Gore's Ickes Situation

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WASHINGTON: Don't worry, Al. Janet Reno is just going through the motions on her 90-day extension of the investigation into Gore's dollar-dialing during the '96 campaign, says TIME Justice Department correspondent Elaine Shannon. "This is just a pro forma exercise required by the Independent Counsel Act. Based on the evidence right now, at the end of 90 days there'll be nothing."

But that doesn't mean the ambitious Veep's worst nightmare -- the one about a Son of Ken Starr following him all the way to New Hampshire -- can't still come true. Shannon says Justice's ongoing probe into former top White House aide Harold Ickes' fund-raising practices could easily spill into Gore's lap. "Ickes was at all the important meetings, and what he did could implicate Gore. And although Ickes isn't covered under the Independent Counsel Act, she's thinking about appointing one anyway." If that happens? Party at Dick Gephardt's.