In his Aug. 15 letter, Abner Mikva asserted that "a perjurer is someone who has been convicted of violating perjury statutes." Well, a lie is something intended or serving to convey a false impression. Mr. Mikva, a former White House counsel, intended to convey the impression that a person is not a perjurer unless he is convicted of perjury.
Black's Law Dictionary says: "A person is guilty of perjury if in any official proceeding he makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of a statement previously made, when the statement is material and he does not believe it to be true." Black's Law Dictionary doesn't bandy about criminal-law words.
A person doesn't have to be convicted of perjury to be a perjurer. He just has to commit the act of perjury (i.e., make a false statement under oath about something material). A former White House counsel should know that.
The Post was accurate in its Aug. 11 editorial when it stated that the American Bar Association (ABA) invited a "perjurer" to speak. Convicted or not, President Clinton is a liar, a perjurer, an exploiter of women, an adulterer and an accused rapist (to name but a few of the qualifications he has for being selected keynote speaker at an ABA convention).
WILLIAM J. SCANLON JR.