system of 
government while holding that office.
  While we have been discussing how perjury and obstruction of justice 
are attacks on our judicial system, we must recognize how the judicial 
system is a core function of the government. When Mr. Manager Henry 
Hyde speaks of the rule of law protecting us from the knock on the door 
at 3 a.m., what, exactly, was he referring to? Well, in totalitarian 
societies, rulers may drag the ruled off to prison at any time for any 
reason. Our system differs because we require our leaders to go through 
a judicial procedure before they put someone in prison or otherwise 
violate their individual rights. The President's offenses assault the 
administration of this judicial procedure. As such, they constitute an 
assault on the core function of the government and repudiate our most 
basic social contract. A core function of the government derives its 
role from the social contract that our civilized society has under 
which the fundamental exchange of rights takes place between those of 
us as individuals and unto the government.
  We give up our individual rights to exercise brute force to settle 
our personal disputes. That is a situation where chaos reigns and the 
strongest most often prevails. Instead, we submit to the power 
delegated to the State under which the individual then submits to the 
governmental processes as part of the social contract. Indeed, when 
conflict arises in our society, we as individuals are compelled via the 
social contract to take disputes to our third branch of government--the 
courts. The judicial branch then peacefully decides which party is 
entitled to judgment in their favor after a full presentation of the 
truthful evidence.
  Now, implicit in the social contract that we enter as a civilized 
society is the principle that the weak are equally entitled as the 
strong to equal justice under the law. Despite the tumbling tides of 
politics, ours is a government of laws, not of men. It was the inspired 
vision of our Founding Fathers that the judicial, legislative, and 
executive branch of government would work together to preserve the rule 
of law. The U.S. Constitution requires the judicial branch to apply the 
law equally and fairly to both the weak and the strong.
  Once we as a society--and particularly our leaders--no longer submit 
to the social contract and no longer pay deference to the third branch 
of government, which is equally as important as the legislative and 
executive branches of government, we then begin to erode the rule of 
law and begin to erode the social contract of the great American 
  That, I believe, is why Judge Bell stated, ``A President cannot 
faithfully execute the laws if he himself is breaking them.''
  The administration of justice is a core function of the Government 
precisely because of the importance we place on the fair resolution of 
disputes and on whom and for how long a person will be denied liberty 
for violating our criminal laws. Any assault on the administration of 
justice must be interpreted as a threat to our system of Government. 
Our President, who is our chief executive and chief law enforcement 
officer, and who alone is delegated the task under our Constitution to 
``take care that the laws be faithfully executed,'' cannot and must not 
be permitted to engage in such an assault on the administration of 
  The articles of impeachment adopted by the House of Representatives 
establish an abuse of public trust and a betrayal of the social 
contract in that the President is alleged to have repeatedly placed his 
personal interests above the public interest and violated his 
constitutional duties. For if he is allowed to escape conviction by the 
Senate, we would allow the President to set the example for 
lawlessness. We would allow our President to serve as an example of the 
erosion of the concept of the social contract embraced and embodied in 
our Constitution. I don't believe the Senate will allow that to happen.
  As you undertake your examination of the facts, the law, and your 
precedents, the Senate must weigh carefully its judgment, for the 
consequences are deeply profound, not for the moment but for the ages. 
Should the Senate choose to acquit, it must be prepared to accept a 
lower standard, a bad precedent, and a double standard. However, should 
the Senate choose to convict, it would be reinforcing high standards 
for high office, maintaining existing precedents, and upholding the 
principle of equal justice under the law.
  I think it is important to pause here and reflect upon the 
constitutional duties of the President of the United States. I agree 
with the defense argument that this has not been alleged as a 
dereliction of the President's exercise of executive powers. So let me 
talk about his executive duties.
  The President is reposed with a special trust by the American people. 
The President is a physical embodiment of America and the hope and 
freedom for which she stands. When the President goes abroad, he is 
honored as the head of a sovereign nation; our Nation is acknowledged, 
not just the individual who occupies the Office of the Presidency. When 
he walks into a room and receives a standing ovation, the ovation is 
not that of the individual, it is for the Nation for whom he 
  The President has a constitutional role as Commander in Chief. The 
President plays a unique and indispensable role in the chain of 
command. In Federalist 74, Alexander Hamilton stated that, ``Of all the 
cares or concerns of government, the direction of war most peculiarly 
demands those qualities, which distinguish the exercise of power by a 
single hand.''
  It is universally agreed that the President, in his role as Commander 
in Chief, is not an actual member of the military. However, as the 
``single hand'' that guides the actions of the armed services, it is 
incumbent that the President exhibit sound, responsible leadership and 
set a proper example when acting as Commander in Chief.
  That leadership is also at the core of the issue before us. In order 
to be an effective leader, an effective military leader, the President 
must exhibit the traits that inspire those who must risk their lives at 
his command. These traits include honor, integrity and accountability.
  Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, submitted testimony to the House impeachment inquiry. Admiral 
Moorer stated it this way:

       Military leaders also serve as role models for honorable 
     and virtuous conduct.

  You see, veracity and truthfulness are important components of a 
leader's character. In order to have the trust of their subordinates, 
military leaders must have honor and be truthful in all things. That 
trust, that bond between the leaders and the led, is an essential 
element of any successful military organization.
  The President's own self-inflicted wounds have called his credibility 
into question. While a President's decisions are always critiqued, a 
President receives the benefit of the doubt in the decisionmaking 
process that he always places the interests of the Nation above his 
own. But by William Jefferson Clinton's present diminished veracity, he 
has now forfeited that benefit and has invited doubt into the 
decisionmaking process.
  The lack of trust in the President's motives, his veracity and his 
judgment is inherently corrosive and can only

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have a detrimental effect on our military credibility overseas. This 
corrosion is difficult to measure, for it cannot be quantified easily 
in a readiness report or training exercise. But in squadbays and 
wardrooms around the world, and at bases in the United States, there 
can be heard whispers and conversations of those who know that had they 
merely been accused of the same offense, their careers would have ended 
long ago.
  This is the intangible effect that the President's actions have had 
on our military. We cannot ignore the fact that the Commander in 
Chief's conduct sets a poor example to the men and women in the 
military. Worse, we cannot ignore the idea that to acquit the President 
would create a double standard.
  The Constitution directs this body to provide advice and consent to 
the President's nominations for military officers. It is your singular 
responsibility to set high standards of conduct for these officers, and 
you have done that. The Senate has in the past--and you will likely 
again do so in the future--rejected those whose moral and legal 
misconduct makes them unsuitable to be officers in the military.
  Let me indulge in a hypothetical. An officer is nominated by the 
President for promotion to the rank of major. After the list is 
submitted, but before the Senate's confirmation, an investigation of 
the individual's background results in a report that mirrors the 
allegations in the Office of Independent Counsel's referral. After a 
very careful review of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, this 
captain, after having committed similar offenses as are in the Office 
of Independent Counsel's referral, could be charged with article 105, 
false swearing, and face up to 3 years; he could be charged in article 
107, false official statement, facing up to 5 years; he could be 
charged with article 131, perjury--probably several times--and face up 
to 5 years; he could be charged with article 133, conduct unbecoming an 
officer; he could be charged with article 134, prevent seizure of 
property, and face up to 1 year imprisonment; he could be charged with 
article 134, soliciting another to commit an offense, with a penalty of 
up to 5 years; he could be charged with article 134, subornation of 
perjury, and face confinement up to 5 years; he could be charged with 
article 134 again, obstructing justice, and face 5 years. I could 
probably come up with about four others, but I won't get into the 
salacious details.
  You see, needless to say, the Senate would insist on this 
hypothetical officer's removal from the promotion list. You would do 
that. The Service would certainly relieve him of his duties.
  In every warship, every squadbay, and every headquarters building 
throughout the U.S. military, those of you who have traveled to 
military bases have seen the picture of the Commander in Chief that 
hangs in the apex of the pyramid that is the military chain of command.
  You should also know that all over the world military personnel look 
at the current picture and know that, if accused of the same offenses 
as their Commander in Chief, they would no longer be deserving of the 
privilege of serving in the military.
  Some would say that what I just talked about doesn't matter--that in 
the military they live under different standards--they live under these 
high standards. They say words like ``duty,'' ``honor,'' ``country.'' 
They are instilled with core values and core virtues--that really 
doesn't matter in this case--that the President really doesn't have to 
follow those types of high standards--that it elevates some form of 
high standards, if he stands accused of high crimes--it really is not 
high crimes; it was about a private matter--that they don't rise to the 
level needed to remove the President from office.
  I would like to remind you of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. In his farewell 
address at West Point, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stated, when he 
referenced the words I spoke of, ``duty'' and ``honor'' and 
``country,'' and the high principles:

       The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, 
     but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every 
     cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and I am sorry to 
     say, some others of an entirely different character, will try 
     to downgrade them to the extent of mockery and ridicule.

  The ideal object must be held high even though we recognize that as 
humans we are not perfect. No matter how great we aspire, we are human 
and we will occasionally fail. But there must be the pursuit of such 
high ideals. We cannot degrade our standards as a people. By a 
conviction in the Senate of the President of the United States you will 
be upholding a high and lofty standard, not only for America, but in 
particular for those military leaders, rather than setting low 
standards for the President and a high lofty standard for military 
  Let me turn to the President's responsibility to see that ``the laws 
are faithfully executed.'' According to scholar Philip B. Kurland, it 
was probably George Washington rather than the Constitution that is 
responsible for our hierarchy of Cabinet officers that have been taken 
for granted over the years. And we have heard of the President as the 
chief law enforcement officer of the land, and we can find it in the 
Constitution. So we have to give credit to George Washington and how he 
put together the Cabinet. And we have accepted it over time. So it has 
been accepted by custom, practice, and legislation that the executive 
branch is an entity for which the President is responsible both to 
Congress and to the public.
  Mr. Kurland stated:

       The whole of the executive branch acts subordinately to the 
     command of the President in the administration of Federal 
     laws, so long as they act within the terms of those laws. 
     Their offices confer no right to violate the laws, whether 
     they take the form of constitution, statute, or treaty.

  The President's Departments of Treasury and Justice seek to bring to 
account those who disturb our ``domestic tranquility.'' And those who 
seek to disturb our ``domestic tranquility,'' whether it be the 
drugpushers, or unabombers, gangsters, mobsters, church arsonists, 
violators of individual rights, dedicated men and women of the FBI, 
DEA, Customs, Secret Service, BATF, INS, the U.S. Marshals Office; they 
all pursue them methodically, thoughtfully, firmly, doggedly, applying 
the law while risking their lives to uphold the rule of law for our 
peace and security. They seek to ensure equal justice under the law for 
  In the book, ``The Imperial Presidency,'' Professor Arthur 
Schlesinger, Jr. states:

       The continuation of a lawbreaker as chief magistrate would 
     be a strange way to exemplify law and order at home or to 
     demonstrate American probity before the world.

