CNN INSIDE POLITICS
Interview With John Ashcroft; Andersen CEO Star Witness; Does Oklahoma Governor Favor Racial Profiling?
Aired February 5, 2002 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. Is the Oklahoma governor an advocate of some racial profiling in the war on terror? I'll get his views on the record.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Attorney General John Aschroft is set to hold a news conference. Just a couple of hours ago I was able to sit down with the attorney general, and asked him a few questions about the case against John Walker Lindh.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jonathan Karl on Capitol Hill, where Arthur Andersen's CEO was the star witness in the Enron hearings, but political fingerpointing stole the show.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm John King on the road with the president, as his new budget plan take a beating from members of both parties back in Washington.
WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Attorney General John Ashcroft is expected to make a statement shortly. It could be about the case of Taliban-American John Walker Lindh.
Today Walker Lindh's attorneys filed a motion arguing that he should be released pending trial, citing the fact that he has no criminal record. A bond hearing is set for tomorrow. Walker Lindh currently is charged with conspiring to kill Americans outside the U.S., and with providing material support to terrorists.
We're joined now by our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley who, as you just heard, spoke with Ashcroft about the Walker Lindh case just a short time ago. Candy, what did he say?
CROWLEY: Well, we talked in general about the idea of whether this man, who has now become so famous, or infamous in the United States, could get a fair trial. I pointed out to him that 60 percent of Americans already think he should be charged with something much different than what he's charged with now. And under those circumstances, did he think that John Walker Lindh could get a fair trial.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think he can. I think the American people have a record of serving with substantial distinction, in being sober, intelligent, careful evaluators of evidence. And when evidence is presented at trial, I think in his case or in other cases -- I don't want to make reference to any specific cases about innocence or guilt -- that's a matter in the courts. We make the charges and then the courts, with juries, litigate. But I think the American people can provide a jury basis that can fairly adjudicate these issues.
CROWLEY: Even a couple miles from the Pentagon? Do you think that's a tough place to get a fair trial?
ASHCROFT: Well, I think it's a place where many people have received many fair trials over and over again. The American people have risen to the challenge and responsibility. And very frankly, these events, I think, crystallize for us as citizens, our sense of civic responsibility.
And I don't think people who understand that they have certain civic duties as Americans, are going to say, I'm going to do my civic duty poorly, or I'm going to do it in a slipshod fashion, because I was upset about September the 11th, even outraged about September 11th. The point is, I think Americans will respond to do properly those things they need to do. Part of the defense of America is an administration of a system of justice that is fair. I think the American people will rise to that occasion.
CROWLEY: Do you exhibit that he will be charged with any other crimes?
ASHCROFT: You know, our investigations on all of these matters are continuing. And so we have the ability to supersede indictments that are rendered by grand juries, or charges that are bought as a subject of information. And as information develops, I think the array of changes against any individual can be enhanced. If there's a evidentiary basis for enhancing the nature of the charges, then those charges can be enhanced.
Now, I think for John Walker Lindh, the charges are the kind that would bring a maximum of life in imprisonment, and in a strange sort of twist, not only life imprisonment, but life imprisonment plus 30 years. Because some of the charges are penalties that must be added to the end of any other penalty that is given in the law.
CROWLEY: Again, Judy, we expect to hear from the attorney general at a news conference sometime within the hour, and we do expect that the Justice Department will probably announce that a federal ground jury has returned an indictment against John Walker Lindh.
WOODRUFF: All right, Candy Crowley, very interesting interview. Thank you.
And now we turn to Congress, lashing out again today at key players in the Enron debacle. The Senate issued a subpoena with Ken Lay's name on it, while members of the House dressed down the chief of the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. Lawmakers also saved some of their fire for one another. Here is our Congressional correspondent, Jonathan Karl.
KARL: Hello, Judy. And the headline this hour, quite a big headline, is that Ken Lay, through his attorneys, has told the House Financial Services Committee that he will answer that subpoena and come before the committee on Valentine's Day, February 14th, next week. But today it was Arthur Andersen's CEO to face the inquisition.
(voice-over): This time it was Arthur Andersen's man in the hot seat. Democrat Gary Ackerman got so angry he forget his question.
