Clinton Accused Special Report
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White House Schedule for Its Defense

Tuesday, December 8, 1998

Following is the schedule laid out in a Dec. 7 letter from White House lawyers Gregory Craig and Charles Ruff to House Judiciary Committee lawyer Thomas Mooney. White House lawyers on Tuesday added a surprise Republican witness for the Wednesday morning panel: former Massachusetts governor William F. Weld, who withdrew as Clinton's nominee for ambassador to Mexico after GOP opposition in the Senate last year.

TUESDAY: Morning | Afternoon | Evening
WEDNESDAY: Morning | Afternoon


10 a.m. – Introduction and Panel No. 1

Gregory B. Craig, Assistant to the President and Special Counsel, will make an introductory statement outlining the President's factual and legal defense and describing the evidence and the testimony that will be presented to the Committee in the course of the next two days.

Historical Precedents and Constitutional Standards

The Honorable Nicholas Katzenbach: Former Attorney General of the United State and Under Secretary of State; Retired Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of IBM.

Mr. Katzenbach will testify about the adverse impact that the impeachment of President Clinton would have on the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. He will discuss the dangers to the Constitution and the institution of the presidency posed by impeaching a president on the basis of a party-line vote and in the face of a public opinion opposed to impeachment.

Professor Bruce Ackerman: Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University and author of Volume 2, "We the People" which includes an historical and legal analysis of the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.

Professor Ackerman will argue that, under the constitutional standards adopted by the founding fathers, President Clinton's conduct – however one might view it legally – does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. Professor Ackerman will also argue that the constitutional force of any bill of impeachment approved by this House expires on January 3, 1999, and under the precedents of the Andrew Johnson impeachment, such a bill of impeachment would be open to a motion to quash to be adjudicated by the Chief Justice of the United States before trial in the Senate.

Professor Sean Wilentz: The Dayton Stockton Professor of History and Director of Program and American Studies at Princeton University. Professor Wilentz is an expert and teacher of American history from the American Revolution through Reconstruction. He is the author of six books and numerous articles and, in recognition of his scholarship, has been awarded the Albert J. Beveridge Award by the American Historical Association and the Frederick Jackson Turner Award by the Organization of American Historians.

Professor Wilentz will testify about the standards for impeachment as elaborated by the framers of the Constitution and will point out important evidence that was ignored or glossed over by scholars who testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution. He will also discuss the politics of impeachment and the danger that, by politicizing the process, the institution of the presidency will suffer permanent damage. Finally, he will argue that a vote to impeach President Clinton would represent a far more serious attack on the rule of law than would a vote against impeachment.

Profess Samuel H. Beer: Professor Beer is the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Emeritus at Harvard University. He has written and lectured and taught about the genius of the American system of government for over sixty-five years.

Professor Beer will testify that the term "high crimes and misdemeanors" referred to the use of presidential power to attack some fundamental process of the constitutional scheme. That standard is not satisfied by Mr. Starr's allegations against Mr. Clinton. To impeach President Clinton on the basis of these allegations would create a weapon that could be wielded in the future by members of Congress hostile to a future president. This would result in a fundamental change in the American political system, weakening the institution of the presidency and moving to a parliamentary system of government.

2 p.m. – Panel No. 2

Abuse of Power

The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman of New York
The Honorable Robert J. Drinan, S.J. of Massachusetts
The Honorable Wayne Owens of Utah

Three former members of the House of Representatives who served as members of the Judiciary Committee during the 1974 impeachment proceeding will testify about abuse of power as the constitutional basis for impeaching a president. They will compare the facts and circumstances relating to the conduct of President Nixon with the facts and circumstances alleged with respect to the conduct of President Clinton. They will testify about the standard of proof – what facts must be established and to what level of certainty – that should be satisfied before articles of impeachment are approved, and they will discuss the idea that impeachment is tantamount to a "constitutional censure."

6 p.m. – Panel No. 3

How to Evaluate the Evidence

James Hamilton: Mr. Hamilton is a member of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Swidler Berlin Shereff & Friedman. He served as Assistant Chief Counsel in the Senate Watergate Committee and is author of "The Power to Probe: A Study of Congressional Investigations." He is former Chairman of the Legal Ethics Committee of the D.C. Bar.

Mr. Hamilton will testify about the evidentiary standards applied to the facts and circumstances relating to allegations of abuse of power in the Watergate investigation in 1974 compared with the facts and circumstances of the current investigation. He will put both of these impeachment inquiries into an historical and constitutional context, arguing that the evidence of abuse of power during the Nixon years warranted impeachment while the comparable evidence against President Clinton under consideration by the Committee at the moment does not.

Richard Ben-Veniste: Mr. Ben-Veniste served as an Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of the Special Prosecutions Section in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He was also Assistant Special Prosecutor and Chief of the Watergate Task Force from 1968-1973. More recently, he served as Minority Chief Counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee during 1995-96. He has also served as Special Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Government Operations and as Special Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on District of Columbia Appropriations.

Mr. Ben-Veniste's presentation to the Committee will compare the methods of gathering and transmitting evidence during the Watergate investigation to Mr. Starr's inquiry and transmittal of evidence to the House Judiciary Committee. He will discuss the importance of public confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the Independent Counsel and will address the questions of proportionality, ethical standards and substance associated with the inquiry now before the House Committee.


9:30 a.m. – Panel No. 4

Prosecutorial Standards for Obstruction of Justice and Perjury

A group of lawyers experienced in the criminal justice system – primarily as prosecutors – will testify about prosecutorial standards under which evidence would be evaluated and cases of perjury and obstruction of justice would be brought. They will argue that the facts and circumstances surrounding the conduct of President Clinton fall short of meeting those standards and, in their judgment, would not result in his criminal prosecution.

Thomas P. Sullivan, Esq: Mr. Sullivan is the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Sullivan is a senior partner at Jenner & Block and has practiced with that firm for the past 44 years. Mr. Sullivan specializes in civil and criminal trial and appellate litigation, and he has served as an instructor at Loyola Law School and for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Richard J. Davis, Esq: Mr. Davis is a partner with the New York law firm of Weil, Gotschal & Mangos. He clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein (1969-70). He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York (1970-73) and was Task Force Leader for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force (1973-75). From 1977-1981, he served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Enforcement and Operations.

Edward S. G. Dennis, Jr., Esq: Mr. Dennis is a partner in the Litigation Section of the Philadelphia law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. He joined the firm after 15 years with the Department of Justice during which he held the following positions: Acting Deputy Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division; and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is Co-Chairman of the Corporate Investigations and Criminal Defense Practice Group.

William W. Taylor, III, Esq: Mr. Taylor served as Chair of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association from 1996-97. In that capacity, he organized a task force chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese to study the federalization of state crime. From 1979-84, he served as a member of the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure, serving as its Chair for four years. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Mr. Taylor is a 1966 graduate of the University of North Carolina and a 1969 graduate of Yale Law School. He clerked for the Honorable Caleb M. Wright, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

Ronald Noble, Esq: Currently Mr. Noble is Associate Professor of Law at NYU Law School. He served as Undersecretary of the Treasury for Enforcement (1994-96); as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Staff in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice (1988-90); as Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1984-88).

1 p.m. – Summation

Charles F.C. Ruff, Special Counsel to the President, will make a presentation on behalf of the president.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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