SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT SHOULD CONFER IMMUNITY CONCERNING ILLEGAL FOREIGN FUNDRAISING ACTIVITIES (House of Representatives - May 19, 1998)

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Mr. COX of California. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 440) expressing the sense of the Congress that the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight should confer immunity from prosecution for information and testimony concerning illegal foreign fundraising activities.

The Clerk read as follows:

H. Res. 440

Whereas the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight is currently investigating the unprecedented flow of illegal foreign contributions to the Clinton-Gore campaign during the 1996 Presidential campaign;

Whereas more than 90 witnesses in the investigation have either asserted the fifth amendment or fled the United States to avoid testifying, including 53 persons involved in raising money for the Democratic National Committee or the Clinton-Gore campaign;

Whereas among the 53 persons who have either asserted the fifth amendment or fled the United States to avoid testifying are former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell; former White House aide Mark Middleton; longtime Clinton friends John Huang, Charlie Trie, and James and Mochtar Riady; and Chinese businessman Ted Sieong and 11 members of his family;

Whereas democratic fundraiser Johnny Chung has told Department of Justice investigators that he funneled more than $100,000 in illegal campaign contributions from a Chinese military officer to Democrats during the 1996 campaign cycle, according to a New York Times report on May 15, 1998;

Whereas Chung told Federal investigators much of the $100,000 he gave to the Democratic National Committee in the 1996 campaign came from Communist China's Peoples Liberation Army through Liu Chaoying, a Chineese Lieutenant Colonel and aerospace industry executive;

Whereas Chung's account and supporting evidence, such as financial records, is the first direct evidence of Communist Chinese campaign contributions being funneled to the Democratic National Committee and Clinton-Gore '96;

Whereas subsequent to the receipt of the illegal campaign contributions from Communist Chineese officials the Clinton Administration relaxed export controls and overruled a Pentagon ban on the sale and export of sophisticated satellite technology to China;

Whereas on April 23 and May 13, 1998, the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight unsuccessfully sought to grant immunity from prosecution to 4 important witnesses, including 2 former employees of Johnny Chung who have direct knowledge concerning Communist Chinese attempts to influence United States policy and make illegal campaign contributions;

Whereas these 4 witnesses, Irene Su, Nancy Lee, Larry Wong, and Kent La, each have direct information concerning the efforts employed by Johnny Chung, Ted Sieong, and other foreigners to violate Federal campaign laws and exercise foreign influence over the 1996 elections;

Whereas the Department of Justice does not object to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight's desire to confer immunity on Irene Wu, Nancy Lee, Larry Wong, and Kent La;

Whereas Irene Wu, Johnny Chung's office manager and primary assistant, would provide the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight firsthand information and knowledge about Chung's payments to Clinton-Gore '96 and his relationships with foreign nationals;

Whereas Nancy Lee, an engineer at Mr. Chung's company, solicited contributions from her colleagues for the benefit of Clinton-Gore '96, and those contributions serve as the foundation of criminal charges brought against Mr. Chung;

Whereas Larry Wong, a long-time friend and associate of convicted felon Gene Lum, has direct knowledge concerning Lum's method of making illegal foreign money contributions to Clinton-Gore '96;

Whereas Kent La, the United States distributor of Communist Chinese cigarettes, has direct and relevant information about illegal foreign money contributions made to the Democratic National Committee by Ted Sioeng; and

Whereas the inability of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight to confer immunity on these 4 important witnesses serves as an impediment to the important work of the committee in determining the extent to which officials and associates of the Chinese and other foreign government sought to influence the 1996 elections and United States policy in violation of Federal campaign contribution laws and regulations: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight should vote to direct the General Counsel of the House of Representatives to apply to a United States district court for an order immunizing from use in prosecutions the testimony of, and other information provided by, Irene Wu, Nancy Lee, Larry Wong, and Kent La at proceedings before or ancillary to the Committee.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from California (Mr. Cox) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California (Mr. Cox).

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Mr. COX of California. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to yield my time to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner) and that he may be able to yield time as he sees fit.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California?

There was in objection.

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I introduced House Resolution 440. This resolution expresses the sense of Congress that the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight should confer immunity to four witnesses who have direct knowledge about how the Chinese government made illegal campaign contributions in an apparent attempt to influence our foreign policy. This resolution is not about titillating gossip, nor is it about partisan politics. Simply put, this resolution is about determining whether American lives have been put at risk and whether Communist-controlled companies and Chinese officials were given access to sophisticated technology that jeopardizes our national security.

To give my colleagues a sense as to why this resolution is so important, I would like to ask them to consider some disturbing revelations that have come to light about the connection between the Clinton administration and Communist China.

Last week various news sources, including the New York Times, reported that the Clinton administration's decision to approve exports of satellite technology to China in 1996 may have been connected with campaign contributions to the Democrat Party. In short, it is alleged that the Clinton administration granted waivers to two companies in 1996, Loral Space and Communications and Hughes Electronic Corporation, that allowed them to export sophisticated satellite technology to Communist China.

Loral's chairman, Bernard Schwartz, donated more than $600,000 to the Democrat Party. Last week the New York Times also reported that in March of 1996, the President overruled both the State Department and the Pentagon, which wanted to keep sharp limits on China's ability to launch American-made satellites using Chinese rockets, and turned oversight of granting such permission for these launches over to the Commerce Department, which was in favor of permitting them.

At the time the Commerce Department was headed by the late Ron Brown, who was previously chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

One of the beneficiaries of that decision, according to the Times, was China Aerospace, a military-run Chinese company that employed Liu Chaoying as an executive. The Times also reported that one-time Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung has told the Justice Department investigators that he funneled $100,000 in cash from Liu to the Democratic National Committee during the 1996 presidential campaign.

[TIME: 1945]

Liu is a lieutenant colonel in the Chinese army and the daughter of a top Chinese military official.

