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Landing at PSI

  • Elise J. Bean
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter recounts how Senator Carl Levin became the senior Democrat on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) and assembled an investigative team. It lists a dozen Levin Principles on effective oversight and explains how those principles informed his investigations. In addition, the chapter traces PSI’s history and evolution, including its promising origin under Senator Harry Truman, disastrous experience under Senator Joe McCarthy, and recovery under a line of leaders who turned it into the Senate’s most powerful investigative body with strong bipartisan traditions.

What followed next was 15 years of big-league investigations by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, known to insiders as PSI. PSI has long been seen as the Senate’s premier investigative panel with decades of bipartisan, hard-hitting, high-quality oversight inquiries.

PSI originated as a temporary investigative committee, led by then Senator Harry Truman, to examine war profiteering during World War II. It later became a “permanent” subcommittee and built a formidable reputation taking on Nazi war criminals, political corruption, and organized crime. In 1954, it faltered when, for two years, Senator Joe McCarthy conducted a series of investigations so offensive they corroded the PSI brand. After his departure, PSI slowly rebuilt its credibility with high-profile investigations into labor racketeering, the mafia, drug trafficking, and white-collar crime. PSI also examined such matters as the U.S. race riots in the 1960s, gasoline shortages in the 1970s, and money laundering in the 1980s.

Senator Levin claimed his PSI leadership spot in 1999. For the rest of his Senate career, he used his position on PSI to conduct one high-stakes inquiry after another. He exposed tax cheats hiding money offshore, credit card companies abusing American families, money launderers misusing U.S. financial institutions, Wall Street banks generating the financial crisis that devastated middle America, multinational corporations gaming the tax system, and more. His investigations targeted some of the most powerful corporations in America, including Apple, Citibank, Enron, and Goldman Sachs, as well as tax-cheating billionaires, corrupt foreign dictators, and bankers behaving badly.

Through it all, Senator Levin burnished PSI’s reputation for fact-based, bipartisan inquiries that not only exposed wrongdoing, but also pushed for policy reforms. As one opponent quipped during the Levin era: “PSI stands for pretty scary investigations.”1

Distilling the Levin Principles

I was lucky enough to have a front-row seat during the whole of the Levin years on PSI, first as a Levin investigator and later as his staff director and chief counsel. Over time, as one investigation rolled into the next, the Levin PSI team built up a set of principles that guided our oversight efforts. They functioned as informal supplements to our official committee and subcommittee rules. What follows is a distillation of a dozen of what I think of as the key Levin Principles for delivering high-quality congressional oversight.

The Levin Principles

  1. 1.

    Apply the Two-Year Rule. Given limited resources, the Levin PSI team could conduct only a few investigations each year, so selecting our investigative topics was a crucial first step. While many factors were weighed, one important one was whether the subject was worth two years of intensive effort out of our lives, because that would be the minimum amount of time involved. We found that evaluating an investigative topic in terms of the time taken from our own lives helped focus the mind.

     
  2. 2.

    Conduct Original Research. Our second principle was to use PSI resources to conduct research that hadn’t been done before. Too many congressional inquiries consist of little more than asking experts to describe prior research. Senator Levin didn’t want a regurgitation of what was already known. He wanted new information.

     
  3. 3.

    Focus on the Facts. Third, Levin inquiries focused on compiling factual information. The world is a complicated place, and problems worth investigating typically have layers of complexity. A good investigation has to dig through those layers to figure out what happened and why. Reaching bipartisan agreement on the key facts underlying important issues is usually a difficult process. Once accomplished, however, bipartisan factual findings provide a solid foundation for informed public policy.

     
  4. 4.

    Use Case Studies. Every Levin investigation used case studies to investigate and analyze targeted problems. Too many congressional investigations allow witnesses to spout generalities and platitudes when asked about an issue. We learned those generalities rarely reflected how things really worked. Detailed case studies, on the other hand, typically exposed the true nature of the problems in question.

     
  5. 5.

    Be Relentlessly Bipartisan. One of the most important Levin principles was to conduct investigations that were relentlessly bipartisan. All documents were shared. Key interviews had both sides present. Interview questions were shared beforehand. Everyone was encouraged to ask as many questions as it took to reach consensus on the facts. Our bottom line was that investigators with political differences had to investigate together, reviewing the same evidence at the same time, if they were ever to agree on the facts. More, we learned that investigators with different viewpoints produced more thorough, accurate, and credible fact-finding.

     
  6. 6.

    Take the Time. Another key lesson was that bipartisan investigations required time to succeed. Two weeks wasn’t enough. Neither was two months. Enabling investigators to build sufficient bipartisan trust to come to agreement on a complex set of facts typically took a year. That was the cold, hard truth, even in inquiries that proceeded at the grueling pace of most PSI investigations. To succeed, we had to take the time.

     
  7. 7.

    Listen to All Sides. Still another key principle was that investigators had to listen to all parties. Our rule was not to go public with negative information about anyone unless we first gave them an opportunity to present their side of the story. The resulting investigation took longer, but it afforded everyone a fair shot and produced a more accurate and complete picture of the facts.

     
  8. 8.

    Maintain Confidentiality. Another critical principle was confidentiality. Confidential investigations enabled our investigators to follow the facts wherever they led and to change their minds about what was important and why. Confidentiality allowed the investigative team to drop witnesses, reverse directions, and develop new leads without having to justify each step in public, expose innocent parties to public scrutiny, or publicly spar with opponents seeking to disrupt the inquiry. The PSI team wasn’t always successful at preventing leaks, sometimes because our targets used leaks to try to spin information to their advantage. But we did our best to keep our investigations quiet until we were ready to go public.

     
  9. 9.

    Write It Up. The next key Levin principle was to write up the investigative results. Hearings can produce a truncated, even distorted picture of an inquiry. To prevent that outcome, almost all Levin investigations included a detailed report, complete with footnotes identifying the source of every fact in the text. Writing the report was often the toughest part of the investigation, necessitating months of agonizing work. But the pain was counterbalanced by the benefits—capturing months or years of work with accuracy, getting clear bipartisan agreement on the facts, and providing context to understand the issues and events. We had many rules about how PSI reports were organized, footnoted, and reviewed. We usually made explicit factual findings and recommendations. We also typically shared key parts of the report with the targets 24 hours before its release, to alert them to our findings and provide an opportunity to identify any errors. The final result was a bipartisan product that informed the public about a complex problem and possible solutions, an educational undertaking which we saw as PSI’s single most important function.

