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MPR’s Gary Eichten interviews Steven Schier, Carleton College political science professor, about Thursday's impeachment debate. Topic of the inevitability of impeachment is addressed. Program also includes interviews with four of Minnesota's representatives in Congress (Martin Sabo, Bill Luther, Gil Gutknecht, and Bruce Vento), and Judge Andrew Danielson on perjury.

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Good morning at 11:04 with news from Minnesota Public Radio on credit Cunningham the bluebird city council denied her request by its former police chief to get a hearing to contest his recent firing police. Chief. Jerry Anderson was like a earlier this month after report stated fellow officers complained. He showed up at the scene of an accident with alcohol on his breath. Anderson's attorney says the city didn't follow proper procedure in firing the chief a longtime member of the Metropolitan sports facilities commission is Calling it Quits Paul Thatcher served on the board for 16 years sports facilities Commission Executive Director, Bill Lester says Thatcher is expected to be replaced by for Minneapolis dfl state representative. Richard Jefferson. Lester says Thatcher has been a vocal and visible member during some of the most contentious issues to come before the public body. Lester says Thatcher and Jefferson offer different strengths real difference. I think his paws expertise in the area fan Dance plus his political Acumen which have been an interesting combination as well as something that you don't.Find very often so from that aspect of it will have to get that kind of leadership from other members of the board members except the chair was appointed by the governor is the council names Jefferson to the board later this month. He'll begin his term in January officials with the John beargrease sled dog. Marathon. May soon have to make a decision to cancel or postpone the race due to a lack of snow along the North Shore. The race is scheduled for January 10th under race bylaws a decision to postpone. The race must be made by December 27th beargrease officials say they would need 12 to 16 in of snow along the course for the race to go on as scheduled light snow is possible in North today with high temperature today ranging from 28 in the North 238th in the South. That's a news update. I'm going to Cunningham. Thank you Gratis 6 minutes past 11 programming a Minnesota Public Radio is supported by standard heating and air conditioning the Twin Cities Home Comfort Experts for 69 years featuring York Heating.and cooling products Good morning, and welcome to mid-day on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gerry Ellington. Glad you could join us borrowing some dramatic turnaround it now. Looks like the US House of Representatives will vote to impeach President Bill Clinton. The house is scheduled to debate for articles of impeachment tomorrow and President Clinton. As you heard is making a last-minute bid for support but even many White House officials admit that impeachment now seems to be inevitable this are we've been joined by Stephen share the chair of the Carleton College political science department Donna Northfield to discuss this week's historic bullet. We're also going to be talking this shower with several members of Minnesota's Congressional Delegation as they get ready to vote. We're going to be hearing from Hennepin County Judge Andrew Danielson on the issue of perjury and just specifically how it plays into this impeachment process all of that coming up this our this first hour of our mid-day program Stephen sharer. Thanks for joining us this morning. Do you see this as a kind of inevitability at this point? Well, if you look at the numbers to the number of people who have not decided and and you look at the partisan breakdown at the house, it's pretty likely that they'll be 218 votes necessary majority for at least one of the articles. In fact the article I think most likely to pass his article one relating to the president and here it just quoting it provided perjurious false and misleading testimony before the grand jury of Ken Starr in on in August and that it it seems to me it's the most likely one to pass and then off we go to a senate trial as a practical matter doesn't make any difference whether the house passes one or more articles. And once they pass the first one to these other ones making a difference rule set up to handle impeachment trials and they sort of kick in. It doesn't matter if you just have one or more articles, but if you do pass more than one article the likelihood is a senate trial will be longer. If you if you pass all four articles, for example, then you will have to examine the evidence the Senate will have to examine the evidence on all four of the Articles. If you just have one article, it's much more likely to be a short trial. The White House said today that there are no plans for any kind of dramatic gesture dramatic Overture from the president terms of perhaps going to the Congress and making some kind of a speech or going on TV. They say they're no plans to do that what it do any good if you did make some dramatic speech. I think it's probably too late now because so many of the Swing votes in the house have already publicly announced and it's highly unlikely and such a high-profile issue. Once you made a public statement that the present comes on gives them the dress and then you switch, you know, turn on a dime and vote the Wait, I think that would raise a lot of questions and Munch constituents about the quality that decision process of those swing voters. So I doubt I may be too late for the present. Now