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Rep. Burton's Statement on Affair

By The Associated Press
Friday, September 4, 1998; 7:45 p.m. EDT

Statement from Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.:

Two years ago I became chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and joined a long list of individuals who have come under attack from people inside and outside the Clinton administration. I was prepared for this, and I made a promise to the American people that I would never allow these attacks to deter my efforts to uncover the truth.

In recent weeks certain members of the media have begun digging into my personal life. They have harassed innocent people in an effort to embarrass me. Friends, relatives and former members of my staff have been probed with a variety of tasteless questions. At a recent series of town hall meetings I told my constituents that I would always be straightforward and honest with them.

There have been some rough times during my 38 years of marriage. In fact, we were separated several times and at one point almost divorced. I have certainly made some mistakes that are mine and mine alone.

There was a relationship many years ago from which a child was born. I am the father. With my wife's knowledge, I have fulfilled my responsibilities as the father. In an effort to protect the privacy of those involved, it was decided years ago among all parties that this matter would remain private.

The intense speculation about this matter has caused a lot of pain for some innocent people. The woman in question is now married. After talking with her and her husband, as well as my wife and family, we have decided that it would be best for everyone involved that I make this matter public.

One of the things that prompted me to go public is the harassment this woman's family has been subjected to by the media. This week, they were forced to call the police to have a TV camera crew leave their property. Discussion of this matter has gone too far, and I hope that members of the media will accept my admission and allow people to continue their lives in peace.

I have apologized to my wife and family, whom I love. I apologize to my constituents. We live in a society that rightfully depends upon people taking responsibility for their actions. I have done so in this matter.

My investigation of this administration involves illegal campaign contributions that have come in from all over the world, and may very well have compromised both our foreign policy and national security. Let me finish by saying that as long as the people of the Sixth Congressional District of the State of Indiana choose me as their elected representative in Washington I will never stop trying to uncover the truth.

I'm not going to talk any more about my personal life. I've hurt some people that I love very much. Enough is enough.

I have never perjured myself. I have never committed obstruction of justice. I have been as straight as an arrow in my public duty. But this is private.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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