     
  10. 10.

    Use Hearings to Effect Change. In addition to a report, Senator Levin almost always held a hearing on the results of an investigation. The hearing wasn’t intended simply to trumpet the findings. It was also designed to effect change. One key step was to give the witnesses ample notice of the hearing so they could prepare for it. Human nature being what it is, we knew many witnesses would use the time to come up with solutions that could be announced at the hearing. That meant the resulting hearing could expose not only an important problem, but also what could be done about it, including commitments for future action.

     
  11. 11.

    Take on the Tough Guys. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the Levin approach was his commitment to taking on the tough guys—the big institutions, the CEOs, the bullies no one else had faced down. Names were named in our reports, and wrongdoers typically hauled in for a public hearing. The goal was not to berate the witnesses, but to hold them accountable for their actions. Forced to confront their own actions, a number of the tough guys chose to acknowledge wrongdoing and announce changes in policy or practice.

     
  12. 12.

    Tackle the Problems. The final Levin principle was that every investigation had to tackle the problems identified. Too often, congressional inquiries stop after exposing problems or make only a faint-hearted effort to right the wrongs uncovered. In contrast, Senator Levin saw tackling the identified problems as an essential part of the investigative process. Our rule of thumb was to spend at least two years trying to fix the problems, using the report recommendations as a road map. We referred wrongdoers to law enforcement and pushed for reforms through legislation, regulations, and better policies and practices in both the public and private sectors.

     

These dozen principles evolved over time, arising from our mistakes as well as our successes. While we never reduced them to writing, we often discussed how we should handle various issues to ensure we were conducting our investigations in a consistent, effective, and fair way. We consciously worked to develop standard practices to guide our actions. The Levin Principles served us well.

The remainder of this book recounts how the Levin Principles played out in actual PSI investigations over time. But before diving into those specific inquiries is the series of events that led to Senator Levin’s landing his leadership slot at PSI in the first place.

Jumping to PSI

Senator Levin’s move from the Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee to the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations came in two stages.

The first was in 1997, when Senator Fred Thompson, then Republican chair of the full Governmental Affairs Committee, decided to commandeer key portions of OGM’s jurisdiction, including contract and ethics issues, for handling at the full committee level. After reducing OGM’s jurisdiction, he also clipped its budget. Since Senator Levin was by then an OGM fixture, having held OGM leadership posts for 18 years, no one thought he’d jump ship from the subcommittee designed for him. But with less money and jurisdiction, that’s just what he did.

When the 105th Congress convened in January 1997, Senator Levin invoked his seniority to become ranking minority member on a new Subcommittee on Proliferation, Federal Services, and the District of Columbia. Linda and I promptly moved to the new subcommittee’s offices.

The subcommittee chair was Senator Thad Cochran from Mississippi, an active, intelligent Republican senator with a courteous staff. While our first year on the subcommittee was consumed by the campaign finance investigation described earlier, the next year we began investigating the export of so-called “dual use” technologies suitable for both military and non-military use. The issue had arisen because dual use computers were being exported to China, raising national security concerns on both sides of the aisle.

The Cochran-Levin partnership was cut short, however, because, in 1997, Senator John Glenn, a Democrat from Ohio, announced he was retiring from the Senate at the end of 1998. At the time, he was the ranking Democrat on both the full Governmental Affairs Committee and on PSI. His retirement meant both slots would open.

As the next most senior Democrat on the committee, Senator Levin could step into Senator Glenn ’s shoes and claim both leadership posts. But there was a complicating factor. A few months after the Glenn announcement, Senator Sam Nunn, ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that he, too, was retiring, which meant Senator Levin would be the most senior Democrat on that committee as well.

The Armed Services Committee was one of the most powerful in the Senate, overseeing U.S. military operations around the world and defense spending involving hundreds of billions of dollars. Leading it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But under Democratic Party rules, Senator Levin couldn’t lead two full committees at the same time. If he took the ranking minority member post on Armed Services, he couldn’t hold the same position on Governmental Affairs; he would have to choose between the two committees.

After weeks of deliberation, Senator Levin took the leadership post on the Armed Services Committee, bypassing that position on the Governmental Affairs Committee. He took the ranking slot on the PSI subcommittee instead. Linda and I prepared to jump a second time.

Tracing PSI’s Origins and History

Relinquishing the leadership post on the full Governmental Affairs Committee was a hard decision, but PSI was an exceptional consolation prize. Excited to join such a celebrated Senate institution, I took some time to delve into its origins and history. I learned to my surprise that PSI’s past was more checkered than I thought.

Its history began in 1941, when the Senate established a temporary investigative body called the Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program.2 Chaired by Senator Harry Truman, it soon became known as the Truman Committee. Senator Truman used it to traverse the United States rooting out instances of war profiteering, waste, fraud, and abuse during World War II. His investigations became famous for exposing waste and wrongdoing in U.S. defense operations, recommending reforms, and taking a responsible, bipartisan approach to oversight.3 His work helped propel his selection as vice president by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1944. After President Roosevelt’s death the following year, Vice President Truman assumed the presidency.

The Truman Committee continued to battle defense-related misconduct for several years after Senator Truman left. When it completed its work in 1948, among other accomplishments, it was credited with producing an overhaul of the military contracting system estimated to have saved the Defense Department $250 million; increasing production of aluminum, steel, and other metals needed in the war effort; and reorganizing the Navy’s Bureau of Ships. Altogether, it had held 450 public hearings and 300 executive sessions, while issuing 50 reports.4

Upon completing its work, the Truman Committee became subject to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, which required Congress’ standing committees to conduct oversight investigations and withdrew authorization for its many temporary investigative committees.5 Out of respect for the Truman Committee, however, Senator George Aiken, chair of the then-named Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments, did not disband the committee, but merged it with a subcommittee.6 The renamed “Subcommittee on Investigations” was assigned a broad jurisdiction allowing it to investigate “the operation of the executive branch of the Government at all levels to determine its economy and efficiency,”7 including, as the full committee later put it, instances of “fraud, malfeasance, collusion, corrupt or unethical practices and waste and extravagance in transactions, contracts, and activities.”8

During its first year, the new subcommittee was chaired by Senator Homer Ferguson, a Michigan Republican who’d served on the Truman Committee and also served as head of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. During his one-year tenure, he held two high-profile hearings. The first examined issues related to two suspected Soviet spies, Elizabeth Bentley and William Remington, who were called to testify.9 The second examined actions taken by the American military related to a Nazi war criminal, Ilse Koch known as the Beast of Buchenwald, whose sentence of life imprisonment had been mysteriously shortened to four years.10 The two hearings provided an auspicious start for the new investigative subcommittee.

