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THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL
Jan. 25: Opening Business and Motion to Dismiss

  • More Transcripts From the Trial

  • From the Congressional Record
    Monday, January 25, 1999

    The Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, offered the following prayer:

    Dear God, we are moved by Your accessibility to us and our accountability to You. We hear Your promise sounding in our souls, 'Be not afraid, I am with you.' We place our trust in Your problem-solving power, Your conflict-resolving presence, and Your anxiety-dissolving peace. So we report in to You for duty. What You desire, You inspire. What You guide, You provide.

    This is Your Nation; we are here to serve You. Just as Daniel Webster said that the greatest conviction of his life was that he was accountable to You, we press on with a heightened awareness that You are the unseen Lord of this Chamber, the silent Listener to every word that is spoken, and the Judge of our deliberations and decisions.

    Bless the Senators with the assurance that Your work, done with total trust in You and respect for each other, will not lack Your resources. Surpass any impasse with divinely inspired solutions. You are our Lord and Savior. Amen.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Sergeant at Arms will make the proclamation.

    The Sergeant at Arms, James W. Ziglar, made proclamation as follows:

    Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.

    THE JOURNAL

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. If there is no objection, the Journal of proceedings of the trial are approved to date.

    Pursuant to the provisions of Senate Resolution 16, there are 6 hours 33 minutes remaining during which Senators may submit questions in writing directed to either the managers, on the part of the House of Representatives, or the counsel for the President.

       


    The majority leader is recognized.

    Mr. LOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.

    ORDER OF PROCEDURE

    Mr. LOTT. As is obvious by the absence of the managers and counsel, and a number of the Senators, the two parties are still meeting in conference at this time. I believe we are close to reaching an agreement which would outline today's impeachment proceedings. It will probably be an hour or so before we can complete that because we need to explain it in detail to our respective conference, and also make sure that we reduce it to writing so we understand exactly what we are agreeing to.

    I will in a moment ask that the Senate stand in recess until 2 p.m. I apologize for any inconvenience to Senators and the Chief Justice. But I think that what we are discussing in the long run would save some time and lead us to a fair procedure through the balance of the day and how we begin tomorrow.

    RECESS

    Therefore, I now ask unanimous consent that the Senate stand in recess until 2 p.m.

    Mr. GREGG. Mr. Chief Justice, reserving the right to object----

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Senator from New Hampshire.

    Mr. GREGG. Mr. Chief Justice, I have a parliamentary inquiry that I would like to share.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Parliamentarian says it takes unanimous consent.

    Mr. GREGG. I ask unanimous consent to----

    Mr. LEAHY. Reserving the right to object, I believe that if it is going to be made, Mr. Chief Justice, if it requires unanimous consent, that it would be wise if it can be done at a time when both leaders are on the floor.

    Mr. GREGG. I withdraw the unanimous consent.

    There being no objection, at 1:08 p.m., the Senate recessed until 2:06 p.m.; whereupon, the Senate reassembled when called to order by the Chief Justice.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the majority leader.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, it is my understanding that the question and answer period is now completed. In a moment I will propound a unanimous consent agreement that will outline the next steps in this process.

    UNANIMOUS-CONSENT AGREEMENT

    Mr. LOTT. In the meantime, I would ask unanimous consent that Senators be allowed to submit statements and introduce legislation at the desk today. I further ask unanimous consent that when the Senate completes its business today, it stand in adjournment until 1 p.m. on Tuesday to resume the articles of impeachment.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Ms. MIKULSKI. Reserving the right to object, I note that the Democratic leader is not in the Chamber.

    May I inquire, has this been cleared?

    Mr. LOTT. I just want to observe, Mr. Chief Justice, that there are still some discussions underway. You will note that Senator Daschle is not here, and unless there is objection to what I just did, I am prepared to note the absence of a quorum so that we can have time for Senators to return to the Chamber.

    Ms. MIKULSKI. Point of clarification for the majority leader. Did the Senator say that we would come in tomorrow at 1 p.m.?

    Mr. LOTT. I did. If I might respond, Mr. Chief Justice, there had been some discussion about coming in earlier, but because of a number of conflicts, I understand, from the House managers and concerns that we would need that time to continue to have discussions, we thought we would go ahead and come in at 1. But let me add that if during the process of the day there is a decision that we need to change that to either earlier or later, we could revise that request. This is just to move the process forward, as we have announced each day we would come in at 1 except on Saturday. But if there is a need to change the time, we will certainly be prepared to consider that request.

    Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. Chief Justice, I thank the majority leader.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The clerk will call the roll.

    The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I had earlier asked a couple of unanimous consent requests, but the Democratic leader was not on the floor, and it was not officially objected to or officially ruled as not having been objected to. So I am going to assume that is all null and void, and we are going to start over again.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The requests are withdrawn.

    Mr. LOTT. Now, to repeat what we had earlier discussed and to make sure Members understand it, it is our understanding and our agreement that the question and answer period is now completed.

    ORDER FOR SUBMISSION OF STATEMENTS AND INTRODUCTION OF LEGISLATION

    Mr. LOTT. I ask unanimous consent that Senators be allowed to submit statements and introduce legislation at the desk today.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    ORDER OF PROCEDURE

    Mr. LOTT. With regard to the time that will be involved today and the time that we will come in on Tuesday, we will have further discussions on that, and we will have a consent request on that later in the day or at the close of business.

