Tuesday, January 26, 1999 Published at 09:25 GMT
Senate debates dismissal
Trent Lott says Republicans will defeat the dismissal motion
The United States Senate has discussed a motion to formally dismiss the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice against President Bill Clinton and end his impeachment trial.
Monday's debate was adjourned without a vote after four hours. Senators are expected to continue the debate when they reconvene on Tuesday.
Only after motions concerning dismissal of the trial and the calling of witnesses have been argued and debated will the senators vote on them. Correspondents say that could happen on Wednesday.
The motion to dismiss the trial, brought by Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, is expected to fail, as Republicans have said they will use their 55-45 Senate majority to defeat it.
"I ask you to consider the harm he [Mr Clinton] caused, the indignity he brought to the institution of the presidency," Republican Rep Charles Canady said.
"Punishment will be found elsewhere, judgement will be found elsewhere, legacies will be written elsewhere. None of that will be dismissed. None of that can ever be dismissed," Ms Seligman said.
Lead prosecutor Henry Hyde, said the motion to dismiss was a slap at the House of Representatives, which approved the two impeachment articles on largely party-line votes in December.
Earlier on Monday, a series of negotiations behind closed doors on how to proceed with the case delayed the start of the hearing.
After the brief appearance of the Senate Republican leader, Trent Lott - who said the senators may be close to an agreement - the Senate went into recess for almost two hours.
Republicans also "summarily rejected" a Democrat proposal for final votes on the articles of impeachment by the end of the week, with no chance of witnesses.
The House managers - the Republican prosecution team - say calling witnesses to give evidence is fundamental in any trial.
But Ms Lewinsky's lawyer said she had told her interviewers nothing that was not already on record.
Democrats say there is no need to call witnesses as they have already provided evidence to the grand jury and special prosecutor Kenneth Starr.
The key witnesses for prosecutors, if they get the go-ahead, would be Ms Lewinsky, Betty Currie, who was the president's secretary, and Vernon Jordan, Mr Clinton's close friend.
The prosecution says Ms Currie acted as a go-between during his relationship with Ms Lewinsky. Mr Jordan is said to have helped try to find a job for Ms Lewinsky to ensure her silence.
If witnesses are called both Republicans and Democrats agree on one thing - they do not want explicit details of Ms Lewinsky's relationship with the president being aired from the well of the Senate.