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THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS
Dec. 1 Morning Session: Two Perjurers


  • More Transcripts From the Hearings

  • By Federal News Service
    Tuesday, December 1, 1998

    Witnesses:

    • Pam Parsons, former Atlanta basketball coach convicted of perjury
    • Barbara Battalino, California resident also convicted of perjury

    REP. HYDE: The committee will come to order.

    Today the committee holds an oversight hearing on the consequences of perjury and related crimes like subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, misprision and criminal contempt. All of these crimes thwart the proper workings of the justice system.

    We hold this hearing because Rule 10 of the House of Representatives requires us to exercise continuing oversight over the, quote, "application, administration, execution and effectiveness," close quote, of the laws under our jurisdiction. Of particular relevance here we have jurisdiction over the judicial system and the criminal code.

    Commentators of all types have fiercely debated the gravity of these crimes in recent months. Otherwise, responsible and thoughtful people have argued they are not so serious, particularly when they occur in civil cases or when they relate to hiding private sexual matters. Indeed some have even suggested that being a gentleman requires one to lie under oath about sex.

    By their very nature, these kinds of crime attack the integrity of the judicial system. Indeed that's why they are crimes. To argue that in certain instances these crimes mean little is to say that our judicial system means little. I reject that notion.

    Remember the fundamentals: We have a judicial system because it is fairer and more civilized to settle disputes through judicial means, rather than settle them through brute force, trial by combat.

    When Bruce -- brute force prevails, the strong win and the weak lose -- an efficient method, but hardly a just one. It is particularly disturbing that many who generally claim to represent the weak now argue that the powerful should be allowed a pass when they break the rules. There is nothing just or fair in a double standard.

    We make perjury, subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering crimes because a judicial system can only succeed if its procedures expose the truth. If citizens are allowed to lie with impunity or encourage others to tell false stories or hide evidence, judges and juries cannot reach just results. At that point, the courtroom becomes an arena for artful liars and the jury a mere focus group choosing between alternative fictions.

    So for my friends who think that perjury, lying, and deceit are in some circumstances acceptable and undeserving of punishment, I respectfully disagree. Every citizen is entitled to her day in court, to have her claims considered under the rule of law, and free from these abhorrent acts. That applies no matter how small or unpopular or unimportant that person is, and no matter how great or popular or powerful her opponent is.

    Chief Justice Burger resoundingly affirmed the seriousness of perjury when he wrote, and I quote, "in the constitutional process of securing a witness's testimony, perjury simply has no place whatever. Perjured testimony is an obvious and flagrant affront to the basic concepts of judicial proceedings. Effective restraints against the type of egregious offense are therefore imperative. The power of subpoena, brought as it is, and the power of contempt for refusing to answer, drastic as that is, and even the solemnity of the oath cannot ensure truthful answers. Hence, Congress has made the giving of false answers a criminal act, punishable by severe penalties. In no other way can criminal conduct be flushed into the open, where the law can deal with it.

    "Similarly, our cases have consistently -- indeed, without exception -- allowed sanctions for false statement or perjury. They have done so even in instances where the perjurer complained that the government exceeded its constitutional powers in making the inquiry." Citation, United States versus Mandujano (sp), 425, U.S. 564, 1976.

    Even when the weak dare to confront the strong, the truth is not trivial. Playing by the rules is not trivial.

    The whole history of our civilization tells us that justice is not trivial. Lying poisons justice. If we are to defend justice and the rule of law, lying must have consequences. We will explore the impact of lying on the rule of law and the implications of the double standard from our distinguished panel, whom I am pleased to welcome.

    With that, I will recognize Mr. Conyers for an opening statement and after Mr. Conyers, we will go to our witnesses who are at the table and all other members, if they have an opening statement, without objection, it will be included in the record at this point.

    Mr. Conyers?

       


    REP. JOHN CONYERS (D-MI): Good morning. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee and the distinguished judges, professors and lawyers who are our primary witnesses today.

    Now that we are three months into the third impeachment inquiry in the nation's history, I believe we ought to take stock of what this committee has done and where we are going. During the first two months, all the committee did was to dump salacious grand jury material onto the Internet. The third month was spent hearing an incredibly one-sided presentation from the prosecutor, having no first-hand knowledge of the facts, and deposing two witnesses that have a peripheral relationship, at best, to the independent counsel's referral.

    Now, once again, the committee is floundering into another unrelated area. Last evening, we were informed that the committee would now widen its investigation into campaign finance matters. With that announcement, this committee now amazingly proposes to transform itself into the discredited Burton Committee.

    Campaign finance has no relationship to the Starr referral. And amazingly, this committee is now subpoenaing both the president of the United States and the attorney general of the United States to provide documents that they don't have authority to provide without a court order whose criteria this committee is yet to even satisfy.

    Now, there are other flaws with our process at this time, perhaps fatal flaws. Ten days away from a proposed vote on articles of impeachment, and the American people and the president still don't know what the charges are. Neither do we.

    Well, Mr. Chairman, we cannot play hide and seek when you propose to overturn a national election. This close to such a monumental vote in the committee, you should be laying your cards on the table for ourselves and the American people. And, whether you like it or not, one week away from such a monumental vote is no time to commence an entirely new area of investigation into campaign finance and to transform this committee into the "Burton Committee." The American people and Democrats and others believe that the president's conduct was bad but not impeachable.

    Now for today's hearings. I believe that there is some important discussion on perjury to be gleaned from some of our experienced witnesses here, but don't we all know that perjury is serious, regardless of the underlying matter? We know that people go to jail when they perjure themselves, including civil proceedings. You learn that in about the first year criminal procedure. But we're not teaching a criminal procedure course. Rather, we -- or, more aptly, you, the Republican majority in this committee, are proposing, if I hear you correctly, to impeach a president, and even Republican witnesses at the November 9th hearing said that the charges, if proven true, would not amount to impeachable offenses. It's been stated repeatedly on the record and in this hearing and in the constitutional scholars community. That's the point that really diminishes so much from this hearing.

    Now parenthetically, I, for one, think that while the president misled the country and his family, the legal case of perjury against him isn't particularly strong, and, most likely, would never have been pursued had he not been a president chased by a zealous prosecutor like Kenneth W. Starr.

    Why? Because his answers regarding Monica Lewinsky in the context of the Paula Jones litigation may not even meet the materiality test and were, in fact, later excluded from the Paula Jones litigation entirely, by a judge who referred to them as not relevant.

    Second, no one has proven that the president's statements regarding Ms. Lewinsky at the Paula Jones deposition and grand jury appearance were not technically true. If so, they cannot possibly be grounds for perjury.

    And finally, I'm concerned that the two judges appearing here today on behalf of the Republican majority should be very cautious because they may violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the judicial canons, which I have in my -- right here, by commenting on an ongoing case. Please, members of the judiciary, be careful.

    Mr. Chairman, Henry Hyde, I am deeply saddened by what this process is becoming.

    Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: Thank you.

    Our first witness is Ms. Pam Parsons of Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Parsons holds a bachelor's and master's degrees from Brigham Young University. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she was one of the most successful women's basketball coaches in the country, coaching at Old Dominion University and the University of South Carolina. In 1984, Ms. Parsons pled guilty to a federal perjury charge based on her having given false testimony about a sexual relationship during a civil case.

    Our second witness is Dr. Barbara Battalino of Los Osos, California. Dr. Battalino is a graduate of the College of Mount Saint Vincent, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Hanneman (sp) University and LaSalle University Law School.

    She is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, a board-certified psychiatrist and a lawyer. She has also been a high school teacher.

    In 1998, the Clinton administration brought obstruction of justice charges against Dr. Battalino based on her having given false testimony about a sexual relationship during a civil case. Dr. Battalino pled guilty to the charge and is currently serving a sentence of six months home detention.

    I would note for the record that the committee sought the permission of Chief Judge Edward Lodge of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho for Dr. Battalino to be excused from the home detention for her to appear today. We appreciate Chief Judge Lodge's cooperation in granting that permission and allowing Dr. Battalino to appear this morning. Dr. Battalino is accompanied by her attorney, Mr. Curtis Clark (sp).

    Ms. Parsons, if you have a statement, please feel free to share it with us.

    MS. PARSONS: Thank God I could finally say "I'm guilty." When you commit perjury, you are the only one that truly knows you've done it. It may take some time for you to get clear with yourself. Anything that I ever denied about myself was what created a spiraling journey through hell, and that day that I got slapped into recognizing that yes, there are things that you pay consequences for, my life had a chance to turn around.

    You know, I enjoyed creating the opportunity to say that I was good at some things in my life. I love trophies and medals and winning. But to turn around and take a look at the other side of me took more guts than it ever took to win a ball game. Now I truly know what it's like to be a part of a team, and when that team can't trust you, you've lost it all, and I would rather be who I am today than to have continued coaching with a lie.

    I didn't have to come here today but, in fact, some level of destiny, yes I did, because when you're in a leadership position, no matter what it is you must tell the truth about you've got to search your soul and recognize what it means if you don't, no matter what the price.

    The legal system was very kind to me. The judge didn't want to send me to jail. The reduction to four months was a blessing. I picked up cigarette butts for four months in Lexington, Kentucky, but I did it every day with a smile on my face to pay back humanity for my ignorance in the seriousness about the law.

    I served five years probation and in 1990 I was released. That's a long time to still be talking about your past, and here it is 1998 and I'm with you, and I can almost not cry anymore. Yes, after my probation I started my personal work, and I took a look at what created my inability to tell the truth. In 1996, I went back and apologized to everyone that I could, as I had reached a point that I could start being myself and embrace all parts of me -- that "bad girl" side and the "good girl" side too. And today is my final apology before the federal system to say yes, it is important that we recognize that our whole structure is based on the ability to tell the truth, and my inability to not be able to do it may have been my personal journey about my emotional self and my mental capacities.

    Incapability to tell the truth is not an excuse. It's your personal journey to get in touch with yourself.

    It is not a punishment to serve time; it's a consequence. And there were times that it wasn't easy for a person who had also been on a very enjoyable ride in life, in a leadership role, to be in the position that I was in. But the character of self is developed when you can look at both sides and be okay about it.

    So I came today to say very strongly that from a personal experience level, perjury is one of the most valuable parts of our system, and may we never look over (sic) the importance of teaching all of us, as we learn through this experience of ourselves and what has happened around us, that it is important to understand the code of the law.

    Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: Thank you very much, Ms. Parsons.

    Dr. Battalino?

    DR. BATTALINO: Thank you. Chairman Hyde --

    REP. HYDE: Can you pull that mike a little closer, please?

    DR. BATTALINO: Sure.

    Chairman Hyde, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Judiciary Committee, and my fellow Americans, let me begin by expressing my gratitude to the Judiciary Committee for inviting me here today to share with you some of my thoughts and feelings about the consequences of perjury and related crimes.

    I am neither a historian nor a constitutional scholar. I am an American who worked hard to complete both a medical and law degree, and have practiced in public and government service for over 20 years, until I became a convicted felon in April of 1998. I am presently fulfilling the consequences imposed upon me as a result of this conviction.

    I have spent many hours of prayer, a great deal of soul- searching, and much mental deliberation in preparing this statement. I believe this is and ever will be one of the most important actions I do in my life. So many historical hearings, speeches, and decisions have occurred in this room. It is with humility, reverence and awe that I sit in this chamber sharing my simple impressions with you today.

    Before April, 1998, I was, like most of you, watching or listening to these proceedings. That is, I was a good, loyal, upstanding United States citizen. I worked, voted, paid my taxes with honesty, and was respected by my profession, church and family. What changed that? One simple lie, misstatement of fact, one falsehood before a federal magistrate. That's what.

    The falsehood centered around my reticence to acknowledge the one act of consensual oral sex which occurred between myself and an unmarried male adult on Veterans Affairs premises. A civil suit was filed, complicated by the male party having secretly recorded phone conversations he and I had during the months an intimate relationship between us developed. These very tapes were instrumental in having the civil suit dismissed in September of 1998 with no monetary award or settlement being made by myself or the Veterans Affairs Administration.

    So, how is it that I am a convicted felon? In early 1998, my attorney received word that the Department of Justice planned to indict me for perjury based on an untruthful response I gave to a question regarding whether anything of a sexual nature had occurred between myself and that individual on June 27th, 1991. Understanding that I would be subjecting myself to unwarranted civil exposure if I told the truth, I justified in my own mind that this deception was warranted in order to protect my personal and professional self- interest.

    In an attempt to save myself and my family any further embarrassment and/or financial loss, I agreed to accept a negotiated disposition of the criminal case.

    There are three main points I would like to address regarding today's issue, the consequences of perjury and related crimes:

    One, honesty is the best policy and necessary to the preservation of the rule of law. Two, there are adverse consequences if this principle is not adhered to. Three, when a failure to adhere to the principle of truth is admitted and the consequences are assumed, healing and restoration can occur.

    I was wrong to lie before Judge Mikel that July 1995 date. I merit punishment for breaking a fundamental law of God and society. Making false and/or misleading statements, especially under oath, and regardless of the subject of the matter, is wrong for me and anyone who accepts the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the rule of law upon which this great land of ours is founded and persists. On that July 1995 date, I stepped over the fine line between truth and falsehood. And I can assure you, once it is crossed, it is impossible to return to the state of truthfulness without repercussion or consequences.

    Consequences of wrongdoing undoubtedly affect the individual. My sentence will not end, on February 27th, 1999, when the electronic monitoring device is removed from my ankle, nor will it end, on July 19th, 1999, when my formal probationary period is completed. In a very real sense I am condemned to a life sentence. I have lost my professional standing, my life as it had been, and my cherished privacy. These consequences are irrevocable.

    The consequences of wrongdoing also interfere with the lives of those near and dear. Family members must be exposed to the sneers and jeers of co-workers and to the embarrassment of reading unkind and sordid misrepresentations of the facts, often published by journalists who are more interested in sensationalism than journalistic integrity.

    Sometimes the consequences extend beyond one's ordinary geographic boundaries, as in what happened to me. Public notoriety also has been thrust upon me.

    Admitted wrongdoing and acceptance of consequences can, however, become the cornerstone for restoration and healing. I can assure you that the pain and embarrassment felt when I publicly apologized to Judge Mikel and the judicial system I had violated was far surpassed by the sense of relief and the spirit of peace it had afforded me. I had already made peace with God, but we are societal beings, so we must be at peace with our neighbors as well in order to have true and complete restoration and healing. Once this occurs, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can take on a new dimension. I pray that I and others experiencing similar conditions will be afforded this blessing.

    Unfortunately, sometimes agents of the government also fail to fully honor the truth. In my case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Mitchell stepped over the line when he failed to file the motion for a two-point downward departure from the federal sentencing guidelines, which was part of our plea bargain agreement. Mr. Mitchell crossed the line, and he will in some way, some time pay the consequences.

    Because a president is not a king, he or she must abide by the same laws as the rest of us. Whether Mr. Clinton is impeached or not is in the hands of this committee, of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. But even if justice does not prevail, Mr. Clinton's consequences will be reserved for God and history to determine.

    We all make mistakes in life, but common frailty does not relieve us from our responsibility to uphold the rule of law. This nation must never let any person or people undermine the rule of law.

    Without it, atrocities like slavery, genocide, potential nuclear and biological warfare and oppression are sure to rear their ugly heads once again. If liberty and justice for all does not reign, we, like great civilizations before us, will surely perish from the face of the Earth.

