- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2000

Disbar the presidentOne wonders exactly, precisely, what it is about the suit to disbar President Clinton with which Mr. Clinton and his lawyer, David Kendall, "fundamentally disagree." Indeed, Mr. Kendall has promised to "defend vigorously against" the complaint filed by the Arkansas Supreme Court's professional conduct committee. Could it be that the White House will use the disbarment case to prove, as Mr. Clinton charged in his press conference last week, that "a lot of these … so-called scandals were bogus?"
Maybe Mr. Clinton and Mr. Kendall "fundamentally disagree" with the petition's statement that Mr. Clinton is the 42nd president of the United States. After all, these are very contentious people, regardless of what the meaning of "president" is. Then again, maybe they dispute the petition's assertion that Judge Susan Webber Wright issued an order holding Mr. Clinton in contempt of court for the "intentionally false deposition testimony" a.k.a., the 10 different lies he told during the Paula Jones case deposition. Still, this is tough to balk at considering Mr. Clinton's contempt of court citation is a historical fact as, let's say, unimpeachable as his election to the presidency. And then there's the fact that Mr. Clinton would later put his, or, rather, his wife's money where his mouth had been, handing over more than $90,000 in fines levied by Judge Wright for what the petition aptly calls his "contumacious" conduct. The petition goes on to detail the significant fact that Mr. Clinton not only declined to fight his fines and contempt citation, but also ignored Judge Wright's quite generous offers of time and extensions during which he might have mounted an appeal. The petition concludes irrefutably enough, it would seem, even to Mr. Kendall that "Mr. Clinton neither requested a hearing, nor did he appeal the Order."
It is both Mr. Clinton's conduct not only contumacious but also uncontested and Judge Wright's contempt order which form the basis for this most muscular disbarment case. Such conduct, the petition states, "coming as it did from a member of the bar and the chief law enforcement officer of this Nation, was without justification and undermined the integrity of the judicial system." That's the big picture. More to the point of the case at hand, Mr. Clinton's conduct violated the Arkansas bar's rules against "Serious Misconduct," which is defined as "dishonesty, deceit, fraud and misrepresentation by the lawyer." For his misconduct, then, in the judgment of the Arkansas Supreme Court committee on professional ethics, Mr. Clinton should be disbarred.
Arguing the case against Mr. Clinton is Marie-Bernarde Miller, a 48-year-old former state assistant attorney general hired last month by the conduct committee. Ms. Miller is a black woman and an ex-nun statistics relevant only insofar as they must have stopped the White House spin-and-demonization-machine mid-orbit, having shattered the mold of the Kenneth Starr-style prosecutor. Concluding her formal complaint against the president with a traditionally legalistic flourish, Ms. Miller writes, "Wherefore, for the reasons stated herein, the Plaintiff prays for a judgment of this Court specifically finding that William Jefferson Clinton, Arkansas Bar ID#73019, has conducted himself in a manner that violates the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which would result in an Order from the Arkansas Supreme Court removing the name William Jefferson Clinton from the registry of licensed attorneys … "
Here lies the heart of Mr. Kendall's "fundamental disagreement." But anyone who believes that actions have consequences has to reply: Amen, sister.

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