Memo to Gore: While You Were Out...

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If Al Gore thought vacationing in Hawaii would shelter him from Washington woes, he was sadly mistaken. As new evidence emerges in the case of the mysterious fund-raising phone calls, the Veep is once again in danger of finding his very own Ken Starr yapping at his heels. Justice Department investigators have turned up a 1995 memo from a senior Gore aide indicating that he and his boss discussed ways of diverting Democratic Party soft-money contributions into the Clinton-Gore reelection fund -- an apparent contravention of campaign finance laws.

That's hardly conclusive evidence, but it may be enough to tip the balance in the DOJ's bitter civil war over whether to call for a campaign-finance independent counsel. Repeated calls for a probe from Louis Freeh and prosecutor Charles La Bella have so far gone unheeded by Janet Reno; according to a report in Thursday's New York Times, however, the A-G is beginning to swing. Reno has until the end of August to order a 90-day preliminary inquiry into the allegations against Gore. That's just enough time to give Al a nice "welcome home" present.