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    PLEASE NOTE: The following transcript is a portion of the official hearing record of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. Additional material pertinent to this transcript may be found on the web site of the Committee at [http://www.house.gov/reform]. Complete hearing records are available for review at the Committee offices and also may be purchased at the U.S. Government Printing Office.

48–679 CC



before the



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MARCH 31, 1998

Serial No. 105–118

Printed for the use of the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight

DAN BURTON, Indiana, Chairman
STEPHEN HORN, California
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
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JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire
BOB BARR, Georgia
——— ———
HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
TOM LANTOS, California
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania
GARY A. CONDIT, California
CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania
DANNY K. DAVIS, Illinois
JOHN F. TIERNEY, Massachusetts
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HAROLD E. FORD, Jr., Tennessee
BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont (Independent)
KEVIN BINGER, Staff Director
WILLIAM MOSCHELLA, Deputy Counsel and Parliamentarian
PHIL SCHILIRO, Minority Staff Director

    Hearing held on March 31, 1998
Statement of:
Thomas, Scott E., Vice Chairman, Federal Election Commission; Lawrence M. Noble, General Counsel, Federal Election Commission; Lois Lerner, Associate General Counsel, Federal Election Commission, and Jose Rodriguez, Staff Attorney, Federal Election Commission, assigned to the investigation of Thomas Kramer
Letters, statements, etc., submitted for the record by:
Bennett, Richard, chief counsel, Committee on Government Reform and Oversight:
Exhibit 1
Exhibit 2
Exhibit 4
Exhibit 5
Exhibit 6
Exhibit 10
Exhibit 11
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Exhibit 15
Exhibit 19
Exhibit 40
Burton, Hon. Dan, a Representative in Congress from the State of Indiana:
Followup questions and responses
Letter dated March 30, 1998, and accompanying material
Davis, Hon. Danny K., a Representative in Congress from the State of Illinois, prepared statement of
Davis, Hon. Thomas M., a Representative in Congress from the State of Virginia, exhibit 44
Horn, Hon. Stephen, a Representative in Congress from the State of California, exhibit 12
Kucinich, Hon. Dennis J., a Representative in Congress from the State of Ohio, article dated March 14, 1998
Maloney, Hon. Carolyn B., a Representative in Congress from the State of New York, prepared statement of
Noble, Lawrence M., General Counsel, Federal Election Commission, information concerning staff breakdown
Thomas, Scott E., Vice Chairman, Federal Election Commission, information concerning lawyers
Waxman, Hon. Edolphus, a Representative in Congress from the State of California:
Cases dropped by FEC in 1998
Information concerning subpoenas
Letter from the FEC


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House of Representatives,
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight,
Washington, DC.
    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2154, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dan Burton, (chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Present: Representatives Burton, Morella, Shays, Horn, Mica, Davis of Virginia, Shadegg, Pappas, Snowbarger, Barr, Waxman, Owens, Maloney, Barrett, Norton, Fattah, Cummings, Kucinich, Davis of Illinois, Tierney, and Turner.
    Staff present: Kevin Binger, staff director; Richard Bennett, chief counsel; William Moschella, deputy counsel and parliamentarian; Judith McCoy, chief clerk; Teresa Austin, assistant clerk/calendar clerk; Will Dwyer, director of communications; Ashley Williams, deputy director of communications; Dudley Hodgson, chief investigator; Barbara Comstock, chief investigative counsel; Dave Bossie, oversight coordinator; James C. Wilson and Uttam Dhillon, senior investigative counsels; Bill Hanka and Robert Dold, investigative counsels; Elliott Berke, investigative attorney; Robin Butler, office manager; Tom Bossert, Barrett Davie, and Mark Sylvester, investigative staff assistants; Phil Schiliro, minority staff director; Phil Barnett, minority chief counsel; Kenneth Ballen, minority chief investigative counsel; Christopher Lu, David Sadkin, and Michael Yang, minority counsels; Rick Jauert, minority professional staff member; Ellen Rayner, minority chief clerk; and Earley Green, Jessica Robinson, and Andrew Su, minority staff assistants.
    Mr. BURTON. The committee will come to order. Good morning. A quorum being present, the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight will come to order.
    Without objection, all Members and witnesses statements will be included in the record.
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    Is this mic turned up a little bit louder than normal? I think they can hear me across the street.
    Without objection, all exhibits, articles, and extraneous or tabular material referred to during this hearing will be included in the record. So ordered.
    I ask unanimous consent that the letter from Judah Best to the chairman dated March 30, 1998, and the accompanying material be included in the appropriate place in the record. Without objection, so ordered.
    [NOTE.—The information referred to may be found at the end of the hearing on p. 133.]
    Mr. BURTON. I ask unanimous consent that questioning in the matter under consideration proceed under Clause 2(j)(2) of House Rule XI, and that Committee Rule 14, in which the chairman and ranking minority member allocate time to committee counsel as they deem appropriate for extended questioning, not to exceed 60 minutes equally divided between the majority and the minority. Without objection, so ordered.
    I ask unanimous consent that all exhibits shared with the minority for this hearing be included in the appropriate place in the record. Without objection, so ordered.
    Good morning, before I begin my opening statement, I want to say a few words about our recently departed colleague, Steve Schiff. Steve Schiff was a good friend to every member of this committee. He is going to be sorely missed by everyone. He was a very hard worker. He was a person who was very well-informed. He was very concerned about the problems facing this country. He was the vice chairman under Chairman Clinger during the previous Congress.
    He was one of the hardest-working Members that we had and he had a very tough time over the last couple of years. He fought a long and hard fight to overcome cancer. It's a fight that takes a lot of courage and inner strength. Those are things that Steve had a lot of. Our hearts go out to Steve's family, and I hope that everyone in New Mexico knows how much he was respected and admired by all of us here.
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    For the last year and a half, the Justice Department——
    Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, before you get into your opening statement, would you yield?
    Mr. BURTON. I would be happy to yield to my colleague.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I want to join you in expressing the fact that all of us mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Congressman Steve Schiff. He is one of the Members of Congress that I most respected. He was a very respected Member of Congress, but also a lawyer who fought to make sure that the rights of individuals were protected.
    He played a significant role—I know because of my involvement in the health area—in making sure that the Justice Department had the tools to go after fraud and abuse in the Medicare and the Medicaid programs.
    I also want to express to his family and his constituents the fact that all of us will miss him, and those of us on this committee will miss him even more so, because he brought to his activities as a Member of Congress a deep respect for the rights of everyone, Democrats and Republicans, and individual liberties as well.
    Thank you for yielding to me.
    Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Mr. Waxman. Mrs. Morella.
    Mrs. MORELLA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I'm glad that you mentioned our recently departed good friend Steve Schiff. I had the honor of serving with him not only on this committee, but also on the Science Committee, where he chaired the Basic Research Subcommittee.
    And in all of those endeavors, including personal relationships on the floor of the House and otherwise, Steve Schiff was a man of great reason, a man of great fairness, a great human being. I particularly recall that we looked to him for advice and counsel when he served on the Ethics Committee, which was not an easy task, one for which he will be remembered because he was exceedingly fair and outreaching.
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    So he is a great human being who will be lost, but will live on in love and in our memories. And again, I offer my condolences to his family and to his friends. Thank you.
    Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Connie.
    Unless there are further comments, let me proceed.
    For the last year and a half, the Justice Department has been investigating allegations of illegal fundraising against numerous people tied to the President's re-election campaign. The Task Force has been criticized for the slow pace of its investigation. The Attorney General clearly has a conflict of interest in investigating her boss, the President, and his top advisors. But the Attorney General has refused, time and again, to appoint an independent counsel.
    Recently, the Task Force indicted Charlie Trie, Antonio Pan and Maria Hsia. Johnny Chung pled guilty. All of these indictments involve illegal contributions.
    However, the Justice Department is not the only agency that enforces our campaign finance laws. The Federal Election Commission is charged with making sure that the Federal Election Campaign Act is obeyed. While the Justice Department brings criminal prosecutions, the FEC seeks civil fines and injunctions against those who do not obey the law.
    The FEC has been conducting its own investigation of illegal foreign fundraising. Today, we're going to take a close look at the way the FEC has handled the case of Thomas Kramer. They have made some controversial decisions that ought to be examined.
    Thomas Kramer is a German citizen who lives in Florida. He made over $380,000 in contributions to both Democrats and Republicans, despite the fact that he was not eligible to contribute. The FEC handed out over $450,000 in fines in this case—over $300,000 to Mr. Kramer himself. Yet one individual who played a very prominent role in this matter was not fined. He was not even investigated. That individual is Howard Glicken, a prominent Democratic fundraiser in Florida. When it recommended not pursuing the allegations against Mr. Glicken, the FEC staff specifically cited his close ties to Vice President Gore.
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    The fact that Thomas Kramer was a German citizen was not exactly a State secret. In January 1993, the Miami Herald ran a cover story about him in its Sunday magazine. It called him a, quote, ''German tycoon'' in big, bold letters right on the cover.
    In March 1993, Forbes Magazine published an article about Kramer, and it referred to him as, quote, ''the German-born Kramer'' in one of the lead paragraphs.
    In an affidavit Kramer filed with the FEC in 1994, Kramer said this, quote, I speak English with a German accent, and I believe most people who know me realize I am German. Nevertheless, no one who solicited or accepted my candidate contributions ever asked me about my immigration status, advised me that it was illegal for me to contribute, or rejected my political contributions because of my citizenship, end quote.
    Beginning in March 1993, he contributed over $380,000 to Federal candidates and party organizations. He gave to Republicans, he gave to Democrats. It seems he gave to everyone. The question that needs to be asked is, quote, ''Who solicited these contributions?''
    For starters, his lawyer did. Mr. Kramer was represented by Marvin Rosen's law firm. Marvin Rosen went on to become the finance chairman of the Democrat National Committee. Mr. Rosen's firm, Greenberg-Traurig, handled all of Mr. Kramer's immigration work. I want to state that again. They handled all of his immigration work, so they should have been aware of Mr. Kramer's status. If anyone knew that he was not a U.S. citizen or even a foreign resident, it certainly was Mr. Rosen and his lawyers. Yet the FEC cited Mr. Rosen's law firm for soliciting $91,000 in contributions from Mr. Kramer. According to documents from the DNC, Mr. Rosen himself solicited a $60,000 contribution from Mr. Kramer in 1994. His law firm was fined $77,000.
    Who else solicited contributions from Mr. Kramer? Howard Glicken did. Howard Glicken is the Chairman of the Board of the Americas Group in Miami. He is a DNC trustee. He has visited the White House 70 times during the Clinton administration. In 1988, he served as then-Senator Gore's Florida finance chairman during his race for President.
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    According to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Howard Glicken solicited a $20,000 contribution from Mr. Kramer in April 1993. In an affidavit filed the Federal Elections Commission, Mr. Kramer said that, quote, a Democratic party fundraiser, end quote, advised him that the DSCC would only accept contributions from U.S. citizens and that he should route his contribution through another person. Mr. Kramer did exactly that, making the contribution through his secretary, Terri Bradley.
    Who was the fundraiser who asked Mr. Kramer to make this conduit contribution? Mr. Kramer will not say unless he gets immunity. His secretary will not say unless she gets immunity.
    The FEC staff believes that it was Howard Glicken. The General Counsel's report states: ''While this Office would generally recommend a 'reason to believe' finding against Mr. Glicken and conduct an investigation into the two DSCC contributions, because of the discovery complications and time constraints . . . this Office does not now recommend proceeding against this identified individual or the DSCC.''
    In other words, it has not been proven that Mr. Glicken sought conduit contributions for Mr. Kramer, but there is strong evidence that he did. There is strong evidence that Mr. Glicken knew that Mr. Kramer was not a citizen and asked him to make the conduit contributions.
    Apparently, this was not the only time Mr. Glicken solicited campaign contributions from Mr. Kramer. It appears that in 1993 and 1994, Mr. Glicken twice solicited contributions from Mr. Kramer to the DNC. Mr. Kramer made these contributions through his companies. DNC documents list Mr. Glicken as the solicitor. Mr. Kramer and his lawyers have conceded that these and all of his contributions were illegal and agreed to pay fines of $323,000.
    The question we are trying to resolve today is this: Why didn't the FEC investigate these very serious allegations against Mr. Glicken?
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    They conducted a very thorough investigation of Marvin Rosen's law firm and he was fined and his firm was fined $77,000.
    They conducted a thorough investigation of the Republican party of Florida and the Republican party of Florida was fined $82,000.
    They fined Thomas Kramer and his secretary a combined total of $350,000.
    Yet with Howard Glicken, the FEC chose not even to investigate. They had evidence that Mr. Glicken knew Mr. Kramer was a foreign national and asked him to make a conduit contribution of $20,000. They had evidence that Mr. Glicken went on to solicit two other contributions worth $85,000 for the DNC.
    Why didn't they investigate? Here is what the FEC's General Counsel's Report says. And I hope all my colleagues will listen to this. ''Because of Mr. Glicken's high profile as a prominent Democratic fundraiser, including his potential fundraising involvement in support of Vice President Gore's expected Presidential campaign, it is unclear that this individual would agree to settle this matter short of litigation.''
    Since when does someone get a free ride because he is a prominent Democratic fundraiser? Since when does someone get a free ride because he is a supporter of the Vice President? Since when does someone get a free ride because it looks like he might fight a penalty in court instead of settling?
    These are very serious allegations against Mr. Glicken. I find it very disturbing that the FEC would not pursue them, when all of the other major participants were fined. The Republican party of Florida was fined $82,000. I take no issue with that. If the Florida Republican party did something wrong, they should have been fined.
    However, if an equally thorough investigation was not conducted regarding Mr. Glicken because of his ties to the Vice President or because he might not be cooperative, then something is seriously wrong.
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    When Mr. Noble appeared before Congressman Horn's subcommittee, he stated that he recommended closing this investigation because the statute of limitations was going to run out in 8 months and he did not have time. The problem that I have with that is that Mr. Glicken continued to solicit contributions from Mr. Kramer into the spring of 1994, a full year after the conduit contribution to the DSCC. The statute of limitations hadn't expired on the most recent contribution, or has not expired on the most recent contribution. The statute of limitations does not expire for another year. Time should not have been an issue.
    I also have to question the slow pace of the FEC's investigation. Mr. Kramer came forward voluntarily in 1994. He told the FEC that a prominent Democratic fundraiser had asked him to make a conduit contribution. I would expect that kind of an allegation—of individuals connected to political parties seeking illegal contributions—would be a priority of the FEC. Yet, it was not until 1997 that the FEC sought the interrogatories from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that identified Howard Glicken as the solicitor.
    Why did the FEC wait for 2 1/2 years to act? These are all questions that we will be posing to our witnesses today.
    I want to thank Mr. Thomas for appearing today. Mr. Thomas is the Vice Chairman of the FEC. He is a Democrat appointee. I should note that the Commissioners' vote on this matter does not appear to be a partisan move. There are five commissioners—three Democrats and two Republicans. All five voted not to investigate Mr. Glicken. However, I would like to hear whether Mr. Thomas or any of the other commissioners questioned this recommendation from their staff, and if not, why not?
    I also want to thank Lawrence Noble for appearing. Mr. Noble is the General Counsel. Accompanying him are Lois Lerner, the Associate General Counsel, and Jose Rodriguez, a Staff Attorney at the FEC. I look forward to all of your testimony.
    Mr. Waxman.
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    Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, it's been over 2 months since our last hearing, so it's an appropriate time to take another fresh look at this investigation.
    Mr. Chairman, you began this investigation in November 1996. In those 17 months, we have spent $5 million. And at our current rate, we'll spend another $5 million before the year is up. This is the most expensive investigation by the Congress of the United States in history. It's fair to ask what have we accomplished for all this money?
    Before 1996, no House chairman had ever issued unilateral subpoenas. The process had always been that the chairman would consult with the minority about issuing a subpoena or would bring it to a vote of the committee.
    But since February of last year, Chairman Burton has issued 524 subpoenas unilaterally. Let me repeat that. In 1 year's time, the chairman and his staff have issued 524 unilateral subpoenas. That means no vote of the committee and no concurrence with the Democrats.
    That's about five subpoenas for every day that the Congress has been in session. Those subpoenas were issued without debate. No one, not Chairman Burton nor his staff, are accountable for these actions. They never have to justify why they issue a subpoena or explain how it relates to the committee's work.
    Of those 524 subpoenas—and I asked the staff to put up a chart—515 have been issued in relationship to alleged Democratic fundraising abuses. Only nine subpoenas relate to Republican activities, and you can see that on the chart.
    [The chart referred to follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. WAXMAN. Recently, Chairman Burton has unilaterally subpoenaed 18 different Democratic party organizations, and we're putting up a chart as well that shows that 14 State Democratic parties have been asked to produce information to the committee. In fact, they weren't asked; they were demanded to open their records to this committee's staff. And we have such State Democratic parties as California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, New York and 8 other States.
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    Why are these State Democratic Committees being investigated? Did they work with Johnny Chung? Perhaps they funneled foreign money into the political system? Or maybe their only crime was that they tried to elect Democrats to office. And these days, that's all you need in order to merit having a subpoena issued against you.
