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Impeachment Talks Begin

The first meeting between the president's lawyers and the House Judiciary Committee was supposed to be just a friendly discussion of rules and procedures. But as CBS News White House Correspondent Bill Plante Reports, it didn't turn out that way.

Gregory Craig, who is in charge of the president's impeachment defense, said his side actually lost ground because the scope of the hearing now covers more than just the Lewinsky matter. Craig accused the committee of unfairly changing the rules.

"We believe that people will understand that the procedures that are now being followed are not fair by even the most minimal standards of due process," Craig remarked.

Speaking for the Republican majority on the committee, Staff Counsel Paul McNulty claimed the committee had gone out of its way to be fair and to accommodate the president.

"That's the strategy," said McNulty. "Attack the process, make it look like we're not working productively so the American people lose confidence, but it won't work."

Both sides say they want quick action, but so far,they have not agreed on anything. The White House is promising a hard fight. And hearings aren't even scheduled to begin before the middle of November, which means they won't end anytime soon.

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