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Congressional reaction and political analysis of the Ken Starr report to Congress on President Bill Clinton. Steven Schier, Carleton College political scientist, discusses release of report. Program also presents Clinton speech from the White House, and statements from members of Minnesota's congressional delegation.

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Ikea Erik 6 minutes now past 12 Good afternoon, welcome back to mid-day on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary Yankton. Well, as you heard the US House has voted to release parts of the Kenneth Starr report to the public report is expected to appear on the internet this afternoon independent counsel kind of star says in the report that he found evidence of possible impeachable offenses in his investigation into President Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. There have been a number of developments on this story of through the morning and during the shower at. Midday. We're going to try to catch you up on just what's been happening will be hearing this hour from President Clinton who spoke this morning at a White House prayer breakfast will hear from two key members of the US House as they debated this morning whether to release the star report will also hear from several members of Minnesota's Congressional Delegation as they prepare for the impeachment process and joining us from Northfield this afternoon and Steven share the chairman of the political science department at Carleton College in Northfield. Stephen thanks for joining us sure. My pleasure before we get started with all these so recorded elements in the interviews and the rest after living through Watergate. Did you expect the nation would so soon find another find itself involved in another impeachment process do all over again lot of the Dynamics politically seem very similar right now. There is lots of talk on Capitol Hill today about dealing with this in a non-partisan even-handed Manor. Is that realistic? Well, I watch the much of the debate this morning and it was more muted then it could have been and the vote was 363 in favor of releasing in only a 63 opposed. So it's it's not as harshly partisan as it could be but you know, we're just at the first stage of this Gary and we have a lot of evidence to sift through in a lot of arguments to sort through it boasts the committee level and at the house floor and I'm sure that the partisans uses will rise over time. Is there any you have any sense of whether or not the American people are paying attention to this process or are they largely made up their mind and just waiting for the end to be over I think because the news about the presents Behavior Frank, please pretty distasteful as I gather based on media reports this morning. I will find out more concerning in the Starr report this afternoon since it's written in the narrative fashion and Describe certain sexual encounters and I think that's one reason the public wants this to go away. It's certainly an uncomfortable situation for anybody who has small children as I do however new fax make New Politics and we're going to have some I think new fax today is the importance of them. The interpretation of them will be very much in dispute over the coming weeks, but that could change the political environment both in Washington and among the public President Clinton is out today with a 73-page rebuttal to the Starr report to Congress. So according to the rebuttal president ended his sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky not because of fears he was about to be found out but because quote he knew they were wrong. The defense team says that the president did not carry out 18 or kerryon rather an 18-month affair with Lewinsky, but rather quote had improper conduct with her on certain occasions in early. 1896 and again in 1997 again, do you think that people are are going to zero in on these specific bits of information or I think you'll be Sensational but they're not really a crucial to the legal matters at the heart of a possible impeachment inquiry the four general areas of charges in the star report based on the reports that we're receiving this morning obstruction of justice witness tampering perjuring is perjury and abuse-of-power will really stand or fall on those legal merits I think the salacious parts will get some significant attention early on you note it over the weekend and so forth and then fact that the president is if in fact a lot of people think that this is actually what he was doing in the White House, it could politically hurt him in public opinion, but ultimately the impeachment and Corey is going to turn back cuz he's legal issues. And the evidence in support of the charges Stephen Sher who is Chairman of the political science department at college or Carleton College in Northfield as we said President Clinton this morning spoke at a White House prayer breakfast. He ruled out any talk of resigning is what the president have to say. Thank you. I have to learn without you something. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the White House. and to this day I took which Hillary and the vice president and I look forward so much every year. This is always an important day for our country for the reasons that the vice president said that it isn't unusual. And I think I'm usually important day today. I may not be quite as easy with my words today as I have been in years past and I was up rather late last night thinking about and praying about what I ought to say today. And the rather unusually for me. I actually tried to write it down. So if you will forgive me, I will do my best to say what it is. I want to say to you. And I might have to take my glasses out to read my own writing. first I want to say to all of you that as you might imagine I have been on quite a journey these last few weeks to get to the end of this to the rock-bottom truth of where I am and where we all are. I agree with those who have