THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP
HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN
JOINED BY: TONY BLANKLEY, PATRICK BUCHANAN,
ELEANOR CLIFT AND CHRISTOPHER MATTHEWS
TAPED FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1998
AIRED THE WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 10-11, 1998
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Here's the host, John McLaughlin.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one -- (laughter) -- this one's on the House.
REPRESENTATIVE HENRY HYDE (R-IL) (chair, U.S. House Judiciary Committee): (From videotape.) It's our duty. It's an onerous, miserable, rotten duty, but we have to do it, or we break faith with the people who send us here. I yield back the balance of my time. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Two hundred and fifty-eight to 176, the House of Representatives voted this week to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against William J. Clinton. Eighty-one Democrats joined the Republican majority.
REP. PAUL MCHALE (D-PA): (From videotape.) His actions were not inappropriate; they were predatory, reckless, breathtakingly arrogant for a man already a defendant in a sexual-harassment suit.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The House actually voted on two measures; the majority version, which passed, and a minority version, which failed. Both versions had one key feature in common; namely, impeachment will go forward.
But the Democratic proposal in favor of an impeachment inquiry contained three conditions: One, December 31, hearings must end; two, Starr's Clinton-Lewinsky scandal evidence is the solitary basis for impeachment; three, a definition of an "impeachable offense' must constitute the first order of committee business.
This Democratic proposal failed by a vote of 198-236. Keen observers like Chris Matthews have stressed that the governing objective of both measures, however, has been achieved; namely, an impeachment review will go forward on schedule. So the combined, some would say the real, vote is 429 to five for one form of impeachment inquiry or the other.
MR. MATTHEWS (?): That's right.
MR. MATTHEWS: Question: How do the 429 votes favoring an impeachment inquiry affect William Clinton's legal and political jeopardy, Pat Buchanan?
MR. BUCHANAN: John, I think you're misreading this vote. On the final vote whether or not there is going to be any impeachment hearing at all, 176 Democrats, as Lee Hamilton put it, voted not to have hearings and to let Clinton off basically without a reproach or without a rebuke. That first vote was a political cover for them. Well, this was what happened on that final vote.
What it means now, John, is the key vote is coming up on the 3rd of November. Which of these two blocs, the 176 or the 258, is going to be strengthened by the voters, and that will tell you what happens to the impeachment resolution on the floor of the House.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What are the terms of the vote again?
MR. BUCHANAN: The --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The terms of this other vote; the Lee Hamilton vote?
MR. BUCHANAN: No, Hamilton said, the reason he voted with the Republicans is that if the Democratic side had carried on that vote, there would have been no impeachment hearings, no rebuke, no reproach -- it would have been over.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, do you want to execute this for us?
MS. CLIFT: Well, the 429 is new math and it's straight out of Newt Gingrich's talking points. In fact, these were two very different measures; Pat does have it right there, and --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do they have in common, though? What do they have in common?
MS. CLIFT: The both would have authorized an inquiry --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Precisely -- precisely my innocent and well-taken point!
MS. CLIFT: -- but the Democratic inquiry would have been narrowly -- but the Democratic proposal would have been narrowly focused on what Ken Starr has sent up there and it wouldn't have a deep sea fishing expedition, as Barney Frank had said.
MR. BLANKLEY: Look --
MS. CLIFT: I get to finish, okay? The Republicans, it seems to me, would have been real smart to adopt the Democratic proposal. This is, after all, what they say they intend to do, and then they could have claimed bipartisanship.
MR. BLANKLEY: Okay, look. Look, it wasn't -- it wasn't Newt Gingrich's talking points; that was Gephardt, said on the floor of the House that his motion, the Democratic motion, was a motion for a legitimate inquiry on impeachment.
MR. MATTHEWS (?): Right.
MR. BLANKLEY: So I don't know you can you impute Gephardt's words to Gingrich? Not this time, Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Well, I guess I'm on Gingrich's mailing list and you're on Gephardt's -- (laughter) -- because I stand by my remarks.
MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I think a smart idea -- excuse me, I --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Chris Matthews, go ahead.
MR. MATTHEWS: I think the smart idea would have been -- it was Charles Krauthammer in the Post the other day that recommended that the Republicans get really smart and endorse the Democratic measure --
MS. CLIFT: Exactly.
MR. MATTHEWS: -- because the Democratic measure did, in fact, call for an inquiry into a possible impeachment of this president. And when the historians try to write up what happened this week years from now, or start doing the first drafts, it is apparent that only five members of the House voted against any form of inquiry, and if I were Bill Clinton I'd look at my history book first draft, and I'd say, "I'm in trouble. I AM in the big three now with Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon," as people who have been forced to suffer through an impeachment inquisition.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I would point out too that Nixon's -- the vote, the comparable vote in the Nixon process was 410 versus the 429 we saw here, to go forward with impeachment.
Exit: Will articles of impeachment be delivered to the U.S. Senate on or before Chairman Hyde's optimal deadline of January 1, '99? Yes or no?
MR. BUCHANAN: John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: By the way -- hold on, Pat -- this question is the new one on "McLaughlin.com." Pat Buchanan, yes or no?
MR. BUCHANAN: There's no way the full House is going to send it to the Senate. I'm not sure that one Congress can bind the Senate of another Congress.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: And I'm not sure there will be articles of impeachment. Both parties have staked out their positions. Now we'll see what the voters do on November 3rd. If the Republicans do not reap big gains, they may come back and decide they want some sort of a deal, so that they don't have to pursue this. And if they don't get a deal and it goes to the Senate, I'm with Orrin Hatch, who says there isn't a Democrat who's going to vote for impeachment, and he's not sure all the Republicans will either. The Senate will save the House.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you groaning over there, Pat? (Laughter.)
MR. BUCHANAN: I'm not -- listen, if you don't think -- we'll talk about one senator who sent a bullet right across the front of these fellows this week, Mr. Bennett.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Do want -- there are two questions bound up in this same piece of tissue.
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: One is whether or not there will be articles of impeachment, and the other is, will they be delivered by January 1?
MR. BLANKLEY: I think, assuming that everything moves forward with as much promptness as it reasonably can, it still can't get done by January 1st.
As far as whether there will be --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So Hyde is totally unrealistic?
MR. BLANKLEY: No, he's just being slightly optimistic.
MS. CLIFT: (Chuckles.)
MR. BLANKLEY: But I think that unless the election is a bad reversal for Republicans, it's more likely than not that there will eventually be articles of impeachment --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, when do you want to set a date for that? Would you say -- well, I ask you, Chris. I mean, you --
MR. MATTHEWS: Well, first of all, I don't think they have the votes. I think you have about 180 votes for impeachment right now, based upon the nature of the districts. I think that you're going to need at least 30 Democrats to vote for impeachment. I don't see them yet. I think about 15 of the 31 that voted with the Republicans this week will vote for impeachment, and there may be another 10 or so hiding in that other group that other group that really wanted to vote for it, but were brought back with the promise that the Democrats would proceed just as much as the Republicans --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Now, of course --
MR. MATTHEWS: It is very hard to find 218 votes right now.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, but there's a missing component here that must be a function of your judgment later on. What is that?
MR. MATTHEWS: Well, the missing component is whether there's a series of indictments that are handed down in the next couple of weeks -- before the election
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, no, that's secondary. The big -- what's the big component?
MR. MATTHEWS: Well, if the Democrats pick -- lose 20 seats.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now you're talking. Now you're talking.
MR. MATTHEWS: But they're not going to lose 20 seats, they're going to lose about 10. And that's not going to be enough to generate impeachment.
MR. BUCHANAN: Chris, I don't see how Republicans can go home having voted against sending the impeachment resolution to the U.S. Senate, if that comes up for a vote.