    Whatever the reason, we'll never know, because Chairman Burton doesn't have to explain his staff's fishing expedition. He only has to sign the subpoenas and keep the staff on the payroll.
    Now this chart is especially interesting because even though 18 Democratic party organizations have been subpoenaed, not a single Republican entity is being scrutinized or inconvenienced in any way. Now it's possible, of course, that no subpoenas have been issued because the Republican party at all levels scrupulously follows the rules.
    But to believe that, one would have to ignore the Kansas Triad scandal, the Florida Republican party's acceptance of Thomas Kramer's illegal contributions, and the Haley Barbour/Republican National Committee/National Policy Forum scandal. And one would have to pretend that the biggest scandal of all, last year's $50 billion Gingrich/Lott tobacco tax break, never happened.
    Of course, this is absolutely ludicrous, which is exactly what this investigation has become. There is no pretence of fairness or objectivity. We investigate Democrats because they are Democrats, and we ignore Republican abuses because that's off limits.
    Mr. Chairman, before 1996, this committee had never deposed a single witness. But in the last year, your staff has deposed 143 people. Of those 143 witnesses, only 14 have ever been called to testify at our hearings.
    I believe, Mr. Chairman, that you are presiding over a process that is completely out of control. Your staff can subpoena information from anyone they want without any explanation. They can depose anyone for as long and as many times as they want, without explanation and without regard for the extraordinary burdens that places upon individuals.
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    Three years ago, I heard a lot of Republican rhetoric about big government and getting government off the backs of the American people. But this investigation is big and intrusive government power at its worst. This committee is using taxpayers' dollars to punish people, humiliate them, harass them month after month.
    We now live in a time where Independent Counsel Ken Starr can subpoena Monica Lewinsky's book purchases and this committee can eavesdrop on Webb Hubbell's phone conversations with his wife. And this information can then be made public without even a second thought to an individual's legitimate right to privacy.
    The procedures we are following in this investigation should deeply trouble anyone concerned about eroding individual liberties. It should also bother anyone worried about the unlimited and unfettered power of government and the government's ability to inflict pain without any legitimate purpose.
    Mr. Chairman, after at least $5 million and over 500 subpoenas, we have accomplished nothing of real value. Without question, this is the most partisan, wasteful congressional investigation in history. And even today's hearing proves this point.
    The chairman started off his statement by talking about the fact that the Attorney General, Janet Reno, a very respected person, is not competent to conduct an investigation because she has a conflict of interest. What is her conflict of interest? Well, she was appointed by a Democratic President who was elected by the American people.
    He also went on to say that the Federal Elections Commission must be involved in some problem that disqualifies them from being fair, even though they have two Republicans and three Democrats, all of whom agreed with the issue before us not to prosecute and move further with actions against Mr. Glicken.
    They, at least, had bipartisan support for their position. This committee certainly has a conflict of interest when taxpayers' money is being used for partisan investigations only. Nothing could be more partisan than what we see in this committee's investigation.
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    Now, the chairman's opening statement was a complete distortion of the record of the Federal Election Commission. They collected a lot of the fines involved in this issue that's under discussion today. They got at the central players in the case. But they are being criticized because they didn't pursue action against a man by the name of Howard Glicken.
    Now, this was already the subject of a subcommittee hearing just a few weeks ago, and now we're repeating that hearing here at the full committee. The Federal Election Commission has pursued—I think we ought to put this in context—in the last 5 years between 200 and 400 enforcement cases. And some of those cases they have prosecuted and some of the cases they have decided not to go further and pursue because they didn't think it was justified.
    You would think that the only cases they don't pursue are cases that involve contributions to Democrats. Well, that's not true. They have gotten enforcement actions against those who have given to Democrats.
    But they've also dismissed cases involving Republicans, and in the last 3 months, the following cases have been dismissed without action: Dole for President, where there was an improper corporate contribution and conduit contributions; a Dole/Kemp 1996 allegation of excessive contributions, improper contributions by government contractors, improper corporate contributions; another one against the National Republican Senatorial Committee; the National Republican Congressional Committee; Senator Alfonse D'Amato; Buchanan for President; Representative Helen Chenoweth; and Friends of Jim Inhofe.
    [The chart referred to follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. WAXMAN. These are all Republicans, and the FEC found that there were not sufficient reasons to pursue those actions. No one's criticizing them for that. They are not called before a congressional hearing to explain that. They are being called to answer to this congressional hearing over one very small matter and the record of that matter is being distorted today.
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    My final point, Mr. Chairman, is to note the remarkable cynicism of the past 2 days. As this day unfolds, we'll hear hours of rhetoric about campaign finance issues. And yet just yesterday, we watched the Republican leadership kill campaign finance reform with an abominable procedure on the House floor.
    Yesterday's charade is a disgrace that will long be remembered, and it lays bare that the objective of the Republican leadership, including the leadership of this committee, is to score partisan political points, not to improve the system.
    Our investigation has never been one that would lead us in a bipartisan way to change the system. Our investigation has been partisan and the procedure yesterday was to avoid the fact that a majority of the members of the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, were willing to vote for real campaign finance reform and, to keep that majority from working its will, the Republican leadership put on the House floor bills that required two-thirds vote, bills that were a sham, and a procedure that kept the majority from moving forward with real bipartisan campaign finance reform.
    I yield back the balance of my time.
    Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Chairman, could I make an opening statement?
    Mr. BURTON. We thought we would have opening statements submitted for the record. Just the chairman and the ranking minority member make opening statements to expedite the hearing, so if you would submit your statement for the record.
    Mrs. MALONEY. Very well.
    [The prepared statements of Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney and Hon. Danny K. Davis follow:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

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    Mr. BURTON. On behalf of the committee, I'd like to welcome Scott Thomas, Vice Chairman of the FEC, Lawrence Noble, General Counsel of the FEC, Lois Lerner, Associate General Counsel of the FEC, and Jose Rodriguez, Attorney for the FEC.
    Would you please stand and raise your right hands?
    [Witnesses sworn.]
    Mr. BURTON. Do any of you have statements you would like to make at the outset or would you like to get right to questions?

    Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, we're happy to go right to questions.
    Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Mr. Thomas.
    Mr. Bennett, you are recognized for 30 minutes, and I'd like you to yield to me.
    Mr. BENNETT. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I yield my time back to you.
    Mr. BURTON. Let me just take a minute or two to respond to my colleague, Mr. Waxman.
    First of all, we have not spent $5 million. We have spent $2.5 million and 25 percent of that went to the minority. That's the fact.
    Second, because of this committee's actions, in part, there have been some indictments that have taken place. If you look at the indictment of Charlie Trie, you will find that actions taken by this committee are right in the indictment. Charlie Trie's been indicted. Antonio Pan has been indicted. Maria Hsia has been indicted. Johnny Chung, whom we have met with, has pled guilty. Michael Brown has pled guilty. Gene and Nora Lum have pled guilty.
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    So this hasn't been a total exercise in futility. But let me go on just a little bit further. And I listened intently to Mr. Waxman, and I hope he'll listen just a little bit to some of the things I have to say.
    First of all, it's interesting to me that the Democrats on this committee and at the White House, whenever there is something that appears to be a problem for them, attack the investigator. I have been attacked. Mr. Starr has been attacked. Senator Thompson has been attacked. Congressman Leach has been attacked. Congressman Clinger has been attacked.
    Anyone who endangers in any way the DNC or the White House is viciously attacked. And I have a list, if anyone is interested, of about 40 people or organizations that have been viciously attacked because of allegations that they have made against the White House.
    Now, I understand that this is some kind of a mini-war and you have to expect those things. But the fact is if you are going to investigate any allegations at all against this White House, you had better be ready for vicious attacks on your character, your background and anything you have ever done in your life, all the way back to your childhood in some cases.
    Now let me talk about something else here that——
    Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, before you do, will you yield to me?
    Mr. BURTON. I will not yield to you. You'll have your 30 minutes in a moment.
    One of the reasons why we have not been as successful as I would have liked—and I hope you in the media will get this—89 people, many very close friends of the President have either fled the country or are taking the fifth amendment, 89 people. And I am confident before this is over, it's going to go well over 100.
    Now if these people have nothing to hide, if the administration has nothing to hide, why is everybody heading for the hills? Why are they going to Thailand, Indonesia, where we are incidentally trying to bail them out with a lot of money from the World Bank and the IMF? Why are all these people taking off for China and everyplace else under the sun? Why have 90 people almost fled the country or taken the fifth amendment and will not appear or testify? Because of the fear of self-incrimination, because they may have done something wrong.
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    I think that's something that's significant. And when Mr. Waxman and the Democrats attack, attack, attack; and when the White House attacks, attacks, attacks; and when the spin doctors like Lanny Davis and others spin and spin and spin and attack, attack, attack, there ought to be some concern out there in the hinterlands about that.
    I mean, if there's nothing to this, why won't they at least make a clean breast of it? Why won't the President make a clean breast of these things instead of heading off to Africa or wherever he's going. The fact of the matter is there are things that need to be looked into. We intend to look into them. No amount of intimidation or attacks on me or the committee will work. We can go into this week after week where every time we have a hearing, Mr. Waxman, you attack me and attack the veracity of what we're trying to do. You can do it all you want to. But we're going to continue on until we get to the bottom of this, if it's at all possible.
    And with that, Mr. Bennett, you have the remainder——
    Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, will you yield to me so I can respond to your comments?
    Mr. BURTON. You'll have your 30 minutes in a minute. In 30 minutes, you'll have your time.
    Mr. WAXMAN. You will not yield.
    Mr. BURTON. No, I won't. Mr. Bennett.
    Mr. BENNETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Thomas, I recognize that some of the other members of the panel have more detailed knowledge of this file, but let me just clarify one thing, if I can. It is correct, is it not, that Mr. Thomas Kramer came forward voluntarily with respect to information concerning his illegal contributions as a foreign national to both Democrats and Republicans alike, isn't that correct?
    Mr. THOMAS. He did come to us initially. I gather that he was spurred somewhat by a newspaper story about his predicament that occurred just before he came to us.
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    Mr. BENNETT. The newspaper story was in, I believe——
    Mr. BURTON. Would you pull the microphone a little bit closer so we can hear you clearly? Thank you, Mr. Thomas.
    Mr. BENNETT. The newspaper story, I believe, was in the Tampa Tribune in September 1994.
    Mr. THOMAS. I believe that's correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And for the members of the committee, I think a week thereafter on October 4, 1994, as reflected by exhibit 4 in the exhibit books, Mr. Kramer's law firm actually notified the FEC of the fact that he had been made aware of the fact that he was not allowed to contribute as a foreign national. Isn't that correct?
    [Exhibit 4 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. THOMAS. That's my understanding.
    Mr. BENNETT. And then 2 1/2 months later, as reflected by exhibit 5 in the exhibit book before members of the committee, his law firm followed up with a more detailed recitation of to whom he had contributed and basically what he had done as a foreign national in making contributions. Is that correct?
    [Exhibit 5 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. THOMAS. I believe so, yes.
    Mr. BENNETT. And I guess my question initially, sir, is that from our review of the records which Mr. Noble's staff has disclosed to the committee, it appears that—correct me if I'm wrong—literally, the Federal Election Commission had not done anything either with the initial publicity in September 1994 or anything up until December 1994 when Mr. Kramer was making this voluntary disclosure of the fact that he was not an American citizen and had donated foreign money to both Democrats and Republicans. Isn't that essentially correct?
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    Mr. THOMAS. That the Commission had not done anything, meaning?
    Mr. BENNETT. That's correct. Basically, you had no file on Mr. Kramer. He came forward and voluntarily disclosed information, correct?
    Mr. THOMAS. The matter was before us in the sense it was a pending matter. But yes, as we can explain later on, we have a fairly elaborate system for handling and processing matters like that that come in the door. There's a matter of assigning it to the central enforcement docket and so on. But the bottom line is I think by December 1994, if that was your date, no substantive action had been taken by the Commission.
    Mr. BENNETT. But the point is that it was a pending matter because he had disclosed himself, he voluntarily came forward himself.
    Mr. THOMAS. That's correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And then ultimately he paid a fine in 1996, is that correct?
    Mr. THOMAS. That's correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And looking, if I can, at exhibit 1 on the screen, of all the fines that were assessed, you have a total of maybe $500,000 in fines which are assessed, and $320,000 of those fines were assessed against an individual who voluntarily came forward disclosing facts to the Federal Election Commission, correct?
    [Exhibit 1 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. THOMAS. That is correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And correct me also—again, I'm just trying to make sure we're clear on the chronology, Mr. Thomas. And with respect to the entire inquiry, you have, when all is said and done, only four entities receive fines. There were many people who were listed, and there were many inquiries about many people who received money from Mr. Kramer, correct?
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    Mr. THOMAS. Indeed, he made contributions to many committees, many candidate committees, party committees and so on. As a general rule, yes—if you look at the case file—we decided to basically concentrate on the four entities that you just identified in terms of trying to pursue the matter through to get a conciliation agreement. On the rest, for various reasons which we can go into in as much detail as you'd like later or now, we decided to not take any further action.
    Mr. BENNETT. And I guess my point is this then. Clearly, so the record is clear, Mr. Kramer was very bipartisan in his largesse. He gave to Democrats and Republicans alike, didn't he?
    Mr. THOMAS. Yes, he did.
    Mr. BENNETT. But when all was said and done, with an investigation that he triggered by his voluntary disclosure and the fines that were assessed, when all was said and done, he was fined, his secretary was fined in connection with her conduit contribution—and we'll get into that in more detail in a few minutes. The Republican party of Florida was fined, and then a law firm in Florida was fined, Mr. Marvin Rosen's law firm was fined, is that correct?
    Mr. THOMAS. That's right.
    Mr. BENNETT. But there was no fine assessed against Mr. Rosen himself, correct?
    Mr. THOMAS. Correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. Now let me ask you this, sir. Obviously, we'll get into the matter of the reference to Vice President Gore in the final report that was released last month. And I think if we can look at exhibit FEC 2 on the screen, the reference to Mr. Glicken's high profile and association with Vice President Gore.
    On reflection, Commissioner Thomas, are you totally pleased with the way this matter was handled start to finish?
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    [Exhibit 2 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. THOMAS. Well, I guess the basic answer to that would be no. I, like all my colleagues, would like to see the Federal Election Commission be able to handle more of the matters that come before us, to not have to simply take no further action without any substantive action on as many respondents as we do.
    We have a serious resource problem. We have been trying to identify that in particular to the Congress this year in our budget request. But I think on balance, what you will find at the end of today is that the Federal Election Commission is facing a very daunting compliance workload.
    For example, as of the beginning of this month, we had pending 162 enforcement cases that involved over 1,500 respondents. Meanwhile, we have a staff problem to the extent that we can only assign about 24 FTE, full-time equivalents, to the compliance workloads.
    Mr. BENNETT. Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. BURTON. Yes, Mr. Thomas, let me just followup on that. You had four people in this series of cases who were all interrelated that were fined.
    Mr. THOMAS. That's correct.
    Mr. BURTON. And yet Mr. Glicken, who was very close to the Vice President, as the statement makes very clear, was not fined and the case was dropped. I understand that you may have a resource problem over there and a personnel problem because you don't have enough to do all the jobs.
    But here you had four things that were working simultaneously and Mr. Glicken was part of that and you dropped it. Why would you drop it when you had the other four moving along in this case, which is very conspicuous, and it just falls out of sight. I don't understand that.
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    I understand the resource problem. But since you're working on the other four, why wouldn't you followup on this?
    Mr. THOMAS. Well, it's always a matter of making choices, Mr. Chairman. With the resources that we have, we always are having to decide which respondents in any particular large case we're going to try to pursue.
    I suppose our counsel can provide more detail, but as I look back at this case on reflection, it really seems to me that what was going on was that given the limited resources we had one staff attorney working this case, line staff attorney, and that staff attorney was basically trying to figure out how to close out the matter with regard to the remaining respondents. And the concentration, quite honestly, was at that point, trying to get a settlement with this law firm, the law firm that had been involved at least to the extent of a couple of partners in helping to solicit some of these contributions, or so it seemed.
    And obviously, the focus of our resources was on trying to get that law firm to settle, because we thought that was a very significant matter. As a general rule, the Commission has not gone against soliciting entities, and we felt that it was crucial to use our resources there.
    Mr. BURTON. I understand. But there's a pattern here that it seems should have been explored more thoroughly. Maybe that's just my opinion. And I know in retrospect maybe you feel that way, but they were all interrelated and it's troubling to me. Mr. Bennett.
    Mr. BENNETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Noble, the chairman made reference to the fact that Thomas Kramer was essentially a fairly high profile individual in the Miami area. You would concur with that, would you not?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
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    Mr. BENNETT. I mean, it really wasn't any secret, was it, and is not that Mr. Kramer was not an American citizen and had recently come over to the Miami area from Germany, isn't that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. We were not aware of that when the matter first came to us.
    Mr. BENNETT. I understand. But during your investigation it was abundantly clear. I mean, there was a Forbes Magazine article that the chairman made reference to, a lot of publicity. He was a very wealthy individual. He was definitely known to be a German investor in the South Beach, Miami area, isn't that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. From what I understand now, yes. And we were interested in the issue of whether or not it was obvious that he was a foreign national. Keep in mind that it's not a question of whether he was an American citizen or came from Germany. It was a question of whether or not he was a foreign national and whether or not he was what's called a green card holder in this country.