The Times' report is significant in that it represents the most solid evidence yet of a Chinese connection in the campaign finance scandal. More importantly, it opens the door to allegations that the Chinese government was able to jeopardize U.S. national security because of illegal campaign contributions.

Mr. Speaker, one might logically ask, `How does this affect America's national security?' Well, I think the answer is quite obvious. Any technology transfer that benefits China's space program also benefits China's missile program.

In fact, a little over 2 weeks ago it was reported in The Washington Times that Communist China had aimed 13 long-range strategic missiles at the United States. These missiles have a range of 8,000 miles and are capable of delivering nuclear warheads that can obliterate an entire city in a single blast.

We have also learned that China is aggressively pursuing development and modernization of their entire missile program. Not only are they improving the accuracy of their short-range missiles which threaten their neighbors, they are also developing an entirely new class of missiles capable of bringing their nuclear weapons to American families.

So, Mr. Speaker, we need to know why and if the President of the United States changed the policy in a way that gave sensitive and sophisticated missile technology to a Nation that now aims nuclear weapons at our sons and daughters. Mr. Speaker, I can only ask all of my colleagues to join with me as we try to ensure whether or not our children grow up in a safe world or in a world in the throes of another arms race, or even another Cold War.

President Clinton is expected to travel to China next month where he is also expected to announce new space technology cooperation agreements. Before he leaves, the American people must know exactly if past cooperation with China has undermined our national security.

Congress and the American people must have the answers to some very specific questions:

Why did the President overrule the State Department and turn such important decisions over to the Commerce Department?

How did this transfer of technology jeopardize our national security and American lives?

No Member of this body should rest until we know the answers to these questions. Giving immunity to these four important witnesses is a first step in opening the door to the truth in these very important matters.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Boehner resolution. I completely agree that the four witnesses should be given immunity. I believe every Democrat on the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight also supports immunity for the witnesses.

In fact, our only reservation on the merits has been that the witnesses still have not provided proffers of their testimony, which is a standard and essential procedure in an immunity case. That is what we said when the committee first voted on immunity on April 3, it is what I said in a letter to the Speaker on May 10, and it is what we said again when the committee voted on immunity on May 13.

On May 10, I sent a letter to the Speaker, and I want to quote from that letter. I wrote to the Speaker and I said:

I am writing in the spirit of bipartisanship to work with you to find a constructive solution to the difficult problems facing the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. During the past several weeks, you have personally attacked me and questioned my integrity without justification. I believe, however, that the American people expect more from us than name calling and partisan battles. Instead of escalating this fight, I want to make a genuine attempt to work with you to meet these expectations.

I said to the Speaker, and I further quote,

I am prepared to recommend to my Democratic colleagues that they support the pending immunity requests, but before I do, I believe the rules and procedures guiding the committee's campaign finance investigation must be changed so that the committee can conduct a fair and thorough investigation.

Well, 2 weeks have passed, and the Speaker still has not responded to my letter and my request that we work together. We have tried to make it as clear as possible that our problem is not with immunity, our problem is with the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Dan Burton) and his handling of this investigation. That is a problem the Speaker, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner), and the other Members of the Republican leadership insist on ignoring.

Since we last voted in committee, new information has come to light, originally in The New York Times, about the possibility that Johnny Chung may have been a conduit for political contributions from China. The new allegations are serious and deserve thorough congressional investigation.

Although there is no indication that the four witnesses seeking immunity have information relevant to these new allegations, the new evidence reinforces my belief that the witnesses should be given immunity. The new evidence also reinforces my belief that the gentleman from Indiana is the wrong person to be leading this investigation.

We are dealing with extremely serious allegations. We owe the American people a serious, credible investigation. So here we are today, and the Republican leadership has made no attempt to work with us in a bipartisan way. The Republican leadership is not sending this issue to another committee, it is not bringing the issue up on the House floor, it is not proposing to fix the Burton problem. The leadership is here telling us immunity is essential and then insisting on the one immunity option they know we will oppose. It is rare that partisanship and cynicism are this transparent.

Two weeks ago The New York Times, which has been leading the call for a thorough and aggressive investigation into the President's 1996 campaign, printed an editorial called `The Dan Burton Problem,' and I want to take a moment and read in part from that editorial.

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By now, even Representative Dan Burton ought to recognize that he has become an impediment to a serious investigation of the 1996 campaign finance scandals. If the House inquiry is to be responsible, someone else on Mr. Burton's committee should run it.

Coming on the heels of an impolitic remark by Mr. Burton about the President 2 weeks ago, the tapes fiasco is forcing the House Republicans to confront two blunders: The first was to entrust the investigation of campaign finance abuses to Mr. Burton, the chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. The second was to give him unilateral power to release confidential information.

Mr. Burton, a fierce partisan, not known for balanced judgment, was plainly the wrong man for a sensitive job. If Mr. Burton will not step aside, Speaker Newt Gingrich should convene the Republican Caucus and ask it to name a replacement. Mr. Gingrich should also agree to rules both to provide a check on the new Chairman's power and to enhance bipartisanship.

By agreeing to improvements in the rules, Republicans would remove a major criticism of the committee's process as well as the Democrats' excuse for denying immunity. For now, Mr. Gingrich seems determined to back Mr. Burton. That will only delay getting a truthful account of fund-raising in the 1996 election.

My colleagues, this is a serious matter, and that is why we have asked that the Speaker give us leadership on this issue to work with us in a bipartisan manner. It sometimes seems that the Speaker acts as if he thinks he is still in the minority; that he is an insurgent. But the Speaker is the Speaker of the House. He is the Speaker of the whole House, and he should be working to bring all of us together for a fair and credible investigation, not trying to drive partisan wedges between us and trying to impede a serious investigation.

Now, the Republicans have a majority in this House. When the chairman of the investigation calls the President of the United States a scum bag, when he admits he is after the President, when he doctors transcripts that purport to represent evidence the committee obtained, when he issues over 600 unilateral subpoenas and targets 99 percent of his 1,000 subpoena and other information requests to Democrats, we Republicans and Democrats have a very real problem.

