On Foley's embarrassment
Author(s): Larry Lipman Palm Beach Post Staff WriterAnd then there's this...
Section: A SECTION
Publication title: Palm Beach Post. West Palm Beach, Fla.: Sep 18, 1998. pg. 4.A
Local lawmakers split along party lines Thursday over whether the House Judiciary Committee should release President Clinton's videotaped testimony regarding his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Republican Reps. E. Clay Shaw Jr. of Fort Lauderdale and Mark Foley of West Palm Beach, said the committee should follow the bipartisan decision made by the full House last week to release pertinent information so long as it did not adversely affect people not involved in the scandal.
But Democratic Reps. Alcee Hastings of Miramar and Robert Wexler of Boca Raton - both of whom voted against last week's resolution to release material before impeachment proceedings are considered - said all of the evidence should be released simultaneously rather than in stages.
Wexler, the only local member who serves on the Judiciary Committee, said the panel's rules prohibited him from characterizing Thursday's debate or commenting on any of the evidence he has seen - including the tape.
But Wexler noted he has taken the position that all the material should be released together because "a piecemeal release suggests to me that it was not a fair and objective process but one designed for public relations."
Wexler said he would now support the release of any material except that which was "sexually explicit or any material that is irrelevant." He said he could not discuss whether there was any such material on the tape.
Shaw said House Republicans need to be careful that their actions are not perceived by the public as piling on an already humiliated Clinton, but he supported the tape's release.
"It appears that the people who are trying to keep the tape from being released want to prevent the public from seeing a side of the president they're concerned about," Shaw said. "There is no better way to weigh the truth and veracity of any witness than to see them on tape or in person."
Hastings said the public should ask why the tape would be released now, rather than after all the material has been assessed by the committee and a decision is made on whether to seek impeachment.
"It's very obvious that this whole process is out of hand," Hastings said, adding that the release of the tape would be clearly aimed at "embarrassment and humiliation, and that is not what impeachment is supposed to be about."
Foley said Clinton and his allies should welcome the release of the tape as a "forum for them to get the facts out. If, in fact, he told the truth to the grand jury, that will be apparent to everybody."
Despite White House efforts to call release of the tape unfair and unexpected, Foley said Clinton was responsible for its being made in the first place by refusing to testify before the grand jury in the courthouse.
"He, himself, agreed to the rules of engagement on how he would testify, and that it would be on tape. I would assume he'd be happy" with its release.
Author(s): Larry Lipman Palm Beach Post Staff WriterAnyone want to bet this is probably time two?
Section: A SECTION
Publication title: Palm Beach Post. West Palm Beach, Fla.: Dec 11, 1998. pg. 14.A
For Rep. Mark Foley, a Republican leaning toward voting for impeachment, this week's parade of witnesses defending President Clinton had virtually no effect.
"It gave me a chance to look further and more deeply into the case," said Foley, of West Palm Beach, but "it hasn't done much to convince me at this point."
Foley, who has not declared how he would vote on impeachment, said he is leaning toward supporting the perjury articles prepared by the House Judiciary Committee and is also seriously weighing the obstruction of justice article.
While many House members have not declared their intentions, surveys by several news organizations indicate that Clinton would have to win the votes of up to 20 Republicans to avoid impeachment, while no more than half a dozen have said they would vote in his favor.
Noting that many of the issues turn on complex legal arguments, Foley quipped: "This is probably the only time in my life I wish I had legal training."