The subcommittee’s next chair was Senator Clyde R. Hoey of North Carolina, who held the post from 1949 to 1952. His best-known investigation exposed the so-called Five Percenters, Washington lobbyists who helped clients obtain federal contracts in exchange for 5% of the contract profits. Emblematic of the crass corruption going on was the disclosure that some Five Percenter lobbyists were supplying some government officials with expensive “deep freezers” for storing food.11 Another Hoey hearing that attracted attention examined the illegal “sale” of rural postal jobs by the Mississippi Democratic Party, featuring testimony from persons who had “purchased” their posts.12

Around the same time, a new ad hoc Senate investigative committee began an inquiry that would eventually lead to an expansion of PSI’s jurisdiction. Formed in 1950, the Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce was chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee.13 Known as the Kefauver Committee, it held hearings across the country, exposing wrongdoing by organized crime and taking testimony from notorious mobsters as well as “bookies, pimps, and gangland enforcers.” Many of its hearings were televised, attracting the first huge television audiences to Senate hearings. The committee probed local organized crime syndicates across the United States and documented “shocking corruption in local government” allowing the syndicates to operate, leading to “numerous local indictments.”14 After issuing several reports, the committee disbanded. Later, its mandate to investigate organized crime affecting interstate commerce was transferred to the Subcommittee on Investigations.15

Sometime around 1952, the subcommittee underwent a second name change, becoming the “Permanent” Subcommittee on Investigations, to distinguish it from the Senate’s many temporary committees that were formed to conduct a single investigation and then disappear. The new name signaled that PSI was intended to remain in existence from Congress to Congress, building its expertise in conducting oversight investigations.

Surviving McCarthy

Despite the impressive first five years of the Subcommittee on Investigations, once it became “Permanent,” PSI’s reputation took a nosedive. Its first chair became its most infamous: Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin, who held sway over PSI for only 2 years from 1953 to 1954, but engaged in a litany of investigative abuses so offensive they still reverberate more than 60 years later.16 Paradoxically, Senator McCarthy ’s misdeeds also served as a catalyst for rule changes that caused PSI to evolve into one of the most bipartisan operations in Congress today.

Senator McCarthy began his political career as a Democrat, but later switched to the Republican Party. He won his first election as a circuit judge in 1937, at age 29. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps to fight in World War II. In 1945, he returned home and re-entered politics. In 1946, in a Republican primary, he unexpectedly defeated respected Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette Jr. and went on to win the general election for Senate.

His first four years as a U.S. senator were relatively quiet, but in 1950, in a Lincoln Day speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, Senator McCarthy claimed to have a list of 205 Communists working in the State Department under President Truman . The Red Scare was on.

Over the next two years, Senator McCarthy became a leading voice in the anti-Communist movement then sweeping the country, easily winning re-election in 1952. His re-election was part of a wave of Republican victories that helped Republicans regain the Senate majority for only the second time in 20 years, on a razor-thin margin of 48–47 plus one Republican-leaning independent. As a member of the majority party, Senator McCarthy won a spot as chair of the newly named Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He immediately launched a PSI investigation into alleged Communist influence on the U.S. government, even though the newly elected President Dwight Eisenhower was a member of his own party.

During the course of his controversial investigation, Senator McCarthy held 161 hearings behind closed doors and interrogated nearly 500 individuals, including well-known figures such as Aaron Copland, Dashiell Hammett, and Langston Hughes, along with government employees, labor organizers, and Army officers. The closed-door hearing transcripts, released by PSI in 2003, disclosed that Senator McCarthy browbeat witnesses, grilled them about their political beliefs, families, and past associations, and threatened them with imprisonment—sometimes for holding unpopular views and sometimes for resisting the government’s authority to probe their personal lives.17

Senator McCarthy also held public hearings, many televised, pursuing allegations of Communist subversion of U.S. agencies, including the State Department, Army Signal Corps, and Government Printing Office. In April 1954, he held a 35-day series of hearings on alleged Communist infiltration of the U.S. Army before a television audience estimated at 20 million.18 Due to the blatant unfairness of the proceedings, which included Senator McCarthy badgering and berating witnesses, the hearings undercut much of his public support. It was in one of those televised hearings that a witness, Joseph Nye Welch, famously asked the senator: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”19

Senator McCarthy ’s two-year tenure as PSI chair was marked by rocky relations with the subcommittee’s other members, due among other reasons to his failure to share information, outrageous conduct, appearing inebriated at some hearings, and abrasive staff. At the time, he controlled the hiring of all subcommittee personnel. His majority staff director, Roy Cohn, was just 26 years old and widely disliked. Perhaps his most famous hire was Robert Kennedy, an ardent anti-Communist who joined the PSI staff in 1953, at about the same age as Cohn. Cohen and Kennedy apparently acquired a quick distaste for each other and ultimately engaged in a fist fight that led to Kennedy’s quitting the subcommittee.20

In July 1953, the three Democrats on PSI, Senators John McClellan of Arkansas, Henry (“Scoop”) Jackson of Washington, and Stuart Symington of Missouri, resigned en masse and refused to attend future hearings. Their resignations failed, however, to deter Senator McCarthy who barreled ahead with more closed-door and public hearings.

One constraint on his conduct was a string of unexpected deaths that kept Republican control over the U.S. Senate on a knife’s edge. During the course of the 83rd Congress from 1953 through 1954, nine senators died in office and were replaced by individuals who either extended the Republicans’ one-seat margin or left the Senate equally divided with an independent deciding the status of the majority party.21 For example, in July 1953, the same month the three Democrats resigned from PSI, Republican Senate Majority Leader Robert A. Taft died in office, leaving Republicans with two open seats, a 46–47 split between the parties, and a wavering independent. Senator Taft was later replaced by a Democrat.