  By a conviction, the Senate will be upholding the high calling of law 
enforcement in protecting the rule of law and equal justice under the 
  ``Equal justice under law''--that principle so embodies the American 
constitutional order that we have carved it in stone on the front of 
the Supreme Court building right across the street. The carving across 
the street shines like a beacon from the highest sanctum across to us 
here in the Capitol, the home of the legislative branch, and it shines 
right down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, the home of the 
executive branch. It illuminates our national life and reminds those 
other branches that despite the tumbling tides of politics, ours is a 
government of laws and not of men. It was the inspired vision of our 
founders and framers, again, that the judicial, legislative, and 
executive branches would work together to preserve the rule of law.
  But ``equal justice under law'' amounts for much more than a stone 
carving. Although we can't see it or hear it, this living, breathing 
force has very real consequences in the lives of every citizen every 
day in America. It allows Americans to claim the assistance of the 
government when someone has wronged us--even if the person is stronger 
or wealthier or more popular than we are. In America, unlike other 
countries, when an average citizen sues the Chief Executive of our 
Nation, they stand equal before the bar of justice. The Constitution 
requires the judicial branch of our government to apply the law equally 
to both. That is the living

[[Page 587]]

consequence of ``equal justice under law'' that shines brightly across 
our country.
  The President of the United States must work with the judicial and 
the legislative branches to sustain that force. He is the temporary 
trustee of that office. But, unfortunately and sadly, William Jefferson 
Clinton worked to defeat it and to bring darkness upon that grand 
illumination. When he stood before the bar of justice, he acted without 
authority to award himself. Even if he believed in his heart that the 
case against him was politically motivated, he simply assumed unto 
himself that he had by virtue of his power special privileges that he 
could be clever, create his own definitions of words in his own mind--
create what C.S. Lewis called ``verbicide.'' He murdered the plain 
spoken English language so he could come up with these definitions in 
his own mind, state them, and then say, ``Well, I never committed 
perjury because this is what I meant by this word,'' even though it 
fails the reasonableness test, and it is absurd that no one would 
believe his own definitions. He assumed these special privileges, and 
then lied and obstructed justice to gain advantage in a Federal civil 
rights action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of 
Arkansas. And he did so then again when a Federal grand jury began to 
investigate that lawlessness. And he did it before the grand jury in 
the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. His resistance 
brings us to this most unfortunate juncture for which you sit in 
  So ``equal justice under law'' lies at the heart of this matter. It 
rests on three essential pillars: an impartial judiciary, an ethical 
bar, and a sacred oath. If litigants profane the sanctity of the oath, 
``equal justice under law'' loses its protective force.
  The House, as does the Senate, has the responsibility to uphold the 
Constitution. We have all taken our oaths to defend the Constitution. 
The Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances, a system 
of accountability between the functions of Government. See, I believe, 
as I am sure you do, that the Founding Fathers knew the nature of the 
human heart. Sometimes, as much as we try, we fail, in that the human 
heart does in fact struggle at times between good and evil. We 
recognize that no person has perfect virtue and that we each have our 
human failings. And the founders could foresee a time when corruption 
could invade the institutions of Government, and they provided the 
means to address it. The impeachment proceeding is one such means. We 
are seeking to defend the rule of law.
  America, again, is a Government of laws, not of men. What protects us 
from that knock on the door in the middle of the night is the law. What 
ensures the rights of the weak and the powerless against the powerful 
is the law. What provides the rights to the poor against the rich is 
the law. What upholds the rightness of the minority view against the 
popular but wrong is the law. As former President Andrew Jackson wrote, 
``The great can protect themselves, but the poor and the humble require 
the arm and shield of the law.''
  When our Nation began its journey in history over 200 years ago, the 
United States was nearly unique in depending on the rule of law as 
opposed to, at that time, the rule of kings and czars and chieftains 
and monarchs. Now that our unique, grand American experiment has proved 
unto the rest of the world a success, others now seek to follow us. 
They seek to follow. And we have seen in the crumbling of the Soviet 
Union that the former Soviet nations, now infant republics, look and 
turn to us. They turn to us, a Government ruled by law.
  For the sake of ourselves and the sake of generations yet unborn, we, 
and in particular you who sit in judgment in the Senate, must preserve 
the rule of law.
  I will leave you with the words of the first President of the Senate 
and the second President of our Nation, John Adams. He said:

       Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, 
     our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they 
     cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

  I believe John Adams was right. Facts and evidence. Facts are 
stubborn things. You can color the facts. You can shade the facts. You 
can misrepresent the facts. You can hide the facts. But the truthful 
facts are stubborn; they won't go away. Like the telltale heart, they 
keep pounding, and they keep coming, and they won't go away. What is 
also stubborn is the precedents of the Senate.
  I will now yield the floor for Manager Graham of South Carolina to 
discuss the precedents of the Senate.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Graham.
  Mr. LOTT addressed the Chair.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.


  Mr. LOTT. I sense the need for a 10-minute break, but, my colleagues, 
please tend to your business and return promptly so that we can get 
started with the proper decorum.
  There being no objection, at 11:15 a.m., the Senate recessed until 
11:29 a.m.; whereupon, the Senate reassembled when called to order by 
the Chief Justice.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I believe we are ready to begin with 
Manager Graham. I have been asked about any changes in the schedule. It 
would depend on how things move forward. I would ask for consent to 
change it, depending on how things developed from this point, Mr. Chief 
  I yield the floor.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Graham
  Mr. Manager GRAHAM. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. I think I broke the 
code there. When I hear stomachs growling, I know it will be time to 
wrap this up.
  This is an unbelievable occasion for all of us. I am Lindsey Graham 
from South Carolina. We talk about civil rights. I am a child of the 
South and I will give you my views on civil rights and how we 
progressed in this country, but I am going to talk to you a bit about 
some decisions this body has made regarding the crime of perjury and 
obstruction of justice and the impeachment clause in the Constitution 
as it applies to Federal judges. I am not so presumptuous to tell you I 
know more about what you did than you did. I am going to try to 
highlight some of the things that you did that I think served this 
country well in this area. But before we get there, a couple of 
  As I was walking over through the Rotunda today, there was a group of 
Japanese tourists there, and I stopped and talked. My dad, who is now 
deceased, was a World War II veteran, and it struck me, 50 years plus, 
how resilient this world is. My dad's generation I don't think would 
have ever envisioned 50 years ago that his son, one, would be a 
Congressman, which is a great thing about this country, would be 
stopping and talking to Japanese tourists in the Capitol of the United 
  So when we talk about the consequences of this case, no matter what 
you decide, in my opinion, this country will survive. If you acquit the 
President, we will survive. If you convict him, it will be traumatic, 
and if you remove him, it will be traumatic, but we will survive.
  This has been billed as a constitutional drama, by some of the 
pundits, that is called a snoozer. I can understand that a little bit. 
I am the 12th lawyer you have had to listen to, and I think my 
colleagues have done a very good job. But it is a very long and tedious 
process in many ways. It is hard to sit here and listen to 12 lawyers 
talk to you. But you have done a wonderful job, I think. I am very 
proud of the U.S. Senate. You have paid great attention.
  But the fact that people call this boring is not a bad thing to me. I 
think it shows the confidence we have achieved in 200 years as a 
Republic that people can go on about their business, and they are 
upset. I know my phone rings a lot, and your phone rings a lot, about 
what to do. But there is a calmness in this country in the midst of 

[[Page 588]]

so important like this that tells me we have done it right for a long 
  How many countries would love the chance to be bored when their 
government is in action? How many countries fear that the government 
won't work for them; that to get it right, you have to pick up a gun? 
That happens every day throughout this world. And the fact that we can 
come together and talk about something so important and the country can 
go on and people not be so anxious about their personal lives and their 
freedoms and their properties and their jobs is a compliment to every 
generation who has ever served this Republic.
  Tom Brokaw has a book out called ``The Greatest Generation,'' and I 
recommend it to you to read, because we will be talking about that in a 
moment. But let's talk about some of this country's imperfections. Mr. 
Buyer talked about, very eloquently, the rule of law and how it makes 
us so different and how it is something that people literally do die 
for and have died for.
  But let me tell you, as a lawyer, it is not a perfect legal system. 
If you are a poor person and you are charged with a crime, you are 
likely to get a public defender right out of law school and, hopefully, 
that public defender will do the best he can or she can. But it is not 
a perfect system. Don't ever think it is.
  Civil rights have been advanced a lot in my lifetime, but we have a 
long way to go in South Carolina. I think we have a long way to go in 
this Nation. In my lifetime, I started school with no black person in 
my class. By the sixth grade--I think it was the sixth grade--
integration hit in my area, and I can remember my mom and dad being 
scared to death about what it would do and what it would mean. But we 
made it, and we are better off as a country.
  We are here to judge our President. We are here to say whether or not 
he is guilty, to begin with, of some serious offenses that are colored 
by sex, and there is absolutely no way to get around that, and I know 
it is uncomfortable to listen to.
  My father and mother owned a restaurant, a beer joint, I guess is 
what we would say in South Carolina. I can remember that if you were 
black, you came and you had to buy the beer and you had to go because 
you couldn't drink it there. That is just the way it was, is what my 
dad said. I always never quite understood that. My dad and mom were 
good people, but that is just the way it was. That is not the way it is 
now, and we are better off for that.
  In sexual harassment cases, it is always uncomfortable to listen to. 
That is just the way it is. It used to be in this country, not long 
ago, there was really no recourse if you were sexually harassed. We 
have changed things for the better.
  The reason we are here today is not because somebody wanted to look 
into the personal life of the President for no good reason. We are here 
today because somebody accused him when he was Governor of picking them 
out of a crowd, asking her to come to a hotel room, and if you believe 
her, did something very crude and rude that you wouldn't want to happen 
to anybody in your family. Now only God knows what happened there. That 
case has been settled. The parties know and God knows. We will never 
  Let me just say this. I am proud of my country where you, as a low-
level employee, can sue the Governor of your State and if that Governor 
becomes President, you can still sue.
  The Supreme Court said 9 to 0--a shutout legally--``Mr. President, 
you will stand subject to this suit.'' We are going to talk about is 
this private or public conduct; does this go to the heart of being 
President, or is this just some private matter he could be prosecuted 
for after he gets out of office? Is this really a big deal about being 
  I contend, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, it became a big deal 
about being President when he raised the defense, ``You can't sue me 
now because I am the President, I am a busy man, I have a lot going 
on.'' He used his office, or tried to, to avoid the day in court, but 
the Supreme Court said, ``No, sir, you will stand subject to suit under 
some reasonable accommodation.'' And we are here today.
  If I had been on the Supreme Court, I don't know if I would have 
ruled that way. There is not much chance of that happening any time 
soon, if you are worried about that. I don't think that is going to be 
in my future. [Laughter.]
  I may not have ruled that way, and we in Congress, if we don't like 
the way all this has come out, we can change that law, we can change 
that ruling by law. But it is the law of the land, because the Chief 
Justice and his colleagues said so.
  What did our President do? He tried to say, ``You can't sue me 
because I am President.'' He participated in that lawsuit because he 
was told to, and I would argue, ladies and gentlemen, that we all 
assumed he would play fair. Now isn't there a lot of doubt about that?
  Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, what if he had not shown up? What 
if he refused to answer any court order? What if he had said, ``I am 
not going to play, that is it; I am not going to listen to you, 
judicial branch?'' You know the remedy we have to resolve problems like 
that when Presidential conduct gets out of bounds. Do you know where 
that remedy lies? It lies with us, the U.S. Congress. When a President 
gets out of bounds and doesn't do as he or she should do 
constitutionally--and I would argue that every President and every 
citizen has a constitutional duty not to cheat another citizen, 
especially the President--and they get out of bounds, it is up to us to 
put them back in bounds or declare it illegal.
  And how do we do that? How do we regulate Presidential misconduct 
when it is done in a Presidential fashion? Through the laws and powers 
of impeachment. That is why we are here today.
  It is going to take team work on our part to get this right, because 
I will argue to you in a moment that the President of the United 
States, through his conduct, flouted judicial authority and 
decisionmaking over him. When he chose to lie, when he chose to 
manipulate the evidence to witnesses against him and get his friends to 
go lie for him, he, in fact, I think, vetoed that decision.
  It's worse than if he had not shown up at all. Is that out of bounds? 
That is what we are going to be talking about today. And we have some 
guidance as to what really is in or out of bounds for high Government 
officials. What is a high crime? How about if an important person hurts 
somebody of low means? It is not very scholarly, but I think it is the 
truth. I think that is what they meant by ``high crimes.'' It doesn't 
have to be a crime. It is just when you start using your office and you 
are acting in a way that hurts people, you have committed a high crime.
  When you decide that a course of conduct meets the high crimes 
standard under our Constitution for the President, what are we doing to 
the Presidency? I think we are putting a burden on the Presidency. And 
you should consider it that way, that if you determine that the conduct 
and the crimes in this case are high crimes, you need to do so knowing 
that you are placing a burden on every future occupant of that office 
and the office itself. So do so cautiously, because one branch of the 
Government should never put a burden on another branch of the 
Government that's not fair and they can't bear.
  Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, if you decide, from the conduct 
of this President, that henceforth any officeholder who occupies the 
office of President will have this burden to bear--let me tell you what 
it is: don't lie under oath to a Federal grand jury when many in the 
country are begging you not to--can the occupant bear that burden?
  I voted against article 2 in the House, which was the deposition 
perjury allegations against the President standing alone. I think many 
of us may have thought that he didn't know about the tapes, that he and 
Ms. Lewinsky thought they had a story that was going to work, and he 
got caught off guard, and he started telling a bunch of lies that maybe 
I would have lied about, maybe you would have lied about, because it is 
personal to have to talk about intimate things; and our

