The Reno Watch

Intent Seems Missing In Campaign Violations

Betting is heavy that Attorney General JANET RENO won't call for an independent counsel to investigate BILL CLINTON'S role in the Democratic Party's 1995-96 blitz of "issue advocacy" ads. Justice Department lawyers are having trouble defining a crime that might have occurred. Most similar election-law violations are handled as civil, not criminal, matters; whether or not a candidate can participate in his party's issue ads is an unsettled matter of law.

But the strongest argument that Clinton and the other Democrats could use to fend off another probe is that their lawyers were involved in every step of the $42 million...

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