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Statement by Senator Bob Dole on White House Access to Confidential FBI Files of Top Republicans

June 08, 1996

Bob Dole made the following statement today on media reports that the Clinton administration had forced the Federal Bureau of Investigation to turn over confidential files on hundreds of top Republicans. He made the statement at a G.O.P. Unity Rally in Marietta, Georgia:

"Before I begin my remarks today, I'd like to offer a comment on some disturbing news. You may have seen the shocking reports in today's newspapers that the Clinton administration has accessed confidential F.B.I. files on over 300 Republicans who worked in the Reagan and Bush administrations.

"That's right, the White House has now been forced to admit that Bill Clinton's aides used their power with the F.B.I. to gain access to the private files on some of Clinton's top political adversaries. The group reads like a Clinton 'enemies list'- Bush Secretary of State Jim Baker, Reagan Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein, even Newt Gingrich's Press Secretary Tony Blankley, and over 300 more law abiding citizens whose only crime was to oppose Bill Clinton.

"The Clinton White House calls this dirt-digging expedition 'an innocent bureaucratic mistake.' But Bill Clinton hasn't explained why this so-called mistake was kept secret until investigators looking at the Clinton travel office scandal got too close to the truth.

"For an administration that was supposed to be the most ethical in history, the Clinton White House certainly makes a lot of 'innocent' mistakes. Not too long ago, we were told that the multiple investigations of the Clinton administration were just partisan Republican political attacks. As the disclosures, resignations, and convictions mount, the facts paint a very different picture, though. I think President Clinton owes an apology to the individuals involved and to all Americans for this sad invasion of privacy.

"Clearly this latest incident will raise concerns many have that we arc in for a negative, dirty campaign this fall. Let President Clinton assume the American people that this unprecedented breach of F.B.I. files was not the spadework for a vicious, negative campaign."

---Senator Bob Dole

Robert Dole, Statement by Senator Bob Dole on White House Access to Confidential FBI Files of Top Republicans Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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