[[Page 589]]

human nature is to protect ourselves, our family; that is just human 
  But, ladies and gentlemen, what he stands charged of in this Senate 
happened 8 months later, after some Members of this body said, ``Mr. 
President, square yourself by the law. Mr. President, if you go into 
that Federal grand jury and you lie again, you're risking your 
Presidency.'' People in this body said that. Legal commentators said 
that. Professor Dershowitz and I probably don't agree on a lot. I think 
he would probably agree with that statement. That would be one thing we 
would agree on. He said--and he is a very smart, passionate man; and I 
like passionate people even if I don't agree with them--even he said 
that if you go to a grand jury and you lie as President, that ought to 
be a high crime.
  So the context in which you are going to decide this case has to 
understand human failings, because if you don't do that, you are not 
being fair. And I know you want to be fair.
  Human failings exist in all of us. Only when it gets to be so 
premeditated, so calculated, so much ``my interest over anybody else'' 
or ``the public be damned,'' should you really, really start getting 
serious about what to do. That happened in August, in my opinion, 
ladies and gentlemen. After being begged not to lie to the grand jury 
and end this matter, he chose to lie.
  That is the burden you will be placing on the next President: ``Don't 
do that. Don't lie under oath when you are a defendant in a lawsuit 
against an average citizen. Have the courage to apply the law in a fair 
manner to yourself.''
  Mr. Buyer talked about values and courage. Let me say something about 
President Clinton that I believe. I believe he does embrace civil 
rights for our citizens. I believe he has been an articulate spokesman 
for the civil rights for our citizens. I believe that may be one of the 
hallmarks of his Presidency. And I am not here to tell you that he 
doesn't. I am here to tell you that when it was his case, when those 
rights had to be applied to him, he failed miserably.
  It is always easy to talk about what other people ought to do. The 
test of character is the way you judge people you disagree with: Don't 
cheat in a lawsuit by manipulating the testimony of others. Don't send 
public officials and friends to tell your lies before a Federal grand 
jury to avoid your legal responsibilities. Don't put your legal and 
political interests ahead of the rule of law and common decency.
  If you find that these are high crimes, that is the burden you are 
placing on the next officeholder. If they can't meet that burden, this 
country has a serious problem. I don't want my country to be the 
country of great equivocators and compartmentalizers for the next 
century. And that is what this case is about, equivocation and 
  What I have described to you as the conduct of the President being a 
high crime I think is just his job description. We are asking no more 
of him than to be the chief law enforcement officer of the land--follow 
your job description. A determination that this conduct is a high crime 
is no burden that cannot be borne in a reasonable fashion by future 
  Now, why did I talk about constitutional teamwork? I am a child of 
the South. The civil rights litigation in matters that came about in 
the sixties was threefold: There was legislation passed in Congress, 
there were judicial decisions that were rendered, and the executive 
branch came in to help out. Remember when Governor Wallace was standing 
in the door of the University of Alabama? Remember how he was told to 
get aside?
  What went on? It was a constitutional dance of magnificent 
proportions. You had litigation that was resolved for the individual 
citizen so they could go in and acquire the rights, full benefits, of a 
citizen of that State; you had legislation coming out of this body; and 
you had defiance against the Federal Government from the State level; 
and you had the President and the executive branch federalizing the 
National Guard. And Governor Wallace: ``Step aside.''
  When it was 9 to nothing that Bill Clinton had to be a participant in 
the lawsuit and he chose to cheat in every manner you can cheat in a 
lawsuit, his conduct needs to be regulated, and it needs to be brought 
to bear under the Constitution. If you put him in jail after his 
office, that would not solve the constitutional problem he created. The 
constitutional conduct exhibited by the Executive, when he was told by 
the judicial branch, ``You've got to participate in a lawsuit,'' was so 
far afield of what is fair, what is decent, that it became a high 
crime, and it happened to be against a little person.
  The Senate has spoken before about perjury and obstruction of justice 
and how it applies to high Government officials. And those Government 
officials were judges.
  Before we start this analysis, it is important to know--and some of 
you know this better than I will ever hope to know, the history of this 
Senate, the history of this body and how it works and why it works--
that when a judge is impeached in the United States of America, the 
same legal standard--treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 
misdemeanors--is applied to that judge's conduct as it is to any high 
official, just like the President. So we are comparing apples to 
  Now, in Judge Claiborne's trial they seized upon the language, 
``Judges shall hold their office during good behavior.'' And the 
defense was trying to say, unlike the President and other Government 
officials, high Government officials, the impeachment standard for 
judges is ``good behavior.'' That is the term. It's a different 
impeachment standard. You know these cases better than I know these 
cases. And you said ``Wrong.'' The good behavior standard doesn't apply 
to why you will be removed. It is just a reference to how long you will 
have your job.
  Our President is two terms. A judge is for life, conditioned on good 
behavior. What gets you out of office is whether or not you violate the 
constitutional standard for impeachment, which is treason, bribery, or 
other high crimes and misdemeanors.
  So as I talk to you about these cases and what you as a body did, 
understand we are using the same legal standard, not because I said so, 
but because you said so. Judge Claiborne, convicted and removed from 
office by the Senate, 90-7. For what? Filing a false income tax return 
under penalties of perjury. One thing they said in that case was, ``I'm 
a judge and filing false income tax returns has nothing to do with me 
being a judge and I ought not lose my job unless you can show me or 
prove that I did something wrong as a judge.'' They were saying 
cheating on taxes has nothing to do with being a judge.
  You know what the Senate said? It has everything to do with being a 
judge. And the reason you said that is because you didn't buy into this 
idea that the only way you can lose your job as a high Government 
official under the Constitution is to engage in some type of public 
conduct directly related to what you do every day. You took a little 
broader view, and I am certainly glad you did, because this is not a 
country of high officials who are technicians. This is a country based 
on character, this is a country based on having to set a standard that 
others will follow with that.
  This is Manager Fish:

       Judge Claiborne's actions raise fundamental questions about 
     public confidence in, and the public's perception of, the 
     Federal court system. They serve to undermine the confidence 
     of the American people in our judicial system . . . Judge 
     Claiborne is more than a mere embarrassment. He is a 
     disgrace--an affront--to the judicial office and to the 
     judicial branch he was appointed to serve.

  That is very strong language. Apparently, you agreed with that 
concept because 90 of you voted to throw him out. What did he do? He 
cheated on his taxes by making false statements under oath.
  Now we will talk more about public versus private. Senator Mathias, 
about this idea of public versus private:

       It is my opinion . . . that the impeachment power is not as 
     narrow as Judge Claiborne suggests. There is neither 
     historical nor logical reason to believe that Framers of the 
     Constitution sought to prohibit the House

[[Page 590]]

      from impeaching . . . an officer of the United States who 
     had committed treason or bribery or any other high crime or 
     misdemeanor which is a serious offense against the government 
     of the United States and which indicates that the official is 
     unfit to exercise public responsibilities, but which is an 
     offense which is technically unrelated to the officer's 
     particular job responsibilities.''

  This hits it head on:

       Impeachable conduct does not have to occur in the course of 
     the performance of an officer's official duties. Evidence of 
     misconduct, misbehavior, high crimes, and misdemeanors can be 
     justified upon one's private dealings as well as one's 
     exercise of public office. That, of course, is the situation 
     in this case.
       It would be absurd to conclude that a judge who had 
     committed murder, mayhem, rape or perhaps espionage in his 
     private life, could not be removed from office by the U.S. 

  The point you made so well was that we are not buying this. If you 
are a Federal judge and you cheat on your taxes and you lie under 
oath--it is true that it had nothing to do with your courtroom in a 
technical sense, but you are going to be judging others and they are 
going to come before you with their fate in your hands, and we don't 
want somebody like you running a courtroom because people won't trust 
the results.
  Judge Walter Nixon, convicted and removed from office for what? 
Perjury before a grand jury. What was that about? He tried to fix a 
case for a business partner's son in State court. He went to the 
prosecutor who was in State court and tried to fix the case. When they 
investigated the matter, he lied about meeting with the prosecutor. He 
lied about doing anything related to trying to manipulate the results. 
He was convicted and he was thrown out of office by the U.S. Senate.
  I guess you could say, what has that got to do with being a Federal 
judge? It wasn't even in his court? It has everything to do with being 
a high public official because if he stays in office, what signal are 
you sending anybody else that you send to his courtroom or anybody 
else's courtroom?
  The question becomes, if a Federal judge could be thrown out of 
office for lying and trying to fix a friend's son's case, can the 
President of the United States be removed from office for trying to fix 
his case? That is not a scholarly work but that is what happened. He 
tried to fix his case. He tried to turn the judicial system upside 
down, every way but loose. He sent his friends to lie for him. He lied 
for himself. Any time any relevant question came up, instead of taking 
the honorable way out, he lied and dug a hole, and we are all here 
today because of that.
  I am not going to go over the facts again because you have been 
bombarded with the facts. If you believe he committed perjury and if 
you believe he obstructed justice, the reason he did it was to fix his 
case. And you have some records to rely upon to see what you should do 
with somebody like that.
  Judge Hastings: This Federal judge was convicted and removed from 
office by the U.S. Senate. But do you know what is interesting about 
this case to me? He was acquitted before he got here. He was accused of 
conspiring with another person to take money to fix results in his own 
court. He gave testimony on his own behavior. The conspirator was 
convicted but he was acquitted.
  You know what the U.S. Senate and House said? We believe your conduct 
is out of bounds and we are not bound by that acquittal. We want to get 
to the truth and we don't want Federal judges that we have a strong 
suspicion or reasonable belief about that are trying to fix cases in 
their court.
  So the point I am trying to make, you don't even have to be convicted 
of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional Republic if this 
body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out 
of bounds in your role. Thank God you did that, because impeachment is 
not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. 
Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office. The 
remedy of prosecuting William Jefferson Clinton has no effect on the 
problem you are facing here today, in my opinion.
  Now, every case was tried before it got here with different results. 
Two of them were convicted; one of them was acquitted. You had a 
factual record to go upon. I urge you, ladies and gentlemen of the U.S. 
Senate, that that cannot happen in this case unless we have a trial in 
the true sense of the word. The evidence is compelling and 
overwhelming, but it has only been half told. The learned counsel for 
the President will have their chance, and they are excellent lawyers.
  If this were a football game, we would be almost at half time. 
Please, please wait, because I have sat where they are sitting, dying 
to say something. I know there are things they want to tell you about 
what we have said that may put this in a different light. That is 
coming, and it ought to come.
  But there is another thing that you will have to decide: Has the 
factual record been developed enough that I can acquit with good 
conscience or that I can convict and remove with good conscience? In 
these judge cases, there was a full-blown trial. Because we can't 
prosecute the President criminally, we can't do the things that 
happened in the judge cases, so we don't have that record. I just 
submit that to you for your wisdom. None of this matters unless you 
believe he committed the offense. And I am not going to go over that 
  You know the facts pretty well. If there is any doubt, let's call 
witnesses and let's develop them fully, and leave no doubt on the 
table, and make sure that history will judge us well. Everybody, the 
House and the President, will have a fair shot at proving their case, 
that these things occurred, the high crimes.
  I don't believe, ladies and gentlemen, that when you look at the 
totality of what the President did and prior precedents of the Senate, 
the fact that he was told by the Supreme Court to go into this 
litigation matter and he cheated so badly, you would consider these not 
to be high crimes. Because you are not placing a burden on this office 
that the office can't bear, I think that will be resolved, I hope and 
pray, in a bipartisan fashion.
  If we can do nothing else for this country, let us state clearly that 
this conduct is unacceptable by any President. These are in fact high 
crimes. They go to the core of why we are all here as a Nation and to 
the rule of law, the rules of litigation. He cheated, and you have to 
put him back in bounds, remove him. Determining this as a high crime 
puts it back into bounds.
  This is a hard question. I am not going to tell you it is not. I do 
not want to be where you are sitting. I think the evidence will be 
persuasive that he is guilty. The logic of your past rulings and just 
fundamental fairness and decency, and helping the Supreme Court enforce 
their rules, if nothing else, will lead you to a high crime 
  But we are asking you to remove a popular President. I don't know why 
all this occurred. And we have a popular President. I know this. The 
American people are fundamentally fair, and they have an impression 
about this case from just tons and tons and tons of talk, tons and tons 
and tons of speaking. One in five, they tell me, are paying close 
attention to this. The question you must ask is: If every American were 
required to do what I have to do, sit in silence and listen to the 
evidence, would it be different? You are their representatives; they 
will trust you. This is a cynical age, but I am optimistic that 
whatever you do, this country will get up and go to work the next day, 
and they will feel good, no matter what it is.
  To set aside an election is a very scary thought in a democracy. I do 
not agree with this President on most major policy initiatives. I did 
not vote for this President. But he won; he won twice. To undo that 
election is tough.
  Let me give you some of my thoughts. How many times have you had to 
go to a child, a grandchild, or somebody who works for you, and give 
them a lecture that goes along the lines: Don't do as I do, do as I 
say? Isn't that a miserable experience? The problem with keeping this 
President in office, in my opinion, is that these

