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White House Surrenders Documents, Avoids Contempt


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 30) -- Skirting a contempt resolution, the White House today agreed to provide a congressional oversight committee with some 1,000 documents related to the travel office firings.

After receiving an 11-page catalogue of documents, Rep. William Clinger (R-Pa.) called off plans to bring the contempt resolution to the House floor this week, aimed at Clinton attorney Jack Quinn and two former administration aides. Clinger says he's tried unsuccessfully for three years to get access to certain travel documents.

The administration continues to withhold at least 2,000 Travelgate papers, citing executive privilege. Though Clinger had derided the applicability of executive privilege in the travel issue, he said he would weigh its "validity" further. Having been asked by Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr not to seek certain documents relevant to his criminal probe, Clinger promised to "work with you (Starr) to protect the integrity of your investigation."

Clinger's House Government Reform and Oversight Committee has been trying to determine whether Hillary Clinton and Hollywood producer Harry Thomason were behind the dismissals of seven longtime travel workers. The contempt vote would have been the first in 14 years. Possible penalties include $1,000 in fines and a one-year prison sentence.

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