I said we're going to be talking with him several members of Minnesota Congressional Delegation. Most of whom have announced their position as have apparently most members of Congress from across the country. Timers continues to be Deluge to buy calls and emails in the lion is any of that constituent pressure making you suppose it makes any difference whatsoever and Gary particularly for people who are undecided and that's where I think we need to unpack public opinion more carefully than the opinion polls have what we seen over the last several months are public answers to simple questions about impeachment how good a job the prisons doing it cetera what we've been missing and all the polling over the last several months is a real measure of intensity. How long Horton is this issue to you now what has been happening in the last week is that the the mail and the phone calls to the swing moderate Republicans in the house has been three or four to one in favor of impeachment clearly. The intensity to now has been in favor of impeachment in public opinion. And I think we missed a lot of that just by looking at the overall aggregate numbers in these pools and you know just asking simple questions about attitude and this may have been one of the major political miscalculations of the White House that is relying upon the general configuration of public opinion against impeachment believing the presents doing a good job and a really ignoring the fact that strongly intense interest within particular districts can at a moment of decision proved decisive. Let's get the Minnesota 5th District Congressman Martin Sabo into our conversation. He joins us from Washington my congressman How are you? Just fine. Now you have indicated you oppose impeachment. What's your reading here in turn were talking about these the constituent calls and the rest in the intensity factor? What have you been hearing from your constituents Converse Mara and mine or more against impeachment than for do you think in fact the White House is underestimated the the level of intensity people who really do want him to see him in page that they underestimated. Just how strong are those folks Bill be there are groups to organizing calls and favorite peachment there around the country and that is always a tough the judge to what degree people are. Calling them because they feel motivated on a personal basis or whether some organization is telling them and encouraging them to call you see impeachment as being inevitable at this point. I think that convection or whatever you called the final process in the Senate. I think highly unlikely. I think they are the odds that the house will pass one or more articles of impeachment. I would think quite likely at this time. You think there's a change that will not be the case that would require a special Rule and that is a republican leadership is in the kids. They won't do that. And so the only process so you could get would be by offering it as an amendment or is it in some form? The chair would probably rule it non-germane you could appeal the decision of the chair, but when you come to procedural vote swear, I probably the last thing that that Any member of the majority would do would be to vote to overturn the ruling of the chair. So it gets very difficult to find all we get that option unless the Republican leadership is willing to make that an order through a rule. The process has been criticized by some people at least people who are polish to impeachment have been criticized is being a just blatantly partisan think that's fair your pressure in there and the Republican caucus right now for people to vote for the articles of impeachment in the whole process has been very partisan my judgment. Are you folks under a lot of pressure to vote against impeachment? It was a hard person to ask because I indicated some time ago what my position is. So I really haven't heard from anybody internally. Okay. Thank you for the 5th District Congressman Martin Sabo joining us from Washington on the eve of the historic impeachment debate that is scheduled to begin in the US house tomorrow Stephen sharer. There was an item on The Wire just a little while ago indicating that house Judiciary Committee chair Henry Hyde is saying today that the impeachment process process process rather the debate and so I might be postponed delayed if in fact we end up bombing Iraq, do you think and we also course have what kind of a looming crisis again now and possible the Middle East peace situation is Piers to be have deteriorated some do those Foreign issues. Are they going to play any role here? Do you think? See that's an imponderable in one sense that would depend on what the situations are in each of those countries that might require that action the problem with action like that reminds me of the most recent bombing another Sudan if the Wag the Dog scenario was widely bruited about then I can only imagine what conclusions people would draw us on the eve of an impeachment vote. We took a military action might in fact delay the vote. I think that it would really not move votes on impeachment, but would I think really increasing public cynicism. It would be very unfortunate if the president did have to do this and he may have to for national security reasons, but it would be very unfortunate for our political system. If he did have two might we look at this from the other side that is to say legitimate need to do something in one of these areas and he's kind of paralyzed isn't that an argument to to get a new guy? In the office. Well, that's a very interesting question. I want to erase something related to that. I did find a pole yesterday that I think is