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Justice Looking At Gore's Fund-raising Calls

The review could lead to appointment of an independent counsel

By Terry Frieden/CNN

gore reno

WASHINGTON (Sep. 4) -- The Justice Department has begun the formal process of determining whether the campaign fund-raising activities of Vice President Al Gore should trigger the appointment of an independent counsel.

Following a high-level meeting at the Justice Department late today, the Justice Department is looking into whether the allegations that the vice president illegally solicited campaign contributions on federal property should warrant a "preliminary investigation" under the Independent Counsel Act. Gore has conceded he made fund-raising calls, but there was no controlling legal authority that barred him from doing so.

A Justice Department official told CNN the decision begins a 30-day clock at which time a decision will be made whether to go forward with the formal but "preliminary" investigation.

At that time the Justice Department will have another 90 days to decide whether Attorney General Janet Reno will actually seek appointment of an independent counsel.


The meeting at which the decision was made included members of the campaign finance task force headed by career prosecutors.

While the move does not mean the Justice Department will in the end ask for an independent counsel, the move clearly shows an increased level of concern by Justice officials over the latest revelations that some of the funds raised by Gore while he was at the White House complex ended up in "hard money" accounts which by law have strict limits.

In Other News:

Wednesday Sept. 3, 1997

Arizona Gov. Symington Guilty
Justice Looking At Gore's Fund-raising Calls
At Least Two Nuns To Testify Thursday
Anti-Smoking Amendment Moves Forward In Senate
The Buddhist Temple Event: Papers On The Trail
White House Releases Documents On Gore Fund-raiser
Drudge Strikes Back, Sort Of
House Returns For Overseas Aid Debate

E-mail From Washington:
Burton Asks White House To Explain New Fund-Raising Documents

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