    Mr. BENNETT. Right.
    Mr. NOBLE. So that was not necessarily clear at the beginning.
    Mr. BENNETT. But it was pretty clear then that this was something that needed to be scrutinized once you realized what was involved with Mr. Kramer and these contributions, isn't that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. BENNETT. Ms. Lerner and Mr. Rodriguez, you were, I think, the two people who have been most involved, or perhaps you, Mr. Rodriguez, with the particular work on this file, is that correct?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. That's correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And with respect to the matter of solicitations of contributions from Thomas Kramer, it appears from our review of the records submitted by the FEC to the committee—records which are available to both the majority and the minority and I think both sides have reviewed them—it's pretty clear, is it not, that there were two particular individuals who dealt with Mr. Kramer. Specifically, Marvin Rosen, who later became the finance director of the Democratic National Committee, and Mr. Howard Glicken, isn't that correct?
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    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. That's what the record shows now, yes, that's correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And specifically noting, for example, I think it's FEC document 15, Mr. Glicken was the first person to solicit contributions from Mr. Kramer, was he not, Mr. Rodriguez, it appears in April 1993?
    [Exhibit 15 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Certainly one of the first.
    Mr. BENNETT. At least from our review—and if I'm incorrect, please correct me, sir—but from our review of the records, it appears that's the first solicitation that we see, is the solicitation for $25,000 by Mr. Glicken from Mr. Kramer, is that correct?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Yes, that's the first solicitation we have documentation concerning.
    Mr. BENNETT. And then we then have another solicitation by Mr. Rosen, I think exhibit 19, and that's in the amount of $60,000, I believe, isn't that correct?
    [Exhibit 19 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. If you would just—if you can very quickly, Mr. Rodriguez, in terms of the chronology, it does appear, does it not, that when these solicitation sheets have been reviewed, there really isn't any reference to Mr. Rosen's law firm? It's Mr. Rosen, individually, who is credited with soliciting that money and getting Mr. Kramer to contribute $60,000. Isn't that correct?
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    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. That's correct. The name that appears is Mr. Rosen's.
    Mr. BENNETT. And with respect to the matter of Mr. Rosen's law firm, I note that, Ms. Lerner, that in your opinion that you ultimately signed, you, in fact, are the individual who signed—as Associate General Counsel—you signed the final General Counsel's Report. Is that correct?
    Ms. LERNER. That's correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And I note that there is no reference to Mr. Rosen, individually. There is reference to Mr. Rosen's law firm and, ultimately, the law firm is fine, but there is not one mention of Mr. Rosen individually in that General Counsel's Report. Was there a reason for that?
    Ms. LERNER. The focus of the investigation, from the time that we received the sua sponte from Mr. Kramer, was the law firm. Mr. Kramer had said that it was individuals in the law firm that had solicited him and that was how we had proceeded.
    Mr. BENNETT. And there was a one time—but as you proceeded—I mean, when you say ''sua sponte,'' the phrase means that Mr. Kramer, as I said earlier, came in and volunteered this information. Correct?
    Ms. LERNER. That's correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And once the investigation proceeded from our review of these records, you not only had the matter of Mr. Glicken and the reference to Mr. Glicken being a friend of the Vice President's, but you clearly have references to Mr. Rosen—individually, not his law firm—Mr. Rosen soliciting money from Mr. Kramer, and my question to you is why is there not any reference to Mr. Rosen who later became the finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee? Why is not specific reference to Mr. Rosen in the General Counsel's Report, at least as to Mr. Glicken? At least you made specific reference to him and stated why you felt that there should not be any proceeding against him.
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    Ms. LERNER. I think you have to go back to the beginning of the case and the decisions that were made at the time that they were made. When we received this and we looked at it, what we saw was an individual coming in indicating that he had made many contributions, and he was a foreign national and so those contributions were incorrect. He also indicated that many of these contributions had been solicited through a particular law firm. Our focus, at that point, was to proceed against him and the law firm. Ordinarily in the past, we had not really proceeded against solicitors in these kinds of cases, but here we had very specific information regarding the law firm. It was not until much farther down the road after we had already conciliated with Mr. Kramer; with Ms. Bradley; with the Florida Republican party, many months down the road, and we were working on conciliating with the law firm, that we received information indicating who the individual solicitors might have been. At that——
    Mr. BENNETT. Mr. Chairman?
    Mr. BURTON. Let me just followup, if I might.
    You have gone after individuals who illegally or unethically solicited contributions that were not legal, have you not?
    Ms. LERNER. Foreign national contributions, I believe there's only been one other instance where we have pursued a solicitor.
    Mr. BURTON. Is that right? Only one other?
    Ms. LERNER. I believe so.
    Mr. BURTON. In other words, if I went out and started soliciting money from a foreign national, and knew that it was illegal and was trying to get it for the Republican party, you wouldn't investigate that?
    Ms. LERNER. That's not what I said. I said that in the past, I believe we've only pursued one other individual. Once again, we have to make decisions on how best to pursue the case.
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    Mr. BURTON. Well, let me followup. You were investigating the law firm of Mr. Rosen. It was very clear that Mr. Rosen was the person in the law firm that was making these unethical or illegal solicitations, and, yet, you never went after him. Why?
    Ms. LERNER. It was not very clear that it was Mr. Rosen who was doing it. First of all——
    Mr. BURTON. You didn't find that out when you got into this?
    Mr. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman, we didn't find that out until last summer.
    Ms. LERNER. And it was only after we began to conciliate with the law firm, and the conciliation didn't look like it was going anywhere. We got back into the investigation and we received that information, however, there's also information that there were other people in the law firm who were also involved in the solicitations, not just Mr. Rosen. Even though his name appears on the reports, there were other individuals that were involved in the solicitations.
    Mr. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman, if I may? If we have evidence that a person knowingly and willfully violated the law, we obviously take that much more seriously. If we have evidence that they, in fact, knew that this was an illegal solicitation, then we take it more seriously. The issue with the law firm was that the law firm should have known that he was a foreign national, because they were doing legal work for him.
    If you look at the file on this case, we did not search out any of the other solicitors. There were a lot of contributions made here. We can assume that there were a lot of solicitors, both on the Democratic and the Republican side, who solicited contributions from Mr. Kramer. We don't have the resources to go after every one of those. We had to make a decision early on in the case of what we were going to do, and you have to take it at the time of that case of what we were dealing with. In terms of just resources, we were averaging 319 cases in any given month from that year, in fiscal year 1997, of which we activated only about a third. So, if we—I would have loved to have had the resources to look at all the solicitors and to find out what they knew; how they solicited the money. This would have taken up half our staff to do this. We've been asking Congress for the resources to do it, and we haven't been getting it.
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    Mr. BENNETT. If I can pick up on that, Mr. Noble. With respect to the matter of resources and trying to interview, I understand, many, many people as to solicitors, there was a very specific matter, though, that's referred to in the General Counsel's Report referring to exhibit 11. In terms of the General Counsel's Report, there was very clear early indication that there was an effort toward a $20,000 conduit payment and, Ms. Lerner, in the footnote of your opinion there, there is specific reference to the fact that Mr. Kramer's initial disclosure, voluntary disclosure, to the FEC noted that an unidentified individual associated with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had suggested that Mr. Kramer funnel a $20,000 contribution through his assistant. So, apart from all the other—I can understand the matter of all the people that solicited, but on this matter it's a very specific representation early in 1994 where Kramer's coming forward and essentially saying that someone from a major national party was suggesting an illegal conduit of $20,000. I mean, there's no ambiguity about that, would you say, Mr. Thomas? It's pretty clear that that's what the individual was representing to the FEC back in 1994.
    [Exhibit 11 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. NOBLE. I think it clearly raises that possibility, no doubt.
    Mr. BENNETT. And further with that, is document 10, before the members of the committee, in addition to the footnote, Mr. Rodriguez, I note that there is record of a telephone conversation that you, Mr. Rodriguez, had with a lawyer for Terri Bradley, Mr. Kramer's secretary.
    [Exhibit 10 follows:]
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    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And, again, if we have that on the screen for the members of the committee referencing that Ms. Bradley overheard a conversation between Mr. Kramer and another individual during which the individual asked Mr. Kramer if there was anyone else who could make the contribution in your place. This individual also explained that the requested contribution would make Mr. Kramer a member of the inner circle, et cetera, and it goes on to describe the conversation, but you definitely have not only Kramer's affidavit but a conversation in which Ms. Bradley is saying that someone connected with a major political party is suggesting an illegal $20,000 conduit payment. What steps were taken to try to identify that particular individual based on the representations of both Mr. Kramer and his secretary?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. I want to clarify, for the record, that this conversation occurred approximately 2 years after the Kramer sua sponte was filed. It was basically September 11, 1997. At that point, we were engaging in conciliation negotiations with the law firm. Once the conciliation was fruitful we——
    Mr. BENNETT. Can I interrupt just one—I don't mean to interrupt you, sir, but just so we're clear, exhibit 6, if I can have that on the screen. Mr. Kramer, in his initial affidavit—and if I'm mistaken, Liz, correct me—but, Mr. Kramer, in his affidavit makes reference to being directly or indirectly informed that a ranking person with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had suggested making this illegal contribution. So, when was the first time you had knowledge—you, yourself, as the line attorney—that there were these two specific allegations involving one particular matter: the $20,000 conduit contribution?
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    [Exhibit 6 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. If I recall the sua sponte correctly, his—Mr. Kramer's statement—was that a Democratic fundraiser suggested that the contribution be made through his secretary. That was the first knowledge we had, and if you look at our first General Counsel Reports and the reports after that, we informally pursued further information on that issue.
    Mr. BENNETT. When did you first know that? Didn't he inform you of that early in the game when he made voluntary disclosure; when his lawyers came forward?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Yes, we followed the——
    Mr. BENNETT. You knew that in December 1994, didn't you, sir?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Correct.
    Mr. BENNETT. And I guess my question is up until 1997, what was done to try to deal with this very clear, specific request and, obviously, a violation of the law because Ms. Bradley did, in fact, make a $20,000 conduit payment, didn't she?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Yes, she did.
    Mr. BENNETT. OK. And what steps did you take to try to find out who this person was?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. The steps that were taken were taken during the conciliation process, and I can't go into detail because it's confidential information.
    Mr. BENNETT. I understand.
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. We sought to gain further information on this transaction during the negotiations for conciliation. We did not—the conciliation negotiations went quickly, incidentally, settlement was reached quickly. Later on in the investigation when we could not find settlement or reach settlement with the law firm, we inquired further, and that brings us to the conversation you saw earlier on the Telecon and other information that you have in your possession.
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    Mr. BENNETT. But, I guess, my question is at the time, however, at the time, did you notify anyone at the Department of Justice with respect to, clearly, an indication of a violation of election law?
    Mr. NOBLE. If I may answer that, we're not permitted to do that at that point. The statute is very clear that we can refer matters over to the Department of Justice only after the Commission finds probable cause to believe that there's a violation.
    Mr. BENNETT. Well, let me ask you, then, Mr. Noble, if I may on that: if you have an individual voluntarily coming forward through his law firm saying, ''I've read my name in the newspaper. Apparently, I'm not allowed to make these contributions. I'm not an American citizen; I'm sua sponte, as you say in your report—Latin, for on your own volition. Here I am.'' And his secretary says, ''Yes, and that's what we did.'' And both of them say, ''Yes, and we were told to do this $20,000 conduit contribution, and we do it through me; I was his secretary.'' Given the candor that these people are representing, I'm not sure if the committee would understand why it would take 2 or 3 years to, at least, on that matter, make a determination of why you're looking into other matters involving Mr. Kramer and all the Democrats and Republicans who got money from him. On that particular matter, it seems fairly reasonable, wouldn't it, to notify Attorney General Reno's office over at the Justice Department that we have clear indications that there apparently was a conduit contribution here?
    Mr. NOBLE. I don't think, at that point, we had probable cause to believe that Mr. Glicken had made a—solicited an unlawful contribution. You have to keep in mind, also, a distinction that we drew, and it's, frankly, a triage distinction, because we are in this mode where we cannot do everything we want to do. The distinction we drew is we did not go after, generally, the solicitors in any of these cases.
    What interested us in this case and in the affidavit was the suggestion that Mr. Kramer may have been told to do a contribution in the name of another. Now, actually, what the language is, is he says, ''I proceeded as I did because to the best of my recollection I understood that the solicitors suggested in the presence of myself and my secretary that since the DSCC accepted contributions only from U.S. citizens, a U.S. citizen should contribute on my behalf.''
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    Now, that is clearly an indication something was there. What we did about it was with one exception which was the Republican party of Florida for another reason—where we went reason to believe no further action, meaning close the case out, as to all the other recipient committees, we kept the DSCC in the case, because we were concerned about that. It raised enough of a flag to us that we were concerned about it, but, as Ms. Lerner said, our focus at that point was that we had Mr. Kramer coming in, and we had what we thought was a serious situation with a law firm soliciting. That's what we put our limited resources on, hoping during the conciliation—and then later you'll see we actually went out with discovery—hoping we would get further information on the DSCC and maybe be able to resolve this issue, but, as we'll discuss, time ultimately ran out on us.
    Mr. BENNETT. Well, I guess, my point on this is, is that looking at, Mr. Rodriguez, looking at exhibit 40, the e-mail communication from you to Ms. Bumgarner, who I believe is there on staff as well, is that correct, Mr. Rodriguez?
    [Exhibit 40 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. That's correct, she's my supervisor.
    Mr. BENNETT. That is in July of last summer, and it now says, correct if I'm wrong, ''Now that the story has broken, can L.L.''—I assume we're referring to Ms. Lerner sitting here today, Ms. Lois Lerner—''check with Justice to determine if they have any interest in pursuing the reported Kramer-Bradley activity criminally. This would be good info to have before contacting Bradley's counsel.''
    I guess, again, my question is, with respect to that particular matter, and this is separate from the matter of Howard Glicken or Marvin Rosen or whoever was the person that made the suggestion, you're not in a different position there in July 1997, than you would have been earlier to make a specific referral on that matter to the Justice Department, would you, Mr. Rodriguez?
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    Ms. LERNER. I'll respond for him with regard to that. We still could not have referred any matter over to the Department of Justice absent finding probable cause. What this related to was we were now in the place where we had settled the matter with certain parties; we were unable—at that point, it did not look like we were going to be able to settle with the law firm. The two cases had been divided out. The information was on the public record that there had been, in fact, the Kramer situation, and, at that point, I was more in a position to be able to discuss the matter with the Department of Justice, because it was on the public record and they could be doing it on their own.
    Mr. BENNETT. Well, let me just—my time is up—just let me close with this one last question, Ms. Lerner. Were Mr. Marvin Rosen or Howard Glicken ever interviewed during this inquiry?
    Ms. LERNER. No, they were not.
    Mr. BENNETT. Did anyone ever contact Marvin Rosen or Howard Glicken, the two people who mainly dealt with Mr. Kramer and solicited money from him, and asked their version of events with respect to this?
    Ms. LERNER. No.
    Mr. BENNETT. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
    Mr. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman, if I may, just keep in mind, we have two investigators for our whole staff.
    Mr. BURTON. Beg your pardon?
    Mr. NOBLE. We have two investigators for our whole staff.
    Mr. BURTON. No, you've made your case very clear as far as lack of resources and personnel. I think that our concern was why there wasn't more followup since there were four people involved. Mr. Waxman.
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    Mr. WAXMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Noble, why do you say that you only had two investigators? What difference would that make?
    Mr. NOBLE. All of these cases have to be understood in terms of the caseload we have and the resources we have. When we discuss how to proceed on these cases, we're aware that we can only handle a very limited amount—a very limited number of investigations, and, frankly, at the time this came up last summer, we knew that we are already dealing with large cases coming in from the 1996 election. Remember, these contributions are from 1993, 1994. We are trying to get out of the 1993, 1994 cycle and we have to look at where the resources are going to go.
    I know that when Ms. Lerner comes to me and says—and this happened in this case—that we will probably have to launch an investigation on this, that it's going to have to come from somewhere; some other case we're going to have to stop investigating. There is some other case that will not get activated because of that. And so what we do in that situation is we see if we can get, if you will, the quick hit. If we can the get settlement; if we can get substantial civil penalties and get the message out that this is a very serious violation, we will then do that and move on.
    I would have—as I said before—I would have loved to have found out what Mr. Glicken knew. There are a lot of cases we have today that are going to suffer this fate where we would like to find out what's going on, but we are not able to find out what's going on.
    Mr. WAXMAN. You're not able to find out because the Congress of the United States appropriated a limited amount for your budget, and I want you to know that was a big fight in the Congress, but the Republican leadership in the Congress decided they didn't want to give more money to the Federal Election Commission to pursue enforcement of campaign violations, and now we have you before us to criticize you for not being able to do more than what your money permitted.
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    Now, it's appropriate for this committee to call the Federal Election Commission before us as part of our congressional oversight, but it's also fair to ask for accountability of this committee, itself, and the chairman stated in his statement that he spent $2.5 million, not the $5 million that I alleged. I want to know, Mr. Chairman, whether you, by the end of this week, will give us a full accounting of the money spent by this committee? No other governmental agency would be able to get away without giving a full accounting. I think the members of this committee and the public are entitled to a full accounting of the money spent, and I'd like to yield to you for the sole purpose of responding to my request that you give us the information as to what you have been spending.
