In the age of Starr, that's quite a statement. But an accusatory audit of the campaign's books by the usually toothless Federal Election Commission has provided Reno with precisely what she needed to pull the trigger this time: specific and credible evidence that a major player, such as Clinton or Gore, was directly involved in wrongdoing. "The betting inside Justice is that she'll seek an independent counsel after the 90 days are up," says Shannon. "And along with Gore and Clinton, Bob Dole could be involved."
WASHINGTON: Janet Reno has been through this ritual before: first a 30-day inquiry, then a 90-day inquiry, then... nothing. Not so this time; the attorney general's decision late Tuesday to launch a 90-day probe into the Clinton/Gore '96 campaign could, says TIME Justice Department correspondent Elaine Shannon, be "the mother of all probes."