Reno Faces Hearing on Counsel Decision

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A Senate committee intends to put Atty. Gen. Janet Reno under oath to explain why she decided not to seek an independent counsel to investigate Democratic campaign fund-raising, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said. "I believe she's going to have a very difficult time justifying" the decision, Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday." Hatch said Reno will appear before the panel April 30--unless she appoints an independent counsel before then. Justice Department spokeswoman Carole Florman said Reno is "always willing to speak to Congress . . . about her decisions." Republicans claim Reno was protecting President Clinton when she declined a request for an independent counsel to investigate allegations of illegal campaign fund-raising by the Democrats.

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