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Constitutional Lawyer Michael Ratner Analyzes Hearings

December 09, 1998

A series of witnesses testifying on behalf of president Clinton yesterday conceded that his behavior in the Monica Lewinsky affair had been reprehensible, but not impeachable. Defenders of the president included former congressperson Liz Holtzman, as well as Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman, Princeton historian Prof. Sean Wilentz, and one of the president s counsels, Greg Craig, who led the defense. The exhaustive 11-hour session was loud, angry and heavily partisan, with the president’s defenders denouncing Republicans as cowardly, and Republicans accusing the witnesses of defending the indefensible.

White House defense tactics now center on swaying the 20 to 30 moderate Republicans that could provide the swing vote on a House impeachment vote. Key to this strategy is today’s testimony of former Republican Massachusetts governor William Weld, who opposes the impeachment of the president.


  • Michael Ratner, is an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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