OT - What Reno really knew.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
[Fair Use, for Educational Purposes] Bolded items are my emphasis only - Deb.
"Long-sealed Justice report says White House spared in funding probe"
March 10, 2000
"LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- A confidential report by the Justice Department's former campaign finance investigator, kept sealed by Attorney General Janet Reno for nearly two years, found a "pattern of conduct" on the part of White House officials, including President Clinton, that warranted an independent counsel probe, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday."
"The campaign finance allegations ... present the earmarks of a loose enterprise employing different actors at different levels who share a common goal: Bring in the money," said an edited version of the 94-page report by former Justice investigator Charles LaBella, which was obtained by the Times."
"Since the report was submitted nearly two years ago it has been kept sealed by the attorney general, who even after being threatened with contempt defied congressional pressure to release it. Only a handful of congressional members and aides have been allowed to read the report and then only under strictly controlled circumstances."
"In the document, LaBella accused Reno's top advisers of applying double standards in endorsing independent counsels to investigate Cabinet-level officials while opposing them in similar or stronger cases against top White House officials, the Times said."
"Among those singled out for special treatment, according to the LaBella report, were the president, Vice President Al Gore, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former White House aide Harold Ickes. The Times said the report was the first indication Mrs. Clinton's part in the fund-raising scandal arising from the 1996 presidential election was under scrutiny."
"While LaBella's report did not accuse the president, vice president, first lady or Ickes of any specific criminal violations, it cited questionable actions by them and a "pattern of conduct worthy of investigation" by an independent counsel, the Times reported."
"The document noted administration dealings with Asian American fund-raisers and wealthy foreign nationals, and the "calculated use of access" to the White House and high-level officials, the paper reported."
"LaBella called for a sweeping outside investigation into "the entire landscape" of campaign finance allegations and referred to the possibility of broad schemes "conjured up by sophisticated political operatives to circumvent" election finance laws during the Clinton reelection campaign, the newspaper said."
"The details from the leaked report come at a particularly sensitive time for Gore, in the midst of his presidential bid, and Mrs. Clinton, in her battle for a U.S. Senate seat from New York. Both campaigns have struggled to distance themselves from the scandals that plagued the Clinton administration."
"Senior Justice Department officials rejected LaBella's assertions, saying his report reached "outrageous" conclusions and personalized policy differences, the Times reported."
"Justice Department spokesman Myron Marlin told the Times Reno "based her decision (not to appoint an independent counsel) on the facts and the laws without regard to politics, the pundits or pressure."
"White House spokesman Jim Kennedy told the Times, "We're not going to comment on selectively leaked information that's allegedly from a sealed report we've never seen." But he added that a thorough investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of the president, vice president or first lady."
"LaBella left the task force voluntarily days after filing his report."
I'm sure he did - I wonder who pressured him into leaving. Remember "Define 'is'?" I wonder what they came up with for "voluntary" - a pistol to the back of the head?
-- Deb M. (email@example.com), March 10, 2000
Yeah, but anybody who didn't create a Y2K "Reichstag fire," sign executive orders and make himself President-for-life, can't be all bad, don't you think? Or don't ya?
-- johno (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 10, 2000.