Congresswoman Jane harman - Press Release


October 17, 2006




WASHINGTON D.C. -- Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Venice), Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee, today issued the following statement on the release of the Executive Summary of the Committee’s Special Counsel Report on Former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. The Executive Summary is attached:

In January 2006, Chairman Peter Hoekstra and I announced an internal investigation to determine whether Duke Cunningham improperly used Committee staff or resources to facilitate the bribery scheme for which he was convicted and sentenced to prison.

The Chairman and I hired an outside non-partisan Special Counsel, Michael Stern, to conduct the inquiry.  Stern completed a 59-page report in May and briefed the full Committee shortly thereafter.  In July, at the request of the Chairman and me, Stern produced a shorter 23-page, unclassified version of his findings, as well as a 5-page Executive Summary.

For the last several months, completion and release of the Report has been held up over a disagreement between the Chairman and me regarding subpoenaing Duke Cunningham.  The Chairman and I agreed that we would subpoena Cunningham; however, the Chairman then decided not to issue the subpoena, a decision with which I strongly disagree.

A subpoena will increase the likelihood that we will obtain Cunningham’s testimony and his cooperation.  Given the extent of the damage he caused the taxpayers and our Committee, sparing Cunningham the embarrassment of having to assert his 5th Amendment rights is not a goal our Minority members and I share.  I also think it is totally inappropriate for the Chairman to be in contact with Cunningham, which he has been.

Earlier this month, Chairman Hoekstra confirmed to me that “it would be appropriate to publicly release a mutually agreeable version of the five page summary of the report.”  He further indicated that such a “summary would satisfy the public interest by providing an overview of the factual findings and conclusions of the Special Counsel.”  He indicated that he would direct Stern to finalize such a summary, and that we would work jointly “to facilitate its release as soon as possible.”

Stern’s unclassified summary was finalized on Friday, October 13, 2006, and transmitted to the Committee at that time.  I have invited Chairman Hoekstra to join me in releasing it.

The Report speaks for itself.

In light of this Report, our Committee must examine why ‘red flags’ did not trigger greater scrutiny of Cunningham’s activities, and what can be done to prevent this type of abuse in the future.

The 23-page unclassified version provides additional important details, but it contains some information that cannot be released under Committee rules.