When the committee's Republican chief counsel quits because he is not allowed to conduct a professional investigation, when the Republican chief investigator is fired, we have a very real problem. We have a committee out of control. But because Republicans have the majority in this House, it is a problem that they alone can solve. All the Democrats ask is what The New York Times proposed: Act responsibly, solve the problem. We are prepared to vote for immunity if the majority is willing to work with us in even the most minimal way.

I am going to vote for this resolution because it really is tantamount to a meaningless gimmick. It is an empty exercise in political posturing. I should also point out for the record that the resolution contains a number of basic factual errors, and I will submit information correcting these mistakes.

A meaningful act would be to reform the procedures we have in the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, or send this matter to another committee, so that we can get on with the investigation.

If this matter is as important to the Speaker as he says it is, and it should be, we only ask that he work with us for a constructive investigation. Please do not posture on such an important issue. Democrats are ready and have been ready to vote for immunity. All we ask is that the investigation be fair, bipartisan and competent.

And that means, by the way, that we get the facts, and then see what conclusions those facts lead us to, not reach the conclusions first and then try to see what facts will fit into those conclusions.

I have heard incredible statements by some of my Republican colleagues when they talk about money from the Chinese government going to the President of the United States and he knowingly then gives weapons technology to the Chinese that may jeopardize our national security. If that is the allegation, we better have facts to back it up because, quite frankly, that is not just accusing the President of the United States of a crime, that is accusing the President of the United States of the crime of treason.

We ask the Speaker, bring us together to act rationally. We ask the Speaker to work with us. Give us bipartisanship. Make some tough decisions. If the Speaker is going to send this to the committee for another vote, take some time first to meet with the minority Members and try to find common ground. If that does not occur, it will be absolutely clear that this is all about cynical politics not genuine concern, and the American people will have yet another reason to tune us all out.

Mr. Speaker, I provide for the Record the letter to the Speaker and information correcting the factual errors contained in the resolution to which I referred to earlier:
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT,
Washington, DC, May 10, 1998.

Hon. Newt Gingrich,
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

Dear Mr. Speaker: I am writing in the spirit of bipartisanship to work with you to find a constructive solution to the difficult problems facing the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. During the past several weeks, you have personally attacked me and questioned my integrity without justification. I believe, however, that the American people expect more from us than name-calling and partisan battles. Instead of escalating this fight, I want to make a genuine attempt to work with you to meet their expectations.

I am prepared to recommend to my Democratic colleagues that they support the pending immunity requests. But before I do, I believe that the rules and procedures guiding the Committee's campaign finance investigation must be changed so that the Committee can conduct a fair and thorough investigation.

Of course, such changes also require that the chair of the investigation be fair and credible. Mr. Burton, the current chairman, has disqualified himself by his actions. He has called the President a vulgar name and said that he is out to get the President. And he has `doctored' evidence by releasing altered and selectively edited transcripts of the Webster Hubbell tapes. There are several senior Republican members of the Committee who could immediately take his place and continue the investigation. For the investigation to have any legitimacy, this must happen.

A fair investigation must have fair procedures. Some have asserted that the Democratic members want a veto over the conduct of the investigation. This is not true. We are not seeking the right to block the issuance of subpoenas or the release of documents. All we want is the opportunity to present our arguments to the Committee if we raise objections that the chair is unwilling to acknowledge. We recognize that we are in the minority and that we can be outvoted. Fairness dictates, however, that we should at least have the right to appeal our case to the Committee members if we are summarily rejected by the chair.

I am not asking for unusual procedures. The exact opposite is the case. In the last year, Mr. Burton issued over 600 subpoenas unilaterally, without minority concurrence or a Committee vote. That is more than three unilateral subpoenas for every day the House was in session. To the best of my knowledge, however, no Democratic committee chairman since the McCarthy era forty years ago ever issued a subpoena unilaterally. The congressional subpoena power is an awesome power. It compels an individual to turn over documents to Congress or to testify before Congress against the individual's will. Prior to Mr. Burton, committee chairmen simply did not exercise this power unilaterally.

As Lee Hamilton, the chair of the House Iran-Contra investigation, wrote me:

As a matter of practice in the Iran-Contra investigation, the four Congressional leaders of the Select Committee--Senators Inouye and Rudman, Representative Cheney and I--made decisions jointly on all matter or procedural issues, including the issuance of subpoenas. I do not recall a single instance in which the majority acted unilaterally.

Likewise, Mr. Burton's unilateral release of subpoenaed documents is the exception, not the rule. I cannot think of a precedent for a committee chairman releasing such personal information--such as Mr. Hubbell's private conversations with his wife and daughters--unilaterally.

There are many precedents in congressional history for fair investigative procedures. You have referred repeatedly to the Watergate investigation as a model of bipartisanship. The House Watergate investigation had fair procedures that provided the minority the right to seek a committee vote if they objected to a proposed subpoena or document release. These Watergate procedures would provide an excellent model for this investigation.

Fair procedures do not lead to gridlock. To the contrary, they lead to bipartisan cooperation and a more successful investigation. They also are a safeguard against the kind of abuses that have characterized Mr. Burton's investigation. Under the rules followed in other congressional investigations, the entire committee is accountable for the investigation. Under Mr. Burton's rules, the Committee has transferred virtually all its power to him alone and he is accountable to no one. The events of the past weeks make it clear why this model should never be used again.

Senator Thompson followed fair procedures in his campaign finance investigation, and he was able to accomplish far more than Mr. Burton. In fact, he held 33 days of hearings and filed a 1,100-page report before Mr. Burton held his twelfth day of hearings. The Thompson procedures would be another excellent model for this investigation.

You have accused me and other Democrats of `stonewalling' the investigation. That is not accurate. Mr. Burton has had virtually limitless powers. Democrats have blocked none of the 602 unilateral subpoenas he has issued, nor have we blocked any of the 148 depositions that his staff has conducted. In fact, we even supported the only other three immunity requests made by Mr. Burton. I want to be part of a thorough investigation of campaign finance abuses. I don't want to be in a position I am in now, where I must oppose immunity requests as a matter of principle.

