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Text of Burton Aide's Resignation, Burton's Response

Wednesday, May 6, 1998

Text of the letter from David N. Bossie, chief investigator for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, to committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., and the letter of response from Burton:

Dear Dan,

I have deep respect for you and the committee's investigation of campaign finance irregularities, White House obstruction of justice and Webster Hubbell. I have been proud to serve on the team as your chief investigator for the past year and half. We have faced a stonewalling White House with a 24-hour spin machine. I held no illusions of what was going to be done to you and your staff when we started making progress in our investigation.

In the course of your committed efforts to get to the truth in this case you have been subjected to never-ending and unjustified attacks by the Democrat members of this committee led by Henry Waxman in a coordinated attack with the White House.

Dan, you have been faced with the unprecedented stonewalling of nearly 100 witnesses who have taken the Fifth Amendment or fled the country. John Huang, Charlie Trie, James Riady and Webster Hubbell are only a few of the president's close friends who have shown a complete disregard for this committee's investigation and the rule of law. Never have so many friends of a president stonewalled about so much for so long.

Over the past year and a half this committee has uncovered many important facts, such as, uncovering over $700,000 in fees and gifts to Webster Hubbell, the DNC's effort to raise illegal foreign money from South America, providing information that became part of the Charlie Trie indictment, and the naming of an independent counsel to investigate Secretary Bruce Babbitt.

Over the past few days the White House has mischaracterized the editing of the Hubbell prison tapes. I want to emphasize that no one on the staff ever intentionally left anything out. However, as chief investigator of the committee I take responsibility for mistakes made during the transcription process. The White House and Democrat minority are using this issue to attack you and the committee. It is for this reason and with deep regret I offer you my resignation.

I hope that the content of all the tapes will be closely analyzed. Even Congressman Waxman admitted there are ``troubling'' issues contained in these conversations.

Finally, I hope that the Republican leadership will have the courage to stand up under the weight of the coordinated attacks by the White House and the Democrat minority and support your efforts to uncover the truth. For more than six years I have fought to uncover the truth about this administration for the American people and I will continue to do so.

Sincerely,

David N. Bossie


Letter of response from Burton to Bossie:

Dear Dave:

You know, from our long association, my fondness for President Lincoln's observation, "If I were to read, much less answer, all of the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business." Like Lincoln, all of us who are part of this pursuit of truth that has engaged us so intently during this Congress must do the very best we know how, the very best we can, and keep doing so until the end.

I believe you have done that as our chief investigator. If a miscalculation occurred that allowed opponents to seize upon it, hoping to discredit me and the work of the committee, your decision to deny them a target by stepping aside, I consider a mark of your high personal character and your deep commitment to the cause.

I am saddened by our professional parting, and I shall miss you. But, nothing can come between us as friends.

You have my warmest wishes for a future of achievement and service on behalf of America and her people.

Sincerely,

Dan Burton

Chairman

I'll miss you Dave -- you're a true friend!!

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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