Two other important facts suggest that Mr. Hubbell may have additional information. First, on March 13, 1994, after a meeting at the White House where it had been discussed that Mr. Hubbell would resign from the Justice Department, then-Chief of Staff Mack McLarty told Mrs. Clinton that "We're going to be supportive of Webb."
As this criminal investigation was beginning in 1994 under Bob Fiske and later my office, Mr. Hubbell received payments totaling nearly $550,000 from several companies and individuals. Many were campaign contributors. These individuals had been contacted through the White House chief of staff, Mr. McLarty. In June 1994, during a week in which he made several visits to the White House, Indonesian businessman James Riady met with Webster Hubbell and then wired him $100,000. One of the individuals who arranged for Mr. Hubbell to receive a consulting contract was Vernon Jordan. The company that he convinced to hire Hubbell was MacAndrews & Forbes, parent company of Revlon the same company that later hired Monica Lewinsky upon Mr. Jordan's recommendation. As he was destined later to do with Monica Lewinsky, Mr. Jordan personally informed the president about his assistance to Mr. Hubbell.
Most of the $550,000 was given to Mr. Hubbell for little or no work. This rush of generosity obviously gives rise to an inference that the money was essentially a gift. And if it was a gift, why was it given? This money was given despite the fact that Mr. Hubbell was under criminal investigation for fraudulent billing and was a key witness in the Madison Guaranty investigation.
Second, as is known to the public, on certain prison tapes while Mr. Hubbell was in prison, he said to his wife: "I won't raise those allegations that might open it up to Hillary." On another tape, Mr. Hubbell said to White House employee Marsha Scott that he might "have to roll over one more time."
Mr. Hubbell's statements when combined with the amount of money he received and the information he was in a position to know
raise some very troubling questions. Mr. Hubbell is currently under federal indictment, and it would be inappropriate to say more about that at this time.
D. Travel Office.
Let me add a few brief words about the Travel Office matter. This phase of work arose out of investigations by others of the 1993 firings of Billy Dale and six career co-workers. We do not anticipate that any evidence gathered in that investigation will be relevant to the committee's current task. The president was not involved in our Travel Office investigation.
As to the status of that investigation, it was on hold for quite a while, in part because of litigation. The investigation is not terminated, but we expect to announce any decisions and actions soon.
E. FBI Files
As to the FBI files matter, there are outstanding issues that we are attempting to resolve with respect to one idividual. But I can address two issues of relevance to the committee's work. First, our investigation, which has been thorough, found no evidence that anyone higher than Mr. Livingstone or Mr. Marceca was in any way involved in ordering the files from the FBI. Second, we have found no evidence that information contained in the files of former officials was used for an improper purpose.
VI. Office of Independent Counsel
Let me now mention a few words about our personnel, about our process, and about our reflections on this investigation. The character and conduct of the men and women of our office career professionals who take their jobs and their oaths very seriously have been badly distorted. Perhaps that is inevitable given the nature of the issues involved in this case and the fact that the president of the United States is the subject of a criminal investigation. But it is regrettable. And so let me offer some truth about the office.
I will start with our personnel. During the Lewinsky investigation, my staff has included skilled and experienced prosecutors from around the country. They have brought an enormous amount of experience and expertise to the office. My colleagues during the past year have included a former United States attorney; the chief of the public corruption unit of the United States attorney's office in Los Angeles; the chief of the public corruption unit of the United States attorney's office in Miami; the chief of the bank fraud unit of the United States attorney's office in San Antonio; prosecutors with lengthy experience in the public integrity section of the Department of Justice; seasoned federal prosecutors from 10 different states and the District of Columbia; and veteran state prosecutors from Maryland and Oregon.
The office also has benefited from the assistance of Sam Dash, chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, who has offered great wisdom throughout my tenure as independent counsel. Professor Ronald Rotunda, constitutional law scholar from the University of Illinois, similarly has provided important advice on a variety of issues. The office also has received assistance from professors at the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, Notre Dame, and George Washington. Moreover, former law clerks for six different Supreme Court justices have served on my staff during the past year.
During the Lewinsky investigation, the office also relied on many talented investigators with extensive service in the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. And the FBI laboratory yet again provided superb assistance, as it has throughout the Madison/Whitewater investigation.
In addition, let me express my great appreciation for the grand jurors who devoted much time and energy to examining the witnesses and considering the evidence. Those 23 citizens of the District of Columbia have performed invaluable service, and I publicly thank them. Ths is the rare case where grand jury transcripts become publicly scrutinized, and as you now know, these grand jurors were active, knowledgeable, fair, and completely dedicated to uncovering and understanding the truth.
B. The Process
In all of our investigations, difficult decisions have been taken through our office's deliberative process. The process calls upon each attorney drawing upon his or her background and experience to offer views on issues in question. This deliberative process is laborious, sometimes tedious. But it is an attempt to ensure that our office makes the best decisions it can. I have drawn upon a vast array of experienced prosecutors and investigators because I was sensitive to and am sensitive to the fact that an independent counsel exists outside the Justice Department and is an unusual entity within our constitutional system.
