Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
A PARTISAN SMEAR
(House of Representatives - July 25, 1996)
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[Pages H8521-H8522] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] A PARTISAN SMEAR The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hobson). Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from California [Mr. Waxman] is recognized for 5 minutes. Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I want to point out how outrageous it is that the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger], the chairman of the committee, that has been investigating whether there has been an invasion of privacy by the gathering of FBI files would come to the floor and disclose information that he has from FBI files. It seems to me that, if we are talking about protecting people's privacy, it is out of line to come to the floor and use information that has not been verified, presumably from some FBI file, to try to smear the First Lady, Bernard Nussbaum, the counsel, and the Democratic administration. This is a partisan smear. I have information that I am going to insert in the Record that contradicts the statement made by the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger]. I want to point out that, when a Member of Congress speaks from the House floor, he is protected. We can say anything we want. No one can file a lawsuit against us. But that does not give us the right to come here and disclose information that ought not to be disclosed. If there is an accusation about people in the White House having gathered FBI files improperly, that accusation appears to be accurate, but there has been no showing that any of that information was ever made public or used for political purposes. But what we have here right now is the use politically of information from the FBI. I include for the Record these statements that contradict what has been alleged on the House floor and to point out to the Members that this kind of activity, it seems to me, is outrageous and is really uncalled for. The material referred to is as follows: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC, July 19, 1996. Hon. William F. Clinger, Chairman, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, House of Representatives, Washington, DC. Dear Mr. Chairman: I have been advised that you and Committee Counsel Barbara Olson visited the FBI yesterday for the purpose of reviewing the background investigation files of Craig Livingstone and Anthony Marceca. As you know, the FBI's investigations of Mr. Livingstone and Mr. Marceca were undertaken at the request of the White House and the results of the investigations were previously provided to the White House. After your review of these files, I understand that you noted that neither of the summary memoranda reflecting the results of the FBI's investigation of Mr. Livingstone reflected certain specific information recorded as a result of the FBI's interview of Bernard Nussbaum, then counsel to the President. You asked what the FBI's response would be if the White House requested any additional information from the file beyond the summary memoranda furnished. As you know, the FBI conducts background investigations for various congressional committees and other government entities, including the White House. With regard to requests for background investigations from the Department of Justice, the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the FBI provides the actual investigative reports. Only certain information is withheld, e.g., if an interviewee requests that his identity be protected from disclosure outside the FBI. With regard to background investigations conducted for congressional committees and the White House, by agreement the FBI provides summary memoranda that synopsize the information in the underlying investigative reports. Since 1983, at the request of the White House, the FBI also attaches to the summary memoranda any FD-302s that reflect derogatory information. So, for example, the FBI's communication that provided the White House with the results of the remainder of the Bureau's investigation of Mr. Livingstone included an FD-302 reflecting the results of an interview with an individual who volunteered derogatory information. The summary memoranda are intended to address all the concerns of the client entity requesting the background investigation but if that client asks for additional information from the report, the FBI would provide the requested information subject to certain limitations, e.g., the interviews specifically requests confidentiality. You also expressed concern as to whether the information in Mr. Livingstone's files, particularly with regard to the record of the interview with Mr. Nussbaum, should be provided to the White House by the FBI. You indicated that you would want to know if the White House asked for or was provided that information and what the justification for providing it would be. During the course of this or any other oversight investigation, the FBI works to cooperate fully with congressional committees as well as any other agencies or entities impacted by the inquiry. Our effort is to remain non-partisan ensuring that facts within our possession which are relevant to an inquiry are provided to affected entities to the extent that we are aware of such an