The Political Interest Caught in the Web

The press routinely describes him as a "central figure" in the scandal. "He should be fired," says Republican Senator Al D'Amato. Or at least put "out of the picture" on an unpaid leave of absence, said Republican Senate Leader Bob Dole last Friday. The target of these attacks is Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, the latest Clinton Administration official caught in the Whitewater affair's web of fact and innuendo.

Political trouble threatens all in its path indiscriminately. Public officials served with subpoenas suffer tarnished reputations no matter the ultimate result -- which is why distinctions should be drawn. Where does Altman...

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