    Mr. BURTON. Thank you for yielding. It's a matter of public record the amount of money that was appropriated by the House for our investigation. I mean, I don't think it's any great mystery. All you have to do is open up the books and look at it.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I'd like to know, Mr. Chairman, how you came up with the $2.5 million figure. That's the figure you stated publicly, and I think we're entitled to know how you came up with it. Last year, you said that you had a data base that the Republicans were creating. We were critical because we thought we should share it, but you stated that it cost $40,000. Now, we read in the newspaper, it cost $60,000. Will you provide for us an accounting of how you've come to this figure of $2.5 million?
    Mr. BURTON. Well, I will certainly check with the staff, but it's a matter of record; it's there, and I'll have the staff get that together for you, Mr. Waxman.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Well, Mr. Chairman——
    Mr. BURTON. Obviously, I want to cooperate with you any way I can.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, I differ with you. It is not a matter of public record. There are a lot of things that are in the public record, but the statement of $2.5 million ought to be justified if you're going to make it.
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    Now, let me go on to some other things. I do want to ask you some questions about the matter that's before us, but I do want to talk about how it's somewhat comical to think, as the chairman stated, that this is the only investigation that's actually pursuing all these campaign violations, and if it weren't for us, no one would be looking at it. The fact of the matter is that Senator Thompson's committee held over 30 hearings on campaign finance investigations. The Justice Department has a task force of over 120 people, and they're pursuing these issues. Our committee is pursuing the matters as well, but I must say that nothing has come out of this committee's deliberations that one would not have been able to read in advance in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, in any of the media that has reported and done its own investigation of campaign finance abuses.
    And the chairman, in his very defensive way, to justify this committee, said that Charlie Trie has been indicted because of this committee's activities. Well, Mr. Trie has been indicted by the Justice Department for over 52 overt acts. Of those 52 overt acts, only 2 were discussed by this committee in a public hearing, and of those 2, the Democratic National Committee had already reported all the information to the Justice Department which led them to bring those indictments.
    Now, I just think this committee should be held up to scrutiny. It should be held accountable just as we're asking the Federal Election Commission to be held accountable, and the chairman claims that we have all this lack of cooperation because witnesses aren't coming forward. There's some truth to that, but there's also been an enormous amount of cooperation. This committee has requested and received more material than any other investigation in the history of the Congress. We have 1.5 million pages of documents from the witnesses, particularly the Democratic witnesses. From the Republican party, we have only 17,000 pages, and this is an enormous amount of material. We have witnesses that have been deposed, not once, but two, three, and four times, and the public doesn't know about it because it's behind closed doors. They're not brought before a public hearing where the kinds of questions that are asked could be viewed by the American people and they could then exercise some judgment as to whether it's appropriate. Over 140 people have been deposed, and the committee has kept four depositions, many of them lasting more than 10 hours. So, I think that the claim that we haven't seen cooperation is a little thin.
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    I'd like to ask a question about the resources. How much money do you have to spend at the Federal Election Commission to enforce the law?
    Mr. NOBLE. Well, there are a number of different ways you can look at it. In 1999, we've asked for approximately $10 million for the whole Compliance Program.
    Mr. WAXMAN. How much?
    Mr. NOBLE. $10 million for the whole Compliance Program; $10.5 million for the whole compliance, and that includes enforcement, Reports Analysis Division, and Audits. It includes more than what's in my office. We're in a situation, now, in my office where we have 20—we can assign approximately 24 staff attorneys to investigations. As I said earlier, we have two investigators, and that is what we have to do the nationwide enforcement of the laws with; not just this case; not just the cases arising out of the 1996 election. I would note that we asked last year for $5 million, a supplemental appropriation, so that we could put that money in looking at the 1996 elections, because the 1996 elections have the potential for draining all of our resources and more, and other than money given for computers, we were not allowed to—we were not given any of the money for staff resources.
    Mr. WAXMAN. How many people does the FEC having working on its enforcement staff?
    Mr. NOBLE. The enforcement—as I said, we have 24 staff attorneys; we have the equivalent of 5 assistant general counsels working on enforcement; we have 12 paralegals, and 2 investigators.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Well, Mr. Noble, this committee, the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, has over 70 attorneys, investigators, and support staff. Our committee dwarfs the kind of budget that you have to enforce the law, and now with all of our resources, we're now criticizing you for not doing more.
    Mr. NOBLE. If I may, I'll also point out that we have reached out, besides coming to Congress, for additional money, and we have in our budget request this year a request for additional staff to help with the workload. We've also gone to the Department of Justice and asked for a detail, and we've also sought help in other ways. In fact, we wrote to this committee seeking help in getting documents that this committee may have that may help us with some of our investigations. So, we've been seeking, from a number of different sources, assistance, and, frankly, we've not been getting the assistance.
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    Mr. WAXMAN. Well, based on what the Republican leadership did in the House of Representatives yesterday when they made sure that real campaign finance reform would be killed. I wanted to vote for the bill authored by our colleagues, Mr. Shays and Mr. Meehan, or in the Senate, the McCain-Fiengold bill. They kept us from voting on that, and I think that's an indication that if you want more money, you're going to have to hold some bake sales, because the Republican leadership isn't interested in making sure that you get the funds to do the job to make sure that law enforcement-type agencies can really bring Democrats and Republicans to answer for their violations. In this committee, the budget is overwhelming, and they try only to go after Democrats and never to go against Republicans.
    And I want to just say something else, Mr. Chairman. My words of criticism should not be interpreted as me alone saying them, because I want to quote from other sources. ''The incompetence on this committee is frightening,'' and that's from Roll Call, quoting a Republican Member on September 29, 1997. Another one said, ''This committee is so incompetent, we're never prepared.'' That's from the Congressional Quarterly Monitor quoting an aide to a Republican on this committee. Another source close to the investigation said, ''We have management by crisis. There's lunacy without direction; without advancement; without outlining where it was going to go.'' So, I think that the chairman should understand that we alone are not criticizing him. You might want to chuckle about it, but the fact of the matter is we are wasting taxpayers' money on a partisan witch hunt, and we're hamstringing the enforcement agencies that should be doing its jobs, and, Mr. Noble, I feel sorry for you, because you were just here. You just came before our committee a short time ago on March 5th, because one of our subcommittee's held a full day public hearing on oversight of the Federal Election Commission, is that right?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. You testified at that hearing, and Chairman Burton said he had questions about Thomas Kramer and Howard Glicken, and you answered all those questions in some detail, isn't that correct?
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    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Now, I've reviewed the transcript of that prior hearing, and I'm struck by the fact that you've already answered questions extensively about Thomas Kramer, some of which we've just heard asked and answered again. I don't think I can do a better job at this hearing than Mr. Horn did—who's the chairman of the subcommittee—at his hearing. So, rather than ask different questions, I want to go through Mr. Horn's questions, and I asked my staff to provide you with a copy of the court reporter's transcript of that prior hearing. I'm going to read Mr. Horn's part. I want you to play yourself. I hope you can do that probably a lot easier than I can play Mr. Horn. But let me refer you to the transcript. On page 187—I'm sorry, 180, Mr. Horn says, after you answered some question, he said, ''That's fine, that's fine; glad to hear it. OK. Let me move, then, to the last question. This is from Chairman Burton who wanted to join us, but he couldn't. And it's directed at Mr. Noble as General Counsel. What Chairman Burton would like to know is a few answers here on the Thomas Kramer case. I don't know if you're familiar with that.''
    Mr. NOBLE. ''Yes, I am.''
    Mr. WAXMAN. ''Mr. Burton notes, 'As you know, Mr. Kramer paid over $320,000 in fines for illegal political contributions to candidates and political parties, Democrat and Republican. Two things trouble me,' says Chairman Burton, 'the first is a statement that you made about a fundraiser close to the Vice President, named Howard Glicken. The second is, why didn't you go after a Democratic National Committee fundraiser who allegedly advised Mr. Kramer on how to break the law?'
    ''As for Howard Glicken—Mr. Burton notes that in the Federal Election Commission report about the investigation of Mr. Glicken, the following comment was made: 'Because of Mr. Glicken's high profile as a prominent Democratic fundraiser, including his potential fundraising involvement and support of Mr. Gore's expected presidential campaign, it is unclear that this individual would agree to settle this matter short of litigation.' Mr. Burton notes, 'This troubles me,' and he says, 'Mr. Noble, why didn't you pursue the investigation of Mr. Glicken?' ''
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    Mr. NOBLE. ''I'll answer that question directly, then I'll give some background on it. We did not pursue the investigation of Mr. Glicken because it was—most of the activity at issue was 1993 activity; some was 1994. We have a 5-year statute of limitations. Mr. Glicken's name came up late in the process. We have not found reason to believe against Mr. Glicken. We would have had to start from the beginning with Mr. Glicken. The statute of limitations on the main part of a solicitation runs this April. The reason that comment was made——''
    Mr. WAXMAN. Let me interrupt you—you can read the rest of the transcript; it's already part of the record of the subcommittee—aren't those the answers you just gave a few minutes ago to Mr. Bennett?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Those are the answers you gave a few weeks ago to Mr. Horn?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Now, I have accused this committee of redundancy with Senator Thompson's investigation, because we called witnesses that appeared there and then came here and said the same thing. I've accused this committee of redundancy with other committees of the House, because we have other committees of the House pursuing parallel investigations. Now, we see this committee involved in redundancy with its own subcommittees, because we're going over the same issues, same ground, that was pursued by not another House, not another committee, but our own subcommittees.
    Let me skip to the last two pages of the transcript, pages 199 and 200, where Representative Turner was asking you questions. Representative Turner asked whether there was any evidence that the commission or its staff had any communications or influence from the Vice President, the White House, or anyone acting on their behalf regarding the decisions to drop the Glicken matter. Is it correct that both you and Commissioner Aikens testified that you knew of no such communication or influence? Mr. Noble, I'd like to know if you have—what you said there and if you have anything new to add?
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    Mr. NOBLE. I said that there was none that I was aware of, and I have nothing new to add.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Well, that seems to be what you said in the subcommittee as well. You were asked that question; that was your answer. You've been asked that question here, and that's still your answer. I'd like to know if you have anything new to add, today, that wasn't covered in the earlier hearing this month.
    Mr. NOBLE. We have no further testimony other than answering questions.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I still have time, and for those who might be watching this on C–SPAN and don't understand how the procedure works, when we get time, we have a half hour, and we don't have to yield to the other side, and they don't have to yield to us. You noted, Mr. Burton, those of you who watched this thing, wouldn't yield to me when I asked him to. I want to ask Members of my Democratic side if they have any questions they want to pursue. Yes, Mr. Fattah.
    Mr. FATTAH. Thank you to the ranking member. Let me see if I can try to put this in some context beyond the instance case. The Federal Election Commission did review in the past activities of the, for instance, the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992, is that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. FATTAH. And the Republican campaign in the same year and there were resulting agreements in which—I don't know if you would call them fines—but penalties were agreed to, is that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. I believe so, yes.
    Mr. FATTAH. Well over $1 million, as I recall. In fact, this general knowledge that the Federal Election Commission and the reason why you've gotten such a paltry budget from the Congress, has been an equal opportunity enforcer over the years, and you went after many, many Democratic allegations in the past and successfully have tried to ferret out wrongdoing and also it is the case for Republicans. Since you've been at the FEC, isn't it true that a fair number of Members of both parties and Independent campaigns have been the subject of enforcement actions?
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    Mr. NOBLE. Absolutely, and we do not look at whether they're Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. I would note that—I believe it was last summer—the Fair Government Foundation which reviewed our civil penalties in cases came out with a statement that they did not see any bias on the part of the Commission with regard to civil penalties in terms of Democrats or Republicans. In terms of the case you mentioned, there are also—I think what you are talking about, they are repayments that the Commission ordered.
    Mr. FATTAH. Yes, I guess the point I'm making is that until this hearing today, there's never been any serious suggestion by anyone that I'm aware of that the FEC has been partisan in its approach to enforcement of the election laws. Are you aware of any allegations that have been on the public record of partisanship by the FEC?
    Mr. NOBLE. I don't think there are any serious allegations. I will say that when we are attempting to conciliate and get a civil penalty out of somebody, that they do—often they will say, ''Well, you're just doing this, because I'm a fill-in-the-blank, Democrat, Republican, Independent.
    Mr. FATTAH. Everybody complains.
    Mr. NOBLE. Everybody we go after complains that we're only going after them, and if we drop a case where somebody complains, they complain that we dropped it only because of who the person was.
    Mr. FATTAH. It's also true that if you look at the tens of millions that have been spent by the Congress, that is both the upper chamber or as they call it here the other body, or the House in its enthusiasm to find wrongdoing in the 1996 elections, that there is but one agency of the Federal Government that was set up to and has the expertise and the experience to thoroughly investigate campaign irregularities, and that is the FEC, is that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. Correct. We're the only agency with exclusive civil jurisdiction.
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    Mr. FATTAH. And you have, in your agency, a great deal of expertise and experience in these matters. So, even though you have investigated less than, for instance, this committee has, to work on these matters, you actually bring to these types of inquiries, a level of expertise that even this committee hopes to bring.
    Mr. NOBLE. We have a level of expertise developed over 20 years of doing this, and that expertise and that judgment goes into decisions we make about what to do on cases.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. FATTAH. I'll be glad to.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I want to make one comment, and then I want to yield some of the time to Mr. Tierney, and then we'll come back for another round for Members to ask individual 5-minute questions.
    You here being criticized, Mr. Noble, and others from the FEC, that you're not doing enough, and you say you don't have enough resources to do more, but I want to point out that President Clinton asked for an extra $1.7 million for the current fiscal year which expires September 30th, and this was a letter sent to Speaker Newt Gingrich. He asked if Congress could meet that budget request. The House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Bob Livingston, who's openly hostile to the FEC, put extra money into the supplemental appropriations bill, but he put in a proviso that it can only be used for computers, and then the House rules stripped the appropriations from that measure on the grounds that an emergency did not exist. So, we see the Republican leadership in the Congress refusing to give you money even for computers let alone more staff, and you're being criticized for not doing more with your budget. But, Mr. Noble, this is the second time you've been here this month, and I see four people at the table, and maybe others behind you that are from the FEC, answering the same questions. Doesn't that require a lot of use of your time and money for your time that could have been directed to other activities? Don't you have anything better to do than to come before the Congress and answer the same questions twice in the same month?
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    Mr. NOBLE. We are, of course, glad to be here and answer any questions the committee has. Obviously, it does take time from other things that we would be doing.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I'll bet it does. Mr. Tierney, I want to yield some time to you.
    Mr. TIERNEY. Thank you, Mr. Waxman. Let me just say that it's a little appalling to see what passes for Government these days or exercising Government, and I think that we all ought to take a real hard look at the time that we're spending here today and forcing you people to spend recreating the wheel.
    If you had $2.5 million—such has been spent according to, I think, the short estimate of the chairman here—could you put that to good use fulfilling your responsibilities?
    Mr. NOBLE. Absolutely.
    Mr. TIERNEY. Could you give me some example of what you'd do with that $2.5 million that we're twittering away here?
    Mr. THOMAS. Well, that's really only a part of the additional increment we're actually seeking for the compliance component for fiscal year 1999, but as we have said with regard to that full amount, we would use that to hire investigators, auditors, attorneys, all the people you need to dig into these kinds of allegations and to get to the bottom of them.
    Mr. TIERNEY. If you had a counsel of the capabilities of Mr. Bennett, would that be useful to your staff also, if you were spending his good services in your agency instead of with this committee.
    Mr. THOMAS. We would like having someone with that gentleman's skills, no doubt.
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    Mr. TIERNEY. Let me ask each of you what your normal duties would be on a day like today if you weren't sitting here telling us again for the third or fourth time, which you've already mentioned to subcommittees and individuals and depositions and the like. Just starting from my left to right, tell me what you would be doing today.
    Mr. THOMAS. Well, I suppose, since I'm Vice Chairman of the Commission, I would probably be spending some time today working on following up on our budget request, because we are working very hard on that, and that's my primary responsibility this year. But aside from that, I'd be basically looking at all of the reports that the Counsel's Office sends to us making recommendations in pending enforcement cases, pending regulation projects, and pending advisory opinion projects, and all the recommendations coming out of the Audit Division on audit reports, the whole 9 yards. That's what I do on a daily basis.
    Mr. NOBLE. I'd be reviewing reports from the various areas in my office. Enforcement is one of four areas in the office; there's public financing; there's litigation, and there's policy. I'd be reviewing reports; having meetings; probably meeting with Lois several times during the day to discuss what we've been doing on cases and resource allocation issues.
    Ms. LERNER. I would be reviewing any reports that come to me, because all enforcement reports are funnelled through me either to the General Counsel or directly to the Commission. I would be meeting with staff team leaders and the attorneys to determine which way we should proceed in our investigations, and because it's Tuesday, I might also be at a Commission meeting.
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Well, it varies day to day. I'd work my cases. I'd be trying to enforce the acts.
    Mr. TIERNEY. You indicated that you have currently two investigators.
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    Mr. NOBLE. Correct.
