Top Justice Aide To Make Final Report On DNC Fund-Raising Abuses
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 11) -- A top aide to Attorney General Janet Reno is preparing the final report which will determine if senior Democrats should be prosecuted for campaign finance violations, The Washington Post reported Monday.
The head of the Justice Department campaign finance task force, Charles LaBella, believes there is sufficient evidence to determine if abuses went beyond individual fund-raisers to senior officials of the Democratic National Committee [DNC] and perhaps into the White House, officials said.
LaBella's report is expected by mid-summer and could revitalize the controversy over 1996 election fund-raising, particularly by the Clinton-Gore campaign.
A career federal prosecutor, LaBella came to the task force last September in an attempt to revitalize the group's work. His report is expected to put together evidence from many separate investigations to determine if there existed a pattern of illegal activity by the DNC and White House officials during the 1996 campaign cycle.
"After the same characters emerge playing the same roles in several different cases, an investigator has to determine whether there is a common theme, and the task force now knows enough to do that," an official told The Washington Post.
"Looking at the pieces of a puzzle suggests that there is a whole. But you have to put them together to be able to make a decision on whether they connect or not," the official said.
Among those who may be targeted by LaBella's report are John Huang, former assistant finance chairman, and Harold Ickes, former deputy chief of staff, as well as other DNC and White House officials. If the report suggests that people including President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore or other "covered officials" were involved in the abuses, the independent counsel statute could be triggered.
LaBella will leave the task force after his report is filed. He has indicated to Reno he will return to his home in San Diego to be a candidate for the U.S. attorney's job there.