The Probe's Path: A Timeline
Wed., Dec. 03, 1997; Page A27
March 3: Following a story in The Washington Post detailing his fund-raising activities, Vice President Gore calls an impromptu news conference to declare there is "no controlling legal authority" to suggest that soliciting campaign donations from his White House office was illegal.
April 14: In response to a request from Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that she seek appointment of an independent counsel, Attorney General Janet Reno concludes, in part, that the law prohibiting political fund-raising on federal property applies only to "hard money" campaign contributions. Because Gore's phone calls and other fund-raising activities at the White House generated party-building "soft money," no independent counsel is necessary, she says.
Sept. 3: A Washington Post story reveals that some money from Gore calls went to hard money accounts. Reno orders a 30-day review to determine whether an independent counsel is necessary. Separately and by coincidence, the House Judiciary Committee files a request with Reno for an independent counsel on a variety of matters.
Sept. 14: After learning that President Clinton might have made fund-raising calls at the White House, Reno opens a 30-day review on the president.
Oct. 3: Reno rejects the House Judiciary Committee request for a broad examination of White House fund-raising and says she will proceed with Clinton and Gore only in regard to the phone calls. Separately she decides to extend the probe of Gore because investigators have been unable to resolve the allegations regarding the calls during the 30-day review.
Oct. 14: Reno similarly extends the Clinton probe.
Dec. 2: At the deadline set by law, 90 days after the House Judiciary Committee request, Reno concludes that no investigation by an independent counsel of the Clinton and Gore phone calls is necessary.
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