Thompson, Lieberman Announce Hearings on Independent Counsel Act to Begin February 24

WASHINGTON — Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Ranking Member Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) today announced the committee will begin a series of hearings regarding the Independent Counsel Act on Wednesday, February 24.

The current statute expires June 30, 1999 and Congress must decide whether to reauthorize it, reauthorize it with amendments, devise a new system of handling cases of apparent violations of the law by high government officials, or return to a reliance on pre-independent counsel law.

Witnesses for the opening hearing will include the Honorable Howard Baker, former Vice Chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee and Senate Majority Leader; and the Honorable Griffin Bell, former United States Attorney General.

Other persons who have been contacted by the Committee regarding potential appearances include Attorney General Janet Reno, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, and former Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh.

Senators Thompson and Lieberman intend for the hearings to extend for several additional days in March and for witnesses to include independent counsels, former Attorneys General, defense attorneys, academics, and subjects of previous investigations.

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