ABC Evening News for Monday, Sep 19, 1977
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(DC) OMB director Bert Lance completed testimony to Senator Govt. Affairs Committee on Saturday, but committee still investigates affair and what Lance told committee staffers prior to confirmation in January (Film shown.) Staffers who investigated Lance are brought before committee On Friday, Lance was asked re: overdrafts. (Film shown.) [SEN. - asks if Lance refused to answer any question put him or conceal any info.] [LANCE - did not.] [SEN. - asks specifically with regard to overdrafts.] [LANCE - concealed no information asked of him that was at issue with staff mbrs.] [Min. staff member John CHILDERS - says Lance only mentioned overdrafts with regard to dead relative of wife's, due to estate problem.] Senator Nunn says he's satisfied Lance withheld no meaningful information and also that it wasn't Lance's job to ask questions. Thomas Eagleton says committee knew of Lance's overdrafts in January and should have confronted him then. Charles Percy disagrees and again calls for Lance to resign. [PERCY - can conceive of no way Lance would have been nominated or confirmed for OMB, if all information now known had been known to committee and President in January Calls for Lance to step down.] In poll of other 16 members of committee , 2 agree with Percy, 3 don't, others say they haven't made decision; most say decision not theirs, but President's.
REPORTER: Frank Reynolds
(DC) Lance refuses to talk about case. After cabinet meeting, Transport. Secretary Brock Adams talks to reporters [ADAMS - says President expressed satisfaction with Lance. Cabinet took no consensus with regard to Lance affair.] No figs. available today, but for hrs. open on Saturday, White House comment office reports overwhelming number of calls favor Lance. Though spokesperson have said President won't make decision based on public opinion, this doesn't hurt. No official view of Lance's future has been forthcoming. Press Secretary Jody Powell says he doesn't know what Lance and President discussed in private meeting earlier in day and if he does have idea with regard to situation, won't comment. Carter to hold news conference later in week
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson