Bill Frist, speaking on the floor of the Senate behind the shield of the “speech and debate” clause, accused Richard Clarke of having committed perjury.
He then “clarified” by saying that he actually didn’t know whether Clark had committed a crime or not.
“Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath,” Frist said in a speech from the Senate floor, alleging that Clarke said in 2002 that the Bush administration actively sought to address the threat posed by al-Qaida before the attacks.
Frist later retreated from directly accusing Clarke of perjury, telling reporters that he personally had no knowledge that there were any discrepancies between Clarke’s two appearances. But he said, “Until you have him under oath both times, you don’t know.”
You don’t know? You don’t know? And you got up on the floor of the Senate and accused someone of a felony?
The Constitution assigns primary responsibility for dealing with misconduct by members of Congress to the two Houses. That’s the point of the “speech and debate” clause: they can’t be held responsible for what they say on the floor “in any other place.”
Resolution of censure, anyone? It seems to me it’s time for a little hardball.
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