When even Senator Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) is indicating on TV’s Capital Gang that Communist Chinese attempts to influence the policies of the Clinton Administration may have risen to the level of Communist Russia’s infiltration of our government in the 1940s, it’s time for Congress to act. This is much more important than whether an independent counsel investigates White House fundraising calls.
While the office of independent counsel is a recent legislative creation, the House of Representatives’ authority to investigate and impeach a President for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” comes directly from the Constitution. Why is the Republican Congress dragging its feet about Rep. Bob Barr’s (R-GA) resolution calling for an “Inquiry of Impeachment “?
The answer Congressmen are giving to their constituents is Bill Clinton’s continued high standing in public opinion polls and the lack of hard evidence of crimes. But impeachment proceedings started against Richard Nixon in the wake of his winning one of history’s largest electoral landslides.
Whereas the appointment of an independent counsel triggers a criminal proceeding, impeachment is not a criminal process at all. Impeachment is a purely political procedure for which the most severe punishment would be removal from office and no way can result in sending the President to prison.
Former President Gerald Ford gave the best explanation of what is an impeachable offense. He said, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
Nixon wasn’t removed from office over the minor crime of a break-in at the Watergate Hotel. What brought him down was the charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and coverup.
Those are the same charges that should be examined in an impeachment inquiry of Bill Clinton. The facts that 30 people have taken the Fifth Amendment and five have fled the country indicate that there are a lot of co-conspirators involved in the Asian fund-raising scandal.
Nobody denies that Clinton and Gore made fund-raising calls from their White House offices, a violation of the Pendleton Act. Clinton’s supporters say “ho hum” about this offense, arguing that it’s just a “technical” violation, the law is “too old,” and “anyway, everybody does it.”
However, the question isn’t just whether Bill Clinton and Al Gore made fund-raising calls from the White House. The question is whether they were actors in a scheme to evade the laws about foreign money, spending limits, the use of soft money for political purposes, and the offering or giving of a quid pro quo for Asian campaign donations.
We need an impeachment inquiry to find out if Administration decisions, such as the sale of superconductor computer technology to China, the attempt to give China computer disks containing copies of all American patents, the locking up of huge coal reserves in Utah (which vastly increased the value of Indonesian coal), and the leasing to China of the naval base in Long Beach, were made by the Clinton Administration in return for large campaign donations. And what about the selling of White House coffees and overnights?
Clinton’s friends, Johnny Huang, Charlie Trie, and Johnny Chung visited the White House more than 200 times prior to the 1996 election. They raised millions of dollars of illegal money, much of which had to be returned by the Democratic National Committee.
Videotapes show that Clinton encouraged foreigners to solicit support from others in their home country, which is clearly against the law. Clinton had a personal hands-on involvement with the television “issue” ads that began running in 1995, and videotapes show him boasting that these ads helped his campaign numbers.
Obstruction of justice was one of Nixon’s major offenses. Bill Clinton has engaged in a similar pattern, such as refusing to honor subpoenas, deliberate delays in responding to subpoenas and congressional requests for documents, and mysteriously finding incriminating documents long after subpoenaed with flimsy excuses for the delays.
We need a thorough investigation into Clinton’s good buddy, Johnny Huang, who functioned simultaneously as a top bureaucrat at the Department of Commerce with responsibility over U.S. trade policy and as a top fund-raiser for the Democratic National Committee. Did he also wear a third hat as an espionage agent for Communist China?
Communist China pumped millions of dollars into the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign. The Chinese government is not a charitable foundation seeking good government; it is a corrupt totalitarian regime that engages in theft, bribery, and industrial espionage as a way of doing business.
Chinese actions, Clinton’s policies, and the massive money flow to Clinton’s campaign coffers reveal a pattern that cannot be ignored. To quote Bill Clinton’s own words about drawing conclusions from circumstantial evidence, “One of the things I was taught as a child is that, if you see a turtle on a fence post, the chances are it didn’t get there by accident.”
That’s right, Mr. Clinton. Let’s find out how the turtle got on the fence post by proceeding with Bob Barr’s Inquiry of Impeachment.