[CIC delivered the following letter to selected Congressmen demanding
that Bill Clinton's pension and benefits, which amount to a lifetime
$7.49 million cost to taxpayers, should be stripped].
March 1, 2001
Honorable Dan Burton
Chairman, House Committee on Government Reform
2185 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Burton:
The American people are outraged over former President Clinton’s
controversial pardons. Indeed, a recent poll revealed that 54% of
Americans “agree with the people who criticize Clinton for what he did”
and 58% believe he pardoned Marc Rich “in return for contributions”
(John Zogby, Feb. 23, 2001). Despite the fact that Bill Clinton is out
of office, a majority of Americans feel he may be guilty of bribery and
other felonies, and that he should be held accountable for his crimes.
Together with our more than 60,000 members, we at CIC represent the
sentiments of the American people. And we believe Congress must do
than just investigate and hold hearings into this latest Clinton
scandal. It must take action.
Congress should immediately strip Bill Clinton of his pension and all
federal emoluments. The American people do not deserve to have one
dime of their tax dollars going to Bill Clinton’s retirement and
post-presidential luxuries. This is the swiftest and easiest
Congress can impose, short of another impeachment.
Congress should amend the Former Presidents Act. According to
liberal-leaning Professors Paul Rothstein of Georgetown University Law
School and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School,
Congress does have the constitutional and legal authority to deny Bill
Clinton his pension and other benefits without having to re-impeach
him. A simple amendment to the Former Presidents Act (P.L. 85-745, 72
Stat. 838,(1) as amended, 3 U.S.C. § 102 note) that changes the
definition of an ex-president would suffice.
Presidents who have been held in contempt of court and been impeached
should not receive a pension or other federal benefits. An amendment
the Former Presidents Act should state this – without directly naming
Bill Clinton – so as to not constitute a Bill of Attainder.
I urge to consider this recommendation of action with the utmost and
prompt attention. President Bush, along with many members of Congress,
has repeatedly stated that, “it is time to move on.” By taking this
legislative action, this is one important way of moving beyond the
Clinton years towards more important business of the 107th Congress.
In closing, I leave you with the words of Bill O’Reilly, who writes:
The most important issue in America these days is not tax cuts, or
prescription drugs or even improving education. The most important
issue is honest government.” The American people could not agree more.
It is time to clean house and hold Bill Clinton responsible for his
actions. The American people not only want an ethical White House they
can trust, but also an ethical Congress. Now is the time for all
members of Congress to demonstrate this.
I thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to your