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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 2, 1998


I am pleased by the jury's verdict today acquitting former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy of all charges brought by the Independent Counsel. Mr. Espy served his country and my Administration with distinction -- first as a Congressman from Mississippi and then as Secretary of Agriculture.

As Secretary, Mike Espy worked hard and successfully to create a Department that now better serves the American people. He was a relentless champion for America's farmers and consumers. He reached out when lives and livelihoods were threatened by natural disasters in rural communities and offered relief. He was an advocate for those suffering from hunger, and he fought for the environment.

After what have been challenging times for Mr. Espy, both personally and professionally, I am heartened that he has, as he said, emerged from this ordeal stronger. I hope that as he moves forward he will continue his notable record of service to the country.