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Richardson Accused of Lying at Confirmation Hearing

Richardson Accused of Lying at Confirmation Hearing

Senate Energy Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) on Friday asked President Clinton to delay swearing in Bill Richardson to head the Department of Energy until the committee has had an opportunity to review allegations that he may have lied during his confirmation hearing about a job offer that was made to Monica Lewinsky.

Murkowski sent the letter after the Washington Times reported that Richardson, currently U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, may have perjured himself during testimony given during his confirmation hearing on July 29th. At the hearing, Richardson said he offered the former White House intern a $30,000-a-year job but that she turned it down. He indicated that he was not ordered by the White House to offer her a position as a quid pro quo for her silence about an alleged affair with Clinton.

"This article raises serious questions that are the obligation of this committee to explore. I cannot say whether Ambassador Richardson lied under oath, as this story asserts, but it is my responsibility to find out," Murkowski said.

"I intend to pursue these accusations in a fair and expeditious manner. But I do not intend to pass early judgment. Ambassador Richardson testified under oath, and until all the facts come in, I will accept his word as the truth."

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