FDCH

The Federal Document Clearing House
TRANSCRIPT
January 17, 1997
COMMITTEE HEARING
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NANCY JOHNSON (R-CT)
CHAIRMAN
HOUSE STANDARDS OF OFFICIAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE
WASHINGTON, D.C.
HOLDS HEARING ON THE ETHICS INVESTIGATION OF HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH

SPEAKERS LIST: U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NANCY JOHNSON (R-CT)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE LAMAR SMITH (R-TX)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER GOSS (R-FL)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE SCHIFF (R-NM)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE BEN CARDIN (D-MD)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D-CA)
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT BORSKI (D-PA) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE THOMAS SAWYER (D-OH)
JAMES COLE, SPECIAL COUNSEL, HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE

JOHNSON: We are here today to provide full and complete public disclosure to Congress and the American people of the facts in the case against Representative Gingrich. Today, copies of the committee's report were sent to all 435 members of the House of Representatives and made available to the public.

This afternoon, the committee will conduct a hearing on the appropriate penalty for violation of House rules by Representative Gingrich. The penalty recommendation the committee will consider is tough and unprecedented compared to past cases. The committee's decision will be guided by its belief that the Speaker of the House must be held to the highest ethical standards. No one is above the rules of the House.

This investigation began on December 5th, 1995 when the committee voted to establish a subcommittee and to appoint a special counsel to investigate the allegations that Mr. Gingrich was using nonprofit educational organizations for improper political purposes. Representative Porter Goss was named the chairman of the investigative subcommittee, and attorney James Cole of the Washington law firm Bryan Cave was hired as special assistant. The subcommittee conducted a thorough investigation of the allegations, interviewing numerous witnesses and reviewing thousands of documents.

I want to commend Representative Porter Goss and the other members of the subcommittee, Representative Ben Cardin, Steve Schiff and Nancy Pelosi for their extraordinary dedication and endurance throughout this process. I particularly want to special counsel to investigate the allegations that Mr. Gingrich was using nonprofit educational organizations for improper political purposes. Representative Porter Goss was named the chairman of the investigative subcommittee, and attorney James Cole of the Washington law firm Bryan Cave was hired as special assistant. The subcommittee conducted a thorough investigation of the allegations, interviewing numerous witnesses and reviewing thousands of documents.

I want to commend Representative Porter Goss and the other members of the subcommittee, Representative Ben Cardin, Steve Schiff and Nancy Pelosi for their extraordinary dedication and endurance throughout this process. I particularly want to commend the members of the subcommittee for their ability to carry out their responsibilities in a collegial, nonpartisan manner in a difficult environment.

I want to express my appreciation as well to Mr. Cole, his assistant counsel, Kevin Wolf and the committee counsel, Virginia Johnson for their exemplary work on this investigation. Mr. Cole's thoroughness, patience, and commitment have enabled the members to understand the complex situation and draw thoughtful conclusions in this case.


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