Probe Expected into Gore Fund-Raising

By Bob Melvin | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - The Department of Justice is expected to investigate the 1996 fund-raising tactics of Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore.

Robert Conrad, the supervising attorney for the Justice Department's task force investigating Gore's involvement in the alleged 1996 campaign fund-raising abuses, reportedly recommended to Attorney General Janet Reno that a special counsel be appointed to spearhead a broader and deeper investigation into the matter.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) said during an interview on Thursday that Reno "has done a great disservice to Vice President Gore because these matters should have been investigated a long time ago."

Reno twice before has rejected the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate Gore, once for fundraising phone calls from his White House office and once for possible false statements he made about the fundraising efforts.

Representative Dan Burton (R-IN), Chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, said, "We're glad Mr. Conrad had the intestinal fortitude to make this recommendation, particularly in light of the Attorney General's treatment of those who disagreed with her on this matter in the past.

"First Louis Freeh, then Chuck LaBella and now Robert Conrad have made it clear that Janet Reno's Justice Department is incapable of conducting a thorough and unbiased investigation of the President and Vice President. This should be approved and the investigation should commence as quickly as possible," Burton said.