FILE ID:97021005.txt

(Lake settles stock case with Dept. of Justice)  (1550)

White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry and Deputy Press Secretary
(Foreign Policy) David Johnson briefed late February 7 on the
settlement CIA Director-designate Anthony Lake reached with the
Department of Justice on the stocks case.

Following is the White House transcript:

(begin transcript)


February 7, 1997


The Briefing Room

6:20 P.M.  EST

MCCURRY: I'm going to read a short statement that we're issuing now.
Today the Department of Justice and Anthony Lake reached a settlement
of a civil case concerning Mr. Lake's stocks. These are matters that
have been in discussion related to his nomination as Director of
Central Intelligence. The Department of Justice and Mr. Lake agreed
that there's no evidence that Mr. Lake ever took any action to conceal
or misrepresent his or his wife's financial holdings. They also agreed
that there's no evidence that Mr. Lake considered any effect or impact
his official actions might have had upon his or his wife's interests.
In short, Mr. Lake had no intent to do wrong or to mislead.

The President is obviously delighted that the Justice Department and
Mr. Lake have reached this agreement. He is not surprised at all that
the fundamental honesty and integrity of Mr. Lake is coming through in
this discussion.

The President has also been informed this afternoon that the Justice
Department has sent a letter to Representative Henry Hyde that has
reviewed the whole question of arms transfers to Bosnia which the
Department has said they have found no evidence of potential criminal
violations by Tony arising out of his role in the issue of Bosnia arms
transfer were as a result of various statements that were made by Mr.
Lake to congressional committees or to the intelligence oversight

The President fully expects that this information will now lay to rest
any concerns that members of the Senate might have. The President
looks forward to expeditious confirmation proceedings for Mr. Lake so
that he can assume a position that is vital to this nation's national

Q: The fact that he's paying this $5,000 civil penalty -- doesn't this
leave the impression of some not wrongdoing, but a serious error of
judgment on his part?

MCCURRY: No. He has agreed to a settlement payment of $5,000 -- that's
the minimum amount that the Justice Department has accepted in the
past in settling cases like this. He's agreed -- Tony agreed to this
payment because he understands that he should have made sure that the
stocks in question had been divested. It's important to remember that
that is a civil disposition of this matter and does not in any way
represent a criminal proceeding.

Q: Mike, Senator Shelby, in talking about Mr. Lake's situation has
said, why couldn't the President send somebody who had a totally clean
record, about whom there were no questions of this kind.

MCCURRY: Well, Mr. Lake, if you're looking for someone of honesty,
integrity and trustworthiness, is about as good as we're ever going to
get in this government because he is an extraordinarily fine
individual. These matters, I suspect, could --this type of infraction
-- it's a $5,000 payment that recognizes that there were some stocks
that should have been sold. It's the minimum payment that would be
made under these circumstances. There are probably a good number of
people in this town that might be subjected to the same kind of
proceeding if you went through the kind of scrutiny that a nomination
for this type of office goes through.

I don't think this in any way has a bearing on his ability to do the
job of directing this nation's intelligence community, which requires
someone of the unsurpassed integrity that Tony has demonstrated.

Q: Mike, in your statement you said that they should lay to rest this
issue. Do you assume that it will or do you think that this is still -

MCCURRY: We have to believe that after the very long months of looking
into this matter and looking into the question of the Bosnian arms
transfer, and having come to this conclusion, the Justice Department
having come to these conclusions in discussion with Tony's
representatives, that this should certainly satisfy any concerns that
members of the Senate might have. It would be hard to imagine

Q: Is your previous statement that the President will go to the mat
for Tony Lake still operative?

MCCURRY: I personally feel that this should make it unnecessary for
him to go wrestle on that mat. This should probably clear up concerns
that members of the Senate might have. But the President's certainly
willing to work hard on behalf of Tony's nomination, if that is
needed. We would imagine, with what we consider very good news
tonight, that the Senate will be able to be now in a position to move
very quickly to go to confirmation hearings and to confirmation

Q: Can you talk about the timing of this announcement? It's Friday
night -- this is usually when the administration announces bad news.

MCCURRY: This shows you that we don't manage the news the way you
sometimes think we do. Obviously --

Q:  I'm sorry.  How does that --

MCCURRY: Obviously, having good news like this, if we -- we shared it
when we understood that it had been made public by the Justice

Q:  Is this a Tickle-Me Elmo factor?  (Laughter.)

Q:  Mike, have you talked to Mr. Lake about this?

MCCURRY: I have not, no, not personally. I've seen the material that
he has prepared and the statement that -- the White House fact sheet
we have here is based on the understanding that we have -- the
understanding that's been communicated to us by his representative and
we understand that the Justice Department verifies.

Q:  Have you had any discussion with any members of the Senate?

MCCURRY: We have not yet. We are hoping -- this material, of course,
is being sent -- or my understanding, the letter to Congressman Hyde
was already delivered. And we assume that information will circulate
among members of the Senate. Many of them are out of town, of course.
But as Tony has dealt with these concerns on the Hill, it's clear that
this information from -- the letter, certainly, from the Justice
Department and the information about the agreement that's been reached
between Tony and his lawyers on the financial transactions will be of
interest to some of the members of the Senate.

Q:  Is Mr. Lake in town?

MCCURRY:  I do not know.  David, do you know?

DAVID JOHNSON:  I believe so, but I don't know.

MCCURRY:  I believe so.

Q: Mike, technically, is Tony Lake still National Security Advisor or
has he lost that title?

MCCURRY: He still holds the title of National Security Advisor. Most
of his functions are being performed now by Deputy National Security
Advisor Sandy Berger. And what title did we give Jimmy?

JOHNSON:  One can have many deputies.

MCCURRY: Okay. So Steinberg is also functioning in a deputy -- Q: My
understanding is that the confirmation hearings are not scheduled to
begin until the 25th or the 26th. Is that -- do you think they ought
to be moved up now, or is that timing okay with the White House?

MCCURRY: That's our understanding. the senators have to set the
schedule and move in due course. I'm sure they're going to want to
examine this information themselves, and we will respect the calendar
of the Senate. We just -- the President hopes that they move
expeditiously to confirm Tony. We believe this is information that
should help clear the way to that expeditious confirmation.

Q: Could you in any way characterize, Mike, how important it is to get
a person in charge of CIA at this point?

MCCURRY: Well, there are very capable career professionals who are at
the agency and the agency currently is under the very capable
leadership of George Tenet, who's the Deputy Director of Central
Intelligence. But I will say that with the very ambitious foreign
policy schedule that the President has outlined for the months ahead
-- and, obviously, a lot of our work today with Prime Minister
Chernomyrdin of Russia, in scheduling a summit with President Yeltsin
-- it will be critical to this nation's foreign policymakers to have
smart, good, accurate analysis and information that they could use in
making policy. And having someone who is committed to the morale and
professionalism of the intelligence community in place as Director of
Central Intelligence will be a fundamentally important part of
accomplishing the President's foreign policy objectives.

Q:  Has Tony been working at this over at Langley, or is he -

MCCURRY: He has been spending considerable time in Langley, meeting
people, getting to know the agency, spending time meeting a lot of the
career professionals there, getting briefings on various activities.
He also continues to be here and to follow matters here. But he's
really been very heavily involved in working with others in Langley
and then, obviously, being on the Hill, meeting individually with
senators and answering questions related to his own confirmation

Thank you and good night.

THE PRESS:  Thank you.

(end transcript)