Attorney General Takes More Heat

The Attorney General is in a real bind, reports CBS News Correspondent Phil Jones. There is no way she can dismiss the howls for the appointment of an independent counsel as partisan Republican sniping since the latest call comes from one of her very own.

Charles Labella, the man Reno hand picked to get the money scandal investigation back on track has given Reno a confidential report stating she has no alternative but to seek an independent counsel.

Labella's investigation has included activities by President Clinton and Vice President Gore -- both of whom are covered by the independent counsel law.

At her weekly Thursday news conference, Reno tried to diminish Labella's role when a reporter described him as her "main lawyer" in the investigation.

"There's no 'main lawyer,'" she said. "There are lawyers responsible for different areas and we want to consider everybody's point of view."

However, Reno quickly clarified that she is the boss -- that this is not a democratic process.

"I indicated to you that it wasn't democratic. That if I have one person with the right answer, they may prevail," she said.

Labella now joins FBI director Louis Freeh, who told a house investigating committee last December why he thought the independent counsel law had been triggered.

And the latest is Freeh, his lead FBI agent in the investigation and Labella have been summoned by a House committee for next Thrusday to publicly talk about their private dispute with Janet Reno.

Reported by Phil Jones
©1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved

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