Given the uncertain circumstances, to ensure approval of PSI’s budget in 1954, Senator McCarthy needed his Democratic counterparts to support his budget request. The Democrats conditioned their support upon his giving them authority to hire their own staff. Having little choice, Senator McCarthy agreed. In response, the Democrats supported the PSI budget request and hired Robert Kennedy as PSI’s first minority counsel.22

On July 30, 1954, Republican Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont filed a Senate resolution seeking censure of Senator McCarthy ’s increasingly offensive conduct, and the Senate formed a special committee to examine the charges.23 Senator McCarthy attacked the committee, calling it an “unwitting handmaiden” of Communism. In November, elections returned the Democrats to majority status in the Senate by a one-vote margin of 48–47.24 The results meant that, in the next Congress, Senator McCarthy would lose the PSI chair, though he’d remain senior Republican on the subcommittee. In December 1954, by a vote of 67–22, the Senate approved a resolution censuring Senator McCarthy for conduct “contrary to senatorial traditions.” After the censure, his influence collapsed. Senator McCarthy died three years later, on May 2, 1957, at age 48, of ailments triggered by alcoholism.25

In the 84th Congress, in response to Senator McCarthy ’s malfeasance, the members of PSI amended the subcommittee’s rules to reinstate a more bipartisan approach and prevent investigative abuses. Among other changes, the new rules required a quorum of members to be present to hold a hearing, barred confidential testimony unless authorized by a subcommittee majority, and enabled a unanimous subcommittee minority to block a public hearing unless supported by a full committee vote. The new rules also gave both parties full access to all information in the subcommittee’s possession and confirmed the minority’s right to hire staff.26

The McCarthy years represented the nadir of PSI’s influence and respect. “McCarthyism” has since become synonymous with abusive investigations—excessive secrecy, unsubstantiated accusations, the bullying of witnesses, inadequate due process, and disrespect for individuals holding unpopular views. While the McCarthy years ravaged PSI’s reputation, they also revived and gave new urgency to the earlier Truman approach, with its emphasis on responsible, bipartisan oversight. In the end, the McCarthy years appear to have burned into the consciousness of every PSI leader the need to conduct responsible investigations.

Rebuilding PSI

Rebuilding PSI after the McCarthy debacle took time. Luckily, his immediate successor was Senator John McClellan of Arkansas who would turn out to be PSI’s longest sitting chair, holding the subcommittee’s helm for the next 18 years, from 1955 to 1972. During his tenure, Senator McClellan restored PSI’s reputation for responsible investigations and strengthened its staff expertise, while also increasing the subcommittee’s jurisdictional reach.

A key part of his work, from 1957 to 1961, came from chairing a separate temporary investigative committee, the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field, which was formed after PSI uncovered troubling information warranting an in-depth investigation.27 Including senators from PSI and the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, the select committee launched an inquiry into the extent to which organized crime and criminal practices were influencing labor unions, including issues related to labor racketeering. For the next three years, the select committee operated out of PSI offices and shared PSI personnel, including Robert Kennedy who acted as chief counsel for both bodies. Senator McClellan led both PSI and the new select committee.

Over three years, the select committee held 270 days of hearings, took testimony from over 1500 witnesses, and served over 8000 subpoenas, including taking testimony from Jimmy Hoffa, head of the Teamsters labor union.28 At its height, it had over 100 staffers located in PSI’s Washington office as well as in field offices across the country. Upon its dissolution, the select committee’s files and jurisdiction were transferred to PSI, which gained new authority to investigate criminal activity affecting labor-management relations. In addition, the investigation contributed to enactment of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act, to curb labor union misconduct.

Senator McClellan also delved more deeply into issues associated with organized crime. Following up on the Kefauver hearings, he held a famous series of PSI hearings in 1963 known as the “Valachi Hearings.”29 They featured a low-level mobster, Joseph Valachi, who provided firsthand testimony about organized crime activities in the United States. He testified about the Mafia’s leadership structure, recruitment and induction practices, alleged code of conduct, and crimes. The hearings encouraged the Department of Justice, then led by Attorney General Robert Kennedy—whose interest in organized crime deepened during his stint at PSI—to set up the first Organized Crime Strike Force. The Justice Department also increased federal organized crime investigations and installed new information-sharing procedures with other law enforcement agencies. In addition, based in part on PSI’s work, Congress enacted the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) provisions of the Crime Control Act of 1970.

Senator McClellan conducted investigations into a wide range of other issues as well. They included key causes of the 1967 riots in U.S. cities, commodities and mortgage fraud involving Texas financier Billie Sol Estes, contract problems at the Department of Defense, narcotics trafficking, and securities and banking fraud.30 Hearings on a labor leader’s alleged misuse of $4 million in union benefit funds contributed to eventual enactment of the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).31 By the time Senator McClellan left office, PSI had regained its stature as Congress’ premier investigative body.

Senator McClellan was followed by a succession of strong PSI leaders who continued the subcommittee’s effective oversight and bipartisan traditions. Henry “Scoop” Jackson of Washington State held the post for five years, from 1973 to 1978, working closely with his Republican counterpart, Senator Charles “Chuck” Percy of Illinois. Together, they held hearings on both majority and minority-led inquiries. They also oversaw a further expansion of PSI’s jurisdiction when, in 1973, the National Security Subcommittee was folded into PSI along with its jurisdiction over national security issues, technology transfer, and international organizations; and in 1974, when energy resources and shortages were added to PSI’s palette.32 The Jackson-Percy investigations included inquiries into U.S. energy shortages after the Arab-Israeli war; federal drug busts of questionable effectiveness; and misconduct associated with the hearing aid industry, arson-for-hire crimes, and illegal insurance schemes.33

After the Jackson-Percy era came the Roth-Nunn era. Beginning in 1978 and continuing for 17 years until 1996, PSI was led by Senator William Roth, a Republican from Delaware, and Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat from Georgia, who traded the chair and ranking positions on PSI three times. Like their predecessors, they worked closely together. They took turns initiating investigations, resulting in both majority and minority-led hearings and reports. Their inquiries included examinations of money laundering, pension fraud, offshore banking and tax evasion, commodity investment and illegal currency frauds, defense procurement problems, insurance fraud, student loan abuses, health care fraud, and corruption in professional boxing.34 Among other accomplishments, their work spurred passage of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, the first statute in the world to make money laundering a crime.

In addition, during his tenure as PSI chair in the 1980s, Senator Roth strengthened the bipartisan nature of the subcommittee’s rules, elevating the role of the minority in setting the subcommittee’s agenda. For example, new rules explicitly gave the minority unilateral authority to initiate its own preliminary inquiries. They also provided that an official PSI investigation—whether majority or minority led—had to be approved by both the majority and minority parties to proceed.35 Those rule changes further cemented the bipartisan nature of PSI investigations.