REP. GARY ACKERMAN (D), NEW YORK: I don't even know what my question is, I mean, this is so mind boggling. I mean, how do you let this happen, captain? Your ship is going to go down and you're going to be lashed to the mast, unless you start talking to us about what happened! Maybe you can explain it.
JOSEPH BERARDINO, CEO, ARTHUR ANDERSEN: Congressman, we are still getting facts. You want me to give you conclusions without all the facts.
KARL: Berardino rejected the charge that his company caused Enron to fail.
BERARDINO: Congressman, I can't let that stand. This company failed. Whether the accounting was appropriate, whether we had all the information, these are fair questions that we will all get to the bottom of. At the end of the day, we do not cause companies to fail.
KARL: At another hearing, a former Enron employee emotionally recalled losing her life savings just as she prepared for her daughter's wedding.
DEBORAH PERROTTA, FMR. ENRON EMPLOYEE: And such financial commitments were made, increasing my frustration and anxiety. As a mother, this is something I always dreamed of doing for my daughter. Today that burden has fallen on her shoulders.
KARL: And at yet another committee meeting, there was a unanimous vote to subpoena Ken Lay, and some political finger- pointing.
SEN. GORDON SMITH (D), OREGON: And what is clear to me, if we want to get real counterproductive, is to start pointing fingers at the Bush administration or the Clinton administration. This Ponzi scheme was developed during the Clinton administration. And most of its transactions occurred then.
SEN. ERNEST HOLLINGS (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: He said let's don't get political, but he gets Clinton into it. I don't know how you get Clinton into this thing. I mean, come on. He's the one mentioning Clinton. Everybody is playing games. I'm not playing games. I'm dead serious, and enough said.
KARL: As for Ken Lay, virtually everybody up here expects him to invoke his fifth amendment right not to testify. As a matter of fact, Senator Conrad Burns of Montana said that if he sees Ken Lay actually testifying, he'll go out to the steps of the Capitol and eat his hat -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: Thank you, Jon. We're going to go quickly to the White House. President Bush, just returning from Pennsylvania answering reporters' questions.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm just sorry it had to happen. I hope they do reconsider and pass a good bill.
BUSH: What? You know, you need to talk to them. What I'm saying is, I'm disappointed we don't have a package. Workers need help, and we need to stimulate the economy. Thank you, all.
WOODRUFF: Well, we only heard, as you can see, just a moment or so of that, President Bush being asked about an announcement today by the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle, that he wants to remove the economic stimulus package from the Senate agenda. But we'll get more on what the president said and get that for you as soon as we can.
The subject we were on just a moment ago, reporting from Jon Karl, was Enron. And echoes of that followed the president to Pennsylvania, where he spent the day promoting one of his budget priorities: the fight against bioterrorism. Also dogging the president, growing criticism of his spending plan from members of both political parties. Our senior White House correspondent, John King, has been traveling with Mr. Bush.
KING: A close-up look at anthrax: part of a budget pitch that puts an emphasis on safety.
BUSH: It's money that will enable me to say that we are doing everything we can to protect America at home.
KING: But applause on the road doesn't mean the budget is an easy sell back in Washington. House majority leader Dick Armey, a fellow Republican and fellow Texan, announced his opposition to the president's plan to promote volunteerism by dramatically expanding the Americorps national service program. Armey calls the program "obnoxious." The president politely disagreed.
BUSH: I think the country needs to provide opportunities for people to serve, expanding Americorps, expanding seniors corps. It's a good way for Americans to fight evil.
KING: Hearings into the Enron collapse already are a distraction from the second-year Bush agenda. And the Democratic chairman of one Senate committee wants a special prosecutor, because he says too many top Bush aides have Enron connections. Again, the president took issue.
BUSH: Listen, this is a business problem. And my Justice Department is going to investigate. And if there is wrongdoing, we will hold them accountable.
KING: More heat at a Senate budget hearing. Democrats say Mr. Bush is running up big deficits and robbing Social Security and Medicare to pay for last year's big tax cut.
SEN. KENT CONRAD (D), NORTH CAROLINA: But if you were in the private sector and proposed a budget like this one, you'd be headed for a federal facility. But it wouldn't be the White House, it wouldn't be the Congress of the United States. You'd be headed for a federal correctional facility.