said. That in my first statement after I testified I was not contrite enough. I don't think there is a fancy way to say that I have sent. It is important to me that everybody who has been hurt. Know that the sorrow I feel is genuine. first and most important my family Also my friends my staff my cabinet. Monica Lewinsky and her family and the American people I have asked all for their forgiveness. But I believe that to be forgiven more than sorrow is required. At least two more things. first genuine repentance The determination to change and the repair breaches of my own making. I have repented. second what my Bible cost a broken spirit an understanding that I must have God's help to be the person that I want to be. The willingness to give the very forgiveness I seek. a renunciation of the pride and the anger Which Cloud judgment? Lead people to excuse and compare. and the blame and complain and what does all this mean? 4 million for us first I will instruct my lawyers to mount a vigorous defense using all available appropriate arguments. But legal language must not obscure the fact that I have done wrong. second I will continue on the path of repentance. Seeking pass will support and there's of other and that of other caring people. So that they can hold me accountable for my own commitment. 3rd I will intensify my efforts to lead our country in the world. Toward Peace and Freedom prosperity and harmony. In the hope that with a broken Spirit and the still strong heart. I can be used for greater good. Or we have many blessings and many challenges and so much work to do. in this I asked for your prayers and for your help and healing our nation. And though I cannot move beyond our forget this and deed. I must always keep it as a caution light in my life. It is very important that our nation move forward. I am very grateful. For the many many people clergy and ordinary citizens alike who have written me with wise counsel. I am profoundly grateful. For the support of so many Americans who somehow through it all. Seem to still know that I care about them a great deal. That I care about their problems and their dreams. I'm grateful for those who have stood by me and who say that in this case and many others the bounds of privacy have been excessively and unwisely invaded. that might be nevertheless In this case, it may be a blessing. Because I still send. And if my repentance is genuine and sustained. and if I can maintain both the broken Spirit and the strong heart then good can come of this for our country as well as for me and my family. the children of this country can learn in a profound way that Integrity is important and selfishness is wrong. But God can changes and make a strong at the broken places. I want to embody those lessons for the children of this country. For that little boy in Florida who came up to me and said that he wanted to grow up and be president and to be just like me. I want the parents of all the children in America to be able to say that to their children. A couple of days ago when I was in Florida a Jewish friend of mine gave me this liturgy book. Call Gates of repentance. And there was this incredible Passage. Yom Kippur liturgy, I would like to read it to you Now is the time for turning? The leaves are beginning to turn from green to red to orange. The birds are beginning to Turning or heading once more toward the South. The animals are beginning to turn to storing their food for the winter. For Lee's birds and animals turning comes instinctively. But for us turning does not come so easily. It takes an act of will for us to make it turn. It means breaking old habits. It means admitting that we have been wrong. And this is never easy. It means losing face get mean starting all over again. And this is always painful. It means saying I am sorry. It means recognizing that we have the ability to change. These things are terribly hard to do. But unless we turn we will be trapped forever and yesterday's ways. Lord help us return from callousness to sensitivity from hostility to love from pettiness to purpose from NV to contentment from carelessness to discipline from Fear to face. Turn us around. Oh Lord and bring us back for you Revive Our Lives as at the beginning and turn us toward each other Lord for an isolation. There is no life. I think my friend for that. I thank you for being here. I asked you to share my prayer. The God will search me and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any heartfulness in me and Lead Me toward the life Everlasting. I asked that God. Give me a clean heart. Let me walk by faith and not sight. I asked once again to be able to love my neighbor all my neighbors as myself. to be an instrument of God's peace Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart. And in the end the work of my hands. a pleasing This is what I wanted to say to you today. Thank you. God bless you. President Clinton speaking this morning at a White House prayer breakfast Stephen Sharer. Does that kind of statement from the president that is it likely to have any influence on the impeachment process? Did August 17th? Not September 11th. The fact is that it took him about three weeks to figure out he might and I might have needed to be a bit more contrite. In fact, he took a vacation, you know, so I think that it'll have an effect but not the effect it might have had and I think also what you're seeing today is probably a two-track approach to the to the crisis by the White House. The present himself will be on a repentance tour sort of sort of I'm I'm sorry. I'm sorry and then his lawyers I think will really play hardball in congress with the specifics of the report as I expect the candle statement I which is 75 pages is doing today. Well, it certainly was a fairly Lively debate this morning about whether to release. The the star report this afternoon on the internet, of course ultimately is as you noted the house did vote overwhelmingly to release that report and it should be showing up in the internet yet this afternoon, but