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Burton Subpoenas Internal Justice Memos

By Pierre Thomas/CNN

WASHINGTON (July 24) -- Rep. Dan Burton, chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, issued a subpoena Friday demanding that Attorney General Janet Reno provide him with two internal memos from senior law enforcement officials calling for an independent counsel to investigate allegations of campaign finance abuses.

Burton authorized the subpoena after Reno failed to meet a 1 p.m. EDT deadline that Burton had set.

Burton wants a 100-page report from Charles LaBella, the outgoing head of the Justice Department campaign finance task force, and a memo from FBI Director Louis Freeh, which say there should be an independent counsel campaign finance investigation.

In a two-page letter to Reno obtained by CNN, Burton warned that if she did not respond to his request, "I will be compelled to issue a subpoena for the documents."

In addition, Burton notified Reno that he has called LaBella, Freeh and James Desarno, lead FBI agent on the Justice task force, to testify before his committee next Thursday. The July 30 hearing will focus on Reno's failure thus far to seek an independent counsel.

Justice Department officials say providing the memo would expose secret grand jury information.

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Burton Wants Internal Justice Memos


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