In 1997, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, became the first woman to chair PSI, holding that post for four years until 2001. Senator John Glenn was her initial ranking member followed by Senator Levin in 1999. During her tenure, Senator Collins turned the PSI spotlight on matters affecting Americans in their day-to-day lives, conducting investigations into such matters as mortgage fraud, phony credentials obtained through the Internet, deceptive sweepstakes promotions, day-trading of securities, securities fraud on the Internet, and fraudulent schemes that crossed international borders.36

Senator Collins had already led PSI for two years when Senator Levin became the subcommittee’s ranking Democrat. In 2001, they would trade the subcommittee’s chair and ranking positions as their respective parties traded majority status in the Senate. Like their predecessors, Senators Collins and Levin would establish a strong working partnership and become a powerful investigative team.

Confronting Mice and Flies

But that was in the future. In January 1999, at the start of the 106th Congress when Senator Levin took his initial leadership post on PSI, the first order of business for Linda and me was to pick up stakes and move to PSI’s offices. For me, it was a culture shock.

In all my years on the Levin team, I’d worked out of fairly modern offices on the upper floors of the bright and airy Hart Senate Office Building. I had a small office with a door, a large sunny window, modular furniture, and well-functioning office equipment.

PSI was different. The PSI office suite was located in Russell, the oldest of the three Senate office buildings. A dimly lit, massive hallway with a downward sloping floor led to the offices, which were nominally on the first floor, but actually sat below ground level.

That became clear upon opening the door to the office suite. The wall opposite the door was lined with multiple, tall windows that let in light, but instead of opening onto a street scene, showed a gray concrete wall that stretched across the entire expanse of windows, about three feet from the window panes. The wall made it clear that the suite of rooms was far below ground. It was only by looking straight up that you could see a thin strip of blue sky. Cars driving on the street produced a thrum of vibration above head-level.

In addition to their subterranean feel, the offices looked like a set out of a 1950s movie. The ceilings were some 15 feet high; the walls were heavy and thick; the floor was a solid slab; and the windows had wooden sashes, wavy glass, and blinds yellowed with age. The carpeting was a threadbare, years-old red weave.

Our suite consisted of three massive, interconnected rooms, the back two of which were linked by an odd side hallway interrupted by five stairs. While the middle room of the three was unobstructed, the rooms on each side had been subdivided into smaller offices using thin, dark wooden paneling hung with hollow doors. Despite a height of about 10 feet, the paneling came nowhere close to the towering ceilings, which meant that all the subdivided offices shared the same empty space above them. Voices echoed across the rooms, with no sound-proofing to stop anyone from hearing everyone else’s conversations.

The three rooms—each of which seemed to need fumigating—were filled with a haphazard collection of scuffed-up desks, industrial gray filing cabinets, and lamps with yellow, stained lampshades. The copying machine was ancient. Mousetraps testified to late-night visitors. A few massive black flies lazily buzzed around the rooms. Adding to the charm was an intermittent low roar from what turned out to be a poorly functioning air-flow system that failed to reduce the large temperature differences between the rooms.

When I first walked into the offices, I was so taken aback I couldn’t say a word. When Linda arrived, however, she breezed in, apparently unfazed. She set up shop in the second of the three rooms and gave me my pick of the subdivided offices in the first room. I selected the one closest to her door. While it was significantly larger than my old office, the negatives included the concrete-walled view, the open-air ceiling, and a broken-down desk.

When the Senate Russell Building first opened in 1909, it was seen as a statement of the United States’ power and wealth, and money was spent on elegant furniture, awe-inspiring windows, and majestic architectural spaces, not to mention marble staircases and floors. But that was then. By 1999, taxpayers showed their disregard for Congress by starving it for funds and expecting government workers to work in shabby, poorly equipped offices.

I had long ago accepted that elegance wasn’t part of the package in government service and found I could work just about anywhere. But there was shabby, and then there was dilapidated. With the PSI offices falling into the latter category, I decided to invest some time and energy into modestly improving our work environment.

I kicked off the effort using a high-tech dolly lent by our prior clerk, Frankie, to go hall shopping. During the first months of a new Congress, as multiple offices changed hands, the hallways became filled with unneeded office furniture marked “return to stock.” Buzzing through the corridors, I quickly located some decent-looking furnishings and swapped them for our sad specimens. The only furniture I couldn’t manage was the big disaster of a desk sitting in my office. As I contemplated its marred surfaces and broken drawers, I realized I’d been passing the office of the official furniture movers, right down the hall from us.

Early the next morning, doughnuts in tow, I introduced myself to our new neighbors. I mentioned that I understood one of the movers was married to a woman in Senator Levin’s mailroom; heads nodded. Then I asked if they could help me move into my office an available desk sitting in a nearby hallway. They knew and I knew that they were not supposed to help me—they were supposed to work on specific offices in a specific sequence. But the guys gave me a big smile and said sure, if they could do it quickly. Ten minutes later, they had the new desk in my office and my old desk out in the hallway, marked for storage.

By the end of my hall-shopping spree, while our offices would never be called attractive, they looked, functioned, and smelled a lot better. My jangling nerves soothed. Over the years, the window views never improved, the room temperatures never evened out, and the huge black flies continued to make sporadic wavering flights through the office. And yet, over time, the PSI offices felt more and more welcoming, providing a hard-boiled, squalid charm that in the end, for me, added to the PSI magic.

Building the Levin Team

Moving to PSI’s offices was a big change. Another was staffing up. Most of the Levin investigative staff had moved on when the Democrats lost majority status in 1996. Linda and I were the only holdovers. We had to build a new team.

In 1999, the Democrats were still the minority party in the Senate, but because the PSI budget was bigger than at our prior subcommittee, Linda had the funds to hire one new staffer. Her pick was Bob Roach, who ended up spending the next 15 years with us and was the best investigator I’ve ever worked with.

Bob was already a PSI employee, having been hired by Senator Glenn . He was a few years older than I—in his mid-forties—medium height, wiry, with black hair in a short military cut, glasses, and a ready grin. His intensity was palpable, as was his sense of humor and good cheer. Before PSI, Bob had worked for several House members known for effective oversight, including Congressmen John Dingell from Michigan and Mike Synar from Oklahoma.

