Sen. Lott: Time For Reno To Go

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said on CBS News' Face the Nation Sunday that Attorney General Janet Reno should resign -- regardless of the outcome of the Waco investigation. CBS Anchor Bob Schieffer also spoke to White House Chief of Staff John Podesta and former Republican Senator John Danforth of Missouri.

"It's a part of a pattern," Sen. Lott said, referring to the attorney general's history. "Wouldn't it be nice if we had an attorney general that could investigate a wrongdoing instead of having always to bring in adult supervision, as is the case this time with former Senator John Danforth?"

Senator Lott doubts it was an accident that the Justice Department left out a page when it gave its report to Congress, that said flammable tear gas cannisters had in fact been used in Waco.

"Maybe it was just an accident, but it's very hard to believe," said Sen. Lott. "When you look at the series of events where either inaccurate information or misleading information has been providedÂ…This is just the latest incident."

"This is not going to be an investigation into judgment calls," said Danforth. "It's going to be an investigation into whether or not bad things happened -- cover-up, killing people. Those would be bad things. But it's not going to be sort of a general sweeping investigation into whether good or bad judgment was used by say, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and taking on the Branch Davidian in the first place. Those are interesting questions, but you don't have grand jury authority to investigate that kind of question, in my opinion."

Meanwhile, a local medical examiner says he'd like to look again into the deaths of sect members who died from gunshot wounds.

"There is a feeling that one should go back and reevaluate," said Dr. Nizam Peerwani, the Tarrant County medical examiner. "The focus at the time was not whether the FBI was doing the shooting."

About 80 people died after a fire ravaged the group's compound 10 miles east of Waco.

Peerwani said he wants to reexamine the deaths of 23 Davidians who died of bullet wounds. It may be possible to determine whether they were shot by someone outside the compound building, he told the Waco Tribune-Herald for Saturday's editions.

Did the bullets go through an "intermediary target, like a wall or door, before striking these people?" he asked.

A Justice Department spokesman declined comment on Peerwani's statements.
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Face on Twitter