At the dawn of the impeachment hearings the primary issue facing Congress is exactly the opposite of what it ought to be, e.g., whether Bill Clinton committed impeachable offenses and should be removed from office. Sure, there is still a possibility that he will be impeached by the House, but little likelihood that two-thirds of the Senate will vote to convict him. If there was any doubt about that before, the election results removed it by emboldening Democrats to ignore the evidence and the law.
At this point reasonable people will agree that Bill Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice. He just as clearly abused his power, but we’ll leave that out of the discussion for the sake of focus and simplicity. There are technical defenses to perjury in the civil suit, such as materiality, but they are demonstrably weak, notwithstanding Clinton propaganda. So let’s just focus on the grand jury lies, where such issues as materiality are not in question. Everything he was asked about before the grand jury was material to its investigation. And even liberal Charles Schumer admitted Clinton lied before the grand jury. Not just Schumer, but all Democrats know he perjured himself; thus their feverish insistence that Congress depart from the Rodino Rules and make a pre-hearing determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense.
Reasonable people will also agree that Clinton obstructed justice in at least two specific instances. Don’t get me wrong; he obstructed plenty more than twice, but on the following two the evidence is irrefutable.
- The most powerful man on the planet instructed his 20-year-old sex-servant that if they both denied their relationship under oath they would never get caught. If the Tripp tapes have made anything abundantly clear, it is that little conspiratorial episode. Conspiring to lie under oath is obstruction. And as part of that conspiracy Monica swore out and submitted an affidavit denying a sexual relationship. But the striking thing about the content of the affidavit which has received little play is the singularly deceptive use of a denial of past conduct in the present tense. Bill Clinton’s unmistakable signature is all over Monica’s affidavit, sufficient to incriminate him even without her casual taped admission of this plan to coordinate their denials. On two occasions, we have seen Bill Clinton on videotape using the present tense to deny a past act. On the McNeil-Lehrer Report, when being questioned about the Gennifer Flowers affair he responded, “That’s correct, there is no sex.” Deceptive, but linguistically accurate? Then, in his grand jury testimony we watched him attempt to explain how Monica’s sworn affidavit could be true, depending on what the definition of “is” is. The odds against even Monica coincidentally coming up with this same annoyingly puerile word-ploy on her own are unquantifiable. So we know, do we not, that Mr. Clinton obstructed justice in procuring and authoring Monica’s affidavit?
- We also know beyond any reasonable doubt that Clinton rehearsed Betty Currie’s testimony, in an effort to corruptly influence it. There is no other plausible explanation under the sun and his efforts to provide one during before the grand jury were feeble, embarrassing and overtly incriminating.
So we know that Bill Clinton is guilty of multiple impeachable offenses and that it is extremely unlikely that he will be removed from office for them. So, these matters are no longer seriously in question.
What does remain in question is whether congressional Republicans will have the fortitude and statesmanship to vote to impeach and convict when it may damage them politically.
Following the election, we have all been talking about the fate of the Republican Party in terms of its political survival. But now it is time to talk about the honor of the party. Because we know due to Democratic corruption that Bill Clinton is virtually assured of holding on to his coveted position, the only trial about to begin is that of the congressional Republicans. Their ultimate judge will not be Bill Clinton, his obsequious Democratic enablers in Congress, the media elite or the bludgeoned-beyond-numbness American people.
No, history will be the arbiter of whether they had the collective timbre to honor the Constitution and the rule of law. They must not succumb to the seductive forces of political expedience and abrogate their duties. They must proceed undeterred by their belief that Bill Clinton’s conviction is a political impossibility. By fighting unsuccessfully to uphold the rule of law they will not have irretrievably forfeited the constitutional principles they have been ceaselessly proclaiming the past 10 months. They are the last line of defense against those forces who seek to unravel the legal and moral foundations of this nation. In terms of unknown outcomes, it is their trial and not the president’s that begins tomorrow.