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Proxmire / Defense Department Hearings / Cong. Members #249072

CBS Evening News for Friday, Oct 21, 1977
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(Studio) Senator William Proxmire has been relentless in investigations of Defense Department practices, but hasn't revealed all he knows.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite

(DC) In hearings in early 1976, Proxmire focused attention on practices of major defense contractors, like Rockwell International and Northrop, in entertaining mil. officers and government officials in hunting lodges in MD. (Films shown.) What Proxmire and staff knew and didn't mention was that guest lists at these times also incld. Senators, Representatives and their aides who dealt with military appropriations. Proxmire ruled that information with regard to Congmen. and staffs wouldn't be part of proceedings. [Former congress aide Robert RIGGS - notes both staff and Proxmire felt that to reveal information with regard to Congmen. would be political suicide. Thinks Proxmire didn't want to embarrass colleagues.] Pol. question concerned Proxmire and staff, but there was legal issue involved in Pentagon case, where Defense Department can't accept gratuities, but there is no such rule for Congress [RIGGS - says it wasn't cover-up of legal matters, but was one with regard to public embarrassment for other Congmen.] Proxmire refuses interview; comments of aides noted.
REPORTER: Robert Schakne

Cronkite, Walter;
Schakne, Robert

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