Over the next few weeks, I intend to start taking what record Fred Thompson has apart, piece by piece and revealing that the proclaimed “conservative” alternative is nothing more than just another Washington hack.
Where better to start than the most divisive political issue of the pre-9/11 period – impeachment? As some of you will remember, the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton. One accused him of perjury, the other with obstruction of justice.
50 Senators voted guilty on the later, 50 not guilty. 45 Senators voted guilty on the perjury charge, 55 not guilty. Among that 55 were 10 Republicans. They included John Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Jim Jeffords of Vermont, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John Warner of Virginia, and Fred Thompson of Tennessee.
The same people who would, if they could, primary Specter or Collins are the most resolute supporters of Fred Thompson. Yet Fred Thompson voted with some of the most liberal Republicans in the Senate to acquit Clinton of the perjury charge. And what was Thompson’s explanation at the time?
It’s basically a bunch of legal nonsense, difficult, if not impossible to parse unless you’ve been trained to understand it. The gist of Thompson’s reasoning, if you can call it that, is that perjury is not an impeachable offense. For those of you out there who think Fred Thompson is going to respect the Constitution, you might want to read both his speech and the Contitution, if you’re capable of it of course. (It’s probably not safe to assume with Thompson supporters.)
The House of Representatives has the authority to pass articles of impeachment.
But perhaps more laughable is Thompson’s conclusion with respect to one of the cited instances of perjury in the Article of Impeachment. Thompson not only said that Clinton’s statement was “literally true” but concluded: “I am not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the President lied when he testified that he made this statement.” For those of you who remember why Clinton was accused of perjury, it’s quite a remarkable statement.
In a later post, I will examine Fred Thompson’s role in the Nixon Impeachment. We’ll find out that he was much more eager to destroy a Republican President than he was a Democratic one.