United States Senator
February 12, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
February 12, 2004 Sen. Hatch: Adam Elggren (202) 224-3370
Sen. Leahy: Tracy Schmaler (202) 224-2154
STATEMENT OF SENS. HATCH AND LEAHY
ON MEMO INVESTIGATION
Washington, DC - On Tuesday, February 10, Senate Sergeant at Arms William Pickle briefed Members of the Judiciary Committee about the status of the investigation into the improper access to Democratic documents from the Committee's computer system. Because the investigation is still pending, the Sergeant at Arms requested that Senators not yet make public the details of the investigation.
"The briefing provided a good overview to Committee Members who were not yet familiar with the progress of the investigation," said Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "It unfortunately confirmed that two former Republican Judiciary Committee staff members were involved in wrongfully accessing and downloading thousands of Democratic computer files over many months. While it is premature to judge whether any crime has been committed, it is clear that unethical conduct has occurred."
Senator Patrick Leahy, the Ranking Member of the Committee, said, "Democratic Senators were surprised and concerned by the scope of the wrongful surveillance, in terms of the large number of confidential files involved, the number of Senators affected, and the fact that this theft occurred over such a long period of time."
The Sergeant at Arms told the Members of the Committee that the investigation was still in progress and investigators are still tracking leads and analyzing the results of forensics reports. "While we would like to issue a report quickly to quell speculation by the press and public about the facts of this investigation," Mr. Pickle stated, "it is critical that we take the time to conduct a thorough and complete investigation."
Hatch, Leahy and Pickle cautioned that rumors and incorrect information have appeared in some statements from those not close to the investigation and in some news reports about this matter. Once the report is finalized the Committee will decide how best to release details to the public.