KING: This tour of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was designed to put the focus on combating bioterrorism. The president proposes spending $5.9 billion on bioterrorism defenses and research next year. That's an increase of $.45 billion, or 319 percent. $1.6 billion of that would held state and local governments improve defenses against biological attacks. $2.4 billion would go to bioterrorism research. And $650 million to stockpile pharmaceuticals, including more anthrax and smallpox vaccines.
Mr. Bush recalled last year's deadly anthrax mailings, and what he called the murderous deeds of September 11th.
(on camera): The president's hope is that such reminders help him, in the face of stiff criticism from Democrats, making the case that deficit spending and other tough budget choices are necessary at times of national emergency. John King, CNN, Pittsburgh.
WOODRUFF: Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, as we mentioned a moment ago, also weighed in today on budget battles. He said that the economic stimulus bill President Bush is promoting this year does not have the votes that it needs in the Senate, and will probably end up being shelved. Daschle also took aim at Republican budget priorities.
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SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: The same Republican caucus that made such an effort to talk about the importance of protecting Social Security and Medicare have now taken Social Security from being first to last. This is a Social Security last budget. There is no other priority that holds less priority than Social Security in this budget.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WOODRUFF: For more on tax cuts and Social Security, let's turn now to our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider -- Bill.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Judy, a "Los Angeles Times" poll released just today shows that protecting Social security still beats protecting the tax cuts, just as it did before September the 11th. By a resounding 81 to 13 percent margin, the public says that President Bush's tax cuts should not go through if it means the money has to be taken out of the Social Security trust fund.
WOODRUFF: It sounds like the Democrats have found an issue, then.
SCHNEIDER: Well, not necessarily. Because there are new budget priorities that have emerged that didn't exist before September 11th. Our polling shows that the war and the recession now compete with Social Security as the top budget priorities.
The war and the recession make it politically possible to use Social Security revenues to finance the deficit, because the war and the recession really take deficit reduction off the table, at least for the time being. The administration argues that it cannot defend the country and balance the budget at the same time.
Now, how smart is it for Democrats to complain about the deficit at a time of war and recession? The answer is: not very. Democrats could try to argue that the tax cut worsens the deficit and hurts the economy, but then the administration can say, do you really want to raise taxes at a time of recession? Now it looks like the Democrats are the ones who are cornered.
WOODRUFF: All right. Bill Schneider, thanks very much.
Well, almost five months after September the 11th, a debate continues over how far the federal government should go to thwart terrorism. Coming up next, a debate on security. Is there a place for some racial profiling?
Also ahead, a Congressman known for outlandish comments is as outspoken as ever, as he fights corruption charges in court.
And, is it just for theatrics? A look at the multitude of Enron hearings. This is INSIDE POLITICS.
WOODRUFF: We take you to the Justice Department, where the attorney general is making an announcement.
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ASHCROFT: ... investigation of Walker Lindh is ongoing. And that we would not rule out additional charges against him. This afternoon, a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia returned a 10-count indictment against Walker Lindh. Ten counts, charging him as an al Qaeda-trained terrorist who conspired with the Taliban to kill his fellow citizens.
The indictment rendered this afternoon reiterates the charges previously filed against Walker Lindh and adds an additional set of charges. If convicted of these charges, Walker Lindh could receive multiple life sentences, six additional 10-year sentences, plus 30 years.
The grand jury formalized the prior charges against Walker Lindh that were outlined in the criminal complaint: conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals, two counts of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations, two counts of providing material support and resources to terrorist organizations, and one count of supplying services to the Taliban.
In addition, the grand jury added the following charges against Walker Lindh: conspiracy to contribute services to Al Qaeda, contributing services to Al Qaeda, conspiracy to supply services to the Taliban, and using and carrying firearms and destructive devices during crimes of violence, a crime which carries a mandatory 30-year consecutive sentence.
In this indictment, the grand jury outlines a time line of terror in which John Walker Lindh is an active, knowing participant. In the early summer of the year 2001, as Al Qaeda was training and financing its operatives in the United States, the indictment places John Walker Lindh in an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, honing his skills in weapons, explosives and battlefield combat.
Later in the summer, as terrorists made their final preparations for the September 11 attacks, the indictment charges that John Walker Lindh was forging ever-deeper bonds with Al Qaeda. He met with Osama bin Laden. He chose to go to the front lines to fight with the Taliban.
In the summer of 2001, John Walker Lindh swore allegiance to jihad after being told that Osama bin Laden had sent some 50 people to carry out multiple suicide operations against the United States and Israel.