    Mr. TIERNEY. How many do you estimate that you need in order to fulfill your statutory responsibilities appropriately?
    Mr. NOBLE. We broke it down in the request which I will have to find.
    Mr. TIERNEY. Give me an estimate.
    Mr. THOMAS. I can say in the actual budget request, Congressman, we didn't specify how many of the 34 staff that would be going to the Office of General Council would be investigators per se. We did specify that 26 of those 34 would be going to the enforcement teams of which there are 4, so within that compliment of 26—Larry Noble might have a further breakdown—but some would be investigators; some would be attorneys; some would be support staff.
    Mr. NOBLE. We can provide that to the committee. I did not bring that with me.
    [The information referred to follows:]

    The staff breakdown for our FY 1999 budget request is: 17 Attorneys; 8 Paralegals; 2 Investigators; 7 General Support and Administrative Staff; and 3 Auditors.

    Mr. TIERNEY. Is it fair to say that by and large what you're investigating and what the root of most of these problems and issues that you deal with on a day-to-day basis involves is the money in politics?
    Mr. NOBLE. Absolutely.
    Mr. TIERNEY. And that if this committee or other committees here spent more time reviewing some of the proposals on campaign finance reform that talked about decreasing the amount of money in politics, that we might make some progress in reforming the system?
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    Mr. THOMAS. Well, we are anxious to enforce whatever Congress passes. That's our job; that's the way we look at it, and we're happy to advise the Congress on recommendations. We do that every year. We sent over a list of 60-some legislative recommendations just recently. We would hope that there could be some effort to streamline the law whenever possible, and we make several recommendations along those lines.
    Mr. TIERNEY. What success have you had in the past with those recommendations that you've sent over to Congress?
    Mr. THOMAS. Well, I'd have to say not a great deal. Those things tend to get caught up in the big philosophical battles involving larger scale efforts to change the law.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Tierney, you use the figure in the questions of the these witnesses that this committee spent $2.5 million——
    Mr. TIERNEY. Actually, Mr. Waxman, what I said was that the chairman underestimated, I believe, the $2.5 million.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Well, that figure's a fixed——
    Mr. TIERNEY. I understand that.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I believe this committee has spent over $5 million, and I want the chairman of this committee to account for every penny that's been spent, because I think we're entitled to know how he comes up with the $2.5 million, and we ought to have that information. We're entitled to it. This committee is not above some accountability at least to the members of the committee, and so I did want to raise that point.
    Mr. TIERNEY. I yield some time back to Mr. Waxman.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I want to yield to Mr. Kucinich, but I want to ask one question, if I might. The FEC is, you're being attacked for partisanship, and the contributions underlying this whole question before us, and Mr. Kramer, involved, I think, a lot more money to the Republican party in Florida than to the Democratic party in Florida. Is that an accurate statement?
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    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Accurate statement.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Chairman Burton has focused his investigation solely on Democrats. For example, although the Florida Democratic party didn't take any money from Thomas Kramer, it was subpoenaed. But the Republican party, which received more money than the Democratic party in Florida, never got a request for information, never got a subpoena from our committee. When you undertake your investigations, did you request documents from both the Democratic and Republican parties?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Correct, Congressman.
    Mr. WAXMAN. It sounds to me that rather than accusing you of partisanship, it seems to me this committee stands indicted of the accusation of partisanship when they only go after the Democratic party of Florida and never ask for information from the Republicans. Mr. Davis, you had one question, then I wanted to yield to Mr. Tierney and then we'll——
    Mr. DAVIS OF ILLINOIS. Thank you very much, Mr. Waxman.
    Mr. WAXMAN [continuing]. To Mr. Kucinich.
    Mr. DAVIS OF ILLINOIS. Thank you very much. My question is: How active has the FEC been in pursuing compliance with foreign national cases?
    Mr. NOBLE. We've been very active in pursuing compliance in foreign national cases. We've taken the matter very seriously. In the 1992, 1994, and 1996 election cycles, we had foreign national cases dealing with 580 respondents and we got over $800,000 in civil penalties.
    Mr. DAVIS OF ILLINOIS. And is a foreign national the same as a legal resident?
    Mr. NOBLE. The definition of foreign national is someone who is not a legal resident, is not a citizen or is not a legal resident and does not have a green card.
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    Mr. DAVIS OF ILLINOIS. So when we're talking about one, we're not talking about the other?
    Mr. NOBLE. When we're talking about a foreign national, we're not talking about somebody who has a green card and is a legal resident.
    Mr. DAVIS OF ILLINOIS. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Waxman.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I'd like to yield whatever time I have to Mr. Kucinich.
    Mr. KUCINICH. Thank you, Mr. Waxman. I think what we're witnessing here, at the beginning, with the FEC being investigated, is the metastatic state of campaign investigations. Now we're investigating the FCC.
    Mr. Waxman raised some very important points about the FEC. We have an investigation of the FEC, which is underfunded, can't enforce campaign laws, which we acknowledge are insufficient, and our counsel for the committee is now asking the FEC not just to enforce the laws, but to prefer charges prior to the finding of probable cause. Now I want to ask the gentleman, how significant is this concept of probable cause to the FEC?
    Mr. NOBLE. The FEC has several stages by statute that it has to go through. One is reason to believe, we cannot do any investigation until we find reason to believe. After the investigation, the Commission has to find probable cause to believe there was a violation. So it is a higher threshold than reason to believe and it is meant to be that after investigation now, there is probable cause to believe a violation occurred.
    Mr. KUCINICH. Why do you do that?
    Mr. NOBLE. The statute requires it.
    Mr. KUCINICH. But why, what other principles are at work?
    Mr. NOBLE. The principles, I think, the congressional principle is that the Congress did not want the Commission pursuing a case unless there was strong evidence with regard to the case.
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    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. The subpoena that was sent to the Democratic party in Florida had nothing to do with Mr. Kramer. Mr. Horn, you're recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me pursue where the general counsel left off a little bit, as to Mr. Glicken. Mr. Noble, I refer you to Federal Election Commission exhibit 12, where you will find also on 12.3 the language at the bottom of the page, it says, ''Similarly, this Office does not recommend further proceedings concerning the two Democratic National Committee contributions apparently solicited by Mr. Glicken. Unlike the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee contributions, the larger of these two contributions would not be timebarred until March 1999—approximately a year and 4 months from now. However, because of Mr. Glicken's high profile as a prominent Democratic fundraiser, including his potential fundraising involvement in support of Vice President Gore's expected presidential campaign, it is unclear that this individual would agree to settle this matter short of litigation. Therefore, rather than continuing this matter for an unspecified period in pursuit of one participant and because of the low prospect for timely resolution, the age of the matter and already successful resolution concerning all principals in this case, the Office does not recommend further proceedings concerning these two DNC contributions either. Instead, the Office recommends the closing of the entire file.''
    Now, that was your recommendation, as I remember, to the Commission, was it not?
    [Exhibit 12 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. NOBLE. Yes, it was.
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    Mr. HORN. And clearly there was a time, wasn't there, within the period of limitations, when you could've proceeded with Mr. Glicken. Is that not true?
    Mr. NOBLE. There was a time in the summer-fall of 1997, the information—it was in July 1997—the first information regarding Mr. Glicken came into the office.
    As I just said, we have statutory proceedings we have to follow. We had not found reason to believe against Mr. Glicken because we had not seen his name prior to that. So we would have had to find reason to believe against Mr. Glicken to launch an investigation.
    If you look at the procedures in the statute that we have to follow, we have figured out that not counting any work the FEC does, we have to take approximately 120 to 130 days to get a case through. That's not counting any investigation, any writing of reports. We know, as a practical matter, based on our experience, that it would take us a long time to get that case through, unless it was going to settle early.
    Mr. HORN. You knew at that time, though, that he was a prominent fundraiser for Vice President Gore, did you not?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. HORN. You did know that?
    Mr. BURTON. Mr. Horn, would you yield briefly?
    Mr. HORN. Yes.
    Mr. BURTON. You never even called Mr. Glicken or Mr. Rosen about this, right?
    Mr. NOBLE. We would——
    Mr. BURTON. You never even called them?
    Mr. NOBLE. No, we did not.
    Mr. BURTON. You didn't even call them at all. You didn't——
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    Mr. NOBLE. We did not call any of the solicitors.
    Mr. HORN. Well, I was going to get to that point because I've heard a lot about staff manpower here, and womanpower, and I remember that incident on the floor where the Appropriations Committee Chairman was rather upset; you were given $3 million in the budget to use on computerization, and you didn't. You went out and hired people in complete violation of the law because that Appropriations Act is a law, and you violated it. And here we have all this whining about, we don't have enough resources. As the chairman said, couldn't you just pick up a phone? How much time does that take?
    Mr. NOBLE. It does not take much time. I'd like to note, though, as we've already answered, I believe to your subcommittee, that we do not believe we did violate the law on that matter. And I believe——
    Mr. HORN. Well, you did. That's why the chairman hit the ceiling. I was on the floor when he did. He was outraged. I would be outraged. The law said spend it on computerization. There were thousands of complaints of people saying, we can't get the data we need out of the FEC. You didn't spend it on that; you spent it on people. That isn't what the Congress gave it to you for. It gave it to you to modernize your computing.
    Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Horn, I have to interject here. I respect there might be a difference of opinion, but I strongly urge you to look very closely at the letter that we prepared. We think it is abundantly clear that there was not any law that mandated that we spend $3 million on our computerization effort. We did want to spend as much as we could——
    Mr. HORN. Do you regard an Appropriations Act as a law?
    Mr. THOMAS. I certainly do, but if you look——
    Mr. HORN. Well, thank you very much.
    Mr. THOMAS [continuing]. Closely at our letter, it was not in the appropriation law, sir.
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    Mr. HORN. You were given $3 million for modernization, not for personnel. Let's get back to the case at hand, which is a fascinating case. Despite the clear indications that Mr. Glicken solicited significant contributions from an individual, who was a known foreign national, there was a decision to do nothing with him. Is that not correct, Mr. Noble?
    Mr. NOBLE. As with all of the solicitors—we assumed there were solicitors of all these contributions; we did not pursue the solicitors.
    Mr. HORN. But, the——
    Mr. NOBLE. What we were interested in with Mr. Glicken was the suggestion that he may have suggested to somebody that they make a contribution in the name of another. And that took it up to another level which is why we held on to that part of the case, thinking that we might be able to do something about it. But by the time that—that was in the DSCC information. We did not find Mr. Glicken's name until July 1997, and that particular contribution, where there was a suggestion that it was a contribution in the name of another, or solicited as a contribution in the name of another, the statute of limitations would have run at the end of April of this year.
    Mr. HORN. Well, the fact was, was there ever a discussion besides the General Counsel's Office? Did you discuss it with the commissioners at all in terms of the choices you had?
    Mr. NOBLE. I think this report laid out the choices that we thought we had.
    Mr. HORN. Well, they did nothing about it, right? The Commission? They took your word for it and said, let's get rid of this case.
    Mr. NOBLE. They approved our recommendation——
    Mr. HORN. Did they know that he was a prominent solicitor for Vice President Gore?
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    Mr. NOBLE. They had the report in front of them; the report mentions that——
    Mr. HORN. So they knew that? Were they trying to duck tangling with a powerful person or what?
    Mr. NOBLE. No, not at all. It is not uncommon that we have to tell the Commission that there are a lot of threads in a case but we don't think we have the resources or the time to do it.
    And I have to tell you a little bit about what was going on at that time. We had just lost a court case where the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sued us for how long we were taking on a case involving the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. And in May 1997, the court said to us that we were arbitrary and capricious, that were taking too long in the investigation.
    The prior year we had closed a very long investigation against Presidential candidate Pat Robertson that went on for years. And we took depositions, we went to subpoena enforcement, and we ultimately closed——
    Mr. HORN. Well, that's very interesting, but let's get back to Mr. Glicken. And I would hope, frankly, Mr. Chairman, that somebody picks up FEC exhibit 44 and starts in on that when Justice asked you, why don't you send us this matter.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. I'll let the gentleman answer.
    Mr. NOBLE. In the Pat Robertson case, as we learned a lot from this, we spent so much time investigating, and following the leads, that the statute of limitations ran, and we ended up having to dismiss the case without even going to probable cause to believe. We fought in court the statute of limitations, saying it should not apply to us, and we lost that in court. Congress can amend the statute of limitations and take us out of it.
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    Mr. BURTON. Mr. Majors. Mr. Owens. I'm sorry.
    Mr. OWENS. Mr. Chairman, I yield to the ranking member.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I just find it bewildering that Mr. Horn asked you the questions he asked, especially with the tone: You did something wrong by trying to beef up your enforcement resources. He thinks you violated the appropriations because that was supposed to go for something else, computers, but not for enforcement. And then once you put it into enforcement, he beats you up because you didn't do more. And you're saying you don't have the resources to do more. It just seems to me you can't win.
    And I find it just so amazing that Mr. Horn would have that line of questioning.
    I must say Mr. Horn plays Mr. Horn better than I play him, and there are limits on how far I want to go there——
    Mr. OWENS. Will the gentleman—I don't want to be redundant, and I had several questions that you already asked, but I think it's important to note that today we're considering the emergency supplemental Appropriations Act. We're going to take money—it's being proposed by the majority—that we take money as an offset from bilingual and immigrant education, Section 8 low-income rental assistance program, et cetera. We are, on this committee, wasting millions of dollars, and where as I don't question the sincerity of the chairman, I do think it's pretty obvious that the competence of this committee is such that we are wasting millions of dollars. We talked about 70 employees for this so-called investigation, while the FEC is forced by the same majority to operate on a shoestring budget knowing—it's common knowledge all over America, that the FEC is underfunded and not staffed properly to deal with the gigantic tasks it has before it.
    I yield to Mr. Kucinich for a question he might have.
    Mr. KUCINICH. I want to thank my colleague.
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    I would like to submit for the record a recent article from the National Journal, dated March 14, 1998, called, ''Infinite Jeopardy'' and quote this paragraph, in part, ''No matter how hard even the most honest politician tries to obey the law, he can no longer go about his business without fear of one or more ruinous corruption investigations. The law's first duty is not to catch the guilty, but to provide a zone of comfort for the innocent. On that score, the ethics process has reached a point of collapse. Ethics investigations can bring down the honest and dishonest alike.''
    [The information referred to follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. KUCINICH. This article relates to the assumption of guilt which seems to have permeated the investigative process in this Congress. And, therefore, in raising the issue earlier about the presumption of innocence, I think we have to require that that principle, which is so important to the democratic process, let alone the criminal justice process, be enforced, and that questioning which drills the FEC as to why they should regard the presumption of innocence as being such a sacrosanct matter, ought to be, in itself, scrutinized.
    Now I want to ask some questions here. The FEC has come under criticism from members of this committee and from outside groups for dropping the Glicken case. I'd like to show a chart prepared by the minority staff. When they produce the chart, this chart represents some of the cases against Members of the other side of the aisle dropped in the last 3 months. And as you can see, when you look at it—you can see that the FEC has dropped cases against quite a few Republican party organizations including the Dole-Kemp Campaign, the National Republican Campaign Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. And the FEC has also dropped cases against many prominent Republican officials, and I'd like to emphasize that these cases were all dropped within the last 3 months.
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    Now, I don't mean to suggest from it that I'm trying to criticize the FEC, but it's my understanding that the FEC is forced to drop many of the cases it receives. Is that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. That is correct.
    Mr. KUCINICH. And in many instances, aren't cases dropped even after your preliminary investigation has discovered that there's some basis to believe a violation has occurred?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. KUCINICH. And would it be fair to say that there have been cases dropped by the Commission which appear to be more serious than the Glicken case?
    Mr. NOBLE. There have been, yes, there have been very serious cases——
    Mr. KUCINICH. And why have you been forced to drop those cases?
    Mr. NOBLE. Resource or statute of limitation problems.
    Mr. KUCINICH. And can you tell me approximately what percentage of cases the Commission receives in a year that are closed without action?
    Mr. NOBLE. We are able to activate at any given time only about a third of our cases. I can tell you that we have an enforcement prioritization system and we've dismissed under the enforcement prioritization system, for example, in 1997, 133 cases, and 55 percent of those, of our total caseload, was dismissed under the enforcement prioritization system. Now the enforcement prioritization system identifies cases that are either low-rated, meaning they're not important, or cases that are stale, meaning that they were too old.
    Mr. KUCINICH. One final question: It's my understanding that the first step you take in a case is to find reason to believe that a violation occurred. Has the Commission closed cases after finding reason to believe that a violation has occurred?
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    Mr. NOBLE. Yes, and it has closed cases after finding probable cause to believe, which is the higher step, has occurred.
    Mr. KUCINICH. So even in cases where they might yield some finding of wrongdoing, you've closed cases?
    Mr. NOBLE. Absolutely.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Davis.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you. I've got a few questions, let me start with the FEC document No. 44. On that screen there, that's an e-mail from Lois Lerner to Lawrence Noble. Looking at the FEC exhibit, Ms. Lerner, you in fact, were called by Mr. Donsanto from the Department of Justice last month after the story of Mr. Glicken and his association with the Vice President was reported in a major newspaper. Isn't that correct?
