Four congressman took thousands of dollars from South Korean agents but will never be disciplined or even named by their colleagues because the House Ethics Committee's investigation of Korean influence-buying was inadequate, Rep. Bruce F. Caputo, (R-N.Y.) has charged.
A statement that the four accepted between $1,000 and $10,000 each and that two other congressman were "targeted" by the Seoul government to receive even larger sums will be contained in the committee's final report on its inquiry, said Caputo, a member of the panel. He added in a telephone interview Tuesday that the report does not give their names. The report is to be made public in about two weeks.
The evidence of the payoffs was contained in classified intelligence documents, Caputo said, and other committee members argued that the information could not be revealed because of national security considerations. Howevers, the committee failed to try to confirm the information through other sources, he said.
"The investigation was incomplete," he said. "There is specific, detailed, convincing evidence that four members of Congress took cold cash from overt-that's overt-agents of Korea."
Caputo refused to reveal the names of the four, saying that to do so could place him in contempt of Congress. He said that the congressmen had been questioned by the committee but that they had never been named in connection with the influence-buying scandal. A committee spokesman said he would have no comment on Caputo's allegations.