Enron Officials Testify Before Congress, Most Plead the Fifth

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Lisa Myers
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NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Several Enron official testify before Congress and plead the fifth. However, CEO Jeff Skilling testifies that he was unaware of any of the fraud that occurred and insists the company was in good shape when he left.



"Enron Officials Testify Before Congress, Most Plead the Fifth." Lisa Myers, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 7 Feb. 2002. NBC Learn. Web. 28 January 2015.


Myers, L. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (2002, February 7). Enron Officials Testify Before Congress, Most Plead the Fifth. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://preview-archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=2480


"Enron Officials Testify Before Congress, Most Plead the Fifth" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 02/07/2002. Accessed Wed Jan 28 2015 from NBC Learn: https://preview-archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=2480


Enron Officials Testify Before Congress and Most Take the 5th

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

The collapse of Enron is so much more than a numbers game, but when the company was flying high, its top executives were throwing around a lot of big numbers. Well, today several of them settled on just a single digit, five, as in the Fifth Amendment. And the former CEO had trouble with his memory when he faced a barrage of pointed questions about arrangements that disguise the company's calamitous financial condition. All of this happened before Congress today, and NBC's Lisa Myers is there tonight. Lisa?

LISA MYERS reporting:

Tom, a dramatic day. Enron's former CEO apologizes, but claims he had no clue anything improper was going on. That as a parade of his former lieutenants takes the Fifth.

The man who helped engineer the house of cards, former Chief Financial Officer Andy Fastow, wasn't talking about the $30 million he pocketed from controversial partnerships set up to hide debt.

Mr. ANDY FASTOW: I respectfully decline to answer the questions based on the protection afforded me under the United States Constitution.

MYERS: Also taking the Fifth, the man who ran some partnerships, Enron chief accounting officer and chief risk officer.

Representative BOBBY RUSH (Democrat, Illinois): I ask you, was it worth it? Was the selling of your souls worth it?

MYERS: The CEO credited with Enron's high-risk, anything-goes culture, Jeff Skilling, began with an apology.

Mr. JEFF SKILLING: I am devastated by and apologetic about what Enron has come to represent.

MYERS: But beyond that, he was defiant, said he was not aware of any deals designed to hide losses or inflate profits, didn't know about dubious sweetheart deals for insiders.

Mr. SKILLING: Mr. Chairman, I didn't know.

Representative BILLY TAUZIN (Republican, Louisiana): But you had your hands in everything? But you didn't know this?

Mr. SKILLING: Have I--have I said I had my hands in everything?

MYERS: Skilling insists the company was in good shape when he left in August, only four months before it went bankrupt. The committee wasn't buying it.

Representative JAMES GREENWOOD (Republican, Pennsylvania): Mr. Skilling, here's the problem I have at the end of this day. You came in here, and you and I stood up, and we raised our right hands, and you swore to tell the truth.

MYERS: How could Skilling not know Enron was in trouble in August, when lower-level whistleblowers were warning the company was about to implode in scandals?

Representative EDWARD MARKEY (Democrat, Massachusetts): Then you were just walking away without warning investors?

Mr. SKILLING: On the date I left, I absolutely, unequivocally thought the company was in good shape.

MYERS: Skilling insisted today that he never misled investors. So far, neither he nor any other Enron executive grilled by Congress has taken the blame for what went wrong.