The House committee investigating Congress' Korean connection has subpoenaed the papers for former Rep. Otto Passman (D-La.), who was one of the closest congressional allies of South Korean businessman and socialite Tongsun Park.
The demand for Passman's papers, which are in a library storeroom at Northeast Louisiana University, came a week after the same committee subpoenaed the personal records of former House Speaker Carl Albert (D-Okla.).
The status of Albert's records remained somewhat clouded yesterday because the former speaker apparently removed some documents a few weeks before the subpoena was served on the University of Oklahoma, to which Albert donated his papers when he retired from Congress last year.
The Albert records still at the university were sealed yesterday awaiting arrival of investigators from the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. Meanwhile, the committee staff discussed the possibility of serving a second subpoena on Albert personally to obtain the papers he removed. The staff reportedly did not decide whether to issue the second subpoena.
Marcus Cohn. of the Washington law firm of Cohn & Marks, with which Albert is associated, told the Associated Press yesterday that "when the facts come out, some people are going to be terribly embarrassed and it's not going to be the speaker."
The Passman subpoena was served Wednesday in Monroe, La., upon the president of Northeast louisiana University. Because it is a state university, the school referred the case to an assistant state attorney general, Benjamin Peters.
Peters said he would "take the case under advisement" and could not say when he would decide how the university should respond.
The 77-year-old Passman served 30 years in the House. He worked closely with Tongsun Park in the early 1970s to arrange sales of Louisiana rice to the South Korean government, and reportedly had close social ties with Park."
Since Algert and Passman have both retired, both are technically outside the jurisdiction of the House committee. The committee may have sought their papers to see if they contain relevant information about current members of Congress.