On September 11, as thousands were murdered in the United States, the indictment charges that John Walker Lindh was fighting alongside the Taliban in the Takar (ph) trenches of Afghanistan.
In the weeks after September 11, the indictment charges that Walker Lindh remained with his Taliban fighting group. He remained despite having learned of the terrorist attacks on his homeland, despite knowing that Osama bin Laden was responsible for those attacks, and despite the knowledge that the additional -- that additional terrorist attacks and acts were planned.
Finally, on October the 7th, after men and women of the United States armed serves were engaged in support of the Northern Alliance against the Taliban, the indictment describes how Walker Lindh remained at his post, shoulder-to-shoulder with the Taliban, armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades. It is extraordinary for the United States to have to charge one of its own citizens with aiding and conspiring with international terrorist groups whose agenda is to kill Americans. Today a grand jury examined the government's case and saw fit to charge John Walker Lindh with 10 serious crimes based in part on voluntary statements made by Lindh himself.
The United States is a country that cherishes religious tolerance, political democracy and equality between men and women. By his own account, John Walker Lindh allied himself with terrorists who reject these values.
The United States is a country of laws and not of men. By his own account, John Walker Lindh fought side-by-side with tyrants who recognize no other law than the law of brute force.
As today's indictment sets out, John Walker Lindh choose to train with Al Qaeda, choose to fight with the Taliban, chose to be led by Osama bin Laden. The reasons for his choices may never be fully known to us, but the fact of these choices is clear.
Americans who love their country do not dedicate themselves to killing Americans.
Today marks an important step in securing justice for John Walker Lindh.
He has, by his own statements, been treated well and received adequate food and medical treatment while in the custody of U.S. officials. At each step in this process, Walker Lindh's rights, including his rights not to incriminate himself and to be represented by counsel, have been carefully, scrupulously honored.
At the same time, the United States has assembled an outstanding group of prosecutors to try this case. Prosecutors from The Eastern District of Virginia, led by U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty and Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows (ph), are working cooperatively with their colleagues in the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Jim Culmy (ph) and Deputy U.S. Attorney David Kelly (ph). Together with Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff and the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, they form an all-star team of the United States' most talented and dedicated legal minds.
I'm confident that they will, with great skill and dedication, secure justice for the nation that John Walker Lindh betrayed, and they will uphold the values that he dedicated himself to destroy.
Now, I have a responsibility to excuse myself for a scheduled meeting with the minister of justice of Italy. I'm delighted to say that we've received the cooperation and help of the Italian justice minister and his colleagues, in a way that merits commendation. It's the kind of cooperation we seek with all of those who would join us in the war against terror. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, Paul McNaulty, will be available to answer you questions about the announcements made today. Thank you very much. Thank you, Paul.
WOODRUFF: Attorney General John Ashcroft talking to reporters just now at the Justice Department, announcing that a grand jury here in Virginia has returned today a ten-count indictment against the American-Taliban John Walker Lindh, charging him with conspiring with the Taliban, conspiring with al Qaeda to kill Americans.
Joining us to talk about this and other matters, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. He's a former associate U.S. attorney general. He's also a former FBI agent. He joins me from Oklahoma City. And here in the Washington studio, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is the delegate in Congress for the District of Columbia.
Governor Keating, first your reaction to this announcement?
GOV. FRANK KEATING (R), OKLAHOMA: No great surprise, Judy, that an indictment was handed down. I think it's going to be a tough case to make, but it's going to be creatively tried. I think the team that the attorney general outlined there are extraordinary gifted people. And I think they'll do a great job for the people and the government of the United States. But no great surprise. I think John Lindh has his hands fell.
WOODRUFF: Eleanor Norton?
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D), D.C. DELEGATE: An indictment was of course, expected. And I think that the administration as done the right thing to go about this matter in the most -- using the most formal processes we have. Let the rest the world see how we administer criminal justice.
WOODRUFF: Should he have been granted any leniency here, Governor Keating?
KEATING: In the United States?
KEATING: Well, no. I think what the attorney general, what Mike Chertoff and the professionals at the Department of Justice did, is they swept through the statute books, they found those things that most probably John Walker Lindh could be accused of doing, that could fit the facts, and they charged him with it. The grand jury charged him with that, and now we'll have a trial.
