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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Clinton interviewed by Justice investigators

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, November 9) -- Justice Department investigators interviewed President Bill Clinton at the White House Monday, in their continuing probe of Democratic fund-raising and the financing of so-called "issue ads."

Clinton was interviewed for 90 minutes in the Treaty Room of the White House residence Monday about his role in issue ads produced in 1995-96 by the Democratic National Committee.

Two members of the Justice Department's Campaign Finance Task Force, two agents from the FBI, the president's private lawyer David Kendall and Kendall's associate Nicole Seligman attended the interview.

Clinton was not under oath and the interview was not videotaped.

The interview was confirmed by Kendall in a statement.

"The President was interviewed today at the White House by representatives of the Department of Justice," Kendall said in his statement. "The interview was conducted in connection with the Attorney General's preliminary investigation under the Independent Counsel statute. The subject of the interview was the Democratic National Committee's issue ads in the 1995-96 time period.

"As the President has previously announced, he is cooperating fully with this investigation and voluntarily agreed when a interview was requested," Kendall's statement said. "Consistent with past practice, no further statement about the content of the interview will be made at this time."

Attorney General Janet Reno in September ordered a 90-day investigation of Clinton's fund-raising during his 1996 re-election campaign.

Reno could decide to seek the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate White House fund-raising if investigators find "specific and credible evidence" that campaign finance laws have been violated.

At the heart of the probe is whether issue advocacy ads run by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in battleground states were actually thinly veiled Clinton-Gore re-election ads. The DNC spots were funded with so-called "soft money" -- funds intended for party-building or get-out-the-vote drives, not for specific campaigns.

CNN's Marty Kramer contributed to this report.


Clinton's fund-raising under 90-day investigation (9-8-98)

Reno triggers 90-day probe of Ickes' fund-raising (9-1-98)

Reno approves 90-day investigation of Gore (8-26-98)

Reno says 'no' on independent counsels (12-02-97)

Reno launches Clinton fund-raising probe (9-20-97)


Department of Justice Web site

Federal Election Commission Web site


Monday, November 9, 1998

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