STATEMENT OF U.S. SENATOR ALFONSE D'AMATO, CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE WHITEWATER COMMITTEE.
JUNE 18, 1996
Senator D'Amato's statement summarizing the report of the Senate Whitewater Committee that he chaired.
Jim Lehrer discussed the findings of the Whitewater Committee with Senators Bennett and Sarbanes.
Shields and Gigot consider the conclusions of the Whitewater Committee report.
Kwame Holman looks back on the 11 month history of the Senate Whitewater Committee.
The Democratic party's summary of their minority portion of the Whitewater Committee report.
MAY 28: Hillary Clinton's interview with Jim Lehrer, included questions about Whitewater.
FEB. 22: Deputy White House Chief of StaffHarold Ickes testified before the Whitewater Committee.
DEC. 15: Senator D'Amato (R), Chair of the Whitewater Committee discussed the controversy of President Clinton's notes .
Complete NewsHour transcriptson the Senate Whitewater Committee and the Arkansas trial.
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Today, we issue the Final Report of the Whitewater Committee. After 14 months of work, 52 hearings, and taking testimony from more than 260 witnesses, we have discovered a very troubling and continuing pattern of abuse of power. And each time an abuse is revealed, the White House delivers excuses, memory lapses, and changed stories. Time and again, the White House seems unable to give the American people the truth on the first, or even second, try.
Throughout our hearings this disturbing pattern was seen again and again:
Former Treasury Chief of Staff Josh Steiner, confronted with damaging evidence in his own handwriting, claimed that he was not telling the truth to his own diary.
Margaret Williams, Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, told a White House employee Tom Castleton that she was moving a box of papers from Vincent Foster's office to the Residence so that the President and First Lady could review them. Confronted by Mr. Castleton's testimony, Ms. Williams dismissed him as a mere intern.
Former Deputy Attorney General Philip Heyman testified that he bitterly criticized White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum for breaking his word, asking "Bernie, are you hiding something?" Nussbaum did not remember this most memorable conversation.
Susan Thomases, close friend and advisor to the First Lady, couldn't recall being at the White House for nearly six hours on the day Vince Foster's note was eventually turned over to the investigators.
Harold Ickes, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, saying in a Whitewater defense team meeting, that one of the career Justice Department officials was "f --- ing us blue" tried to suggest that the phrase was a compliment to the official for doing an effective job.
And Mark Gearan, the former White House Communications Director, who attended the same Whitewater defense meeting and took the notes, saying that "f--ing us blue" meant the Justice Department official was a "tough guy."
April Breslaw, an RTC official in Kansas City, who testified that she didn't recognize her own voice on a tape trying to prompt investigator Jean Lewis into softening her conclusions.
History will judge these hearings as a revealing insight into the workings of an American Presidency that misused its power, circumvented the limits on its authority, and attempted to manipulate the truth. We have had hundreds of hours of testimony with key Administration officials forgetting important facts, not recalling major events and repudiating their own notes and diaries. We have seen members of the Administration or close associates of the Clintons convicted, indicted or forced to resign public office.
We have witnessed a pattern of deception and arrogance that undermines the fundamental core of the American democratic system.
Our job was to search for the truth and to do so in a fair, impartial and thorough manner. And that's what we've done. I am proud of the men and women who worked along with this Committee to reveal the truth. These hearings succeeded in helping the American people to see more clearly the events that are today called Whitewater.
Many other events have emerged since these hearings began and the pattern continues. Most notably, we have had Travelgate, the firing and attempted destruction of the lives of Billy Dale and six other individuals. And in the past two weeks, we begun to learn about Filegate, the systematic abuse of the most private files of individuals held by the FBI. These acts reveal a pattern of the misuse of the awesome power of government and a potential threat to the most fundamental right of privacy and common decency.
Whitewater appears to have been neither the beginning nor the end of a pattern of Administration misbehavior that should never occur in a free society.
Therefore it is important that the American people have the testimony, read this report and understand its conclusions.