Time: Thu Dec 04 05:17:25 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Rep. Burton on Reno's statement (fwd)
Bcc: sls

>U.S. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee
>December 2, 1997 For Immediate Release CHAIRMAN DAN BURTON 
>Government Reform and Oversight Committee 
>December 2, 1997 For Immediate Release 
>Contact: Ashley Williams 202-225-5074 
>Indianapolis, IN --- Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), Chairman of the
>House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, issued a stern response
>to Attorney General Janet Reno's decision not to seek an independent
>counsel in the illegal foreign fundraising controversy swirling around
>the White House and the Democratic National Committee. Chairman Burton
>announced that he will ask both Attorney General Reno and FBI Director
>Louis Freeh to testify before his committee next week. 
>It has been widely reported that Freeh has weighed in vigorously within
>the Justice Department in support of an independent counsel. He
>reportedly sent Reno a lengthy memo over a week ago advocating an
>appointment of an independent counsel because of conflicts of interest
>within the Justice Department. 
>"Once again, the Attorney General had the opportunity to do the right
>thing. Once again, she has failed. I am absolutely flabbergasted. 
>"The American people have no confidence in this Justice Department to
>conduct an impartial investigation of the President and his closest
>advisors. The Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the President.
>She can not do a credible job investigating her boss, his top aides, and
>his top fundraisers. This investigation must be conducted by an
>independent counsel, who has no axe to grind, or the public will always
>remain suspicious of the results. 
>"The Independent Counsel Act specifically authorizes the Attorney
>General to seek an independent counsel when the Justice Department has a
>personal, financial, or political conflict of interest.' It should be
>obvious to anyone that Janet Reno has a serious conflict of interest in
>investigating the Clinton White House. The Attorney General has
>disregarded the good advice given to her by FBI Director Freeh. She has
>focused on a very narrow and shallow issue and ignored the larger
>conflicts of interest that have plagued this Justice Department
>"In 1986, when the Iran-Contra story was breaking, Attorney General Ed
>Meese sought the appointment of an independent counsel within a month.
>At the time, Meese said that this was in the public interest.' President
>Reagan publicly called on him to do so. It has been fourteen months
>since this foreign fundraising scandal became public, and the Attorney
>General is still resisting appointing an independent counsel. President
>Clinton's silence speaks volumes about his position. 
>During her confirmation hearings in 1993, Reno said, "The reason that I
>support the concept of an independent counsel with statutory
>independence is that there is an inherent conflict whenever senior
>Executive Branch officials are to be investigated by the Department and
>its appointed head, the Attorney General." 
>Burton said, "In 1993, Janet Reno said that an independent counsel was
>necessary to investigate high-level officials. Now she has reversed
>herself. It makes it appear as though she is protecting the President." 
>"The Justice Department task force has moved very slowly. After more
>than a year, the Justice Department has few accomplishments to point to.
>We have received reports that they have not even attempted to interview
>John Huang, and he is one of the central figures in this scandal. 
>"The question is -- will the American people have confidence that no
>cover-up is going on? As a result of today's announcement, the answer
>remains no.' 
>Following the Attorney General's announcement, Chairman Burton faxed
>letters to both Attorney General C and Director Freeh seeking their
>testimony before the Government Reform and Oversight Committee next
>week, Tuesday, December 9. 

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