Danforth to head independent Waco probe
September 9, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Sen. John Danforth will head an independent investigation into the FBI's 1993 Branch Davidian standoff, Attorney General Janet Reno announced Thursday.
Danforth, a Missouri Republican, said his main focus will be, "Was there a cover-up?" and "Did federal officials kill people?"
Reno's selection of Danforth comes amid new calls for her resignation.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said Wednesday that new revelations that the government withheld evidence about its use of force in the April 19, 1993, assault add to a "pattern" of refusing to cooperate with congressional requests, such as repeated GOP requests that she seek an investigation of Democratic fund-raising in the 1996 election.
"There are doubts because questions have been raised," Lott told reporters. "All of that leads me to conclude that the attorney general should resign."
Senate Majority Whip Don Nickles, R-Oklahoma, also called for Reno to step down, his spokesman said.
At the same time, the attorney general received a strong endorsement from Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who said Reno "deserves commendation rather than criticism," and that "under no circumstances" should she resign.
President Clinton has expressed continuing confidence in Reno, but has not done the same for FBI Director Louis Freeh.
Reno close to naming Danforth to head independent Waco probe
Federal Bureau of Investigation
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