[[Page 591]]

crimes can't be ignored by anybody who looks at the evidence. They can 
be explained away, they can be excused; but they have far-reaching 
consequences for the law. And in his role as chief law enforcement 
officer of the land, how can we say to our fellow citizens that this 
will not be 20 months of ``don't do as I do, do as I say.'' What effect 
will that have? I think it would be devastating.
  This case is the butt of a thousand jokes. This case is requiring 
parents and teachers to sit down and explain what lying is all about. 
This case is creating confusion. This case is hitting America far 
harder than America knows it has been hit. It is tempting to let the 
clock tick, but I want to suggest to you, ladies and gentlemen of the 
Senate, if you believe he is a perjurer, that he obstructed justice in 
a civil rights lawsuit, the question is not, Should he stay? It is, 
what if he stays? If you believe this President committed perjury 
before a grand jury when he was begged not to, and people in this body 
told him, ``Don't do it, because your political career is at stake,'' 
and if you believe he obstructed justice in a civil rights lawsuit, 
don't move the bar anymore. We have moved the bar for this case a 
thousand times.
  Remember how you felt when you knew you had a perjurer as a judge, 
when you knew you had somebody who had fundamentally run over the law 
that they were responsible for upholding. Remember how you felt when 
you knew that judge got so out of bounds that you could not put him 
back in court, even though it was unrelated to his court, because you 
would be doing a disservice to the citizens who would come before him. 
A judge has a duty to take care of the individuals fairly who come 
before the court. The President, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, 
has a duty to see that the law applies to everyone fairly--a higher 
duty, a higher duty in the Constitution. You could not live with 
yourself, knowing that you were going to leave a perjurer as a judge on 
the bench.
  Ladies and gentlemen, as hard as it may be, for the same reasons, 
cleanse this office. The Vice President will be waiting outside the 
doors of this Chamber. Our constitutional system is simple and it is 
genius all at the same time. If that Vice President is asked to come in 
and assume the mantle of Chief Executive Officer of the land and chief 
law enforcement officer of the land, it will be tough, it will be 
painful, but we will survive and we will be better for it.
  Thank you.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Canady.
  Mr. Manager CANADY. Mr. Chief Justice, distinguished counsel, ladies 
and gentlemen of the Senate, I am Representative Charles Canady of the 
12th District of Florida, and I rise now to conclude the argument that 
my two fellow managers have begun and to address the fundamental 
question now before the Senate: Do the offenses charged against the 
President rise to the level of ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' under 
the Constitution?
  Are these crimes--perjury before a federal grand jury and obstruction 
of justice--offenses for which the President has properly been 
impeached by the House of Representatives and for which he may now 
properly be convicted by the Senate? Or are these serious felonies 
offenses for which a Chief Executive may not constitutionally be called 
to account by either the House or the Senate?
  To properly answer these questions, it must be understood, as my 
fellow manager Mr. Buyer has argued, that perjury and obstruction of 
justice are serious offenses against the system of justice. To properly 
answer these questions, it must also be understood--as my fellow 
manager Mr. Graham has discussed--that the Senate has already 
determined that as a serious offense against the system of justice, 
perjury is proper grounds for removal from office.
  There are several additional points that I now ask you to consider as 
you deliberate on the momentous issue you must decide.
  First, I will argue that restricting the impeachment process to 
crimes involving the abuse of Presidential power is contrary to common 
sense. This is a key point in this case. The President's defense hinges 
to a large extent on his claim that the offenses charged against him do 
not involve official misconduct.
  I will then review the history and purpose of the impeachment process 
to show that its fundamental object is to maintain the supremacy of law 
against the misconduct of public officials. After reviewing the 
background of the impeachment process, I will briefly discuss the 
prevailing views on the seriousness of perjury at the time the 
Constitution was adopted, and show that perjury and obstruction of 
justice are akin to bribery in their purpose and effect.
  To conclude, I will discuss the proper role of the Senate in 
exercising the removal power--emphasizing three essential points:
  First, that the removal power is designed to preserve, protect, and 
strengthen our Constitution by setting a standard of conduct for public 
  Second, that the Senate should not establish a lower standard of 
integrity for the President than the standard it has already 
established for federal judges.
  Third, that the Senate should not allow a President who has violated 
his constitutional duty and oath of office, and made himself a 
notorious example of lawlessness to remain in office.
  The President's lawyers have argued that the ``Constitution requires 
proof of official misconduct'' for impeachment and conviction, and that 
removal from office is not proper for crimes that do not involve an 
abuse of the power of office. This view is endorsed by various 
academics who have signed a letter in support of the President. The 
Senate must now decide if this is a proper interpretation of the 
  In deciding this question you should be guided by common sense and 
good judgment. It is by no means an abstruse and mysterious matter of 
constitutional law.
  Nor is it a new question before the Senate. It has been decided in 
the recent judicial impeachments which Mr. Graham has discussed. And it 
is a question which arose 200 years ago in the course of the first 
impeachment trial conducted by the Senate.
  At that trial in January of 1799, as the Senate met in Philadelphia, 
an argument was made by counsel for the respondent, Senator Blount of 
Tennessee, that the impeachment power was properly exercised only with 
respect to ``official offenses.'' Although Senator Blount escaped 
conviction on other grounds, the response to his claim that only 
official misconduct could justify impeachment and removal remains 
noteworthy. Robert Goodloe Harper of South Carolina, one of the House 
managers--and who, incidentally, subsequently served as a Member of 
this Senate representing the State of Maryland--refuted that claim by 
asking a simple question:
  ``Suppose a Judge of the United States were to commit a theft or 
perjury; would the learned counsel say that he should not be impeached 
for it? If so, he must remain in office with all his infamy * * * .''
  Two hundred years to the month after Robert Goodloe Harper posed that 
question to the Senate, a very similar question is before the Senate 
today. Shall a President--if found guilty of perjury and obstruction of 
justice--be removed, or must he ``remain in office with all his 
  Although a judge who commits crimes may be subjected to criminal 
penalties and prevented from discharging judicial functions, he can be 
divested of his office only by impeachment and removal. The tenure of a 
President will necessarily expire with the passage of time, but most 
scholars of constitutional law agree that while he remains in office he 
is immune from the processes of the criminal law. So long as he is 
President, the only mechanism available to hold him accountable for his 
crimes is the power of impeachment and removal. Unless that power is 
exercised, no matter what crime he has committed, he must ``remain in 
office with all his infamy.''

[[Page 592]]

  The argument of the President's lawyers that no criminal act by the 
President subjects him to removal from office unless the crime involves 
the abuse of his power is an argument entailing consequences which--
upon a moment's reflection--this body should be unwilling to accept.
  Would a President guilty of murder be immune from the constitutional 
process of impeachment and removal so long as his crime involved no 
misuse of official power? Would a President guilty of sexual assault or 
child molesting remain secure in office because his crime did not 
involve an abuse of office?
  In support of their position, the President's lawyers have vigorously 
argued that a President who committed tax fraud--a felony offense not 
involving official misconduct--would not be subject to impeachment and 
removal. They erroneously cite the decision of the House Judiciary 
Committee rejecting an article of impeachment against President Nixon 
for tax fraud. The record of the House proceedings establishes that the 
tax fraud article against President Nixon was rejected due to 
insufficient evidence that he was in fact guilty of tax fraud. The 
House Judiciary Committee never determined that tax fraud by a 
President would not be grounds for impeachment.
  But, leaving aside the inaccurate characterization of the House 
Judiciary Committee's action, the claim of the President's lawyers that 
a President could commit tax fraud and remain immune from impeachment 
and removal is quite telling. It reveals a great deal about the sort of 
standard they would set for the conduct of the President of the United 
  The claim that tax fraud--a felony--does not rise to the level of a 
high crime or misdemeanor was, as you have heard, unequivocally 
rejected by the Senate in 1986 in the case of Judge Harry Claiborne, 
who was removed from office for filing false income tax returns.
  Then-Senator Albert Gore, Jr., summarized the judgment of the Senate 
that Judge Claiborne should be removed from office. The comments of 
Senator Gore bear repeating:

       It is incumbent upon the Senate to fulfill its 
     constitutional responsibility and strip this man of his 
     title. An individual who has knowingly falsified tax returns 
     has no business receiving a salary derived from the tax 
     dollars of honest citizens.

  Of course, the rationale expressed by Senator Gore for the conviction 
of Judge Claiborne for his criminal tax offenses applies with equal--if 
not greater--force to similar offenses committed by the President of 
the United States. Professor Charles Black, Jr., in his essay on the 
law of impeachment, recognized the appropriate application of these 
principles to the office of the Presidency. Professor Black said, ``A 
large-scale tax cheat is not a viable chief magistrate.''
  I would respectfully submit to the Senate that the argument of the 
President's lawyers concerning tax fraud by a President is not a viable 
  Who can seriously argue that our Constitution requires that a 
President guilty of crimes such as murder, sexual assault, or tax fraud 
remain in his office undisturbed? Who is willing to set such a standard 
for the conduct of the President of the United States? Who can in good 
conscience accept the consequences for our system of government that 
would necessarily follow? Could our Constitution possibly contemplate 
such a result? What other crimes of a President will we be told do not 
rise to the level of ``high crimes and misdemeanors?'' These are grave 
questions that must be addressed by this Senate. The President's 
defense requires that these questions be asked and answered.
  Contrary to the claims of the President's lawyers, there is not a 
bright line separating official misconduct by a President from other 
misconduct of which the President is guilty. Some offenses will involve 
the direct and affirmative misuse of governmental power. Other offenses 
may involve a more subtle use of the prestige, status and position of 
the President to further a course of wrongdoing. There are still other 
offenses in which a President may not misuse the power of his office, 
but in which he violates a duty imposed on him under the Constitution.
  Such a breach of constitutional duty--even though it does not 
constitute an affirmative misuse of governmental power--may be a very 
serious matter. It does violence to the English language to assert that 
a President who has violated a duty entrusted to him by the 
Constitution is not guilty of official misconduct. Common sense 
indicates that official misconduct has indeed occurred whenever a 
President breaches any of the duties of his office.
  As we have been reminded repeatedly, the Constitution imposes on the 
President the duty to ``take care that the laws be faithfully 
executed.'' The charges against the President involve multiple 
violations of that duty. A President who commits a calculated and 
sustained series of criminal offenses has--by his personal violations 
of the law--failed in the most immediate, direct, and culpable manner 
to do his duty under the Constitution.
  In their defense of the President, his lawyers in essence contend 
that a President may be removed for misusing governmental power, but 
not for corruptly interfering with the proper exercise of governmental 
power. This argument exalts form over substance. It unduly focuses on 
the manner in which wrongdoing is carried out and neglects to consider 
the actual impact of that wrongdoing on our system of government. 
Whether the President misuses the power vested in him as President or 
wrongfully interferes with the proper exercise of the power vested in 
other parts of the government, the result is the same: the due 
functioning of our system of government is in some respect hindered or 
  There is no principled basis for contending that a President who 
interferes with the proper exercise of governmental power--as he 
clearly does when he commits perjury and obstruction of justice--is 
constitutionally less blameworthy than a President who misuses the 
power of his office. A President who lies to a federal grand jury in 
order to impede the investigation of crimes is no less culpable than a 
President who wrongfully orders a prosecutor to suspend an 
investigation of crimes that have been committed. The purpose and 
effect of the personal perjury and of the wrongful official command are 
the same: the laws of the United States are not properly enforced.
  Although neither the Senate nor the House has ever adopted a fixed 
definition of ``high crimes and misdemeanors,'' there is much in the 
background and history of the impeachment process that contradicts the 
narrow view of the removal power advanced by the President's lawyers.
  There is no convincing evidence that those who framed and ratified 
our Constitution intended to limit the impeachment and removal power to 
acts involving the abuse of official power.
  The key phrase defining the offenses for which the President, Vice 
President and other civil officers of the United States may be 
removed--``treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors''--
simply does not limit the removal power in the way suggested by the 
President's lawyers.
  The truth is as we have heard already today, that treason and bribery 
may be committed by an official who does not abuse the power of his 
office in the commission of the offense. A President might, for 
example, pay a bribe to a judge presiding over a case to which the 
President is an individual party. Or a judge might commit an act of 
treason without exercising any of the powers of his office in doing so. 
By the express terms of the Constitution those offenses would be 
impeachable. And there is no reason to impose a restriction on the 
scope of ``other high crimes and misdemeanors'' that is not imposed on 
treason and bribery.
  Although having a means for the removal of officials guilty of 
abusing their power was no doubt very much in the minds of the framers, 
the purpose of the removal power was not restricted to that object.
  To properly understand the purpose impeachment process under our 
Constitution, consideration must be given