I was to learn that Bob was an investigator’s investigator, relishing the chase after facts and documents, delighting in the battles against powerful interests, and astonishing in his ability to unravel the most complicated schemes. But I didn’t know all that when we first began working together. Instead, we had to overcome a rocky beginning to build what became a rock-solid partnership. As the years went by, Bob not only burnished his reputation as a fearsome investigator, he became central to the ethical compass and intangible fighting spirit of PSI.

Another new partner in 1999 was the PSI clerk, Mary Robertson. Subcommittee clerks handle administrative duties for both sides of the aisle, so she worked for both Senator Collins and Senator Levin, with her salary split between the two.

I learned that Mary was one of two long-time clerks in PSI’s history. The first, Ruth Young Watt, had held the job for 31 years from 1948 to 1979, followed by three short-timers.37 Mary had begun her PSI career working for Ruth as a 1973 summer intern, later became a full-time assistant clerk, and then outlasted the short-timers to become chief clerk in 1987. Her tenure had already encompassed six of PSI’s leaders: Senators Jackson, Percy, Roth, Nunn, Collins , and Glenn . By the time we got there, Mary had already seen over two decades of PSI investigative effort and knew how everything was supposed to work.

Mary was my age—in her early forties—with brown hair, a solid frame, and endless energy. Her grasp of issues was immediate, and she had no time for incompetence, delay, or deception. She ended up spending a total of 39 years at PSI, including all 15 years of the Levin era. But it wasn’t just her longevity that made Mary indispensible. What mattered was that she set impossibly high standards, met them, encouraged others to do the same, and acted with such integrity that she became the subcommittee’s institutional memory, as well as an honest broker who kept PSI humming on a bipartisan basis.

In 2001, Linda added another investigator to our team, Laura Stuber, who also became a long-term PSI staffer. Laura came from Senator Levin’s personal staff. She was younger than me—in her early thirties—slim, cheerful, and generally unflappable. She’d worked previously as a prosecutor in Kansas. She was self-directed, completed tasks promptly, and could whip a team of inexperienced investigators into shape, convincing them to work long hours and produce results that amazed even themselves. Over the years, she became an expert on money laundering investigations, gathering evidence that produced some of our most powerful hearings.

We five made up the core of the Levin PSI team—Linda as staff director and chief counsel, me as her deputy, Bob as chief investigator, Laura as our investigative counsel, and Mary as our clerk. A few years later, in 2003, Linda was promoted to chief of staff in Senator Levin’s personal office, and I took her position as PSI staff director. Two years after that, Linda retired. The rest of us stayed with PSI pretty much until Senator Levin retired in 2015. We all agreed that working at PSI was a wild, intoxicating ride, the best job any of us ever had.

Along the way, we were joined by other stellar staffers. Dan Berkovitz, our expert on energy and commodity issues, joined us in 2001, and stayed six years. Zack Schram, our utility infielder and outstanding negotiator, joined us in 2004 and gave us nine years as subcommittee counsel. Ross Kirschner, who did stints as an intern, law clerk, and legal counsel, gave us two short but brilliant years. Dan Goshorn, who could dissect the most complicated puzzles thrown his way, stayed five years while also supplying us with delicious home-made pies. David Katz and Allison Murphy, who joined us as legal counsel in 2009, gave us five years at the height of our work, injecting a new supply of energy, expertise, and humor. Around the same time, Adam Henderson became our computer expert, helping us access millions of pages of documents.

Senator Levin always attracted the best and brightest in staff. At the same time, the subcommittee work was never easy, in part because the Levin PSI staff was never big enough. At our peak, we totaled only ten paid staffers. Often we had fewer. Not nearly enough to tackle all the scandals and abuses Senator Levin wanted to investigate. So we were constantly overworked.

The upside of our small staff was our agility and lack of bureaucracy. We could make decisions quickly and adapt nimbly to changing circumstances. We also supplemented our ranks with an unceasing flow of volunteer law clerks, college interns, fellows, and detailees. And we pushed ourselves at a punishing pace to get things done.

In addition, we worked with outstanding Republican colleagues who were another key to the subcommittee’s success. During the Levin years, we worked with four Republican senators who, together, covered the waterfront in terms of Republican philosophies and leadership styles. But each was dedicated to effective oversight, willing to operate in a bipartisan manner, and adept at taking political heat.

Their Republican staffs often began wary of working with the Levin crew, but ultimately—despite missteps and mix-ups—became not only our colleagues, but our friends. They included Lee Blalack, Claire Barnard, and Kim Corthell with Senator Collins ; Ray Shepherd, Mark Greenblatt, Mark Nelson, Steve Groves, Leland Erickson, Jay Jennings, and Mike Flowers with Senator Coleman ; Chris Barkley, Keith Ashdown, and Andy Dockham with Senator Coburn ; and Henry Kerner, Stephanie Hall, and Mike Lueptow with Senator McCain . Our Republican counterparts kept us on our toes, helped us avoid mistakes, and played key roles in making PSI work.

Working with Senator Levin

And then there was Senator Levin, one of the little-known giants of the U.S. Senate. He was made for oversight. He was scary smart, had an immense capacity for hard work, and a passion for honest fact-finding which he viewed as essential to informed policymaking. He also displayed the discipline, drive, and intellect needed to master difficult subjects and plow through extensive materials. He seemed to have a boundless capacity to confront complex problems, abusive conduct, and injustice, approaching them with a quiet optimism that something could be done to make things better. He never gave up a fight, even when it took years to make progress.

Senator Levin believed in bipartisanship, respected his Republican colleagues, and had the negotiating skills and patience that made joint investigations work. He viewed compromise as an honorable way for people with diverse views to work together. Still another critical attribute: he was willing to take on powerful interests.

Best of all from an investigator’s perspective, Senator Levin knew how to make the most of a Senate hearing. The staff knew that if they got him the goods, he’d use their work to pack a wallop in public settings. He had a knack for asking tough questions without being unfair or offensive, and could explain complicated issues in an understandable way. He was also the best listener I ever encountered; he heard what witnesses actually said and followed up with questions that clarified the facts and exposed attempts to skirt the truth. He didn’t allow bullies or cagey witnesses to twist the record. Most important of all, he paid attention to detail and remembered those details when it counted—a talent that some critics portrayed as a weakness, because it got him down in the weeds, but was, in fact, his greatest strength, because it’s in the weeds where facts emerge, not only to explain problems and hold individuals accountable, but also to produce workable solutions that cross political divides.

On a day-to-day level, it was clear Senator Levin loved the Senate as an institution and enjoyed being a senator. In the office, he was energetic and engaged, juggling multiple tasks without complaint. He was a willing participant in endless rounds of meetings with senators, officials, dignitaries, and constituents, preparing carefully and using each occasion to learn and persuade. He took pleasure in talking to the press, even when cornered in a hallway.

With staff, he was accessible and collaborative, but also demanding. He prized hard work, setting a personal example that started early in the morning, extended late into the night, and included weekends. He expected the same of staff. He favored teams working together on difficult issues and held multiple staff meetings per day. He read everything staff gave him, asked searching questions, and listened to the answers. He valued staff insights and advice, and often used them to develop plans to advance his policy goals. He then asked staff to carry out those plans, giving senior staff significant authority and discretion to act, and displaying profound trust in their judgment. For Senate staff, Senator Levin’s respect for their professionalism and reliance on their work was about as good as it gets in Washington.

In addition, Senator Levin was a warm, funny, and compassionate boss. His smile was infectious, his eyes twinkled, and he excelled at telling jokes. He could be a delightful conversationalist, witty, informed, and full of wise counsel. Bring in a baby or toddler to the office, and the Senator dropped everything to try to make the child laugh. He cherished his wife, three daughters, and extended family. He adored his grandchildren. He liked lunching with the interns. He kept packages of cookies in his desk and offered them during meetings.

Of course, he wasn’t perfect. At times his demands on staff were unreasonable, piling long hours on top of long hours. He sometimes edited drafts so heavily, producing version after version of the same document marked up with nearly illegible scrawls, that we despaired of ever getting a final product. At other times, he wanted to know so many facts that it became counterproductive, eating up time and resources better spent elsewhere. For example, he once was booked on a flight to Europe with a stopover in Iceland, and staff was frantically preparing for the trip. He interrupted to ask if the airplane was refueling in Iceland. When a puzzled staffer asked why he wanted that information, he said he was curious.

While occasionally frustrating, it was also clear his imperfections paled in comparison to the strengths he brought to the Senate; he was a man working flat out to do the best he could for his country. In a Senate debilitated by high employee turnover, Senator Levin became known for his stable staff, many of whom stayed with him for decades. It was his close collaboration with PSI staff that, in part, enabled Senator Levin to produce his remarkable investigative legacy.

The following chapters recount that legacy, detailing the key investigations undertaken during the Levin years on PSI. They include inquiries into money laundering, financial wrongdoing, offshore tax abuse, and bank misconduct. The subject matter reflects Senator Levin’s concerns as well as staff recommendations, bipartisan considerations, and prominent topics of the day. Earlier investigations also begat follow-up inquiries, as Senator Levin gradually built up a body of work. While the following chapters do not describe all the inquiries Senator Levin undertook, they cover the major ones, highlighting the key issues, investigative work, and policy reforms that went into each oversight effort.

During the Levin era at PSI, the Senate and Congress as a whole grew more partisan, more dysfunctional, and less effective. Despite the deterioration around it, PSI managed to create an island of sanity, bipartisanship, and mutual respect where we could conduct meaningful oversight. Under Senator Levin’s leadership, we worked hard to uphold PSI’s traditions and enhance its reputation for high-quality, bipartisan investigations. At the same time, we had a lot of fun. Here’s how we did it.

Footnotes

  1. 1.

    “Corporate World Won’t Miss Levin,” Politico, Kelsey Snell (9/11/2014), http://politi.co/2hCzWdH.

  2. 2.

    Senate Resolution 71, 87 Congressional Record 1615 (1941), introduced by Senator Truman, reprinted in The Truman Committee: A Study in Congressional Responsibility, Donald H. Riddle (Rutgers University Press 1964) (hereinafter “The Truman Committee”), at 179.

  3. 3.

    See, for example, The Truman Committee, at vii (Truman Committee “was not only extremely successful, but it was also one of the most responsible investigating committees in recent history”); Congress Investigates, at 636–667 (Truman Committee’s “record of responsible, restrained investigation established an admirable standard”); The Power to Probe: A Study of Congressional Investigations, James Hamilton (Random House 1976), at 9 (Truman Committee was “one of the country’s most effective investigating panels”); Congressional Investigations and Oversight, Lance Cole and Stanley M. Brand (Carolina Academic Press 2011) (hereinafter “Cole and Brand”), at 41 (Truman Committee was “one of the most productive investigating committees in [the Senate’s] entire history”).

  4. 4.

    “The Impact of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Federal Policy,” Georgia Law Review, Volume 21, at 17, 20–21 (Special Issue 1986), Senator Sam Nunn (hereinafter “1986 Nunn Law Review article”); Cole and Brand, at 42.

  5. 5.

    Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, P.L. 79-601, 60 Stat. 812, Section 136 (“To assist the Congress in appraising the administration of the laws and in developing such amendments or related legislation as it may deem necessary, each standing committee of the Senate and the House shall exercise continuous watchfulness of the execution by administrative agencies concerned of any laws, the subject matter of which is within the jurisdiction of such committee …”) (S. 2177); see also “Record of the 79th Congress (Second Session),” CQ Researcher, section on “Modernization of Government,” (undated), http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre1946080300.

  6. 6.

    The Truman Committee was merged with the Surplus Property Disposal Subcommittee chaired by former Truman Committee member Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan. The new subcommittee was given custody of the Truman Committee’s files and records. See Senate Oral History of Ruth Young Watt, Interview No. 2, at 51–52, http://bit.ly/2j4tIDL; 1986 Nunn Law Review article, at 21–22; “History of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee of Governmental Affairs,” prepared by PSI (6/1996), at 1 (hereinafter “1996 PSI History”).

  7. 7.

    “First Annual Report of the Investigations Subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments,” S. Rpt. 5 (1/17/1949), at 2 (hereinafter “1949 Annual Report”), http://bit.ly/2zSF7hL.

  8. 8.

    “The Organization of Congress: Some Problems of Committee Jurisdiction,” Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments,” S. Rpt. 51 (7/1951), at 34.

  9. 9.

    See “Export Policy and Loyalty,” Part 1 (7/30/1948), http://bit.ly/2AaPcJM.

  10. 10.

    See “Conduct of Ilse Koch War Crimes Trial,” Part 5 (9/28 and 12/8–9/1948), at 995, http://bit.ly/2zOnqm8; 1949 Annual Report, at 7.

  11. 11.