MR. MATTHEWS: A hundred and eighty have to do it -- Pat, I'm with you -- but not 218. I don't think you've got the votes. The moderates won't do it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think I'll give you the answer. The answer is that Chairman Hyde's optimism is totally unrealistic on January the 1st. We have to start there.
Will there be articles of impeachment? There are a number of intermediate factors taking place, including the November 3rd elections, three weeks from next Tuesday.
When we come back, Bob Byrd puts the White House on notice: "Don't tamper with this jury."
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Reflections on the crisis.
DAVID SCHIPPERS (chief majority investigative counsel, House Judiciary Committee): (From videotape.) First, there is substantial and credible evidence that the president may have been part of a conspiracy, with Monica Lewinsky and others, to obstruct justice and the due administration of justice.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Conspiracy: The shocking, sweeping, and new charge of conspiracy was brought forward in the first position by David Schippers, chief majority investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, himself a Democrat, in his analysis and appraisal of the Starr evidence presented last Monday. Conspiracy was the first of 15 counts brought against the president, four more than the 11 advanced by Independent Counsel Starr. Schippers details 17 instances of witness tampering, evidence withholding and deliberate falsifying under oath, in a dramatic account that included a three-day time line of frenzied phone calls, pages and meetings between Clinton, Lewinsky and other alleged co-conspirators.
Question: How much does conspiracy add to the legal and political jeopardy of William Clinton? Chris Matthews.
MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I think it gives the prosecution in this case, David Schippers, who is a very impressive guy -- he looks like he's right out of "Columbo." I don't know where they found this guy. Big city Catholic, ethnic, perfect for this campaign, especially being a Democrat.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Democrat.
MR. MATTHEWS: Very important that he's a Democrat. Here's what they do. They've got two bits of hard evidence. They've got the testimony of Monica Lewinsky, they've got the wet dress and all that, and now all they've got to do is tie in the president to her affidavit. And he was part of supporting that in court, of saying that that was authentic testimony, that she was telling the truth. Then they do have a conspiracy to have her present false evidence. They have two pieces, not just one, not just perjury, but her affidavit.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I want to know from Tony, what's the legal impact of broadening the scope of the impeachment hearings through conspiracy?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, at a pure legal basis, it's a danger for the president because every conspirator is subject to the conduct of all the other conspirators, so that any conduct of Lewinsky, if she is designated a co-conspirator, would be imputed -- the legal consequences would be imputed to Clinton. So at a legal level, that's why prosecutors love conspiracy theories, is because you can get more evidence attaching to each individual conspirator.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does it pull in China? Does it pull in fund-raising? Does it pull in high-tech transfers?
MR. BLANKLEY: Not in the allegations he's put forward at this point.
MR. BUCHANAN: Not this, but John --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does not?
MR. BLANKLEY: Not yet.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, this has a political component, too. Look what the Republicans are doing, John. They're moving from sex to conspiracy, from Monica to Ms. Willey, from Newt to Hyde, from Starr to Schippers. They're taking away all the trump cards that the Democrats have and hammer on these TV shows. And they're taking them away from them, and it's a very effective strategy.
MS. CLIFT: Well, what he's trying to do is make this look more like Watergate. You invoke conspiracy. But to have a conspiracy, you have to have people who are in the know. Bill Clinton was lying to everybody, including his lawyer. And you can't have a conspiracy if everybody else is acting in good faith and only Clinton is not telling the truth.
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, you've got Monica --
MR. BLANKLEY: You have Bruce Lindsey --
MS. CLIFT: It's very weak.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did you read the commentary that was supplied by Ken Starr? Did you not know that it was understood practice in the White House for President Clinton to have his, quote-unquote, "mistress"? That was the feeling of the Secret Service. That was the feeling of the people in the White House.
MS. CLIFT: Well, that is --
MR. MATTHEWS: It's not illegal; it's not illegal.
MS. CLIFT: First of all, if that's true, it's not a crime. It's only a crime --
MR. BUCHANAN: You've got Betty Currie in there.