really quite striking. It would suggest that the politics of of this situation. I may be in the process of Shifting towards the idea of is another guy so bad when this was a Wall Street Journal NBC poll when you asked if the president is impeached by the house, should he fighted or should he resign 58% say he should resign only 38% say he should fight it. What does that suggest? It suggests to me that the premise of the Clinton White House over these last several months has been I have strong job performance and popular support in public opinion so that I can continue with office that is that is locked in there. And that is my sort of a safety ring my life preserver. Once you went once you are impeached. However, The public seems to be quite willing to consider losing Bill Clinton. So what's really going on here? I have a hypothesis it is that the public wants this over and if in fact Bill Clinton is impeached the quickest way for it to be over apparently for a significant number of the public is for him to resign meaning that the premise of the Clinton White House, which is I'm popular I'll be able to ride this out may not be true. If in fact a vote of impeachment does pass the house. This would be a Titanic political miscalculation by the Clinton White House if these numbers hold, let's run those figures and that the hypothesis passed another member, Minnesota Congressional Delegation Bill Luther joins us 6 District Congressman calling from Oakdale morning Congressman. Would you would you agree with Professor shears analysis hear congressman? Precedent in this country. If before a person that I had an opportunity to present a case before a affair Affair group such as the standard in this case. I got. That would be this kind of runaway mentality that could actually forced a person out I think is you look to the Future Rifka would be that any time are you don't like an election you don't like what the voters have decided you start this effort aimed at the impeachment and if you're successful you then what if established the precedent here for 4 actually pushing somebody out of office hold for the good of the country. I thought I think it's it's it's a little dangerous. If you if you look into the future and you consider the ramifications of that kind of that kind of a process, so you think he should stand and fight. I think you have to look at what's going on here the it just seems to to me that you can't it's hard to explain away the conduct nobody's going to do that. But if you look at whether or not this contact Rises to to a level and vision by the Constitution that would actually justify overturning the will of the people a decision made by the people. I think it's easy to come to the conclusion that it's a very arrogant act which it what is going on today. I buy the House of Representatives and I think it's appropriate to view. It is. It's very divisive. It's I think I guess I would refer you back to the comments about Joel in the last 2 days. Here's a seasoned politician. Someone has been around certainly not of the philosophy of Bill Clinton, but I think his suggestion is a very good one. Along the lines of how do you best put this behind us? And that is a fine find appropriate punishment in contrast to that kind of approach happening in the House of Representatives is just the opposite another word for refusing to allow a vote of conscience on a sensor on a middle ground and instead forcing people to choose sides and obviously a lot of pressure being exerted on people. That's what so caring in the House of Representatives. That's not something that's going to bring us together. It's not really allowing us to find the true a middle ground the vote of conscience that people say they want so I'm I think it's very unfortunate what's going on right now. It's obviously serious condict but it's appropriate for us to not come home the problem that was created for by the president. We should be handling this in a responsible Manner and that's the point that many people are going to be made. King as we get to Washington later today, what are you hearing from your constituents Congressman really a whole variety of thought and it's very evenly split in terms of the kinds of calls that are coming in the office not and I am courage that I think it's very helpful in our thinking process because he's various points of view. Do you think sir that if in fact the house votes to impeach the president do you think I kind of Third Way resolution the Bob Dole type solution will be reached or will this play out to the end one way or the other would be looked at very seriously and I think there's a reasonable chance that that that would be considered in. The reason I say that is I don't think anyone looks forward to having our country tied up in a trial where a hundred Senators would shift a fixed in their seats as jurors. Well some subject matter like this is being discussed. You know how hard it is to get Senators V quiet for even a short. Of time. Can you imagine that going on for days or weeks or months when we have the the kinds of issues that we have in this world? I I really would hope that that's clear thinking would Prevail in the Senate if we can't get some of that in the house before this is resolved in the next couple of days. Thank you, sir. Appreciate your joining us Democrat Bill Luther from Oakdale. We're talking to shower with the several members in Minnesota Congressional Delegation joining us from Northfield is Carleton college political-science professor and chair of the department Stephen Scherer talking about tomorrow's historic debates. And this week's vote on whether to impeach a Bill Clinton fresh-air. It's been mentioned by some