Mr. Speaker, I am willing to put partisanship aside in addressing the problems on the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. I hope you will join with me in this effort.

Sincerely,

Henry A. Waxman,
Ranking Minority Member.

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Factual Inaccuracies in H. Res. 440

Claim: `[M]ore than 90 witnesses in the investigation have either asserted the fifth amendment or fled the United States to avoid testifying.'

Fact: This number is misleading because it includes:

12 individuals who have been given immunity and already testified;

8 Buddhist nuns who were never immunized because their testimony would have duplicated other testimony;

21 individuals who are listed as having fled the country who in fact live in foreign countries;

11 individuals who, while not cooperating with Congress, have been convicted by or are cooperating with the Department of Justice.

Claim: `[S]ubsequent to the receipt of the illegal campaign contributions from Communist Chinese officials the Clinton Administration relaxed export controls . . . on the sale and export of sophisticated satellite technology to China.'

Fact: This statement is inaccurate. The Clinton administration relaxed export controls before not after, June 1996, when Johnny Chung reportedly first met Liu Chaoying. The Clinton administration announced its decision to move commercial communications satellites from the Munitions List to the Commerce Control List of dual-use items, moving export licensing jurisdiction from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce, In March 1996--three months before Mr. Chung allegedly met Ms. Liu. Moreover, the practice of issuing waivers was not begun by the Clinton Administration. According to the New York Times (May 17, 1998), it was first used by the Bush Administration.

Claim: `[T]he Department of Justice does not object to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight's desire to confer immunity on . . . Kent La.'

Fact: The Department of Justice does have serious reservations about immunizing Kent La. In a letter dated April 22, 1998, the Department of Justice expressed its view that `if Mr. La were to testify publicly at this time, the Department's criminal investigation could in fact be compromised. Even if Mr. La were to testify in a closed session, any disclosure or leak of that testimony, whether intentional or inadvertent, could seriously compromise the investigation and any subsequent prosecutions.' The numerous leaks of information during the course of Committee's investigation suggests that the confidentiality that the Department of Justice has requested could not be maintained.

Claim: The four witnesses have `direct knowledge' concerning `Communist Chinese attempts to influence United States policy and make illegal campaign contributions,' `illegal foreign money contributions made to the Democratic National Committee by Ted Sioeng,' or `convicted felon Gene Lum['s] . . . method of making illegal foreign money contributions to Clinton-Gore '96.'

Fact: The four witnesses have had employment or business relationships with Johnny Chung, Ted Sioeng, and Gene Lum. It is not yet clear, however, that any of the four witnesses have significant information about the alleged illegal activities involving foreign contributions. Based on what is currently known about the witnesses, they would appear to be relatively minor witnesses with little new information to provide investigators.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay), the majority whip.

Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding me this time. This is really a sad day for the House, that we have to bring a resolution like this to the House, and I rise in strong support of the resolution. I wish we did not have to bring it.

To some, bipartisan means as long as they buy into their partisanship, they will go along. To some, they think it is the chairman of the committee that is the problem. This has nothing to do with the chairman of the committee. What it has to do, and the American people have seen it, that if people really wanted to get to the truth, the revelations that came over the weekend, we would have known years ago, at least months ago.

[TIME: 2000]

But the American people have seen this administration stonewalling and dragging their feet, hiding documents, hiding behind their lawyers. We have seen Members of the other party and the other body attacking Chairman Thompson, attacking Chairman D'Amato. And over here they attack the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Leach), they attack the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Klink), and now they are attacking the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton), all for one purpose; and that is they are scared to death to get to the truth.

Well, if all the scandals surrounding the Clinton administration had not meant much to the American people in the last 3 months, the latest revelations coming about the White House prove that they matter now.

According to press accounts, the White House accepted campaign contributions from officials of the Communist Chinese army and then later approved the shipment of sensitive defense technology to that country. Now, we do not know if there is a connection there or not. But the American people have the right to know the truth. And this was done over the objections of several foreign policy advisors in this administration. This technology has threatened the balance of power in Asia, giving India an excuse to test nuclear weapons, thereby threatening the security of every human being on earth.

So, Mr. Speaker, where were the Democrats when we asked them for their cooperation earlier this year in finding out the facts about this serious situation? Where were the Democrats when the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight tried to interview witnesses who had important information about this national security crisis?

Some of our friends on the other side of the aisle appear to be turning their backs on the truth because they want to play these partisan games. Well, Mr. Speaker, this is no time for partisan games. Our national security is threatened by this new Asian arms race, which has been unwittingly jump-started by the political hacks at the White House.

Now, I hope that these latest revelations would give even the fiercest partisan a reason to seek the truth. My friends, these events have put into motion the greatest crisis the world has seen since the end of the Cold War. Now is the time for Congress to work together to find out the facts, and I urge my Democrat colleagues to join us now in investigating these allegations. The American people have a right to know the truth.

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Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the Majority Leader, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Armey).

Mr. ARMEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I will get to the point. The point is we have long since now passed the point at which we can be casual about this. We are not talking about campaign finance violations. We are not talking about small things. We have very big questions here and very grave questions before the American people.

Did the President of the United States permit the sale of technology to China that would allow them to target missiles against United States citizens?

Did the President of the United States allow that sale to be made by an American firm already under investigation for trespasses against American law regarding the sale of such merchandise?

Did the President of the United States allow that sale against the protest of his own State Department and his own Department of Defense and over the objections of his own Justice Department?

Did the President of the United States know that the money received for his campaign, the campaign for people of his party, came from an officer in the Chinese Government who is also a major officer in Chinese corporations that were under sanction by the United States Government?

Did the transfer of the missile technology to China spark India's nuclear testing?

And did India's nuclear testing, in response to China's new capacity, spark the desire to do so in Pakistan?

