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Takes You Back, Doesn’t It?



James Rogan was, and is, an impressive public servant; he is most famous for serving as one of the House managers of the impeachment trial of President Clinton. I just received a copy of his new book about that experience, Catching Our Flag: Behind the Scenes of a Presidential Impeachment. The following passage — the ending of a chapter — leaped out at me:

On September 8, I met Wall Street Journal columnist Paul Gigot for lunch near the Capitol. During our chat, he posed a hypothetical question to me: “What if I told you Judge Starr would deliver his referral to Congress tomorrow, and I also told you its entire focus was Monica Lewinsky — how would you feel?”

I laughed off the suggestion and told Paul I hoped he didn’t pay for a tip that stupid. I said that after over four years of investigating everything from Whitewater to laundered Chinese campaign contributions to Webster Hubbell hush money, Judge Starr must have a mountain of evidence against the President. I predicted confidently that of the Independent Counsel sent Congress a referral, the late-developing and unexpected Lewinsky story would at best merit a footnote in the saga.

As I lectured Paul about not accepting foolish gossip under the guise of news tips, he just kept nodding his head — and smiling.

Now, I’m far from certain that I want to read a book that will make me relive the Clinton-impeachment drama. But if I did, I would want to read one by James Rogan — his voice is that of a wry, honest man. (Also, he’s the author of a previous book that happens to be one of the most captivating political memoirs I’ve ever read.)


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