House Committee Subpoenas Thousands More Tobacco Documents
By Ann Curley/CNN
WASHINGTON (Feb. 19) -- The House committee investigating tobacco companies has subpoenaed over 39,000 additional documents, requiring that they be turned over by March 12.
House Commerce Committee Chairman Tom Bliley (R-Va.), after consulting with the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), served subpoenas to Geoffrey Bible of Philip Morris, Steven Goldstone of RJR Nabisco, Nicholas Brookes of Brown and Williamson, Laurence Tisch of the Loews Corp., Samuel Chilcote of the Tobacco Institute and James Glenn of the Council for Tobacco Research.
The subpoenas ask for the 38,000 documents a court official in Minnesota determined to be non-privileged on Feb. 10 and 1,114 documents that Brown and Williamson was ordered to turn over last year by a Minnesota judge.
In a written statement, Bliley said: "This should come as no surprise. I've said all along that if more documents were identified in the Minnesota case as possibly containing evidence of crime or fraud that I would request them. More documents have been identified and these documents must see the light of day. Congress and the American people deserve to know what's in the documents so we can make informed decisions about tobacco policy."
In November 1997, Bliley requested more than 800 documents relating to the Minnesota tobacco case. He released the documents to the general public. Bliley has asked that the tobacco companies provide the documents on CD-ROM.