By Rachel Alexander
Arizona Daily Wildcat
January 29, 1998

Bill Clinton: criminal or victim? It's about perjury


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Rachel Alexander

Why is the media paying so much attention to President Clinton and his rumored affair with a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky? Could it be that we Americans, unlike most Europeans, have a less liberal view of "free" sex, or are there other issues involved? At first glance, it would appear that our media is focusing on the President because of the sordid details. And sure, no media outlet likes to be "scooped" when it comes to breaking the latest scandal. But if the American media is focusing on this only for titillating reasons, then why wasn't Gennifer Flowers' story in 1992 as well covered as this? Or Paula Jones when she first initiated her suit?

The point is that that there is more to this than just Bill Clinton's sexual infidelities. There is lots of evidence that Clinton lied and perjured himself in court. Clinton swore in an affidavit in the Paula Jones case that he had no affair with Lewinsky. But, unlike Clinton's past alleged affairs, there appears to be strong evidence, and not just from "right-wingers," corroborating former intern Monica Lewinsky's accounts of a sexual affair with Clinton. Lewinsky's close friend at the time, Linda Tripp, secretly taped 20 hours of Lewinsky telling her about her sexual affairs with Clinton. No matter how psycho a woman is, does it seem plausible that she could lie about an affair for 20 hours in conversations with a friend? One interesting twist to this will be that these 20 hours of recorded conversations with Lewinsky will probably be excluded from any trial, because they were recorded without the consent of Lewinsky.

The grand jury in the independent counsel's investigation must give over any evidence incriminating Clinton to Congress, since Congress is responsible for trying the President in an impeachment situation. The media is well aware that this may likely happen, and that is why they are providing the public with so much information. On the surface, it might seem more appropriate to ignore Clinton's sexual wrongdoings, but the public has a right to know if he has committed perjury, which is what this trial is going to decide.

Ironically, conservatives should not be gleeful, because if Clinton is impeached, or forced to resign, Al Gore will serve out the last two years. With Clinton's legacy no longer associated with him, Al Gore will be able to distance himself from the failed President. Gore will be able to improve his image as a competent Democratic Presidential candidate by the year 2000.

Rachel Alexander is a second-year law student.


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