that denoted by some that. This is a lame duck congress will the house action. Will that be carried over to the new? Congress to the senate or do they have to do this all over again? I couldn't be carried over but the preponderance of legal opinion is that this is this is not an action that dies with this Congress, but rather a a set of charges the thin have to go to trial and it it certainly Congress will be treating it that way and I think the preponderance of legal opinion is that it has to operate in that way does it just the fact that this is a lame duck congress does that in any way undermine the legitimacy of what the house ends up doing dances by a margin of fewer than five votes will always be second-guessing this thinking that this could have been an artifact of a lame duck congress that might never have occurred if it has been delayed a few weeks. Are the Democrats on sound ground in criticizing the Republican leadership for failing to allow a vote on Center the argument of time delay in others in the Republican leadership is that we have to follow the Constitutional process which is to vote on articles of impeachment. Then that becomes the sort of punishment of resolution becomes a matter for the Senate. Nothing is to prevent the the Congress however from considering a censure motion at any point in its proceedings that during any year so are ultimately it's a decision that will the impeachment process should go forward let the Senate do this doesn't have to be that way and I think a lot of Mater to both parties would prefer it wouldn't be that way but it is going to be that way. Well, how would you as a political scientist in your colleagues treaties center of the president by the house? Would it be a slap-on-the-wrist would you down the road? See this as a Scarlet Letter. What how would you folks interpret this? Because I said I think that's certainly been one of the arguments against any kind of asset sure that it really doesn't amount of B12 Accenture against Andrew Jackson in 1834 was rescinded within a year after an election when the Democrats Jackson's party over took over the Senate that had to do with Jackson's handling of the management of the National Bank. I guess we could say was a less charged issue than this one has become still the the question of Center is a curious one it is it is really an unusual thing to do to a present and there's an argument against insurer, which is that if you use Center in this instance won't censor then become of relatively frequently employed tactic to weaken the president's because the institutional consequences are not nearly as severe is a potential impeachment in the Congress might go about doing this in a way. It would weaken the presence as well. So you have arguments that the presents he is being weakened for guardless of what Congress does Accenture could set a precedent for weakening future presents through frequent sensors and impeachment process could weaken the president by perhaps lowering the bar about what an impeachable offense is over. The long run. I think the picture is that the president's presidency itself in the Constitutional system is diminished for the foreseeable future. It is weaker is a constitutional office and that is I think an inevitable consequence of the sequence of events Stephen sharer teaches political science at Carleton College in Northfield. We're getting ready for tomorrow's historic debate in the US House on whether the house will impeach President Bill Clinton. Now many members of Congress have repeatedly called on the president to Simply admit that he lied under oath and commit and committed perjury But the president has repeatedly said that he didn't lie under oath. What's more analysts say that any such a admission would severely undermined the president's defense if he's ever prosecuted for perjury after he leaves office this morning. We spoke with Hennepin County judge and former US attorney Andrew Danielson about that part of the story if he were to go before the nation and say I committed perjury I admit it and I'm sorry would that automatically is actually convicted him then if if there were trial after he left office could that be used as evidence in a trial against him? I don't see any reason why I couldn't that water would be what it will be a final determination as to whether he committed perjury or not. That might be a little bit different question because perjury has a legal definition. It has to be a lie under oath on a material fact, and it has to meet those criteria in order for there to be a conviction for for the charge of perjury. So even if he essentially admitted to committing perjury it wouldn't necessarily mean that he would be convicted of perjury know. I don't think it would because I think they need it is all kinds of perhaps definition. Of just exactly what he stop perjury was but of course she does have the disadvantage of their of if it came to that of having been advised by counsel. I assume before he goes on the before he made such as and so that presumably council is going to advise him and give him just exactly the definition of what country is One Step short of that. What if he went before the American people of the Congress and said, you know, the average person would consider what I did to be lying under oath. I don't think I committed perjury under the rules of the courts, but clearly, you know, you folks think I lied under oath and I thought I'd have to plead guilty to that and I'm sorry about that now with that be prejudicial in a trial against him. Lying in the road because then he would have admitted that he has lied under oath now whether it would still leave probably remaining to be proved. What