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Lawmaker: 'Time Has Come' To Consider Clinton Impeachment


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 15) -- A Republican legislator has asked the House Judiciary Committee to begin the first steps for consideration of impeachment of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) on Friday said he drafted a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) in which he requested a meeting to discuss whether Clinton and Gore's fund-raising activities were impeachable.

"I am not demanding that impeachment proceedings begin at this time. The time has come, however, to take this important preliminary step," said Barr, a former CIA intelligence analyst and second-term Congressman. (273K/25 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

The committee said Hyde was reviewing Barr's letter. The letter is based on reports of alleged improper fund-raising activities at the White House and phone calls by Gore from the White House to solicit funds.

Under the impeachment process, the House Judiciary Committee would have to conduct an investigation and then vote on whether to impeach Clinton and Gore.

If the committee approved one or more articles of impeachment and the full House adopted them, a trial would be held on the charges, with members of the Senate acting as the jury. A two-thirds majority of the 100 senators is needed to remove an impeached official.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said there is bipartisan agreement that Barr's request "is on the political margins and won't be taken seriously."

The last time the impeachment process was used against a president was in 1974, when the Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. He resigned before the full House could vote on them.

"There is no question in my mind that the alarming pattern of abuse of the political process by this White House is unprecedented," Barr said in defense of his letter.

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