Throughout this investigation, we have made every effort to follow Department of Justice practice and policy and to utilize time-honored law enforcement techniques. Of course, with their vast experience in the department and FBI, my prosecutors and investigators embody such policy and practice. Nonetheless, it was often the case during an all-attorneys meeting that we would repair to the United States Attorney's Manual to be sure we had it right. It is true that some traditional law enforcement procedures may not be entirely comfortable for some witnesses. But the procedures have been refined over decades of practice in which society's right to detect and prosecute crime has been balanced against individual liberty. It was not our place to reinvent the investigative wheel. Nor was it our place to discard law enforcement practices that are used every day by prosecutors and police throughout the country.
C. Decisions During the Investigation
With that, let me be the first to say that the Lewinsky investigation, in particular, presented some of the most challenging issues any lawyer could face. We had to make numerous difficult decisions and often had to do so quickly. Those included factual judgments (is witness X or witness Y telling us the whole truth?), strategic choices (do we provide immunity to Ms. Lewinsky in order to obtain her testimony? Is it appropriate to subpoena the president?), legal decisions (do we accept the assertion of executive privilege for Bruce Lindsey or do we go to court to challenge it? What about the asserted Secret Service privilege?) and historic constitutional judgments (what is the meaning of Section 595(c) of the independent counsel statute and how do we write a referral that satisfies its requirements?).
Major decisions during the Lewinsky investigation have not been easy. And given the hurricane-force political winds swirling about us, we were well aware that, no matter what decision we made, criticism would come from somewhere. As Attorney General Reno has said, in high-profile cases like these, you are damne if you do and damned if you don't, so you'd better just do what you think is the right and fair thing.
We also attempted to be thorough. But we did not invent that approach just for the Lewinsky case. To take just one previous example, in investigating matters relating to the death of Vincent Foster, we were painstaking in examining evidence, questioning witnesses, and calling upon experts in homicide and suicide. We were criticized during that investigation for being too thorough, taking too long. But time has proved the correctness of our approach. After an extensive investigation, the office produced a report that addressed the many questions, confronted the difficult issues, laid out new evidence, and reached a definitive conclusion. Over time, the controversy over the Foster tragedy has dissipated because we insisted on being uncompromisingly thorough both in the investigation and in our report.
After the attorney general and the Court of Appeals assigned us the Lewinsky investigation, the office again received criticism for being too thorough. But the Lewinsky investigation could not be properly conducted in a slapdash manner. It was our duty to be meticulous, to be careful. We were. And in the process, we uncovered substantial and credible evidence of serious legal wrongdoing by the president.
Some then suggested that the report we submitted to Congress was too thorough. But bear in mind that we submitted the referral, as we were required by statute, to the House of Representatives, not to the public. And we must dispute the suggestion that a report to the House suggesting possible impeachable offenses committed by the president of the United States should tell something less than the full story. The facts, the story, are critical they affect credibility, they are necessary to avoid a distorted picture, they ultimately are the basis for a just conclusion. As a result, just as the jurors found the details of specific land deals critical in our trial of Governor Jim Guy Tucker and the McDougals, just as the Supreme Court includes the details of grisly murders in its death penalty cases, so too the details of the president's relationship with Ms. Lewinsky became relevant indeed, critical in determining whether and the extent to which the president made false statements under oath and otherwise obstructed justice in both the Jones v. Clinton case and then again in his grand jury testimony.
As you know, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the House immediately disclosed our referral to the public. But I want to be clear that the public disclosure or nondisclosure of the referral and the backup materials was a decision our office did not make and lawfully could not make. We had no way of knowing in advance of submitting the referral, and we did not know, whether the House would publicly release both the report and the backup materials; would release portions of one or both; would release redacted versions of threport and backup documents; would prepare and release a summary akin to Mr. Schippers' oral presentation; or would simply keep the referral and backup materials under seal just as Special Prosecutor Jaworski's submission in 1974 remained under seal. As a result, we respectfully but firmly reject the notion that our office was trying to inflame the public. We are professionals, and we were trying to get the relevant facts, the full story, to the House of Representatives. That was our task. And that is what we did.
In fact, the referral has served a purpose. There has been virtually no dispute about a good many of the factual conclusions in the report. In the wake of the referral, for example, few have ventured that the president told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in his civil case and before the grand jury. A key reason, we submit, is that we insisted as we have in our other investigations that we be exhaustive in the investigation and that we document the facts and conclusions in our report.
I want to be absolutely clear on one point, however. Any suggestion that the men and women of our office enjoyed or relished this investigation is wrong. It is nonsense. In at least three ways, the Lewinsky investigation caused all of us considerable dismay and continues to do so.
First, none of us has any interest whatsoever in investigating the factual details underlying the allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice in this case. My staff and I agree with the sentiments expressed by Chairman Hyde in the Nov. 9 hearing when he said "I'd like to forget all of this. I mean, who needs it?" But the Constitution and the criminal law do not have exceptions for unseemly or unpleasant or difficult cases. The attorney general and the Court of Appeals assigned us a duty to pursue the facts. And we did so.