MS. CLIFT: -- when Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Tripp and Paula Jones's right-wing lawyers and Ken Starr made it a crime.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay.
MS. CLIFT: That's why people don't like this inquiry.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Clinton's "secret police."
REP. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): (From videotape.) If it is about a criminal enterprise where the operatives of the president at every turn confront witnesses against him in illegal ways, threaten people, extort them; if there is a secret police unit in this White House that goes after women or anybody that gets in the way of this president, that is Richard Nixon times 10, and I will invoke to impeach him.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: South Carolina Representative Lindsey Graham's minatory comments sprang from the complaints of several people who had been subject to retaliatory and suppressive White House threats and actions; Browning, Flowers, Jones, Willey, Ward Gracen, Purdue, Lewinsky, Tripp, Dale, Brasseaux, Libonati, Undercoffer, Brown, Burton, Chenoweth, Hyde, Starr, McHale and some 900 others whose FBI files were lifted and privacy violated by the White House.
Question: What inferences do you draw from Lindsey Graham's comments about a secret-police unit in the White House? I ask you, Tony Blankley.
And I have here in my hand, your file -- (laughter) -- that was taken out of the FBI, lifted from there, and brought over to the White House. Now, I haven't had the courage to open it up.
MR. BUCHANAN: Well, look at it, John. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you want to put me on notice here? (Laughter.)
MS. CLIFT: (Inaudible) -- revenge.
MR. BLANKLEY: Are my eyes really green? (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now, your file was one of the 900 --
MR. BLANKLEY: Yes.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- notorious files, correct?
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, how do you feel --
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, the files weren't notorious; it was the taking of them that was notorious. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah.
MR. BLANKLEY: But Lindsey Graham is a fascinating guy. He's very savvy; he's a heterodox conservative. He is not a down-the-line party man. And he is positioning himself with this issue, I think, to try to be a swing vote that will go beyond the just Lewinsky matter and make a decision. If he finds the evidence, and my guess is he is going to look hard for it, he may be able to start moving the focus of the committee away from just Lewinsky to a border issue that may be relevant.
MR. BUCHANAN: John?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that this is a lucrative issue, aside from what you have said?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, if the facts are there, it's extraordinarily lucrative.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why?
MR. BLANKLEY: Because it goes beyond sex, and it goes into the use of the government for illegal activities.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, here's --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: A very nasty business, isn't it, Tony?
MR. BUCHANAN: And here's what --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I know I can ask you because you could probably speak from experience.
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, just as a victim, of course. (Laughter.)
MR. BUCHANAN: John?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But nothing ever came of this file. There's been no bad publicity on you.
MR. BUCHANAN: But, John --
MR. BLANKLEY: Because I was innocent -- (inaudible). (Laughter.)
MR. BUCHANAN: John, Starr is going to move toward -- look it, Kathleen Willey -- if you read Robert Novak today, there is a real possibility Starr is suggesting that there might have been an effort to try to get her to keep silent pressure on her from that fellow in Maryland. This would fit right in with it.
And as Tony said on a number of shows ago, "It's not Betty Boop; this is Betty --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you predicting an indictment of Nathan Landow? Is that what you're doing here?
MR. BUCHANAN: I wouldn't want to go so far as to lie to you. (Laughter.) (Cross talk.)
MS. CLIFT: Now --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: -- Nathan Landow is no big buddy of Bill Clinton's, first of all. And Kathleen Willey's behavior, the chief witness to that was Linda Tripp. And you know, she basically brought up some things that undermine Ms. Willey's credibility.
MR. MATTHEWS: Well, I talked to Kathleen an awful lot. Let me tell you something --
MS. CLIFT: But on the secret -- wait a second! On the secret police --
MR. MATTHEWS: Kathleen was stalked by a guy who killed her cat, slashed her tires and threatened her children. This is serious business.
