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Senate Response to First Arguments

January 16, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Reaction from senators on Saturday after House prosecutors completed their opening arguments in President Clinton’s impeachment trial.

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. ``We are getting close to some votes here on motions, and that will be real test of what we’re doing.″

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: ``Today, they did not tie those explicit details to high crimes and misdemeanors. The real question is whether having an illicit affair and lying about it rises to high crimes and misdemeanors. No one touched that subject. Strike touched.″

Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J.: ``The House managers understand that based on the current record and with the arguments presented to date, they are not going to win this trial.″

Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.: ``I think they did a very good job wrapping up and summarizing. ... I would think a large majority (of senators) have not made up their minds.″

Sen. James Jeffords, R-Vt.: ``If he hadn’t lied, where would you have been, and about what? A consensual act. ... If you say lying about a noncrime can be converted into a high crime by the way you handle it, that sets a pretty low standard for me.″

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.: ``There are two ways to deal with presidential misconduct. One through the criminal justice system, the other through impeachment.″

Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla.: ``There’s a sense developing in the Senate there will probably be witnesses called. ... It’s almost reached a point of inevitability that witnesses will be called.″

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah,: ``The managers today made an overwhelming case that these facts are important and that perjury and obstruction of justice ..., if proven, are impeachable offenses.″

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