that the debate was pretty Lively and let's hear from a couple of people who participated in this morning's debate. First of all Henry Hyde, he is the chairman of the house Judiciary Committee. And of course, that's the committee that will have to deal with any impeachment proceeding he warned his colleagues today to act fairly he said to do otherwise would be a disgrace to Congress itself. Tell my colleagues 166 years ago when our country was in its robust childhood the great historian Thomas McCauley wrote and I quote laws exist in vain for those who do not have the courage and means to defend them close quote. We're here because circumstances that our Constitution have thrush. The pain has an onerous Duty one that requires us to summon the courage and the means to defend the rule of law. Don't forget please when all the distractions and diversions and definitions have been pronounced at the end of it. All. We are about one Mighty task to vindicate the rule of law. We are also meant to defend the sacred Bond contained in our oath of office the bond that links the members of Congress the officials of the executive branch in our federal judges to the people of the United States to those who have given their lives for this country and to the American people of the future in taking a solemn oath to defend the Constitution. We have pledged a trust that imposes a heavy responsibility. We pledged the trust of those Patriots who sleep across the river in Arlington Cemetery and then Americans Cherries around the world. We have pledged that their defense of freedom and the rule of law. I will not have been in vain. Mr. Speaker and members of the House. May I presume to remind us all of the oath we swore when we became members of Congress. We raised our right arms. And we said I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that I will well and Faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter so help me God traditionally a nose means Asylum calling on God to witness to the truth of what you're saying. We all well know the story of Sir Thomas More who was beheaded in the Tower of London for refusing to take the oath of Supremacy that acknowledge Henry the 8th is head of the church in England in the great drama of his life a man for all seasons. Sir Thomas tells his daughter when you take an oath you hold your soul in your hands. And if you break that oath you open up your fingers and your soul runs through them and is lost I believe with all my heart that each of us who took that oath of office took it seriously, and we will conduct ourselves at when this ordeal and it is in our deal is over. We will have indicated the rule of law and brought credit to this institution in which we are privileged to serve. We have also pledged the trust to the Americans of the 21st century. We pledged to hand over to them intact and unsullied the rule of law in a constitutionally ordered democracy and we pledge the trust to our fellow Americans with whom we share this moment in our history our neighbors who have sent us to this Congress to serve the common good through The rule of law 94 years ago in the message to Congress President Theodore Roosevelt Define the principle that must guide our deliberations in the days and weeks and months of no man is above the law and no man is below it nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it that principle really defines the solemnity of this moment. We are sometimes too Cavalier in our attitude toward the rule of law. It's something we take for granted yet. We live in a century in which blood and tears and pain and sorrow Have Vindicated the contention of the founders of this Republican the framers of its Constitution that the rule of law is the only alternative to tyranny or to the Anarchy that eventually leads to tyranny the long hard March of humanity toward the promised land of Freedom has been marked by the constant struggle to vindicate the rule of law against the tyranny of power whether I reference point is The Ten Commandments are the Code of Hammurabi Justinian Code or Magna Carta the Constitutional Convention of 1787 are the United Nations Charter of 1945 in each case humanity is made progress on its Journey Through History when the rule of law has triumphed over privilege or power as the Arbiter of human Affairs in the method to resolve conflict. The fact that the gradual expansion of the rule of law has invariably resulted in human progress is Not an Accident of History. It's a reflection of human nature for the rule of law is an expression of the spiritual nature of the human person created with intelligence and Free Will a moral agent capable of freedom and capable of ordering freedom to the pursuit of goodness decency and Justice every member of our committee indeed every member of this Congress is a servant of the rule of law which in this instance means we are Servants of the Constitution of the United States of America to paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt. None of us is above the Constitution. None of us is below the Constitution and none of us is required to ask permission when we require ourselves and all those who have also sworn a solemn oath of fidelity to the Constitution. To Abed Republican Henry High chairman of the house Judiciary Committee speaking this morning on the floor of the US House. Shortly after mr. Hyde spoke to Richard Gephardt spoke to members of the house and minority leader Dick Gephardt calling on members on both sides to be fair and objective. The speaker is sad and I believe his word that he wants this to be non-partisan the gentleman from Illinois. Mr. Hyde has said that he wants it to be fair for a nonpartisan and I believe his work. But in the end of the day yesterday. We were told that there were some on the other side that could not go along with ideas that I believe many and your leadership thought were reasonable ideas. Let me say what I think should have been in this rule. First I believe. Did the president deserved 24 or 48 hours to read