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Friday, December 18, 1998 Published at 18:26 GMT

Impeachment debate: Key quotes

Highlights from some of the speakers in the historic impeachment debate in the US House of Representatives:

[ image: Henry Hyde makes his point]
Henry Hyde makes his point
"The question before this House is rather simple. It's not a question of sex. Sexual misconduct and adultery are private acts and are none of Congress' business. It's not even a question of lying about sex. The matter before the House is a question of lying under oath. This is a public act, not a private act. This is called perjury."
Henry Hyde, Judiciary Committee Chairman

"It's your country. The president is our flag-bearer. He stands out in front of our people, and the flag is falling. Catch the falling flag as we keep our appointment with history."
H. Hyde

"I warn my colleagues that you will reap the bitter harvest of the unfair partisan seeds that you sow today. Monica Lewinsky is not Watergate. Let he who has no sin in this chamber cast the first vote."
Bob Menendez, Democrat

"The politics of smear, and slash and burn must end"
Dick Gephardt, House minority leader

"The majority may well have blood on its hands by starting this proceeding today. We certainly could have waited until Monday to pursue this proceeding, giving our military time to pursue its mission."
Martin Frost, Democrat

"No man or woman ... can be above the rule of law in a democracy"
H. Hyde

"All I'm asking for is that we get to vote our conscience"
D. Gephardt

"The Republican leadership in this House is so angry, so obsessed, so self-righteous that they were refusing us a true vote of conscience. This is wrong, it is unfair, it is unjust. At a time when events in the world and the challenges at home demand that we stand united, censure is the one solution that can bring us together. To my colleagues across the aisle I say let go of your obsession. Listen to the American people. Stop hijacking the constitution now while our troops are in battle."
David Bonior, Democrat Chief Whip

"We felt that the quicker we could go ahead the more we could show the world our democracy works"
H. Hyde

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In this section

Lewinsky testimony - video extracts

Monica Lewinsky's evidence

Impeachment debate: Key quotes

The Monica tapes: Confiding in a friend

Highlights: More evidence

Lewinsky urged Tripp to lie

President's secretary was reluctant witness

Highlights: The video

The infamous dress

Secret meetings with Clinton

Touching moments