United States House of Representatives
September 28, 1998



  United States House of Representatives
  Committee on the Judiciary News Release 

  For immediate release Contact: Sam Stratman/Michelle Morgan
  September 28, 1998 (202) 225-2492

                  Statement by Henry Hyde,

             Chairman, House Judiciary Committee

  "Two and half weeks ago, the House of Representatives received the 
  Starr referral, initiating a process which all of us knew would be 
  enormously difficult for the Congress and the entire country. From 
  the outset I have attempted to guide the Committee's work based on 
  a fixed set of principles. These guiding principles include:

>  that no person is above the law, not even the President; 
>  that we must submit ourselves to the letter and spirit of the 
   Constitution; 
>  that we must constantly strive to be fair, thorough, and expeditious 
   in all that we do; 
>  that we must be tireless in gathering and reviewing all of the relevant 
   facts; 
>  and that we must keep the American people well informed, in part by 
   giving them as much information as possible. 

  I intend to keep the Committee focused on these principles and to 
  ensure that history will judge us as having fulfilled our duty with 
  honor and distinction.

  Today marks the end of the first phase of the process we began two 
  weeks ago when we all first saw the Independent Counsel's report 
  alleging 11 separate grounds for impeachment of President Clinton. 
  We have finished ahead of schedule the review of over 50,000 pages 
  of documents.

  Everything has been read, much of it several times. Both the majority 
  and minority staff have worked tirelessly on this task, literally 
  around the clock. I am extremely grateful for their dedication and 
  service. Also, several members of the Committee have spent long hours 
  in the Ford Office Building pouring over documents. The country would 
  be proud of their devotion to duty.

  On an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis, the Committee has agreed to 
  redact or withhold thousands and thousands of words, lines, and pages 
  in an effort to guard the privacy of innocent people, national security 
  information, and on-going criminal investigations. We have also removed 
  many sexually explicit references that were not relevant to the issues 
  at hand. Pursuant to the bipartisan mandate of House Resolution 525, 
  we will submit all remaining documents, with redactions, to the public 
  printer by the end of the day.  They should be available to read later 
  this week. 

  We now turn to the next phase of this process. Beginning a week from 
  today, the Committee will meet in open session to consider a resolution 
  of inquiry. The question facing the Committee is quite simple: Do the 
  allegations against the President merit further investigation?  Should 
  we inquire further into these allegations or refuse to take a closer 
  look? That's the issue.

  Meanwhile, I have asked Representative Charles Canady, Chairman of the 
  Subcommittee on the Constitution to hold a hearing as soon as practicable, 
  in consultation with his ranking member Bobby Scott, on the question of 
  what is an impeachable offense. I think Chairman Rodino said it best in
  1974 when he observed that the framers did not write a fixed standard. 
  They wanted a standard sufficiently flexible to meet future circumstances 
  based upon a full development of the facts. Nevertheless, the views 
  expressed at this hearing will undoubtedly prove useful in the days 
  ahead if the House decides to initiate an inquiry.

  I also want to announce that I will be dispatching a bipartisan team of 
  investigators to go over to the Independent Counsel's office this week to 
  determine if there are any other documents in its possession relevant to 
  the Lewinsky matter. The Independent Counsel notified us two weeks ago
  that there were additional materials in their possession that were 
  unrelated to the charges of impeachable conduct and we were free to 
  review them whenever we wished. So we will do that this week now that 
  we have completed our review of the most significant materials."
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