WASHINGTON — The House ethics panel decided last week to hold a hearing tomorrow to consider Speaker Jim Wright's motions to dismiss the main charges against him, and the arguments by lawyers for the two sides will be open to television coverage. Mr. Wright's spokesman, Mark Johnson, said the Speaker welcomed the development and would renew his call for the panel to expedite procedures.
The Texas Democrat is the topic of nearly daily reports in the national news media.
In addition to the Speaker's troubles, press reports have forced Rep. Tony Coelho (D) California, Wright's chief vote counter, to revise and defend his own financial-disclosure statements.
But most House Republicans aren't putting out press releases, making speeches about it, or even attacking the Speaker in conversations with reporters.
Rep. Jerry Lewis of California, chairman of the House Republican Conference, says he has urged his colleagues to remain quiet in deference to the ethics process, which eventually could require all members to pass judgment on the Speaker.