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Lugar Has No Plans To Summon Bubba

Our TPM pal Greg Sargent reports that Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, isn't terribly interested in calling Bill Clinton to testify at his wife's confirmation hearings.

Yesterday we reported that several conservatives senators were mulling summoning the former president o answer questions about potential conflicts of interest posed by his overseas charitable and business dealings.


A spokesperson for Senator Richard Lugar... tells us that he isn't proposing to call Bill as a witness -- making it all but certain not to happen.

"He is not proposing it," Lugar spokesperson Andy Fisher emails us. "The agenda for the hearing will be determined by Senator Kerry."

The notion that Bill might be called to testify started making the rounds today after Politico reported that some conservative Senate Republicans were privately pushing the idea. Cable news has since been babbling about the possibility intermittently today.

But Lugar's office threw cold water on the possibility. "We know nothing about it other than what was reported in The Politico," Lugar's spokesperson emailed.

The quotes from Lugar's office pretty much ice the idea. While it's still possible that conservative Republicans on the committee could try to call Bill as a witness, the procedure holds that a majority of the committee would have to support the idea, Senate staffers point out.

When the hearings commence next year, Dems will outnumber Republicans on the committee (as they do now). The notion that Dems would back the calling of Bill as a witness, and the attendant media circus that would result, is daft, to put it charitably.

So don't expect Bill to be called to testify. Not gonna happen.




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