Saturday, October 29, 2005

GOP speaks on perjury

From the Democratic Party:

Recently, Republicans have been implying that an indictment for perjury is simply a "technicality." But they didn't always feel that way.


Former Senator Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) – "Lott declined to fully define what constitutes an impeachable crime but said "I think clearly perjury is an impeachable offense ... I think bad conduct is enough for impeachment." [Market News International, 9/29/98]

Current Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) – "There is no serious question that perjury and obstruction of justice are high crimes and misdemeanors...Indeed, our own Senate precedent establishes that perjury is a high crime and misdemeanor...The crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice are public crimes threatening the administration of justice." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

Former Speaker (Elect) of the House Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) – "And so, perjury, a felony punishable by up to five years in the penitentiary, is a crime for which the President may be held accountable, no matter the circumstances." [ABC Special Report, 12/19/98]

Current Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL)— "Mr. Speaker, I am sadden that there is clear and convincing evidence that the president lied under oath, obstructed justice and abused the powers of his office in an attempt to cover up his wrong doing. I regret that the president's behavior puts me in the position of having to vote in favors of articles of impeachment and pass this matter onto the U.S. Senate for final judgment. In facing this solemn duty, I look to the wisdom of our founding fathers. According to Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65, impeachment concerns offenses which proceed from the misconduct to public men -- or in other words, from the apt abuse of violation of some public trust. The evidence in President Clinton's case is overwhelming that he has abused and violated the public trust." [US. House Of Representatives, 12/18/98]

Former House Majority Leader Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) – "But Mr. Speaker, perjury before a grand jury is not personal and it is not private. Obstruction of justice is not personal and it is not private. Abuse of the power of the greatest office in the world is not personal and it is not private." [ABC Special Report, 12/19/98]

Former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) – "'It became obvious to me that he had undermined his ability to lead not only at home but in the world,' DeLay said. His call for Clinton's resignation is 'based solely on the fact that the president lied.'" [Los Angles Times, 10/1/98]

Former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) – Tim. What we have here, and what I've seen, is this pattern of conduct. And it goes back as far as Arkansas, where the president has lied, covered up, stonewalled and tried to destroy his enemy. And if you just look from the very beginning--and what I've tried to do is advise the president that in order to accept the consequences of his action and put all this behind him, the honorable thing to do would be to resign. [Meet the Press, 9/13/98]

Current Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-MO) – "This is not about the president's personal conduct...When the president commits perjury that clearly is an attack on the judiciary, on the rule of law." [AP, 12/16/98]

Former RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson - "Perjury, subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice are public, not private matters, and we must rely on the Independent Counsel and the constitutional process to determine the truth. Tragically, America could have been spared this entire sad saga if the president had told the truth in the first place." [U.S. Newswire 8/18/98]


Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – "Clinton not only lied to the public, creating perhaps permanent mistrust, but he lied under oath ... [T]his is very serious indeed. Honesty is always the best policy; but, lying under oath is perjury, and it is a crime. Other people who commit perjury sometimes go to jail for it." [Salt Lake Tribune, 2/15/99]

Senator Chuck Hagel, (R-NE) – "Defined a "high crime" as an 'abuse of power.' And when perjury and obstruction of justice are committed by a president, Hagel added, 'they constitute an abuse of the highest power.'" [The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/12/99]

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) – "Perjury and obstruction of justice are serious offenses which must not be tolerated by anyone in our society." [Washington Post, 2/12/99]

Senator Sam Brownback (R- KS) – "Perjury and obstruction of justice are crimes against the state. Perjury goes directly against the truth-finding function of the judicial branch of government." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) – "...there can be no doubt that perjurious, false, and misleading statements made under oath in federal court proceedings are indeed impeachable offenses...John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, said `there is no crime more extensively pernicious to society' than perjury, precisely because it `discolors and poisons the streams of justice.'" [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