are in the battle? I was out of material fact that it certainly would be at least half of the of admitting that he had committed perjury and presumably anybody who is Prosecuting president would have a far easier time doing so under either circumstance then if he simply stuck to what he was saying today Andrew Danielson Stephen sharer one political question before we take a break. Let's assume for a moment that the president set aside these potential legal issues and told all said well, I lied under Olson. I'm sorry John so forth. Wouldn't that virtually a require the house to impeach him if I don't think would be a solution to his problems because it's the judge indicated that essentially what they were doing legal proceeding is weakened or is weakened his own case and strengthen the case against him same point. Politically. It would really end in bold and his opponents in his critics and we can his defenders in Congress and amongst his team of lawyers. So even though a number of legislators have asked him to just admit this I think in many ways Gary, you're right. It would probably actually facilitated impeachment vote vote make it more likely rather than left. Well, let's take a break and we'll continue our conversation Steven shares with us from Northfield. He teaches political science Carleton College in Northfield still to come in this second half hour of the program of this shower going to be talking with some more Minnesota Congressman Gilbert Nick Bruce vento, possibly Jim Oberstar, possibly David McGee as well. I'm learning Benson with the impeachment vote just days away minnesotans are rushing to tell their elected representatives which way to vote All Things Considered will hear from Congressional staffers dealing with the constituent feedback, even though 7 out of a congressman say they've already made up their mind. It's all things considered weekdays at 3 on Minnesota Public Radio piano W FM 91.1 in the Twin Cities. A reminder over the noon hour. Today. We're going off to the national press club or going to shift gears a little bit. Dr. Nancy Dickey is speaking at the Press Club today. She is the president of the American Medical Association and a lot of concern in this country about the Healthcare System how it's changed over the years and how it may change in the future. Dr. Dickey is expected there to address what she sees as the as they changing nature of Healthcare in America live coverage of the Press Club coming up over the noon hour today snow at least snow flurries are in the forecast for Minnesota today light snow across much of the area with highest today mid-twenties in the Northeast upper 30s in the Southwest Twin Cities lights nor some flurries less than an inch accumulating. Sonos shoveling required though you might want to get a broom out high today in the low-to-mid 30s right now in the Twin Cities cloudy sky and 34°. Carleton College has put a coil science chair Steven shares with us as we prepare for tomorrow's historic debate in the US House the impeachment debate. Of course, we'll have live coverage here on Minnesota Public Radio. We're also talking this hour with some members of Minnesota's Congressional Delegation. Are you surprised Steven that all well 7 of Minnesota's 8th members of Congress have already taken a position on this but that Jim ramstad their District Republican still says, he's undecided flashes politician than I think he's trying to deliberate up to the last minute before he actually makes his decision. So that's not a surprise to me. But I also have to say that the other state delegation break down along partisan lines. And that is I think one sorry consequence of this whole process that there seem to be relatively few people who are not following the instincts of their own herd. Alan Goodman and her column today noted that all the members of Congress are talking about this is being a boat of conscience and yet she thought it was could it be mere coincidence that all the Republicans have I'm the one conclusion and all the Democrats have come to the other conclusion that there are people who are having difficulty examining their consciences and coming to a decision about a vote. But I also think that the parties in the house Republican Democrat Party are very clearly idia logical. Both of them are they have very distinct profiles and the most Democrats think like most Republicans on most issues and the most political matters. So it really doesn't surprise me that there is a sort of mentality on the other hand at the moment of high politics like this. She would hope that you're elected representatives wouldn't be so entirely predictable, but boy they are It is possible that they are both boarding their conscience and just coincidentally ending up voting along party lines think is right in terms of their own conscience is frequently what their party wants them to do. That's how they get nominated and elected and stay in office now. Well the fact that these articles of impeachment whichever ones pass so we'll probably pass along pretty much a straight party-line vote maybe give or take a bullet here or there. Is that going to affect the legitimacy of the process it all the perception that this is somehow a Witch Hunt or whatever aspect of historical situation and I will raise questions about how the Congress has operated in this process, but I do have to say that I think both parties are responsible. If I can't really claim one more than the other that they want and I eat one of the important reasons that it's really playing out the way it is is the Curious involves the Curious dynamics of the house Judiciary Committee. I think that is a very polarized committee really dominated