Does the Defense Department find our national security is threatened?

Is the President, as Bill Safire suggests, the `proliferation president'?

Does the President of the United States have the standing in the international community to be the leader that America must have in its president?

Just last week, the President failed to convince our major allies to join us in sanctioning India over testing nuclear weapons. Yesterday, he agreed to waive Helms/Burton sanctions on European countries helping Iran develop its oil industry, and I am still wondering where did that come from.

Last year, the President could get very little support for efforts to force weapons inspections in Iraq. And, last year, the President could not even get his own party in the House of Representatives to give him fast track authority.

The President of the United States should command international respect as the leader of the free world. Until President Clinton comes forward with the truth, the cloud hanging over this presidency in not only international affairs but domestic affairs will grow.

Mr. Speaker, I suppose there are times when it is amusing and even entertaining to pretend a wide-eyed innocence as one joins the stonewalling effort of the administration. If it were only a matter of domestic campaign finance law, violations, perhaps America could afford to give a wink and a nod to feigning moral outrage because one does not like the chairman of the committee, or that committee, or the other committee, or this committee.

But this is bigger than that. It is more important than that. It is about the genuine security needs of the American people in a world that may, in fact, be increasingly more dangerous than we ever thought we would face again and about the President of the United States being respected in the international community so that he can give the leadership in world affairs that this Nation feels it must give.

This is a serious matter. It is time to get serious. It is time to put away all the lawyer tricks. It is time to put away all the cute politics. It is time to get serious and say to the President, to all with whom he has had association in these matters, `Come forward. Tell the truth. Get it off your chest. You will feel better for it. It is possible that you may make it possible for us to make America safer for it.'

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time is remaining on each side?

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Riggs). Both the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) control 9 1/2 minutes.

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Kanjorski).

Mr. KANJORSKI. Mr. Speaker, I am not usually engaged in these type of discussions, but I made it a point to come down tonight because I like the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner). I have had the occasion to spend some time with him and find him to be a man of admirable quality. I came to the House at the same time that the Majority Leader came to the House, and I find him to be a man of quality.

Indeed, it is a sad day for the House of Representatives and for this government. We seem to be ever increasingly accepting leaks, contentions, illogical reasoning; and bright and intelligent men that exercise unusual influence in this House and in this country are willing to leap ahead and make conclusions, as the gentleman from California said, making a charge that the President of the United States is guilty of treason.

I have served in this House probably longer than most Members here because I started my service as a page and I followed the House through. So I went through the McCarthy hearings. And I am not going to make any reference that this reminds me of that because that is something for historians to determine.

But I have taken the time to read the Record of the House in 1972 and 1973 and 1974, and I would challenge my friends on the other side to examine the statements of then Speaker Carl Albert, the Majority Leader, or at that time the Majority Leader, and the Majority Whip and the Caucus Chairman and show us one instance where that leadership came to the floor of the House of Representatives to assert an indictment and a conviction for the crime of treason against the President of the United States on the basis of leaked information in a New York newspaper by unnamed investigators that have arrived at some facts that they do not draw conclusions from.

I would like to tell my friends on the other side, I have been a very serious member of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight for 18 months now in this investigation. I have sat through hundreds of hours of hearings and depositions and things that have been thrown around this town and around this world.

The Majority Leader yesterday said that he was going to see that the deposition of Johnny Chung was released. Well, by golly, if he can release it, I wish he would tell me where it is. Because I sat in a meeting when Johnny Chung and his lawyer refused to take a deposition before this Committee but was entertained by the Chairman of our Committee for about 2 or 2 1/2 hours in, quote, a friendly discussion; and at that time and through those 2 hours of testimony never did he remotely indicate where any funds came from from foreign government, foreign agents, or that he, in fact, had any activity that would castigate not only the national Democratic party but certainly not the President of the United States.

Suddenly, the deposition is to be released on Wednesday. Apparently, my friend from Ohio has more information than I have. I have been 2 weeks at hearings asking for proffers.

In his opening statement, my colleague indicated what these four witnesses are going to testify to. Why did not the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton) allow to us have those proffers if he is sharing it with the majority side and conference chairman?

Mr. Speaker, we are not going to solve this. But I want to say one thing. I think the leaks that were made over the weekend are serious leaks. They are not proper. They are not right. They do not stand for anything. But they are things that we should be investigating. I think it is time to put politics and partisanship aside. We may have serious problems. And we may have none.

If my colleagues want my belief, I am going to tell them this. If I conclude that for an $80,000 contribution to the Democratic National Committee that the President of the United States committed treason, I will tender my resignation the day that fact is established to me.

I cannot believe that any responsible Representative, Republican, Democrat, Independent, in the Congress of the United States could be so foolhardy to think that the President of the United States would risk that country's security, violate his oath of office, commit treason, and subject not only every man, woman, and child in America, but the 6 billion people of this world, to nuclear war. What a charge. What an incredible charge.

All I suggest, my colleagues, is before we make these wild allegations, statements and charges, please take the time to realize that a bipartisan investigation is necessary; and that is the only thing the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) requests.

[Page: H3457]

[TIME: 2015]

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, no one is alleging any specific act. There are questions, lots of questions that we are trying to get answers to.

Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Florida (Mrs. Fowler).

(Mrs. FOWLER asked and was given permission to revise and extend her remarks.)

Mrs. FOWLER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution. It is unfortunate that this has become a partisan debate. I rise today, not as a Republican, but as a member of the House Committee on National Security.

Make no mistake about it. This is a national security issue. This is about finding out how and why the Clinton administration overruled Pentagon experts to allow sensitive military technology to be transferred to the Chinese.

My colleagues on the other side of the aisle are not happy with the course of the campaign finance investigation. They are opposing immunity for four key witnesses to register their protest with the Chairman. But, Mr. Speaker, who is really being punished? Who is hurt if there is a successful effort to block Congress' attempt to determine the truth? A nation, Mr. Speaker.