[[Page 593]]

to use of impeachment by the English Parliament. Impeachment in the 
English system did not require an indictable crime, but the proceeding 
was nevertheless of a criminal nature: punishment upon conviction could 
extend to imprisonment and even death. It was a mechanism used by the 
Parliament to check absolutism and to establish the supremacy of the 
Parliament. Through impeachment, Parliament acted to curb the abuses of 
exalted persons who would otherwise have free reign. Impeachment was 
used by the Parliament to punish a wide range of offenses: 
misapplication of funds; abuse of official power; neglect of duty; 
corruption; encroachment on the prerogatives of the Parliament; and 
giving harmful advice to the Crown. In the English practice, ``high 
crimes and misdemeanors'' included all of these.
  During the impeachment of Lord Chancellor Macclesfield in 1725, 
Serjeant Pengelly summed up the purpose of impeachment. It was, he 
said, for the ``punishment of offenses of a public nature which may 
affect the nation.'' He went on to say that impeachment was also for 
use in ``instances where the inferior courts have no power to punish 
the crimes committed by ordinary rules of justice . . . or in cases . . 
. where the person offending is by his degree raised above the 
apprehension of danger from a prosecution carried on in the usual 
course of justice; and whose exalted station requires the united 
accusation of all the Commons.''
  In the case of Warren Hastings--which was proceeding at the time the 
Constitution was framed--Edmund Burke described the impeachment process 
as ``. . . a grave and important proceeding essential to the 
establishment of the national character for justice and equity.''
  As the British legal historian Holdsworth has written, the 
impeachment process was a mechanism in service of the ``ideal . . . 
[of] government in accordance with law.'' It was a means by which ``the 
greatest ministers of state could be made responsible, like humble 
officials, to the law.'' According to Holdsworth:
  ``. . . [T]he greatest services rendered by this procedure to the 
cause of constitutional government have been, firstly, the 
establishment of the doctrine of ministerial responsibility to the law, 
secondly, its application to all ministers of the crown, and thirdly 
and consequently the maintenance of the supremacy of the law over 
  Thus the fundamental purpose of the impeachment process in England 
was ``the maintenance of the supremacy of the law over all.'' Those who 
were impeached and called to account for ``high crimes and 
misdemeanors'' were those who by their conduct threatened to undermine 
the rule of law.
  This English understanding of the purpose of impeachment serves as a 
backdrop for the work of the Framers of our Constitution. Despite some 
important differences in the functioning of impeachment in England and 
the United States, the fundamental purpose of impeachment remained the 
same: defending the rule of law.
  The records of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention also 
shed light on the meaning of ``high crimes and misdemeanors,'' and the 
underlying purpose of the impeachment mechanism. The primary focus of 
the relevant discussions at the Convention was on the need for some 
means of removing the President. Early in the proceedings with respect 
to impeachment, the Committee of the Whole agreed to make the President 
removable ``on impeachment and conviction of malpractice or neglect of 
duty,'' although concerns were expressed that impeachment would give 
the legislative branch undue control over the executive, and violate 
the separation of powers.
  In the course of the proceedings, James Madison stated that ``some 
provision was needed to defend the community against the President if 
he became corrupt, incapacitated, or perverted his administration into 
a scheme of peculation or oppression.''
  Arguing for a means of removing the President, George Mason said, 
``No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment 
should be continued. Shall any man be above Justice? Above all shall 
that man be above it, who can commit the most extensive injustice?''
  Before the Convention settled on the language that was ultimately 
adopted, a proposal was considered that would have limited impeachable 
offenses to treason and bribery. An effort was made to broaden this 
proposal by including ``maladministration'' as an impeachable offense. 
Madison objected. He objected that the inclusion of a term as ``vague'' 
as maladministration would result in the President having tenure during 
the pleasure of the Senate. As a compromise, the term 
``maladministration'' was dropped and ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' 
was substituted. From this course of proceedings it can reasonably be 
concluded that poor administration--at least if it does not involve 
corrupt motives--is not a sufficient ground for impeachment.
  In the debate concerning the Constitution in the various state 
ratification conventions, the grounds for impeachment were with some 
frequency said to include abuse or betrayal of trust and abuse of 
power. ``Making a bad treaty'' was also frequently mentioned as 
justifying impeachment. At the Virginia Convention, Governor Randolph 
spoke of ``misbehavior'' and ``dishonesty,'' and James Madison gave two 
examples of impeachable conduct: pardoning a criminal with whom the 
President was in collusion, and summoning only a few Senators to 
approve a treaty.
  One of the most extensive recorded discussions of impeachment 
occurred at the North Carolina ratification convention in remarks made 
by James Iredell. Iredell, who later served as a Justice of the Supreme 
Court, spoke of the supremacy of the law under the system of government 
proposed by the Constitution. He said:

       No man has an authority to injure another with impunity. No 
     man is better than his fellow-citizens, nor can pretend to 
     any superiority over the meanest man in the country. If the 
     President does a single act, by which the people are 
     prejudiced, he is punishable himself. . . . If he commits any 
     misdemeanor in office, he is impeachable . . .

  Iredell also expressed the view that impeachment may be used only in 
cases where there is some corrupt motive. He said:

       . . . [W]hen any man is impeached, it must be for an error 
     of the heart, and not of the head. . . . Whatever mistake a 
     man may make, he ought not to be punished for it, nor his 
     posterity rendered infamous. But if a man be a villain, and 
     wilfully abuse his trust, he is to be held up as a public 
     offender, and ignominiously punished. . . . According to 
     these principles, I suppose the only instances in which the 
     President would be liable to impeachment, would be where he 
     had received a bribe, or acted from some corrupt motive or 

  Iredell's comments buttress the view that impeachment is not to be 
used as a political weapon to resolve differences of policy between the 
legislative branch and the executive branch. Impeachment is not an 
appropriate remedy for errors--even serious errors--in the 
administration of government.
  To justify impeachment, there must be ``some corrupt motive,'' a 
willful ``abuse of trust,'' an ``error of the heart.'' You will note 
there is nothing in Iredell's comments to suggest that a President who 
engaged in a corrupt course of conduct by obstructing justice and 
committing perjury would be immune from impeachment and removal.
  Another major discussion of impeachment during the debate over 
ratification occurs in the Federalist number 65, to which reference has 
already been made in those proceedings, where Alexander Hamilton 
describes the impeachment process as ``a method of national inquest 
into the conduct of public men'' and discusses the powers of the Senate 
``in their judicial character as a court for the trial of 
  Now, before I discuss his views of impeachment, I would like to say a 
word in defense of Alexander Hamilton--who is a widely acknowledged 
champion of our Constitution, widely acknowledged as one of the most 
eloquent expositors and defenders of the Constitution. Unfortunately, 
the reputation of Hamilton has in recent days been traduced. It is 
unjust to the memory of this great

[[Page 594]]

man to compare his personal sins with the crimes of President Clinton. 
When Hamilton was questioned about his affair he told the truth. He 
took responsibility for his conduct. There is no evidence that he ever 
engaged in acts of corruption. He never lied under oath. He never 
obstructed justice. Notwithstanding the efforts of his lawyers, 
President Clinton by no means benefits from a comparison with Hamilton.
  In the Federalist Hamilton writes of the Senate:

       The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which 
     proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words 
     from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of 
     a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated 
     political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done 
     immediately to the society itself.

  Hamilton recognized that the focus of the impeachment power is on the 
``misconduct of public men'' or the ``abuse or violation of some public 
trust.'' Impeachment is a remedy against officials for ``injuries done 
. . . to the society itself.''
  Despite the claims of the President's lawyers, the comments of 
Hamilton do not support the view that a President can be impeached and 
removed only for an abuse of power. The ``misconduct of public men,'' 
and ``the abuse or violation of some public trust'' to which Hamilton 
refers are not restricted to offenses involving the misuse of official 
power. The ``misconduct of public men'' encompasses a whole range of 
wrongful deeds committed by those who hold office when those offenses 
are committed. The ``public trust'' is violated whenever a public 
officer breaches any duty he has to the public. ``Injuries done . . . 
to the society itself'' similarly may occur as the result of misconduct 
that does not involve the misuse of the powers of office.
  Now, I would submit to the Senate that the English precedents, the 
records of the Constitutional Convention debates, and the general 
principles set forth by Hamilton, Iredell, and others in the debate 
over ratification do not provide a definitive list of high crimes and 
misdemeanors. But they do provide broad guidance concerning the scope 
of the impeachment power. The theme running through all these 
background sources is that the impeachment process is designed to 
provide a remedy for the corrupt and lawless acts of public officials.
  Not surprisingly, those who have been on the receiving end of 
impeachment proceedings have been quick to argue for a restrictive 
meaning of ``high crimes and misdemeanors.'' President Clinton's 
lawyers follow in that well-established tradition.
  They attempt to minimize the significance of the charges of perjury 
and obstruction of justice against the President. In essence, they 
argue that treason and bribery are the prototypical high crimes and 
misdemeanors, and that the crimes charged against the President are 
insufficiently similar in both their nature and seriousness to treason 
and bribery.
  But, as the comments of my fellow manager, Mr. Buyer, have made 
clear, the crimes set forth in the articles of impeachment are indeed 
serious offenses against our system of justice. They were certainly 
viewed as serious offenses by those who drafted and ratified the 
  As Mr. Buyer has mentioned, in his discussion of ``offenses against 
the public justice,'' Sir William Blackstone--whose work James Madison 
said was in ``every man's hand'' during the creation of the 
Constitution--listed the offenses of perjury and bribery side-by-side, 
immediately after he listed treason. In 1790, the First Congress 
adopted a statute entitled ``An Act for the punishment of certain 
crimes against the United States'' making perjury a crime punishable as 
a felony. Nothing could be clearer: perjury is a crime against the 
United States; it is not a private matter.
  As Mr. Chabot noted yesterday, John Jay, the first Chief Justice of 
the United States, said that ``there is no crime more extensively 
pernicious to Society'' than perjury. According to Jay, perjury 
``discolors and poisons the Streams of Justice, and by substituting 
Falsehood for Truth, saps the Foundations of personal and public 
Rights. . . . [I]f oaths should cease to be held sacred, our dearest 
and most valuable Rights would become insecure.'' Given this 
understanding that was current at the time the Constitution was 
adopted, it is impossible to support the conclusion that perjury and 
the related offense of obstruction of justice are somehow trivial 
offenses that do not rise to the same level as the offense of bribery 
which is enumerated in the Constitution.
  Moreover, perjury and obstruction of justice are by their very nature 
akin to bribery. When the crime of bribery is committed, money is given 
and received to corruptly alter the course of official action. When 
justice is obstructed, action is undertaken to corruptly thwart the due 
administration of justice. When perjury occurs, false testimony is 
given in order to deceive judges and juries and to prevent the just 
determination of causes pending in the courts. The fundamental purpose 
and the fundamental effect of each of these offenses--perjury, 
obstruction of justice and bribery alike--is to defeat the proper 
administration of government. They all are crimes of corruption aimed 
at substituting private advantage for the public interest. They all 
undermine the integrity of the functions of government.
  The use of the impeachment process against misconduct which 
undermines the integrity of government is a central focus of two 
reports prepared in 1974 on the background and history of impeachment, 
and I would humbly bring these reports to your attention. I commend 
them to you for your consideration. One of the reports was prepared by 
the staff of the Nixon impeachment inquiry. The other was produced by 
the Bar of the City of New York. Both of these reports have gained 
bipartisan respect over the last 25 years for their balanced and 
judicious approach. They provide a well-informed analysis of the key 
issues related to impeachments. In doing so they stand in stark 
contrast to the recent pronouncements by some academics which 
substitute political opinion for scholarly analysis.
  A review of these two important documents from 1974 supports the 
conclusion that the articles before the Senate set forth compelling 
grounds for the conviction and removal 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 and removal set forth in 
that report indicate that perjury and obstruction of justice are high 
crimes and misdemeanors.
  Consider this key language from the staff report describing the type 
of conduct which gives rise to the proper use of the impeachment and 
removal power:
  In the report, they said:

       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.

  The report goes on to state:

       Because impeachment of a President is a grave step for the 
     nation, it is to be predicated only upon conduct seriously 
     incompatible with either the constitutional form and 
     principles of our government or the proper performance of 
     constitutional duties of the presidential office.

  Perjury and obstruction of justice, I submit to you, clearly 
``undermine the integrity of office.'' I ask you, if these offenses do 
not undermine the integrity of office, what offenses would?
  Their unavoidable consequence is to erode respect for the office of 
the President and to interfere with the integrity of the administration 
of justice. Such offenses are ``seriously incompatible'' with the 
President's ``constitutional duties and oath of office,'' and with the 
principles of our government establishing the rule of law.

[[Page 595]]

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. Perjury has the same purpose 
and effect.
  The second report, to which I have referred, 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 government. The report summarizes the proper basis for 
impeachment and removal in this way. It says:

       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 acts 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.