    [Exhibit 44 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Ms. LERNER. Yes.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Specifically, the language in this e-mail notes that with respect to the matter of Mr. Glicken being the Vice President's friend, this official at the Justice Department wanted to know why this hasn't been referred to DOJ. He said the Task Force would be wrapping up an investigation unless he could provide them with something clarifying this. Who is Mr. Donsanto?
    Ms. LERNER. Mr. Donsanto works in the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Why did he call you?
    Ms. LERNER. He is my contact at the Department of Justice. When there's—we're liaisons for the two organizations.
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    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. What was your response with respect to his question of why this matter hadn't been referred to the Department of Justice?
    Ms. LERNER. We hadn't found probable cause in the matter, so there couldn't be any referral, but what Mr. Donsanto was really saying to me was that he had seen the article and based just on that article, he wondered what was going on and he assumed that there was more to it than just the fact that Mr. Glicken had been a fundraiser for Al Gore, as to why we hadn't gone forward.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. And you just didn't have enough information before, was your position?
    Ms. LERNER. No, I'm sorry, I didn't make myself clear. Mr. Donsanto had only seen the statement that Mr. Glicken was a fundraiser for Al Gore, and he assumed that the Commission had not closed the case simply on that fact, but that's all that the article that he read had focused on. So he was asking me about that.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. But your argument was that you really didn't have enough information to move forward at that point——
    Ms. LERNER. I told him, yes, I told him where we were in the case, and what the status was, and how it had all come about.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. OK. Let me just—in retrospect, do you think that maybe you should've called Mr. Glicken or Mr. Rosen, and just talk to them before this was closed?
    Mr. NOBLE. Not necessarily. I would like to say, yes, given everything that's happened but, frankly, I know all the other cases we have in-house, and I can tell that this is going to happen, time and time again, with our resources. That we're going to dismiss cases, or, in this case, keep in mind we've got over half-a-million dollars in civil penalties that we're going to take parts and move forward on them, and other parts, not look into, that can people honestly criticize us and say, you should have looked into it. And my answer is, I would have loved to have looked into it; we had to make a triage decision here.
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    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. But in this case, you have no regrets that you didn't look forward, given your priorities within the Department, or referring it over to Justice.
    Mr. NOBLE. Referring it over to Justice, I have no regrets; we had no probable cause to believe, we could not have done it.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. But if you didn't have the resources——
    Mr. NOBLE. I regret we didn't have the resources——
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. But you didn't have the resources—I just want to understand——
    Mr. NOBLE. Right.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Given your resource load, you don't regret not having called them or having referred it over to Justice and saying this is something you might look at?
    Mr. NOBLE. I regret not having the resources. I could not have referred it over to Justice, so it's not a question of regret. I could regret, in some of these cases, that if the statute wasn't different, that we couldn't refer something at an earlier stage. But, given what we had to work with, given the statute, no, I don't regret it, I regret the lack of resources.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Let me ask this: Last September, it became public knowledge that the DNC was engaging in the practice of siphoning off the first $20,000 of soft money contributions into hard money accounts. Are you familiar with what I'm talking about?
    Mr. NOBLE. We are all aware of newspaper reports, of course.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Well, OK. I'm calling that public knowledge. Under the law, individuals are allowed to contribute up to $20,000 in hard money to national political parties; they can give an unlimited amount of soft money, of course. This practice came to light during investigations of fundraising phone calls that the Vice President had made from the White House. According to the Washington Post a total of $120,000 in hard money was siphoned off from soft money donations solicited by the Vice President. This revelation forced the Attorney General to open a preliminary criminal investigation under the independent counsel law. To quote from the Washington Post article, ''Unless the donor specified otherwise, the DNC's policy during the 1996 election cycle was to treat the first $20,000 of most large contributions as hard money, with the remainder going into soft money accounts.''
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    Now these are newspaper reports; I'm not asking you for any other——
    Now, without referring to any specific enforcement actions, is it your belief that under the law it is legal for a political party to contribute the first $20,000 of a soft-money contribution to a hard money account without the donor's permission? Just your understanding of the law; I'm not asking you what happened. I'm just saying in your understanding of the law, do you believe that under the law, it's legal for a political party to attribute the first $20,000 of a soft money contribution to a hard money account without the donor's permission?
    Mr. THOMAS. I would say the way you stated that, where you said without the donor's consent, I think is the phrase——
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Permission.
    Mr. THOMAS. Permission. That would pose problems, but——
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. OK, that's——
    Mr. THOMAS [continuing]. There are many factors that go into——
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Well, I'm not—I just——
    Mr. THOMAS. The way you phrased it——
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. I'm not asking the facts, I'm just giving the general law.
    Mr. THOMAS. We have a regulation that specifies what has to be done to put money into a Federal account.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. What would be the penalties for such an action, under the FEC——
    Mr. THOMAS. The penalties, of course, are set out in the statute. The possible penalties can range from, for a non-knowing and willful violation, the amount of the violation in question, or as much as $5,000 if it's larger.
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    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. And last, individuals can contribute up to $25,000 in hard money contributions to Federal candidates and parties combined. They can give up to $20,000 in hard money to any one political party. If a party organization attributes $20,000 of a soft money contribution to a hard money account, without the contributor's knowledge, isn't it possible that they might put that person over his or her $25,000 personal limit?
    Mr. THOMAS. We have seen cases where that has happened, yes.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. And if a contributor goes over the $25,000 limit, whether inadvertently or not, what are the potential penalties that he or she would face?
    Mr. THOMAS. Well, we are mindful of the contributor's predicament in those circumstances. So, it would depend on the circumstances, whether the contributor was fully aware of what was going on or not. But conceivably, if the contributor was actually aware of that having happened, and that——
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Or should reasonably have been aware?
    Mr. THOMAS. Or should have been reasonably—we might pursue the contributor in those kinds of circumstances.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. And what would be the penalty?
    Mr. THOMAS. Well, again, the penalty would be the same statutory penalty laid out for a non-knowing and willful violation: as much as 100 percent of the amount in violation or $5,000, whichever is larger.
    Mr. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. OK, thank you.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. I'll take my 5 minutes now. Mr.——
    Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Chairman, point of order. Are we going back and forth still, or are we changing——
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    Mr. BURTON. Did you not—you have not yet had 5 minutes?
    Mr. KUCINICH. No, it was yielded to me.
    Mr. BURTON. Mr. Kucinich, you're recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. KUCINICH. I appreciate that, thank you very much.
    Am I correct that both Democrats and Republicans are being equally treated by the FEC's process?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. KUCINICH. In the case of Mr. Kramer, Republican Political Committee has received over $230,000 from him. Do you know whether that money was solicited by someone, or whether Mr. Kramer just gave $230,000 to Republicans without any prompting? Do you know that?
    Mr. NOBLE. I don't believe we know, but——
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. No, we don't.
    Mr. KUCINICH. OK, the next question is then, did the FEC ever open an investigation into any Republican who solicited money from Mr. Kramer?
    Ms. LERNER. Not in this case.
    Mr. KUCINICH. And I understand that your office settled with the law firm Greenberg, Traurig, et al, and received a $77,000 fine from that firm, presumably for its solicitations of Mr. Kramer?
    Ms. LERNER. Yes.
    Mr. NOBLE. Correct.
    Mr. KUCINICH. And apart from this action, however, you did not open investigations into any individuals who may have solicited money from him, is that——
    Mr. NOBLE. That's correct.
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    Mr. KUCINICH. And that goes for Democrats and Republicans?
    Ms. LERNER. Right.
    Mr. NOBLE. Correct.
    Mr. KUCINICH. That's all correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. KUCINICH. Although the majority here is criticizing the FEC for not pursuing Howard Glicken, your answers make clear that this wasn't a partisan decision. There were Republicans who solicited money from Mr. Kramer, who also weren't pursued by the FEC.
    Ms. LERNER. That's right.
    Mr. KUCINICH. Is that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. Correct.
    Mr. KUCINICH. Then, I think that given the facts that we have heard in the last few minutes, it's difficult to argue that FEC closes its cases with an eye toward protecting one political party. The fact is that the FEC, as we have been fully aware, is underfunded, overworked, often forced to drop promising cases. And, frankly, until this Congress is serious about reforming the system and giving the FEC the power to effectively enforce the campaign finance laws, I suspect we're going to see cases closed against prominent Republicans and Democrats.
    And I think that singling out the Glicken case for criticism is a curious exercise in selective outrage. Once again we see where a process that could be beneficial to the American people in terms of pointing out the difficulties in the campaign finance system is not being used effectively. And we have had many hearings in this committee, and as a new Member of Congress, I'm very concerned that we have missed the opportunity to capitalize on a chance to strengthen our campaign finance laws.
    We have had such a volume of testimony from people at every level; from people who have been contributors, from people who have been fundraisers, from individuals who have been involved with contributors and fundraisers, now from the FEC. You would think that with all the information that we're gathering, we'd be given an opportunity to come up with some proposals that would strengthen the campaign finance process, and give the American people increased faith in this system. But for some reason, we haven't taken that opportunity. And it's really a shame.
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    And the FEC now that we're calling them, we're now investigating the FEC. I think that we need to continue to review the purpose of these hearings. And if the purpose of these hearings is simply to conduct a partisan onslaught, then this committee has fulfilled its purpose. But I would like to think, given the honorable nature of all the members of this committee, that this committee has a higher purpose, and that that purpose is to strengthen the political process in this country through examining not only the existing campaign laws, but through examining the process to see if we can report it.
    It's really the height of cynicism to be here today investigating the FEC when yesterday we voted down campaign finance reform, and even lost a chance to have serious bills brought to the floor. I have to tell the members of this committee, most of whom are senior in their years in the Congress, that we have a long way to go before these hearings have some relevancy to the American people.
    People want to know: Why does any of this matter? It matters when our political process is corrupted by money, but we still have to meet the test of coming up with the way that we will do it better, and nothing in these hearings has suggested how we're going to do it better. And until that happens, frankly, these hearings are an exercise in chewing gum for the political mind. And, frankly, I think we can do better and I hope we will before this is all over.
    Mr. Chairman, I will yield back the balance of my time. Thank you.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. I'll take my time now.
    Let me start off by saying, in 1994, Mr. Kramer told you of his activities. In 1994, Mr. Kramer told you that he gave $20,000 illegally through his secretary to the DNC, and it wasn't until 2 1/2 years later that you even sent out an interrogatory on this incident in this case—2 1/2 years later.
    He did say, as I understand it, that somebody, unidentified, solicited this $20,000 to be laundered through his secretary. He said that he would not tell who it was unless there was a grant of immunity and his secretary said a similar thing, she wouldn't make a comment on this unless there was a grant of immunity. Is that correct?
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    Mr. NOBLE. That is essentially correct.
    Mr. BURTON. It just troubles me, and I can't figure out why this wasn't investigated more thoroughly, especially in view of the fact that you investigated these other cases. Why didn't you call Mr. Rosen, and why didn't you call Mr. Glicken. Didn't even pick up the phone, and it took 2 1/2 years before you sent any interrogatories.
    And then you say, Ms. Lerner, that there wasn't any probable cause, and that's why it wasn't referred to the Justice Department. Would you please tell me what you mean by probable cause? Give me your definition of probable cause.
    Ms. LERNER. Probable cause is one of the steps that we have to meet——
    Mr. BURTON. Well, what is your definition of probable cause?
    Ms. LERNER. That there's enough evidence for the Commission to make that finding.
    Mr. BURTON. Well, you knew that there was $20,000 that was laundered through his secretary. You did know that, did you not?
    Ms. LERNER. That Mr. Kramer said he had used his secretary's name to make a contribution——
    Mr. BURTON. Right. Illegally. You knew that was illegal?
    Ms. LERNER. Yes.
    Mr. BURTON. And that is not probable cause?
    Ms. LERNER. We went forward with Mr. Kramer with regard to that contribution.
    Mr. BURTON. But you did not pursue who asked for that money to be laundered through the secretary.
    Ms. LERNER. That's not true.
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    Mr. BURTON. Well who did—who was it then? Who did ask? Did you ask who——
    Ms. LERNER. Ask——
    Mr. BURTON. Did you say to Mr. Kramer: Who said to launder this money through your secretary?
    Ms. LERNER. There were discussions with regard to that in the context of conciliation which I cannot go into any further. It was not until 19——
    Mr. BURTON. But you did discuss this with Mr. Kramer, who asked you to give the money through your secretary.
    Ms. LERNER. As I said, there were some discussions in the context of——
    Mr. BURTON. If you did have that discussion, then, they knew that somebody, somebody, asked Mr. Kramer to run the money through his secretary, which is an illegal act. Why was that not referred to the Justice Department?
    Ms. LERNER. We were pursuing that matter. That matter is exactly what we were pursuing with Mr. Kramer, exactly what Mr. Kramer paid a portion——
    Mr. BURTON. I know. I understand.
    Ms. LERNER [continuing]. Of the $300,000 for.
    Mr. BURTON. Why was it not referred to the Justice Department? It was a criminal act. It was an illegal act.
    Ms. LERNER. All of the acts under the Federal Election Campaign Act are illegal but we have the authority to pursue them civilly. And that's what the Commission does. It pursues all of these illegal acts——
    Mr. BURTON. I understand. You have the civil responsibility, but the criminal responsibility rests with the Justice Department. Why was this not referred to the Justice Department, and why did you not even call Mr. Rosen or Mr. Glicken?
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    Ms. LERNER. We did not know Mr. Glicken's name or Mr. Rosen's name until 1997. At that point, as we explained before, we were in the middle of our conciliation negotiations with the law firm, and when we completed that we had to make a determination——
    Mr. BURTON. I understand.
    Ms. LERNER [continuing]. As to whether it made sense to go forward with this case any further or to use our resources to pursue other more recent cases.
    Mr. BURTON. If you were on this side of the chair, and you were reading this, ''Because of Mr. Glicken's high profile as a prominent Democratic fund-raiser, including his potential fund-raising and support of Vice President Gore's expected Presidential campaign, it is unclear that this individual would agree to settle this matter short of litigation.'' And then you drop the case, you did not send a criminal referral to the Justice Department, and yet you knew that that was a $20,000 illegal campaign contribution. Illegal. It was against the law.
    And when you read this, along with the actions that were not taken by your agency, it certainly appears as though there was a reason why you didn't send this to Justice. And then you have the Justice Department call you about this. Did you not?
    Ms. LERNER. Yes——
    Mr. BURTON. And you didn't say that this is something you should investigate?
    Ms. LERNER. Actually, I had talked to Mr. Donsanto with regard to this some time before that, and the Department of Justice, at that time, was not involved or interested in it, at that time. These were 1993 and 1994 contributions. I believe the Department of Justice and its Task Force was looking into 1996 activity.
    Mr. BURTON. It doesn't make any difference. If it's a criminal activity involving campaign contributions of this type, it should have been referred to the Justice Department for action, and you didn't do it.
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    Ms. LERNER. We can't do it under the statute. We can only do what the statute allows us to.
    Mr. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman, we would've violated our law had we referred Mr. Glicken over without finding probable cause to believe.
    Mr. BURTON. But the probable cause, you know——
    Mr. NOBLE. It's a formal finding by the Commission. This is not just something we decide is probable cause. We have to put a case before the Commission and we have to put the evidence before the Commission and say there's probable cause. And they have to vote by four votes that there's probable cause.
    Mr. BURTON. One aspect of this, I mean it's very clear that there was an illegal campaign contribution; it's very clear you didn't call Mr. Rosen; you didn't call Mr. Glicken; you didn't take it before the Commission; and you just dropped it. And it was illegal.
    Mr. NOBLE. We did take it before the Commission. In that last report that you're quoting, we did, in fact, take the issue before the Commission. We told the Commission what our concerns were; the Commission approved——
    Mr. BURTON. And you recommended dropping it?
    Mr. NOBLE. And we recommended dropping it——
    Mr. BURTON. Because of the volume of things that they have before that Commission, I'm sure they don't go into great detail on everything that you put before them. They probably took your recommendation at face value. This is something that should have gone to Justice. It should've been looked into. Mr. Kramer would've cooperated, his secretary would've cooperated, if they had been given immunity in this case, and it wasn't even given to Justice, and I think it's a miscarriage. I really do.
    Mr. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman, I know this is not going to be comforting to the committee, but the present situation we're in, we're dropping a lot of cases like this, there are a lot of matters that should be looked into, there are a lot of matters that should be investigated, that we just can't do. And in regard to this specific contribution, you also have to recognize that there was some issue as to the evidence. The DSCC referred to Mr. Glicken as the person who may have solicited this $20,000 contribution, but the documents turned over to us did not show Mr. Glicken's name on the solicitation material——
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    Mr. BURTON. And you didn't even call him, and you didn't call Rosen, and you did make this statement, this statement that he's connected to Gore, and, for that reason, we ought to——
    Mr. NOBLE. Mr. Chairman, that is not what that statement says. What the whole report says is that there were a lot of reasons—there were resource reasons and statute of limitations reasons—and what we're analyzing for the Commission was the possibility of a quick settlement because, remember, when we took this case, when we activated this case, we were looking for a quick settlement with Mr. Kramer because he came in on his own. We were trying to get a quick settlement and get out. We then pursued the law firm because we were concerned about the law firm deal, the negotiations lasted longer than we wanted them to. We kept the DSCC in the case because we were concerned about this but ultimately, as it turned out, as it does in many of our cases, we decided that the statute of limitations was running on this, and there was no way we were going to resolve this. We did not say in that report, and I know it's been reported this way, that ''do not proceed against Mr. Glicken because he is a fundraiser.''
