Burton Admits Fathering Child During Affair
U.S. Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana
Clinton critic offers apology, takes responsibility
INDIANAPOLIS (AllPolitics, Sept. 4) -- U.S. Rep. Dan Burton,
who accused supporters of President Bill Clinton this week of
disseminating information about Burton's personal life to
discredit him, has acknowledged that he fathered a child out
of wedlock during an extramarital affair in the early 1980s.
Burton, of Indiana, is the outspoken Republican chairman of
the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, which
has been investigating allegations of fund-raising
irregularities by the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign.
"I have apologized to my wife and family, whom I love. I
apologize to my constituents," Burton said in a statement
released Friday and reported in Saturday's editions of the
Indianapolis Star. "We live in a society that rightfully
depends upon people taking responsibility for their actions.
I have done so in this matter."
A spokesman for Burton's committee, Will Dwyer, said Burton
made the admission to preempt rapidly surfacing reports of
the affair. The congressman has been in Indiana for the past
two days, meeting with the woman involved and their son.
"One of the things that prompted me to go public is the
harassment this woman's family has been subjected to by the
media," Burton said in his statement. "This week, they were
forced to call the police to have a TV camera crew leave
"Discussion of the matter has gone too far, and I hope that
members of the media will accept my admission and allow
people to continue their lives in peace."
Wife aware of relationship
Burton, 60, an eight-term congressman who represents the
suburbs of Indianapolis, said he has paid child support
through the years for his now teen-age son. He said his wife
of 38 years, Barbara, was aware of the relationship.
"I have tried to be as straight as I could be with my family
on all this. I tried to keep it between my family and this
lady's family," he said.
However, Burton has never previously publicly acknowledged
the child as his son. His campaign literature only mentions
the three children he has with his wife, and the boy's birth
certificate does not list a father, according to the Star.
Burton's son also does not use his last name.
The relationship took place in the early 1980s, when Burton
was a member of the Indiana Senate and the woman, now
married, worked for a state agency. The newspaper chose not
to identify the woman, and she declined to discuss her
relationship with Burton.
'This is private'
Although Burton has been an outspoken critic of the president
-- including making a now-infamous remark last April calling
Clinton a "scumbag" -- the congressman has generally confined
his comments about the president to fund-raising allegations
and other matters, not Clinton's relationship with Monica
Asked for reaction after one court ruling in Paula Jones'
sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton, Burton commented
that it would have no effect on his work, because "our
investigation was never involved with the sex problems of the
On Tuesday, Burton told constituents in Indiana that he
expected the magazine Vanity Fair to print a "scandal story"
about him, and he accused Clinton supporters of spreading
information about his private life.
While Vanity Fair has been preparing a story about Burton, a
spokeswoman for the magazine, Beth Kseniak, dismissed as
"totally ludicrous" the suggestion that Clinton supporters
were helping decide the magazine's content. The White House
also denied the charge.
In his statement, Burton sought to put distance between his
own actions and the accusations against Clinton stemming from
the Lewinsky matter.
"I have never perjured myself. I have never committed
obstruction of justice," he said. "I have been as straight as
an arrow in my public duty. But this is private."