Integrity in the legal system?

Starr report
House OIC site
The White House
Anyone who's ever been a party to a court action, particularly as a civil Plaintiff, should be able to relate to the position of Paula Jones. Whether one believes Ms. Jones' yet untried allegations or not, a now undisputed fact is that the man she sued for sexually harassing her in the workplace, William Jefferson Clinton, gave "misleading" answers under oath in the context of a deposition in those federal proceedings.
In order for litigants to trust the American court system, there must be a confidence that lying under oath, or encouraging others to do so, will result in appropriate consequences.
It is important to compartmentalize the salacious character of Mr. Starr's invasive, partisan and pornographic report from the perjury with which the President of the United States stands accused. Aside from betraying his family and the public, Mr. Clinton has admitted lying under oath, both in Jones and elsewhere. This alone is a serious offense, certainly worthy of censure.
At the same time, the American public fairly well knew Mr. Clinton's character when we elected him twice. Undoing the results of an election, by process of impeachment, requires a finding that the office-holder is guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors," according to the Constitution. Whether Clinton's perjury or other alleged crimes rise to the level of impeachable offenses is a decision left by that document's framers to the House of Representatives.
The seeming tendency of a sector of the public to dismiss the seriousness of the charges which Mr. Clinton faces may relate more to gender than to sex. If the Jones lawsuit, and the President's lies, concerned a topic other than alleged sexual harassment, would Mr. Clinton's false answers be more widely seen as serious? "It's all about sex!" his defenders indignantly snort.
Perhaps this is true. But it's also about the manner in which American workers are treated in the workplace by their superiors and their ability to seek redress for alleged damages in the federal courts, and the belief that taking an oath to tell the truth is a mechanism which can be relied upon in the administration of justice.
If the President is not censured or otherwise held accountable for his apparent perjury, as required under a system of equal justice and the even-handed rule of law, the public's trust in its court system will corrode further than it already has. There must be consequences for lying under oath, whether by the President or by any ordinary litigant.

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