  Perjury and obstruction of justice--serious felony offenses against 
the United States--by a President are acts of corruption 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 are ``high crimes and 
misdemeanors'' because they inevitably subvert the respect for law 
which is essential to the well-being of our constitutional system.
  A similar point is made by a contemporary commentator who has argued:

       . . . [T]here are certain statutory crimes that, if 
     committed by public officials, reflect such lapses of 
     judgment, such disregard for the welfare of the state, and 
     such lack of respect for the law and the office held that the 
     occupants may be impeached and removed, for lacking the 
     minimal level of integrity and judgment sufficient to 
     discharge the responsibilities of office.

  Such a lack of the minimal level of integrity necessary for the 
proper discharge of the duties of the Presidency is evidenced by the 
commission of the statutory crimes of perjury and obstruction of 
  Contrary to the claim that has been made by some, the issue before 
the Senate is not whether the offenses of this President will destroy 
our Constitution. We all know that our system of government will not 
come tumbling down because of the corrupt conduct of William Jefferson 
Clinton. Our Republic will survive the crimes of this President. No one 
doubts that. Of course, the same could be said of all the other federal 
officials who have been impeached and removed from office. And the same 
might be said of the crimes--serious as they were--of President Richard 
  But the removal power is not restricted to offenses that would 
directly destroy our Constitution or system of government. The removal 
power is not so limited that it can be brought into play only when the 
immediate destruction of our institutions is threatened.
  On the contrary, the removal power should be understood as a positive 
grant of authority to the Senate to preserve, protect and strengthen 
our constitutional system against the misconduct of federal officials 
when that misconduct would subvert, undermine, or weaken the 
institutions of our government. It is a power that has the positive 
purpose of maintaining the health and well-being of our system of 
  This power--the awesome power of removal vested in the Senate--
carries with it an awesome responsibility. This power imposes on the 
Senate the responsibility to exercise its judgment in establishing the 
standards of conduct that are necessary to preserve, protect, and 
strengthen the Constitution which has served the people of the United 
States so well for more than two centuries.
  Thus, the crucial issue before the Senate is what standard will be 
set for the conduct of the President of the United States. In this 
case, the Senate necessarily will establish such a standard. And make 
no mistake about it: the choice the Senate makes in this case will have 
consequences reverberating far into the future of our Republic. Will a 
President who has committed serious offenses against the system of 
justice be called to account for his crimes, or will his offenses be 
regarded as of no constitutional consequence? Will a standard be 
established that such crimes by a President will not be tolerated, or 
will the standard be that--at least in some cases--a President may 
``remain in office with all his infamy'' after lying under oath and 
obstructing justice?
  Regardless of the choice the Senate makes--whether it acquits or 
convicts the President--a standard will be established, and that 
standard will become an important part of our constitutional law of 
this Nation. The institutions of our Government will either be 
strengthened or weakened as a result. And if the Senate acquits this 
President, the conduct of future Presidents will inevitably be affected 
in ways that we cannot now confidently predict.
  I would now like to take a very few minutes to examine some of the 
other specific arguments that have been made that this is not a proper 
case for use of the removal power.
  Some have suggested that in setting a standard in this case the 
Senate should be guided by the popularity of the President. It is urged 
that a popular President--regardless of the offenses he may have 
committed--should not be removed from office. Such a view finds no 
support however, in our Constitution. On the contrary, the framers 
understood that a popular President might be guilty of crimes requiring 
his removal from office.
  That is why they included the power of impeachment and removal in the 
Constitution. And that, no doubt, is why they specifically provided 
that an impeached official who was convicted and removed might also be 
perpetually disqualified ``to hold and enjoy any office of honor, 
trust, or profit under the United States.''
  The potential threat posed to our institutions by Presidential 
misconduct would, in fact, be heightened by the popularity of the 
offending President. The harmful influence and example of a popular 
President would pose a far greater danger to the well-being of our 
Government than the influence and example of an unpopular President.
  Moreover, the very framework of our Constitution establishing a 
representative democracy is at odds with the notion that the 
institutions of our Government should respond mechanically to the 
changing tides of public opinion. The Senate, in particular, was 
designed to act on the basis of the long-term best interests of the 
Nation rather than short-term political considerations.
  When he was tried by the Senate 130 years ago, President Andrew 
Johnson was overwhelmingly unpopular. If the Senate had used 
Presidential popularity as a guide in the Johnson case, there is no 
doubt that he would have been convicted and removed from office. Yet 
today there is widespread agreement that such action by the Senate 
would have been an abuse of the constitutional process, and those who 
refused to use Presidential popularity as their guide are hailed as 
great statesmen and heroes. Those Senators who then stood against the 
tide of public sentiment today are revered as champions of 
constitutional government.
  A popular President guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors should no 
more remain in office than an unpopular President innocent of 
wrongdoing should be removed from office. Under the standards of the 
Constitution, popularity is not a sufficient guide.
  Nor should the Senate be swayed by the claims that setting a standard 
adverse to this President will weaken the institution of the 
Presidency. Describing the role of impeachment under our Constitution, 
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.--who I will candidly admit takes a different 
view of the matter today--wisely observed that:

       The genius of impeachment lay in the fact that it could 
     punish the man without punishing the office. For, in the 
     Presidency as

[[Page 596]]

     elsewhere, power was ambiguous: the power to do good meant 
     also the power to do harm, the power to serve the republic 
     also the power to demean and defile it.

  Rather than weakening the Presidency, the removal from office of a 
President who has violated his constitutional duty and oath of office 
will reestablish the integrity of the Presidency. Setting a standard 
against the acts of perjury and obstruction of justice committed by 
President Clinton will reaffirm the dignity and the honor of the office 
of Chief Executive under our Constitution. That will strengthen--not 
weaken--the institution of the Presidency.
  It has even been argued that the impeachment and removal of President 
Clinton would result in the virtual alteration of our system of 
government. It is contended that following the constitutional process 
in this case would move us toward a transformation of our Constitution: 
a quasi-parliamentary system, with the President serving at the 
pleasure of the legislative branch, would replace the framework based 
on the separation of powers.
  I am, frankly, reluctant to dignify this argument by responding to 
it. President Nixon was driven from office for his crimes under threat 
of impeachment and removal. The disruption of the framework of our 
Government did not ensue. President Clinton may be removed from office 
for his crimes. The constitutional system will remain sound.
  Who has so little confidence in the durability of the institutions of 
our Government that he would allow a President guilty of perjury and 
obstruction of justice to remain in office simply on the basis of a 
fanciful and irrational fear of the supposed consequences of his 
  The Constitution contains wise safeguards against the misuse of the 
impeachment and removal power. As a practical matter, as we all know, 
the requirement of a two-thirds vote for conviction virtually ensures 
that a President will only be removed when a compelling case for 
removal has been made. And the periodic accountability to the people of 
Members of both the House and the Senate serves as a check on the 
improvident use of the impeachment power for unworthy or insubstantial 
reasons. Those who would abuse the power of impeachment and removal 
will be deterred by the certain knowledge that they ultimately must 
answer to the people.
  But, of course, the ultimate safeguard against the abuse of this 
power is in the sober deliberation and sound judgment of the Senate 
itself. The framers of the Constitution vested the removal power and 
responsibility in the Senate because, as Hamilton observed, they 
``thought the Senate the most fit depositary of this important trust.'' 
The Senate was, in the view of the framers, uniquely qualified to 
exercise the ``awful discretion, which a court of impeachment must 
necessarily have.'' As Hamilton explained:

       Where else, than in the Senate could have been found a 
     tribunal sufficiently dignified, or sufficiently independent? 
     What other body would be likely to feel confidence enough in 
     its own situation, to preserve unawed and uninfluenced the 
     necessary impartiality between an individual accused, and the 
     representatives of the people, his accusers.

  Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, this is the great trust which the 
Constitution has reposed in you. It is a trust you exercise not only 
for those who elected you but for all other Americans, including 
generations yet unborn.
  As you carry out this trust, we do not suggest that you hold this 
President or any President to a standard of perfection. We do not 
assert that this President or any President be called to account before 
the Senate for his personal failings or his sins. We will leave the 
President's sins to his family and to God. Nor do we suggest that this 
President or any President should be removed from office for offenses 
that are not serious and grave.
  But we do submit that when this President, or any President, has 
committed serious offenses against the system of justice--offenses 
involving the stubborn and calculated choice to place personal interest 
ahead of the public interest--he must not be allowed to act with 
  Mr. Manager Graham has reviewed the recent precedents of the Senate, 
establishing that offenses such as those committed by this President 
are grounds for removal from office. Those precedents, which were set 
in the impeachment trials of Federal judges, are rejected as totally 
irrelevant by the President's lawyers. They urge that a lower standard 
of integrity be established in this case for the President of the 
United States than the standard which the Senate has already 
established for Federal judges.
  But the Constitution contains a single standard for the exercise of 
the impeachment and removal power. You have heard it before, but I will 
repeat. Article II, section 4, provides:

       The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the 
     United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment 
     for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high 
     Crimes and Misdemeanors.

  And there is nothing in the Constitution suggesting that criminal 
offenses which constitute high crimes and misdemeanors if committed by 
one Federal official will not be high crimes and misdemeanors if 
committed by another Federal official. There is nothing in the 
Constitution to suggest that the President should be especially 
insulated from the just consequences of his criminal conduct.
  Justice Joseph Story warned long ago against countenancing ``so 
absolute a despotism of opinion and practice, which might make that a 
crime at one time, or in one person, which would be deemed innocent at 
another time, or in another person.''
  The Senate should heed the warning of Justice Story and refuse to 
arbitrarily establish a different standard for judging William 
Jefferson Clinton than the standard it has imposed already on others 
brought before the bar of the Senate sitting as a Court of Impeachment.
  The Senate has never accepted the view that a separate standard 
applies to the impeachment and removal of Federal judges. Indeed, the 
Senate has specifically rejected attempts to establish such a separate 
standard for judicial officers. Every judge who has been impeached and 
removed from office has been found guilty of treason, bribery, or other 
high crimes and misdemeanors.
  Contrary to the argument advanced by some, the constitutional 
provision that judges ``shall hold their offices during good 
Behaviour'' does not establish any authority to remove a judge for 
misconduct other than for those offenses involving treason, bribery, or 
other high crimes and misdemeanors. Rather than establishing a standard 
for removal, the ``good behavior'' clause simply provides for life 
tenure for all article III judges. To accept the ``good behavior'' 
clause, I would caution you to accept it as a separate basis for the 
removal of Federal judges would pose a serious threat to the 
independence of the judiciary under our Constitution.
  Members of the Senate, the integrity of the administration of justice 
depends not only on the integrity of judges, but also on the integrity 
of the President. A President who has committed perjury and obstruction 
of justice is hardly fit to oversee the enforcement of the laws of the 
United States. As Professor Jonathan Turley has pointed out:

       As Chief Executive the President stands as the ultimate 
     authority over the Justice Department and the 
     Administration's enforcement policies. It is unclear how 
     prosecutors can legitimately threaten, let alone prosecute, 
     citizens who have committed perjury or obstruction of justice 
     under circumstances nearly identical to the President's. Such 
     inherent conflict will be even greater in the military cases 
     and the President's role as Commander-in-Chief.

