View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 3, 1995
              Statement of White House Counsel Abner Mikva
        Upon Release of U.S. Senate Banking Committee Report On
                  the Washington Aspects of Whitewater

After an exhaustive inquiry and lengthy hearings, the Senate Banking Committee has affirmed what former Independent Counsel Robert Fiske, a White House internal review, the Office of Gover nment Ethics, and the House Banking Committee all previously concluded: The White House violated no law and breached no existing ethical standard in its contacts with the Treasury Department on Whitewater matters.

I have issued new guidance to White House staff governing contacts between White House staff and agencies, and restricting any contacts relating to particular law enforcement investigations to the Counsel's Office, so that mistakes in judgment on such contacts will not be repeated. These policies remove any ambiguities that may have existed in the prior policy statements. We will give careful consideration to the Committee recommendations that these policies be incorporated into an Executive Order. And we also expect to confer with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the issue of future recusals.

The Committee also affirmed the findings of the Independent Counsel that former White House Counsel Vincent Foster did, indeed, commit suicide because he suffered from depression. Five inquiries -- of great length, thoroughness and expense -- have now reached similar conclusions about these matters. In the wake of the Senate Report, I would hope that the conspiracy theorists and other politically motivated opponents of the President will finally be persuaded that Mr. Foster committed suicide and that, on the merits and in the name of decency, his family and his memory will be permitted to live on in peace.