Specter Urges Caution On Impeachment
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 2) -- Sen. Arlen Specter said Thursday House members who want to consider impeachment proceedings should move slowly unless there is an "open-and-shut case" against President Bill Clinton.
"There has been a lot of speculation already that the House would not be
well advised to undertake impeachment proceedings if there is not a very solid case," said Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican. "Now I would require an open-and-shut case. What they would require would be their judgment, but there is general feeling that don't go after the president unless you really have something to say."
Specter said he did not believe, however, that the dismissal of Paula Jones' civil suit against the president would affect Independent Counsel Ken Starr's investigation into sex-and-perjury allegations against the president.
"I think it will not have an impact on the Starr investigation because the facts are the facts and Starr is pursuing those factual matters," Specter said. "I think it does have an impact on the political atmospherics. But if there's a case here and if there are facts to support some kind of action, those facts are what is important, not necessarily the judgments as to whether it does or does not constitute sexual harassment."
Specter said lawmakers, the press and the public should give Clinton the presumption of innocence "and let Mr. Starr continue with his investigation and put this entire matter on the back burner and await the results of the investigation. And when we know what the facts are we can make the judgment so the president is free to tackle the tremendous problems which he has on Iraq, and Social Security, and the budget, and China."