Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Last Independent Counsel Report

Independent Counsel David Barrett's investigation of former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and alleged attempts to thwart the investigation has finally concluded, after nearly 11 years and over $20 million, with the release of the Final Report (here).  Cisneros entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of lying to the FBI after an investigation into false statements related to payments to a former mistress he made as part of a background check for his cabinet appointment.  The investigation continued long after the plea in 1999 because of claims that the Clinton administration tried to keep the investigation from expanding into tax and obstruction of justice issues.  In the Executive Summary of the Final Report, Barrett states that "[a]lthough we are not able to say with certainty whether any criminal laws were broken, it is clear, I think, that there was questionable activity -- as well as inactivity -- by a number of government officials."  The Final Report and related documents is 474 pages, so it's not a quick read, and could even be a cure for insomnia.  This does bring an end to the Independent Counsel investigations, and Barrett's office set the record for longest IC investigation.  It's always nice to go out setting a record that will never be broken. (ph)

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