these allegations and conclusions before it was made public and sent all across the nation in the world. We give members. That courtesy when members are charged with wrongdoing we've given other presidents that courtesy and I believe in all fairness this President deserves that basic fairness what could possibly be lost by another 24 or 48 hours before this were made public secondly. The independent counsel and self told us that there's information in Parts 2 and 3 in this evidence that could be highly sensitive and injurious to innocent individuals. I know that in the rush to get all this out. We can all forget the rights and the reputation of innocent individuals. I simply asked all of us to put ourselves in the shoes of the people that could be injured by the leaking of this information and I would also remind members that already this morning material is being leaked in the media. Details have found their way already into the media that supposedly come from this information. Why do I not have faith and confidence? Then we can hold the material that we should hold I take. Mr. Solomon at his word. I realize our rules say that we should not give this out if we've been charged and not give it out. I pray and hope that all of our members Democratic and Republican will live with that admonition and will not leak this material out during the reputation of innocent people. Surely we can rise to this occasion. Now there are many tests they had this is the first step. Of what could be a long process? And I guess my lesson from the day is that it takes all of us. Not just some of us. in order to make this process work This is a body of 435 human beings. And we are called on. to be better than sometimes our Natures allows to be This is a sacred process. This goes to the heart of our democracy. This is not a second election. This is not politics. This is not spinning. This is not pulling. This is not a Lynch Mob. This is not a Witch Hunt. This is not trying to find facts to support our already reached conclusions. This is a constitutional test. Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers said there were always when speaking of impeachment. He said there will always be the greatest Danger. Better decision will be regulated more by the comparative strengths of the parties then by the real demonstrations of innocence and guilt. We're all persons. We're all in politics. We all believe strongly in our views and we all want our views to be realized by this house. But that is not what this is about. I asked my members. The reach inside themselves in these days ahead when we're tested as we will be tested. to be non-partisan to be fair to be objective and I asked my friends on the other side of the aisle to do the same. I will come and I ask our members to come more than halfway to reach nonpartisan agreements to make this a fair process. I pray that we can do this. I'm in all of what we do here. I am so proud to be a member of this body. because we stand for democracy and the rule of law that no one's above and no one's below. I am in all of what we achieve here without violence. We must do this right and I beg the members everyone of you. Bring out the best in us to do this, right our children and our grandchildren will know if we did House minority leader Dick Gephardt speaking this morning on the floor of the US House Stephen sharer. I'm reminded during the Watergate hearings back in the seventies a lot of members of Congress who nobody had ever heard of became household names were in many cases. I think people were surprised at how statesmanlike some members of Congress are or can be do you expect that some members who we've never heard of before or hear little love will rise to that level of prominence now for himself as chair of the house Judiciary Committee in 1974, and I would be surprised if Henry High doesn't distinguish himself as chair of the house Judiciary Committee in 1998. He is one of the most Don't like that and well respected members of the house. He strongly conservative but considered an honest and decent man, and I think that he will probably preside over the committee with the air of a of deliberation rather than a partisan persecution. And I think that he will become very widely. Known Minnesota Congressman Bruce vento join just now from Washington. Good afternoon Congress Congressman. Do you think of Bill Clinton's going to get a fair hearing? Well, I hope so at today are we get started in sort of an uneven foot in terms of not having a great moment in the sense that there was a feeling that the President should have the report ahead of time on the part of the many and of that didn't Prevail in the end where it started shows they had to choose between voting to disclose the entire 455 pages and and sort of the, you know issue of giving the president an opportunity to review the charges at the same time so that this all hits the media, but I think I hope so. I hope that that's possible with you know, the last 3-4 years around here because of close margins or inexperience or whatever. It is has been a much more polarized much more partisan President Clinton gave a pretty emotional speech this morning at that White House prayer breakfast will that speech and others like it likely influence. You folks get well, I think influence everyone we're all influence, but I think we're mostly going to have to look at the the allegations in the report and his response to it and try to sift through and come up with what the facts are and whether they are rise to the occasion of a voting to send this to the senate in a sense of high crimes and misdemeanors. So, you know, and that's really what we have to do. And so I mean, we I think it's good that he is attempting to reach out into the heel and to seek the Contrition and forgiveness in the sense from the public and from others and for in terms this no one can defend the indefensible. And it seems to me these actions are pretty indefensible and I but nevertheless as you go down. It's a question of of the