EMBARRASSING ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT; Congressional Record Vol. 142, No. 111
(House of Representatives - July 25, 1996)

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[Pages H8522-H8524]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




   EMBARRASSING ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND 
                               OVERSIGHT

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Kanjorski] is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. Speaker, I am very disappointed in the fact that 
my chairman came here and took the floor. I have had a great deal of 
respect and regard for the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger], 
and as the days and weeks move on toward the end of this session, 
watching the activities of the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight of the House of Representatives, I am getting more 
embarrassed every moment.
  I say, and I am looking right at the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. 
Clinger], I was aware of what you were going to say today. . . .
  Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I demand that the gentleman's words be 
taken down.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hobson). The gentleman will be seated.
  The gentleman asks that the words be taken down.
  The Clerk will report the words.

                              {time}  1720

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hobson). Does the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania seek recognition?
  Mr. KANJORSKI. Yes, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. Speaker, I understand that the taking down of my words was with 
the intention that it was a personal attack, referring to the gentleman 
from Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger] . . . Certainly I am not attacking nor 
do I intend to attack him personally in that regard. The expressions 
were perhaps not precise in the use of the language and I would like to 
correct and get understood on the record what my intentions were.
  That is, as an old lawyer myself and as a reader of the Constitution, 
I wanted to call the attention of the House and those people watching 
this proceeding that if the remarks made by my colleague from 
Pennsylvania were made outside of the House Chamber, he could be 
subject to tortious action.
  Mr. WALKER. Mr. Speaker, I demand the gentleman's words be taken down 
again.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Does the gentleman from Pennsylvania have a 
unanimous-consent request?
  Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. Speaker, I am making a request to withdraw my 
original words.

[[Page H8523]]

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his unanimous-
consent request.
  Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to withdraw my 
words.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania?
  Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to 
object, is the gentleman apologizing for his statement?
  Mr. KANJORSKI. No.
  Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Then I object.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Objection is heard.
  The Clerk will report the words.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       I was aware of what you were going to say today. You know 
     full well the reason you came down here on the floor and said 
     what you said is that you didn't have the nerve to go up in 
     the Press Galley and make those charges because you would be 
     subject to a lawsuit.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair will rule. In the opinion of the 
Chair, the remarks question the integrity of the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger] and constitute a personality in debate.
  Without objection, the words are stricken from the Record.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania may proceed in order.
  Mr. WALKER. I object.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Objection is heard.
  Mr. HORN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to address the House 
for 1 minute.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from 
California is recognized for 1 minute.
  Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, I would like 
to ask the Chair whether this intervention at all will cause the matter 
that was before the Chair to be discontinued. In other words, we are 
not finished with this matter.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Other Members may speak with permission of 
the House.
  Mr. RANGEL. And so this matter can be returned to, notwithstanding 
the unanimous-consent request?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. By other Members of the House.
  Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my reservation of objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HORN. Mr. Speaker, I think it is clear to all of us that the 
committees of this House are agents of the House, and ultimately it is 
the House that determines whether such committees exist or not, and I 
think, as most of my colleagues know, when a witness comes before the 
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and any of its 
subcommittees, one of which I Chair, each witness, unless it is a 
Member of Congress, takes the oath to tell the truth, nothing but the 
truth, the whole truth, and so forth. These witnesses were all under 
oath.
  The chairman of the committee, when he recalled that the question was 
asked specifically of each of these witnesses as to whether or not 
either the First Lady or the Vice President of the United States had 
recommended Mr. Livingstone, every single one of the witnesses before 
us denied it.
  Mr. Speaker, that is a matter of perjury that ought to be of concern 
to the House of Representatives. They did not say what one other series 
of witnesses said to a Senate committee, that, ``Gee, I can't 
recollect; I just don't remember.'' They did not say that. They said 
no, none of that was true. We now find it was true.
  Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to address the House 
for 1 minute.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from 
California may proceed.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. FILNER. I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, let me clarify for everybody what is 
involved here. There is a retired FBI agent who has said that he talked 
to Bernie Nussbaum, the counsel to the President, when he was doing the 
file for Mr. Livingstone, and he claimed Mr. Nussbaum said that 
Livingstone was being hired because his mother was a friend of Hillary 
Clinton's. Bernie Nussbaum denies that. Hillary Clinton denies that.
  Mr. Speaker, there is no verification by the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger] of the facts of it. Instead, he has come to 
the floor and made the assertion that when Mr. Nussbaum denied this and 
Mr. Kennedy denied this and said that they knew of no connection with 
Hillary Clinton that they committed perjury.
  Mr. Speaker, how can you reach the conclusion that when they deny 
what they know and what they said makes them wrong and somebody else 
right, unless you are going to take the statement by this FBI agent as 
fact without any verification?
  Mr. Speaker, I am inserting in the Record a clear statement from Mr. 
Nussbaum indicating he never said such a thing and it was not true.

