Based on what you now know, do you think there are sufficient grounds to impeach the president? Many washingtonpost.com readers sent us their opinions. Read excerpts below.
The President should not be impeached this. The Congress should drop this immediately. It is disgraceful that grown men and women have such interest in a matter that the President rightly wanted to keep private. It was not the President who brought this to National attention. He tried to keep it quiet -- and for that he is being hounded by right wing zealots determined to overturn the last election.
Having read the evidence and the explanation
for the investigation it is crystal clear that
had anyone but the President performed these
actions they would already be in jail. I believe
impeachment AND a criminal investigation is
Yes. I am convinced that the president perjured himself on more than one occasion, tampered with witnesses, and obstructed justice--all felonies. If we as a nation are willing to let this pass without judgement or punishment we might as well pass a law that grants all citizens a free felony, say, every five years, and a free misdemeanor every year as Clinton is getting just that.
Certainly not. Lying about a shameful encounter, even under oath in a civil case, later found to be without merit, is no ground for impeachment.
The obstruction of justice charge relates to the President using legal procedures in his own defense. Any accused murderer has that right. Why not the President?
The argument that "It's not about sex; it's about lying under oath," is a figleaf. If it weren't, why the infinitely salacious detail?
No, Clinton should NOT be impeached. The whole mess
should not have gotten this far. Richard Mellon Scaife should
be billed for the costs of the whole dog and pony show
and we ought to move on to education, social
security, the international economic mess and
Linda Tripp should be boiled in oil and Monica Lewinsky
should be referred for intensive psychotherapy.
Absurd issue. Judge Starr is a stalking horse for the Republican right-wingers who still resent Bill Clinton for being elected president. He (Starr) is an obsessed voyeur who has crossed the line. The November elections sent a message. The Republicans simply didn't get it and never will.
I'm more worried about death and starvation in Kosovo, effects of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, the Asian financial crisis, Mitsubishi trying to destroy a gray whale sanctuary in Mexico, VDOT spending too much on constructing a 12-lane beltway, and other important (real) issues. Partisan bickering is a distraction and waste of time. Henry Hyde needs to get his priorities straight.
No. Though Mr. Starr is still testifying as I
write this, I have read his prepared testimony
in full and there is NOTHING new in there that
is negative about the President. Message to
Congressional Republicans: Get over it and move
on. If you expended half as much energy in
considering positive legislation to improve our
country as you have expended in a fruitless
crusade to get the President, we'd all be a lot
better off now.
No I don't think there are any grounds for impeachment. Kenneth Starr has done more harm to this country than Clinton has done. None of the details of the affair should have been made public. We don't need to see and hear every detail. Clinton is a good president and is doing the job we elected him to do. Ken Starr should give it up and go home.
Yes, I still beleive the President is guilty of misusing his office and of criminal acts. Lying to a Grand Jury is still a crime, President or not, and no matter the reason. Reading Mr. Starr's testimony is just reaffirming the the President is guilty of "high crimes". I think that the founders would have defined "high crimes" not in terms of breaking this law or that law, but of the total disregard and contempt that the President has shown for the rule of law and for the office.
This is not about the President's private life.
This is about lying under oath and subverting the
judicial process. If anyone else did what the President
did that person more than likely would lose his or her job
and have a nice vacation at the expense of the US
government at a federal prison. He needs to resign; the Office
of the US President is bigger than Bill Clinton. The longer he stays,
more he is tarnishing the Office. If he isn't going to do the
right thing by resigning than he should be impeached.
The Republican politicians in Congress have been
trying to find a way to void President Clinton's
election since 1993 when he took office. They
have been diligent in looking for something -
anything - they could hang on him. The Whitewater
case involved something that happened long before
Bill Clinton was elected President. Starr has
found nothing with which to indict President
Clinton in that matter. So, he has expanded
his fanatical search by making matters
irrelevant to the Whitewater investigation seem
relevant, i.e., the Paula Jones case, Monica
Lewinsky and the President's private life. His
methods have been highly unethical and single-
minded. Not trying to find all the facts, but
searching only for facts to justify his
investigation and bring impeachment charges
against the President. Mr. Hyde refuses to allow
any questions in the impeachment hearings regarding
Mr. Starr's methods, thereby condoning the idea
that the end - impeachment of President Clinton -
justifies any means. This is a frightening attack
on due process. Criminal cases are often thrown
out of court when there is clear evidence that
the investigation was done illegally. Why not in
Lying about one's private life in a deposition that
was considered irrelevant in a case that was
dismissed and later settled out of court is not
grounds for impeachment.