relationship with you go down and look at what the legal aspects of a tire. That's what obviously has to influence the member. So being can't ride at this point, you know, what helps in terms of the country recognized in the gravity of what has occurred one last question. A lot of members of Congress saying that you folks really need to approach this and I hit a non-partisan way keep politics out of it gif the impeachment process is a political process. What's right? I mean, I think we do have to I think the real problem with this is that if it isn't if it does look like, you know, we did we had the first boat today was about to put this train on the railroad tracks and they're just going to run this thing through here and I was standing these at the Manor and respect that we all have four or Henry Hyde or something of the lack of Civility here. I mean is a real risk that this could at the fear of people could feel Clinton got railroaded on this end it on time is much concerned about voting for this because the Democrats might criticize me as the Republicans need so it's just a question of trying to maintain The credibility with the public rather than having turning this into because even with the best of evidence if you run this thing wrong that you don't have to process I mean the public is going to be it's going to stay by the Mandate of the lights in here has been overturned by political process rather than the facts. And so I think we really have to have solid evidence. We really has to be a demonstrator has to be due process and it has to be without any question. These are these issues are the fees were absolute violations that rises High crimes and misdemeanors. We don't know that we'll be setting the report. We hope that the that the due process will follow where the president gets an opportunity to respond to each and every one of these allegations has been no cross-examination of these Witnesses. This has been four and a half years of Ken Starr search search and seeking and a having a pretty much his way. Notwithstanding and leaks that have come out constantly from that office that have tried to and of course of the spin of the president trying to change the the nature of things and so now it's time to settle down to the facts and and to be deliberate and what we do and how we proceed thank you so much for joining us Congressman Bruce vento joining us from Washington DC Republican 3rd District Congressman. Jim ramstad told Minnesota public radio's Emily Harris this morning that the house deliberations in his mind must remain free of politics objectively and and there's absolutely no room for politics or political considerations in this process whatsoever. It's a very awesome my responsibility that the constitution provides and we have to review the information and base our conclusion on the evidence in The Loft. No political considerations whatsoever. And so I hope that both the Side said here to that accident because otherwise we're going to run into some serious problems. If political considerations become part of this process Maps nonpartisan, the people of this country expect us to be non-partisan in this is a responsibility this constitutional Duty and an undertaking this very very serious matter what I think that anyone who interjects politics does so at his or her own Peril and I think that any I'll be the first to blow the whistle on any member of Congress Republican or Democrat who uses political considerations in formulating case, or I do have to say either one. I'm worth more personal level as far as the president's leadership goes as he mortally wounded. Well, I am very saddened like the most Americans like most minnesotans by the whole situation that I don't think anyone wants to see another present brought down by generation. Now, we'll we'll have seen the impeachment process at least in part 2 twice put it into operation twice. I was through with respect to Watergate and President Nixon. And again, I would respect to a President Clinton and this is a sad day for America. It's a sad chapter in American political history past Affairs. I brought to light recently. What do you think about that? Well, it's it's a sorry State of Affairs. I think when that becomes a quid pro quo for a very solemn constitutional responsibility and I understand there's there's more to come from from the from the rumor mill and I just think that it it diminishes the political process it certainly tarnishes Congress and diminishes the tracks from the respect the people hold the for their government. And then whenever you see a given you a shin of respect for government, that's a dangerous assign a dangerous situation in a democratic system like we have but because when people lose respect for the institution, then they lose respect for the laws that are promulgated by at that institution in that goes to the very legitimacy of of our government and that's dangerous in a free Society. Minnesota Republican Congressman Jim ramstad speaking with Minnesota public radio's Emily Harris this morning and it's not a second district Democrat David. Minge says it if this process does become politicized the effect could spread to the rest of the nation play if we have this more spirited approach taken by certain groups on both sides of the aisle a I fear that as a consequence we could see the nation split. I don't know if he'll be split like it was in the Vietnam era but we run that risk and I don't think that that's in the best interest of our nation. Not at all. Well most members of Congress are calling for a nonpartisan process, Minnesota 6th District Democratic with Bill Luther just public opinion will ultimately play an important role in helping Congress decide just how to resolve this issue. I think it's helpful when you when you haven't went in the information age like we're in today and when this can be made available all of them. Nation can be a bit made available to public so it just isn't the public listen to someone's conclusions. I think the public can to some extent