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.
It concerns me greatly that the framework for
this discussion frequently focuses on the
extent to which someone thinks President
Clinton is "doing a good job as President."
Although I personally have some serious doubts
as to whether his conduct warrants impeachment
as a legal matter, deciding this issue based on
presidential popularity or a dislike
of the opposition is definitely the wrong way to
Sure, why not. He must have done at least one those things that Whitewater (or is it Bluedress?) Prosecutor Starr has been investigating during the past few years, right? Surely a $40+ million investigation must have produced at least one impeachable offense - they can't be that expensive or hard to find. If perjury and obstructuction of justice in a case unrelated to Starr's initial scope of inquiry (what was that again?) are all that $40+ million will buy, so be it. Perhaps we should look at amending the Constitution to provide for the appointment of an independent counsel with the election of each president. We should also have the opportunity to contribute a dollar from our tax returns to go to the independent counsel fund. This case has opened the Pandora's Box of Presidential investigation and impeachment and we should prepare ourselves for the consequences.
Let the republicans continue making fools of
themselves at the expense of the country over
Clinton's embarrassing sexual proclivities
that should not have seen the light of day until
after he leaves office. Hopefully, the moralists
will continue their tirades, and we will win back
control of the house and senate. Is there still
separation between church and state? Let the
"Christians" have at it until the country is sick
and tired enough of it to let our leaders deal with
really important issues that need to be addressed
like social security, health care, foreign affairs,
education, to name a few.
Though I agree the removal of a sitting President
is a serious affair, what else are we, as
a nation, to do? I think many would accept
that a censure or similar form of rebuff would
mean nothing in reality. An impeachment
inquiry is necessary.Is the President above
the law? Remember, we are not dealing with
his marital fidelity, his performance as
President, or whether we like Starr of
Republicans or Democrats. We need to know about
'Filegate'; we need to know whether he used his
powers to cover up his deeds; we need to know
about these other accusations, both founded
and wild. No, impeachment should not be used
just to 'check up' on a President. But the
President has brought these procedings upon
himself. Bottom line- he broke the law; he lied
in court, under oath. Should this just be
It is disgraceful that the Democrats, supposedly
the party of women's rights, has tried to put a
"two consenting adults" spin on the affair. In
the military, senior oficers have had their
careers destroyed for doing what Clinton
did. Sergeants who sleep with recruits are
drummed out of the service. Clinton was in a
position of authority and power as President,
and he abused it by having sex with an intern,
whether Monica "consented" or not. Further,
saying that Clinton's lying and cover up didn't
amount to "high crimes" is baloney. Nixon's
"high crime" was to break into a hotel room
and try and find out what the Democrats were
planning and covering it up. Hardly a "high
crime". Impeach Clinton.
Yes, the President should be impeached. He knowingly lied in a federal sexual harassment lawsuit, and then again before a Grand Jury on an issue properly before that body (not to mention his lies to the American people). He also may have suborned perjury and intimidated potential witnesses (these latter two issues would be decided in the impeachment proceedings). Any one of these actions should clearly be considered a "high crime or misdemeanor."
When Saddam Hussein and Kim Il Sung II lie and redeal, we're rightly outraged. But when our own president lies and subverts the American judicial process (and in the context of sexual harassment allegations no less), too many Americans think that's excusable. How sad for America that honesty, principles, and integrity are now relegated to "boy scout" status to be swept aside when they become inconvenient.
The President lied. Some punishment should come out of it. Impeachment is probably too harsh a punishment but losing his pension and censure should be a fair penalty because everybody wins. The Democrats keep the president from impeachment, the Republicans can move on to more important issues. We all know that most of our politicians are only out for their own interests. This only arises when they get caught. The only loser is the news media, which will have nothing, left to report. The American people are tired of this scandal because it has been pounded into our brains by the media constantly for the last 11 months. Just once I would like to go through a whole day without hearing about it.
Yes. I am an attorney and democratic party activist and a strongly believe that any felony especially perjury before a grand jury constitutes an impeachable offense. The President's crimes go the very fabric of our democracy and judicial system.
He should resign and spare the country of the process but since he won't, we have no choice but to go through the impeachment process.
Of course Mr. Clinton must be impeached and removed from office. His now-obvious record of lying under oath, cover-up and obstruction demand nothing less. The depth of the moral failure of this man makes his unfitness for office more than obvious.