    Thank you.

       


    REP. HYDE: Thank you very much.

    Mr. McCollum.

    REP. BILL MCCOLLUM (R-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Ms. Parsons, am I correct that you were a basketball coach at the University of South Carolina when the occasion of this perjury that you were convicted of arose? Am I right about that?

    MS. PARSONS: No. I had resigned.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: You had resigned at that -- but you had been previously. And am --

    MS. PARSONS: (First few words inaudible due to cross talk) -- previously coaching.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: -- I correct that the subject of your perjury was consensual sex?

    MS. PARSONS: No.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: No? What was the subject of the perjury, then? Please clarify that.

    MS. PARSONS: Well, it's really kind of funny. There is a gay bar, called Puss 'N Boots, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It wasn't easy to say I'd been there. That occurrence was two years after the things that I was suing Sports Illustrated for. Wasn't a pretty picture for me. Thought I had many reasons for why I couldn't -- could say no. But it was an out and out lie; I had been there.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: And that's what the perjury was about, about whether you had been to that bar or not.

    MS. PARSONS: Now, I went to the FBI about that.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: All right, let me ask you this question. You mentioned leadership, and you mentioned the fact that it bears a heavy responsibility, and that's the reason I raised the basketball coach question with you. You were in a position at one time of leadership.

    MS. PARSONS: Absolutely. I was also an athletic director.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: There you go. The president of the United States is the top leader in this country. What kind of a message do you think it sends if we conclude that he committed perjury and do not impeach him and he gets away scot free? What kind of message would that send, considering what you've been through and what ordinary Americans can expect to go through, presuming that perjury is found to be the case in a civil case?

    MS. PARSONS: Please let me give this answer. (Laughs.) I'm waiting. Mixed message.

    We cannot raise our young people with mixed messages. There are no secrets. But the discretion of when to tell them things is what maturity is about. But secrecy doesn't cut it when we're raising young children.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: Miss -- Dr. Battalino, what is your thought about the double standard we might be creating, if we conclude the president committed perjury, and we don't impeach him, with respect to people such as yourself, who are convicted and sent to jail or put in house arrest for perjury regarding consensual sex, in the federal system? What is the -- is this fair?

    DR. BATTALINO: I believe that we, as a people, as a country, must not give the impression to our citizens, to our young people, to the world that we are indeed a country that does not take seriously the rule of law and liberty and justice for all.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: And is it wrong to have the president of the United States, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer of this country, walk away from a situation which would be presumably very similar to yours? If indeed we conclude that he committed perjury involving consensual sex, would that be wrong and the wrong message?

    DR. BATTALINO: I think it would be a very wrong massage, and I would hope that that is not what indeed occurs.

    At the same time, I do believe that history will ultimately determine whether or not our country remains the country of justice and liberty for all.

    REP. MCCOLLUM: Thank you very much.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: Mr. Conyers?

    REP. CONYERS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'll reserve my time, please.

    REP. HYDE: Mr. Frank?

    REP. BARNEY FRANK (D-MA): Mr. Chairman, I want to express my admiration for the witnesses for coming forward. It's not easy to come forward in a situation like this. Ms. Parsons, I understand particularly your reticence over time to talk about some aspects of your personal life. It's a reticence I shared. And I agree with you that dealing with it and getting it over with is a very healthy thing.

    What I want to talk about is not directly relevant to these two witnesses, though, because I want to talk about the difference between the accusations against President Clinton and the cases of these witnesses.

    I note that the chairman began by describing this as a general "oversight hearing," which we just happened to be having at this time. I guess it's kind of a dead time, early December, and oversight on perjury in general just happened to fill an empty agenda. But not everybody has stuck to the script, if this was simply an abstract exercise in discussing perjury.

    Clearly, this is part of a -- it's actually an interesting hearing. I have never seen a hearing before that was part of the whip operation of one of the two parties. This is an effort to increase votes on the floor because they are in a little bit of trouble. But that's okay; we have a lot of discretion. But it does seem to me we ought to talk about the difference.

    With regard to the accusations against the president, the first go to the Paula Jones case. And there we have a very real difference between the president's situation and that of the two witnesses here. In both cases, they have very fairly acknowledged -- and in a very admirable way, and I think that they deserve a great deal of credit for the openness and straightforwardness with which they have discussed this -- they were accused of perjury on matters which were central to the case at issue; the question of whether or not the patient had been mistreated, the question of a sexual relationship for one of the coaches. They were really quite central.

    In the case of the Paula Jones situation, the questions were entirely peripheral, ultimately ruled not to be directly relevant. And this troubles me in this case. We are talking about general principles.

    We have a situation in this country where almost anybody can sue almost anybody else. My Republican colleagues have tried to restrict that, and I joined with them more often than many of my Democratic colleagues. I think we should rein in excessive litigiousness.

    But we have this problem. People have said sometimes: "Well, you have been sued. If you were wronged, why don't you just resist it?" Well, one of the reasons is that we have in this country virtually unlimited discovery. Once you are sued, you are then subject to a great deal of investigation. I am troubled by a situation in which you can have people sued, even if there is an expectation that the ultimate suit will not be successful, and people then use the fact of the suit to use broad discovery.

    And here is the problem I have in this situation involving the president in the Paula Jones case. I believe that the clearly consensual relationship he had with Ms. Lewinsky -- initiated by Ms. Lewinsky -- improper, wrong of the president to engage in but clearly indisputably consensual -- was in fact irrelevant in every way to the Jones situation.

    I think that was what was ultimately decided. If you say that once you are sued, no matter how meritorious the lawsuit, you are then subject to unlimited discovery even on subjects not relevant and material to the case, and if you do not confess the most intimate details of your life in that situation, even if they were not relevant to the case, you're subject to perjury, we erode privacy.

    That's why I think there was a great deal of reluctance on the part even of some of my Republican colleagues to proceed against the president in the Jones case, because the precedent you set, frankly, goes contrary to what I think is a sensible thrust on the part of many of the Republicans, namely, to limit the extent to which litigation can be used as a weapon -- not to solve a particular claim, but as a weapon in general. And if you say "unlimited discovery" and "perjury" for any aspect of those questions asked, even if they are later ruled non-material, you are greatly broadening that.

    Then we have the perjury before the grand jury. Now, the grand jury is a different story. Obviously, it was somewhat material since that was the only reason they had it. The problem here is that, from the Republican standpoint, there is no way that anyone has been able to prove the president committed perjury. And my time is starting to run out.

    Let me give one example of how absolutely insignificant those accusations are, as well as being very difficult to prove. There are three charges in Mr. Starr's report that the president perjured himself before the grand jury. The first is that in August of 1998, he remembered the sexual activity as having begun in February of 1996 and she said it was November of 1995. That is, A, very easy to understand how someone two-plus years later might have forgotten which month it was; two, it seems to me very hard to prove; and three, the notion that you are going to impeach the president because he said sexual activity which he acknowledged happened and he acknowledged was improper, began in February rather than November, is silly. Especially since nothing turns on it. She reached no magic age in between then. Mr. Starr says, oh, well, she stopped being an intern. She was an intern in November and she was not an intern in February, that's why the president lied. Well, she did not go from being an intern to being the undersecretary of Health and Human Services. (Laughter.) She went from being a young intern to being a young, fairly insignificant employee. Nothing turned on that.

    So the notion that you would impeach the president of the United States because more than two years after a sexual encounter which he admitted to the grand jury -- when he was before the grand jury and no other target would have been -- you would impeach him in part because he said he remembered it as having been two years and three months previous, or two years and six months, and in fact it was two years and eight months, that's a very real difference between, it seems to me, that accusation and the very central issues that these two witnesses have so fairly decided.

    REP. HYDE: Mr. Frank --

    REP. FRANK: Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: -- your time for questions has elapsed.

    Mr. Gekas.

    REP. GEORGE GEKAS (R-PA): I thank the chair. The gentleman from Massachusetts has articulated the problem that is before this Judiciary Committee. He scoffs at and finds inconsequential some of the items which have been recounted as possible statements that would be perjurious, either before the grand jury or the Jones trial or deposition. What he's saying is that there are some who, like him, believe that they're so inconsequential, even though they're lies before a grand jury under oath, that they should be discounted automatically.

    There are some who feel that perhaps a pattern has evolved from all these what he calls inconsequential -- I'm using a term that he may not adopt, but at least that's the impression I get, that he feels that they're inconsequential -- yet a pattern has existed both in the Jones trial and in grand jury that indicates to some that a finding could be made that perjury was indeed committed. And that's what we have to decide, not whether the president is guilty of perjury or innocent of perjury, but whether or not there's enough evidence cumulatively from which Barney could determine there was no perjury or someone on some other point of view could find, yes, indeed, there is enough evidence from which a jury could find that perjury is committed. Is there probably cause, in other words, on the part of this committee to be able to make a finding that an article of impeachment on perjury should lie. That's the question.

    And I think that the gentleman from Massachusetts has confirmed what our duty is here. He finds, in drawing some conclusions, that nothing has occurred. Others may, looking at it as a pattern and looking at other questions that surround the testimony of the president in the Paula Jones deposition and in grand jury, could find otherwise. And that is what our duty is, to determine whether there's enough evidence sufficient and credible to be able to present to the trier of fact. That's the only thing before us. And we may differ on that in the final vote that might be taken on a possible article of impeachment.

    I would like to ask the witness Battalino just one question. You had a complaint about a prosecutor who may not have fulfilled a plea bargain bargain with you, et cetera. Do you believe that his action in any way, as sour as you think it was, do you think that that in any way mitigates the perjury that you committed?

    DR. BATTALINO: No, sir, not at all. The point --

    REP. GEKAS: I have no further questions.

    DR. BATTALINO: The point I was trying to make -- if I may make it --

    REP. GEKAS: You can surely make it.

    DR. BATTALINO: -- the point I was trying to make is that truthfulness must be in every action, in every contract that we make with each other as individuals and as a society.

    REP. GEKAS: Thank you. Thank you for the testimony.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from New York, the distinguished --

    REP. GEKAS: I didn't yield back the balance of my time but I --

    REP. HYDE: I just took it away from you.

    REP. GEKAS: Well I yield it. (Laughter.)

    REP. HYDE: Thank you.

    It's a pleasure to recognize the distinguished senator-elect from the great state of New York, Mr. Schumer.

       


    REP. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Mr. Chairman, as I sit here today, I'm convinced this committee needs help. We have before us 11 witnesses who share practically nothing in common. We're given five minutes to ask them questions and glean insight into the most serious matter our committee can consider, that of passing articles of impeachment to remove a duly elected president from office.

    Later today we'll issue new subpoenas on unrelated matters, again to impeach the president. We're hurdling headlong into a constitutional crisis which the American people, in their wisdom, have begged us to rein-in and reject -- all across the political spectrum, including mainstream Republicans in your own caucus.

    People know that the president's actions are not impeachable and that these proceedings should end. Yet here we are moving closer and closer to impeachment. Why? Because, in my judgment, there is one small segment on the far right who have lost all objectivity and are determined to impeach the president at all costs. Their hatred of the president exceeds their caring about this country and its people. And that small segment, which would represent a minority view anywhere else in America, dominates this committee. That is why we need help.

    We have a new speaker of the House. This is his first crucial test. I guess I'm making a plea here, and that is to Mr. Livingston to step in and take control of this runaway train before we go over a cliff. The new speaker-elect should put an end to the hearings. He should put an end to secret depositions. He should allow a motion to censure or a motion to rebuke to be debated and voted on, on the floor of the House. In my judgment, at least, he should join with Democrats and other Republicans to sponsor that notion (sic). He should lead the House back to the sensible middle.

    Mr. Chairman, I believe you have tried to be fair, and I don't envy your task. But these new hearings, these new subpoenas wave a red flag that common sense and common wisdom are not welcome here.

    Mr. Livingston, this may be the first and most important test you'll ever speak -- you'll ever face as speaker. Lead us out of this abyss.

    I yield back my time.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Coble.

    REP. HOWARD COBLE (R-NC): I thank the chairman.

    And good to have you all with us this morning. Thank you for being here.

    Dr. Battalino, you indicated that the person with whom you had your sexual involvement was unmarried.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. COBLE: You did not divulge your marital status at the time.

    DR. BATTALINO: I was unmarried also, sir.

    REP. COBLE: So you were both unmarried.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. COBLE: Dr. Battalino and Mrs. Parson -- Ms. Parsons, did either of you lose your jobs or positions as a result of your convictions?

    MS. PARSONS: No.

    DR. BATTALINO: I did.

    REP. COBLE: You did, Doctor?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. COBLE: And Ms. Parsons, you had previously resigned? Is that the --

    MS. PARSONS: Yes.

    DR. BATTALINO: Not only did I lose my job, sir, but I also have lost my professional standing as a physician, and I cannot longer -- no longer pursue my legal profession either.

    REP. COBLE: You're reading my mind, by -- my next question was going to be if either have been forced to surrender your respective licenses.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, sir, I have.

    REP. COBLE: Both medical and law?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, correct.

    REP. COBLE: How about you, Ms. Parsons?

    MS. PARSONS: I've never tried to use them. I don't know.

    REP. COBLE: All right. Folks, we were visited some days ago by the country's best constitutional and historical and legal scholars, best in the land, and for the most part, that was a good day, I think, Mr. Chairman.

    One or two of those witnesses laced his testimony with a good deal of arrogance, but I guess scholars and outstanding people have that latitude. But I think that notwithstanding, the fact that on balance it was a good day. But that notwithstanding, ladies, I believe that your testimony today describes the issue at hand more succinctly and with more gravity than did the illuminating information that we received from that battery of scholars several days ago. And I thank you for being here, Mr. Chairman, and I have no further questions.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Boucher.

    REP. RICK BOUCHER (D-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    In the interest of time, I'm going to reserve my questions for the subsequent panels.

    REP. HYDE: Thank you.

    The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith.

    REP. LAMAR SMITH (R-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I, too, would like to thank the witnesses for their testimony this morning. Quite frankly, I am not sure that we have heard more candid, more heartfelt, more trenchant testimony than what we have heard from you-all today. And I appreciate the courage that it took to be here and the humility that it took to admit that you were wrong.

    It seems to me that there are similar points that you both made, and you also have some similarity in that you were both government employees, for example, and that you both have suffered severe consequences.

    Dr. Battalino, in your testimony you said, "I was wrong to lie. I merit punishment for breaking a fundamental law of God and society. Making false and/or misleading statements, especially under oath, and regardless of the subject matter, is wrong for me and anyone who accepts the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the rule of law upon which this great land of ours is founded."

    And Ms. Parsons, you mentioned the consequences to your actions, and I think you said, in so many words, it was a lot tougher to tell the truth than it was to win a ball game.

    And Dr. Battalino, you also mentioned that "Common frailty does not relieve us from our responsibility to uphold the rule of law.

    This nation must never let any person or people undermine the rule of law."

    And, Ms. Parsons, you spoke, I think, very persuasively about the danger of undermining what you called a code of law, which I think is the same thing, and reinforces, I think, the importance of it.

    So let me address questions to both of you, if I may. And the first one is, do you think that we should have different standards that apply to high-level government officials and apply different standards to them than we have seen applied to yourself? In effect, should we carve out exceptions to the rule of law or should we not?

