02 May 1997 Letter #2 of Rep. Barr to the House Judiciary Committee Regarding Impeachment of April 15, 1997
April 15, 1997
The Honorable Henry J. Hyde
Chairman Committee on the Judiciary
2110 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
IN RE: Impeachment Inquiry
As we now know, Attorney General Reno has refused no less that four separate congressional requests — including those from the House and Senate Judiciary Committees — that she move for the appointment of an Independent Counsel to investigate mounting evidence of Administration and Democratic Party funding-raising abuses.
It has become abundantly clear this Administration will not cooperate in the legitimate call of the Congress to investigate the most serious allegations of wrong-doing involving high Administration officials. You have rightly called attention to the fact that public confidence in the Justice Department’s handling of this matter depended on the appointment of an independent counsel.
It is clearer than ever that this Administration will not properly assist in facilitating the necessary investigation of whether the very integrity of the American electoral process was compromised by, among other things, foreign powers. Accordingly, I urge that you revisit the question of whether to convene the Judiciary Committee to fulfill its unique constitutional responsibility, and determine whether to proceed with an official impeachment inquiry of the President’s and Vice-President’s conduct in these campaign related scandals.
While I understand the importance of the work of the House and Senate Government Reform and Affairs committees in these matters, I am convinced that our Committee could and should responsibly and judiciously move forward on its own, mindful of the work of these two committees, attuned to results that would have immediate bearing for our own work. Just today, Speaker Gingrich suggested that should Attorney General Reno fail to move for the appointment of an Independent Counsel, she should be compelled to appear before the Congress and the American people to account for her decision. I could not agree more.
Again, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your leadership of our committee.
With warmest regards, I am,
very truly yours,
Member of Congress