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Impeaching the President
Impeaching the President

Senators were given 16 hours to ask written questions of the House managers and White House attorneys. Below you can find the questions, text excerpts of the answers, and the complete audio archives.
Note: We will be adding to these archives over the next several days.


Q. Is it the opinion of the House managers that the president's defense team in the presentation miss characterized any factual or legal issue in this case? If so, please explain.

A. Rep. Ed Bryant, (R-Tennessee) Listen to the answer.
Mr. Craig made a lot of arguments that his is about an oath vs. oath case. "We believe that factually there was much more corroboration..." that there was factual evidence to support the personal relationship that the president and Miss Lewinsky had. We all know about those types of telephone conversations. Miss Lewinsky had detailed recollections of events.
"At least eight friends and two professional counselors detailing the relationship while it was ongoing." Also, the blue dress and DNA analysis of it.
Just last month Mr. Ruff said, "I have no doubt that when the president walked up to that line that he thought he understood."

Q.Senator Sarbanes, (D-MD), asks, would you please comment on any of the legal or factual assertions made by the managers in their response to the previous question from Senators Allard, Bunning, Coverdell, and Craig.
A. Charles Ruff, White House Counsel Listen to the answer.
He suggested among the collaborating matters that he would refer to was Ms. Lewinsky's recollection or White House records. "The only point, I think, that the manager raises that is new and needs to be addressed is this notion that contemporary, consistent statements made to third parties about these events are somehow corroborative of Ms. Lewinsky's testimony in this regard." So called prior consistent statements are not viewed as corroborating evidence.
"The law rejects the notion that merely because you tell the same story many times it is corroborative of the underlying credibility of the witness' version..." and there are only certain instances when this is permissible.

Q. From Senator Enzi, (R-WY), and Coverdell, (R-GA), ask the House managers, please elaborate on whether the President's defense team failed to respond to any allegations made by the House managers
A. Asa Hutchinson, (R-Arkansas) Listen to the answer.
"Whenever (President Clinton's secretary) Betty Currie was questioned, they said, well she wasn't a witness. There was never any clue that she was going to be a witness; that the Jones' lawyers never anticipated that she was going to be a witness. That it was never put at all on the witness list.
"And that's very significant. I just want to drive this point home. This is Mr. (White House Counsel Charles) Ruff talking about prosecutorial fudging. How about defense fudging?

Q. Senator Levin, (D-MI), asks White House counsel, would you please comment on any of the legal or factual assertions made by the House managers in their response to the previous question.
A. Charles Ruff, White House Chief Counsel Listen to the answer.
"He (President Clinton) had no reason to believe, at that stage and that's the critical stage, cause that's what's in his mind and that's what you have to ask if you're talking about obstruction of justice or witness tampering, at that stage he had no more reason to know that Ms. Currie was going to be a witness, then he did as we explained it, both I and Ms. Mills in our earlier presentations."

Q. Senators Thurmond,(R-SC), Grassley,(R-IA), Chafee,(R-RI), and Craig, (R-IN), directed to the House managers. President Clinton has raised concerns that the articles of impeachment are overly vague and whether they charge more than one offense in the same article. How do you respond to these concerns?
A. Rep. Charles Canady, (R-Florida) Listen to the answer. "It is clear from the president's trial memorandum and his presentation here that President Clinton and his counsel know exactly what he is being charged with. And I would submit to you that if President Clinton had suffered from any lack of specificity in the articles, he could have filed a motion for a bill of particulars. He did not choose to do so.
"Moreover, articles of impeachment have never, they have never been required to be drafted with the specificity of indictments. After all, this proceeding is not a criminal trial. If it were, then we as the prosecutors would not only be entitled to call witnesses, but would be required to call them to prove our case.

Q. This question is sent by Senators Dodd and Leahy. Would you please comment on any of the legal or factual assertions made by the managers in their response to the previous question by Senators Thurmond, Grassley, Chaffey and Craig, particularly what would have stopped or limited the House in specifying precisely the statement on which the articles were based?
A. Greg Craig, White House Counsel, Listen to the answer.
In our case we are talking about an allegation of perjury. In the 1974 Nixon case, he was not charged with perjury. I think our allegation is that perjury is a very different thing, "you have to be very specific in what you charge and you have to be very clear as to what the statement is when you are charging perjury." The danger here is if you're overly broad is that "at any given moment you can fill the, the vessel with what your meaning is."

Q. Senators Thompson, Grassley, Thurmond, Allard, Frist, Burns and Inhofe directed this question to the president's counsel. If the President were a federal judge accused of committing the same acts of perjury and obstruction of justice, and the Senate found sufficient evidence that the acts alleged were committed, should the Senate vote to convict?
A. Charles Ruff, White House Counsel, Listen to the answer.
It is absolutely crystal clear from the history of the drafting of the impeachment clause that the concern of the framers was: Is there such actions as so subvert our government that we can no longer persist in permitting, in their case, the President of the United States to remain in office?

