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Senate Proceeding on May 12th, 2011 :: 5:18:35 to 5:25:10
Total video length: 8 hours 26 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Johnny Isakson

5:18:32 to 5:18:53( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: mr. isakson: thank you, madam chairman. mr. president, on certain occasions in the life of a public official, one is called upon to make difficult decisions and unpleasant ones. such is the case of the six members of the united states ethics committee today. but we recognize it's essential that the institution, this

Johnny Isakson

5:18:35 to 5:25:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Johnny Isakson

Johnny Isakson

5:18:54 to 5:19:16( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: senate, that passes the laws that all our citizens must live under must also enforce those laws and rules of standard and conduct which we impose upon ourselves. it's a solemn responsibility, but it's important to the integrity and the future of this institution. the senate ethics committee looks upon itself as an advisory board and a source of

Johnny Isakson

5:19:17 to 5:19:38( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: information and counsel to our members. we ask members to come to us when there are questions about the potential ethical violation of a decision or even something that might in passing may seem to be trivial. our job is to make sure in our case that everybody that has a question gets an answer and no one unwillingly gets caught in

Johnny Isakson

5:19:39 to 5:19:59( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: an unethical situation. but it is also our responsibility when complaints are filed to follow up on those complaints, and if we find merit in the complaint, to enter an initial investigatory period of time, which if that information bears enough likelihood that a violation has occurred, to ultimately go to an adjudicatory phase and then finally a

Johnny Isakson

5:20:00 to 5:20:20( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: decision on the floor of the senate. it is rare -- and i can tell you personally, it's a situation i hope i'm never involved in again, but as i said, it's an essential process to the integrity of this body. when the particular complaint in question in the ensign to us, it was, like any other case, reviewed on an initial standpoint to determine whether

Johnny Isakson

5:20:21 to 5:20:43( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: or not it even merited an investigation. after the initial investigation determined that it did merit that, the senate staff did an overwhelming and wonderful job of gathering information and evidence and gathering testimony to help us get to a position to begin to make a decision whether we could go further in the case. but we didn't rely just on ourselves.

Johnny Isakson

5:20:44 to 5:21:04( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: we computers and technology so that the over 500,000 documents that were reviewed and crossreferenced had a forensic test to them, and we k we were dealing with and how it was dealt with. we went to the case of hiring a special counsel, which is a rare thing for the senate ethics committee to do, but it was essential because of where the evidence and the testimony was

Johnny Isakson

5:21:05 to 5:21:26( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: leading the committee. and i want to say at this point in time that i have known a lot of lawyers in my day, ones i've hired and ones i have been on the other side of the deposition table from. i have never known anybody more professional or whose ability i admired more than carol elder bruce, and i want to commend her on the floor of the senate today. it was her report which we are

Johnny Isakson

5:21:27 to 5:21:48( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: also submitting with the referrals today that indicate that we have looked to see that there was reasonable evidence to conclude that a violation may have occurred. the ultimate decision on that will be up to the united states department of justice, and it will be up to the federal election commission. but the report clearly indicates that the senate committee did

Johnny Isakson

5:21:49 to 5:22:09( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: not act on what it thought or an opinion or whim. it acted on facts determined through hundreds of interviews, 500,000 documents that were examined and testimony that came to our committee. it is the hope of the chairman and myself and each member of the committee that every member recognizes the senate ethics committee wants to be a source

Johnny Isakson

5:22:10 to 5:22:30( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: of information, advice and counsel to see to it this institution always rises to the occasion as the most ethical body in our government. but we will as a committee, if it becomes necessary and the evidence finds that to be true, that we will pursue our responsibility as a committee and we'll do what was required

Johnny Isakson

5:22:31 to 5:22:51( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: of us in this body. mr. president, i want to thank chairman boxer for the method in which she has handled this from the beginning to the end, and laura schiller who has been her aide throughout and helpful. as i also want to commend joan, gene and chris for their tireless effort. the members of the committee should also be commended for

Johnny Isakson

5:22:52 to 5:23:13( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: their hard work, and it has been hard work. ben cardin has been a tremendous legal mind for us. sherrod brown has been an insightful person to ferret out information and guide us in the right direction. my dear friend, senator roberts, who is the dean of the members of the ethics committee. on the floor today is senator roberts, senator cardin and senator brown.

Johnny Isakson

5:23:14 to 5:23:35( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: senator risch from idaho is not here but deserves equal credit. as the chairman said, his legal mind and insightful nature helped us come to the conclusion that is we came to today. i want to repeat my thanks to carol elder bruce for the tremendous efforts in the work she did as well as brian, mike and john longstreth who have all worked with her legal team.

Johnny Isakson

5:23:36 to 5:23:58( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: the staff of the ethics committee. our staff director, john sassman has seen to it that every i was dotted, every t was crossed and the committee did its job. i will end where i began. no one in public office volunteers for the type of responsibilities that we have

Johnny Isakson

5:23:59 to 5:24:19( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: had in the case of senator ensign, but all of us took that responsibility when it came upon us, recognizing the integrity of the senate and the integrity of our decision was important on the future of this body. as sad as the dliks were and the ultimate result was, it was proof that this senate and its ethics committee can stand and

Johnny Isakson

5:24:20 to 5:24:42( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: do the effort necessary to see to it this institution's integrity proceeds in the future uninhibited and unendangered. mr. chairman, mr. president, with that remark, unless there is a member who would like to spea of a quorum. the presiding o

Johnny Isakson

5:24:43 to 5:24:48( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: will call the roll.

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