Date: SEPTEMBER 15, 2005
SPECTER: Senator Durbin, you're recognized for 20 minutes.
DURBIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Judge Roberts, again, thank you. And it may be nearing the end of the process which I'm sure is a great relief to you and your wife and friends.
Let me first address Senator Cornyn's point. The memos that were stolen from offices of the senators on this committee, stolen by a Republican staffer who was discharged, that case was turned over to the Justice Department.
I sent a letter to the attorney general yesterday applauding the fact that the Justice Department had, in fact, successfully prosecuted, in Massachusetts, a person who had hacked in and stolen the telephone records of Paris Hilton.
And I asked the attorney general to please ask our special counsel in this case to take a look at the precedent of the Paris Hilton case and see if he can perhaps protect our records as much as we want to protect that poor young lady's telephone records.
The second aspect I'd like to raise is this: Many of these documents we're talking about have been given before. Justice Rehnquist offered similar documents to the committee for consideration.
So it's not unprecedented for us to ask nor for the government to produce them on a voluntary basis, no theft involved.
If I could clear up a couple other things that have been raised, I read and reread the sentence which you and Senator Kennedy debated about the EEOC. And I want to read it again conceding the fact that the word "unAmerican" is in quotes and clearly refers to something else.
But the sentence in your memo reads in its entirety as follows: "We should ignore that assertion in every event as well as the assertion that the EEOC is 'unAmerican' the truth of the matter notwithstanding."
Now, those are your words but for the quoted "unAmerican."
What did you mean when you say "the truth of the matter notwithstanding"?
DURBIN: It suggests that you agree with that conclusion?
ROBERTS: The first part of the sentence refers to that assertion. And that assertion was assertion that President Reagan had promised to abolish the EEOC. That was the issue that I said in the memorandum I had been unable to determine whether that was accurate or not. It was the truth of that matter, of that assertion, that I couldn't verify.
The reference to unAmerican was not my language, it was the language of the person who complained and said, "You need to do something about the EEOC." And our response was, "What we're going to do is make sure that the EEOC is not interfered with because of your complaints."
Now, he may have felt that he was being treated in an unAmerican way and wanted something done about it, but it was not my view, and again the language was in quotes to make it clear that it wasn't my view.
DURBIN: I don't question the fact the language was in quotes but I think there is at least some ambiguity in what was said. It might have been said more precisely if it didn't have -- if the conclusion that we're suggesting doesn't reflect your views.