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GOP Documents Incomplete, Probe Panel's Democrats Charge

May 30, 1997| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats complained Thursday that the Republican Party sent incomplete documents in response to a subpoena from a committee investigating campaign finance abuses.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Mary Crawford said the committee deleted nothing relevant to the investigation.

"It's an insult," Sen. John Glenn of Ohio, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee's ranking Democrat, said in a written statement.

The panel is trying to determine whether Republicans used other organizations, including tax-exempt entities, to skirt contribution limits set by federal election law.

Democratic committee staff members, who would not allow their names to be used, said the Republicans initially sent four boxes of materials. The Democrats estimated that a quarter of the documents contained material that had been eliminated.

"The material not redacted included form letters, very basic information," one staffer said. "The documents with internal deliberations on subjects like soft money" had key sections taken out, he said. Soft money refers to contributions to political parties by corporations, unions and wealthy donors that are not subject to donation limits.

Paul Clark, spokesman for Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), said Republicans "haven't seen the papers. The committee, under chairman Thompson, is going to look at each subpoena production equally. We had the same problem with the White House, and it took a long time to get that straightened out."

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