interest. [[Page H8522]] When the FBI first learned from your staff that your Committee was interested in looking at the background investigative files of Mr. Livingstone and Mr. Marceca, the files were reviewed to remove identifying information relating to third parties as well as third agency information. During this review, the information concerning the results of the interview with Mr. Nussbaum were identified. Because issues raised in Mr. Nussbaum's interview had been discussed in connection with the Committee's oversight investigation, it was determined that the Bureau had a responsibility to advise affected parties. Therefore, after arrangements were made for your staff to review the files, the Department of Justice, and then the White House, were advised of the results of this review. As you will recall, we followed this procedure of full disclosure when we first located the White House request for Barnaby Braeseux's previous reports, which the Director advised you of personally on June 5, 1996. In that instance, as in others, you were advised of the information well in advance of any notices being given to the White House. The minority staff of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight have not asked for further details about the information in question. However, if they do so, the FBI will similarly advise them. I hope this information is helpful to you. As the Director has advised you, the FBI wants to continue to cooperate fully with you in this matter. Please advise me if I can be of any other assistance. Sincerely yours, Howard M. Shapiro, General Counsel. ____ First Lady Hillary Clinton Q and A's in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, July 1, 1996 Q from AP: Before we get too far along with our wonderful Romanian visit, I want to clear up just one thing hanging over Washington. Did you or to your knowledge, did Vince Foster have anything to do with the hiring of Craig Livingstone? A from HRC: I don't know anything about it, I know I didn't. Q from AP: Do you have any reason to believe that Vince Foster did? A from HRC: I have no reason believe that. Q from AP: Is there any connection between your mother and Craig Livingstone's mother. Which is something the FBI agent is claiming. A from HRC: The ``ex FBI Agent''? No there is no connection. I do believe, if I ever meet the woman I'm going to say ``Mrs. Livingstone I presume.'' ____ First Lady Discussion With Traveling Press, Helsinki, Finland, July 10, 1996 Q from ABC: I need to follow-up on one of Ron's questions. When did you first meet Craig Livingstone? When did you become aware that you knew him? A from HRC: I don't have any idea. I don't recall meeting him for the first couple of years we were in the White House. I just don't know him. I have met him since then, but my best memory is sometime within the last year is the first time I ever put a face and a name together. Q from AP: I really don't want to belabor this, but did I understand you on the Livingstone question, that you don't really have a memory of knowing him until this all happened? A from HRC: Ron, I did not know his mother. I did not know him. I did not have anything to do with his being hired. And, I do not remember even meeting him until sometime in the last year. So, it does not mean I did not run into him. It does not mean that I did not shake his hand in a receiving line. All that could have happened. But, in terms of any connection with this young man or any kind of relationship with him, there was none. ____ Deposition of William H. Kennedy, III, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, June 18, 1996 Q. Do you know if the First Lady was involved at all with the hiring of Craig Livingstone in your office? A. I don't believe she was. I do not know one way or the other. I don't believe so. Q. Do you recall ever saying to anyone that the First Lady wanted to have Craig Livingstone in the position at the Security Office at the White House? A. Me ever saying that? Q. Yes. A. I never said that. ____ Statement of William H. Kennedy, June 29, 1996 Gary Aldrich's account of a conversation with me about Craig Livingstone's suitability for the job of Director of Personnel Security is pure fiction. I never told Aldrich that Mrs. Clinton wanted Mr. Livingstone in that post. I have never had any discussion with Mrs. Clinton about Craig Livingstone. No one else ever told me that Mrs. Clinton had any interest whatsoever in Mr. Livingstone or his position. ____ Sworn Testimony of Craig Livingstone, Senate Judiciary Committee, June 28, 1996 Leahy: OK. I've also read in the press allegations that come from unspecified sources that your mother is a close friend of the first lady. Is she? Livingstone: No, sir. Leahy: And you have no idea who those sources are that tell these things? Livingstone: No. sir. I've asked my mother and she, for the record, says that she has never met Mrs. Clinton. ____ Sworn Testimony of Craig Livingstone, House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, June 26, 1996 Horn: Well, what I'm curious now is, Mr. Marceca and Mr. Livingstone, did Vice President Gore or Mrs. Clinton recommend you for the position you held, Mr. Livingstone, to your knowledge? Livingstone: I have no knowledge of that. Mica: Does anyone in your family have any relationship with the first family? Livingstone: Absolutely not. ____________________