One Year After His Impeachment Trial, Clinton Still Has Legal Troubles
(CNSNews.com) - The two formal ethics complaints filed against President Bill Clinton on Thursday by the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct come a year to the day after his Senate impeachment trial ended. The Senate then voted to acquit him and allow him to remain as President.
The ethics complaints filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) stem from Clinton's testimony in the Paula Jones case. The penalties against him could include disbarment. The President has 30 days to respond to the charges.
US District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright, the judge in the Paula Jones case, found Clinton in civil contempt for lying under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. That contempt citation alone was enough to warrant an ethics investigation.
David Schippers, former lead investigative counsel for the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee noted the timing of the complaints against Clinton.
"It's kind of funny that the timing of it is on the same day that the Senate of the United States felt that he (Clinton) was qualified to remain President of the United States. And here the state bar of the State of Arkansas is considering that he's not qualified to even practice law in that state. That's really ironic, isn't it?," Schippers told CNSNews.com.
Schippers also told CNSNews.com, "I'm a lawyer up in Illinois, and I know that if a lawyer in Illinois committed perjury, lied to a grand jury, lied in a deposition, he'd be disbarred. Didn't the judge actually find that he lied under those circumstances? He'd be disbarred up here. I'm sure the bar association and the Supreme Court of the state of Arkansas will do their duty, without fear or favor, and I'm sure that if that's the case, he (Clinton) will probably be disbarred."
Schippers outlined the possibilities for Clinton in this particular case.
"There are two possibilities. He has absolutely great advice from the lawyers that's he got, and I'm not trying to second guess them, but I've been faced with a situation like that up here in Chicago where attorneys have been involved in disbarment procedures, and one way to avoid any problems is to just voluntarily withdraw his name from the roll of attorneys without admitting any guilt. That's one way you can do it," Schippers told CNSNews.com.
"The other way", according to Schippers, " is to file an answer. I, as a lawyer, and knowing what I know about the facts in the case, I don't know how the h*** he could possibly file any kind of an answer that wouldn't get him in more trouble than he's in now. What's he going to say? I didn't lie? The Judge is wrong or the Judge made the statement (and) he didn't contest it. I would not be surprised if he voluntarily withdraws in his state. He has no intention of practicing law in Little Rock, anyhow."
One impeachment manager, Representative Bill McCollum (R-FL), had no comment on the latest case against Clinton for CNSNews.com. A spokesman for House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL) told CNSNews.com that Hyde had no comment, either.