House Team May Get Its Witnesses

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: In case you were wondering, Bill Clinton isn't going to show up at his own trial, even if the senators ask him. But TIME congressional correspondent Jay Carney thinks the House managers got what they really wanted -- witnesses -- by paring down to three the list of names they brought the Senate Tuesday. "It makes it easier for Trent Lott to sell witnesses to his wavering moderates, to convince them to do right by the party and go along," says Carney. "That's why the managers settled for written depositions instead of live testimony." Then they made their case to the jurors, selling Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan and Sidney Blumenthal as obstruction-of-justice types with lots to clarify. They also didn't fail to remind senators that they had come way down from the original list of 12.

Special Report The White House's David Kendall dutifully cross-bred his legal rebuttals with the usual pointed observations about the managers' refusal to call witnesses in the House -- plus the usual "forever and a day" threat about how witnesses will drag this trial out. But if weariness has the hearts and minds of that tiny Republican swing bloc, Carney thinks Trent Lott may now have their loyalty -- and their votes -- when the Senate doors close for deliberation again on Tuesday evening. The Big Votes on dismissal and witnesses are now set for Wednesday at 1 p.m. (ET). "It's still very close," he says, "but right now it looks as if we'll have depositions." Just not one from the President.