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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA



Feb 10, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Brad Sherman took to the floor of the House of Representatives today to highlight the nefarious behavior of Senate Republican Judiciary staffers who stole internal documents from their Democratic counterparts, comparing the incident to Watergate, and calling for criminal indictment of the culprits.

Shermans remarks follow:

œI want to remind my colleagues of a day back in 1972 when the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic Party was burglarized. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy went to jail for that burglary because Republicans here in Washington believed that the rule of law was more important than Republican success. 

œToday, a similar crime has been committed.  At the Senate Judiciary Committee a computer server that was jointly used by Democrats and Republicans was burglarized.  Thousands of documents were stolen, far more than Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy ever thought to steal.

œNow, the shared computer server is not an unusual thing on Capitol Hill.  My Democratic colleges may need to be reminded that every e-mail we send, every e-mail we receive, goes through a shared computer server under the control, ultimately, of the Speaker of the House and his staff.  But we Democrats here in the House do not believe that the Speaker and his staff are criminals; we believe they are honorable men and women, and so we send e-mail today just as we do every other day.

œBut what is happening in the other body Mr. Speaker?

œA small cabal has decided to burglarize documents.  Thats the same as what happened back in 1972, but whats more interesting is that predominant powers in the Republican Party, the predominant power here in Washington, wants to embrace this act of robbery.

œSure, one staffer has been fired.  Now that staffer is free get lucrative employment and cash gifts without having to report it. 

œAnother staffer has left and that staffer goes about being in control of stolen documents, stolen property, and instead of going to jail for being in possession of stolen property, trumpets how he is going to use this property for this support of the Republican position.

œThe rule of law should matter.  But we are told that the rule of law is being upheld simply because a couple of staffers lost their job.

œSince when is it the criminal law in this country that if you steal something, the only sanction is you go get employment elsewhere?

œWe are told that this crime is not a crime because it was a shared computer server.  Thats a little dangerous for those in the House that shares every e-mail, every e-mail going through a shared server under Republican control. It is also a complete repudiation of American criminal law.

œIf two partners shared a safe deposit box or a safe, that does not mean that one can use the combination to steal all the cash and valuables that the other has put in it.  It is very clear.  Sharing a box does not mean you get to steal the other persons or other entitys property, except that is what it seems to mean in the Republican lexicon.

œBurglary and robbery are reasons for people to be indicted and sent to jail. Thats what happened to G. Gordon Liddy. Thats what happened to Howard Hunt. And we will see whether the Republicans in control of this house and the other body, and in control of Washington and all of its agencies will ensure that there is a criminal investigation of this theft. Stealing from a box is wrong even if you have the combination.

œIf this does not happen then we in the House will have to look at the additional governmental expense involved in having a separate democratic e-mail server.  Because how can we trust a Republican Party that seems to have undergone a metamorphosis from one that puts the rule of law first to one that glorifies burglary and defends criminals?

œI look forward to the indictment of those who committed robbery.