Our Nation is at risk. Our men and women in uniform are at risk. The American people deserve to know why their Commander in Chief approved the sale of sensitive military technology to China, not once, but twice, over the objections of his Defense Department, State Department, Justice Department, and intelligence agencies.

This is a national security issue that should not be subject to the same partisanship that has characterized so much of the campaign finance investigation.

I urge my colleagues to consider this Nation's legitimate national security interest and vote yes on the Boehner resolution.

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher).

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Pennsylvania asks how could we possibly think that a donation of $80,000 could cause the President to do something so terrible as has been suggested here. We are not talking about $80,000. We are not talking about $80,000 at all. We are talking about hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars that were funneled into the President's reelection effort by people involved with these transfers of technology.

I have never called to treason and I will not call to treason. I think what we have here is a betrayal of the interest of the people of the United States of America, especially if that had anything to do with those millions of dollars that were funneled into the President's reelection effort from the Red Chinese and the American companies that were involved with transferring the technology.

Why do we have to come to the floor to insist that these four individuals who know about these campaign contributions be permitted to testify? It is absolutely ridiculous that we have had to come this far.

No one will ever be able to know for sure what is going on if you are saying what is happening here unless we hear their testimony. We need to get to the bottom of this. This is a national security issue as well as a political corruption issue. But no one will ever be perfect enough when a Democrat President is being investigated.

Ken Starr had impeccable credentials and now he has been vilified. The gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton) makes one or two verbal mistakes and all of a sudden that is being used as a diversion to pull the public's attention away from these very serious national security charges.

We need to get to the bottom of this. We need to make sure, and we are not going to be diverted by some nonsense about the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton) made a couple of verbal abuses. That does not cut it with us when we have weapons technology going to improve the Communist Chinese capabilities of launching nuclear weapons against the United States of America. That is that serious.

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time is remaining on each side.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Riggs). The gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) has 4 1/2 minutes remaining, and the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner) has 6 minutes remaining.

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 1/4 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Barr).

Mr. BARR of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding time to me.

Mr. Speaker, as usual, when our colleague from California (Mr. Waxman) speaks I think of many things. One thing that I thought of was Alice in Wonderland. When Alice is admonished to say what she means, she says `I do. At least I mean what I say. That is the same thing, you know.' `Not quite so,' she was then lectured. `Saying that you mean what you say is the same as I mean what I say. I say what I mean would be like saying I say what I eat is the same as I eat what I see.'

Unlike Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Speaker, we are in the real world. Mr. Waxman gets up here and pontificates about how he will vote for this resolution knowing full well that then when he goes back to the committee, he and all of his colleagues or at least those who still travel in lockstep with him will vote against it. He means what he says, and he says what he means, but neither is actually the case.

I did not object when the gentleman from California said he was going to insert corrective language in his statement. The reason that I did not object to it was the fact that I certainly hoped that he will correct the one misstatement that I find in the resolution on page 2, paragraph 4, which says that Mr. Chung's account and supporting evidence is the first direct evidence of Communist Chinese campaign contributions.

I presume that the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman) will insert in the Record the voluminous amounts of material and evidence directly related thereto that is already in the Record of direct evidence of Communist Chinese campaign contributions.

He may want to go back and I presume he will correct the Record to indicate and set forth the eight trips that Ng Lap Seng made to this country in 1994, 1995 and 1996, bringing large amounts, hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash in here and within 2 days of each one of those entries into this country made a visit to the White House, and on most occasions visited directly with Mark Middleton at the White House.

The gentleman from California might also go back and review some of the tapes in which Mr. Clinton, the President of the United States, was meeting Chinese officials and others thanking them for attending a fund-raising event. He might also review the voluminous evidence we have of other money coming from Macao and the Bank of China into the Clinton/Gore campaign in 1995 and 1996.

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from West Virginia (Mr. Wise).

Mr. WISE. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner) has made very serious allegations and demanded an investigation. I think he is correct in terms of requesting the investigation based on the allegations he has made.

The gentleman from Texas (Mr. DeLay), the majority whip, the Republican whip, has made serious allegations, and they too should be investigated. The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Armey), the majority leader. Has made serious allegations.

As a 16-year member of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and one who is a subcommittee chair in my time, I, too, agree that because those allegations have been made they should be investigated.

The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Armey), the majority leader, said something that stuck with me, and I remember he said this is too big, in effect, for partisanship. He is absolutely correct. That is why we ask that to not be a partisan investigation, because these allegations are so serious that are being made that if the American people are to accept the results of any investigation it must be a credible investigation.

So what we have asked those of us Democrats, and I hate to think on the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight we have now gotten to the point of having to identify ourselves as partisan labels, we never had to do that before, but those of us who voted against immunity do not vote against immunity because we want to stop an investigation. We voted because it is not a credible investigation.

The gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner) referred to allegations in the New York Times, and that, on the basis of those, the committee ought to look at it. But it also should be mentioned the New York Times editorial of May 8, which says, and I quote:

[Page: H3458]

By now, even Representative Dan Burton to recognize that he has become an impediment to a serious investigation of the 1996 campaign finance scandals.

If the 1996 campaign finance scandals are such that he is an impediment to them, what about something as serious as the allegations that have been made by the gentleman from the other side?

We have seen an investigation on our committee which was to be bipartisan; and, yet, 1,037 out of 1,049 subpoenas, depositions, interrogatories, and other information requests, in this so-called bipartisan investigation have been targeted at whom? At Democrats, despite the fact that in Republican, in soft, despite the fact that in the soft money raising contest it was the Republican Party that raised the most soft money and indeed it is the soft money that is the basis of 95 percent of all allegations, whether directed at Republicans or at Democrats.

Mr. Speaker, we want immunity. We want a thorough investigation. We want to walk with or talk and work with the leadership of the other side. We want a credible investigation.