  It would indeed be anomalous for the Senate to now hold the President 
of the United States to a lower standard of integrity than the standard 
applied to members of the judiciary. There is no sensible 
constitutional rationale for such a lower standard.
  Who could successfully defend the view that in the framework 
established by our Constitution the integrity of the Chief Executive is 
of less importance than the integrity of any one of the hundreds of 
federal judicial officers? It is the President who appoints

[[Page 597]]

Justices of the Supreme Court and all other federal judges. It is the 
President who appoints the Attorney General. It is the President who 
appoints the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is the 
President who has the unreviewable power to grant pardons.
  The power of the President far surpasses the power of any other 
individual under our Constitution. The authority and discretion vested 
in him under the Constitution and laws is great and wide-ranging. The 
requirement that he act with integrity and that he be a person of 
integrity is essential to the integrity of our system of government.
  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, the foundation of our 
Constitution is not secure. 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. . . .''
  Early in this century, Justice Brandeis spoke of the harm to our 
system of government which occurs when officials of the government act 
in a lawless manner. Justice Brandeis said:

       Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government 
     officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct 
     that are commands to the citizens. In a government of laws, 
     existence of the government will be imperilled if it fails to 
     observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, 
     the omnipresent teacher. For good or 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 

  To conclude, I would observe in the case before it now, the Senate 
must decide if William Jefferson Clinton as President will be 
``subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the 
citizens.'' It is no answer that he may one day after leaving office 
perhaps be called to account in a criminal court proceeding somewhere. 
Justice delayed is justice denied. Because he has taken and violated 
the oath as President, William Jefferson Clinton is answerable for his 
crimes to the Senate here and now.
  Will he as President be vindicated by the Senate in the face of 
crimes for which other citizens are adjudicated felons and sent to 
prison? Or will this Senate acting in accordance with the provisions of 
the Constitution bring him as President into submission to the commands 
of the law? Will the Senate give force to the constitutional provision 
for impeachment and removal which Justice Story said ``compels the 
chief magistrate, as well as the humblest citizen, to bend to the 
majesty of the laws''?
  ``For good or ill'' William Jefferson Clinton ``teaches the whole 
people by [his] example'' as President. The President is not only the 
head of government but also the head of State. As President he has a 
unique ability to command the attention of the whole nation. In his 
words and his deeds he represents the American people and the system of 
government in a way that no other American can. Great honor and respect 
accrue to him by virtue of the high office he holds. The influence of 
his example is far-reaching and profound.
  By his conduct President William Jefferson Clinton has set an example 
the Senate cannot ignore. By his example he has set a dangerous and 
subversive standard of conduct. His calculated and stubbornly 
persistent misconduct while serving as President of the United States 
he 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 administration of justice.
  Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, I humbly submit to you that his 
harmful example as President must not stand. The maintenance in office 
of a President guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice is 
inconsistent with the maintenance of the rule of law.
  In light of the historic purpose of impeachment, the offenses charged 
against the President demand that the Senate convict and remove him. He 
must not ``remain in office with all his infamy.'' Our Constitution 
requires that this President who has shown such disrespect for the 
truth, such disrespect for the law, and such disrespect for the dignity 
of his high office be brought to justice for his high crimes and 
  Thank you.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.


  Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, if there is no objection, I ask 
unanimous consent that the court of impeachment proceedings stand in 
recess for one hour. We will return at 2:10 p.m.
  There being no objection, at 1:08 p.m., the Senate recessed until 
2:11 p.m.; whereupon, the Senate reassembled when called to order by 
the Chief Justice.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I believe we are ready to proceed now 
with the next manager. I believe it is Mr. Manager Gekas.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Gekas.
  Mr. Manager GEKAS. Mr. Chief Justice, the President's counsel, 
Members of the House who form our group of managers, and Members of the 
Senate, we bring you to what now may be the culmination of the work and 
effort of the managers and of the House of Representatives for, and 
what is fast closing in to be, your final consideration. And that is 
true--the moment of truth is fast approaching.
  That moment of truth will swoop down on you at some point in the near 
future, at which time the millions of words that have been spoken thus 
far, the thousands of pages of documents, hundreds of exhibits, and 
dozens of individuals who have been involved in the preparation, 
annotation, and accumulation of all the data and evidence--all of that 
will be funneled into that last moment you will have right before you 
cast that final vote. That is an awesome moment in the history of this 
Chamber, in the personal history of your own careers in public service, 
and of your own life, as well, your personal life, your surroundings, 
your family, all that means anything and everything to you. That moment 
of truth encompasses all of that in one fell swoop at that final time 
that is upon us.
  We would not have even had to contemplate this, nor would you have 
had to, if very early on in the factual situation that arose in this 
case President Clinton had faced his moment of truth. As I pointed out 
yesterday, that first moment of truth that faced the President in the 
legal proceedings that were to engulf him at a later point was his 
answers, the answers that affixed to that first set of interrogatories 
under oath. The moment of truth was staring him right in the face, and 
if he would have acknowledged it at that moment, had paid faith and 
allegiance to that moment, we would not be arguing here today, nor 
would we have even heard of a possible impeachment inquiry. But the 
President chose to sweep away that moment of truth that was at hand and 
proceeded down the course that has led us to this moment.
  In the words of our colleagues who made magnificent presentations of 
the facts and law to you, the words ``truth'' and ``fairness'' were 
some of the strongest and most profound that we heard in various 
degrees in touching upon various subjects that were important to our 
presentation. When I heard my colleagues emphasize those words, it 
dawned on me that the element of fairness is something which I submit 
to you and certify to you that these managers, the members of the 
committee who prepared this case, exalted in making certain would apply 
to their endeavors and to all that we would present to you--fairness.
  When the record of the independent counsel, the referral, reached our 
doorsteps back in September of 1997 and we

[[Page 598]]

first read the details and allegations contained therein, we did not, 
as some people began to accuse and to orate, adopt 100 percent of what 
the independent counsel said were the allegations and accept them as 
fact, and then move on and skip from September to this moment, not 
having used our intellect, our sympathies, our sense of right, our 
sense of wrong, our sense of fairness, our elements of truth, our 
experience, our own intellect, and our own consciences. We didn't set 
all of those aside and take the referral of Kenneth Starr and make that 
the final moment that precedes your moment of truth. Everyone should 
know that. But it is not recognized. We have been pilloried many times 
over the course of these proceedings on the notion that we simply 
adopted that referral and walked with it into the Senate Chamber.
  One thing has to be said right at the outset. When I saw one 
allegation of the independent counsel that was encompassed around the 
question of executive privilege, an allegation that the assertion by 
President Clinton of executive privilege in the context of all that had 
transpired in this case constituted an abuse of power, I must tell you 
that that hit me right between the eyes. I could not, by even just 
reading it, accept it at face value. From that moment until this, I had 
serious, grave doubts that we should embark upon a course in which we 
would somehow denigrate the issue and privilege known as ``executive 
  As I worried about this and as I moved on through the process, trying 
to do my duty, along with everyone else, there came a time in the 
deliberations of our committee, our managers group, that we felt--and 
we acted on that feeling--that executive privilege is something that is 
owed to the President, and that we cannot fairly strip that away from 
him or in any way diminish the power and the usability of executive 
privilege. We felt that that was a trapping and a power of the 
Executive, of the President of the United States, which, no matter how 
it is exerted, or thereafter possibly set aside by the court, which is 
always a possibility, and history has shown that it has occurred.
  Nevertheless, the exertion of it, the assertion of it, the use of it, 
the feel for it that the President of the United States must have and 
should have in the first instance, to assert it, should not be a part 
of our criticism, our projection of this case.
  We felt pretty strongly about it, and we took action on that front by 
deciding among ourselves that one of the proposed articles--and that 
was bound to reach you if we had not acted as we did--we decided that 
we were going to remove that from the allegations in any of the 
articles of impeachment and not refer to it, except in the context in 
which I am referring to it, which is reporting to you what happened 
with that particular issue.
  We did that in the face of the knowledge that in all our readings, in 
all our literature, we noted that when President Nixon attempted to use 
executive privilege, it was soundly criticized, and part of the 
impeachment process carried his alleged abuse of executive privilege as 
one of the tenets of that proceeding. And the report shows executive 
privilege as being ill-used by President Nixon.
  But here is the point. The managers and I and every Member of the 
Senate, every individual who is with us here today reveres the office 
of the Presidency. We respect the office of the Presidency. The 
Presidency is we. The Presidency is America. The Presidency is the 
banner under which we all work and live and strive in this Nation. We 
revere the Presidency. Any innuendo, or any kind of impulse that anyone 
has to attribute any kind of motivation on the part of these men of 
honor who have prepared this case for you today on any whim on their 
part other than to do their constitutional duty should be rebuffed at 
every conversation, at every meeting, at every writing that will 
ultimately flow from the proceedings that we have embarked upon. We 
revere the Presidency. As a matter of fact, when next week we face the 
prospect of the President of the United States entering the House of 
Representatives to deliver his State of the Union message, we will 
greet the President. We will accord him the respect for the office 
which he holds. He is our President. He occupies the Presidency. And we 
will honor that. And so should we all.
  But we are capable of and must, in the face of the solemn duty that 
we have, compartmentalize in the purest sense in greeting the President 
and applauding his entrance into the State of the Union message. As we 
will accord him that privilege, we do not set aside the impeachment 
inquiry. We do not set aside the serious charges that are hoisted 
against him at that juncture, because we will resume the consideration 
of them in due course. But in the meantime, we compartmentalize 
ourselves as Americans recognizing that he holds the most powerful, 
most respected, and most admired office on the face of the globe. That 
is part of our duty, as it is our duty to impart our knowledge and our 
work, our theories, and our analysis to the impeachment proceedings 
which are at hand.
  ``These are times that try men's souls,'' someone said. It was not my 
mother. And it is true. But anyone who can feel that the final votes 
that will take place on the part of each individual Member of the 
Senate, that a vote for conviction is based on a distaste for Bill 
Clinton, hatred of Bill Clinton--that kind of vote for conviction 
should never be recognized or countenanced, and history will condemn 
any individual who does that. And if the votes at the last moment, at 
this moment of truth, are based on an admiration of President Clinton, 
of friendship with President Clinton, a deep tie to and with the 
President, on family and community and national matters, a vote of 
acquittal should not be based on that. But only the Senate and each 
individual conscience will determine how that final vote is cast.
  We cannot account for the friendship or enmity that might exist with 
and for President Clinton. All we can do is to do the job that was 
thrust upon us, that was placed in our hands by a statute that this 
Congress created--that independent counsel statute. The Congress said 
that we had to listen to the referral, to accept the referral. The 
Congress said that we must look towards whatever recommendations might 
be contained in that. It was the Congress, our Congress--many of you 
who voted for that statute--which mandated that we consider all of 
this. We did not simply walk around one day and seize upon a moment of 
deep thought and say let's impeach the President; let's find something 
upon which we can base a full 6 months inquiry into the President's 
actions in front of a court.
  This was a duty, much as it is your duty to stay here and listen to 
what I am saying. The duty that I have of presenting it to you and 
speaking to you is born of the same statute and of the same process and 
of the same constitutional background that we all share.
  So it worries me and us that any awkward motivation would be 
attributed to any one of us or collectively to us. And once you render 
your vote, I am not going to question whether it was done out of blind 
loyalty or enmity or friendship with the President, or enmity with the 
President; I am going to judge it as an American citizen, a Member of 
the House of Representatives, a Member of Congress, an interested 
community leader, and, last but not least, as a pure American citizen 
eager to do one's duty.
  As the moment of truth approaches, there is only one speaker left for 
us in the Senate Chamber here to contemplate, and that is the summation 
to be given by the esteemed chairman of our committee. You should know, 
as we all feel, that the most stringent duty that he ever performed, 
the gentleman from Illinois, was to manage the managers. But he did 
that just as well and as profoundly as he has approached every single 
facet of this case. For as he sums up, know for a certainty that he 
brings to the podium our collective thoughts, our collective emotions, 
our passions for our work and our duty, and with an eye towards serving 
you, as we serve our constituents, as we serve the Congress, as we

[[Page 599]]

