Lindsey Graham Clinton Impeachment Speech Transcript
Speech by Senator Lindsey Graham at the Bill Clinton impeachment trial in 1999. Read the full transcript of the speech here.
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Lindsey Graham: (00:00)
What’s a high crime? How about if an important person hurt somebody of low means? It’s not very scholarly, but I think it’s a truth. I think that’s what they meant by high crimes. Doesn’t even have to be a crime. It’s just when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime.
Lindsey Graham: (00:31)
When you decide that a course of conduct meets the high crime standard under our Constitution for the president, what are we doing to the presidency? I think we’re putting a burden on the presidency and you should consider it that way, that if you determine that the conduct and the crimes in this case are high crimes, you need to do so knowing that you’re placing a burden on every future occupant of that office and the office itself. So do so cautiously, because one branch of the government should never put a burden on another branch of the government that’s not fair and they can’t bear.
Lindsey Graham: (01:18)
Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, if you decided from the conduct of this president that henceforth any office holder who occupies the office of president will have this burden to bear, let me tell you what it is: Don’t lie under oath to a federal grand jury when many in the country are begging you not to. Can the occupant bear that burden?
Lindsey Graham: (01:46)
I voted against Article Two in the House, which was the deposition, perjury allegations against the president standing alone. I think many of us may have thought that he didn’t know about the tapes, that he and Miss Lewinsky thought they had a story that was going to work and he got caught off guard and he started telling a bunch of lies that maybe I would have lied about. Maybe you would have lied about, because it is personal to have to talk about intimate things, and our human nature is to protect ourselves, our family, that’s just human nature. But ladies and gentlemen, what he stands charged of in the Senate happened eight months later, after some members of this body said, “Mr. President square yourself with the law, Mr. President, if you go into that federal grand jury and you lie again, you’re risking your presidency.”