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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

A reverent tone inside the Senate chamber

By Candy Crowley/CNN

February 12, 1999
Web posted at: 4:34 p.m. EST (2134 GMT)

WASHINGTON (February 12) -- Before Friday's somber votes on the articles of impeachment, the Senate was filled with reverence as senators, House prosecutors and White House lawyers exchanged handshakes and friendly smiles.

Rep. Henry Hyde  

Chief prosecutor Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Illinois), standing and smiling beside the House managers' table, was approached and greeted warmly by several Democratic senators, including John Breaux of Louisiana, Carl Levin of Michigan, Tom Harkin of Iowa and both Connecticut senators, Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman.

Harkin made the rounds at the managers' table, frequently putting his arm around Hyde and House manager Chris Cannon (R-Utah). Harkin also enjoyed a number of laughs with manager George Gekas (R-Pennsylvania).

At one point, Hyde walked the 10 to 15 feet across to the White House lawyers' table. He shook hands and exchanged smiles and what seemed to be pleasantries with the president's private lawyer, David Kendall, and White House Special Counsel Gregory Craig.

White House Special Counsel
Gregory Craig

Sen. Strom Thurmond, the 96-year-old South Carolina Republican who sat directly behind the White House lawyers' table, seemed to have a jolly time chatting with White House lawyers Nicole Seligman and Cheryl Mills.

At one point, Thurmond reached into his pocket and handed the two women something. Thurmond carries Senate and South Carolina items like key chains to hand out to constituents.

It was very calm, very quiet and very formal during the actual voting. Nearly every male senator buttoned his coat as he stood. But as hushed as the chamber was, it was often difficult to hear some of the senators as they rendered their verdicts.

Investigating the President


Friday, February 12, 1999

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