                     Statement of Bernard Nussbaum

       I never told FBI Agent Sculimbrene, or anyone else, that 
     the First Lady recommended Craig Livingstone for his position 
     in the White House or that the First Lady knew Livingstone's 
     mother. I never knew or heard any such things. In fact, I 
     understand that the First Lady and Livingstone's mother don't 
     know each other. I am mystified and outraged that someone 
     would attribute to me something I never said.

  Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to address the House 
for 1 minute.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from Texas 
is recognized for 1 minute.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, before I yield to the distinguished chairman 
of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, I just want to say 
that there have been a lot of misstatements in the press, outside this 
Hall and inside this Hall, by the administration concerning the FBI 
files.
  Mr. Speaker, I stand behind this chairman, and no one in this town or 
in this Nation would ever question the integrity and the 
straightforwardness of the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger].
  Mr. CLINGER. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. DeLAY. I yield to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CLINGER. Mr. Speaker, I just want to make sure the record is 
straight, that I have not accused anybody of perjury or of false 
statement. I have said that there are serious discrepancies between 
testimony that was given before our committee and statements that were 
made to an FBI agent in pursuing the Craig Livingstone background file.
  I did indicate, however, that these discrepancies should be explored. 
It is not the role of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight 
to determine which is right or which is wrong. I think it is the 
appropriate role of the independent counsel or of the U.S. attorney for 
the District of Columbia to determine where the truth lies. I hope the 
gentleman will agree he made a misstatement that I was accusing 
somebody of perjury.
  (Mr. WAXMAN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
minute.)
  Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I do not in any way want to impugn the 
integrity of the gentleman from Pennsylvania for whom I have the 
greatest respect. He has indicated that there is a discrepancy. The 
discrepancy is that in the FBI files there was an FBI agent who claimed 
that he was told by Mr. Nussbaum that the reason Craig Livingstone got 
this job is because his mother was a friend of Hillary Clinton's.
  I am putting in the Record a statement from Gloria Livingstone saying 
she does not know Hillary Clinton. The only time she ever met her was 
when she decorated a Christmas tree and Hillary Clinton came out and 
thanked everybody for their help.
  Mr. Speaker, I have previously included in the Record an unequivocal 
denial by Mr. Nussbaum, who is willing to come before the committee and 
make this denial under oath.
  Mr. Speaker, I think we ought to make clear that when the chairman 
comes and makes a statement like this, which is quite inflammatory, 
that it is not an uncontroverted statement by a man who does not know 
firsthand whether Mr. Nussbaum actually said

[[Page H8524]]

such a thing or Mrs. Clinton was a friend of Mr. Livingstone's mother.

                                                    July 25, 1996.

                    Statement of Gloria Livingstone

       I do not know Hillary Rodham Clinton, I have never met Mrs. 
     Clinton, and I have never spoken with Mrs. Clinton. We are 
     not, and never have been, personal friends.
       I believe the only occasion I was in the same room as Mrs. 
     Clinton was shortly before Christmas last year, when I had 
     the privilege of helping to decorate the White House 
     Christmas tree. At one point, Mrs. Clinton entered the room 
     and thanked us as a group for our efforts.

