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Senate Rules for Deposing Witnesses

Associated Press
Thursday, January 28, 1999

Rules for the subpoena and deposition of witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Clinton; edited to omit extraneous material:

To authorize issuance of subpoenas to take depositions in the trial of the articles of impeachment against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.

Section 1. That pursuant to rule V and VI of the Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeachment Trials, and S. Res. 16, 106th Congress, 1st Session, the Chief Justice of the United States, through the Secretary of the Senate, shall issue subpoenas for the taking of testimony on oral deposition to the following witnesses: Sidney Blumenthal, Monica S. Lewinsky, and Vernon E. Jordan Jr.

Section 2. The Sergeant at Arms is authorized to utilize the services of the Deputy Sergeant at Arms or any other employee of the United States Senate in serving the subpoenas to be issued by this resolution.

Section 3. Depositions authorized by this resolution shall be taken before, and presided over by, on behalf of the Senate, two Senators appointed by the Majority Leader and the Democratic Leader, acting jointly, one of whom shall administer to the witnesses the oath prescribed by Rule XXV of the Rules of Procedure and Practice in the Senate When Sitting on Impeachment Trials. Acting jointly, the presiding officers shall have the authority to rule, as an initial matter, upon any question arising out of the deposition. All objections to a question shall be noted by the presiding officers upon the record of the deposition, but the examination shall proceed, and the witness shall answer such question. A witness may refuse to answer a question only when necessary to preserve a legally recognized privilege, and must identify such privilege cited if refusing to answer a question.

Section 4. Examination of witnesses shall be conducted by the Managers on the part of the House or their counsel, and by counsel for the President. Witnesses shall be examined by no more than two persons each on behalf of the Managers and counsel for the President. Witnesses may be accompanied by counsel. The scope of the investigation by the Managers and counsel for both parties shall be limited to the subject matters reflected in the Senate record. The party taking a deposition shall present to the other party, at least 18 hours in advance of the deposition, copies of all exhibits which the deposing party intends to enter into the record during the deposition. No exhibits outside of the Senate record shall be employed, except for articles and materials in the press, including electronic media. Any party may interrogate any witness as if that witness were declared adverse.

Section 5. The dispositions shall be videotaped and a transcript of the proceedings shall be made. The depositions shall be conducted in private. No person shall be admitted to any deposition except for the following: the witness, counsel for the witness, the Managers on the part of the House, counsel for the President, and the presiding officers; further, such persons whose presence is required to make and preserve a record of the proceedings in videotaped and transcript forms, and employees of the Senate whose presence is required to assist the presiding officers in presiding over the depositions, or for other purposes, as determined after consultation by the Majority Leader with the Democratic Leader. All present must maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings.

Section 6. The presiding officers at the depositions shall file the videotaped and transcribed records of the depositions with the Secretary of the Senate. The Sergeant at Arms is authorized to make available for review any of the videotaped or transcribed deposition records to Members of the Senate, one designated staffer per Senator, and the Chief Justice. The Senate may direct the Secretary of the Senate to distribute such materials and to use whichever means of dissemination, including printing as Senate documents, printing in the Congressional Record, photo- and video-duplication, and electronic dissemination, he determines to be appropriate to accomplish any distribution of the videotaped or transcribed deposition records that he is directed to make pursuant to this section.

Section 7. The depositions authorized by this resolution shall be deemed to be proceedings before the Senate for purposes of Rule XXIX of the Standing Rules of the Senate. ... The Secretary shall arrange for stenographic assistance, including videotaping, to record the depositions as provided in section 5. Such expenses as may be necessary shall be paid from the Appropriation Account -- Miscellaneous Items in the contingent fund of the Senate upon vouchers approved by the Secretary.

Section 8. The Secretary shall notify the Managers on the part of the House, and counsel for the President, of this resolution.


© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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