What is a credible investigation? It is one like they did in Watergate. It is one like they did in Iran Contra. It is one like our committee did up until a couple years ago in which, when there is a subpoena to be issued, it cannot be unilaterally issued by one person. That is abuse of power. But that one person must consult with the minority.

If there is no agreement reached, we take it to the committee. That is all. Then the best sides wins. The side that demonstrates the merits of the argument decides whether or not that subpoena is issued. That is all. That is the way this committee has operated and that is the way this Congress has operated until recently.

So, yes, the American people deserve that credible investigation. They must know that these allegations are out there and they are serious, know that those allegations are out there and the American people want this investigation. But it has got to be credible if it is to have any credibility.

So we want to work with you, Mr. Speaker, want to work with the other side. We want that investigation. If it is, and I believe it is, these allegations are that important, simply by being raised, then it demands going the extra level to make sure that that investigation has the credibility and the bipartisanship that is so important.

That is why I will vote for this, because I happen to believe that these individuals ought to be given immunity. I also want to make sure that the committee has to operate in such a way that the investigation and the product is credible and not simply something that at the end of the day was not worthy of the entire Congress.

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to my colleague from Ohio (Mr. Traficant).

(Mr. TRAFICANT asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. TRAFICANT. Mr. Speaker, this debate is not about the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton) or Bill Clinton. It is not about the Lincoln bedroom or Monica Lewinsky. This debate is about our national security.

This is no fly on our face. This is an elephant eating our assets, and that elephant is China, Communist China, with a foothold on our soil that has missiles, as we speak, pointing and capable of hitting every American city, a nation that threatened Taiwan. What are we, nuts? Now we find out that Johnny chunk got $300,000 from a member of the Chinese Army to gain access to the White House, and he boasts about it.

Look, the White House is not a one-stop shopping mall for campaign headquarters, folks. Congress must investigate this matter, and a Congress that plays partisan politics with this is a Congress that endangers the national security of every citizen.

I support the resolution, and I am glad to see that the Democrats will be supporting it as well. We must support this resolution, and we must investigate this matter.

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Hayworth).

Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Ohio on the other side of the aisle for offering the proper picture here.

Mr. Speaker, I rise without venom or vitriol tonight. My colleague from West Virginia is correct. These are serious allegations that go to the heart of our constitutional republic. This must transcend partisanship. This Congress must do its constitutional duty.

Our founders wisely granted this branch oversight over the executive branch. Accordingly, these witnesses should be granted immunity for all the right reasons, because, as Republicans and Democrats, we recognize that we are Americans first, and we owe it to the citizens of this Nation to get to the bottom of these disturbing allegations.

[TIME: 2030]

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds.

Mr. Speaker, I want a serious investigation. I want us to be able to conduct this investigation responsibly, competently and fairly. We have a resolution on the floor like this. After all the months we have asked for bipartisanship, it still seems to me like we are in the process of kids' play.

Let us work together. This matter must be investigated in a way that speaks well of the House. I ask the Speaker to work with us. This is not the time to fire up your base; this is the time for you to be a leader of the House for the people of this country.

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from California (Mr. Cox), the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Riggs). The gentleman from California (Mr. Cox) is recognized for one and three-quarter minutes.

Mr. COX of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, what I hear from the minority side is that they are in support of granting immunity to these witnesses; just not now, just not at this time and this place, just not in this way, because they are busy protesting the committee and its existence.

It is perhaps politically acceptable to engage in acts of political protest in an election year, but obstruction of justice is not an acceptable form of protest. Today, the minority stands alone in obstructing the grants of immunity to these 4 witnesses, because the Clinton administration----

POINT OF ORDER

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his point of order.

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I would inquire of the Chair whether an accusation of obstruction of justice is permitted on the House floor.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The reference to obstruction of justice should not be made with respect to specific or certain Members of the House of Representatives.

Mr. COX of California. Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the gentleman, I will withdraw the remark, to the extent that it conveys violation of statute. I do not mean to suggest that. What I mean to suggest very explicitly is that the minority is obstructing what the Justice Department itself wishes to do.

In its defense of the Clinton Administration, the minority is more tendentious than is the administration itself. The administration has no objection to the grant of immunity to these witnesses.

The most important of the four witnesses whose testimony we seek to immunize is Kent La. Kent La is the United States distributor for Red Pagoda Mountain Cigarettes, the largest Communist Chinese brand. The man who is a distributor for these cigarettes in the United States is the person whose testimony we seek to hear.

The contributions that Mr. La is going to testify about, from Communist Chinese tobacco billionaire Ted Sioeng, his family and their associates in the worldwide tobacco business, totalled over $400,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 1996 alone. All these contributions were solicited by John Huang. $50,000 of them came from Kent La himself.

We can differ about the facts, but we should not differ about whether to get the facts. Let us get the truth. Let us grant immunity to these witnesses, as the Clinton administration agrees we can and must.

[Page: H3459]

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Boehner Resolution.

I completely agree that the four witnesses should be given immunity. I believe every Democrat on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee also supports immunity for the witnesses. In fact, our only reservation on the merits has been that the witnesses still haven't provided proffers of their testimony, which is a standard and essential procedure in immunity cases.

That is what we said when the Committee first voted on immunity on April 23. It's what I said in a letter to the Speaker on May 10. And it's what we said again when the Committee voted on immunity on May 13.

In my May 10 letter to the Speaker, I wrote:

I am writing in the spirit of bipartisanship to work with you to find a constructive solution to the difficult problems facing the Committee on Government Reform an Oversight. During the past several weeks, you have personally attacked me and questioned my integrity without justification. I believe, however, that the American people expect more from us than name-calling and partisan battles. Instead of escalating this fight, I want to make a genuine attempt to work with you to meet their expectations.

I am prepared to recommend to my Democratic colleagues that they support the pending immunity requests. But before I do, I believe the rules and procedures guiding the Committee's campaign finance investigation must be changed so that the Committee can conduct a fair and thorough investigation.

I ask unanimous consent that the full text of this letter be inserted in the Record.

