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Speech Gives Presidency A Boost, Expert Says – QNS.com

Speech Gives Presidency A Boost, Expert Says

President Clinton’s testy four-minute "heart-to-heart" speech to the nation last Monday (Aug. 17) may have saved his tottering presidency, according to a St. John’s University law professor.Michael Simons, a former assistant U.S. Attorney from 1995-1998, said "his heavily lawyered speech may have rescued Clinton from legal jeopardy."
He said Clinton’s bristling comment that he did not ask "anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action provides a defense to any perjury charges."
Simons, who is familiar with the workings of federal grand juries, said the speech puts Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr in a difficult position.
"Starr needs the ‘gory’ details of the President’s relationship in order to build his case that the President lied at the Paula Jones deposition," Simons said. "But it will look as if Starr is overreaching himself if he subpoenas the President."
Simons still feels the President is in a "legal pickle, but the country is tiring of this ordeal and the Congress seems to have little interest in bringing impeachment charges."
The St. John’s law professor said the speech was different from what he had envisioned. He called it a "limited confession" and said the President should have been "more apologetic."
Simons concluded, however, "the speech probably saved his presidency.
The St. John’s University law professor will be seen discussing the President’s constitutional problems on The Queens Courier’s "Queens On The Air" series on Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. on Channel 34 (Queens Public Television).
A Queens Courier survey found overwhelming support for the President.
Jimmy Hughes, a 35-year-old tow truck operator, said "I don’t think the President’s sex life is anyone’s business. I watched the speech and think it was very good and I think it saved him from impeachment."
Fred Gordon, a Bayside resident, said "I’m sick and tired of this. It’s a joke."
Scott Walker, 45, blamed the President’s problems on "the right wing. I’m a diehard Democrat. What he did was wrong, but he shouldn’t be impeached."
Julia Carter, a Bayside resident, said "I really don’t care one way or another. It’s his private business. Leave the man alone. Kenneth Starr is going public with his personal vendettas."
Frank Lewis said "There’s no question that what he did was wrong, but we’re all human. He got caught; others just get away with it. It’s good that he admitted it. It should help him."
William Segal, owner of Uncle Jack’s Restaurant, called the President’s speech a "big cop out. It’s sickening. The American public is stupid. Starr didn’t cost us the money. Clinton did by lying."
Andy Senese, general manager of Uncle Jack’s, said "Obviously he’s a liar but he’s a typical politician. He’s done a good job as President. What he does in his private life is his own business."
John Iulo, a bartender, said "Years ago there was a line between public and private life. I think he should have admitted it earlier."
Lonnie Johnson, Bayside, said "I watched his speech. He’s still lying. I think he should leave."
John Lewis, a florist, said "This matter should be between him and his wife and daughter."
Teddy Kaltsas, florist, said "I don’t care about his personal life."
Sylvia Woo of Bayside said "I think they are making such a big deal. Someone is trying to pull him down. If a man makes a mistake it’s natural for him to cover it up."
 

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