Counsels Argue Clinton Charges

Chief GOP investigator David Schippers extended Monday the list of allegations submitted by independent counsel Kenneth Starr against President Clinton, ticking off 15 possible grounds for the president's impeachment.

Presented before the House Judiciary Committee, Schippers' report led to the GOP-majority panel's 21-16 vote to launch an impeachment inquiry.

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The Democrats' chief investigative counsel, Abbe Lowell, later accused Schippers of dividing up Starr's original 11 points to create new allegations.

Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee, Schippers, a veteran Chicago prosecutor who had made his name 30 years earlier busting mobsters, broke with protocol at the end of his statement for a personal message to the panel.

"Fifteen generations of Americans, our fellow Americans, many of whom are reposing in military cemeteries throughout the world, are looking down on and judging what you do today," he lectured the panel, glancing up over reading glasses perched askew on his nose.

"Why didn't you stop him?" an outraged Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., demanded of Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill.

"I didn't know what he was going to say," Hyde whispered back. Speaking clearly into his microphone, the chairman directed the committee to ignore Schippers' personal comments.


David Schippers

Hyde picked the 68-year-old lawyer to lead the GOP impeachment investigation in large part because he is not a Washington insider and he is a Democrat.

In contrast to Schippers, Lowell is a regular on the Washington political scene, providing frequent legal commentary in print and on television.

Lowell, 46, has defended lawmakers in congressional probes, helping represent former House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, and former Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., longtime chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Both investigators have worked as prosecutors and defense attorneys. And both men get high marks from colleagues for fact-finding in criminal investigations.

Following Hyde's rebuke of Schippers, Lowell launched into his case that Starr's report to Congress does not meet the legal standard for the president's impeachment.


Abbe Lowell

Lowell concluded in his report that no grounds for impeachment existed.

"The president was engaged in an impropr relationship which he did not want disclosed...[that is] the core charge that Mr. Starr suggests triggers this grave Constitutional crisis," he told the committee.

The Judiciary Committee based its initial impeachment inquiry on the Starr's report, which alleged the following 11 possibly impeachable acts by President Clinton:

  1. Lied under oath in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

  2. Lied under oath to the grand jury about his sexual relationship with Lewinsky.

  3. Lied under oath during the Jones deposition when he stated he could not recall being alone with Lewinsky and minimized the number of gifts they had exchanged.

  4. Lied under oath in his civil deposition concerning conversations with Lewinsky about her involvement in the Jones case.

  5. Tried to obstruct justice by "engaging in a pattern of activity to conceal evidence" regarding his relationship with Lewinsky from the judicial process in the Jones case.

  6. Came to an understanding with Lewinsky that they would lie under oath in the Jones case about their relationship and tried to obstruct justice by suggesting that Lewinsky file an affidavit so that "she would not be deposed, she would not contradict his testimony, and he could attempt to avoid questions about Ms. Lewinsky at the deposition."

  7. Tried to obstruct justice by helping Lewinsky obtain a job in New York at a time when she would have been a witness against him were she to tell the truth.

  8. Lied under oath in describing his conversation with Vernon Jordan about Lewinsky.

  9. Tried to obstruct justice by attempting to influence the testimony of his Oval Office secretary, Betty Currie.

  10. Tried to obstruct justice by refusing to testify for seven months while simultaneously lying to potential grand jury witnesses, knowing they would relay the falsehoods to the grand jury.

  11. Committed acts since Jan. 17, 1998, regarding his relationship with Lewinsky that were "inconsistent with the president's constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws."