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The Senate Judiciary Committee's handling of the charges by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas had a more than superficial resemblance to a criminal proceeding. At first, there even seemed to be a grand jurythe Senate as a whole-taking evidence to determine whether there was probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed. That body ended up with a decision to authorize a delay and to hold over the vote on Thomas until a "hearing" on the charges could take place.

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