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Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

"There is no serious question that perjury and obstruction of justice are high crimes and misdemeanors. Blackstone's famous Commentaries--widely read by the framers of the Constitution--put perjury on equal footing with bribery as a crime against the state. Perjury was understood to be as serious as bribery, which is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as a ground for impeachment. Today, we punish perjury and obstruction of justice at least as severely as we punish bribery. Apparently, the seriousness of perjury and obstruction of justice has not diminished over time."
-- Senator Bill Frist (R) (February 12, 1999)

"Are perjury and obstruction of justice expressly listed as high crimes and misdemeanors? No. Why? Because they are self-evidently so...It is self-evident to me."
-- Senator John McCain (R) (February 12, 1999)

"Lying under oath is an abuse of freedom. Obstruction of justice is a degradation of law. There are people in prison for such offenses."
-- Rep. Henry Hyde (R) (January 16, 1999)

"Lying under oath, and encouraging lies under oath, does go to the very heart and soul of what courts do. And if we say we don't care, let's forget about courts and we'll just have other ways of figuring out how to handle disputes...There is no excuse for perjury -- never, never, never," he said. "There is truth, and the truth demands respect."
-- Ken Starr (11/24/98)

Posted by Coffeerooms October 28, 2005 Permalink