Time: Fri Aug 15 05:57:24 1997
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Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 05:41:52 -0700
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: sls: Reno proves that Justice is blind

> Attorney general abdicates her legal responsibilities 
>     Reno proves that Justice is blind 
>           Opinion 
>            By John H. Fund 
>                                 Attorney General Janet Reno is
>                                 nothing if not
>                         consistent. While she remains oblivious to
>                         the law requiring her to appoint an
>                         independent counsel if there is credible
>                         evidence of lawbreaking in the
>                         campaign-finance scandal, she is now also
>                         looking the other way in the U.S. Senate's
>                         probe of voter fraud in Louisiana. When it
>                         comes to ethical problems that involve her
>                         president or her party, Reno's response seems
>                         to be: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no
>                         evil.
>                                 Now the attorney general is giving
>                                 aid and comfort to
>                         Senate Democrats who want to shut down an
>                         examination of Louisiana's disputed Senate
>                         election. After Democrats on the rules
>                         committee withdrew their support for the
>                         probe in June, she recalled the two FBI
>                         agents assisting the committee after they had
>                         been on the job only 18 days. She said the
>                         FBI has a tradition of only providing agents
>                         for bipartisan congressional investigations.
>                         Sen. John Warner, the moderate rules
>                         committee chairman heading the probe, says
>                         Justice's action creates an "appearance of
>                         impropriety" because the committee now lacks
>                         the resources to complete its work. 
>            When it
>           comes to
>             ethical
>     problems that
>        involve her
>      party, Reno's
>           response
>       seems to be:
>        See no evil,
>      hear no evil,
>     speak no evil.
>                                 Morris Reed, a black Democrat who ran
>                                 for New
>                         Orleans district attorney in the same
>                         election, says that both he and GOP Senate
>                         candidate Woody Jenkins were victims of a
>                         concerted effort at vote fraud by Mayor Marc
>                         Morial's LIFE political machine. Last year,
>                         Reed was worried enough about reports of
>                         impending fraud that he wrote to Attorney
>                         General Reno asking that federal poll
>                         watchers be sent. Having served as an
>                         assistant U.S. attorney handling civil rights
>                         cases, the Democratic Reed expected a reply
>                         from his old employer. He heard nothing from
>                         Reno.
>                                 Then in April, Rep. Billy Tauzin, who
>                                 served 15 years
>                         as a Democrat in Congress before switching
>                         parties, wrote Reno and asked for an
>                         investigation of the Senate vote. She replied
>                         that "this department has a policy of
>                         refraining whenever possible from intervening
>                         in ongoing election disputes until those
>                         disputes have been resolved." Sen. Warner
>                         points out that this effectively means the
>                         FBI doesn't aggressively investigate fraud
>                         while an election challenge is still before
>                         the Senate. But he says the Senate can't
>                         decide whether fraud existed without the help
>                         of FBI agents. This "should be a basis for
>                         granting an exception to your policy on the
>                         detail of FBI agents," the senator wrote Reno
>                         and FBI Director Louis Freeh last week. 
>      U.S. Department of
>      Justice Home Page 
>      Complete coverage of the
>      Senate campaign finance
>      hearings 
>      E-mail the Opinion editor 
>                                 In Washington, the Democrats have
>                                 threatened to
>                         slow down all Senate business this September
>                         if the probe isn't terminated. More and more
>                         independent observers believe that by her
>                         actions Attorney General Reno has become an
>                         active accomplice in the stonewalling. That
>                         concern is one of many reasons that House
>                         Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde will hold a
>                         hearing in a few weeks demanding a full
>                         accounting of Reno's inexplicable behavior.
>                                 As in her decision not to appoint an
>                                 independent
>                         counsel in the campaign-finance scandal, Reno
>                         is ignoring her duty when she refuses to find
>                         out if the civil rights of Louisiana voters
>                         were infringed upon. Republicans may have but
>                         one recourse: to delay confirmation of
>                         Clinton judicial and other nominations until
>                         Reno provides a reasonable explanation for
>                         her refusal to carry out her duty to uphold
>                         the law.
>                         John H. Fund is a member of The Wall Street
>                         Journal's editorial board and a regular
>                         contributor to MSNBC on the Internet. 
>                         c 1997 MSNBC
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Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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