The House Judiciary Committee voted yesterday in favor of releasing a secret judicial report that said "consideration of impeachment may be warranted" in the case of fed- eral Judge Alcee L. Hastings of Miami.
Last March, the 27-member Judicial Conference of the United States forwarded to House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) a lengthy investigative report by a special panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The report recommended impeachment on grounds that Hastings allegedly lied under oath and manufactured evidence at his bribery trial in 1983.
Hastings, who is Florida's first black federal judge, was acquitted that year of conspiracy charges involving alleged solicitation of a $150,000 bribe from two convicted racketeers. An impeachment resolution against Hastings was introduced in March by Reps. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.) and F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.).
The Judiciary Committee recommended by voice vote that the House make public the Judicial Conference's report, which is confidential under terms of a 1980 law. No date is set for action by the House.
Release of the documents was urged by Sensenbrenner and by lawyers for Hastings, who
has charged that the govern- ment's criminal case against him and the subsequent investigation by his fellow judges were racially motivated.
Evidence in the Hastings case has been under review since March by a Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justice headed by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).
Hastings was acquitted of charges of conspiring with William A. Borders Jr., a prominent Washington lawyer, to solicit a bribe. Borders was convicted at a separate trial in 1982 of conspiring to arrange the alleged bribe to Hast- ings.
If the House ultimately votes to impeach Hastings, an action analogous to indictment, the Senate would conduct a trial. The last such trial, which took place last fall, resulted in conviction of federal Judge Harry E. Claiborne of Nevada and his removal from the bench.