help in the analysis of all of this information all obviously most of this will be done here in Congress and we'll be done in the Judiciary Committee but I think the Public's involvement will be helpful and in this whole process that will take place and I hope it is done expeditiously as soon as 6 District Congressman Bill Luther Martin, Sabo Democrat Congressman. Good afternoon. How are you? I'm just fine. I understand that. You are the only member of the Minnesota delegation to vote against releasing this information on the internet this afternoon. Is that right? That is right. Why did you vote know that it was very important at this beginning step be done very fairly. And I thought the elemental fairness required that the president be given Advance copies of this report before it's released on the internet into the public. Why do you why do you suppose most members of Congress didn't agree with you? I don't know. I never wanted to try and figure out to make judgments or describe why other people made a different judgment than the I think there were many people at the same concern and death. I I just thought that the in all other previous proceedings like this before information has been let public their the accused person who is the subject of an investigation is been given information in the end head of time to review it and I thought that was a very important step in what it will obviously be a long process here. It's not a matter of time. This is not something that's going to include within a week or two or a month within the Congress and the President and his attorneys know what those accusation spell by Minister * R. I thought was it just basic fairness and therefore I go to know do you think Bill Clinton get a fair hearing? I hope so. end so it's not a good for step today in my judgment. I think mr. Hyde who chairs the Judiciary Committee will try very much to be fair. I think the ranking member. Mr. Conyers will try to do that has been a very partisan at the place in recent years, and I hope we can overcome it. So I am apprehensive but I still remain an optimist said that that will happen. I just think that we should have the nature were very fair this beginning of the process. Are you surprised that Congress finds itself once I mean, it's only been what 24 years since the last time we went through or at least considered an impeachment you can surprise that we're down this road so soon again. When I guess I haven't thought about that weather. I'm surprised or not. The fact is that we are and where we're going to have to try and deal with it in a responsible way. I think it's a very different situation and we're going to have to listen to facts and that come to our conclusions. We've heard many many members of Congress calling for keep the politics out of this non partisan approach yet. It is a political process the impeachment process that shouldn't politics play a role. We should try and avoid it did the congress by its nature is is a political institution in there. So it gets difficult there. But this is something different than anything else we deal with its unchartered waters for most of us there a few members who were here in 74. My judgment we should look at some of the process that was used in 74 and because I think that was fairly Fair process used and and their in file try and follow those procedures again today. Thank you so much for joining us Congressman. Thank you. Appreciate it this afternoon the house in case you just joined us the house of order little earlier today to release the Kenneth Starr report to Congress. It will be appearing or supposed to be appearing on the internet shortly and I would imagine Steven share that there will be a lot of hits on that internet site. I think they're sitting here with my web link and it's not up yet. But I'm certain it will be we do already have a summary of the president's rebuttal from the the Kindle team. Apparently. It's a 74 page document since there's already a summary of that and Already see that the spin is beginning. You're going to see both sides spinning in various ways. The White House is trying to sort of preempt the start of Port by putting out their answer before the charges actually come out given the fact that the president is already a released a response to the report the debate this morning seemed kind of Superfluous the idea that he should have time to review the document since apparently already knew what was in it. That's what the judge Walsh the Iran-Contra independent counsel was quoted as saying in the papers today that the while he could understand some arguments in favor of letting the White House have have a few of it. The White House had to have a sense of just about all the major charges and I should be well equipped to answer them immediately. And what we're seeing is that the White House reporters out before we even see the starport, so it would seem to me that that the prison Plenty of time to respond to this report that he's already begun it and I hide and so the idea that fundamental fairness was it issue here is I think debatable Congressman Venta en save although I both know that today is boat doesn't augur well for a fair process a fair hearing for Bill Clinton. Well, if you look at the membership of the committee, which is after all the first form where all this will happen. It is a pretty partisan committee and it's certainly an environment which you could see some my party line votes on these matters and frankly Party Line votes on a matter of this magnitude is not good for the country why so well because if it could easily divide the country into too partisan Warren camps about the facts about the culpability of the presidents and one seeks to arrive at a consensus about what we should do. If you are closely divided along party lines, it's very hard to find that consensus. Do you know offhand? Steven weather when it comes time to vote is it's just a straight bow that is to say if it became highly politicized down party lines Republicans versus Democrats