by Patrick J. Buchanan – February 9, 1999
At every crossroads in the impeachment and trial of William Jefferson Clinton, the Democratic Party shoveled debris onto the path of justice. And because that party worships power, Clinton has evaded conviction for high crimes and misdemeanors.
So, our president gets a pass and walks away.
That he lied in his Paula Jones deposition to fix the trial and covered up by suborning perjury, lying to a grand jury and obstructing justice few Democrats deny, except when in front of a TV camera. There, they act like O.J.’s lawyers, railing on about Ken Starr, just like Johnnie Cochran denouncing Mark Fuhrman and the LAPD.
What happened in the trial of Clinton was jury nullification, pure and simple. Senate Democrats were never going to let Clinton be convicted, guilty or not, because he is one of them. If that meant letting him walk for crimes for which they would have gladly hanged Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan or George Bush, so be it.
This city knows in its heart Bill Clinton is guilty. But because it hates the right more than it loves justice, it wanted him to get away with it and rejoices that he has gotten away with it.
According to the polls, a nation pleased with the economy and delighted with the Dow agrees. But this is not the first time the mob has preferred Barabbas to justice.
So be it. But Republicans ought not be a party to any farce of a censure vote crafted to let Democrats fake, for the home folks and a poodle press, their shock and dismay at what Clinton has done.
Phil Gramm is right. Republicans should use extended debate to mock and then block censure. Should a vote come, let Trent Lott lead his party out of the chamber to laugh at the charade and get clear of the stink. The Republicans have done their duty. Let the Democrats put on their censure show by themselves.
According to one press report, Bill Clinton feels no remorse but believes he was the victim of a partisan vendetta. Well, if so, I hope he gets out the Havana cigars and bongo drums and brings in Sidney, Monica, Susan, Webb, the feminists of NOW, and his Senate and House camp followers for another Rose Garden pep rally where they can all cheer and celebrate how they got away with it.
That would be a less nauseous end to it all than being forced to watch the Democrats who lacked the courage to do their duty burble on the Senate floor about how terribly pained they are. Throughout the investigation, Republicans made mistakes, but they were mistakes of the head, not of the heart. They were mistakes of men trying to do their duty courageously and honorably, though bedeviled by media savagery and Democratic demagoguery.
History, Voltaire wrote, is a pack of lies agreed upon. Today in America, history is written by the left. So, perhaps history will not tell the truth about the Senate trial of Bill Clinton — that it was bogus from the beginning, a sham and a farce, that the fix had been put in by the jurors themselves in violation of their oaths to do impartial justice.
What kind of trial is it where the prosecution is denounced by the jurors for even bringing charges and then denied its right to call witnesses? What kind of trial is it where a third of the jurors declare, before it opens, that they will not convict, no matter the evidence?
After 34 Democratic senators announced they had made up their minds that Clinton must not be removed, that same 34 continued to interfere with the right of jurors whose minds were open, rejecting their pleas for a full and fair trial.
Bill Clinton got the kind of trial Al Capone and John Gotti only dreamed of, a trial where the jurors don’t have to be threatened or bought because they belong to the “family” and have an identical interest in seeing to it that the Godfather walks.
So, it is up to Ken Starr.
There is a valid question as to whether a sitting president can be indicted, but there is no question he can be named an “unindicted co-conspirator” as his accomplices face prosecution.
From what Starr has provided and what has come out in the Senate, there was a criminal plot to fix the Jones trial and a second conspiracy to cover up that plot by lying to and impeding a federal grand jury — and smearing Monica as a stalker.
Senate Democrats have successfully prevented the truth from coming out, playing their own indispensable role in the cover-up of the crimes of Bill Clinton. Let Ken Starr at least do his duty.
Let’s find out if this city can block justice at every turn.