    See “The 5-Percenter Investigation,” S. Rpt. 1232 (1/18/1950), at 401, http://bit.ly/2zfS200; 2004 GAC Activities Report, at 118; 1986 Nunn Law Review article, at 22.

  12. 12.

    See “Activities of the Mississippi Democratic Committee,” (April 9–11, 26, and May 2, 5, 10, 1951), at 81, http://bit.ly/2Ac6d6L and http://bit.ly/2hItsNV.

  13. 13.

    For more information about the Kefauver Committee, see Congress Investigates, at 715–756; “Guide to the Records of the U.S. Senate in the National Archives of the United States,” Chapter 18, “Records of Senate Select Committees, 1789–1988,” prepared by the National Archives (hereinafter “Records of Senate Select Committees”), ¶¶ 18.133–18.144, http://bit.ly/2j4hniQ.

  14. 14.

    The Power to Probe, at 10.

  15. 15.

    This addition to the subcommittee’s jurisdiction occurred in 1961. 1996 PSI History, at 1.

  16. 16.

    The information in this section is largely based upon Congress Investigates, at 808–848.

  17. 17.

    See, for example, “Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations,” Part 1, S. Prt. 107-84 (1953) (hereinafter “McCarthy Executive Sessions”), http://bit.ly/2mDEOo3.

  18. 18.

    See, for example, “Special Senate Investigation on Charges and Countercharges Involving Secretary of the Army Robert T. Stevens, John G. Adams, H. Struve Hensel and Senator Joe McCarthy, Roy M. Cohen, and Francis P. Carr” (1954), http://bit.ly/2AR9eWk.

  19. 19.
    Mr. Welch was outside legal counsel for the U.S. Army and testified on June 9, 1954. After Senator McCarthy described Fred Fisher, a young lawyer in Mr. Welch’s law firm, as a law school member of the National Lawyers Guild, which Senator McCarthy described as the “legal arm of the Communist Party,” Mr. Welch said:

    Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. … Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. … Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

    For a recording of his testimony, see “American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches,” “McCarthy-Welch Exchange,” http://bit.ly/1NSGNcP.

  20. 20.

    See, for example, McCarthy Executive Sessions, introduction, at XVII.

  21. 21.

    See, for example, “Membership Changes of 83rd Congress (1953–55),” U.S. Senate, http://bit.ly/2is2s2m.

  22. 22.

    PSI still has the desk—one of 100 specially designed for Senate offices in the Russell Building—that PSI lore says Robert Kennedy used during his PSI tenure. After a departing Republican staffer bequeathed it to me, I used it until the day I retired.

  23. 23.

    See United States Senate Election, Expulsion and Censure Cases, 1793–1990, U.S. Senate Historical Office (1995), at 404–407, http://bit.ly/2AaQkgu; Senate Resolution 301 (12/2/1954).

  24. 24.

    See, for example, “Membership Changes of 83rd Congress (1953–55),” U.S. Senate, http://bit.ly/2is2s2m.

  25. 25.

    See A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy, David Oshinsky (The Free Press 1983), at 502–505.

  26. 26.

    See McCarthy Executive Sessions, introduction, at XXVIII.

  27. 27.

    Records of Senate Select Committees, ¶¶ 18.165–18.171; 1986 Nunn Law Review article, at 26–29; 1996 PSI History, at 1; Congress Investigates, at 849–885; “Investigation of Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field—Index to Hearings” (1959), http://bit.ly/2jE0JKB.

  28. 28.

    See, for example, “Gambling and Organized Crime,” Part 1 (8/22–25/1961), http://bit.ly/2j66M79; “James R. Hoffa and Continued Underworld Control of New York Teamster Local 239,” (1/10–12 and 24–25/1961), http://bit.ly/2jGj5uQ.

  29. 29.

    See, for example, 1986 Nunn Law Review article, at 30–33; “Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics,” Part 1 (9/25 and 27, and 10/1–2, 8–9/1963), http://bit.ly/2yUUyF4.

  30. 30.

    See, for example, “Riots, Civil and Criminal Disorders,” Part 1 (11/1–3 and 6/1967), http://bit.ly/2zPva6L; “Department of Agriculture Handling of Pooled Cotton Allotments of Billie Sol Estes,” Part 1 (6/27–29 and 7/5/1962), http://bit.ly/2yYgTS5; “TFX Contract Investigation,” Part 1 (2/26–28 and 3/5–6/1963), http://bit.ly/2AcZBVw; and “Organized Crime—Stolen Securities,” Part 1 (6/8–10 and 16/1971), http://bit.ly/2zREEfV.

  31. 31.

    See, for example, “Diversion of Union Welfare-Pension Funds of Allied Trades Council and Teamsters 815,” (6/29 and 7/20–22/1965), http://bit.ly/2hLUC6y; “The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974: The First Decade,” Senate Special Committee on Aging, S. Prt. 98-221 (8/1984), at 10–12, http://bit.ly/2AbwlOL (tracing McClelland hearings’ contribution to ERISA).

  32. 32.

    1996 PSI History, at 1–2.

  33. 33.

    See “Current Energy Shortages Oversight Series-Conflicting Information on Fuel Shortages,” Part 1 (12/14/1973), http://bit.ly/2zNXKpB; “Federal Drug Enforcement,” Part 1 (6/9–11/1975), http://bit.ly/2zdpKmZ; “Hearing Aid Industry,” (4/1–2/1976), http://bit.ly/2mDbDl3; “Arson-for-Hire,” (8/23–24 and 9/13–14/1978), http://bit.ly/2zQTGVi; “Severance Pay-Life Insurance Plans Adopted by Local Unions,” (3/21/1977), http://bit.ly/2mEhFlA; “Labor Union Insurance,” Part 1 (10/10–12 and 17–19/1977), http://bit.ly/2zQ4FOx.

  34. 34.

    “Activities of the Committee on Governmental Affairs,” Report by Governmental Affairs Committee, S. Rpt. 108-421 (12/7/2004) (hereinafter “2004 GAC Activities Report”), at 120, http://bit.ly/2zg37hE; 1986 Nunn Law Review article, at 37–55.

  35. 35.

    See PSI Rule No. 1.

  36. 36.

    2004 GAC Activities Report, at 120–121.

  37. 37.

    Myra Crase was PSI chief clerk from 1979 to 1980, Katherine Bidden from 1981 to 1985, and Carla Martin from 1985 to 1986.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elise J. Bean
    • 1
  1. 1.Levin Center at Wayne LawWayne State University Law SchoolDetroitUSA

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