|Subject: Release: Impeachment Reaction
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 98 10:04:53 PST
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Libertarian Party announcements)
The impeachment of President Bill Clinton: Right action, wrong reasons, say Libertarians
WASHINGTON, DC -- It's a shame that Bill Clinton was impeached, the Libertarian Party said today... for the particular reasons he was impeached, that is.
"Bill Clinton deserved to be impeached, but Libertarians would prefer to see him impeached and removed from office for his crimes against the Constitution, not for his sordid sex-and-lies scandal," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director.
"If you look at Clinton's record in office, you'll see that his real crimes are not the ones he tried to cover up, or lied about to grand juries -- his real crimes are the ones he boasted about in press conferences and in State of the Union speeches."
Dasbach's comments came just two days after Clinton became the second president in American history to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, and 167 days after delegates at the Libertarian National Convention voted to demand the president's impeachment for his "failure to uphold and defend the United States Constitution."
Clinton's crimes against the Constitution are the real criminal legacy of the president's time in office, said Dasbach -- not the less damaging charges of perjury and obstruction of justice related to the Monica Lewinsky cover-up.
"Bill Clinton committed perjury when he put his hand on a Bible and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States," said Dasbach. "Instead of keeping his word, Clinton spent his entire term of office ignoring, abusing, and violating the guiding document of this nation -- launching wars without Congressional approval, and routinely violating the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth amendments to the Constitution.
"And Bill Clinton obstructed justice when he signed so-called anti-terrorism legislation that sharply curtailed the right of habeas corpus; authorized the massacre at Waco, Texas; and expanded the power of the federal government to seize private property without compensation under asset forfeiture laws -- to name just a few examples," he said.
"There are no greater crimes that a president can commit -- other than perhaps treason -- that are as serious and damaging to the nation as Bill Clinton's serial abuse of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights," said Dasbach. "And there is no more fitting punishment for those crimes than for the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach him, for the U.S. Senate to convict him, for freedom-loving citizens to scorn him, and for history to despise him."
In early July, the Libertarian Party had sent letters to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, formally requesting that the "United States House begin Articles of Impeachment" against Clinton.
The action followed the party's national convention in Washington, DC, where delegates overwhelmingly approved by voice vote a resolution urging Clinton's impeachment.
Then, as now, the party took pains to note that its actions were not motivated by Special Prosecutor Ken Starr's investigation of the president, which focused on whether Clinton lied about a sexual relationship with a White House intern.
"This impeachment request has nothing to do with the investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr," wrote the party's then-National Director Ron Crickenberger. "We are making this request based solely on the violations of the Constitution that have been perpetrated by President Clinton during the time [he has] been in office."
The party documented a long list of constitutional violations in the letter, noting that Clinton:
* Violated the First Amendment by supporting censorship of the Internet and by demanding a ban on commercial advertising by cigarette companies.
* Violated the Second Amendment by signing the Brady Bill and by arbitrarily banning so-called "assault weapons."
* Violated the Fourth Amendment by restricting the right of Americans to employ encryption technology to prevent government spying on electronic communications; and by supporting legislation that will mandate national ID cards with biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints.
* Violated the Fifth Amendment by expanding the asset forfeiture power of the federal government; and by signing "anti-terrorism" legislation that sharply limited the right of habeas corpus.
* Violated the Ninth and Tenth Amendments -- which reserve all power not specifically delegated to the federal government to the states and to the people -- by attempting to put America's health care industry under federal control; and by numerous other executive actions and decrees.
"These are crimes of the stature and magnitude that deserve impeachment," said Dasbach. "And those are the crimes that convinced Libertarians that Clinton should be impeached by the U.S. House, convicted by the U.S. Senate, and removed from office."
The Libertarian Party http://www.lp.org/
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