NewsHour Impeachment Coverage: Analysis and Commentary – The President’s Defense

JIM LEHRER: President Clinton’s legal defense before the House Judiciary Committee. Stuart Taylor of the National Journal and Newsweek magazines and Tom Oliphant of the Boston Globe are back to offer their commentary. The NewsHour’s chief Washington correspondent, Margaret Warner, is here to assist me in keeping the story line going, among other things. And speaking of the story line, tell us what it is this afternoon.

MARGARET WARNER: Well, this is the big moment that everyone’s been waiting for, I think the President’s detractors, as well as his supporters. This is when Charles Ruff, the White House counsel, lays out the president’s defense both factually and on the law. And he –

JIM LEHRER: And there he is, sitting. He’s already at the witness table, waiting for the committee members, and the man directly behind him is David Kendall, who is the president’s personal lawyer, now being obstructed by a – there you go – there, you can see him – just to Mr. Ruff’s left. That is David Kendall, the president’s personal lawyer, who is not scheduled to participate in this, this afternoon, correct?

MARGARET WARNER: That’s correct. He did the questioning of Kenneth Starr when Kenneth Starr appeared before the committee. But he has been kept out of a public role in these hearings this week.

JIM LEHRER: And Mr. Ruff will – will obviously be speaking – what he says will be based on the 182-page paper that the White House has offered, correct?