Wednesday, January 27, 1999

Hawaii senators
both vote against
calling witnesses

Despite their objections, depositions
could begin as early as tomorrow of Lewinsky,
Blumenthal and Jordan

By Pete Pichaske


WASHINGTON -- Both Hawaii senators today voted against the Republican tide on impeachment today: in favor of dismissing the charges against President Clinton and against calling witnesses.

"I did not cast my votes to protect the White House or defend President William Jefferson Clinton," said U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. "I cast my votes the way I did because I was fearful that the Constitution of the United States was under attack and that partisanship might be exacerbated."

Inouye also said he would vote to acquit Clinton.

"I am convinced that President Clinton lied about his intimate sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky," said Inouye. "However abhorrent or unacceptable such conduct may have been, the underlying actions the president attempted to conceal are not felonious criminal acts."

"It is time to end this trial," said U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, in a strongly worded statement explaining his votes.

Akaka said the arguments against Clinton "simply do not sustain the burden of proof necessary to convict and remove the president."

While the president's actions were "disappointing," said Akaka, the two impeachment articles "fail to meet the level of treason, high crimes and misdemeanors."

As for calling the witnesses requested by House prosecutors, Akaka said all three have testified numerous times already. Monica Lewinsky, he noted, has testified 22 times.

"Do the House Republican managers realistically suppose that these witnesses might change their numerous testimonies and provide information that was omitted in previous testimony?" asked Akaka.

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