    Mr. BURTON. One last statement, and I'll yield to you, Mr. Waxman. I'll give you your time.
    Up to the last day, you could have referred this to the Justice Department, could you not?
    Mr. NOBLE. No, we could not have.
    Mr. BURTON. You could not have?
    Mr. NOBLE. We would have first had to have gone to the Commission and gotten reason to believe.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Well let—I'll let him answer on my time.
    Mr. NOBLE. We would have had to gone to the Commission and have gotten reason to believe there was a violation. We would have had to investigate the matter, then we would have had to have gone to the Commission—first we then would have to send out a brief to Mr. Glicken, and give Mr. Glicken 15 days to respond to the brief where we would have had to analyze the law and the facts. His response, and our report, would have then gone to the Commission. The Commission would have to vote that there was probable cause to believe and that it was a knowing and willing violation, and then the Commission could have referred it over to the Justice Department. I don't believe we could have gotten all that done.
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    Mr. WAXMAN. I thank the chairman for allowing me to have you further answer the question. Now I want to take up my questions. And it seems to me that there's just no reason why witnesses ought to be browbeat when they come before a committee of the Congress because there's a difference of opinion. And I also think that it's somewhat dishonest for the chairman to put on the screen a statement that you wrote, but only to use that part of it that could substantiate the innuendo that they want to cast upon your actions.
    Your statement said that this man was, ''a prominent Democratic fundraiser including his potential fundraising involvement in support of Vice President Gore's expected Presidential campaign, it is unclear that this individual would agree to settle this matter short of litigation.'' Now that's all one sentence, but do you think he's not going to settle the litigation because he's a friend of Gore's?
    Mr. NOBLE. Our experience has been that the more prominent somebody is, the higher the profile that he is, that they are going to fight you more.
    Mr. WAXMAN. OK. So, he's going to get a fight, you've got a limited amount of resources——
    Mr. NOBLE. And a limited amount of time at that point.
    Mr. WAXMAN. You have to come here twice a month, so you don't have time to pursue all of these cases, and you also don't have the budget. And the innuendo is, you dropped this case because he was a prominent supporter of the Vice President's. Now, he's violated the law, a lot of people seem to violate the campaign laws, but not all of them are pursued to the point where there's a referral to the Justice Department. Isn't that correct?
    Mr. THOMAS. We don't know he violated the law, by the way. I think you said that he violated the law, I don't know that we know that he violated the law.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I see. There's an allegation.
    Mr. NOBLE. An allegation, yes.
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    Mr. WAXMAN. OK. You pursue allegations of people that might have violated the law, some of which you're going to refer to Justice for prosecution.
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. If you had unlimited funds, you can pursue every allegation to see if there's any possibility of some accuracy. In fact, Mr. Kramer had given some money to the Republicans, I think Senator Mack of the Republican party, and it was in violation of the law, apparently, but you decided not to pursue it because it was a small amount of money. Is that just a prioritization decision because you have to go after the people that are most in violation of the law?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. You have the people who make the contribution. If they have made a contribution that's illegal, you will pursue those allegations?
    Mr. NOBLE. As many as we can. We can't pursue all of those.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Now we have the level of people who solicited the contributions. Let's say there was an illegal contribution somebody solicited. They may or may not have known that there was an illegal contribution. So in order to go after someone who solicited or requested the contribution, you have to decide whether they knew there was a violation, that the contribution was illegal.
    Mr. NOBLE. Correct. And in addition, with the 441e violation, the foreign national violation, there's a question whether we could even go after the solicitors at all, with regard to the foreign national part of it. Again, what we were concerned about is that he may have suggested, or someone suggested, that they make a contribution in the name of another, which we do go after the people who help in that.
    Mr. WAXMAN. And when you make these decisions, are you making them on a partisan basis or are you making them on the basis of what is the most likely to result in successful prosecution?
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    Mr. NOBLE. We're making——
    Mr. WAXMAN. Given your resources?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes, given our resources, what will best effectuate the purposes of the act and how we can best use our resources in a triage mode to get the best effect for what we're doing.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Now Mr. Kramer gave to Republican party sources $230,000. This was a Republican. And did you pursue who might have asked him to give that money?
    Mr. NOBLE. No.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Why?
    Mr. NOBLE. The same issue: We were not looking at that. We did not have the resources to look at that. We were trying to keep the case narrow and focused.
    Mr. WAXMAN. So you're being criticized for not going after Mr. Glicken when you found out, that he requested that Mr. Kramer give the Democrats, but you're not being criticized for not going after the person or persons who asked Mr. Kramer to give money to the Republicans? Is that an accurate statement?
    Mr. NOBLE. Those are the questions that are being raised now, yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I just don't understand. Your budget is limited by the Republican leadership. You're being criticized because you don't do more, and you don't have the money to do it. And then you're brought up here twice in 1 month to get beat up by these questions. So you don't have the time, as you prepare not just to be here, but to prepare for these hearings, to go out and further enforce the law. And what we have is a hearing by innuendo. There's just nothing substantive that you've done that warrants a committee of Congress to take our time to pursue this not once, but twice.
    I just see nothing coming from this hearing that we didn't know about after Mr. Horn's committee hearing, and if anything, we ought to draw the conclusion that you don't have the resources to go after everybody who may have violated the law, and your decisions are not partisan, are they?
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    Mr. NOBLE. No, they're not.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Well, I ask the chairman, do you have evidence other than this one case that maybe there's a suggestion that it's partisan? Because it seems to me they're taking one case and one sentence from your letter and blowing it up into the allegation that you go after Republicans—or maybe you don't go after Republicans, but you're not going after Democrats who solicited contributions. You did go after Mr. Rose's law firm, didn't you?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes, we did.
    Mr. WAXMAN. And there you had some additional evidence——
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN [continuing]. To justify it.
    Mr. NOBLE. Well, we also thought it was a very serious matter for the law firm who knew he was a foreign national to actually solicit contributions from him; we thought that was a serious matter.
    Mr. WAXMAN. So it's a question of whether the solicitor or requestor of the funds had knowledge, maybe even participated in getting a contribution that might have been illegal?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes, we had to make a judgment about where to put the resources. We thought the law firm was in a unique enough position that it warranted us putting our resources there.
    Mr. WAXMAN. You made your best judgment, and now you're being requested to justify it, I think, in the context of an innuendo.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Cummings.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was listening to all of this, and as a new Member of Congress it does concern me that public servants who are doing the best they can, as Thurgood Marshall says, with what they have, are brought before our committee, this committee, and beaten up on. As a lawyer, as one who has made discretionary types of decisions, I understand that everybody won't agree with me or agree with you or agree with the chairman, or anybody here. People have disputes all the time. I guess, but then to be beaten up over it is a whole other question and concern.
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    I guess my question simply goes to—I mean, is there anything unusual about the procedure that you used in this case than other cases that you all pursue?
    Mr. NOBLE. There was nothing unusual.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. And so I take it would be fair to say that you would use the same procedure no matter who the donor was, no matter who the solicitor was? I mean, you all are—I think all of you are lawyers?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes, sir.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. And you are officers of the court——
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. CUMMINGS [continuing]. And you at some point or another, when you were admitted to the bar, you raised your hand and swore that you would do the honorable thing and do the right thing, according to the laws of this country. And then you came into public service at some point, and the agency that you work for is one which has to be—I mean, you can't be partisan, is that right? I mean, I guess you have no room for partisanship?
    Mr. NOBLE. No.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. As a matter of fact, I would guess that if you were partisan, if there were people on your staff who are partisan, and it's quite clear that they are, then they would—can I have—can I have just a little silence, please? I can't hear myself.
    But when you have that, I guess that person would not be looked on too nicely by superiors in your agency, is that right?
    Mr. NOBLE. That's absolutely correct.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. Yes, you wouldn't have that, and so there's a chart—where's that chart? Can you see this?
    Mr. NOBLE. Somewhat.
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    Mr. CUMMINGS. All right. Well, let me—this says, ''FEC Reason Not to Believe Findings Not Pursued in Kramer Case,'' and it goes down and it says, ''National Republican Senatorial Committee, party: Republican; action taken: no investigation or fine.'' Is that accurate?
    Mr. NOBLE. That's correct.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. All right, and then we go down; we have Senator Connie Mack, a Republican, no investigation or fine, is that correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. That is correct.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. I don't want to make this one-sided. So let me skip a little bit. We have Jeb Bush, Republican, no investigation or fine. Then we have the Democratic National Committee, no investigation or fine, and Senator Robert Kerry, Democrat, no investigation or fine, and then we have a list of State and local offices. You've got Gerald Lewis, State and local office, no investigation or fine.
    I guess my point is that this is consistent with what you said a little bit earlier, and that is that what you try to do is be fair; you try to do the best you can with what you have, and you use discretion all the time. And the discretion that you do use is based upon your best judgment, your best information, and all you're trying to do is do your job?
    Mr. NOBLE. That's correct, and we recognize people can disagree with our judgment. Our point here only, though, is the judgment is made on a nonpartisan basis with our best intentions of prosecutorial discretion. They are not judgments made based on the politics involved, on whether somebody's a Republican or Democrat or Independent.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. So I would take it that if you were partisan, there would probably—if you were—there would probably be a whole slew of people, I guess, assuming you had the money, from one party or another, that would go through the whole wringer, and you wouldn't—you probably wouldn't come to some of these conclusions, is that right? Is that a reasonable assumption?
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    Mr. NOBLE. I guess so. Our credibility depends on us not being partisan.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. Right.
    Mr. NOBLE. And so I don't know what we would do if we were partisan, and we're not.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. Well, I couldn't stand by and—because I know for myself, when I fill out my reports, I try to make sure all the ''I's'' are dotted, all the ''T's'' are crossed, because I know you all are looking, and you're only trying to uphold the law. And I understand that; I think all of us understand that.
    And I just pause for a moment to thank you for your public service and apologize to you for having been beaten up, and that's what I consider it here today.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. Mr. Horn.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Ms. Lerner, I believe you said, in response to one of Mr. Davis' questions about exhibit 44, that you had talked to Mr. Donsanto previously. Is that correct?
    Ms. LERNER. Yes.
    Mr. HORN. What's the type of conversation you had with him? Was he your regular contact in Justice?
    Ms. LERNER. Yes. I had contacted him earlier to talk to him about whether or not the Department of Justice would be able to do anything to let Terri Bradley know that Justice was not going to pursue her. We have no way of granting immunity.
    Mr. HORN. And you're correct, only Justice or this committee has the grant of immunity, I believe, and we check with Justice first. So this case was discussed with Mr. Donsanto in at least that respect that you've told us right now?
    Ms. LERNER. Yes.
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    Mr. HORN. Had you ever called him on any other cases and said, ''Look, this is one we simply don't have the resources to deal with it. Why don't you people look at it?''
    Ms. LERNER. That's not how we do it. We either refer something over to the Department of Justice that's an FEC violation, or if we're talking about violations of other statutes, there is a provision in our statute that allows us to report violations of other statutes. Other than that, Justice ordinarily, if we were to close a case, may pick up on it or they may have a concurrent investigation that we're not aware of.
    Mr. HORN. Now in Ms. Bradley's case, she was the secretary, assistant to Mr. Kramer, is that not correct?
    Ms. LERNER. Yes.
    Mr. HORN. And she was the one that was the conduit of Mr. Kramer's money to various political figures in both parties, is that not correct?
    Ms. LERNER. I'm aware of two contributions that her name was used in.
    Mr. HORN. Yes, now at that point did she know and you know that there was somebody advising Mr. Kramer as to how to get money into the political system who was Mr. Glicken or Mr. Rosen? Did you know that at that time?
    Ms. LERNER. No.
    Mr. HORN. Even though you wanted immunity for her, right?
    Ms. LERNER. Oh, I'm sorry, I misunderstood your question. I did not know who the individuals were. In the original affidavit there was a statement that Ms. Bradley was present when the Democratic fundraiser spoke with Mr. Kramer, and later on, when we were—after our discussions with the law firm had not gone forward, and we were back into an investigative mode, Ms. Bradley had indicated that she may know who the people were, but she was unwilling to give us any information without a grant of immunity. And that was when I spoke with Mr. Donsanto.
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    Mr. HORN. I see. So you had a total of two conversations with him? One you initiated; the other he initiated, is that correct?
    Ms. LERNER. One during the context of the matter and one after the Kramer matter had been closed that he called me on.
    Mr. HORN. OK. It seems to me, Mr. Chairman, we ought to be granting Ms. Bradley immunity to get at the bottom of this, because she apparently knows who was the person that was giving the, shall we say, encouraging people to commit criminal acts, because that's what it gets down to, and that's sort of what surprises me—when you've got somebody in a very high place that is encouraging people how to illegally get money into political campaigns, when that person knows Mr. Kramer is not an American citizen, and he's giving advice as to how you use your secretary, who is an American citizen, or whatever.
    And, of course, what you've seen in the number of Members here, we're talking about priorities, and what greater priority does the Federal Election Commission have than someone close to, or employed by, one of the national parties who's advising a foreign national on how to break the law? And it would seem to me that would be justification to say this isn't just an inadvertent act here; this is a planned way to do business, and this is a way to get around the law, and we ought to shut this person off, whoever that is, Republican, Democrat, you name it. They're simply advising people to break the law, and you can, I think, assume, and certainly what we can assume after listening to a lot of the various conspiracies in the 1996 Presidential campaign, that this is a planned operation, and those are the people we ought to be putting out of business, and not the inadvertent people that does some dumb thing because they don't know. And Mr. Kramer eventually knew, and that's when the money was asked to come back.
    But it just seems to me, when you've got somebody clearly advising people to break the law, that you ought to be able to deal with it, and it ought to be a major priority, not simply an inadvertent act. Inadvertent acts you've got, I'm sure, all over every report practically everybody files with you, but this, it seemed to me, should have had the warning flags go up very early.
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    And I guess, why wasn't that the No. 1 priority last year? Here you have a solicitor, a lawyer, affiliated with a national party, and he's urging people to—it doesn't matter; just get the money to us; that's what it's all about. It seems to me we should realize that at that time, not just now.
    And I'd just like to ask a couple of questions here. Mr. Noble——
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired. Do you have anyone—Mr. Cummings?
    Mr. CUMMINGS. Yes, just——
    Mr. BURTON. I'll yield to you when I get my time next time.
    Mr. Cummings.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. Yes, just one question, and then I want to yield to Mr. Waxman.
    Again, tell us—I mean, you just heard the lengthy statement, and I just want one more time, because there are people watching this, and some people heard what was just stated, and they didn't hear your response. Would you give it to us now? Because there are people who will get the impression that it ends there, and you did not have a response to that. So I want you to respond to that, if you don't mind, what you just heard.
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes. I agree, Mr. Horn, that the idea of somebody suggesting making an illegal contribution is a very serious idea, is a very important priority. As I said earlier, we don't have the resources to do all of those. We have asked Congress for the resources.
    But important here is you asked—and I think very correctly—why last year, last summer, we did not consider that a No. 1 priority. Because by last summer we were already focused on the 1996 election cycle, as we told this committee; that this is a 1993–94 contribution; that the statute of limitations on the specific $20,000 contribution we're talking about was going to run out this April, and I, frankly, think it would have been a bad decision at that point to put a lot of resources, to get reason to believe to investigate it, when we are looking at how we're going to handle all the allegations from the 1996 election.
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    And I think the criticism of us at that point now would have been, how come you were still stuck back at 1993 and 1994 when you have all these cases from 1996 that you should be dealing with? And that's the dilemma we have right now, and we don't have the resources now to deal with the 1996 cases. So that's a judgment that we had to make, that we weren't going to pursue that. Yes, it's a serious matter, and I fully agree that it should have been pursued, given the resources to pursue it. Eight months before the statute of limitations run it's a very difficult decision to decide to open up an investigation like that.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. If you had the resources that you need to do your job the way you just described—I mean, that you would have liked to have done things—I take it that that would increase your personnel quite a bit, is that right?
    Mr. NOBLE. Yes, we have actually asked I think the Office of General Counsel for 34 additional staff, and that's really focusing on the 1996 election now and the other violations we have now.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. That's just for 1996?
    Mr. NOBLE. Well, that would also include some others, but the main focus was for 1996, yes.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. And how many people do you have right now? I mean, what kind of——
    Mr. NOBLE. We have 24 staff attorneys right now. I can give you the full staffing. Enforcement has approximately 24 staff attorneys, 5 supervisors, 2 investigators, and 12 paralegals. Our whole Office of General Counsel, which does a lot more than enforcement, has onboard strength of approximately 100 people authorized for 1996.
    Mr. CUMMINGS. OK. So at 34, it would be about a—what—about a one-third increase, just to be able to do 1996 and some priority things from——
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    Mr. NOBLE. Yes.
    Mr. CUMMINGS [continuing]. The past?
    Alright, I'd yield the balance of my time to Mr. Waxman.
    Mr. WAXMAN. I thank you for yielding.
