THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (New York, New York) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release September 21, 1998
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
The process leading up to today's events has been deeply flawed. The rank partisanship that led to the wholesale release of these materials, most of which are irrelevant, is regrettable. The unprecedented violation of grand jury secrecy that has resulted from the release of these materials is similarly unfortunate. And the gratuitous decision to make certain that the most salacious details were included -- despite a bipartisan staff agreement to keep them out -- raises questions as to the intent of the Republican majority. The question of impeaching a President is one of the most solemn and serious undertakings that any Congress can take upon itself. Sadly, the Republican majority in Congress is off to a bad start.
What is clear from the President's testimony before the Grand Jury is that the President, during his testimony, acknowledged an inappropriate extramarital relationship. The President declined to discuss the intimate details of that relationship despite repeated efforts by Mr. Starr and his prosecutors to browbeat and badger him into doing so.
Now that the President's testimony has been made available for all to see and hear, the real question for the American people and for the Congress of the United States is whether the President's conduct -- however it may be judged -- should result in the President's impeachment. That the President's conduct does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense should now be clear to everyone.