Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Statement on the Republican Leadership's Double-Standard in the Clinton Investigation
October 7, 1998
The investigation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives was a serious consideration of grave charges with national consequences. The Investigative Subcommittee took our responsibilities seriously, did not allow any leaks of information, and treated Mr. Gingrich with the fairness which our judicial system of due process is supposed to provide.
- The Investigative Subcommittee undertook a law-based process. We spent an enormous amount of time going through the law. We fail to see a similar attentiveness to the law in both the Starr and Committee processes. What defining law is being used? How is "obstruction of justice" being defined? What is "perjury"? There must be hard analysis of these terms. It is astounding that there has been no case law cited and no legal precedents identified in the Starr Report.
- The Investigative Subcommittee worked on the basis of the presumption of innocence. We tried to look at both sides of every issue and invited the Gingrich experts to explain their views. On false statements, we gave every due consideration to the Speaker's explanation and worked to ensure that every inference drawn against the counts was viewed as favorably as possible for the respondent.
- The Investigative Subcommittee's mandate and investigation were clearly defined. The Committee was in fact prohibited from investigating other charges, including GOPAC.
- The Investigative Subcommittee undertook a fair process. Speaker Gingrich and his lawyers were given ample opportunity to see the evidence against him and hear the possible charges in advance of any hearing on possible charges. They were allowed to review documents, including his own testimony, before he came before the Committee. As we expanded the investigation, they were granted additional access to letters and testimony. The second time Mr. Gingrich came before the Committee, he and his lawyers were allowed to see even more letters and transcripts. Speaker Gingrich and his lawyers had an opportunity to speak with the Subcommittee before any determination was made to go forward and were given the opportunity to present other evidence and experts. In addition, his lawyers sat in on virtually every interview. When it came to the false statements aspect of the case, Mr. Gingrich and his lawyer were granted access to transcripts and the text of all his lawyers statements, as well as those of other witnesses.
- Prior to any charges being released to the public, or in fact, before anyone knew there were charges, Speaker Gingrich had the opportunity to see, answer, negotiate and challenge possible charges. When the charges were released, prior notice was given as to date, time, and place of release so to allow Mr. Gingrich to release his own statement when the Subcommittee was releasing the charges, because we wanted to be sure that he was being treated fairly.
- The Committee had no leaks and no material was released during the course of our work, until the material was released in the form of a hearing or report. Speaker Gingrich was given access to all exhibits used in our report prior to the completion of our working draft. He also was given a copy of the working draft two weeks in advance and was given the opportunity to respond to exactly what the Subcommittee was charging. His lawyers had the opportunity to write their own response to the charges and to have that response released simultaneously with the Subcommittee report.
- The Committee had a Special Counsel who was responsible equally to both parties and worked hand in hand with Members in a non-partisan way.
- The Committee's Special Counsel served as a neutral arbiter. He was under a very strict admonition that he could not bring to the Members' attention anything, no matter how titillating, that did not bear directly on the areas into which we were looking. He did not show us material unrelated to the charges before us until he saw the false statements. Members of the Investigative Subcommittee could not look at material without the Special Counsel's determination that the material was relevant to our narrow charge.
- Any and all exculpatory material was to be released immediately.
- The records of the Gingrich investigation are sealed unless the Committee or the full House vote to unseal them.
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