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
> 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
> 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
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
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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U.S. House of Representatives
105th Congress, 2nd session