Two weeks have passed, and the Speaker still has not responded to my letter and my request that we work together. We have tried to make it as clear as possible that our problem isn't with immunity; our problem is with Dan Burton and his handling of the investigation.

That's a problem the Speaker, Mr. Boehner, and the other members of the Republican leadership insist on ignoring.

Singe we last voted in committee, new information has come to light in the New York Times about the possibility that Johnny Chung may have been a conduit for political contributions from China. The new allegations are serious and deserve thorough congressional investigation. Although there is no indication that the four witnesses seeking immunity have information relevant to these new allegations, the new evidence reinforces my belief that the witnesses should be given immunity.

The new evidence also reinforces my belief that Dan Burton is the wrong person to be leading the investigation. We are dealing with extremely serious allegations. We owe the American people a serious, credible investigation.

From the New York Times, May 8, 1998

[FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES, MAY 8, 1998]

The Dan Burton Problem

By now even Representative Dan Burton ought to recognize that he has become an impediment to a serious investigation of the 1996 campaign finance scandals. He has dismissed David Bossie, the mischievous aide who helped issue inaccurate transcripts of Webster Hubbell's jailhouse conversation's, and has apologized to his fellow Republicans. But: that cannot compensate for inept behavior that has hobbled the inquiry and complicated Independent: Counsel Kenneth Starr's criminal investigation of intriguing comments on the tapes. If the House inquiry is to be responsible, someone else on Mr. Burton's committee should run it.

Coming on the heels of an impolitic remark by Mr. Burton about the President two weeks ago, the tapes fiasco is forcing House Republicans to confront two blunders. The first was to entrust the investigation of campaign finance abuses to Mr. Burton, the chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. The second was to give him unilateral power to release confidential information. Mr. Burton, a fierce partisan not known for balanced judgment, was plainly the wrong man for a sensitive job.

When the committee convenes next Wednesday, Democrats plan to offer motions to transfer leadership of the inquiry to another Republican on the committee. They will also ask the committee to adopt the same bipartisan rules for issuing subpoenas and releasing documents that have been followed by all previous Congressional investigations.

But it should not come to that. If Mr. Burton will not step aside, Speaker Newt Gingrich should convene the Republican caucus and ask it to name a replacement. Mr. Gingrich should also agree to rules both to provide a check on the new chairman's power and to enhance bipartisanship.

At the same meeting, the committee will wrestle with whether to grant immunity from prosecution to four witnesses who are expected to testify about questionable donations to Democrats in the 1996 campaign. House Democrats have threatened to block immunity as leverage to win a rules change granting them more say. By agreeing to improvements in the rules, Republicans would remove a major criticism of the committee's process as well as the Democrats' excuse for denying immunity.

For now, Mr. Gingrich seems determined to back Mr. Burton. That will only delay getting a truthful account of fund-raising in the 1996 election.

[Page: H3460]

Factual Inaccuracies in H. Res. 440

Claim: `[M]ore than 90 witnesses in the investigation have either asserted the fifth amendment or fled the United States to avoid testifying.'

Fact: This number is misleading because it includes: 12 individuals who have been given immunity and already testified; 8 Buddhist nuns who were never immunized because their testimony would have duplicated other testimony; 21 individuals who are listed as having fled the country who in fact live in foreign countries; 11 individuals who, while not cooperating with Congress, have been convicted by or are cooperating with the Department of Justice.

Claim: `[S]ubsequent to the receipt of the illegal campaign contributions from Communist Chinese officials the Clinton Administration relaxed export controls . . . on the sale and export of sophisticated satellite technology to China.'

Fact: This statement is inaccurate. The Clinton administration relaxed export controls before, not after, June 1996, when Johnny Chung reportedly first met Liu Chaoying. The Clinton administration announced its decision to move commercial communications satellites from the Munitions List to the Commerce Control List of dual-use items, moving export licensing jurisdiction from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce, in March 1996--three months before Mr. Chung allegedly met Ms. Liu. Moreover, the practice of issuing waivers was not begun by the Clinton Administration. According to the New York Times (May 17, 1998), it was first used by the Bush Administration.

Claim: `[T]he Department of Justice does not object to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight's desire to confer immunity on . . . Kent La.'

Fact: The Department of Justice does have serious reservations about immunizing Kent La. In a letter dated April 22, 1998, the Department of Justice expressed its view that `if Mr. La were to testify publicly at this time, the Department's criminal investigation could in fact be compromised. Even if Mr. La were to testify in a closed session, any disclosure or leak of that testimony, whether intentional or inadvertent, could seriously compromise the investigation and any subsequent prosecutions.' The numerous leaks of information during the course of Committee's investigation suggests that the confidentiality that the Department of Justice has requested could not be maintained.

Claim: The four witnesses have `direct knowledge' concerning `Communist Chinese attempts to influence United States policy and make illegal campaign contributions,' `illegal foreign money contributions made to the Democratic National Committee by Ted Sioeng,' or `convicted felon Gene Lum['s] . . . method of making illegal foreign money contributions to Clinton-Gore '96.'

Fact: The four witnesses have had employment or business relationships with Johnny Chung, Ted Sioeng, and Gene Lum. It is not yet clear, however, that any of the four witnesses have significant information about the alleged illegal activities involving foreign contributions. Based on what is currently known about the witnesses, they would appear to be relatively minor witnesses with little new information to provide investigators.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Cox) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, House Resolution 440.

The question was taken.

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not present.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.

The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.

Without objection, the three suspension votes postponed earlier today will be 5 minute votes immediately following this vote, so there will be a 15 minute vote, followed by three 5 minute votes.

There was no objection.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 402, nays 0, not voting 30, as follows:

Roll No. 161

[Roll No. 161]

YEAS--402

NOT VOTING--30

[TIME: 2054]

Mr. ABERCROMBIE changed his vote from `nay' to `yea.' H3461

So (two-thirds having voted in favor thereof) the rules were suspended and the resolution was agreed to.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

[Page: H3461]

END