But I agree with the delegate. I think that this is an opportunity to show the American criminal justice at its very best. It's going to be a tough case, but I think he has a good team, and let's keep our fingers crossed.
WOODRUFF: Delegate Norton, should he have been shown any leniency, any mercy, given his youth and the lack of any sort of criminal activity in his background? NORTON: Certainly not at this early stage. Not when, according to the Justice Department, out of his own mouth, he appears to have confessed to these crimes. Now, when we hear all the evidence, we will be in a better position to judge how he should be ultimately treated.
WOODRUFF: Governor Keating, I want to turn to fighting terrorism here in the United States on American soil. Something you said over the weekend, on Friday, in fact, before a forum of the ABA, the American Bar Association, you said in order to hunt down terrorists operating inside this country, it's negligent not to look at everything, including racial factors. Is that a form of racial profiling, Governor?
KEATING: I'm a former general counsel of the NAACP here in Oklahoma. And on my watch as governor, I advocated, and the legislature passed, an anti-racial profiling bill. What we did here -- and most states are doing the same thing -- we're saying that race cannot be the only factor in a criminal investigation. But race certainly can be a factor.
And in the case of events that could lead to tragedy in the air, if an individual, for example, is from a Middle Eastern country, flying on a foreign passport, a young male between 20 and 30, race is a factor. And it should be considered, and I think it would be negligent not to consider it. But it should not be the only factor.
WOODRUFF: Delegate Norton, is it proper for race to be one of the factors?
NORTON: We have never claimed that race shouldn't be one of the factors in appropriate circumstances. For example, I have a racial profiling bill that I hope will be a part of the transportation authorization. If you are looking for a suspect, for example, or you're looking for people that have committed a crime, I don't expect you to leave out that person's race. If you're looking for people carrying drugs, I don't expect you to be stopping African-Americans more often than you're stopping other people.
And we find that when you do that, you in fact get many false positives, and outrage the American people. In the same way racial profiling by itself -- and the governor was very, very careful here -- what we've had happen in this country since September 11, and certainly before then, is racial profiling by itself. That is a trap, because, unless you take into account a whole set of characteristics, if race or ethnicity comes to the foreground, you will certainly miss a lot.
For example, in the governor's own state, you have would never gotten Timothy McVeigh, picked him out as typical person to profile, an Army veteran, a guy with a clean record.
WOODRUFF: Delegate Norton, I want to ask you one other question. And, unfortunately, because of a satellite issue, we have lost Governor Keating. We hope to get him back very soon. But I just want to finally ask you about a comment you made in an interview with "The Washington Times" newspaper. You expressed concern that "Parts of our open society are being closed down," you said, "because of our fear of terrorism."
Are you suggesting that we have less security here?
NORTON: I'm suggesting that Americans, with all their ingenuity, know how to be safe and to be open at the same time. But we don't always show it. If you look at Washington, for example, where the gut reaction has been to shut down things, I'm pleased this White House has opened up the White House to the children, that I was able to get tours of the Capitol opened up.
The first instinct, if you talk only to security people, is to shut the whole deal down. That is why I'm going to have a bill called the Open Society With Security Bill. I live right here in D.C. I don't want to be targeted. But I think we can do both at the same time if we put everybody at the table, not just the security people, but the best minds in the society. I want a presidential commission to do just that.
WOODRUFF: Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, thank you very much. And, again, our thanks for Governor Frank Keating. And we apologize we lost him so quickly. We hope to have you both back again soon. We appreciate it.
NORTON: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: And to you who are watching, we want you to send us your thoughts on homeland security. How much is too much when you're talking about defending America? And tell us what you thought of this interview. You can do all that at CNN.com/INSIDEPOLITICS.
Checking now the Tuesday edition of our "Campaign News Daily: Some big-name California Democrats are lining up to help Dennis Cardoza in his bid to unseat Congressman Gary Condit. Hosts at a Cardoza fund-raiser tonight here in Washington will include Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Cardoza has raised more than $300,000 since October. Condit had about $73,000 on hand at year's end.
Also tonight, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is headlining a fund-raiser for fellow South Dakotan Tim Johnson. The gathering is expected to raise about $15,000 for Johnson, who is considered one of the more vulnerable Senate Democrats.
