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Friday, February 12, 1999 Published at 19:59 GMT


Clinton: It's time to move on

Clinton: 'profoundly sorry'

President Clinton has again said he is "profoundly sorry" for his behaviour in the Monica Lewinsky affair.

The trial of the president
Speaking on the White House lawn just hours after the US Senate handed down a "not guilty" verdict, Mr Clinton contritely apologised for the "great burden" the scandal imposed on both the Congress and the country and thanked Americans for their support.

"I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events," he said.

The short speech came after senators failed to convict Mr Clinton on charges of perjury or obstruction of justice in his Senate trial. A two-thirds majority was needed to convict on either charge.

On the article of perjury, senators voted 45 guilty, 55 not guilty, with 10 Republicans voting for acquittal. On the charge of obstruction of justice, members were split down the middle, voting 50 guilty, 50 not guilty. Five Republicans crossed the aisle to join their Democrat colleagues.

Time to move on


[ image: Monica Lewinsky]
Monica Lewinsky
Mr Clinton's speech will be seen as the final word in the long-running Monica Lewinsky scandal, which threatened to remove him from office.

He asked Americans to rededicate themselves to serving the nation.

"This can be and must be a time of reconciliation and renewal for America," he said.

But some analysts believe that it will not be easy for Mr Clinton to forgive his Republican tormentors.

Returning briefly to the microphone, he said smugly: "I believe that any person who asks for forgiveness has to be prepared to give it."

Glenn Lewis, a Washington legal analyst called the statement "dangerous".

"Why go there?" he told BBC News. " Why act like there is something to forgive?"



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