    And, Dr. Battalino, if you want to reply first.

    DR. BATTALINO: I think we should not. I think that this country was grounded on liberty and justice for all and, therefore, all citizens of the United States, regardless of rank, financial status, any reasons, should (sic) be treated differently or separately from other citizens.

    REP. SMITH: Okay. And, Ms. Parsons, if you want to follow up on that, and also maybe address the larger question that if we should mistakenly apply different standards to different individuals, depending on their level of employment, what does that do as far as the American people's respect for our judicial or for our justice system?

    MS. PARSONS: Ooh, this is a toughie! With more responsibility, and the more the people -- you're in the eye of the public and taking responsibility for this huge circle that you're creating, how much does it affect all of them when you lie? I know this, I can't get past all the ripples of what I created -- yet -- and I was just a coach in a small state. I have some feeling that the level of position you hold makes, at least in my heart, a feeling that there is more responsibility to make sure that you do tell the truth.

    REP. SMITH: So you think there's perhaps even a higher standard to be applied if one holds a high-level office?

    MS. PARSONS: I hope so, if we've picked them out to be a leader.

    REP. SMITH: And you agree with that, Dr. Battalino?

    DR. BATTALINO: Absolutely.

    REP. SMITH: Okay. The last question is this, that if we do apply the same standards, or perhaps even higher standards, what should the solution be for this committee, who are dealing, perhaps, with the highest level of individual? Should the individual --

    MS. PARSONS: Isn't this incredible that we're in this position, first of all?

    Because I remember when I was in that position of hearsay, or whatever, happening around and about me. When our president travels to Japan and we hear from the stands things about what's happening related to those things, this is not cool.

    And I think that the one thing is that there are certain things that don't need to be found out behind closed doors. Just like we have certain military secrets we don't want out to the rest of the world because of the way that it makes us look. You don't give things out; it's a form of -- I don't know if those words are correct -- treason, or whatever you do -- (laughing) -- when you give things you shouldn't. There is a time to find out certain information quickly and as expediently as possible, so that you can get on with the rest of the business of life. But if there is something that's decaying away that isn't being -- that's corrosive to the morale of the whole environment, then something does have to be done and all I can say is, as expediently as possible.

    REP. SMITH: Thank you, Ms. Parsons. And Dr. Battalino, real quickly, would you apply the same sanctions to the president that have been applied to you?

    DR. BATTALINO: Absolutely.

    REP. SMITH: Okay. Thank you both. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from New York, Mr. Nadler.

    REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): Thank you. Ms. Parsons, were you tried or -- were you tried and had a verdict, or did you plead guilty?

    MS. PARSONS: I pleaded guilty.

    REP. NADLER: Okay. But before that, you were aware that you had the option of going to trial?

    MS. PARSONS: Yes.

    REP. NADLER: And were you given to understand that if you went to trial, your attorney could cross-examine the witnesses against you?

    MS. PARSONS: It never went that far. It wasn't necessary.

    REP. NADLER: No, but did you understand that if you went to trial, that that's what would happen?

    MS. PARSONS: Back then, did I understand that, or today? Let's see. I don't remember about then. But what you're telling me now is they could. I don't know.

    REP. NADLER: Okay. Mr. Chairman, the point I want to make is severalfold, then I'm not going to ask any further questions. Number one, Miss Parsons, Dr. Battalino, had they gone to trial would, of course, have had the right that any defendant has, namely to -- that the witnesses against them would have had to come forward and testify, they would have had the opportunity to cross-examine those witnesses and to call witnesses on their own behalf. That is not what has happened at this committee.

    There has been no witness called, in front of this committee, against the president. Mr. Starr is not a witness. He has no personal knowledge of anything that happened. He wasn't there; he didn't see anything. He didn't even depose the actual witnesses. Those witnesses haven't been called.

    And it's elementary in this country that if you are going to charge someone with something, you produce the witnesses to testify against them. And it is a failure of the chairman of this committee that we are going to consider voting impeachment, having heard no witnesses whatsoever against the president. And nothing, nothing, can eliminate that failure unless those witnesses are called.

    Now I don't want it said that I want those witnesses called. I don't want them called. This entire thing should be dismissed because nothing that was alleged, even if true, is impeachable. But if you want to prosecute the president to an impeachment, it's the responsibility of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused, not the responsibility of the accused to prove his innocence.

    And those 81 questions, which were an attempt to have the president convict himself out of his own mouth to avoid the necessity of bringing witnesses, were frankly unworthy of the committee, unworthy of the Congress, and failed in its purpose.

    The second point I want to make is in response to something that the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania said, when he said that it's our job to determine whether there is enough evidence to send the case to the trier of fact, that we have to see whether there is probable cause. The analogy, obviously, is that our role is similar to the role of the grand jury.

    Well, the fact is it is not. That is a facile analogy, often made simply because impeachment under our system is a two-step process. But the fact is there is a great difference between an indictment and a vote of impeachment.

    The former chief judge of the Court of Appeals of the state of New York Sol Wachtman (sp), in a famous statement, said, "Any good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich" because probable cause is not much of a requirement. It's a low threshold.

    For us to send -- for the House of Representatives to impeach a president and subject the country to the trauma of a four- or six- or seven-months trial in the Senate is one heck of a thing -- is one heck of a thing to do, and we should not do it simply on probable cause.

    We should use the same standard that I believe they used in the Nixon case: namely, clear and convincing evidence; not guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but at least clear and convincing evidence. And that hasn't been shown -- hasn't been shown that the president committed perjury; clear and convincing evidence or any persuasive evidence at all.

    To adopt the contrary view, to adopt Mr. Gekas's view, would be to say that the role of this committee of the House is a mere transmission belt or rubber stamp for the special prosecutor. The special prosecutor laid out evidence that the president committed impeachable offenses. If all we need is probable cause, what do we need the House for? We have his referral. Send it over to the Senate. What do we need hearings for?

    Well, of course, we haven't had hearings -- not hearings with witnesses, not real hearings. We've only had shams. So maybe that is the belief of this committee -- that this is a sham proceeding, that all we need is to act as a transmission belt for the special prosecutor, and needn't establish anything on our own.

    As of today, we've had no witnesses -- to repeat, we've had no witnesses, no opportunity to cross-examine those witnesses. Fundamental fairness, elementary due process that we've all paid lip service to at least since the Magna Carta demand that before we vote on impeachment, we at least follow the normal processes and that we find clear and convincing evidence before we send anything to the Senate.

    And unlike what would have been afforded, the rights that would have been afforded to these two witnesses or to any other criminal defendants in this country, these rights have not been afforded in this case. These procedures have not been followed. And it is shameful.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's --

    REP. NADLER: I yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: Thank you. The gentleman from California, Mr. Gallegly.

    REP. ELTON GALLEGLY (R-CA): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

    Dr. Battalino and Ms. Parsons, thank you for being here today. During this whole process, I've thought so many times what a difficult job we have sitting up on this side of the dais -- certainly without question the most uncomfortable series of hearings and so on that I've had to sit on in my years sitting on this Judiciary Committee. But looking at the two of you out there today, I certainly don't envy you sitting on the other side. And I just want to thank you very much for coming forward to this committee today and baring your soul and expressing things that I know are difficult. Yet it must be for a reason that you think is for the betterment of this nation moving ahead.

    Dr. Battalino and Ms. Parsons, during the time that you were going through your cases, did anyone at the Department of Justice, or anyone else, for that matter, ever suggest to you that you could not or would not be prosecuted because you testified falsely in a civil case as opposed to a criminal case?

    Dr. Battalino?

    DR. BATTALINO: No, sir.

    REP. GALLEGLY: Ms. Parsons?

    MS. PARSONS: No one said that to me directly.

    REP. GALLEGLY: Dr. Battalino, I understand that your prosecution by the Department of Justice took place -- just 1998, is that correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, sir, that's correct.

    REP. GALLEGLY: And that would also be during the time that President Clinton was in charge of the Justice Department; is that also correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, that's correct.

    REP. GALLEGLY: Ms. Parsons, maybe we could focus just for a second on the issue which you touched on in your testimony. In your position of leadership when you were a former college basketball coach, what do you feel, personally feel is the impact of lack of honesty or lack of integrity by persons in leadership roles on the young people that you are so familiar with as a coach?

    MS. PARSONS: You affect them for the rest of your life. No one ever gets over what you've done. It gets easier. They are looking to you and how you're experiencing life as they're stepping along too. It's a masterful position and requires tremendous maturity.

    REP. GALLEGLY: Ms. Parsons, Dr. Battalino, thank you being here.

    I yield back, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: Thank the gentleman.

    The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott.

       


    REP. ROBERT SCOTT (D-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Chairman, the question before us is not whether or not perjury is a crime or whether it applies to sex or whether it applies in civil cases; the question before us is whether or not we should vote to impeach the president. That question should be resolved in a fair and orderly process. But our process has not been fair or orderly. We have not followed the orderly process that was outlined in the Democratic alternative, where we said we should first determine which allegations, even if true, could constitute impeachable offenses.

    And if we followed the directions that we have from many constitutional scholars, of course, we would have concluded that none of the allegations before us constitute impeachable offenses, but if any do, then we should get the facts on those allegations and determine whether or not the allegations were true. And if any of those allegations were true, we would vote to decide -- we would have a vote to determine whether or not those impeachable offenses that we determined that the president committed were substantial enough to warrant his removal from office.

    Instead of that orderly process, Mr. Chairman, we received a referral and released it without even reading it. Mr. Starr has now said that it was not his responsibility -- that he is not responsible for the release and absolved himself of blame for the fact that sexually explicit material was placed on the Internet.

    We followed that by weeks of determination of what other sexually explicit material should get on the Internet. We had an arbitrary process where we'd make up the rules as we went along. The president was sent questions. That was without consultation or notice. Most of us found out that the questions had been send when the media notified us. We were at the same time denied the opportunity to take depositions of witnesses that we wanted. Mr. Chairman, without consultation, a deadline was set for the president to respond to those questions.

    We then had the spectacle of watching the prosecutor try to testify as a fact witness. And the last time we were here, the chairman admonished me for calling him a prosecutor. The chairman said that Mr. Starr was an independent -- independent counsel and not a prosecutor. Of course, the very next day, his ethic adviser quit because he was being too much of an advocate.

    Mr. Chairman, there was a pronouncement without consultation that all of the hearsay, rumor and innuendo would be presumed to be true unless the president came up with proof that it was not true. That is without even a statement of what the allegations have been. That is a virtual presumption of guilt, and it's in the midst of an expansion of our scope, without notice again.

    Mr. Chairman, I think, just in closing, that we should focus on our constitutional responsibility, determine whether or not we have impeachable offenses before us, even if they're true, and then determine what to do if they are impeachable offenses after we determine that they be true, if we ignore the advice that we have received from many constitutional scholars who have told us that none of these allegations are impeachable offenses.

    That process can be completed in a swift matter of time. It should not take long.

    But here we are; we don't even have the allegations before us that we're going to be pursuing, and the referral came in early September. When we have the allegations, then we can go into fact-finding and bring this to a conclusion. But I don't believe that thus far the proceeding has been helpful in helping us resolve that question.

    Thank you. I yield back.

    REP. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Scott.

    The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Canady, is recognized.

    REP. CHARLES CANADY (R-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank both witnesses for being with us here today. I know it's not easy to appear in a proceeding such as this with these circumstances, and we are very grateful for your testimony.

    I think your testimony is quite relevant to the core issue that the committee confronts. And as I have listened to your testimony, it has reminded me of statements that various members of the Judiciary Committee made during the course of the committee's consideration of impeachment articles with respect to Richard Nixon. And I was struck particularly by the parallel with comments that Mr. Brooks made at that time. Now, Mr. Brooks wasn't chairman of the committee then, of course; Mr. Rodino was. Mr. Brooks subsequently served as chairman of this committee during my first term as a member of the Congress and a member of this committee. Mr. Brooks, the gentleman from Texas, was our chairman. In the Nixon matter he said this, "No man in America can be above the law. It is our duty to establish now that evidence of specific statutory crimes and constitutional violations by the president of the United States will subject all presidents, now and in the future, to punishment."

    Mr. Brooks went on to say, "No president is exempt, under our U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States, from accountability for personal misdeeds anymore than he is for official misdeeds."

    And I think that we on this committee, in our effort to fairly evaluate the president's activities, must show the American people that all men are treated equally under the law.

    I'd like to ask you -- both the witnesses, to tell us whether you would agree with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Brooks during the Nixon inquiry.

    Dr. Battalino?

    DR. BATTALINO: I was an adult during the Nixon impeachment hearings, and I was very impressed with the manner in which the committee conducted the proceedings. So I would certainly agree with the statements that you have made, that Mr. Brooks made. I would hope that this committee will have the same unbiased approach to dealing with the "justice and fairness for all" issue.

    REP. CANADY: Ms. Parsons?

    MS. PARSONS: It's another one of these questions that -- I remember when I was serving time, people would ask me, "Do you feel like you should have served time if President Nixon didn't?" I couldn't necessarily relate, because I don't compare oranges and apples. But I know this: that we have certain basic things that must be addressed with all of us, no matter what position we're in at any given time. It's unfortunate if you're in a high position of authority and in the public eye; but it might come up at that time, and it still has to be dealt with.

    REP. CANADY: Thank you.

    I would like to now respond to some of the points that have been made which I think are totally without merit.

    The contention has been made that essentially this committee has the responsibility to conduct a proceeding in the nature of a criminal court trial. That couldn't be further from the truth. The Constitution gives the sole power to try impeachment cases to the United States Senate. Now, we do have a responsibility to make certain that we act on a solid basis. We should not move forward with articles of impeachment on the basis of insubstantial evidence. And I think all of us agree on that. But the fact of the matter is that we have a mountain of sworn testimony that points to the conclusion that the president is guilty of various offenses, including lying under oath. And if there are those who believe that that evidence is unreliable, that the witnesses were not telling the truth, they have the opportunity to request that those key witnesses be called before the committee.

    I don't sense that they're really interested in doing that. I don't think they want to do that, because the real defense that's being waged here is not that the facts are untrue, but that it really doesn't matter. It's what has been referred to as the "so what?" defense: even if the president did all of these things, it doesn't really matter. We have no real recourse to hold him accountable under the Constitution.

    Well, I'll have to say that I disagree with that perspective. I think that's inconsistent with the precedents and the history of the impeachment power and I hope that that viewpoint will not prevail. And I thank the witnesses again.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Watt.

    REP. MELVIN WATT (D-NC): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I adopt as if it were my own the statement of my colleague, Mr. Scott from Virginia. I have no questions of these two witnesses and I yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman. Mr. Inglis, the gentleman from South Carolina.

    REP. BOB INGLIS (R-SC): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and congratulations to our two witnesses. You have done what nobody else has been able to do. You have just thrown a wrench in the White House spin machine. It's incredible -- for the first time since this whole thing began. You've single-handedly done it. Have you noticed that nobody on the other side has asked you a single question, and, particularly, that nobody has yet attacked you? Now, there's time left, we'll see.

    But the thing that you have accomplished here that no one else has accomplished, is to stop the attack on the attacker. That's all the White House has done in this whole proceeding. That's all our friends on the other side have done, is attack the attacker. It goes along with the defense that Mr. Canady just mentioned, the "so what?" defense, but the way to lead into that "so what?" defense is to begin by attacking the attacker. So congratulations to both of you. You've shut them down. For a matter of minutes now -- we do have time left. We'll see. (Laughter.)