And out West, a new ad for California Governor Gray Davis makes use of potential Republican opponent Richard Riordan's past statements on abortion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, DAVIS CAMPAIGN AD)
ANNOUNCER: Listen to Richard Riordan in his own words.
RICHARD RIORDAN (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Generally speaking on the things dealing with abortion and things like that, I agree with the church. Abortion, I agree very strongly -- in fact, being fairly liberal-minded, I surprise myself on my emotions on the abortion issue, because I feel very -- I think it's murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Riordan made those comments in 1991. And, today, a Riordan spokeswoman told CNN the intent of the Davis ad is -- quote -- "total distortion." She said that Riordan has been, in her words, "unequivocally pro-choice."
We go to Washington state next on INSIDE POLITICS to get the "Inside Buzz" on an anti-tax crusader who admits he spent campaign cash on himself.
WOODRUFF: In Cleveland, Ohio, the first day of jury selection has ended in the corruption and bribery trial of Congressman James Traficant. Traficant is serving as his own lawyer, giving the colorful lawmaker a new platform for his verbal shots.
As our congressional correspondent Kate Snow reminds us, Traficant has a style all his own.
REP. JAMES TRAFICANT (D), OHIO: Beam me up!
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's Traficant's trademark.
TRAFICANT: Congress sold out. It's a damn house of political prostitutes.
SNOW: The flamboyant former sheriff is known for his outlandish comments.
TRAFICANT: There's now a new bra. It's call the holster bra, the gun bra.
SNOW: No one expected any less on his first day in court.
TRAFICANT: I'm going to try and kick their ass. That's just the way it is.
SNOW: He is not a trained lawyer, but Traficant is defending himself against 10 felony charges, including seeking bribes, racketeering and tax evasion. The odds are against him. Prosecutors have already convicted more than 70 people in this sting. They have 100 boxes of evidence against Traficant.
(on camera): Prosecutors say he got money and favors, like a new deck on his house, in exchange for pushing legislation in Congress. They say he forced aides to work on his horse farm and told two aides to kick back part of their salaries, one of them putting envelopes stuffed with cash under Traficant's door every month.
(voice-over): Traficant's defense: that the government has a vendetta and is forcing his colleagues to lie.
TRAFICANT: This is more than a case about Jim Traficant. And this isn't self-serving. I think this is a case about Big Brother who has gone too far: IRS, FBI threatening coercing. And when it's all over, I'm either going to jail or they are going on jail.
SNOW: He has avoided jail once before. In 1983 when he was sheriff, Traficant was accused of taking bribes from the mob. He defended himself and won.
In Congress, he's a man without a country. Democrats don't count him as one of their own. Neither do Republicans, even though he voted with them 90 percent of the time last year. But in Youngstown, Ohio, Traficant's sparring with the government had made him a local legend.
TRAFICANT: I don't know what kind of chances I have. But I am going to lay it out and go get right in their face. That's the way it is.
SNOW: In Traficant's own words today, he said it is going to be one hell of a fight in there. Today, they heard from 100 different prospective jurors. They sat them down and gave them a questionnaire. None of those jurors were from Youngstown, from the area Traficant is from, even though he had asked for that. In fact, the judge said, no, she was going to do the jury selection just like they always do and choose jurors from the Cleveland area.
She does not appear to have a whole lot of patience for Mr. Traficant, Judy. Today she told him he better behave himself -- Judy.
WOODRUFF: All right, Kate Snow, thanks very much.
Well, to another politician in trouble now: Officials in Washington state are investigating whether an anti-tax advocate has violated campaign reporting laws. Tim Eyman confessed yesterday that he took $45,000 in donations to his anti-tax campaign for his personal spending. And he says he was ready to divert another $157,000 this year. Now, Eyman denies doing anything illegal, but he admits he misled his supporters. He says they will determine his political future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM EYMAN, ANTI-TAX ADVOCATE: I have always said, with our initiatives, that they were always about the ideas. They were never about me. And that was when I was the good guy. Now that I'm the bad guy, we will get a chance to actually test that theory. It's not going to be just a belief. We are actually going to prove it, because the petitions are going out this week. The question is whether or not our supporters are just going to take them and throw them in the garbage. (END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Eyman currently is promoting a new initiative to limit revenue for cities and counties. He has successfully campaigned for several anti-tax initiatives in Washington state over the past three years.
