Will Clinton confess or hide the truth?



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Dean likens this case and Watergate as "love and hate with one investigation involving a president who has action about a president and that investigators wanted it. I know what it is like to be thrust on the national media stage in a confrontation with the most powerful man in the world, and it is, to put it mildly, a maturing experiene.

"Like Ms Lewinsky (now 25), 1 was young (then 33) when I was put in, that position. It is that experience that prompts my letter to this young woman. While it is not exactly a cheery note, if she were my daughter these are matters I would want her thinking about."

The grand jury is expected to finish its job sometime next month after deciding if any indictments should be issued.

Starr has already concluded that a sitting president cannot be indicted under the Constitution, which stipulates that impeachment is the only remedy for presidential misconduct. If Starr has impeachable evidence he will give his report to the Congress. Then this process takes place: the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives will hold hearings to which Lewinsky and others would be called as witnesses to decide if there were sufficient grounds for starting impeachment proceedings, leading to a trial of the President in the Senate.

At the time of writing hardly anyone, including his opponents, wants the drama to go that far because of the impending Congressional elections in November. Besides, Republicans do not want Vice President Al Gore in the Oval Office! That is the reason why even Republicans have advised Clinton to admit he lied about his secret liaisons to save Hillary and Chelsea from embarrassment.

As an enticement, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch, a Republican, said if Clinton accepted his advice he believed Congress would been backward to avoid impeachment.

The big debate inside the First Couple's bedroom is that Hillary is vigorously opposed to her husband throwing himself at the mercy of the nation and Congress by confessing and apologising that he lied to protect her and their only child, Chelsea.

Reliable sources quoted by columnist Robert Novok (Aug 9, New York Post) say that the First Lady holds that an admission of error by her husband would cripple his presidency. As in a series of previous serious crises, the tough and clever and long-suffering Hillary is actively engaged in legal and political strategy talks with her husband and personal lawyer, David Kendall. What she says will be it!

Who knows Clinton may admit and apologise tomorrow. The mea culpa I believe, will not end his problem though. It may in fact complicate his eternal sex problems further. The President knows exactly what he did or did not do; so it is up to him how much he wants to share the knowledge with the American nation., In any event, his presidency and legacy is already tarnished. A sad and cruel ending of an otherwise reasonably fine president. He will be remembered for Lewinsky who made him infamous.

As the Times editorial (Aug 8) says: "For these reasons the President seems set to stick with his story what they (Clinton's attorneys) cannot be sure of is the corroborating material she has been able to provide and the additional testimony of secret service agents and other members of the President's personal staff who Kenneth Starr has now successfully subpoenaed over Mr Clinton's objection.

"When the final report is laid before Congress shortly, the President's position could suddenly become extremely uncomfortable been sustained by his poll ratings and the obvious reluctance of Republicans to place Al Gore in the Oval Office. He may be assuming that his luck would hold despite damning evidence from Mr. Starr.

"There may come a moment when Americans decide that there has been enough hypocrisy. If such a shift occurred, Congress would be forced with it.

"The final risk is constitutional. Clinton has assumed that if he is not impeached then he cannot be prosecuted while in office. The US Constitution is ambiguous on the issue. The sole precedent concerns Spiro Agnew who as Vice President under investigation on bribery charges in 1973 argued that he was protected by his post. The Nixon Justice Department disagreed and (conveniently) said that only the President had such immunity. That ruling has never been tested and was partly disallowed by the Supreme Court in US versus Nixon 12 months later.

"Mr. Starr may press for a final judgment"

The president might calculate that these risks are worth taking. He has survived successive scandals by saying little and waiting for the storm to pass. That strategy may deliver once more. If not, then the US will face a constitutional crisis. Mr. Clinton may face impeachment or indictment. His country would certainly suffer as a consequence, argues the Times of London.

The time, adds the Times, has come for the whole truth to enter the public domain.

No matter how melodramatic or emotioned Clinton might be tomorrow, the jurors, I believe, will not tolerate a bullshit story. This is a saga as a result of Clinton's own making; his inability to zip up his trousers.

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