Grassley: Redacted Report on Cisneros Raises Troubling Tax Questions
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Reporters and Editors
RE: Redacted Barrett Report Released
DA: Thursday, January 19, 2006
Senator Chuck Grassley today released the following comment after a preliminary look at
the redacted Barrett Report, the report of the independent counsel on Mr. Henry Cisneros.
Grassley led the effort to close the independent counsel's work and disclose the full report
to the taxpayers. Last fall, he won unanimous Senate approval of an amendment to the annual
spending measure for the Treasury Department to require release of the complete report. The
amendment was subsequently modified in the House-Senate conference committee negotiations
(Grassley is not a member of the Appropriations Committee so was not part of the negotiations).
The modified amendment allowed for redaction of several parts of the report. Grassley has indicated
that if the redacted version of the report appears to leave out significant portions of important
material, he will look at other measures to ensure full disclosure.
Grassley has said that after millions of dollars being spent on the Barrett Report, the public
has a right to a full understanding of what happened. As chairman of the Finance Committee, he is
particularly focused on the need for adequate information to be disclosed so that any necessary
oversight or reform of the IRS or Justice Department can be effectively accomplished.
Here is Grassley’s statement upon preliminary review of the report. Another statement is
expected to be released following further review.
"I first want to commend David Barrett for his non-partisan work on behalf of the American
public. His job was filled with hurdles and stone-walling, and today’s release is a positive start to
giving the taxpayers a look into the last 10 years.
“After a preliminary review of the report, the findings seem very troubling. And, despite the
significant redactions, I can see why so many people were fighting to keep the report from seeing
the light of day. The Independent Counsel’s statement that his office came upon significant evidence
that Clinton administration officials at the Justice Department and the IRS had acted improperly to
prevent the independent counsel from investigating Mr. Cisneros' possible tax offenses is of deep
concern. American taxpayers have a right to expect the federal government to enforce the tax laws
fairly and equally. The conclusions cast a very troubling light on the actions of the Clinton
administration that suggest that high-ranking officials did not believe the tax laws should apply to
friends of the Clinton White House. Proper and equitable enforcement of the tax laws is a bedrock
of our nation and faith in our tax system, and I will be reviewing this matter with the highest priority.
“As we continue digging into the details of the report, I'll know just how significant the
redactions are and will be able to determine how to proceed in the upcoming months."
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