by the extremes of both parties and the really harsh and divisive discussions in that committee. I think helped to frame this issue in a very partisan way for just about every member of Congress making it very difficult to cross partisan lines in any direction from Washington is Minnesota 1st District Republican Congressman Gil. Gutknecht Morgan Congressman. Good morning, you have indicated that you plan to vote for impeachment any reservations any second thoughts whatsoever o none whatsoever. So that there's almost no tension here around the the office building today. There's almost is Serenity. I made it most members now have made up their minds. They wrestled with this long enough and whether they're on one side or the other. I mean it it's now like well, there's no longer that debate going on internally. The debate will go on outside but but members have made up their mind and that there's something about that that put you a piece the Democrats have been pretty harsh in their criticism of the Republican leadership for essentially blocking a bullet on a censure resolution. Do you think you should you folks should be able to vote on center or is that what your thought on that is a reasonable option for the house. I think either there is sufficient grounds to send articles to the Senate order or not. And I think people have to vote their conscience one way or the other. I think once it reaches the Senate which is the body that would have judicate all of this so that maybe one of the options they consider, but I don't really think it's cancer. Duration for us. I mean, we're the grand jury and it's our responsibility to determine whether or not there are sufficient facts to send to the Senate articles of impeachment for them to conduct a trial and I think the conclusion that I had to reach based on the facts were presented and Frankie the lack of defense that was presented on other presidents part. I really left us know of no other alternative the word we're getting back here is that it's virtually uninhabitable now that at least one of the Articles of impeachment will pass if not more than one. Would you agree with that? Yeah, I would agree with that. I I think every day that passes did it looks as if more and more of the moderate Republicans are going to join in at least probably at least three of the Articles and frankly. I think it's the end of the day. There may be a much larger group of Democrats will join us when the vote actually taken assuming that at least one article passes or more at do you think the Senate will actually go ahead and have a trial or do you think at that point some kind of joint you and Bob Dole was talking about some kind of joint resolution to the head off a trial to punish the present some weight. How do you see it playing out after the impeachment for the real problem? Is that both the Senate and House have and I think this is sort of the untold secret here in Washington that any measure that sent your measure that we were strong enough to satisfy. The Republicans wouldn't Marshall enough Democratic support. So trying to broker some kind of a deal between Those who strongly believe the president ought to be impeached and removed from office. And those who believe he should receive no punishment whatsoever. I think it's going to be very difficult. Public opinion what role should that play in members decisions tomorrow? You don't I think in some respects this issue and it's been almost refreshing about this public opinion is played almost no role. I think in the end, I think real from the very beginning I have felt that members from either side are going to make this decision based on their own conscience and not the latest public opinion polls. In fact, I think polls go up and pulls go down and they change but I think principles remain the same. Do you think that the president when all the sudden done while I've been treated fairly by the house if if not harshly? Remind you I think he's been treated more than fairly. I think he had his opportunity to present his side of the story and you know, his side of the story was largely to attack Republican Ken Starr. I I don't think that's really a way to defend yourself in this kind of circumstance and Frank. Nicky attitude taken by the White House just cause more and more of the people who really wanted to vote against impeach. I think they really push push them into the impeachment call him. I think you know that this sort of their sort of this attitude I dare you to go ahead and do this. Well, you know, we take this pretty seriously and at the end of the day it's really is about perjury it's about obstruction of justice and more importantly. It's it's the question is in my mind is can we have two standards of Justice? I mean one for powerful politicians and another for everybody else in the answer that question to my opinion is no thank you so much for joining us sir. Appreciate it and congressman. Yes, I from Washington one day before the house is scheduled to begin its debate on for articles of impeachment that the hostages Sherry committee has sent to the Full House articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. Stephen sharer certainly sounds like mr. Nick is so firm in his convictions as I guess most members is interesting. I thought his comment was interesting that they're kind of Serenity is settled in or at least in his place. Right? Well, let's go back a few months to figure out how this Serenity arrived. I mean the president made a statement to the grand jury, then gave a speech on August 17th. And since then he is argue that he did not commit perjury and the fact that that line of argument is remain stable up to this point on the edge of