Barr Blasts Scorched Earth Tactics: Notes Attacks and Pressure on Members of Congress

December 11, 1998

WASHINGTON, DC -- In a statement today, U.S. Representative Bob Barr (GA-7) blasted President Clinton's defenders for conducting a scorched-earth campaign to smear members of the House Judiciary Committee with false allegations.

The statement followed an attempt by trial lawyer Alan Dershowitz to call Barr a racist, based on his appearance before a group in South Carolina called the Council of Conservative Citizens.  In another case, White House operative Sidney Blumenthal has attacked Committee Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC).  The National Enquirer, which is represented by Clinton Attorney David Kendall, also reportedly published an article today alleging an affair involving Committee Member Mary Bono (R-CA).  Barr also noted a report in the New York Daily News today that White House Chief of Staff John Podesta is ordering prominent businessmen to pressure Members of Congress on the upcoming impeachment vote.

"I am adamantly opposed to discrimination in any way, shape or form.  For the President's henchmen to suggest otherwise, based on a brief appearance I made before a group in South Carolina to discuss the impeachment process, is outrageous.  The fact is, I strongly disagree with many of this group's ridiculous views, and have said so publicly.

"It is a sad day in our country when a Member of Congress cannot speak before a group without subjecting them to an exhaustive investigation to determine if one of their members has ever written an offensive or ridiculous column.  Sadly, there appears to be no despicable conduct the President's defenders will not stoop to in order to protect him.

"It is no coincidence that, days before a vote on impeachment, one of President Clinton's most ardent supporters is falsely accusing me of harboring racist views.  The President's operatives have already proven their willingness to try to destroy the reputations of others who have dared stand up to this Administration, including Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp.  Need we remember the abuses represented in Filegate?

"All Americans should be outraged that they are now directing the same machinery at Members of Congress working to fulfill their Constitutional responsibilities.  This is exactly the conduct that led to President Nixon's impeachment.  This is truly a sad, sad day for America."

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