Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi(flashback)


Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2004
Statement in Opposition to the Articles of Impeachment
December 18, 1998

(Also see Congresswoman Pelosi's Press Release: Pelosi Votes Against Articles of Impeachment; Argues in Favor of Censure.)

Mr. Speaker, today is a tragic day for our country, because while our young people are fighting in the Persian Gulf and bringing honor to our country, we are bringing dishonor to it with our hypocrisy here in this chamber.

Today, the Republican majority is not judging the President with fairness, but is impeaching him with a vengeance. In the investigation of the President, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear--privacy, fairness, checks and balances--have been seriously violated. And why? We are here today because the Republicans in Congress are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton, and until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer.

I rise to oppose these unfair motions which call for the removal of the President of the United States from office, and in doing so, wish to point out some differences between the investigation of the President and the investigation of Newt Gingrich. The first principle in our investigation of Newt Gingrich was that at the moment we found exculpatory information, it would be reported immediately to the accused and be made public.

The independent counsel knew that the President was exonerated in Travelgate, Whitewater and Filegate and he held that information until the hearing, indeed until after the election. This was not fair. Indeed, it is the duty of any prosecutor to immediately release information that is exculpatory.

So it's not about Whitewater, it's not about Travelgate, and it's not about Filegate. It's about sex. It's about a punishment searching for a crime that doesn't exist.

In the Gingrich probe, we drew every inference in favor of the accused. But in this case, it took a closing question from a member of the grand jury to Monica Lewinsky, ``Is there anything you would like to add to your prior testimony?'' for Monica Lewinsky to respond, and I quote, ``No one ever asked me to lie, and I was never promised a job for my silence.''

The point is why didn't the independent counsel elicit that important testimony? In the Gingrich case, we spent a major part of our report explaining the laws which were violated. The Judiciary Committee has not proven perjury, it has not even defined perjury. Instead, it has kept the subject intentionally vague.

Whether one is violating a marital vow or some other aspect of his personal behavior, it is not an impeachable offense. You have not proven perjury.

In the Gingrich probe, we had a bipartisan unanimous vote in our subcommittee and an almost unanimous vote on the floor because we built consensus and we tried to bring the matter to closure.

We have that opportunity today, with a motion for censure which is constitutional. In 1800, Representative Livingston introduced a motion of censure against John Adams. President Adams was defended by Congressman John Marshall of Virginia--who would soon become Chief Justice of the United States. In his 34 years as Chief Justice he established much of our constitutional law, and he never argued, in the Adams case, that censure was not constitutional.

Censure is closure, censure is constitutional. How can the Republicans exalt Newt Gingrich to the highest post of Speaker after he admitted lying to Congress and try to impeach the President of the United States for lying about his personal affairs. I urge my colleagues to vote no, stop this hatchet job on the presidency, stop this hypocrisy, stop this hatred. Vote no on all four counts. Thank you.

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