WASHINGTON (AP) _ Bracing for a potentially damaging Starr report, President Clinton today sought support from House Democrats in an emotional meeting and congressional leaders from both parties promised to explore impeachment proceedings with no ``partisan tirades'' or rancor.

With prosecutor Kenneth Starr expected to deliver details of his Monica Lewinsky inquiry to Congress this week or next, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and their lieutenants met to discuss how to handle the explosive report.

``Next to declaring war, this may be the most important thing we do so we have to do it right,'' Gephardt, D-Mo., said in a joint news conference. ``We have to do it objectively, fairly and in a nonpartisan way. I think we have a good start today.''

Gingrich, R-Ga., said the process is ``a constitutional crisis that requires judgment that is based in fact,'' not politics.