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Hyde: Impeachment Talk Is Premature

Hyde
Hyde  

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 25) -- It's too soon to talk about impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton, but if it's proven that the president had sex with a White House intern he should resign, said Rep. Henry Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Hyde made his comments Sunday on CNN's Late Edition.

"It's a natural consequence of unfolding events, but it's much too premature," the Illinois Republican said. "Allegations and charges are really what we have to deal with. You don't impeach anybody on those. You have to have credible and substantial evidence that a crime was committed that would be impeachable."

He said Congress should wait for independent counsel Kenneth Starr's report and the "presumption of innocence has to be maintained."

It would be a cover-up, not sex with an intern, that Congress would be concerned with, he said.

"I think suborning perjury, I think tampering with a witness, obstructing justice might well be considered impeachable offenses, but a matter of having sex in the White House, I don't think so," he said.

However, Clinton should resign as president if the sex allegations are true, Hyde said.

"If that is proven to be true, I would suspect something might happen well before it got as far as impeachment," Hyde said.

In the wake of the scandal Clinton would find it "very difficult to maintain the moral stature" when dealing with Saddam Hussein and other problems, he said.

Hyde predicted that when Clinton delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday evening Congress would receive him "with restraint, but civility, if not cordiality."

"I will applaud, simply because it's the civil thing to do," he said.

In Other News

Sunday Jan. 25, 1998

Clinton Allies Defend President
Magazine: Tripp Tried To Write A Clinton 'Tell-All'
White House Scandal At A Glance
Hyde: Impeachment Talk Is Premature
Aides Hope Return Of Veterans Will Stop 'Meltdown'

Poll:
Clinton Should Not Leave Office





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