Time: Wed Jul 23 22:38:00 1997
	by primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id WAA20100
	for [address in tool bar]; Wed, 23 Jul 1997 22:28:58 -0700 (MST)
	by usr08.primenet.com (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id WAA19992;
	Wed, 23 Jul 1997 22:27:53 -0700 (MST)
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 22:27:19 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: "The Justice Department ... is in a hopeless conflict of
  interest," (fwd)

>not to be used for commercial purposes
>Hearings chief blasts Justice Department, calls it 'politicized' 
>WASHINGTON--Sen. Fred Thompson accused the 
>Justice Department on Tuesday of damaging the 
>Senate campaign-finance investigation by opposing 
>attempts to grant immunity to witnesses and 
>refusing to share vital information.
>    Thompson, the Tennessee Republican 
>who is heading the Senate inquiry, told reporters 
>he has lost confidence in a "politicized'' Justice 
>Department team that has been blinded by a conflict 
>of interest in the case involving President Clinton 
>and his Democratic allies.
>    "I do not have confidence any more 
>in the Justice Department's ability to carry out 
>a credible investigation,'' said Thompson, chairman 
>of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
>    His sharp words were triggered after 
>department prosecutors continued opposing his attempts 
>to offer legal protection to five low-level witnesses 
>in the fund-raising inquiry. The list includes 
>Keshi Zahn, a hostess for former Little Rock restaurateur 
>Charlie Trie, and four Buddhist nuns involved in 
>a California fund-raiser attended by Vice President 
>    Justice Department prosecutors, 
>who have defended their work, oppose granting immunity 
>for fear it would jeopardize their own criminal 
>investigation. Thompson said the witnesses have 
>important information, but nothing that would damage 
>the overall case.
>    "It's not even a close call,'' Thompson 
>said at the Capitol. "It's extremely, extremely 
>    The committee met behind closed 
>doors Tuesday with federal prosecutors and decided 
>to delay any immunity vote on the witnesses until 
>today. The committee begins its third week of hearings 
>into whether foreign or tainted money entered the 
>1996 elections.
>    The first two weeks were spent exploring 
>questions involving Clinton and Democrats; this 
>week's three days of hearings will examine foreign 
>donations flowing to Republicans.
>    Democrats will zero in on a loan 
>guarantee made by a Hong Kong company to the National 
>Policy Forum, a think tank closely tied to the 
>Republican National Committee and former party 
>Chairman Haley Barbour.
>    Sen. John Glenn of Ohio, the committee's 
>ranking Democrat, said the loan arrangement helped 
>send more than $1 million to GOP candidates in 
>the closing weeks of the 1994 campaign.
>    Today's testimony will feature former 
>National Policy Foundation President Michael Baroody. 
>Barbour is to testify Thursday.
>    While Democrats hustled Tuesday 
>to finish preparations for questioning GOP leaders,
>some long-simmering animosity surfaced between 
>Thompson's committee and the Justice Department. 
>The two groups, which are conducting separate fund-
>raising investigations, have been at odds in recent 
>weeks over issues including allegations that the 
>Chinese government tried to secretly influence 
>the 1996 elections.
>    The Justice Department is conducting 
>a criminal investigation into the China matter. 
>Thompson and other Republicans have been unhappy 
>with the amount of information being shared by 
>prosecutors, including why they oppose granting 
>immunity to the five witnesses.
>    Thompson said it is a pattern of 
>Justice Department "foot-dragging'' that is eating 
>away at the committee's limited investigation time. 
>The $4.3 million Senate review faces a year-end 
>    "The Justice Department makes it 
>much more difficult for us,'' he said.
>    Thompson questioned whether politics 
>may be coloring the judgment of the Clinton-run 
>Justice Department team. Thompson said it was inappropriate 
>for Justice Department officials to "put themselves 
>in the position'' of making calls on fund-raising 
>questions directly involving Clinton aides. 
>    "The Justice Department ... is in 
>a hopeless conflict of interest,'' Thompson said.
>    The better alternative, Republicans 
>said, was for Attorney General Janet Reno to end 
>her opposition to an independent counsel. Sen. 
>Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said he might bypass Reno 
>and for the first time have the Senate directly 
>seek appointment of a special prosecutor from a 
>three-judge federal panel.
>    Such a move is necessary because 
>the Justice Department "is simply not on top of 
>this case,'' Specter said.
>    Thompson and several other top Republicans 
>said they might be open to such a maneuver.
>    Republicans hoped to finally end 
>the long-running deadlock over granting immunity 
>to the five witnesses. Committee lawyers want to 
>resolve some lingering questions before today's 
>    "This thing has been dragged out 
>entirely too long,'' Thompson said.
>    At the Justice Department, spokesman 
>Bert Brandenburg said prosecutors support the committee's 
>requests for limited immunity involving 11 of 26 
>people. Of the remaining 15, Brandenburg told The 
>Associated Press, the department either opposed 
>immunity or lacked enough information to make a 
>    ''Some of the 15 may later be approved 
>for immunity as we get more information,'' he added.
>    It is not clear where Democrats 
>will stand during today's vote, where a two-thirds 
>majority will be required to grant immunity. That 
>means at least two of the committee's seven Democrats 
>must join with nine Republicans.
>    "We just want to make sure everything 
>is done correctly,'' said Alan Baron, special counsel 
>for committee Democrats.
>    The dispute centers on granting 
>immunity to four nuns who participated in a Democratic 
>fund-raiser at a Buddhist temple and Zahn, who 
>helped Trie run his international trading business 
>in Washington.
>    Committee investigators want to 
>talk to Zahn about events involving Trie, who left 
>Little Rock to become a Democratic fund-raiser. 
>Party leaders have returned much of the money because 
>of concerns that it originated overseas.
>    Like Trie, Zahn has been in China 
>in recent weeks. While Trie has said he has no 
>plans to leave, a committee aide said Zahn has 
>signaled she wants to return and testify--if 
>she's offered immunity.
>    "She says she's on vacation, but 
>she wants to come back and testify,'' the aide 
>said. "She wants to clear her name.'
>This article was published on Wednesday, July 23, 1997

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

tel:     (520) 320-1514: machine; fax: (520) 320-1256: 24-hour/day-night
email:   [address in tool bar]       : using Eudora Pro 3.0.3 on 586 CPU
website: http://www.supremelaw.com   : visit the Supreme Law Library now
ship to: c/o 2509 N. Campbell, #1776 : this is free speech,  at its best
             Tucson, Arizona state   : state zone,  not the federal zone
             Postal Zone 85719/tdc   : USPS delays first class  w/o this

As agents of the Most High, we came here to establish justice.  We shall
not leave, until our mission is accomplished and justice reigns eternal.
[This text formatted on-screen in Courier 11, non-proportional spacing.]


Return to Table of Contents for

Supreme Law School:   E-mail