Some Past Perjury Comments
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (2/5/99)
I do think, along with Senator Lieberman, that something needs to be said that is a clear message that our rule of law is intact and the standards for perjury and obstruction of justice are not gray. And I think it is most important that we make that statement and that it be on the record for history. ...
Rep. Stephen Buyer (1/16/99)
The statutes against perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering rest on vouchsafing the element of truth in judicial proceedings -- civil and criminal -- and particularly in the grand jury. Allegations of this kind are grave indeed. To borrow the words of Constitutional scholar Charles J. Cooper, the crimes of perjury and obstruction of justice, like the crimes of treason and bribery, are quintessentially offenses against our system of government, visiting injury immediately on society itself, whether or not committed in connection with the exercise of official government powers. In a society governed by the rule of law, perjury and obstruction of justice simply cannot be tolerated because these crimes subvert the very judicial processes on which the rule of law so vitally depends.
Rep. Henry Hyde (12/10/98)
If we tolerate such serious crimes as perjury and obstruction of justice . . . there will be grave, damaging consequences for our system of government.
Studies show that perjury is an increasingly common occurrence in our courts. Contrary to what some have asserted, there are numerous recent examples of federal prosecutions of perjury in civil cases. There are at least 115 people in federal prison today for perjury in civil cases. If he has committed these crimes and is not impeached, a terrible message will go out across the country that will undermine the integrity of our court system. We will not only send the message that there is a double standard . . . but also a message that these crimes are not as serious as some people once thought they were. More people in the future will likely commit perjury in the courts . . .
Bob Barr (12/1/98)
It is important despite the political spinning from the White House that perjury isn't important.
Ken Starr (11/19/98)
In cases involving public officials, courts treat false statements with special condemnation. United States District Judge Royce Lambert, here in Washington, recently sentenced Ronald Blackley, the former chief of staff to the former secretary of agriculture, to 37 months' imprisonment for false statements. The district court, Judge Lambert, stated, in his words, "The court has a h--duty to send a message to other high-level government officials that there is a severe penalty to be paid for providing false information under oath . . . perjury seems to have been recognized as a high crime or misdemeanor at the time of the founding of our republic. And the House manager's report in the impeachment of Judge Walter Nixon for perjury stated, 'It is difficult to imagine an act more subversive to the legal process than lying from the witness stand.'
Former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh (1/22/98)
charges of obstructing justice and suborning perjury are
very serious. They go to the integrity of the whole justice system because, if in a criminal case we can't count upon truthful testimony or on testimony being given free of outside influence, then the whole system has a tendency to collapse.
Robert Bork (12/15/98)
As--as a matter of fact, we've always treated perjury as serious as bribery. And the 1st Congress--one of the first statutes they passed, punish bribery. I'm--I'm sorry, punish perjury. And the Supreme Court has said that perjury undermines the entire system of justice. We have just put two women in prison for per--lying about sex under oath. What are we gonna do with them? No, the--the whole judicial system is undermined once people feel free to lie in order to get out.
Robert Bork (9/11/98)
All perjury is perjury. If you lie under oath, it doesn't matter what you're lying about.
Of course, I guess that only applies if you name is Clinton.