Well, we are by now by David Postman of "The Seattle Times."
David, how out of character was all of this coming from Tim Eyman?
DAVID POSTMAN, "THE SEATTLE TIMES": Well, it's hard to say.
You described him as another politician in trouble. And he has carved himself out as the nonpolitician. And I think that it's out of character for him to come clean in this sense and admit to something that, for so long, really, more than a year, he has denied.
But the way he did it was sort of in character for Eyman, which is over the top. When he confessed, he didn't say, "Mistakes were made" or "I lied." He said: "I lied. They were dirty, stinking lies. I let my ego drive me. He really went much further than even some of his closest supporters wish he had.
WOODRUFF: So what is saying he used the money for? Why did he do this?
POSTMAN: Well, he is not saying you much about that. He says he took that first payment as salary. He was putting in a lot of time on his first initiative campaign, which eliminated the state car tax, and wanted to keep doing the work, and realized he couldn't do it and still run his business, which is selling watches to fraternities and sororities out of his house.
WOODRUFF: So is it clear whether this was illegal or something less than that?
POSTMAN: No, it's not clear. And the State Public Disclosure Commission is looking at that this week. They looked at it last fall, asked him some questions about it, seemed satisfied with his answers. But, of course, when the headlines are, "I lied," the investigators get suspicious all over again.
They do say it's allowed for an initiative sponsor to pay themselves, him of her selves, for consulting or management or whatever they want as long as they really do that work and they report it accurately. And that's the question they are looking at. And I'm sure by the end of the week, they will.
WOODRUFF: All right, David Postman of "The Seattle Times," thanks very much.
POSTMAN: Thank you.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it. A check of the INSIDE POLITICS "Newscycle" when we return, plus a closer look at the president's call for new spending to prevent a bioterrorist attack.
WOODRUFF: Time for a quick check of the INSIDE POLITICS "Newscycle": Attorney General John Ashcroft announced this hour that Taliban American John Walker Lindh has been indicted on 10 criminal counts, including charges of being an al Qaeda-trained terrorist who conspired against Americans. Earlier, attorneys for Walker Lindh filed a motion seeking his release from prison until his trial begins.
On Capitol Hill, the economic stimulus package appears to be dead. Majority Leader Tom Daschle said today that neither party has the votes to pass their competing measure and the bill will probably be shelved. A little while ago, President Bush reacted to the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We got a good bill out of House. And I believed that we had a good chance to get a good bill out of the Senate. Last fall, there was enough votes to pass the bill. And I'm just disappointed. I think we need a good stimulus package.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODRUFF: Minority Leader Trent Lott responded to Senator Daschle's announcement by saying quote: "The Daschle Democrats, in a cynical effort to score political points against this president, have chosen to fire a direct shot into a limping economy by killing the economic stimulus package" -- end quote.
Well, the president traveled today to Pennsylvania to focus on the threat of bioterrorism. Mr. Bush's new budget calls, among other things, for spending $6 billion on new bioterrorism prevention efforts, an increase of more than 300 percent.
Joining me now from New York with more on the bioterror threat is Margaret Hamburg. She is a vice president at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which is a foundation dedicated to reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The foundation, we note, is funded by CNN founder Ted Turner.
Margaret Hamburg, is this $6 billion enough?
MARGARET HAMBURG, NUCLEAR THREAT INITIATIVE: It is certainly an excellent start.
I can tell you that, in the days before September 11 and the anthrax attacks, it was more money than we ever dreamed we would get for bioterrorism. It's a critical need. It's a real and growing threat. And I think this money will enable us, if spent wisely and effectively, to really build the foundation to be a nation better prepared. WOODRUFF: Who is going to decide whether it is spent wisely and effectively?
HAMBURG: Well, clearly there needs to be a plan, a long-term plan that makes sure that there is not duplication of effort, nor are there critical gaps that are left open.
We need to make sure that the money is sustained over time. And there do need to be clearly-defined goals, benchmarks, performance measures, what have you, to evaluate progress so that resources can be redirected, programs can be modified as the programs develop. This isn't going to something that happens overnight. We have a long way to go.
We have some good programs in place. Some of those just need to be strengthened or extended. There's some new work that needs to be done. But I think this is first time that we are really seeing the kind of infusion of money that will really enable us, in a comprehensive way, to address the public health needs, the health care system needs, the research needs and the communication needs, all of which are critical, and all of which we could see weren't adequately supported during the anthrax attacks of the fall.
