What happened to Lindsey Graham, who once thought perjury disqualified public servants?

As the debates got started in the House Judiciary Committee, Graham maintained that Clinton’s behavior was not simply a personal matter. “If this is just about sex with an intern,” he said on November 8, 1998, “and being caught off guard and making false statements but not really having a criminal heart about it, then that’s one thing. But if it’s really about gran- jury perjury, then we’ve got to say, given the context of the situation, is the political death penalty warranted?”

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The political death penalty, he said, is impeachment.

To make their case for impeachment to the House, Graham and other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee held a nine-hour meeting on December 1, 1998, about the consequences of perjury. They hosted two women who were punished for lying under oath about sex. One, Pam Parsons, a former women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina, had been imprisoned for four months after a perjury conviction related to a civil libel lawsuit. A second witness, Barbara Battalino, was a psychiatrist for Veterans Affairs who lied in a civil deposition about a sexual relationship with a military veteran who came to her for help. She was still serving under house arrest when she appeared in the House.

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