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Investigating The President



 Players, timeline, documents, quick votes, quiz, archives. AllPolitics' in-depth look at the investigation into the president's relationship with Monica Lewinsky has it all.


 People In Other Countries Say Clinton Doing Fine (8-27-98)

 More Polls


 Sen. Joseph Lieberman Speaks On Clinton (9-3-98)

 Text Of Clinton-Yeltsin News Conference (9-2-98)


 Senator Lieberman calls Clinton's behavior 'immoral and harmful (9-3-98)
Windows Media: 28K | 56K


 Bob Lang: Our New Secret Weapon(8-27-98)

 More 'Toons



Investigating The
President Headlines

 Clinton Reaches Out To Congressional Leaders (9-8-98)

 Clinton's Attorney Asks To Review Starr Report Before It Goes To Congress (9-7-98)

 Clinton's Democratic Support Slips Further (9-6-98)

 House Leaders Will Discuss Starr Report (9-4-98)

 Sen. Lieberman Says Clinton's Behavior 'Immoral' (9-3-98)

 Clinton Defends His Lewinsky Speech (9-2-98)

 Clinton's Team Will Attempt To Counter Starr Report (9-1-98)

 More Stories

Censure Could Be An Option For House

Lawmakers avoid the 'I' word for now, mull alternatives

By Jonathan Karl/CNN

WASHINGTON (Aug. 24) -- Almost no one in the House of Representatives wants to consider impeachment in the wake of President Bill Clinton's confession that he had sex with ex-White House intern Monica Lewinsky and lied about it.

Rep. Robert Wexler

In fact, most lawmakers avoid the "I" word altogether.

"No, it is not an impeachable offense," says Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

"It behooves me not to comment," says Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

"I think it's very premature for anybody to make any judgment," says House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Most Americans, too, are not ready to consider impeachment, but there is another option being floated by lawmakers in both parties: censuring Clinton.

"I think the president might well be censured for things other than committing crimes," said Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.), a member of the Judiciary Committee. "I think there are things he has already admitted to which might well warrant some kind of message from Congress that we don't approve, the country doesn't approve."

Rep. Bill McCollum

McCollum says he favors impeachment if the president broke the law, but for lawmakers in both parties, the idea of impeachment is a political nightmare.

For Republicans it means taking on a politically popular president just as the midterm election campaigns are kicking off, and removing Clinton from office would leave a President Al Gore poised to run in 2000 as an incumbent.

Said Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), "Oh, it [a censure] is a political out. It may be a political out for some Republicans; it may be political out for some Democrats."

A vote to censure would be purely symbolic and that's what makes it an appealing option. It would allow lawmakers to express disapproval of the president's behavior while avoiding the political heat of impeachment hearings.

A presidential censure has happened before. In 1834, President Andrew Jackson was censured by Congress in a dispute over the national bank. Two years later, Jackson's party gained control of Congress and revoked the censure.

Some Republicans say censure is not enough and the president should also be forced to pay some of the costs of the Starr investigation. Most Democrats dismiss that idea, although that was exactly the situation Gingrich faced when he was reprimanded last year.

In Other News

Monday, August 24, 1998

Clinton To Address Lewinsky Matter, Again
Poll: Most Think Clinton Lied, But Don't Want Impeachment
Court Strikes Down Census Bureau's Statistical Sampling Plan
Censure Could Be An Option For House

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