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June 19, 1997




   Independent Counsel Donald C. Smaltz responded today to a June 16, 1997 Time Magazine opinion piece that he described as containing "a slurry of misleading observations" and "inaccurate." In his Letter to the Editor, Mr. Smaltz criticized Time's reporter for adopting her own set of erroneous facts to fit a pre-determined slant to her story. Mr. Smaltz wrote that "Time's reporter is entitled to her opinions, but not to her own set of facts."

   Mr. Smaltz's letter details and corrects the false and misleading statements in the article, including:

   Starr has had to tell Smaltz to back off from delving into issues involving Clinton. This never happened -- in any form, at any time, at any place.    So far, he's turned up little in his costly probe. The article completely ignored and did not mention:

    (1) the imposition of more than $3.5 million in criminal fines, including a $2 million fine from Crop Growers Corporation, the largest fine secured by any Independent Counsel to date;

    (2) convictions of three corporations and five individuals for 44 offenses involving gifts and gratuities to former Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy and contributions to his brother Henry's failed Congressional campaign in an effort to influence decisions by and obtain access to Secretary Espy;

    (3) the first conviction in approximately 100 years for giving a gratuity to a sitting cabinet member (Sun-Diamond);

    (4) the first indictment and conviction by an Independent Counsel of a publicly-held company (Crop Growers); and

    (5) the first prosecution to charge and convict individuals for money laundering in connection with illegal campaign contributions (Ferrouillet and Hemmingson).

   In his letter, Mr. Smaltz reminded Time that the Special Division of the United States Court of Appeals defined his investigative mandate as whether Secretary of Agriculture Espy violated any federal criminal law "relating in any way to the acceptance of gifts by him from organizations or individuals with business pending before the Department of Agriculture." Describing the giving of illegal gratuities and gifts to Cabinet Secretaries as a "pernicious act that pervades not only the official, but also the agency and the public trust," Mr. Smaltz reasserted his commitment to completing the investigation "fairly, vigorously and expeditiously."

    The Letter to the Editor accompanies this press release. # # #


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