[Page: E1989]



in the House of Representatives

MONDAY, JUNE 3, 1991

suspect Mr. Walsh might even privately welcome such an outcome.

With his termination papers in hand, he could argue for years to come that if only he had a few more months or years to pursue the cases, if only the Supreme Court hadn't raised all those constitutional hurdles, if only * * *.

The fate of these cases was decided from the very beginning. In the wake of the Iran Contra revelations, there were two alternatives. The allegations could have been pursued through the courts and those convicted, if any, thrown in jail, thereby sending a message to other public servants that they are just as liable to be prosecuted for crimes as anyone else in America.

The second alternative was to publicize the entire affair through televised congressional hearings.

I believe that just about anyone associated with this case knew full well from the beginning that you could do either, but you could not do both.

Mr. Walsh's case was poisoned from the very outset by the congressional hearings. The fact that he has elected to pursue this case for almost 5 years, with the promise of little more in the way of results than ruined reputations and personal bankruptcies for the defendants, is I believe one of the greatest injustices ever perpetrated by the American legal system. What started as a prosecution has turned into a persecution.

There's a time for everything under the Sun, and Mr. Walsh's time has come and gone. Let's wrap this case up, send all those lawyers back into productive jobs, and get this thing behind us.

I believe it is also incumbent on the Congress to ensure that such a legal injustice not happen again. Last year I introduced legislation that would create a 2-year sunset provision for the appointment of an independent counsel, unless an extension is approved.

The bill will make sure that future special prosecutors are not able to conduct endless fishing expeditions.

Among the 19 cosponsors of the bill were all 4 Republican Members serving at that time in Congress who had also served with me on the Iran Contra Committee. They were Congressmen Henry Hyde, Bill McCollum, James Courter, and Michael DeWine.

I hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will become cosponsors of this important legislation. Only by enacting such a law can we be confident that future special prosecutors will be encouraged to pursue unbiased and thorough investigations of criminal activities against senior Government officials in a prompt, responsible, and cost-effective manner.