Freeh: Justice felt pressure not to proceed with probe to save Reno job


Thursday, May 18th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


(Washington-AP) -- Was there pressure on the Justice Department to scrap an investigation into alleged Democratic fund-raising abuses?
F-B-I Director Louis Freeh suggests there was, in a memo written in the earliest days of the probe.

Freeh wrote that a top Justice official said he was under pressure not to proceed in order to save Attorney General Janet Reno's job. The official now says he was never under any such
pressure. An F-B-I spokesman wouldn't comment.

The 1996 memo was turned over to Senate investigators this week -- it was described to The Associated Press by several government
officials.

At the time, there was speculation on whether Reno would serve a second term as attorney general.

She steadfastly resisted an independent prosecutor for fund-raising -- even though she's named a total of seven independent counsels to investigate the Clinton administration on other matters, at times angering Clinton supporters.

In the memo, Freeh also says he urged Reno and the other official to step aside from the investigation.