    But it occurs to me that what you've also done is you've shifted the focus.

    Well, I'll have to say that I disagree with that perspective. I think that's inconsistent with the precedents and the history of the impeachment power and I hope that that viewpoint will not prevail. And I thank the witnesses again.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Watt.

    REP. MELVIN WATT (D-NC): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I adopt as if it were my own the statement of my colleague, Mr. Scott from Virginia. I have no questions of these two witnesses and I yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman. Mr. Inglis, the gentleman from South Carolina.

    REP. BOB INGLIS (R-SC): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and congratulations to our two witnesses. You have done what nobody else has been able to do. You have just thrown a wrench in the White House spin machine. It's incredible -- for the first time since this whole thing began. You've single-handedly done it. Have you noticed that nobody on the other side has asked you a single question, and, particularly, that nobody has yet attacked you? Now, there's time left, we'll see.

    But the thing that you have accomplished here that no one else has accomplished, is to stop the attack on the attacker. That's all the White House has done in this whole proceeding. That's all our friends on the other side have done, is attack the attacker. It goes along with the defense that Mr. Canady just mentioned, the "so what?" defense, but the way to lead into that "so what?" defense is to begin by attacking the attacker. So congratulations to both of you. You've shut them down. For a matter of minutes now -- we do have time left. We'll see. (Laughter.)

    But it occurs to me that what you've also done is you've shifted the focus.

    You see, the White House spin machine likes to talk about vast right- wing conspiracies, and they like to talk about procedural fairness, and they're real big on that. But the thing that they -- they -- that eludes them is that there's another aspect to fairness, and that's the equal application of the law.

    And Dr. Battalino, I'd like to ask you -- you were in law school, as I was, years ago. In fact, Dr. -- Steve Saltzburg might not remember this, but I was one of his students in evidence. So I'll ask you to do what probably he asked Mr. Inglis to do one time at UVA Law School. Distinguish the case, Dr. Battalino, between your situation and President Clinton's.

    DR. BATTALINO: Well, unfortunately, I think there are very many similarities. So in some respects, I can empathize with Mr. Clinton's position and his embarrassment and avoidance of discussing a private sexual encounter, especially consensual, and also the fact that there were tape recordings. Unlike Mr. Clinton, the gentleman with whom I had a relationship did the taping of the conversations that we had.

    I think to the -- the most important similarity is that initially there's a hesitancy and there appears to continue to be a hesitancy on Mr. Clinton's part to assume the full responsibility of the fact that lying, whether it be about sex or about stealing or about anything, is wrong. And we cannot permit the concept that certain lies are okay and other lies are not acceptable. That is destructive to our youth. It's destructive to our nation as a whole. And I believe that in the depths of my soul. And if there was anything that I could change, it would be that day -- never have to have lied.

    REP. INGLIS: Well, let me ask you this: Do you see any distinguishing facts between your case and the president's?

    DR. BATTALINO: Well, certainly I was not able to have the great availability of great legal minds that the president has.

    In addition, I did not have the financial backing or ability to pursue going to a trial. And that is the main reason why I plea bargained.

    REP. INGLIS: Yeah. So in other words, other than the circumstance of your own situation of lacking the power of the presidency --

    DR. BATTALINO: Right.

    REP. INGLIS: -- the wealth of the presidency in terms of the ability to have lawyers, you don't see any distinguishing facts between your situation and his?

    DR. BATTALINO: Well, I certainly see the other distinction being that I was in a sense able to acknowledge that I must assume full responsibility for my actions, that it is not right to tell a lie. And by simply suggesting that once you apologize for the lie it just should go away and we should move on, that's not the way our country is based; that's not the way our society is based. There do have to be consequences.

    And I would not in any way attempt to describe what those consequences should be. That's way beyond my level of expertise or condition. But I do say that there should be consequences and that the consequences have to be significant and serious consequences.

    REP. INGLIS: Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired.

    The gentle lady from California Ms. Lofgren.

    REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Mr. Chairman, I think my colleague Mr. Scott spoke well and really articulated what is on my mind.

    When last the committee met, I mentioned that the entire issue before us was one of the most embarrassing segments of American history, and this hearing certainly does not change that. In fact, I wish that I had followed Mr. Berman's example and not come here at all today.

    It is not the fault of the witnesses, who I credit for coming forward and being honest and going through their own embarrassment. It is not their fault that we are sitting here asking these two ladies questions that have nothing to do with the constitutional issue that faces this committee and the country.

    I am not going to ask them any questions because I don't know that they have insight into whether the president's behavior matches that envisioned by George Mason and James Madison when they drafted the provision in the Constitution.

    I have no questions for the individuals. I have questions for the committee on why we are sitting here when we do actually have some judges waiting in the audience who may actually have points of law to share with us. And I would yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentlelady. And I think I'll speak out of turn to answer the gentlelady's question: Why are we sitting here? Well, I can give you some reasons why we're sitting here. We're exploring the double standard. We're exploring whether there's one rule of law for the powerful, for the rulers, and another one for the ruled. We still believe this is a country and a nation governed by laws and not men, and we're exploring whether there are different consequences for different aristocracies in our government. That may be a sterile inquiry for the gentlelady, but I think it's important.

    Now, we have been criticized by the distinguished gentleman from New York for not producing witnesses to cross-examine, as though this is where the adjudicatory function is, and I guess the Senate is left for the accusatory function. It's the other way around. We accuse, they adjudicate. But I will say this, we haven't called a lot of witnesses because you've pled nolo contendere.

    Well I have a quote here from the distinguished gentleman -- he's not here now -- Mr. Schumer: "It's clear that the president lied when he testified before the grand jury, not to cover a crime but to cover embarrassing personal behavior. To me, Mr. Speaker, it's clear the president lied when he testified before the grand jury."

    Another member of this committee, not here: "The president had an affair. He lied about it. He didn't want anybody to know about it. Does anyone reasonably believe that amounts to subversion of government?"

    Well that's what we're here to discuss. So you have conceded on the facts. You never produce witnesses to question the facts. It's all process and procedure and personal attacks on the chairman.

    I just think that's interesting. But the one person in this country that is sworn, as the chief law enforcement officer, who is sworn to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, if he perjures himself, what are the consequences of that perjury? You would say none. Maybe a rebuke, not provided for in the Constitution or anywhere else. Some of us think it should be stronger than that. That's what we're discussing here.

    REP. NADLER: Mr. Chairman, point of personal privilege.

    REP. HYDE: No, sir. I'd let you wander on --

    REP. NADLER: Mr. Chairman, it's a point of personal privilege --

    REP. HYDE: All right.

    REP. NADLER: -- you mentioned my name, and --

    REP. HYDE: What's your point?

    REP. NADLER: My point, Mr. Chairman, is that -- is twofold. One, some members of this committee, on both sides of the aisle, may have concluded the president lied, some may even have concluded he lied under oath. Some have not so concluded, and we have not pleaded nolo contendere. I have not concluded that he committed perjury. I have seen no proof that he committed perjury. And that's very much at issue. And second --

    REP. HYDE: Well, have lunch with Mr. Schumer; maybe he will inform --

    REP. NADLER: And the second point, Mr. -- he's entitled to his opinion, and I'm entitled to mine, and the president's entitled to the same due process as everybody else.

    REP. HYDE: Very well.

    REP. NADLER: And the second point, Mr. Chairman --

    REP. HYDE: Yes.

    REP. NADLER: -- is that it has been repeatedly stated, and you just said, that what we are saying, or what some of us are saying, is that it doesn't matter, that perjury isn't very important. I think what some of us are saying is that perjury, even if not impeachable, is prosecutable, and that's what upholds the rule of law.

    REP. HYDE: Well, thank you for informing me of that. That comes as a surprise to me that that's your position.

    The fact is, the referral from Judge Starr has a lot of information, under oath -- grand jury testimony, sworn statements, depositions -- and you have yet to provide a witness to contradict the factual assertions in the referral. We wait with bated breath for that to happen. We give you a full day or more. If you have any exculpatory witnesses, where are they? You don't question about it. You don't --

    REP. BARNEY FRANK (D-MA): Mr. Chairman?

    REP. HYDE: -- all you do is browbeat the chairman and this side of the aisle --

    REP. FRANK: Mr. Chairman?

    REP. HYDE: -- for trying to do its job. And it is not an easy one.

    Yes; I yield to my friend from Massachusetts.

    REP. FRANK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I promise not to browbeat you in my response, and I apologize for the stress that you --

    REP. HYDE: Oh, go ahead; why should you be different? (Laughter.)

    REP. FRANK: Well, I don't know why I'm different, Mr. Chairman, but I just am. (Laughter.)

    REP. HYDE: But why should you be? (Laughter.)

    REP. FRANK: The point I would make is it is inaccurate to assert that we have conceded the point. I do not believe perjury has come close to being proven before the grand jury.

    And I clearly believe that the witnesses themselves refute the notion of an obstruction of justice. The obstruction of justice presumably involved Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, Betty Currie and Bill Clinton. There were four people who deny that an obstruction of justice took place; Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, Betty Currie and Bill Clinton. If there were to be a prosecution, it would be a "witnessless" one.

    So, no, we don't for a minute think there was an obstruction of justice. We have argued, for instance, her statement, her volunteered statement, that no one asked her to lie and no one offered her a job, those refute that. So I just want to differentiate myself from this view.

    And also with regard to perjury before the grand jury; I don't think anybody has proven that the sex began in November of '95, not February of '96, and that the president in August of '98 consciously and deliberately misremembered that. No, I don't think that's perjury at all, and I don't think anyone's proven it.

    REP. HYDE: Well, I thank the gentleman for his contribution.

    But I just want to say the reason we are here with these two exceptionally productive witnesses is to illustrate the fact that there are very serious consequences for perjury, for lying under oath. They have borne those very serious consequences to their detriment. They have been brave enough to come in and tell us about it.

    And I just think it's important that we understand that there are consequences for perjury; notwithstanding the trivialization of lying under oath and misstatements and misleading under oath, there are very serious consequences that some people have to pay. It's a shame everybody does --

    REP. FRANK: Mr. Chairman, one more question?

       


    REP. MELVIN WATT (D-NC): Mr. Chairman, a parliamentary inquiry?

    REP. FRANK: Can I ask you a question?

    REP. HYDE: Well, the gentleman from Massachusetts.

    REP. FRANK: Mr. Chairman, are you saying that if you were a prosecutor, you would prosecute the president, if he were a private citizen, for having remembered that the sexual activity began in February of '96 rather than November of '95?

    REP. HYDE: No.

    REP. FRANK: That's one of the three counts of perjury in the grand jury that Kenneth Starr has put forward; February of '96 versus November of '95, asked more than two years after the fact. Do you believe that's something for which you should be prosecuted?

    REP. HYDE: I would rather not answer that. It doesn't strike me as a terribly serious count.

    I don't rank that up with lying to the grand jury, saying he didn't have a sexual relationship --

    REP. FRANK: Mr. Chairman, that's one of Mr. Starr's arguments in his referral. He has three points in his referral.

    REP. HYDE: Yes, I'm not -- Mr. Starr is Mr. Starr, and I'm myself.

    REP. WATT: Mr. Chairman, parliamentary --

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from North --

    REP. FRANK: Viva (sic) la difference, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: Yes, viva (sic) la difference.

    The gentleman from North Carolina.

    REP. WATT: Could I inquire of the chair what the regular order is? Is the chairman using his five minutes?

    REP. HYDE: Yes, I used my five minutes, although I yielded, as you lawyers say, in extenso for Mr. Nadler.

    REP. WATT: All right. I just wanted to be clear on what the regular order is.

    REP. HYDE: Yeah. I hope you don't think I was violating the regular order.

    REP. WATT: It's been known to happen before, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: Well, yeah. But I'm very concerned about what you think. So I want to make sure you think I wasn't violating --

    REP. WATT: It's quite obvious you're very concerned about what I think, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: Yes.

    REP. WATT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: Well, I hope you notice I'm recognizing you more and more.

    The -- (pause) --

    STAFF: (Off mike.)

    REP. HYDE: Oh, Mr. Goodlatte, the distinguished gentleman from Virginia. We'll get back on track.

    REP. ROBERT GOODLATTE (R-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Mr. Chairman, my understanding of the work of this committee was to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to see that the rule of law in this country is preserved. And I think these witnesses are very fine contributing panelists as we address that issue.

    And quite frankly, for months some on the other side in this committee have asked us to address the issue of whether or not the actions taken by the president are indeed impeachable offenses. And to point out to the comments of the gentleman from Massachusetts, it's far more than whether or not the president remembered the date that some of these activities started, and I'd like to refresh his recollection.

    On December 23, 1997, the president signed an affidavit in which he swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, in answers to written questions asked in the Jones versus Clinton case. Such written questions are necessary in civil rights lawsuits in order for the court and the parties to ascertain the true facts of the case. In those answers, the president swore that he had not had sexual relations with any federal employees. The evidence presently before this committee, unrebutted by the president, indicates that he lied. The president told a series of lies under oath, based upon the evidence before the committee, after swearing to tell the truth in a deposition given in the Clinton versus Jones case, in order to thwart that federal civil judicial proceeding.

    On January 17, 1998, the president swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in a deposition given in the Jones case. The president swore that he did not know that his personal friend Vernon Jordan had met with Monica Lewinsky, a federal employee and subordinate and a witness in the Jones versus Clinton case, in which the president was a named defendant, and talked about the case. The evidence before the committee, unrebutted, indicates that he lied.

    The president swore that he did not recall being alone with Ms. Lewinsky. The evidence before the committee indicates that he lied.

    The president swore that he was not sure whether he had ever talked to Monica Lewinsky about the possibility that she might be asked to testify in the Jones versus Clinton case. The evidence before the committee indicates that he lied.

    The president swore that the contents of an affidavit executed by Monica Lewinsky in the Jones versus Clinton case, in which she denied they had a sexual relationship, were absolutely true. The evidence before this committee indicates that he lied.

    The president told a series of lies under oath, according to the evidence before this committee, after swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth before a federal grand jury that was investigating his alleged misconduct. On August 17, 1998, seven months after his deposition in the Jones versus Clinton case, the president swore to tell the truth. Before the grand jury, the president swore that he did not want Monica Lewinsky to execute a false affidavit in the Jones versus Clinton case. The evidence before this committee indicates that he lied.

    The president swore that he did not allow his attorney to refer to an affidavit before the judge in the Jones versus Clinton case that the president knew to be false. The evidence indicates that he lied.

    The president swore that he did not give false testimony in his Jones versus Clinton deposition, and clearly the evidence before this committee indicates that he lied.

    The president has been afforded the opportunity, members of this committee have been afforded the opportunity, the president's counsel has been afforded the opportunity to come forward and rebut this evidence. We have not even begun to talk about subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power.

    So these witnesses are very pertinent because of their own testimony regarding their own experiences and the consequences they confronted.

    Dr. Battalino, it's my understanding that in your circumstances there were taped-recorded conversations with a trusted person that were used in the prosecution of you in that case. Is that not correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, that's right.

    REP. GOODLATTE: And it's my understanding that in that case you were deprived of your employment as a result of this prosecution; is that not correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes. Yes.

