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FBI Expands Investigation on Bush Debate Materials

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From Associated Press

The FBI has expanded its investigation to determine whether superiors of an employee of George W. Bush’s media consultant were involved in sending a Bush debate tape to his Democratic opponent, a federal law enforcement official said Saturday.

Bush expressed confidence Saturday that none of his campaign aides was involved. “I look forward to finding out who it is,” he said.

Asked whether he would fire anyone if a theft were discovered, he said, “If I found somebody stealing from our campaign? Yeah, I sure would.”

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Bush’s media consultant Mark McKinnon defended his employee, Yvette Lozano, saying he believes she didn’t have anything to do with mailing the debate tape to an Al Gore confidant.

Lozano was initially linked to the case through forensic work by the FBI, officials said. Also, a label on the package received by Gore advisor Tom Downey on Sept. 13 corresponds to the date Lozano was filmed by a security camera mailing a package.

The FBI questioned Bush strategist Karl Rove on Saturday for about 30 minutes at Bush campaign headquarters in Austin, Texas, said Dan Bartlett, a Bush spokesman.

A federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the bureau has opened a full criminal investigation.

Lozano, who works for McKinnon at Maverick Media, has denied mailing the debate materials. She and McKinnon have said the package she mailed Sept. 11 contained Gap pants she was returning.

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