Senator Michael DeWine (R-OH) – "Obstruction of justice and perjury strike at the very heart of our system of justice...Perjury is also a very serious crime...The judiciary is designed to be a mechanism for finding the truth-so that justice can be done. Perjury perverts the judiciary, turning it into a mechanism that accepts lies-so that injustice may prevail." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – "I am completely and utterly perplexed by those who argue that perjury and obstruction of justice are not high crimes and misdemeanors...Perjury and obstruction hammer away at the twin pillars of our legal system: truth and justice." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) – "As constitutional scholar Charles Cooper said, `The crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice, like the crimes of treason and bribery, are quintessentially offenses against our system of government, visiting injury immediately on society itself.'" [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) – "The reason that I voted to remove him from office is because I think the overriding issue here is that truth will remain the standard for perjury and obstruction of justice in our criminal justice system and it must not be gray. It must not be muddy." [AP, 2/12/99]

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) – "There is no question in my mind that perjury and obstruction of justice are the kind of public crimes that the Founders had in mind...it seems to me that creating such loopholes would require tearing holes in the Constitution-something that cannot be justified to protect this president, or any president." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

Senator John Sununu (R-NH) – "These acts are not merely technical violations of federal law; they demonstrate a broad and consistent pattern of behavior designed to corrupt our system of due process. To withhold or delay swift and appropriate action would be to hold a single individual above the law; and, herein lies the tragic precedent which a vote against impeachment creates. A vote against impeachment holds a single individual to a unique standard, above all other citizens, and outside the boundaries of our judicial system." [Union Leader, Sununu Editorial; 12/13/98]

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) – "Gregg said the idea that perjury and obstruction of justice are not high crimes and misdemeanors 'is a little hard to understand, for it is very obvious that our society treats both perjury and obstruction of justice as extraordinarily serious crimes, ones for which people are put in prison.' He said such thinking undermines the judicial process." [AP, 2/12/99]

Former Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) – "In the event that the president changes his story, and in the event that the president tells a different story now which would result in his having committed perjury, that's a high crime. That's a serious disregard. That's undermining the system of justice which he has sworn to uphold." [The Hotline, 8/17/98]


Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) – "So for my friends who think that perjury, lying and deceit are in some circumstances acceptable and undeserving of punishment I respectfully disagree." [House Judiciary Committee, 12/1/98]

Rep. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) – "It isn't polls that count, it's right and wrong...the evidence is overwhelming that these offenses occurred, the crime of perjury and obstruction of justice have traditionally been high crimes under our Constitutions." [Senate Impeachment Trial of President Clinton, 2/8/99]

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) – "To me, making a false statement under oath to a criminal grand jury is an impeachable offense, period. This committee and this House decided that issue by a vote of 417 to nothing nine years ago in the Judge Nixon impeachment." [Opening Statement, 12/10/98]

Former Homeland Under Security Secretary and Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) "As the Supreme Court said in the "United States vs. Holland," quote, "Perjury, regardless of the setting, is a serious offense that results in incalculable harm to the function of the legal system, as well to private individuals," end quote. In my judgment, perjury goes to the heart of our judicial process and our very system of government and constitutes a "high crime and misdemeanor." [Opening Statement, 12/11/98]

Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) – "'Like the one hundred or so individuals currently in jail for perjury, the President must be held accountable for failing to tell the truth while under oath,' Bass said. 'We are a nation of laws, not men, and no man including the President is above the law.'" [Union Leader, 12/15/98]

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) – "We are here today because the president is charged with breaking criminal laws which, for constitutional purposes, are high crimes and misdemeanors. One of those crimes is perjury and by committing perjury, the president harmed the integrity of our judicial branch of government, which is a central component of the government. Since 1993, when President Clinton took office, the U.S. Department of Justice has prosecuted and convicted over 400 people for perjury. Many of those people are in prison today or under house arrest." [Congressional Record, 12/18/98]

Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) — "Perjury and obstruction of justice are akin to bribery in many ways. Perjury and obstruction go to the corruption of the judicial system. Bribery amounts to the corruption of a bureaucrat. Both prevent citizens from enjoying their rights under the rule of law. Their treatment by the United States Sentencing Commission, the entity that helps set forth penalties for federal crimes, supports the comparison." [Congressional Record, 12/18/98]

Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) – "I cannot as a man, a husband, elected official or a father say that President Clinton did not commit perjury and did not do it willfully and calculated, right from the beginning." [Times-Picayune, 12/17/98]

Rep. John Thune (R-SD) – "There's one other issue -- an important issue that I'd like to address -- and that is the matter of trust. Lying to the American people is a betrayal of trust. All of us, including our public leaders, make mistakes. We're all subject to the same universal truth: we all fall short. To err is human, to forgive is divine. But to err repeatedly and willfully with impunity, defies another universal truth and that is the law of the harvest. In other words, you reap what you sow. And the pattern of deception and dishonesty that acts as a bodyguard to this president, strikes at the very core of his ability to lead." [Congressional Record, 12/18/98]

Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) – "I believe there is ample evidence that felonious conduct -- and perjury is a felony -- falls well within the bounds of what our forefathers intended the phrase 'high crimes and misdemeanors' to include." [USA Today, 12/17/98]

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) – "Lying under oath is perjury, plain and simple," said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz. "Can you imagine what happens in court when you suddenly eliminate perjury, if you say you can make exceptions for perjury? . . . For me, it's just a very fundamental question." [Dallas Morning News, 10/11/98]

Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) – "No one is above the law, not even the president." [News & Observer, 12/16/98]

Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) – "The chief executive has the duty and the obligation to be completely honest." [Sun-Sentinel, 12/19/98]

Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL) – "He lied under oath and that's perjury and that's a high crime." [Miami Herald, 12/16/98]

Rep. Jim McCrery (R - LA) – "As a lawyer, if I were to have done that, I would have been disbarred - no question. How can the president be treated in a different manner than every other lawyer in the country?" [Associated Press, 12/16/98]

Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) – "I don't think personal conduct that's between himself and his family constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors," the standard for impeachment. "The only way this would continue forward toward impeachment would be a finding by the grand jury that there had been an obstruction of justice," Baker said. [The Advocate, 8/18/98]

Rep. James Leach (R-IA) – "Lying under oath amounts to an absolute breach of an absolute standard and makes it impossible to justify a vote against impeachment." [USA Today, 12/17/98]

Rep. Steve Chabot (R - OH) – "It would be wrong for you to tell America's children that some lies are all right. It would be wrong to show the rest of the world that some of our laws don't really matter." [AP, 2/9/99]

Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) – "By committing perjury, obstructing justice and corroding the rule of law that is the basis of a civil society, President Clinton has led the U.S. House to the path it must now take," Ney said. "Impeachment may not be the most comfortable way out of the constitutional crisis our country faces, but it is the right decision for the right reason." [Columbus Dispatch, 12/17/98]

Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH) – "It's going to boil down to whether there's hard evidence of obstruction of justice. ... You can't eliminate a felony by just apologizing" [Akron Beacon-Journal, 9/12/98]

Rep. Steven LaTourette (R - OH) – "If it is wrong for the defendant at the courthouse in Painesville, Ohio, to lie under oath in a civil proceeding, it is wrong for the president," said Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), a former county prosecutor who has put people in jail for perjury. "President Clinton was the master of his own demise, in both words and deeds." [Washington Post, 12/17/98]

Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH) – "As a former judge, I cannot look upon the offense of perjury lightly," Pryce said. "My decision is based not on any personal disdain for the president or any partisan advantage, but rather a close reading of the facts, the law, and the Constitution." [Columbus Dispatch, 12/17/98]

Rep. Jim Kolbe (R - AR) – "I believe there is ample evidence that felonious conduct -- and perjury is a felony -- falls well within the bounds of what our forefathers intended the phrase 'high crimes and misdemeanors' to include. [USA Today, 12/17/98]

Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) – "The seriousness of the charges - perjury, subornation of witnesses, obstruction of justice - strike at the heart of our basis of our Constitution, the rule of law." [Associated Press, 10/8/98]

Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-NC) – "My vote will be to go forward with the impeachment," said Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr. about the Clinton scandal in 1998. "I want to see what the committee recommends, but my feeling is when the president lied to the American people and to a grand jury he severely damaged his credibility as leader of this nation. . . . Based on what I know today, my feelings are the president has violated the law." [Washington Post, 11/22/98]

Rep. John Mica (R-FL) – "If you commit perjury or obstruct justice, you will be held accountable. If you are a member of Congress or president . . . you will be held accountable. Even if you . . . do a thousand good deeds, you will be held accountable." [Orlando Sentinel, 12/20/98]

Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) – "Bill Clinton is not being judged by the members here . . . he is being judged by the law itself . . . to lie under oath, to encourage others to provide false testimony or to conspire to conceal evidence is a felony." [Orlando Sentinel, 12/20/98]

Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) – "The matter before us today has nothing to do with the president's private life . . . This has to do with perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power - violations of the law." [Orlando Sentinel, 12/20/98]

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) – "All that stands between any of us and tyranny is law." [Sun-Sentinel, 12/19/98]

Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) – "Unless a man is honest," said Coble, "we have no right to keep him in public life. It matters not how brilliant his capacity." Coble added, "It is not sex. It is indeed perjury. It is the lie." [News & Record, 12/19/98]

Rep. Anne Northup (R-KY) – "I certainly have had conflicting feelings about it. But in the end, I believe that the president did not tell the truth, that he lied under oath." [AP, 12/16/98]

Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA) – "I conclude that the president intentionally, on more than one occasion, did not tell the truth in a federal criminal grand jury. That is very serious. That is impeachable." [AP, 12/16/98]

Rep. Jack Quinn (R-NY) – "The more I learn about the serious details of perjury and obstruction of justice, the more I am concerned about the president's failure to tell the truth under oath." [AP, 12/16/98]

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) – "You would set in place an awfully cancerous growth if you let people out there think, 'I know the president lies, so I can too."' [AP, 12/16/98]


Sean Hannity – "Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Sean Hannity...Congresswoman, I want to go back to you. You know, I'm -- if I hear that one more time, I'm going to go nuts, that it doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable offense because perjury and lying under oath has played a central role in the four most recent cases of impeachment." [Fox, 1/21/99]

Sean Hannity – "Certainly, perjury is a felony, the last time I checked." [Fox, 9/10/98]

Former RNC Spokesman/ CNN Contributor Cliff May: "Bribery and perjury are equivalent crimes." [Fox, 1/18/99]

Former RNC Spokesman/ CNN Contributor Cliff May: "The problem is if he committed perjury; if he lied under oath; if he obstructed justice; if he tampered with witnesses, these are real crimes." [CNN, 9/2/98]

Bill O'Reilly – "He used government employees, Blumenthal and the rest of the White House counsels, Begala, Lewis, all of these people, to promote an untruth, to promote a perjury, and I believe that's abuse of power. I think that's where he's most shaky...Because you and I are paying for him. You and I are paying for that, and those people are going out there not only saying that President Clinton is innocent but attacking the federal prosecutor, attacking the justice system. That looks to be abuse of power to me." [Fox News, 1/1/99]

Bill O'Reilly –"... that a president of the United States using government officials paid for by you and me and everybody watching this program to protect a perjury is a high crime." [Fox News, 1/1/99]

George Will –"If this is not a ground for impeachment ... then we're disregarding the pedigree of the phrase 'high crimes and misdemeanors'." [ABC, 8/23/99]

Ann Coulter – "Perjury? I think perjury's pretty important." [CNBC, 6/12/98]

Ann Coulter – "This is obstruction of justice, perjury, and false statements. This is completely a different matter now. It is much higher, much higher level, much bigger deal." [CNN, 1/27/98]

Fred Barnes – "[I]t's going to be hard not to impeach the president for perjury." [Fox, 10/2/98]

Bill Kristol – In response to a question as to whether perjury was a grave enough crime to remove Clinton from office, Kristol responded "Yes, I think so. Perjury under oath." [MSNBC, 11/5/98]


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