- WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congressional investigators planned to interview Cliff
Baxter next week and had the impression from Baxter's lawyer that he would
cooperate, according to a congressional source.
- As late as Friday morning, investigators
with the House Energy and Commerce Committee spoke with Baxter's attorneys,
another source on the committee said. Apparently, neither the investigators
nor Baxter's lawyers were aware that he had killed himself.
- The congressional source said committee
members believed that the former Enron vice chairman was "a bit player,
not a big fish in the frying pan."
- This source said "someone told us
he (Baxter) had information that would be useful."
- On the Senate side, the Permanent Subcommittee
on Investigations, led by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, had subpoenaed documents
from Baxter as part of a batch of subpoenas sent out January 11.
- According to Levin's press secretary
Tara Andringa, Baxter had not yet complied with the subpoena, but the deadline
was not until February 1.
- Andringa said that although Baxter was
on the list of officials the Senate committee was hoping to interview,
they had not yet decided whether they would ask him to testify at any hearings
they may have later this year. He had not been issued a personal subpoena.
- A source said House committee investigators
wanted to talk with Baxter because his name was mentioned in an eight-page
letter written last summer by Enron whistle-blower, Sherron Watkins.
- In that letter to then-Enron Chairman
Kenneth Lay, Watkins said Baxter had been complaining about Enron's business
partnership with a company called LJM.
- "Cliff Baxter complained mightily
to (then-Enron President and CEO Jeff) Skilling and all who would listen
about the inappropriateness of our transactions with LJM," Watkins
- "Baxter was high enough up that
he could have known something," said the congressional source.
- The committee had "suspicions"
that Baxter left Enron in May of 2001 because he thought "something
was funny" at Enron and "wanted out," said the source.
- -- CNN Capitol Hill Producer Ted Barrett,
Congressional Correspondent Kate Snow and Producer Dana Bash contributed
to this report.