Sam's committee lets him off the hook

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, led and dominated by Republicans, in March '98 released a majority report that said it had found no evidence that Sam Brownback did anything wrong in his dealings with Triad Management Services. Brownback, coincidentally, is a majority member of the committee.

That they found no evidence of wrongdoing is unsurprising, since they not only didn't look for it, but slammed shut the hearings after hearing bad news from just one of the very people who could have shown them plenty of evidence -- employees of Triad Management Services itself. The majority positively bolted from this nest of damaging testimony.

The one Triad worker they did depose, Meredith O'Rourke, yielded 174 pages of stuff (see below!) that scared Chairman Fred Thompson into shutting down the hearings altogether in the fall of '97.

"The committee found no evidence to suggest that the Brownback campaign acted in any way illegally or improperly in its dealings with Triad," said the 400-page summary of the majority report released Thursday.

Scott Swenson, Jill Docking campaign worker: "There's a real good reason why the committee has no evidence. They shut down the hearings so that Mr. Brownback wouldn't have to sit and listen to the Triad information being aired. The committee purposefully shut itself down so that it would not have any evidence."

Your tax dollars at work. Here are excerpts from the 174-page O'Rourke deposition. Or if you prefer, here's the full transcript.

News source: the Kansas City Star, "Senate inquiry clears 2 Kansas Republicans," Tom Webb, 03/06/98. Deposition source: Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
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