The Implications

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It wasn't long after people had finished Wednesday's Washington Post that their mouths began forming around the "I" word, last heard when Richard Nixon lived at 1600. Did the President suborn perjury? And if so, would the House impeach?

Assume the affair took place. The next consideration, says TIME's legal expert Adam Cohen, is the difference between suborning perjury and simple discretion. "In the midst of an affair, you're certainly allowed to say to someone, 'could you be discreet about this.'" But if Clinton made such a request later, referring to the Paula Jones deposition, that could be obstruction of justice. And if he got Vernon Jordan involved, that's worse.

Then there's the matter of Clinton's own denials. As TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan says, "They can't indict you for lying to Jim Lehrer." But if the President made similar denials under oath on Saturday, and he's proven to have lied, that's perjury.

House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., whose committee would initiate any impeachment proceedings, doesn't sound squeamish. "Telling people to lie and obstructing justice are serious charges," Hyde said. "I would not say he (Clinton) is immune from consideration of impeachment should these allegations prove to be correct." Which is Ken Starr's job now.