WOODRUFF: Well, while these funds the president wants to spend, Dr. Hamburg, we also see that the Centers for Disease Control, dealing with other types of public health threats, are facing a cut. Are these priorities correct, in your opinion?
HAMBURG: Well, I think that is a real concern. And we really need to look closely at the budget and make sure that we are not robbing from Peter to pay Paul, and that we are not inadvertently undermining our own best interests.
For example, in addition to the CDC cut, some of the cuts Medicare may really put new pressures on hospitals that need to be part of our system for emergency response and ongoing care in a catastrophic terrorist event, but are very, very hard-pressed in terms of day-to-day management and cost-containment issues. So it needs to be a comprehensive program.
And we certainly need to think about the investments in bioterrorism as part of our national security agenda and not take from other critical health care programs.
WOODRUFF: In the last analysis, is it going to be enough to look for federal money here and even state money? Or is the private sector going to have to pitch in as well?
HAMBURG: Well, both in terms of resources and in terms of response, it needs to a partnership, private and public. And it needs to certainly be across all levels of government. In the final analysis, response is always local, but you can't prepare for some of the kinds of threats we are talking about on your own in a given locality. You are going to need to have the assets of state and federal government brought to bear, as well us out of the private sector. WOODRUFF: All right, Margaret Hamburg is with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. We thank you very much. Good to see you.
HAMBURG: Thank you. Good to see you.
WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.
Just ahead, Enron as political theater: the witnesses and the multiple hearings now under way on Capitol Hill.
WOODRUFF: In a clear sign of the political fallout from the collapse of Enron, a company that gave $6 billion to politicians over the last 10 years, our Capitol Hill producers, Ted Barrett and Dana Bash, telling us that a meeting of House Republican leaders has just broken up: the Republicans, including Tom DeLay, announcing that campaign finance reform will come up on the floor of the House this coming Monday. After weeks and months of putting the issue off, it will come up on Monday. And, in words of the house minority whip, Mr. DeLay, it will be very hard to defeat it.
Well, mindful of that, on Capitol Hill this week, you don't have to go very far or wait very long to encounter yet another hearing on the collapse of Enron. Is that the sign of a thorough investigation or a sign of political posturing?
Here now our national correspondent Bruce Morton.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be a whole series of fun and games before we're through here, but...
BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's thing Enron hearing -- well, it's today's Enron hearing. It's an Enron hearing. We may have lots. Nine committees, by our count, have scheduled Enron hearings. Nine? Nine. Have a look. Why so many?
Well, committee chairmen like publicity, of course, but Enron really does cover a lot of areas: 401(k) reform, campaign finance, accounting practices, and so on.
THOMAS MANN, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: There's a wide range of policy issues at stake here. And their responsibilities as chair is to jump on something like this. So I think ego plays a role, but less of a role than the seriousness and range of the issues at hand.
MORTON: Congress could form a select committee, hold one set of hearings.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they get a select committee, it would suit me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I join you in hoping we'll have a select committee appointed. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the president know and when did he know it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: A Senate select committee investigated the Watergate scandal back during Richard Nixon's presidency, but that really was about one thing. A select committee investigated the Iran-Contra hearings during Ronald Reagan's presidency. But, again, that was one story: selling arms to Iran and using the money to arm anti-government rebels in Nicaragua.
Whitewater, regular committees investigated. This time, Thomas Mann thinks one select committee would be wrong.
MANN: It may look neat. It may avoid some duplication and overlap, but it's less likely to produce constructive results.
MORTON: Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle isn't sure yet.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: I want to see how this plays out before we come to any final decision.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The committee...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... will come to order. The chair recognizes himself...
MORTON: OK, nine committees, maybe more. It is a big story and it really does affect a lot of people, unlike, say, who Monica hugged.
MANN: If you look back over the last decade or two and seen the trivial matters that have occupied congressional investigations, really sort of partisan food-fights, this looks so much more important and constructive. So politicians have an incentive to rush into it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be a whole series of fun and games before we're through here.
MORTON: Let's the games -- uh, hearings begin.
Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.
WOODRUFF: CNN's coverage continues now with WOLF BLITZER REPORTS. Thanks for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.
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