11 September 1998: Link to Starr Report
11 September 1998: Once the House approves public release, expected today, the 445-page Starr report will be available online at:
http://www.house.gov/icreport/ (House Information Resources)
http://www.house.gov/judiciary (House Judiciary Committee)
http://thomas.loc.gov/icreport/ (Library of Congress)
http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/icreport/ (Government Printing Office)
Its digital format -- plain text, word processor or PDF images -- is not yet public.
10 September 1998
|2d Session||Thursday September 10,
H. RES. 525
1 Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary shall
2 review the communication received on September 9, 1998,
3 from an independent counsel pursuant to section 595(c)
4 of title 28, United States Code, transmitting a determina-
5 tion that substantial and credible information received by
6 the independent counsel in carrying out his responsibilities
7 under chapter 40 of title 28, United States Code, may con-
8 stitute grounds for an impeachment of the President of
9 the United States, and related matters, to determine
1 whether sufficient grounds exist to recommend to the
2 House that an impeachment inquiry be commenced. Until
3 otherwise ordered by the House, the review by the Com-
4 mittee shall be governed by the resolution.
5 SEC. 2. The material transmitted to the House by
6 the independent counsel shall be considered as referred to
7 the Committee. The portion of such material consisting
8 of approximately 445 pages comprising an introduction,
9 a narrative, and a statement of grounds, shall be printed
10 as a document of the House. The balance of such material
11 shall be deemed to have been received in executive session,
12 but shall be released from that status on September 28,
13 1998, except as otherwise determined by the Committee.
14 Materials so released shall immediately be submitted for
15 printing as a document of the House.
16 SEC. 3. Additional material compiled by the Commit-
17 tee during the review also shall be deemed to have been
18 received in executive session unless it is received in an
19 open session of the Committee.
20. SEC. 4. Notwithstanding clause 2(e) of rule XI, ac-
21 cess to executive-session material of the Committee relat-
22 ing to the review shall be restricted to members of the
23 Committee, and to such employees of the Committee as
24 may be designated by the chairman after consultation with
25 the ranking minority member.
1 SEC. 5. Notwithstanding clause 2(g) of rule XI, each
2 meeting, hearing, or deposition of the Committee relating
3 to the review shall be conducted in executive session unless
4 otherwise determined by an affirmative vote of the com-
5 mittee, a majority being present. Such an executive session
6 may be attended only by members of the Committee, and
7 by such employees of the Committee as may be designated
8 by the chairman after consultation with the ranking mi-
9 nority member.
|GERALD B.H. SOLOMON|
|CHAIRMAN||SEPTEMBER 10, 1998
H.Res. 525 -- Providing for a Deliberative Review by the Committee on the Judiciary of a Communication from an Independent Counsel, and for the release thereof, and for other purposes.
Purpose: The purpose of this resolution is to provide for a deliberative review by the Committee on the Judiciary of a communication from an independent counsel, and for the release thereof, and for other purposes.
Background and Legislative History: The U.S. Constitution provides in article I, section 2, clause 5 that "The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment." Article I, section 3, clause 6 provides "That the Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments." Article II, section 4 provides that "The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Section 595(c) of the Independent Counsel Statute provides that "An independent counsel shall advise the House of Representatives of any substantial and credible information which such independent counsel receives ... that may constitute grounds for an impeachment."
Major Provisions: This resolution would establish the following procedures for House consideration of the Independent Counsels communication.
· Section 1 provides that the Judiciary Committee will review the communication to determine whether sufficient grounds exist to recommend to the House that an impeachment inquiry be commenced.
· Section 2 provides that the Independent Counsels communication will be referred to the Judiciary Committee. The approximately 445 pages comprising an introduction, a narrative, and a statement of grounds, will be printed as a House document. The balance of the material will be deemed to have been received in executive session, but will be released on September 28, 1998, unless the Judiciary Committee votes not to release it. Material released will immediately be printed as a House document.
· Section 3 provides that additional material compiled by the Judiciary Committee during the review also will be deemed to have been received in executive session unless it is received in an open session of the Committee.
· Section 4 provides that access to the executive session material will be restricted to members of the Committee, and such employees of the Committee as may be designated by the chairman after consultation with the ranking minority member.
· Section 5 provides that each meeting, hearing, or deposition of the Committee will be in executive session unless otherwise determined by the Committee. The executive sessions may be attended only by Committee members, and employees of the Committee designated by the chairman after consultation with the ranking minority member.
· Section 6 provides that the House will be considered to have requested that the independent counsel provide the Committee two copies, in electronic form, of the communication from the independent counsel.
The Committee will come to order. The matter before the Committee today is H.Res. 525, providing for a deliberative review by the Committee on the Judiciary of a communication from an Independent Counsel and for the release thereof and for other purposes ."
I have a brief opening statement after which I will yield to Mr. Moakley for any statement he might have and then I will yield to other Members of the Committee for any statement they may have.
