Justice Dept. Balks at Releasing Documents
The Justice Department refused to give a House committee two internal memos recommending that its campaign finance investigation be turned over to an independent counsel, which Atty. Gen. Janet Reno has declined to do. Committee chairman Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said he would discuss the department’s decision with panel members today, and may issue a contempt citation against Reno for refusing to obey a congressional subpoena. Justice spokesman Bert Brandenburg said: “No prosecutor anywhere should have to hand out a road map to an investigation and reveal information that could tip off the guilty and smear the innocent.” Burton said Justice’s explanation was insincere, as his subpoena excluded secret grand jury information. He said he was seeking only the reasoning behind the decision of FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and departing chief of the Justice campaign finance task force, Charles G. LaBella.