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Authorizing Testimony And Legal Representation

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

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Mr. President, I now ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of S. Res. 180, submitted earlier today.

The clerk will report the resolution by title.

The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

A resolution (S. Res. 180) to authorize testimony and legal representation in the United States v. Edward Bloomer, Frank Cordaro, Elton Davis, Chester Guinn and Renee Espeland.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.

Sen. Harry Reid

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Mr. President, this resolution concerns a request for testimony and representation in actions in Federal District Court in the Southern District of Iowa. In these actions, protesters have been charged with impeding or disrupting the performance of official duties by Government employees for occupying Senator Tom Harkin's Des Moines, IA office on February 25, 2009, and for refusing requests by the Federal Protective Service and the local police to leave the building. The prosecution has sought testimony from a former member of the Senator's staff who witnessed the relevant events. Senator Harkin would like to cooperate by providing testimony from that person. This resolution would authorize that person to testify in connection with these actions, with representation by the Senate Legal Counsel of her and any other employee from whom evidence may be sought.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

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I ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any statements be printed in the Record.

Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 180) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

Whereas, in the cases of United States v. Edward Bloomer (CVB# H5049055), Frank Cordaro (CVB# H5049056), Elton Davis (CVB# H5049058), Chester Guinn (CVB# H5049093), and Renee Espeland (CVB# H5049095), pending in federal district court in the Southern District of Iowa, the prosecution has sought testimony from Dianne Liepa, a former employee of Senator Tom Harkin; Whereas, pursuant to sections 703(a) and 704(a)(2) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 2 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 1A 288b(a) and 288c(a)(2), the Senate may direct its counsel to represent former employees of the Senate with respect to any subpoena, order, or request for testimony relating to their official responsibilities; Whereas, by the privileges of the Senate of the United States and Rule XI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, no evidence under the control or in the possession of the Senate may, by the judicial or administrative process, be taken from such control or possession but by permission of the Senate; Whereas, when it appears that evidence under the control or in the possession of the Senate may promote the administration of justice, the Senate will take such action as will promote the ends of justice consistent with the privileges of the Senate: Now, therefore, be it Resolved that Dianne Liepa is authorized to testify in the cases of United States v. Edward Bloomer, Frank J. Cordaro, Elton Davis, Chester Guinn, and Renee Espeland, except concerning matters for which a privilege should be asserted. Sec. 2. The Senate Legal Counsel is authorized to represent Dianne Liepa, and any other employee from whom evidence may be sought, in connection with the testimony authorized in section one of this resolution.