Statement by Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., on the Senate floor after the Ethics Committee vote to admonish him:
For the last seven months, the Senate Ethics Committee has reviewed documents and statements relating to allegations made against me by a former political contributor and friend. I am now in receipt of the conclusions of the committee. I want to thank the members of the Ethics Committee for their hours of deliberation. I also want to apologize to each of them for subjecting them to the painful ordeal of sitting in judgment of a colleague.
In closing its preliminary inquiry into this matter, the Ethics Committee has concluded that in several specific instances, rules of the Senate were violated. As a consequence, the committee has admonished me. I want my colleagues in the Senate to know that I agree with the committee's conclusions, fully accept their findings and take full personal responsibility. It has always been my contention that I believe that at no time did I accept any gifts or violate any Senate rules. The committee has concluded otherwise in several circumstances and directed me to make immediate payment in several instances to ensure full compliance with the rules of the Senate. I will comply immediately.
I want to apologize to the people of New Jersey for having placed the seat of the United States Senate that they have allowed me to occupy to be placed in this position. The day that I was elected to the United States Senate remains among the most cherished of my life. During recent weeks I have spent long nights tormented by the question of how I could have allowed such lapses of judgment to compromise all that I have fought to build. It might take a lifetime to answer that question to my own satisfaction.
The question that I want every person in New Jersey to have answered today is that all during this ordeal, I never stopped fighting for the things that I believed, I never compromised in the struggle to make the lives of the people that I love better. I am grateful this matter has come to a close, regretful though I might be, sorrowful that I remain. I thank my colleagues for their time and their attention. Mr. President, I yield the floor.