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Public Papers - 1991 - July

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Senate Confirmation Hearings for Central Intelligence Agency Director Nominee Robert M. Gates

1991-07-16

Last week, the President urged in the strongest terms that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the full Senate promptly schedule hearings and act favorably on the nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of Central Intelligence. The President took this position because a prolonged process would be unfair to Mr. Gates and subject him to continuing innuendo and groundless allegations. We still have those concerns.

While the committee is prepared to begin hearings next week, it has informed the White House that it would not complete the confirmation process prior to the August recess, and suggested starting the hearings on September 16, 1991. The White House concurs in this delay.

We are hopeful that the September 16 date to begin hearings provides the opportunity to move the nomination forward expeditiously and without interruption. A start-and-stop hearing and confirmation process dragging out over a number of weeks would not be fair to Mr. Gates.

The President again underscores his total support for Mr. Gates and urges the committee and the full Senate to act as soon as possible to confirm this honorable, able, and dedicated public servant.

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