MR. BUCHANAN: This is very serious.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay --
MR. MATTHEWS: And if you can prove this kind of muscle was put into works by the White House, you will get an impeachment.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay --
MS. CLIFT: That's an awfully big --
MR. MATTHEWS: If you can prove it.
MS. CLIFT: That's an awfully big "if" -- all those allegations.
MR. MATTHEWS: Who sicked the dogs on her?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor. Eleanor, you know that --
MS. CLIFT: If Ken Starr can find that, it would have been in the report.
MR. MATTHEWS: Well who sicked the dogs on her?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, you know that this doesn't begin with --
MS. CLIFT: Maybe she sicked them on herself. Who knows?
MR. MATTHEWS: Why would she do that? Why would anybody do that?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, this treatment of the alleged foes and opponents of the president did not start in the White House. All you have to do is look back to Arkansas and the way in which the Clintons handled their --
MR. BUCHANAN: But you've got to trace it to him.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- their presumptive enemies. Okay --
MS. CLIFT: That was not illegal! And you're basing this on Dick Morris's testimony, which he admits is hearsay culled from right-wing press accounts.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Special treatment for the commander-in-chief.
REP. STEVE BUYER (R-IN): (From videotape) Should we ask the members of the armed forces to accept a code of conduct that is higher for troops than higher for the commander-in-chief? Should we accept a double standard, one for the president and one for others?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Indiana Congressman Steve Buyer, after putting this fundamental question, then denied the notion that consensuality makes the Clinton-Lewinsky relationship different, citing a series of earlier military sexual misconduct incidents.
REP. BUYER: (From videotape) You see, these drill sergeants, even though they had consensual relations, by virtue of the power relationship -- superior to subordinate -- the courtmartials (sic) ruled that they could not have been consensual and the drill sergeants went to prison on rape.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What's the impact on military morale when the commander-in-chief can get away with adultery, perjury and a licentious lifestyle -- (laughter) -- while the men and women in uniform cannot?
I ask you, Eleanor Clift.
MS. CLIFT: John, if this is "getting away with it" I'm amazed, because I don't think another man is going to dare to do anything approaching this if he has to be in the public docket for nine months.
Second of all, the rules in the military have to do with you don't want to fraternize with someone in the chain of command because you don't want to show favoritism if you go to war. I don't think Monica is in the chain of command.
Secondly, the strict rules of adultery go back to when troops were deployed and they left their wives back at the base, they wanted to feel like they were confidently safe. The military --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor -- okay -- (laughter)
MS. CLIFT: -- is loosening those rules already to adapt to modern life -- (laughs) --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I think that's a very good defense of the president. But I want to ask you --
MS. CLIFT: (Laughing) It's true!
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- what do you think of the double standard -- the commander-in-chief and the rest of the military.
MR. MATTHEWS: Not only is there a double standard, but it's in effect at the very height of the chain of command. You had people passed over for chairman of the joint chiefs for this kind of situation --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.
MR. MATTHEWS: -- and it's happening under this president's watch. He is presiding over this kind of injustice.
MR. BUCHANAN: No, Kelly Flinn was thrown out of the service for having an affair with a subordinate and lying about it.
MS. CLIFT: And you supported it. Yes. (Chuckles.) And that was a grievous error!
MR. BUCHANAN: I supported her leaving the service, and I support somebody else leaving the service, too. (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hey, Pat, Pat, if Clinton gets away -- if Clinton does get away with this, will this not embolden even higher-ranked predators to get away with -- take advantage of underlings?
MR. BUCHANAN: I'm -- now you've made -- you've forced me to agree with Eleanor.
MS. CLIFT: Right. (Chuckles.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (Laughs.)
MR. BUCHANAN: Look, nine months of this -- that would be the last time I would take a look at anybody! (Laughs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Don't tamper with this jury.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: (From videotape.) I think the vote should be a vote of principle. It's up to others to decide what happens to me.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: At the very moment Mr. Clinton publicly urged House Democrats this week to, quote, "vote their conscience," unquote, on whether or not to launch an impeachment inquiry, in private Hillary Clinton and members of the White House staff were pressuring Democratic lawmakers to vote no on impeachment.
Meanwhile, in the Senate, whose 100 members will serve as the jury if the House passes articles of impeachment, five Clinton loyalists -- Senators Breaux, Dodd, Harkin, Rockefeller, and Torricelli -- pushed a plan by Mr. and Mrs. Clinton to circumvent the impeachment process altogether. The Clinton Five pressured fellow Democratic senators to sign a written pledge, a refusal to convict Mr. Clinton regardless of what action the House takes. If 34 senators pledge not to convict Mr. Clinton, the scheme goes, the two-thirds requirement for removal, 67, could not be met. This 34-member fire wall would signal to the House that it is pointless to go further.
The Clinton Five's effort provoked an angry public rebuke from the Senate's most senior Democrat -- 40 years in the Senate -- West Virginia's Robert C. Byrd.
SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D-WV): (From videotape.) And I would suggest, by way of friendly advice, to the White House, don't tamper with this jury.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Is Byrd correct? Were the efforts of Messrs Breaux, Dodd, Harkin, Rockefeller, and Torricelli an attempt to fix the Senate jury in this impeachment process -- the Senate jury?
MR. BUCHANAN: Mmm-hmm. It's, to me -- look, I'll tell you what, John; I don't know that they -- these senators tried to do that. But I do know that Senator Byrd has put one right across the bow of the Clinton administration. And what he's saying with that statement is not only "don't tamper with us," but "I've got an open mind on whether I'm going to vote to convict this guy, and I'm going to decide on the basis of the evidence." This is bad news for Mr. Clinton.
MS. CLIFT: Well, he is well respected when it comes to parliamentary procedures. He may well lead the debate.
But you know, this isn't a secret either; Orrin Hatch said publicly that he couldn't find a single Democrat who would vote for impeachment --
MR. BUCHANAN: But that's now, Eleanor! I'll tell you --
MS. CLIFT: Well --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Okay, we've got to move on.
MS. CLIFT: No, but you -- lobbying the Senate is the right for everybody.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, hold up. I want to get this in. The pipeline.
(Quoting from Kenneth Starr.) "I cannot foreclose the possibility of providing the House of Representatives with additional substantial and credible information." So wrote Independent Counsel Starr in a letter dated this Wednesday to Henry Hyde. Question: what inferences do you draw from Starr's letter, I ask you, Tony?
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, combined with the fact that there was no mention in his report of the Katherine (sic) Willey material and the Nate Landow connection, if any, the implication is that at some point soon, probably shortly after the election, he will be forthcoming with information, perhaps indictments, in that category.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what he wants to supply, and this may actually be more for the Senate than the House, is a clearly acceptable, classically acceptable grounds for impeachment. So what I mentioned to you earlier, like China and fund-raising, if that comes in under what Starr is talking about in this letter, then that will have real impact and meaning, on the Senate particularly. Yes?
MR. BUCHANAN: That's also reason why -- Hyde -- they want the open-ended thing and they want the ability to take more than just the Starr report --
MS. CLIFT: Well, yeah, but --
MR. BUCHANAN: -- and Starr is saying keep it open-ended because there's more coming.
MS. CLIFT: Starr --
MR. BLANKLEY: There's going to be indictments.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We gotta get out.
MS. CLIFT: Yeah, I know. He did that in the great tradition of Lawrence Walsh, on the eve of an election trying to scare Democrats that there's more coming. It didn't work.
MR. BLANKLEY (?): Well, more is coming.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: We gotta get out. We'll be right back with predictions.
MR. BUCHANAN: John, as Europe moves into this recession, you've got Socialists in something like 13 of the 15 major governments over there. They will have to fight unemployment. This could blow the European single currency to bits in the new year.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?
MS. CLIFT: Republicans will do most of the blinking in the legislative end-game, specifically on education and environment.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Really? You think that's actually going to happen?