    I've listened to this hearing—we've been here for many hours. This is, as I pointed out, the second hearing on this very subject in the same month. And if I were to say that the evidence is thin, I'd be overstating it, because I don't think there's anything here. You're either being accused of incompetence—and I don't think this committee's in a good position to be accusing anybody of incompetence—or you're being accused of partisanship, and I don't think this committee's in a position to be accusing anybody of partisanship.
    I want to point out that Mr. Burton to date has unilaterally issued 524 subpoenas, 515 to Democrats; he's deposed 143 witnesses, including 141 Democrats. In other words, there's 1,000 information requests; 99 percent of them from this committee have been against Democrats; 1 percent dealing with Republicans.
    Based on your experience at the Federal Election Commission, are Democrats responsible for 99 percent of the campaign finance abuses?
    Mr. NOBLE. Not based on my experience. I think it's spread pretty evenly.
    Mr. WAXMAN. It's what?
    Mr. NOBLE. It's spread pretty evenly, I think.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Spread pretty evenly. Can you estimate what percentage of the violations you investigate are Democratic, and what percentage are Republican?
    Mr. NOBLE. I don't have that. Our office does not keep figures in that regard.
    Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Chairman, I might be able to help you there. I have been sensitive to this kind of criticism since a recent Wall Street Journal article came out a while back, wherein it suggested that someone was under the impression 9 out of 10 of our cases were against Republicans. And I had my assistant go back and look at what the status was at the beginning of 1995 and again at the beginning of 1998. Of the active cases that we had going back in the beginning of 1995, as I strike the percentages of the cases involving Republicans versus Democrats, 53 percent were involving Democrats; the remaining percentage, out of 100 percent, would have involved Republicans, roughly the same percentage in the beginning of 1998.
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    Mr. WAXMAN. Is it accurate to say you just don't take political affiliation into consideration?
    Mr. THOMAS. It is not even mentioned for the most part who the party affiliation is in the context of them.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I see my time has expired.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. WAXMAN. May I ask unanimous consent to put into the record a letter from the Federal Election Commission?
    Mr. BURTON. Without objection.
    [The letter referred to follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. BURTON. You could have taken part of the investigation involving Ms. Bradley and Mr. Kramer and sent that to the Justice Department or you could have gone to the full Commission and asked for approval because you had probable cause that there was a violation. That could have been sent to the Justice Department, could it not?
    Ms. LERNER. We had not gone through the probable cause phase, which requires a briefing stage, notification, responses——
    Mr. BURTON. I understand——
    Ms. LERNER [continuing]. Et cetera.
    Mr. BURTON [continuing]. But you knew about this transaction, and you could have gone through that independently and sent that to the full Commission and then sent it on over to the Justice Department, could you not have?
    Mr. NOBLE. If I may explain, to do that, we would have had to have foregone settlement with Mr. Kramer and the law firm and Ms. Bradley, and found probable cause to believe against them and refer the whole matter over to the Justice Department. We thought that it was better in this situation, especially given the evidence as to them, to get a settlement in it and get the matter out on the public record.
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    Mr. BURTON. But you knew that somebody had solicited an illegal campaign contribution to be laundered through his secretary? You knew that had taken place?
    Mr. NOBLE. There was some evidence of that, yes.
    Mr. BURTON. And you knew that there was someone in all probability that was coming from the Rosen law firm or Mr. Glicken, one of the two that had done that, right?
    Mr. NOBLE. As a matter of fact, we don't know who it is still at this point, but Mr. Glicken, as far as I know, doesn't have a relationship with the Rosen firm——
    Mr. BURTON. But they would have, under grant of immunity, told you?
    Mr. NOBLE. If Justice Department had granted them immunity, Ms. Bradley, presumably, would have told us. I think she said——
    Mr. BURTON. I know, but the point is, when they said that at that point, you knew that we could have gotten to the bottom of it, had it been passed by the Commission and referred to the Justice Department?
    Mr. NOBLE. Had we begun an investigation on that aspect of it and found probable cause to believe, we could have then referred it over to the Justice Department.
    Mr. BURTON. In retrospect, do you think you should have done that?
    Mr. NOBLE. In looking at the whole file, in retrospect, and knowing what we—how we were making those decisions then, no. I will tell you that I could pick this case out and say we should not have settled with Mr. Kramer; we should have launched a major investigation with Mr. Glicken when his name came forward; the statute of limitations would have run. And I suspect the upshot of that would have been we would have been dismissing another case investigated but with no resolution, because the statute of limitations——
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    Mr. BURTON. But there was apparent criminal intent here. I mean, Mr. Kramer, when he came and started giving these contributions, he came to you and said, hey, I didn't really know I was doing anything illegal; I'm a German national, and I was doing this because I was soliciting—but you knew that there was criminal intent with this $20,000. Somebody said, hey, you can't give this as a German national; you're going to have to give this to an American citizen; you've got to launder this money through your secretary. There's criminal intent there. There wasn't in the other case. Why wouldn't you pursue the criminal intent?
    Mr. NOBLE. I'm not sure—again, it's not our judgment whether there's criminal intent there. I'm not sure that what Mr. Kramer said rises to that level. What he said was that a suggestion was made that somebody else make it on his benefit, and if I remember correctly, his affidavit also says that he does not remember any discussions about the legal reasons for this.
    Mr. BURTON. Well, in your conciliation agreement with the law firm of Greenberg and Traurig, you note that partners in the law firm were involved in soliciting contributions from Mr. Kramer. However, you avoid to mention the names of the partners at the firm. The General Counsel's Report notes that DNC documents indicate that Marvin Rosen was a solicitor of some of Mr. Kramer's contributions, but the conciliation agreement avoids any mention of the partners at the firm who solicited donations, including Mr. Rosen. This is a fairly serious matter because, as you noted, the firm does Mr. Kramer's immigration work, and had reason to know that he was a foreign citizen.
    So I have about three questions all tied together here. Mr. Thomas, in your earlier remarks you noted that a couple of the partners at the law firm were soliciting donations from Mr. Kramer.
    The first question is—answer these collectively, if you like—who were those partners? We know one of them was Marvin Rosen. Did the FEC develop knowledge during the investigation and negotiations with Greenberg-Traurig about who the partners were who solicited the donations? Why were their names not included in the report? Why did you leave the names out? Did Greenberg-Traurig request that the names not be included during the negotiations over the conciliation agreement? And, finally, were the names of these lawyers not included in the conciliation agreement to avoid embarrassment for prominent members of the firm?
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    Mr. THOMAS. I'm not sure—I think you mentioned me first. I think your question, if I remember, Mr. Chairman, to me was, who were the lawyers associated with the firm that we're aware were involved with soliciting? I'm not sure that I can honestly say that we are aware that more than one lawyer at the law firm was involved with soliciting. There is some information which we've turned over to your committee which notes that there were some lawyers who were involved with the law firm who were at various fundraising events, some for Republicans as well as Democrats.
    But we can provide more detail in terms of the specific names of each of the lawyers, if you want.
    [The information referred to follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. THOMAS. As to why there was some reference in the conciliation agreement to some aspects and not others, I would defer to the counsel's staff.
    Mr. NOBLE. Again, as explained before, the problem we have is, by statute, we're not allowed to discuss information we derive during conciliation. I will say generally with regard to cases that when you're in conciliation you discuss a lot of things, and to get settlements on cases sometimes you forego going against some people; you go against other people. Now I'm not talking specifically about this case, because we're not allowed to discuss what goes on in conciliation in specific cases.
    I don't know that we ever knew all of the solicitors who were involved.
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. We did not.
    Mr. BURTON. Thank you.
    Mr. Horn has just a couple of questions. Do you want to ask them real quick?
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    Mr. WAXMAN. Well, Mr. Chairman, I can't understand why, after Mr. Horn had these people before his subcommittee and was able to pursue extensive questioning with him, and he's had two rounds today, he should have further time that he wants to take up of these witnesses. Can he submit them in writing?
    Mr. BURTON. I told Mr. Horn I would grant him some of my time, and we ran out. So I'd like to give him the opportunity to ask one or two questions, if you——
    Mr. WAXMAN. Then I'll pursue my 5 minutes——
    Mr. BURTON. That's fine. That's fine.
    Mr. WAXMAN [continuing]. And then Mr. Horn can do whatever he wishes to do, whatever the chairman wishes him to do.
    What we're talking about is a contribution from Mr. Kramer. More money went from him to the Republicans than to the Democrats in Florida, right?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Right.
    Mr. WAXMAN. And so you wanted to find out what was going on. You found out that these contributions were illegal, and you pursued it, and you got fines, penalties, against whom? The Republican party?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Fines against the Republican party, against Kramer, against the law firm, and against the secretary.
    Mr. WAXMAN. OK. So you went after Mr. Kramer, his secretary, the law firm of Mr. Rosen, who was an active Democrat——
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Correct.
    Mr. WAXMAN [continuing]. And the Republican party?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Correct.
    Mr. WAXMAN. And now you're being questioned why you didn't pursue it even further, to go after the person who solicited the money from Mr. Kramer for the Democrats, but you're not being criticized for not going after the solicitor from Mr. Kramer to the Republicans. In fact, you don't even know who that was, is that right?
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    Mr. NOBLE. That's correct.
    Mr. WAXMAN. So it just seems to me that to complain that you're being partisan can't be justified from the facts. The charge can be made; any Congressman can say anything. We are up here; we are on the risers. We look down at you. We can ask you the questions. You have to respond to the questions. You work for the Federal Government, and we oversee your agency. So we can be as rude to you as we want. And you've seen enough evidence of it from some of my colleagues.
    But the fact of the matter is, it sounds to me like you're doing a commendable job, given the fact you don't have the resources. The Republican leadership made sure you didn't get any more resources.
    Mr. Horn criticized you because he thought maybe you took some money from computers and put it into more staff, which would allow you to even pursue more of these enforcement violations.
    And I just have to ask this question: You're to be commended for wanting to do your job the best you can, but I wonder why anybody would want to work for the Federal Government or for the Federal Election Commission? Because if I were trying to make sure that no enforcement actions ever took place against politicians, I'd shortchange your money and I'd beat you up when you came before the congressional committees; I'd complain, and then when good people won't want to take these jobs anymore, because they have to be bullied by Congressman, then we'd be sure that any violations that are occurring by the politicians up on the rostrum won't be prosecuted.
    I hope you don't get discouraged by the fact you have to be here, spend so much time, take this kind of abuse. I don't think it's justified, and I hope you don't feel that some of us—and many Americans, Democrats and Republicans appreciate the fact that you're trying to enforce the law to the best you can.
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    I just want to point out one clear example. You issued subpoenas in this Kramer case, didn't you? I think six or seven subpoenas?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Right, yes.
    Mr. WAXMAN. Democrats and Republicans?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Correct, correct.
    Mr. WAXMAN. This committee doesn't issue subpoenas to both Democrats and Republicans. This committee issues subpoenas only to Democrats and people who support Democrats. At least you're being fair about it.
    Now someday people who run this committee should be down there answering to the American people about how they've conducted their activities, and I still expect that the chairman will give us a full accounting of the resources of this committee, particularly when we give these low estimates of how much money is being spent, when we know, in fact, at least $5 million and a lot more.
    So I want to yield to Mr. Horn on my time and let him pursue the questions, and if he then has need to go beyond it and wants to take up more of your time, then it will be up to the chairman whether he wants to go for a third round, and if he wants to go for a third round, then we'll all decide whether we want to ask more questions. But I yield to Mr. Horn.
    Mr. HORN. I'm delighted my colleague has yielded me the time, because the first thing I want to do is set the record straight from the way he has stated it.
    Mr. Thomas, have you ever appeared before my subcommittee?
    Mr. THOMAS. No, I have not. It was Chairman Aikens——
    Mr. HORN. Thank you very much.
    Ms. Lerner, have you ever appeared before my subcommittee?
    Ms. LERNER. No, I have not.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you very much.
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    Mr. Rodriguez, have you ever appeared before my subcommittee?
    Mr. RODRIGUEZ. No, I have not.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you very much.
    Three of the four witnesses here have not appeared before the Subcommittee on Government Management.
    Now, Mr. Noble, you have appeared. Mr. Noble, how much time did we take to look at the workings of the FEC?
    Mr. NOBLE. If I remember correctly, the actual hearing part of it where we testified was about an hour and a half or so. We were there all day because of delays, but——
    Mr. HORN. Well, that's correct. We spent most of our time on trying to extract what your needs were and what some of the problems were that you confronted, despite Mr. Waxman's complete misstatement of what went on.
    And when did I ask the question about Mr. Kramer and Mr. Glicken?
    Mr. NOBLE. It was at the end of the hearing.
    Mr. HORN. That's right; I did it at the end of the hearing, after a couple of hours, on behalf of the chairman, who had to get back to Indiana that day and couldn't make it to that particular meeting.
    So you were well-prepared, and I was kidding you on that. You had a rather thick brief book. You're very bright, and you are well-prepared. And when I asked that question, you went right to the tab, and you had all the facts laid out, as you saw them. Is that not correct?
    Mr. NOBLE. That's correct.
    Mr. HORN. OK. So, so much for the business that we've gone over this ground before. It's utter nonsense. The gentleman should have been there.
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    So let me just ask you a few last questions. No. 1, as the chairman noted in his opening statement, he said, quote, I should note that the Commissioner's vote on this matter does not appear to be a partisan move, unquote. No one is saying it was a partisan move. We're simply saying, look, we know it's tough; not everybody in every agency gets all the resources they would like, but the question was: If you had to do it over again, would you do it differently? The way I get some of the answers here are you would have done it differently if you had to do it over again, because I think we've pursued the question of, when you've got a person that is systematically telling other individuals how to commit a crime, it might be worth dealing with that.
    Now what we're trying to find out is, are there formal ways——
    Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman's time has expired, but I'd like to ask unanimous consent that Mr. Horn be given 2 additional minutes, providing he lets Mr. Noble respond to that, whether he would have liked to have done it differently, because I think Mr. Horn is putting words in his mouth. But I think he ought to be given 2 more minutes, and I hope you'll let the gentleman respond to your accusation.
    Mr. BURTON. Without objection.
    Mr. HORN. Yes, I have no problem with that. I think we pursued in previous questioning the fact that here you have an individual that we don't completely know now, because we haven't given him immunity through the Department of Justice or this committee, who is systematically telling individuals how to violate the campaign finance laws. What we've been pursuing with you is, even though you don't have all the staff you'd like, you've got 100 individuals on your own staff; couldn't someone have made a telephone call and gotten the answers to some of this?
    And it sort of boggles the mind of most of us that have run large organizations that you can't find someone somewhere that could followup on that thing, and that's what this is all about. And I'm sorry we have to get at it from three or four different angles, but that's what's concerning us: Why couldn't you get 1 of those 100 lawyers on your staff to do something about it?
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    Mr. NOBLE. Well, first, we don't have 100 lawyers; we have 24 lawyers working on enforcement cases. But——
    Mr. HORN. Well, you said you had 100 people in the Office of General Counsel, and you had 24 staff attorneys, plus 5 supervisors, and 2 investigators. That was your testimony.
    Mr. NOBLE. Right, that is correct, working on enforcement. But, in response to your question, again, I don't think I would do it any differently, even knowing what I know now, even knowing that it meant coming before this committee. The fact of the matter is that in July, when we had Mr. Glicken's name, in 8 months the statute of limitations would have run. We have to make these decisions.
    Now you said in your question that he was systematically soliciting contributions—we don't know that he systematically did that. The evidence that we had, as I said, was not that clear. We had the DSCC referring to Mr. Glicken with regard to this $20,000 contribution. The solicitation material that we had did not refer to Mr. Glicken; it referred to others.
    I could have had somebody pick up the phone and make a phone call. To what end? So if we're not going to pursue the matter—and we've been through this before in our agency; we know what it means. If we're not going to pursue the matter—yes, if we had known that this would have stopped all of this, it was in the record who it was, maybe it would have been worth doing, but, frankly, we make these decisions all the time just to stop at this point; we're going to stop, and we're going to move on to another case.
    Because last year and right now what we're facing is the 1996 election. We're coming on to 1998 and 2000, and just trying to answer, if you will, for intellectual curiosity or just for the record who everybody is, we don't have the resources to do that. We don't have the luxury to do that. We do it if we think we can pursue the matter. We couldn't pursue the matter.
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    Mr. HORN. Yes, Mr. Noble, I guess I'd go on the assumption, if I were in your shoes, that who's doing the evil deeds in 1994 will do them in 1996, and who's doing evil deeds in 1996, knowing they got away with it in 1996, will do it in 1998. And it just seems to me, when you've got something like that going, that's where you target somebody.
    Mr. NOBLE. And I'm not at liberty to discuss what we have going on that's open involving 1996 or anything else. But those are things you take into consideration. Yes, obviously, people do turn up again, and those are things you have to take into consideration.
    Mr. HORN. Thank you.
    Mr. BURTON. The gentleman's time has expired.
    I ask unanimous consent that the record remain open to receive answers to questions the committee may submit to the FEC.
    [The information referred to follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]

    Mr. BURTON. Anyone else seek time?
    [No response.]
    Mr. BURTON. This committee stands adjourned, and thank you for your participation.
    [Whereupon, at 12:55 p.m., the committee adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.]
    [The letter dated March 30, 1998, and the accompanying material submitted for the hearing record from p. 2 follows:]
    [The official committee record contains additional material here.]
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