    REP. GOODLATTE: It seems to me that there are very substantial similarities. Do you have any other similarities that you would point out to the committee between the circumstances I just described about allegations regarding the president and the circumstances that you have very courageously talked about today?

    DR. BATTALINO: I think since the issue has come up about due process, that I plea bargained, I agreed to negotiate a settlement. So in many respects, I did not have the full due process right that I would have had, had I had the opportunity and the financial and other supportive background to have a full trial. I opted not to do that as a means to not subject my family to any more financial loss, and myself, and/or any further embarrassment.

    REP. GOODLATTE: Let me interrupt and point out another similarity that I think --

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired.

    REP. GOODLATTE: Mr. Chairman, if I might ask one additional question that would point that out?

    REP. HYDE: Very well.

    REP. GOODLATTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    It's my understanding that the underlying civil suit that you were a party to was dismissed; is that not correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, that's correct.

    REP. GOODLATTE: So you nonetheless still were convicted of perjury in that suit and lost your federal government job as a result of that?

    DR. BATTALINO: I was prosecuted before the settlement of the case, the final dismissal of the case; yes.

    REP. GOODLATTE: Thank you, Dr. Battalino. I appreciate your taking the time, and both you having the courage to come before us today and talk about equal justice under the law.

    REP. HYDE: The gentlelady from Texas, Ms. Jackson Lee.

    REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I too want to add certainly my respect and certainly my appreciation for the willingness of the two witnesses to come before us today.

    I think it is difficult for you and difficult for those of us who have offered a different perspective, for our questions are not directed personally at you or to in any way disrespect, as I indicated, the courage you have offered today or what you have gone through. And I think your presence here today is a testament to your leadership as an American.

    You were willing to accept the invitation for, in some sense, what you might add to a very important process. And so in this instance may I say, whatever happened to you in the past, you are great Americans and we should acknowledge that.

    I do want to indicate to the chairman, however, where we are today. And in the course of doing so, I will have one or two questions for the witnesses. We are here today as a result of a September 11th, 1998 referral from the Office of Independent Counsel dealing with the question of impeachment of a president of the United States of America. We are also here pursuant to a resolution passed on the floor of the House, drafted by Republicans, to indicate that the world was their oyster; whatever might come, they would look at it. So we are here today.

    As we have proceeded, I had hoped that as Chairman Rodino, in 1974, with the trust of the American people, with the eyes of the world watching on something so somber as the removal of a president, we would have proceeded possibly in executive session, as did the Rodino committee, cross-examining and examining vigorously, I assume, debating, of which -- of course those records are still somewhat in executive session, and finally reaching a common consensus on the direction that we should recommend to the full House.

    We only know of the Rodino results by way of that one day in August when members of that committee offered their thoughts. We also know that several of the members of the -- Republican members of the committee voted to vote-out articles of impeachment.

    This time, today, however, December 1st, 1998, we have had no fact witnesses. We have had a hearsay witness. We have had Mr. Starr, who indicated that his world was a world of law and not of public opinion and television appearances, though he took to appearing before us on December (sic) 19th in front of the television cameras and proceeded to move to "20-20" to make his advocacy even more heightened for the American people, and possibly an attempt to, as well, make himself the "darling" of those who would desire impeachment.

    We have had no further calling of witnesses. We've had articles of impeachment drafted and notice given to those of us who are Democrats by the airwaves of the public media. Frankly, we now are looking at further investigations pursuant to, again, the notice of the media, on issues dealing with campaign finance, issues that have been reviewed by several committees, one in the Senate and in the House.

    So I would simply say that it would be in order for you to be here if we had proceeded orderly. But we have ignored the language of the Constitution that impeachment is grounded on treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. This is not to take away from what happened to you, the tragedy of your life. And now you have, if you will, repented or acknowledged and are offering your insight. But we are here to be guided by the constitutional standards of treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors.

    What our Republican friends fail to tell America, as they divide over this very tense issue, is that the president can be prosecuted under these alleged crimes once leaving office. Our job is not simply to abide by the public understanding of lying. The president has apologized for misleading the American people. I assume he was embarrassed. He has embarrassed his family. He has embarrassed and tainted his legacy. But our charge is simply to determine whether these are impeachable offenses.

    I would simply say to you, Ms. Parsons, that I thank you for your presence. It is my understanding that your involvement dealt with allegations dealing with another female. And I would simply ask both you, at the time, not today, at the time that you might have said an untruth, were you avoiding embarrassment, were you avoiding hurt to your family members or to yourself or to your setting? Was it one where you thought that, "If I do this" -- putting aside what happened later -- "that it will be an ultimate embarrassment to all who loved me and respected me" in this private matter.

    Ms. Parsons, not now today, but when it happened, were you embarrassed about what you were charged or asked to answer the question on?

    MS. PARSONS: No.

    REP. JACKSON LEE: You were not embarrassed.

    MS. PARSONS: No. What I was was manipulating my way around who wouldn't understand what I was doing.

    REP. JACKSON LEE: And what a tragedy that a private matter like that had to be considered, where you had to manipulate.

    Dr. Battalino?

    DR. BATTALINO: I think --

    MS. PARSONS: Exactly right.

    DR. BATTALINO: I think, Ms. Jackson Lee, as I mentioned in my statement, that yes, that was certainly one of the thoughts and feelings that had crossed my mind, that I was indeed embarrassed, and that I was making an attempt to justify that because I was embarrassed and because it was something of a personal nature, that adjudicated my not telling the truth. But that was wrong, and I knew that it was wrong at the time. I don't think that embarrassment or exposing a feeling and an experience that is personal is acceptable to not tell the truth, especially when it's under oath or it's a statement directly to the American people.

    REP. JACKSON LEE: And in these instances --

    REP. HYDE: The gentlelady's time has --

    REP. JACKSON LEE: Mr. Chairman, if I could finish my sentence. In these instances, as the witnesses have said -- Mr. Chairman, I thank you for your indulgence -- that they had pled and that they had indicated their untruth themselves. In this instance, we have none of that at this point, and we simply need to analogize this to whether these are impeachable offenses for the president of the United States.

    And I do thank you for appearing here and telling us of your stories under your fact situations, which are so different from that of the president.

    REP. HYDE: The gentlelady's time has expired.

    REP. JACKSON LEE: Thank the gentleman very much for his indulgence.

    REP. HYDE: You're welcome.

    The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Buyer.

    REP. STEVE BUYER (R-IN): I thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank you for having orderly proceedings, because our function here under the Constitution is like the grand jury function, the accusatory function, of which you've said before, and so I want to thank you.

    I also would say that I find perjury under the same classification of bribery, meaning, when it said of treason, bribery or other high crimes, I believe perjury constitutes "other high crimes." So I wanted to be instructive to my colleague there that lacked that scope.

    I also want to share with Ms. Parsons when I was back home during Thanksgiving -- my daughter plays high school basketball -- and while I was in the stands, I couldn't help but -- my own friends would talk to me about this case and the proceedings, and what I found was very interesting. What some of my friends, who aren't focusing on the legal technicalities and legal side of this issue with the president, they're sitting in the stands watching a high school basketball game, they remember and they can't get out of their mind the president shaking their (sic) finger into their face on television saying, "I didn't have sexual relations with that woman." And then they immediately say, "Well don't impeach him because of an affair." And see -- and I think that was highly representative, I think, of a lot of people in America; they just remember that shaking the finger and they think that somehow this impeachment is about that affair.

    So I have to agree with my colleague here, Mr. Inglis; he put it very eloquently. You two have done something that no one else could do, and that is to keep the extreme partisans quiet here today. The extreme partisans are trying to play into what my neighbors were then saying, "Well don't impeach him because of a sexual affair." No, you went to jail over perjury.

    So let me just take a step back here. And what I would now say unto my neighbors at home, and to the rest -- to you and to America is that in May of 1994, Paula Jones, a citizen of the United States, filed a civil rights lawsuit, a civil proceeding, against the president, alleging that he sexually harassed her while he was governor of Arkansas in the Jones v. Clinton case. The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed her right to bring that case, and her right to have a fair hearing and orderly ruling is guaranteed by the Constitution.

    In that case, the judge ruled that the president was required to testify, as is common in harassment cases, about any sexual relations he had or sought to have with any state or federal employees within a relevant time frame. This information is often necessary for plaintiffs who bring civil rights sexual harassment cases in order to prove those cases, especially when those harassing -- when the harassing conduct occurred in private and is the "he said, she said" situation. This information is used in court to lend credibility to the plaintiff's case.

    It is alleged that in relation to this duty to testify truthfully in the Jones v. Clinton case, the president lied under oath, encouraged others to lie under oath, tampered with witnesses, obstructed justice. It is also alleged the president committed the same offenses and abused the power of his office in relation to federal criminal proceedings that grew out of his misconduct relating to the case of Jones v. Clinton.

    So there are some that like to say this is only a political proceeding. No, this is a legal proceeding that we are conducting here because we do have a standard; it's given to us in the Constitution.

    Now, I couldn't help but think of both of you as you were testifying because I thought that -- let me ask both of you. Dr. Battalino and Ms. Parsons, was one of the reasons that you testified falsely because you thought it would give you an advantage in the civil case in which you were involved in? And do you believe that the courts would work well if witnesses were allowed to testify falsely without any punishment?

    The other question I have for you would be -- I also found it quite interesting, as my colleague, Mr. Goodlatte, went through a series of alleged perjuries the president may have committed -- Doctor, you were sent to prison because you said "no" to a specific question that said, "Did anything of a sexual nature take place in your office on June 27, 1991?" You answered, "no" and you went to prison.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

       


    REP. BUYER: On one "no."

    DR. BATTALINO: One "no."

    REP. BUYER: Mr. Goodlatte gave a whole series of lists whereby the president sought to obstruct justice in a civil proceeding in which he stood to lose money out of his own wallet. So I'm interested in your answer to that.

    The other thing I find quite interesting, Dr. Battalino, when you were under a wire, your quote was -- when this gentleman revealed to VA authorities that you had sex in your office, you responded, quote, "No, that's not what I told you to do." So my question is, what did you tell him to do? And if that doesn't sound like a cover story. And did you have a cover story? Because what I also find quite interesting, in all my years of criminal prosecution and defense, I have never heard defendants ever say to each other, "Okay, I'll tell you what, I want you to lie." They don't say that, they say, "Here's the story." And then you have to prove by circumstantial evidence about the obstruction, i.e., cover story.

    So please answer these series of questions.

    DR. BATTALINO: May I start from the last question?

    REP. BUYER: Yes.

    DR. BATTALINO: I think -- to tell you the truth, I have never heard the transcripts in full, nor have I -- I mean I haven't heard the recordings, nor have I read the transcripts, so I'm at a disadvantage in terms of exactly what I said and what the intent of what I said was about. As I recall, the discussion that you're relating to had to do with telling my superiors at the VA hospital whether or not we did indeed have a sexual encounter on the premises. As far as a cover story goes, I think certainly that on some level, there was an intent to influence the civil case by the response that I gave. I think it was a confused, unclear concept and perception that I had, but I would not doubt that it was -- there was some intent to influence the civil proceedings.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired.

    REP. BUYER: Mr. Chairman, though, would you permit the witnesses to answer? Ms. Parsons?

    REP. HYDE: Certainly.

    MS. PARSON: I may have gotten caught with one lie, but there was a definite pattern.

    REP. BUYER: The question was, was one of the reasons you gave false testimony because you thought it would give you an advantage in your civil case?

    MS. PARSONS: Because I had -- I created a defense because I felt that most of the things that were surrounding me could not be understood by the general public or the people that were involved. And it's a ridiculous reason, but my strategy was very -- the only thing I can say is it's called incorrect thinking.

    DR. BATTALINO: May I respond?

    REP. BUYER: Yes, ma'am.

    DR. BATTALINO: In my case also, I think that there was an element whereby I was not so much attempting to influence the results of the civil case, but that in my mind, there was -- that that case -- and in a sense, maybe I can empathize with one of the explanations that I've heard Mr. Clinton give, and that is that because I did not think that that lawsuit was a legitimate or an honest civil case, that that caused me in my mind to justify giving that inaccurate testimony.

    And there's no excuse for that.

    REP. BUYER: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired.

    The gentlelady from California, Ms. Waters.

    REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I would like to declare myself in relationship to whether or not I believe the president perjured himself, because of your statement that someone attempted to clarify. I'm not convinced that the president has perjured himself.

    Having said that, I'd like to raise a question, I guess, of one of the lawyers on this side of the aisle. Are all cases of perjury prosecuted? Mr. Nadler, could you help me?

    REP. NADLER: No, prosecutorial discretion is exercised. Some are prosecuted and some aren't.

    REP. WATERS: So there could be extenuating circumstances, intent, materiality; any of those things could possibly cause a prosecutor not to pursue prosecuting someone who may have perjured himself.

    REP. NADLER: That's true. The prosecutor would have to weigh two things: how strong a case he thinks he has, in terms of his ability to prove it --

    REP. WATERS: How --

    REP. NADLER: -- and in terms of his other cases, how important he thinks it is.

    REP. WATERS: How many cases do you think that are out there that were not prosecuted? Is this the exception rather than the rule? Or do we have many cases that -- of perjury that are not -- does anyone know? (No audible replies.)

    Thank you. I didn't think so. And I don't think any time has been spent trying to find out whether or not -- what the -- that is the case.

    Mr. Chairman and my ranking member, ever since the Judiciary Committee dumped the independent counsel's salacious referral into the public domain, I have warned this body that Americans were becoming increasingly more suspicious of their government and our ability to be fair and sensible. The public has told us time and time again that Americans want fairness, and they want us to get to the people's business.

    In order to attend this hearing, I was forced to cancel at the last minute a very important forum on women and AIDS that was to be held in my district today as part of World AIDS Day.

    World AIDS Day is held every December 1st to bring attention to the global AIDS crisis. As you may know, the HIV-AIDS epidemic has reached crisis proportions, both here and abroad, with half of all new infections worldwide occurring among young people age 15 to 24, and with 34 million people infected in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Here in the United States, the HIV-AIDS crisis continues to ravage our citizens, and it's devastating in the African American community.

    By raising the critical issue of HIV-AIDS, I do not mean to abdicate my constitutional duty. Far from it. As chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, I have argued that members of Congress must carry out their duty to uphold the Constitution and ensure fair and judicious process.

    Is lying under oath a serious matter? Yes. Should perjury be tolerated? No. We did not need this panel of 11 witnesses to explain the obvious.

    The larger question that looms is whether impeachment is the proper tool to address the president's response to questions about his private consensual sexual affair. I must admit, I'm not convinced that the president's answers regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky are great and dangerous offenses. Attempts to subvert the Constitution are the most extensive injustice, as described by George Mason, the man who proposed the "high crimes and misdemeanors" language adopted by the framers of the Constitution.

    By adopting a selective impeachment process, Republicans on this committee have elevated President Clinton's responses about whatever affair he may have had with Ms. Lewinsky to high crimes and misdemeanors. In comparison, the lies that were told by Presidents Reagan and Bush, propagated regarding the illegal sale of arms during the Iran-contra diversion, do not, in their minds, constitute great and dangerous offenses to the country and the Constitution.

