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Starr Report frivolous, but Clinton should still resign

By Toan Soi
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 17, 1998
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To the editor,

Ms. Alexander begins with a misleading analogy in her Sept. 15 Common Sense column and further strays from there.

While Mr. Grant committed a criminal sex act, Mr. Clinton's sexual activities were entirely consensual and violated only moral conventions.

If the case against Mr. Clinton were as clear as Ms. Alexander contends, Special Prosecutor Starr should have had his grand jury present an indictment charging Clinton with the specific crimes instead of shipping his truckload of muck to Congress for them to sling.

Starr sent his report to Congress in an attempt to instigate impeachment proceedings precisely because impeachment has the form of a criminal trial without the corresponding due process standards.

Impeachment is an entirely political process where Congress decides the standards and criteria for impeachment to be used in the proceedings.

With clairvoyant ability, Ms. Alexander states "Clinton will be tried by Congress" in impeachment proceedings for this senseless mess. If impeachment were to occur, Clinton will be held to a harsher standard than any ordinary citizen, but rightly so for any individual occupying such a paramount position within our government.

Starr's report lays out 11 supposedly impeachable offenses committed by Mr. Clinton. Many of the charges are ridiculously frivolous for a $40 million dollar investigation.

Starr considers Mr. Clinton's refusal to disclose his private relationship as a violation his duty to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, writing, "The President refused six invitations to testify to the grand jury, thereby delaying expeditious resolution of this matter."

Perhaps we should charge anyone hiring a lawyer to defend themselves against dubious criminal investigations (e.g. Whitewater and Travel Gate) with obstruction of justice. However, Starr credibly charges Mr. Clinton with lying under oath but not perjury (a difference Ms. Alexander surprisingly misses as a law student).

Perjury is lying under oath in a pending legal action regarding relevant and material information. Under the rules of evidence, nothing regarding Mr. Clinton's consensual extramarital relationship would have been admitted since it had nothing to do with a sexual harassment claim.

So this entire sordid affair (no pun intended) arose because Clinton lied in a frivolous, politically motivated lawsuit and then tried to legally hide that lie. Starr thinks this is grounds for impeachment.

Ms. Alexander, segments of the public and numerous nationally prominent papers have called for Mr. Clinton's resignation or impeachment for violating the public's trust. Didn't everyone already know that Mr. Clinton was a draft-dodging, pot-smoking womanizer when they chose him over another president that lied to the public about raising taxes who in turn had replaced one that directly violated Federal laws in supplying weapons to foreign factions when they first elected him?

Mr. Clinton didn't really violate the public's trust, we knew what we were getting. For fear of establishing a precedent of high standards of accountability and integrity for public officials, I predict those paragons of virtue in Congress will vacillate and equivocate on the impeachment issue.

Bill Clinton's own reckless behavior proves much more conclusively than any report that he isn't fit to serve as President. His behavior is grounds for resignation not impeachment.

Toan Soi

Second year law student