Bowles: Hubbell Hush Money? 'Absolutely Not'
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AllPolitics, April 15) -- White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, asked if the employment offered to former Justice official Webster Hubbell amounted to "hush money" to buy his silence on Whitewater, replied, "Absolutely not." Bowles testified before a Whitewater grand jury about the help he and other administration officials offered Hubbell after he resigned from the Justice Department but before he went to prison on fraud charges. Bowles was before the grand jury for much of the day, and on his way out of the courthouse, said it was an "interesting experience for someone who had never had to testify in court before."
Random Drug Testing O.K. To Protect President
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 15) -- A federal appeals court ruled today that the threat of a presidential assassination overrides the privacy rights of federal employees subjected to random drug tests. The case concerned those who have permanent access to the Old Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the White House. "The assassination of a president has an enormously disruptive impact on the life of the nation," wrote Judge David Sentelle for the District of Columbia's U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "The government has an interest in reducing the public's fear that it will have to endure this sort of disruption ... If the horrifying scenario that the government envisions were ever to come to pass, there would be no buffer between the drug-induced lapse by the employee and the injury to the nation's interests." Two budget officials, Ellen Balis and Arthur W. Stigile, had sued on the grounds that the random drug testing was a violation of their constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.
Dogs Have Their Day On Senate Floor
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 15) -- The ban on guide dogs on the Senate floor is over after just one day. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) on Monday blocked Moira Shea, an energy policy aide to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), from entering the Senate chamber led by her seeing-eye dog. Byrd, the Senate's undisputed parliamentary champ, says it's not the dog to which he objects; it's that the proper procedure was not followed. The Senate went through the motions today and unanimously approved a measure that would allow people with disabilities to use whatever aids they need to enter the Senate chamber.
Tipper Gore's Mother Falls At Veep's Residence
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 15) -- The U.S. Secret Service says Tipper Gore's mother, Margaret Aitcheson, fell at the vice president's residence this morning. She was transported to nearby Arlington Hospital and was treated for minor injuries.
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