Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Republicans on Perjury

Earlier, Phoenix Woman quoted Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's positions on perjury: positions, plural, that is, against it if the accused perjurer is a Democrat and downplaying it if the accused perjurer is a Republican. The DSCC compiled an impressive collection of quotations from the finest examples of Republican politicians (yes, I know that's not saying much). It won't take long for us to find out whether they live up to the find upstanding Republican value of rank hypocrisy.

Sen. Frist: "There is no serious question that perjury and obstruction of justice are high crimes and misdemeanors...Indeed, our own Senate precedent establishes that perjury is a high crime and misdemeanor...The crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice are public crimes threatening the administration of justice." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99] Sen. Kyl: "...there can be no doubt that perjurious, false, and misleading statements made under oath in federal court proceedings are indeed impeachable offenses...John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, said 'there is no crime more extensively pernicious to society' than perjury, precisely because it 'discolors and poisons the streams of justice.'" [Congressional Record, 2/12/99] Sen. DeWine: "Obstruction of justice and perjury strike at the very heart of our system of justice...Perjury is also a very serious crime...The judiciary is designed to be a mechanism for finding the truth-so that justice can be done. Perjury perverts the judiciary, turning it into a mechanism that accepts lies-so that injustice may prevail." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99] Sen. Talent: "Nobody else in a position of trust, not a CEO, not a labor union leader, not a principal of a school could do half of what the president has done and stay in office. I mean, who would have said a year ago that a president could perjure himself and obstruct justice and tamper with witnesses... and stay in office." [CNBC, "Hardball," 12/19/98] Sen. McConnell: "I am completely and utterly perplexed by those who argue that perjury and obstruction of justice are not high crimes and misdemeanors...Perjury and obstruction hammer away at the twin pillars of our legal system: truth and justice." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99] Sen. Voinovich: "As constitutional scholar Charles Cooper said, 'The crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice, like the crimes of treason and bribery, are quintessentially offenses against our system of government, visiting injury immediately on society itself.'" [Congressional Record, 2/12/99] Sen. Hutchison: "The reason that I voted to remove him from office is because I think the overriding issue here is that truth will remain the standard for perjury and obstruction of justice in our criminal justice system and it must not be gray. It must not be muddy." [AP, 2/12/99] Sen. Craig: "There is no question in my mind that perjury and obstruction of justice are the kind of public crimes that the Founders had in mind, and the House managers have demonstrated these crimes were committed by the president. As for the excuses being desperately sought by some to allow President Clinton to escape accountability, it seems to me that creating such loopholes would require tearing holes in the Constitution-something that cannot be justified to protect this president, or any president." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99] Sen. Brownback: "Perjury and obstruction of justice are crimes against the state. Perjury goes directly against the truth-finding function of the judicial branch of government." [Congressional Record, 2/12/99]

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