Hoyer Statement on Federal Indictment of Vice President’s Chief of Staff

For Immediate Release:

October 28, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer released the following statement this afternoon after Lewis “Scooter” Libby was indicted on two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements, and one count of obstruction of justice:

            “The federal indictment today of Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, the Vice President’s chief of staff, on five felony charges is a very sad day for our nation and for this Administration.

            “The American people expect and deserve the truth – and nothing but the truth – from those in public service.

            “But far more excruciating than Mr. Libby’s struggle with the truth – and the legal consequences that he now faces – is the fact that his actions and the actions of others at the highest levels in this Administration have resulted in the public identification of an undercover CIA agent and directly affected our national security.

            “The American people should be outraged about this entire episode.  Even before former Ambassador Joe Wilson challenged an assertion that was central to this Administration’s decision to go to war, Administration officials reflexively went on a fishing expedition for information about Mr. Wilson’s wife.  The identification of Ms. Plame, even if the result of carelessness or negligence, is simply not acceptable.  Nor is the dissembling by Administration officials during this investigation.

            “As a Member of Congress, I am deeply troubled that the Republican Majorities have refused to hold any meaningful inquiries on this matter of national security.  Instead of performing our constitutional oversight role, the Republican Congress has all but abandoned it.”

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