Magazine article Insight on the News

Eizenstat Tells Why He Gave Waiver to IRS Commissioner

Magazine article Insight on the News

Eizenstat Tells Why He Gave Waiver to IRS Commissioner

Article excerpt

President Clinton's deputy treasury secretary, Stuart Eizenstat, called Insight just after this magazine's deadline last week to explain why he gave IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti a last-minute waiver of conflict-of-interest rules.

Under the waiver, which Eizenstat signed on Dec. 11, 2000, Rossotti was protected for failing to recuse himself from participating in many decisions that could affect the bottom line of American Management Systems (AMS). As Insight has reported Rossotti refuses to divest his millions of dollars in stock holdings in AMS, the information-technology company he cofounded, even though AMS has millions of dollars in contracts with IRS (see "A Taxing Dilemma," April 23).

Eizenstat tells Insight that there was a pressing need to process the waiver because, without it, Rossotti would have had to sell his stock to remain commissioner. "He had to know whether to sell this stock or not," says Eizenstat, now a partner at the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling and a public-policy scholar at the Wilson Center. …

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