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Bob Inglis

Defenders plead for president Acts 'morally wrong,' but not impeachable,House panel told; Clinton indictment foreseen; White House makes appeal for fairness by GOP moderates; THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

WASHINGTON -- Striking a conciliatory tone and pleading for fairness, a top White House lawyer opened a grueling defense of President Clinton yesterday with a concession that the president's testimony regarding Monica Lewinsky might be deemed "unlawful" by a criminal court.

But the lawyer, appealing directly to wavering moderate House Republicans, said that no matter how reprehensible the president's actions may have been, they did not justify what would be only the second presidential impeachment in U.S. history.

"Just as no fancy language can obscure the simple fact that what the president did was morally wrong," said White House special counsel Gregory...