    Let's take a look at what we have here. In his deposition, the president denied having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky and he denies touching specific parts of her body. Although Ms. Lewinsky says the president did touch certain parts of her body, she too stated she did not have sexual relations with the president.

    In contrast, President Reagan, in his January 26, 1987 interview with Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh, stated he approved the shipment of arms to Iran. Three years later, President Reagan said he had no recollection of whether he approved or had discussions about arms sales. President Bush, who initially acknowledged he was regularly informed of the Iran-contra activities, later stated he was out of the loop of the illegal contra arms sales.

    The same members of Congress who defended the lies and illegal actions of Presidents Reagan and Bush now want President Clinton's head for what they consider lying about his private sexual affair. This double standard would be laughable if it were not a serious constitutional abuse.

    Where were the cries for impeachment when Presidents Reagan and Bush repeatedly lied to the Office of Independent Counsel, Congress and the American people? Where --

    REP. HYDE: The gentle lady's time has expired.

    REP. WATERS: Could I have 30 more seconds, please?

    REP. HYDE: You surely may.

    REP. GOODLATTE: Mr. Chairman?

    REP. WATERS: Where were the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice when President Bush refused to submit to a second interview with Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh to ascertain his knowledge of the diversion of the arms sales proceeds to the Congress? When I compare the Iran-contra activities and the lives lost, an evasive response about a private sexual affair pales in comparison.

    The American people are not stupid. They understand intuitively that the framers of the Constitution reserved high crimes and misdemeanors for the abuses practiced by Presidents Reagan and Bush and not for President Clinton's misleading statements about an embarrassing affair.

    I will discontinue at this point, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. GOODLATTE: Mr. Chairman?

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from Virginia.

    REP. GOODLATTE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would ask that a New York Times article dated November 17, 1998, outlining prosecutions for perjury and indicating that in the last five years there have been nearly 500 federal court prosecutions for perjury. And in the state of California alone, in 1997 alone, in that state there were more than 4300 prosecutions for perjury. And I'd ask that this article be made a part of the record.

    REP. HYDE: Without objection, so ordered. The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Bryant.

    REP. ED BRYANT (R-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I might add to that. I think the gentle lady from California asked a very valid question in terms of are all perjury offenses prosecuted. Certainly that's not the case. And in most instances, I suspect it's because they're not detected. But I would greatly be surprised if any of the distinguished members of the judiciary who will testify, as well as a former attorney general and law professors from distinguished law schools, would say that it is not unimportant to prosecute people who commit perjury in a court and how much truthful testimony underpins our judicial system.

    We must keep that judicial system strong. We don't want to go back to the point that whoever has the most guns wins the case. It's important that we have honest, truthful testimony, complete testimony.

    When someone raises their hands to tell the truth, they also say "to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth," and not to hedge around.

    And one of my colleagues earlier had mentioned from the other side that the president has admitted to misleading the American people. I have a difficult time, when I listen to that oath, squaring how someone can say, "I misled the American people but I told the truth when I said, 'I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.'" How can you mislead somebody when you take that oath without committing perjury? And perhaps someone on the second panel who is legally trained can educate me on that. But it seems to me like if you mislead someone, you commit something less than telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

    I did want to point out, for the gentle lady from California, as my colleague from Virginia did, that in California, in her home state, in 1993 there were 1900 people -- these are estimates -- 1968 people, actually -- prosecuted. It's going up every year; 2500 in 1994, 3300 in 1995, 3500 in 1996, and 4318 in 1997.

    Unfortunately, what this reflects is a societal pattern of increased lying. You hear about it in kids that are cheating on tests at school. Those numbers are going up. And we're becoming, I guess, more tolerant. And that's very important in Washington these days that we become tolerant. Unfortunately, we're becoming tolerant of lying in this country, as seen from the prosecutions in the state of California increasing.

    So what do we do as a Congress when we find that our president has allegations against him, not just one time but over a period of several months, of lying under oath? Can we ignore that? You say, "Well, everybody does that." Well, maybe they do. But not everybody gets caught. And we've got the chief law enforcement officer of this country, the man who appoints the attorney general, the man who appoints the United States attorneys who prosecute all the federal laws out there in all the federal courts. This person is alleged to have lied.

    Now, Ms. Battalino, I certainly -- your testimony struck me when you said that you, at a point, crossed the line. You made a conscious choice. And I think we heard that in Mr. Starr's testimony that the president had several occasions when he made a conscious decision, an educated decision. He weighed the pluses and minuses.

    And I mentioned to Mr. Starr, one that struck me was when he talked to Dick Morris and said, "I'm in a quandary. What do I do here?" And they decided to take a poll on what to do, whether to tell the truth or not to tell the truth, what would sell and what wouldn't sell. And Mr. Morris took an overnight poll and came back and said, "Well, it wouldn't -- they'll forgive you for adultery but not for perjury."

    And at that point it looks like he made a choice, and according to Mr. Morris made the statement, "We'll just have to win." And it was at that point, from that point forward, that the president got other people involved. And theretofore, it may have been just simply lies within the family. Maybe it was grounds for divorce. But that was it, in all honesty. I don't like what he did, but I don't think he violated any laws with Ms. Lewinsky. But up to that point, it may have been grounds for divorce.

    But once he made the decision, that choice, after talking with Dick Morris to move forward, he became involved in a legal process and had other people in his administration get involved, from filing affidavits to telling them stories that they would repeat in grand juries. And I'm concerned not so much about are we lowering the expectation, the level for impeachment, because we hear that a lot. I'm more concerned with the Lindsey Graham test that will we be able to look back in 30 years and say that we did the right thing? Or are we going to look back and say, "Did we lower the standards for the presidency?"

    Are we willing to say we're going to accept perjury and these other things, if proven true, by the chief law enforcement officer, the commander-in-chief of this country, who sends our soldiers off? Are we going to question that in 30 years? Or are we going to do the right thing? And I hope, as a result of these hearings and your gracious testimony today, that we will have all the information we need to make that conscious choice for the American people.

    And I yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Delahunt.

    REP. WILLIAM DELAHUNT (D-MA): Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to welcome you to this hearing. I, along with everyone else, appreciate the courage that you've displayed here this morning. I wasn't going to pose any questions, but I feel that I must. Otherwise I might be labeled as an extreme partisan. I thought that was the word that I heard from one of my colleagues on the other side. So just let me ask one question, and then I would like to make just some observations.

    But did either one of you -- and I presume you haven't -- had an opportunity to review the grand jury testimony of Mr. Clinton, of any of the significant witnesses -- Ms. Lewinsky -- prior to coming here this morning?

    MS. BATTALINO: Could you repeat that?

    REP. DELAHUNT: Yeah. Did you have a chance to review or read the grand jury testimony or any of the documents that were referred to the committee by Mr. Starr?

    MS. BATTALINO: Just those that were open to public knowledge.

    REP. DELAHUNT: Well, let me ask you this. Did you have a chance to sit down and actually read the grand jury testimony of Mr. Clinton or Ms. Lewinsky? Have you --

    MS. BATTALINO: I've read excerpts.

    REP. DELAHUNT: You've read excerpts. And you, Ms. Parsons?

    MS. PARSONS: I have not. I did not want to be biased.

    REP. DELAHUNT: Thank you. You know, much has been stated this morning about the rule of law. I think every member of this committee is concerned about the rule of law, whether we be Republican or whether we be Democrats. But I think it's really important also to understand that you were prosecuted under the criminal code of the United States.

    And every American citizen -- and I think it's important that the American people understand this -- every American citizen, including a president, whether that president be President Clinton or, in the case of the Watergate hearings some 24 years ago, whether it was President Nixon, is subject to prosecution. And I think it's been rather made clear in terms of the record that any allegations that at some point in time may be proven to be true involving perjury, obstruction of justice, pose no problems in terms of criminal prosecution and statute-of-limitation issues.

    So I think it's important to remind ourselves that upon the expiration of any president's term, the same process that you two experienced applies to that president; again, whether it be President Clinton or, in the case back in the mid '70s, of President Nixon. I mean, I don't remember President Nixon, when President Ford pardoned him for any potential criminal prosecution, saying, "Well, I don't need that because I am above the rule of law." My memory is he accepted that pardon readily, and I'm sure welcomed that pardon.

    So when we talk about the rule of law, we're talking about the criminal code, and every single president of the United States is subject to that. However, let's understand very clearly that impeachment applies only to one -- presidential impeachment applies only to one American citizen, the president of the United States. So, of course, there are differences.

    MS. BATTALINO: Excuse me. May I make a --

    REP. DELAHUNT: No, I don't have enough time. But I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you afterward, Dr. Battalino. I think it's important to remember that. And I guess what I'm hearing today is two varying perspectives of what we ought to be about as a committee.

    I keep hearing -- I think it was my friend from Virginia, Mr. Goodlatte, who talked about unrebutted evidence by the president, as if it was the duty and the burden of proof of the president of the United States to rebut evidence. You know, my memory of -- and I see my time is running out -- is that one of the fundamental concepts that exist within due process which pervades the entire Constitution, including Article II, is the presumption of innocence, not a presumption of guilt.

    I yield back.

    REP. HYDE: I'm pleased to yield the gentleman another minute if he will let Dr. Battalino answer the question you posed to her.

    REP. DELAHUNT: No, because the gentleman to my left is anxious to get on, and I know. But I'll be happy to talk to you, Dr. Battalino. And I really want to thank the chair for indulging me, as he always does. Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: You're properly grateful. (Laughter.) Dr. Battalino, you had an answer that you were not permitted to give. Would you give it now, please?

    MS. BATTALINO: I would be happy to. Thank you, sir. The point I wish to make is that I certainly would have preferred to have the ability to complete my profession before I was prosecuted also. I didn't have that opportunity.

    REP. HYDE: Thank you. The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Wexler. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Mr. Chabot. Forgive me.

    REP. STEVE CHABOT (R-OH): Thank you. Dr. Battalino, the distinguished gentle lady from Texas asked you earlier about was your motivation for lying at least partially to avoid the embarrassment that might come out as a result of all these things. And I think you indicated, yes, that was part of the motivation.

    MS. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. CHABOT: Despite that fact, did that in any way avoid any of the consequences that you had to go through as a result of the perjury?

    MS. BATTALINO: No, it didn't. And as I mentioned in my statement, I regret that I did not tell the truth sooner and apologize sooner, because when I did, when I had the ability to do that, the internal strength and grace to do that, that it made such a difference in my life.

    It gave me a sense of relief, a sense of accommodation to the wrong that I had done.

    REP. CHABOT: And so despite the fact that obviously anybody in this situation would want to avoid the embarrassment, the fact that you had perjured yourself, there was a very heavy price that you personally had to pay?

    DR. BATTALINO: Absolutely.

    REP. CHABOT: You're no longer able to practice as a doctor. Your law license and the criminal problems that you have had as a result of this -- a very heavy price obviously that you paid. And I think as we've all said we -- obviously nobody condones the activities, but it took a lot of courage on both your parts to be here this morning and testify before this committee.

    I think it's also important for all of us to remember that the two of you here today are representative not just of yourselves, but 113 other Americans who have suffered -- right now are suffering criminal consequences in the federal criminal justice system because they committed perjury -- 113 people either behind bars or under some kind of home confinement or whatever -- but they have been convicted. And that's just the federal courts. We've also got 50 states out there, and there are thousands and thousands of other people who have committed perjury and that have suffered severe consequences as a result of that. Would either one of you like to comment on what sort of message it sends to those people who are either behind bars or are on probation or whatever who have committed perjury, if this president has committed perjury and ultimately gets by with it? What message does it send out to those people?

    DR. BATTALINO: I am more concerned about the message that he gives on a broader level -- not just those of us that have been prosecuted. I would hope that all of us that have been prosecuted, and that it's a legitimate prosecution, that we would all be able and willing to admit that we were wrong and we did the wrong thing, and not make any attempt to excuse the wrong that we did.

    So my concern is at a much broader level to the young people, the citizens of the United States. I think it's wonderful that these proceedings are allowing the public to understand that, that there have been prosecutions, that perjury is a serious breach in our law, in our view of law as a society, as a nation. So I would hope that at a broader level this would have more of a significance and a reality for my fellow American citizens.

    REP. CHABOT: Thank you. Let me just comment also. It was also brought up on the other side by one of the distinguished members that the president is accused of lying relative to the date of when he first began this inappropriate relationship, as to whether it was November of '95 or whether it was February of '96. And I think it's important to note that one of the reasons that apparently the president did lie about that is because at the earlier date she was still an intern. And I think everybody understands or should understand that interns are absolutely unequivocally off-limits -- and everybody understands that. So at the later date she was no longer an intern, and I think that's -- I think everybody understands or should understand that that's apparently the reason that that lie took place.

    And I don't think -- the other thing I think that's important is there's a whole range of other lies which are much more significant -- the lie about whether or not a relationship actually took place, whether they were alone together, whether or not -- what was this president's involvement in this job search to essentially make this witness keep her mouth shut? I mean, there's a whole range of issues that lies took place -- not just that one particular thing about the date.

    At this point I think I'll yield back my time. Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Wexler.

    REP. WEXLER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am afraid that this committee has become the theater of the absurd. I admire the personal courage of the women before us today -- I truly do. But it seems that their personal courage is being misused by some for the partisan goal of impeaching the president. No one -- no one -- is suggesting that perjury is anything but wrong. No one is suggesting that lying to the American public is anything but wrong.

    The only question before this Judiciary Committee is whether the president's actions arise to the level of an impeachable offense. If not, what consequences should the president face? Some suggest if we do not impeach there are no consequences for the president. In that regard, Mr. Chairman, I believe it is helpful and timely to read your eloquent and moving words to the House of Representatives on July 20, 1983, when the House took your lead and opted to censure a congressman who had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old page -- not a consenting adult.

    These are Chairman Hyde's wise words: "We sit here today not as finders of fact -- the facts are stipulated. We sit here not to characterize the crime, the breach, the transgression, because we all know the transgression, which is admitted and it is stipulated as reprehensible. We sit here to find the punishment that fits the breach.

    "And so in searching our souls for the appropriate punishment, I ask the members to consider the situation in its totality, in its entire context. I suggest to the members that this man would rather have lost an arm at the shoulder than have to tell his wife, to have to greet his wife as he did with the media. I suggest that all life is about is to earn the esteem of our fellow men. That is what we are here for. That is why we run for election. That is lost to this man. He is embarrassed, he is humiliated, he is displaced, and it endures. It is not over. It will never be over. It will not be over as long as he lives, and it will remain after he lives. It will be with him, and it will be with his family as long as they live.

    "Mr. Speaker, I suggest to the members that compassion and justice are not antithetical. They are complementary. The Judeo- Christian tradition says hate the sin and love the sinner. We are on record as hating the sin. Some more ostentatiously than others. I think it is time to love the sinner."

    Mr. Chairman, your wise words carried the day in 1983, and I plead with you now to once again lead this Congress to censure and end this nightmare for the good of our nation. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman for quoting me so accurately. I regret to say that we didn't carry the day, but we made a good effort.

       


    The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Barr.

    REP. BARR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to ask both the witnesses if the following is the oath that you took in the court proceedings that then gave rise to the charges against you. Quote, "Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?," close quote?

    MS. PARSONS: Yes.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. BARR: I'd like to quote this again for the record -- this is the president. "Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" "I do." I yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: Thank the gentlemen. The distinguished gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Rothman.

