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Martha Meets Deadline

Style guru Martha Stewart on Tuesday turned over documents to a U.S. House panel that is probing whether she had inside information when she sold shares of ImClone Systems Inc., a day before its value plummeted.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee had requested phone and e-mail records from Stewart and had threatened to subpoena them if she did not give them up voluntarily.

The committee staff "did receive 1,000 pages from Martha Stewart," said Stephanie Walsh, a spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Greenwood, who chairs the panel's oversight subcommittee.

The staff was reviewing the documents "to make sure the request was completely met," Walsh said.

The committee is trying to clear up questions about what, if anything, Stewart knew about trouble at ImClone when she sold almost 4,000 shares on Dec. 27. She has said she sold because she had a pre-existing deal with her broker to dump the stock if the price fell below $60 a share.

Executives of the troubled biotech firm may have destroyed records sought by congressional investigators, a House committee chairman said Monday.

In addition, a spokesman for the Energy and Commerce Committee said there is evidence that the former president of ImClone, Samuel Waksal, lied to panel investigators.

The panel will likely take a couple weeks to go through the various documents turned over by Stewart. "I suspect it will be early September before Chairman (Rep. Billy) Tauzin decides if a subpoena of Ms. Stewart is necessary," he said.

"The most pointed question, of course, is what did she know and when did she know it," Greenwood, R-Pa., told CBS Early Show anchor Jane Clayson.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that her stockbroker's assistant called Stewart to warn her that Waksal was selling his shares.

Stewart, whose empire includes marketing tips on cooking, crafts and home decorating, has denied wrongdoing. Until June, she had been a regular contributor to The Early Show.

"It's hard to understand a scenario in which she would allow herself and company to fall so far in disgrace, if you will, and lose so much financial value," said Greenwood, "if in fact she had the ability to simply come forward and set forth the facts and exonerate herself."

Waksal was arrested in June on charges that he advised family members and friends to sell their stock before the public announcement that the Food and Drug Administration would not review the company's anticancer drug, Erbitux.

He also has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly ordering documents to be destroyed. ImClone sued him last week, charging its former president with lying to the board of directors by assuring them that he would cooperate with the federal investigation.

The House committee also may ask the Justice Department to file criminal charges for making false statements to Congress and obstruction of justice, a panel spokesman said.

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