House Speaker Jim Wright says the congressional investigation of his financial dealings won't hamper him in his role as chairman of next month's Democratic National Convention.
"There is no cloud over my head, no sir," the Texas Democrat said. "I've done nothing unethical, nothing illegal, nothing violative of the rules of the House."Wright's defense of his actions came Sunday in back-to-back appearances on CBS-TV's "Face the Nation" and ABC-TV's "This Week with David Brinkley."
Last Friday, the House ethics committee announced it was starting a preliminary inquiry into allegations of conflicts of interest in Wright's financial dealings.
Some of the allegations center on a book written by Wright, "Reflections of a Public Man." According to reports Sunday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The New York Times, one Texas businessman said he bought 1,000 copies of the book as a legal way to give money to Wright and bypass limits on campaign contributions.
Other allegations concern Wright's political efforts on behalf of several Texas businesses.
Wright said Sunday the allegations are "a partisan political ploy" by Republicans seeking to deflect attention from ethical violations by current and former members of the Reagan administration.
"It's a partisan ploy, and it will be revealed to be a partisan ploy," Wright said on the CBS program.
Wright, when asked whether he would step down from the chairmanship of the party's convention if asked, said, "I don't expect to."
"I haven't done anything dishonest or illegal," he said. "I'm convinced I haven't violated any rules of the House.
"I may have done some things, at one time or another in my career, that were bad judgment," he said. "But whatever mistakes I've made have not been dishonest mistakes."
Wright refused to say if he thinks the ethics investigation should be conducted by an independent counsel, rather than the committee. "I don't have a preference," he said.
"I'm not trying to tell the committee how to do its business," Wright said on ABC. "I asked them to look into it thoroughly. I asked them to do it promptly. Now, anything that can be done is fine with me so long as it gets the facts out and gets them out soon.
"I want this resolved, and I'm convinced that the resolution is going to be that I haven't violated any rules."