Today the Rules Committee embarks on one of the most unfortunate and difficult tasks many of us have faced in public service. The Committee must set forth a procedure by which the House of Representatives may fulfill its duties under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which is "the sole power of impeachment." This is a responsibility that none of us take lightly when we swear to uphold the Constitution and we do not take it lightly now. The Framers of the Constitution deliberately designed our system of government to make this a constitutional responsibility not a partisan one. To whatever end these deliberations may lead, it is imperative that the Rules Committee and ultimately the House adopt procedures which best allow for a fair and nonpartisan determination of the facts involved.
Yesterday the Independent Counsel delivered a communication to the House of Representatives pursuant to the Independent Counsel law. That law, which was first enacted in 1978 and re-authorized in 3 instances since then (most recently in 1994) requires an independent counsel to "advise the House of Representatives of any substantial or credible information which the independent counsel receives...which may constitute grounds for an impeachment." That is the law of the land and the independent counsel was required to submit this communication.
In some senses, we are in uncharted waters. There has never been a report from an independent counsel detailing possible impeachable offenses by a President. Indeed, the independent counsel statute itself was an outgrowth of the Watergate era. However, we are guided very much by precedent and history in this matter, as is often the case in the House Rules Committee.
The resolution before us will enable the House through the deliberations of the House Judiciary Committee to responsibly review this important material and to discharge its duty, particularly with respect to the availability of the contents of this communication to the public and the media. It is important that the American people learn the facts regarding this matter.
As directed by the Speaker, no one - no Member or Congressional staffer - has seen the communication transmitted yesterday. However, it is the understanding of the Rules Committee that the communication contains the following: 445 pages of a communication which is divided into an introduction, a narrative and so-called "grounds"; another 2,000 pages of supporting material is contained in the appendices which may contain grand jury testimony, telephone records, video taped testimony and other sensitive material; and 17 boxes of other information.
The method of the dissemination and potential restrictions on access to this information is outlined in the resolution before the Rules Committee today.
The resolution provides the Judiciary Committee with the ability to review the communication to determine whether sufficient grounds exist to recommend to the House that an impeachment inquiry be commenced.
The resolution provides for an immediate release of the approximately 445 pages comprising an introduction, a narrative, and a statement of so-called grounds. This will be printed as a House document. The balance of the material will be deemed to have been received in executive session, but will be released from that status on September 28, 1998, unless the Judiciary Committee votes not to release it. Material released will immediately be printed as a House document.
As to the receipt by the House of transcripts and other records protected by the rules of grand jury secrecy, committees of the House have received such information on at least five occasions, all in the context of impeachment actions. This precedent dates all the way back to 1811 and as recently as the impeachment of two federal judges in the late 1980s.
The resolution further provides that additional material compiled by the Judiciary Committee during the review will be deemed to have been received in executive session unless it is received in an open session of the Committee.
Also access to that executive session material will be restricted to members of the Judiciary Committee, and such employees of the Committee as may be designated by the chairman after consultation with the ranking minority member.
Finally, the resolution provides that each meeting, hearing, or deposition of the Judiciary Committee will be in executive session unless otherwise determined by the Committee. The executive sessions may be attended only by Judiciary Committee members, and employees of the Committee designated by the chairman after consultation with the ranking minority member.
The resolution before us attempts to strike an appropriate balance between House Members - and the publics - interest in reviewing this material, and the need to protect innocent persons.
It is anticipated that the Judiciary Committee may require additional procedural or investigative authorities to adequately review this communication in the future. Those authorities may be the subject of another resolution before this Committee next week.
This resolution does not authorize or direct an impeachment inquiry. It is not the beginning of an impeachment process in the House of Representatives. It merely provides the appropriate parameters for the Committee on the Judiciary, the historically proper place to examine these matters, to review this communication and make a recommendation to the House as to whether to commence an impeachment inquiry.
If this communication from Independent Counsel Starr should form the basis for future proceedings, it is important for the Rules Committee to be mindful that Members may need to cast public, recorded, and extremely profound votes in the coming weeks or months. We should ensure that Members have enough information about the contents of the communication to cast informed votes and explain their decisions, based on their conscience, to their constituents.
Democrats and Republicans disagree about many things in this institution - but no one disagrees about the honor and integrity of our friend Henry Hyde. He is one of the most judicious Members in this body, and I have said on several occasions he would make an excellent Supreme Court Justice. We are fortunate he has not been elevated to that position, as he is very much needed at this trying time for the House and our country.
Likewise, the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Conyers, has many years of experience on the Judiciary Committee, including service there in 1974. He is extremely knowledgeable and tenacious and we look forward to his service and leadership in this important matter.
This is a very grave day for the House of Representatives, indeed it is a solemn time for our nation. Today we will do what we are compelled to do under the Constitution not because we desire it, but because it is our duty. In order to most judiciously fulfill these constitutional duties, I encourage all of the Members to approach this sensitive matter with the dignity and decorum which befits the most deliberative body in the world.
I will now yield to the distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. Moakley, for any opening statement he may have and then I will yield to any other Members of the Committee who may desire to make a statement.