presumably do they have to be with the Republicans have to come up with some kind of super majority or the mere fact they have more members in the Democrats be sufficient to move the process along. Well, that's what's interesting about the impeachment process in the Judiciary Committee of majority rules on the house floor majority rules. And frankly. I think it's possible that you will see some Democrats vote for some impeachment charges on the house floor. The real rub comes in the Senate now, we haven't had a senate trial since 1868 jewelry call Andrew Johnson there in order to convict you need a two-thirds of the Senate and that would require significant number of Democratic senators. And that's where I think the president's political chances. If we go that far I asked you this given the nature of the internet and are instantaneous Communications these days is it likely that the president will just be assumed to be guilty on all these charges of a report will be out today or the media will be full of salacious. The tail won't people simply assume. I must have done it. I'm not sure about that because they may they may accept all or some of these charges frankly. Some of the charges are stronger than others. It would seem to me the perjury charges a stronger argument based on the evidence. I've seen the abuse of power charge nevertheless when the related question is really the key question. Which is are these impeachable offenses that you this person be removed from office for this and that is where I think the public will will be slow to come to consensus. Is there any consensus among the scholars? Master what is impeachable offenses? And what is a high crime and misdemeanor need to be a felony what in their variety of schools of thought here one is that well, you really needs to be some sort of felony others argue. Well, it has to be a felony related to the important conducted the presidency others are you would need not even be a felony if it brings great discredit on the presidency so you can see the scholars are all over the place. Do you think that given the fact now leave this is the second impeachment process and less than a quarter of a century. Can we expect more of these overtime? Well, I hope not and frankly. I think that you'll see that the independent counsel law will be revised and some way when it's up for Renewal next year. I'll probably because of the plethora of independent councils that have occurred during the Clinton presidency now. In all fairness. I think there are two ways to view. This one is that the council has written to Loosely the other is at the Clinton Administration has a lot of corruption problems. I mean, there may be some truth in both sides of that are still it seems as if we are consumed by independent counsel and what they're doing and to the point where I think the public wearies of it. Just wondering whether or not as impeachment proceedings become more common. If you will weather the the bar to be impeached. It's lower lower all the way. There is an irony in this current impeachment process, which is at the staff of the house Judiciary Committee which 1974 did include Hillary Rodham came up with a a more expansive definition of an impeachable offense that was used in the link in the Nixon case and that's similar standard may be used against Bill Clinton 24 years later. So what goes around comes around pretty odd Congressman Luther said that in his opinion of public opinion is really going to play at a significant role in deciding. Just what Congress is going to do with this. Would you agree if you got a strong argument for obstruction of justice, that's a that's in the CBS pool. It's out this week. That's what a majority really tipped towards impeachment at this point. So I think of all the charges what you have to watch and terms of public opinion impact our two of them first did he perjured himself again on August 17th, after 7 months of deception of the public? If so perjuring yourself for a grand jury a second time. I think will be viewed very seriously by Congress the American people and and then the other is how strong is the evidence that he did conspire to obstruct Justice is that will be seen as more serious than simply as some people Lying about sex so I think we really want to watch those two areas. Finally. What what happens now, what's the process? What's the procedure of the materials? You know, there are two thousand pages of ancillary documents including some I gather more unflattering details about the administration and one thing to watch next week areas. How much of that begins to leak? And if it does what political affected has frankly? I think it's going to be hard to keep most of this from becoming public somehow because when a committee gets ahold of it, they're just too many people and too many loose lips around to keep it quiet. Thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it. Stephen Scherer who is the chairman of the political science department at Carleton College in Northfield joining us for the second hour of our midday program now special program reminder Ray Suarez will be along from 1 to 3 with much much more on the Kenneth Starr report to Congress and Congress is likely reaction to that report. So we'll be getting to that in just a couple of minutes Ray Suarez from Washington with more on the Kenneth Starr report. That doesn't permit Day program today Gary I can hear thanks for tuning in a reminder that programming on issues concerning families and children is supported by the Edward are bassinet Foundation. Sarah Meyer is the producer of our mid-day program Mike McCaul pangra associate producer lots of help this week Randy Johnson, Mike Osborne Clifford Bentley Steve Griffith. Grata Cunningham Jim Beckel Tim, pugmire and Carafate and chew. Again, this is Gary acting and thanks so much for tuning in. Hope you can join us for Monday will hear from dfl candidates for Governor I'm Lorna Benson on the next All Things Considered.


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