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COMMITTEE OKS LIMITED ACCESS TO ITS FILES FOR PROBE OF WRIGHT

SHARE COMMITTEE OKS LIMITED ACCESS TO ITS FILES FOR PROBE OF WRIGHT

The House Intelligence Committee will grant limited access to its files and personnel for an ethics probe into whether Speaker Jim Wright violated House rules by disclosing a purported CIA secret operation in Nicaragua.

In a closed-door meeting Tuesday, the Intelligence panel voted unanimously to give the ethics committee information needed to determine whether Wright, D-Texas, could have based his comments about the CIA covert action on classified intelligence briefings.Disclosing classified data given to the Intelligence Committee is a violation of House rules.

"The committee agreed to respond to the request and to make its members and staff available . . . in connection with any information transmitted," Intelligence Committee Chairman Louis Stokes, D-Ohio, said in a statement.

He termed the ethics committee's request for information "very preliminary" and added: "They haven't even started a real investigation yet."

The action appeared - at least for the moment - to satisfy Republicans bent on adding a new layer to the ethics probe already under way into unrelated charges against Wright of financial improprities.

The initial request by the ethics panel - formally known as the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct - was for a simple yes or no to the question of whether Wright had access to classified information relating to CIA covert activities in Nicaragua.