WASHINGTON: Don't exhale yet, America -- the impeachment of Bill Clinton may be more likely than anyone thinks. TIME congressional correspondent James Carney, after gauging the mood among House GOPers, reports that recent action on the censure front
is misleading -- it's the GOP's impeachment hawks that are gaining ground. "Republicans once leaning toward censure are being persuaded by hard-liners to back impeachment," he says. "So far, the odds are still in Clinton's favor, but the full vote is looking closer than ever."
That vote, by the way, is back on schedule for the week after next. After hearing an abstract of FBI and Justice Department memos on the subject, Henry Hyde was forced to admit Thursday that Democrats were right all along: the campaign-finance-abuse herring was indeed red. "The Freeh and LaBella memos are ugly, but they just don't sufficiently implicate the President," says Carney. At this rate, the House's work will be done by Christmas. But it might be leaving a very hot potato under the Senate's tree.