CONGRESSMAN JAMES GREENWOOD COMMENTS ON ENRON EX-CEO JEFFREY SKILLINGS TESTIMONY ON CNBC’s ‘SQUAWK BOX’

CONGRESSMAN JAMES GREENWOOD COMMENTS ON ENRON EX-CEO JEFFREY SKILLINGS TESTIMONY ON CNBC’s ‘SQUAWK BOX’
Published: August 15, 2002

photo preview / download The following is an unofficial transcript.

DATE: August 15, 2002

NETWORK:CNBC

PROGRAM:“Squawk Box”

David Faber: All right. We’re back with Congressman Greenwood. Time to sort of wrap a couple of things up. You know, you mentioned your expectation or maybe some

indictments on Enron by the end of the summer. I, of course, wondered if you knew something or you’re just speculating.

Representative JAMES GREENWOOD: Well, I don’t talk to the Justice Department about these–these matters. And if I did, I wouldn’t comment on it anyway. My view is–is based on the fact that–that based on our investigation everything that–that I’ve seen, there’s some real wrongdoing that went there and I think from a purely political point of view–political point of view, my guess is this administration wants to make sure that if there’s–if there is, you know, evidence of criminality against Enron because of the likelihood the Democrats are going to try to

Enronize the president and–and Halliburton, the vice president, that they’re going to try to–to–they want to get this thing, in–in–they want to get indictments out before the November election. That’s my guess.

Faber: Skilling stood up before your committee, right?

Rep. GREENWOOD: Yeah, he did.

Faber: Do you think he was lying to you?

Rep. GREENWOOD: Yeah, I think he was lying to us. You know, he’s a very…

Faber: Boy, he’s got some big–well, we can’t use the word…

Rep. GREENWOOD: Yeah. Yeah.

Faber: …but, you know, to do that.

Rep. GREENWOOD: Yeah, he–well, he’s a very bright guy, and the–and the book on Skilling was he has such a high view of his intelligence that a bunch of duffer members of Congress would be easy to–to dance around. And I think he underestimated our preparation. We asked him a lot of tough questions. And–and it–it’s just hard to believe that–that–that Skilling could sit there and say that he did not have any clue as to what Andy Fastow was doing. And Andy Fastow, of course–I–I one time called him the Betty Crocker of cooked books. And then I got a…

Faber: It’s very creative, that–very, very creative.

Rep. GREENWOOD: …got a letter from–from the Betty Crocker people that they didn’t like that.

Faber: They didn’t like that.

Rep. GREENWOOD: I’ll probably get another one now.

Faber: Talking about Betty Crocker and cooking, the diva of domesticity—when are you going to just leave poor Martha alone?

Rep. GREENWOOD: The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned. You know…

Faber: Well, what–what’s next there? I mean, August 20th is the deadline?

Rep. GREENWOOD: Well, August–we–we–we–we’ve asked for some documents.

We’ve–her lawyers have said they will provide us the documents. They’ll do that on the 20th of August. Well review those documents. We’ll decide whether that answers all of our questions or not. If we have additional questions that aren’t answered, and we still feel that because of this letter that she sent us that we need to–to get this thing finished one way or another, we will ask her to come in again. If she doesn’t…

Faber: Is it really the letter or is it Martha Stewart? I mean, her profile is so high, every day on the front of the New York Post. It does a great deal to put a spotlight on wrongdoing, regardless of whether she actually did anything wrong…

Rep. GREENWOOD: Well, it–it is–again, it is a tough choice, because I don’t want the American people to think that just because she’s superwealthy and just because she’s a celebrity that she gets treated any differently than Skilling or Fastow or Ken Lay or anyone else. On the other hand, I don’t want it to look like this is a media circus–`Oh, we can get the celebrity in front of us and–and…’

Faber: She’s not Skilling or Fastow or Ken Lay, potentially.

Rep. GREENWOOD: No. No. No, she–she…

Faber: I mean, she’s not. She’s not accused of anything even approaching what they may have done.

Rep. GREENWOOD: She I–she is not. And–and I can tell you, nobody wants to get Martha Stewart off their plate any sooner than I want to get Martha Stewart off my plate. I want to get this behind us. I’ve got other things to do than chase Mar…

Faber: You want to get back to your salad, maybe.

Rep. GREENWOOD: I want to–right, I want to get back to my cabbage. Right.

Faber: Representative Greenwood, thank you for being with us.

Rep. GREENWOOD: It’s been great. It’s been a great pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Faber: Sorry about the poll.

Rep. GREENWOOD: Yeah. Well, we’ll have to work on our image.

Faber: All right. Maybe next time we’ll do better. Representative Jim Greenwood from Pennsylvania has been our guest.

All references must be sourced CNBC’s “SQUAWK BOX.”

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