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Clinton Library To Allow House Committee Access To RecordsAired February 27, 2001 - 2:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: First, our developments at this hour in the congressional investigation into donations made to the Clinton Presidential Library.
CNN's Bob Franken is in New York. He's been looking into it.
Bob, what is the latest?
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just seconds ago, literally, I got off of the phone with a spokesman for the committee, that said that it has not yet accepted an offer from the Clinton Presidential Library in an effort to resolve an impasse over what records for the library, the Clinton Presidential Library, donations would be made available to the committee.
The original request -- not request -- the demand by subpoena was that the library turn over all records of donors over $5,000, as the investigation of the Marc Rich pardon case goes on. And some suspicions that there might be some sort of a quid pro quo, the committee believes.
At any case, that offer was turned down. That subpoena was turned down by the library board people who said that they did not have a legal obligation to comply.
Then the committee came up with what it called a compromise proposal, that the records would be looked at in private by the staff and members of the committee in a private effort to decide which of the relevant records, which one would be to be made public, and which ones could be left alone to preserve confidentiality.
The library has now responded by offering to accept that proposal, asking that only the chairman of the committee, Dan Burton and the ranking Democrat be the ones to look at records.
So there has not been an agreement yet. The committee is studying the matter. We were just told, as I said, just a few seconds ago, that there is no deal yet. But this is an effort on the part of the presidential library to try and avoid contempt proceedings, which would begin possibly on Thursday -- Lou.
WATERS: What was the argument behind the board's decision, first of all, that they had no obligation to comply with the committee's subpoenas? FRANKEN: Well, the board takes the position that the way that the library is set up under the law, it is allowed to keep its donors confidential. The committees says that it, in fact, has a right to subpoena those records, but offered the compromise.
And now, there is really a dance going on. But there has not been a deal reached yet. But a significant step toward the committee's direction by the library board, trying to avoid some sort of contempt citations.
WATERS: And by committee, we are here referring to Dan Burton's...
FRANKEN: Dan Burton's committee, yes.
WATERS: ... Government Reform Committee in the House.
All right, Bob Franken, following the story up there in New York.
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