GOP Airs Differences Over Lewinsky Probe
Lewinsky and Ginsburg
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 8) -- Republican politicians
on Sunday aired more differing views over how to respond to
the Monica Lewinsky affair and independent counsel Kenneth
On Saturday, Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott had floated
the idea of censuring President Bill Clinton, if there was
insufficient evidence to impeach him, and also called on
Starr to wrap up his investigation quickly.
But on Sunday, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter was rather
critical of that proposal.
"I can understand that Trent is anxious. So am I. But when
you take a look at the particulars, all the delays that Ken
Starr has faced, I think he has to be given more time to
finish his investigation," Specter said on Fox TV.
Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, interviewed on
ABC's "This Week," backed Specter in counseling patience and
allowing Starr to finish the job.
"We need to let him (Starr) alone and get on with his job
... He should take the time that he needs and hopefully no
more time than that," he said.
As for impeachment, Specter said Republicans should only push
that option if there was an "open and shut case" of
obstruction of justice against Clinton.
"America cannot stand the trauma of an impeachment matter
unless it is cut and dried," he said.
On CNN's "Late Edition," Bill McCollum of Florida said if
Starr found evidence that the president lied or obstructed
justice, there should be hearings.
"Not necessarily impeachment articles filed, but hearings on
the subject, and I think the public would expect that," said
McCollum, a member of the House Judiciary Committee that
would hold such hearings.
Starr is probing allegations that Clinton carried on a
sexual affair with Lewinsky when she was a 21-year-old
low-level aide, then urged her to lie about it under oath.
Clinton has firmly denied both allegations.
Asked whether he was working on the legal issue of
impeachment for Starr, Professor Ronald Rotunda of the
University of Illinois Law School told CNN only that he was
working as a special consultant to Starr.
Rotunda said his expertise was in the area of constitutional
law and legal ethics and that his work for Starr had to do
with those areas.