On February 8, closing arguments were presented.   Each side was allotted three hours.

On the President’s behalf, White House Counsel Charles Ruff stated:

“There is only one question before you, albeit a difficult one, one that is a question of fact and law and constitutional  theory. Would it put at risk the liberties of the people to retain the President in office? Putting aside partisan animus, if you can honestly say that it would not, that those liberties are safe in his hands, then you must vote to acquit.”

Chief Prosecutor Henry Hyde countered:

“A failure to convict will make the statement that lying under oath, while unpleasant and to be avoided, is not all that serious … We have reduced lying under oath to a breach of etiquette, but only if you are the President … And now let us all take our place in history on the side of honor, and, oh, yes, let right be done.”

On February 9, after voting against a public deliberation on the verdict, the Senate began closed-door deliberations.

On February 12, the Senate emerged from its closed deliberations and voted on the articles of impeachment. Sixty seven votes would have been necessary to convict and remove the President from office.

  • The perjury charge was defeated with 45 votes for conviction and 55 against
    • All 45 Democrats voted Not Guilty
    • 10 Republicans voted Not Guilty
    • 45 Republicans voted Guilty
  • The obstruction of justice charge was defeated with 50 for conviction and 50 against.
    • All 45 Democrats voted Not Guilty
    • 5 Republicans voted Not Guilty
    • 50 Republicans voted Guilty
      • Senator Arlen Spector voted “not proved” for both charges. Chief Justice Rehnquist ruled that was a vote of “not guilty”.