serve America. We are 20 minutes closer now to that moment of truth. 
Keep in mind your own histories, the history of your relationship with 
your colleagues in the Congress, and above all, the duty to the United 
  Mr. Hyde.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes Mr. Manager Hyde.
  Mr. Manager HYDE. Mr. Chief Justice, counsel for the President, 
distinguished Members of the Senate, 136 years ago, at a small military 
cemetery in Pennsylvania, one of Illinois' most illustrious sons asked 
a haunting question--whether a nation conceived in liberty and 
dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal can long 
endure. America is an experiment never finished. It is a work in 
progress. And so that question has to be answered by each generation 
for itself, just as we will have to answer whether this Nation can long 
  This controversy began with the fact that the President of the United 
States took an oath to tell the truth in his testimony before the grand 
jury, just as he had on two prior occasions sworn a solemn oath to 
preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and to faithfully 
execute the laws of the United States.
  One of the most memorable aspects of this proceeding was the solemn 
occasion wherein every Senator in this Chamber took an oath to do 
impartial justice under the Constitution.
  But I must say, despite massive and relentless efforts to change the 
subject, the case before you Senators is not about sexual misconduct, 
infidelity or adultery--those are private acts and none of our 
business. It is not even a question of lying about sex. The matter 
before this body is a question of lying under oath. This is a public 
  The matter before you is a question of the willful, premeditated 
deliberate corruption of the Nation's system of justice, through 
perjury and obstruction of justice. These are public acts, and when 
committed by the chief law enforcement officer of the land, the one who 
appoints every United States district attorney, every Federal judge, 
every member of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General--they do become 
the concern of Congress.
  That is why your judgment, respectfully, should rise above politics, 
above partisanship, above polling data. This case is a test of whether 
what the Founding Fathers described as ``sacred honor'' still has 
meaning in our time: two hundred twenty-two years after those two 
words--sacred honor--were inscribed in our country's birth certificate, 
our national charter of freedom, our Declaration of Independence.
  Every school child in the United States has an intuitive sense of the 
``sacred honor'' that is one of the foundation stones of the American 
house of freedom. For every day, in every classroom in America, our 
children and grandchildren pledge allegiance to a nation, ``under 
God.'' That statement, is not a prideful or arrogant claim. It is a 
statement of humility: all of us, as individuals, stand under the 
judgment of God, or the transcendent truths by which we hope, finally, 
to be judged.
  So does our country.
  The Presidency is an office of trust. Every public office is a public 
trust, but the Office of President is a very special public trust. The 
President is the trustee of the national conscience. No one owns the 
Office of President, the people do. The President is elected by the 
people and their representatives in the electoral college. And in 
accepting the burdens of that great office, the President, in his 
inaugural oath, enters into a covenant--a binding agreement of mutual 
trust and obligation--with the American people.
  Shortly after his election and during his first months in office, 
President Clinton spoke with some frequency about a ``new covenant'' in 
America. In this instance, let us take the President at his word: that 
his office is a covenant--a solemn pact of mutual trust and 
obligation--with the American people. Let us take the President 
seriously when he speaks of covenants: because a covenant is about 
promise-making and promise-keeping. For it is because the President has 
defaulted on the promises he made--it is because he has violated the 
oaths he has sworn--that he has been impeached.
  The debate about impeachment during the Constitutional Convention of 
1787 makes it clear that the Framers of the Constitution regarded 
impeachment and removal from office on conviction as a remedy for a 
fundamental betrayal of trust by the President. The Framers had 
invested the Presidential Office with great powers. They knew that 
those powers could be--and would be--abused if any President were to 
violate, in a fundamental way, the oath he had sworn to faithfully 
execute the Nation's laws.
  For if the President did so violate his oath of office, the covenant 
of trust between himself and the American people would be broken.
  Today, we see something else: that the fundamental trust between 
America and the world can be broken, if a Presidential Perjurer 
represents our country in world affairs. If the President calculatedly 
and repeatedly violates his oath, if the President breaks the covenant 
of trust he has made with the American people, he can no longer be 
trusted. And, because the Executive plays so large a role in 
representing the country to the world, America can no longer be 
  It is often said that we live in an age of increasing 
interdependence. If that is true, and the evidence for it is all around 
us, then the future will require an even stronger bond of trust between 
the President and the Nation: because with increasing interdependence 
comes an increased necessity of trust.
  This is one of the basic lessons of life. Parents and children know 
this. Husbands and wives know it. Teachers and students know it, as do 
doctors and patients, suppliers and customers, lawyers and clients, 
clergy and parishioners: the greater the interdependence, the greater 
the necessity of trust; the greater the interdependence, the greater 
the imperative of promise-keeping.
  Trust, not what James Madison called the ``parchment barriers'' of 
laws, is the fundamental bond between the people and their elected 
representatives, between those who govern and those who are governed. 
Trust is the mortar that secures the foundations of the American house 
of freedom. And the Senate of the United States, sitting in judgment in 
this impeachment trial, should not ignore, or minimize, or dismiss the 
fact that the bond of trust has been broken, because the President has 
violated both his oaths of office and the oath he took before his grand 
jury testimony.
  In recent months, it has often been asked--so what? What is the harm 
done by this lying under oath, by this perjury? Well, what is an oath? 
An oath is an asking almighty God to witness to the truth of what you 
are saying. Truth telling--truth telling is the heart and soul of our 
justice system.
  I think the answer would have been clear to those who once pledged 
their sacred honor to the cause of liberty. The answer would have been 
clear to those who crafted the world's most enduring written 
  No greater harm can be done than breaking the covenant of trust 
between the President and the people; among the three branches of our 
government; and between the country and the world.
  For to break that covenant of trust is to dissolve the mortar that 
binds the foundation stones of our freedom into a secure and solid 
edifice. And to break that covenant of trust by violating one's oath is 
to do grave damage to the rule of law among us.
  That none of us is above the law is a bedrock principle of democracy. 
To erode that bedrock is to risk even further injustice. To erode that 
bedrock is to subscribe, to a ``divine right of kings'' theory of 
governance, in which those who govern are absolved from adhering to the 
basic moral standards to which the governed are accountable. We must 
never tolerate one law for the ruler, and another for the ruled. If we 
do, we break faith with our ancestors from Bunker Hill, Lexington and 
Concord to Flanders Field, Normandy, Iwo Jima, Panmunjom, Saigon and 
Desert Storm.
  Let us be clear: The vote that you are asked to cast is, in the final 
analysis, a vote about the rule of law.

[[Page 600]]

  The rule of law is one of the great achievements of our civilization. 
For the alternative to the rule of law is the rule of raw power. We 
here today are the heirs of three thousand 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 
  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 habit 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 freeman of England began to break the 
arbitrary and unchecked power of royal absolutism. 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. Yes, we are the heirs of 1776, and of 
an epic moment in human affairs when the founders of this Republic 
pledged their lives, fortunes and, yes, their sacred honor, to the 
defense of the rule of law. We are the heirs of a tragic civil war, 
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 cost 
against the worst tyrannies in human history. The ``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.
  Lying under oath is an abuse of freedom. Obstruction of justice is a 
degradation of law. There are people in prison for just such offenses. 
What in the world do we say to them about equal justice if we overlook 
this conduct in the President?
  Some may say, as many have said in recent months, that this is to 
pitch the matter too high. The President's lie, it is said, was about a 
``trivial matter''; it was a lie to spare embarrassment about 
misconduct on a ``private occasion.''
  The confusing of what is essentially a private matter, and none of 
our business, with lying under oath to a court and a grand jury has 
been only one of the distractions we have had to deal with.
  Senators, as men and women with a serious experience of public 
affairs, we can all imagine, a situation in which a President might 
shade the truth when a great issue of the national interest or the 
national security was at stake. We have all been over that terrain. We 
know the thin ice on which any of us skates when blurring the edges of 
the truth for what we consider a compelling, demanding public purpose.
  Morally serious men and women can imagine circumstances, at the far 
edge of the morally permissible, when, with the gravest matters of 
national interest at stake, a President could shade the truth in order 
to serve the common good. But under oath, for a private pleasure?
  In doing this, the Office of President of the United States has been 
debased and the justice system jeopardized.
  In doing this, he has broken his covenant of trust with the American 
  The framers also knew that the Office of President of the United 
States could be gravely damaged if it continued to be unworthily 
occupied. That is why they devised the process of impeachment by the 
House and trial by the Senate. It is, in truth, a direct process. If, 
on impeachment, the President is convicted, he is removed from office--
and the office itself suffers no permanent damage. If, on impeachment, 
the President is acquitted, the issue is resolved once and for all, and 
the office is similarly protected from permanent damage.
  But if, on impeachment, the President is not convicted and removed 
from office despite the fact that numerous Senators are convinced that 
he has, in the words of one proposed resolution of censure, 
``egregiously failed'' the test of his oath of office, ``violated the 
trust of the American people,'' and ``dishonored the office which they 
entrusted to him,'' then the Office of the Presidency has been deeply, 
and perhaps permanently damaged.
  And that is a further reason why President Clinton must be convicted 
of the charges brought before you by the House and removed from office. 
To fail to do so, while conceding that the President has engaged in 
egregious and dishonorable behavior that has broken the covenant of 
trust between himself and the American people, is to diminish the 
Office of President of the United States in an unprecedented and 
unacceptable way.
  Senators, please permit me a word on my own behalf and on behalf of 
my colleagues of the House. It is necessary to clarify an important 
  None of us comes to this Chamber today without a profound sense of 
our own responsibilities in life, and of the many ways in which we have 
failed to meet those responsibilities, to one degree or another. None 
of us comes before you claiming to be a perfect man or a perfect 
citizen, just as none of you imagines yourself perfect. All of us, 
Members of the House and Senate, know that we come to this difficult 
task as flawed human beings, under judgment.
  That is the way of this world: flawed human beings must, according to 
the rule of law, judge other flawed human beings.
  But the issue before the Senate of the United States is not the 
question of its own Members' personal moral condition. Nor is the issue 
before the Senate the question of the personal moral condition of the 
Members of the House of Representatives. The issue here is whether the 
President has violated the rule of law and thereby broken his covenant 
of trust with the American people. This is a public issue, involving 
the gravest matter of the public interest. And it is not effected, one 
way or another, by the personal moral condition of any Member of either 
House of Congress, or by whatever expressions of personal chagrin the 
President has managed to express.
  Senators, we of the House do not come before you today lightly. And, 
if you will permit me, it is a disservice to the House to suggest that 
it has brought these articles of impeachment before you in a mean-
spirited or irresponsible way. That is not true.
  We have brought these articles of impeachment because we are 
convinced, in conscience, that the President of the United States lied 
under oath; that the President committed perjury on several occasions 
before a Federal grand jury. We have brought these articles of 
impeachment because we are convinced, in conscience, that the President 
willfully obstructed justice and thereby threatened the legal system he 
swore a solemn oath to protect and defend.
  These are not trivial matters. These are not partisan matters. These 
are matters of justice, the justice that each of you has taken a solemn 
oath to serve in this trial.
  Some of us have been called ``Clinton-haters.'' I must tell you, 
distinguished Senators, that this impeachment is not, for those of us 
from the House, a question of hating anyone. This is not a question of 
who we hate. It is a question of what we love. And among the things we 
love are the rule of law, equal justice before the law, and honor in 
our public life. All of us are trying as hard as we can to do our duty 
as we see it--no more and no less.
  Senators, this trial is being watched around the world. Some of those 
watching, thinking themselves superior in their cynicism, wonder what 
it is all about. But others know.
  Political prisoners know that this is about the rule of law--the 
great alternative to arbitrary and unchecked state power.
  The families of executed dissidents know that this is about the rule 
of law--the great alternative to the lethal abuse of power by the 
  Those yearning for freedom know that this is about the rule of law--

[[Page 601]]

hard-won structure by which men and women can live by their God-given 
dignity and secure their God-given rights in ways that serve the common 
  If they know this, can we not know it?
  If, across the river in Arlington Cemetery, there are American heroes 
who died in defense of the rule of law, can we give less than the full 
measure of our devotion to that great cause?
  I wish to read you a letter I recently received that expresses my 
feelings far better than my poor words:

       Dear Chairman Hyde: My name is William Preston Summers. How 
     are you doing? I am a third grader in room 504 at Chase 
     Elementary School in Chicago. I am writing this letter 
     because I have something to tell you. I have thought of a 
     punishment for the president of the United states of America. 
     The punishment should be that he should write a 100 word 
     essay by hand. I have to write an essay when I lie. It is bad 
     to lie because it just gets you in more trouble. I hate 
     getting in trouble.
       It is just like the boy who cried wolf, and the wolf ate 
     the boy. It is important to tell the truth. I like to tell 
     the truth because it gets you in less trouble. If you do not 
     tell the truth people do not believe you.
       It is important to believe the president because he is a 
     important person. If you can not believe the president who 
     can you believe. If you have no one to believe in then how do 
     you run your life. I do not believe the president tells the 
     truth anymore right now. After he writes the essay and tells 
     the truth, I will believe him again.
                                                  William Summers.

  Then there is a P.S. from his dad:

       Dear Representative Hyde: I made my son William either 
     write you a letter or an essay as a punishment for lying. 
     Part of his defense for his lying was the President lied. He 
     is still having difficulty understanding why the President 
     can lie and not be punished.
                                                    Bobby Summers.

  Mr. Chief Justice and Senators, on June 6, 1994, it was the 50th 
anniversary of the Americans landing at Normandy. I went ashore at 
Normandy, walked up to the cemetery area, where as far as the eye could 
see there were white crosses, Stars of David. And the British had a 
bagpipe band scattered among the crucifixes, the crosses, playing 
``Amazing Grace'' with that peaceful, mournful sound that only the 
bagpipe can make. If you could keep your eyes dry you were better than 
  But I walked to one of these crosses marking a grave because I wanted 
to personalize the experience. I was looking for a name but there was 
no name. It said, ``Here lies in Honored Glory a Comrade in Arms Known 
but to God.''
  How do we keep faith with that comrade in arms? Well, go to the 
Vietnam Memorial on the National Mall and press your hands against a 
few of the 58,000 names carved into that wall, and ask yourself, How 
can we redeem the debt we owe all those who purchased our freedom with 
their lives? How do we keep faith with them? I think I know. We work to 
make this country the kind of America they were willing to die for. 
That is an America where the idea of sacred honor still has the power 
to stir men's souls.
  My solitary--solitary--hope is that 100 years from today people will 
look back at what we have done and say, ``They kept the faith.''
  I'm done.
  The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.