1999. Having announced a week earlier that he would not make a presidential
bid, Sen. Thompson endorsed former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander.
||July 24, 1998--New
York City. At the Republican National Committee's summer meeting,
Sen. Thompson speaks of the threat posed by proliferation of nuclear, chemical
and biological weapons. He said China is the world's worst proliferator
and described a situation in Russia where nuclear waste is stored behind
wooden doors guarded by guards who are not being paid. Thompson said
there must be linkage between our policy and other nations' behavior, that
the U.S. should have a national missile defense program, should stop proliferating
ourselves, should revisit our sanctions policy, and should revamp the intelligence
community. "This matters," he said.
1998. With the campaign finance special investigation concluded, Sen. Thompson
is able to focus more attention on his other efforts. High on the list
was the Regulatory Improvement Act of 1998 (S. 981), which he and Sen.
Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced in February. Of the possibility of a presidential
run, Thompson said he was "too busy now" and would "wait to the end of
the year and decide whether I want to think about it."
||March 5, 1998.
The Committee on Government Affairs, in a business meeting, votes 8-7 to
approve its report on the special investigation. The atmosphere of tense
anticipation that characterized opening of the special investigation hearings
back in July 1997 has dissipated. From March 1997, when the Senate approved
S. 39 providing funding for the investigation, the Committee issued 427
subpoenas, received over 1,500,000 pages of documents, took 200 depositions
and conducted over 200 witness interviews. In 32 days of hearings, the
Committee took testimony from 72 witnesses. S. 39 required the committee
to finish by December 31, 1997 and to submit a report to the Senate by
January 31, 1998. Sen. Thompson cited the deadline as a major impediment
to the investigation.
||July 8, 1997.
A break in the action on the opening day of the campaign finance investigation
||July 8, 1997.
In an atmosphere of tense expectation and intense media attention, Sen.
Thompson launches the public hearings in the campaign finance investigation.
His opening statement, pointing to "a Chinese plan to subvert our election
process," prompted some controversy.
||June 12, 1997.
Sen. Thompson, chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs since
January 1997, was given the task of heading the special investigation into
campaign finance abuses in the 1996 campaign. However, partisan bickering
marked the investigation from the outset. Here Thompson presides over a
special investigation business meeting to discuss immunizing some potential
witnesses. In prepared remarks he referred to "unedifying squabbles over
the issuance of subpoenas essential to our investigation...hollow accusations
of partisanship and...a myriad of other activities normally associated
with a political campaign, not a serious Congressional investigation."