Additional Views of Hon. William H. Zeliff, Jr.

Activities of Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Toward the Branch Davidians

Report House of Representatives
104th Congress, 2nd Session, Union Calendar No. 395
August 2, 1996


    In response to concerns raised by two members of the minority at the 
committee mark-up, I want to set the record straight regarding the 
extensive majority efforts to cooperate with the minority throughout the 
entire investigative process.
    First, the subcommittees made an unprecedented attempt at genuine 
accommodation in holding 10 days of investigative hearings. In a 
concession that had no apparent precedent during prior Congresses, the 
majority accepted 90% of the witnesses suggested by the Democrats.
    Second, minority members were invited on key fact-finding trips, 
such as to Waco itself.
    Third, the majority shared all available documents, set up a 
document room accessible to all staff, and shared all indexes received 
to those documents; by contrast the majority subsequently learned that 
the minority staff received and intentionally withheld from majority 
staff the key Treasury Department index to tens of thousands of 
documents. This minority tactic led to the unnecessary expenditure of 
tens of hours of indexing by the majority prior to being able to use the 
documents they received. As another indication of the difficulties the 
majority facted, two Democrat staffers apparently met secretly with the 
Texas Rangers and told them that they should not or did not need to 
honor subpoenas issued by the majority; these kinds of obfuscatory 
tactics during and prior to the hearings did not enhance majority-
minority cooperation.
    Fourth, the appendix to this report consists largely of documents 
that are in the public domain from the hearings, or are otherwise 
available to the minority; we have never had a request to see these 
documents, and we know that most were separately sent to the minority 
staff by the departments themselves; accordingly, complaints about not 
seeing the appendix ring hollow.
    Fifth, the 10 footnotes missing from the distributed draft are 
either in documents the minority already have or are merely ids or ibids 
to documents already once cited elsewhere in the report's other 600 
    Sixth, the post-hearing investigation consisted largely of asking 
for documents that the majority had already asked for on June 5, 1995, 
and never received from the departments; interrogatories that pertained 
to unanswered hearing questions; and issues first raised at the hearings 
or interviews. There were no surprises in these requests.
    Seventh, the press conference held on the day the report was 
distributed to Members simply made available the recommendations of the 
two subcommittee chairmen to the respective subcommittees and 
committees, and the summary--well within the House Rules--was made 
available to the minority at the same time. Ironically, the week prior 
to the business meeting, one of my staffers received a call from the 
Justice Department in which the Department indicated that they had 
received--presumably from a minority staff member or member--a copy of 
the whole Waco report. For the record, that is a clear and unequivocal 
violation of Rule 4, if any majority member had wished raise it--and 
when asked for a chance to correct facts that might be unclear or wrong, 
the department made no such proffer. In fact, they never sent any 
corrections whatsoever, despite five follow-up telephone calls to get 
fact corrections.
    Eighth, cooperation with the departments was, frankly, an exercise 
in extreme patience; the majority even had to suffer having the 
Secretary of Treasury calling Democrats and telling them not to ask any 
embarrassing questions at the hearings. Surely, that is not the proper 
reaction to congressional oversight, and it is not consistent with 
President Clinton's promises of full cooperation. In a further example 
of unjustifiable manipulation, the Treasury Department also flew the 
Texas Rangers who were going to testify to Washington ahead of time and 
at taxpayer expense--to brief them for 2 days on what they should say. 
In my view, there can be little question that that action was patently 
offensive to both the word and spirit of cooperation.
    Ninth, the majority has actually allowed the minority four times the 
amount of time normally allowed--and under House rules required--to 
review a report prior to a business meeting. On balance, I believe the 
record will show clearly that the entire investigative process was 
conducted not only patiently, inclusively, exhaustively and with an 
extraordinary emphasis on cooperation, but with an incontrovertible 
premium on fairness. In fact, I know of no set of investigative hearings 
or report that has ever been conducted with this level of inclusiveness, 
cooperation, or fairness.

                                         Hon. William H. Zeliff, Jr.    

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