Q. Senators Dorgan, Baucus and Shumer to the President's Counsel. In Counselor Ruff's presentation, he set forth a timeline that undermined the manager's theory that Judge Wright's December 11th discovery order triggered an intensification of the president's and Jordan's efforts to assist Lewinsky in finding a job. In response to Mr. Ruff's presentation, the managers handed out a press release outside the Senate chamber asserting that it was the December 5th issuance of the witness list in the jones case, and not the judge's discovery order of the 11th, that triggered the intensification of the job search. This does not appear consistent with assertions made by the house managers in their trial brief and oral presentations. Please comment.
A. David Kendall, White House Counsel, Listen to the answer.
The managers are asserting that it was indeed the December 11th order that. . .pushed forward the job search. . .There are a number of things to be said about that. One was they have very clearly said there was no urgency at all after the witness list arrived to help Ms. Lewinsky. They've said that Mr. Jordan met with the President on December 5, but that meeting had nothing to do with Ms. Lewinsky. . .That December 11th meeting had sprung from a phone call between Lewinsky and Jordan in November. . .they agreed to set up a meeting when he returned from a European trip. . .they agreed to meet on December 11th, before she knew about being on the witness list.

Q. Senators Ash, Ashcroft and Hatch for the House Managers. The White House makes much of the fact that Vernon Jordan was on a flight to Holland on Dec 11th before Judge Wright ruled that afternoon that other women who may have had relationships while in the President Clinton's employ were relevant to the Jones suit. However, the President was faxed a witness list on December 5th and actually reviewed it no later than the 8th. Thus, isn't the White House argument that the President had no incentive to assist Ms. Lewinsky's job search until December 11th just a red herring?
A. Rep. Asa Hutchinson, Listen to the answer.
I have great respect for these counselors--they're admirable, they're doing a great job for their client, and they're presenting their theory of the case. We're arguing our point of view. And it's the facts that make the determination.

Q. This question is from Senator Boxer. In light of the confession of Manager Hutchinson that Judge Wright's order had no bearing on the intensity of the job search can you comment on the balance of his claim on the previous question?
A. Charles Ruff, White House Counsel, Listen to the answer.
If there was ever a moving target, we've just seen it in motion. Dec 11, Dec 9, Dec 19, that is a reflection of the difficulty we've been having coming to grips with these charges. Jordan and the President met on December 7th, but didn't discuss Ms. Lewinsky's job search at all. The issue didn't even surface. The first activity calculated to help Lewinsky happened on December 11th. There was no urgency. If Mr. Jordan were on the witness stand, Manager Hutchinson asks you to probe his loyalties, and decide whether he's telling the truth. There is only one message in this request: Jordan must have been lying. If you predicate that the erroneous events of December 11th, you need to know nothing more of the chronology of what this case is about.

Q. This question is from Senators Sessions, Graham, Smith, Inhofe, Allard. Roberts. In defense of the President, Miss Mills has repeatedly stated and has just reiterated that the crime of witness tampering requires some element of threat, intimidation or pressure. Isnít it true that Section 1512B criminalizes anyone who corruptly persuades or engages in misleading conduct with the intent to influence the testimony of any person in an official proceeding. Please explain.
A. Rep. Bob Barr, Listen to the answer.
One can talk around the law. One can talk about the law. One can ignore the law. And as we've seen, one can break the law. But one has to deal with the law in court and in these proceedings.

Q. This question is from Senator Byrd of the Presidentís counsel. Alexander Hamilton in Federalists essay number 65 states that the subjects of impeachment are those offenses that proceed from the misconduct of public men or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust. Putting aside the specific legal questions concerning perjury and obstruction of justice how does the president defend against the charge that by giving false and misleading statements under oath such misconduct abused or violated some public trust.
A. Charles Ruff, White House Counsel, Listen to the answer.
"As I've tried to make clear in my earlier arguments, it is not enough simply I think to ask, does a particular generic form of misconduct, however serious it may be, lead inexorably to the conclusion that the President of the United States has committed an impeachable offense? "As the framers made clear, and I think the history that lay behind their deliberations and the history that was followed made clear ... we speak of offenses which this body must ultimately judge as being so violative of his public responsibilities that our system cannot abide his continuing in office."

Q. Senator Lott asks the House Managers. Do the managers wish to respond to the answer just given by the Presidentís counsel?
A. Rep. Charles Canady, (R-Florida) Listen to the answer.
"We believe that the response and the position taken by the counsel for the president here really involves two great errors. One error is in establishing a standard of conduct for the presidency that is too low. The other error is in attempting to minimize the significance of the offenses that this president has been charged."