Gingrich Seeks To Break Campaign Finance Investigation Deadlock
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 28) -- House Speaker Newt Gingrich is threatening to transfer the campaign finance investigation to a House committee where Republicans rule if rebellious Democrats continue to thwart the work of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
Addressing a GOPAC dinner, Gingrich said all 19 Democrats, led by veteran Californian Rep. Henry Waxman, have stalled efforts by
Republicans on the committee to depose four figures involved in raising money for the Democrats during the 1996 election. GOPAC is a Republican political action committee.
Gingrich said the Justice Department has cleared the way for the four to
be deposed by the committee with the use of grant immunity, but the 19
Democrats voted en bloc to halt their testimony.
The House speaker said he would write a letter to Waxman, and Indiana Rep. Dan Burton, chair of the Oversight Committee, would meet with the Democrats to try to break the deadlock.
But, Gingrich said, he would with "great reluctance" move the investigation to
another committee where Republicans hold enough votes to force the testimony. Gingrich also reiterated remarks he had made earlier in the day during a speech in Georgia, attacking the Clinton Administration for its handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Noting that Independent Counsel Ken Starr had been appointed by three federal judges and approved by Attorney General Janet Reno, Gingrich said President Bill Clinton "could fire him in the morning. If he doesn't, he should tell his staff to shut up."