MS. CLIFT: I do.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think, Tony?
MR. BLANKLEY: On her issue?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: No, no. Go ahead, I want yours.
MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, my prediction is that the Republicans are likely to win five seats in the Senate if they hold D'Amato's seat in New York, and that's an even fight right now.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what's your prediction on D'Amato?
MR. BLANKLEY: Too close to call.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Mmm-hmm. (In acknowledgement.)
MR. MATTHEWS: Ah! Ah! In the coming government shut-down which will precede the election --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Oh?
MR. MATTHEWS: -- the White House interns will not be delivering the pizza. (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The Democrats will lose three of their female senators in the upcoming election: Boxer, Murray and Moseley-Braun. Next week, Netanyahu and Arafat meet; will the peace process get back on track?
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Happy Columbus Day! Bye bye!
®FC¯END REGULAR SEGMENT
BEGIN PBS SEGMENT
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue three, sexual politics.
Have you had an adulterous sexual encounter with a current member of the United States Congress or a high-ranking government official? Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine wants to know, and he put that query in an $85,000 full-page advertisement in last Sunday's Washington Post. Flynt offered up to $1 million to anyone who will come forward with documentary evidence of illicit sexual relations with a congressman, senator or other prominent office-holder.
As it turns out, Flynt is hunting for Republicans of high rank.
LARRY FLYNT (Publisher, Hustler Magazine): (From videotape.) If we could get some high-ranking members of the Republican majority, I'll be happy to write the check for a million dollars; but some freshman congressman from some remote area of the country would not warrant that.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: West Virginia Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, 80 years old, with his four decades in the Senate, six years in the House, a book author and constitutional scholar, excoriated Flynt's solicitation.
SENATOR ROBERT BYRD (D-VA): (From videotape.) Well, just to illustrate -- let me say that again -- how close we are to making a total farce of the situation, I note that Larry Flynt, publisher of a magazine called Hustler, has offered $1 million to anyone who will come forward with evidence of a sexual liaison with a member of Congress or other high-ranking official. How much lower -- how much lower -- can we go? Now, that makes a farce of the Constitution.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: What are the odds that Flynt is doing this just for the publicity? I ask you, Tony Blankley. Be careful the way you answer.
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, given his reputation, he could be doing it just for publicity. On the other hand, Clinton is sort of his kind of guy, so he could be doing it sentimentally on behalf of his guy.
MS. CLIFT: (Sighs.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he's seeking informants. That's what he's, on its face, seeking. And of course, if he gets a string of 20 stories, he's good for a couple of years of this kind of expose.
MR. BLANKLEY: Well, maybe the business and pleasure could combine for him.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why do you think the Clintons enlisted him, if they did?
MR. BLANKLEY: I can't go that far. I don't know whether --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't know that?
MR. BLANKLEY: No, I don't.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think it's out of the realm of possibility?
MR. BLANKLEY: No, I don't know.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you?
MR. MATTHEWS: I would tell you something. There's a lot of sleaze balls in this country -- I think we just saw one -- who are thrilled to think that one of their own might be in the White House. That's what's going on here. They are coming out of the woodwork; I mean, "If he's just like me, I must be as good as him."
MS. CLIFT: If Larry --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, if it's the measure of the Clintons' desperation that they enlist Larry Flynt to help them, where are they at?
MS. CLIFT: Well, it's a measure of your desperation that you have to concoct the scenario that the Clintons --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: All right. Can you put it to rest definitively?
MS. CLIFT: Mr. Flynt came out. He is a publisher of a magazine that makes a lot of money in a country where the porn business is a huge industry.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Pat? Quickly!
MS. CLIFT: And frankly, if he wants to unmask some of the hypocrisy of the country, go for it!
MR. BUCHANAN: I don't think Clinton recruited him! (Laughs.) (Laughter.)
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't? Well I don't either, as a matter of fact! (Laughter.)