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Clinton Impeachment Trial: Senate Deliberations

These are the proceedings of the Senate for its deliberations in the Impeachment Trial of President Bill Clinton.

Senate proceedings of deliberations in the Impeachment Trial of President Bill Clinton.

The Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, offered the following prayer:

Holy God, who allows beginnings and brings an end, a time for healing, a time to mend, we ask You to pour out Your palpable, unifying power on this Senate. Today, may the Senators count on You more than they count votes. This is a time neither for gloating over victory nor for grimness over losing, but rather a period for grief over all that has brought us to this day. We are one Nation under You; we repent as a Nation; we turn from conditional ethics and seek to return to the absolutes of Your Commandments.

Thank You, Lord, for the clarion convictions expressed during this trial by so many Senators of both parties that morals do matter and character does count. May this shared, common commitment unite them as they lead this Nation. Now, as their chaplain, I hold them all before Your grace and mercy; as their friend, I intercede for their spiritual strength and courage. When the final votes are taken, hold them together in the oneness America so desperately needs them to exemplify. Help them to model rectitude and reconciliation. By Your power, the winner will be neither the Republicans nor the Democrats, but the American people. In Your holy Name. Amen.

The CHIEF JUSTICE: The Sergeant at Arms will make the proclamation.

The Sergeant at Arms, James W. Ziglar, made proclamation as follows:

Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.


The CHIEF JUSTICE: If there is no objection, the Journal of proceedings of the trial are approved to date.

The majority leader is recognized.

Mr. LOTT: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.


Mr. LOTT: This morning the Senate will resume final deliberations in closed session. Our best guess, at this time, leaves approximately 37 Senators still intending to speak. It is possible that we could conclude and have the final votes this afternoon or late this evening, but I don’t think that is going to be possible at this time. When we do approach that point, I would like to do it in an orderly fashion, that Members and those who are interested will be given notice. We have some business we would have to conclude, also, after all the deliberations have been complete. I will confer throughout the day with Senator Daschle to see how it is going, and as soon as we can see clearly when we would want to actually move to the final vote, we will notify all the Senators.

We will also take a lunch break sometime today between 12 and 12:30, and we will have, of course, some breaks throughout the day to take some refreshments.

I yield the floor to allow the Chief Justice to close the session.

The CHIEF JUSTICE: The Senate will now go into closed session for final deliberations on the articles of impeachment. The Sergeant at Arms is directed to clear the galleries and close the doors of the Senate Chamber.


(At 10:11 a.m., the doors of the Chamber were closed. The proceedings of the Senate were held in closed session until 7:00 p.m., at which time the following occurred.)


Mr. LOTT: Mr. Chief Justice, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate resume open session.

The CHIEF JUSTICE: Without objection, it is so ordered.


Mr. LOTT: I ask unanimous consent that the Court of Impeachment stand in adjournment until 9:30 tomorrow morning, the Senate then immediately proceed to closed session. I ask unanimous consent the Senate now resume legislative session in order to conduct some housekeeping business.

The CHIEF JUSTICE: Without objection, it is so ordered.

Thereupon, at 7 p.m. the Senate, sitting as a Court of Impeachment, adjourned until Friday, February 12, 1999, at 9:30 a.m.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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