FLIPPIN — United States Representative John Paul Hammerschmidt of Harrison is wrong in opposing President Nixon’s resignation and is wrong in questioning whether the president has committed an impeachable offense, Bill Clinton of Fayetteville, Hammerschmidt’s opponent, said here Wednesday.
In the wake of the president’s admission Monday that he had lied about his role in the Watergate coverup, Hammerschmidt said, “We need to do our duty as quickly as possible. We should have done it a year ago.”
“I don’t see how in the world he can say that when a year ago he was saying we should forget about it and he voted against giving funds for the House Judiciary Committee staff,” Clinton said.
Hammerschmidt flatly opposed resignation.
“I think it’s plain that the president should resign and spare the country the agony of this impeachment and removal proceeding,” Clinton said. “I think the country could be spared a lot of agony and the government could worry about inflation and a lot of other problems if he’d go on and resign.”
Hammerschmidt said after the president’s revelations Monday he was not sure whether Mr. Nixon’s actions legally were impeachable.
Clinton, a law professor at the University of Arkansas, said there was “no question that an admission of making false statements to government officials and interfering with the FBI and the CIA is an impeachable offense.”
Hammerschmidt’s statement “puts him out of step with all the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who voted against impeachment” before the Monday revelations and now are “calling for resignation because of clear and direct evidence of an impeachable offense,” Clinton said.
Clinton said he was campaigning hard across the Third Congressional District and was “pleased with the response I’m getting.”
Although it’s “hard to raise money in July and August for a November campaign, especially after the very expensive primaries,” Clinton said, “so far I’ve made all my expenses and our planning is going along well.”
Reprinted from the Arkansas Gazette, Aug. 8, 1974.