For 12 years the Democratic Congress showed no mercy in its relentless hounding of officials from the Reagan and Bush administrations on matters great and small. Every day, the office of this and the bureau of that received letters from Democratic members of Congress demanding thousands of pages of documents. And Ronald Reagan himself directed in an executive order that all officials in the executive branch comply promptly with all requests from any member of Congress – with a couple of exceptions relating to national security and ongoing executive-branch investigations.
So off went the Reagan-Bush documents by the truckload. And off marched the officials by the score, each to his lonely place under the klieg lights at a small table facing an amphitheater of dour members of Congress – many of whom hoped to derive not only political gain but also personal satisfaction from the torture they were about to inflict.