    Now I have a unanimous consent request that will allow us to have a clear understanding and an orderly procedure for the balance of the day. I have discussed this with my counterpart on the other side of the aisle, both conferences have had a chance to talk about it, and I think it is a fair way to proceed, where we would have a chance to discuss the issues that are before us and get us to a conclusion of this part of the impeachment proceedings in a logical way.

    UNANIMOUS-CONSENT REQUEST

    Mr. LOTT. First, Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that following the conclusion of the arguments by the managers and the counsel today on the motion to dismiss--and I note that the next order of business is 2 hours equally divided, 1 hour on each side, on a motion to dismiss when and if it is filed by any Senator--and after that, it be in order for Senator Harkin to make a motion to open all debate pursuant to his motion timely filed and that the Senate proceed immediately to the vote pursuant to the impeachment rules.

    I further ask that following that vote, if defeated, it be in order to move to close the session for deliberations on the motion to dismiss, as provided under the impeachment rules, and the Senate proceed to an immediate vote.

    I further ask that if the Senate votes to proceed to closed session, that those deliberations must conclude by the close of business today, notwithstanding the 10-minute rule allocated under the impeachment rule.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Is there objection?

    Mr. HARKIN. I object.

    Mr. FEINGOLD addressed the Chair.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Senator from Iowa.

    Mr. HARKIN. Reserving the right to object.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, does he reserve the right to object or did he object?

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Parliamentarian tells me the Senator does not have the right to reserve the right to object.

    Mr. FEINGOLD addressed the Chair.

    Mr. HARKIN. I just have a modification that I would like to discuss with the leader, a brief modification of that, that would not engender an objection.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, so we can proceed with this in an appropriate manner, I suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The clerk will call the roll.

    The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    UNANIMOUS-CONSENT AGREEMENT

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I renew my request as previously outlined, with one change; that is, that it say in the first sentence 'unanimous consent that following the conclusion of the arguments by the managers and the counsel today on the motion to dismiss, that it be in order for Senator Harkin to make a motion to open that debate.' Instead of 'all,' the word is 'that' debate.

    With that and no other changes, I renew that request.

    Mr. HARKIN. Mr. Chief Justice, I reserve the right to object.

    OK, I don't have any----

    Mr. LOTT. The reservation is withdrawn, I believe.

    Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. Chief Justice, I object.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Objection is heard.

    Mr. FEINGOLD addressed the Chair.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, I suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The clerk will call the roll.

    The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, welcome to the operations of the U.S. Senate.

       


    I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, was the unanimous consent agreement agreed to?

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Not yet.

    Mr. LOTT. I renew my request.

    Mr. FEINGOLD addressed the Chair.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Objection is heard.

    Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. Chief Justice, I and Senator Collins, the junior Senator from Maine, ask unanimous consent that when the Senate consider the anticipated motion to dismiss, that it shall vote on two separate questions: First, whether to dismiss article I of the articles of impeachment; and, second, whether to dismiss article II.

    Mr. GRAMM. I object.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. There is a pending request for unanimous consent by the majority leader, who has not surrendered the floor.

    Mr. LOTT. Under his reservation, if the Senator would yield to me, I believe if we can get this agreed to, he can make his request and then it can be ruled on.

    Mr. Chief Justice, I yield the floor if the Senator would like to proceed in that fashion.

    I renew my request, again, for the unanimous consent as outlined earlier.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Is there objection? In the absence of an objection, it is so ordered.

    Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. Chief Justice, I renew my request, along with the junior Senator from Maine--the unanimous consent request that when the Senate proceeds to vote on the anticipated motion to dismiss, that the question be divided into a separate vote on article I of the articles of impeachment, and then a separate vote on article II of the articles of impeachment.

    Mr. GRAMM. I object.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Objection is heard.

    Mr. LOTT. Mr. Chief Justice, now, if I could, I will outline the result of our efforts there. I thank Senator Daschle and my colleagues on his side of the aisle and this side of the aisle for trying to come up with a process that is fair and that would give us an opportunity today to debate this important issue. It is never easy to get 100 Senators to agree on a method to proceed, so I think this was a good accomplishment. I thank one and all.

    I understand that now Senator Byrd will offer the motion to dismiss. For the information of all Members, once that motion is offered, there will then be 2 hours for debate. The House managers will be recognized to open the debate, and following that will be the White House arguments. Then the House managers will be recognized again for closing remarks. At that point, the consent agreement would apply.

    I anticipate taking our first break at the conclusion of the first 2 hours of arguments by the managers and White House counsel, unless there is an urgent need to do so earlier. Then we will go forward with this agreement, which will require a vote on the Harkin motion to open the debate; the vote on the amendment to close debate on the motion to dismiss; and then the debate which would go on, the 10-minute rule notwithstanding, until the close of business today.

    I yield the floor.

    Mr. BYRD addressed the Chair.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The Chair recognizes the Senator from West Virginia.

    MOTION TO DISMISS

    Mr. BYRD. Mr. Chief Justice, I send a motion in writing to the desk.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. The clerk will read the motion.

    The legislative clerk read as follows:

    The Senator from West Virginia, Mr. Byrd, moves that the impeachment proceedings against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, be, and the same are, duly dismissed.

    The CHIEF JUSTICE. Pursuant to Rule XXI of the Senate Rules on Impeachment, the managers on the part of the House of Representatives and the counsel for the President each have up to 1 hour to argue the motion.

    The Chair recognizes the House managers.

       


    Copyright © 1999 The Washington Post Company

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