the food has made it at the end of the day possible for a lot of moderates to move against the president because they believe that in their heart of hearts. They believe that he is still lying and a sea. Sort of flaunting rule of law. And I think that's what's made it easy for a number these moderates in the last couple days to jump against the prison. So they essentially you're reading this essentially was that they wanted him to choose between impeachment or criminal conviction that that is a very strong possibility in any event. That's what the moderate Republicans want and they didn't get it and I think it made the decision easier for tickly the president's talk on Friday where he really didn't add anything new to his set terms of Defense one other point that Congressman guttentag made that I think it's very important. We have really focused on he did call the untold Secrets. How do you get consensus on what a century punishment would be that actually is a difficult question and it's not clear how that could be worked out even after you were you Old articles of impeachment if you vote articles of impeachment because if you look at the Democratic censure resolution in the house Judiciary Committee, it is a really relatively should we say we tee it doesn't even use the term the president lied wear as a moderate Republican like my castle as of today is urging well a two-million-dollar fine. If there's some distance between these two and Congress may have to figure out a way to accommodate these differences in a consensus of censure resolution down the road how they'll do what I don't know Minnesota 4th District Democrat Bruce vento Joanne Justin Congressman Beto of first of all, welcome to the program, but I do. Do you think assuming that the house this week of votes to impeach the president? Do you think that the the matter will then play out with a senate trial or will there be some attempt to try to find some Third Way some kind of essential resolution that everybody can agree to Maybe there's a censure resolution anyway, because I think that the the biggest this type of material just doesn't will not hold up in the trial type of setting. I mean just about everything has been done wrong with this and it's obviously is a ended up and fortunately in a partisan type of action in the house with a few Democrats voting for Republicans apparently winning against it in retrospect. Was there anything that the president could have done should have done to head this off and I think he's made an effort to do offer his to to shame them self and to offer his regrets at his the conducting to eat admitted to, statements. And so I think that's a I think he's done that repeatedly. I think what other so would require him to do is obviously to to throw him to say that he's guilty of All this and throw myself on the mercy of the Congress which doesn't seem to have much interest in terms of compromise at this time. You folks from the Democratic side have been pretty pretty harsh in your criticism of the Republican leadership. Is it fair though to say that the most Republican members are in fact going to vote their conscience. They really do believe that Bill Clinton should be impeached. Well, I think that there is there voting I mean their conscience no one can look in and decide to discover what the motives are. You know, why people are going to go to I just don't I think this just doesn't it just it lowers the bar in terms of what it is for. I think that's the issue here is the present certainly is above a lot of the questions to put him not to let him be put below the law in the sense in terms of his terms of right to me in the court to open the Clinton up to the Paula Jones a suit and that out of play itself out and if there were wrong doing in that he still is liable to that that type of activity but he clearly has the right to his Legal defense so in terms of these these matters and they don't really touch on his official role unless you get into some expanded view of the present is the chief law enforcement officer and so forth the nation and this doesn't really touch on his official role these activities do so, I think it really this really lowers the bar for passing impeachment resolutions and frankly means the house isn't doing its job. I mean the standard of evidence that was put forth in the was clear and convincing evidence in 1974 against with regards to Nixon and that is not the case in this instance. This evidence is not clear and convincing evidence. So with regards to this a matter at all, you think that this will lead to this process will lead to more impeachments in the future. This is going to do if this does go to a trial in the Senate. I don't think it's going to hold water. I think it's going to mean that the house is considerably depreciated its role in terms of the impeachment the process I innocence. Perhaps in the future any last minute dramatic surprises possible in your mind or is this I don't know. I don't you know that most members are in a falling in that this business with no political polarization. There's been no effort the president it I think it's made repeated attempts to try and reach a some sort of an understanding with regard to Century Federal Way in an at-bat a vein in Ford way. And of course, you've got So Cal constitutional experts that are saying it's a bill of attainer, but I don't think that that's necessarily is the case of a repast sensor resolution is all the time and we could have that's for the American public is that's what we should be passing. That's an area where we can agree upon may not be enough for for Summit may be too much for others. I think that's where the common ground is. There seems