Letter to Ethics Committee Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member Mollohan

May 27, 2005



Letter to Ethics Committee Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member Mollohan Re: Outside Counsel to investigate Tom DeLay

Dear Chairman Hastings and Ranking Member Mollohan:

The House Ethics Committee is expected to soon begin an investigation into allegations that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has violated House rules and standards of conduct. We believe it is essential that an independent outside counsel be appointed to assist the Committee in this matter. We strongly urge you to take this necessary step to protect the integrity of this important investigation - and of Congress itself. We ask that you respond to this request within two weeks.

We believe an outside counsel is generally useful in guaranteeing the independence, integrity and public acceptance of congressional ethics inquiries. The case for outside counsel is particularly compelling, however, when the Member being investigated serves in a leadership position. For that reason, the Committee has properly retained outside counsel in several such probes, including those involving former House Speakers Jim Wright (D-TX) and Newt Gingrich (RGA).

Read the letter (PDF)


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