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Rep. Bartlett says Clinton should welcome probe

November 07, 1997

Rep. Bartlett says Clinton should welcome probe

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, one of a handful of congressmen who have filed a resolution seeking an impeachment probe, said Thursday that President Clinton should welcome the action.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., asks the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there are grounds to impeach the president. By Wednesday, 19 Republicans had signed the petition, including Bartlett, who represents Maryland's 6th District.

"If I were the president, I would want this done Let's put this to bed," Bartlett said.

Clinton has been dogged by various allegations of wrongdoing almost since his first election in 1992. Most recently, some Republicans have accused him and other Democrats of illegal and improper fund-raising practices during the 1996 campaign.

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Bartlett said the Judiciary Committee should examine "anything and everything" to determine once and for all whether there are grounds for impeachment.

Bartlett said he has received letters and phone calls from constituents urging some kind of action. Bartlett, however, declined to say whether he thinks Clinton should be impeached.

"I'm not a lawyer. I should not be in a judgmental position on this," he said.

With the newly granted line-item veto, which allows the president to delete individual spending items from large appropriations bills, Clinton has unprecedented power to punish his political enemies.

But Bartlett said he is not concerned Clinton might retaliate against him by striking projects in Western Maryland.

"I think the president is a good enough politician. He is now campaigning for history," he said. "The last thing he needs is something that would reveal him as being small."

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