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« Huffing Ethylene | Main | As If They Needed An Excuse »

Not Acquitted

In Best of the Web today, James Taranto discusses some of the loony leftist Democrats calls for Bush's impeachment (sorry, no permalink until tomorrow), and in the process makes a misleading statement:

the 20th century, Congress impeached 10 officials: Clinton and nine federal judges. As the chart on this page shows, all were charged with actual crimes, mostly financial corruption of one sort or another. (Of the 10, five were convicted and removed from office; four, including Clinton, were acquitted of all charges, and one resigned before his Senate trial began.)

No, James, Clinton was not truly "acquitted on all charges," he was only acquitted for the ones for which he was impeached, in a sham trial. In a criminal sense, he wasn't acquitted because he was never indicted, or went to trial. Had he done so, it's possible (thought I think unlikely) that he would have been acquitted, but I think the most likely outcome would have been hung juries, as in the case of Susan McDougal, because it would have been very difficult to get a jury that didn't have at least one member that was going to vote to acquit, the facts be damned. This is almost certainly one of the reasons that Bob Ray didn't bring any indictments (though another one was probably the desire to spare the nation the trauma of a trial). Unfortunately, the impeachment acquittal provides an excuse for his diehard defenders to declare him innocent of everything, despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

And when Clinton defenders say Ray had no evidence, that's a lie, pure and simple. He had abundant evidence, despite all of the evidence destruction, witness tampering and other obstructions of the judicial process. The only way to really get to the bottom of it would have been to do a RICO type investigation, and the Justice Department never had the stomach for it, particularly with Janet Reno at the helm.

Certainly, if the defendant had been anyone other than Bill (and Hillary) Clinton, charges would have been brought.

Which reminds me. Sunday, in addition to being the thirty-fourth anniversary of the first Apollo landing, is also the tenth anniversary of the untimely end of Vince Foster, an affair in which the full truth still remains to be revealed.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 16, 2003 11:54 AM
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Semi-OT: If you want a permalink to today's Best of the Web, click the "Previous Day" link and on that page click "Next Day". Now you have a permalink today's issue.

Posted by Annoying Old Guy at July 16, 2003 02:01 PM

C'mon, Rand. Did Taranto have to say "acquitted on all charges under the impeachment" for you to understand what he was saying? He was in no way indicating that Clinton was innocent, or that all of the other problems surrounding the Clintons were washed away.

Your intense dislike (dare I say hatred) for the Clintons is clear to all. Don't let it get in the way.

Posted by Greg Hill at July 17, 2003 10:27 AM

Your intense dislike (dare I say hatred) for the Clintons is clear to all.

I don't hate the Clintons. I just love justice.

What would folks like you do if the word "hate" was removed from your vocabulary?

Yes, I did initially misread Taranto's post, but thought it was worth leaving this one up anyway, because the point needs to be remembered that they weren't "exonerated," despite the acquittal at a sham trial (in which Republicans participated, by the way).

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 17, 2003 10:53 AM

What would folks like you do if the word "hate" was removed from your vocabulary?

Folks like me? You don't know the first damn thing about me, Rand. Don't try to categorize me.

What would folks 'like you' do if you actually exercised some honesty in expressing what you really feel, rather than try to couch it in "I don't hate the Clintons. I just love justice." What crap.

I despise the Clintons. And I don't make any bones about it. But I also don't let it color everything I read about them.

Posted by Greg Hill at July 18, 2003 01:02 PM

The "people like you" comment refers to people who simply call people "Clinton haters," rather than address the facts.

Well, sorry, but I don't despise the Clintons. They're really not worthy of the significance that such a deep emotion would convey on my part.

I'd just like to see justice done. Your calling that notion "crap" certainly doesn't make it so.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 18, 2003 03:35 PM

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