More Subpoenas In Fund-raising Probe
By Claire Shipman/CNN
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 16) -- Allegations of improper Democratic campaign fund-raising heated up with the news of more subpoenas and possible depositions.
The chairman of the House committee charged with the probe said five subpoenas were sent out last week and he signed 20 more subpoenas for documents late Saturday.
"After we get the documents and review them -- and I have a very good legal staff working on them -- then we will decide which people we want to come in for depositions," Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said on CNN's "Late Edition."
Burton, chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, told NBC the scope of the investigation is widening.
"We now have over 500 people that we may have to talk to," Burton said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "The documents that we are going to have to be involved with is very broad. I've asked for documents from 60 different individuals, so far."
Burton's committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee are investigating possible influence from abroad in the U.S. election process, including whether Chinese government officials channeled money into the Democratic Party before last November's presidential election.
The White House denied campaign contributions to Democrats influenced President Clinton on international policy decisions.
"There's no policy affected by contributions to this president," White House Special Counsel Lanny Davis said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "There's no governmental actions affected by contributions to this president."
The White House counsel's office hinted, though, that it may not give Republicans everything they want.
"There are certain circumstances that the Republicans, as well as the Democratic presidents and the leadership of both chambers, would say is executive privilege that is appropriate and necessary to protect decision-making and deliberation in the Oval Office," Davis said on Fox.
Congressional Democrats spent their time Sunday trying to redirect focus to legislation for campaign finance reform, which they say Republicans don't widely support.
"The issue here, the key difference between most Republicans -- not all, but most Republicans -- and Democrats is whether or not we are going to put limits on campaign spending," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), after appearing on CBS.
"That's the key issue. Most Republicans do not want those limits. All Democrats do want those limits."
Democrats also complain that the investigation into fundraising practices thus far seems to be a one-sided, partisan pursuit. Their only consolation may be that if Capitol Hill Republicans push too hard on the issue, they may ultimately be forced to enact campaign finance reform.
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