Fund-Raising Probe Stumbles

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WASHINGTON: John Rowley's resignation as the lead counselor for the House panel investigating alleged fund-raising irregularities at the DNC and the 1996 election is the latest in a string of setbacks which threaten tear the probe apart. But while the investigation is not quite dead in the water, TIME's Viveca Novak says this latest feud clearly sinks the panel deeper into the quagmire. "You had Dan Burton saying at one point he wanted to start hearings in late July, but Rowley's resignation makes that increasingly unlikely. And questions still linger about Burton himself. The Justice Department is investigating his fund-raising practices and there are open questions about whether the Republican leadership in the House is going to let him continue to run the show. Also, as long as they have Dave Bossie in there coordinating things for the panel, there is going to be a lot of resistance from people who would probably be very good lawyers or very good investigators from joining the committee. There are committee staff who chafe under his directions, and because of this, it will be very hard for them to hire new people because they'll know what they're getting into."