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Justice Investigating Lawrence Burial Waiver

lawrence

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 4) -- The Justice Department is investigating the Clinton Administration's waiver allowing Ambassador Larry Lawrence to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

A federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press that White House action on behalf of Lawrence, who was a big Democratic donor, is being probed by Justice's campaign finance task force looking into possible fund-raising irregularities during the 1996 election.

The State Department, in a letter obtained by the AP, also confirmed there was a Justice Department probe.

Lawrence's Arlington waiver was based on his claims to have served and been wounded in the Merchant Marine during World War II. No records can be found to back up those claims, and the Coast Guard and State Department now say Lawrence never served.

The Justice task force will look into whether Lawrence's six-figure donations to the Democratic party had anything to do with his being named ambassador to Switzerland or his burial at Arlington. They will also look into the failure of the State Department and White House to catch the discrepancy in Lawrence's military service during a 1993 background check.

Following the controversy over Lawrence's service history, his widow had his body exhumed and reburied in San Diego.

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Wednesday Feb. 4, 1998

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