Senate Energy Committee Chairman Frank Murkowski (R-AK) onFriday asked President Clinton to delay swearing in Bill Richardsonto head the Department of Energy until the committee has had anopportunity to review allegations that he may have lied during hisconfirmation hearing about a job offer that was made to MonicaLewinsky.

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

“This article raises serious questions that are the obligationof this committee to explore. I cannot say whether AmbassadorRichardson lied under oath, as this story asserts, but it is myresponsibility to find out,” Murkowski said.

“I intend to pursue these accusations in a fair and expeditiousmanner. But I do not intend to pass early judgment. AmbassadorRichardson testified under oath, and until all the facts come in, Iwill accept his word as the truth.”

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