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Helms Will Vote "No" To Lake

Senate will investigate Chinese role in Democratic fund-raising


WASHINGTON (CNN, Feb. 14) - Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms says he will vote against Tony Lake for CIA director, but he predicts that in the end, Lake will be confirmed.

In an appearance taped Friday for CNN's "Evans and Novak," Helms said, "I can't support Mr. Lake based on a number of things. I will vote no. I don't want to attack him, but there are too many things that are too wrong for me in his background, and I suspect there are a lot of senators that feel that way," he said. "I expect we have a number of senators voting against him."

But when asked if Lake will be confirmed, Helms responded, "I expect he will."

With regard reports of Chinese involvement in Democratic fund-raising, Helms said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee intends to look into the matter, and that will mean questioning administration officials. Lake

"We gotta find out what's at the bottom of it first, but we can start pretty much at the top," he said. "The United States has no alternative but to follow this lead all the way to the end, and we're going to do it on the Foreign Relations Committee, I assure you of that," he added.

Helms also said "note has been taken" of reports that the vice president may have been warned before attending a fund-raiser at a Buddhist temple in California last April, saying he has talked to his committee staff about it.

When asked if any of the alleged misconduct shocks him, Helms said, "I'm getting hard to shock recently, a lot going on I've never seen in this government."

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