The Lawyers of Diminishing Returns

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WASHINGTON: The trial of Bill Clinton may make for bone-dry television, but TIME congressional correspondent Jay Carney says that the parade of House managers is scoring with the audience that really counts: those 55 Senate Republicans. "Members are finding the arguments to be far more compelling than they expected," he says, adding that their expectations going in were pretty darn low. "If the vote were held today, witnesses would be deposed." But with another day of arguments yet to go the managers are running into a repetition problem.

Special Report "More might be less in this case," says Carney. We've already seen the same video clips twice, the same swatches of testimony twice -- and this after the first run-through in the House this fall. "When Steve Chabot insisted on showing the President taking his oath one more time, it was one time too many," says Carney. "Senators may start to feel the same way." And still the managers are having trouble filling their allotted time -- just three hours in, Friday's closer (the recently Flynted Bob Barr) was already telling the jury that a reasonable doubt shouldn't keep them from a conviction. Maybe on Saturday they'll just show "Nixon."