to be an insistence upon a moving in the direction of of of impeachment if they're too embarrassed if Because I don't think there's going to have the legal ramifications if it's simply aren't there. Thank you, sir. Appreciate you all Minnesota 4th District Congressman Bruce vento who has indicated that he will vote against impeachment when those impeachment articles come up for a vote Steven shares with us. He is the chair of the Carleton College political science department down in Northfield and Professor share the assumption is or has been that if in fact the house so does as expected in Paso one more articles of impeachment the case goes to the Santa if there is a trial the Senate will of course, I quit Bill Clinton. Do you see that is so such a cut-and-dried deal. I don't see if you asked me to make a prediction today. I would say yes, but I think that events have a logic of their own that can change the decision-making environment Senator Lieberman who is an early Senate. Pic of the president's Behavior over the over this year indicated that he didn't really know what senators were thinking that very few words spoken out publicly. I would expect party lines to harden in the Senate but once you start a trial in the process of discovery and you have witnesses and you consider evidence a new Dynamic begins new facts can make New Politics and so I'm not entirely certain about this will really an uncharted waters. Do you see this dragging on a senate trial if there is one do you see this dragging on for months? Maybe the better part of a year or just a quick deal like Trent lot of stuff about during the trial. All Senators must be seated and be quiet. Now I consider consider the difficulty Senators have and being seeded being quiet. I think they'll be a strong and send it for them to get on with their other duties and therefore to move this trial along. I really doubt that it will take months. Like I'm not sure it can be done in two or three weeks, but they'll be incentives within the Senate to move along and get this behind us and what long-term impact do you suppose this is going to have this impeachment vote on the political process. Can we expect the people to be you know, the normal citizen to be energized in the future or Further alienated. Well, I don't think this is going to increase public support for a governmental institutions in the short run. The public is already thinking very bad things about politicians and force Bill Clinton's behavior is certainly not help to in that regard. It seems to me that this is just one in a series of one political side is called at r i p Revelation investigation prosecution, which you bury your political enemies. It's often called the the politicization of policy differences. And I think that's one element of what's going on in this impeachment similar things occurred with Newt Gingrich in recent years and this sort of gotcha politics. I think really does alienate the public and will not help the functioning of our governmental institutions in the short run will the politicians in the future be able to back away from that then having gone. This is all over everyone who's been part of it will say yuck Ugg. Let's try and avoid this at all costs and we'll see that the cost of such a process me some Lowe's to return to it. I think an early indication of whether that's the case will be when and if the independent counsel statutes are renewed next year. If so, will there be more circumscribed Authority for these independent counsel that would suggest that the culture of investigation that seems to consume Washington and certainly the national media as well. Maybe a past its apex. Well, it'll be an interesting process your prediction sir. I think there will be at least one article passed in the one I'm betting on his article one. There may be additional articles on that though Gary. I have to say it does get foggy. It's very hard to see exactly what the politics of the Senate trial will be like what the process of evidence will be. Like, I don't think it'll be like 1868 with Andrew Johnson because then I think it was even more politicizing more dubious then then it could be called today but it's still full of imponderables and I'm not willing to place money on any older man outcomes. Thanks so much for joining us. Sure. Really? Appreciate it Stephen Sher who is the chair of the Carleton College put a cool science department at the college in Northfield joining us at this hour this day before the house begins debate of the historic debate on whether to impeach Bill Clinton a boat is expected. Probably will either late tomorrow or Friday and we will have continuing extended live coverage of the house debate and the boat are on Minnesota Public Radio. Our coverage will begin at 9 tomorrow morning least. That's the schedule start time right now 9 tomorrow morning, and we sure hope you'll be able to join us for that to continuing coverage. I'm Lynn Neary the second phase of the Brady Bill took effect last month. Now, you must pass an FBI criminal background check to buy a gun. If convicted felon from being able to walk into a store and purchase a gun live review five years of the Brady Bill on the next Talk of the Nation from NPR news. Start of a Nation begins at 1 this afternoon here on Minnesota Public Radio. Now over the noon hour. We're going off to the National Press Club, Dr. Nancy. Dickey was present of the American Medical Association will be talking about the amas position on a number of the big Healthcare issues facing Society. That's over the noon hour today live from the national Press Club right now. It's time for The Writer's Almanac.


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