  (Mr. GEJDENSON asked and was given permission to address the House 
for 1 minute.)
  Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Speaker, I find a very frightening trend in this 
Chamber that there is an attempt to squelch free speech. It actually 
started in the very first days of the Congress, shutting down some of 
the institutions that represented various concerns in the country.
  Now, we see on the floor when individuals try to express or respond 
to what was a very inflammatory statement apparently on the Republican 
side, that when the minority tries to respond parliamentary maneuvers 
are used to prevent them from speaking.
  Frankly, through the years we gave far greater opportunity to the 
minority to express its statements than we have seen here. The attempt 
to operate this House ad hoc out of the Committee on Rules, to try to 
squelch honest debate and criticism, the first instance of course was 
the Speaker himself when the Speaker used to come to the well and 
absolutely devastate everyone else as soon as his name was mentioned. 
They stopped it. It is an outrage.
  Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to speak out of order 
for 2 minutes.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, again let me extend my apologies for my 
abruptness to the gentleman from Wisconsin who was up at the same time 
seeking recognition.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to suggest to all of us here that although 
there is an intense interest in the issue we have been discussing, and 
there are certainly going to be many opportunities for this discussion 
to continue, both on and off the floor of this Chamber, that we do have 
the New York delegation who are here, and have been patiently waiting 
for the opportunity to express themselves in a special order about a 
fallen comrade. I do think that perhaps it might be in the best 
interest of the decorum of this body if perhaps we could move this 
debate to another time, another venue, or perhaps further work in the 
committee or on the floor at another time, and at this point cede the 
floor to those folks that are so concerned, so interested in doing 
their job.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. ARMEY. I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I wonder if we might, so that the New York 
delegation could get to its intended business, if we could dispose of 
this matter the same way that we disposed of an incident several weeks 
ago involving the gentleman from Arizona and the gentleman from 
Wisconsin now speaking, when the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hyde] 
suggested that it might be resolved by simply an expression of regret 
to the House by the Member in question that the incident occurred so 
that we can expunge the Record and return to the normal business of the 
House.
  Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Wisconsin.
  Mr. Speaker, again I think in the interest of decorum and the 
interest of consideration, one for another among our colleagues, I 
would like to personally ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Kanjorski] be given time for a short statement, after 
which I would expect we should be able to move on, return to normalcy 
for all parties concerned and allow the New York delegation to move on 
with their work.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Pennsylvania is 
recognized for 1 minute.
  Mr. KANJORSKI. I appreciate the majority leader's courtesy.
  Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to apologize to my 
friend from Pennsylvania, if I have in any way caused you discomfort to 
attacking your integrity. I never intended to do that. I merely wanted 
to express that there was another forum that could have been used for 
this, and there would be other jeopardies involved if it had been used.
  Having served in the House for 12 years now and having been here some 
42 years ago with a good friend of mine, Bill Emerson, who we just saw 
die last week, it has always been my intention that we have comity in 
the House and civility, and I have to say that I see myself having 
gotten into this engagement with great disappointment because it does 
destroy the civility and the comity of the House, and I want my friends 
on the other side to know that I hope not to be a part of that, and any 
remarks that are taken that way, not only the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger] but all my friends on the Republican side, I 
would hope that you would do me the kind courtesy of taking it as I 
truly intended it, not to attack the integrity of the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania [Mr. Clinger].
  Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, with that apology, which I found to be quite 
gracious, I move that Mr. Kanjorski be permitted to proceed in order 
and I would give my best regards to the New York delegation as I am 
confident we will soon be moving to them.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the motion is agreed to.
  There was no objection.

                              {time}  1740
                             SPECIAL ORDERS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hobson). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of May 12, 1995, and under a previous order of the House, the 
following Members will be recognized for 5 minutes each.

                          ____________________