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Impeachment Hearings
Readers' Views on the Impeachment Hearings
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.

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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.
Rhonda Murphy
Atlanta, GA



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 absolutely necessary.
Jeff Rayner
Baltimore



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.
Thomas J. Frieling
Bainbridge, GA



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?
John W. Cecil
Magalia, CA



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 Saddam Hussein. Linda Tripp should be boiled in oil and Monica Lewinsky should be referred for intensive psychotherapy.
Karen Silver
New York



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.
JAMES A. CLARK
Ardmore, Oklahoma



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.
John Duke
McLean, VA



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.
T. Jacob
Dallas, TX



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.
Sharon Adams
Fairfax, VA



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.
Otto K. Gross
Boonton Township, NJ



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.
Jimmy Nesmith
Arlington, VA



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 this case? 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.
Robert e. Nofer
Pasadena, California



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 government. Clearly the President should not have pursued his sexual inclinations, but these are not impeachable offenses.
Leonard Rabins
Scottsdale, Az



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.
Al Davis
Boston, MA



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.
Jason Gerwig
Springfield, IL



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.
Mary Alice Spurgeon
Prairie Village, Kansas



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.
Joe Miksis
Missouri City, Texas



No. This thing is getting really old.
Johnny C.
Venice, CA



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.
Bob Fleitz
Woodbridge, VA



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.
Al Roth
Dixon, Cal.



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!
Dennis Feeney
Orlando, Florida



No the president should not be impeached. Kenneth Starr should be chared with abuse of power.
Rob Williams
Maryland



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.
Girard Hull
Washington, DC



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.
Stephen M. Leo
Madison, Wisconsin



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.
Don Beeson
Olney, MD

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