    REP. ROTHMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First I want to thank both of these women for testifying today. You've displayed enormous courage in coming here and telling your stories so eloquently. You have taken quite a journey. You have recited your journeys in a compelling way, and we have all been deeply touched by it.

    I do want to address some remarks though to my colleagues on this committee. And that is at least from this one Democrat, and I think I speak for most of us, we acknowledge that perjury is a very serious offense, and when proven it is punishable under the criminal law. And if Mr. Starr or any other prosecutor feels that President Clinton committed perjury, the prosecutor can bring a criminal charge against the president and have him tried criminally for perjury. Whether that's during his presidency or after his presidency, that's a matter of constitutional law, but he can be brought up on criminal charges for perjury.

    With regards to perjury as -- and that's as it should be -- he should not be above the law.

    But with regards to whether perjury is a grounds for impeachment, it may well be. But first this committee has to determine whether the president committed perjury. And then this committee must determine whether perjury about the facts that are proven, if they are proven, rises to the level of impeachable offense -- namely, treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Or does it require a lesser sanction?

    I simply would conclude my remarks by saying that so far in our three-months worth of work this committee has not resolved either of those two questions. I yield back, Mr. Chairman.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Jenkins.

    REP. JENKINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The questions I had have been asked and answered, and I would like to reserve my time in this matter.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman. The gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. Barrett.

    REP. BARRETT: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I want to thank both witnesses for being here today. I think it's part of the healing process for you to come before us today to share your experiences.

    Just so I am sure, Ms. Parsons, in your case you were actually the plaintiff in that case, is that correct? You were the one who initiated the case?

    MS. PARSONS: Yes, I was.

    REP. BARRETT: Okay. And, doctor, you were the defendant with a charge of malpractice, is that correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Malpractice and sexual harassment, however I was dismissed of the charge early on before the final determination on the final dismissal.

    REP. BARRETT: And the actual perjury occurred when you went to the government to ask to be -- the government to pay your expenses or to make sure that you could not be held personally liable? Is that correct, under --

    DR. BATTALINO: That -- it was at one of the certification hearings --

    REP. BARRETT: Under the Federal Courts Claim Act?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes -- that I misrepresented the truth and told the --

    REP. BARRETT: Okay, and you had initiated that? In other words, you had gone to the government and invoked a federal --

    DR. BATTALINO: It was an appeal, yes.

    REP. BARRETT: Okay, thanks. I just wanted to make sure that I understood that.

    REP. : (Off mike.)

    REP. BARRETT: Well, the question was for the doctor under the Federal Tort Claim Act, because she was a federal employee the government would in certain circumstances cover her expenses and hold her immune from personal liability. I understand that you had requested -- so you had taken --

    DR. BATTALINO: That's correct.

    REP. BARRETT: -- a step to have that happen.

    DR. BATTALINO: That's correct. They had already certified me for the June 27th, 1991 date. We were appealing to have that coverage extended through the whole claim of sexual harassment, which was dismissed.

    REP. BARRETT: Okay, I just wanted to make sure that I understood it. Again, I appreciate you being here. And I do think that this is an important hearing, because it does show that healing is part of the process. And unfortunately, as you can probably glean from the proceedings today, although this is far tamer than we have seen in the past, this committee has not begun a healing process, and Congress has not begun the healing process. And I think that that is something that the American people desperately want. And I have talked to probably thousands of people now in my district and from around the country, and there are people who hate the president and hate what he did. There are people who support the president. But the common thread that I hear over and over again is that the American people want this chapter of history behind us. And I don't know that we have come to grips with that. When I hear that later today we may be expanding this probe into matters that the Government Reform and Oversight Committee has already investigated, and we are going to continue that, I think that that shows you that we are not there yet.

    I am optimistic. The chairman did promise me that we would complete this by early January when my wife is expecting. Mr. Chairman, I want you to know that we are still kicking around the names Henry for a boy and Henrietta for a girl -- (laughter) -- depending on whether you keep to that promise. But I think we can do it. I think we have to do that. And we have to get beyond this. And I think we can do that. I am certain that the new speaker, Bob Livingston, does not want to have the first vote that is taken under his leadership as speaker to be whether this is going to continue.

    So the question is how to resolve this. And the question is how do we do it when the vast percentage of American people think that what the president did was wrong. The president has acknowledged it, just as you have acknowledged it, that what you did was wrong. But there are misgivings of the political process, and the part that political process plays in this, because we are trying to determine for the first time in this country's history whether we are going to impeach and remove from office a president of the United States. Obviously we have had an impeachment of a president with President Johnson. But we have never had a removal. And so there is gravity that is attached to this issue that I don't think has been reflected in these hearings.

    And I think that that's unfortunate. And I again remain hopeful that we can do that. But I haven't seen great signs of evidence.

    I think it's also important to note, as several others have, that no person should be above the law. We hear that over and over again, and I agree with that.

    What we don't hear as often, is that President Clinton, once he leaves office, can be charged with the same offenses that you were charged with. And if he takes it to trial, or he enters into an agreement, it will be resolved. But President Clinton is not above the law, and should not be above the law. If he has done something criminally wrong, and it is proven in court after he leaves office, then he has a debt to pay to society.

    But it's my hope, and I think the hope of most American people, that we can resolve this issue, and get back to the issues that the people in America care about. And I yield back to Ms. Parsons. I'd like to yield to the witness, if I may, quickly.

    MS. PARSONS: I resigned in the middle of a season. We were ranked second in the nation, seven and 0, kind of like the economy -- doing very well. (Laughter.) That team went out of the Top 20, a number of them transferred. The program has never been the same. When you remove the leader, sometimes you have things that are going to happen that you may not want.

    You made a very good point: timing is an issue in any resignation, or any proceedings related to the leader. And I appreciate that, because I sense that -- (laughs) -- one thing we don't need right now, is to not have a leader, in a world where leadership matters.

    REP. BARRETT: If I could have three seconds, Ms. Jackson-Lee asked me to yield to her.

    REP. JACKSON-LEE: Mr. Barrett, I simply want to add to a comment that you made that it is time to heal this nation. And as you have talked to so many of your constituents, I have heard from so many people acknowledging what we've all acknowledged. Frankly, what the president did was absolutely wrong. But how can we constitutionally move to a point of healing? And frankly, I think we have the tools to do so. I hope that we will consider rebuking, reprimand or censor, and I hope that we will try to heal the nation. These ladies represent healing.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired.

    REP. JACKSON-LEE: I thank Mr. Barrett very much.

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from Arkansas, Mr. Hutchinson.

    REP. HUTCHINSON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I want to express my appreciation for the spirit of the comments of the gentleman from Wisconsin. He did make one reference, and Mr. Rothman from New Jersey as well, that the president, like everyone else, can be held accountable in a criminal fashion for prosecution during or after he leaves office. And I noticed, and Mr. Dershowitz is going to testify later, I think he has indicated that that probably would not happen.

    I think it is very doubtful. I think in theory, that that is within the realm of possibility, but in a practical sense, I doubt that that will happen in America. And so, I have to come back to the responsibility of this committee in dealing with consequences to any actions that we find of the president.

    And I want to come back to the witnesses, and I want to thank both of you for being here. Each of your testimony illustrates in very human terms, that there are consequences to our actions, and to our decisions in life. Teenagers learn this, and we continually learn that, through adulthood, it seems.

    But there will also be consequences to the decisions of this committee. It's been pointed out before that our decision will have an impact on the institution of the Presidency. And it will likely have an impact on the future conduct of elected officials, whatever we decide.

    But I think your testimony points out other considerations; that there is a principle of equal justice, and that our decision, very likely, will impact upon that principle. That principle of equal justice that indicates, whether a doctor, a lawyer, or a basketball coach, we are all expected to obey the requirements of the law. And if not, there should be equal treatment under the law. And I think your testimony addressed that point, and even though it might not certainly resolve all the decisions that we make, it puts it in perspective, and helps in this decision-making process.

    And our debate on the president is a little bit different, because we're talking about impeachment, a constitutional remedy. And I understand that it's different. But still, your testimony helps balance the impact of the consequences of what we will do, and the decision that we make.

    There's been talk about perjury, and that it's not always pursued. That's true, but I think it's so critically important. I remember on a couple of occasions, being in a courtroom with a federal judge, and the federal judge hears the testimony of a witness, and the judge knows that's lying. And the judge directs the United States attorney to open a case, and either to pursue contempt proceedings against that person, or to pursue a criminal investigation for perjury.

    And so I have not seen any federal judges that treat perjury lightly, nor should they. And I looked in Arkansas, and there's been cases cited from different states. But in Arkansas, we have people in prison as I speak for perjury in that state. Two cases in '97, on average, when they went to prison, got 62 months in jail for perjury. And not all of them received prison time, some were fined, some were probation. But there were cases in my state, that dealt with the issue of perjury at the state level, and not just the federal level.

    And so I think it's not something that we just dismiss. It's not something we say that everyone does. And whatever we decide in this committee, is going to have consequences. Our responsibility, my responsibility, is to determine the facts, and apply the law and the Constitution. That's the same thing any jury has to do in any courtroom.

    And part of determining the facts, we can call witnesses. Yes, we can do that. But we're trying to balance streamlining these procedures and getting it done, and hearing the facts. And I've spent a lot of time, I know other members of the committee, in reviewing the grand jury transcripts, and reviewing the evidence before us. And we can make these decisions. But we have to concentrate on those facts, and apply the Constitution. And there's room for sincere debate here.

    I'm interested in the debate that's going to be forthcoming in this committee, and I hope that everyone will withhold judgment until we hear the debate and we participate in this, and hear each other's points of view.

    And finally, I do want to ask a question of the witnesses today. Each of you have been convicted of lying under oath. And I think each of you have expressed remorse and regret about this. My question to you would be, when you lied under oath, how did you justify lying at the time, in your own mind -- at the time that you lied under oath. Dr. Battalino?

    DR. BATTALINO: I think, as I had mentioned earlier, the main justification that I pursued, was that the civil lawsuit was not well- grounded, was not accurately grounded, and that in order to save embarrassment for myself and my profession, that I was justified in misleading and misrepresenting the complete truth.

    REP. HUTCHINSON: Your justification was that the civil suit was not well-grounded. In hindsight, after you've been punished for that perjury, what is your view of that?

    DR. BATTALINO: Oh, that was very poor judgment on my part. And I would like to state that the consequences of a misjudgment should be significant. It shouldn't be something that is dismissed lightly, and all that's required is to say "Well, I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I didn't tell the full truth."

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman's time has expired. The gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Meehan, do you desire time?

    REP. MEEHAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just briefly. I was up in my office, watching the testimony of both of you. And I give you both credit for coming before the committee, and telling your story, which I'm sure can be difficult to do.

    I'm curious, because oftentimes, this has been a pretty politically charged atmosphere. And you may have noticed the debate over the period of the last few months has been pretty political. And a lot of times, those of us on the minority side don't get a chance to find out who's going to be called as a witness, until the press tells us, or like last night, I got a call late about who the subpoenas were going to be.

    So it's a pretty political atmosphere here, and I'm just curious how you guys got to be contacted. Did somebody call you guys about testifying, or how did that work? Did you volunteer? Who contacted you? How did you end up coming before the committee?

    DR. BATTALINO: I was invited by one of the -- my attorney got a call from one of Mr. Hyde's aides, asking whether or not I would be willing to come and be here as a witness.

    REP. MEEHAN: Ms. Parsons, how did that -- the same way with you?

    MS. PARSONS: I got a call. I got a call. But also, you know, I heard from the media. I didn't know for sure I'd be here either, they were asking me before I knew. So, I know how you feel, and I wasn't --

    REP. MEEHAN: I'm on the committee, and I don't get -- so --

    MS. PARSONS: And it wasn't like it was some big thing. It was like could you tell about perjury if you wanted to?

    REP. MEEHAN: Right. And in either one of the cases, neither one of you were convicted or charged with treason, or bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanor? (Laughter.)

    MS. PARSONS: It didn't get that far. (Laughter.)

    DR. BATTALINO: We don't merit those.

    REP. MEEHAN: Mr. Chairman, no further questions. Thanks.

    REP. HYDE: Thank you. The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Pease.

    REP. PEASE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Parsons and Dr. Battalino, I suppose it's evident by now there are a number of things happening before this committee throughout this matter, and in our hearing today.

    Sometimes it seems that we talk at you, instead of with you, or to each other, and not with you at all. To the extent that may in fact or appearance lead you to conclude that your being here today is insignificant, or incidental, or unappreciated, I apologize for that. I want to express my gratitude for your courage in being here.

    There's nothing I can add to your testimony, so I'll content myself with at least not adding further to your discomfort. And instead, I'll yield my time to the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Goodlatte.

    REP. GOODLATTE: I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I just briefly want to respond to the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Delahunt, regarding the presumption of innocence. And I would say to him that I think everybody in this room believes and recognizes that everyone in this country, including the president of the United States, is entitled to a presumption of innocence.

    However, I would say to him that the committee had before it, very substantial evidence of many instances of perjury. And it is that evidence that the committee will have to base its decision on its actions. And when that takes place, what we're going to be confronted with, is a situation where the president has the opportunity to come forward and offer rebuttal testimony, and so far the president and his attorneys, have chosen largely not to do that.

    And so, that's the concern that I have. If the president has that kind of evidence to rebut perjury, he should step forward and do so, because we do have substantial evidence before us, and we will have to --

    REP. DELAHUNT: Will the gentleman yield?

    REP. GOODLATTE: -- evaluate the evidence we have. Yes, I'll yield to the gentleman.

    REP. DELAHUNT: Yeah, I want to thank you, because I think it's important to draw the contrast here, and I respect the gentleman's position. But I think if we go back to the single precedent that occurred in this century, this committee heard direct evidence from individual witnesses. They were able to evaluate, they were able to assess credibility, and they were able to probe memories. There are many facts that are alleged, there are many facts that are alleged, that have -- clearly different inferences could be drawn. And I think we all understand that those -- on the committee who have had the opportunity to review the referral.

    I think it's important to note --

    REP. GOODLATTE: Reclaiming my time, I would say to the gentleman first of all, that in the other case the gentleman cites, the witnesses were all called by the president, and they were heard in executive session deposition. We did not have an independent counsel statute at that time. The independent counsel has done that work, nor has the president requested that those witnesses be brought forward for him to cross-examine them. And I would yield my time back to the gentleman --

    REP. DELAHUNT: Well, again, if I could indulge the chair?

    REP. HYDE: Well, this time belongs to Mr. Pease, who yielded to Mr. Goodlatte, who has yielded back, so now, Mr. Pease has the time.

    REP. DELAHUNT: Mr. Pease, would you be kind enough to yield?

    REP. PEASE: I will yield to my colleague from Massachusetts for purpose of a response to the question.

    REP. DELAHUNT: I thank the gentleman. I think it's important that we note, that in the committee report crafted by Mr. Schippers, counsel for the majority, and I'm quoting, "Monica Lewinsky's credibility may be subject to some skepticism. At an appropriate stage of the proceedings, that credibility will of necessity be assessed together with the credibility of all witnesses, in light of all the other evidence."

