Originally created 12/30/98

Charges impeachment was partisan 123098 - The Augusta Chronicle



I totally disagree with your Dec. 20 editorial rejecting the notion that the impeachment of President Clinton by the GOP-led House of Representatives is not about vengeance.

The independent counsel report by Kenneth Starr sent to the House Judiciary Committeereeked of ideological zealotry, and was acted on in the committee in a totally partisan way with party-line votes on nearly every issue.

The impeachable offenses were not proven. Article I charging President Clinton with perjury before the grand jury is unjustified. During his grand jury appearance, the president admitted to an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The lack of specific details of who touched whom, where or when would not support a prosecution of perjury.

One of the articles charging the president with obstruction of justice by asking Ms. Lewinsky to lie is refuted by her repeated statement that the president never asked her to lie.

The impeachment clause in the Constitution was meant to protect the nation from abuses of presidential power that undermine the structure and functioning of the government. It was never intended for political purpose. It would gravely injure the Constitution by allowing a partisan Congress to hold impeachment as a political club over the head of the president.

The president has behaved wrongly in his admitted affair with Ms. Lewinsky but has not committed anything resembling a crime against the nation. His conduct does not constitute an impeachable offense. He could be held accountable through a vote of censure. Unfortunately the Republican majority on the Judiciary Committee blocked censure, denying Congress and the American public a recorded vote on a more appropriate rebuke to President Clinton's conduct.

It is the hope that the Senate, in a bipartisan manner, can fairly judge the impeachment charges and arrive at a just and speedy resolution and allow the nation to continue with its pressing national and international challenges.

Howard Rosen,Augusta