What is most disconcerting is the willingness of far too many, including prominent figures such as historian Arthur Schlesinger, to overlook the rule of law for purposes of personal ideology or political expediency.
This most dishonorable of presidents MUST be removed from office. There shouldn't even be a question.
The consensus at a local business at noon today was total uninterest in the impeachment proceedings. The blame was on the Republicans for prolonging this mess. I personally have no intention of ever voting for a Republican again. If the Republicans want to play partisan politics, so can the American people. And the Democratic party can only benefit from the Republican position that they "know better than the American people" about what's good for this country. Republicans who intend to be candidates for the next presidential election should be exerting what influence they have to put a stop to this proceeding or face the wrath of the American people in the voting booth in November 2000.
No! This is a witch hunt by the GOP. Why weren't impeachment hearings held on Reagan over his Iran-Contra scandal? That was surely more perilous to the national interest than sexual behavior.
If you believe in the law and that the foundation of modern society is respect for the law then you must admit that there is no legal way to impeach the President without damaging our legal system possibly beyond repair.
Absolutely, yes. His pattern of witness intimidation, obstruction, obfuscation, stonewalling, lying and the practice of "omerta" on the part of his cronies smacks of mafia-like behavior. This man demeans the office and corrupts everyone around him. Liberals need to put principle ahead of the agenda and recognize that Clinton is a seriously flawed person.
I think it's high time for a constitutional
ammendmendment to establish the office of a
permanent "presidential investigator". This
office would be responsible for permanently and
continuously investigating ALL aspects of the
life of whoever happens to be president. The
office would have absolute and total power to
subpoena whoever the investigator feels has
information about any past, present, and future
crimes committed by the president. With the
establishment of this office, the Republicans
would finally have the tool they need to go after
liberals, gays, atheists, and any other
groups they feel are, as Newt so eloquently put
it, "the enemy of normal America". C'mon folks,
are you with me on this?
No, especially now that Starr's going to admit he doesn't have any evidence of wrong
doing concerning Whitewater. Isn't that what we hired him for originally? Can we impeach Starr?
Will that make him go away? Oh, it is to dream.
There is an up-side. If Clinton is impeached, it will be a lot easier to do the same thing to the next Republican President. Assuming, of course, they ever have one and are not chased out of DC for attempting this coup.
The real issue is what constitutes an impeachable offense.I say anything short of selling state secrets or other clear cut compromises on state security does nor warrant impeachment.
I know there are exceptions, but it's my strong impression that most of those who perch atop the pure issue of perjury to clamor loudest for Clinton's impeachment (especially those politicians affiliated with the nominally "Christian" Coalition) are the same ones who, only a few years ago, elevated Oliver North to conservative sainthood for his forthright admission before Congress that in previous sworn testimony he had not only lied but would do so again if necessary.
Clinton's lies covered up a tawdry affair that would have hurt only those involved and their families. North's lies served to cover up an undeclared war in which people died.
Am I missing something?
It is incomprehensible for such a great majority of Americans to support President Clinton.
The issue is not the sex scandal. I believe the actions on both sides of the aisle have been
less than responsible. However, the real issue is the one stated by David Broder
in yesterday's Washington Post and quoted again this morning by Chairman Hyde:we must
"define as a nation the standard of honesty we are going to impose on our president". If
the President is allowed to escape accountability for lying under oath, this message
is sent: It is okay to lie under oath, money and power are more imortant than the law,
and lying in general is permissible. May the Lord have mercy upon our country and our
Should he be impeached? Why? Because he deceived the American people? Because he made a mockery of the justice system? Because he lacks virtues, character, integrity, honor, dedication and morality? Because he's an embarrassment to the office and the country? Because he perjured himself? Because we wouldn't accept this behaviour from a military leader, or anybody else with a moral obligation to uphold the law of this country? Because he obstructed justice and lied under oath? Forget all of that. Let's play the political spin doctor and reason that this is a private matter of sexual indiscretion. Ignore the big picture. Ignore the fact that he's cost the tax-payers millions of dollars through this deception. Ignore the implications of accepting this moral vacuum. Should he be impeached? No -- let's all just follow Bill Clinton, our values, and our justice system straight to hell.
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