    I would suggest -- okay? -- that simply the acceptance of a report from Mr. Starr, does not meet that particular standard. And I thought it was fascinating, when Mr. Starr himself testified, that he acknowledged that he had never been present at a grand jury proceeding, with the exception of the president, had never participated in any of the interviews conducted by the FBI agents, and in fact, never had met Monica Lewinsky. I dare say that we are abdicating our responsibility, if we just simply accept the transmittal from the independent counsel. And I disagree with my friend from Virginia, that that constitutes evidence. I yield back.

    REP. PEASE: I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.

    REP. CHABOT: Just quickly. I mean, we can call more and more and more witnesses, but we're trying to get this wrapped up as expeditiously as possible. And I think both sides want to do that. And if we call more witnesses, and we drag this on into next year, then they're going to scream because they say, you know, we're on a fishing expedition, we've already got enough evidence.

    I think we're trying to do this properly. I think Chairman Hyde has led this committee in a very expeditious manner, in a very fair manner, and I commend Chairman Hyde for doing that, and I yield my time back to the gentleman from Indiana.

    REP. PEASE: I yield the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman. Mr. Cannon of Utah.

    REP. CANNON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I'd like to associate myself with the statement by Mr. Goodlatte, who set forth the many times the president has apparently lied under oath. And I'd like to thank the witnesses for coming here today. They exemplify the importance of what we're investigating, in this committee.

    In case my Democratic colleagues, the American public and the media have not yet figured it out, let me say this investigation is about perjury and obstruction of justice. It is not about Monica Lewinsky, it's about perjury. This is not about Paula Jones, it is about perjury.

    This is not about Ken Starr. It is about perjury.

    As these witnesses demonstrate, and as the actions of the Clinton Justice Department have proven, perjury is a serious crime. As every American knows and as these witnesses have shown here today, perjury undermines the American system of justice. Perjury violates the rule of law. Perjury is subversion of government. Perjury is a cancer which must be removed for society to heal itself. Perjury is an impeachable offense.

    We owe it to the witnesses who are currently being punished for perjury to assure that no man is seen to be above the law or becomes an example to all Americans that they can violate the law. No matter how popular, no matter what the polls say, no matter how vilified the investigator becomes, no man is above the law. If we establish that the president committed perjury, we are duty-bound to act. Whether or not the president's supporters on this committee or elsewhere hypocritically choose to turn a blind eye to justice, we are bound to act to uphold the rule of law.

    Again, I thank you, the witnesses, for being here today. And I yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: I thank the gentleman. Mr. Rogan from California.

    REP. JAMES ROGAN (R-CA): Mr. Chairman, thank you. For the last 11 months our country, as well as the committee, have been treated to a litany of law professors, members of Congress, attorneys and general talking heads explaining to us that perjury somehow is no longer important or doesn't have significance. And the purpose of this hearing, as I understood it, Mr. Chairman, is so we could shed some light upon that preposterous concept.

    During my days as a judge, had a lawyer ever appeared in my court and made such a suggestion, I would have been on the phone immediately with the state bar to inquire as to the status of their law license.

    Having said that, Dr. Battalino --

    DR. BATTALINO: Battalino. (Corrects pronunciation.)

    REP. ROGAN: -- your case intrigues me. I want to make sure I understand the factual circumstances. You lied about a one-time act of consensual sex with someone on federal property. Is that correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes. Absolutely correct.

    REP. ROGAN: And this act of perjury was in a civil lawsuit, not in a criminal case.

    DR. BATTALINO: That's also correct. And the --

    REP. ROGAN: And, in fact, the civil case eventually was dismissed.

    DR. BATTALINO: Correct.

    REP. ROGAN: Yet despite the dismissal, you were prosecuted by the Clinton Justice Department for this act of perjury. Is that correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: That's correct.

    REP. ROGAN: What I want to know, Dr. Battalino, during your ordeal, during your prosecution, did anybody from the White House, from the Justice Department, did any members of Congress, did any academics from respected universities ever show up at your trial and suggest that you should be treated with leniency because everybody lies about sex?

    DR. BATTALINO: No, sir.

    REP. ROGAN: Did anybody ever come forward from the White House or from the Justice Department and urge leniency for you because your perjury was only in a civil case?

    DR. BATTALINO: No.

    REP. ROGAN: Did they argue for leniency because the civil case at which you committed perjury was ultimately dismissed?

    DR. BATTALINO: No.

    REP. ROGAN: Did anybody from the White House ever say that leniency should be granted to you because you otherwise did your job very well?

    DR. BATTALINO: No.

    REP. ROGAN: Did anybody ever come forward from Congress to suggest that you were the victim of an overzealous or sex-obsessed prosecutor?

    DR. BATTALINO: No.

    REP. ROGAN: Now, according to the New York Times, they report that you lied when your lawyer asked you at a deposition whether, quote, "anything of a sexual nature," unquote, occurred. Is that correct?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, that's correct.

    REP. ROGAN: Did anybody from Congress or from the White House come forward to defend you, saying that that phrase was ambiguous, or it all depended what the word "anything" meant?

    DR. BATTALINO: No, sir. May I just -- I'm not sure if it was my lawyer that asked the question, but that is the exact question that I was asked.

    REP. ROGAN: The question that you were asked that caused your prosecution for perjury.

    DR. BATTALINO: That's correct.

    REP. ROGAN: No one ever argued that that phrase itself was ambiguous, did they?

    DR. BATTALINO: No.

    REP. WATERS: Would the gentleman yield?

    REP. ROGAN: Regrettably, my time is limited and I will not yield for that purpose.

    Now, Doctor, you lost two licenses. You lost a law license.

    DR. BATTALINO: Well, I have a law degree. I was not a member of any bar.

    REP. ROGAN: Your conviction precludes you from practicing law?

    DR. BATTALINO: That's correct, sir.

    REP. ROGAN: You also had a medical degree.

    DR. BATTALINO: That's correct.

    REP. ROGAN: You lost your medical degree.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes. I am no longer permitted to practice medicine either.

    REP. ROGAN: Did anybody from the White House or from Congress come forward during your prosecution or during your sentencing and suggest that rather than you suffer the incredibly difficult punishment of no longer being able to practice your profession, perhaps you should simply just receive some sort of rebuke or censure?

    DR. BATTALINO: No one came to my aid or defense, no.

    REP. ROGAN: Nobody from the Justice Department suggested that during your sentencing hearing.

    DR. BATTALINO: No.

    REP. ROGAN: Has anybody come forward from the White House to suggest to you that in light of circumstances, as we now appear to see them unfolding, you should be pardoned for your offense?

    DR. BATTALINO: Nobody has come, no.

    REP. ROGAN: Are you going to ask for a pardon? Have you thought about that?

    DR. BATTALINO: That's a difficult question. Certainly I want to assume full responsibility for the fact -- for the reality that I did commit a crime and that that was wrong to do and I deserve to pay consequences for it. However, if indeed, as you suggest, some of the reasoning that has come up in terms of some very specific points in my conviction, I certainly would hope that if indeed there is no reason for anything less than censure or more than censure to be expected, that certainly I would hope that the administration would consider leniency and pardon for me, yes.

    REP. ROGAN: If the Congress of the United States takes the position that lying under oath over such matters is not an offense worthy of a public official sworn to uphold the law, it's not worthy of that person potentially having their job placed in jeopardy, would you feel that you were the victim of an unfair double standard?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, I would.

    REP. ROGAN: Mr. Chairman, I see my time has expired. I thank the chair.

    REP. WATERS: Mr. Chairman?

    REP. HYDE: The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Lindsey Graham.

    REP. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That was a very well-done litany explaining why it's a little calmer today. I think my friend from South Carolina mentioned this fact. The reason it's calmer today, we have real people who've suffered real consequences for something that we're all wrestling with.

    Now, I'm going to put a little different spin on this. Both of you pled guilty. Is that correct?

    MS. PARSONS: Yes.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. GRAHAM: All right. Are you glad that you did?

    DR. BATTALINO: Absolutely.

    MS. PARSONS: Absolutely.

    REP. GRAHAM: Did the court consider your guilty plea in a positive light? Do you think it helped the disposition of your case?

    DR. BATTALINO: I think, in my case, Judge Lodge did express concern that I had suffered significant consequences, but nonetheless felt that, because of the federal guidelines, that he was mandated to give me some serious consequences.

    REP. GRAHAM: But it's my understanding that if one pleads guilty, that's something the judge can consider in a positive light.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, that's correct.

    REP. GRAHAM: And I think your lawyer would probably agree. Is that true, Ms. Parsons?

    MS. PARSONS: I believe that's very true.

    REP. GRAHAM: Okay. Now, Mr. Chairman, there was a case mentioned where you came to bat for someone in Congress. Isn't it true, from my understanding of that case, that the gentleman in question admitted every accusation against him?

    REP. HYDE: Yes.

    REP. GRAHAM: And all I want to say is it's easier to go to bat for somebody when they recognize the wrong. And my friends on the other side, this has been a good day for the committee. This has been one of our better days. If you believe the president of the United States did not commit perjury, I can understand why you would not want to take this so far.

    Mr. Schumer and myself are at the opposite ends of the political spectrum, but I admire him greatly for saying that he believes the evidence suggests the president lied under oath. But having said that, he believes the underlying conduct is not something you'd want to overturn a national election about.

    I don't know if an individual's case should be equated to overturning a national election. For you it's very important; it's your liberty. But I think we should have, as our last resort, impeachment, not our first resort, because there are other dispositions yet to come. But let me tell you about how I feel about the president. I feel he lied under oath. I believe he is dancing on the head of a pin still. He is insulting my intelligence.

    Mr. Schumer wants to conclude he lied under oath but not go forward. I respect that. But I cannot live with that conclusion. I think the day we say the president of the United States obviously commits perjury before a grand jury and is not subject to losing his job is the day we redefine the presidency in terms of the law that will damn this country later on. That is unacceptable for me.

    Mr. Schumer asked Mr. Livingston to help us. I am now asking the president of the United States to help us. Mr. President, if anybody on your behalf or you are watching this, I ask you now to consider coming before the American people and do what these two ladies have done; people convicted of crimes, who have served jail time, who are now being talked about in terms almost of being American heroes.

    That's the goodness of this country, that if you will own up to your mistakes, people will go out of their way to forgive the sin. But if you, Mr. President, continue to deny what I think is the obvious, in my opinion you have forfeited the right to lead this country in the next century. If you will own up and do what these two ladies have did, I will go to bat for you.

    I yield back the balance of my time.

    REP. HYDE: The gentle lady from California, Ms. Bono.

    REP. MARY BONO (R-CA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I simply want to thank the witnesses for their testimony and say that also, as my colleagues have said, it is very courageous for you to be here today. I think that we have all learned some very, very valuable lessons. But I cannot add any further questions, I think, that haven't been asked yet at this point. So I will yield the balance of my time to my colleague from Indiana.

    REP. BUYER: I thank the lady for yielding.

    Dr. Battalino, you weren't convicted of a perjury, were you?

    DR. BATTALINO: No. One count of obstruction of justice.

    REP. BUYER: Obstruction of justice. Now, are you aware that the president is also being -- stands accused of obstruction of justice in a civil case?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. BUYER: Part of the allegations against the president, then, with regard to obstruction of justice -- because I want to be clear, people have been referring to you as someone who committed perjury; therefore you're convicted of perjury. But your conviction was for obstruction of justice.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, that's more accurate.

    REP. BUYER: So what we have is the president accused of perjury, but he also stands accused of obstruction of justice. And it's because his obstruction occurred by his conduct and actions in a civil case, a civil rights case; i.e., the Jones versus Clinton. All right.

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes.

    REP. BUYER: Now, as also part of -- the president has, I believe, engaged in a pattern of obstruction in the Jones-versus- Clinton case, while it was pending. It was done in order to thwart those proceedings. Earlier you had testified in some of my questionings that you also engaged in this same pattern because you attempted to thwart the legal proceedings. Is that true?

    DR. BATTALINO: Yes, that's correct.

    REP. BUYER: And no matter what the motivation was, even though you justified it in your mind, as I listened to some of the questioning, you could find no justifiable excuse.

    DR. BATTALINO: No. There was no justifiable excuse; no honest, legitimate, justifiable excuse, no. My motives were of self-interest, and I think that that is what is behind not telling the complete truth. It's generally for self-interest.

    REP. BUYER: You know, a lot of people, not only some on this committee and in the press, they like to focus on a young lady by the name of Monica Lewinsky. But nobody likes to talk about Kathleen Willey. Kathleen Willey, who was an individual who was a volunteer at the White House, it's been alleged, who went to the president for a job, and she alleged that there may have been a sexual assault even by the president upon her, and that she ended up getting a job.

    And then the real question is, well, was there sexual harassment or not sexual harassment? And she got a job out of it. And there seems to be this pattern of rewarding the, quote, "Jane Does." And Kathleen Willey was also a witness in that Jones-versus-Clinton case. And so the committee has also been looking into other witnesses.

    And I'm citing here an Associated Press article here of Monday, November 30th. This Associated Press piece discusses that during a private session with impeachment investigators, Democrat operative Nathan Landow invoked the Fifth Amendment over 70 times. Now, this is an individual who has been accused of having tried to develop a relationship with Kathleen Willey to prevent her from cooperating not only in the Jones case, but coming forward about the allegations of sexual harassment, which there also is another witness out there against the president, that for some reason people don't want to talk about that, because they want to keep in front of people's minds that, oh, this is a case about the president's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

    No, this is a case about obstruction of justice and denying someone equal access to the courthouse door. Even the powerless and the poor and the needy gain access to the courthouse door, and it's never meant to be manipulated by the powerful.

    So I want to thank both of you for coming and your testimony here today. I thank the gentle lady from California for yielding my time. I yield back her time.

    REP. WATERS: Mr. Chairman?

    REP. HYDE: The gentle lady from California.

    REP. WATERS: I would like to, on unanimous consent, have a point of clarification. I have been sitting here trying to figure out what is the crime for having sex with someone in the workplace. And I guess there is something else going -- the person was a patient, is that right?

    DR. BATTALINO: The person was a patient of the VA, he was not my particular patient.

    REP. WATERS: It was a patient in the hospital?

    DR. BATTALINO: It was a patient of the VA.

    REP. WATERS: And the loss of your license had to do with the professional standards, is that what it was?

    DR. BATTALINO: Incorrect. That's incorrect, ma'am. It had to do with the fact that I was convicted of a felony.

    REP. WATERS: Are you a psychiatrist?

    DR. BATTALINO: That's right.

    REP. WATERS: And it had nothing to do with the fact that --

    DR. BATTALINO: No --

    REP. WATERS: -- you had sexual relations with a patient?

    DR. BATTALINO: No, it did not. That was -- I was dismissed from that charge, and the case itself, the whole sexual harassment accusation, was dismissed.

    REP. WATERS: It was a sexual harassment case.

    DR. BATTALINO: Correct.

    REP. WATERS: I see. Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: The committee has finished questioning this panel. And before you both leave I sincerely want you to know what a great contribution you have made to our understanding of a very tough issue. And we have not only read about it, now we've seen it and listened to it, and we understand it a lot better. Thank you for your bravery and your cooperation.

    DR. BATTALINO: Thank you.

    REP. HYDE: Now the committee is going to recess, subject to the call of the chair.

       



    Copyright © 1998 by Federal News Service, Inc. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's original duties. Transcripts of other events may be found at the Federal News Service Web site, located at www.fnsg.com.

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