ad info

 
CNN.com Allpoliticsallpolitics.comwith TIME
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
POLITICS
TOP STORIES

Analysis indicates many Gore votes thrown out in Florida

Clinton's chief of staff calls White House over vandalism reports

Gephardt talks bipartisanship, outlines differences

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

India tends to quake survivors

Two Oklahoma State players among 10 killed in plane crash

Sharon calls peace talks a campaign ploy by Barak

Police arrest 100 Davos protesters

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

Texas cattle quarantined after violation of mad-cow feed ban
ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Sources: Freeh asked Reno to recuse herself from Democratic fund-raising probe

May 19, 2000
Web posted at: 10:19 a.m. EDT (1419 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As early as December 1996, FBI Director Louis Freeh urged Attorney General Janet Reno and another senior Justice Department official to recuse themselves from overseeing allegations of Democratic fund-raising abuses -- much earlier than previously known -- senior government sources tell CNN.

According to these sources, Freeh's initial request came after one of his top aides, Bill Esposito, informed him of a conversation Esposito allegedly had with Lee Radek, head of the department's Public Integrity section. Esposito claimed that Radek informed him that he felt pressure and that the alleged scandal could cost Reno her job.

The alleged conversation supposedly took place during the time when President Bill Clinton was deliberating over whether to ask Reno to return as attorney general for his second term, the sources said.

After Freeh's discussion with Esposito, the FBI director raised the matter with the attorney general who allegedly said she would look into it. During that conversation, Freeh told Reno he thought she and Radek had a conflict of interest and should remove themselves from the probe.

Freeh then fired off a memo to Esposito informing him he had discussed the matter with Reno and recommended she and Radek recuse themselves.

The Freeh memo was provided this week to Senate investigators, the sources said.

Thursday night, Radek denied the accusations, issuing the following statement: "I have no recollection of ever having said I was pressured because the attorney general's job might hang in the balance -- nor is it something I would have said because there is no basis for it."

As head of public integrity, Radek played a key role in recommending whether there should be an independent counsel on campaign finance. He generally rejected such calls.

It has been widely reported that Freeh had wanted an independent counsel to investigate the alleged fund-raising abuses, largely on grounds that there was a conflict of interest for Reno and other Justice officials in overseeing the probe. Freeh wrote one memo in 1997 detailing his concerns.


MORE STORIES:

Friday, May 19, 2000

ARCHIVES

 Search   

Back to the top  © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.