Jury tampering

December 17, 1998|By Arnold Rosenfeld

AS HOUSE members pondered impeachment, they were being subjected to heavy pressure by their congressional leadership and the White House.

Pressure from the GOP leadership is incredibly focused on GOP moderates.

Republican Majority Whip Tom DeLay has reportedly threatened to ruin any Republican who breaks ranks, voting against impeachment. In civilian life, this would be known as jury tampering, and subject to strict handling by the courts.

But the customs of the House, like F. Scott Fitzgerald's rich folk, are different. That's what confused Mike Espy, the former Agriculture secretary, who thought it was OK to receive carelessly as a Cabinet member what he once took graciously as a House member.

Judiciary Republicans were at pains to denounce perjury as an insult to the rule of law. How much better or worse is trifling with the jury?

Arnold Rosenfeld is editor-in-chief of Cox Newspapers.

Pub Date: 12/17/98

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