Facing Stonewall, Burton To Issue Subpoenas -- Feb. 12, 1997
More Troubles Besides Lake For White House -- Feb. 11, 1997
First Wave of Senate Subpoenas Hits Streets
By Timothy McCaughan/CNN
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 13) -- The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee has issued its first wave of subpoenas in the campaign finance investigation, even as members engaged in the partisan bickering that's become a staple of their meetings.
CNN has learned that Democrats voted against subpoenas to a half-dozen phone companies, the Department of State and the Department of Commerce.
Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) said after the hearing that Democrats thought one of the requests for records -- phone records pertaining to the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown -- was unseemly.
Committee members approved 43 of the subpoenas unanimously, nine others along partisan lines, and left four other significant requests off the table.
Many of the negotiations regarding the subpoenas were done by senators and their counsels behind closed doors this week. They even took a break during the hearing for further discussions.
The four other subpoenas removed without comment during the hearing were to the Democratic National Committee, the Republican National Committee, the Clinton/Gore 1996 campaign and the Dole/Kemp 1996 campaign.
What was supposed to be a 15-minute hearing turned into an hour-long, sometimes-testy discussion on cooperation between the majority and minority staffs.
The Republican side had given the Democrats more than 72 hours' notice on the subpoenas, but Democrats protested that they had only received a list of names with no background information. And when they requested newspaper clippings, upon which Republicans had based their subpoenas, Democrats say they were told to do their own research. "After all the talk of bipartisanship, that's really hardball," said ranking member Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio). Republicans dispute the charge.
Glenn and other Democrats on the panel said the committee was not acting as it had promised. They noted that 50 of the 52 subpoenas were to organizations affiliated with the recent Democratic campaign finance controversy.
"We're going to be out combing the bushes in an effort to balance out this as bipartisan," Glenn said.
Committee chairman Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) said he disagreed with the Democrats' charges that Republicans have not been cooperative. "Charges of partisanship can have a partisan role as well," Thompson said.
"At every step of the way I have met with resistance," Thompson said. "On big things I've met with resistance and on little things I've met resistance. The only thing that has been consistent has been the resistance."
The rest of the subpoenas span a litany of the people, companies and government agencies involved in the campaign finance controversy from this last presidential campaign.
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