Second, this investigation has proved difficult for us because it centered on legal wrongdoing by the president of the United States. The presidency is an office that we like all Americans revere and respect. No prosecutor is comfortable when he or she reports wrongdoing by the president. All of us want to believe that our president has at all times acted with integrity and certainly that he has not violated the criminal law.
Everyone in my office therefore envies the position years ago of Paul Curran, the distinguished counsel appointed by Attorney General Griffin Bell to investigate certain financial transactions involving President Carter. Mr. Curran received complete cooperation from President Carter, found no wrongdoing, and promptly returned to private life. I would like to do the same.
Third, this investigation was unpleasant because our office knew that some Americans, for a variety of reasons, would be opposed to our work. But we would not, could not, allow ourselves to be deterred from doing our work. As I have said, our office was assigned a spcific duty to gather the facts and then, if appropriate, to make decisions and report the facts as quickly as we possibly could. In the end, we tried to adhere to the principle Congressman Graham discussed on Oct. 5: Thirty years from now, not 30 days from now, we want to be able to say that we did the right thing.
E. The Independent Counsel
At the end of the day, I and no one else was responsible for our key decisions. And my background thus warrants brief note.
I came to this job as a product of the judicial process, of the courts. I began my legal career in 1973 as a law clerk, first for Judge David Dyer on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then for two years for Chief Justice Warren Burger. Following my clerkships, I was in private law practice in Los Angeles and Washington, during which time I worked on all manner of litigation matters civil, administrative, and criminal.
After William French Smith took office as attorney general in January 1981, I served as counselor to the attorney general from 1981 to 1983. In that capacity, I experienced firsthand the varied and difficult judgment calls that faced the attorney general every day whether it was dealing with the aftermath of the attempted assassination of President Reagan or selecting a Supreme Court nominee, in that case Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I took away from the experience an admiration that has continued to this day for the career Justice Department lawyers, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials who toil without fanfare, and for whom the guiding principles are fairness and respect for the law.
In 1983, President Reagan nominated and the Senate confirmed me to be a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. I became a colleague on a court with truly great judges from J. Skelley Wright to Antonin Scalia, from Ruth Ginsburg to Robert Bork and tackled the important and intricate issues that came before the D.C. Circuit. The cases included issues as diverse as the constitutional right of a military serviceman to wear a yarmulke (a right I supported in vain) and the right of a newspaper, in that case The Washington Post, to be free under the First Amendment from the crushing threat of liability under the libel laws.
In 1989, I accepted appointment as solicitor general of the United States. The solicitor general is, as you know, the lawyer who represents the United States in arguments before the Supreme Court. A distinguished predecessor, Thurgood Marshall, often stated that being solicitor general was the greatest job a lawyer could have, bar none. Justice Marshall had it right. As solicitor general, I argued 25 cases before the Supreme Court. The arguments covered the spectrum of our law including whether flag burning is a protected right under the Constitution, whether there is a constitutional right to refuse unwanted medical treatment near the end of one's life, and whethe the Senate's decision to convict and remove an impeached judge is subject to judicial review. While I was solicitor general, my overarching goal was to run an office faithful to the law, not to political or ideological opinion and I think the record shows that I did just that.
In 1993, I left my second tour of duty in the Justice Department and returned to private practice and teaching constitutional law. In the period before I was named independent counsel in August 1994, I was not completely absent from public service, however. In late 1993, I was asked by the Senate Ethics Committee, chaired by Nevada's Democratic Sen. Richard Bryan, to review Senator Packwood's diaries as part of the Ethics Committee's investigation.
Every person is, of course, deeply affected by his or her experiences. For my part, my experience is in the law and the courts. I am not a man of polls, public relations, or politics which I suppose is obvious at this point. I am not experienced in political campaigns.
As a product of the law and the courts, I have come to an unyielding faith in our court system our system of judicial review, the independence of our judges, our jury system, the integrity of the oath, the sanctity of the judicial process. The phrase on the facade of the Supreme Court "Equal Justice Under Law," the inscription inside the Justice Department building, "the United States wins its point when justice is done its citizens in the courts," are more than slogans. They are principles that the courts in this country apply every day. Our office saw that firsthand in the trial of Governor Jim Guy Tucker, Jim McDougal, and Susan McDougal. A juror said afterwards that they fought for the defendants' liberty, but were overwhelmed by the evidence. It is our judicial process that helps make this country distinct. And my background, my instincts, my beliefs have instilled in me a deep respect for the legal process that is at the foundation of our republic.
President Lincoln asked that "reverence for the laws be proclaimed in legislative halls and enforced in courts of justice." Mr. Chairman, my office and I revere the law. I am proud of what we have accomplished. We were assigned a difficult job. We have done it to the very best of our abilities. We have tried to be both fair and thorough.
I thank the committee and the American people for their attention.