The Washington Post leads with the House Judiciary Committee's apparent resolve to impeach President Clinton for lying under oath. The Los Angeles Times leads with the defection of several republican representatives from the pro-impeachment camp. The New York Times goes with the $206-billion settlement between 46 states and the tobacco industry.
The WP lead cites "several lawmakers" who say that despite the resignation of Ken Starr's ethics advisor and the ineffectiveness of Starr's testimony on public opinion, the committee will vote for impeachment. The Post notes that this goes against public opinion and GOP consensus. The Clinton camp welcomes the committee's move on hopes that it will produce a poignant rejection of impeachment when put to a vote on the House floor. The LAT reports that eight GOP representatives have already expressed opposition to impeachment. This means that if House democrats remain united, then only three more "nays" from the GOP will kill the impeachment effort.
The NYT portrays the tobacco settlement as a victory for cigarette makers, noting that the agreement apparently ends the nation's legal war on smoking. The WP also sees it as a clear victory for tobacco, which will maintain its revenue stream and receive "significant legal protection for years to come." A quote from Washington State's Attorney General expresses the less than joyous reaction from the anti-cigarette lobby: "To those who say it's not enough, I say we simply couldn't afford to come away with nothing."
All the weekend papers report the resignation of Starr's ethics advisor, Samuel Dash, who quit to protest Starr's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee. Dash, who had advised Starr not to appear before the committee, called the Independent Counsel an "aggressive advocate" of impeachment and accused Starr of "intruding" on the House's power.
All the papers report that federal agents broke an illegal alien smuggling ring that allegedly brought Asian workers to the United States. The workers endured long, dangerous trips to the U.S. and once they arrived were often held captive by their employers. Janet Reno calls it the "largest alien smuggling organization ever dismantled in United States history."
A van Gogh self-portrait was sold for $71.5 million at a Christie's auction on Thursday, according to a NYT Arts piece. The buyer of "Portrait of an Artist Without His Beard" is not known, but the tidy sum represents nearly three times the painting's estimated price and the third-highest amount ever paid for an auctioned artwork.
Senator Albert Gore, Sr. will no doubt take great comfort in learning from a NYT correction (of an article about Clark Clifford's memorial service) that he is not "late," but actually 90 years old and living in Carthage, Tennessee.