ATLANTA — The man who has spearheaded a drive to disbar Bill Clinton said he is surprised the president’s written response to the charges is so “pathetic,” and is “more convinced than ever” that Clinton’s days as a lawyer are numbered.
The complaint which brought Clinton’s right to practice law into question came from the Southeastern Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm. It was first filed in September 1998 by Arkansas attorney L. Lynn Hogue, followed by a long period of inaction — until the Arkansas Supreme Court stepped-in and forced the process along.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright, who presided over the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, also filed a complaint against Clinton after she cited him for contempt of court and fined him $90,000.
Clinton was served notice of the complaint and given until April 21 to submit a response. He had attempted to have the process delayed until after he is out of office but the Arkansas Committee on Professional Conduct refused his request.
Last week’s deadline came and went with no word from Clinton, the committee, or Clinton’s attorney David Kendall. Then, Friday, Southeastern Legal Foundation President Matthew J. Glavin said he had received a copy of Clinton’s written response.
“There were absolutely no surprises. That’s what was remarkable about it. There’s nothing new here,” said Glavin in an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily.
Glavin could not divulge the exact wording of the Clinton response because it is privileged. If it is to be made public, it must come directly from Kendall.
“The arguments are exactly what you would expect them to be and they are the same arguments we heard the president make during the impeachment process,” Glavin said. “I can’t go and talk about the specific arguments but, let me tell you, it was really a rather pathetic attempt at defending the indefensible.”
The complaint against Clinton is based on Clinton’s efforts to deceive the court, Congress and the American people during the impeachment proceedings and the Paula Jones civil case.
The American Bar Association provides guidelines to state bar associations that clearly indicate Clinton’s actions merit disbarment, according to Glavin. Actions by a lawyer in public office, such as those by Clinton, are considered to be so serious that immediate action should be taken, according to the ABA.
When a lawyer has engaged in “intentional interference with the administration of justice, false swearing, misrepresentation, fraud,” or when “a lawyer engages in any other intentional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation,” then the lawyer should be suspended “from the practice of law immediately pending a final determination of the ultimate discipline to be imposed,” according to the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility in its guidelines, “Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions.”
Clinton’s 85-page response contains over 300 pages of footnotes. Glavin said it contains no surprises and will be easy for his law firm to respond.
“We wanted to see how the president’s response was put together from an organizational standpoint. That gave us a little bit of an idea on how we want to organize our response but, in terms of the arguments, we had all the arguments in place prior to receiving the response. It was exactly what we expected,” explained Glavin.
Clinton has the option of asking for a hearing on the complaints. He has not made such a request, however. A hearing would be open to the public while the current process is not. Once Glavin’s rebuttal has been received by the committee, members of the committee will receive a copy of all the documents from all parties and will vote on the matter without discussion.
If they vote to disbar Clinton, he will be given a chance to voluntarily surrender his license rather than have it taken from him. Now that Glavin has read the defense filed by Clinton, Glavin said he is “more convinced than ever” that the committee will have no other choice than to vote for disbarment.
Final action on the complaint is expected to take place on or before May 19, according to committee chairman Kenneth Reeves.