Lake Put on Hold

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Senate Republicans have delayed until February 25 confirmation hearings on Anthony Lake, President Clinton's nominee for CIA director, while the Justice Department completes separate investigations into Lake's investments and testimony before Congress. In contrast to other Clinton nominees who have breezed through confirmation proceedings, Lake, along with Labor nominee Alexis Herman, has been put under the GOP spotlight. "My read on this is that the Republicans will shake them up, but they probably will pass them," says TIME White House correspondent J.F.O. McAllister. "Majority Leader Trent Lott says he just wants to be thorough." The probe into Lake's investments focuses on several energy stocks he owned while serving in his current job as National Security Advisor. The White House counsel's office advised Lake two years ago to sell his holdings in four energy-related concerns, which were deemed a potential ethical conflict because his influence in setting U.S. Mideast policy could affect energy prices and thus the value of his stocks. There is some evidence to suggest that Lake instructed his broker to sell the stocks, but the broker did not follow through. Justice is also examining whether any White House personnel, including Lake, gave Congress inaccurate information in 1994 about the Administration's tacit endorsement of Iranian arms sales to Bosnia. McAllister says nothing has yet surfaced that would torpedo Lake's nomination, but adds: "Lake taps into a deeper wellspring of Senatorial dislike. He's a very intelligent academician who does not like to gladhand."