This was a setup by Starr, in many ways, funded earlier by
a rabid Scaife and agreed to by malicious
Republicans. This is not a way to operate a
Clearly the President should not have pursued
his sexual inclinations, but these are not
No. If you look at the opinions on many forums
dealing with this issue, you will soon realize that
there has been little or no change in people's
opinions about the President. Look at the hometown
and you will usually find that if it is an area
that has been against Bill Clinton the opinion
expressed will be strongly against him and vice versa
for hometowns that have largely supported him.
This is not an absolute but a strong trend.
Yes there are grounds for impeachment. The determination should be made on what laws were broken, not on public opinion polls. The democrats should also stop complaining about being treated unfairly in the House proceedings. That's the price of being the minority party. Thank God they're not the majority or they'd allow Clinton to continue to bankrupt the office of the presidency by letting him off the hook. If Clinto really cared about our country, government and way of life, he'd step down. Unfortunately, all Clinton cares about is Clinton.
I'm listening to "Judge" Starr right now as he
testifys. I'm embarrased for us all. He's
still trying to justify 4 years and way too many
millions of dollars of hounding this president.
It's pitiful and would be funny if it weren't so
destructive to the country.
Mr. Clinton has wilfully committed perjury and obstructed justice. He should be tried and impeached for these felonies.
We should also hold him accountable for his lack of integrity, for his having no moral compass, for bringing such derision to the Office of the President - for being so sleazy.
Mr. Clinton's presidency will be remembered by history as a period of tawdry personal morality, excessive pandering for political contributions, shallow, short term domestic goals, and no credible foreign policy objectives.
This thing is getting really old.
If lying to a grand jury, obstruction and
witness tampering are OK because, after all,
"it's just about sex," where is the line to be
drawn? Draft-dodging seems to be OK. What if
a president, say, steals a car? Is that
acceptable? Probably not. So what if he gets
caught shoplifting? Is that OK, because the
economy is rolling and that big old store wont
miss that stuff anyway, right? Molest a female employee?
Arrange hush money for one of his buds? How low
is the standard these days for Presidents?
This one has disgraced himself and us.
He should be impeached by the House and
convicted and removed from office by the Senate.
Algore may be a stiff, but as far as I know he's
totally morally bankrupt. I only hope Congress
has the stomach to do its duty.
As I have read Judge Starrs' deposition and now am listening to him, there is no way that I can see that the liar in the Whitehouse can escape the truth of his own corruption. He is not only amoral but a disgrace to America as well.
No legitimate proof at all! Where did this "Thing" start again, Whitewater?
How and Why did it get this far? I suppose if I was given $40 million
I could prove that Kenneth Starr is actually CAPT Kirk's illegitimate
Klingon child from the 24th century!
No the president should not be impeached. Kenneth Starr should be chared with abuse of power.
No. The entire process has become a fiasco.
It's disgusting to watch this flagrant abuse of the taxpayers' money. The voters sent a loud and clear message to the lawmakers letting them know that we [the public] have had more than enough. Apparently, they just don't get it. The American citizenry will re-iterate this message in November 2000.
Kenneth's Starr's inquisition has done far
more damage to the country than anything Bill
Clinton has done. Mr. Clinton betrayed his
wife, but not the country. Mr. Starr's heavy
handed tactics have included forcing a mother
to testify against her daughter, secret service
agents to testify against the people in their
care, and lawyers to testify against their
clients. The consequences of Mr. Starr's
excesses will haunt us for years to come.
The entire impeachment process is based on a deeply flawed decision by the Supreme Court. By allowing the Paula Jones sexual harrassment case to proceed, the court in effect put the Executive branch in double jeopardy. If found guilty in Federal court, the President could presumably be fined or subject to other penalties dictated by the court. At the same time, the Special Prosecutor (or is that Special Persecuter?) argues that the President's conduct in a civil proceeding is an impeachable offense. Since the alleged offenses took place before Mr. Clinton took the oath of office of President, it's very hard to understand why any wrongdoing on his part in conjunction with that case should be grounds for impeachment. I believe the Supreme Court as well as the Republican-controlled Congress are equally guilty of fomenting a grave Constitutional crisis out of personal animosty toward the President.
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